Eventually the higher-ups will realize that it doesn't matter how many soft Euro superstars they draft or acquire... at the end of the day you have to protect your assets, and the DRW have failed to do so for the past 3-4 seasons. We may not find a grittier power-forward with great hands who can also fight, but until they find someone to keep other teams in check, what is to stop them from walking all over us, weathering our man-advantage afterwards?
When Neal was targeting Franzen in (what I believe) was his first or second game back from concussions, the only "enforcer" for the Red Wings by the end of the game was the officials, who threw him out of the game TO PROTECT HIM, because we had NO ONE TO STEP UP. When Stevie Y was still playing for the Wings, McCarty was given the job of making sure he never got messed with. Where is Datsyuk's McCarty? Who is protecting Franzen and his fragile head?
Babcock and KH will eventually realize that there is no point in building a superstar line-up if they refuse to keep them protected. Until then... well, just look at our past couple seasons and our injuries.
Neal and Neil are two different guys, but I know what you're talking about.
Enforcers don't prevent injury. But if I was an opponent coach playing the Wings I would tell all my guys before the game "Look these guys are all soft finesse players. Don't play their game. Play physical and aggressive with them, and just go balls to the wall on them... they're not going to stop you." We need some more BIG guys that wear down the other team and let them know they can't go balls to the wall on us.
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