Actually a really good period and they are still losing. Controlled play, but the defense is atrocious. Losing DeKeyser is a massive blow because Quincey and Kindl playing larger roles will not lead to more team success. Kyle Quincey is going to be -100 by the Olympic Break.
Desperately need a top-four defenseman that can move the puck.
Love the guy and appreciate everything he has done for the Red Wings, but it's really beyond time for Cleary to be off the team. Guts and veteran leadership don't compensate for being completely useless on the ice, which has sadly become Cleary's fate. Bottom line really, if you can't skate in this league, you don't have much of a place on any roster.
When Alfie and Weiss return, hopefully that will signal the end of Cleary and Samuelsson playing regularly or at all. Neither has a role anymore and the Red Wings forward group actually looks real strong with Nyquist up and healthy bodies.
Having Cleary on a line with Pav is even more infuriating. Imagine the outrage over that last night if Gus hadn't thankfully stolen the show.
I do believe complacency is really hurting this organization and has for years. Losing streaks bring out the worst of everyone involved (Holland and Babcock), but I do think this ugly stretch of play exposes a larger issue.
I'm not advocating for one or both to lose their jobs. However, it should push them to reexamine the methods of building and utilizing a roster. It shouldn't have taken this for Holland to see the flaws and critical mistakes he has made in the past two years alone, though.
I just don't know what this team's identity is yet again. Are we retooling on the fly, while still trying to seriously contend? Are we all-in for a championship? Clearly embracing youth only occurs when hands are forced. It's like the Red Wings are boggled down in mediocrity with no clear path out.
I have a novel idea: Win a damn game in regulation since clearly OT and the shootout aren't going to end in two points.
I feel bad for Z and Pavel. They have to be so frustrated with the lack of help from the supporting cast. Helm has looked terrific at least, but the forwards overall are weak, particularly the bottom-six. Defense desperately needs a puck-mover that can play big minutes and contribute offensively because Quincey and Kindl have been atrocious.
Something has to happen. You can't just keep repeating "we are close to turning things around" after every loss. They may break out of this streak soon, but long-term the resounding issues of this team aren't going away.