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Wings GM Holland doesn’t buy being big wins in the East

Aug 17, 2013, 10:19 AM EDT

Ken Holland AP

One thing you shouldn’t do is ask Detroit GM Ken Holland is if you need to have a big, physical team to win in the Eastern Conference.

That’s something a Detroit-area radio show did and Holland didn’t agree with that at all as the Detroit Free Press shares.

“A good team in the West is a good team in the East,” Holland said. He added that it’s a “complete fallacy” that the East is big and the West is small and used the Kings and Blues to demonstrate that.

Apparently seeing the Boston Bruins win the East last season provided the idea that being big in the East is what wins. Of course, the Bruins had tons of skill players to go along with their bruisers and had an easy time with the skilled, yet not-so big Penguins in the East finals. The Devils weren’t exactly monsters in 2012 either.

Perhaps the radio hosts were just stirring up another round of wondering if the Red Wings are physical enough to keep pace. They’ve done pretty well doing things how they have for the last 22 seasons.

  1. kingsforever - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Is this a joke? If anything the West is bigger! And Boston isn’t even that big of a team. I’m sure teams shiver in fear over the menacing and hulking Bergeron, (formerly) Horton and Seguin and Marchand etc. etc.

    I’d be much more afraid of a team that is actually big…like St. Louis or San Jose (hence the Kings, another big team, were dead after those series)

    • imleftcoast - Aug 17, 2013 at 12:07 PM

      Agree, this is a bit of a myth for the casual fans who troll on here, and it’s nice to see Holland explode it. The East may be slower, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily bigger.

  2. beelza - Aug 17, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Go ask Chara or Lucic or Thorton if the Wings are not big enough to win in the East. Chara will slap your face, Lucic will punch your face and Thorton will tell you “that’s what you get for asking moronic questions.” Dumb-ass Detroit radio station.

    • clefty1 - Aug 17, 2013 at 5:40 PM

      Looks like you are the dumbass beelza. The West is bigger starting with LA who is the biggest team in the league, San Jose, St. Louis, Vancouver and Anaheim who the Wings disposed of in round 1 are large teams. The Hawks who are a smaller team ousted LA and Boston now go and punch yourself in the face

  3. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 17, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    This is another example of how folks will parrot “conventional thinking” without really thinking it through. Other variations include “more physical”, “more intense”, or bringing in “hits”.

    If you look at the inter-conference play the last few years there was, WC teams have the winning edge. WC teams have won 3 of the past cups as well.

    Hawks are the perfect example of high-skill style. Not only have they obviously beaten more physical EC teams, in 2012-13, they were 30th in hits, tied for the least PIM. During their 2009-10 cup winning season, they were 25th in hits. Hit’s themselves are seen as way more important than they really are by a lot of fans and writers, as hits include good hit, hits for hits sake, hits because our team does not control the puck well. If you look at the top half of the league the past 3 years in hits, half made the playoffs, half did not. Takeaways, which the Hawks excel in, are just as valid as “good hits”.

    So I guess like urban legends where stuff is passed on from one person to the next without anyone bothering to think it thru or research, I guess this is a “hockey legend”.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 17, 2013 at 3:04 PM

      Here’s an easy way to look at E v. W results.

      Look at the last 4 years there was inter-conference play. Does not make sense to go back more than 4 years due to player turnover and movement.

      But it’s pretty easy to see that EC teams and competition is pretty overrated amoung EC fans.

    • mmmpierogi - Aug 17, 2013 at 5:00 PM

      Can you be any more of a homer. No one cares about the Chicago Blackhawks with reference to this story.

      • thesportsjudge - Aug 17, 2013 at 5:14 PM

        Haha. I’m guessing that is why it ” Does not make sense to go back more than 4 years”.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:10 PM

        Nonsense, both of you, I use illustrations frequently to make points, and they were a perfect illustration for the point.

        And I just checked 6 years back, and the WC was up 29 games over the EC in inter-conference teams in 2008-09. Year before was more lopsided, WC was up 35 games over the EC. If you’d had posting integrity, you’d have gone back and checked before you essentially accuse me of cherry-picking years.

        It makes no sense to go back farther, as the majority of teams would have on average less than 50 % of the team members they had 6 years ago.

    • tdrusher225 - Aug 17, 2013 at 8:27 PM

      It should really say the East is a more physical Conference. It’s true the idea of Eastern teams being bigger is just exaggerated because those teams play with a style that displays contact on offense and defense more often than WC teams do. But you’re right, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bigger. That being said, that still relates to the Red Wings, because they’re not used to that physical style of play from Eastern teams either.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 17, 2013 at 10:40 PM

        Maybe you are right about a more physical style of play. So perhaps a more appropriate question would be, can Detroit compete successfully in a conference with that style of play?

        Hmmm, what about inter-conference play? Going back to the “lost season”, the Wings are 55 and 28 vs EC teams. Nuff said?

      • tdrusher225 - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:50 PM

        I guess we’ll have to wait and see. I’m sure a full season playing against EC teams will give us a better representation of that than Detroit’s inter-conference record dating back to 2005.

      • maria716 - Aug 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM

        It is not more accurate to say the EC is more physical than the WC than it is to say the EC is bigger. If you get the chance check out some of the WC playoff games. In particular try to watch some games from the Red Wings vs Ducks, Kings vs Sharks or Red Wings vs Blackhawks series.

        The Red Wings will not be at any kind of disadvantage in the East. They know how to, and have, handled teams that are every bit as physical as any EC team.

      • tdrusher225 - Aug 18, 2013 at 10:18 AM

        We’ll see

  4. thegronk87 - Aug 18, 2013 at 8:22 AM

    the only reason the blackhawks won was because of Bergeron’s injury in game 4. Boston was up 2 games to 1 at that point in the series. after boston’s best player got hurt that’s when chicago took over the series. If healthy Boston can compete with east and west

    • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 18, 2013 at 9:02 PM

      And “best player”? What about Rask? Chara? Bergeron was tied for 3rd and or 4th in points with Segiun. Did not lead in goals or assists.

      Hmmm, this leads me to wonder, was this more of an effort at excure making or whining?

  5. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 18, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    Good example of pre-suppositional thinking. Just like in the Bruins series, the Hawks made adjustments where they were down 3-1 against the Wings.

    One of which was taking on Chara directly. Made him look pretty darn human the last 3 games. Put Bickel, Kane and Toews on the same line.

    Could it me that ultimately CVoach Q may have oucoached Claude J?

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