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11-21-2012, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Originally Posted by
Yes and no, the Wings greatly impacted that data.
It should also be noted that Holland and Nill have both talked about and drafted bigger here recently. The game is changing in a large part do to the cap. With the parity entering they see a trend. I am not saying the right group cannot win, but when you write a giant article and use the Wings as your example, it does look a little silly when they themselves have said it has a greater impact than it used to.
You don't need to be overly big but you do need the guys to play a physical role and be willing to take a physical pounding. Many of the Wings undersized guys would run themselves through players or get crunched to make a play. Draper played like a 200 lbs foward, Maltby played much bigger. Even guys like Datsyuk and Zetterberg play much harder than their frame suggests or their reputation.
They still value skill, but that isn't all they value anymore. That should be a sign of the times. The Wings draft based on where they see value is low. They have started taking college players and heavily mining the Q. Also another huge target area is the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Sure they still take the occasional Swede, but they move the target. It is something they have always done. The other thing they do is trust scouting reports going into a season. They take guys that had rough draft years or went down to injury. They are comfortable with it. But make no mistake they too are taking guys with more size and rougher games.
There's a difference between being able to handle physical play and being able to dish it out.
I'd argue that there's not a single player in the NHL that can't deal with physical play. Hockey is a physical game, and the ones that can't handle it when others get physical with them will get weeded out long before they reach the NHL. Even players like Patrick Kane have ways of dealing with it when players try to lay hits on them (common euphemisms for this skill are words like "shifty"). Small guys like Marcus Kruger and Andrew Shaw aren't shifty at at all, but they have no problem taking hits and bouncing right back up and going back to take another one as long as they make the play.
In my opinion, being able to dish out physical play leads to overrating of certain players far beyond what their skill merits. The same is true for large players, who are often just assumed to be physical players (or else they can be molded into them).
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