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MabusIncarnate

GDT
3/27 GDT - Canadiens 5 vs. Red Wings 4

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I'm just praying to every god imaginable we make a run for Niskanen in the off season.

Young, Offensive defenseman, something we desperately need, and a +32. Instant upgrade on our blue line.

Realistically holland will probably throw a 5 year contract at a 37 year old Dan Boyle.

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Disappointing loss.

If we miss the playoffs, can we finally start making big changes?

"No, because we don't know what type of team we have when healthy."

Ken Holland in July for the 13th consecutive summer.

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He's a good coach, but he needs a change of scenery. Every coach eventually needs a change of scenery when he's hit a wall with a team.

The team needs a new change of philosophy.

But what part of the team hitting the wall is really Babcock's fault?

Again, look at the teams Holland's put together starting with the 2009/10 season. We've been losing major pieces to our defense, not replacing them with even one person of note. We keep signing a bunch of random forwards, sometimes to terrible deals, and sometimes just too many of them. We've had more guys walk away, for better or for worse, and probably the most notable signing to a new player that we've made in some time is for Weiss, who's been a complete non-factor this year due to injury. Hell, I'm getting scared we're going to start hearing stories about sled dogs soon the way that one's going. Oh yeah, and again, you've got the absurd amount of injuries, including to our two best players and clearly the leaders of this team. I could say so much more if I wanted to go into more detail, but I'm trying to not turn on the former History major part of my brain when I post.

Bottom line, when you look at the way this team has been built since 2009/10, with Ken Holland as the GM making the deals, yes, it's clear that we are swiftly declining in far too many ways, and anything about the team that's hitting the wall tends to have much more to do with the guys Holland signs and the holes he ignores. It says a lot that in far too many cases the last couple years, we're a better team when most of the outside guys Holland signs in the offseason are out of the lineup. And I mean, for crying out loud, we've got players eating up a ton of cap room that aren't even playing because they're not good enough, despite how decimated this squad is. These signings aren't even making it to the wall, they're spontaneously exploding in mid air! ->

(Tangent: I don't feel this applies to our 3rd and 4th line types though, and I think Holland's ability to find guys like Miller and Eaves who are cheap but have a lot of upside to be one of his strongest assets, which is also why I don't get why he isn't more willing to be more aggressive with higher end talent, if it takes more money to sign top guys but you excel at finding $1 million players that perform like $2 million players, you're in a good, balanced situation, much better than overpaying for mid-level talent that ends up performing like low-level talent, if they even dress for the team...)

<- And back to the main point...

I think you could make an argument that Babcock has done the complete opposite of hitting the wall, as he's taken a broken, unbalanced team, missing it's two most important players for much of this season, replaced with a bunch of guys without NHL experience, and he's been able to craft them into a team that against all conceivable odds is still in the hunt for a playoff spot. Last year he did it too, and look at the stink we made in the playoffs. This year he hasn't even had the benefit of a solid Jimmy Howard to compensate for the lousy defense, but they're still finding a way to be in the hunt. That to me is just incredibly impressive, and I would absolutely not want to lose a coach who's managed to keep pulling this off, all the more so given who much worse things are this year.

If anyone's hitting the wall with the team, it's Ken Holland, not Mike Babcock. I'm fed up to the point of thinking he needs to be gone, even while recognizing that in canning him, we may get someone who shakes things up and does even more damage. But we need to move on from the way Ken Holland's been doing things in the cap era, and we need to do it before Dats and Z become ineffective or out and out retire from the NHL. If Ken Holland can find a way to move on from the way he's done things, fine. I have nothing against Holland personally and I think he does have strengths that would be of benefit to this team if he would change his strategy to stop overspending on aging mid-level scrubs and spend more on higher-end talent that can make a real difference most nights while leading a younger squad.

But if Holland's going to continue as he has been, he absolutely needs to go, and soon, because as positive as I can try to be about this team right now, it's becoming more and more clear all the time how screwed we'll be in 3-4 years at the given rate of decline. It's already a lot harder and it's going to be damn near impossible to improve this team from the outside with our fading reputation. As good as our kids are, we're going to need to be able to do that, on defense two years ago and on offense more as Datsyuk and Zetterberk decline. I doubt we're going to get great draft positions so long as Dats and Z are still here too as they'll go a long way towards helping us stay out of the gutter.

But on that note, what really makes me think Holland needs to go is that he's utterly squandered what should've been some of our best years with two superstars. We are a competitive team nearly every night you have a healthy Datsyuk and Zetterberg in the lineup. Just look at how things went in the playoffs last year; clearly, we're not as far removed from the contender class as it sometimes seems. If Holland had done a better job of planning for a strong defense ready to transition out of the Nick Lidstrom era, that alone would keep us in the true contender class, and I believe we'd have at least one more Cup win to show for it. When you consider that he also could've made many significantly better decisions with the offense, going all the way back to the summer of 2009 (*cough Hossa *cough), you just have to shake your head. But we really do have the core of a team still that is capable of being a true contender, even right now once we move past some injuries. We need a GM who sees that and is willing to go for it, because we need some serious success just to strengthen this franchise's reputation and get it back on players lists. We are going to need that sort of leverage to build a team capable of transitioning out of the Datsyuk and Zetterberg era, because as strong as we've been and could be in the draft, we're going to need to be able to go out and sign or trade for the right guy to fill the right hole when we need it, and you absolutely can't plan for every hole that presents itself years ahead through smart drafting.

So much for staying concise, but the more I think about what this team could and should be doing, the more frustrated I get. Holland needs to dramatically change his game plan this summer, without fail, or he needs to move on or move into another role and let someone else take over. Like I said, it may end up being a worse situation than we're facing now, but it could be better. If Holland stays on as GM without changing his ways, I can see no other outcome than the Red Wings being in huge trouble in the next 3-4 years. It's time for Holland or someone else to step in and take some big chances and make some big bets on this team being a real contender. It's time to stop accepting mediocrity. This team deserves better.

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Well if that's true then all the team's success belongs to Holland too. If he's going to get blamed for one he needs to get praise for the other.

Like I said above, Holland absolutely has strengths. At the very least, we can say that he's got a solid group of scouts that help him get a lot out of milage out of our typically less than stellar draft choices. But more so, Holland is good at finding cheap guys that are relatively young and get them to play like a player that typically gets paid quite a bit more. I think part of this is finding relatively talented guys with good character and work ethics that are coachable, and you get them in the system with Babcock and suddenly a $1 million guy plays like a $2 million guy.

And while I know we generally like to let guys get overly rip in GR, I think we're getting to a point where we're taking it too far, especially with some of them, and in many cases, I think it has a lot more to do with Holland's compulsion for bringing in too many mid-level vets that cost a lot more than our kids in GR would but don't even play as well. If we brought more of the kids up earlier, they'd take up a lot less cap space while being more affective. You'd be able to get even more out of them if you used that cap space saved on the mid-level guys and went after high-end talent harder, yes, even if it at times feels like we have to overpay. We're going to have to overpay right now because we're not a team in a position to make guys want to take a discount to be a part of it.

But if we get some better guys in that help round out this team more evenly front to back, then get the kids up a bit earlier, and fill out the rest of the roster with more of those bargain basement guys Holland is good at finding and a much smaller and more highly-selective group of mid-level veterans, not only will we be in better shape to be contenders, but we'll have an easier time attracting talent. Talent and success attract talented guys that want to be successful. That's the message we need to be sending.

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Except that it wasn't Holland at all. Babs, Dats, and Z, wanted him back. Holland's got a lot to be ashamed of (Tootoo, Sammy) but this one ain't on him. Here's the quote...

"Nyquist could have made the Wings to start the season. But Holland signed 40-year-old free agent Daniel Alfredsson, and then he re-signed 34-year-old Dan Cleary in training camp. Cleary was a surprise, because he had bad knees and better offers elsewhere. But coach Mike Babcock wanted him back. The team leaders wanted him back – from Howard to Zetterberg to Datsyuk. And he came back on a one-year deal worth $1.75 million, when he turned down the Wings’ offer of three years at $2.25 million per on July 5 and the Flyers, Florida Panthers and Winnipeg Jets were offering three years at $2.75 million per."

And here's the link...

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nhl-s-hottest-scorer-gustav-nyquist-shooting-for-goals--glory---playoffs-after-starting-the-season-in-ahl-161232581.html?

I'm going to speak generally about the Cleary situation, more to those in general who hate Cleary with a passion, so if you're not one of those people, don't take it personally. I'm using your post as a launchpad because it's a topic worth looking at from another angle.

If we had less guys like Cleary, I'd get it, and despite all the pain and anguish I fully can admit to experiencing when watching Cleary at times the last few years, I do think there's something to be said on some level for the guy being a character player worth keeping around at the right price. The bigger problem wasn't that we kept Cleary, it's all the guys around him that made the decision to keep him so much more detrimental than it ever should've been. Again, I can't stress enough that Dan Cleary can be painful to watch at times, and I'm not saying he's at all a make it or break it guy. We should've let him go given the situation we were in at the start of camp with way too many forwards, especially when we really need defensemen.

But don't you think it says something about Cleary that he had the support of as many people on the team as he did, let alone the fact that our two most important players were among those rallying for him?

If we weren't stuck with as many other bad deals as we still are, I think the whole Cleary situation in general would be easier to swallow, and it'd be easier to accept that on some level that some of our most important players feel is important, Cleary contributes positively to this team. Maybe it is just in the locker room given that he spends so much time on the ice fumbling on his knees...see? Even I can't help be make fun of him. But if Holland had done a better job in putting together the team at large, having someone like Cleary around at that price would likely not be near the issue nor fan irritant that it has become. And even though I don't think Holland made the right decision in signing Clearly given our circumstance, it's one thing I don't entirely blame him for either. It was a tricky situation to be in, but it ultimately was only tricky because of far too many mistakes made in previous years that I absolutely do blame Holland for.

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Some people alwuas have an excuse for jimmy... O he had no chance on most of those goals... Fact is good goalies come up with big saves. I'm not saying he costed us the game but the fact is he didn't make many timely saves.

I watched the rangers game last night and Lundquist made several unreal saves to keep his team in it and I mean several. Many of the saves he made would be what some of you say are impossible shots to stop for Howard. Fact is, this was a big game and jimmy just wasn't good enough.

And there will always be more people bashing him than defending him. You conveniently forget to mention the two big saves Howard made in the 2nd when the Wings were pushing with momentum. Then Kronwall lazily goes for a puck and gets steamrolled by Thomas freaking Vanek leading to an easy goal. Totally killed the Wings momentum the last 10 minutes of that period. But yep its all Howard. Why do all the bashers always seem to bring up Lundquist saying he did this and he did that so why can't he Jimmy? Newsflash people.....Howard is not Henrik Lundquist! Lundquist is an elite goalie. Something only 2 or 3 guys in the league can claim. You can't use ones play to try and bash the other because they are on different levels. Its no different than saying that Crosby can score 110 pts a year so if Datsyuk can't then hes s*** and isn't playing well.

Can Howard play better? Sure, but so can 10 other guys. Howard isn't the reason they lose every night though which some just won't accept.

Sent from my Nexus 10 using Tapatalk

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Disappointing loss.

If we miss the playoffs, can we finally start making big changes?

"We like our team. Getting a healthy Hank, Pav, Weiss, and Cleary will be just like a big free agent signing."

Sent from my Nexus 10 using Tapatalk

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We can't afford to lose these important games down the stretch. I know the defense is terrible but our backup goalie has 4 regulation losses in 22 games. Maybe we can play him when the starting goalie keeps giving up 3-5 goals a game and 99% of these goals seem like they come in the 3rd period and usually with a 2 goal lead. I know you wanna rely on the dude who's making the money but at this point I would think you have to go with whatever works. At least give it a try. Can't hurt. Whether you love, hate or worship Jimmy we can all see that he simply doesn't have it this year. We scored 3 goals in the 3rd and still lost. He is the last man back. His mechanics are off and he has got zero confidence this year. I feel bad for him and of course I wanna see him do well but Babcock has to do whatever it takes to win. Bert, Kindl and Quincey do not deserve roster spots. The youth is what is keeping us in this playoff race. Andersson hasn't proven he deserves one either. The playoffs are within reach and you can't keep playing guys that cannot and will not get it done for us.

Edited by GoWings!

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I'm not as worried about the rest of you. The pattern will hold, we win two or three ganesh, lose two or three games, and beat the good teams.

The only game I'm really concerned about is Toronto and Montreal.

Everything hinges on us winning one more point than Washington and Toronto, which is doable since they have similar win patterns.

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This is what I see as potentially possible if the Wings get it together like they did last week:

Look at our remaining schedule:

Toronto - Win

Tampa Bay?

Boston

Buffalo - Win

Montreal?

Buffalo - Win

Pittsburgh?

Carolina - Win

St., Louis

As far as I'm concerned, the ones in bold are winnable games that shouldn't cause the Wings too much problem if they play well

The ? ones I could possibly see us winning - for instance we've beaten the Penguins, and since then they've also lost Malkin. Montreal as we saw last night are beatable, as is Carey Price, if we just play our game. Tampa I'm not sure about but I wouldn't rule it out.

The scored through ones are games that I think are a write off. I might be wrong, but I don't see us beating Boston or St Louis, even if we get Datsyuk and Abby back right now.

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Well hopefully St. Louis will have absolutely nothing to play for in that last game, they might even rest some of their players for the playoffs.

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st. Louis has a lot to play for. The last 20 years as a matter of fact. All the playoff eliminations, all the regular season dominance. How much St. Louis love to be the team that knocks us out of a playoff birth? They owe it to their city to break our streak. I hope it doesn't come to that, but it is incentive for them to play us hard.

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Except that it wasn't Holland at all. Babs, Dats, and Z, wanted him back. Holland's got a lot to be ashamed of (Tootoo, Sammy) but this one ain't on him. Here's the quote...

"Nyquist could have made the Wings to start the season. But Holland signed 40-year-old free agent Daniel Alfredsson, and then he re-signed 34-year-old Dan Cleary in training camp. Cleary was a surprise, because he had bad knees and better offers elsewhere. But coach Mike Babcock wanted him back. The team leaders wanted him back from Howard to Zetterberg to Datsyuk. And he came back on a one-year deal worth $1.75 million, when he turned down the Wings offer of three years at $2.25 million per on July 5 and the Flyers, Florida Panthers and Winnipeg Jets were offering three years at $2.75 million per."

And here's the link...

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nhl-s-hottest-scorer-gustav-nyquist-shooting-for-goals--glory---playoffs-after-starting-the-season-in-ahl-161232581.html?

True. Holland did offer him 3 years at $2.25/year originally though, so that's on him, don't understand why Cleary would turn that offer down though

st. Louis has a lot to play for. The last 20 years as a matter of fact. All the playoff eliminations, all the regular season dominance. How much St. Louis love to be the team that knocks us out of a playoff birth? They owe it to their city to break our streak. I hope it doesn't come to that, but it is incentive for them to play us hard.

If that is the make it or break it game, we either play the best game we've ever played, or st. Louis beats us

kipwinger likes this

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I think when Pav comes back he is gonna be unreal and the team won't lose again until they eventually hoist the Cup in June.... one could only hope lol :P

But seriously, I think when he returns its going to be a HUGE lift for the team. Pav at 70% is better then any of the veterans currently playing at 100%. I am still very optimistic about this season. We are going to win both games this weekend and the board will be back to saying Babs should get coach of the year, and this will all be in the past.

Detroit # 1 Fan likes this

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I think when Pav comes back he is gonna be unreal and the team won't lose again until they eventually hoist the Cup in June.... one could only hope lol :P

But seriously, I think when he returns its going to be a HUGE lift for the team. Pav at 70% is better then any of the veterans currently playing at 100%. I am still very optimistic about this season. We are going to win both games this weekend and the board will be back to saying Babs should get coach of the year, and this will all be in the past.

A lot rests on tonights game I think. The Leafs have now lost 7 in a row. They're free falling like no other, and if we don;t beat them, I think that might be a pretty big bruise for our team. Conversely, the chance to put a nail in their coffin might just propel us further forward.

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