The name Talbot will always haunt my dreams after 09. That being said, that 09 team is miles better than this one now. I miss those days. I really miss that 97-98 team. A whole lotta talent mixed with a whole lotta bruising coupled with a chip on their shoulders. That team had a lot to prove and they did it back to back. I guess you can say those losses stung but I remember the Devils Cup sweep and our amazing year in 96 only to be stopped by the scummy Avalanche and those really pissed me off. That 02 team was stacked though. Can't win them all I used to tell myself. Good times. Now it hurts that we barely squeak in and are out in a round every year.
We might be the most inconsistent team in the history of the NHL. Only thing is now there's no room for any losing and yet we continue to do it in embarrassing fashion. When we do win, it's pretty much by one goal too.
We just finally aren't able to make the playoffs. Might just be what we need anyways. We are not a feared team. First Round exit every year regardless. Maybe we can make some big changes because it's hard to watch them not put up a fight with the season on the line. I think the defense stinks and the offense, with all that talent, isn't that much better.
I'd definitely like the following things:
1. Babcock moving on to a situation that fits him and the Red Wings better. I feel we had those Cups in 07, 09 and yes...even 2013 with just a little more urgency and fire we should've gotten it done. Not saying Babs was a bad coach but I just can't fathom how it's possible to constantly let teams back into a series we should've already won. Babs doesn't have a good track record in Game 7s. I'm not big on the adjustments he makes(or doesn't make) and I really feel he is a bit overrated. That being said, I believe he can flourish with the right group of players. Just not this group.
2. Cleary and Franzen need to retire. We would have no Cup since 02 if not for Franzen and Cleary was a solid role player but this isn't 08-09 anymore. Time to move on.
3. For the love of God get a real first pairing defenseman. A guy that can score and actually block shots is what I would love to see.
4. Please get a bona-fide scoring, front net presence. Dude that can crash the net. A good enough player that can allow us to drop Abby and Helm down a few lines where they truly belong.