Sure we didn't have our full third line yet, but we had all season to try and fix it. It's not like Helmer n the 2 others have been back n forth. Its the same situation all season, and in this league to be successful you have to find solutions that may bestow you. Every team faces adversity/injuries...30 goals would have helped no doubt but the problem is bigger then just one line. You'r having players that are severely underachieving (cleary,quincey,smith,zetterberg,brunner,filppula) and the way we found ways to win games in previous years aren't happening anymore.
Why just mention Z and not Datsyuk? 4 goals or 3 points overall is the difference between severely underachieving and acceptable production?
And as someone pointed out in another thread compared to last season statistically they aren't really underachieving. Z's goalscoring average is down a bit but his overall production is slightly better. Cleary's goal scoring is up too relative to last season. And both those guys are always banged up and a year older. I wouldn't say Brunner is underachieving either. It's his first season in the NHL and they're playing games at a brutal schedule. 11 goals and 22 points is great considering. Flip's production is obviously way down, but it's looking like last season was an anomaly and not some breakthrough.
I agree with what Babcock said recently. Guys may have a an exceptional year or two but generally you know about where they're going to produce. And with this Wings lineup they just don't have a lot of scoring. That lack of scoring also gets compounded because without many offensive threats, defenses can key into the few ones that they have. Z, Dats, and Franzen.
Sammy and Bert being injured so long certainly didn't help. But if the team's success is tied that strongly to either one of those guys, it's a pretty good indication of the lack of scoring talent.