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#2515691 ECQF - Game 4 - Bruins 3 at Red Wings 2 (F/OT)

Posted by gcom007 on 25 April 2014 - 12:09 AM

I agree that most coaches would jump at the chance to coach for Detroit, but Holland is circling the drain.  The last 5 years have been a string of abysmal signings and free agent acquisitions.  He was handed the keys to the Cadillac with Yzerman, Lidstrom, and a host of other star players, and every year we've lost talent and replaced it with either imports / minor league players that don't live up to their billing or washed up free agents.  Ken Holland gets way too much credit for the Red Wings' success.  All of his "accomplishments" can be attributed to the talents and machinations of Mike Ilitch, Jim Devellano, Bryan Murray, Scotty Bowman, and Mike Babcock.

Maybe he gets too much credit for those earlier teams, but I won't take it away from him either because ultimately, he was getting the job done, and just because there was no cap doesn't mean it was always easy. I will say that I think he made some moronic decisions that remind me of his more recent decisions though in the no cap era, such as bringing Hasek back that 2nd time. It just wasn't a classy move at all after signing Joseph, and we absolutely didn't need him with Joseph. But for the most part, he got the job done, kept the team Bowman built running smoothly, tweaked it when need be, and again, I'm just not going to take that away from him at this point, knowing what I know now.

But as successful as he was, that has not been the case at all in the cap era at least since we really started to have to deal with it. He's failed on so many levels and let this team sink far lower than was necessary. Our early success hinged on Franzen and Z making very little money, that nice cap rollback coming off the first season, and bargain basement veteran goaltending from Osgood that was good enough to shut out the Penguins in the first two games of the finals of the way to winning the Stanley Cup.

Ever since we had to start making serious decisions about guys and building the team in a new way, he's seemed completely flummoxed. Hell, even he's admitted that he was shocked and unprepared for what the offseason brought in the first couple years. Then it just became "we like our team" when he couldn't or wouldn't make moves or sign guys. He's let assets go for nothing, he's failed to improve the defense, he's made far more bad free agent signings than good, and the last two years, the teams he put together in the offseason ended up having to be carried by our Grand Rapids kids to make the playoffs. We are clearly a team running on fumes at this point, and as the two key guys that have kept this team competitive consistently decline with age and retire, we will be in very serious trouble if Holland hasn't changed his ways or been replaced.

Again, if we go out unceremoniously this season, if it was my call, he'd be out as GM. I would keep him in the organization if possible, because I don't think he's useless, but the breaking point for me was after two seasons of failing to improve our D at all from the outside after losing Rafalski, Stuart and Lidstrom, he was still signing forwards when we already had too many last August. That was when I really lost my faith in him being able to get the job done. Maybe he still could find a way to build a great team in another organization where he was more emotionally disconnected, but in Detroit, I just don't think he has the stomach to make the tough calls and take chances anymore, and it's why this team has been in decline since 2009.

And that Babcock's done what he has with the pieces he's been given continues to impress me. I think it's absurd that people want him gone. Nobody's perfect, and it's unfair to expect them to be, but he's overcome a lot and kept this team competitive and in the hunt year after year despite losing key players, dealing with Holland's lousy signings, and then all of the injuries the last couple years. He's maintained a pattern of success relative to what he's been given and had to deal with.

The same cannot be said for Holland at this point. Maybe he got unlucky and it could've been different if Weiss had played more of the year and helped us, but he didn't, and the health issues weren't a secret when he was signed either. Bad luck or bad decision, it doesn't change the fact that he's had four seasons in a row now where he's mostly failed to help make this team better. They've been in decline since 2009, there's been far more bad signings than good in that span of time, and our saving grace the last two years has been either Dats and Z carrying the team (and definitely Howard too last season) or kids from GR coming up and playing better than they should and maybe ever will again.

Enough is enough.

And to those who say that at least we are in the playoffs, I hear you on one level. It shows we still have a solid core and I think Babcock deserves credit there too. But consider then that given our ability to still make the playoffs in spite of so many clear failings in the GM department, imagine how much better we might be had we made better decisions the last four years. Imagine if instead of overspending on some of the useless forwards we'd signed, we overspent on even a solid mid-level defenseman instead. Imagine that, you know, we overspent in a way that actually addressed our ridiculously blatant needs. Everybody's overspending. It's the nature of the beast. We are too, we're just doing it in a colossally ass backwards way.

This team could be better and absolutely should've been better for some time. If Holland can no longer help then be better, it's time for him to go, simple as that. After all, sometimes change is good. Sometimes it's bad. Same thing goes for no change though. At some point you just have to take that risk though when things aren't working. If we can keep Holland in the organization and retain the scouting staff, I don't think we have anything to lose.

#2515609 ECQF - Game 4 - Bruins 3 at Red Wings 2 (F/OT)

Posted by gcom007 on 24 April 2014 - 10:31 PM

Anyone who didn't think Gus was great tonight is nuts.

Anyone who doesn't think Gus didn't also get incredibly lucky a few times is also nuts.

Anyone who thinks he should replace Howard needs to forget about anything that happens when he's playing and just refer to his injury history. Like the guy or not, that is the number one reason why he'll continue to be a backup even if he's able to clean up his sloppiness and focus in his game.

Be happy he did so well for us tonight, because many goalies would've floundered in the same circumstance and he stood tall and truly played a great game. He battled hard and did everything you could ask of him. Again, two goals against off of crazy deflections and the second goal wouldn't have happened if Nyquist covered his man through the play. You couldn't ask for much better from a backup, especially on such short notice. Clearly, Tampa Bay, Detroit is not, at least in the backup goaltending department.

#2515593 ECQF - Game 4 - Bruins 3 at Red Wings 2 (F/OT)

Posted by gcom007 on 24 April 2014 - 10:26 PM

Funny how so many people are pinpointing blame at specific players -- there's a lot to improve on with this team, it's not just one thing.
They need a goal scorer, some defense, and a consistently good goaltender.

All would be nice, sure, but more than anything, we absolutely should be better on defense. We should've been better on defense for a long time. Holland's utter and complete failure to improve the defense since losing Rafalski, Stuart and Lidstrom just boggles my mind on my daily basis.

#2515484 ECQF - Game 4 - Bruins 3 at Red Wings 2 (F/OT)

Posted by gcom007 on 24 April 2014 - 10:05 PM

Feels like we're just waiting for Boston to score. Horrible feeling. We need to up the intensity and/or get lucky fast or we're going to lose this game.

#2515216 ECQF - Game 4 - Bruins 3 at Red Wings 2 (F/OT)

Posted by gcom007 on 24 April 2014 - 08:30 PM

Cue the Chara dive...

#2515111 ECQF - Game 4 - Bruins 3 at Red Wings 2 (F/OT)

Posted by gcom007 on 24 April 2014 - 08:10 PM

The Monster is doing exactly what you want a backup goalie to do in a situation like this and more. Huge save on his end and we turn it around and out in another goal. Outstanding boys, outstanding.

#2515076 ECQF - Game 4 - Bruins 3 at Red Wings 2 (F/OT)

Posted by gcom007 on 24 April 2014 - 07:50 PM

And does anyone still think it's not important to get the jump on Boston as opposed to giving away the momentum easy? I don't care who's in net or who's taking penalty, bottom line is you've got to get the jump against a team like Boston. You can't give anything away early.

#2514197 ADQF | Game 3 | Boston 3 @ Detroit 0, BOS leads series 2-1

Posted by gcom007 on 22 April 2014 - 10:49 PM

What I see going on here is that fans are confusing themselves with players. 


When a goalie gives up an early goal, it's absolutely deflating to a fan, and I suppose it's not unreasonable for fans to assume the same thing happens to players. 


But I've been watching hockey a long time, and I honestly don't believe that it works that way.


Have I seen a goal deflate a team? Yes. But when it happens, it almost always follows a certain script:


1. Underdog team works its arse off to build a lead against a favored opponent.

2. Underdog carries a lead into the third period, maybe even well into the third period.

3. Favored team starts acting frustrated, taking themselves out of the game

4. Underdog team's goalie gives up a bad goal (or two)

5a. Rest of underdog team collectively goes "Oh, FFS, we killed ourselves for 50 minutes only for THAT to happen?!?"

5b. Goal(s) lights a fire under favored team, which starts playing with focus

6. Favored team carries momentum over final 5-10 minutes, building pressure to the point that they finally score the game-winner to complete the comeback.


That's why I (and others) are heaping so much scorn on the "deflating goal" theory tonight. The Wings never inflated in the first place. They never accomplished anything that they could be frustrated at losing. And, yes, if you pack it in after a goal with 50 minutes left on the clock, by definition you are not Stanley Cup material.


Mickey Redmond was a player and seemed to believe that giving up those early goals/leads was deflating. Does his opinion not count?


I don't generally disagree with much of what you said. As I said, if this was one game, I'd let it slide. I raised no stink about Howard's gaff after the last game, and he played a worse game two overall than game three. Hell, I think I might've even defended him! It's one bad goal, it happens, you don't let in another easy one. No big deal. Again, s*** happens.


But this is the second game in a row where at the very least what most would consider a weak goal was given up to give them an early lead. There's some debate about how easy of a goal it was to give up, but I don't think anyone can say that it wasn't a goal that he probably could've and should've stopped. If he hadn't had the game two early goal issue, I wouldn't be upset at all about this game. But two playoff games in a row with two lackluster goals against to surrender the lead to a team like Boston is a serious problem.

#2514152 ADQF | Game 3 | Boston 3 @ Detroit 0, BOS leads series 2-1

Posted by gcom007 on 22 April 2014 - 09:56 PM

I didn't post that with the intention of arguing that Howard is better than Quick, because I won't. It is more a point that yes, a goaltender can be responsible for losing games in the playoffs. Quick has solely been responsible for them being down 2-0 and having the series in a losing position right now. There is no denying that, he has been terrible.


Howard has been responsible for dropping one game. Holding him responsible for this game is illogical. His numbers have been excellent, he stole us a game, yet he's still getting the most heat. That's my point. Even the most elite can be awful at times and cause you to lose games. Howard has been solid, not stellar, but not bad either. 


The blame needs to be pointed at the offense and lack of effort and energy in the first half of tonight's game. 


He is taking the most heat because two games in a row he gave up easy goals to give Boston early leads.


Again, Jimmy Howard did not give the Red Wings a chance to get things started against Boston, but he absolutely straight-up handed Boston that chance, two playoff games in a row. That's the bottom line and that's why it's a serious problem no matter his play the remainder of the game.


I absolutely think we have other problems aside from Howard, but I also think we might see the team look a bit different if they weren't having to play from behind early on. We haven't really had a chance to get anything going two games in a row because early leads were given up to a team that is just too good to be giving early leads to. Like it or not, those early leads were started by bad plays by Howard. The situation was exacerbated by the rest of the team quickly in both games, and Howard obviously doesn't shoulder as much blame for those goals, but the wheels started coming off due to bad goals given up by Howard.


Howard needs to give the team a better chance to get going than he's done these last two games. I didn't make a stink about it after the last game because it was one game and s*** happens. Most goalies give up one bad goal now and again. I've never held it against goalies when it occasionally happened. After all, I was an Osgood fan, and obviously he had his seriously atrocious goals against. But Osgood had a tendency of following up games in which he gave up lousy goals with outstanding, lights out games. Howard came back and gave up another easy goal and lead again tonight, in the playoffs.


No one should be debating whether or not he played well the rest of the game because he did, but there should also be no debate that these early goals he's giving up are unacceptable and deflating, and again, that's a serious problem.

#2514133 ADQF | Game 3 | Boston 3 @ Detroit 0, BOS leads series 2-1

Posted by gcom007 on 22 April 2014 - 09:43 PM


So, the stupid and completely unavoidable penalty and the awful line change did not contribute at all?  Or, they were Howard's fault?  Garbage.  I refuse to even consider the rest of your post at all because it includes that B.S.


You have to put a lot of words in my mouth to feel the way you do. I'd prefer it if you didn't do that.


Sure, that first goal came on a Bruins power play, but it wasn't a play that developed due to a unique power play situation. I don't think anyone sans the few going above and beyond to defend Howard are suggesting that it was anything but a weak, soft, absolutely unnecessary goal. Even Mickey Redmond who has a tendency of defending Howard couldn't defend him on that one, and the power play never came up in the conversation about the goal because it wasn't really a factor. As Mickey actually just said in the post-game, the Wings gave up two goals early on a platter, and that's the truth. I said earlier in the thread that the first goal was clearly on Howard and the second goal was clearly on the team performing a terrible line change. I didn't blame it on Howard and I did nothing to suggest that in my later thread.


Babcock post-game: "We gave them two goals."

#2514110 ADQF | Game 3 | Boston 3 @ Detroit 0, BOS leads series 2-1

Posted by gcom007 on 22 April 2014 - 09:28 PM

Big difference between expecting a shut out and expecting to not give up incredibly soft/stupid goals and subsequently leads early on in two playoff games in a row. Huge, huge, huge difference in fact. Those kind of goals set the tone and both days, Boston comes back and scores another within just a few minutes. Again, he's hardly the only problem, but when your goalie is giving up leads to a team like Boston early two games in a row in the playoffs, it's a very serious problem whether he plays better the rest of the game or not. He obviously wasn't exactly lights out the rest of game two either.


Jimmy Howard did not give the Red Wings a chance to get things started against Boston, but he absolutely straight-up handed Boston that chance, two playoff games in a row. That's the bottom line and that's why it's a serious problem no matter his play the remainder of the game.


#2514078 ADQF | Game 3 | Boston 3 @ Detroit 0, BOS leads series 2-1

Posted by gcom007 on 22 April 2014 - 09:12 PM

Howard has been excellent since the first goal, he's given us a chance to get back in this. Doesn't matter if it's 1-0 or 10-0, it's still a loss if we can't score a goal.


I've been fairly supportive of Howard relative to his struggles this year, but two games in a row he singlehandedly gave Boston early leads. It's clear that the goals aren't coming easy for us, so to give up such awful goals early on is just completely unacceptable. He's well into his career now and is getting paid top-10 goalie money; he can't do what he's done in these last two games. It doesn't matter how well he plays the rest of the game. When you're stuck playing from behind against a team like Boston with such a young team at that, you're asking for trouble.


Now I'm not saying he singlehandedly lost the games for us. Obviously you need to score goals too. But again, Howard is singlehandedly the reason why we gave up two early leads, and that's just no way to start games against a team like Boston. Given his status, his contract, and the build and make of this particular team, he needs to be leading and steadying the ship early, not forcing a team full of rookies to play from behind.


I want to like Howard and I have for some time, and I can agree that he played well today after giving up the two first period goals, but it's really, really hard to overlook the way he's started these last couple games given that it's the playoffs. I think it's safe to say that he's worn out his "grace" goals for this series. He needs to be competing all the way through and not be giving Boston any more easy goals, especially early on.

#2512870 Howard = Average

Posted by gcom007 on 21 April 2014 - 11:38 AM

So it's too late to treat an old dog new tricks? There is no way Howard could actually try to improve his puck handling skills? After all he is a highly skilled athlete. Or are you saying his genetic makeup makes it impossible to learn how to handle the puck well enough to make a bantam league moronic mistake in a major NHL playoff game? Obviously I am being sarcastic. In 2001 Datsyuk was easy to push around and made too many moves. Were those his weaknesses he had to accept for the rest of his career? Every single year he has modified and improved his training and skills. He is constantly evolving. Howard isn't close to the level of Datsyuk, but he can take a cue and do real work to improve his weaknesses.

I never said that I don't think he should improve that area of his game. I said it shouldn't be surprising because thus far, he's not been a good puck handler. A bonehead play like this was just waiting to happen given his ability or lack thereof. Frankly, it's why his little Mrazak comment from game 1 was a little alarming to me, because the playoffs is not the time to shake things up, especially in a part of your game that has been notoriously weak.

But I'd love it if Howard worked as hard in he the summer on his weaknesses like Dats and the other greats do. That's why they get paid. Jimmy gets paid like them to. I was saying he should do this years ago if you were to go back and look at some old posts. He's got a solid skill set but he has clear areas that need improvement, and improving in those areas could really help him reach those highs more consistently and authoritatively.

#2512806 Howard = Average

Posted by gcom007 on 21 April 2014 - 12:36 AM

I've liked Howard...in the past...before today's game...where he assisted on Boston's goal. What a dumbass move that was! It's like he went into complete panic mode. He could have pushed that puck up centre ice, slightly to his left, and he would have been fine. Time to retire, Jimmy.


Howard's never been very good at handling the puck, so a play like this shouldn't be entirely too surprising, like the guy or not. It's a weakness of his game, and all goalies have weaknesses. It was a terrible play and utterly atrocious timing for such a play, but if you liked the guy before and this is the only reason you're bent out of shape now, you either haven't been paying too close of attention or you'll get over it. I suspect the latter.


As said, he's never been known to be too hot at handling the puck, but he does many other things well a lot of the time. He's not perfect as we've seen through this regular season, but he was great in game 1, had some great moments in this game, and in the end, we absolutely didn't lose this game because of that play. I wouldn't even call it momentum turning. What was momentum turning, if you can even call it that this early, is when we kept taking stupid penalties and getting rattled by Boston's physical game. That is what lost this game for us.


If we can stay composed and stay out of the box and use our speed against Boston to draw penalties, we can beat them. If we lose our cool and give Boston too many power play opportunities, we're toast, and bad or great, Howard's play won't end up being the factor that changes the outcome of the series. Don't get me wrong, he needs to be on his A-Game no doubt to keep us in it, but it won't be enough to overcome Boston if the rest of the guys lose their cool and play into Boston's game.

#2512259 ECQF Game 2 GDT : Red Wings 1 at Bruins 4 - Series tied 1-1

Posted by gcom007 on 20 April 2014 - 03:15 PM

How about we forget about Chara and everyone else and target thef****** net??? There's an idea! How many shots did we have in that period? How about on the power play?!?


Goals win the game. Let them goon it up. We don't have the team that can win that kind of war. We can win on the scoresheet though and we need to focus on that game.