27 January 2010
Anyone who watched the Detroit Red Wings game against the Phoenix Coyotes on Versus last night had the chance to see exactly why Detroit is in the situation they are in.
Take away all the injuries and take away the fact they've primarily featured a rookie in goal. Just look at their supposed mold as a hockey team and nothing else.
Detroit is supposed to be a strong defensive team with capable players on offense, but not a juggernaut like Washington or San Jose. A defensive team that, last night and throughout all season, gave up a game they should have won.
Up 4-2 late, they take a penalty. Give up a goal with 90 seconds left, then allow Phoenix to pull their goalie and tie the game. And then they go to overtime and lose it; gaining only one point in a game that with two minutes left looked like they'd definitely be banking two points.
Yes, injuries have plagued them, but good teams overcome that. And starting a rookie goaltender is hard enough, but it has been helped by the fact that they're a defensive team. But there have been too many lapses in their game, and while Howard has played very well, he isn't at a level of play where he is capable of doing it all by himself.
Detroit currently sits in 8th place in the West, one point ahead of 9th place Calgary. If the playoffs started today they'd be in. But watching last nights game and seeing them do this time and again all year long, you have to wonder come April, if they'll still be in that position.
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