So What Was Wrong With the Red Wings?

Not recently, of course, as they’re something like 6-0-0-1 in their past 7 games, w/ the one OTL being a complete fluke.

Of course, everyone’s been quick to spout off on CuJo’s performance, which I agree has been less than hoped for but not as bad as its been hyped up to be. Also up for criticism is the play of our rookie defensive corp (w/ 4 rookies getting large chunks of ice time w/ Fish and Chelly’s 45 minutes of ice time out for the majority of the slump). Really, when you sport a defensive corp of Lidstrom, Woolley, Dandenault, Bykov, Kuznetsov, and Boileau, you have to expect some problems.

However, there is a greater issue at stake here. Fedorov, Hull, and Shanahan were completely silent during our recent slump (I think they combined for like 3 goals during the 7 game winless streak). On the season, they have 24, 24, and 23 goals respectably. In a league where the scoring leader already has 40, this is unacceptable performance. To put this lack of output from our “big guns” in perspective, Tomas Holmstrom has 17 goals already this season. He is seven goals out of team lead. Granted, he’s already put up career numbers 62 games into the season, despite missing 8 games this year. But that still shows a disturbing lack of production from our top players.

More disturbing is Shanahan’s -4. I mean, that’s not good. Heck, Sean Avery is +7 averaging 6:38 a game is 39 games (I have no idea why they don’t play him more).

Just for fun, let’s project Avery’s stats if he played as much as Shanny has this season. He’d have 30 goals and 66 points. :p Obviously, this is an extremely inaccurate way of projecting things. But Shanny, in that time, should realistically be able to put up many more points that Avery could, and you’d think he wouldn’t fall 7 goals and 16 points short of the mark.

The Red Wings are getting relatively good production from their depth players. Draper, Maltby, and Larionov have 30, 28, and 28 points respectively, and Holmstrom and Zetterburg are putting up 26 points each. But with Robitaille being a relative non factor (though he does have 3 goals in his last 4 games), and Yzerman just now returning to the lineup, the prolounged slumps of these 3 players probably do more to explain Detroit’s slump than anything else. When your star players don’t produce, your team goes nowhere.

Now, all 3 players seem to have pulled themselves out of their droughts, and the scoreboard reflects that fact: they’ve put up 5, 4, 3, 6, 5, and 5 goals in their current streak. Considering through their 17 game slump, they only put up 3 or more goals 7 times, and were shut out 1-0 3 times, this is a marked improvement.

Let’s not forget the Red Wings lost only once in the month of December. They were 22-8-7-1 entering January. Throw that month and the first 3 games of February out, and they’re 28-8-7-2 overall. The Wings are still a team to be reckoned with. January is over, and the Wings are rolling once more.

39 Responses to So What Was Wrong With the Red Wings?

  1. canucklehead says:

    OTL – a complete fluke? We kicked some Dead thing butt!! Beware the mighty Canucks!

  2. AmericasteamRedWings says:

    That sure was nice of Van Sukkenhoven to kick that puck to Naslund to tie the game, huh? Or to allow Vancouver to play the OT with 5 guys and not call it?

    That game was horribly officiated, but, it won’t matter when all the Canadian teams are out of the playoffs, and later, folded.

    Just kidding- I love T-dot…..keep them and the Habs around for tradition, and the Oil has good ice, so keep them too.

  3. MitchellMan91 says:

    First, you say tomas holmstrom has 17 goals. WOW but he hardly gets any assists. Fedorov is on a 8 game point streak right now and has 60 points. Both Shanny and Hull have been doing there fair share as of late too. It doesnt matter about how many goals. Adam Oates puts up big numbers and he gets barely any goals. So before you go running your mouth about not scoring goals look at how many assists they have

  4. gladiator says:

    The overtime loss was a complete fluke?? Did you watch that game? Detroit didn’t play well defensively in the third period, they let Vancouver back into the game no questions about it.

    If you’re referring to the lost winger on the Canucks (Don VanMassenhoven) skate assist to Naslund, hey…those are the bounces. Just like earlier in that game when Vancouver got called for too many men on the ice. They got called for that penalty because linesman Ray Scapinello was in the way of Vancouvers players trying to get off the ice and on to the bench. I don’t think that’s very fair, but hey live with it. Guess what happened on that power play? Detroit gets the first goal and the lead in the game.

    The Detroit Red Wings almost gave up the lead again playing against LA, leading 4-1…and winning 5-4. Maybe it’s not they’re offense, maybe it’s they’re defense. Whether it’s a offensive or defensive problem, or a little of both, don’t worry about it, Holland will probably buy a player in time for the playoffs at the trade deadline.

    But then again, I don’t follow the Red Wings so what do I know? I just wanted to comment on the OTL fluke thing.

  5. orlandomac says:

    Great article you ask some very important questions, and were pretty unbiased through the whole process.

    A fan who wants to improve his team asks the same questions.

  6. amazing_jesse says:

    I don’t think anything is wrong. They are a veteran team and it takes a higher level of competition and intensity to bring out their “A” game. They’ll be good in the playoffs.

    However, I don’t think their cup bound. Goalie struggles and perhaps the intentsity just won’t be enough this year to do it.

    Yzerman will be a major inspiration for these guys and I think you will see them getting it in gear. But not all the way though.

  7. Leaf_Expert says:

    With Yzerman back the Wings should get a boost emotionally and in the locker room….

    But really the recent problem has been the play of CuJoke….

    And its tuff for the players on the Wings team aslweel to know your startin goalie isn’t playin worth 8million and that his own back has been playing better than him….

  8. Just-Checking-In says:

    I would agree that Detroit did not play that well in the third against Vancouver, however there was more to it than that.

    You mention the Ray Scapinello incident, however in overtime, on the previous rush down ice before the overtime winner, Vancouver again had to many men on the ice and following up behind the play is VanMassenhoven waiving his arm telling the Canucks to get off the ice, while they have the puck. I guess they decided to not call that penalty.

    Also the third period comeback was sure helped by a long 5 on 3 power play. Whether those were penalties or not should not be the question. They were, however earlier in the third a couple of wings were tugged down with again, no call being made.

    Finally as you mentioned VanMassenhovens assist to Naslund.

    In the end the Canucks won and the Wings made some mistakes. I still think that if someone else was calling the game like Kerry Fraiser the results would have been much different.

  9. torontoiskickass says:

    Sorry dudes, Vancouver is gonna kick everyones ass

  10. Jejunum says:

    A complete fluke kinda like like Detroit coming back and winning against Vancouver last year.

  11. Just-Checking-In says:

    Aaron do your serenity now routine please.

    Half of the stuff you wrote can be broken down into the teams defensemen.

    Compare last years team to this years.









    The Wings just are not as deep or as good on the blueline as they were last season. Plus you factor in the loss of Yzerman and the team is hurting for quality depth.

    Also when you begin talking about the role players playing so well, that is where Shanahan’s, Hull’s and Robitaille’s offense is going. The Wings are a balanced team with the 3rd and 4th liners getting a lot of quality time. Guys like Sean Avery can do well for the short period because they are getting some good time and are not being looked upon to score.

    When someone like Shanahan is on the ice, he is facing a top checking line that is looking to shut him down. Teams are not worried about being beat night in and night out by Sean Avery.

    The Wings had and will bring someone in for the deadline otherwise it may be a short playoffs.

  12. Tony says:

    By the time playoffs come the only real difference in the Detroits defensemen will be Olausson-Woolley and Duchense-Bykov. As long as they pick one player up they should be fine.

  13. Tony says:

    Cujo has been playing fine lately, so I can’t really see goaltending being a problem for them. When Yzerman is ready to play on the top line again their forwards will end up being exactly the same as last playoffs with Zetterberg added in. Again no real problem with their forwards. Its on defense where they have problems. In order to win the Cup Detroit needs all their defensemen healthy and ready to go in the playoffs. If they can stay away from the injuries, Detroit will end up being as strong as they were last year. By the way Datsyuk is really starting to turn it on and looks like he will break out soon.

  14. Tony says:

    I wouldn’t say Cujo has been a recent problem. He was playing bad at the start of the year but in his last 6 games he has really turned it on.

  15. burky says:

    A complete fluke? let’s not forget the goal that won Detroit the series in last years playoffs buddy.

    Lidstrom from center ice isn’t a fluke?

    Without that goal the series would have been a lot different.

    CuJo is brutal, he looked like Greg Louganis trying to make diving saves against the Canucks.

  16. Dymd3z_TML says:


  17. burky says:

    Horribly officiated? You mean for the Canucks.

    Are you just going to ignore Shanahan’s vicious two-hander to Morrison’s mouth, with no call. Shanny was lucky he didn’t get 5 and a gate.

  18. Tony says:

    Give me a break, when’s the last time the Canucks have won a playoff series? A one line team will never beat the defending Stanely Cup Champions.

  19. JC21 says:

    Than it’s a good thing that the Canucks aren’t a one-line team.

  20. wingsrock34 says:

    ya if u call 4 games in a row of kickin ur ass a fluke

  21. wingsrock34 says:

    ya but the goal had nothing to do with refs

  22. JStatic87 says:

    The Lidstrom goal was directly the fault of Dan Cloutier. The OT goal was a bounce of the ref who was not supposed to be in the spot he was at at the time. Big difference dumba$$.

  23. gladiator says:

    ha ha

    -Nelson Muntz

  24. aaron says:

    If it was just that, I wouldn’t be bitching; well, yes I would, but it would be directed more towards the Wings, who collapsed in the 3rd. However, there were two other Canuck goals scored w/ ref assistance.

    One where CuJo made the save at the end of a 5 on 3 on BS calls, but the Canucks player ran into him and knocked him back into the net. It went off the pegs, and everyone piled into it, and during that chaos, the puck crossed the line. It was blatant goalie interference, but it wasn’t called. Then, there was the kicking the puck out front thing, and I could have missed that damn puck, it was moving so slowly. And then in OT, you could here from the on ice mics VanMassenhoven shouting at the Canucks bench that they had too many men on the ice, and he was waving his arms at them too, but he didn’t call a penalty, and the Canucks scored slightly after that.

    So yeah, the Wings are to blame too, but when the refs basically hand a team 3 goals…its hard to get too on their cases.

  25. aaron says:

    Of course that was a complete fluke. :p But we won that game by two goals there buddy, and we won the next 3 handidly too. :p Momentum turner or not, the Canucks were still in control of the series, but they collapsed in on themselves. :p

    Anyway, that was one fluke goal. You guys scored 3 goals that were handed to you by the refs. I’m still giving you credit for the comeback; you took it up a notch when you went down 3-0 and deserved those points. But you still had 3 goals handed to you by the refs.

    Obviously, flukes happen in hockey, and its how you respond to them that really matters. Wings seem to have responded alright, so the fluke becomes nothing more than an asterisk.

    I’ll point out that in 1998, Ozzie let in two goals from center ice. One game we won in OT right away, the other we won the next game.

  26. edmontonrules says:

    I’m sorry did you say that no team from Canada was going to make it? Ha ha ha. Canada brought you the greatest game one earth. Hell if you want to be a bastard I could say that we even brought you basketball. If no Canadian team makes the playoffs we might just go dont to the white house are burn it down yet again.

  27. gladiator says:

    not to mention the Shanahan slash to Morrison’s mouth, can’t forget about that one…

  28. burky says:

    The OT goal? are you nuts, Morrison comes back after a vicious two hander from shanahan that went uncalled and knocked out 4 of his teeth and he makes the Detroit defense look like swiss cheese before slipping it over to Malik for the winner? yea that had EVERYTHING to do with the refs, dumba$$.

  29. burky says:

    Now it’s 3 goals? what other ones were handed to the Canucks by the refs? Linden’s goal? Malik’s goal?

    IF you actually watched the game you would see that the reffing was highly in favour of the Wing$, Shanahan should of got 5 and a game for the slash on Morrison, and the too many men call was entirely the refs fault, since the replay clearly showed the linesman mixed up with 2 Canucks, then Fedorov scored on the powerplay.

  30. amok says:

    Good article Aaron.

    I don’t think the Wings have a thing to worry about, especially when they’re healthy again. No one would want to play them in any round, let alone the first. They also have resources and money to go out and acquire a key player. 24, 24, and 23 goals doesn’t look too bad to me.. in today’s NHL a lot of teams would love to have three thirty goal scorers.

    As for the “fluke” loss, I haven’t seen any Wings fans reply to the Shanahan on Morrison slash. That was horrible officiating going Detroit’s way. Shanahan should have had an early shower on that one and the Canucks should have had a five minute PP to work with. But that’s the breaks..

  31. TML51 says:

    Detroit is still a formidable team, but I don’t think they will be cup bound this year. I think the Canucks will roll over them in the Western Confrence. Detroit seems to show no confidence in Cujo, who as usual is consistantly inconsistant. (I forget who actually used that quote first, but it seems to sum him up perfectly.) When he’s on his game, he’s damn near unbeatable. However if he’s even slightly off, he’s swiss cheese. Carolina figured that out quickly in last year’s conference final. New Jersey figured it out before hand.

    The Red wings have seemed to show a lot of confidence in Many Legacy…and why not? The guy’s been amazing! I’m wondering if Cujo will be on a different team next year as Legacy seems to be “Turco”ing him. Should be interesting…I guess it hinges on how well Cujo does in the playoffs.

  32. Aetherial says:

    Nobody wants to play the Wings.

    They are a very good team make no mistake.

    This year though, I don’t see them coming out of the west.

    Dallas or Vancouver I think could handle them. St. Louis maybe also (if they true number 1 goalie)

    I think Detroit is aging and has some lockerroom issues. I don’t believe Yzerman will return to form. I see the wrong “mood” hanging over this team.

  33. mikster says:

    Come playoff time they’ll be half as good as last season.

  34. chaos83 says:

    I’m really looking forward to a wings stars playoff series. They did tie every game they played this year which would make for a very exciting series. They should aquire a top 4 defensemen, and with chelios back and fischer coming back for the playoffs we should be fine. I think there are 3 teams in the west that would be able to knock detroit out of the playoffs, Dallas, Vancouver, and Colorado. St. Louis is good, but Detroit has always owned them in the playoffs and in the regular season.

    Detroit has been “aging” for quite some time now. They were too old last year, and still won the cup. As far as lockerroom issues, what are you referring to. The advantage of an “old”(i.e. experienced) lockerroom is an abundance of maturity. problems are dealt with and never hang around in that lockerroom. Yes, federov expressed some anger about his ice time, but the following game he was double shifted and Detroit won the game. Since then they have lost once.

  35. aaron says:

    Well, I missed the first half of the game, so I guess I missed that one. I do know that Shanny got called on the weakest assed penalty I’ve ever seen at the end.

    So maybe the reffing sucked both ways, but the Canucks still had 3 goals handed to them by the refs in like a 10 minute span. That was the most pathetic display I have ever seen.

  36. JStatic87 says:

    Who was talking about the OT goal? I was talking about the gametying goal. Don’t be a douche.

  37. burky says:

    Maybe you should read what you wrote again.

  38. merlin says:

    O.K. let us just think about this for a minute… Go back to the last time Detroit won the cup back to back and look at their second season. Their numbers were nowhere as good as the first season they won the cup, but they still pulled through and won again. Detroit needs to settle down and get everyone back on the ice in time for the playoffs. Having Steve Yzerman back the other night changed this team. The confidence will come back. Fischer will be back and then we will have







    Also look for Luc Robitaille to be traded at the deadline, Detroit doesn’t need him any more and they could use one quality veteran defenseman, but don’t look for them to give up Zetterberg or Datsyuk. Mike Illitch too interested in the future to ever let Holland trade those two. Mark my words that they will be red wings for a long time and that they are the two who the team will be built around for the next ten years.

    Everyone wants to know what is wrong with the wings, Well do you expect them to win every single game. They are in first place in their division and Third place in the Western Conference. Every team that plays the wings is out to prove something, They bring their A game against the wings and rightfully so. If they do not step up against the wings, the wings will crush them 6 or 7 to nothing. Cujo needs to step up to the plate and Federov needs to stop crying about everything. People who watch the games on T.V. do not see his lackadasical play, behind the play. Isn’t he one of the fastest players in the League? Then why does he have to stick check everyone, he looks like a pylon out there most nights and was on the ice for 3 of Los Angeles goals the other night, but everyone forgets about that because he scored the game winner. He wouldn’t have to score the game winner if he would back check. If I was Ken Holland I would trade Sergei Federov for as much as I could get right now. Sergei will not be back in Detroit after this season, he has already won 3 cups and all he cares about is the money. He will sign the fattest contract possible and play subpar on some team that will not ever make the playoffs, but as long as he plays 23 and a half minutes a night he will be happy. Sergei is a bum… Another interesting thought… Alexei Kovalev will be a Red Wing on July 1st mark my words.

Leave a Reply