Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Play Well And Lose

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The best scenario for the Detroit Red Wings the rest of the season will be to lose gracefully.

As teams break for the weekend NHL All-Star event, the Wings sit at 19-21-8, with 46 points. They are 10 points back of the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race and 15 points back of third place in the Atlantic Division.

Wings players and coach Jeff Blashill keep talking about going on a run — as they should — but it's unlikely to occur. Other than one four-game winning streak, the Wings have not won more than two in a row through 48 games.

It would take a marathon of victories to make the playoffs. Three Metropolitan Division teams are within four points of a wild card spot. Tampa Bay, Boston and Toronto essentially have strangleholds on the top three spots in the Atlantic.

The fact is, the Wings don’t have the talent this season to be contenders.

continued

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

Avatar

——The fact is, the Wings don’t have the talent this season to be contenders.
——And last year it was the fact too, but is KH aware of it?

Posted by VPalmer on 01/27/18 at 05:58 PM ET

bigdee89's avatar

I can’t believe Helene finally admits the Wings can’t compete

Posted by bigdee89 from The Great White North Eh? on 01/27/18 at 06:43 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

——And last year it was the fact too, but is KH aware of it?

Posted by VPalmer on 01/27/18 at 05:58 PM ET

If KH is not aware of that, the Wings franchise will continue to degrade.  A tougher and longer rebuild would be more frustrating than it has to be.  I certainly don’t need that. Part of not being aware of reality might include keeping Blashill, ugh!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 01/27/18 at 06:46 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

I can’t believe Helene finally admits the Wings can’t compete

Posted by bigdee89 from The Great White North Eh? on 01/27/18 at 06:43 PM ET

Menopause

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 01/27/18 at 06:48 PM ET

Avatar

Play well and lose????

What happened to getting 2% better…go on a run…fine-line league…once you are in anything can happen, like how LA won a Cup that one time?

Poor Kenny. Being exposed as a fool.

Posted by fatsavage on 01/27/18 at 08:03 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

KH being honest about this team will probably never match what he says in public.

Not sure what Kenny would gain by criticizing the team like we do. Lol.

I’ll be interested in what he says about the team next time we hear from him.

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/27/18 at 08:43 PM ET

Avatar

——-Not sure what Kenny would gain by criticizing the team like we do. Lol.
——-that’s not the point imo. KH actions in the last 2 years (Abby, Helm, Nielsen, Daley, Tatar) suggest that he thinks we are close.

Posted by VPalmer on 01/27/18 at 08:48 PM ET

Avatar

——/There was a general conclusion that there isn’t going to be a free agent available this summer who would significantly upgrade the team’s defense.
——-John Carlson?

Posted by VPalmer on 01/27/18 at 08:53 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

I think this team could really compete for a playoff spot…if we had the right coach and with more players playing at a better level than they are (Nielsen & Tatar for example).

But that’s a big IF, of course

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/27/18 at 08:56 PM ET

Avatar

——I think this team could really compete for a playoff spot
——and then we are going into philosophical discussion if that’s what is really needed (just making the playoffs)

Posted by VPalmer on 01/27/18 at 09:04 PM ET

Avatar

Kenny’s actions and words indicate that he thought this roster was close. He thought adding Daley and having some guys bounce back would get us back in the mix, or at least have meaningful games in March. He’s totally delusional. This rebuild could have started much sooner with a competent GM.

Posted by fatsavage on 01/27/18 at 09:10 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

and then we are going into philosophical discussion if that’s what is really needed (just making the playoffs)

Long term, a tank is better for the team. See more kids.

But that’s not the scale Kenny is being graded on, whether by ownership or his own standard.

This season, which of our prospects would have better helped this team win more games?

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/27/18 at 09:11 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Of course, Kenny gets an F if the standard is the playoffs. smile

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/27/18 at 09:13 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

And yeah, that totally ignores the bad contracts.

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/27/18 at 09:22 PM ET

Avatar

If we can play a meaningful game in March…then I think Kenny deserves a big Bonus. Maybe a 2% bonus…

Posted by fatsavage on 01/27/18 at 09:25 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

I was hoping for progress this season but the Red Wings are playing worse, if that’s possible. I knew they were out of the playoff picture when they started blowing home games last November. Just horrible play at home this season. sick

Posted by bigfrog on 01/27/18 at 09:35 PM ET

Avatar

——the Red Wings are playing worse,
—-I think they are playing much better this season than last. And Blashill is coaching better this season than last.

Posted by VPalmer on 01/27/18 at 09:39 PM ET

Avatar

I think 2% of KK hasn’t blocked FS

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 01/27/18 at 10:19 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

January 28th, 2014. Mike Babcock had to ice this lineup.
He still got this team to the playoffs.
To this day, he still has not won a Jack Adams.

Nyquist-Andersson-Abdelkader
Tatar-Sheahan-Jurco
Cleary-Helm-Alfredsson
Miller-Glendening-Eaves

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/28/18 at 12:04 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

C’mon, Helen!  This team is one good run…say, winning 17 of the next 18 with the one loss still in OT so we get a point, away from getting into that last play-off spot. And as we all know (say it with me now!), once you’re in, who knows what will happen!  I can’t believe she’s given up so easily.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 01/28/18 at 11:13 AM ET

Avatar

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/28/18 at 12:04 AM ET

Homers, I had forgotten what a bad lineup they iced in 2014. For Babcock to get that team into the first round was an achievement.

Posted by Mackster from Eastern Canada on 01/28/18 at 02:06 PM ET

Colin's avatar

The mess this team is in is ALL on Holland. He signed these albatross contracts, he continually beats against the salary cap by signing veteran journeymen, he refuses to accept that he has built and old, expensive, and bad team.

Blash can only play the hand that he’s dealt, and make the most of it. In this case, it’s getting some real development and improvement from the 3 young marquis players we have. Sure, Blash may not be as adept at obfuscating the flaws of a bad team, but you cannot deny the response he has gotten from the young players. Frankly, I’m glad he isn’t Mike Babcock, because instead of continuing to skid backwards and on fire into the playoffs to preserve the FO’s delusions on this team, we are being FORCED to make the tough decisions that will make us champions in the future, not just playoff also-rans.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 01/29/18 at 09:17 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

The mess this team is in is ALL on Holland.
Posted by Colin from Ken Holland’s new yacht, “Incompetence” on 01/29/18 at 09:17 AM ET

Don’t you think ownership, the NHL Salary Cap, and father time might share a bit in the blame if we’re being 100% honest?

I mean ask Chicago, who has Stan Bowman running their ship, the apple of HHHT eye circa a few years ago, the guy who had the Midas touch, the guy who makes the right moves that Holland can’t, who even after lucking out with the Hossa skin condition, sits out of the playoffs right now? Winning and the hour glass, their a two big beyatches!

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 01/29/18 at 10:40 AM ET

Colin's avatar

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 01/29/18 at 10:40 AM ET

Ownership has a role, but if Ken Holland is so trusted, then they would have trusted him when he said they need to build draft assets instead of wasting them on embarrassing first round ousters.

The success of other franchises in the cap era completely refutes any blame for the cap. The one thing I will say is that the salary escrow and profit sharing with garbage franchises like Phoenix and Carolina has definitely slowed cap growth, but it’s not like these are some unknown or surprise rules, and Kenny has now been aware of them for over a decade.

When I say things are a mess, it isn’t an indictment of how bad the team is. As you say with the father time comment, this is bound to happen. The problem is that we not nearly as far along as we should be in this rebuild, and it’s because of Kenny. We had to send a player in Hicketts who showed all signs of being ready in the preseason to Grand Rapids because of Kenny, and he has now seemingly regressed. Kenny has given us albatross contracts that will make no legit free agent want to come here for at least the next few years.

Blashill has only played the hand he’s dealt. On his third year, I can say I am actually quite happy with him as coach despite my previous furors over his actions. He has gotten monumental improvement out of our 3 core players (Larkin, Mantha, Athanasiou) while keeping things from being too embarrassing while the roster Kenny built stumbles over to the golf course and into the draft lottery for the second year in a row, and I’m glad we’re doing it.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 01/29/18 at 11:53 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

The success of other franchises in the cap era completely refutes any blame for the cap.
Ownership has a role
Posted by Colin from Ken Holland’s new yacht, “Incompetence” on 01/29/18 at 11:53 AM ET

Wut? 

There has been no team in recent history who has had longer sustained success than the Red Wings, who where legit cup contenders for about 15-20 years.  To their detriment, they tacked on 5 years to the 25 year playoff run. The cap is designed to eventually penalize teams that have succeeded, like the Wings, like Chicago, like Tampa and Washington will start to feel in the coming years.  Pittsburgh might be the exception having drafted back to back #1 generational talents, as teenagers, but they too will start to feel that curve too unless NHL revenue blows up and in the process the team almost went bankrupt.

And ownership doesn’t have a “role”, they own the team! Their “role” is absolute, they make the call.  How do you know those conversations did not take place? Do you truly believe that in a business worth $625 million that was building an arena for $870 million, ownership advisers brass etc. did not discuss the pro’s and con’s of whether to rebuild or push forward? Do you not think anyone presented a rebuild scenario and that the wants and wishes of Mike Illitch was not sought? We’re smart people, I believe that, if we knew what option B was, I sure as hell know that people paid to do nothing but that job knew as well. 

Look, Holland shares a lot of the blame, but for the same reasons we love Ilictches desire to compete and win, he does as well.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 01/29/18 at 01:12 PM ET

Avatar

Illitches gave Kenny the money. And then he picked Helm, Nielsen, Weiss, Carlo Colaiacovo. But blame Illitch. Got it.

Posted by fatsavage on 01/30/18 at 08:26 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Malik Report

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.