Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Trouble Brewing

More analysis to follow over the course of what should be just a fun-filled day.  In the short-term, though, I offer you this ditty from Uncle Mike.

Kulfan

Before the Wings practice Friday, coach Mike Babcock will meet with his team.

“Do we want to be a good team or not?” said Babcock, about what will be the subject matter. “Life doesn’t just go on good for you. You make a decision it’s going to go good for you. You decide for yourself you’re going to be successful. You decide for yourself that you’re going to make a difference and have a good career. No one just gives you stuff.

“The other teams are trying to.”

And then…

“We have to make some decisions.”

Oh yes.  Yes, you do. 

 

St. James

“We’ve just got to stay positive. We have to. There will be people that will be negative enough. Players in here, we have to stick together and be positive.”

That’s Hank Zetterberg, well rested and vibrant after registering zero shots last night.

Zero.

Uncle Mike?

At that point, Babcock started to walk away. Asked about the lack of production from Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, Babcock replied, “see you guys.”

Tied to the performance of his two stars, the two guys we used to claim made up the “best twosome in hockey”, that might be a disturbing bit of foreshadowing from the coach.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Comments

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Primis's avatar

Who wants to bet this will somehow involve blaming Hudler?

Posted by Primis on 11/18/11 at 11:41 AM ET

detroitredwings's avatar

For the past few days I can’t help but recall this ‘Dead Wings’ term. I wonder for how long?

They say that you have your team by Thanksgiving. Well, here we go. Three more games left to play before it. Sharing 10-11th with Canucks, two points out of playoffs. Probably will still make the playoffs and hope for a miracle?

Big team shake up is overdue.

Posted by detroitredwings on 11/18/11 at 11:56 AM ET

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Okay, look at Babs comments, and try to pretend they are not the comments of a coach trying desperately to get a team back that he has lost.

I’ll leave that to those with a unique knack to wear the rose-colored glasses 24/7

Posted by Red Winger from Work from Work on 11/18/11 at 11:57 AM ET

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Loving the fact that Detroit is not doing well. 

My Pens oh there doing just fine, even without the nuclear weapon close to coming back. 

Detroit is JUST TOO OLD BABY

Posted by tbassett on 11/18/11 at 12:41 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

My Pens oh there doing just fine, even without the nuclear weapon close to coming back.

Grammar. Love it. Embrace it. It’ll show you the light.

On the other hand, everyone will be looking to blast the daylights out of your nuclear weapon. I dig it.

On to more intriguing news…I love Hank more than anyone else on that team…but I can’t pull the wool over him anymore; he’s tuned Babcock out and it’s showing.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 11/18/11 at 12:50 PM ET

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I want to see 3 more games.  Then something will hit the fan.  The team has just become to comfortable for its own good,  You keep hearing how talented you are and you lose your mojo if you do not have a sense of urgency that comes from within.  Or you simply will just not accept losing like the greatest captain never would.
In no way are the Red Wings to old.  But maybe a trade is needed to shake them up.

Posted by Jeff from CO. on 11/18/11 at 12:57 PM ET

MarkK's avatar

Surely Tick Tock must be up to something, right guys? He can’t just be sitting there watching this and doing nothing about it like the rest of us… I hope.

Posted by MarkK from Maryland on 11/18/11 at 01:03 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Three games before American Thanksgiving. 

Last year at that marker the Sharks had 20 games played and 24 points.  The Wings will play their 20th the day before then.

They are 5 points shy of the 24 points that last year’s Sharks had earned with three games to earn them…  The Sharks team that earned it’s way back to a 2nd seed in the league’s toughest division.  The Sharks team that eked out a victory in the closest seven-game series the NHL has ever seen.  The Sharks team whose core forwards are just as old as ours.

If we get there and we’re behind that Sharks team of last season, then I’m pushing buttons.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/18/11 at 01:08 PM ET

Avatar

My Pens oh there doing just fine, even without the nuclear weapon close to coming back.

Detroit is JUST TOO OLD BABY

Posted by tbassett on 11/18/11 at 10:41 AM ET

Wonderful grammar aside, it’s good to see the Pens are doing well. Hopefully that means it will be another two or three years before the organization threatens to leave town…for the third time.

Posted by Red Winger from Work on 11/18/11 at 01:15 PM ET

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mrfluffy, I’m too young to follow your grammar rules.  Just like the Pens are too young to follow the Red Wings losing ways!!

Posted by tbassett on 11/18/11 at 01:23 PM ET

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Just like the Pens are too young to follow the Red Wings losing ways!!

By “losing ways” do you mean Detroit’s 20 straight playoff appearances and the 4 Stanley Cup wins in the last decade and a half?  And the fact that a deeply disappointing team is still above 500?

Or do you mean the four straight losing seasons resulting in two first overall picks and two second overall picks?

Which losing ways were you talking about?

Posted by Garth on 11/18/11 at 01:40 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

This quote from the Free Press says it all:

Zetterberg was one of 10 Wings who was minus-two; he found himself thinking he had a good shot on net in the second period after being fed by Cleary only to see Thornton swipe the puck away and end up scoring off a rush with Logan Couture.

“It was a good play, good back check,” Zetterberg said. “I didn’t see him.”

Really Zetterberg?  Thornton makes you look like an overpaid tool, and all you can do is compliment him?  How about letting us know that you’re as embarrassed with yourself as your fans are with you?  All this ambivalence is sickening.  Mr. Illitch should ask for his money back.

Its time to see how the “A’s” look on the #8 and #43 jerseys.  I don’t want to go all Don Cherry on you all, I’ve always loved Detroit’s knack for finding European talent, but, the Euro-contingent on this team just doesn’t seem to know how to respond or care.  I’m tired of it, if it isn’t within their character to lead, they need step out of the way and let someone else give it a try. 

These guys aren’t communicating on the ice or on the bench.  Evidently, they aren’t in the locker room either.  Someone needs to take control, and unfortunately, I think that begins with a trade and a new coach.  The whole thing has gotten stale in Hockeytown.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 11/18/11 at 01:41 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

“It was a good play, good back check,” Zetterberg said. “I didn’t see him.”

My response to that is “*#$%@& you, Zetterbeg. *#$%@& you with a shovel.”

I still think Hudler would be doing himself a favor by standing up in the locker room and telling everybody to *#$%@& themselves.  He has as many points as Z does and if he’s going to get branded as locker room trouble for caring too much in a shell-shocked room, then he’s only increasing his own trade/open-market value.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/18/11 at 01:45 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

My response to that is “*#$%@& you, Zetterbeg. *#$%@& you with a shovel.”

I’m finding it much more difficult with each passing day to avoid writing a post absolutely blasting Zetterberg.  I’m afraid I won’t be able to hold off much longer.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 11/18/11 at 01:51 PM ET

WestWing's avatar

Need I remind you that nuclear weapons are the ultimate one shot wonder?  The piss poor quality of the trolling around here is downright depressing.

As for the Wings, let’s all take a deep breath and think about things for a minute..  First of all, Hank was always the same way after a loss even back when we all thought he was a demi-god.  I’m less worried about his response to questions from the media than I am about the fact that he’s playing awful right now..

Secondly, while I’ve been one of the biggest critics of this current roster not being good enough to compete for the big silver trophy this spring, I’ve also consistently noted that I feel strongly that other than the one big impact player who could score goals and put their top six back on equal footing with the elite teams in the league, the Wings are right there.  They have a lot of pieces in place.  But last night, especially in a first period where they truly were the dominant team, we saw again how much their inability to finish the deal by putting the puck in the met comes back to haunt them.  They finish their chances and they probably get three early goals.  That happens, and it’s a different game.

Every time the Wings play san jose, it seems like the same damn game.  Long periods of dominant play in the shart zone, buzzing, circling, pucks to the net, some close calls where we all say “damn, how did they not score that time?” and soon enough they start to press, someone gets caught up ice, the sharts come down the ice and score a goal.  We get as many or more quality scoring chances as they do every single time the two teams play.  The difference?  san jose has finishers, the Wings do not.

And dont give me any shit about Niemi “standing on his head” either.  We saw that in last year’s playoffs.  LA and Vancouver owned his ass.  I mean just flat out curb stomped him.  Against Detroit?  He somehow posts a .930 save%.  Same thing this year.  Against everyone else in the league, the guy looks like absolute horse shit.  Against Detroit he stops chance after chance.  Hell, we’ve all noticed how this team, even when they dominate play and generate chances, still somehow make goaltenders look better than they really are.

So let’s not freak out and blow up the whole thing.  There are some good things to build on.  I still like that they’re allowing far fewer shots on goal than last year’s team and I think if they ever found a way to bring in one or maybe two really solid forwards complement the skills of the guys they have, this team could do some big time damage. 

But for now, we see the same movie we’ve seen before very time they play the sharts.  One team converts their chances, the other doesn’t.  I’ll say it again, not a huge gap between these two team, but a significant one. 

Kenny, find us a goal scorer.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 11/18/11 at 01:55 PM ET

Andy from FightNight's avatar

I’m finding it much more difficult with each passing day to avoid writing a post absolutely blasting Zetterberg.  I’m afraid I won’t be able to hold off much longer.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 11/18/11 at 11:51 AM ET

Don’t hold off. He hasn’t been himself since he got the new deal. And the injury he had in late 09 made it worse. He lost some strength during that one and I haven’t seen him be as strong on the puck as he used to be, since that injury. He seems lazy, entitled and he just isn’t himself anymore. Remember when calling Z a top 5 player in the world was a legit statement?

Posted by Andy from FightNight on 11/18/11 at 02:00 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I will say this about the Sharks.  They are a team designed and built specifically to beat the Red Wings and they do that well.

If the Sharks capitalized on opponents’ mistakes with the same frequency as they capitalize on Detroit’s mistakes… hell at anywhere NEAR the same frequency, they’d never lose a damn game.

While I’m frustrated as shit by this, I’m also a little bit honored that there’s a team out there whose GM put together a team with “I want them to beat THOSE GUYS” as the main point.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/18/11 at 02:02 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

mrfluffy, I’m too young to follow your grammar rules.  Just like the Pens are too young to follow the Red Wings losing ways!!

Posted by tbassett on 11/18/11 at 11:23 AM ET

I didn’t know they had the internet in trailer parks. 

You guys really have to forgive Pittsburgh fans for their short sightedness.  After all, you have to remember that your average Pittsburgh fan is just a whiskey tango who never got to watch hockey until it started appearing on redneck cable (i.e Channels 4, 6, and 10).  Before the “Nothing But Crosby” network, they had no idea that there was a hockey team in Pittsburgh, as evidenced by the several times the team almost moved.  You see, the advent of color television in western Pennsylvania only happened in the past ten years. 

Just like their Steeler’s fan counterparts, they have no sense of history.  They have no clue that even though they’ve had success for brief periods of time, they’ve also sucked for long periods of time.  Hopefully someday, with the advance of technology and a few google searches, they’ll gain a sense of history.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 11/18/11 at 02:02 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Okay, look at Babs comments, and try to pretend they are not the comments of a coach trying desperately to get a team back that he has lost.

I have to agree. Babcock seems clueless right now…both in how to motivate the team and in how to manage it. Last night, his solution to their poor play against St. Lose was to move Abi to the top line while sitting Eaves and putting Brunnstrom on the fourth line? Seriously?

These guys aren’t communicating on the ice or on the bench.

This has been true from the first second of the first preseason game. They look like a bunch of freelance operators out there. No one seems to have a clue what his line mates are going to do, so they all stand around playing “catch” when they get in the offensive zone. It’s maddening to watch.

I’m too young to follow your grammar rules.

And that attitude will serve you really well in the workplace, little man.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 11/18/11 at 02:18 PM ET

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Pens fans andthe Preds fans all share a few common traits…

1. They love to troll the Wings blogs and fan sites

2. Most of their insults they throw , they have no idea what they speak of

3. They all have selective memories about their lack of history, or having to be supported by the NHL, by either revenue that the teams have hidden, or given franchise players in a “lottery” ... 

4. Most are new fans who don’t know much about the sport ... see # 2 above

Posted by Jim P from Nashville on 11/18/11 at 02:21 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

@Westwing.  I know Zetterberg has always been Zetterberg, but things have changed.  It was okay for him to be ambivalent about losing when we still had Draper and Maltby around to find the team’s manhood whenever they were having an identity crisis.  He is a leader now, ambivalence isn’t acceptable.

@Chief.  Fire away at Zetterberg.  I know what we say here is probably a tempest in a tea cup, but it would be nice if a groundswell from the interwebs could rattle him off his pedestal.  Please.  Don’t hold back.  Go crazy.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 11/18/11 at 02:22 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

Just wanted to clear something up regarding the Live Blog last night:  I got a little shit-faced and decided it would be a good (and funny) idea to “reverse troll” the bob troll.  I was the one “apologizing” for him being as assclown, and I apologize to you guys if I caused any confusion or… whatever.

Now that’s out of the way—

Who wants to bet this will somehow involve blaming Hudler?

Posted by Primis on 11/18/11 at 09:41 AM ET

Considering his line has been one of the best lately, and he’s played rather well, chances are good he’ll be the scapegoat.

My response to that is “*#$%@& you, Zetterbeg. *#$%@& you with a shovel.”

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/18/11 at 11:45 AM ET

Couldn’t agree more.  The guy (along with a couple of others) gets a free pass for incredibly lackluster play, and he’s okay with it all?  No thanks.

Like I said last night, Babcock has lost this team, and I don’t think shaking up the roster is what’s going to de-slump these guys.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 11/18/11 at 03:27 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Kenny, find us a goal scorer.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 11/18/11 at 11:55 AM ET

In the same mold of power forward Shanny.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 11/18/11 at 03:36 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Like I said last night, Babcock has lost this team, and I don’t think shaking up the roster is what’s going to de-slump these guys.

Posted by Mannschaft from the darkest recesses on 11/18/11 at 01:27 PM ET

I still maintain Babcock never HAD the team in the first place.

Going back to a year and a half ago, I was saying that it appeared to me more and more that the players were the ones making things work, and working things out on their own.  The veteran leadership stepping up.  Coaching seemed to have very little impact.

Now, with some of those key vets gone… suddenly they can’t make things work.  If you’re one of those thinking that, then you also will need to embrace the idea that Babcock has had very little responsibility for the success as well.  Because you can’t have it both ways.

I have to say, I’m also a bit disappointed in Lidstrom.  If he hasn’t spoken up by now, he’s never going to.

As time goes one I’m also not willing to blame the assistant coaches here, because these exact same problems were happening under MacLean and McCrimmon, so clearly it’s not unique to them and their coaching,

Posted by Primis on 11/18/11 at 03:41 PM ET

wingsfanindenver's avatar

Someone high profile needs to ride some pine. Cover him and say he’s sick, or whatever, but a Babcock needs to put a shot across the bow and he needs to do it now before it’s too late.

Posted by wingsfanindenver on 11/18/11 at 03:43 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Completely unrelated to griping about our pathetic excuse for a team:

Posted by Primis on 11/18/11 at 03:43 PM ET

WestWing's avatar

Posted by bezukov from Celebrating 20 yrs of Hockeytown being > St Louis on 11/18/11 at 12:22 PM ET

I get what you’re saying and maybe you’re right.  But from where I sit I can’t really evaluate what’s going on when the doors are closed to the media.  We’re really doing little more than trying to read the tea leaves based on comments to the media which, from day one, coming from Hank at least, have been as bland, stoic, tight-lipped, uninteresting, and, quite honestly, at the risk of stereotyping, very Swedish.  Ditto Lidstrom and Kronwall.  Granted, Homer’s more colorful, but rarely comes across as the kind of guy who rains down fire and brimstone either.

What I actually can see is how this team plays on the ice, and in that regard at least, I think there probably are some chemistry issues that need to be addressed.  Beyond the need for an infusion of talent at the top of the roster (which I’ve pretty much beaten to death by now), I think there’s a lot of legitimacy to the idea that things have been allowed to grow stale.  Sometimes, and not just in hockey, but in every walk of life, things need to change and evolve in order to stay healthy.  The big concern I’ve had all along about Ken Holland’s approach over the past few years is wondering how long we can “stand pat” relying on the same core group of players who won in 2008.  I’m not opposed to the idea of maintaining a solid nucleus.  I also think the Wings have done an exceptional job of finding talent to build roster depth.  I think one of the reasons we all point out on many nights that the Wings’ third or fourth line were their best lines is a direct result of the fact that they do have better depth players than most teams.  But I think it’s valid to point out that, the aside from Marian Hossa more or less falling into their laps for one season, the Wings’ brain trust has made no moves to upgrade their top six forwards while just about all of their competition have.

So maybe things have grown stale.  Maybe Babcock has lost the team.  Zetterberg and Datsyuk are clearly slumping at this point and that could be part of it.  But again we don’t know what goes on with the team when the doors are closed.  It’s all speculation.  When I see Hank as stoic and tight-lipped as he ever was, I have a hard time reading much into it.  People are who they are.  Some people are outwardly fiery and intense, and some hold it all inside and one thing I’ve learned over the years is that you can’t necessarily read much into it.  Sometimes the quiet types who are grinding away on the inside are actually a lot more mentally tough, and in the end turn out to be better leaders than the ones who are more vocal.  Ideally I think you probably need a mixture of both types, but I’ve also found that asking people to change their basic nature and be someone they’re not is usually counterproductive.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 11/18/11 at 03:45 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

I will say this about the Sharks.  They are a team designed and built specifically to beat the Red Wings and they do that well.

Ever since Todd McLellan left, this team has been rolling downhill and the Sharts have gotten better.  It makes me wonder which coach’s work behind the bench in ‘08 was actually effective.  Never mind the fact that I’ve always hated that our rival’s head coach clearly knows every page in our playbook. 

I like Mike Babcock a lot, and he has been a good coach.  There is just one problem, everybody knows how to solve this manifestation of the Red Wings.  Its for new spark plugs, because the engine has stopped firing.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 11/18/11 at 03:48 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

“The other teams are trying to”. (above, sic., should be too.)

This was my exact quote at least twice lately as to why we shouldn’t just assume we’re going to win .750 points every year. I don’t know if being quoted by Babcock is a good thing or after 6 years I just anticipate what he’s going to say.  It’s not as if there isn’t physical effort out there by the Wings, but the type of heads up, opportunistic goals scored by San Jose show that their heads were in the game. Why aren’t the Wings?

We’re struggling to score, again and again Abdelkader’s line comes the closest because they just exert the most effort and go to the net trying to capitalize.  Note:  the last two Wings’ goals have been scored on bounces off a defensive player.  You probably won’t score enough like that to win many games.

Hell, Abdelkader was double shifted early in the game last night, not Datsyuk or Zetterberg.

Posted by RWBill from Brush Street cruising with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 11/18/11 at 03:54 PM ET

WestWing's avatar

In the same mold of power forward Shanny.

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 11/18/11 at 01:36 PM ET

Right on Kate.  As i said last night, I don’t want some one-dimensional diva who doesn’t play a hard ass game.  Net presence and a good shot.  And don’t tell me deals like this are impossible.  James Neal for Alex Gologoski anyone?  Are you fuchin’ kidding me?  James Neal.  Exactly the kind of guy Detroit needs.  Granted, Gologoski is a pretty good young defenseman, but you don’t trade ashes for coal.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 11/18/11 at 03:54 PM ET

Joe Z.'s avatar

Z is a fuching competitor who is pissed.  believe it or not, but Z is probably way more angry about his play than we all . but it’s not ok to express it on tv or radio. So what do you expect from him? to ignore PR policies of Red Wings tm and have a rant-about? well maybe it would be ok if he did it in swedish… You guys from Detroit should know it better, when the fish starts to stink, it’s beginning with its head (cheap translation from german) . so don’t blame the working class for fuchs sake, blame the management. Yeah Babcock, you are ment you freaking !?!#1!, let Pavel die out there with two third line players all the time. You saw Pavel yesterday? his best game all season in my eyes.
Why? because his linemates weren’t falling to the ground (or running like headless chickens against the boards or 6’3”, 240lbs guys) all the time the touch the puck. you think playing alone against other teams top line is fun. The game was great, and I take it, because there was a spark in puck possesion, the pp, still 2 goals won’t cut it. but atleast is was > 1. so who cares you wan’t detroit to be a minnesota-like team and win stanley cups? that’s the day I’ll vomit in my own mouth. What Babcock is doing right now is like uzing a .63 wrench for a cross-head screw. It doesn’t work, and you don’t have to trie it fuching 11 times untill you see it doesn’t work!!!!

Posted by Joe Z. from Austria on 11/18/11 at 04:03 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

“1. They love to troll the Wings blogs and fan sites

2. Most of their insults they throw , they have no idea what they speak of

3. They all have selective memories about their lack of history, or having to be supported by the NHL, by either revenue that the teams have hidden, or given franchise players in a “lottery” ... 

4. Most are new fans who don’t know much about the sport ... see # 2 above”

This is precisely why I stopped going to games at the SoGay. I can’t take it anymore, and it pisses me off because I love watching hockey live. But the atmosphere there makes me hate watching a game there.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 11/18/11 at 04:10 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

James Neal (and Matt Niskanen) for Alex Goligoski happened near the trade deadline.

I desperately want a move too, but there aren’t any sellers that have good prices at this time of year. 

Even if Columbus decides they are going to sell, they’re not going to sell to us.  Scott Howson has to worry about getting people into his barn for the rest of his Jackets career (both weeks of it) and it’s not going to help trading assets to the Red Wings.

The Hurricanes are the only other possible seller right now and they need a scoring forward even worse than we do.  They’d be willing to part with a defenseman (as speculated by Joe Yerdon last night), but that’s not going to help us.

Is New Jersey selling on Parise?  They have exactly as many points in exactly as many games as they do, why would they sell for a good price?

Find me a trade that makes sense that you think both clubs will realistically go for right now and I’ll fly directly to Los Angeles, get it tattooed on my chest, and flash Kenny Holland himself while he enters the Staples Center to make it happen.

I have to believe Holland is kicking tires on trade talks right now.  He’s at least getting feelers out there.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/18/11 at 04:11 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

James Neal for Alex Gologoski anyone?  Are you fuchin’ kidding me?  James Neal.  Exactly the kind of guy Detroit needs.  Granted, Gologoski is a pretty good young defenseman, but you don’t trade ashes for coal.

Exactly.  All Kenny ever says anymore is you can’t make trades anymore, yet Neal, Chris Stewart, and even David Booth this year are all the kind of young power forwards with 30+ goal backgrounds that the Wings could have easily gotten based on the fact that it didn’t cost the teams that got them all that much.  Booth isn’t as established as the other 2 (although he did score 30 a few years back), but you can’t tell me we couldn’t have matched what Vancouver gave up for him (an injured Sammy and a useless oft-injured Marco Sturm.)  Let Booth play with Datsyuk and see how long Pav’s slump lasts when he has someone capable of scoring a goal instead of 2 grinders.

While we’re at it, what exactly is the point of having Brunnstrom on this team if all he’s ever going to do is play on the 4th line for 8 minutes a night?  He’s not a grinder, he’s an offensively talented winger, and correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t we have a great playmaking center that could use someone with talent to play with?  Why not let Brunnstrom play a few games (games, not 1 shift Babs) with Datsyuk and see what happens.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 11/18/11 at 04:13 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

so don’t blame the working class for fuchs sake, blame the management.

Nobody here is blaming Helm, Abdelkader, Miller, or Howard.  Hell, we’d love if we could all just say this is the fault of Jonathan “whipping boy” Ericsson or his sidekick Jiri “Benedict” Hudler.

Zetterberg has an A on his chest.  He IS the management.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/18/11 at 04:14 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

I have to say, I’m also a bit disappointed in Lidstrom.  If he hasn’t spoken up by now, he’s never going to.

As time goes one I’m also not willing to blame the assistant coaches here, because these exact same problems were happening under MacLean and McCrimmon, so clearly it’s not unique to them and their coaching,

Posted by Primis on 11/18/11 at 01:41 PM ET

The problem with speculation like that is we don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors besides “meetings,” or “naked Crisco Twister,” or whatever.  Lidstrom very well may have lit into the guys, but for whatever reason it’s just not sinking in… and we may never know.

As far as the coaches being there, you’re right—however, they also still had Draper, Rafalski, Osgood, Maltby, and the other vets people are lamenting the loss of presently.  Babcock has the final say in what happens on the ice with systems and personnel, and I maintain the buck stops there.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 11/18/11 at 04:14 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Babcock appears to be reading up on the immortal Vince Lombardi:

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.

That is on par with what I was trying to say the other day in the GDT. 

“It was a good play, good back check,” Zetterberg said. “I didn’t see him.”

My response to that is “*#$%@& you, Zetterbeg. *#$%@& you with a shovel.”

Zetterberg’s apparent attitude may be precisely what is wrong with the team.

Kenny needs to find a talented player that absolutely despises losing at tiddlywinks, let alone a hockey game.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 11/18/11 at 04:33 PM ET

Primis's avatar

The problem with speculation like that is we don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors besides “meetings,” or “naked Crisco Twister,” or whatever.  Lidstrom very well may have lit into the guys, but for whatever reason it’s just not sinking in… and we may never know.

Posted by Mannschaft from the darkest recesses on 11/18/11 at 02:14 PM ET

The problem is, that means either Lids is speaking up and is ineffective, or he hasn’t spoken up yet and is ineffective.

The results are all that matter.

No free passes.  He’s wearing the “C” while this is going on.

Posted by Primis on 11/18/11 at 04:44 PM ET

42jeff's avatar

So the big question here…I picked Pav and Hank 1/2 in my fantasy league.  I think I jinxed them as much as they’re absolutely killing.

I really want to keep the faith.

But it’s getting soooo hard to not offer one or the other up for a trade just to stir up the mojo.

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 11/18/11 at 04:49 PM ET

Avatar

“The other teams are trying to”. (above, sic., should be too.)

I think he’s asking if the Wings are going to make decisions (about being good or not) because other teams ARE trying to make those decisions.  I think the emphasis is on “are”.

I personally think that at least some of this has to fall on management.  Instead of actively trying to make the team better -deciding to, in Babcock’s words- they’re hoping that the team will just be better on their own.

Lose Hossa and Samuelsson?  Hopefully Franzen will score twice as many goals.  Or hopefully Hudler or Filppula or Cleary will take the next step.  Or hopefully ONE of the depth forwards will transform into a top-six forward.
Lose Rafalski?  Hopefully White will just automatically double his output by putting on a new jersey (and I like White).
Don’t re-sign Downey or May?  Hopefully Abdelkader or Ericsson will scare people.
Don’t re-sign Osgood?  Hopefully Conklin will play as well behind a team that isn’t as good as it was when he was here before.
Lost Draper and Maltby?  Hopefully someone like Zetterberg or Lidstrom, who have never been vocal in-dressing-room leaders and prefer to quietly lead by example, will magically take on new and different personalities.  Lidstrom and Zetterberg are NOT those guys and we’ve known that forever, so I don’t think it’s fair to be take them to it.

What happens this year if Lidstrom retires?  Do they just hope that Smith steps in and fills the spot?  Or maybe they just hope that Doug Janik finally reveals himself to be the best defenseman of the next generation?

When is the last time an actual trade was made?  And I don’t mean a 13th forward being traded for a 5th rounder and Ole Whateverhisnamewas or an 8th defenseman being traded.  When was the last time a roster move was made that didn’t involve picking up a journeyman reclamation project or losing someone to free agency?

Tick tock.

Time is running out.  How about some *#$%@& action instead of just more hope?

Posted by Garth on 11/18/11 at 04:50 PM 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