Originally published at The4thLinePodcast.com by Mike Laybourne
Feeling The Pain
Sometimes it’s tough being a fan of the Detroit Red Wings. The sweeping highs are often balanced out the necessary lows that come with being a hockey team playing in the NHL. But when the team are 1-8-1 in their last games, that’s hard to take. Even worse, the Wings are bottom of the Atlantic Division, behind Ottawa. OTTAWA. The teams may be tied on points but Ottawa have three games in hand and only a -10 goal differential compared to Detroit’s astonishing -33.
The Red Wings have played four games in November and have lost everyone by a margin of at least four goals. Detroit have scored five goals this month and given up 22. I wear my colors with pride, but good lord Steve, you’re testing my patience.
It’s still early days and the Yzerplan is a marathon, not a sprint. But was the situation supposed to be this bad? To give up five, six or seven goals in a game isn’t a series of tough breaks, it’s a series of ass-kickings. For every fan who wears the winged wheel on their chest or in their hearts, those scorelines feel like a gut-punch and it hurts to be Wings fan right now.
Where’s The Silver Lining?
Is there hope on the horizon? I sure hope so. We know that Steve Yzerman is a magician who can make bad contracts disappear, but the majority of the Detroit roster is bad contracts so there’s a lot of work to be done. It’s not that the players on those contracts are bad, just that there’s very little flexibility available.
Today the team announced that Jacob de la Rose was traded to St. Louis for Robby Fabbri. This is a step in the right direction. Not that de la Rose was a bad player, but he wasn’t the player that Detroit needed right now. The trade also means that the Red Wings get a former 1st round pick in exchange for a player picked up from waivers. Fabbri adds necessary depth and experience to Detroit’s roster, and along with Justin Abdelkader, Madison Bowey, Trevor Daley, Darren Helm and Valtteri Fillpula, he brings another Stanley Cup ring to the locker room (h/t WingsNation twitter).
Yzerman has to keep bringing in key components, without having very much to give up. So despite a hot start to the season, it’s likely that the only race we’ll have a chance of winning is for the number one draft pick. This sucks, especially for the players who are putting in 100% like Dylan Larkin (should be C) and Anthony Mantha.
Some fans are calling for the tank. Me though, I don’t like it. There’s no pride in it and it’s probably the worst thing about North American sports, aside maybe from Don Cherry. For Yzerman, Blashill and the rest of the team, us fans needs something to justify the pride we have in our Red Wings.