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#2533467 Predictions for the DRW 2014-15 Season!

Posted by Dabura on 01 August 2014 - 04:13 PM

This is a team which at best will finish around the 7 - 8 spot


I like you, frank, but I just can't get behind this. You're saying that at our best - which, as 2013 showed, is really quite good - we barely squeak into the playoffs in the weak East, and, to me, that's giving the conference way too much credit. I get that there's this narrative that we're barely clinging to life and THIS is the season that the playoff streak comes to an end, but I think it's largely just that - a narrative. Had we added Datsyuk in free agency, people would be saying, "Holy s***, Zetterberg and Datsyuk?! And they've got all these young studs like Nyquist?! This team's gonna be GREAT!" In fact, going into last season, a lot of the "experts" had us down for second or third in the Atlantic. Did we learn this past season that the conference is super-tough? No, we got destroyed by stupid-ass injuries - and, even then, we still made the playoffs.


The Bruins are an elite contender. They're a team built to win the Cup, and I'm not sure we stand a chance against them in the playoffs even with a healthy roster. But the Bruins are the only powerhouse in the Eastern Conference. Behind them are the Penguins, who feasted on a terrible division and didn't seem like world-beaters any of the times we played them; maybe the Rangers, who were lucky to make it to the Finals and are probably a weaker team this season (losing Pouliot and Boyle and Stralman is a big blow for them and they know it); maybe the Canadiens, who were terrible for stretches this past season and are, I think, entirely dependent on their goalie (look at their roster. Tell me, with a straight face, that they're much deeper and much more formidable than us); maybe the Lightning, who are setting themselves up for great success in the future but aren't there yet and very likely overachieved this past season because Bishop played out of his mind (remember: they lost him for the first round and the Habs streamrolled them); and I'm not even going to mention the Flyers or Capitals or Leafs or Senators or Devils or Hurricanes.


I believe the East is wide, wide open. I don't believe the Wings are truly a fringe team.

Think of all the points we pissed away. We get a few of those back, and we're not an 8th seed.


I can't imagine we don't substantially improve on this past season.

#2533440 Predictions for the DRW 2014-15 Season!

Posted by Dabura on 31 July 2014 - 11:29 PM

Even healthy the team hardly killed and lost against very beatable enemies. To each their own opinion but most experts and people in the know would put the Bolts and Pens over the Wings and rightfully so. The Rangers have a great defense and well the King, Habs Price so yeah even fully healthy those teams are just better. I would go as far saying that this Wings edition will be worse than the one we've had last season. The defense just isn't good enough to get the job done


The Wings are one season removed from beating an excellent Ducks team in seven and choking against an even better Blackhawks team. Those Ducks and Blackhawks were better than any of the current Eastern teams, aside from maybe the Bruins. That Wings team wasn't much better than what we have right now, maybe not better at all. What it had - at least in the playoffs - was Datsyuk, Zetterberg, a surprise third line, a red-hot Jimmy Howard, and the underdog thing. Smith and Quincey were disasters, and they'll be better this season. DeKeyser was getting his first taste of NHL action, wasn't as good as he's going to be this season. Kindl was overachieving. Andersson and Brunner were key contributors. Flip had already checked out. All of this and more tells me we can do damage in the East, we just need to be "healthy and humming," as I like to put it.


You mention we weren't very good this past season even when we were healthy. I've made that point before, but I don't know if I really buy it. All teams have ups and downs. You can't really look at a few games and say that's our team. Or, if you're going to say that, you have to look at the bad and the good, and I think being able to say we choked against the Blackhawks in the second round in 2013 is, while not really something to be proud of, a "good" thing.


I feel like if we're talking up a team like the Rangers or Pens, we're just doing it to do it, we don't necessarily believe what we're saying. Like, having seen The Mighty Rangers and Canadiens and Penguins and Lightning in action in the playoffs a few months ago, did you find yourself saying, "Damn! These teams are great! No way do the Wings compete with them in a best of seven"? Bulls***. I'm not crazy about the Wings, but not for one second will I believe that a Wings team *that has its s*** together* (that's the key, of course) isn't in the discussion for a top seed in the conference. We had what was in many ways a miserable season, but I'm still not remotely scared of the East (except for maybe the Bruins). None of us should be. I can't stress this enough.

#2533434 Predictions for the DRW 2014-15 Season!

Posted by Dabura on 31 July 2014 - 09:25 PM

I was so incredibly pumped up for 2013-14. And we know how that went. So I'm gonna be cautiously optimistic this time around. The nice thing is that the youth means things are more up-in-the-air than they've been in quite some time. With a heavily veteran team (and, granted, we're still a heavily veteran team), you know what you have, you know what you're getting - the ceiling is more or less set in place. The high-end youth we have gives us a bit of an x-factor. We can hope, dream. There's room for didn't-see-that-coming craziness, e.g. Sheahan killling it.


Beyond that, almost everything that could've gone wrong for the Wings this past season went wrong. If we see improvement on even just a couple of those fronts, we should be a better team for it. Weiss, for example. Yes, a healthy Weiss is like a big acquisition. I hate that it fits Kenny's favorite rationalization narrative, but it's true.


Howard can't be much worse than he was. Quincey singlehandedly cost us games in the first half; the hope, of course, is that he plays more like he did in the second half. (He was pretty good before we re-acquired him.) Z and D should be much healthier. Smith should be improved. Etc.


Arguably the biggest thing going in our favor is that the Eastern Conference looks wide open, a welcome change after all those years in the tougher Western Conference. (It's been the better conference for a long time, folks.) I don't buy that the Rangers, Canadiens, Penguins, or Lightning are really any better than a healthy Wings team that has its s*** together.

#2533375 Red Wings add Jim Hiller and Andrew Brewer to coaching staff

Posted by Dabura on 30 July 2014 - 01:58 PM

You're thinking of the past, when Babcock and the Wings were good.


If Tom Renney is one of the most desired coaches in the league, it's not because of the recent Wings.  


Well, Bill Peters joined in July of 2011 (i.e. he arrived post-excellence) and his services were much in demand this summer. Not to mention, we've lost about 40,000,000 other key people over the past two or three years. The Wings might not be the class of the league anymore, but I think that, on the organizational level, being a Red Wing still means a lot, even if you weren't around for any of the glory days.

#2533370 Tatar Signs 3 Year Deal $2.75 mill AAV

Posted by Dabura on 30 July 2014 - 01:11 PM

Fancy stats suggest the deal is a steal:


Why the Tomas Tatar deal is a win for Detroit Red Wings [Prashanth Iyer, The Washington Post]

#2533349 Red Wings add Jim Hiller and Andrew Brewer to coaching staff

Posted by Dabura on 30 July 2014 - 09:30 AM

I like how we giveth Renney and taketh away Brewer. Take that, Hockey Canada!

#2533193 That Time Mike Vernon Used the Jedi Mind Trick

Posted by Dabura on 28 July 2014 - 03:56 PM

Thought this was worth pointing out:


How Mike Vernon set the stage for Patrick Roy's trade from Montreal [SBNation.com]

Mike Vernon: I recall even having a conversation with Patrick Roy, in Montreal, at the little breakfast place there, the spot we always used to go to. And uh, I just walked in by myself and I was early to the rink or something like that, and he was there like "Mike, come here, I want to talk to you." He goes, "The pressure, the media, the fans..." he was just... I knew he was thoroughly upset about all of this, and it was really bothering him. And I said, Patrick, you just have to get traded. I said I got traded, I'm enjoying it in Detroit and everything else, and lo and behold that game was the game where he went up to the president.


Adds a neat little wrinkle to the Wings-Avs rivalry.

#2532948 Dekeyser signed. 2 yrs $2.187 million AAV

Posted by Dabura on 24 July 2014 - 12:53 PM

Saying Tatar's unproven isn't necessarily knocking him. It's just a fact, really. We don't yet know what Tomas Tatar the NHLer truly is, or, maybe more correctly, what he will be. It's a very small sample size.


Another concern - and this isn't Tatar's fault either - is that we have a wealth of up-and-coming young talents, any one of whom might be The Next Great Red Wing. Already we've got Nyquist and Tatar and Sheahan and Jurco looking like they might be Players. So, cost controlling is essential, especially if we're thinking about making a run or two at the Cup in the next three or four years.

#2532886 Hockey News: Detroit has the easiest schedule

Posted by Dabura on 23 July 2014 - 12:36 PM

There is one team in the Eastern Conference that is unequivocally better than the Red Wings. That team is the Bruins. Otherwise, it's wide open; the Wings, if healthy and humming, can go toe-to-toe with any EC team in a playoff series. If you disagree, you are wrong.

#2532813 Alfie wants to play

Posted by Dabura on 22 July 2014 - 02:18 PM

I'd take him on a one-year deal. Why not. He's a proven producer. You win - and create roster depth - with proven producers. Manage his minutes, shelter him a bit, give him some nights off.


Zetterberg  Datsyuk  Jurco

Franzen  Weiss  Nyquist

Tatar  Sheahan  Alfredsson

Miller  Helm  Abdelkader

#2532794 Hockey News: Detroit has the easiest schedule

Posted by Dabura on 22 July 2014 - 12:51 PM

Last year we were hyped for a big comeback season. Then injuries beyond devastated us. Now we're a dark horse. I think that's good for this team. We are more than capable of proving were still contenders


The big thing, at least from where I stand, is the conference. I asked this recently and I'll ask it again: How many teams in the East would be a really bad matchup for the Wings in a best-of-seven? If you point to our "five year drought," look at how it's actually gone for us. Two very good Sharks teams. A decent Preds team. A very good Ducks team, which we beat. The eventual Cup champs in the Blackhawks, who we came so soul-crushingly close to defeating. And, finally, the Boston frickin' Bruins, who we had to face without Ericsson, mostly without Zetterberg, with a hurting Datsyuk, with a banged up Alfredsson, with a bunch of rookies, and with the ghost of Jimmy Howard.









The East appears to be wide open. The Bruins, Penguins, Rangers, Canadiens, and Lightning are considered the teams to beat, and, of those teams, there's only one I'd pray the Wings avoid in the postseason. If our core can stay healthy and our youth is for real, I think the Cup Finals are in reach, as crazy as that sounds.

#2532704 'District Detroit': Red Wings' New Arena Details Released

Posted by Dabura on 21 July 2014 - 12:54 PM


#2532599 Babcock Interview on 105.1 this morning

Posted by Dabura on 20 July 2014 - 07:37 AM

Quincey isn't a bad contract, it's only for 2 years. Niskanen and Orpik, are bad contracts.


That Quincey was re-signed at all is bad. That he was given a raise, when seemingly no other team was interested in his services, is nuts. Not Orpik bad, but not exactly a stroke of genius.

#2532598 'District Detroit': Red Wings' New Arena Details Released

Posted by Dabura on 20 July 2014 - 07:32 AM

Not getting all the affection for Joe Louis Arena.


It's the place where our team plays and has played for a long time. I've never been, but it holds sentimental value and then some for me, simply by virtue of its association with the Wings and my devotion to them.

#2532568 Wings re-sign Cleary $1.5 mill + $1mill in game bonuses

Posted by Dabura on 19 July 2014 - 03:05 PM

I like where your head is at with Mantha on the third with Tatar and Sheahan. I don't know if Jurco is ready for the top 6, but if we're doing a ten game experiment with Cleary, why not not see if Jurco can pull the piano for Datsyuk? I also like the idea of Jurco, Sheahan, Mantha, as a third line, just because of the size on that line. I don't know where Tatar would go, though.


I dunno, I feel like if Z and D are his linemates and his job is mostly to create space and drive the net, Jurco would be just fine on the top line. That's the thing, though - I'd want him with at least one of Datsyuk and Zetterberg. I wouldn't put him with, say, Franzen and Weiss.


I think I'd take Tatar-Sheahan-Mantha over Jurco with Shahan and Mantha because 1) Jurco and Mantha are both best suited for the right side while Tatar is best suited for the left, and 2) Tatar is the possession driver that makes the whole thing (keeping the puck in the o-zone) work. Jurco's size and strength might make things easier for Mantha, though, and I like the idea of Tatar in the top six, as long as he's with at least one of Datsyuk and Zetterberg.


Of course, this is all probably moot. Mantha is likely spending most of the season on the farm (a good call) and Cleary's a lock for the first line and Hall of Fame (duh).