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Red Wings ‘in a dogfight’ for playoff position

Apr 12, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

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One point. It could be the difference between a playoff spot and an early start to the golf season.

That right now, applies to – of all teams – the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit lost to the San Jose Sharks by a score of 3-2 in a shootout Thursday night, and are precariously holding the final playoff spot in the Western Conference by just two points over the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Wings could’ve had the full two points. Instead, they came away with just one. In the end, could that be the difference between qualifying for the post-season or missing out?

“You got to earn your right to say playoff games and we’re in a dogfight,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told MLive.com on Thursday.

“We’d have liked to get two points. We’re going to keep battling, keep worrying about the process and doing good things, and in the end good things will happen to us. We just got to compete hard.”

The Red Wings are in Chicago on Friday to face the Blackhawks, while the Coyotes are in Calgary to play the Flames.

Should the Red Wings lose in regulation and the Coyotes win, the two teams would be tied in points, however Detroit would hold on to the tiebreaker of more regulation-overtime wins.

  1. canucks30 - Apr 12, 2013 at 7:54 AM

    I’d love to see Columbus in the playoffs at Detroit’s expense.

    It’s time for the playoff streak to end.

    • polegojim - Apr 12, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…. Ha!

      Figure that would be posted by a CANUCKS fan!

      • canucks30 - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:28 PM

        All things come to an end.

        The playoff streak isn’t going to continue for perpetuity.

      • polegojim - Apr 17, 2013 at 5:05 PM

        Are you sure about that?

        How do you know?

        ; )

  2. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Apr 12, 2013 at 8:29 AM

    Babcock, the players and the rest of the organization deserve to make the playoffs. They have been a model of consistency.

    • polegojim - Apr 12, 2013 at 9:04 AM

      Nice sentiment, but you only ‘deserve’… what you earn.

      The Wings are barely playing well enough to ‘earn’ a playoff spot right now, and other teams are on the rise.

      They’ve got to dig in and hit it hard and Howard can’t give away points in shoot outs.

      • nicwel - Apr 12, 2013 at 10:24 AM

        The Red Wings have earned a lot this season regardless if they make the playoffs or not. This team has been decimated by injuries, and for them to be barely holding onto the 8th spot is a huge accomplishment this season. Plus, if the wings do sneak into the playoffs (although looking bleaker by the day) I will take 21 years of playoff experience and the 8th seed, because as we all know anyone can take the cup regardless of seed (i.e kings.)

      • polegojim - Apr 12, 2013 at 1:23 PM

        That’s actually my point nic… yes injuries – that I get… but most of that is in the past – done. Only one that hurts them right now is Helm. I like Bert, but he’s not a difference maker.

        But right now… they have almost ALL of the their true impact players on the ice… and the results slipping. That’s the concerning part.

        Several of the supposed impact players are not making the impact expected or equal to their capability… esp guys like Fil. 1 point in 11 games, or something like that??? And, I watched Nyquist make some truly bonehead plays last night… turnovers, but esp carrying puck into the O zone w 15′-20′ of ice in front of him… and he dumps it to the side… where NOBODY was even skating… OUCH.

        Hey… I love the Wings… but it’s been a bit more painful this year than I thought it would be, mostly because I don’t think some guys have stepped up to their ability. But also, maybe my believe in their ability was too high.

        With only 2-3 points between them and Dallas, Phoenix, Columbus… 8th is not even remotely a given.

        Babs wasn’t kidding when he said that this year could break the streak… and they’re playing like it.

  3. gospitfires - Apr 12, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    i blame Ken Holland if we dont make the playoffs. the failure to sign Suter (and a lessor extent Parisse) to replace Stuart, Rafalski and Nic in 2 offseasons and we get carlo coacavo and kent huskins (since traded) instead. i mean this year St luois got bowmeester for a first and 2 trash prospects. we gave upa first alone lastyear for kyle quincy who is a massive bum. i mean you cant exactly fire the guy for 1 missed playoff, but i follow the team closely, the farm team is full of third and 4th line guys at best, dats at 34 and dropping hints hes going back to russia after next year, zetterburg is in decline, i mean do we even have 1 good young forward in the enite lineup? this team is about to enter serious decline, RIP hockeytown

    • falvoja - Apr 12, 2013 at 11:45 AM

      I would hope for a person living in Windsor, Ontario would understand hockey better than this.

      First, going after Parise and Sutter by offering longer term 100M contracts would of been idiotic before the new agreement between the players and owners. It will be interesting to see how Minnesota deals with having over half of their cap space (33.7m) tied up in 5 players. AND that doesn’t include Backstrom who is a UFA after this season (6m). http://capgeek.com/wild/

      Sure Bowmeester carries huge minutes but tell me about his playoff experience? So you want to pay him close to Lidstrom’s former salary for a player that has never played a playoff game in his life? Seems like he deserves all of that 6.8M salary (SARCASM).

      You complain about the defense not being up to par. You do realized that you have been spoiled for the past 10 years alone. Lidstrom arguable the best D man of all time (Orr is #1 in my book). Chelios HOF and Rafalski arguably HOF material too. 3 ROOKIES (Smith, Lashoff, Dekeysor) have filled in admirably. EXPECT a learning curve.

      For a team that is -3 in their GF and GA ratio, that bum Quincy still has a +7 rating. Does he always make the right play? No. Does he make mistakes? Yes. Does he get the puck out of the defensive zone and in deep? For the most part yes. He is a stay at home D-MAN that keeps it safe. Its boring hockey I know but he doesn’t deserve to be in the dog house (except for the 1st St. Louis Game)

      Lets talk about injuries…. http://www.mangameslost.com/nhl-man-games-lost-for-april-7-2013/

      Which leads me to my final point…You probably think the wings need to get younger like everyone else. BUT as a person who follows the wings closely you should also know that rookies have been called on a lot this year. The rookies have played in a combined 120 games which comes out to having 3 rookies in the line up every night. Please tell me the last time the wings have had 3 rookies in every game. Technically, the wings are younger that Pittsburgh and even Edmonton (surprised me). http://www.quanthockey.com/TS/TS_AverageAge.php

      Holland’s only mistake was signing Frazen over Hossa. Besides that, he has given you 3 rings and the greatest NHL dynasty of the past 20 years.

      I trust my Wings to Ken Holland and Mike Babcock. You should too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcZL5uxAfzw (19 seconds in)

    • polegojim - Apr 12, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      No way G – Holland is the reason they’ve been ‘in it’ for 21 years… and he hasn’t broken the bank to ‘rent’ players to get it done.

      Sorry – but no way Suter and Parise are worth 200 mil… I would not have done that deal.

      And honestly – bouwmeester isn’t a lot better than who they have.

      Of course they’ve declined… as expected… but not RIP Hockeytown… actually – ‘Happy Reloading Hockeytown’…

  4. thehighcountrybear - Apr 12, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    I don’t think it’s as much other teams being on the rise, as much as being equally balanced teams run by equal grades of coaching flattening out the table…?

    In the present, games hang in the balance on lucky breaks and bad calls rather than dominating explosive play featuring stand-out players, a product itself woefully absent in the contemporary game!

    Get a run of luck, get a streak, become the weekly winner of the Stanley Cup [ for Canucks fans, that's the big silver goblet awarded to Cup winners every season ]?

    Now, currently boring formula hockey has given rise to staged fighting as a means to get fans off their asses whereas in former days, scintillating offensive play by guys like Bobby Hull, Bobby Orr, Guy Lafleur and Denis Savard among the many, left people talking in wonder at games and on coffee row every morning. Now it’s who concussed or who’s knuckler out-knuckled someone else’s knuckler grabbing the talk and the ink! What a drudge!

    Now, a guy like Datsyuk though special, stands out glaringly against the same old same old! Like horse racing, the only improvements to the game are orchestrated through technological change rather than player improvement. Player skill has peaked, and most players in the game bring a skill set only separated by mere percentage points from contemporaries.

    There’s a dreadful monotony that comes with parity…same defensive plod by all teams after getting up a goal, same smothering play around the nets, and the shootout has become a five-hole fest. Goalies are caught-up in their own avarice as bulky inflexible equipment has been surpassed by its own deficiencies…proof skill has taken second place to technology to the detriment of that part of the game particularly.

    Now take Jimmy Howard and his thirty one point eight million dollar five hole…how many times do teams get to feed pucks through that space before he, his goaltending coach or Wings management clue in?

    Now take Jimmy Howard, teach him how to poke check, stand up, butterfly only at need and at the speed of light, then get up and get in the play…

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 12, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      I must be drunk… I actually agree with many sections of this.

      BRB, off to the psychologist.

  5. LampyB - Apr 12, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Agree with most of what you’re saying nicwel, but if the Wings squeeze by they’re not going past the first round…

  6. mizbinboston - Apr 12, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    Argh, it’s so frustrating watching this team right now. They can play better–we’ve SEEN them play better–but for some reason they’re turning into a mental basket case. Lack of consistency, repeated bone-headed plays ($^$#%#% turnovers)… just, arghhh!

    On the bright side, if Smith and DeKeyser develop into players they’re touted to be and Lashoff keeps improving, we’re going to have a pretty solid defensive core a couple years down the line. Forgiving the rookie mistakes that are to be expected, our young forwards look decent too.

    C’mon boys, grab that 8th seed! Go Wings!!!

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