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COACH KURT AT LARGE.....T, 4/29/14
Posted on: 04-28-2014

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    What's wrong with the
Red Wings?
    Where do I start?
    It was enjoyable to watch
the Grand Rapids graduates
win the battle to get to the
    Once in the post-season,
the kids reacted like deers
looking into the car headlights.
    Even so, the prime reason for Detroit's failure to make a respectable
showing against Boston (the NHL's regular season champs) was not just
because the rookies stopped scoring.

    Start with well-paid Johan Franzen who, for the most part, disappeared.
    With one goal in his last 18 regular season games and none in the playoffs,
one has to wonder why the Wings didn't buy-out Franzen's contract, which
still has six years to run.

    Jimmy Howard showed why he's a sub-500 career goaltender in the
post-season. When the defense makes mistakes your goaltender has to
stand tall and Howie didn't. It goes beyond the series vs the Bruins. I
lost count of the number of game's lost during the regular season because
of goals against Howard in a the last two minutes of regulation.
    You can argue effectively that Jonas Gustavsson was just as good if
not better than Howard when Monster replaced Howie for the last two
games of the Boston series. He certainly had a much better regular season
record. But Gus isn't a reliable alternative because he spent most of his
two Detroit seasons on the injured list.
    Simply put, Detroit needs two new goalies.
    Grand Rapids standout Petr Mrazek might be half of the answer, but
only if he's going to play half of the time. It will do the youngster no good
to sit 30 or more games as a backup next season. He needs to play. Both
his Red Wing wins this past season as a third-string fill-in were shutouts.
    The defense needs to be more physical.
    Danny DeKeyser and Brendan Smith made strides in that direction,
but must be much better. Jakub Kindal was so bad he was benched for game
five in favor of Griffins call-up Xavier Ouellet.
    We know you can't replace a Nicklas Lidstrom, but the Wings haven't
replaced bruising Brad Stuart either and they need to if they want to be
effective in the playoffs.

    Healthy Henrik Zetterberg, Paul Datsyuk and Daniel Alfredsson would
help too.

    I won't even dignify the Donald Sterling fiasco with a comment, except
to say this:
    It's a shame the ignorant (private) remarks of the LA Clippers owner
are overshadowing another NBA story:  The death of Dr. Jack Ramsay.
    The HoFame coach and longtime broadcaster lost a 10 year battle with
cancer and passed away at age 89.
    He was a better human being than a coach, and that's saying a lot.
    Ramsay's funeral will be Thursday in Naples, FLA and hopefully we'll see
more clips of Ramsay tributes than Sterling outrage by week's end.



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