In my post last week https://my.hockeybuzz.com...89&post_id=18302
I wrote that I hoped the wings would go 1-1-1 in the final 3 games of preseason. They did. And, while I should feel relieved, that number was based on guessing the cycle that the team seems to go through.
In short, one strong promising win is followed by a miracle effort by a goalie to get them to an overtime loss. That loss is followed by the humiliating effort we saw in Toronto last Saturday. 5-0. Opening turnover turns into goal, team goes completely off the rails.
I’ve said many times that Toronto is loaded with talent and they can burn you, badly. They are a team that you have to outwork to even have a sniff of success. The Red Wings learned a very painful lesson at the end of the preseason. You better show up. They didn’t.
Yes, 4 games in 4 nights was awful. The preseason grind is just that. Larkin and Co have nearly a week off before facing Nashville this Friday. Most of the kids that we hoped could take a spot on this roster simply didn’t. They’re already in Grand Rapids. The drop off after the Larkin line is steep (although Athanasiou can generate chances by himself).
Garnering 3 points out of 6 should be the warning sign about this season. 80 points could be considered a successful run for this squad. Not fun. Individual performances will still be there for the top 4 forwards. Glimpses of good decisions from younger d men.
The plus side of all of this? Grand Rapids could have a really good team. Call ups will abound (especially on the blue line). Veleno, Zadina, Smith, Seider should all get a look up here. But they need to try and be a dominant force down there. Rasmussen, Svechnikov need to as well. They have a much better chance having a positive experience in the ahl for now. Yzerman is more than aware of that.