What exactly has Franzen done in the playoffs the past couple seasons anyways? I fully admit that his three year tear before that was beyond impressive and a huge factor in the Red Wings making deep playoff runs.
That being said, it's a hell of a lot easier for me to excuse Franzen's questionable work ethic during the regular season when he lives up to the reputation of playoff performer. He has three goals and four points in the past 13 playoff games. Besides streaky goal-scoring, what else does Johan Franzen provide to a hockey team? He doesn't use his size, isn't remotely physical and hasn't killed penalties since the early days of his career. Marian Hossa is an elite two-way forward that doesn't carry the label of lazy.
Franzen's floating and having fun in the playoffs was a nice act when he actually performed.
I would have always chosen Hossa over Franzen. Hossa was injured pretty badly during the playoffs and he was the easy scapegoat for losing. Hossa is just better at everything on the ice. Nobody has ever questioned Hossa's work ethic.
I think the Red Wings issues obviously run deeper than just Franzen over Hossa right now, but Holland messed up badly there.
I don't understand the point of why people need to police how others react to games. Not calling out the OP here -- just a general statement.
A team full of major question marks just got dismantled 6-0. Frustration and concern is warranted considering what I believe are issues that aren't going away even if the opponent isn't the Blues. I'm not jumping ship or going to panic the season is over from last night. I do believe this is a bigger problem than just "one game" though.
I don't want to base everything off one game, but I feel pretty comfortable in saying that this defense has some major issues as many of us anticpated losing three top four d-men in two years. The Red Wings likely aren't a cup contender this season and the defense isn't going to get fixed through prospects already in the system. They also probably won't be as bad as tonight to receive a high draft pick and get an impact player right away.
I mentioned it in the GDT and I believe the Red Wings need to call up the forwards (namely Nyquist and Tatar, maybe Andersson) that are NHL ready or close to it and see what they have now. The top-six is devoid of skill and players that can generate offense outside of Datsyuk and Zetterberg and opponents can take them away easier without worrying about secondary threats. There's too much old and slow up front on this roster. I appreciate what Cleary, Bertuzzi and Samuelsson have done as Red Wings, but their purposes were better served on a team that was competing for championships. Not to mention, age has caught up to all three lately. They don't have trade value, so they likely play out their expiring contracts or maybe get bought out.
The only two forwards that might be attractive trade options at forward are Filppula and Franzen. I think now is the time Holland has to pursue and obtain a legitimate d-man. Striking out in free agency can happen as we've seen and the market is thin this summer anyways. A package centered around one or both of Filppula and Franzen (plus other prospects) gets you an extremely necessary piece on defense and provides the opportunity to assess the prospects at forward in those vacant spots. Nyquist and Tatar are blocked by a glut up front, yet the current crop of forwards in the top-six is aging and struggles to score goals when it matters.
Holland has to take a risk since the Red Wings are in transition. It is a retool of sorts on the fly, while also providing an opportunity to build for the future. I don't think you can go forward with this group of d-men and expect to go deep in the playoffs again soon. Use an area of strength to fix a weakness, since solutions don't appear to be there internally. Smith is promising and maybe Quincey/Ericsson are adequate in lesser roles, but it's pretty clear the Red Wings have in no way replaced the departures of Lidstrom, Rafalski and Stuart. There needs to be serious exploring for a top pairing d-man by Holland very soon.
Honestly, the writing was on the wall the past few years and especially in the Nashville series. It's only one game, though I think it's pretty clear the Red Wings are in transition. Time for Holland to finally acknowledge that and inject the few talented young players in the system that are NHL ready or close to see what they have.
<blockquote class='ipsBlockquote'data-author="chrisdetroit" data-cid="2340924" data-time="1358445133"><p>
The pessimism is astounding. The shortened season is working against us? Why is it working against us more than everybody else? Because we are older? But you could argue that the short season benefits the older guys and that the younger guys have less time to gain experience. It's all a matter of how you look at it. Detroit has the oldest team in the league but NJ is second and they lost in the finals last year.<br />
Try to be objective people. Chicago did not improve, St. Louis did not improve, Nashville got worse, Columbus got worse. 7 teams in the west will not make the playoffs. IMO they are:<br />
That's actually (8). Which 2 of those teams is better than us? I can't think of any Norris trophy candidates on any of those teams. We no longer have the best D-man in the West but neither do any of these 8.</p></blockquote>
In all of your "objective" points, you neglected mentioning the Red Wings team that won one playoff game also got worse. Lost two top-four defensemen and couldn't score goals when it mattered. The league has caught up and the Western Conference is very tough. It's not pessimism -- just reality and honest assessment of the current situation, which our own GM seems to agree with.
I still think the Red Wings get in the playoffs as a lower seed, but there's a very real chance they also miss out.
What a career. Just brilliant hand-eye coordination and played his role in front of the crease better than anyone. I can't believe his body held up well enough as long as it did to continue playing. Truly a warrior and a major piece to the Red Wings having four championships.
Thanks for the memories, Homer. Damn, I hate losing all of these guys that we have lately.