Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings-Predators quick take: boos were deserved but it’s on ‘this team’ to figure s*** out

I don't "like our team." Quite frankly, being a Red Wings fan, never mind spending the amount of time that I do covering an 0-and-7 team that's now 0-and-8 at home, this job sucks right now and my team sucks right now.

I'm frustrated as all hell get out because the Wings' disparate parts are not working together. As I've said previously--and even given that Danny DeKeyser will be out for an unspecified period of time with a shoulder injury--you can basically swap out Brunner for Alfredsson, who's been more consistent, Filppula for Weiss, who's been equally disappointing, swap out Tomas Tatar for Gustav Nyquist and add in Darren Helm, and this is the same team that went 14 games into the playoffs last spring, but its special teams are better. Its goaltending has been OK and its coach is pulling every trick out of his hat to help the team win.

It still dropped a 2-0 decision to Nashville, and when you've got solid personnel, good special teams, solid goaltending, secondary scoring and enough players and enough coaching to get it done, what do you do?

My problem with the "Free Nyquist" folks involves three factors that have nothing to do with their desire to see the Wings able to dress the best roster available:

1) There are no "buyers" in terms of dead cap space;

2) Nyquist would HAVE to remain with the team for the balance of the season as his waiver exemption would expire after 2 more NHL games;

And 3) No one player is going to solve anything. Not someone who's putting up 21 points over the course of 15 games, not Nyquist, not Anthony Mantha, nobody.

The guys in the locker room have to get it done.

And while Joakim Andersson's clearing pass yielded a power play goal by Shea Weber in front of a screened Howard with 4-point-something left in the 2nd...

But the salt-away goal at 7:13 of the 3rd was surprising in one aspect: Howard came out three feet too far to boot away a Predators shot because he was doing his defensemen's job, Jonathan Ericsson and Niklas Kronwall were beaten to a rebound, and one of Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg or Todd Bertuzzi led David Legwand pounce on the pass out front.

The team's best players, not Kyle "Minus Twelve" Quincey or some of the other convenient scapegoats, were out on the ice, and they screwed up just like all of their teammates have been screwing up.

It's been about bad decision-making and a complete and total lack of confidence--to the point that the Wings look like me trying to ask Sammy Braddy out on a date--and that's it.

Jonathan Ericsson bumping Patric Hornqvist down to the ice in the crease and Mikael *#$%@& Samuelsson fighting were the high points of the night.

The Wings were booed tonight. They deserved it.

But if you're going to commit seppuku or plan on leaving the team for good because Detroit's stank on ice of late, that's up to you, not me.

The low point of the season is the low point of the season. The standards do not change. It's up to these guys to get themselves out of the hole they've dug for themselves, and I still believe that they can do it.

But it is up to them to prove it and it is up to them to play some *#$%@& puck possession hockey, adhere to their "structure" and support each other instead of making mistakes trying to do each other's jobs, from the net on out.

This is not the end of the Wings as we know them, though this certainly reduces the team's margin of error going forward. This is a shitty, shitty time and it's something the Wings cannot excuse themselves from figuring out given the caliber of the personnel, coach or GM, frankly.

Statistics:

Shots: the Red Wings actually out-shot Nashville 27-25. Detroit was out-shot 10-7 in the 1st but out-shot Nashville 9-7 in the 2nd and 11-8 in the 3rd.

Special teams: The Wings went 0-for-2 in 3:18 of PP time; the Predators went 1-for-6 in 10:13 of PP time.

Goaltending: Jimmy Howard stopped 23 of 25; Marek Mazanec stopped 27 of 27.

The 3 stars were picked by the Windsor Star's Bob Duff, and he picked David Legwand, Marek Mazanec and David Legwand

Faceoffs 34-32 Nashville (Detroit won 48%);

Blocked shots 15-5 Nashville;

Missed shots 11-7 Nashville (total attempts 49-46 Detroit, with the Wings firing 27 shots on Mazanec and 22 wide/blocked);

Hits 21-16 Detroit;

Giveaways 14-7 Detroit;

Takeaways 7-5 Nashville.

Individual stats, TMR style:

Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 13-and-9 (59%); Helm went 9-and-9 (50%); Andersson went 6-and-9 (40%); Abdelkader went 1-and-6 (14%); Zetterberg went 2-and-0 (100%); Miller won his only faceoff; Franzen lost his only faceoff.

Shots: Datsyuk led the Wings with 4 hits; Samuelsson and Zetterberg had 3; Andersson, Tatar, Helm, Bertuzzi, Ericsson and Franzen had 2; Kindl, Abdelkader, Miller, Quincey and Cleary had 1.

Blocked attempts: Datsyuk, Miller and Kronwall had 3 attempts blocked; Ericsson had 2 attempts blocked; Smith, Kindl, Lashoff and Bertuzzi had 1 attempt blocked.

Missed shots: Smith, Kindl, Abdelkader, Samuelsson, Helm, Kronwall and Franzen missed the net 1.

Hits: Ericsson led the Wings with 4 hits; Miller had 3; Smith, Kindl, Abdelkader and Cleary had 2; Andersson, Quincey, Samuelsson, Helm, Bertuzzi and Franzen had 1.

Giveaways: Zetterberg and Franzen had 3 giveaways; Kronwall had 2; Smith, Kindl, Andersson, Quincey, Helm and Cleary had 1.

Takeaways: Datsyuk, Tatar, Samuelsson, Helm and Franzen had 1 takeaway.

Blocked opponent shots: Kindl and Kronwall blocked 3 shots; Ericsson blocked 2; Tatar and Lashoff blocked 1.

Penalties taken: Miller, Tatar, Samuelsson, Ericsson and Kronwall took minor penalties; Cleary took a double minor.

Plus-minus: The Wings were -5. Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Bertuzzi, Ericsson and Kronwall were -1.

Points: No one scored.

Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 24:21 played; Ericsson played 23:35; Zetterberg played 21:35;

Datsyuk played 21:33; Quincey played 19:17; Smith played 19:08;

Helm played 18:10; Kindl played 17:37; Franzen played 17:18;

Bertuzzi played 15:23; Cleary played 14:29; Tatar played 13:59;

Lashoff played 12:44; Miller played 12:32; Samuelsson played 12:32;

Abdelkader played 11:49; DeKeyser played 1:21; there was no 18th skater.

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Comments

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RedMenace's avatar

... Jonathan Ericsson bumping Patric Hornqvist down to the ice in the crease and Mikael *#$%@& Samuelsson fighting were the high points of the night.

Yeah, so, about that $4m/year extension….

... and I wouldn’t call what Samuelsson did “fighting;” dude didn’t even drop his gloves. As I said in the LB, everyone know Samuelsson isn’t actually going to fight anyone.

At least Toots would have knocked some shit into someone. And for less money.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 11/19/13 at 10:22 PM ET

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Howard did find himself awkwardly far out of the crease tonight. Almost cost him on end board bounces, hes not the quickest out of the butterfly. I really wish he would learn to handle the puck. Going from horrible at it to average would help our crappy D out big time.

Posted by brians neck on 11/19/13 at 10:27 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

The term “exercise in futility” comes to mind

Posted by Hootinani on 11/19/13 at 10:29 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

Posted by brians neck on 11/19/13 at 10:27 PM ET

Also, his propensity to horribly overplay the shooter doesn’t help; it’s like he has no peripheral vision or something.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 11/19/13 at 10:29 PM ET

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The guys in the locker room have to get it done.

The problem, George, is that they aren’t getting it done and they haven’t been for a straight tenth of a season.

Yeah, so, about that $4m/year extension….

What about it?  He’s still their best defensive defenseman, without any question.

Posted by Garth on 11/19/13 at 10:34 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

What about it?  He’s still their best defensive defenseman, without any question.

Posted by Garth on 11/19/13 at 10:34 PM ET

Without any[/strong] question? Really?

Okay, man. Whatever you say. You’re obviously that much smarter than I am.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 11/19/13 at 10:36 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

Posted by RedMenace from Team Slovaskimo Fighting Snipers on 11/19/13 at 10:36 PM ET

Well that obviously got *#$%@& up, but I’m sure you caught the drift there.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 11/19/13 at 10:37 PM ET

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Well that obviously got *#$%@& up, but I’m sure you caught the drift there.

Yeah, I got the irony of you sarcastically talking about how smart I am while being unable to use basic tags.

Posted by Garth on 11/19/13 at 10:40 PM ET

Chet's avatar

sammy did not fight.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 11/19/13 at 10:42 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

Yeah, I got the irony of you sarcastically talking about how smart I am while being unable to use basic tags.

Posted by Garth on 11/19/13 at 10:40 PM ET

Ooooh, zinger!

Man, you sure did come back with something pertinent to the conversation.

Carry on, HockeyinHD wannabe.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 11/19/13 at 10:43 PM ET

Chet's avatar

i agree 52 is the team’s best defensive defenseman. does that reflect well on the front office? unclear.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 11/19/13 at 10:43 PM ET

PDXWing's avatar

Well, considering that E was the last pick of the draft, I think so.

Posted by PDXWing on 11/19/13 at 10:46 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

i agree 52 is the team’s best defensive defenseman. does that reflect well on the front office? unclear.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 11/19/13 at 10:43 PM ET

Best defensive defenseman at this moment? Perhaps.

But if you give Oullet, Sproul, or DeKeyser 5 years in the organization with practically infinite “do-overs,” I think any one of them would take that spot quite easily. Then the question becomes: Do you want to pay a guy like Ericsson that much over that term when he could easily be replaced by any one of the up-and-coming guys on the farm?

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 11/19/13 at 10:47 PM ET

Chet's avatar

Do you want to pay a guy like Ericsson that much over that term when he could easily be replaced by any one of the up-and-coming guys on the farm?


i think you’re oversimplifying and you’re too high on these young prospects. it seems accepted that playing D at an average or above average level in the NHL involves a steep, long at times learning curve. recent examples: fischer, ericsson, kindl (still a work in progress).

ericsson is going to be a useful d-man for at least the next 5 years. the wings developed him. if they can lock him up at or below market value now, they should.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 11/19/13 at 10:49 PM ET

PDXWing's avatar

What do we do for those 5 years? Wait for them to become as good as E is now? Why wouldn’t we pay E for those years while the others develop?

E is good. I know there are some holdovers still carrying pitchforks around from the old days on KK, but let’s be honest with ourselves. E turned out to be a damn good pro and continues to get better. DK is going to be a star and his upside is higher than Es, but he’s still developing.

Posted by PDXWing on 11/19/13 at 10:51 PM ET

Joe Z.'s avatar

And 3) No one player is going to solve anything. Not someone who’s putting up 21 points over the course of 15 games, not Nyquist, not Anthony Mantha, nobody.

Keeping one of our top 6 forwards (compared to some other “top” 6 players) in the AHL sure won’t help either,  It’s Kenny’s job to make this mess go away, even more so since he is the one responsible for it. Not to mention trading the devil he knew for the devil he didn’t. (I don’t buy that “we offered Filppula 128 contracts but he declined them all”-argument)  I think 2013 was Kenny’s worst summer, everything he did backfired.

 

Posted by Joe Z. from Austria on 11/19/13 at 10:59 PM ET

Joe Z.'s avatar

Yeah, I got the irony of you sarcastically talking about how smart I am while being unable to use basic tags.

Posted by Garth on 11/19/13 at 10:40 PM ET

yeah like missing one space equals being unable to use basic tags instead of being a simple typo. smarts all over the place.

Posted by Joe Z. from Austria on 11/19/13 at 11:02 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

i think you’re oversimplifying and you’re too high on these young prospects. it seems accepted that playing D at an average or above average level in the NHL involves a steep, long at times learning curve. recent examples: fischer, ericsson, kindl (still a work in progress).

ericsson is going to be a useful d-man for at least the next 5 years. the wings developed him. if they can lock him up at or below market value now, they should.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 11/19/13 at 10:49 PM ET

Oversimplifying, perhaps, but too high on young prospects? Not really… unfortunately, I haven’t gotten to watch any of the Griffins games this season, so I don’t know how the “kids” are doing at this point.

I’m not saying Ericsson is a bad defenseman - far from it. He’s progressed from his “Big Error” days quite well; but to call him a solid #2 defenseman is a bit of a stretch, in my opinion. Saying he’s the best defensive defenseman on the team right now isn’t really stating much since the only other true “defensive” regular is Lashoff, and he’s got a massive half-season under his belt.

My hazy, yet seemingly important question (in my own, furry mind) is whether or not you’d pay Ericsson that much for that long. Again, I’d offer him Quincey’s contract or let him walk… he’s not proven himself yet, and yet another “panic signing” by Holland would have the fanbase up in arms even more.

What do we do for those 5 years? Wait for them to become as good as E is now? Why wouldn’t we pay E for those years while the others develop?

E is good. I know there are some holdovers still carrying pitchforks around from the old days on KK, but let’s be honest with ourselves. E turned out to be a damn good pro and continues to get better. DK is going to be a star and his upside is higher than Es, but he’s still developing.

Posted by PDXWing on 11/19/13 at 10:51 PM ET

I agree that he’s turned out to be a solid defenseman, but not a #2. Will $4m/year be too much at the end of the contract, or will it be a bargain? Will he continue to improve at age 29, or is this what he is? Will a Free Agent or Prospect suddenly turn up and make him redundant or even irrelevant?

These are tough questions a GM has to ask him/herself, and I’m definitely not smart enough to be able to answer them with any certainty.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 11/19/13 at 11:02 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I want to make something very clear:

I understand criticism for the team, but I’m not going to tolerate people being assholes to their fellow fan…

And if you’re going to go with the DSR’s gospel of, “Hate the team, hate the management, hate the coach, hate the players, hate yourself, hate your fellow fans, hate hate hate, blame blame blame, only be negative,” you’re going to warm out your welcome. The fact that the Wings are playing crappy is one thing. Embracing professional trolldom because one group of sports people claiming to be “fans” insist that only Ken Holland and Mike Babcock score goals is another.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/19/13 at 11:05 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

I understand criticism for the team, but I’m not going to tolerate people being assholes to their fellow fan…

+Malik.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 11/19/13 at 11:07 PM ET

PDXWing's avatar

Well, he’s proven to be capable of continuing to get better. At age 29, he’s entering his prime as an NHL dman. Even if he stays the same, you’d be hard pressed to sign someone with his abilities for 4 mil. If we sign a truer top pairing dman, he can be paired with Kronner and E will be slotted as an excellent 2nd pairing guy. I agree that on a non cap constricted team, he’s probably a very good 3/4 dman. But, the NHL financial landscape dictates that he be a top pair guy right now, at least until the cap goes up. I think he’s a nice compliment to Kronner and has been very steady.

Posted by PDXWing on 11/19/13 at 11:09 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

Posted by PDXWing on 11/19/13 at 11:09 PM ET

True enough, but we don’t know if this is his ceiling as a defenseman or not. If it is, he’s arguably worth $4m for 4-5 years… at most, really. I’m not going to list them here, but go to Capgeek and look at comparables to Kyle Quincey’s salary (which is, in all honesty, what Ericsson would be getting). Is he comparable to those players? Is he worth that much to the team?

Again, don’t get me wrong, I agree that Ericsson has been a serviceable top-pairing guy… but that is absolutely not where he needs to stay. The Wings’ Cap landscape has been drastically altered by Holland’s panic signings… here, just for a laugh:

CapGeek Armchair GM Roster
FORWARDS
Henrik Zetterberg ($6.083m) / Pavel Datsyuk ($6.700m) / Todd Bertuzzi ($2.075m)
Daniel Alfredsson ($3.500m) / Stephen Weiss ($4.900m) / Gustav Nyquist ($0.950m)
Tomas Tatar ($0.630m) / Darren Helm ($2.125m) / Johan Franzen ($3.955m)
Drew Miller ($1.350m) / Justin Abdelkader ($1.800m) / Jordin Tootoo ($1.900m)
Luke Glendening ($0.575m) /
DEFENSEMEN
Niklas Kronwall ($4.750m) / Shea Weber ($7.857m)
Jonathan Ericsson ($3.250m) / Danny DeKeyser ($0.925m)
Brian Lashoff ($0.725m) / Jakub Kindl ($2.400m)
Adam Almquist ($0.604m) /
GOALTENDERS
Jimmy Howard ($5.292m)
Petr Mrazek ($0.595m)
BUYOUTS
Carlo Colaiacovo ($0.000m)
BURIED
Patrick Eaves ($0.275m)
———
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(estimations for 2013-14 crunched using simulation date of 2013-11-19)
SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; BONUSES: $2,920,000
CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $1,102,954

.... at this point I don’t know what I’m arguing anymore. wink

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 11/19/13 at 11:22 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

I’m not saying Ericsson is a bad defenseman - far from it. He’s progressed from his “Big Error” days quite well; but to call him a solid #2 defenseman is a bit of a stretch, in my opinion. Saying he’s the best defensive defenseman on the team right now isn’t really stating much since the only other true “defensive” regular is Lashoff, and he’s got a massive half-season under his belt.

My hazy, yet seemingly important question (in my own, furry mind) is whether or not you’d pay Ericsson that much for that long.

4M a year is not drastically overpaying for a second pairing defenseman.  Brad Stuart was getting 3.75 from 2009 onward.  Kronwall was getting 3M in that same stretch.  Keep in mind, the cap is going to go up- projections still suggest it will be a fairly significant hike, too? 

The way I see it, giving Ericsson 4M a season is acceptable in one of two scenarios:  The team recommits to building defense-outward like they did when they were competing for cups in the 07-09 range, finds some magical method of acquiring the necessary pieces to bump E down to second pairing full-time.  Or… the team continues as is, investing it’s money far heavier into the forwards than it did during it’s last peak in which case E is likely going to remain a top pairing guy and, hey, 4M is a bargain for a top pairing guy.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 11/19/13 at 11:24 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

In this day and age, $4 million can be the going rate for a #4/5 defenseman who can skate in a straight line. $4 million in average value for the team’s #2 defenseman is a deal. It is more than a fair salary.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/19/13 at 11:29 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Yeah I don’t like the Ericsson thing.

He’s a second-pairing guy playing on the top pairing because all the rest of the d-men (save DeKeyser, whom it’s just too early to ask that much of for 82 games) are garbage and far scarier to play with Kronwall, who has problems of his own.  You know where Ericsson would slot on say, STL’s defense?  Probably 3rd pairing.  There’s your wake-up call.  Yes we’re THAT team now, Wings fans, trying to talk ourselves into inferior d-men playing over their heads.

I’m not even sure you call Ericsson the best defensive d-man.  One could argue DeKeyser has been better, and have a fair argument.  I know he has 9 pts but ultimately DeKeyser is not an “offensive defensman”.


This is something that seems to have really fallen through the cracks, and I’ve been saying it since last season:  DeKeyser coming in from college and having that IMMEDIATE impact speaks to just how bad a lot of these other d-men actually are.  Quincey has played over 300 NHL games; Ericsson nearly 300 himself; Kindl is over 160.  All also spent significant time int he AHL prior to the NHL.  Ericsson for example has another 200 AHL games, plus time in the SEL under his belt.  Kindl has 250 AHL games to add.  These guys have had PLENTY of time.

So the fact that a kid from Western can waltz his way into the NHL defense and have an impact like he has, right off the hop… it doesn’t speak well of the other guys to be blunt.  And for some reason I think Ken Holland has missed this fact as well.  DeKeyser is good but…

Posted by Primis on 11/19/13 at 11:29 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Oh, a further point:  Big contracts with long term turn into better contracts as they age unless the player starts to break down during that term.  Datsyuk was overpaid at 6.7 when he signed that deal in 07.  By the end of the deal it sure looked like a steal.  Ericsson isn’t that type of player, no, but he also is arguably not as locked into his peak years as a 29 year old should be.  Keep in mind, he’s 29 but he’s only been playing defenseman for a few years (7-9 now?), compared to most other NHL defensemen who have played that position since they were quite young. 

There’s potentially still some growing to be done.  I’m not suggesting you overpay for a 29 year old’s potential, but it does seem likely (to me anyway) that the odds that he gets better are higher than the odds he gets worse.  You do know a few things about E.  He’s not a kid any more.  He has a family and kids now and those things do enforce maturity, off the ice.  The team likely has a really good grasp on how grounded he is and how committed to hockey he is.  I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they can look at the Z and Franzen contracts and go, “Well, this one looks like it is going to work out and that one… not so much.”

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 11/19/13 at 11:31 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I should add:

The defense is also frustrating because unless you firmly believe that an Oullett, Sproul, Almqvist, etc are bound to emerge as a #1 d-man quickly…. there’s NOTHING else out there.

D-men aren’t going to hit the market anymore.  They’re all locked up, long-term.  Dion Phaneuf in TOR is set to be a FA and… that’s about it.  Ericsson would have actually been attractive as a FA on the market given his age and the crop, the good options are far too old (Timonen, Markov, etc).

It’s not like DET can just go out and sign a first-pairing guy,  That’s still why I feel they absolutely blew it with Bouwmeester:  those guys aren’t just going to become available anymore.

So DET could be stuck with what they have on defense largely for another 2, 3 years easy if we’re being honest here.  That’s absolutely terrifying to think about.

Posted by Primis on 11/19/13 at 11:47 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

The way I see it, giving Ericsson 4M a season is acceptable in one of two scenarios: 
Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 11/19/13 at 11:24 PM ET

Conditions, conditions… wink

In this day and age, $4 million can be the going rate for a #4/5 defenseman who can skate in a straight line. $4 million in average value for the team’s #2 defenseman is a deal. It is more than a fair salary.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/19/13 at 11:29 PM ET

But the first example is an absolutely terrible contract (at this point); and if a guy is performing at #2 standards, it absolutely is a bargain. I’ll argue that, while Ericsson is presently a #2 for the Wings, he is not playing at the level of a #2 defenseman. And likely never will.

I know I’m going to get absolutely roasted for this next comment, but here it is anyway: I see Ericsson as a marginally better Quincey; basically, what the Wings wanted KFQ to become. Is that worth $4m?

So the fact that a kid from Western can waltz his way into the NHL defense and have an impact like he has, right off the hop… it doesn’t speak well of the other guys to be blunt.  And for some reason I think Ken Holland has missed this fact as well.  DeKeyser is good but…

Posted by Primis on 11/19/13 at 11:29 PM ET

In Kong’s defense (and Holland’s, to an extent), he was reportedly highly sought after by a lot of teams, and the fact that he’s being mentioned in the same breath with Seth Jones should speak volumes in itself.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 11/19/13 at 11:31 PM ET

See, your comment is where I’m torn. Sure, he’s in his peak, but he’s just now gotten there; most guys his age have been there for a couple of years. He’s not a kid anymore, and again, in my opinion, his growth potential is limited.

Could Ericsson prove me wrong? Absolutely, and I’d take my crow medium well with a side of steak fries. Unfortunately I don’t think that’s going to be the case.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 11/19/13 at 11:49 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

And if you’re going to go with the DSR’s gospel of, “Hate the team, hate the management, hate the coach, hate the players, hate yourself, hate your fellow fans, hate hate hate, blame blame blame, only be negative,” you’re going to warm out your welcome.

I don’t know what or who “DSR” is, George, but It seems to me that you’re just as “wound up” these days as a lot of the posters are. (Hint: check your post for typos before you fire it off.)

Since you’re the person responsible for this blog, if you want to promote calm and civil discourse, maybe you could take the time to close out the bold tag and then calmly respond yourself.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 11/20/13 at 12:13 AM ET

Primis's avatar

In Kong’s defense (and Holland’s, to an extent), he was reportedly highly sought after by a lot of teams, and the fact that he’s being mentioned in the same breath with Seth Jones should speak volumes in itself.

Posted by RedMenace from Team Slovaskimo Fighting Snipers on 11/19/13 at 11:49 PM ET

Well, so was Justin Schultz.  And… that hasn’t worked out so well for EDM.  Or Schultz TBH because now he’s stuck in Edmonton for no real good reason other than he made a dumb choice.

Don’t get me wrong:  DeKeyser is better than Schultz.  DET is very lucky to have nabbed him.  Had they not, their defensive future would be all the more hopeless.  At least he seems like a sure thing right now though.


I think what we should be looking at on defense, ideally, is this:

Kronwall - $Player
Ericsson-DeKeyser
Kindl - $Player

I put placeholder “$Player” obviously because ideally Quincey is not there at all, and Smith probably isn’t either.  Ericsson bumped down to 2nd pairing.  Smith has time, but… it’s running out quickly.  Kindl stays in possibly only by virtue of being compared to Smith and Quincey, but truth is I think he’s probably got a legit claim at this point and quite frankly I guess I don’t want to often personally strangle him like I do some other d-men.  Lashoff has a future as a regular 3rd pairing guy too that could see some 2nd pairing time I suppose.

I dunno’ if DeKeyser will be a top-pairing kind of guy either, to be honest.  He absolutely could, but realistically he’ll probably be most-effective as a 2nd pairing guy if your team is having success.  Legit top pairing guys are just tough to come by.  You have to, at this point, draft them with a lottery pick basically.

Sure, you can just stick whomever on that top pairing, but it doesn’t mean they ARE top pairing material.  Bad teams stick bad guys on the top pairing all the time and they fail, and it’s part of why they are bad teams.  It seems a poor example for DET to be emulating.  Then again, Holland has made a chain of bad choices and now is going to have to live with the consequences long-term.  And let’s be honest here:  how many more years does Kronwall have left?  You think things are bad now….

Posted by Primis on 11/20/13 at 12:14 AM ET

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7 game slide. 8 home games in a row.  How about those veterans Holland and Babs? I think it might finally be time to part with Babcock at the end of the year. The players have tuned him out. His message is stale. And Holland. Good god. We’ve regressed ever since 2009 and he has just signed fringe players and expected them to play top 6 roles. Ridiculous. Something needs to change. Personnel, coach, front office. Something. This is horrendous, pathetic and embarrassing.

Posted by ZandPasha11 on 11/20/13 at 12:16 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Spelling fixed, trying to calm down. I get emotional, too.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/20/13 at 12:26 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I don’t buy the blame the coach line. Babcock readily admits that he speaks with the players on a regular basis, especially his leaders, and that he does his best to balance his hard-charging message with staying out of the locker room when he feels that the players need their space. The GM, coach and players supposedly signed off on the Cleary re-signing, too.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/20/13 at 12:28 AM ET

DocF's avatar

The best blueliner for the Red Wings tonight was Brendan Smith.  Flat out played the best game he has ever played.  He and Quincy sucked the least of the whole batch.

The whole team looked clueless and befuddled.  Only Helm played close to his regular game, well, I lied because Samuelsson managed to play to his usual level of nausea inducing ineptitude.  The big line looks a step slow.  When Bertuzzi is showing more jump than Zetterberg, that is a sign of serious malfunction.

George, the reason you fire the coach when a team is playing like this is to shake up the players.  Right now there are two guys who are no way as good a coach as Mike Babcock, but have proven records for righting a sinking ship.  LaViolette and Paul Maurice have both done this and can be on the next plane to DTW.  They are decent coaches with Maurice, especially, having the ability to get the most out of a motley crew. 

The team itself needs to examine the way they are thinking and playing.  When the players who looked the least bad were Brendan Smith, Kyle Quincy and Mikey Samuelsson, the state of things absolutely sucks rubber donkey lungs.

I have been following the Red Wings since the start of the 1946 season (I was very young) and that is before Gordy Howe was brought up.  I have never seen such a disheartened effort by a group of players wearing the winged wheel.  It was like watching the Islanders when the paychecks bounced.

At least Thursday, the Wings will host the Carolina Mild Tropical Depressions.  There is no way that team can be called Hurricanes.  Erik Staal is playing the best of the whole batch right now and he is off to a terrible start (12 points).  I guarantee you that the Griffins are a better team than is Carolina.  The Red Wings must win that game.  They must win it in regulation.  They should win it with total domination as every one of the Wings is much better than their counterpart.  If they cannot win against Carolina, then the coaching staff should resign and let someone else try their luck.

This team really does remind me of the evil days of Ned Harkness.  Not that many of the folks here actually saw that time.  I did.

Finally, I want to say something personal to George here.  Thank you for being the voice of reason and trying to make sense of this whole mess.  There must be an answer and I will readily admit that if I had it, I would be making big bucks running a hockey team somewhere instead of trying to live off Social Security and a tiny pension.  I also try to be reasonably tolerant of the other fans who post their thoughts here.  Some of them are extremely difficult to love, but I do.  Most of all I need you, George, to be my eyes and ears and put in the hours and hours that I cannot or will not to be the source of all news regarding our beloved team.  Thank you for making all of us better fans.

Doc

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 11/20/13 at 12:59 AM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

I have been following the Red Wings since the start of the 1946 season (I was very young) and that is before Gordy Howe was brought up.  I have never seen such a disheartened effort by a group of players wearing the winged wheel.

Did you fall into a 12-year coma in 1973?

I’ve been a fan 20 years less than you but I sure don’t have trouble remembering teams that gave worst efforts.

I remember watching power-plays where the goal was to get control of the puck. Not to score a goal, not to gain possession within the offensive zone, where the goal for a Red Wings’ power-play was to have control of the puck at any time during the 2 minutes.

And that didn’t last for 8 games or 3 years… it was for more than a decade. We’re doing fine. We are such a spoiled fan base. Two or three years of middling hockey is nothing for a real fan to endure.

Yes, it is true that we might not make the playoffs this year.

Big deal.

We’re doing fine.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 11/20/13 at 02:18 AM ET

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Nice post Aurie.
Now back to Howard.
He’s been too far out of the net all year and buying on any fake at all. His confidence is probably shot. Wouldn’t blame him with the team in front of him. His positioning has been awful for weeks and if he doesn’t hold onto the puck on the first shot, he’s not got a chance on the rebound. He’s not tracking the puck behind the net well either. He just looks like he has no idea what’s going on and no motivation.
What the Wings need to do is put anyone injured for any amount of time on ltir and bring up nyquist and mrazek.
I say Mrazek because he’s a fiery guy. The need someone like him. Him or Callahan. But I think he would get some more effort from the guys in front of him.

Posted by teldar on 11/20/13 at 08:38 AM ET

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Nice post Aurie.
Now back to Howard.
He’s been too far out of the net all year and buying on any fake at all. His confidence is probably shot. Wouldn’t blame him with the team in front of him. His positioning has been awful for weeks and if he doesn’t hold onto the puck on the first shot, he’s not got a chance on the rebound. He’s not tracking the puck behind the net well either. He just looks like he has no idea what’s going on and no motivation.
What the Wings need to do is put anyone injured for any amount of time on ltir and bring up nyquist and mrazek.
I say Mrazek because he’s a fiery guy. The need someone like him. Him or Callahan. But I think he would get some more effort from the guys in front of him.

Posted by teldar on 11/20/13 at 08:38 AM ET

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Man, you sure did come back with something pertinent to the conversation.

Good point, because this you were really bringing the cold hard facts with this:
“Okay, man. Whatever you say. You’re obviously that much smarter than I am.”

Right?

Best defensive defenseman at this moment?

Well, nobody isaying he’s the best defensive defenseman they ever have had or will have.

Sorry, I didn’t realize I needed to qualify my statement.  Presently, at this point in time, as I type this out at 9:17am, Eastern Standard Time on November 20th, 2013, Ericsson is the team’s best defensive defenseman.  For the time being.  Subject to change.

Better?

And as you have admitted that you haven’t, maybe you should watch Ryan Sproul play before him a mighty defensive defenseman.  He’s an offensive defenseman through and through, which is why he’s being touted as a future power play quarterback and not a future monster on the PK.

http://www.redwingscentral.com/prospects/ryan-sproul/

Posted by Garth on 11/20/13 at 09:20 AM ET

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Regarding Ericsson, the team believes he is the #3 guy in their ideal world. They have wanted a top-pair guy since summer 2012. That’s their #1 need and they know it. I think they will get someone at the deadline.

$4M for a guy who can play 22 -25 minutes per night against the other team’s top line and now will anchor the second pair puts this team in a great spot. Can you imagine how the team will look with Kronwall - NEW GUY / Ericsson - Kindl/Smith / DeKeyser - Kindl/Smith?

You can have a nice top pair and then anchor your second two pairings with Ericsson and DeKeyser. All we need is one guy for the top pairing. I expect we will get one. Wouldn’t be surprised to see at the deadline, KH send a package of 1st/2nd round picks and a guy like Quincey (for salary reasons, to balance the trade - at the deadline, a dead-in-the-water team can accommodate 20 games of a guy making too much on an expiring contract) to Buffalo for Ehrhoff. Nothing dazzling but I think the price would be right and I think it could happen. The guy I’d prefer is Roman Josi. Wonder if that is possible…

Posted by VitoLambruski on 11/20/13 at 10:04 AM ET

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Issues are multiple-none easy to fix-Admittedly the signings over the summer and the consequent losses-Brunner and Phil-have under the best of reviews been a disaster. I am not of the belief that either of them will be as good as hoped. Signing Cleary was a mistake-ultimately though what brought all this on was Lidstrom retiring and not signing Suter.  Our defense is very poor-we cannot get the puck safely and reliably out of our end-no one is confident-and as a result the offense spends all of its time chasing. I really do not think there is a way out of this.  Usually when things go bad like this and stay this way coaches get fired and GMs get changed. Of the two Mr Holland is far more to blame. The mystique of his mastery has been blown up-face it when you can spend more money than anyone else it is easy to look good-with the cap-that avenue is gone.I come up to games from Indianapolis and often do a round trip and get home at 3AM. It is really hard to get excited about the trip when mediocrity is the best we can expect. Dan H

Posted by danhurleymd on 11/20/13 at 10:08 AM 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.