Change is Good


There are issues in Detroit with a certain hockey team that most people will not notice. Currently sitting in a playoff spot, the Red Wings look like there aren’t many issues facing them as of now. I’m here to tell you otherwise.

A stat that I looked up might not be alarming to some, but it proves the point I have been making about this team since a few weeks into the season; consistency.

Taking into account the whole season, Detroit has not lost or won just one game in a row. It has always been two-plus losses or 2-plus wins, never a single tick in the ‘W’ or ‘L’ column. To me, this clearly whispers that there are some inconsistencies with the way the team is winning and losing.

As for the product on the ice in these games, we can only assume that when they lose, it isn’t pretty. We can say this for maybe 80% of the games; the other 20% can be any excuse you want to be fair; the opponent was better, injuries, whatever. The only excuse that couldn’t be used the last two games was that the other team had more talent. Colorado and St. Louis are not good teams. The Avs have some good players and the Blues are re-energized by a new coach, that doesn’t make them more talented than the Red Wings.

It was obvious to me in these two losses that there wasn’t a spark. Am I suggesting that Mike Babcock is going the same path as Bruce Boudreau? Absolutely not. What I am hinting at is that there should be some changes coming soon with some players.

On a local Detroit radio station, a topic was brought up after the Tampa Bay game about Steve Yzerman coming back at one point. Personally, I think that would be awesome, but I don’t want to see him turn into the Red Wings’ version of Joe Dumars or Alan Trammell – loved by the fans as players, despised as a coach or manager.

The one thing that really riled up the fans was when the topic of change was brought up. Everyone was freaking out! Now look, Detroit fans love their Red Wings. They love the players and the fact that Ken Holland doesn’t ship everyone away in a losing skid like some teams. The core stays the same and not a lot of players are traded away. I think this needs to change this year.

With a boat load of salary cap space and some players underachieving, why not have a shake-up? I hear done fan say the dumbest thing of all time, “I wouldn’t trade anybody on this team for Crosby or Ovechkin, we’re good the way we are.” So you wouldn’t want wither of those two superstar guys for say, Jonathan Ericsson and Jiri Hudler? The most hated players on the team right now? Clearly, this would never happen, but it just goes to show how some fans are irrational. Face it, change is good and some people need to let go.

This includes me. I didn’t like the realignment change at first, only because it was different. That was the only reason I didn’t like it. But now, I realize that if there was anything that could happen to make the Wings win a Stanley Cup, do it! That includes getting rid of anyone you want for anyone that would help. Why should some players ever be considered ‘untouchable’? Even players like Pavel Datsyuk. If a deal came up that made your team better, would you trade him? I would, even though I know he is a stud and a fan favourite. Fans would be mad, but guess what? It gives the team a chance to be better. Datsyuk isn’t going anywhere, and neither is Lidstrom , Howard or Kronwall. Those are those ‘untouchables’ we always talk about.

I might get my head chewed off, but why not trade Henrik Zetterberg? He looks to be over the hill already. He doesn’t have that jump in his step anymore and never takes over a game like he used to.

For all the fans that want Ericsson and Hudler gone, that’s fair enough. But if you don’t want them, who will? And what could you get back? Probably nothing, and to be honest I would be fine with that for these two guys. I have said it once and I’ll say it again, Detroit needs a consistent goal scorer. Johan Franzen doesn’t count. Neither does Datsyuk, because he isn’t a goal scorer, and Hank isn’t doing a lot either. So who else? Filppula, Cleary and Holmstrom? Fat chance. All three of those guys could move too.

A move at the deadline will change the chemistry of the team. A new guy adds a spark, a guy being moved away wakes everyone up. That might be the problem in Detroit; in the past three years, no one except Ville Leino was traded away. What does that say about job security in Detroit?

So the bottom line is that change is good. Fans might not like it and players might not, but if it improves the team, I’m all for it. If Ken Holland does nothing about this inconsistent team, there is a definite problem. Detroit will keep winning, but when it comes to the playoffs again, then what? They are basically the same team as the last two years, that by the way, FAILED to get past the second round. Why should this year be any different? Those are a lot of questions and the guy that knows the answer sits in the press box. He has these questions going through his head too because he is a smart guy. So therefore, Detroit will make a big splash this season with a trade. And someone will be leaving. Because change is good.

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Kyle Busch