Hockeytown Makeover In Order

This is what happens when you have a team of skill but no hunger.

The 2011-12 Detroit Red Wings took their early out of their 21st consecutive playoff appearance with a run that may have just been a sweep by the Nashville Predators.

What the Red Wings have in skill they completely lacked in heart. I would not go as far as say the Dead Wing Era has returned but if things keep going this way they it just might. There was no hunger, no passion, no emotion at all from the machine that is the Detroit Red Wings.

Cycle. Cycle. Cycle.

That is what we witnessed in these five games. All Cycle no shoot.

It has been said so many times that it has become a cliché but you’re going to miss all the shots you don’t take; and if no one is there to knock in the rebound that Pekka Rinne gives up… guess what that is not going to go in either.

Bringing in new assistant coaching was suppose to bring in new ideas for the team. Becoming lackluster just is not going to win anything.

More should have been done at the trade deadline. Getting Kyle Quincey back was fantastic… if racking up penalty minutes was the objective.

Why is it the playoffs start and now the Red Wings can not keep themselves out of the penalty box? Stupid plays. Johan Franzen played stupid the entire series. Why are is he getting paid what he is? The excuse was for his playoff performance. Well holy crap ya’all that was horrible.

It is not a coincidence that the only game Detroit won was the one where they were heated. When they hated Nashville for Shea Weber‘s attack on Henrik Zetterberg. I am not going to go into that incident we all have beat that horse to death; but game two the Red Wings came out hungry and they won.

Remember when the Red Wings were the team to go to because they would rally for a player? When they played their hearts out to win that cup in 2008 for Dallas Drake before he retired.

They could not do that for Tomas Holmstrom and possibly Nicklas Lidstrom? Really? Drake meant more to them than these two that have spent their entire careers making the team what it is (or was) for these “youngsters”.

The team needs an update. Get rid of the stubron jackass we call the Mule, get a goal scorer. Honestly since losing Marian Hossa to the Blackhawks the Red Wings still have not found themselves a snipper. Players can cycle the puck all they want, but unless they shoot it they are not going to score.

Keep Darren Helm, Keep Patrick Eaves in your thoughts and hope he is okay for next season. Detroit missed both of them dearly in the playoffs.

Keep Nicklas Kronwall though odds are he is injured again as he did not “Kronwall” anyone this series (odds are it would have been a 4-5 game suspension anyway).

Keep Howard but find him a good partner. Not a back up but a good goaltending tandem where the goalies push one another; not where one self destructs.

Keep the Euro Twins. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg probably should have played on the same line together a little more when nothing was frickin’ working.

Keep Bertuzzi since he is the only one willing to use his size.

The Central Division is getting younger, full of players that are hungry to get their chance at the cup and to take down everyone that stands in their way.

Especially the old measuring stick Red Wings.

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Red Wings Eliminated with Loss to Predators

The Detroit Red Wings were eliminated from the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Friday night with a 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators.

The loss in Game Five of the first-round matchup between the teams is the earliest exit for the Red Wings since 2003, when they were swept in the opening round by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

Nashville’s game-winning goal came just 13 seconds into the third period. The Red Wings won the period’s opening faceoff but Brad Stuart‘s attempted pass into the neutral zone became a turnover, with Alexander Radulov gaining the Detroit zone and working the puck to Gabriel Bourque. The Detroit defense collapsed on Bourque and blocked his attempted shot but the puck came right to the trailing David Legwand, who snapped a shot past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard to make it 2-1.

The Red Wings would be unable to even things up, barely sustaining any pressure in the Nashville zone for the remainder of the game.

The Predators had opened the game’s scoring with 3:50 left in the first period. Legwand picked off Kyle Quincey‘s attempted pass to Jonathan Ericsson along the boards behind the Detroit net and sent the puck out to Radulov all alone in front of the goal for a shot past Howard.

Jiri Hudler tied things back up with 6:15 left in the second period, poking the puck under Nashville netminder after Valtteri Filppula threw it to the net.

Rinne finished the night with 21 saves on 22 shots against. Howard made 23 saves on 25 shots.

Neither team scored a power play goal. The Red Wings had two tries with the extra attacker and the Predators had three.

The series was the first of the season to end.

Postgame: Red Wings @ Predators – Game 5 – 4/20

I’m not going to say I told you so, because the Red Wings losing their first round matchup with the Nashville Predators was pretty easy to see after Detroit dropped their two home games in the series earlier this week. Seeing that writing on the wall didn’t take much.

The Predators simply outworked the Red Wings for most of the series. I’d like to think of it as the Red Wings not doing enough (which is also true) but Nashville deserves credit, too. We’ll see if a Preds team that’s been built to beat Detroit can get past anyone else, but it’s not my job to worry about that.

For the Wings, the summer will be an interesting one. Mike Babcock‘s stubbornness will take some heat. Would the Wings have done better with Gustav Nyquist on a top line? Ken Holland will take some blame as well, as he failed to plug the holes in Detroit’s forward units at the trade deadline, even with as much salary cap space as the Red Wings have ever had to work with.

It’s pretty clear that something needs to be shaken up. Whether it’s a new Grind Line or a top-six forward, the Red Wings didn’t have what they needed this year and it’ll need to be addressed. We’ve got a long summer to worry about that.