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Abel to Yzerman

The Wings Simply Do Not Have Enough Talent

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Sunday's game was another example why the Detroit Red Wings are better off in the draft lottery.

Their outing at United Center showed they are short on talent and lacking the firepower to overcome a bad start. Their 5-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks disappointed all the more because even as the losses have piled up since New Year’s Eve, the Wings have played well.

Then came Sunday. The Blackhawks dictated play in the first period, scoring twice off rushes....

Coach Jeff Blashill described the start as brutal.

“Not nearly good enough," Blashill said. "Halfway in, we started playing with more jam and way more like we have for the past month.

“The start, to me, mentally we weren’t ready to go. We gave up more outnumbered rushes in that period than we have in a long time. That’s inexcusable. Not even close to good enough. We can’t spot teams 2-0 on the road.”

read on

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Comments

Paul's avatar

A long-time Wings fan who follows KK on Twitter,

I’m a life long Red Wings fan. This is now my 3rd building as I started at Olympia. A front row seat next to the visitors bench was $6.50 . I hate to see this team in the situation it’s in. I guess I just don’t understand why they continue with this staff? I will stay loyal-Hurts

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 02/11/19 at 10:09 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Repeat with me…“Rebuild”.  “Rebuild”. 

Posted by TreKronor on 02/11/19 at 10:48 AM ET

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The Wings Simply Do Not Have Enough Talent

The thing that’s so frustrating is that this should be evident to a-n-y-o-n-e.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 02/11/19 at 11:15 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Unfortunately, with the way the league is now setup, you can get good only 1 way, and that is by drafting well (it helps if your in the top 5….hello Pittsburgh, Chicago, Toronto). You have to hit on your 1st rounders and have to hit the jackpot on the occasional 3rd/4th round picks as well.

Once you build through the draft you can occasionally add a cherry on top (Tavares, or Karlsson) through a UFA or trade, but guys like that don’t hit the market often.

However, you can’t build a competitive team with 4,5,6 “bad” contracts. The Wings have not hit on many late round picks , and Kenny being ever loyal , gave out some bad deals.

Only time, patience, and/or luck will make this team truly competitive again.  confused

Posted by Down River Dan on 02/11/19 at 11:15 AM ET

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However, you can’t build a competitive team with 4,5,6 “bad” contracts.

+1

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 02/11/19 at 11:30 AM ET

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Duh.

I mean, on the one hand, I get it. Fans, players, and coaches all want to believe they’ve got the talent, they just need to “execute the gameplan” or “start on time” or “play with more jam” and the results will follow. And anytime they put a couple of wins together, or a young player scores a great goal, it makes it so much more tempting to fall for that narrative.

It’s much more difficult to admit that they’re already pretty much doing the best they can do, the real problem is they just aren’t very good, and no amount of discipline or effort or “jam” is going to magically make them competitive. But it’s the truth.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 02/11/19 at 11:53 AM ET

duhduhduh's avatar

And almost as troubling, look at the 2017 draft.  You can say, if you like, the Ras is on track to be a ‘solid’ contributor, and maybe Lindstrom has improved a ton (though he hasn’t played on NA ice at all, for the most part), but the rest of that draft just screams ‘meh’.  The scouting staff said they made a point of going big in that draft, in an era when everyone else is emphasizing speed and skill.

Posted by duhduhduh on 02/11/19 at 11:54 AM ET

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And almost as troubling, look at the 2017 draft.  You can say, if you like, the Ras is on track to be a ‘solid’ contributor, and maybe Lindstrom has improved a ton (though he hasn’t played on NA ice at all, for the most part), but the rest of that draft just screams ‘meh’.  The scouting staff said they made a point of going big in that draft, in an era when everyone else is emphasizing speed and skill.

Really hard to judge that draft now. If both Ras and Lindstrom are solid contributors, that makes it a success. A typical team doesn’t get much more than 2 to 3 long-time contributors out of a draft.

Now Ras being taken at number 9 needs to be more than just a 3rd/4th line player really. But I’ll give him at least 2 more years before considering him a bad pick.

But the Wings really aren’t going to improve until the get some high end defensemen. Maybe Cholo can be one but they need at least one more. They’ll need decent 3/4 guys as well. They might have those but it will take time.

Posted by evileye on 02/11/19 at 12:42 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

Actually the younger players have progressed this season, but the older players have mostly regressed. As a result you have a team standing at number 30 in the standings.  confused

Posted by bigfrog on 02/11/19 at 10:43 PM ET

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Posted by evileye on 02/11/19 at 12:42 PM ET

right. let’s look at every player taken after Ras….....Robert Thomas (who, right?) and Filip Chytil are producing better than Ras. anyone see that coming?

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 02/12/19 at 12:19 AM ET

d ca's avatar

Unfortunately, with the way the league is now setup, you can get good only 1 way, and that is by drafting well

Need to amend that and state draft well “in a year where a generational talent player is available or be a team with a top-tier goalie.”

Example: Nico Hischier—clearly not a generational talent player. But the clear #1 selection his draft year. Yet, the Devils haven’t shown signs of getting better yet. So might need something more than drafting right to become a good team. Granted it is early still though.

and my counterpoint to your assertion is the Vegas Golden Knights or any other team with a goalie that can carry them—but I will grant you there are very few of them and they can’t last a career (like the Roy, Hasek, and Brodeur did). Carey Price is the example I think of (and I think that is because the technology has become so refined that weakness can be exploited by even the average players).

As far as getting good through the draft:
Draft Day generational talents were Connor McDavid, John Tavares, Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Eric Lindros, or Mario Lemieux (May have been more but precedes my fandomnes. Trivia fact: Gretzky wasn’t drafted) and 1 more to be named later.

Rasmus Dahlin is a player that can be added to that list or placed in the next group (blame it on the position).

Auston Matthews, Steven Stamkos, Patrick Kane, Ilya Kovalchuk, Vincent Lecavalier, Joe Thornton, Mats Sundin, Mike Modano, Pierre Turgeon, or Dale Hawerchuk are the next wave of elite talents that were clear #1’s but not hyped for multiple years leading up to their drafts with the Jr hockey resumes like the others.

And yes you can miss on generational talents: Alexandre Daigle. The reason why their is both a NHL draft and a rookie salary cap.

...but I will take the losing because it only improves the odds for Hughes. So remember the Wings are doing just fine this year in that regards.

Posted by d ca on 02/12/19 at 02:30 AM ET

d ca's avatar

...but I like your point about the salary cap and bad contracts can certainly set the franchise back years.

Posted by d ca on 02/12/19 at 02:33 AM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com