To me, this is a transition/development year. We're not really looking to balls-out contend quite yet. We're setting up for next season, two seasons from now, three seasons from now. Case in point: we've got all of six skaters who are solidly in their prime years, and they are Helm, Abdelkader, Miller, Quincey, Kindl, Ericsson. (Woof.) And, just as tellingly, we're carrying ten skaters who are 25 or younger (i.e. not yet solidly in their prime years): Nyquist, Tatar, Sheahan, Jurco, Andersson, Glendening, Smith, DeKeyser, Lashoff, Ouellet. And we've got Mantha, Pulkkinen, Sproul, et al. on the horizon.
When you look at it that way, and you consider how well this team's done through these first 18 games (23 points, 50 GF, 42 GA, strong possession numbers, top-end PK, six players with ten or more points), I think you have to be pretty happy with what's going on and pretty excited about what's to come.
Hell, I'm not convinced we don't stand a chance to make a stink in the playoffs this year, even if we don't make any deals. We're certainly more poised than we've been the last couple of years with this roster playing as well as they have been. If Babcock can get them to elevate their game for the playoffs and Howard really locks it down, they just might surprise a whole lot of people.
I'd agree if we were approaching the trade deadline. The teams not broken right now, so don't fix it right now. We'll better be able to understand what our weaknesses are as the season goes on and we play more games.
Definitely agree. The team has really been solid this year and even if they may be playing above what might have been reasonable or what might be reasonable to expect down the road, so long as they keep it up, there's no need to do much tinkering. Especially with Weiss getting a shot soon. Let's give him a month in the lineup and see what he can do and we really might not even need to even think about rocking the boat at the trade deadline unless we can improve the D. I still feel like we could stand to improve on defense more than on offense if we're thinking about doing anything in the playoffs.
Call me optimistic, but I still think it'll be interesting to see how Weiss responds when actually getting a chance. Based on his history, he's plenty capable of becoming an important part of this team's offense moving forward. That was the goal when signing him and it's still possible that he could rise to meet that goal, and perhaps be better if given the right opportunities in time.
And yeah, I get it, it's unlikely, and perhaps a bit crazy to think that at this point, but I think you've got to see how he does as a regular in the lineup before you do anything drastic.
I think Osgood's improving in general. Last year was definitely a "learning experience" to be generous for him, but he's been better this year in general. It's nice having him around. Tough to beat Mickey on the play by play, but he won't be around forever. I really wish Murphy was still around with Osgood. I kinda get the feeling that those two together would be a lot of fun. Murph would help loosen Osgood up, and Osgood can be a real funny guy when he's comfortable.
The Wings look like a playoff team to me right now. If they don't suffer too many serious injuries, they're going to easily make the playoffs this year.
Whether they're bounced early or not doesn't matter so much. They're looking much more solid right now in many ways, and that's what matters. I think they'll do alright in the playoffs if this keeps up. They might not make a run, but I think it'll go better than last year.
I don't get why people are so hung up on the timing of this. He obviously wasn't ready to go at the start of the season but management clearly weren't fully aware how long it was going to take for him to get back up to speed. They didn't feel it was necessary to send him down to the minors right away, but see it as a good opportunity now, for him to get in some actual games, get his speed and timing up to the pro level while gaining some confidence along the way. Maybe they thought he could get into game shape by just practicing, but that often isn't the case with a player that has been out as long as Weiss has.
Also, the fact that they're sending him down for two home games tonight and Friday night, so he can be ready to travel with the team to Buffalo this weekend tells me that they must think he is getting very close. I expect him to be in the lineup on Sunday vs. Buffalo unless they beat Los Angeles 5-2 on Friday...
Also, I've been as frustrated as anyone with the number of injuries over the past couple years, but people need to relax with the whole "this team is soft", "we get injured way too often", blah, blah, blah, blah, blaaah... Yeah, we've had our fair share of injuries over the past couple seasons, but it happens. I fully expect us to have a much healthier year this year. Just take a quick glance around the league and you'll see that there are other teams, much worse off than us right now. Some teams have some of their top players out for significant amounts of time, as of right now, our only injury is Franzen and he's day to day, nothing to get all worked up about...
The timing can and likely does have as much to do with how it would affect the roster. Again, bear in mind, he's still counting against the Wings roster this week, and keeping him in the mix when traveling requires no roster moves which they'd want to do on a road trip if they weren't taking him and Franzen was still on the fence.
I do think there's a higher likelihood that he'll crack the lineup on the trip given this move if Franzen isn't back and we don't become magic scoring machines beforehand. But if it doesn't go great, and I'm not expecting miracles from two games in GR so far as what it seems the team expects from him and how camp and practice has gone thus far, I don't think Babcock will hesitate to bench him again or bury him.
And to be clear, I don't like it or fully get it, but the way the Wings have been handling it all, I just am not expecting a major change in his status anytime soon. If it were my choice, he'd be in the lineup every night. I'm of the mind that even if he struggles at first, the NHL game and the competitiveness any pro has would help him get his act together quicker than riding the bench and getting sent down to play a couple games in the minors. I'd get it if he was a lesser player, but I don't get it at all given the type of player we know he's been.
Does anyone really think they'd send Babcock packing for Blashill so long as Babcock wants to be here?
If you have the best coach in the game wanting to be your coach long-term, you're not playing games with him because you don't want to lose your minor league coach, and you're not running around making promises to your minor league coach about taking over the big job.
I get that we like Blashill. I get that all parties involved have every reason to be happy with what he's done. I am not trying to criticize or minimize the guy at all. He probably deserves to be an NHL coach at this point, and likely will be soon one way or another.
But we're talking about Mike Babcock here.
Like the guy or not, I don't think there's any question that he's the best coach in the NHL right now, and by that measure, it's pretty safe to say that he's the top coach in the game of hockey.
Mike Babcock will be with the Red Wings for as long as he wants to be with the Red Wings, it's as simple as that. Anyone who really thinks otherwise hasn't really thought through the fundamentals of the situation enough.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think any other coach would have won back to back golds or been able to get Crosby to play defensive hockey. He is a great coach I just think he's got to move on. I wasn't trying to downplay anything just saying his team's were stacked, it wasn't like he pulled a miracle out of his ass
Why? Well, better put, why would the Red Wings think that? I could understand and come up with plenty of reasons why Babcock might want to move on at some point, for him, but I can't think of a single reason why the Red Wings would have any interest in having him move on at any point in the near future.
And for f***'s sake, the Red Wings didn't get rid of Holland after 4-5 years of s***ty off-seasons, why in the hell would they, especially the freshly signed Holland, want to ditch the guy who coached teams into the playoffs the last two years that really kinda maybe shouldn't have been playoff teams? I cannot say it enough, the idea that the Wings would want to move on from Babcock in light of what he's accomplished, his status as a/the top coach, and what he's done with our kids the last couple years makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Our zone coverage has been really good. Our passing and transition game from the back end has been horrible, to the extent that our beat writers were discussing our "turnover problem" by about game 3 of the season. Two of our loses are directly attributable to massive defenseman turnovers that led to goals. Also our defense has produced a combined 7 points, so anybody ready to pat them on the back for "creating offense" should think again. So let's not sing kumbaya just yet eh boys?
But look at the defense we have!
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I think we have great defense, but relative to what seems reasonable to expect from this squad, they've done a pretty good job of keeping the other team from scoring goals. The games have been tight and we've been in nearly all of them.
And we still have Kindl in the lineup, who hasn't been good, but he's hardly been terrible.
If we can find a way to add a solid 3-4 d-man via trade at some point this season, we're going to be in pretty damn good shape in the grand scheme of things. It's not going to be great anytime soon barring something dramatic, so again, I'm going to try to judge them relative to what's reasonable to expect out of this specific squad.
Cherish this one, ladies and gentlemen...you won't see many games more entertaining than that.
Monster played like a monster, and Z proved once again why no matter how much he may struggle, especially as his career goes on, that he is the leader and heart and soul of this squad.
Can't post about this game without giving Bernier credit as well. He and Gustafson really went toe to toe all night and put on one hell of a show at both ends of the ice. In the end, we got the lucky bounce, but both goalies were outstanding tonight.
“I did my best throughout the preseason to do what I could to get in the lineup and it wasn’t good enough,” Weiss said. “But it’s a long season. I’ve just got to keep working hard and keep trying to get better and when I get my chance to go I’ve got to be ready to go. I’m hungry to get back in the lineup,” Weiss continued. “It’s always a surprise and a shock when you’re not playing. It wasn’t just going to be handed to me on a silver platter.”
I actually like what he says and it doesn't seem to be anything other than a hockey issue from that article.
Glad he's got the right attitude about it, at least when he's facing the press. It's no easy task to face that question square on and be humble and positive. He deserves more credit for that then he'll likely get.
So easy to go off-topic with Babcock or Holland, as it's hard to discuss one without discussing the other.
That said, I still think Babcock stays another year at least if not more, because I don't think for a second that he's BSing when he says that this is where he wants to be. And sure, he's giving himself enough wiggle room that I wouldn't be shocked if he left, but I really do think he'll stay, at least for now.
I do think at the very least making Holland wait, delaying talk of an extension, and dictating that he wants 1-year deals is definitely somewhat of a power play on Babcock's part, and I don't blame him for it at all. That he got the advice from Bowman is not surprising, and that he'll likely be able to pull it off without a hitch says a great deal about how much sway he does indeed have, because he knows he could get hired by just about any team yesterday, today, or tomorrow should he or the organization cut ties. I'm not saying that Babcock is on Bowman's level historically, but in the context of today's NHL, he easily has more power and leverage to dictate the terms of a deal than any other coach in the league.
And that does make me wonder if he is trying to force Holland's hand a bit more on certain issues. As I've said, I don't think Babcock is simply doing lip service when he says that he and Holland have a good relationship and that he values the fact that they have different opinions, I do think Babcock has grown a bit more tired with the way certain things have gone in terms of the roster, and perhaps he's going to try to scrape up a few more of those "votes" he made reference to each year by maintaining his ability to walk away at the end of any given season. It's pure speculation, but I sure wouldn't blame him if that was part of his game. After all, one difference between him and Scotty was the fact that Bowman was much older and was having his own health exams during each offseason here before he made up his mind to come back; Babcock wouldn't be leaving for retirement so as to maximize his quality of life in later years.
I do think Babs is sick of having to send people down to GR that should be in the NHL, and I think he's more than a bit tired of waiting for a right handed shot or two on D, though the former issue is likely the one where he'd press hardest as it's the easiest to address. If he can in any way buy himself more of a say when it comes to such decisions, he'd be wise to do so.
Not necessarily. Babs buried Legwand on the fourth line wing last year and it had nothing to do with injuries or effectiveness. When he demoted him Legwand was centering the best offensive line we had all season. So, there's always the chance that Babs just doesn't like the guy, regardless of how much he could help, or how well he plays.
Legwand wasn't our biggest free agent acquisition in years though, and he at least played. Weiss has been a healthy scratch. Again, a player with a $4.9 million cap hit has been a healthy scratch for the first two games of the season. Sure, Babcock might not like him, but I don't think Holland would let that fly if there wasn't a damn good reason, or if Weiss simply isn't really ready. He may be "healthy" relative to his prior injury problems, but perhaps his conditioning is not close to where it should be, or something along those lines. This can't be so simple as "Babcock doesn't like him." I get that it's easy to cast Babcock in such a way when you're making broad strokes, but you don't get away with making decisions to bench a player like Weiss for petty reasons in the NHL.
We signed this guy to be our 2nd line center a little over a year ago; he's the 3rd highest paid player on the team that's not a goalie. He's got a deal that's structured almost the same salary-wise as Kronwall's, who is the anchor of our defense! If this goes on, I think you have to figure that Holland is in agreement with Babcock on the matter, and if so, Weiss is currently at a sub-Samuelsson level within the organization. Even Sammy started the first couple games last year before we had to worry about injuries to stars like we have this year, and he wasn't even making nearly as much money. Nothing about this smells right.
My friend who is a capital fan posted this on Facebook. It was amazing for him to do that. Cute girl, man I wish yzerman or fedorov would have taken me on a man date when I was a kid, she will remember that as the best moments of her life for a long time, such a small thing for ovie to do, and yet such a huge thing for that girl. Hope for humanity restored!
I spent 10-15 minutes waiting for carry out with Steve Yzerman in that little room off the side of Hunter House in Birmingham when I was 12 or 13. Not quite a man-date, but it was an incredible experience. My mom sent me alone from the car to order and wait, and he walked in just a minute or so after I did. Before I saw his face, I was a little scared because he had this black leather trench coat on that just made him look a bit ominous. Then I saw his face and instantly started freaking out inside, but I tried to stay cool. All I could mutter at first anyways was, "Hi, umm, can I just shake your hand???" He was really friendly but I remember even from that young age how shy he seemed, though he was very friendly and incredibly humble and gracious. He was my favorite player and hero from a very young age, so once I got talking I really went off and he was just very cool about it and had no problems talking with me about my hockey team and what position I played and when I told him I always fought to get number 19, he seemed honored. We left at the same time and my mom recognized him and waived and he smiled and waived back. She couldn't believe my good fortune and said, "aren't you glad you went in to get the food now?!?" It was just a really cool, unique and random experience that I won't soon forgot.