Found March 03, 2013 on
The Detroit Red Wings have made a habit out of playing to their competition this season. Detroit has somehow found a way to lose at home to bottom-feeding Columbus, then turn around and dominate games against Nashville and Vancouver. The Red Wings have been hot-and-cold all season, and that trend continued in their most recent game against the Blackhawks.  The Red Wings looked outmanned in the game’s early going, took control late in the second, took the lead early in the third, and then fell apart in the late stages. The game was a microcosm of the Red Wings’ season.  At times, Detroit controlled the pace of the game.  At others, they looked hapless, allowing Chicago to possess the puck at will. In the end, Detroit got a point, but nothing more. There are several reasons for Detroit’s inconsistencies this year, injuries being one.  The Wings have played most of this season without Todd Bertuzzi, Carlo Colaiacovo, Darren Helm and Mikael Samuelsson. And that’s just the beginning of the list. Cleary’s minutes have increased while his play has done the opposite Detroit leads the league in man-games lost to injury, and the slew of injuries have put the Red Wings in the position they find themselves in right now. But there are certainly other reasons for Detroit’s struggles. Head coach Mike Babcock’s hands have been tied because of the injuries, forcing him to give guys increased minutes that he wouldn’t normally.  One of those guys is veteran Dan Cleary, and Cleary has been poor in his increased role. At age 34, it’s no secret that Cleary is slowing down.  He has never been a finesse player, and now his speed and strength is leaving him.  Cleary brings little to nothing to the team that other guys like Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist don’t bring, except experience.  Babcock is holding his best player, Pavel Datsyuk, down by sticking Cleary on his line.  Give Datsyuk a goal-scoring sniper like Tatar or Nyquist on his line, and goals will follow.  Pavel is one of the best space-creators and passers in the league.  Pair him with a guy who can handle and score the puck, and good things will happen. Dan Cleary is simply not that player.  I’m fine with him grinding it out on the fourth line with Drew Miller and Cory Emmerton, but to have him on the second line while Jordin Tootoo only sees the ice for seven minutes a game is terrible. The Red Wings need to truly evaluate where they are as a franchise and as a team.  I see several young guys who can be future stars for Detroit, but if Babcock continues playing Cleary instead of giving his young guys a chance to shine will only hold the team back. Babcock and the Wings have decisions to make.  If Tatar is the future of the franchise, the time might be now for him. Give him a shot.  He can’t be worse than Cleary. Follow me on twitter @ScottPeceny  

Boy howdy, Red Wings Nation is restless, and it’s angry at Babcock

Given fans' reactions to an exchange at the very end of Red Wings coach Mike Babcock's press conference, conducted after the Wings' 2-1 shootout loss to Chicago--as I happened to mention on Twitter--you'd think that Mike Babcock signed his epitaph. 97.1 the Ticket's Mike Stone asked Babcock if he'd thought about placing Tomas Tatar and Joakim Andersson alongside...

Red Wings rookie Damien Brunner feels pressured to succeed thanks to his biggest critic—himself

Red Wings forward Damien Brunner spoke to's Brian Hedger today (via RedWingsFeed), and Brunner offered a surprisingly stark assessment of the progress he's made as a 26-year-old rookie (he's not eligible for the Calder Trophy, but a rookie is a rookies) because Brunner has a surprisingly high standerd to meet--his own: "For sure, I want to prove that...

Red Wings overnight report: which direction do the Red Wings face this morning?

After the Detroit Red Wings dropped a 2-1 shootout decision to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday, I weighed in with my dissatisfaction, and then, in the comments section, so did you. Things apparently got heated enough that my quip about Mike Babcock's line machinations was taken as a personal attack, and if I am anything, I'm a blogger who's learned that one should never...

Promote Tatar? Babcock Says No

Obviously I disagree with Mike Babcock here, but I'm biased towards winning, so maybe my opinion doesn't matter. What do you all think about his latest comments regarding Tatar and the second line?

Red Wings evening post: Wings ready to grind it out, Wings-Avs tidbits and power rankings stuff

A pair of Red Wings stories popped up after the practice post that simply shouldn't "wait" for the overnight report, because their content gives us an insight into the Wings' mentality heading into a very busy slate of games (7 over the next 14 days), starting with tomorrow night's tilt against Colorado. The Wings' players and coach told WXYZ's Brad...

Red Wings want fans to wear pink to Breast Cancer Awareness Night game on Tuesday

From the Red Wings' PR department: FANS ASKED TO WEAR PINK TUESDAY FOR BREAST CANCER AWARENESS NIGHT PRESENTED BY TEAM REHAB … Fans who Wear Pink to Tuesday’s Game can Enter to Win 2012-13 Team-Signed Jersey … Detroit, MI… Fans are asked to wear pink this Tuesday, Mar. 5, for Breast Cancer Awareness Night presented by Team Rehab when the Wings take on the...

Red Wings Monday practice post in progress: Fil’s still out and good Helm news

Updated at 12:22 PM: The Red Wings hope to rebound from their loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday as they play seven more games over the next two weeks, starting with a game against Colorado tomorrow night, but it doesn't sound like they're going to get unrestricted free agent-to-be Valtteri Filppula's services back any time soon: Wings on ice for practice...

Red Wings lose in SO to streaking Blackhawks

DETROIT As far as statement games go, the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks basically said the same things they've been saying all season. For the Wings, they showed they're still a work in progress. For the Blackhawks, they showed they're a cohesive group clicking on all cylinders. The Blackhawks came into the game on a record-setting points pace to open the...

GDT - Game 23: Red Wings (10-8-4) host Avalanche (8-8-4) 7:30

At the moment, DET are 10th in the Conference, but only 1 point out of playoff position; that's the good news.  There are a couple bits of bad news.  To date the Wings have played 4 more games at the JLA than on the road - - that means a road heavy schedule to wind-up the season.  DET are not very good on the road 3-4-2.  The other bit of bad news - - right now there are...

Red Wings-Blackhawks set-up and overnight report: Wings don’t mind the odds stacked against ‘em

The Detroit Red Wings have a bear and a half of a task in front of them today. The Chicago Blackhawks come to town (12:30 PM EST, NBC/NHL Network Canada/97.1 FM) on a 18-0-and-3 streak, having won 8 straight games and possessing a stunning (according to the AP) 7-0-and-1 record at Joe Louis Arena and a 4-game winning streak against the Wings. You'd think that these stats might...

NHL’s current realignment proposal would move the ‘guaranteed sell-out,’ I mean Red Wings, east

The Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger spoke to St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong about the possibility that the Red Wings might move to an Eastern-team-dominated "conference" under the league's realignment plan. Armstrong probably speaks for every other Western Conference GM, and most certainly the Wings' other big Central Division rivals, Chicago and Nashville...

John Jaeckel: GAMEDAY: Hawks@Wings

Follow me@jaeckel Detroit Red Wings @ Chicago Blackhawks 12:30 Eastern/11:30 Central Joe Louis Arena, Detroit NBC/NHL Network/WGN Radio THE BUZZ Wings versus Hawks. Storied rivals. Master against pupil. Old Boss meet New Boss. Beyond the usual subtext, there's an NHL record at stake, one the Wings can put to an end on their home ice. And just to make matters a...

Latest NHL realignment plan good for the bottom line

This past week there were many reports indicating that the NHL will soon announce a four division realignment plan as opposed to just swapping Winnipeg for Detroit, Columbus, or Nashville. As you can see above with this great map, the realignment plan will consist of 16 teams in the East and 14 teams in the West. The scheduling plan is for division opponents to play each other...
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