Another game, and once again, I just don't get this team.
We're basically a quarter of the way in now, and I just don't get how this happened. It's not like they're the worst team out there, obviously. 4th in the conference is what it is. But it's got to be among the ugliest 4th place efforts I've seen, and if things don't improve, I can't imagine us holding on to the position for long. Especially considering that it's beyond clear at this point that roster management has become a bit of a disaster area to say the least.
It's hysterical to me how so many of the classic Holland defenders have tended to rail on other teams for signing certain guys at certain prices, particularly Chicago, and how screwed they'd be by the cap. Yet Chicago just won a Stanley Cup and we're the one's screwed by the cap because we signed too many old and/or mediocre guys.
As I've said ad nauseum in the past, this isn't a team that's going to become terrible overnight so long as Dats and Z are here, but every year they slow down and we fail to bring in serious talent or give our young guys a chance to develop in the big league, it's going to get uglier and uglier. And again, we don't have anyone close to the talent level of Dats or Z coming up in the system, let alone two of them, and we can't seem to bring in guys at that level lately unless they're around 40 years old. Something's got to give with Holland or they need to find someone who's not afraid to make the tough decisions and cut ties with guys, because this slow churn towards mediocrity is only going to intensify as time passes.
Don't kid yourselves; this is a descent roster still with Dats and Z leading it and Alfie's hungry and despite how concerned some are, Howard's going to be fine down the stretch. He's capable. We'll make the playoffs this year, again, no doubt about it, and who knows what can happen then if we get on a role and avoid injuries. But make no mistake, this play we're seeing does not bode well for the long term future of this team. There are a lot of fundamental issues with the way this team is being managed right now and the cracks in the system are becoming ever more clear on the ice.
Hell, I'll say it as simply as I can after watching the last couple seasons and this season thus far: when Datsyuk really slows down and/or decides hangs them up, this team is truly screwed.
Even if Z stays, he'll be less effective as time goes on and even now, he wouldn't be able to carry this team to success without Datsyuk. We can't sign stars and we aren't developing stars, and when so many other stars have been removed without being truly replaced, there's just no way this team will be able to be even remotely as successful as they've been, clumsily or not, when you take a guy like Datsyuk away and leave the load on Zetterberg's fragile back.
I like Dan Cleary. I like Todd Bertuzzi. I like Danielle Alfredsson. (Though I don't like Samuelsson). But like (or dislike...) these guys or not, you're doing the future of this team absolutely no favors building the current team around these guys when you've lost so many core guys over the last few years. On top of that, the current core's ability to really be the core will only last a few more years, if we're lucky, and given Dats and Z's ages, it wouldn't be hard to get unlucky thanks to a freak injury or an ailing back.
So look at these last 20 games, and get used to it, because if things continue as they have the last 4-5 years with management, in 4-5 more years, we'll be lucky if those Wings play as well then as these Wings are playing poorly now.
7 straight losses at the Joe? Howard hasn't held a lead in over 3 weeks. I like Jimmy too but not when he is consistently non clutch. There are no shootouts in the playoffs and we've lost quite a few overtime games as well. Geez,can't people just admit that the Wings are seriously underperforming here? There's nothing wrong with admitting we aren't good right now. We are all fans here. There's plenty of time to turn the season around,no doubt. We have a negative goal differential and 11 losses technically. These aren't the Red Wings we thought we'd be seeing right now. Babs has to coach this team and I just don't see him as an intense motivating/light a fire under their asses type of coach the past few years. Up 3-1 on the Cup champs was not a fluke. They didn't finish Chicago off and this is still the ongoing trend this year as well. Go for that jugular. Zetts and Pav are still awesome. We can right the ship. Just tough seeing us lose the same exact way for like 3 weeks now. Coach has to sit Jimmy for a while and realize that Samuelsson,Cleary and Bertuzzi should not be getting roster spots over Nyquist.
Howard will bounce back. It might get uglier before it gets better, but he's proven that he can play at a high level, and he'll get back there in due time. I have no doubt about it. I get the frustration now, and I'm not trying to make excuses, but I really feel that long term, he's the least of this team's problems.