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Babcock Calls Out His Team

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Old
03-07-2011, 06:29 PM
  #51
Yemack
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Originally Posted by Heaton View Post
I don't believe that. I think things need to be addressed, but the overall mood in this thread does not reflect the Wings regular season success.
Firstly, I agree with you and I believe that Wings will turn it around. They are too good a team not to do that.

Secondly, nevermind the details but overall mood of the forum can't be that cheery when Wings have been playing like this. It's just the way it is in Sports when there are alot of passionate people around. I understand there are other side of the equation but I have not been so happy with all these name calling and mocking because of that.

Thirdly, Wings haven't been that great for a while against west teams and like someone mentioned, they are trending down. Wings look sloppy just about every other game and they get out competed and make same mistakes over and over and over.

Sure things may change in playoffs. We all know that. But for every 2009 and 2002. There are many other failures as well. You dont know which version of the Wings we will get once playoff starts. At least back in 2009 and 2002 Wings had ridiculous depth that no NHL team could boast at that moment. IMO, Wings aren't THAT good this year.

Finally NHL is alot more physical this year. What Wings might thought enough may not be enough anymore. For instance, I can guarantee you that Wings will not win board battles left and right like back in 07-09 ish. Every team competes so hard right now and Wings arent exactly a big team. Their ticket is puck possession and tempo and those two things aren't exactly something you just turn it 'ON'.

Adding all that, when Wings are making same mistakes that's not fixed and havnt played that dominant hockey for awhile, I think people have legitimate concern how Wings are playing right now. We all know Tiger woods is a great golfer. Will he make a comback next season? who knows? NO ONE knows.

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03-07-2011, 06:33 PM
  #52
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I wouldn't care about the lousy play, if it would happen at the "meaningless" Eastern conference games, or against weak opponents. Everything would be all right, if they would be beating the hardest teams of the west.

It was like this in previous years, and I didn't care less about these losses.

But right now, they are losing and not winning against the west all the time. It really worries me. Our main opponents at the playoffs are outplaying us all the time.

At the last 17 games against the west the Wings are 1-8-8 after 60 minutes since January 4th.

If you think theoretically, that we will win 50% of the overtimes at the playoffs, we are going to win 5 games of 17 with this latest game form against the west. That means a first round exit.

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03-07-2011, 06:34 PM
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yemack View Post
Secondly, nevermind the details but overall mood of the forum can't be that cheery when Wings have been playing like this. It's just the way it is in Sports when there are alot of passionate people around. I understand there are other side of the equation but I have not been so happy with all these name calling and mocking because of that.
Well, for one the Wings board is never really cheery, so it's unsurprising.

Quote:
Thirdly, Wings haven't been that great for a while against west teams and like someone mentioned, they are trending down. Wings look sloppy just about every other game and they get out competed and make same mistakes over and over and over.
I think it's a slippery slope when deciding whether or not the way a team is playing in the regular season will help or hurt in the playoffs.

Quote:
Adding all that, when Wings are making same mistakes that's not fixed and havnt played that dominant hockey for awhile, I think people have legitimate concern how Wings are playing right now. We all know Tiger woods is a great golfer. Will he make a comback next season? who knows? NO ONE knows.
Right now being the operative word. This thread would become obsolete after another 5 game win streak.

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03-07-2011, 06:36 PM
  #54
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The Wings played poorly. They were also on a tail end of a long road trip, a road trip that they often don't do the best at. They're home now, and they have a few days off to practice and work on what needs worked on. I'm with Heaton on this. I'm not going to get worked up over a rough west coast trip 3/4 of the way through the regular season.

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03-07-2011, 06:38 PM
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heaton View Post
Right now being the operative word. This thread would become obsolete after another 5 game win streak.
well we can always find something to talk about. It just happens to be Babcock calling out his team and all that concern at this moment.

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03-07-2011, 06:41 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by Yemack View Post
well we can always find something to talk about. It just happens to be Babcock calling out his team and all that concern at this moment.
I realize that. I think it's a good thread, just giving my opinion on it.

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03-07-2011, 06:51 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by Heaton View Post
I realize that. I think it's a good thread, just giving my opinion on it.
The Wings have learned, especially in the 09 SCF, that having Home Ice isn't necessarily the biggest factor. It's how much gas you have left.

Let's face it, Vancouver is probably going to clinch first seed. And go ahead, let them. The only time we will face Vancouver is in the WCF, but I bet they won't even get there. That's just my own feeling.

However, as long as Detroit is taking the odd night off or giving up a 3rd period lead to save energy (at the expense of one or two points they could have had), I am okay with it.

We're not a super young team guys, and the way we play isn't exactly the easiest. Who cares if we lose games in the regular seaason. I have a feeling our guys are just waiting for the playoffs to get it going, and if any team knows how to turn it on and WHEN to turn it on... It's us.

Let's just wait this out before (typically, of most wings fans on this board) overreact.

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03-07-2011, 06:51 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by Heaton View Post
Why do the Wings need an excuse for being 2nd overall in the Western Conference and 3rd overall in points?
I think I summed up my reasoning when I said, "they are trending down, not up."

Maybe once in 10 years the Wings have shown they can "turn it on" when they need to. In some years they make it as far as they are expected. Others they get upset.

The "turn it on when they need to" approach is the antithesis to everything that Holland and Babcock preach. From the start of camp they both say they are there to build a foundation of fundamentals and to play the game "right" from day one.

So, when Babcock calls the team out for playing like they don't care or aren't paying attention it raises a red flag. Especially, when Lidstrom echoes Babcock's sentiments (this seems to have been lost in this conversation) and the other "face of the franchise" seems to not be on the same page.

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03-07-2011, 06:55 PM
  #59
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Originally Posted by sepster View Post
I think I summed up my reasoning when I said, "they are trending down, not up."

Maybe once in 10 years the Wings have shown they can "turn it on" when they need to. In some years they make it as far as they are expected. Others they get upset.


The "turn it on when they need to" approach is the antithesis to everything that Holland and Babcock preach. From the start of camp they both say they are there to build a foundation of fundamentals and to play the game "right" from day one.

So, when Babcock calls the team out for playing like they don't care or aren't paying attention it raises a red flag. Especially, when Lidstrom echoes Babcock's sentiments (this seems to have been lost in this conversation) and the other "face of the franchise" seems to not be on the same page.
But that's the NHL though. I think you're really underestimating how difficult it is to win every year in the playoffs. The Wings have been the most consistent team in the playoffs for a long time. We've seen from a lot of teams just how hard it is to make the playoffs.

I think if the Wings make it to the Conference Finals this year it'll be huge. Obviously the goal is to win with Lidstrom being around, but I don't know how practical that is.

I don't see this flip the switch stuff. I think when the Wings have played well, they've played well.

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03-07-2011, 07:10 PM
  #60
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In general, I agree with Heaton. Specifically, in regards to recent games where the Wings have let up, I don't think it's a big deal. It's a long season, there are ups and downs, and downs are more likely to occur at the end of long, west-coast road trips. I also don't think the Wings are "trending down." I'm not even overly worried about the PP, which has been crap for a while; they'll inevitably get that going again.

The one skeleton in the closet that I am concerned about is team defense, which has been a problem since the beginning of the season. Coverage in the defensive zone has been sloppy this season. No one in particular is killing the Wings, but, collectively, they frequently aren't covering the weak side and are allowing our goalies to get back door'd too often. Probably the worst team defense since the lockout.

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03-07-2011, 07:14 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by jaster View Post
In general, I agree with Heaton. Specifically, in regards to recent games where the Wings have let up, I don't think it's a big deal. It's a long season, there are ups and downs, and downs are more likely to occur at the end of long, west-coast road trips. I also don't think the Wings are "trending down." I'm not even overly worried about the PP, which has been crap for a while; they'll inevitably get that going again.

The one skeleton in the closet that I am concerned about is team defense, which has been a problem since the beginning of the season. Coverage in the defensive zone has been sloppy this season. No one in particular is killing the Wings, but, collectively, they frequently aren't covering the weak side and are allowing our goalies to get back door'd too often. Probably the worst team defense since the lockout.
That's probably true. I think since '07 the Wings haven't had two capable goalies playing well and that's been a big issue. When Howard isn't playing well, the Wings had no one to turn to. MacDonald is fine, but not that good.

Even during the '09 season, the Wings didn't play awful defensively, just let up a lot of late leads.

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03-07-2011, 07:25 PM
  #62
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Originally Posted by Heaton View Post
That's probably true. I think since '07 the Wings haven't had two capable goalies playing well and that's been a big issue. When Howard isn't playing well, the Wings had no one to turn to. MacDonald is fine, but not that good.

Even during the '09 season, the Wings didn't play awful defensively, just let up a lot of late leads.
When we did play terribly defensively, it was one player unfortunately.

Brian Rafalski. And let's be clear here, I am PRO-Rafalski. However, I believe the groin injuries that were hampering him in 09 Playoffs and somewhat in the 2010 playoffs could have been avoided if he opted to get surgery earlier.

That's a nonissue now, though, since he finally got it done. I expect Rafalski to be able to defend really well and not be my sole worry on the blueline, especially against offenses with speed. His lateral movement seems to be there, and he is a good (if not really good) skater.

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03-07-2011, 07:26 PM
  #63
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When we did play terribly defensively, it was one player unfortunately.

Brian Rafalski. And let's be clear here, I am PRO-Rafalski. However, I believe the groin injuries that were hampering him in 09 Playoffs and somewhat in the 2010 playoffs could have been avoided if he opted to get surgery earlier.

That's a nonissue now, though, since he finally got it done. I expect Rafalski to be able to defend really well and not be my sole worry on the blueline, especially against offenses with speed. His lateral movement seems to be there, and he is a good (if not really good) skater.
That's impossible. One defensemen was not causing all of the issues.

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03-07-2011, 07:32 PM
  #64
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[QUOTE=Heaton;31487334]But that's the NHL though. I think you're really underestimating how difficult it is to win every year in the playoffs.QUOTE]

Not true, that's why I said, "some years they make it as far as they are expected to."

I understand winning the Cup every year is completely unrealistic. I don't expect them to win the Cup every year. However, this team SHOULD make it out of the first round this year. That is not unrealistic.

Their inconsistency this year and their inability to ratchet up their play against legitimate conference/divisional rivals in important games isn't very reassuring.

As far as saying that this thread would go away the second they go on a win streak, I agree, so let's see a win streak then. They've won 5 in a row once this season. Since the beginning of December they've won 3 games in a row twice. In fact, they've LOST 3 games in a row as many times as they've WON 3 games in a row.

I'm not saying the floor has fallen out from underneath this team. They do need to show a better work ethic on a more consistent basis though.

The '07 and '08 season they were the best defensive and hardest working team in the league, by far. Those days have been gone since then.

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03-07-2011, 08:01 PM
  #65
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Originally Posted by Heaton View Post
I don't believe that. I think things need to be addressed, but the overall mood in this thread does not reflect the Wings regular season success.
The Wings won the President's Trophy in 2002, but they got sloppy and putzed around at the end of the regular season and didn't have their edge. If Cloutier stops a 150-footer from Lidstrom, they probably get bounced in the first round. Then they lose their edge again in the Colorado series and if Patrick Roy doesn't pull the Statue of Liberty play in game 6, the Wings more than likely lose that game and the series.

And that team was recently voted as the best team in NHL history.

This team does not have that margin for error, and they don't have the horses to simply drown out an opponent anymore. The cap has taken a lot of their depth, and other teams are too good in their own right to let it happen.

This is the time to address things, as you put it. That's what Babcock is trying to do. Hopefully it works. They need to be healthy, in a good groove, and with the best possible seeding going into the playoffs. The West is just too good this year for them to think they can fart around and still win series. It's going to be a spitting, clawing, gouging brawl every inch of the way.

The players' quotes don't reflect an understanding or appreciation of that IMO. They sound more like "well, we're obviously the best team, we just have to play like it", and they've lost many a series in the past (in some cases to embarrassingly inferior teams) with that attitude.

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03-07-2011, 08:03 PM
  #66
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The Wings won the President's Trophy in 2002, but they got sloppy and putzed around at the end of the regular season and didn't have their edge. If Cloutier stops a 150-footer from Lidstrom, they probably get bounced in the first round. Then they lose their edge again in the Colorado series and if Patrick Roy doesn't pull the Statue of Liberty play in game 6, the Wings more than likely lose that game and the series.

And that team was recently voted as the best team in NHL history.

This team does not have that margin for error, and they don't have the horses to simply drown out an opponent anymore. The cap has taken a lot of their depth, and other teams are too good in their own right to let it happen.

This is the time to address things, as you put it. That's what Babcock is trying to do. Hopefully it works. They need to be healthy, in a good groove, and with the best possible seeding going into the playoffs. The West is just too good this year for them to think they can fart around and still win series. It's going to be a spitting, clawing, gouging brawl every inch of the way.

The players' quotes don't reflect an understanding or appreciation of that IMO. They sound more like "well, we're obviously the best team, we just have to play like it", and they've lost many a series in the past (in some cases to embarrassingly inferior teams) with that attitude.
Yeah, but I think putting this much stock in 2 quotes is just stupid.

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03-07-2011, 08:15 PM
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Mod-on-Mod violence! Won't someone please think of the non-mod posters?

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03-07-2011, 08:18 PM
  #68
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Originally Posted by sarcastro View Post
The Wings won the President's Trophy in 2002, but they got sloppy and putzed around at the end of the regular season and didn't have their edge. If Cloutier stops a 150-footer from Lidstrom, they probably get bounced in the first round. Then they lose their edge again in the Colorado series and if Patrick Roy doesn't pull the Statue of Liberty play in game 6, the Wings more than likely lose that game and the series.
Not saying those weren't two major plays but that Lidstrom goal came at 1-1 in the 2nd period. The Wings could have won it without Cloutier's blunder as well though it certainly helped. The Statue of Liberty play came in the first period and made it 1-0. The Wings won 2-0. I doubt Roy's play assured the Avs didn't score a single goal in that game.

Both plays were highly symbolic of course and I get your overall point, that 2002 play-off run wasn't as smooth as it may seem in hindsight given the names on that team.

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03-07-2011, 10:37 PM
  #69
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Right now being the operative word. This thread would become obsolete after another 5 game win streak.
It probably would. But the way the team plays is more important than the actual W/L result, if you ask me.

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03-07-2011, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by sarcastro View Post
The Wings won the President's Trophy in 2002, but they got sloppy and putzed around at the end of the regular season and didn't have their edge. If Cloutier stops a 150-footer from Lidstrom, they probably get bounced in the first round. Then they lose their edge again in the Colorado series and if Patrick Roy doesn't pull the Statue of Liberty play in game 6, the Wings more than likely lose that game and the series.

And that team was recently voted as the best team in NHL history.

This team does not have that margin for error, and they don't have the horses to simply drown out an opponent anymore. The cap has taken a lot of their depth, and other teams are too good in their own right to let it happen.

This is the time to address things, as you put it. That's what Babcock is trying to do. Hopefully it works. They need to be healthy, in a good groove, and with the best possible seeding going into the playoffs. The West is just too good this year for them to think they can fart around and still win series. It's going to be a spitting, clawing, gouging brawl every inch of the way.

The players' quotes don't reflect an understanding or appreciation of that IMO. They sound more like "well, we're obviously the best team, we just have to play like it", and they've lost many a series in the past (in some cases to embarrassingly inferior teams) with that attitude.
to be fair, every team needs to get a lucky bounce or two to win the cup. but i agree with you and find it a little discerning to hear zetterberg (the wings future captain btw) say that. whether or not he actually believes that or was just playing to the media remains to be seen

we all know that the wings are capable of turning on the switch when need be in the playoffs, and i still believe they can. but hearing a quote like zetterberg's puts a little doubt in my mind that they can do that this year

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03-08-2011, 09:56 AM
  #71
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Not saying those weren't two major plays but that Lidstrom goal came at 1-1 in the 2nd period. The Wings could have won it without Cloutier's blunder as well though it certainly helped. The Statue of Liberty play came in the first period and made it 1-0. The Wings won 2-0. I doubt Roy's play assured the Avs didn't score a single goal in that game.

Both plays were highly symbolic of course and I get your overall point, that 2002 play-off run wasn't as smooth as it may seem in hindsight given the names on that team.
The Lidstrom goal came when the Nucks were up 2 games to 0 and they were rolling. That goal really messed their team up, especially Cloutier. He was never the same player after that goal went in, in that series or the rest of his career. It really was a devastating momentum changer.

Ditto for the Statue of Liberty play. In a potential series-clinching game on home ice, that goal was huge. The Avs were coming off a big OT win in Detroit in game 5 and were riding high, and all that wind got sucked out of their sails with the Statue of Liberty play. We can't know for sure, obviously, but I think that game would have gone a lot differently in the Avs' favor if not for that Roy blunder.

And yeah, that was what I was getting at - if that team, with all the HOFers they had, maybe the best team in NHL history, could come so close to getting bounced twice because they weren't clicking, it could happen a whole lot more easily for this team. Any team, really. As good as this team can be, they're a loooong way from perfect.

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03-08-2011, 09:59 AM
  #72
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What about the '09 playoffs? A lot of posters here thought the Wings would be out of it by the second round that year based on their regular season play.
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To a certain point, yes.

Dude, this is the regular ****ing season. How many seasons in a row did people moan it was too easy and the regular season doesn't matter. I mean Jesus, I know it's disconcerting to see bad games or bad stretches but at the end of the day the regular season is only about racking up points. Sure we lost last year to SJ and many people said the Wings were doomed as soon as little to no changes were made in the regular season. People said the Wings are going to finish around 6th and lose in the 1st round.

Anyway forget all that, here's my point. How the Wings play in the regular season on March 7th has little to no bearing on playoff success. We've seen the Calgary's and Phoenix's and the Nashville's and the Sharks and the Canucks all have fantastic regular season and/or stretch runs. Everyone is clicking, everyone is doing everything right. But at the end of the day, in the playoffs, it doesn't matter. Experience, battle tested whatever is what matters.

I mean ****, we're sitting here doubting arguably the best playoff performer in the regular season based on two quotes in an article, forgive me if I roll my eyes hard enough to cause a brain hemorrhage.

And yeah I know, I'm being dismissive, I have a blind faith, I'm ignoring all of the 'glaring' issues which signify what exactly? The same things that people were so sure of during the '09 season? That there was no way the Wings would get out of the 2nd round let alone the finals?

A bed stretch, a dismissive Henrik Zetterberg quote and everything is in turmoil (not your words). I think I'll just wait it out.

The Wings are playing like ****, Babcock knows it and so do the players. But just like Howard and the defense, I see no reason to worry.

Haha. Haven't heard this every year since I've watched the Wings.
after the game vs SJ, i responded to a canucks fan's post about pessimism, and gave my view of the differences between this season and '09. not the same situations.

i think it is obvious from watching games that DRW are spending more time in the defensive zone than in '09. team D was not great in '09, but looked much worse b/c of bad goaltending, and was easily better than this season.

until late in '09 season, goaltending was also clearly worse than this season. i remember pointing out during '09 that if conklin's GAA were applied to every game, DRW would not be a weak defensive team.
even though conklin played a lot worse near the end of '09 and was outplayed by osgood, his GAA of 2.51 would be 4th best, after boston, minnesota and SJ.

also many more games in '09 when DRW dominated both ways. those kind of games have been very rare this season.


i think the biggest change in team D this season is the relative mediocrity of the 1st unit. no longer outplaying the best opponents. 1st unit in '09 was very good.

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What team has been more consistent than the Wings this year? I think we're too programed to say the Wings are taking it easy and not caring, we've said the same thing virtually every season since '03 and seasons prior to that.
probably several teams have been more consistent.

1st 23 games: 17-4-2
last 43 games: 22-15-6

1-8-8 in last 17 vs west.

most consistent area is mediocre D.

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Vancouver has alternated wins for their last 14 games. Chicago is on a tear and so is SJ, but SJ is always on a tear during their last 25 games of the season. Hell, when the Wings went on that great run last year some people thought they were just lucky to get it done. I don't think it was luck and same with Chicago having to play catchup this late in the year.
why do you think SJ plays better toward the end?

'10 SJ
1st 1/2: 26-15
last 1/2: 25-16
last 25 games: 14-11

'09 SJ
1st 30 games: 25-3-2 (i think the best since 1944)
last 52: 28-15-9
last 25 games: 13-10-2

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Why do the Wings need an excuse for being 2nd overall in the Western Conference and 3rd overall in points?

I don't think the Wings have played up to their potential the last few games, but prior to that I don't remember any bellyaching.

I've said Babcock is right to be frustrated by the teams play, but I'm still waiting for some reasons as to why I should think it won't get turned around and soon.

I mean, if the Wings win their next 3 games convincingly will anyone believe they're back to playing the way they can? I doubt it. Because it's so much easier (and fun too!) to dwell on the negative.
have not been playing to their potential for basically the entire season in the defensive zone.

have not been playing like 3rd overall since early december (aided by an easy schedule), other than vs weaker teams of the east.
record is misleading. 1st 23 games have no effect on their play now.

very similar to pittsburgh and NJ last season, or SJ in '09. great start, then mediocre for rest of the season.

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03-08-2011, 10:20 AM
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Heaton
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also many more games in '09 when DRW dominated both ways. those kind of games have been very rare this season.
They didn't dominate very often. The entire season was plagued with 40 min efforts based upon winning by outscoring. The 3rd period collapses were very frightening.

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i think the biggest change in team D this season is the relative mediocrity of the 1st unit. no longer outplaying the best opponents. 1st unit in '09 was very good.
Not surprising as the 1st unit isn't as strong as '09. Taking Rafalski away from Lidstrom makes that 1st unit less effective but it's supposed to make the overall team better.

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probably several teams have been more consistent.
Consistent to what level? Edmonton has been consistently bad. Philly has been pretty consistent I guess. I think the word 'more' here is relative. I don't think it's much more.

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1-8-8 in last 17 vs west.

most consistent area is mediocre D.
The last 17 vs. West still confuses me. Is this just #'s for after regulation? Because there's more than 1 win in their last 17 vs. West.

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have not been playing to their potential for basically the entire season in the defensive zone.

have not been playing like 3rd overall since early december (aided by an easy schedule), other than vs weaker teams of the east.
record is misleading. 1st 23 games have no effect on their play now.

very similar to pittsburgh and NJ last season, or SJ in '09. great start, then mediocre for rest of the season.
I think my point is that there's too many examples that make it so it's hard to see if it matters. I think the Wings need to have a strong last 12 games. I don't think what happened before matters after that.

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03-08-2011, 10:37 AM
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The last 17 vs. West still confuses me. Is this just #'s for after regulation? Because there's more than 1 win in their last 17 vs. West.
I think the third number is meant to represent "ties" after regulation. They only have one win in regulation their last 17 against the West, in other words. I was surprised by this too, but I looked it up - since January 4th, their only regulation win against the West was the 7-4 game vs the Kings. And the defense fell apart at the end of that one too, they were just up so many goals that it didn't matter.

They've been whooping Eastern teams and either losing to Western teams or squeaking by in shootouts. It should be noted that 12 of their remaining 16 are against the West, and that 2 of the 4 East games are against the Caps and Pens.

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03-08-2011, 10:39 AM
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I think the third number is meant to represent "ties" after regulation. They only have one win in regulation their last 17 against the West, in other words. I was surprised by this too, but I looked it up - since January 4th, their only regulation win against the West was the 7-4 game vs the Kings. And the defense fell apart at the end of that one too, they were just up so many goals that it didn't matter.

They've been whooping Eastern teams and either losing to Western teams or squeaking by in shootouts. It should be noted that 12 of their remaining 16 are against the West, and that 2 of the 4 East games are against the Caps and Pens.
Oh. Well that is pretty bothersome. I think I've noticed the lack of 'big game' wins vs. the West this year too.

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