EDITORIAL: Montreal massacre highlight Red Wings lack of identity

NHL: Jeff Blashill 2
Feb 4, 2016; Sunrise, FL, USA; Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill reacts in the first period of a game against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center. The Panthers won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

NOTE: The views expressed in this EDITORIAL do not necessarily reflect the views of Detroit Sports Nation or a majority of its writers and should not be misconstrued as such. The views contained within are the views of the author and the author alone.

A mere whimper.

That’s all the Detroit Red Wings were able to muster during their farcical abomination of a showing Saturday night at Bell Centre in Montreal against the Canadiens. Montreal scored 10 goals in a seemingly effortless exercise of rubbing dirt in Detroit’s eyes and twisting their arm.

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And the Red Wings didn’t even bother to say “uncle”. Maybe that would have taken too much effort. A team that is now a shadow of its former self was humiliated against the same opponent who scored six goals against them just a few nights prior in Detroit.

The question that was being asked even while the onslaught was in progress isn’t going to be answered any time soon – where is this team going?

The collection of aging veterans, overpaid and underperforming forwards, and pedestrian coaching is now two games below the .500 mark, and has all of the showings of a squad destined to be on the outside looking in when the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs commence in April.

This year’s version of the Red Wings can aptly be described as certainly not good enough to win a championship, but not quite bad enough to land a top draft selection.

Of course, we all remember Ken Holland’s infamous “less can be more exciting” blunder last offseason. That puzzling acceptance of mediocrity for a franchise that had qualified for 25 consecutive playoff berths only underscores the lack of any concrete direction – or any plan to resurrect them to their former glory.

A solid 4-1 start to the year gave way to 0-5-1, followed by a better 6-2-1 stretch, bringing us now to the miserable 0-4-3 skid. 

They’re saying all of the right things. They know they need to be better. But their words start to ring hollow when it doesn’t transition into actual results.

Can this team make the necessary improvements to compete for a playoff spot? Only time will tell.

But if this recent stretch of play is any indication, Little Caesars Arena will have to wait a while to host its first hockey playoff game.