As a young kid, at any sport, you're taught to always give 110%. You are told to leave everything out on the playing field. It seems that a certain player has forgotten that all season. He has forgotten that he plays for the best team in the Western Conference, and he is looking out of place. I am talking about Robert Lang.
Today, I laughed at him. Sometime during the game, he managed to come up with the puck and create a two on one. What does Lang do? He skates in, stops at the hash line at the circle and waits..."chirp"..."chirp"... then he fires the puck into Mikka Kiprusoff. I don't understand what he was thinking. Robert Lang has had a terrible season, and now he thinks he can stop, pick a spot on net, and beat Mikka Kirprusoff. Wings fans have been all over him, and they are justified in their reasoning. They would love to see him pack up and go pull some other team down.
When the Wings acquired Lang a few years ago, he was the league leading scorer, I was thrilled to see him put on a Winged Wheel. Now I am embarassed by his play. This season was filled with nothing but disapointment. He was 3rd in giveaways for the whole NHL. He is just lazy. The same as his penalties. Most of his penalties are from being lazy, there were tons of hooks and holds this year. It is a good thing that Pavel Datsyuk was finally able to step up for the Wings this year because Lang has been more helpful to the Flames. His 6 giveaways in Game #1, the game where the Wings totally annihalated the Flames, 6 giveaways! Not to mention, through 2 games, he has won just 8/30 faceoffs. And get this...the Wings were the best regular season face off team.
Babcock continues to avoid Langs bad play. He always goes on about how great Robert Lang played, and what a great season he is having. He always fails to mention anything about him being a defensive liability. He continuesly beats up on Hudler as being a defensive liabilty. Hudler knows what backchecking is, he does, I've watched him many times this season do it. Lang, just wants a bank check.
Suprisingly, the Wings have assembled a deadly "4th" line. Two kids and a Mule. Two rookies, Filpulla and Hudler, and Franzen, who has been deemed the nickname, the Mule. Every shift they give their all, and it has resulted in 2 goals in 2 games. They all forecheck, they all hit, even Hudler, as small as he is. Fans enjoy watch the little guy get mean. Yet somehow, Babcock sees something more in a Calder-Lang-Samuelsson line, which has yeiled us minimal scoring oportunites, small work ethic, aside from Calder, and no goals. They are hardly 2nd line, and much of that credit is due to the poor play of Robert Lang.