It really has been a chore to watch the Red Wings play this season. As others have said ad nauseam, we can't handle the puck or complete a pass the majority of the time. It rolls, it hops a stick blade, its too fast, its too slow, it surprises the receiving player, its too far in front, its too far behind, etc. etc. The team for the most part looks lost. For me there are three major causes: our back-end is absolute garbage, our set plays are predictable and leave little margin for error, and our forward lines change by the shift.
All of these are problems this team has had to some degree for the last several seasons, but the third has been a constant source of frustration I feel is seldom mentioned. Hockey is a game of chemistry and timing. You need to have an understanding of linemates' tenancies, speed, role, and skillset. Comfort with linemates can sometimes take time, and when a team is slumping as a whole, all the more. Few things are more infuriating than to see our guys practice with particular line combinations for a few days, get into a game situation, and after a bad first 10 minutes, we shuffle everyone hoping for a spark.
Am I the only one who finds this practice absolutely absurd? Lines need time to gel, and teammates need to work themselves out of their slumps together. Shuffling lines at the rate Blashill has been doing, and Babcock used to do, would seem to throw off timing from shift to shift and frustrate players to no end. Its all the more infuriating to watch us break up the lines that are producing to lift underperforming players. Why can't we complete a pass? Our centermen are playing with upwards of 6 different wingers every game. I have to imagine its all the worse trying to break out of a rut when you are constantly hitting the reset button on your chemistry and having to adjust your attack, all while your defense is allowing the opposition to gain momentum on the other side of the ice.
- derblaueClaus likes this