He should retire either way. When it first became official that he was joining the team, I imagined his potential basement and ceiling with the club this year and he actually managed to do worse than my lowest expectations. Modano makes this team worse.
It's always tough to give an objective and reasonable prediction while in the throes of a losing streak in which we've played terrible.
That said, I haven't truly liked Detroit's chances at any point during this season. Things I believe will cause us serious trouble:
1) Howard has been terrible this year. He's won a lot of games, but many of those have come on the broad shoulders of the team's league-leading goal scoring. Howard has been prone to lapses in concentration that have led to at least 1 poor goal in nearly every one of his starts this year and he's had a very difficult time stringing together strong performances in succession.
2) Our defense has been completely exposed by two things: a) chip & chase with aggressive forecheck and b) attacking from below the goal line. Our d-men look completely lost when the opponent doesn't back off and give them room to work. Even Nick Lidstrom has been prone to coughing up the puck and making poor decisions when under duress and this is the first year I believe I've ever seen that
3) Special teams lack urgency. The powerplay has been lazy, predictable and altogether stagnant. The PP looks lost when teams take away the point option because they're trying to get too cute down low and seem completely unwilling to shoot for rebounds and dig for garbage goals. The failure on the powerplay can almost entirely be attributed to the fact that the penalty killers give up entry into the defensive zone too easily. The opposition doesn't even have to make a pass to gain entry because our defense backs down so willingly to the puck carrier. Easy entry = easy setup = free shots = bad PK. It's that simple.
These are the 3 things that I believe are going to kill us in the playoffs. Playoff style hockey with high intensity and aggressive forechecking is exactly the type of type of hockey that is designed to dismantle a team that plays a soft perimeter game like the Wings have been all year.
It comes down to a choice between Getzlaf and Nash, but it really isn't a choice at all for me because I don't think Nash is worth his contract.
Getz makes $5.325M
Nash makes $7.8M
Getz's career high in points - 91
Nash's career high in points - 79, and that's the only time he's ever broken the 70 point barrier
Nash is a great goal scorer, but I'll take the point-per-game power forward who makes $2.5M less annually every time.
I'm surprised at how many votes there are for Nash. Nobody around here wanted to pay Hossa over $6M when he scored 40 goals and 70 points for us. Those are basically the best numbers Nash has ever put up and he chews up a ton more cap space.
Even if the Flames fans feel they overcame some great injustice in the first 2 periods, they were given a 4 minute powerplay (on a discretionary call, not automatic) almost half way through the 3rd period in a game that they were leading 4-2. If the Flames had potted one on that powerplay, they would have tidily swept the rest of the game into the W column. It was practically gift wrapped for the taking at that point.
I'm all for chewing out the refs for poor officiating, but at some point the onus is on the Flames for not putting the game away with a golden opportunity that the "clearly biased" refs put on a platter for them.
I'll just paste my thoughts from the HFboards thread here:
2011-2012 notable contracts ending: Modano(retire), Draper(retire), Miller(not renewed), Eaves(renewed short term, 1-2 years), Salei(much too early to tell), Lidstrom(renewed for 1 more year, then retire), Ericsson(this season will solidify him as our #5 guy), Osgood(retire), Howard(renewed 3-4 years)
Roughly this time period and beyond I expect to see:
a) acquisition of a big ticket FA defenseman (a 7 million dollar man to "replace" Nick) b) Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl to be permanent fixtures in at least the #5 and #6 positions c) Gustav Nyqvist and Tomas Tatar to become the newest incarnation Flip/Huds on the 3rd line d) Thomas McCollum taking his first real strides toward becoming a full-time NHLer