Jokes aside, I can identify 3 things that are missing this year:
Is it the Olympics, is it a lack of understanding between the players due to injury or is it a tired roster. The majority of this roster has played a lot of hockey these last two years, yes and this seems to be an excuse for many fans, but can I remind you that the Pens have had the same exact exposure and they are fine in 4th place in the East. They have problems of their own (decent wingers for the their centers and at one point Goligoski was their only healthy starting defensemen) but they still scrapped some wins.
What is the reason we are losing 2-3 goal leads in the dying minutes? Is it a coaching problem? Is it a lack of confidence from the losses? Being strong mentally is just as important as being strong physically and I don't seem to see any mental strength on this team when I'm watching games.
2. Goalscorers/Offensive strength
Yes, I was joking about Kovalchuk. Acquiring him in the current cap system is suicide, but I am serious about getting some quality forwards. Do we trade away strong prospects (Filppula, Abdelkader, Eaves, etc) for established forwards or stick with what we have got and rely on our world-class development system to mould these guys into stars? Simply put, do you want a definite short-term or possible long-term solution?
I think a bit of both. As much as a like Filppula, he is about the same age as Kovalchuk but I see yeeeeeeaaaarss of difference between them. Sure, the price tag indicates you pay for what you get, but I'm sure Filppula could step up and offer more than he has already. I'm not really a patient guy, so I like to see results immediately. Thank God we traded Leino cause if I was the GM, he was out 3 months before that. Ericsson is another guy I am running out of patience with. Sure, he is a youngster who is finding his feet, but I have yet to see one decent game from this guy. Mistake after mistake he is not someone who has the word clinical in his dictionary.
3. Dominating play
Last year, we wouldn't care if we conceded 4, we scored 5, it was no problem. But now we are being outshot and if we do actually outshoot the opponent, we score 1 goal in 50 shots and make the other goalie look like a Vezina candidate. The Red Wings have a reputation in hockey of being a strong all round side. Ask any fan of another team who knows hockey and they will praise the Red Wings for their achievements and style of play, but now we are one of the laughing stock of the league. Blowing leads, giving the most shutouts in the league, etc. I can't remember the last time we dominated a whole game where we are camping in the offensive zone and peppering their goalie with shots. I just see forwards going down ice, dumping the puck, trying to get it and run into defensemen...fail!
Last year we were a top side but by losing 3 players and many more to injuries we are struggling. It doesn't look good. Bertuzzi is no replacement for Hossa, Williams is not better than Samuelsson and Eaves, as good as he has been, is not helping the same way Hudler did.
I don't know if we need to acquire new players, the team we have is just fine. We just need some focus, we need our top lines to produce 10 times more than they have and figure out a way to dominate games. i'm looking forward to the Olympic break, I get to watch some pretty decent hockey and the 15 or so players who are not going to the Olympics get a good rest and think about what the **** they need to do to get this team going.
I'm guessing you're joking, but that's a phrase that shouldn't be used to describe this current Wings team.
I really started watching the Red Wings in the mid 80s, right when Stevie was named captain and they were starting to turn things around, and believe me, this team is nowhere near the Dead Things of the 70s and 80s.