The Detroit Red Wings are still scuffling. Finally breaking free of an eight game losing streak, Detroit won a couple games in between losses, but are back on a three game skid. After losing to Chicago last night 2-0, it’s evident that they’re still not generating the results they should be.
It’s time for a bigger change. No, I’m not talking about firing the coach–because I don’t see any changes until the end of the season.
But it’s time to hand it over to the kids. They’re talking about structure and winning long term today, but you’re not going to do that with the fourth line you have. You cannot win with just two and a half scoring lines worth of players. You don’t go oh-for-forever on the power play when you refuse to change strategies or personnel.
Something drastic has to be done. And at the 1:53 mark, Blashill says something interesting:
“Certainly we have to produce a little bit more. But we don’t have to produce a whole bunch more if you really look at it. We have to flip a goal a game.”
Agreed. But those goals won’t come from Adam Erne, Frans Nielsen or Valtteri Filppula. Heck, Luke Glendening’s backhand goals are good maybe once every twenty games. Sam Gagner has been gritty, but he’s not going to mark up the scoresheet, either.
To flip that goal a game, you have to put the right guys in there to do so. You drafted Michael Rasmussen as a guy who can be a power play presence! Bring him back and prove it. Dennis Cholowski has shown he can be effective on a power play by moving the puck and having the potential to be “elite.” Pair him with a responsible defenseman
More from Octopus Thrower
on that power play (Troy Stecher comes to mind) so he can take some chances and try to stir up a man advantage that is essentially a waste of two minutes. Taro Hirose should also be up in Detroit instead of languishing in Grand Rapids.
And what about Givani Smith? Four points in eight games with an average ice time of 9:55. The veteran guys above? Not one has more points and each have played in more games and have at least over a minute of average ice time.
Finally, Evgeny Svechnikov is a healthy scratch. If Detroit is ever going to get an idea of what he can do, now’s the time.
This isn’t working anymore. Continue with the defensive schematics, but do something to flip that goal per game.
If Steve Yzerman isn’t afraid to waive Jonathan Ericcsson, or Danny DeKeyser, perhaps it’s time to look at the forwards, too. Beyond that, it’s time to see what you have. How much longer do Smith and Hirose have to spend in Grand Rapids? Seriously?
If you want to build that culture of winning, start by playing the guys who will actually be around when that culture, is presumably, more prevalent a few years from now. Blashill famously said that the “definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again.”
It’s insanity. Infuse the lineup with new blood.