Don’t Blow Up The Ship: Only Minor Change Needed

Detroit’s lost 5 straight.  Even though I thought they played excellent for the time they were not on the PK last night, they still didn’t pull it through.  Some people are calling for major changes to be made.  Blow it up!  We don’t want to be Calgary and live in mediocre land!  This isn’t a playoff team!  Stuff like that.  I mean look at this, usually rational fan’s reaction after last night’s game:

This is not a blip.  It is not a “feeling out” period with new assistants.  These are serious chemistry and system problems and Babcock refuses to actually address them, and I’m sick of it.  And I’m sick of him always getting a free pass on it.

As it stands now, this is *not* a playoff team.  This is a lottery team and barring truly MAJOR moves, this my friends is the downfall every other fanbase has desperately waited decades for, so I hope you’re all ready to endure it unless Kenny Holland shows he still has a set and takes command.

I say, hold up there good friend.  This team is essentially the same team as last season, which was only one goal away from the Western Conference

Finals.  And this team is only a week and a few days from being one of the last two undefeated teams in the league?  Remember those times?  Weren’t they great?

Now I’m not saying that changes don’t have to be made.  But only minor ones.  It is early, we have time to see what this team really has.  I think there’s still a top 3 team in the NHL underneath this past losing streak.  Maybe top one or two.  The Wings just have to get back to remembering that.  But anyways, here are a few thoughts on what to do.

I think it’s time for Commie.

We brought Commodore in to play.  He’s not too recently been a great #2 or 3 guy on some good teams.  He’s got potential to bring that around again, to be another Stuart.

And not for Kindl either.  Ericsson hasn’t played bad, but Kindl’s played himself into the #5 spot.  Plus Commodore and Big Rig play a similar style, having them both would be intimidating, but not really necessary.

This isn’t a critique of the defense, as I think they’ve generally been excellent this year.  This is change for change sake.  Plus I want to see what we’ve got in him.

Stop making Hudler the whipping boy.

Sit Dan Cleary.  Or Abdelkator.  Or hell, if you want to make a statement, sit Franzen.  But having Hudler sit only hurts his new found confidence and doesn’t send any sort of message to the team.  He’s not the problem here, just part of it.

Stop playing the trap.

I hate the trap.  For teams like Detroit, it doesn’t work.  Yet in yesterday’s game, I noticed when the Wild had the puck, Detroit was backing out of the zone, getting into position in the neutual zone.

Stop it.  The Wings have too much talent for this. We need a strong, 2-1 forecheck to keep the pressure on the opposition.  We aren’t scoring goals because we aren’t pressuring the other team’s defensemen into making mistakes.  Think about it.  During this lull (which is one little line from being five l’s, btw.  The more you know…) every goal Detroit has scored has been normal in the zone goals, tips from the point, etc.  Goal’s they’ve earned by bringing the puck into the zone, cycling and scoring.   Not one has been because we have pressured their defensemen into giving us the puck.

That’s how teams break out from slumps like this.  I saw moments, but I want to see more of them.

But blowing up the team?  Firing Babcock?  I don’t think so.  This team is great.  It is early, give it time, it’ll come together.  And, as regular reader Josh Howard posted over at WIIM, there’s plenty to be pleased about so far this season as well.

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