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Everything posted by SpikeDDS

  1. OK, I realize that having the 4th-worst record makes arguing for a higher chance of getting one of the top 3 picks somewhat self-serving. That having been said, it seems to me that the system is not favorable enough for the teams in the bottom five. Like it is weighted TOO much to avoid tanking. It is also strange to me that nobody knows what the odds really are. Tankathon.com posts odds, but they admit that they are guesses. There seems to be zero accountability here. An understanding of how the system works should be known and public to avoid increased risk of suspicion of manipulation. This whole concept of “trust us, we will make it fair” just smells suspicious. As much as I would LOVE to get Dahlin, I DON’T want the pick given to us. It should be awarded not by men but by a ping pong ball i.e. chance. But it should also be known how many ping pong balls we will have in the pot. Tankathon doesn’t seem to know that. Is it known? It should be if it is not. This all just seems too hush-hush to me and too ripe for manipulation. The fact that we are WAY more likely to get the 5th or 6th picks in the draft than any of the top 4 speaks to the odds being off. Or is this just seeing this too much through the Red Wing-red lenses?
  2. Yeah, but then again, when it comes to top 5 picks, look at Buffalo, for example. In the last 5 years, they have had 2--count 'em, TWO--top five picks. Yet they have sucked the whole time, and they still do. They got Jack Eichel with the 2 pick. And they HAVE been in the top 10, but a LOT of these drafts, the top 5 you see play, and then the talent level drops off significantly. It's not as if the Sabres have been helped all that much. Remember also that Toronto got helped with Marner the year before Matthews at the 4th pick. It reall has been that combo of the two in a row that flipped the switch for them. Buffalo has never had that. Phoenix hasn't had jack squat, really. Edmonton is the head-scratcher. All those number 1 picks and not much to show for it, even with a generational player like McDavid. And Taylor Hall goes to NJ and becomes a force to be reckoned with. They prove that just getting good picks ensures you of nothing. You have to develop. They obviously have issues. Detroit, let's face it, were able to buy, draft and keep exceptional talent. The 2002 team? That team was the greatest assemblage of hockey talent on one NHL team EVER! The difference-makers were bought. They were helped immensely by Steve Yzerman getting so tired of being not-good-enough to win the Cup that he WILLINGLY took a salary cut to let Ilitch buy more talent around him. Nick Lidstrom saw that and followed the example, refusing $4-5M more per season to resign with the Detroit Red Wings for his final contract for $8M/season. That set the salary ceiling for the Red Wings until he retired, and worked right into the salary cap era that way. THAT is how the Wings stayed so good for so long. They also were drafting Hall of Fame talent (Datsyuk, Zetterberg, etc.) in the later rounds of the draft. Multiple times! Those days are OVER! The good teams of the last decade--Chicago & Pittsburgh--both got multiple high picks from multiple successive drafts to assemble their core (top tier scorers, top tier D-men, and goalie). They have remained successful because, unlike the Red Wings, they didn't ride out their existing talent until they all retired. Chicago mixed up the second tier players before their performance began to lapse. Pittsburgh acquired Kessel among others that, once again, put them over the top. But in order to do it, they had to get multiple top-5 picks in successive drafts/. Usually that is a winning formula. Toronto is the latest example. Marner, then Matthews, and suddenly they are significant again. To me, Buffalo hasn't had that kind of break. Had they had a top-3 pick either before or after Eichel, it would be different. They didn't, and Eichel can't do it by himself. You can blame Edmonton. It's harder to blame Buffalo. They haven't had Edmonton's fortunes.
  3. Yeah ever since Crosby went to the Pens, and with the Oilers repeatedly winning the top picks at the expense of worse teams, I have serious concerns about meddling. Short of accusation, but like with goalie interference, I want the league to be an open book on how they run/decide things. When they hide stuff, it just opens the door to corruption. And it is naive to think there is no corruption at the top of the NHL. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
  4. Love the thought process here, even though I may disagree with it. I think a better way of addressing it might be to make the draft lottery be for the FOLLOWING draft, not the immediate one. Let's be clear that the draft is designed to give truly bad teams the opportunity to right themselves through acquisition of young talent. If the draft lottery worked, but NOT until the FOLLOWING year's draft, it would discourage the one-time tanking, and make you have to commit to tanking for two seasons. Toronto seemed so egregious because it made itself a bottom feeder for one season and got rewarded for it, as you said. Making it the FOLLOWING season would make them at minimum plan their tanks and not get instant gratification. Either that, or average the standings from this season and the season prior, so that a team that has been decent who decides to tank isn't rewarded for a one-year tank. I might like that idea even better. A team that is in the bottom five for 2 seasons running needs help. Avoids the one-time tankers. Teams like Phoenix--other than the question of whether a team should be in Phoenix AT ALL--need help, and the draft is supposed to help them. They're not tanking. They SUCK! Same with Buffalo. The fact that Edmonton and Toronto keep taking first picks from these guys is ugly, IMHO. Again, IMHO, the #17 team should have minimal chance of getting pick #1. Not zero, but not much. That part of the system seems right to me. If a team is in the bottom 3-5 teams, I don't have a problem with them selling off talent to attempt to get a generational talent. But they have to suck--LONG and HARD--and shouldn't be able to just tank for half a season to easily win the big prize. that's not right either.
  5. 0-8-1 in our last nine games. Worst losing streak since 1986. For not tanking, we sure are tanking! The frustration is my concern. If I was AA, and I was asking myself why I should stay with this organization right now, I’d be having a hard time coming up with good reasons unless: 1. We get a new coach that has a GREAT resume and a history of winning. Someone I will HAVE to listen to because I KNOW he he is right, even though I am probably not gonna like what he says to me about my game. Am I willing to deal with that? 2. We get Dahlin. But even with this, it’s still gonna take 3-4 seasons to become a serious competitor again. Do I really want to wait that long to play for a potential contender? We have now officially entered the “it’s gonna get worse” phase; the one that comes before the “it gets better” phase. And it is looking as dark and ugly as I thought it would. When Anthony Mantha’s best play of the last 9 games is his fight against Corey Perry, you know you have arrived in Phase 1.
  6. If you listened to either Henrik Zetterberg or Jeff Blashill in their post-game comments after their 4-0 loss to the Golden Knights last night, there was a new catchphrase “poke and hope.” Both of them used it more than once. It was not coincidental. It was a reference pointed at Anthony Mantha among others, but specifically him without naming him, for his insufficient defense in our own zone that manifested as an attempt to poke a puck free and skate by the opponent out of the zone for a potential breakaway chance. Except that he forgot to make sure he got the puck. The result was that he skated out of the defensive zone, leaving his opponent free to skate alone into the slot and score a goal. I like Anthony Mantha, but they are right—if he doesn’t learn to stop being a liability, he will never be great. Same with our other young players. This is EXACTLY why TOTAL, COMPLETE rebuilds are not great ideas. You still need veteran talent to both tell and, more importantly, show young players how to play a complete game. But you can see the frustration building within Zetterberg. This keeps up, I can see him asking for a deadline deal to get him to a Cup contender for his last hurrah in a season or two. Either that, or he will start asking for trading away those who refuse to conform. I’m not saying that he is there yet. I’m saying if this continues, he will eventually get there.
  7. I don’t know when we will play against David Backes next. We don’t play Boston again this season. But make no mistake, justice will be served for his completely unnecessary hit on Nielsen. I’m not sure if Luke Witkowski is going to be on the Red Wings’ roster next season or not, but if he is available the next time we play against Backes, I have a feeling he will be “assigned” to Backes. I know Backes is not known as being a dirty player, but we need to stand up for our teammates. And the Wings front office may need to consider having a guy like Witter around to help protect our young talent that will be getting their feet wet next season not allow others to take advantage.
  8. @yave1964 In 100% agreement on Holland. But we’ve said all of this before, so I won’t repeat it other than to say you’re right. The only thing I might add to what you said is that he needs to balance taking the best remaining player in the draft vs. the best remaining player at the position we need most. We are fortunate this season to have a deeper draft of D-men, which may make this less of an issue, but last year with the pick of Rasmussen instead of the best remaining D prospect, asking if Rasmussen is really THAT much better than the available D-men at the time was a legit question, especially since the talent level dropped off sharply after the first part of round 1. We need to focus on the pieces that we don’t have, especially because it is practically impossible to acquire a top-tier D-man in the current NHL culture outside of the draft. And if not, we better have a DARN good reason for taking someone else. To wit: if we come out of the first round, and neither of our picks is a D prospect, I’m gonna flip!!
  9. @yave1964 No mention of Glen Hanlon? I remember him taking a slap shot to the groin taking him down. It was revealed after the game that the shot actually fractured his cup! He was never the same goalie after that either. Scary! Otherwise, a very good review of RW goalie history, @yave1964. He’s right. Howard stays through his contract. The focus needs to be on the future. We need either time to develop a young goalie talent within our own system if possible, or else pick and develop multiple skaters from the draft to add to and support our new core of talent until we are more competitive, and then acquire one from the FA market. We’ve been saying that this “gonna get worse before it gets better” was coming, and here it is. Get used to it for a season or three (hopefully closer to one, but don’t be surprised if it’s closer to three). The difficult part in today’s game is that with the parity now, MOST bad teams don’t LOOK that much worse than bubble teams do. The most frustrating part of this for me has been Holland and others acknowledging that fact often, and yet acting as if they were better than they really were just because they have SOME talent on their teams, and therefore making the decisions for far too long and far too many times to try to eke out a low playoff spot which could only end up in a first or, at VERY best, a second round exit instead of resigning themselves to the draft, thinking of the future. As if that was somehow a desirable outcome. The worst thing that has happened to this franchise in the last 20 years—with the obvious exception of Franzen vs. Hossa—was The Streak getting close enough to 25 years long to make achieving that somehow a more desirable outcome than acquiring and developing the talent of which we now do not have enough. That miscalculation has led to both the retention and overpayment for second- and third-tier talent and to our moving young talent that is now flourishing on other teams. As we have noted, Holland et al have now FINALLY seen the light, but so late now that it will take several seasons before we will be back where we want to be. Swallow that pill if you have not yet done so. There WILL BE good news though. The good news is that we will be seeing a “perfect storm” of the ends of some of these bloated contracts at the same time (hopefully) as the coming-of-age of this wave of young talent that we will have resulting from the numerous picks we have acquired. I am actually optimistic for our chances for climbing out of the poop pit that we are in right now, but not for another 2-3 seasons. Until then, you had better get used to what we are seeing now. Prepare yourselves. If they play better than I think, I will take the pleasant surprise. But I’m not COUNTING on that, nor should you. Instead, my focus is on the horizon, and I would suggest we all lift our eyes from the very choppy waters that we are now in and will be in for the next couple of seasons and instead anticipate what is coming. Don’t look for wins. Look at development of our talent. For example, see if AA can learn to bring his game on a nightly basis instead of the on-again-off-again pattern we see in his early career. Not for now, but for later. I like that we have young speed. That bodes very well for our future, as everyone can see this game accelerating. On the offensive side, we should continue to seek that and a scrappy net-front player. But MOSTLY, we need D talent, D talent, D talent. Offense is fun to watch, but Cups are not won without a solid D core, and those do NOT grow on trees for easy picking. They come from the draft. Goalie talent won’t matter much if we don’t have the solid D core in front of them. Some say that Chris Osgood was the beneficiary of that and made an average goalie into a very good goalie. They may or may not be right. We will never really know. But what we DO know is that it certainly made him better than he would have otherwise been. So if we can develop another Carey Price, fine. But I think acquiring and developing a solid D core is FAR more important right now than replacing Howard. So for now, we ride out Howard, warts and all, as we improve our D for a few seasons. One more piece of good news: The U.S. men took the gold medal in curling, so you have something else you can watch while we retool! ;-D
  10. @yave1964 But at the same time, at least to some degree, the Avs responded well to Hartley. And at that time, there WERE veterans as well as young players. It’s wasn't all youngsters. But for some reason, he has not been able to duplicate that with anyone since. But I think you are correct that he WOULD do better with a complete blow-up. The problem probably would not be soon-to-be-gone guys like Z. I think Z would understand that Hartley would have to establish his new system and help him. The ones I would worry about are the second tier guys who aren’t going anywhere for a while and KNOW that hey aren’t going anywhere for a while. There is little real threat of “do it my way or we will find someone else who will.” If they don’t willingly choose to follow, Hartley would fail.
  11. I like Sutter too, @yave1964 . It is difficult finding coaches who are BOTH good at developing young players AND coaching veterans at the same time. Sutter has done that. I used to like the idea of Bob Hartley, and still don’t hate it, but he didn’t do so well with Calgary, and I think Sutter’s record gives him a demonstrable edge in that discussion. I think we need a guy with a resumé. No disrespect for Nelson, but it is time someone came in with gravitas and started building a foundation for winning again. A record that veterans can’t dismiss, and developmental skills which demand respect of the young. We don’t just need a shake-up. We need a shake-up with legitimacy behind it.
  12. Thoughts after reading—and also NOT reading—the news of the deadline: 1. I am shocked—SHOCKED—that Mike Green is still here. I would have lost a lot of money had I bet on it. That we could not move a righty D-man of his caliber says one of two things: either a. We weren’t/Green wasn’t as motivated to move as we thought they were/he was, or b. Kenny Holland has lost his ability to market players. I think the answer is a., because... 2. I am super-thrilled about what we got for Tomas Tatar AND that we lost his ENTIRE cap hit! This shows Kenny Holland has still got it, at least to some degree. Nothing I don’t like about this deal, realizing of course that the first rounder from Vegas May very well be a very late first-rounder (and same with the others). 3. Mrazek is improving his deal. I am pulling for him to earn as many picks as possible from the Flyers. So far, he is performing well. We’ll see if he still does when Elliot returns and competes for ice time. Mrazek did better when he KNEW he was “the man” in net. He is a different player when that is questioned. I am wishing him well in Philly—both for his sake and ours. 4. I am not surprised at all that we still have Nyke and AA. Nor am I surprised that we didn’t move Glendening. Babs liked Glendening, and I thought he might end up there, but when they found help from elsewhere, I figgered he was gonna stick around. 5. Too bad for Oullet. I’m sure he would have liked to find a different team to try to earn a spot. 6. The fact that we have as many of these players as we do tells us this year’s deadline was a buyer’s market. I was for selling as much as we could, but not for selling stupidly. If Green goes, it will be stupid, but I have a feeling he chose to stay, and since offers were not fantastic, they decided to keep him to resign him as the defensive anchor as we rebuild. So long as we do, indeed, sign him, I am OK with this, even though on its surface it still smells like a missed opportunity. A deadline that could have been better but could definitely have been worse. I’m...OK with it.
  13. And ONLY 4 SEASONS TOO LATE!!! But at least it's progress, and the progress DOES seem to be accelerating. LET'S GO FOR DAHLIN!!
  14. @yave1964 Well, for several years, we haven’t had too much trouble playing AHL hockey. We’ve been consistently competitive at that level. Where we seem to struggle is when trying to upgrade from the AHL level to the NHL level. Then we look more pedestrian. And I’m not just talking about our current predicament. Consider guys like Jurco. Or Pulkkinnen. These guys were fine players at the AHL level, but never knew how to adapt their game to the NHL game. I’m wondering if this is something systemic about our farm system development. It just seems like we either bring the talent right in quickly ala Larkin, basically skipping the Griffs, or they play there and if they flourish we bring them up and they just don’t seem to flourish up here. Look at AA: the kid TEARS IT UP offensively at every level, and he STILL did when he first got up here. But now he looks, not pedestrian, but pedestrian as compared with his previous levels. It’s like we brought him up, and the guy who scored suddenly becomes the guy who threatens to score and still does every so often. I dunno. We seem to flourish at developing second and third-tier players. Some of it is talent. But I smell inability to coach to achieve potential.
  15. @yave1964 Having said all that, there IS good news: After Mike Green gets traded, Luke Witkowski will step in as our offensive-minded D-man! LOL!
  16. @yave1964 Finally getting back here. Sorry, the only thing that competes with watching hockey for me is watching Olympic curling. As a US Curling fan, I know what it must feel like to be a Buffalo Sabres fan. I’m gonna just leave it at that. As bad as that individual game was—and it was bad, but not IMHO as bad as the Montreal debacle earlier this season—whereas it may FEEL like the bottom, if the Wings sell like they should, it WILL get worse. Now, we will have more promise for hope, but take away some of our significant talent, and the product on the ice is gonna suffer for the remainder of the year. Prepare yourself @yave1964. But we must remember—and so must both the RW front office and so must most fans—that it is a means to an end. It is to improve our chances of acquiring what we need to succeed via the draft. Keep repeating it as you grit your teeth: “It’s the means to an end. It’s the means to an end.” You can’t let the ugliness of what you are going to be seeing take away from your future talent supplies.
  17. It was the right call. Mrazek oversold the interference on the winning goal for the Panthers, and the NHL didn’t buy it. I didn’t either. But was I surprised that the Red Wings were upset by the call? No, not at all, because of the context of the call. The problem is twofold: 1. That the league has not CLEARLY stated in the rules what defines goaltender interference and what does not. They do try, but they cannot describe every possible scenario. It either requires death by 1000 qualifications, or it needs to remain arbitrary. It is arbitrary. 2. That ultimately, that decision is going to be a subjective one. It’s really about how the guys in Toronto view each play on a case-by-case basis. Let me say that more clearly for you: “We know goalie interference when we see it.” The problem is that the above IS the arbitrary standard that both makes the game great AND makes it frustrating. Frustrating to play, frustrating to coach, and frustrating to watch. I’m a Red Wing fan. I saw the play and numerous replays. IMHO should this have been GTI? No. Mrazek was touched lightly. He fell down. He was “nudged.” I do not want this level of interference taking good goals away from teams who have earned them. In THIS case, I support the NHL’s call. But the problem is that in the last few weeks there have been several others where interference similar to this have negated goals. THAT’S why Blashill and the Wings are upset. “Wait! That looks the same as X’s no-goal last Thursday. Why was that goal disallowed, but this one stands?” Excellent question! Here is my view: If the call is being made by the refs who are on the ice, it is reasonable that they are not going to get every call right. That is just part of the game. It’s frustrating; it’s understandable; it’s hockey. I don’t need to hear much explanation, because they are not always going to get calls right. But Toronto is different. They are not making calls live, which can lead to wrong calls. They are analyzing plays. To attempt to decrease the arbitrariness of these calls, they should give teams an explanation for why this particular incident is a goal in comparison with others so that coaches at least have some idea of what the standard is other than “We know GTI when we see it (and sorry if you don’t).” I do NOT necessarily think Toronto needs to explain themselves to the fans on every play they call. But they DO owe coaches and players explanations, so they know how to coach and play the game. Clearly, right now, there is a lot of confusion within the NHL as to what GTI is and what it is not. THAT is the problem, and the NHL needs to fix it. When there is so much confusion that players and coaches no longer see that play as a good goal, more communication within the league is necessary to clarify the standards. This is not the officials’ fault. This is on the NHL.
  18. @yave1964 I don’t think it is as clear cut as you make it sound, but I respect the disagreement. I do think Huberdeau contacted Mrazek in the blue, and I agree Green didn’t have anything to do with it. The contact did not prevent him from making the initial save. He did. But he fell down. To me, there was not much contact—not enough to justify Mrazek falling like he did. I think he oversold it—like a dive! (But no goalie *ever* takes a dive in this league, do they? LOL!) Huberdeau scores on the rebound, which was already in the paint. i dunno. When Mickey—whom I love, but fully admit he is often a homer—has a hard time with a call like that, it is usually objectively going to go against us, and it did. In my mind, the call on the ice was no interference. The replay didn’t show me a whole lot of interference to make me reverse the call on the ice. If I was in Toronto, I think I would have made thee same call, looking at this one goal in isolation. The problem is the context of how other similar calls have been made. Consistency. Having some kind of standards. Perhaps this is spirit vs. letter of the law. Perhaps by the letter of the law, you could be right. Then again, Brett Hull’s skate blade being in the crease on the goal that won the Stars the Cup shouldn’t have counted by the letter of the law back then either. In both cases, I am glad that reason won the day, despite my not liking a loss for the RWs.
  19. @yave1964 Perhaps you’re right about Q marking this game. I thought about that. This was the last game before the ASG break for both of these teams. One team was on vacation already. Perhaps the Blackhawks learned their lesson from the game before their bye week. And my point was, in part, that soon after Mike Green is gone and hopefully a few others, our talent level will no longer make your first sentence of your second paragraph be true. We WON’T have enough talent to play with most anyone on any given night. We will have to be playing at the top of our game, and other teams will have to be playing average to below average. We, as fans, must be mentally prepared for what is coming. It’s not gonna be pretty in the short run. At some point, the talent level runs low enough where even if you play an average game, that the result will be “not good enough.” That point is approaching...if the Wings are smart.
  20. If you were wondering what the rest of the Red Wings’ season was gonna look like, tonight’s game confirms that Detroit will be sellers at the deadline. Just awful. Howard looked asleep. His positioning was poor, unlike most of his season. Was he not mentally ready after sitting out the last two? Did Mrazek outplaying him for 2+ games ding his ego enough to bring back Old Jimmy? Gosh, I hope not! We need to move one of our netminders. Neither looks good tonight, although Mrazek looks better than Howard did. (Pretty low bar, though.) Once we sell what we can, it’s not going to look better, so get ready to watch more hockey like this. Well, maybe not THIS bad, but...bad. I can hear the auctioneer warming up his voice.
  21. @TropicalFruitGirl26 Good thinking. I still think that THE way forward is drafting lottery D-men. So we are in agreement that it MUST get worse before it gets better. I agree with you on the 3 untouchables. I question whether some of the vets you listed are dealable with some of their remaining terms. Tatar might be tradeable, especially if he starts getting hot now, but his remaining term will likely turn teams off, not wanting to commit for that long. Same with some of the others. Some are just frankly overpaid, like Helm. Again making deals difficult. But your main idea is that a fire sale may be called for, and I don’t disagree. I would be OK with that. Yep, it means that clicking OK the next 2-3 seasons when I’m signing up for my NHL.TV annual subscription might leave a bad taste in my mouth, but it’s the price we gotta pay to get what we need.
  22. It looked like he was to me. It WAS very close, but it looked like he touched the puck just before his skate touched the line to me. Young Bertuzzi is gonna remember this game for a while. The first miss, the puck never settled down and that’s very likely why it hit glass. But even though he was being interfered with and going down, I don’t know how he missed that second open net. The good news was that he played a VERY good game. He was in the right spots and made many very good plays in this game...just not when it would have counted. Bummer!
  23. @mojo1917 On the offensive side of the puck, you're right. The future looks better. It's on the blue line that we are in BIG trouble. What I fear is that the young forwards play well enough to not let us tank enough to earn a couple solid D-man prospects, which is what we need. We need lottery D-men. Those won't come if we limp into the playoffs because our forwards are good enough to carry us to first-round exits. The LAST thing this front office needs right now is to THINK like a team on the bubble.
  24. @flyercanuck Thanks for that clip. Just the one I needed. No offsides. Great play by Konecny.

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