What do you all expect? The team is playing without four top-six players, the team's best grinder, and an important defenseman. And don't give me the nonsense about injuries being no excuse. If one removes talent from any organization, that organization's performance will suffer.
Honestly, this team wasn't that good last year in the playoffs, when they were relatively healthy.
This defense looked shaky even when the season began and they were together.
Our desire for new toys doesn't negate the fact that the loyalty we show is very appealing to players. We don't treat our players like video game characters or trading cards and that makes us look very good. We take care of our guys.
I don't like that sentiment.
"Our guys" have been handsomely paid for their services in Hockeytown, as well as rewarded with big games in important playoff moments. Not like these guys were interns all this time working for free.
This organization doesn't owe these guys anything. Veterans should be kept around if they can still play better than the younger guys. Players like Bertuzzi and Cleary don't deserve a permanent place in the lineup with total immunity. Yet, that appears to be what they have.
As I've said before several times, I'm confused as to what our current identity is and what it will be in the future.
For a long time, this team has been built on puck possession and skill. It started from having great defensemen who could make terrific breakout passes, and top two forward lines with tremendous skill. I don't think we're that good anymore, especially on the blueline to play this style effectively.
At the same time, there's another way to succeed. Hot goaltending mixed with solid defense, and a tight checking game that wears teams down. Needless to say, we don't have that either.
I think this team will be average all season because we're not good enough go glide past teams anymore, and don't work hard enough to outwork anyone either.
I have no clue what the future pool of prospects will amount to, in regards to what kind of hockey the Wings will play in the future. Do we have enough skill to be a great puck possession team down the line? Are we tough enough and solid enough defensively to win games that way in the future?