If someone would pay 1 $ everytime that stupid injury thing is used, I'd be able to buy my own team by now.
The Wings are exactly rated where they should be, even with Babcocks heroic coaching and some young players (Goose, Tatar, Danny !!) taking over they barely made they playoffs. Even healthy this team didn't set the league on fire, the last 3 years have provided a very good example on where this team stands where it's going to be, period.
This is the exact same roster as last year just one year older and it's unfair to expect the young guns to carry the load again, because a. other teams are now aware of their skills - same goes for the MacKinnon's - and they might face better defenders b. sophomore slumps are going to happen wheter we like it or not. Boston exactly and even Chicago showed how you've to play against Wings ...bring a heavy game, intimidate them and be done with it.
1. "That stupid injury thing" impacts losing your high end talent, cohesion on the team and forcing players into unfamiliar situations. I'd say this team was lucky as hell that Goose responded the way he did. When you dress a full, healthy team, that depth gives you better chances up and down the line-up. You build on success and chemistry night in and night out, and it allows your team to get on a roll. When there's a constant rash of injuries, that kind of throws a wrench in things, wouldn't you think?
2. Yes, this is the same roster as last season. Thing is, it's also a healthier one. The biggest issue facing the older players is the wear and tear, but it's not like you're going to see a significant drop in ability for Datsyuk - I think he's already shown he looks better. Weiss looks much better, even though he's been given lumps of coal for line mates. As far as the kids carrying the team, I don't see it that way at all. With a healthy team (kind of important) the kids are playing against weaker competition. In saying that, Sheahan and Tatar have looked fantastic in the preseason, IMO. Nyquist isn't going to score goals at the same pace he did last season, but 20-25 isn't out of the question. Where some guys may have sophomore slumps, others may break out (I feel this way about Tatar) and have even better seasons. One year of older guys slowing down can also be a year of exponential growth for a younger ones - it's all about perspective.
What I will concede here is that we have the exact same defensive core, and if it's going to be used the same way it was last season ,THAT is a problem. They're not all that great at generating offense and getting the puck up ice quickly. If there are question marks anywhere on this team, I'd say it lies with the defense.
3. Yes, the Bruins intimidated Montreal all the way to losing to them in game 7. Speed kills - as do smart decisions with the puck. Detroit didn't do that and that's why they lost - they played poorly. They didn't play intelligent, fast-paced hockey. Again, going back to what I see as the big issue on this team, it's getting the puck up the ice in a timely manner from the defense. I still say that's their Achilles heel, and something that really needed to be addressed in the offseason. I think it's part of why this team hasn't made their next round of cuts - guys like Ouellet, Sproul, and now Jensen last night are turning Babs' head.
- krsmith17 likes this