We have had many issues with this in the past.
1) I don't know if it is Holland, Babcock, or the players, but they don't seem to have the willingness to fight. Even when it was a terrible cheap shot.
2) The strange mentality ignoring this aspect of the game. Yeah, skill is great, but if you can't stand up for your team when needed, teams are going to walk all over you. When a team can physically intimidate your guys, can cheap shot and get away with it because no one will do anything, that is a problem.
3) We expect the refs to protect us, but when they don't, we get abused and don't have a backup plan. We've seen this year in and year out. Remember last year with Franzen and Neil? Franzen said this, "I’ve been getting head shots pretty much every year and I don’t think it’s ever been punishment for any of the hits,” and this,“He thinks I’m not tough because I’m not fighting him; what does he have, like 30 fights a year? And he’s been doing that his whole career,” Franzen said. “I’ve never had a fight in my whole life. It’s like me asking him to get hockey sense and good hands or something. I’ve never been fighting, didn’t grow up fighting. For me it’s not a part of the game. I’m not going to fight. I’ve had enough concussions. I’m definitely not going to risk one doing something stupid like that.”
Here Franzen is admitting he gets hit, doesn't get protected by the refs or league, and won't fight. Isn't this the epitome of the Red Wings philosophy? Just play with more skill and it will work itself out right?
4) Ignoring the fact that we do need hard hitters to defend guys. I don't want dirty players. I DO want someone who will stand up for our guys. Not to mention you have two or three guys against us on ice and we have only one guy willing to stand up for us, it will be ugly.
5) Playoffs. This crap gets ridiculous. Not only are things ratcheted up even higher, and generally diving is rewarded, but teams throw down over perfectly clean hits. It is stupid, but that is the current NHL. We can't skate away from that fact. We go into a situation where we expect our skill guys to have to do all the heavy fighting we are in trouble.
6) Teammates need to stick up for each other more. You need to believe a teammate has your back. What if Ericsson wasn't on the ice for that Helm hit? Would anyone else on the ice have done anything?
7) Covering our eyes isn't going to make it go away, and the management and coaching need to realize that.