I'm done with Ovie. I was such a fan when he came into the league, but he's turned into more and more of an ass with each season.
Dirty hits, questionable fitness, an oversize ego that used to be mostly funny but is now just tired, whining to the refs any time they call him for something, calling his coach a f-ing f*ggot on the bench when he didn't get played in the final minutes of a game, probably getting his coach fired, and now add spearing to the list.
I'm sure I'm missing a few things, but I just can't root for this guy anymore. It's ridiculous that he's the captain.
I was a little rushed - and wasted - when I posted this last night...so, I'm going to take another shot at it (I think this is a little more coherent).
The main point of this post is that I think we've gotten into a little bit of trouble with our roster structuring. The "3 to 4 balanced scoring lines" thing was great in the pre-salary cap era, and it was great in the beginning of the post-salary cap era (before pav, hank, mule, etc. got paid), but it's not working now, and I think we need a change. In particular, I think that we should be spending more on our top six forwards, less on our bottom six forwards, and less on 'elite' defenders.
Here's some of the reasoning behind that argument: #1, plain and simple, not being able to put points on the scoreboard is our single biggest problem as a team right now. Pav, Hank and Mule are great, but they need help. Seeing a team like San Jose - with at least six stud scorers (Thornton, Heatley, Marleau, Pavelski, Coture and Clowe) - makes that all the more clear. If you're in agreement with me to this point, the question then becomes "How do we create the cap space to add such additional studs?", and the answer, IMO, is quite simple..
I don't think that we need to be paying a Brian Rafalski, or a Nick Lidstrom, or their eventual replacements 6mil+ a season on defense. The best teams in the new - post-salary cap - NHL don't ask their their defenders (or their goalies, or their bottom six forwards) to "win" them games...they just ask them not to lose them (as we've been doing with goaltenders for quite some time now). In the future, I'd like to see us pass on elite level salaries for goal-scoring defenders, and to put some of that money towards elite level salaries for goal-scoring forwards.
So, with that in mind, here's a look at our current roster structure, and my thoughts on where I'd like to see it go:
#1) Datsyuk(6.7m, 3yrs) #2) Zetterberg(6.1m, 7+yrs) #3) Franzen(4.0m, 7+yrs) #4) Filppula(3m, 2yrs)...Hasn't proven himself as "elite," but also hasn't gotten a chance to produce in a top six role for an entire season. #5) Hudler(2.9m, 1yr)...Hasn't proven himself as "elite," but also hasn't gotten a chance to produce in a top six role for an entire season. #6) Cleary(2.8m, 2yrs)...Not talented enough for a top six role, paid too much for a bottom six role. #7) Bertuzzi(1.9m, 1yr)...Not talented enough for a top six role, not good enough defensively for a bottom six role. #8) Holmstrom(1.9m, 1yr)...Not talented enough for a top six role, not good enough defensively for a bottom six role. #9) Helm(0.9m, 1yr) #10) Abdelkader(0.8m, 1yr) #11) Mursak(0.6m, 2yrs) #12) #13)
-Modano(1.8m, *FA*)...Not coming back. -Draper(1.6m, *FA*)...Not coming back. -Eaves(0.8m, *FA*)...Might be coming back, but I'd like to replace him with someone more physical for around the same price, if possible. -Miller(0.7m, *FA*)...Might be coming back, but I'd like to replace him with someone more physical for around the same price, if possible.
#1) Lidstrom(6.2m, *FA*)...Paid too much. #2) Rafalski(6.0m, 1yr)...Paid too much. #3) Stuart(3.8m, 1yr) #4) Kronwall(3.0m, 1yr) #5) Kindl(0.9m, 2yrs)...He's got a lot to prove. #6) #7)
-Salei(1.1m, *FA*)...Probably not coming back, as Brendan Smith is probably going to be in Detroit next season. -Ericsson(0.9m, *FA*)...Probably coming back, but I'd like to replace him with someone more physical for around the same price, if possible.
#1) Howard(2.3m, 2yrs) #2)
Osgood(1.4m, *FA*)...Probably not coming back, as we need to replace him with someone cheaper (and healthier).
I'm talking about our long-term - not immediate - future here...so, don't freak out about that (and I'm also not going to get into trade speculation here).
#1) I think that we should replace Rafalski and Lidstrom with cheaper defensemen in the 2-3mil/season range when their contracts expire.
#2) I think that we should replace Cleary, Bertuzzi and Holmstrom with cheaper grinders (/prospects) in the 1mil/season range when their contracts expire.
#3) I think that the extra cap space should then be put towards elite top six forwards (and Filppula, Hudler, Tatar, etc. could prove to be elite top six forwards by that point).
Feeling much more nervous than I ever did during the Phoenix series. You can just tell how much more skilled San Jose is offensively. Good news however is that the Wings aren't having huge problems creating pressure and chances in SJ's zone.
If we can get out of the 1st period with a lead it'll be great, the Wings have looked somewhat rusty so far.
I've been impressed with him the few times I've been able to watch him play. Seems to have a lot of fire and has found a way to keep it channeled in a positive manner. Not sure if one of the older guys pulled him aside and told him to calm down or if it was something he learned over time, but it looks to be paying dividends. Night and day from the game I saw earlier this year, though one or two games aren't a very big sample.
Great to see the Wings close it out in 4. Now some much-needed rest for a veteran team with some injuries.
A tip-of-the-hat to the 'Yotes and their fans. I hope they find a way to keep the team in Phoenix. Shane Doan may piss us off, but that's because he's good, plays his ass off and is a strong leader. Their team was overmatched but Doan always showed up. I saw him in tears after the game on the ice. It's a tough thing for the players and fans having so much uncertainty. Glad they saluted the fans and hope to see them back at Jobing.com arena next season.