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Are we better or worse than last year


yave1964
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Lets face it getting knocked out in the first round and then losing Nick to retirement really put a cloud over the team. Just wanted to look at the rosters from the past two seasons, assuming everyone is healthy it actually could be a decent season.

Goalie: The monster replacing Conklin. Big advantage for this season. A swede, low risk high reward guy.

Defense: lost Lidstrom and Stuart, added colaiocovo, getting a full season out of Quincey and Brendan Smith getting to add his brand of snarl and nastiness to a blue line that often lacked bark last year. All three can move the puck and will hit you if you have your chin down. Nobody replaces the perfect human but we are not as bad on the blue line as some people make out, provided Smith breaks out.

Forward: lost Holmstrom, replaced by Tootoo, Tootoo adds grit to the checking line. Lost Hudler added Samuelsson, If Samuelsson is healthy it is an advantage because he plays both ends of the ice.Added Damien Brunner, who if he is as good as he has looked will be a top six forward with more speed than anyone on the team except Helm.

So Lidstrom is gone but every other move is an upgrade and while nobody wants to talk about it Nick had slipped a bit the last two seasons. My god am I ready for some hockey!

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@yave1964 To me, the key here is Brunner. If he does play in the top 6 with Zetts, that is huge for you guys. That gives the 3rd line some more offensive punch, kind of a trickle down effect. I love the way Helm's plays. He's very underrated and just could have a break out year. I also believe Tootoo is a lot more respectable offensively than his stats lead people to believe. Surround him with talent and he will produce a decent year pts wise.

The puzzling guy is the Mule. He is so damn inconsistant. He has games where he will literally take over, plays a few dominant games in a row and then goes into his invisible mode for a month. It's got to be frustarating, because you know the talent is there, but the production is very inconsistant. Funny thing is though, he does not seem to dog it, he is just unlucky I believe.

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Sorry yave, but when you lose one of the greatest defencemen and one of THE most classiest athletes of alltime, the team has to be worse off. You can't replace a guy like that.

I agree Canuck, Lidstrom is one of the all time greats and a classy person to boot. But truthfully the last two years have seen a drop in production not just in the stat line but in the intangibles. I have watched every single Wings game for the past twenty four seasons, I can tell you that Lidstrom was slipping, not a lot but enough to where he knew when to go unlike guys like Chelios who played so long that he really was a bit of an embarrassment. Nick would never do that.

That said, guys like Brendan Smith, Colaiacovo and Quincey will solidify the blue line- it will be a different team this year, more sandpaper and grit with offensive contributions from all three pairings being required (no offense to Brad Stuart but last year he seemed to be mailing it in).

Losing Hudler hurts but he had some of the flukiest damn goals last year that I have ever seen. Off his skate, off his leg, a shot deflected by the other teams d-man, it was unreal.Samuelsson has the health issues but is much more of a complete player, hopefully Brunner can translate to the NHL level and Tootoo bring grit to the forward lines. I know I am a homer, but I dont see this as a bad team.

Oh and Jammer, Franzen drives us all nuts with his inconsistency. He has like a million years left on his deal, I would not be surprised if he was bought out in next seasons amnesty deal. He is no Scott Gomez, but that is a long painful contract for a guy who comes to play about every third game....

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He may have lost a step, but I'd still take Lidstrom on the Flyers blueline next year.

I agree. I was heartbroken when he retired but understand his reasoning, and he will never be replaced, players like him come along once in a lifetime. He was just so damn smart out there, he almost always seemed to know where the other guy was going to do with the puck. An amazing player.
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@yave1964, 10:02 AM

Regarding losing Hudler, we will miss his shootout help more than anything else. It was hard for me to believe that with the Wings' team last year that he was consistently considered in the top 3 for shootouts, but he was. I wouldn't THINK it would be too hard to replace him with someone else. Whoever it is still has to follow Pavel, which is both enviable and unenviable at the same time. Enviable, because who wouldn't want to follow a guy who gives you the best chance for a score. Unenviable because what's-your-name is the guy that follows Datsyuk. ;-)

I think Sammy can replace him well during game play, and Sammy seems a bit tougher than Huds was. He's not afraid to muck it up a little.

Edited by SpikeDDS
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To answer the original question, I don't think anyone can truly answer that yet. Their game will have to change. That will take time and adjustment. HOW WELL they adjust their game is what will determine their success. They have been such a skill-based team. Now, they've got a little more feistiness with guys like Tootoo. If guys like him can be effective without drawing to many penalties, I think we will be competitive enough to continue our playoff streak at least. But without a full season, not much time to make those adjustments.

I would have liked a little more size on the D than we have to better clear out the slot without interfering/penalties. Lidstrom more than made up for his size deficiency with his stick work and positioning. Guys like Weber are big enough where they don't need to use their sticks as much. I would have been more comfortable with more of that in our D. Not so to be. Gotta make due with what you have and see whether adding a player or two toward the end makes sense.

Serious Cup contenders? I don't think so, though. Not this year. At least, not without IDEAL game adjustment, minimal injury, and good trade deadline pickup(s). Hard to see the Cup going to Detroit this year. Then again, who picked the Kings?!

Edited by SpikeDDS
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To answer the original question, I don't think anyone can truly answer that yet. Their game will have to change. That will take time and adjustment. HOW WELL they adjust their game is what will determine their success. They have been such a skill-based team. Now, they've got a little more feistiness with guys like Tootoo. If guys like him can be effective without drawing to many penalties, I think we will be competitive enough to continue our playoff streak at least. But without a full season, not much time to make those adjustments.

I would have liked a little more size on the D than we have to better clear out the slot without interfering/penalties. Lidstrom more than made up for his size deficiency with his stick work and positioning. Guys like Weber are big enough where they don't need to use their sticks as much. I would have been more comfortable with more of that in our D. Not so to be. Gotta make due with what you have and see whether adding a player or two toward the end makes sense.

Serious Cup contenders? I don't think so, though. Not this year. At least, not without IDEAL game adjustment, minimal injury, and good trade deadline pickup(s). Hard to see the Cup going to Detroit this year. Then again, who picked the Kings?!

I actually picked the Rangers over the Black hawks in the cup final this year (BTW I picked the Kings before the season last year) with the Wings finishing second in the division, and the Blues who are everyone's darlings this year taking a small step back to third.

With this being a 48 game season played over 99 days I truly believe it hurts older teams like the Wings a bit, less time to get in game shape for guys like Bert and the mule and a game almost every other night for three plus months will leave tongues wagging and grey hair showing. One thing the Wings do have to overcome that though is depth, we can give a guy off and insert a Tatar or Nyquist without a significant drop off. Hopefully Howard plays like the pre injury Howard of last year. I agree we a re missing a piece or two to be considered a serious contender but Holland has the cap room and a late trade deadline give us plenty of time to sort it out.

GO WINGS!!

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Well good on ya for the Kings pick, yave. (You were meaning this YEAR and not this SEASON, right?) Good call.

For the first time in many years, I have been disconnected with hockey where I don't feel like I can intelligently predict the season. Hockey just hasn't been on my mind much. I've had some business issues, not the least of which has been a COMPLETE turnover of my dental team. I predict that I'm not gonna be as active this year as in years past on the forum. Too many plates spinning. But I'll be checking in occasionally, when I get the chance.

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@SpikeDDS

Hope to see you more often than not, Spike! There are too few of us who bleed Red and White on this site. We're severely outnumbered by all these Flyers Hooligans! :-)

Clearly, as everyone has echoed, the team is worse without Lidstrom. Period. End of sentence.

That said, there is so much potential on this team, that it can go either way. Detroit barely squeaked into the Playoffs last year. Franzen, Datsyuk, and Clearly all had sub-par seasons due to injuries or otherwise. If these guys all turn it on this season, it'll give a real good cushion to the defense corps, who are all going through a transition of some sort. Every last blueliner on the team is going to be playing different than they did last year.

On the other hand, if the defense pairings work out well this year as everyone hopes, it will help to cushion the forwards in case there are injuries and lowered performance, not to mention losing Hudler. I will be very interested to see how this pans out. But I will tell you that Johan Franzen has the hairy eyeball on him. With all that money he's making and the contract signed up through the All-Star game in 2089, he better start scoring some goals in regular fashion. The Red Wings still have a lot of money in the bank, and a buyout could be arranged easier than you might think. .

Edited by WingNut722
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@WingNut722 If Franzen does not find consistency....and soon, Mike will buy him out quicker than you can sneeze. Like many veterans out there, Johan is about to embark on a 48 game "prove yourself or else" campaign. Thing is with Johan, his problems did not come from being lazy or not competing, he was just snakebit, in a slump he could not get out of. If you take away his 3 or 4 dominat games (the 4 goal game comes to mind etc) he really, really stunk.

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@jammer2 Good point, Jammer. However, either way, he tends to be a "streaky" goal scorer and he is usually relied heavily in a playoff situation. He can put up 30 goals in a season which is good by the numbers. However, if he's potting 3 goals in a game when other guys have already tallied 4, it does the team no good. A win is a win. He needs to start scoring when other guys are hurt, or are going through slumps themselves (like Saturday night).

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@SpikeDDS

Hope to see you more often than not, Spike! There are too few of us who bleed Red and White on this site. We're severely outnumbered by all these Flyers Hooligans! :-)

Clearly, as everyone has echoed, the team is worse without Lidstrom. Period. End of sentence.

If it was just Lidstrom, it would be bad enough, but Stuie's gone too. Just think that in 2 years, we lost Rafalski, Stuart and Lidstrom. Now obviously, Nick retiring hurts the most, but those three guys were all important PP anchors.

And now for additional fun, let's lose Big E, Kindl, Colaiacovo, and now White for a few weeks too!

Who's next? Kronner?! (He'd better watch himself!)

Who else can we rent?

Edited by SpikeDDS
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And now for additional fun, let's lose Big E, Kindl, Colaiacovo, and now White for a few weeks too!

Who's next? Kronner?! (He'd better watch himself!)

Who else can we rent?

If I didn't know better, it almost sounds to me like a "sick-out." "If we can't play with Lidstrom, then we won't play at all..."

Fortunately, but the time Friday rolls around, we should have Bertuzzi and Helm back, which will add more to the offense and make up for what is lacking in defense (temporarily).

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Im not sure.. but yesterday was a really good team preformance worthy of a playoff team. The Chance creating couldn't be stopped, the passing was flowing and fluent. The team spirit was high. Even against the Blackhawks we played great but hey 5 other teams couldn't do it either.. yes losing Lindstrom may dampen things but if the Wings continue to play like against dallas yesterday then 8th is the worst they can do.

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