Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The System Is Failing

So Detroit lost to Nashville 3-1 Monday. Hey, Drew Miller scored and played more than 10 minutes. Is that a good thing? Not at all.

Why? Because Miller was put on the first line. Which is great for him, no doubt. But man, doesn't this just magnify what's wrong with Detroit right now? The team is injured and has to rely on guys like Miller for production. I mean no offense to Drew. But, this sucks. I'd love to see Miller score and create some offense - on the third or fourth line.

I really feel like I'm watching some sort of nightmare. There are so many horrific things going wrong in the Wings games. I'm just going to have to focus on one issue.

This is the big issue, which I am sure to get some shit for - the system.

Yes, you know what I'm talking about. The Red Wings have a strict systematic game plan which has three parts - control the puck, control the puck and control the puck. It works wonders when the team has a bunch of guys who can actually control the puck. This is not the case at the moment.

So I'm calling on Mike Babcock to change it up a bit. He needs to tell these guys to crash the net, skate like hell and fore check to the point where they begin to punish some defensemen. And for God sake, dump the puck in the zone.

Every team in the NHL is crashing the net. Goals are not pretty. No one comes screaming down the wing ripping shots to the top corner anymore - maybe a few super star players do. No one is creating beautiful plays where all five guys touch the puck. That's just not working right now. Defensemen and goalies are way too big and fast to allow that crap anymore. In order to score, teams have to create traffic in front, shoot and crash. I know, it's sad, but right now it's true.


I find it really annoying that a month ago I was ripping on the defense. Now, I have to worry about this offense which likes to pass up open nets in order to make a pretty play. It is quite embarrassing to watch. Brian Rafalski was guilty of it in Monday's game. Always one pass too many. If it's not a pass, it's a shot to the goalie's glove or stomach.

I had a coach who used to call this type of play "patty cake" hockey. It can be defined as the point when a team starts doing too much. A lot of times guys wind up on their asses because the other team finds them looking to do too much. Before they know it, they're looking for the puck while the other team is looking to lay them out. Basically, "patty cake" hockey is for girls. There, I said it.

In the Red Wings' case, this type of play has lead to turnovers - and plenty of them. Far too many times I see Detroit cycle the puck around in the offensive zone, looking for that perfect pass, and when it's not there, the other team has an easy breakout. Detroit won't even get a decent shot on net. Literally, I'll watch guys have clear lanes to the net and opt to turn around to make a pass or "set something up" - just patty caking it. Stupid. Drive the net!

Which leads me to my next issue. OK, this promises to get ugly: Todd Bertuzzi. WTF?!?!

Have you ever seen a guy's hands go to shit like this? Yeah, I guess Kieth Primeau comes to mind. But Bertuzzi, and I quote someone else on this one, "Does a whole bunch of stuff and then forgets how to use his stick when he gets to the net." Truth. He is venturing to a state far beyond the normal snake-bitten one. He is entering a dark place.

Someone get this man a goal. He apparently cannot do it himself. It's the most frustrating thing to watch. I can see he's thinking about it. He's starting to be self-destructive. For a while he was playing well and just hitting posts, etc. However, now I can tell he's rattled. He's letting it get to him. Understandably so. But he's beginning to hurt the team a bit with stupid turnovers and pensive play in the offensive zone - which usually leads to a turnover. If he doesn't score in the next game I will continue to call him out on it. Detroit is paying him way to much money for what he's doing right now.

Well, next game is Wednesday against Atlanta. Win.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Keep In Mind

The Detroit Red Wings are currently playing the Nashville Predators - this post has nothing to do with the game at hand.

I would just like to remind everyone the Red Wings haven't missed the playoffs since 1990. Yes, Glen Hanlon was in net for Detroit in 1990.

The Wings are currently hovering around eighth place in the West - it's a close cluster of teams.

If Detroit doesn't get on a roll before Christmas, or even the Olympic break, fans should expect a stressful March. It's never to early to worry about missing the playoffs.

There are too many teams which aren't just good, but also very desperate. Nashville is one of them. Everyone has something to prove. What are the Wings proving? In my opinion, they are proving depth and perseverance will prevail.

They better get it together.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

To My Kith and Kin

The Detroit Red Wings are 1-1-1 in their past three games. The lone win was earned in a shootout Saturday in Montreal.

Needless to say, Detroit is struggling as of late.

Rather than doing some bullshit recap of the last three games, I will now comment on the high and low points. I am sure to be extremely sarcastic and cynical in the following paragraphs.

The Phantom Goal

Ah yes, Brad May's goal which wasn't. I'm really disappointed May did not kill one of the referees Wednesday night. But really, to make it fair, he would have to travel to Toronto to do actual justice.

Personally, I'm not surprised by this episode at all. The NHL has such poor communication with the on-ice officials it's no wonder more shit doesn't go completely wrong. There is no doubt this was a goal. Sure, officiating is not perfect. However, the reason it wasn't called a goal by Toronto is what makes this an exceptional debacle. The term is "intent to call." The actual term in the official rule book is: "You fucked up, make up some bullshit."

Yeah, there really are no words for this one. All I can say is thank God it's not the playoffs. Which makes me wonder what Toronto would do in a playoff situation. We've already seen they have the ability to make conditional bends in the rules. Please see the game seven overtime goal of the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals - the old skate in the crease rule is clearly ignored.

Losing to the Florida Panthers

That's pretty much it. If Detroit fans must come to expect small-market teams will have the upper hand over Detroit, then they should also expect to miss the playoffs. I'm not screwing around here. The Wings cannot afford to lose games like this. But what makes this so alarming is the previous game's outcome. Where is the emotion on this team? Where is the chip on the shoulder from the phantom goal train wreck? I would expect Detroit to destroy the next in line after such a ridiculous shit-show. Once again, I was wrong. And it only gets worse as the week rolls on.

Montreal - Georges Laraque should have gotten his ass kicked

So it's difficult to win at the Bell Centre. Apparently the place just reeks of French Canadiens. However, statistically speaking, it's not really such a chore to get a W there. The Canadiens have 5 losses and one extra innings loss at home. Actually, the toughest place to win in the NHL right now is San Jose, where the Sharks have yet to lose in regulation this season.

Anyway, the Red Wings definitely sucked it up in Montreal Saturday. Must I go into detail? Blah blah blah, they blow a 2-0 lead and team Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Jimmy Howard win an unrelated shootout mini game.

OK, here's what matters most: Niklas Kronwall was put out of the game by Georges Laraque after a blatant knee-to-knee hit. Yeah, the league is reviewing the play and I'm sure Laraque will get some sort of punishment. However, let's back it up a bit. The referees clearly miss the call - surprise! - and give him a tripping minor. But here's where it gets bad - no one touches Laraque! The Red Wings apparently hate Kronwall. No one seems to give a shit their star defenseman was kneed. I'm sitting there the entire game wondering why Laraque wasn't jumped.

What a disappointing mess. What is this team coming to? Man, if I'm playing the Wings I guess I'm taking runs at anyone. Cheap runs. It's not like I'll pay any price at all.

Yeah yeah, maybe Laraque didn't see the ice after his six-minutes in the box which led to two Detroit goals. However, he should have sat in the box with a broken nose or something. Something!

What a joke.

So now Kronwall is out for a month or something. Derek Meech is in.

Looking ahead

Detroit better destroy Nashville Monday. But right now I'm just wondering who will go down in the next game. Who else wants to get hurt?

Wins will not come easy in the next few weeks. I'll be happy if the Wings go .500 in the next 10 games.

I'm returning to my "kith and kin" this week in Detroit. Yes, I've been dying to use that Old English term. Back home, I will be questioning a lot of people in order to get their opinion on the Wings' current situation. Hopefully, I'll come back with some local knowledge.

One last note: Leave it to Montreal to try to replicate uniforms from 1909 - contemporary glove colors and all - and think it's a good idea. They should never be awarded two points while wearing those idiotic, confused and retroactive uniforms. FTL.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

They May Actually Matter Again

When I think of the Los Angeles Kings, of course the first thing which comes to mind is Wayne Gretzky and the cardboard poster I bought in like second grade at a school library sale or something - obviously, I didn't buy a book. It's difficult to forget the NHL's most successful player (statistically speaking) played a good part of his career in LA - especially when he chilled on your bedroom wall for 10 years in black and silver... OK 20. I brought it to college.

Then, I think of Luc Robitaille - eh.

Then it's Kelly Hrudey and his strong, intellectual contribution to Hockey Night In Canada.

Then I remember Marty McSorely and what an insane human he is.

I eventually recall when the Kings beat Detroit in the opening round of 2001.

Then it's those ugly yellow Lakers/Kings uniforms worn around the time Larry Murphy and Dave Lewis were defense partners - an image burned into the depths of my brain. I have depth to my brain, yes.

Then I think about actual kings in England playing hockey and I laugh. Welcome to my head. After all that, nothing. (Don't worry, it's not like I go brain dead. I just move on to a new thought which doesn't involve the LA Kings. Yes, it was necessary for me to explain that.)

Until now.

Now, there is reason to actually care about the Kings again.

The Kings are 13-7-2 with 28 points. This puts them at second in the Pacific Division behind San Jose.

Anze Kopitar is the NHL's points leader. LA has more than one line which actually matters. They have a goal tender who is making a name for himself. But what's really nice is Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille are nowhere to be seen.

Well, it is November. I find I have to remind myself from time to time. Maybe it's the beautiful southern California weather which never seems to change much. OK, now it's sunny and 75, not 85, ooooo.

The point: LA has a long way to go. They have plenty of tough months ahead. They can screw up and miss the playoffs.

Coach Terry Murray has experience. Red Wings fans will probably remember him from the 1997 playoffs. He was the guy who's team was swept in the cup finals. But does he have experience with a young team trying to rescue a franchise? Yes. As a matter of fact he's been in this situation with two different teams - Washington and Florida. What happened? He was fired both times. Ouch.

Well, this is Murray's second season with LA. I'm not really sure it's fair to count last season. The Kings had absolutely no chance.

But that was last season. Now, they have talent and more experience on the bench. I believe this is Murray's chance to prove something. He can prove he has what it takes to mend a broken franchise. I mean, I'm impressed so far. Murray has the opportunity to become the next Roger Neilson - my favorite NHL coach, ever.

So what does he need to do? He needs to expect the worse. Seriously. This team is sure to fall into some kind of slump. It will probably be a very bad one. One of his top forwards will probably get hurt. Plus, he can expect his young goaltender to start sucking. I would suggest focusing on some depth issues. The issue: The Kings don't really have much depth.

I am not going to be surprised if come March the Kings are struggling to clinch a seventh or eighth seat in the West.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they'll just keep winning. Doubtful. However, being a Detroit fan, I am guilty of forgetting just how difficult it is to make the playoffs. It's a struggle when you don't have depth. Teams with just one or two lines can't do it in the modern NHL. They will be punished and shut down.

LA hasn't been since 2001. This is actually the longest playoff drought in franchise history.

Let's see if Murray's boys can keep it up.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wings Looking Good, Howard On a Roll

The Detroit Red Wings beat the Anaheim Ducks 7-4 Saturday. Henrik Zetterberg earned a hat trick, while Jimmy Howard gained another win.

I guess I shouldn't have doubted Howard so much at the start of this season. I admit dogging the guy pretty bad. But can you blame me? He never showed much. This really is his breakout year. He better keep it up. He is earning himself the role of backup. Chris Osgood will enjoy the help. Remember, Ty Conklin played a huge role last season.

Zetterberg was unbelievable in the past two games. He could have easily notched six or seven goals Saturday. He's just so much fun to watch. He reminds me of Sergei a lot. Hank keeps getting better too.

Todd Bertuzzi is the most snake bitten player in the NHL. I really feel bad for the guy. I'm pretty sure he would hit the post on an open net from the hash marks. Oh, he basically did that in the third period against Anaheim. If he could start finishing, the Red Wings would be unstoppable. Bert gets at least three glorious chances a game. Turn those into a couple goals a game and Detroit has another weapon. Right now, he's cold steel.

Let me talk defense for a bit. Some say the best defense is good offense. That was definitely the case Saturday. However, the blue-liners are showing some better energy on the puck - whether it be in the offensive or defensive zone. They're jumping into plays more than ever. When did Brad Stuart become Paul Coffey? He's been pinching like hell lately. I'm not sure how I feel about it. However, he's been solid.

OK, so I'm a lot happier with the team's play. There is still a lot of room to improve on the defensive end. The difference now is the Wings are scoring.

I can't end this post without mentioning Larry Murphy's ridiculous comment during Thursday's game against Vancouver. He was ripping the Canucks' sweaters of present and past. He said Detroit might as well put the Little Caesars Pizza guy on their chest if Vancouver is sporting the orca. If you were listening, you probably laughed. I love Murph.

Keep it up boys.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Miller Plays Filler For Injured Wings

If you don't already know, the Red Wings picked up former Spartan Drew Miller from waivers Wednesday. Miller joins fellow former Spartan Justin Abdelkader. The two are likely to get some playing time together on the same line.

I'm excited. You should be too (In the voice of Pavel Datsyuk, Dr. Rahmani commercial).

Miller will be expected to fill in for injured forward Jason Williams.
I don't think this is an amazing trade off. The Wings will miss Wlliams' two-way play. But it is a strong addition. Miller and Williams could potentially be competing for ice time. However, it's more likely Miller and Abdelkader will compete once the injured crew gets healthy.

One more Spartan and the Wings could have an entire Michigan State line. Why not. Tim Kennedy must hate life in Buffalo. Just a thought. However, I think he's from Buffalo. Bummer.
Right now, things are looking up for Red Wings nation. Despite all the injuries and the awful start to the season, Detroit is 5-2-3 in the last 10 games. To top it off, the Wings literally demoralized Columbus 9-1 Wednesday night. Huge moral victory for Detroit. Debilitating moral loss for Columbus.

Detroit is currently taking on the Canucks. Let's see how this pans out. I have plenty to talk about, but I want to wait for this game's outcome.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Deal With It

Jason Williams fractured his fibula. He could be out for two months. Ville Leino is in.



My conclusion: I've seen this stuff happen to teams every year. This year, it is Detroit's turn. Deal with it. Find ways to win. That's how clubs succeed in the new NHL. Teams can't be complacent. Detroit needs to wake up. Believe in the system - I'm not saying they shouldn't. However, it's time to mix it up. This isn't a 50-million-dollar team anymore - obviously due to the salary cap. Heck, with the current roster of guys who are actually playing, does the team's salary break 40 million? - yes, actually. but man, that doesn't seem possible. My point: Depth gets you to the playoffs.

So does consistency. Which is my next point.
Detroit beats San Jose and then gets devastated by Toronto.

Should I expect complete inconsistency from this team all season? That's annoying. There are way too many good teams in the league right now for that shit to happen. The Red Wings cannot afford to lose to anyone 5-1 - especially not the worst team in the league.

Like I said in the previous post, I didn't watch the Toronto game. I was out trying to live one of those things they call a "life." I don't know if I succeeded. But in LA, watching hockey is probably the exact opposite of trying to have a life. I'm not thrilled about this fact. But I persevere. It sounds like I didn't miss much. I'll just let it go, move forward. I can't afford to waste time on games I didn't even watch.

Detroit (7-5-3) faces Vancouver (10-8-0) Thursday in Detroit. The Red Wings better come out hitting. Vancouver is not as tough as they have been in previous years. The Wings can get physical with them and knock them off their game.

Thursday will be Mikael Samuelsson's homecoming to Detroit. Boo's? I don't know why. But you never can tell in Detroit. I remember fans booing Sergei Fedorov, Keith Primeau and even Wendel Clark. If you're going to boo Clark, boo Samuelsson. Maybe that's just the thing to do in Detroit. I was really pissed when people booed Feddy.

I predict a win for Detroit Thursday. I suspect they will be playing with quite a sour taste in their mouths from Saturday. They would be wise to lash out against the Canucks in front of a packed Joe Louis Arena - for Steve Yzerman night.

One more thing: It's a big Hall of Fame year, for sure. Yeah, I put that link in this article twice, on purpose.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Toronto Wrecks Detroit 5-1

Here's the recap. I didn't see the game. Thank God.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wings Beat Sharks, Mustaches... Really?

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate shootouts?

The Detroit Red Wings beat the San Jose Sharks 2-1 Thursday. The game was decided by a shootout.

Whatever, two points for the Wings. They will be happy to get points any way possible. Still, I will not endorse the shootout.

I feel like I'm watching a new team. There is defense and goal tending. There are guys hustling and fewer turnovers in the neutral zone. Bodies are being sacrificed. Detroit is being physical... ! Needless to say, the past few games have been a pleasure to watch.

When it was reported Valteri Filpulla broke his wrist, or whatever, I immediately thought "Patrick Eaves has a reason to be on this team now." He's playing well with more ice time. It is a sad truth in the NHL - some guys suck when they get less minutes. Eaves is probably one of them. I don't care. Just do the job you were signed to do. Heck, I may even be tempted to dedicate a post to him - if he proves worthy. I can see it now: "Doing It With Eaves." OK, that sounds wrong. Also, apparently some people don't get it (JB). Now, look for my genius play on words in the Free Press. They will steal it from me, no doubt. What a horrible newspaper.

Moving forward: Detroit faces Toronto Saturday. Yes, a big Original Six game. However, the Red Wings might as well be playing the Toronto Marlies. The Maple Leafs are... below average.

On an ending note - and maybe this should be an entirely separate post - is anyone else noticing the increase and/or resurgence of the mustache among NHL players? Seriously, so many guys are sporting it now. I feel like I'm in a time warp. Is this for real? Is there some sort of competition going on? Of course, now I am forgetting which team it is (Maybe Toronto, so pay attention Saturday), but I was watching a game recently and realized almost half the players on the bench had a mustache. I will do further research.

Now, it's time for me to enjoy the weekend.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Forget Bruins, Wings Win 2-0

The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Boston Bruins 2-0 Tuesday night.

That's about it.

The Wings are now 6-4-3. They have 15 points and are tied with Columbus for second place in the Central Division.

My eyes are burning right now - no joke. I can't write. I can barely read. Yeah yeah, nothing new. My current state may be due to the air here. I'm choking on smoke, people. OK, I'm exaggerating and that's probably not why my eyes are burning. My eyes are burning because I stare at a computer all day.

Anyway, I'll have to cut it short tonight. Read the last post if you missed it.

Fun fact: Detroit and Boston haven't met in the post season since 1957.

Monday, November 2, 2009

An October Analysis

The Los Angeles Kings face off with the Phoenix Coyotes tonight. The teams are tied for second place in the Pacific Division with 18 points each. This is a big game.

What? Did I just say a game between Phoenix and LA matters????!?!?!?!?

Yes. Welcome to NHL 2009. It's really messed up. Let me highlight some of the bullshit from around the league - by division.


Screw Pittsburgh man. God, that city is annoying. The Penguins are better than ever with 22 points. Sidney Crosby is a piece of crap, but he's really freaking good, and proving it. Crosby has 16 points in 14 games and is leading his team with great determination. To add to it, I saw him kick some ass last week. In a fight. Which he started. My hat goes off to him. Sincerely.

Oh, would you look at this: The New York Rangers are having another solid start. The Rangers are 9-5-1 and sit right behind the Penguins. Man, it's going to be great to watch them fall off the map by December, and then fight for a playoff birth come March. That would be something totally new for them. Not. (Thank you 1995 for my "Not" joke).


The Buffalo Sabres are back. Yay! Now we get to see them choke in the playoffs! Weehoo! Lindy Ruff has coached in Buffalo for 14 years or some astronomical amount of time like that - when varsity jackets were still trendy after high school. Is anyone else stunned by this number? Haven't there been about six million reasons for Buffalo to fire a coach? How is he still there? Well, I'm sure this year will be different. Fifteen is Ruff's lucky number.

This is a strange division. Talk about letdowns. Buffalo, Ottawa, Montreal, Boston and Toronto are all huge hockey towns. They expect so much of their teams. However, I haven't seen much good out of any of these teams in the last 10 or 15 years. Ok, so Buffalo made the finals once. Ottawa used to pretend to be the best team around. Boston continues to be Boston - which means great point totals here and there and no post seasons to brag about. Montreal is regular. Yeah, the franchise with four million Stanley Cups lost its lore in the past 15 years. This season, the Habs look pretty decent. But I haven't made up my mind about the royal Canadiens. Are there more nicknames for them?

The. Toronto. Maple. Leafs. Suck. The Leafs are gross. Although I've seen them play better hockey in the past week, they still can't win, and they don't seem to have any real system other than utter desperation. They are 1-7-4. They have one win. They played 12 games and have one win. They are the Toronto Maple Leafs. The End.


Carolina keeps getting wrecked. Every time I see their stupid sweaters skating around on my TV they are losing. But they are not just losing, they keep getting destroyed. What a letdown.

Does this division matter at all? Besides Ovechkin's Capitals - who are sitting pretty - I don't think this division has anything. I thought Atlanta looked good for a bit, but I guess they stopped winning. Maybe Lil' Wayne should start flaunting those ugly blue sweaters around again. Support the team.


Well, I think Detroit plays in this division. Yeah, I just checked, they still do.

I mean, what can I say? I'm not surprised Chicago is doing as well as they are. Columbus is continuing to improve. The Blue Jackets showed signs of a quality team last winter. It's not really a shock to see them contending in this division. Nashville is not a good hockey team... but they have... more... wins... than other... teams... cough... like... cough... Detroit. St. Louis is OK. I think by January St. Louis will have a better record than Columbus.

Do I really need to address the Red Wings? Well, Detroit is better than Toronto. Right? Yeah, I know, I need to settle down. I think I've been handling it pretty well actually. The Wings need a winning streak. That's the ultimatum. They can't be third in the Central 30 days from now.


This is a solid division. It has been for the past five years or so. It is tough to get wins in the Northwest. Every team brings a physical, fast game. I like Vancouver. Remember Mikael Samuelsson? That jerk has 12 points in 15 games for the Canucks. He had 40 in 81 games with Detroit last season. Jerk. Also, Matthieu Schneider is playing for Vancouver. Plus, rumour has it Sergei Fedorov will be joining the Canucks soon. I'm not sure who started the rumor, but it is probably from a very reliable source. What happened to Mats Sundin? Well, he retired in September. I don't think he should have. I think he could have been a missing link for Vancouver.

Anyway, Colorado looks strong. They have some scary young talent. I didn't see that coming. They are really good. Watch out.

Edmonton and Calgary are being themselves. These teams need to stop kidding around. They never seem to have more than one or two "OK" lines. They'll battle for some hard-earned regular season points, but their lack of depth will never get them far in the post season. Why can't anyone just admit this? Edmonton can't be happy with 2006. They must stop fooling around and believing any playoff birth is a good one. The 2006 playoffs were a miracle. Why keep building a team that will only succeed - and fall short - based on miracles? Dumb. Same goes for Calgary - circa 2004. They lost to Tampa Bay. HAHAHA. My point is, these two teams have not changed much over the past five years. They are mediocre at best, and seem to be content with it. WHY? Make some moves or something. No one is impressed with your 90-point seasons, over and over again.


San Jose rules... blah blah blah. I don't give a shit about the Sharks. One reason: They are horrible every year in the playoffs. They have to earn my respect. They remind me of the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1990s, or the Ottawa Senators from the early 2000s.

This division is an overwhelming surprise. LA and Phoenix are breaking unwritten rules of the NHL - both boasting a solid winning record. Robert Lang is playing great hockey for Phoenix. What the hell man? And what the hell is with that photo? It looks like a really bad mini mite hockey card. Is it really that difficult to play in Detroit's system? Ugh, I'm not even going to go there. Phoenix doesn't even have an owner. I don't think this team will end up in say, Hamilton, Ontario like Canadians would want. That's never going to happen. Bettman is a tool, not a complete idiot - eh, OK he is a really big idiot, but he likes money enough not to let that happen.

But can the "Dogs" really be successful in Phoenix? I'm watching them play the Kings right now. There is no one at the game in Phoenix. It looks like a Detroit Neons game at the Palace of Auburn Hills or something. They should just close off half the seating of something.

Anaheim and Dallas are like two sleeping giants. They are the only Pacific teams which ever do anything in the playoffs. Don't count them out. Definitely do not be surprised if the Stars and Ducks are sitting at the top of this division by December.

That's it. One month gone. Since this is technically a Detroit Red Wings blog, I will end on a Red Wings note.

Detroit is being tested with injuries. Surprise, life isn't fair. So, let's see how the team responds. If they play hard and have guys step up, they could really dominate come playoffs when the team is hopefully back in shape. Detroit fans should be thankful it isn't February, March or even April.