Friday, March 13, 2009

The Way The Red Wings Are Playing Lately Does Matter

The Red Wings spotty play recently is a classic example why it is more difficult to stay on top than get there in the first place. I understand it’s an overused cliche and pardon me for using it, but the urgency just isn’t there for the Red Wings. The third period of Thursday night’s game vs. Calgary could not have made the point any clearer. The Red Wings might see the Flames in the playoffs. It would be naive to think the Flames’ comeback doesn’t give them a measure of confidence should that series occur. That’s especially true considering the Flames had lost their previous three games and were reeling.
It’s not a goaltending issue. It’s not a case of defensive strategy. It’s a lack of hunger. And while all criticism of the Red Wings is relative because of their lofty position, their play lately has been disappointing.

Random Thoughts

- The World Baseball Classic actually plays into the Tigers’ hands. Because of it, spring training is a week longer. That means extra time to get the pitching staff ready. The Tigers definitely need it.
I know Jim Leyland said he expects Jeremy Bonderman and Joel Zumaya, who will both throw in a simulated game Saturday, to be ready for the start of the season, but that still has to be viewed as a long shot. Even if they do start the season, there have to be questions about how long it will be until they get injured again.
The other factor is struggling left-handers Nate Robertson and Dontrelle Willis. They pitch Saturday as well, but in the exhibition game against the Mets. How much time do the Tigers need to evaluate them in spring training? The extra week can’t hurt in that regard - nor as they observe youngsters Rick Porcello and Ryan Perry.

- I’m a little bleary-eyed today, but can’t help it. Had to stay up late last night to see Syracuse’s six-overtime victory over Connecticut. One of the best games I’ve ever seen. Fascinating stuff.

- Mark McGwire, hitting instructor. Does that involve focus on technique or chemistry? Just wondering.



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