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97.1 the Ticket’s Jeff Riger speaks with Red Wings GM Ken Holland

97.1 the Ticket's Jeff Riger spoke with Red Wings GM Ken Holland recently (I believe this interview aired during Saturday's game against the Islanders), and Riger addressed some hot-button issues in asking Holland about the team's middling record...

As to how Holland feels about his team at the quarter mark…

“We haven’t been consistent enough” Holland said. We’re still talking about the same things that we did last year, secondary scoring.”

Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk have a combined 21 goals this season, the rest of the team have 33. That pretty much says it all.

As well as the team's inability to recall a certain Gustav Nyquist, who's registered 7 goals, 14 assists and 21 points over the course of 15 games played for the Grand Rapids Griffins:

“I’m talking to teams, trying to get creative, trying to figure out ways to make a move or two. Certainly we would love to have Gustav here, but when we made the decisions in the summer-it obviously affected Gustav Nyquist.”

One of those decisions was bringing back Dan Cleary who has just 1 goal and 2 assists in 20 games and has a cap hit of almost 2 million dollars.

Holland also has thoughts about if Steve Yzerman should come back to Detroit for the Winter Classic Alumni Game on December 31st?

“Obviously we would love to have him, I don’t know if it’s once in a lifetime, but it’s probably a once in a decade thing. It will probably be another decade before we host another Winter Classic” Holland said.

I can't embed Riger's full interview with Holland via CBS Detroit's player, so I uploaded it to my Soundcloud account:

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Comments

von Awesome's avatar

I seriously hope Ken Holland isn’t going into lame-duck mode.

Posted by von Awesome on 11/19/13 at 12:25 PM ET

Primis's avatar

“We haven’t been consistent enough” Holland said. We’re still talking about the same things that we did last year, secondary scoring.”

I’m so f***ing sick of hearing about this.

One of your regular d-men is like 4th-from-last in the league in +/- at something like -12 (Quincey of course).  Even when you ARE scoring goals, you’re still losing.

GET OFF THE SECONDARY SCORING THING.  The problem is what it was last year: the defense.  The defense remains wretched and has not improved from last year.  In fact, they’re arguably worse than last season.

The reason they’re a - in Goal Differential isn’t because they’re not scoring enough, it’s that they’re giving up too many.  DET is now -6 in Goal Differential and has 60 GA, which puts them amongst the worst teams in the Eastern Conference for that column.  BUF (with 1 more GP) has only given up 8 more goals than DET.  They’re simply giving up too many goals, period.

Give up a few less goals and 3 goals a game is plenty to get a “W”.  I’m so sick of this misdirection on secondary scoring and the forwards.  If you’re needing to score 5 goals/game to win you’re doing it wrong and that is basically what is now being asked.

Posted by Primis on 11/19/13 at 02:27 PM ET

von Awesome's avatar

Honestly, our defense has no where to go but up. I feel with certain tinkerings, that defense corps can be very very effective. It will never be the same as it was with Lidstrom here. The only highlights I feel will come from a Kronwall hit or a crisp Danny Dekeyser feed up the ice, or an Ericsson putting the entire team on his back in a 5-on-3 situation.

The biggest worry we have is that offense. There are so many question marks, and we only have around 5 years left of the Euro Twins. It is quite obvious we need to be using our young forwards in secondary scoring roles instead of grinders like Cleary or forwards like Samuelsson. I would say give it some time, and don’t expect the Wings to be a top four team this year. I firmly believe Ken Holland hasn’t outlived his usefulness as a GM yet, and has some tricks up his sleeves. We will see Nyquist by January.

Posted by von Awesome on 11/19/13 at 02:35 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Certainly we would love to have Gustav here


One of the arguably best GMs in Hockey can’t find $500, 000 +/-.  Don’t buy it, try harder!

Cleary, Quincey, Samuelsson..all mistakes. 

The Wings are mid pack team which I can live with but Holland, stop pretending they are something else.

 

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 11/19/13 at 02:37 PM ET

von Awesome's avatar

they are mistakes, but only temporary ones. this is an awkward period for the wings, but wait until this middle of the pack team grows a bit together. that’s how teams like the los angeles kings go from being eighth seed teams to perennial contenders.

Posted by von Awesome on 11/19/13 at 02:47 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Honestly, our defense has no where to go but up. I feel with certain tinkerings, that defense corps can be very very effective.

Posted by von Awesome on 11/19/13 at 01:35 PM ET

Based on what evidence?  At the end of the day Ericsson is still on the first pairing, and he doesn’t belong there.  And I don’t imagine him “growing” much more to be a legit first-pairing guy beyond a “he’s there by default”.

Kindl’s improved but not nearly as much a he should have by now if we’re being honest.  Quincey and Smith are trainwrecks, and Quincey has basically no upside left at all.

DeKeyser will improve, but beyond him and maybe a teeny bit from Kindl and Smith… I don’t know where any upside is left defensively.  Just because people WANT there to be an upside left doesn’t mean there is one.

And I think that’s where this thinking goes off the rails.

Alfredsson, Franzen, Weiss… all those guys will get healthy and score yet.  I don’t know that it’ll matter though giving up 4 or 5 goals/game.

The biggest worry we have is that offense. There are so many question marks, and we only have around 5 years left of the Euro Twins. It is quite obvious we need to be using our young forwards in secondary scoring roles instead of grinders like Cleary or forwards like Samuelsson.

Posted by von Awesome on 11/19/13 at 01:35 PM ET

I don’t think future scoring is a concern with Jarnkrok, Pulkkinen, Jurco, Sheahan, Ferraro, Tatar, Nyquist, Frk, Tvrdon, maybe even Mantha by then… all in the pipeline.  1 or two of those guys will become 1st liners most likely.  A few of those will bust completely probably, and they’ll still be okay if that happens IMO.  There’s just too much talent there, someone’s coming out of it.

The defensive pipeline is problematic though.  Smith, Kindl, Lashoff, etc ARE supposed to be the future now, and both Smith and Kindl look to kinda’ be busts in that neither will ever be a good top pairing guy.  That means Almqvist, Marchenko, Sproul, Oullett, Nedomlel… those guys have to HAVE someone step up QUICKLY, and I don’t know if they can.  The Wings look to have a plethora of potential future 2nd and 3rd pairing guys in the pipeline, and no 1st pairing guys to be blunt.  The blueline doesn’t look like it can be rebuilt-retooled from within.

that’s how teams like the los angeles kings go from being eighth seed teams to perennial contenders.

Posted by von Awesome on 11/19/13 at 01:47 PM ET

The Wings don’t have a Drew Doughty anywhere.  That alone kinda’ destroys any comparison.  Shoot, they don’t have a Willie Mitchell either.  Ericsson might qualify as a Scuderi I guess, or a Matt Greene.  If you really wanna’ get technical, that team also had Jack Johnson for 60 - 70 games IIRC, and that’s kinda’ what Kronwall compares to.

Posted by Primis on 11/19/13 at 04:17 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.