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Red Wings GM Ken Holland discusses just about everything he can in Fan 590 interview

Red Wings GM Ken Holland spoke to the Fan 590's Hockeycentral at Noon crew on Wednesday, addressing everything from Mikael Samuelsson and Jimmy Howard's statuses (out for 2 weeks and "iffy," respectively) to his team's performance in their first post-Nicklas Lidstrom season, the injury parade that's beset the Wings, Pavel Datsyuk's dekes and dangles and his take on improving the Wings down the line:

The interview's over 12 minutes long, and Holland speaks quickly, so expect to need to re-listen to it.

Update: Sportsnet posted the most important part of Holland's commentary, at least as it applies to possible personnel moves:

The Detroit Red Wings are one of the most injury-plagued teams in the NHL right now and are in danger of potentially missing the playoffs for the first time since the 1989–90 season.

The Red Wings are currently ninth in the Western Conference and on a four-game losing streak.

Starting goalie Jimmy Howard has been banged up of late and several of the team’s key players are dealing with injuries.

Defencemen Brendan Smith and Carlo Colaiacovo are recovering from shoulder injuries, while Ian White is out with a left leg laceration. Plus, it was revealed Wednesday that forward Mikael Samuelsson could miss up to two weeks with a fractured finger;

“We’ve been beat up so bad on the back end we’re just trying to stay in the race,” Red Wings general manger Ken Holland told Hockey Central at Noon Wednesday.

“We’ve got to get in (the playoffs). I’m hoping this is a lot like 2009-10, the Olympic year, where we sort of limped to the Olympic (break) where we were in ninth place, a point back of Calgary, we were beat up and we got healthy and went on a run.”

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Comments

MOWingsfan19's avatar

I think he made it through that interview without telling us “I really like our team”.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 02/20/13 at 03:20 PM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

I think he made it through that interview without telling us “I really like our team”.
   
    Posted by
     
    MOWingsfan19
     
    from I really like our team on 02/20/13 at 02:20 PM ET

The first step to getting the help you need is not admitting that you really like your team.

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 02/20/13 at 03:35 PM ET

topshelf14's avatar

I was thinking about this last night after another Wings loss.  We have yet to have a fully healthy roster on ice this season and yet the Wings are still hanging around in the a western conference.  Injuries unfortunately have been happening to our team way more than expected over the past 2 years but if and this is a big if,  can ice a healthy roster I do think we have one of the deepest forward groups and solid defensive groups in the league and i do believe we can compete for the Cup. We just have to wait and see if our team can be at full health, because without it we still will be a .500 club.

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 02/20/13 at 04:00 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

I do think we have one of the deepest forward groups and solid defensive groups in the league and i do believe we can compete for the Cup

Deepest in Bottom Six maybe…

Solid Defense?

Hardly.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 02/20/13 at 04:19 PM ET

Avatar

I do think we have one of the deepest forward groups and solid defensive groups in the league and i do believe we can compete for the Cup.

I humbly disagree completely.  We have way too many bottom-six forwards and not nearly enough top-six forwards.  When the Wings actually had rosters that competed for Cups in 08 and 09 there wasn’t a top-six and a bottom-six, there was a top-nine and a bottom-three.

Simply having a bunch of forwards signed does not mean a team is deep.

As for competing for the Cup, that concept is beyond me.  Detroit is not as good this year as last year, and last year there was a total of one playoff victory.

Posted by Garth on 02/20/13 at 04:31 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Posted by topshelf14 from Hockeytown, USA on 02/20/13 at 03:00 PM ET

Man, I’ve got to get some of those glasses you’re wearing.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 02/20/13 at 04:39 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

As for competing for the Cup, that concept is beyond me.  Detroit is not as good this year as last year, and last year there was a total of one playoff victory./quote]

Well I’m not going to sit here and sing Kenny’s praises.  I thought he could have brought in Semin, though I don’t think ANYONE thought Semin would be as effective and well rounded as he’s been in Carolina.  But at the same time, Kenny had reason to expect more out of Fil, and the injuries, and I don’t think it was reasonable to expect that the PP would be this dreadful.  Without injuries and with maybe a single upgrade on defense, without the injuries, we would be seeing a very different team and season.

Posted by MoreShoot on 02/20/13 at 04:40 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

plus, it’s instructive to remember what’s missing ....shift for the ages

Posted by MoreShoot on 02/20/13 at 04:45 PM ET

topshelf14's avatar

Franzen - Z - Brunner
Filppula - Dats - Bertuzzi
Cleary - Helm - Sammy
Miller - Abby - Tootoo

Kronwall - Ericsson
Smith - White
Quincey - Coliaccavo

When fully healthy I think that’s a deep forward group and solid d core. The team just hasn’t been healthy enough to see what they can do.

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 02/20/13 at 04:47 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Actually a lot of hockey fans mentioned that Semin’s D play wasn’t nearly as bad as was let on by MSM.  The Coach Killing Forward.  All you had to do was lookat his team.  Detroit is also known for re-treads and that’s the PERFECT kind of retread you look for.  Someone trying to change the perception of themselves in an environment which offers a lot of positive support.  But Kenny couldn’t see it.  So much so that they specifically said they know he’s available but aren’t interested?  I get fired up on this one.

To hear Kenny talk vs. Babs is night and day.  Babs is about personal accountability.  Holland is about spin.  I’ve been upset with Babs for not benching Franzen at times the past couple years.  I’m wondering now if Kenny’s reminding him about pecking orders and contracts. 

Look at what Nonis and Carlysle have done and they said it’s because at the beginning of the season they agreed to hold individuals accountable regardless of contract.  Look how quick Torts turned around NYR with the same mentality.  Maybe that’s why Babs refuses to bench Cleary over a 1m player regardless if he’s one-legged or not.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/20/13 at 05:38 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Oh and that’s your deadline deal, injured players coming back.  Again.

So long as players keep getting injured in hockey, KH will always have a reason he didn’t deal.

How did we ever manage to get Stuart I have no idea.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/20/13 at 05:41 PM ET

Avatar

and I don’t think it was reasonable to expect that the PP would be this dreadful.

Why not?  They lost thei PP quarterback and Tomas Holmstrom.  And with those two the PP was 22nd last year.  Why would it be reasonable to expect it to be better this year?  Because they added Samuelsson, who couldn’t hit the side of a barn from inside it?

plus, it’s instructive to remember what’s missing ....shift for the ages

Which brings me to another point.  If the success of your team hinges on the health of your third line centre, that is a problem.

When fully healthy I think that’s a deep forward group and solid d core.

Really?  With Todd Bertuzzi and a third line centre as the second line wingers?

Posted by Garth on 02/20/13 at 05:44 PM ET

topshelf14's avatar

I think Fil has proven he is a 2nd liner, just a bad start to the year.
Bert can play 2nd line, look around the league u don’t have to have 6 all-stars on your top 2 lines. Chicago is the top team in the league and there rolling Bolland, and Stalberg on there top 2 lines.

Our 3rd line center Helm helps the bottom half significantly. Our top 2 lines have produced well but our bottom 2 not so much.

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 02/20/13 at 06:21 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

how does pitt lose sid and keep rolling but det loses helm and we fall apart

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/20/13 at 06:44 PM ET

topshelf14's avatar

Maybe because Pittsburgh had 4 other top 5 picks playing on there squad at the time.

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 02/20/13 at 06:52 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

That lethal combo of Jordan Staal and Evgeny Malkin?  You’re right, Pavel and Z can’t hold a candle to that talent.

Must’ve been that stud-loaded D they ha.. wait.

Point is more significant pieces have gone down on other teams and the teams respond.  I don’t like the GM saying, “well it’s ok to win .500 since we have injuries.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/20/13 at 07:54 PM ET

topshelf14's avatar

First of all the Penguins had a very good d corp and are deeper than the Wings. secondly the wings have lost Lidstrom Stuart and Rafalski of the past two years.  And haven’t had a top 10 pick in the draft since lapointe. In a salary cap world a decline is bound to happen, but I agree that we have the best 1/2 tandem in Pav and Z and I also think with a healthier team we can make the playoffs and compete for the Cup. Could you give me an example of a team that’s been more decimated with injuries and “responded?”

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 02/20/13 at 10:05 PM ET

gowings's avatar

Well…..

If Ottawa can make it…..we should also….no?

Posted by gowings from MTL on 02/20/13 at 10:32 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

How many teams have lost their 3rd line centers and played less that .500 hockey as a result.  Not many, most teams aren’t built that way, but Chicago can lose Hossa or Toews, Pitt, Philly with Giroux, Ottawa with Karlsson but really we haven’t seen if they’ll sustain.  Canadiens without price. 

Team success shouldnt hinge on a 37 year old retread, 35 year old with a chronic bad back or our 3rd line center who’s stellar but come on.

And you bring up good points about Stuey Raffi and LIdas.  Why haven’t we replaced them?  Because no one wanted to give us one for free?  For the right price and we have a glut of NHL ready prospects.  Andersson, Nyquist, Tatar, next year.  Pulkkinen Jarnkrok should be over immanently if they ever were, Sheahan and Ferraro not more than a year or so back.  So why haven’t we been able to find a D man the past 2 years better than Colaiacovo or Quincey?

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/20/13 at 11:02 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Posted by topshelf14 from Hockeytown, USA on 02/20/13 at 09:05 PM ET

Yet we have a “pretty solid D that can compete for the Cup when healthy?”

No. Not so much.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 02/20/13 at 11:36 PM ET

topshelf14's avatar

Wings aren’t just missing there 3rd line center though. They are without multiple roster players. Losing a star player is tough, but losing entire lines is harder to recover. When Datsyuk went down last year the team stepped up tremendously and still maintained a playoff position.

Holland wasn’t able to bring a serviceable replacement for Lidstrom yet and may never will. Again what’s more important to the fans, making the playoffs or tanking to get a top pick (Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Chicago,Montreal)?

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 02/20/13 at 11:41 PM ET

topshelf14's avatar

I think our d corp is solid enough to compete for the cup. I think our group of forwards when healthy are what can help us the most.

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 02/20/13 at 11:46 PM ET

Chet's avatar

this was just a lot of sputtering and spin. he sounds like a politician, not a hockey GM.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 02/21/13 at 02:19 AM ET

Avatar

I think our d corp is solid enough to compete for the cup.

You’re out of your mind.  The d corp wasn’t solid enough to compete for the Cup last year and they lost two of their top three defensemen since then.

Posted by Garth on 02/21/13 at 01:04 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.