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kipwinger

Defense or Offense

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I don't want to turn this into a blame game, we're all aware of who the LGW whipping boys are. But if you look at the stats, we currently rank 15th in goals against, and 20th in goals for. So, other than copping out and saying "we need to improve both", who does the failure fall on...the offense or the defense? Here's something things to consider...

1) Jimmy has been pretty shaky at times this season, arguably making the defense look worse than it really is.

2) Transition game starts with the defense and it has been bad this year, arguably making the offense look worse.

3) We've given up three or more goals 12 times and scored three or more goals 10 times.

4) Injuries have, so far, disproportionately affected the offense. Presumably making it less productive.

Ok discuss. And please don't just start singling people out, it's boring...and intellectually lazy. The first person to do it will be admitting that they are a meat-headed sack of s*** by default.

Edited by kipwinger

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Personally, I am a big believer in building from the net out, so for sure the defense needs to improve first. Scoring goals is nice and everything but no team is going to win without a reliable defense. The Blackhawks did win last year, because Keith and Seabrook have been playing unreal allowing Toews, Kane and Hossa to score without worrying too much about the D.

Assuming the cap goes up at least 5kk I'd love to sign Phaneuf to a 7x7 contract, he would easily become the new QB allowing Kronner to focus more on his shutdown role again (in which he is much better!).

Phaneuf - Kronwall

Danny K - Ericcson

Smith - insert

doesn't look too bad :)

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Personally, I am a big believer in building from the net out, so for sure the defense needs to improve first. Scoring goals is nice and everything but no team is going to win without a reliable defense. The Blackhawks did win last year, because Keith and Seabrook have been playing unreal allowing Toews, Kane and Hossa to score without worrying too much about the D.

Assuming the cap goes up at least 5kk I'd love to sign Phaneuf to a 7x7 contract, he would easily become the new QB allowing Kronner to focus more on his shutdown role again (in which he is much better!).

Phaneuf - Kronwall

Danny K - Ericcson

Smith - insert

doesn't look too bad :)

Interesting that I agree, but I categorize that as offence.

Our offence is what's holding us back I think. We have good defencemen, but they're not successful when they try to create offence. Also might help the offence if we were going for 2nd chances... I feel like every game I've watched this year has been "shoot and faceoff" or "shoot and retreat." Getting on those rebounds and finding ways to be in position for that should help our offence.

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It's weird that the same squad (more or less) that had an outstanding team GAA average last year (5th) is struggling so badly 5-on-5 this year.

And this same team has much much better special teams play this year.

But if you look at the games the Wings have lost that they should have won, the blame has to go to overall team defense, goaltending, and coaching. Too many untimely mistakes and late game meltdowns. Too many questionable personell decisions by the coaching staff in these moments.

This team is going to have spells where they have trouble scoring, and they're going to have spells of trouble keeping pucks out of their net overall. But they need to learn how to not give up huge goals in key situations, during games that they've played well enough to win.

They really have to look closely at what's working on the road, because it's not working at home.

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We don't go to the net for second-chance opportunities enough, and that costs us offensively. Conversely, we have a horrible habit of melting down late in games and making mistakes that blemish an otherwise-good defensive outing. These are things that can be corrected. As for which is more to blame, I would have to say the offense. A suspect defense can be spelled with a good, consistent offense. However, for the most part, teams who have trouble scoring consistently cannot be bailed out by their defense. Giving up 2 goals is considered a good defensive night, by and large. However, if you only score 1, which would be considered a bad offensive night, you still lose. Even if you score 2 in that scenario, you go to overtime, and there's no guarantees in overtime, good defense or not. Also, blaming the defense would be, by association, also blaming the goaltending. And being as we are not singling people out, that isn't an option. We all know why...*sigh*.

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I think offense (or a forward to be more specific) is the greater priority. Our D core is young, but there's a lot of raw talent there, and I suspect that if we hold into the same core of guys and/or continue to develop defensively from within, our D squad will be elite in a couple years.

Offensively, our top players are older, not younger, and while Nyqvist, Tatar, Jurco have a lot of talent, I don't know that any of them will be able to fill Datsyuk or Zetterberg's skates. Not to mention the current roster is struggling offensively outside of those two players.

If this thread is asking top 6 forward vs top 4 defenseman, I think the forward will have more of an impact

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I think offense (or a forward to be more specific) is the greater priority. Our D core is young, but there's a lot of raw talent there, and I suspect that if we hold into the same core of guys and/or continue to develop defensively from within, our D squad will be elite in a couple years.

Offensively, our top players are older, not younger, and while Nyqvist, Tatar, Jurco have a lot of talent, I don't know that any of them will be able to fill Datsyuk or Zetterberg's skates. Not to mention the current roster is struggling offensively outside of those two players.

If this thread is asking top 6 forward vs top 4 defenseman, I think the forward will have more of an impact

I wasn't so much asking top six forward vs. top four d-man, but rather, whether the offense or the defense should shoulder the responsibility for this mediocre performance...and why they are responsible. Obviously, it only makes sense that you'd want to improve whatever one you picked, but I wanted to avoid the blame game and also the we need to trade for "player x" game.

Edited by kipwinger

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Defintely defence.

First of all, last seasons 5th place in goals against was almost entirely down to the play of Howard. The problems that afflict us this season are the same as last - the inability to get the puck out of the zone, and if we do we're often just chipping it off the glass and giving possession right back to the opposition. The brutal turnovers. The lack of composure when pressured by the forecheck. Quincey, Smith, and Kindl being particular culprits.

This struggling transition game is IMO the biggest flaw in our team play, and directly impacts our ability to generate offense. The struggles of Franzen and Weiss, the lack of Nyquist and Tatar, and injuries have obviously impacted our goal scoring, but I think we're pretty set now (or will be when Bert and Pav are back).

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Defense or offense? Kenny knows the answer. I think we are good now at O. In a couple of years we will be way better at D. We are going to get a cup in the next few (1-3) years.

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Defense.

I'm less worried about the preventing goals part. The Goals Against isn't terrible and Jimmy hasn't been great. Plus our young guys should improve with gap control and their zone assignments at NHL speeds.

But the offense starts with the defensive transition game. And with the Wings young and often shaky defensive corps, it has not been good. As a result the forwards spend more of their shifts pinned in their own zone helping the D men get the puck out of the zone.

I'd be curious to know how much time the Wings spend in their own end relative to the the offensive zone. Is there a stat that tracks zone time?


Defintely defence.

First of all, last seasons 5th place in goals against was almost entirely down to the play of Howard. The problems that afflict us this season are the same as last - the inability to get the puck out of the zone, and if we do we're often just chipping it off the glass and giving possession right back to the opposition. The brutal turnovers. The lack of composure when pressured by the forecheck. Quincey, Smith, and Kindl being particular culprits.

This struggling transition game is IMO the biggest flaw in our team play, and directly impacts our ability to generate offense. The struggles of Franzen and Weiss, the lack of Nyquist and Tatar, and injuries have obviously impacted our goal scoring, but I think we're pretty set now (or will be when Bert and Pav are back).

I could've saved myself some typing had I read yours post first. :lol: I think we were typing at the same time but I think you're spot on.

Nev and pucktividi like this

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Yes the offense has struggled and that's putting it mildly but I gotta blame the D.

My reasoning behind this is:

1. Inability to move the puck out of defensive zone quickly.

2. Too many turnovers on outlet passes.

3. Missed coverage, which leaves opposing players in front of net alone far too often.

4. Not blocking shots but blocking goalies vision.

5. Not getting shots through opposing players on offense.

6. Pinching unnecessarily.

Howard also bares a lot of the blame for letting soft goals in, but I blame the defense more.

haroldsnepsts likes this

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If the defense could make a good first pass, and cycle the pick more productively without always turning the puck over, two things would happen.

1. We score more goals, as we aren't always chasing are own tails and we can seamlessly enter the o-zone

2. Less goals against as there won't be all these odd man rushes and breakaways.

Dabura likes this

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Offense and its not even close.

Our goaltending and defense(even with a Quincey) can win us a cup. The issue is our defense would excel in a dump and chase style. But our forwards are still small undersized pass and defense first that are just not skilled enough for a puck possesion team. So you get a couple guys that are.more built for dump and chase and get a legit sniper and we go from borderline playoff team to a legit contender.

Moving forward our defense will be just fine. Top four of kronwall Ericson smith and dekeyser will be fine. Last pairing of kindle Quincey lash off and in future oullete and Sproul will be great...especially once Quincey is gone lol

But anyways its really obvious offense is our issue A TEAM FULL OF GUYS WHO AVERAGE 20-25 GOALS AT BEST BUT MOST ARE 10-20 GOAL RANGE. But anyways it really don't matter what facts show cause were stuck with Holland and the likes of Sammy cleary Alfie Weiss etc etc

Edited by DeGraa55

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Geez that's a tough one....I am going to go with Offense. It seems that the Wings have so much trouble scoring goals. The current D is shaky, but it's also the same D that led them to the playoffs last season. I think we need to address the lack of scoring first and should do so by doing what we can to not dress the old farts...

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I dunno if you can really separate the two, defense and offense. Ideally, the latter mostly comes from the former. You take care of business in your own end, move the puck out of your zone cleanly and with purpose, and all of a sudden you're talking about offense now.

That transition is what has been killing us more than anything else. So I'll say: our transition game. Defense to offense. We're really, really missing Lidstrom and Rafalski there. We really, really need a great puck-moving defenseman.

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Kevin Weekes weighs in:

http://www.nhl.com/ice/blogpost.htm?id=23229&navid=DL|NHL|home

I think the biggest challenge for the Red Wings is that they don't have a Drew Doughty or a P.K. Subban or Oliver Ekman-Larson on their blue line. I think Niklas Kronwall is a heck of a player and Jonathan Ericsson is a nice player. Danny DeKeyser has also been really impressive but he's hurt again. They just don't have one of those game-changers. Without having that, it's pretty difficult to make plays and help get the puck out of your zone and get the puck out of trouble. Detroit doesn't have one of those guys right now.

Of course, they had one of the game's all-time greats in Nicklas Lidstrom. They haven't filled that hole since he retired in 2012. Obviously, Nicklas Lidstroms don't come along every day. But at the same time, look at the L.A. Kings. They had Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson and they were able to trade Johnson because they had Slava Voynov. That's a lot of good D.

When you look at a lot of the top teams, including the Boston Bruins, quite often they have one, if not two or three, of those guys on the back end. Detroit has some room to improve in that area.

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At this point in the season considering injuries, cap/roster issues, and goalie flux I think that the main issue is a combination of chemistry and coaching.

The lines have never been set long enough for players to work into parallel grooves (with the exception being the good stretch that Z-Dats-Bert had and the current 2nd line having some spark with Helm at center). The 3rd and 4th lines have been a shuffle and have not contributed to the offense. The defensive aspect is disappointing compared to last year but we are not controlling the puck as much. There is a higher ratio of dump and chase in this year's team.

The coaching is an issue because of the roster/cap/injury issues. Babs can't set lines to get chemistry. I still am a little pissed that one Jimmy was cleared to play following his injury he was immediately put in, interrupting a winning streak with the hottest goalie at the moment.

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Defintely defence.

First of all, last seasons 5th place in goals against was almost entirely down to the play of Howard. The problems that afflict us this season are the same as last - the inability to get the puck out of the zone, and if we do we're often just chipping it off the glass and giving possession right back to the opposition. The brutal turnovers. The lack of composure when pressured by the forecheck. Quincey, Smith, and Kindl being particular culprits.

This struggling transition game is IMO the biggest flaw in our team play, and directly impacts our ability to generate offense. The struggles of Franzen and Weiss, the lack of Nyquist and Tatar, and injuries have obviously impacted our goal scoring, but I think we're pretty set now (or will be when Bert and Pav are back).

I mostly agree, but I don't think the transition struggles can be blamed solely on the defensemen. I think far too often the forwards do a poor job of supporting the defensemen on breakouts. Too much standing around waiting when they should be trying to create outlet options, finding gaps, or coming back to help battle for pucks.

But having only two good puck movers (and playing them together) on the back end does hurt.

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I think Weekes hits the nail on the head. Detroit has never replaced Lidstrom or Rafalski. Both were great puck movers and allowed for a better transition when we are getting now. Count how many blown break outs the Wings have in a game.

To answer the OP's question, I think its offense but it starts with the defensemen.

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