(warning, depressed rant follows. Also, I wrote this all this morning before I heard the news about Jimmy, so... this doesn't apply as much anymore because we're screwed no matter what? Woo! Optimism!)

This link sums up my thoughts so far on the Wings:

I've enjoyed their dominance at home, but have been always a bit worried about the road record. The line that best sums up the story this year is:

If you can win without your fans in the stands, that speaks to the mental strength of your team.

And as the Wing's post home record collapse shows (regardless of any injuries), this team just does not have it mentally. We've seen it in the past few seasons as well. They have the skill, but something is missing.

Is it players? Maybe to a degree, but I don't think that this team should be where it is with the roster they have. It could be argued that some players drag the team down more than they help, but the NHL record home wins in a row shows they have skill when they play as a team.

Is it leadership? Maybe, If you look at the impact of Lidstrom being out with injury it looks like the heart of this team is missing more than they miss his skill (which they do). Missing one player, even the captain, shouldn't cause such a massive loss of heart.

Is it coaching? After much deliberation I think the answer is yes.

We credit Babcock with doing good things with this team since the lockout, but similar to the everlasting "Osgood in hall of fame?" debate, he has had a good team to work with that has a great deal of built-in leadership. What happened when Todd McLellan left? The PP went to hell. So this year we replaced the assistant coaches, then what happens? They still suck. Is it the assistant coaches faults? perhaps, but doesn't the fault eventually fall on the coach in charge? How many times has it looked like the Wings get out-coached with line changes and strategies?

In the end, I'm starting to think this falls on Babcock. The way things are going I expect a 1st round exit this year (oh I hope I'm wrong). And I wouldn't be surprised to see more changes than would normally be expected this off-season if that occurs.

Ok, rant over. Sorry, I had to get that out.

This is a fanpost written by a WIIM community member. The views and opinions expressed here are that member's and do not necessarily reflect the views of the site itself.

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