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Underachieving or just unlucky?

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05-24-2006, 05:42 PM
  #26
19 for president
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At the same time to beat teams to the puck especially going into the nuetral zone you need to have speed built up going in. THE WINGS NEVER had one guy rush up the ice with the puck unless it was Lebda, Kronwall, or occasionally Schneids. It was also lets have our two wingers stand at the blueline and then have either the center or dman slowly skate to the blueline and finally dump the puck in. This allowed Edm to set up everytime in the D zone and allowed them to easily beat the Wings wingers who were either skating slowly or had been standing still. One big thing that stands out to me about the Wings offense is the lack of breakaways the Wings have. Then to top it off when the Wings do get a breakaway 9 out of 10 times it hands of stone Draper. Puck possession is a great technique but in 97,98, and even 2002 the Wings often would use breakout passes to send people in alone. Now that the red line is out this should be even easier but the Wings never use it, which is a shame because guys like Dats, Z, Cleary, Williams could exploit this to the max. The Wings are just way too slow through the nuetral zone.

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05-24-2006, 07:00 PM
  #27
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I think it is a combination of things. Whoever said matchup is 100% right. We are dealing with the same questions in Philly. The FLyers came up against the worst possible matchup for them in Buffalo and they got beat. The Flyers and Red Wings were both similar in that they were relying on some older veteran players and an above average to good goalie that didnt save any games for them (althouh esche almost took the first game against buffalo).

Some players underachieved and luck is always a part of it.

They also came up again a hot team that made some great moves at the end of the year and are now a win away from palying for the cup. Edmonton has been bulit for the new NHL for about 5-6 years now and the leauge has finally caught up to them.

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05-24-2006, 09:45 PM
  #28
Fugu
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Originally Posted by 19 for president
At the same time to beat teams to the puck especially going into the nuetral zone you need to have speed built up going in. THE WINGS NEVER had one guy rush up the ice with the puck unless it was Lebda, Kronwall, or occasionally Schneids. It was also lets have our two wingers stand at the blueline and then have either the center or dman slowly skate to the blueline and finally dump the puck in. This allowed Edm to set up everytime in the D zone and allowed them to easily beat the Wings wingers who were either skating slowly or had been standing still. One big thing that stands out to me about the Wings offense is the lack of breakaways the Wings have. Then to top it off when the Wings do get a breakaway 9 out of 10 times it hands of stone Draper. Puck possession is a great technique but in 97,98, and even 2002 the Wings often would use breakout passes to send people in alone. Now that the red line is out this should be even easier but the Wings never use it, which is a shame because guys like Dats, Z, Cleary, Williams could exploit this to the max. The Wings are just way too slow through the nuetral zone.

Do you consider this a coaching issue or a player personnel issue? Is Babs not deploying correctly given the new rules, or does not do this because he believes his guys can't? I tend to think it is the former. Someone mentioned the Wings that won the Cups and the use of breakout passes. Let's not forget how much Lids or Stevie liked springing Sergei, who in his prime was one of the best at it.

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05-24-2006, 09:47 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by shveik
I see it more as having the wrong players. And having some players playing the wrong way. IMO we just needed one of the following factors to win the first round:

1) better defensive play from our defensemen (hello Lebda, Schneider, Lilja, and to some extent Kronvall). Offensively our D was great, but where it counts the most, in the defensive zone, they sucked. In the case of rookies, maybe it could be corrected, maybe not. What ticks me off is the dead weight in Cory Cross that we had to carry instead of some vet that could actually contribute.

2) better defensive play from our forwards. Unlike some I have no problems with Shanny's play and Datsyuk's play. What killed the Wings was the offensive zone turnovers, and they always played safe, *playoff style* game - taking less chances, opting for a safe play. Even Z was at times suspect in that respect (although playing on a line with our turnover king Samuelsson did not help I suppose).

In my opinion the Wings would have had a chance if they did not have a handful of players that were a liability, plain and simple.
Lilja, absolutely. Schneider, on defense, terrible, on offense, he did well. Kronwall made some bad giveaways but played pretty well for a rookie in his first playoff coming off major knee surgery. And Lebda was their best defenseman in the series - he wasn't on the ice for a single goal against, and he logged decent minutes, especially toward the end of the series.

Lidstrom was a big problem. He did not play like we're used to him playing. Whether it's because he had the Lilja Anchor dragging him down, or his game is just not as great as it used to be and can be exposed in the playoffs, or some combination of both, Nick really let the team down against the Oil. It's ok for Schneider to put up a point a game and not do much defensively - well, not ok, but understandable, given his salary. But when a guy is making 20% of your payroll, he has to be your best player, or at least has to play like a guy who's making 20% of your payroll. And Nick didn't.

Chelios and Schneider are a bad defensive pair. Neither one has the muscle to take on forwards in front of the net, and Chelios is not fast enough to cover for Schneider if he's going to go running all over the ice. They needed a more mobile guy there that would put the hammer on the Oiler forwards in front of Manny, and there wasn't a single guy on the roster that fit the bill.

And, the forwards did a terrible job of covering when the defense pinched. Granted they pinched way too often and got caught, but they didn't get any help from the forwards at all. The Wings really did not play a full game of hard, team hockey in that series. Very disappointing.

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05-24-2006, 10:20 PM
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu
Do you consider this a coaching issue or a player personnel issue? Is Babs not deploying correctly given the new rules, or does not do this because he believes his guys can't? I tend to think it is the former. Someone mentioned the Wings that won the Cups and the use of breakout passes. Let's not forget how much Lids or Stevie liked springing Sergei, who in his prime was one of the best at it.
As far as coaching, you have to implement a system that best suits the players you have. You can't have Washington play a puck possession game because only one player on their roster knows how to handle it.

This isn'ta coaching issue, it's a management one. Babcock prooved with Anaheim that he can implement a system that works for the players he has.
He simply cannot make this team play like Edmonton, Anaheim or Buffalo because of the players that we have. On all those teams their best players are their most aggressive. That's not the case with the Wings. Our best players don't want to get their nails broken by fighting hard for loose pucks, blocking shots or forechecking aggressivly.
And our defense, as a whole, is soft as a marshmallow.

I guarentee you that we'll finish in the top 3 again this next season and then we'll get crushed in the 1st round again. We'll continue this trend, along with drafting soft Europeans to fit our 'puck possession' when we should be getting some rough and tumble players that hate life when going after pucks and blocking shots.

Ugh. I'm getting upset just thinking about how we're basically going to have the exact same team next year. And then all the players, media and fans will wonder why we got bounced early again. You'll get the same results if you keep the same ingredients.

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05-24-2006, 11:00 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by Hank19
Ugh. I'm getting upset just thinking about how we're basically going to have the exact same team next year. And then all the players, media and fans will wonder why we got bounced early again. You'll get the same results if you keep the same ingredients.
Yeah, I know how you feel. The more I think about it - and I try not to - the more I wonder about Holland's commitment to a core that has failed...again. What's a million here and there and over there? Throwing money around like that eventually costs us the opportunity to find some younger, perhaps overlooked/undervalued guys with grit and hunger. We don't need to find any superstars to pay, just some solid players willing to play as a team.

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05-25-2006, 01:38 AM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarcastro
Lilja, absolutely. Schneider, on defense, terrible, on offense, he did well. Kronwall made some bad giveaways but played pretty well for a rookie in his first playoff coming off major knee surgery. And Lebda was their best defenseman in the series - he wasn't on the ice for a single goal against, and he logged decent minutes, especially toward the end of the series.
Schneider would've been great to have if we did not have a couple of rookies on D, and a 3rd pairing guy (Lilja) playing on top pairing. By the way, I disagree about Lebda. I do not know if he was on the ice for any goals, I just remember thinking "what is this guy doing"? when he was on the ice. He could not clear the puck, did not know who to pick up, made suicide passes to his defensive partner, just played like a rookie that he is. Between the two bluelines he was good. He managed to get the puck through the Oilers trap. But once he got over the other blueline, he looked lost again. I liked Kronvall much better because at least he looked great in the offensive zone.

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Lidstrom was a big problem. He did not play like we're used to him playing. Whether it's because he had the Lilja Anchor dragging him down, or his game is just not as great as it used to be and can be exposed in the playoffs, or some combination of both, Nick really let the team down against the Oil. It's ok for Schneider to put up a point a game and not do much defensively - well, not ok, but understandable, given his salary. But when a guy is making 20% of your payroll, he has to be your best player, or at least has to play like a guy who's making 20% of your payroll. And Nick didn't.
Lidstrom did not play like he can, but he was the best Wings defenseman. Hopefully this will translate into signing discount And that brings us to...

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And, the forwards did a terrible job of covering when the defense pinched. Granted they pinched way too often and got caught, but they didn't get any help from the forwards at all. The Wings really did not play a full game of hard, team hockey in that series. Very disappointing.
The forwards made the defensmen's jobs much harder by giving the puck away in the offensive zone (Samuelsson, Williams, Zetterberg) , or loafing in the defensive zone (Williams, Lang). If the Wings did not have paper thin defensive depth, it would have been ok. Or, if the forwards did their job defensively the defense would not have been exposed.

In terms of defense, I would love to get rid of Schneider's contract. I think he is a great offensive defenseman, but he is made expendable by Kronvall development IMO. The money could be used to sign a defenseman who is good in the defensive zone to pair him up with Lidstrom, and keep Lilja on 3rd pairing.

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05-25-2006, 06:05 AM
  #33
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If they could move Schneider and add Kubina, I'd be thrilled. Kubina is good offensively and holds his own defensively. Schneids is a great offensive player but he really costs the team on D. Any way that they can balance the offensive guys on D with stay at home guys, that would improve the defense a great deal.

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05-25-2006, 09:23 AM
  #34
19 for president
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu
Do you consider this a coaching issue or a player personnel issue? Is Babs not deploying correctly given the new rules, or does not do this because he believes his guys can't? I tend to think it is the former. Someone mentioned the Wings that won the Cups and the use of breakout passes. Let's not forget how much Lids or Stevie liked springing Sergei, who in his prime was one of the best at it.
I believe it is a coaching issue, just like leaving Shanny and Dats together when they had no chemistry. Sure Sergie had Stevie and Lids in their prime springing him but the Wings still have Lids, Schneids, and Kronwall all of who have great outlet passes. Hell we even have Ozzie who is great at that high looping pass. I also think Z and Dats would be as effective if not better than Sergei at springing up the ice as I personally think they both have better one on one moves. This does not mean giving up puck possession either, as all the previous Cup winning teams were still puck possession teams. It would have been incorporating another scheme into the system.

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05-25-2006, 09:43 AM
  #35
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Originally Posted by 19 for president
I believe it is a coaching issue, just like leaving Shanny and Dats together when they had no chemistry. Sure Sergie had Stevie and Lids in their prime springing him but the Wings still have Lids, Schneids, and Kronwall all of who have great outlet passes. Hell we even have Ozzie who is great at that high looping pass. I also think Z and Dats would be as effective if not better than Sergei at springing up the ice as I personally think they both have better one on one moves. This does not mean giving up puck possession either, as all the previous Cup winning teams were still puck possession teams. It would have been incorporating another scheme into the system.
They already had other guys playing on the top 2 lines who are not top 6 players. The problem isn't really coaching - you can't coach a 3rd line player into a sniper who pairs well with Datsyuk. Who are you going to put with Datsyuk, Williams? Maltby? Samuelsson? The problem was, outside of the great depth they have at center, they have one top 6 winger - Shanahan. Sammy, Homer, Draper, Williams, and everyone else they tried on those top 2 lines are not legit top 6 wingers. That's not Babcock's fault - he did the best with the roster he had.

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05-25-2006, 11:58 AM
  #36
mikedifr
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Originally Posted by sarcastro
They already had other guys playing on the top 2 lines who are not top 6 players. The problem isn't really coaching - you can't coach a 3rd line player into a sniper who pairs well with Datsyuk. Who are you going to put with Datsyuk, Williams? Maltby? Samuelsson? The problem was, outside of the great depth they have at center, they have one top 6 winger - Shanahan. Sammy, Homer, Draper, Williams, and everyone else they tried on those top 2 lines are not legit top 6 wingers. That's not Babcock's fault - he did the best with the roster he had.
Why didnt they leave Zetterberg on the wing with Datsyuk? Lang is more then qualified to be 2nd line center and Yzerman and Draper would have made the other two. Obviously, this is all hindsight and I know Z is better at center, but it would have made more sense if they did this.

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05-25-2006, 12:16 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by mikedifr
Why didnt they leave Zetterberg on the wing with Datsyuk? Lang is more then qualified to be 2nd line center and Yzerman and Draper would have made the other two. Obviously, this is all hindsight and I know Z is better at center, but it would have made more sense if they did this.
In the regular season, splitting them up gave them a more balanced attack - 3 scoring lines, and all of them were scoring. In the playoffs the only line that did anything was the Lang-Yzerman line, and Zetterberg as a one man show. Consolidating the stars onto one line might have been something to try. And hopefully this is the last time we'll ever see Draper on the wing of a scoring line.

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05-26-2006, 02:26 PM
  #38
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Originally Posted by sarcastro
In the regular season, splitting them up gave them a more balanced attack - 3 scoring lines, and all of them were scoring. In the playoffs the only line that did anything was the Lang-Yzerman line, and Zetterberg as a one man show. Consolidating the stars onto one line might have been something to try. And hopefully this is the last time we'll ever see Draper on the wing of a scoring line.
Not only that but as good as Zetts is on the wing he's a lot better at his natural centre ice position.

Sarcasto, you hit it on the head concerning their problems on the wing positions. We basically have a collection of 3rd and 4th line wingers.
If moving Lang is something Holland is thinking about I hope he gets a legit top 4 winger. Someone like Parrish or Langenbrunner or Selanne. Dump Lang's salary or trade him, but get another legit sniper for either Dats or Zetts.
And yeah, Drapes needs to move back to centre. He's got hands of stone and has no business being the top LW on this team. He's great at shadowing the other teams best guys and leading the way in banging and crashing in the offensive zone.

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