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Can you appreciate the run?

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Old
04-26-2010, 08:57 AM
  #1
Heaton
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Can you appreciate the run?

Without looking like an apologist? If the Wings don't meet your expectations, do they deserve the benefit of the doubt or is the played too much hockey reason too lame of an excuse?

After reading comments about how the Wings are lazy, spoiled and don't care I was curious to see everyone else's mindset about what this team has given us not only lately but over the course of (for some people) our entire lives.

I have no problem with sports being a what have you done for me lately type of business, but even though there were comments made about it not being a big deal if the Wings didn't win the cup at the beginning of this year can people hold true to that? Or if some people don't go off the deep end are they just being naive.

I, for one, don't believe any type of oust in any round signifies any sort of downswing for the organization. Some players are getting older, but I need to see more before I believe that last year was the crescendo and this year is when the franchise starts going downhill. I think if any team in history has earned the benefit of the doubt, it's this team. But perhaps thats the apologist in me.

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04-26-2010, 09:17 AM
  #2
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I'm happy with where we are, though I'm always hoping to go further. I think what we've done this year shows incredible heart from the youngsters on our team. With so many injuries we shouldn't even have our 100 points. But we're still, as far as I can tell, a team capable of winning a Stanley Cup. We're not all that much changed from last year, when a few lucky bounces could have easily changed the outcome. It's just that there's so much parity in the West these days that no team can expect to win without a struggle. We're not the Yankees because we have a cap to work around. So any given year we have a chance, but there's too much quality competition to ever say it's in the bag. That said, it's amazing what the Wings have done since I became a fan in 97 and I appreciate the hell out of it.

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04-26-2010, 09:21 AM
  #3
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The problem is, with a lot of the fans here there are only certain people you can criticize. If you criticize so and so, you're a 'hater' or 'biased', but if you criticize someone else, why, you're only talking common sense.

Mix that in with the usual spice of how spoiled by success we are here considering it was 2006 since Detroit didn't make a Conference Finals... assuming for the moment they don't make it this year... and you have a recipe for 'apologist' and 'hater' labels to be thrown willy nilly all over the place.

Just like in 2006, 2010 was a sneaky transition year. As will 2011 be. For most franchises, a transition year implies missing the playoffs and finishing in the bottom 5. For Detroit it implies maybe only winning a round in the playoffs, or even (gasp!) losing in round 1.

In 2006 Detroit was in the process of turning over a lot of it's top 6. In 2010 Detroit's been turning over it's bottom 6 and goaltending. In 2011 they are going to start turning over the top 3 of their defense.

What also doesn't help is that it's rarely just one thing that derails a sports team. There isn't going to be one shining goat we can all point to and throw tomatoes at. So, people are going to use the perceived weaknesses of players in combination with their previously held opinions about guys to determine who deserves x amount of the 'blame' and who deserves less or more than that.

Speaking only of myself, this has been one of the most enjoyable seasons of Wing hockey in quite a while. Lots of big developments, lots of hills to climb, and lots of opportunities for different guys to step up. I always prefer the Wings to win, but the way they've played this year isn't going to cause me to hang my head or otherwise be ashamed by their effort.

It's sports. It doesn't always work out so 'your team' wins. Are there going to be things that I wish were different, or done differently? Absolutely. Hindsight's always 20/20. That doesn't mean we should be so angry and negative about those occasions where we don't think 'our team' isn't doing well enough to suit us.

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04-26-2010, 09:26 AM
  #4
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this team didn't bring much excitement to me this season. it's a very strange feeling this POs. one part of me wants them to succeed, but there's a big part in me that doesn't really care. i can't say a loss in game 7 would make me sad.

but as much as is don't have any bond to this years' team, i can't wait for next season and looking forward to it. every season is a new chance and i'm pretty confident that they will bring back the joy and entertainment they gave me the seasons before. i don't think the wings are going downhill. they stay competitive, maybe not as frontrunner, but that's fine. it's not only about winning. i want entertainment and the feeling that they give 100%. maybe that's what i don't see this season. a see a bunch of tired and worn out guys. too much success? too much hockey? i don't know, but that will change next season.

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04-26-2010, 09:42 AM
  #5
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This is too early to think about this. The puck will be behind Bryzgalov few times next game.

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04-26-2010, 10:01 AM
  #6
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If June to September isn't a big enough break, then May to September won't be big enough either.

I don't think it makes someone an apologist to suggest the Wings just need a rest because they've played so much.

I do think that suggestion is false. Most of these guys had some time off this season. They have every summer off, and the summer is only a little bit longer for teams like San Jose and Anaheim and Chicago and Vancouver.

IMO, if they need time off then they need some new players. I know everyone's got major chubbies going for Bert but I would like them to at least try to use that cap space to get a big lug that can skate, think, and at least handle the puck a little bit.

Draper doesn't really serve a purpose anymore but he's got another year so there's no getting rid of him.

Rafalski has a NMC so he's a non-issue.

Lidstrom is fading but he's still valuable, though the Wings are going to overpay him this summer if he chooses to come back. They could really benefit from dropping his ice time to the 20 minute neighborhood to keep him fresh, because he has looked pretty stale at times. Problem is they don't have anyone that can take his minutes without embarrassing themselves.

I was a Cleary defender but even he looks like he's gassed, and he got 18 games off this season so he has no excuse to have dead legs.

Filppula is a bright spot - he looks like he could be a legit 70-80 point producer if he stays healthy and has decent linemates next season.

This is not a fatalistic post - it's up to the guys mentioned above to prove that they're not too tired to keep playing. If they're still tired in game 7, then maybe it's better to get bumped and to bump some of these guys off the roster in favor of some guys that are fresh and hungry.

Unless there are trades, they're currently lining up to put basically the same lineup out there next season, swapping Hudler and Kindl for Williams and Lebda. Does anyone really think that will make this team any "fresher"? That's the thing that scares me the most. They may not make any improvements even if the team proves itself to be inadequate in the playoffs, and then we're right back here again next year with a dead-legged team that's underachieving. All the guys who should be candidates to be shipped out for upgrades at their position have no-trade clauses or are untradeable with years left on their deals.

Let's hope the boys prove me wrong.

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04-26-2010, 10:08 AM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarcastro View Post
Unless there are trades, they're currently lining up to put basically the same lineup out there next season, swapping Hudler and Kindl for Williams and Lebda. Does anyone really think that will make this team any "fresher"? That's the thing that scares me the most. They may not make any improvements even if the team proves itself to be inadequate in the playoffs, and then we're right back here again next year with a dead-legged team that's underachieving. All the guys who should be candidates to be shipped out for upgrades at their position have no-trade clauses or are untradeable with years left on their deals.

Let's hope the boys prove me wrong.
Completely agree.

Realistically, 95% of the team that we saw out on the ice yesterday will be out there next season. If they get bounced in the first round, and we're going to ice virtually the same team, it's concerning.

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04-26-2010, 10:10 AM
  #8
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I can appreciate the run and if exit first round I won't be upset with the team, but of course I'll be saddened by the outcome. In reality I don't really care where we finish this year, but the one thing that makes me a bit more sad is that we could have been back to back winners if a couple things just went our way last year, but oh wells.

You got to remember though, that after Bowman coached us to back to back cups, it wasn't until 4 seasons later that we captured number 3, and at that point we had a significant influx of new players (Hasek, Hull, Robitaille) on our team that we're hungry for a cup.

There is always a possibility that we might have reached a point where we won't win a cup again until we bring in an influx of new cup hungry players that have never won it yet. That being said, if we can get Paul Kariya at a Bertuzzi like contract next year I'd take a chance on him. He looks like a player that really wants to win a cup and I think he might look for a team this off season that provides him with that chance. Just watch though, Penguins will repeat and he signs there for league minimum this offseason LOL

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04-26-2010, 10:16 AM
  #9
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I will be "happy" even with an early oust. We were all hoping for the 8th seed after the break, so surpassing that was unexpected. And who can forget all those post-2002 seasons where we were at the top of the league in points, but went one-and-done in the POs. That is disappointing. Keeping the streak alive for the team is satisfying enough. You can't win it every year.

That being said, we can win it again, and we better win game 7! But you know, ____ happens.

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04-26-2010, 10:28 AM
  #10
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Regardless what happens in game 7, I think we are still one of the top 5 or 6 teams in the NHL (Chicago, San Jose, Pitt, Washington, Vancouver). We should remain a legit cup contender next season, but I do have some concerns long term. When we lost to Edmonton in the first round of the playoffs it wasn't that big of a deal b/c we controlled the pace of the play most of the series and were just beaten by a hot goalie and the bounces didn't go our way. We were still a top 5 team like we are now, but we were also a much younger team with a brighter future. Z and Pavel were just coming into their own and we had young guys like Hudler and Flip coming up from the AHL and secondary guys like Franzen, Cleary and Sammy who showed promise and figured to be good depth players for awhile. Homer and Lidstrom and some of our older vets also had a longer shelf life remaining. I got the sense that that core group of players was going to be great for awhile. And, they have been. But, we are at a different stage now b/c we have very few players who figure to improve all that much. We need the next Pavel/Z to develop if we are going to keep this amazing run going and that is going to be very hard to find again.

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04-26-2010, 10:52 AM
  #11
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They made the playoffs and reached 100 pts. More importantly, I actually cared about the regular season for the first time in...15 years?

The first 82 games of a Wings season were a formality, a pre-season minefield that just had to be navigated safely in order to insure a healthy squad going into the playoffs.

Not so this year and no surprise why either.

Like it or not, Holland and Co. f-ed up the offseason. Tried to keep everybody instead of picking and choosing, ultimately costing them everyone not named Franzen (who has been a Mule alright, the lame kind that needs to be euthanized).

Forced the Wings into a no-win situation, with stop-gap signings just to fill a roster with NHL level talent.

A volatile goalie situation turned into a team strength, so thats definitely encouraging. Its amazing what can happen when a team gets a Top 5/Top 10 goalie on the roster...all the holes your team can have that get covered up by that. Thats a positive.

Overall, fun season so far and it isnt done. I have no illusions, theyre not winning the West so no Stanley Cup this year. But, in comparison to other teams idea of transition year(s), I'd say they're doing alright.

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04-26-2010, 11:25 AM
  #12
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My first thought would be, what run is ending here? Is it this year's run of a tired team that fought its way into the playoffs? Is it the run of the last 4 years in which we won 9 out of 11 playoff series? Or is it the run of the last 18 years?

And similarly, can the Wings become a contender with a clever signing, a good trade or two or do they need something more fundamental? I think we all agree that as long as Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Franzen are with the Wings and in reasonable shape the Wings are a playoff team, but can they challenge for Cups as you have teams with young cores of superstars like Washington, Pittsburgh and Chicago to compete with?

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04-26-2010, 11:28 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarcastro View Post
I do think that suggestion is false. Most of these guys had some time off this season. They have every summer off, and the summer is only a little bit longer for teams like San Jose and Anaheim and Chicago and Vancouver.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Filppula View Post
Completely agree.

Realistically, 95% of the team that we saw out on the ice yesterday will be out there next season. If they get bounced in the first round, and we're going to ice virtually the same team, it's concerning.
It's impossible to predict what a 1st round exit might mean to the team. I don't buy into the 'tired' argument either. But wear and tear happens, especially when you've played more games than any other team in the entire league the past few years. It's not permanent, so just because they've played a lot of hockey doesn't mean that these guys usefulness tank is running on empty.

I mean, the talk that these guys have become stagnant and don't care about winning the cup as much is a really strong attack on their character. I don't really buy into that as I've seen it too many times to believe it's over. Like HiHD mentioned after '06 people wanted to blow it up, thankfully that didn't happen. People wanted to blow it up after '01, thankfully that didn't happen.

I think it's a lot easier to write off the team than it is to look at whats happened before and what that end result was.

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04-26-2010, 11:31 AM
  #14
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If they don't like people questioning their character they are fully capable of proving those people wrong by showing their character on the ice the way they did in games 2 and especially 4 and 5.

When they play like they did in games 1, 3, and 6, they are opening themselves up for attacks on their character. Win or lose in game 7, they need to bring their game from games 4 and 5. If they don't show up for a game 7 then their character will be fair game.

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04-26-2010, 11:41 AM
  #15
Heaton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarcastro View Post
If they don't like people questioning their character they are fully capable of proving those people wrong by showing their character on the ice the way they did in games 2 and especially 4 and 5.

When they play like they did in games 1, 3, and 6, they are opening themselves up for attacks on their character. Win or lose in game 7, they need to bring their game from games 4 and 5. If they don't show up for a game 7 then their character will be fair game.
Fair enough. Even the glory days of the '90's Wings had their detractors and they were the best team of that era. I think it's putting the cart before the horse, but what do I know.

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04-26-2010, 11:55 AM
  #16
Johnny Law
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Originally Posted by Filppula View Post
Completely agree.

Realistically, 95% of the team that we saw out on the ice yesterday will be out there next season. If they get bounced in the first round, and we're going to ice virtually the same team, it's concerning.
I agree in part but feel more optimistic about the Hudler replacement of Williams. Williams only had 6 goals and if Hudler can be in that 20 goal range that's a big improvement, 14 goals actually makes quite a bit of difference at least in the regular season.

I think now the problem they have is one of motivation, they have been successful for a long time and you just can't manufacture that kind of desire a team has when its their first trip to the playoffs.

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Old
04-26-2010, 12:00 PM
  #17
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Dont want to lose to a team owned by Gary Bettman. If the Wings can get past Phoenix I can appreciate this year.

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04-26-2010, 12:14 PM
  #18
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I really dont understand the panic around here.

The Wings are playing a hell of surprising team right now and if they overcome, they still can have a big run.

I mean, Detroit gonna win this 7th game and give some credits to Phoenix, they fight hard, really hard.

It's not because a team doesn't dominate the game that they can't win the series.

I'm a habs fan, but my second favorite team is Detroit and if I well know something about this team, they never quit. You have the chance to have a real good team that can respond under pressure, when facing wall.

Wings gonna get it done, they really deserve your faith.

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04-26-2010, 12:23 PM
  #19
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Dont want to lose to a team owned by Gary Bettman. If the Wings can get past Phoenix I can appreciate this year.
Actually, Ilitch has 1/29th stake in the team, not Bettman.


Re: the topic.

There is a feeling to this team of looking worn out. Are they tired of playing certain plays, or going to certain areas, day in, day out. Without getting into the "is Babs a good coach" debate (and for this post, let's say he's been great), are the players starting to tune him out? Do they need more frequent and specific reminders to execute the way he wants them to execute.

I was skimming through the Playoff board GDT, and someone commented how horrible the PP looked, had no lateral movement. Each time the team comes down the ice, a guy goes to the near boards and skates around the net. Pavel usually stops right before the goal line and starts the cycle there. They look repetitive and predictable. Guys who are supposed to be going to the net to set up screens either forget to do it, or if they happen to wander over, the point shots cannot be set up.

Tippet knows their players and playbook well. Is he Left Wing Locking the Wings? Then taking away the lanes, and w/o most players willing to get physical and sacrifice their bruised and battered bodies, it's working?

Mickey said something too, that over a long enough time period, really is a factor for Western teams. They travel 2-3 x as much per series than any Eastern team. The only time that's not the case [in a single series] is if you get Det-Chi or any Central team, or LA/Ducks-Sharks. All the rest requires significant travel and time zone changes. After 4-5 years..... does it all add up?


I didn't have high expectations for this season. I said the team would be lucky to get into the playoffs, or if they did, they'd be the 8th seed. As such, this year they have exceeded my expectations. For the braintrust overall, how can any of us gripe? Simply an astounding run, and if the Wings never win another Cup in my lifetime, I'll still be way ahead of just about every other fan base in the NHL. That said, I'm cautiously optimistic about the future. This year, plus the next year, will be re-tooling years. We should know by the end of next year whether some of the highly touted youngsters are the real deals. They won't have anything handed to them, but I think if they develop as expected, Wings should be contenders for another decade.

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Old
04-26-2010, 12:38 PM
  #20
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I haven't read any of the other posts so i apologize if I'm repeating anyones post.

I, first of all, always appreciate the Wings no matter what kind of season they're having. Hockey is my favorite sport, and the Wings are my favorite team. It doesn't matter if they're on a 5 game winning streak or a 5 game losing streak.

Kenny Holland said at the beginning of the year this was a "rebuilding" season. On top of that we had 4,750 injuries this year. The Wings still made the playoffs, and thats very impressive. How many teams get a 5th seed in a rebuilding season?

Conversations like this remind me to appreciate hockey. I mean, think about life without Little Gary. We'd all be basketball fanatics, and thats a sad, sad thought.

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04-26-2010, 12:48 PM
  #21
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We'll I would feel disenchanted cause its just frustrating losing against another Bettman team (just hating this ******* with a passion).

My biggest concern being the future don't get me wrong Howard is a great goalie and will just keep on getting better but at some point we've to look about the "after Lids" era -->needing an elite goalie. Maybe I didn't search too well but simple can't find a player coming close to what Lids is bringing to the table even if he's aging. Only option would be Scott Niedermeyer guy will retire soon too so..

This team has shown heart but also some "couldn't care less" mentality. No one expects them to win every game just at least show some damn heart: check harder, play more poisoned or start a fight..

League is cleary transfering into a joke we're getting punished for being succesful by the damn cap.

but we somehow managed getting over 100 points in a rebuilding season other teams are barely making the playoffs. So its a so/so feeling.

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04-26-2010, 12:49 PM
  #22
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For my part, I love hockey. I love the Wings. I can certainly appreciate that they had a great deal of injuries, and that the fact that they made the playoffs this season is very impressive.

That being said, as of current they have no key injuries, and are being outworked on the special teams. A first round exit would be disappointing.

In addition, as an athlete and competitor, I want the Cup every year. I know I'm spoiled by success, but that doesn't change the fact. To reference other sports, the Lions have sucked for years, the Tigers haven't won a World Series in my lifetime, and the Pistons, aside from '04, don't have any recent titles, but I am still disappointed when they don't win titles, and don't really feel all that happy that "at least we made it in". Felt the same way about Team USA losing in the Olympics (made worse because it was Crosby), even though I openly admitted that the US had virtually no shot of medalling before the tournament. It's just the mindset.

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04-26-2010, 01:44 PM
  #23
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Push Holland upstairs

what do people think of that? I think Yzerman will get a GM offer this summer or next at the latest and I dont think he will take a lesser teams GM offer. So if we lose Yzerman we likely lose him for good.

Push Holland up to the Devallano part of the front office and have him help Yzerman run the team if needed.

I think the rest of the NHL may have caught up to Holland. With a healthy Lidstrom I think the Wings win the Cup last year, not even considering the other goon injuries the Wings suffered last year. Still this year he refused to sign a legimate enforcer, Brad May is not legimate.

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04-26-2010, 01:49 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarcastro View Post
If they don't like people questioning their character they are fully capable of proving those people wrong by showing their character on the ice the way they did in games 2 and especially 4 and 5.

When they play like they did in games 1, 3, and 6, they are opening themselves up for attacks on their character. Win or lose in game 7, they need to bring their game from games 4 and 5. If they don't show up for a game 7 then their character will be fair game.
IMO, Wings already showed character multiple times this season by coming this far after what they've gone through. Again, IMO, it's not about character, it's about making it happen.

And Fugu, the biggest factor Wings look stationary is because, IMO, phx are putting heavy pressure on the puck during PP. In PP, it's all about changing the angle of attack and to do that you usually need 1-2 guy circling around trying to draw attention while opening up lanes and spaces. Phx PKs are putting so much pressure in so little time that Wings are kinda afraid to handling the puck and try to play it safe by precision passing. yeah all that I pulled outta my ass but we need guys like Z and Pav circling around with puck to make it more dynamic. Just watch Phx's PowerPlay., they move around the puck without much contest from Wings and it looked just a matter of time they scored.

Phx is a very very aggressive team because they know they can execute faster and better than Wings. However Wings have better players IMO and if Howard again put on a show, and we get some luck, then all is fine.

by getting back on topic, we Wings fans are not spoiled by expecting the Cup this year. Wings maybe don't have the best team but the best team doesn't always win the Cup. Wings certainly have a good enough team and anything less than the Cup is a wasted opportunity this year. I don't think fans arent appreciating Wings effort if they fall short. It's natural for fans to expect the best performance from players especially from some of the worlds best. That's why they get paid big bucks.

Again, I don't like this topic as it sounds like a bad omen. I'm going to add something meaningful to this thread once Wings break though again and go all the way.

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04-26-2010, 02:25 PM
  #25
Winger98
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We expect to contend for the cup every year for good reason - the Wings organization has the same expectation. It clearly doesn't always happen, though. And it's a fact the organization has come to better grips with than a fair bit of its fans. Sometimes the dice just don't roll your way or the other guy just has high trump in his hand.

This season has been a long season. Outside of the long playoff runs the past few years this season, by itself, has been long. A bunch of injuries mounted forcing the players still healthy to absorb extra minutes. We had a sizeable roster turnover during the offseason. And other teams like Chicago and Phoenix and LA began to make good on their youth and promise.

But the Wings persevered. And they finished the season well. Regardless of what happens in game 7, I won't complain too loudly about this season. Just get ready for next year, seeing how the lineup is tweaked, and probably disagreeing with HiHD over three out of every four moves.

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