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The Wings’ Up And Down Start To The Season

Scott Burnside of ESPN is in the middle of an online chat, here is one Wings related question...

What do you make of the Red Wings? On paper and vs. some top teams like Boston, we look like a Cup contender. Then other nights like last night vs. Ottawa or Phoenix, we look lost. Whats you take?

Scott Burnside  Yes, weird up and down start for the Wings. Injuries continue to dog them and for a team that relies on a kind of blue line by committee it doesn't take much to upset the rhythm there. Not sure Stephen Weiss is completely comfortable yet - I remain skeptical he'll be the kind of point-producer the Wings expect him to be - combined with a completely new conference of teams and different style of play from the west and I think it adds up to uneven results. Lots of time though for Mike Babcock to get this team into a groove.

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Unlike most, I never expected Weiss to be a point-producer.  The problem is he’s not as fast, not as good in the circle and not as defensively aware as Fil.  Not surprised many fans are now changing their tune. “He needs 20 (now 30) games to acclimate to the system.” (instead of their earlier predictions of 10).

Reality is that he’s been on the decline for the last 3 seasons.  And even though he’s “only” 30, he has a lot of miles and a lot of minutes on that body since he started in the league as a top-line center at 19.

I said it at the time when all of you were yelling about Fil being overpaid.  Hey, look at the guy the Wings signed with that same critical eye.  He’s worse than Fil in everything but point-production, and even that is arguable given the last 3 seasons.  But I assume you guys will give him 40 or 50 games to acclimate soon enough.

Posted by jkm2011 on 10/24/13 at 12:58 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

All the more reason to keep Tatar on the 2nd line and Nyquist on the 3rd line.

Posted by w2j2 on 10/24/13 at 01:20 PM ET

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Reality is that he’s been on the decline for the last 3 seasons.

The numbers don’t really support that.  Numbers went up from 10-11 to 11-12 and last year he missed most of the season, so it’s hard to come to any conclusions based on that.

“He needs 20 (now 30) games to acclimate to the system.” (instead of their earlier predictions of 10).

Well, to be fair to him he was put on a line with a loafer and another player who’s new to the team and, with as many things as Babcock does right, his coach juggles lines as if he were being paid based on how many different line combinations he can cup with, so if there was any consistency beyond having Datsyuk and Zetterberg always playing together he might well have acclimated to the system alredy.

Posted by Garth on 10/24/13 at 03:26 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.