Ps. We need a bigger tougher team going forward - hopefully Holland adresses this over the summer. You know why teams like the Blues/Preds/Rags never hit listless slumps and seem to truck along winning a pair, losing one, winning three, losing one, etc etc? Because as well as having skilled players they have bodies that are big, fast, tenacious which allows them to play a physical game when the bounces arent s there and pucks arent going in. Im not talking a total makeover - Im talking just having a fourth line with that has a blend of speed, size, hitting, maybe a scrapper, and the ability to bang in a few timely goals.
Holmstrom is slower than a glacier, Emmerton is small and physical as a basket of kittens, and Mursak works his ass off and Im happy with his role. Holmers hooking, slashing, interference, and goalie interference calls are becoming ridiculous - even on a PP his reputation precedes him so badly that hes a liability on most goals just because hell never get the benefit of the doubt.
"Bigger, tougher" is the go-to solution, yet that's not the problem this team has. It's no hustle, no heart, no scoring depth. Having a team full of 9 goal scorers may keep you up among the top in team scoring, but it doesn't win you a lot of games.
More than anything else they need fresh blood (more than just one mid-range player) to change the forward corps dynamic. Bigger and tougher wouldn't hurt, but that's not what's stopping them from playing good consistently.
I'm not articulating a conspiracy argument, but I'm cynical enough to know that when there's a great, marketable storyline chances are it'll come true. The Pens have been doing well enough without Crosby, and now that he's back he's just as good as he ever was. They've won 11 straight. Now, in a normal circumstance, teams cool off, but since it's the Pens and Crosby has to be one of the luckiest guys around (disappearing and then scoring huge game winning goals for example), does his hot return mean that the Pens should be penciled in as Cup favorites? The only other "storybook" team would be the Blues, but since they're not the Penguins I don't see their luck holding out.
I haven't followed the Pens that much this year, though, are they deep enough for a long run? They're up there in team scoring while they were missing Crosby the entire season, so that's quite an accomplishment.
Winning the division isn't all that unlikely, really. The Blues have lost two straight I think. Runs like the one they've been on don't last. And the Wings are getting healthy and should be going into playoff mode soon. It'll be close but I think the Wings will probably leap frog the Blues again as they hit their own patch of adversity.
I disagree that this is "adversity." Generally, adversity has been when injuries plague you (which is the case here, admittedly) or something happens to you. The Wings' biggest problem this season has not been adversity, it has been lack of heart and drive. That is of their own making. I hope they can get it in gear for the playoffs.
It IS a liability thing and is 100% justifiable considering that everyone in this country sues at the drop of a hat, and if ANYTHING had happened to the kid while on the ice, you can guarantee there would have been a lawsuit. Like I said, you have to turn off the emotions and think about it rationally though...
I don't think they would have been anymore liable than if a regular kid slipped and fell. It's an accepted part of the game and should be covered by insurance. On top of that, a wheelchair basically physically cannot tip over on flat ice.
So I've been away at work all day and the initial disappointment of expecting a signing and not getting one has worn off. Looking back I realize we hype up trade day for entertainment more than anything else. So on that front the deadline was yet another bust.
But honestly, it was such a low key day that nobody really got better. Nashville MIGHT have...but that's a BIG question mark. Everybody else is just as good as they were yesterday, but the Wings did improve on defense, and defense wins championships.
Obviously we still have a weak fourth line, but that can be rectified by calling up talent (hopefully) from GR. And out top 6 is still questionable...but they always turn it on come playoffs.
So I can see why Holland, not seeing a must-have deal, would want to roll with "luck." As long as the team stays healthy (which you can only do so much to protect against) this team can win the Cup.
So in short, while I'm disappointed we didn't address our forward needs, it wasn't a total loss, and it's further offset by no other team getting better, either.
And I refuse to buy the garbage that this team can't win the Cup because it's the same as last year. No one in their right mind would say the Wings really lost in '10. And last year they turned a series around and came a single goal short of winning the second round. And at the time all the talk was about how if the Wings made it past the Sharks they would go straight to the finals. So yeah, I think with a chip on their shoulder and more depth at D this team can win the Cup, because the last two years were strange flukes, especially 2010.
People are forgetting about Quincey already. That's a significant move on defense that makes us better. Other teams are trading players but they're giving up players, too. Like someone said, Vancouver wasn't a Pahlsson away from winning the Cup. San Jose did get better, though, but they're already weaker than us in the standings.
The fourth line lacks any kind of identity. It's such a random hodgepodge of forwards. Emmerton is clearly the weak link. Replace him with a gritty center and bam, suddenly you've got a balance of speed, grit, and faceoff wins.