I'm so irritated with the Wings' recent performances that I'm sitting here thinking of the most insane possible ways to improve the team. Not Dan Cleary to the first line insane, but insane none the less.
When you start thinking that unproven prospects couldn't possibly be worse than your established roster, things have gone badly.
At this point I'd give Weiss a chance with a legit player ie. Z.
Cleary Dats Tots
Z, Weiss, Alfie
Abby, Andy, Bert
Miller, Glen, Eaves
You're preaching to the converted. I've been calling for Z to play on Weiss' wing for quite a while now. But Bab's sees it differently. This team needs Weiss to produce, and what better way to ensure that than by burying him on the fourth line with Tootoo and whomever.
Panic mode is nearly upon us. Babs is just reaching now, things are going backwards. Why dan cleary is allowed anywhere near this lineup is beyond me, let alone THE TOPf****** LINE.
I'm sure Babs has some b.s. excuse for it. "He's earned my trust" or "he's heavy on the puck" or "he's a gamer". Something of the like. Nevermind his productivity or skill level. He's a real heart and soul guy.
I think Smith gets blamed to much for the defense's shortcomings. Quincy deserves a lot of the blame as does Kronwall.
It would be incorrect to attribute an entire team's defensive play (for good or ill) on one guy. However, there doesn't seem to be any problem pointing out that Smith has been our worst defenseman so far this season. Someone has to be. Obviously he's not to blame for stinkers like the Ottawa game, but I don't think it's unreasonable to ask "why is our worst defenseman playing top line minutes against Ottawa". It's pretty much universally agreed that Smith has tremendous upside, and that he should be given an opportunity to work out the kinks in his game. However, he shouldn't be allowed to do so at the expense of the team, or of other guys who have been playing better. I think that is what many people feel, and I realize that could easily be misunderstood as "blaming Smith".
Secondly, in spite of the fact that Kyle Quincey is an easy target to be a whipping boy around here, he's been incredibly solid so far this season and in no way deserves the kind of antipathy he receives on this forum.
There are a few reasons why our offense is struggling right now. First, in years past we've always been a league leader (or nearly league leader) in defensive scoring. With Lids, Kronwall, Rafalski, and before that Schneider we always had d-men who put up good point totals. We don't anymore and our GAA suffers because of it. Secondly, Babs needs to stop being experimental with our lines. We already know who our centers are going to be down the stretch, and we already know who three of the top wingers are going to be. Let them play where they're supposed to and start forming chemistry. This mix and mash s*** has got to stop. Finally, we need to sort out what we expect out of guys and where they fit on the team, if anywhere. At some point we've got to get past the point of "competing for a spot" and get guys in the positions they've earned so that they can form some chemistry. Having more than enough players competing for jobs is good in training camp, it's bad when you're a month into the season. At this point I'd like to see something like this...
I don't want Dats and Z separated permanently. But I also don't want Alfie and Weiss together until they are both VERY comfortable with the system, I don't want two guys learning the system on the same line at the same time. I feel that Dats would work well with Alfie in order to get him going, and Zetterberg would work with Weiss for the same reason. Also, when Helm and Eaves get healthy this would all be reevaluated but until then, I like this the best.
During last night's telecast, Mickey stated that because Weiss is coming off injuries and because he's coming from a team with relatively no system, he believes Weiss won't begin to hit his stride until about the 20 game mark. Because Mickey has played professional hockey and therefore knows how hard it is to go from team to team, system to system, and bounce back from injury, I'm going to go with his assessment.
That said, Weiss hasn't lived up to expectations. Which is hard for me to say because I lobbied hard for the guy in the offseason and was thrilled when he was signed.
In an effort to salvage this game, I think Babs should shuffle the lines at least two or three more times in the third. Other than Pavs, Hank, and Kronwall, every player is just as good as every other players. Our entire team is interchangeable from game to game.