Sunday, April 22, 2012
Thanks For Coming Out, Detroit Red Wings
This is what happens when you go to the well too many times against a team you have beaten so easily in playoffs past. You lose to the team who had a better goalie, younger defense, and timely scorers. It's odds how the top guys on your team in scoring didn't even make much of a peep in the post-season.
Yet, the biggest thing that will trouble the Red Wings this off-season is not another early exit-- it's the question of whether or not the captain of the team will make his triumphant exit or not. It's safe to say the Nicklas Lidstrom has done it all for his team and for his country and for hockey in general. The long he draws out his career, the longer and harder it'll be for Red Wings fans to deal with life without him on the ice. It's almost time to maybe give him a little nudge when it comes to retirement and maybe even a swift kick in order to get other guys in there to ease the transition. Sure, Lidstrom could still play-- but would he want to??
Another topic is what to do with Jimmy Howard. It was another uneasy playoff for him, as he went out quickly and maybe make people wonder about if he can do it in the second-season. The regular season side of things is fine for him, but when all is said and done-- is it really a great season if you make a early exit from when it really matters??
Sure, the Red Wings have the talent, but you almost wonder if the team is as dynamic as some think they actually are. Granted, Pavel Datsyuk missed some time with injuries and the scoring was spread around-- but when you can't get much out of your role guys in the playoffs and have more defensive liabilities than attributes playing key minutes (Todd Bertuzzi and Justin Abdelkader)-- it's a bad sign. Heck, Tomas Holmstrom averaged only nine minutes a game and still was top-three in scoring.
It'll be gut-check time for this team in the summer. The first team to be eliminated and the first team who will have fans questioning coach Mike Babcock and his moves, as well as the players on the team. That all said, there's many more out there who couldn't be happier and know it couldn't have happened to a better team.