I noticed in the Game Day Thread there was a lot of talk about what a real fan is.
What do you think the answer is?
Are real fans not allowed to be negative? I know some people feel this way. I think it's bulls***. You should be allowed to care. Complain. And want more from your team.
Like sneaking into the playoffs to me isn't good enough for Detroit. It wouldn't be good enough for Scotty or Yzerman, so why is it for Zetterberg or Babcock?
Let's talk it out.
How about someone who doesn't want the team to lose, just so it proves to everyone on a message board that they were right, and the team does in fact suck, Ken Holland sucks, Howard sucks etc.
A real fan can say "Howard has sucked since coming back from injury" but isn't happy about it. The fan who gloats "see, I've always said Howard sucks, I told you we should have traded him whilst he had value, I told you we should have tanked", well......
Right now he reminds me of Mario Lemiuex late in his career when Mario was old and slow. You wouldn't notice him at all during the game, but he would still end up with a goal and 2 assists. Z just doesn't have that energy and strength that his game requires anymore - his skill and willpower can only carry him so far, so he can still rack up points, but he is incapable of dominating the play any more
Right now the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
We don't "deserve" anything, the team is what it is right now.
As someone alluded to, what a difference a year makes. We were so proud of the team playing their hearts out and fighting every night last year to get into the playoffs. This year ... I've never been more frustrated and disappointed with them, this team's effort is embarrassing and makes me want to throw up.
What a difference a year makes? I think you mean what a difference a month makes?
Remember when we came back from that long road trip with all those hard won points against good teams? When we were within touching distance of 1st?
I can't explain everything that's happened since then, because some of it is just baffling. Howard coming back from injury and struggling to find his form - it happens, we've seen it before. Our talented rookie backup can't string back to back performances together. Zetterberg is a pale shadow of his former self - no jump, no strength on the puck, its pretty obvious that he's playing injured right now. But why is Kronwall struggling so much? Why has the PK suddenly gone from #1 in the league to "get ready for a goal against"? Injuries to Dats, Franzen, Cole etc OK, they don't help, but they're not the cause of the rest of the team struggling.
It's baffling. I've been a fan of this team for 23 years and I've never seen them play this bad for this long. Even more baffling because we were so good up until February. I don't think the players can figure it out, and Babcock seems at a loss to right the ship and time is running out before we become 1st round fodder (assuming we cling to a playoff spot).
I think you are hitting the nail on the head, Kip. Plus, the timing of his injury had to put a cramp on the development curve. How many games did he miss? Plus, how long did it take him to get to full game conditioning one he was playing? He basically lost all he'd gained from the prospects camp, etc. and then some. I think he will be fine once he gets over the curve you mentioned. Plus, he is playing against bigger and more experienced players than he did in the Q.
I don't think we should underestimate the effect missing training camp and the start of the season can have on a player. Over the years plenty of guys - vets, star players - who get injured in pre-season take months to get back in form when they come back. Imagine you're a kid playing in your first pro season. Mantha gets a semi-mulligan from me for that.
Can we all admit that there's a huge jump from the AHL to the NHL, that scoring a ton in the AHL doesn't mean a guy will score int he NHL, and sendPulinnen back down to learn how to do more than try to fire a slapper every time he touches the puck in the offensive zone? Kid needs to settle the @#$& down instead of trying to shoot the puck through the goalie's chest every time.
Thing is, he's at that point where all he's going to learn in the AHL now is bad habits - rather like Mantha spending last season in the Q rather than the AHL. He needs to learn how to play his game in the NHL, and the only way he can do that...is in the NHL. There was a moment in the STL game where he skated over the blue line, wound up for a shot, and was instantly surrounded by 3 Blues who stripped the puck and set off the other way on an odd-man rush.
He won't get the space in the NHL that he gets in the AHL. He won't get goalies ducking out of the way of his shots like he does in the AHL. He needs to figure out how to play his game at this level.
Having said that, we have no room for him right now, so once we're healthy he should go back down.
That's exactly the point. I don't think we're that good. I was trying to make my case for that. To "admit" that we are, would be contrary to how I feel, and also what I've witnessed while watching us flounder against teams like Toronto (lately). We were good in November. We were crappy in December. And we'll see how we look in January and February.
But you act like we're the only team this happens to. You think we're the only playoff team to lose to the Sabres or the Panthers or the Leafs? You think we're the only playoff team to go on a hot streak,then a cold streak?
And as for struggling lately, we're actually 7-3-0. We've just been on a road trip that many predicted doom and gloom on, and went 4-2. But I'm sure we'll lose a game soon enough that will validate your opinion of us.
You guys know that we can't just blame everything on the shootout right?
Like...the fact that we even went to shootouts against non-playoffs teams isn't good. We've lost in the shootout to Toronto, Columbus, Florida, Colorado, and Buffalo. So even if there were no "skills competition", it's hardly a feather in our cap to regularly go to overtime against the trash of the league.
I agree that last night was a good win. And I hope we can build on it. But can we stop with the shootout blaming already? No matter how you cut it, we haven't been very good over the last month, Skillz Kompetishon or no.
I could've sworn we just went 4-2 on a road trip. We are on a par with, or within touching distance of, every good team in the league. We're over halfway through the season, there's only 6 points separating the top-10 teams, and we are in that grouping. We're top-10 in points, PP, PK, Face-offs, SA and GA. 12th and 13th in GF and SF which some will no doubt see as evidence of our weakness, but still places us in the top half. Whichever way you look at it, we're a good team. The Toronto's and Colorado's of this world, every other team in the NHL gets to play them too, and guess what? They haven't managed to separate themselves from us by beating up on this supposed trash that we couldn't beat.
And I'm not blaming anything on the SO, but it is a fact that some teams points totals are flattered by it, and others aren't. We are in the latter category.
He was very, very good in both post-seasons, but in a different way.
2008 the team in front of him was dominant, and he had to make very few saves. But crucially - and I pointed this out repeatedly in the GDTs at the time - the saves he had to make were usually of the "golden chance" variety. Our high tempo, smothering play style conceded very few chances, but when it broke down it usually left someone all alone in front. Zetterberg was our clear MVP, Osgood is in a group with Lids, Dats step below. Much pretty much everyone on the roster that year was an A.
2009 was a complete different kettle of fish. The team in front of him was battered and broken down, and not playing particularly great. He was easily our best player as we didn't dominate anything like we did in '08