Selections from a Mid-Season Analysis
"The following is a series of selections from an editorial piece written by myself. In keeping more with the style of reporting TCL is based on, it has been edited to follow a more journalistic format. For the full, unedited version, please go to http://datsyukiangeek.blogspot.ca"
The Wings began the second leg of this season yesterday and started off nearly as poorly as they began the season. Let's face it, when you lose to a team half as good as the Blues by half the margin, the odd's the difference.
Detroit looked sluggish, uninterested and outworked. Monster got completely thrown under the bus by a deceptive defense who had finally made us believe they had gotten it together. Two goals on two terrible giveaways behind our own net is unacceptable, if you can't manage the puck properly in your own end, you have no chance in your opponent's, as was clearly evidenced. The powerplay on the road is still empty and now something like the 4th worst record in 30-odd years.
Management is waiting with bated breath for injuries to heal, but in the meantime, [the Wings] are playing inconsistent, sub-par hockey. Even the games Detroit wins, Babcock has noted that there have been problems, the Wings have just been able to weather the storm and scrape up a few more wins than losses. [The] longest winning streak is three games, and [they've] only managed that benchmark once all year. In a condensed season, .500 hockey is not going to cut it.
The Red Wings have problems that need addressed immediately, rather than sitting around playing the waiting game for guys to heal who may or may not remedy those problems. Even if those players do prove themselves a remedy, if the team loses too much of a grip in the conference, they could be looking at a too-little-too-late situation. Catching Chicago is a pipe dream, which means the best the Red Wings can hope for is 4th in the conference. So instead of trying to clinch 1 of 8 positions for the playoffs, the reality is that Detroit is trying to clinch 1 of 5 positions in the midst of an absolute log-jam in the middle of the conference.
Detroit is still a great hockey team, but as with all things the rule of survival applies: In a changing world, you either adapt, or you die.