For me, the disappointment comes with the increased expectations. With the infusion of youth last season, who have mostly proven to be solid NHL players, the shedding of the dead old veteran weight, relative health of the stars, Weiss ready to go,a supposed bounce back season for Howard, hanging on for a tie and hoping for someone else to lose in game 81 took a little bit of the luster off. Kind of like if you're down 4-0 and come back to tie it, it feels more like a victory. If you're up by 3 and you lose in OT, it feels more like a loss, that getting a point.
The Wings aren't lacking talent. What has killed me all season is the mental mistakes. Not just last night. The constant giveaways, bad penalties, horrible line changes, giving up leads late in games. Not that I had any grand illusions of this team being a solid Cup contender, but when you lose games night after night on mental mistakes, that's a tough pill to swallow. That's not being negative or not a fan, that's just reality.
That said, when you see teams like LA out, Boston or Pittsburgh likely on the outside looking in, it does make you appreciate the accomplishment of just making the playoffs.
On a related note, did anyone catch Babcock on the postgame taking what seemed to me to be a backhanded slam at Holland? He said something to the effect of when I saw what we had on July 5th (meaning we got no free agent help) I didn't think this was a playoff team. I found that interesting.