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What Path Will The Wings Take?

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

They have not spoken the word in more than 20 years. But now, after three straight seasons of early playoff exits, is it time for a rebuild in Detroit? Or can this storied franchise merely get by with a re-tool?

That is the question facing Red Wings GM Ken Holland after the fifth-seeded Western Conference team lost 2-1 to the Nashville Predators on Friday night and became the first team to be eliminated in the playoffs.

It was a close series. Four of the five games were decided by one-goal. And if not for a red-hot Pekka Rinne, we might be looking at a entirely different outcome. Still, there was little optimism in how this all ended for an ageing team that is not getting any younger.

“To me, that’s not close,” Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock told reporters after the loss. “Four to one [in the series] is not close.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

Da lil Guy's avatar

Detroit has some elite players in the lineup and good young players too. Lidstrom is probably one of a kind - and things are obviously going to be different if and when he leaves - but it’s probably a little soon to talk about going back to the drawing board.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 04/21/12 at 11:55 AM ET

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This team is past the stage where adding an old star to the lineup will be enough to win. They should go all out to try and sign Zach Parise and a couple other pieces to rejuvenate the offense and they likely need to upgrade in goal to compete with the oher strong goalies in the Western Conference. Getting by on the cheap in goal won’t work any longer. A 2.68 GAA and .888 save percentage isn’t good enough to win in the playoffs.

Posted by timbits on 04/21/12 at 12:17 PM ET

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Re-tool is the route needed. Make a run at Suter and Parise, I’d really love them to get Nash, but that maybe wishful thinking. I would like to see Filpula moved. I wouldn’t mind seeing Hudler re-signed. I know i’m in the minority on that, but I say that because one he scored 25 goals during the season. And what really makes me like him, is in the playoffs he did get into the dirty areas. Whereas Filpula was contained imo. They kept him on the outside and he really didn’t do a lot. I’m torn on Homer. I love the guy, and I love his net front presence, but at times he’s just taking up space. I wouldn’t minde saying goodbye to Cleary too. But to totally rebuild is nuts. 

Timbits- There is no chance they replace Howard. For one its insane. He had a hell of a season up until he was injured. And if you don’t think that had an effect in the playoffs, your nuts. Same goes for the rest of hte guys who were injured. The injuries came at a bad time this year. Howard is the goalie, and he’ll be the goalie.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I think this team used a ton of energy with the home win streak. They put a lot of effort in that, and I think it really did hurt, along with the untimely injuries, down the stretch. They went 7-10-2 after that loss. I’m pretty sure thats the worst 19 game stretch they had all season, and it carried over into the playoffs.

Posted by T on 04/21/12 at 12:36 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

I’d like to see a shake-up. I LIKE Hudler, Filppula and nearly all the other forwards. I’d still like to see them move some players and try something different. What the Wings have done for the last three years has not worked.

I’d trade Franzen, but would not try to pick up Nash. They’re essentially the same player, IMO. Nash loafs just like Franzen, unless he has a bur under his saddle. Nash has also built a reputation as a coach killer.

Pick up Parise for sure, and get Howard a competent backup!

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/21/12 at 01:25 PM ET

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Agree on the competent backup. I’m sure we all thought that Conklin was going to be that guy, but he wasnt for sure. I think that Nash just needs a change if scenery. He’s been on a terrible team since coming into the league. I like franzen, but he is inconsistent, do I could see him being shipped out. It’ll be real interesting to see how long this CBA takes, and how it’ll effect the offseason.  Im not sure how far apart the players and the league are, but it can’t be as bad as last time. The one thing I do hope the hash out is more consistent punishment. I see Torres got 25 games, which I’m ok with, I think they did something right this time. But they’ve dropped the ball so much it needs to be discussed. Get rid of “well he isn’t hurt so he gets a fine Or a one game ban.”  The players and the league should both want this, and the time to do it is now.

Posted by T on 04/21/12 at 01:56 PM ET

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Timbits- There is no chance they replace Howard. For one its insane. He had a hell of a season up until he was injured. And if you don’t think that had an effect in the playoffs, your nuts. Same goes for the rest of hte guys who were injured. The injuries came at a bad time this year. Howard is the goalie, and he’ll be the goalie.

Howard is a good goalie, but he is not great. I would rank him in the conference below, Rinne, Quick, Schneider/Luongo, Halak, Kiprusoff and Smith and on par with Hiller and Lehtonen. I don’t think that is good enough to win the cup!

Posted by timbits on 04/21/12 at 01:56 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

I see Howard and Schneider as being of the same class. That I saw them compete regularly in the AHL a few years ago probably doesn’t hurt that. Howard plays A LOT of games. If he could get adequate rest during the season, he could win the cup. The thing a team most needs from a goalie is to be able to steal a game when the team is playing like crap. Howard did that a few times this year. I’d clone him and use that tandem if it were possible.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/21/12 at 02:17 PM ET

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Ill give you quick, smith, and rinne.  Maybe kipper, but not halak or Schneider/ loungo. Loungo hasn’t been good plus they’ve played as a tandem all year long. Same with halak. Howard was the first to 30 wins and in the vezina conversation until he got injured.  You really think they can’t get there with Howard. We got there with Osgood and I love Osgood, but I think Howard is better then Ozzie. The biggest problem this post season was scoring and defensive breakdowns, along with terrible turnovers. In game 1 Nashville scored one legit goal. Game 2 n game 3 I can’t remember, but I’m pretty sure there was some terrible turnovers in high scoring areas. Game 4 turnover on the 3rd goal, three wings following 1 guy on the 2nd. Last night I don’t remember much cause I had my appendix out yesterday, but the second goal was a poke check that happened to go right nashville. Howard has what it takes. Nashvillles d played well in front of rinne. He let out some big rebounds and there d was there to knock it away or make the save for him.  Some of you guys are nuts and weren’t watching the same thing as I was.

Posted by T on 04/21/12 at 04:45 PM ET

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You really think they can’t get there with Howard. We got there with Osgood and I love Osgood, but I think Howard is better then Ozzie.

I think the team in front of Osgood was a lot better than it is now, especially the defense. I think you can win with a good goalie, but when you come head to head with a great goalie they beat you 2-1 or 3-2 most of the time. Just like Nashville, Phoenix and LA have been doing.

Posted by timbits on 04/21/12 at 07:22 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Howard was in the top 5 stat-wise and had the most wins until he got hurt this spring. Not worried at all. Sure he gave up 3 goals a game on average, but when Detroit scored 9 goals over 5 games how can you say he’s not a decent goalie?

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 04/21/12 at 08:44 PM ET

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but when Detroit scored 9 goals over 5 games how can you say he’s not a decent goalie?

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 04/21/12 at 07:44 PM ET

Fluf here is what I said eariler in the string, I didn’t say he wasn’t decent:

Howard is a good goalie, but he is not great.

Posted by timbits on 04/21/12 at 09:21 PM ET

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So you just kinda proved my point.  You say Ozzie had better teams. Well guess what rinne had a better team d in front of him who didnt turn over the puck point blank and made saves for him. Howard got the turnovers in front of him. No goalie is going to steal a game with those types of turnovers and defensive break downs every game. Cause that crap happened every game. If you swap goalies between the two teams the wings still lose with the point blank turnovers and defensive lapses. How many times did the late man score or have a glorious opportunity.  No goalie is gonna win with junk like that going on.

Posted by T on 04/21/12 at 10:30 PM ET

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If the Wings had Rinne they wouldn’t have gone down 4-1. It is arguable that Nashville is more talented than Detroit outside of goal. I will give you they are better on defense, but definitely worse on offense.

Posted by timbits on 04/22/12 at 03:04 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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