HSJ: Goals from defensemen are good, but missing the playoffs is better

The Free Press’s Helene St. James penned an odd column, praising the surge of offense from the Red Wings’ defense on one hand, and offering the this as her conclusion:

These encouraging signs are good for the current team, but it doesn’t mean the organization should scrap plans to sell as the Feb. 26 trade deadline approaches. The Wings are not Stanley Cup contenders. When a good offer materializes for Green — and his offensive prowess is exactly what appeals to teams eyeing a run for the Cup — the Wings are better off long term taking it, even as it will negatively impact this season’s team.

The Wings need a high draft pick, and they won’t have a shot at the draft lottery if they make the playoffs. Defenseman Rasmus Darlin is the prize of the 2018 NHL entry draft, but there are also blue-chip defense prospects in Adam Boqvist and Michigan freshman Quinn Hughes. Andrei Svechnikov, brother of Wings prospect Evgeny Svechnikov, could go second overall.

Last season, the Philadelphia Flyers missed the playoffs by seven points, but moved up from 13th in the draft lottery to pick second overall.

Good for the Wings to play well down the stretch. Better for the Wings to still miss the playoffs.

I get the conclusion, but I’m not quite sure how St. James gets there…

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

3 thoughts on “HSJ: Goals from defensemen are good, but missing the playoffs is better”

  1. Well George…to answer your question…HSJ is an idiot, basically on par with Brendan Savage. Last year in a similar spot she wrote the opposite. Losing is bad. Sticking to the process is good. Now she wants to lose. She lists some projected top picks but I’d bet my life she hasn’t seen any of them play.
    P.S. did she spell Dahlin’s name wrong or was that you?

    1. FTR Savage is a nice guy, and he’s always been observant when I’ve been around him, so I’ve got no complaints with him.

      Ditto for Helene as a person/writer, though she is…unique. She does rub people the wrong way, I won’t deny that.

      I have no problem with the concept that, “Winning enough to narrowly miss the playoffs is good for the kids”–I believe that it is–but I’m coming at that perspective from a fan’s point of view. I would have liked to see the Wings make the playoffs again for selfish reasons, even if it screwed up their draft position.

      Now…I hope they make a run, but I don’t see them making it as water tends to reach its level, and the Wings just aren’t a playoff team in my view. I have believed and still believe that the Wings will finish at the realistic level of their realistic talent on the roster, which is to say at a mediocre level…

      And I didn’t misspell Dahlin.

  2. This is an odd conclusion from James considering it seems she has to run everything past Holland before publishing. Maybe Ken has finally come around to what is best long term for the franchise, or he already has his eyes set on Seattle or Vancouver and just isn’t concerned with the Wings anymore leaving Helene to publish whatever she’d like.

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