For as long as I can remember, Detroit has been a solid hockey club. Multiple Stanley Cup wins and record-setting win numbers would have many argue that they were the best team in hockey since at least the early 1990s, longer than that.
Yet, for a dynasty with a future that looks to be more of the same, it is still hard to overlook one major flaw—goaltending.
It has always been a question mark, but many diehards will say Chris Osgood is a solid goaltender and always has been. They'll point to the shutouts for Conklin.
The truth is, however, that neither of them are in the upper tier of net-minders in the league today.
Detroit's method for success has been to control the puck and dominate the time of possession. The team has more depth and better players at nearly every position on the ice when compared to its competition.
The solid defensive play and puck control have allowed the Wings to out-shoot opponents 2-1 most nights.
This is the reason Detroit has been so successful, not its goaltending.
Admittedly, Osgood had a decent run in the postseason last season, and I love to see the guy succeed because I like Osgood. That doesn't mean that Detroit couldn't do a lot better though.
Detroit has had the talent to win a Cup every year for a long time. The one thing that seems to stall them each year is the quality play of the opposing goalie. In every series they have lost in recent memory, the opposing goalie dominated far more often than the Wings' goalie dominated.
I have a great deal of respect for the Wings and what they've done, but with all the amazing draft picks they've made, all the quality players they've been able to sign for less, and the young talent they've been able to groom—where is the goalie?
Why haven't we seen a top-notch goaltender brought up through the organization?
The Wings are trying hard to sign Hossa and Franzen while still being able to keep the third- and fourth-line guys signed.
With young talent like Lano and Meech on board, why not let Franzen go? Keep the money and look for a goaltender. Trade a young prospect, not a goalie—a forward perhaps. We seem to be loaded with them year after year.
Why is the goalie, what many consider the most important player on the team, not important in Hockeytown?
The rest of the pieces are there, and they are consistently reliable. But a team needs to be complete.
Can we really go another postseason with a question mark in the net?