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The century mark-again


yave1964

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12 times in the last 13 non lockout years the Wings have hit the century mark, with 100 points or more in a season. A few thoughts on the regular season just ended.

Many thought this was the end for the Wings, I went into the year with trepidation, no way no how did I see the Wings being as good as they were this year. Yes we stumbled down the stretch a bit but we still got 100 points and finished 3rd in a very good division.

Zetterberg led the team with 66 points. Datsyuk (65) Tatar (29 goals 56 points) and Nyquist (27 goals 54 points) all scored more points than last years team leader Alfredsson. The offense got going again, Abdelkader deserves credit for developing (23 goals) into a super pest with offensive ability. Sheahan and Helm were solid. Weiss showed signs of life. Glendening and Miller anchored a super shut down line. Pulkinen showed signs of the player he is going to become.

On the downside, Franzen was mediocre and then lost to concussions, his replacement Eric Cole was lost to the year and possibly the career with a spine injury. Jurco was terrible in his sophomore year. Andersson was never seen. And somehow Dan Cleary played 17 games.

Overall, I feel the forwards were extremely good.

GRADE: A Minus

DEFENSE:

Kronwall (9 goals 44 points) was his usual self, anchoring the back end, Dekeyser (29 assists) showed a wonderful passing ability and developed this year. Ericsson continued to shine as the man you never notice, the stay at home shut down man on the back end. Quincey silenced the critics (including me) about the Wings bringing him back. Smith and Kindl are what they are, but both were okay. Zidlicky came over at the deadline and showed a wonderful slapper.

The defense still is not as good as the forwards but with Dekeyser stepping up and the addition of Zidlicky they made strides.

GRAADE: B

GOALTENDING:

Howard was an all star in the first half of the year but injuries derailed his second half, I still feel he is playing through injuries and is not himself.

Mrazek was brilliant at times and bad at others. He has been good enough to have stolen at least half of the playing time from Howard with flashes of brilliance and maybe even more than half of the postseason starts, however long that may be.

GRADE B

COACHING

Babcock kept the distractions of where he will be coaching next year to a minimum and squeezed the most out of this team. Tony Granato came in specifically to run the special teams and was brilliant as the Wings scored 70 power play goals good for second in the league and although the P/K slipped down the stretch with Helm back in they righted it by seasons end. Overall another solid job of the Wings coaching staff. And Holland refusing to overpay for Yandle, taking Zidlicky for next to nothing as a consolation prize and Cole for two prospects who likely never make the NHL was on as well.

GRADE: A

So a solid regular season, the second season begins for us on Thursday in Tampa. Lets go Wings!!

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@yave1964  I long for the days when a 100 point team was a powerhouse!  100 pts in todays game is like 88 or so back'n the day.

I agree, that ridiculous third point when you lose skews final standings.

That said, 12 in the past 13 years still should be commended, teams like the 'Yotes have done it once EVER. the Preds only 4 times. The Flyers only twice in the past decade. On and On.

So the Wings do deserve props in this day and age of parity where a team like the Kings can miss the playoffs a year after winning the cup or the Bruins are sent home a year after winning the Presidents trophy, it states volumes about the organization that they are in the conversation year after year, decade after decade, 24 consecutive post seasons, 4 cups, two other cup finals, and the Wings deserve credit for all they accomplished. With the Sharks not making the postseason, no other current streak is even double digits, the Penguins at nine consecutive postseasons is the closest.

So there are 100 point years and while I completely agree it is watered down, nobody else does what Detroit does. Watered down or not, it is a hell of a run, unequalled, unparalleled by any other team in the league. Even the Hawks under Quenneville who I absolutely love and respect don't come close to the overall level of greatness that the Wings have given to us fans for decades. I have a daughter who turns 23 in August, she is married with two kids and owns her own home, in her lifetime the Wings have NEVER missed the postseason.

So I will take it. Great run by the boys, retooled with youth, Athanasiou and Mantha hitting the roster next year and Pulkinnen ready for a breakout year. No end in sight.

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@yave1964  Yeah, I agree, skewered points and all....the Wings have been amazingly consistent. Something to be proud of. This team needs a star goalie REAL BAD. Howard is declining steadily and it's far to early to tell if Mrazec is the answer. Holland should trade some of the youth for an established goalie, but he will sit on his hands, bury his head in the sand and pretend there is not a problem....lol.

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What the bloody hell? Pavel Datsyuk over a ppg? when the top scorers were just a bit over ppg? What a great season for him, he could have contended for the Art Ross had he played all 82 games, at the age of 36.... while still being one of the best two way players...

 

I think you could argue he was better than some of the top 10 point procuders, no?

This guy is still gonna be playing well into his late 30s and maybe even early 40s, he just needs to stay relatively healthy

 

Anyways, congrats on making the playoffs. It was a hard season.

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@JagerMeister

Absolutely agree on Datsyuk, playing the best hockey that I've seen him play in the second half of his career. His goal production this year has been way better than he normally produces, and his playmaking hasn't suffered in the slightest. You can ALWAYS count on him to make the others around him better as well as for takeaways. Watching him make those nifty takeaways can be a lot like watching Barry Sanders make runs. The "regular" ones, you start to take for granted. You start expecting really nifty ones all the time! He is a special player. And to do this at 36 is astounding. The game is just slow for him.

And humble to boot. And funny as heck when he gets an opportunity!

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@jammer2

See now here is the real question:

@yave1964 and I (and others) have been critical of Holland in the past for not doing more. I know what you're saying about going out and getting a goalie, and a part of me yells the same thing. We are RW fans, after all, and we want to win NOW! But both yave and I have changed our tune a little bit, owing to the fact that we now have one of the most promising futures as far as our farm system in concerned, AND we got here WITHOUT BREAKING THE STREAK!

See, if I was in KH's office, I would have either sold our future some to get free agents, and then be in a difficult spot in being able to keep the talent I didn't trade away, OR I very likely would have said, "Screw the streak!" by dumping veterans and ended up bringing kids up earlier than I probably would have if I wanted to extend the streak. If I did that, I'd be getting a TON of heat from the fans--who want to win RIGHT NOW--and would have been forced to make a bad decision or 3, and my cap would be a problem.

The Wings don't have ANY of that! They have cap space. They have tons of VERY promising talent, both that we have seen at the NHL level and that we have not yet seen! AND the streak is still going. And for most of the season, we looked very good doing it! Even Howard was looking great. Not elite, but great.

And now to the question of our current goaltending predicament: Let me ask you a question--who would you go after? And what would you be willing to give up to get him? See, the side of me that is yelling with you is the side that doesn't think much about the cost. Would it really be worth what it would cost us? OR could it be wiser to let Mrazek develop, and just let Howard eat his contract for now?

Bottom line for me is that the results of KH's lack of activity have really made me eat my words. If I am honest, we ARE better off because he DIDN'T make the moves I instinctively wanted him to make. I wanted Suter. Badly! But just like the Tigers losing Scherzer, we made him a dang good offer. Minnesota made a better one. We've done better than they have since he and Parise joined the Wild. And although they DO now have Dubnyk, and that gives them the brightest outlook since their acquisition, I still like our long-term outlook better than theirs.

Oh, and they don't have a current 24-season playoff streak going either, nor do they have 12 100-point seasons of the last 13.

In short, I have been forced to acknowledge the wisdom of KH's method, even though I have not always liked the process. In the end, I've gotta admit: speaking long-term, I LOVE where we sit, and a LOT of the credit has to go to KH.

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And now to the question of our current goaltending predicament: Let me ask you a question--who would you go after? And what would you be willing to give up to get him? See, the side of me that is yelling with you is the side that doesn't think much about the cost. Would it really be worth what it would cost us? OR could it be wiser to let Mrazek develop, and just let Howard eat his contract for now?

 

 This is a tough question. There are two ways to go here.

A) trade for an established starter....it's doable with the outrageous talent the Wings have amassed over the past few years. With all the glittering crown jewels that the Wings have stockpiled, they can basically put themselves in a  position where they have the firepower to go get whoever they want. However, you have to weigh need against being responsible with their assets.

 

B) trade for an up and comer, somebody who has flashed wicked talent but is blocked by a current star in front of them....there are 3 glaring situations which appear worthwhile to be talking about here....

 

 1) John Gibson-Anaheim Ducks....out of this world talent, but semi-blocked by Fredrick Andersson. It would take a nice package to pull this off, but it is possible.

 

 2)Malcom Subban-Boston Bruins...again, vastly talented, but unlike Gibson, the price is a tad cheaper because he has not proven anything on the NHL stage to this point. Unlikely the Bruins trade a future star goalie within their division, this trade could come back to haunt them 5 times a year for the next decade....lol. The aksing price may baloon because of the in division risk the Bruins are assuming here. Regardless, Rask is not going anywhere, so inevitably Subban will get dealt.

 

3)Andrei Vasiliviesky-Tampa Bay Lighntning....Superior skill set, out of this world quckness and agility, terrific hockey IQ making his speed all the more deadly. He may be the best of the two current Bolts goalies, but Bishop does seem entrenched as the starter.....we will know more once we see how Bishop fares in this years second season. Dealing with a slick customer like Stevie Y is difficult to say the least, but I believe common ground could be found, making a deal not only possible, but probable. Andrei may serve as back up for a few years, but just like the other two, there is no room for 2 outstanding goalies on the roster...at least not long term. All 3 of these guys will either be traded before their ELC expries or overtake the current starter and send the once entrenched goalie packing.

 

Of the 3 I mentioned, I think Vasilivesky has the most upside. From a Wings perspective, I consider Mantha an untouchable.....BUT I can see a package of Ryan Sproul or Maxim Ouellette along with one of Jurco, Tatar or Sheahan...that combo should be enough to pry Vasilivesky loose. From a Bolts perspective they would still have Bishop as "the guy" and they have more than a few quality tenders who can be broken into the NHL level to serve as Bishops back up. The Wings could afford to give up proven NHL talent like Jurco or Tatar because of the sickening depth they have in the minors....Mantha, Pulkkanen and Anthasious are all highly thought of and can replace which ever forward gets shipped out.

 

 With Vasilivesky safely on board, the Wings can then split time between him and Mrazek until one emerges ....then ship out Howard for a 2nd rounder.....even if you have to take on a bit of his remaining salary to get the job done.

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  • 1 month later...

12 times in the last 13 non lockout years the Wings have hit the century mark, with 100 points or more in a season. A few thoughts on the regular season just ended.

 

I didn't know where to put this so it thought why not...here...

 

...man as a Flyer fan i remember the wars you guys use to have with the Avs man those were some good and dirty times...good ol 90's hockey.

 

Like i said for it to not be my team i was glued to the set every time you guys battled... Gary Thorne and Clement on ESPN man i miss those days.

 

 

 

lead to this this...

 

 

it just seems like we don't see those wars anymore these days....

 

...and with the league getting away from goons and sort of fighting we may not again...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Honestly, I think that rivalry was the best of its era, and I'm trying my very best to look at it without my red-wing-tainted glasses. The rivalry was great. The talent was great. It was not a one-sided rivalry--both sides won cups. Consistent matchup in the SCPs for years running. Yes, the 2002 Red Wings were probably one of the greatest teams ever assembled, but I long for the days like these more, if I'm honest. This was when hockey was still GREAT, unncombered by new restraint to the physical game and fighting.

And I agree on Thorne and Clement. I'm not a huge fan of Doc Emrick. I do appreciate his knowledge of hockey history, but don't prefer his style of broadcast. I liked Thorne, and I even prefer Dave Strader, although it is likely because he used to broadcast Wings games and it takes me back.

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