Up until a few days ago, doom-and-gloom attitudes were prominent among the Detroit Red Wings faithful.
Here are a few of them, and why Wings fans should pull the team out of the fire just a bit at this point.
- “Mike Babcock has clearly lost the room.”
I’m sorry, come again? Mike Babcock has lost the room? If your conclusion after only a small hand full of hockey games then you need to seek out a sports therapist.
Blasphemy if I’ve ever heard it, and so short-sighted it kind of irritates me.
This is the man that has guided this Red Wings ship through some choppy waters since the end of the last lockout back in 2005. Babcock and maintained this team through the loss of players like Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan, Brian Rafalski, Brett Hull and Dominik Hasek, and now he is doing the same thing after losing the “perfect hockey player” in Nicklas Lidstrom.
After one Stanley Cup, one other finals appearance, five Central Division titles and .731 winning percentage you want to kick him to the curb after nine games of the regular season?
If that isn’t the definition of knee-jerk reaction and finicky fan then I don’t know what is. Babcock deserves more of a leash than that, and he deserves more respect than that.
- “The Detroit Red Wings Need to Trade Johan Franzen.”
Apparently the power play of the Red Wings isn’t bad enough for some fans, because I’ve seen some of them calling the Mule’s head.
He’s the same hockey player that he’s always been. Why viewers are suddenly surprised by his lack of fleet-footedness is outside my comprehension. Lets be clear here—Johan Franzen is not on this team to back check and come flying through the neutral zone every three seconds.
That’s why he is always, always, always (always) on the same line as either Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterberg. Those two guys can pull your rear off the hot coals of a bad turnover faster than you can finish cursing about it.
If Babcock was rolling a Franzen-Cleary-Bertuzzi line then I can see where the issue would be. That isn’t the case though.
- “Damien Brunner has been the best player for the Red Wings.”
I’ve been impressed with Damien Brunner so far, and he has indeed been the best player on the ice for the Red Wings during a game or two (especially early on), but to say that he’s been the best overall Wing is silly.
Look at who he has feeding him the puck on a nightly basis. All the credit doesn’t go to Zetterberg, but at least a little bit of it does. Z is masterful at pulling defenders to him, and Brunner has a knack for filling that time and space with top-end chances from the slot. Kudos to them both.
The duo makes each other better, but Brunner hasn’t even been the best player on his line. See: Zetterberg, Henrik.
- “Ken Holland is no longer an effective GM at the NHL level.”
D.A.R.E. needs to adopt this as a “this is your brain on drugs” ad. Because there is no way anyone in their rational minds would think that Kenny Holland still doesn’t have the chops to guide an NHL team to the Cup.
This is an overreaction from a small subsection of Red Wings fans. Yes, this is an overreaction from the spoiled part of the fanbase that is used to getting every free agent desired. A fanbase that is used to seeing guys like Zach Parise take less money to play in Detroit.
Those days are gone. Long gone, but the fault isn’t with Holland. If you want to blame anything blame the salary cap that forces parity and stresses fairness. Even that is misplaced however, since the cap has given us some of the best hockey ever.
He didn’t get his guys this summer in Parise and Ryan Suter, but that isn’t because he didn’t pitch them all the money they wanted. They just wanted to play somewhere else.
The Wings still have a solid group of prospects despite being the most consistent franchise in sports, and we’re starting to see some of those guys make impacts already.
Remember guys: in Kenny we Trust.