May 27, 2015

Development & Depth: The Future of the Wings

The incredible ability of Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Kronwall to maintain a high level of play led the Red Wings into a crossroads. With limited time before the inevitable decline, the Wings were torn between making one last run with their stars and committing to the reload. However, the expected hiring of Jeff Blashill has forced the organization down the path of rebuilding and development. Now we will learn if the young guns are able to fill the aging stars’ shoes or if the Euro twin’s decline will be too much to overcome?

May 11, 2015

Temper Expectations for Teemu

With 45 goals in 53 games, Teemu Pulkkinen is tearing up the AHL. With those numbers he looks destined to become an impact scorer in the NHL and after two years in Grand Rapids he will be a full time Red Wing next season. However, we should be hesitant to place high expectations on Teemu right away. Despite his success in the minors I believe he has been a victim of circumstance and the Red Wing’s development model has actually prevented him from immediately succeeding in the NHL.

May 7, 2015

Off-Season Checklist

Like Mike Babcock, all of Red Wing nation took the full 24 hours to get over what had happened in game 7. But after a week we have, mostly, moved on and started looking towards the future. After such a great effort against aTampa Bay team that is cruising in to the Eastern Conference finals, the onus is on Ken Holland to push this team over the top. With that in mind I made a checklist of the moves and decisions, in order of necessity/importance, that Ken Holland needs to make in the coming months for the Red Wings to return to contention.

May 4, 2015

Team Culture & Why Babcock Loves The Veterans

As soon as the Red Wings were eliminated, talk turned to Mike Babcock’s upcoming free agency. With every team trying to sign him, people have analyzed his past moves. The largest criticism is his tendency towards playing hard-working veterans instead of skilled rookies. Although he a tactical genius, his player personnel decisions have been questionable at best. Resigning Dan Clearly and signing Weiss instead of Fillpula were allegedly both Babcock’s idea. This does not include his usage of Jakub Kindl, Brendan Smith and Tomas Jurco during this season alone. While I do not always agree with these decisions, it is time to acknowledge that they do not occur without reason.

April 30, 2015

Series Recap: Bolts Strike Down the Wings

Matched up with one of the best team in the Eastern Conference few people gave the Detroit Red Wings any chance of advancing to the 2nd round. Despite a strong start to the season, Detroit squeaked into the playoffs with a number of questions about their goaltending and defense. With elite players both up front and on the blue line to go along with solid depth contributor, Tampa Bay was my favorite to win the Eastern Conference. Despite the doubters, the Wings refused to go away quietly and forced Tampa Bay to a deciding 7th game. In the end, Tampa was the better team and they are moving on to the second round but through their effort, the Wings showed the critics that it is foolish to write off this franchise just yet.