Cripes, those last two goals were lousy.
3-0 Hawks. Ugh.
Osgood got a piece of each of the last two, but even Ken Kal agrees that the last goal was a save Osgood should have made.
if the Blackhawks take the central this year. If we sneak into the playoffs with everyone healthy, we'll be a bitch to play. If healthy, we're still the best team in the west. By a lot.
If the Wings sneak into the playoffs then Babcock deserves to win Coach of the Year.
Sorry, but as a fellow UMer, I have got to say this. Not.
Your Wings are good, but they are no longer great. And they are old. Our Hawks are young, and better. A lot better. You saw the same game I did. The Hawks dominated both ends of the ice.
Even if the Wings make the playoffs, they are going nowhere.
Better get used to this. You had your way for the last 15 years.
Let's see what happens when Zetterberg, Franzen, Filpulla, Kronwall, Ericsson, Williams, and Cleary (have I forgotten any other injured starters) get back in the lineup this spring. I have a feeling the Blackhawks will not find it so easy then.
Eh...Zetterberg and Datsyuk are both having statistically poor years. The Hawks really are the team to beat, though the west certainly is shaping up interestingly with some surprises like LA and Colorado.
It should be interesting.
We're missing 8 key players. You can't honestly think this game counted for any sort of bragging rights.
You missed the point completely. If the playoffs rolled around and the wings' lineup was the same as last night, the wings would have almost no legitimate shot at competing.
What you don't seem to realize is that the wings are missing 8 or 9 key contributors. All those slots are filled with lesser players, which makes the team less competitive. Additionally, it makes the regular players who are healthy play more than they otherwise would, making them less effective. Point is, when (if??) the wings get back to full strength the blackhawks will get destroyed. Just like in the playoffs last year
No, I think he got the point you all were trying to make; he just disagrees. As do a lot of people. Even with all of those players back in the lineup the Wings just aren't the dominating team that they used to be anymore. If they aren't comfortably in a playoff spot by the Olympic break they won't make the playoffs this year, regardless of whether all of those players are back in the lineup or not. I'd put money on that.
this is the same team that WON the cup 2 years ago. I don't se how they're going to be a bad team when they get some of their players back.
They lost Hossa from when they LOST the cup. I don't see his loss and Hudler as being the pieces that broke an entire franchise.
Losing 3 starting D and 5 starting forwards to injury? That would sink any team.
"this is the same team that WON the cup 2 years ago."
That's almost exactly the point. Last year was the end of an era and you guys really need to come to terms with that. With everyone healthy and coming back this team could have probably competed at a high level again this year (probably for the last time without major changes to the roster), but with the Olympics it just isn't going to happen.
"Losing 3 starting D and 5 starting forwards to injury? That would sink any team."
Not so fast my friend; the Penguins have had more of their starting lineup out this year and are tied for first in the East.
Has Stall, Malkin or Crosby been out for more than 2 games?
I don't know Pittsburgh's line-up, but you can't tell me that losing 2 players (Franzen and Cleary) who would have been making $9-11m/yr on the open market doesn't hurt. And losing 2 guys who would have been top 4 D on most teams in the league? And having the top shot blocking stay-at-home D out with a concussion for a year?
In short, bring some info if you're going to bring that garbage.
Find me a team that has lost as many goals in injury.
Tell me WHY the Wings are NOW too old and used up after that's been said for the last 10 years.
Bring me STATS about playing time lost by starting D this year.
"Has Stall, Malkin or Crosby been out for more than 2 games?"
Staal, no. Malkin and Crosby, yes.
"I don't know Pittsburgh's line-up, but you can't tell me that losing 2 players (Franzen and Cleary) who would have been making $9-11m/yr on the open market doesn't hurt. And losing 2 guys who would have been top 4 D on most teams in the league? And having the top shot blocking stay-at-home D out with a concussion for a year?"
Pittsburgh has missed more games than that within both the forward corp and the defensive corp. They went over a month with half of their normal starting roster out of the lineup. They're still two points out of first in the East. The reason why the Wings are where they are right now is not solely due to injuries.
"In short, bring some info if you're going to bring that garbage."
Please. Try doing some research and/or viewing on your own before you cherry pick a single post where I made a statement without precisely stating the facts to back it up. You can't refute anything that I've said because you don't know a thing about the team I was referencing and you're too stuck in bellyaching about your team's injuries to realize that other teams are just as bad off as your team and aren't making excuses. So until you watch games from both teams, and can actually comment on the subject with some knowledge of your own, I suggest you take a step back from the keyboard to avoid looking silly.
And also, I don't really care that you've gone through and "negged" all of my posts in this thread. I can live with that. Nice try though.
I don't want to get into a semantic argument with you, but "You saw the same game I did. The Hawks dominated both ends of the ice," clearly refers to last night's game. The rest of the post to which I responded implies that because the wings couldn't compete last night, they will be equally uncompetitive in the playoffs. This is asinine as most of the injured wings are expected to return well before the playoffs.
Also, you may very well be right about the wings not being dominant anymore, but it's impossible to know for sure since they've been missing key players for the vast majority of the season.
"I don't want to get into a semantic argument with you, but "You saw the same game I did. The Hawks dominated both ends of the ice," clearly refers to last night's game."
Except you didn't say that in the post I was responding to...
I didn't use a quote in my original response because the implication of the post to which I responded was perfectly clear: 'we kicked your ass last night so you will suck in the playoffs.' I responded that he was missing the point because the results last night don't really matter since many of the players who dressed for the wings will not suit up for the playoffs. Your response was 'he gets it.' I then used the quote to show it's pretty clear he didn't get it.
"Point is, when (if??) the wings get back to full strength the blackhawks will get destroyed."
"Better get used to this. You had your way for the last 15 years."
I wouldn't go there if I were you. The Blackhawks better win the Cup this year or they won't win it. They are absolutely screwed with the cap after this season and several of your key players (including a young star or two) are going to have to be moved.
Its not like the wings helped him out tonight either. only 20 shots and 0 goals? Not gonna get it done. Even though i think we should part ways with Ozzy because his lack of concentration when it comes to the weak goals he gives up, this one wasnt entirely his fault
Even if they win the division this would be a first for this team. I predict a first round oust. Once the Wings get healthy and we get Howard in goal, all will get better.
"Even if they win the division this would be a first for this team."
From an historical hockey perspective, I disagree. It's irrelevant that the team has never won the division as to how far they'll go in the playoffs. The real key is playoff experience, which they got a large does of last year.
This is true but the playoffs have a funny way of being way different when you are the favorite vs. when you are the underdog. Almost every great team has had at least one colossal egg laying before winning the Cup. The Hawks won't win a Stanley Cup as long as their star forwards don't play defense. The Red Wings whipped the Hawks in five games last year despite already having a few big injuries Fully healthy, they are still the better team. But the "fully healthy" part is a huge if. Detroit has had big time injury problems, dating back to the 2nd half of last year.
"Almost every great team has had at least one colossal egg laying before winning the Cup."
Uhhh... WCF last year?
I'm thinking along the lines of a really bad 1st round 1 vs 8 choke. The Hawks might be in for one of those this year. San Jose got theirs out of the way last year. That's why I like them to get to the Cup out of the West.
Yeah, it's entirely possible that could happen to the Hawks. There is going to be all kinds of organizational pressure to win this year because of the disassembly that is inevitable after this season due to the cap hell that their former GM put them in. That might be an awfully heavy burden for a team that young and inexperienced that I hadn't taken into consideration with my previous post. I still think San Jose is San Jose and no amount of 1 v. 8 failure will prevent it from happening again, though.
This team is not the team to beat in the West and to say so is just ridiculous. They are getting older, and the team is no longer dominant enough to compensate for the horrible goaltending. Detroit if they make the might be lucky to win 1 series, but anything more is crazy talk. Take on you rose colored glasses.
Speaking from the outside looking in I will add my two cents (and that is about all it is worth, I know).
The wings may only be short two players from their team that won the cup 2 years ago, but that isn't really a "great" thing. I say this because what it means is the entire team is two years older (and it is showing on the ice with injuries).
I am not neccessarily sold on the fact that the Hawks are miles better than the wings, but to say that the wings are the "best team in the west, and by far" is a little homerish and slightly delusional.
I have played hockey all my life and I can tell you that the age of the current players on the wings is catching up with them. They need some youngsters to step up in a hurry because these injuries that are being thrown around as excuses for the losses, are only going to continue to a team of this age. Injuries are a part of hockey and every team has to deal with them. Using them as excuses won't change anything.
Yes, injuries are a part of hockey, but when have you seen one team have so many key players out in a season? (Not saying that's an excuse - you still have to play with who you've got.)
And yes, the Wings are older, but that isn't necessarily a factor with the injuries - Franzen is 29, Kronwall is 28, Filppula is 25, Zetterberg is 29, Williams is 29, Cleary is 31, Ericsson is 25. Are these ancient players? Only Cleary is over 30. (Am I forgetting anybody?)
(Now Lilja at 34, still being out post-concussion - that is another story.)
If the Wings make the playoffs, I don't know how far they'll go. The whole team - from stars to young guys - will need to be playing better if they're going to make it out of the first round.
"but when have you seen one team have so many key players out in a season? (Not saying that's an excuse - you still have to play with who you've got.)"
Uhhh... Pittsburgh. This season. The went over a month with 4 of their top 5 defensemen and 4 of their top 12 forwards out of the lineup. It's just an excuse.
A month doesn't seem like such a long time, but, yeah, that's tough.
Perhaps the amount of games the Wings and Pens have played in recent years is a factor?
Yeah, it probably is. I wasn't trying to be a jerk or hate on the Wings when I said what I've said in this thread. Your point is exactly it: the number of games. Let's face it, the Wings most important players have played a lot more games than anyone else since the lock out and they are also older. That catches up with you, as evidenced by the injuries this year. Then factor in the extra games for the Olympics this year and it becomes a LOOOONG season for those older, tired bodies.
I didn't think you were being a jerk or hater.
TBH, just following the Wings, I'm not up on what's going on in the East, as there's not that much interconference play, so I didn't know about the Pens.
Yeah, I understand that. The schedule the last couple of years makes it so difficult to watch games in other conferences if you predominantly only watch games of the team that you follow. That really needs to change back to closer to the way that it was. The Wings are essentially the Grand Rapids Griffins right now; the Penguins were essentially the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for about a month earlier in the season.
Pittsburgh is different because they are ridiculously top heavy. Basically they have three important skaters (Stall, Crosby, and Malkin) who carry the rest of the team. None of those guys has missed a lot of games. Despite having eight starters out of the lineup, Detroit is still a .500 hockey team and they are in the thick of the playoff race. That's saying a lot. All they have to do is make it this year. Finishing fourth and getting first round home ice would be nice. Pittsburgh was out of the playoffs as late as March last year.
"Basically they have three important skaters (Stall, Crosby, and Malkin) who carry the rest of the team."
As someone who closely follows both the Wings and the Penguins (they are my two favorite teams), I can definitely say that you are absolutely incorrect. That's a typical misconception, though.
"Pittsburgh was out of the playoffs as late as March last year."
Apples and oranges, really. The only way that the Penguins went on that run to make the playoffs last year was because Therrien got canned and it finally lit a fire under the team. They needed to win over 70% of their remaining 20 games last year to make the playoffs. The fact that they were out of it as late as March last year and made it definitely should not encourage you that someone else could just as easily do it. They went on one of the best final runs to a regular season in NHL history; because they had to. I can't see the Wings making a similar run, especially this year, especially with the number of games that key players will play in Vancouver.
Two of the best ten skaters to come into the league in the last 25 years play for the Penguins. Malkin and Crosby are two guys who make anyone around them look good. It's a classic example of the "Lemieux effect". (Whenever someone would join the Lemeiux line, he would suddenly look like a star goal scorer). Take one of those guys away last year and they don't even get out of the first round.
The Pens had their coaching change last year, the Wings have tons of injuries this year. Different circumstances, but not unreasonable to expect similar outcomes. The Red Wings of the past month are the worst Red Wings you will see all year. If 8th or 9th place is the worst the team can do, I'm pretty excited to see the upside.
Keep on thinking that. It shows you haven't watched them play much and don't know much about them.
Out of at least the last 12 cup winners, the '09 Penguins got a higher percentage of both goals and points from their top two scorers than any other team (FYI second place was Richards and St. Louis for Tampa Bay in '04). Now I'm not saying that Malkin and Crosby are the only good guys on the team, but I can't think of any team in the league other than maybe Washington who relies on such a small amount of players for so much. Not that there's anything wrong with that strategy if you're talking about guys like Malkin and Crosby. As long as they don't get hurt.
Those stats are obvious, however the problem with relying on stats is that it doesn't tell the entire picture. Both Crosby and Malkin have missed decent stretches of time with injury over the last two years (more so Crosby than Malkin). And the team still has won without them. The stats that you cited are what they are, but the fact is that Crosby and Malkin are both players that gobble up points in bunches. The fact that they have that high of a number of points AND missed as many games as they did is the point that you're missing.
since playoff experience is the real key, the wings are at a huge disadvantantage to the blackhawks in that category right?
I dunno, there's still a lot of experience on the Wings. And some of the younger guys - Ericsson, Helm, Abdelkader, Leino, have played in the playoffs, just not much regular season till this year.
But if the Blackhawks should make the Finals, they won't win because they have Hossa, right?
but I think he was being sarcastic. If he wasn't, he would need his head examined to think that any team in the NHL has more playoff experience than the Wings.
Good one on the Hossa thing though. That is just funny.
Ah, the annual "end of an era" and "they're too old" talk. Like clockwork.
The Wings took a dip going into this season, thanks to the salary cap. They lost Hossa, Hudler, and Samuelsson, and were forced to settle for guys like Bertuzzi, Williams, and Eaves. Meanwhile, the Hawks assembled a beastly roster (and simultaneously set themselves up for cap hell), and won the match-up on paper. However, the Wings still have the experience advantage and the Hawks have yet to prove themselves against Detroit. These are important, often over-looked, factors.
Then, partly thanks to playing 11 playoff rounds in the last 3 years (nearly 4 seasons in the last 3), the Wings suffered multiple casualties, most of them heavy. The result are games like Sunday's. The odds are heavily stacked against Detroit winning the Cup, but if they can get healthy, the Wings will still hold serve against the Hawks, and could cause some damage in the playoffs.
The age argument is over-rated, imo. It's been used countless times against the Wings over the years, and it is always turned on its head. Part of the Wings proven winning philosophy is having a large amount of experience. That often goes hand-in-hand with age. The only player I can say is going downhill from last year because of age is Lidstrom, and he's still a top defenseman in the league.
Osgood is again pulling his regular season disappearing act, but there's been no better playoff netminder over the past two postseasons. As frustrating as he can be to watch during the first 6 months of the season, I'm confident in his playoff performance.
As for the Wings era of winning, it's not over, much to the chagrin of the jealous. This year is just a hiccup. Cap-wise, the Wings are in good shape going into this off-season. If the cap goes up, as expected in recent reports, then the Wings will easily have enough to sign a solid top-6 forward, to go with Hank, Dats, Mule, Flip, and Cleary (or Homer or Bert if they are re-signed), and they'll be an improved team. The only significant UFA they have is Lidstrom, and if he does retire (which I wouldn't bet on), they'll have the cash to throw at another top-4 guy.
Zetterberg and Datsyuk are nearly on pace for their worst years since entering the league, for what its worth.
The Wings are going to have some tough decisions soon. They haven't really drafted all that well since the early part of this decade (this is partly influenced by poor drafting position from continued success), and they don't really have any top line players in their system. They're going to have to go out and be liberal with money in free agency, something Holland hasn't always shown a tendency to do, because the farm system doesn't have a whole lot to offer.
Z and Pavel may seem to be struggling stat wise, but that is the Brandon Graham effect. When you're known to be a big threat, you are double-teamed early and often.
Every teams secondary goal when playing the wings is to shut down the two. The primary obviously being scoring more goals.
Their stats don't diminish the fact that they are two of the best players in the NHL.
And without the usual 2nd-line stars (Franzen, Filppula, Cleary), it's even easier for teams to throw their top guys at Z/Pavel.
Hopefully January will see a turnaround in Wings karma.
Eh. I think that there's more to it than that. Teams have always put their top defensive players on those guys. They used to dominate everybody regardless of who it was. Dats and Hank, for some reason, just don't look like the same players this year. Two years ago a lot of people thought that the two best players in the league were playing on the Red Wings on the same line. I don't think that's the case anymore at all. I'm especially concerned about Datsyuk.
I'm not worried about Zetterberg and Datsyuk. I believe they'll come on and be dominant. Hank started the year a month late and so had a slow start, and both have had to play with guys like Leino and Miller in the top-6.
I think the Wings have drafted pretty well the past several years, actually. They have at least 2/3 prospects in each of the last 5 draft classes performing very well right now, including two Hobey hopefuls (Smith and Nyquist) and the youngest player in the AHL going nearly point-per-game (Tatar).
They ARE lacking top-line prospects, I agree, but that can almost completely be attributed to their annual draft position. Forwards with obvious top-line potential seldom make it out of the top-15 picks. I really like the potential of Tatar, Nyquist, and Mursak as future top-6 players though. Ferraro, Nestrasil, and Emmerton are also intriguing.
I think the Wings will be sure to sign a solid top-6 winger this off-season. Frolov is the most obvious candidate, which means it will probably be someone else lol.
"Forwards with obvious top-line potential seldom make it out of the top-15 picks."
That statement is only true if you are solely talking about "potential" on draft day, rather than actually achieving top-line status.
I was, which is why I used the qualifier 'obvious.' It's tough to find those other guys, who drop lower but still make it to a team's top line. Takes some luck too. The Wings have accomplished the feat on more than one occasion in the past though.
Yeah, I figured that's what you meant, but I was just clarifying because a lot of people don't make the connection in hockey that somewhere near half of the players in the HOF classes over the last decade or so have been late round picks (some incredibly late). I think the Wings have a little more than luck to attribute to their success. For a long time they were virtually the only team that had the contacts in Sweden that they have, which allowed the to unearth some absolute gems in the later rounds.
Yeah, I completely agree. And before Sweden, the Wings had a nice head-start in Russia too.
The Wings had the foresight to get in early on the Euroscouting.
But they really had to. With a lot of playoff appearances and therefore low draft picks, what are you left with, if everyone else is picking North American players?
That's not really how and why it happened though. It was more of a matter of having the right people in the organization with the right contacts at the right time. When they first started their efforts in Sweden they hadn't had been at the top of the standings very long.
but your post is delusional. You start off by implying that the arguements on this thread aren't valid but end by agreeing with them.
The arguement isn't about what the wings can accomplish in the offseason or next year, it is about this year, and the wings will not win the cup this year....book it.
Nothing delusional in my post. Every year people say the Wings are too old and that their era of winning is over. I'm saying neither are true. They are even laughable at times, given some of the reasons people cite. It was clear in my post that I did not agree with them, so I'm not sure how you extrapolated the idea that I did. Agreeing that they are old does not mean I agree that they are too old to win. And admitting that this year is a hiccup does not mean I agree that their days of winning are over (unless one believes that every year they didn't win the Cup was the end of a winning era, in which case they had no winning era to begin with).
As for "the argument," the two that I addressed were made by others in this thread, and I chose to respond to them. So that is what the argument was about in my post, as far as I was concerned.
As for the argument about this year, I agree, they most likely won't win the Cup, but it's not because they are too old and it's not because an era is over. That's my position.
"And admitting that this year is a hiccup does not mean I agree that their days of winning are over (unless one believes that every year they didn't win the Cup was the end of a winning era, in which case they had no winning era to begin with)."
That comparison doesn't even make sense. Every one of those teams that didn't win the Cup in the last 15 years finished at or near the top of the league standings in the regular season. This team isn't going to finish anywhere near the top o the league standings this year. Yes, people have made the argument for years that the Wings are "too old" and "too tired" and they were wrong because they were uneducated and just looking at certain players. Unfortunately, now is the time that their argument is probably more likely true than not. They are at a point now where rather than just having a few guys that are "too old" and "too tired" that the nucleus of the team really is "too old" and "too tired". I really believe that last year was the end of the era. The first sign of the years and the number of games finally catching up with them was the last five games of last season.
I draw a distinction between too old and too tired. They may be too tired. They have been too tired in the past when they failed to win the Cup. But I have not seen a quality argument that supports the idea that they are too old.
And I don't mean this in a rude way, but I really couldn't care less where they finish in the standings, because that factor has zero bearing on the future of the team. Especially when their position in the standings is in very large part due to the massive injuries they have suffered. The Wings are in fine shape, I'm confident that they will rebound next year and be serious contenders again. They've been more down and out than they are right now, and for longer periods of time, and still maintained the "era." They have the best front office in the league with Holland, Devellano, and Nill. With Hakan Andersson, they have one of the top group of scouts in the NHL. We'll have to agree to disagree on the end of an era.
Well, two things:
(1) I get what you are saying on distinguishing between "old" and "tired". I agree, in general. However, my contention is that at a certain point, although the terms are different, they start to converge more than not. The fact remains that the Wings had one of the oldest (if not the oldest) rosters in the league last year and it didn't get much younger this year. For my opinion to change much for next year I would have to see some pretty extensive change in the make up of the roster (which is probably likely to happen, but what that make up will be remains to be seen).
(2) I agree with you about where they finish in the standings. It's not really relevant for the playoffs and it's definitely not relevant for next season. A low seed in the playoffs if they were to make it could actually even be a positive because they would be likely to face off with a relatively inexperienced team in the first round. Of the nine teams currently ahead of the Wings there is very little playoff experience on all but two of those teams (and considering that one of those two teams is San Jose, that doesn't mean much). I'll disagree that they have been more down and out than they are right now since the mid-90s, but that's a fair disagreement.
Anyway, I appreciate the good hockey talk!
(1) There is certainly a correlation there, I agree. The older the team, the quicker they tire. However, in this specific case, I will say that, given the amount of games they've played the last few years, ANY team would be tired. I think they are either the oldest or second oldest team in the league this year, and they may or may not get significantly younger next year. But I still don't think they are too old to win. Their '98 team was about the same average age, if I remember correctly. And their '02 team was actually older (though, granted, they had a near-All Star team that season).
(2) To clarify on my 'down and out statement,' I just think there have been a couple seasons since the mid-90s where, going into the year, they weren't expected to be strong contenders, whether it was because they had been trounced in the first couple rounds for a few years in a row, or because Dave Lewis was the coach, or whatever. I think there's already more optimism for next year than there was for a couple seasons in the recent past.
And yeah, good hockey discussion, always fun to talk about.
"Cap-wise, the Wings are in good shape going into this off-season. If the cap goes up, as expected in recent reports, then the Wings will easily have enough to sign a solid top-6 forward, to go with Hank, Dats, Mule, Flip, and Cleary (or Homer or Bert if they are re-signed), and they'll be an improved team."
You're kidding, right? There is NO WAY that the cap is going up next year.
No, I'm not kidding. And yes, there is a way. It was announced by Bettman at the GM/BOG meetings on December 15th that the cap is expected to go up, by as much as $2M. Reported by Sportsnet. Also was talked about on NHLN. I can't find the original article I read last week, but it's mentioned on this Pittsburgh site: http://insidepittsburghsports.com/story/salary-cap-to-increase-by-2-mill...
Apparently you missed this in the article that you linked: "The league does not expect a decrease and early projections show the POSSIBILITY of even a $1.5-$2 million increase AT THE MAX." (emphasis added)? I'll be surprised if it goes up at all and absolutely shocked if it goes up $1.5 million.
No, I didn't miss that. But the coverage by NHLN and Sportsnet was more thorough. Bettman announced that the cap IS going up, and that it COULD be by as much as $2M, which is all I'm saying. Bettman has the most pertinent numbers on the matter and is relaying this info to the league's GMs so that they can plan for next season. This happens every year and his announcements have always been fairly accurate. I don't understand why anyone would be surprised or shocked if the cap goes up at this point. Is there someone more credible saying that the cap will not go up? Most writers who say such things are basing their opinions on speculation or flimsy evidence. Or, most often, are just parroting.
Lidstrom might be a UFA, but there's no way the guy is going to not get a pay cut. He makes $7MM per year right now, if I'm not mistaken. If I had to guess now, I would say that the Wings would sign him for a few more years at a cap hit of around $4MM per year. The price for free agents has dropped like a rock the last couple of years. The Wings should have some nice cap space again next year.
Detroit knows this well: The most talented team does not always win the Stanley Cup.
All Detroit has to do is get healthy, reach the playoffs, and they will have a legitimate shot at the cup.
But then doesn't that argument hold true for the Hawks as well? Or are they to be destroyed when the almighty wings get back a few of these uber-talented players?
This thread has run in logical circles since the very beginning.
"This thread has run in logical circles since the very beginning."
Well, to be fair, given what I know about the average age of most of the posters on this board, most of the Wings fans who are posting here likely don't have any recollection of what it's like to struggle through a regular season and not to have playoff hockey at the end of the year.
Ugh. I am old enough to have vague recollections of the Dead Wings. But then we got Steve Yzerman, and things slowly started to change.
I remember Norris Division playoff battles with Chicago and Toronto. When the Wings were good enough to get past them, they'd get steamrollered by the Oilers.
Wow, looking at the wiki page, I didn't remember that LA, Montreal, Pittsburgh and Washington were members in the '70s. Then Washington was moved and Hartford was in.
Of course that argument holds for any team that makes the playoffs. Recent Finals history shows that 6th, 7th, and 8th seeded teams have made it to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Buffalo a 7th seed in 1999
Anaheim a 7th seed in 2003
Calgary a 6th seed in 2004
Edmonton an 8th seed in 2006
Neither of those teams won the Stanley Cup. But all of them save the Buffalo series went to a seventh game. Which tells me that those teams were within a whisker of winning it all.
Now to be fair, I did not say the Wings would crush the Hawks when they get healthy. Someone else did. I am simply saying that you cannot predict the Wings have zero chance of winning the Stanley Cup. They have enough talent to win a Stanley Cup. So does Chicago, so do the Pens, so do a number of NHL teams. Talent alone will not win a Stanley Cup. You need to be healthy, you need timely goaltending, and you need to catch some breaks. (ie: pucks need to bounce your way)
If the Wings return to full health, get some bounces to go their way, and Osgood can do what he has done before in the playoffs, I like their chances.
Howard has played well enough this year that the Wings finally appear to have a young, viable backup to Osgood if Osgood stinks it up in the playoffs. The guy I am extremely disappointed in is Leino. As the injuries have piled up, this guy has gotten every oppotunity to step up. Instead, he's stuck on three goals. When everyone gets healthy, the Wings should keep Eaves, Miller, and Abdelkader in the lineup and send Leino to Grand Rapids again.
I thought Leino played better after being a healthy scratch for the 2nd time, but yeah, we could use some more goals out of him.
Oh man, I'm tiring of Leino, and fast. If he doesn't show significant improvement by the end of the season, he should be trade bait. The thing I dislike most is that he's, more often than not, lazy. Doesn't move his feet, half-hearted backcheck attempts, no puck pursuit. I had high hopes for him going into this season, but what a disappointment so far.
I agree on a demotion, if he's still playing the same way when guys get healthy. As a top-6 player, he's behind Hank, Dats, Mule, Flip, Homer, Cleary, Bert, and Williams. As a bottom-6 player, he's behind Helm, Eaves, Abdelkader, Miller, Draper, and Maltby. Hell, probably May too.