Every game looks like the Nashville series lately.
No speed, a bunch of perimeter shots that get blocked and a complete unwillingness to play in the tough areas of the ice. If you can't beat teams with skill, then you better have the tenacity to score some dirty goals.
Born and raised near Toledo, so it was natural to root for the Detroit teams. My favorite sport to play as a kid was basketball, so my first genuine interest was in the Pistons during the Grant Hill years. I remember the back-to-back championships, but they don't stand out as much to me because I was younger and hadn't fully come to understand and appreciate hockey.
Needless to say, the Wings have been my biggest passion since the early 2000's. Hockey is the best sport in the world and the Red Wings exemplify everything I would want in a professional organization. 2002 and the sheer dominance was unbelievable. The 2008 run is my personal favorite though because that group put on a clinic every night in puck possession.
It's really a privilege to have watched the Red Wings and their success throughout my life. When you also grew up cheering for the Tigers and Notre Dame Football, it's very easy to take the Red Wings for granted. They were always the one constant of success and joy. I definitely appreciate the memories and all of the legendary players more now looking back.
Fil's not exactly going into negotiations in a position of strength right now. His dismal numbers this season aren't going to help. The "breakout" year has seen him fall back to more typical offensive production again.
Besides some frustrating line combos, Babs has done an exceptional job this season. The Red Wings can't overwhelm teams with skill anymore and Babcock has adjusted to give the team a chance to compete still. His biggest flaw still is his stubbornness, but I don't know how much more he could get out of this group. I think they have overachieved so far, given the losses and tons of injuries.
Holland, on the other hand, put together this patchwork roster. I don't want to keep harping on the lack of a plan once Nick retired, but it's pretty clear the Red Wings need an injection of talent very soon to challenge for a championship again. I guess my biggest complaint is the uncertain direction of the franchise. What is this team right now? If it truly is a transitional year, then I disagree with what that should mean compared to what Holland has done.