Update (10:26 AM): The comments on IwoCPO's response to Drew Sharp are worth reading, as usual. Particularly Baroque's from 8:36 AM. - Matt
Update (10:04 AM): Brennan at Gloveside has a great discussion on the Wings' breakout troubles here. The post includes what has to be the line of the week at the end of third paragraph. I won't spoil it for you.
As for the solution to the breakout issues: Nick Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski, Niklas Kronwall, and Chris Chelios. As talented and impressive as Derek Meech, Kyle Quincey and Jonathan Ericsson have been, they can't measure up to the masters of that particular art form. - Matt
Update (8:35 AM): IwoCPO responds to Drew Sharp's column here. - Matt
… The Wings lost last night in Edmonton, 4-3 in a shootout. They overcame a two-goal lead in the third and then gave up a goal in the final minute of the period as the Oilers forced overtime. Robert Nilsson scored the only goal in the shootout to give Edmonton their 13th shootout win this season.
I was not able to watch the game, but judging from the highlights, it was an exciting one.
… Good news: Valtteri Filppula scored last night and now has two goals in a little over a week. That’s closer to the correct rate of scoring, Fil.
… More good news: Jonathan Ericsson notched his first NHL goal to put the Wings on the board. Hopefully that’s just the first of many, many more.
… Anyone else want to see Pavel Datsyuk shoot the puck like that more often? I love it when he breaks out that rocket snap shot of his.
… It was nice to see Henrik Zetterberg try something a little different in the shootout. That brings the number of shootout moves in his repertoire to a grand total of about 4. Maybe someday he’ll come across a goalie that hasn’t seen the Forsberg Deke™ and he can use that one again!
… Post-game links
… The papers are understandably stocked with stories about Brad Stuart today:
Helene St. James has a straightforward piece about the new defenseman, complete with quotes from Ken Holland. It looks like he won’t join the team until tomorrow, though he is expected to play Friday. The man slated to be his defensive partner, Niklas Kronwall, is expected to return that night as well.
Ted Kulfan’s lede says it all:
The Red Wings found out last season a team can’t have enough defensemen during the playoffs.
Drew Sharp, of course, second-guesses the move and wonders why Ken Holland wasn’t able to land a forward when guys like Martin Lapointe and Sergei Fedorov went to the East for a song. Two words Drew: Central Division. Two more: Eastern Conference. Put them together and you have a simple concept: the Wings are in the same division as Chicago and Columbus, and those teams aren’t looking to do the Wings any favors. And vice versa.
The Caps and Senators, on the other hand, are in the Eastern Conference and therefore not immediate threats to the success of the franchise. Do you get it? Sure, it’s disappointing that the Wings were able to bring in some scoring help, but the simple fact that the Jackets and Hawks are in the Central meant the asking price was too high for them.
Also, Martin Lapointe, Drew? You’re upset that they didn’t bring that loser back?
John Niyo has a refreshingly positive look at the move and makes a great point. Whereas teams like Dallas, Colorado, and San Jose are placing their hopes in their new acquisitions,
"… teams like Anaheim and Detroit, the presumptive Cup favorites before Tuesday’s wheeling and dealing, are banking on something else: Themselves."
When Jiri Hudler’s turn came up at the shootout last night, Ken Daniels said a goal there would have be a much-needed boost to his confidence. He didn’t score, but you have to think that his not being traded was a boost of sorts. The same goes for the other struggling forwards. The management showed faith in the current squad and that counts for something. Whether the guys will honor that faith remains to be seen, of course, but it’s hard to believe that they won’t.
Niyo also points out that the Wings did not give up any of their “kids.” That will pay off in the future and, with the team they have at the moment, shouldn’t hamper their chances now.
For another blogger’s perspective on the trade, see Gorilla Crouch.