Abel to Yzerman
by IwoCPO on 11/27/06 at 07:47 AM ET
Babcock has been patient, but the patience of Babcock and general manager Ken Holland might be wearing thin. "To win, your best players have to be your best players," Babcock said. "You have to find a way to make it go in for yourself. When you don't score sometimes you put more pressure on yourself. There's no sense doing that."And, sometimes, when you don't score that pressure is shared by coach and player. Read the comment section here.
Khan(!) discusses the idea of Holland working the phones, looking to acquire offense, and points out Holland is willing, but largely unable.
The NHL’s trade deadline is exactly three months from today. There is still plenty of time to deal. But, can the offensively challenged Detroit Red Wings afford to wait that long?
They might have to, general manager Ken Holland said. The Wings are roughly $2 million under the salary cap and plan on acquiring a goal-scoring winger at some point this season. Chances are, it will be later rather than sooner.
“I’m going to work the phones, but given the cap and the competitiveness of the league, no one will give up a guy who can score goals and makes a relatively small amount of money,’’ Holland said.
Oh, I know. I know it’s hard. I know the CBA has tied a lot of hands. I know that wheeling and dealing isn’t as prevalent because the Cap won’t allow it. I know, Kenny.
And I know the Wings can’t put the puck in the net. And even if the game ends scoreless…well, they’re losing shootouts because they can’t, ummm, put the puck in the net.
“We had a lot of guys last year who had career years. Maybe they were career years,’’ Holland said. “I still think we got 20-goal scorers in Williams, Samuelsson, (Tomas) Holmstrom, Datsyuk and (Robert) Lang. We have enough guys with the potential to score 20 goals.’‘
Potential’s a tease, Kenny. Of those players, maybe Lang gets 20. Lang and Zetterberg could very well be the only 20-goal scorers this team has come April.
Babcock’s had his favorite cliches on shuffle the last three days. His current favorite? “Your best players gotta be your best players.” Ok. Well, our two best players are doing that. Lidstrom’s excelling and Zetterberg’s coming around.
Is the lack of goal scoring the biggest challenge facing the Wings now?
“Yeah, of course it’s easier to win games when you score goals, and we’re not doing it right now,” Zetterberg said.
He could not offer a reason the Wings have struggled in that area, though. They’ve scored 11 goals during the past five games.
“I don’t think we know why, but of course we do want to score more goals,” Zetterberg said.
While Babcock was on the Bubba pregame the other night, talking with Jimmy Don and Junior Jr. he said this, “Goals are like adrenaline. Players need them, and once they get ‘em, they become hungry for more.”
Well, I guess a good place to start would be the power play then. I’m tired of writing that and I’m sure you’re real tired of reading it. But, that’s the source. If it gets going it’s going to affect the entire offensive conscience of this team. The questions being asked now, though, focus on whether Babcock has the imagination to fix it.
Datsyuk, who can be unrestricted next July, makes $3.9 million US now, which is $1.3 million more than Henrik Zetterberg, a centre just as good and certainly more well-rounded.
Trade him for a shooter on the wing the Wings sorely needy on the power play after they lost Brendan Shanahan to the Rangers, or offer him up for a centre to, say, sign winger Keith Tkachuk this summer as a free agent.
Matheson also points out his perception that Lang is disgruntled. Actually, what he said was, “There seems to be some friction between free-agent-to-be Robert Lang, who may walk as a possible No. 2 guy, but they can live without Datysuk.” Between….? Between Lang and whom?
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