Everyone needs to be honest with themselves. Holland is going to re-sign Sammy, Cleary, Alfie, Bert, and Quincey. Next year Dekeyser will be playing in the minors for no reason and Tatar, Nyquist, Sheahan, and Jurco will be traded. They will be replaced with Ray Whitney, Jaromir Jagr, Teemu Selanne, and Hal Gill.
Boston is the best team the Wings have faced in the playoffs in my viewing life time. Even the sweep losses were more competitive.
Boston is a great team but they aren't really being tested.
This is the WORST Red Wings team in the last 22 seasons. The last time the Wings were minus in goal differential was 1990-91... the season the playoff streak started. The pts% this season was .567... the worst since 1990-91 (tied with the 1998-99 team but that team didn't have the benefit of overtime loser points and shootout wins.) The last time a Wings team finished worse than 3rd in their division was 1989-90.
Our 4th liners are grinding but can't chip in with timely goals.
The "kids" are nowhere to be seen (something about this being a 'man's league.')
Datsyuk is a one-man show... the rest of the veterans are either injured, over the hill, have mental issues, or have some other excuse.
Our defencemen are... well... frustrating to watch. Kronwall and Ericsson should be our #3 and #4 defencemen not our top pair.
We have no balls. Tootoo is buried in the minors and Bertuzzi had a lobotomy.
Howard is not an elite goalie. We can win the cup with him if we have a roster like the '08 team. The 2014 Wings need a late '90s Hasek to be contenders.
The bottom line is that this Wings team extended the playoff streak and with all the injuries this season that's quite an accomplishment. Everything else is a bonus.
I'm not sure what's confusing about it. If the season had gone "as planned", Bert, Sammy and Cleary would all have regular roles, probably in the top 6, they'd all have PP time, even though they may not have produced effectively. The Wings would still have been floundering, but we'd hear all about the veteran leadership, and these guys have been through the battles, he has faith in them, can't rush these guys from Grand Rapids etc. Guys like Tatar and Nyquist would have been eased into the lineup with a few minutes on the 4th line with Drew Miller and Patrick Eaves and a healthy scratch every other night with Babcock unsure if they were ready because they can't produce. Sheahan and Jurco would have never gotten a sniff of the big club.
Had Babcock said last summer we're going to give the kids regular jobs and go in a different direction, we wish Dan Cleary well with Philadelphia, we thank Samuelsson for his service, but we have decided to use the compliance buyout on him and Todd Bertuzzi will be our guy off the bench, THAT would have been a bold move for the Red Wings.
The old vets were pathetic, the massive amount of injuries forced the Wings to do the call ups and the kids delivered. So it's not really going out on a limb to say, hey these kids have jobs now and the other guys won't get theirs back when they're "healthy" (wink, wink).
As I said in another thread, I'm thrilled, as we all are, at how this has all worked out with Cleary, Sammy and Bert riding the pine (and outta here next season) and seeing the kids thriving with the big club. But Babcock "boldly" stating that they're good and have jobs, yeah, well the grass is green and the sky is blue. He was basically given no choice but to play the Griffins. They excelled because they weren't brought up and put on a 4th line and given 5 minutes a game. They had to log a lot of minutes and each and every one of them took the opportunity and ran with it.
Not to delve into hyperbole, but Wings fan should be more excited this wasn't the prospect traded yesterday. Besides Mantha, he's the only guy who projects as an above-average goal scorer we have in the farm system at the moment. Unlike Järnkrok, he's just adjusted beautifully to the North American style of play. Hes been one of the Griffins best guys all year, and he loves to shoot. Reading scouting reports about his shot is fun - you should all try it some time. Names like "Kurri" and "Hull" are mentioned more than once.
I hope he plays soon. I'm a big, big fan of his. Go get em, kid.