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Wings are done


Guest SpikeDDS
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Hate to say it, but the first two periods were our best of this series, and we couldn't crack Rinne when it counted. And then the 3rd period comes, and we package it up and hand it to them on a silver platter with defensive and goaltending mistakes. What the heck happened on that Klein goal? 3 defensemen AND Howard ALL go to the puck carrier in the corner leaving a wide open net? With the game on the line? Are you kidding me? It looked like AA hockey for crying out loud! It was laughable.

We just do not have the physical game to compete with the likes of the Predators or the Sharks in a best-of-seven. We are not big enough to get inside, and stay inside and be able to work inside. Plenty of opportunities, but we just don't have the ability to control an inside game. It's not puck luck as Babcock like to try to say it is. It is inability.

That home winning streak sure was fun, but it'll soon be forgotten once this year is over when this series ends.

Retooling year. I'll be shocked if Lidstrom returns.

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Unfortuately I think you are right. Down 3-1 against the Preds is a death blow.

We just do not have the physical game to compete with the likes of the Predators or the Sharks in a best-of-seven

The Wings have the ability to hold the puck and make great plays but when it comes to the playoffs, they take a pounding and have little to give back.

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@Digityman

If we had the home ice, and the Preds had just won their two games on home ice, leaving us with two more home games in a 7-game series, we MIGHT be able to pull that off. But to go into Nashville and steal one twice AND hold our own at home (which we couldn't do in two tries), that's not realistic. I'm not saying impossible, but even if the Wings pulled it off, they'd be so spent that they wouldn't have anything left for the next series which would probably be with St. Louis. They'd be done and just not know it officially yet.

I'd love them to prove me wrong, but the players have got to see the writing on the wall. They aren't blind. They're saying what almost all teams say in their position--one game at a time, blah blah blah. If they hadn't just played their guts out and come up with bubkis for 2+ periods and it was an effort issue, maybe. It's not. It's an inability to win against a bigger, more-physical team.

Don Cherry is chuckling right now.

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The team that made fewer mistakes last night was the team that won. Unfortunately, Martin Erat had a hip flask with 18-year old scotch and bag full of fig newtons which he used to lure half of the team away from the goal mouth. I can't believe that happened....

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@SpikeDDS

True. Timing was horrible for a bad game. Still, though, if the Wings had scored first in the third period, after two straight periods of heavy pressure, I think they would have blown the scoring wide open and the game would have been 4-0. There's nothing like the anticipation of that first goal....

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@SpikeDDS

True. Timing was horrible for a bad game. Still, though, if the Wings had scored first in the third period, after two straight periods of heavy pressure, I think they would have blown the scoring wide open and the game would have been 4-0. There's nothing like the anticipation of that first goal....

OK, there's anticipation, but it just seems like we've been playing with "anticipation" for the majority of the last 3 years' losing series. It's the SAME PATTERN! We just aren't big enough and physical enough to compete at the Cup level. I hate to say that Don Cherry is right, but he is.

I don't know if you saw it, but I blogged about this very issue (Wings 'N Things), and then lo and behold, Drew Sharp writes an article about the same thing, only he's a little nicer about it than me. Whereas he just thinks the Wings need to be broken up, I think the whole skill-team model needs to be dropped in favor of a more playoff-ready, bigger team. Looking at the teams in the West who are legitimately competing for the Cup, they've all got size and physical play at the center of their defensive system. The result is that we shoot the puck hoping for a deflection. Homer's not what he once was, so it doesn't happen nearly as often as it used to. When Rinne stops the first one, we either aren't in position to capitalize on the rebound, or we ARE, but then because they are bigger and they outmuscle us, we don't have enough space to be able to use enough skill to put the puck on net where Rinne ain't before he can recover.

This was a similar pattern to San Jose. And now look, the Blues are building the same kind of team--bigger. Physically-centered defense. It's a recipe that wins more than it loses in the playoffs. The Wings' skill system can work to win a game or two, but in a grind-out 7-game playoff-officiated series, they don't have enough in the tank to do it consistently enough to win 4. They fall behind, get frustrated, and then make glaring mistakes that the opponent then capitalizes on. No better example than Klein's goal. What the heck what that, right? Last year is was Couture making us pay. This year it's Klein (really Erat, but Klein cleaned up an easy empty-netter).

Whereas when we came to dominance, we had large and physical guys like Larry Murphy, and Fetisov in the back, and guys who were super skilled like Yzerman and Federov who could somehow still play with skill even while being interfered with, we don't have anyone like those guys except maybe Kronner for physical play and E for size, but he doesn't always "play big." Our forwards just can't compete with guys the likes of Thornton or Weber. Guys who are large, but who can STILL play with skill, because they are big enough where they don't have to concentrate on "playing big." They do so naturally. Babcock noted this about Shea Weber when he was asked what makes him so good: "He plays 6'4"...on every shift, not on every other shift." We just don't have the personnel to compete with teams like this any more.

Time for a rebuild. The good news is that we have some skilled players to dump in order to go after guys like that. The bad news is that there aren't very many guys like that.

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