From Nick Parsons
Yes, it is serious. The Red Wings hidden weakness is now not so hidden. That weakness is goaltending. The odd thing is wobbly Detroit goaltending is nothing new.
Detroit is a remarkable club. Their regular season success since 1987-88 has been astonishing: 13 divisional championships, five Presidents Trophies (best overall record), and three Stanley Cups. The past five seasons their points have varied between 109 and 124, theyve won the division those five years, finished first overall three times, and have one Cup.
Setting aside their uneven playoff performances Detroit during the regular season is the closest thing to invincible weve seen since those stunning Montreal Canadiens teams in the mid-70s.
Now they lose six straight games and were surprised. Who else but Detroit could lose six straight and remain eight points clear of the second best team - the Dallas Stars. Detroit is still odds on to finish first overall, especially with the NHLs three point games.
The recipe sometimes works: They won a Stanley Cup with erratic Mike Vernon then another with equally erratic Chris Osgood the next season. Their most recent Cup was with a shaky Dominik Hasek. They failed with Curtis Joseph then failed again with Manny Legace. Last year was Haseks turn again and he was good until the Conference final when he shipped too many goals.
But it seems this season they are in the same old goaltending boat yet again. Through this current slide the Red Wings have been poor in their own end - scoring chances have ballooned. When their beleaguered defense could have used a helping hand the goalkeepers didnt deliver. Against Dallas Sunday night they were back to their old air tight selves. The team looks ready to begin winning once again.
Gotta to love the amount of effort and content Nick provides!
Won't be surprised if both the Red Wings and Senators are gone after the first round of the playoffs.
I agree with Matty, but keep in mind that the Wings have won cups with both of these guys in separate years, albeit was a few years ago now.
Great article Nick - in the NHL playoffs, it's all about having the hottest goaltender. This could mean big trouble for the Wings.