Monday, January 4, 2010

Underacheivers or Overachievers? You Be the Judge...

Watching my dad suffer through yet another Lions loss yesterday got me thinking about my own hockey frustrations this season. We’ve all been suffering through an unbelievable injury plague and a barely .500 record. The Wings are currently looking up at the playoff teams. Things have been looking up lately, but the Wings still have a long way to go. We’re all so used to the Wings having a comfortable lead in the division with a playoff spot all but guaranteed by this point in the season. We knew that the team was a little weaker than last season, but everyone still fully expected the Wings to maintain their dominance. Take a look at the roster below, which is from the December 23rd game, if I’m not mistaken:



If that was the Wings’ full-strength, 100% healthy roster, would you be any more or less frustrated with their record thus far? Obviously, we wouldn’t have the same level of expectations for that lineup as we do for one that includes the likes of Franzen, Zetterberg, and Kronwall. Does the high level play that we expect from the team every game make it harder to deal with the way things have gone this season, or are you just happy that the boys are still in the mix after having been decimated by injuries? Would you consider them to be overachieving if you hadn’t come into the season with your usual lofty expectations and knew that that was going to be their lineup from the start?

I can’t decide where I fall in the debate. I know my frustrations are largely based on expectations, but I also keep looking at some of the mediocre efforts that we’ve seen and thinking that the lineup, decimated though it may be, should be working harder. I’m interested to hear what people think. At any rate, it's something to ponder on a lame Monday morning.


  1. If that was the lineup to start the season, I'd be shocked there hadn't been even more shutouts this season.

    The seeming lack of effort, I think, is in many cases due to the unfamiliarity of the lineup. If players weren't going in and out with injury all the time, I think there would be more obvious efort each game - but they still wouldn't score worth beans and have a lousy record.

    Given that lineup, and the overall quality of the Western conference, I think they are as a whole overachieving. Individual players are doing worse, but the team as a whole is doing better than I would expect of a team with no second line.

  2. Baroque said it best. Half the players out there every night are from Grand Rapids or players that were supposed to get limited ice time (Eaves for example).

    I agree that we may be overachieving a bit. We may be sitting just barely out of playoff contention, but the fact that we are so close with the roster we have is a testament to the depth of the Wings and the genius of Kenny Holland.

    Once everyone on IR comes back, half of those coming back in the next week or two, the Wings could easily grab a 6th or 7th seed at the least.