The only positive that can happen with missing the playoffs is the firing of Holland and Babcock.
Of course, it won't happen, because the owner is too old to care (unless it's about the Tigers)
Holland has lost me but Babcock has not. I don't think Babcock's been thrilled with the pieces he's been given. He's expressed as much multiple times in the past, and that's on Holland. I think he's doing more than most would when you consider the adversity he's faced with the injuries to key players, the inconsistent goaltending this year, and a team the last couple years with $5-7 million in salary going to a few guys who aren't playing or are barely playing because they're just not good enough to even beat out AHL guys. He lost his 3 of his top 4 defensemen and got Quincey. Ken Holland's management of this team has done Babcock absolutely no favors, yet Babcock has still found a way to keep them in the hunt, even this year without Dats and Z down the stretch and a Howard (3rd highest paid player behind Dats and Z) that seems to always find a way to give up 2-3 goals in the 3rd period (not all Howard's fault directly, but he's not stopping many to save games or keep it close either...).
Babcock doesn't sign guys. I think Babcock would rather have Samuellson's and Tootoo's $4.9 million combined salary go towards signing a halfway descent defenseman, and imagine the difference that could make on this team right now? Again, when you really look at what's happened to this team the last 3-4 years, it all goes back to Holland dropping the ball again and again. Sure, we've struggled with injuries, but given that we haven't completely crumbled in spite of that, imagine how much better off we'd be if Babcock had a more balanced roster to work with and not too many average forwards and too few even average defensemen.
We also can't be wholly sure who else is hurting more than we know. You have to imagine that some guys are playing through more pain than they might this time of year if not for so many guys with more serious injuries.
Something has to be done about this team's roster, sooner rather than later. It's not going to get easier as Dats and Z age and waiting until they retire to find replacements doesn't aid in a smooth transition nor put us in a good negotiating position. Holland needs to get his act together or they need to replace him. Then we need to get any training issues addressed this summer as a start to trying to sort out the injury issues. Once Babcock has a roster that makes a little bit of sense and has some balance, I think it'll be fair to get back to judging him. Until then, he'll continue to have the benefit of the doubt with me, and more so, respect for what he's managed to do in spite of all the issues.