Random Thoughts on…..The Red Wings
It's been an injury-filled first half of the season for the Detroit Red Wings. Which has contributed to the inconsistent play so far. Key guys like Paver Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Danny DeKuyser, and now Jonathon Ericsson and goalie Jimmy Howard have all, or are now, missing time due to the injury bug.
As of this writing, the Wings have 43 points, which is good for 7th in the Eastern Conference. That point total would be much higher if they were better at home. Their 6-10-6 record at Joe Louis Arena is stunning. It's the worst start at home I've seen since the 1985-86 season, when they finished last in the whole league. But conversely, what is equally stunning is their 11-3-3 record on the road.
I believe they need better play on defense, it let them down in the Chicago series last season, and lapses have led to some losses this year. Niklas Kronwall, Danny DeKuyser, and Jakub Kindl are good in my opinion. But Brendan Smith's sleepwalking in the Chicago series infuriated me, and he should have been benched. He's not much better this year, IMO. I believe General Manager Ken Holland should make a trade to upgrade this position.
I also believe they need to play younger guys more, and they're starting to do that out of necessity. But it was a mistake to re-sign Dan Cleary, and bring back Mikael Samuelsson. There are other veterans who don't belong on this squad, IMO.
Ken Holland's loyalty to Dan Cleary, and the signing of Stephen Weiss, who's hurt now, forced the team to send rising player Gustav Nyquist to the minors at the start of the year because of the salary cap. They are snug against it, and it could preclude them from making a move at the trade deadline.
All is not lost with this team, they still have Datsyuk, Zetterburg, and Kronwall. And I like some of the young players on the team now. But if they want to extend their playoff streak to a pro-sports best 24 seasons, they need to A. Play better at home B. Play better defense. And C. Make a deal before the trade deadline to give this team some juice.
Ken Holland has made some mistakes this past offseason that has them in a salary crunch now, but I trust him to make the moves necessary to get them out of it and get this team more competitive come the spring.
That's all for now, this is Brock Palmbos....signing off.