Win or lose, I've learned more about this team in the last 5 games than in the first 40+.
It's been a great series to watch and it's awesome seeing all the kids play at this high level. A major reason this series isn't a rout is due to the effort of the young guys and Howard, so seeing that is quite reassuring moving forward into next year. Obviously there are changes/additions required, but these young guys are hanging tough with one of the grittiest teams in the playoffs.
Oh, and the Wings get their grittiest player back for next game. Can't wait for Friday.
The Wings did play pretty well. The only issue is I have seen that high shot total before with nothing to show for goals. Namely the series against Nashville where they peppered Rinne.
The Red Wings still play on the perimeter too much and many of their shots are rather harmless. They can't or in some players cases (Franzen and Filppula stand out) won't go to the tough areas of the ice to score goals.
This team desperately needs some size and goal-scoring ability on the wing.
I truly believe that Homer's retirement has gone massively, massively under-recognized.
The coaching staff still appear to be implementing an offensive system that saw Lidstrom launch slap-passes at the net and try for a Homer tip or rebound. The only problem with this is that they are missing two key parts to it; namely, Lidstrom and Homer.
You suggested that I would've had Holland "Sacrifice draft picks, players, and long term sustainability all for 4-7 extra games." That, to me, is essentially a Gaborik, or another high-end-ish player of his ilk. Iginla, perhaps.
I could do without the condescension, the you-don't-really-understand bit. I could also do without this look-the bottom-line-is-Kenny's-hands-are-completely-tied mentality that so many here seem to stand by as unequivocal fact.
Do I believe Holland had a lot of options this season? Not at all. I followed the deadline very, very closely. Every GM and his mother wanted a top-sixer. And, yes, I realize that, in general, the price for even a relatively middling bottom-sixer is high enough to make you really sit and wonder if it wouldn't be worth standing pat.
But, you know what? We've been doing this there's-nothing-we-can-do-but-take-it-up-the-ass-and-like-it song and dance for several seasons now, and, all the while, we've been slipping and sliding down the slope. We were the class of the West (if not the League) when we took the Pens to seven. Now? Now our M.O. is "Suck and settle."
I'd be more understanding if this "rebuild" and "youth movement" weren't just the latest excuse.
But now I'm derailing the thread.
I'll tell you what: these Blue Jackets? They are a joy to watch.
If Nash misses the playoffs and Gaborik makes it...blood bath in the Big Apple.
I understand your frustration in the Wings decline, but the fact remains that the Detroit Red Wings are the LAST of an extinct breed called a 'dynasty' in any sport, nevermind just the NHL. Decades of winning hockey have greatly skewed all of our expectations for this team.
I'm not going to sit here and say you're wrong in your opinion or that trades couldn't have been made. What I am saying, is that as terribly perceived as things are at the moment, there are much MUCH worse scenarios and teams than the Wings right now. You lament a season that occurred 4 years ago, while a franchise like Toronto is just getting into the playoffs for the first time in a decade. I think some perspective is required with the situation in Detroit.
This 'class of the league' you speak of changes from month to month in the NHL now. The Red Wings dynasty of old is dead, and the longer that you try and hold onto that and believe that it can be recaptured, the longer you're going to be unhappy.
What I am ultimately getting at here, is that there is/was no other team like the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL, so any rebuilding/re-tooling that this team does has ZERO blueprint. We've retired more Hall of Famer's in the past 3 years than some teams have retired in their entire existence in the NHL. Replacing them isn't a 1-for-1 deal and no matter who you bring in, they'll always pale in comparison to the Lidstroms/Rafalskis/Drapers/etc. These losses are meteoric for any team, let alone one with the history and pedigree of Detroit. The fact that the Wings are even in the playoff conversation is astonishing yet nobody wants to give the management credit for that, they'd rather see trades and action in an attempt to keep an already ridiculous playoff streak alive.
This cheque has been in the mail for a season like this ever since the Cup win, and now that the bill is here, not a lot of the fans seem to want to pay it.