The sad thing is that no one will lose their jobs or spot on the team over this season.
Holland will be back, Babcock will be back, and every failure of this season will be entirely racked up to injuries. Problem is, we'll probably have all these injuries again next year, because there's obviously an organizational problem when you're this hurt every year. Whether it's a lineup of wusses, or the strength and conditioning is poor, etc. something needs to change. I doubt it will because Holland and Babcock have immunity. Anyone in a position of power who has immunity is a dangerous thing. People work better when there's something from outside lighting a fire under their asses. This franchise doesn't have that with Ilitch being an old, dying man who doesn't care about the Wings anymore.
I didn't listen, because every time he gives an interview I come away miffed and disappointed.
I will say this: if he's not going to address our blue line's issues because we've got some kids coming up soon (which would likely just be a euphemism for "It's really hard to get a good defenseman. I'd rather not doing anything and just wait, because it's easier and because I get paid the same salary either way"), he needs to be punched in the face repeatedly.
Here is what he had to say (nothing too bad/good)
- knows replacing Lidstrom, Stuart and Rafalski is very hard
- thinks Kronwall has grown into the leadership role plays hard and physical (well we could need his physicality more often...)
- wasn't expecting some of the kids - namely Tatar, Nyquist - to be that far ahead of their planned schedule
- is happy with the development of Sheahan and Jurco
- hinted that these guys "could" play lesser roles next year when the team is healthy and guys like Legwand are re-signed ---- I really DON'T like the tone of that for obvious reasons
- Still believes if the team is healthy they could make some noise
I'm really kinda getting tired of everyone blowing up when Howard has a good game, and I'm talking more on the media and coaching front. I don't think it's doing him any favors. He's struggled to have a consistent stretch the entire season and every time he has a good game, people make a big deal out of it and hope for the turnaround. Then he ends up struggling again a game or two later and people make a bigger deal about that. It's not like flipping a switch where having a good game is going to make a consistency problem better, and sometimes the way he responds to it all makes it seem like he almost thinks it is, and then when it isn't, he's just right back to the opposite extreme.
I know it's never going to happen, but I just wish we could leave the guy alone for a few weeks and not focus too much on the ups and downs. Right now his biggest problem is performing consistently, and dwelling as little as possible on the ups and downs might help his mental approach to it all. I don't know if it's possible to ban him from doing media, but I'd love to see that go down. No need to have the media poking and prodding someone struggling when they already have a bit of a polarized personality.
Bottom line, Jimmy Howard needs to get his head clear and find some balance. He's more than capable of being a much, much better goalie than he's been this year. He's not a technically perfect goalie, but not many are and I really don't think the weaker technical areas are ultimately what has caused him to struggle with consistency. I'm really more convinced at this point that it boils down to his mental game, and if he's going to improve in that area, he's got to get better about not getting too caught up on good and bad games and find a way to stay level.
Its kinda funny, the fan-base has been dying to replace our aging veterans with young blood for a few years now, and now between whom Holland and Babs have removed, and whom the team has lost due to injuries, its veteran leadership and stability on the ice that the team could use a fair bit of. I believe the team that is penciled in to skate has the potential to outwork the opposition, score goals, play defense, close out third periods with a positive goal differential, and win at least 50% of their games. I don't necessarily believe that they disagree with that, but I don't see that there is a whole lot of trust in each other as a team, and Franzen is included in that observation. There's a lot of individual efforts that are being easily smothered out by the opposition's defense, a lot of hesitancy to fore-check hard, and a lot of collapsing too low. That's a lack of trust. And frankly its understandable, when you see Tatar, Nyquist, Dekeyser, Sheahan, Smith, Lashoff, Pulkinen, Glendening, and Emmerton having 566 NHL games between them all. That's collectively less than seven years of NHL experience split between nine players on the roster, or about half the team.
The real question is, why isn't the other half of the team stepping up more?
They need to find the guy (dont recall his name, Gary Roberts maybe?) that got Stamkos up like 30lbs in an offseason. And send em to workout with him. Return next season in beast mode. 6-2 210lbs with speed and skill. Oooooh killem.
Edit: This is getting a little heated, Y'all know I don't hate any of you guys, I just love in depth discussions and I hate bad arguments that are lacking support or are full of fallacies. (and I have an admittedly abrasive personality when taking the pain meds I take for my back)
We won the game. We would not even be in the playoff hunt given all these injuries if it wasn't for the coaching of mike Babcock. There is a reason he is the highest paid coach in the league and you are a fan like me who comes onto forums to talk about what we think... He clearly has far more hockey knowledge then you or I. IMO babs should be coach of the year no doubt if he gets us into the playoffs.
I hate how fans complain when we don't win, which is understandable but then they even complain when we win. I know your a passionate fan and I respect that, but have some faith in the guy who is keeping this team in the run.
I agree that he's helped us manage the injuries. But it doesn't mean we can't pick apart his (sometimes) dumb decisions. This is the same guy who wanted Cleary and Bert over Nyquist and Tatar. Where would we be right now if he hadn't changed his mind?? Where would we be if he had changed his mind sooner? I can say with almost certainty that we wouldn't be in the scramble that we're in now. (Unless you think Bert and Ernie would have put up the points to help us win games that Goose and Tats have. I can't imagine too many rational people would think that.)
If anybody around here complains after a loss, they are labeled reactionary and not worthy of giving their opinion.
If you complain after a win, you're told to shut up and ignore the problem cuz it didn't cost us the game.
Is there any time around here that people are allowed to discuss the problems of this team without being told they aren't a "true fan"?
The Wings D don't have another gear, so when the opposing team is starting to push we have nothing to push back with. I also think that the biggest culprit, aside from poor goal-tending late in games, has been the propensity to over commit on defense as well as offense. The Wings play a relatively structured game for two periods and then, as witnessed the last several games, start getting anxious and run completely out of position. Bad defense has become an epidemic even guys that are usually pretty solid are making boneheaded mistakes.
brett, first kronwall isn't able to land weber-which is part of the point. Would the current RW's team be better with Weber instead of Kronwall? yes. much better. Our D would be better and our O would be better. That is what a true #1 provides. Yes this is a pipe dream and would never happen.
Rich, I think you're missing the distinction between legit #1 defenseman and elite, superstar level defensman. Weber is elite. Weber is a superstar. Weber is easily a top 5 dman in the game, probably top 3. If that's your cutoff for #1 guy then you're right, Kronner is not that. But if that's your cutoff, then there might be 5 in the world. Kronwall would not be a #1 on any team, but he would be a #1 on a lot of teams. As far as the Quincey comment, before you tell everyone else on a public hockey forum that they're not allowed to voice their opinion on players because they're not qualified, show us your qualifications.