Textbook Lack of Effort
This might come off as a rant and if it does, that means I'm getting all my frustrations out right now.
The Detroit Red Wings lost last night. I also had my first live blog last night of the game. One was fun, the other wasn't.
This game was an embarrassment to Red Wings fans.
When you look at the score and see the Nashville Predators won 4-1, it's like, "Well I guess Detroit just had an off night." Not even close, it looked like an AHL team out there for Babcock's sake. When you look deeper at this game, it was clear what the problem was. The fans know it. The announcers know it. The media knows it. The coach knows it. And the players know it.
This was textbook lack of effort.
It was like the Wings didn't even care about the game. Maybe they were thinking about what they were doing after the game. Henrik Zetterberg looked like he was trying to be Superman and didn't pass the puck more than 5 times. Maybe he was waiting for Teemu to come and play some video games after this debacle.
Right from the start Detroit sucked. And not even a little bit, they sucked a boatload. Right off the bat, turnover, goal. Erat snipes it over Howard far side cheddar. How the HECK do you let that shot in? Put you glove where it's supposed to be Jim! Now I know there's been a lot of talk about how, "Oh, Jimmy Howard isn't on the All Star ballot? What a scam?" Well how about I toss the Jimmy Howard Book O'Stats at you:
Save Percentage: 0.904 (27th in the league)
GAA: 2.87 (32nd in the league)
Basically, looking at these stats tells you that of the starting goalies in the league, he's the worst right now. I know he has an impressive win total. But I'm starting to believe the "look at the team in front of him" argument which makes Chris Osgood look like a saint. And it's not like he's getting a ton of shots on his either (13th in the league). All I'm saying is that goalies need to steal games where their team isn't in it and Howard didn't do it. I'm not even going to start on how he slides out the net every God forsaken shot on him. And rebounds being cleared by defenceman?? Goalies need rebound control. Even EA Sports knows that and has it as a player attribute. You learn that in Peewee. Look at these shots and tell me he isn't out of position:
Kostitsyn goal 2:
Enough about Howard, it makes me nervous about the playoffs. There were so many things that got me riled up last night. I made a list because I don't have enough patience to walk through them all again.
1. Detroit loses to Nashville again
2A. Niklas Kronwall trips on himself. Ok bad luck, but still
2B. Niklas Kronwall can't stickhandle and puts himself offside. Not bad, but leading into worse stuff
2C. Niklas Kronwall misses WIDE OPEN NET FROM THE SLOT.
3. Detroit goes offside 4 times in 10 seconds. ON A POWERPLAY
4. Kris Draper stares at a puck in his own crease. Whistle hasn't blown. Go over there and get that crap outta here!
5. Kris Draper still plays for Detroit
6. I couldn't find turnover numbers, but Detroit had at least 50. If you bet over you won a pile of money.
7. Babcock called the game embarassing
8. Lidstrom and Zetterberg called the game embarassing
9. The crowd booed the team off the ice, which I thought was a good thing.
10. Babcock's hair didn't even look good.
Those are just a few tidbits I pulled out of the game. Like seriously, Jarred Smithson walked through the whoe team and almost scored. I don;t even know if he has a goal this year to be honest.
Check out the video from the post game. Skip to around 2:45 for Babcock.
He called it unacceptable. He realizes the fans are embarrassed and he owns up and took some of the blame. The fans booed the team off the ice. It's something I've never heard of in a Wings game.
One last thing that bugged me was that Darren Helm was once again the guy that stepped up when the team was down. The guy is an absolute workhorse. Maybe we should have Franzen's nickname, or name him something like the Workhorse or something.
Detroit has been awful since the All Star Break. They got shutout twice, lost last night, won a sloppy 7-5 game where Howard was bad again, and a 3-2 game in which they surrendered 47 shots to the Rangers. Something's got to give.
The bottom line is that this was a lack of effort. Was it an off night? Are the players still responding to Babcock? Do they think they get a free ride to the playoffs? Only one positive came out of this game and it was the wake-up call the team desperately needs.