Monday, January 12, 2004

1/12 Notes

-- The Detroit News says the Wings don't necessarily need to make a trade to fill in the gaps but that they just need to get completely healthy. That may be true but I still think the Wings need another center, though I don't know how they'll get one since they are apparently planning on hanging on to Curtis Joseph to the end. As long as Darren McCarty and Steve Thomas come back and are productive, the Wings will be fine on the wings but still a little weak in the middle. It's worked out fine so far but that will change in the post-season when they'll be facing top-tier teams every game instead of every once and a while. We know, though, they'll have a very solid defense once Derian Hatcher returns to the ice (and gets back in form) so perhaps another defensive center isn't necessary. It's the goal scoring I'm worried about. It hasn't been a problem all season but, again, that will change in the playoffs. While I like the balance the Wings have now, and will have, I'd like to see some kind of move towards offense by Ken Holland before the playoffs. Of course, that depends on who is available at the trade deadline and what the Wings are willing to give up. -- The Wings have gone 0-10 over the previous two games on the power play. Though the Bruins did a good job killing those off, it's clear the Wings aren't at top form with the man advantage. The Wings' power play has been relatively weak for a while and it's gotten to the point where I'd rather have them play 5-on-5. -- They'll finally get the Chicago Blackhawks out of the way this week when they face them for the 6th and final time on Wednesday. The Hawks have given the Wings trouble all year and I'll be relieved when they don't have to play them anymore. As tight as the Western Conference race is looking, it's good that the Hawks won't be in the Wings' way late in the season. -- Brett Hull has gone a career high 16 games without scoring a goal. He has not scored since December 8th when the Wings played the Kings. The Freep points out that he has still done things during that drought to justify his presence on the ice, such as having 10 assists and playing fairly sound defensive assists. That's all well and good but Brett Hull is here to score goals. When the Wings want a defensive forward who doesn't score a lot, they have out Kirk Maltby (and they used to use Kris Draper but he scores goals now too). Get it together, Brett. -- The Freep also says Joseph is "classy as trade bait or star" and I fully agree with them. Curtis has been a complete class act throughout this whole thing and has earned my respect many times over. He's a heck of a lot better man than most and has done a great job so far this season. News and Freep


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