Reporting Jeff Riger
By: Jeff Riger
With every game and week that passes it seems like the Wings, for the first time in 21 seasons will miss out on the playoffs. Detroit currently sits in the 10th spot in the West, 2 points behind the Blue Jackets for that 8th and final playoff spot. The Dallas Stars currently own the 9th spot; they have the same amount of points as the Wings however their ROW (Regulation Overtime Wins) is better. The Wings have 5 games left starting with the Canucks tomorrow night, a game that they must win if they are to have any chance to get in.
But this blog is really not about the standings; instead it’s about Wings fans!
The other day, while on the air I asked if Wings fans are still proud of their team? I thought it was a fair question considering for the last 2 decades there have been no more prideful fans then Wings fans. You know the facts as much as I do. This team has won their division multiple times, they have won the Presidents cup multiple times and they of course have hoisted 4 Stanley Cups as well. If the Wings have not been a dynasty then they have been damn close.
Well now things have changed…
The salary cap has eroded Detroit’s talent, their superstars have retired and the injuries have piled up as well. Oh, and did I forget to mention that it seems like forever since Ken Holland has made a move to help the team? It has not been pretty. People will blame Jimmy Howard and he deserved it the other night when he allowed two of the softest, more embarrassing goals in the third period you will ever see but overall he’s not at fault. Fans will criticize the defense claiming they have been awful since losing Nick Lidstrom, Brad Stuart and Brian Rafalski, but they have been good enough to get this team to the playoffs. It’s been a total lack of goal scoring that has been the true culprit in 2013 and I don’t see how things will get better anytime soon.
The Wings rank just 21st in the league in goals for, averaging just shy of 2.5 scores a game. That just isn’t good enough. In comparison the Wings are the 12th best in the game in goals against allowing just 2.46 scores on a given night. Bottom line, even one more goal scoring forward or defenseman could have been the difference in being out of the playoffs and maybe being in the 6th seed or higher.
Detroit has just 3 skaters with 10 or more goals this season with 2 of them having not scored in a very long time. It’s all been very hard and disheartening to watch.
But there is still reason for pride…
I’m not preaching for you to be happy with the direction of the organization and I’m not saying that blame doesn’t need to be laid because it does. But, if the Wings make the playoffs this season with everything that has been stacked against them including a GM that has refused to make moves then I say be proud!
And, then we wait to see what is done in the offseason to see if that pride continues?
Are you proud of the Wings in their current form?