^^^^THIS times one hundred!
Emmerton's been here all season. He was a often healthy scratch earlier in the season, but has taken on a regular role with all the injuries.
I think a big part of the Wings' problem is complacency. The team rarely seems to play with any sense of urgency, and when they do, it's too little, too late. Underperforming players are almost never scratched or benched unless they're fourth liners or sixth defensemen. Franzen being demoted to the third line was, honestly, surprising. When's the last time a regular player was traded away or not re-signed in free agency? (Hossa was a cap issue, and I don't count Kopecky, he missed almost every playoff game.) They know they'll be back next year, whether they meet expectations or not. There is no fear of losing their jobs.
I heard an interesting quote on the radio around the trade deadline... basically it said the Wings overvalue their players and prospects, and undervalue players and prospects from other teams. Kind of goes along with Wisniewski's quote from last summer that the Wings "don't pay market value". Also explains why Holland didn't really improve the team last summer (despite the fact that he said the team "has to get better") or at the deadline this year. Money is no excuse, he had PLENTY of room under the salary cap.
If there's an early exit from the playoffs this year, there NEEDS to be change. Whether it's trading away a few regular players, firing Babcock (maybe the players are tuning him out?), or even Holland, something would need to be done. But the loyalty begins at the very top, so as long as Mr. Ilitch is still in charge, I don't see much change on the horizon.
- ben_usmc likes this