OK, this is my first fan post, and I'm guessing it's not a popular subject but here goes.
Sure there have been a ton of injuries, but don't any of you think the kids have filled in admirably? Tatar was scoring at [nearly] .5 pt/gm. That's about the same as Sammy's career stats; and I think we all agree that we'd rather see Tatar than Sammy in the line-up. Andersson, while not the PK superstar that Helm is, he's definitely responsible in the defensive end. He's also scoring at a .22pt/gm clip; very comparable to Helm's .33pt/gm pace. Nyquist's scoring pace is only about half of Bert's, but I believe that Gus could be pushing Bert's (.8/gm career, but only .5/gm with the Wings) totals if given time next to Pasha or Hank.
If injuries on defense weren't enough; we still have the departure of Nick & Stuie (& Rafi) to deal with. But to blame injuries is a little premature [I think]. Injuries are sure playing their part, but would you attribute the lackluster defensive play to injuries or is the loss of those three playing a bigger role? I say personnel loss.
If anything, I think the injuries play a bigger role in NOT production, but chemistry. Ya, the new guys are comparable in points, but Andersson doesn't hit like Helm and the skating isn't even close. Gus may score but doesn't replace Bert's grit, size and net presence (not to mention the skills competition after OT). And Tatar, who I'd still rather have than Sammy, lacks Sammy's size and (little) nasty streak.
The injuries have almost been a blessing. How long would Tatar & Gus have toiled in GR without injuries? Lashoff........I'm not sure he'd ever been considered much more than an injury call-up, now he's seen as part of the team's future - until Sproul, Ouellete, Backman and (possibly) Marchenko arrive. DEL Kaiser, would management have gone after him like they did without the injuries? Ya, ya, I know, the D was healthy when they signed him, but the injuries showed just how vulnerable we were/are.
If this post isn't already TL;DR, maybe it's time we stop blaming the injuries and start blaming those responsible for personnel. Yes, I'm talking about Holland and Babcock. I know Babs has to play who is on the roster, but he does decide who dresses and what the lines combinations are. Not sure about call-ups, whether it's Babs or KH, but it's one of them. Why is Tatar in GR? Why did Gus spend so much time in GR? Why wasn't Billins or Almqvist given a chance when their game (and size/abilities) are so similar to Rafi's? Why wasn't Glendening-who spent FOUR years a UMich playing for one of the best coaches in the game, getting a TON of experience with other current & future NHL'ers [Brown, Kampfer, Hagelin, Caporusso & more], and shoots RIGHTY - given a chance? Holland, why didn't he have a plan in the offseason once the PariSuter sisters signed in Minny? Why didn't he clear dead weight at the deadline? And back to departures, why didn't he plan for the loss of Nick, Sutie & Rafi? Sure Rafi was a surprise and there is no replacement for TPH, but Stuie - everyone knew he was going back to Cali (insert LL Cool J theme music here), why not deal him a the deadline last year? Instead lose him for (next to) nothing.
Now, I am a fan of Holland. I think Babs is a great coach. But after the line combo grinder we've seen this season, I'm starting to have my doubts. Holland, I think it's about time he stop living off the infrastructure and scraps left behind by Scotty Bowman and start making a name for himself. I doubt Hakan Andersson is going to sneak another Z/Pasha superstar out of Europe to save his bacon, this time.
Ok, go ahead, throw stones.