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Wings May Want To Look More Like Nashville

from John Manasso of FoxSports Tennessee,

These days, a somewhat typical Detroit player is speedy wing Valtteri Filppula. The Finn had 23 goals in the regular season and 66 points – more than any member of the Preds—but he did not score during the playoffs and had only two assists. That’s because during the playoffs, it gets harder to score and as Babcock emphasized during the series, goals were going to come from the inside, not the outside where Filppula mostly plays.

Another shortcoming showed itself at the end of regulation after Game 1, when the Preds’ Shea Weber shoved the head of the Red Wings Henrik Zetterberg into the glass, a move for which Weber was fined. As Babcock pointed out prior to Game 2, the Red Wings are not built in a way to respond to an incident like that and so it fell to 37-year-old Todd Bertuzzi – a player who might not be on the team next year—to fight Weber in Game 2, an act that was commended not only by Babcock but by Lidstrom, the captain, who has not received a fighting major in 20 years.

In essence, after losing to a Predators’ team that has grit up and down its lineup, the Red Wings might need a dose of the same.

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

Comments

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I’m curious as to why the author states that Bertuzzi “might not be on the team next year”? He’s signed until 2014 and I don’t see the Wings trading him before next season.

Posted by Seaner from San Jose on 04/24/12 at 08:09 PM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

No. We want to look more like the Red Wings.  We’re the best franchise in hockey, we don’t strive to be something else. Rather we want to be a better version of ourselves. 97/98/02/08 < Like that.

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 04/24/12 at 08:16 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I think the Wings will look to be more like the Preds by signing Suter.

Posted by MoreShoot on 04/24/12 at 08:27 PM ET

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Nashville beats an injury-riddled and complacent Wings’ team and now we need to be more like them, eh? Bollocks. Nashville is still the 4th best team in the Central division. Any team can go on a “magical” playoff run…and all Nashville has done is win one round. Yee-haw, dipshits. Advance anywhere near the Finals for 20 consecutive seasons and I’ll pretend to be the least bit impressed.

These days, a somewhat typical Detroit player is speedy wing Valtteri Filppula.

Really smart guy? I prefer to think that a “typical Detroit player” might be a guy like Pavel Datsyuk…arguably the best hockey player in the world, and easily the best two-way player in the NHL. If your case against the Red Wings is that Filppula scored some goals in the regular season but not in the playoffs, well you’ve got a case against every team and any number of players on their rosters. MOST guys don’t score a lot in playoffs, let alone a 3rd line guy who was promoted to 2nd line duty because of injuries and a lack of scoring threat from young, unproven players. At least call Franzen out. Then you’d retain some degree of credibility.

Posted by godblender on 04/24/12 at 08:53 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

I nearly choked on my drink when he criticized Filppula for playing wing on the wing rather than in the center. I couldn’t get past that point.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/24/12 at 09:33 PM ET

Flashtastick56's avatar

I prefer to think that a “typical Detroit player” might be a guy like Pavel Datsyuk…arguably the best hockey player in the world

So the “typical Detroit player” is the best player in the world?  So they’re made up of a whole slew of best players in the world?  That doesn’t even make sense.

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 04/24/12 at 09:34 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

MOST guys don’t score a lot in playoffs, let alone a 3rd line guy who was promoted to 2nd line duty because of injuries and a lack of scoring threat from young, unproven players.

To be fair to the author, Filpulla actually played on the second line (With Z and Hudler) the entire season.  Futhermore, he was the second line center in ‘08 when they won the cup (with Franzen and Samuelsson as his wingers for most of the playoffs) and only moved down to third in 08-09 when Babcock started playing Z (with Franzen and revolving door most frequently cleary) and Pav (between Homer, Hossa) seperately on what what would become a permanant basis.

... that said.  Terrible article.  Nashville won their second series in their entire history this year… and probably lose their two best players over the next two years.  They are not anything to pattern oneself after- even for a terrible franchise, and certainly not for the Detroit Red Wings.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 04/24/12 at 09:38 PM ET

bobinnocal's avatar

The author stated the Preds beat the Wings in 2006 in the first round in five games.  This kind of comment may happen to writers from cities with not much success in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  The Wings were ousted in 7 games that year to the Oilers.  The only thing he was correct on was the round.

Posted by bobinnocal on 04/24/12 at 09:44 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

Despite some of the errors in the article, the author is right.
Skill takes a back seat to grit, strength and health in the playoffs.

I’d love it if a skilled, smooth skating, puck moving team won the Cup every year.
I’m not just saying that because I’m a Wings fan, I’m saying that because I’m a hockey fan.
I’d much rather watch two highly skilled teams trade chances than two teams like Phoenix and Nashville who like to stare at the other team and hope they make a mistake and score on one of their 13 shots.

But the way the NHL is run today, puck-moving teams are at a disadvantage.
A player like Stoll is more valuable than a Filppula in Spring.
That’s where the NHL needs to make changes.
I like grit and determination, but when cups are won and lost with the likes of players such as Rupp and Talbot instead of Datsyuk’s, the entertainment value for fans with no vested interest in either team, goes right down the toilet.

Posted by Hank1974 on 04/24/12 at 09:50 PM ET

cainer4wingsglory's avatar

The Wings were ousted in 7 games that year to the Oilers.

You might wanna check your facts before you correct somebody else. The Wings lost in 6 that year to Edmonton. I wish that loss wasn’t still fresh in my mind, but unfortunately it is. A similar series against NSH this year doesn’t help matters. By the way, whatever happened to EDM after that 2006 cup run? Ya, that’s what I thought. Be more like the Preds? No thanks…

Posted by cainer4wingsglory on 04/24/12 at 10:05 PM ET

Avatar

Nashville is still the 4th best team in the Central division.

So where does that leave Detroit?

Posted by timbits on 04/24/12 at 10:34 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

The Preds are NOT going to be able keep all 15 rfa and ufa’s this summer. Nor their 8 free agents next summer. This team needs to win it all this year or C’est la vie

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/24/12 at 10:34 PM ET

Avatar

I prefer to think that a “typical Detroit player” might be a guy like Pavel Datsyuk…arguably the best hockey player in the world, and easily the best two-way player in the NHL.

Um, what?  Arguably the best hockey player in the world and easily the best two-way player in the NHL is a “typical Detroit player”?

Wow, with 18 Pavel Datsyuks how in the world did Detroit get beaten by Nashville?

Posted by Garth on 04/24/12 at 11:39 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

I read the title and stopped reading.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 04/25/12 at 01:39 AM ET

Avatar

The Preds are NOT going to be able keep all 15 rfa and ufa’s this summer. Nor their 8 free agents next summer. This team needs to win it all this year or C’est la vie

^^^^this^^^^   

Radulov is making, what, $900k this year?  Rinne goes from $3.4m to $7m next year.  Both Weber and Suter are going to want $$$. 

Listen, Nashville has a solid team and played well in the series…..no excuses, and no qualifiers. 

BTW:  Nashville has beaten Detroit *ONCE*  San Jose had won 2 straight against the Wings….how is that working out for them overall?......and the Wings should take cues from Nashville on how to build a winner?  Really?  Holy self-inflated images, Batman!  Worry about Phoenix and then St. Louis, then come and talk smack, Bubba.  Everyone will still be here!

Posted by webman from washington, dc on 04/25/12 at 01:46 AM ET

Nate A's avatar

Every year its the same refrain. Whichever team is winning, the rest of the league should emulate them cause that’s how its done.

Ducks win the cup? Get big mean guys to beat the piss out of other teams and win the war of attrition. Wings win the cup? High skill and veterans is the way to go. When Pittsburgh and Chicago win, you need to accumulate a couple years of top draft picks and win with youth. And on and on and on.

Each method has its merits. Sometimes ya win, more often ya lose. But every year switching tracks and chasing the latest success just leaves a team lost. Maybe one of these days the media will learn that….nah.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 04/25/12 at 02:14 AM ET

Primis's avatar

So…. Detroit needs to spend next season grabbing guys’ heads and slamming them into the glass?

BERT!  WE FINALLY HAVE YOUR DREAM JOB!

Posted by Primis on 04/25/12 at 08:13 AM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

Maybe they will put up a banner in Nashville for this series win, so THEY can be MORE like Detroit.

Posted by Rdwings28 on 04/25/12 at 08:37 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

People keep spreading this myth, but I look back and see 0 Cups and far fewer playoff game and series wins for Nashville, while I see 1 Cup and a boatload of game and series wins for the Wings, post-lockout.

Nashville was clearly the better team this year in every way—they played harder, they had better special teams, they were deeper so they were able to sustain injuries and streakiness… they deserve full credit. But one season/playoff series doesn’t equal a handful of seasons, playoff games, and playoff series. The Wings are best off focusing on what they do best.

Nashville has had a great model and it has been about as effective as it can be given their financial restraints. That being said, the bottom line is it still hasn’t gotten them anywhere near a championship yet. So let’s pull back on this stuff and at least see how the Preds play the next round, and if they keep marching toward the final.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 04/25/12 at 10:00 AM 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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