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Abel to Yzerman

Wild Card Hopes Fading

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

The Red Wings needed, and wanted, more in terms of success on this road trip through California.

With that dream of a wild-card playoff spot gradually slipping away, the Wings needed more than the two of a possible six points out of the three games in Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Jose.

Tuesday's 3-2 overtime loss in San Jose capped the winless (0-1-2) trip and put the Wings three points behind Boston — with the Bruins having five games in hand. The task for a young team such as the Wings will be difficult.

That's why earning more than just two points would have been beneficial for the Wings to stay closer to the Bruins. The fact the Wings didn't play their best during these three games also was aggravating.

"Obviously we had chances to get a couple of more points, like (Tuesday)," defenseman Nick Leddy said after the disheartening loss to the Sharks. "I wish I could have tied up his (Sharks forward Logan Couture) stick for a split second longer (possibly preventing the game-winning goal). But that's kind of how it goes. It's a long season. Every game we've shown good steps in areas.

"We just have to pull together."

continued

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Comments

Hippy Dave's avatar

Am I the only one that would actually be disappointed if we made the playoffs?

Tank baby tank!

Posted by Hippy Dave from Somewhere West of Detroit on 01/12/22 at 06:51 PM ET

Paul's avatar

from Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now,

There’s a truth about the Detroit Red Wings that everyone realizes and nobody wants to say aloud: the franchise would be better served if the team lost more often than they won in the second half of the season.

The reason why the Detroit fans are excited about the future is general manager Steve Yzerman and his staff have drafted Moritz Seider, Lucas Raymond and Simon Edvinsson. Each of those players were drafted with fourth (Raymond) or the sixth pick (Seider and Edvinsson) overall. Because they’ve been a .500 team this season, the Red Wings are currently sitting in 22nd place in terms of winning percentage.

That place for a full season would result, barring a win in the lottery, the Red Wings drafting 10th in the 2022.

“I think the special players are in the top six of this draft,” said Russ Cohen who analyzes the draft for Sirius Radio and Sportsology. “I think there is a dropoff after the second pick, the sixth pick and the 12th pick.”

continued

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/12/22 at 08:02 PM ET

jhpcarrier97's avatar

The NHL draft rules are not designed for the fans, and they are a poor design to encourage teams who believe they won’t make it to tank.  These rules need to be modified to keep fan interest up.  The casual hockey fan wants nothing to do with a loser, in fact, hockey’s championship interest is most likely between the two cities or areas in the finals, most of the rest of the word could care less except maybe the media at Hockey Night in Canada.

So I propose that the top 6 in each Conference, 12 teams, have a lottery for picks for #21 thru #32.  And I propose that the 2 Wild card teams and 4 Bubble teams in each Conference, 12 teams have a separate lottery for picks #9 thru #20.  And I propose that the bottom fish or the tankers, 4 in each Conference, 8 teams have a separate lottery for picks #1 thru #8.  I also propose that the odds be changed for each lottery division (3) to give a legitimate chance at #1 and #9 and #21 as a winner of each lottery, and also a means to determine the remainder placements in each lottery division.  Your place in the lottery division would be determined by your regular season finish. So scenarios, you finish first overall and lose in playoff round 1 you stay in the top 12 lottery, you finish as a wild card but win the Stanley Cup, you stay in that middle lottery, you finish in the bottom eight, you are not going anywhere but to get better odds.

I believe this proposal will get the top teams playing their best playoff hockey.  I believe that the bubble teams would play their best to make those wild card places and get away from the tank idea, lets face it that bottom 16 lottery is a bunch of crap. And the tankers can go their merry way playing for pick #1 overall but I’d make that lottery a real one with the 25th team a great chance to be pick #1, so the tankers are never guaranteed #1.

Posted by jhpcarrier97 on 01/12/22 at 10:16 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by Hippy Dave from Somewhere West of Detroit on 01/12/22 at 05:51 PM ET

Disappointed? Rooting for a tank?  Unsure I’m there this year.

I will say, my preference is that I don’t want them to make the playoffs either. We are not winning the cup, and I want more premium draft capital. We have a lot of pending UFAs to deal, Namestnikov, Leddy, DDK, Staal, Greiss, that can be dealt, we can assume team’s cap space etc.  If we are going to win cups, that is the best path forward.

That said, am I rooting for it, and would actually be disappointed?

Think about this, IF this team made the playoffs, it would be squarely on the backs of Ned & Seider, along with Raymond though maybe the forward crew could carry with Lucas only chipping in. If that were to happen, we have our elite net minder and #1 Norris Dman, and would cement these two as elite players.  I think Seider is regardless, but if in your first season, your personally at his age as a DMan carry a team from worst to making the cut, that’s mind blowing impressive. It would also mean Rasmussen and/or Zadina become formidable players too, cause its not getting done with the hockey those two are playing.  Hard to root against that.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Window Seat on the Captain's Ship on 01/12/22 at 11:00 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Tanking is fine by me…but they shouldn’t even need to.

I’ll take Murray’s point and add to them with some ELC slides.

Trade deadline in March: don’t even wait with Leddy or Stecher (when he’s back from IR)—as everyone remembers the Mike Green injury debacle deadline year—-Lindstrom has shown he’s a 3rd pair guy and Oesterle can play the left side.  Trading Leddy/Stecher would open up spots for some ELC 9 game looks for Jared McIsaac, Wyatt Newpower, or Donovan Sebrango. They could always pivot to Brian Lashoff if those d-men look horrible early.

Greiss should be another one that merits discussion: though we’ve seen how backup netminders are devalued these days. Calvin Pickard could easily become the backup option.

Unfortunately, I think it is time to move on from Zadina (a fresh start elsewhere with talent coming back—-hopefully from Vegas as they have cap issues with Eichel’s imminent return—might be the best thing for both sides).  Namestnikov should be the other one that gets moved. This would allow another ELC 9 game look for Jonatan Berggren and perhaps Taro Hirose’s last shot.

These ELC players along with the expected regression in home winning percentage (which might be balanced with progression in away winning percentage) should net a fall down the standing order. Given how deep the top of this draft is at centre that is exactly the strategy the Wings should follow.

Posted by d ca on 01/13/22 at 01:05 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I think Seider and Raymond will slide the further into the season we get - it’s just going to be tough on these guys to play an 82 game season and continue bringing it every night.

That leaves Larkin and Bert as the two other guys that run this team.  They’ve been incredible impressive and continue to do great things out there.  At this point their production is beyond “streaky” and we’re seeing what they are truly capable of when they have a support crew.  Never the less, I wouldn’t be surprised to see their production taper a bit - especially if Raymond misses any time with an injury sustained from a longer season.

The other key stabilizer here is Hronek who is having a quietly productive year himself.

Posted by TreKronor on 01/13/22 at 10:31 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Wings making the playoffs means an improvement in every area of the game. They are bottom third in goals for, goals against, PK, and PP.

Just lose, baby (Competititvely).

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/13/22 at 10:33 AM ET

Avatar

I don’t think they need a “tank” to miss the playoffs, just keep playing the way they have and they’ll come up short.

As important as it is to get a high draft pick, it is even more important to move those on expiring contracts for draft capital. The last thing the Wings need is hanging onto Leddy, Staal, Namestikov or others in hopes of chasing down a wildcard. Fortunately, I think Yzerman knows this although his plan might have got tested if he felt he needed to award the team for playing above expectations.

I just want one more season (this one) of trading vets for picks/prospects and a decent shot at the lottery. Next season they can start the real push for the playoffs assuming the offseason goes well.

Posted by evileye on 01/13/22 at 11:12 AM ET

Avatar

I want our team to compete hard every night and win every game and I never root for tanking, but it would be much better if they finish in the bottom 5 than around 20th overall.

Posted by VPalmer on 01/13/22 at 12:21 PM ET

jhpcarrier97's avatar

Lets not forget that Vrana is going to come in and win some games by himself.  And you cannot ask Ned to start blowing saves, so I think you guys who have tanking in your minds or even playing a level down are really not good fans, even to hint at it.  We got a goaltender who can steal games and points, I certainly am not going to suggest to him to slack off.  The Coaching group are certainly not going to do things to help us lose, after all, we would all be screaming to fire them, the PP looks worse than the season start, so odds are they going to start clicking.  The PK seems to be getting better and hopefully it will improve, but Vrana, I believe is the key.  It will be his October and he will come in positive, proven goal scorer.  So I’m in the camp, giving 110%, and see what happens.  Doing your best is character building, the higher the finish, the more experience is garnered.  Not very often does a team come from the bottom, get on a streak make the playoffs and win the Stanley Cup.  A young team will need the experience to learn what it takes to play at those levels. That may take 10 years of playoff hockey and its not guaranteed you will ever hoist the Stanley Cup again, check out the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Posted by jhpcarrier97 on 01/13/22 at 03:00 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Unfortunately, I think it is time to move on from Zadina (a fresh start elsewhere with talent coming back—-hopefully from Vegas as they have cap issues with Eichel’s imminent return—might be the best thing for both sides). 
Posted by d ca on 01/13/22 at 12:05 AM ET

If the wings move on from Zadina, which could be the right move, best time to do that with a young struggling asset is in the offseason, not midseason

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Window Seat on the Captain's Ship on 01/13/22 at 05:04 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Window Seat on the Captain’s Ship on 01/13/22 at 04:04 PM ET

Time-wise okay normally, but not return wise if you are looking to make a deal for a decent asset that Vegas will have to give up when Eichel’s cap hit is no longer on IR.

Eichel’s cap hit 10M
Current Vegas space 5M

but they really have 0 because their cap hits are 91.4M and only LTIR is making them cap compliant.

Max Pacioretty’s 7M cap hit went on LTIR because of wrist surgery that will keep him out 6-8 weeks. So they’ll be facing problems by at least trade deadline day…and much likely before.

Vegas is going to want more than cap space back that is where I see Zadina fitting in being moved.

The other reason is because of his contract: teams may want to see what Zadina is there for a few months before re-signing him rather than trade and have to re-sign around the same time.

Posted by d ca on 01/13/22 at 05:47 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Posted by jhpcarrier97 on 01/13/22 at 02:00 PM ET

That’s an excellent point about Vrana if he comes back at near 100% instead of having to build into peak form. The thing is though: all the teams above them are where they expect to be and I don’t see Detroit overtaking Boston (who gained Rask) or Pittsburgh (who gained Malkin).

As far as player gained: Malkin > Rask > Vrana for this year at least.

 

Posted by d ca on 01/13/22 at 05:53 PM ET

Avatar

I figure Zadina has a 15% chance of being a Wing in September.

Posted by pnwwing on 01/13/22 at 06:47 PM ET

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com

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