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Grand Rapids Griffins 2012-13 ‎- Part 2

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Old
01-08-2013, 02:41 PM
  #101
Townsend Beasley
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If any of andersson/sheahan/aubry pan out, does that push helm to the wing?

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01-08-2013, 02:51 PM
  #102
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Originally Posted by Townsend Beasley View Post
If any of andersson/sheahan/aubry pan out, does that push helm to the wing?
I think Helm is a center for the foreseeable future. Andersson seems like a winger if anything at the NHL level due to being slow. Sheahan seems like the best bet for playing center in the NHL and I imagine both him and Helm would center the bottom two lines unless Sheahan finally develops his scoring and becomes a top 6 center. It's probably too soon to predict what will happen with Aubry, he's got a few more years to develop.

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01-08-2013, 02:59 PM
  #103
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If any of andersson/sheahan/aubry pan out, does that push helm to the wing?
Aubry needs to put on A LOT of weight. He can lay guys out out there and fight half decent but he gets laid out a tone too because hes so scrawny, with his height and play style if he could add some serious weight we're looking at a pretty beastly fourth liner. He does have some skill, but guys who play his style arent exactly expected to provide a bunch of skill on the bottom lines.

Detroit has had a pretty bad fourth line lately and its really hurt them but it seems like a lot of young guys like Aubry, Sheahan, Callahan, Ferraro etc could change that soon.

Ferraro is leading the AHL in SH goals, is fast and physical with a scoring touch. Callahan could be hilarious to watch on a line with Tootoo and Abdeklader or Aubry as well.

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01-08-2013, 06:31 PM
  #104
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Honestly, I do. The reason I think Lashoff gets caught out of position occasionally is because he's trying to do too much to cover for Almqvist. Now, I'm not saying Almqvist is a bust or terrible or anything, but he definitely needs to grow into the game a little more; Lashoff's broken up more than several odd-man rushes this season.
Never been high on Lashoff, but he is having a very good year and his physical play is a lot more prevalent. With that said he is the guy out of position, aside from the occasional ill advised pass out of Almqvist this year his hockey IQ is light-years ahead of Lashoff. That is fine as Lashoff is in the poor mans Brad Stuart mode. His job is to chip out pucks and play a safe game. Almqvist provides a lot of protection for him by slowing the game and providing an outlet a lot, that is a part of what I think has really helped him. Almqvist slows the game and sees it in impressive way and it jumps out in person even more than on tv. He is rarely out of position, he covers his assignment, he could use more power, but his stick is very impressive deflecting pucks on dump ins and ruining passing lanes. He knows he isn't going to be a big physical presence even as that part grows the important part is he has other skills that are offsetting that a bunch.



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Eh, you never know. Maybe there's another right-hander that can play the point along-side him further down the pipe, but given the amount of ability Billins has, I wouldn't count him out just because he's a lefty.
Billins has slowed down a lot. I like his game but even while Rafalski's shot was never awesome it is significantly better than Billins and he used it more to keep defenses honest. He battles hard in the corners but he does lose a decent amount of those. It has been an impressive rookie year, but there are several things to still work on and as he has hit his wall of sorts that is showing.

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I haven't seen enough of Nicastro or Fournier, but just by going from the stat lines I'd rather have a Nicastro than Fournier. Sproul will be an interesting option when he gets here as well.
Chelios called Nicastro the most improved defender in the system earlier this fall, even while he wasn't playing. In his five game cameo when Paetsch and others were injured he was impressive and even played really well with Smith. They looked very comfortable together, I was disappointed to see that broken up. A big physical player that skates well, has puck skills, I understand the numbers game has kept him down to this point, but he should draw in now. That Fournier played has more to do with the lockout being lifted 12 hours before game time and him being the one that was up as the seventh d-man at that time. They have been going back and forth to practice with the better squad but also get games in, I expect now that Nicastro will play ahead of Fournier but I guess we shall see.



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Sheahan needs to become a little more assertive and use that size on the forecheck, but a solid, two-way grinder with some finishing skills looks like a good bet. I wish the AHL tracked faceoff stats...
The whole team is pretty brutal at faceoffs, Sheahan is probably the best slightly better than Andersson, but that isn't saying a whole lot. He at least wins probably half, but was beaten often in the offensive zone when he needed to win one at the game I went to. Sheahan's game is very positionally sound, he makes the choice to do the fly by and keep shape. What needs to be stressed is players are starting to recognize that and spinning off not expecting contact. Once every four or five times he needs to finish the check to stop this behavior.

As far as offense, he is probably a second/third line tweener. He has a heavy shot and does a good job of driving the middle to create space for his linemates and stretch the defense. Very good passer in tight spaces which is encouraging and as many of us have always pointed out a heavy shot that he seems to be more willing to use in the pro game than he was in college. But the offensive tools are there and those expecting just a fourth liner I think are going to be surprised. Really reminds me a bunch of Jared Stoll. We will see with everyone shifting around Sheahan might play the point something he is comfortable doing and a lot of people will get to see he has a very heavy slap shot as well in his arsenal.

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01-08-2013, 06:48 PM
  #105
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The whole team is pretty brutal at faceoffs, Sheahan is probably the best slightly better than Andersson, but that isn't saying a whole lot. He at least wins probably half, but was beaten often in the offensive zone when he needed to win one at the game I went to. Sheahan's game is very positionally sound, he makes the choice to do the fly by and keep shape. What needs to be stressed is players are starting to recognize that and spinning off not expecting contact. Once every four or five times he needs to finish the check to stop this behavior.
Really?! They were hardly brutal during the game I went to. They were excellent. Maybe they had an unusual night. But your assessment shocks me.

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01-08-2013, 07:08 PM
  #106
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Really?! They were hardly brutal during the game I went to. They were excellent. Maybe they had an unusual night. But your assessment shocks me.
I have not been impressed with that part of a lot of their games. Sheahan and Andersson could turn into good draw guys. Aubry needs the muscle there too, like most of the rest of his game. They do a good job of scrambling draws in Red Wings fashion with wingers diving in, of course just like the Wings it gets them kicked out a ton for trying to cheat.

You expect in some ways the guys that are going to be good at that in the NHL level to be pretty dominant down at the AHL level. So that is what I am getting at, brutal was probably a little harsh although they struggled to win the important draws a decent amount of the time in Milwaukee the other night. A big part of draws is when, where and how you win them. Late offensive zone draws, PK face-off draws, and PP start draws are important and they seem to struggle with those.

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01-08-2013, 07:23 PM
  #107
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I can see both sides with Almqvist. His smart style impresses, at the same time you might need more as a small guy(well he's close to average I guess, just very slight still) to stick in the NHL. I really don't doubt his skills are enough, it's just that he plays a game normally played by bigger guys. Do you pair him with a puck rusher or with a defensive D? Because he's kind of a stay home puck mover. Doesn't play with a lot of risk.

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01-08-2013, 07:45 PM
  #108
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Originally Posted by RedWings19405 View Post
I have not been impressed with that part of a lot of their games. Sheahan and Andersson could turn into good draw guys. Aubry needs the muscle there too, like most of the rest of his game. They do a good job of scrambling draws in Red Wings fashion with wingers diving in, of course just like the Wings it gets them kicked out a ton for trying to cheat.

You expect in some ways the guys that are going to be good at that in the NHL level to be pretty dominant down at the AHL level. So that is what I am getting at, brutal was probably a little harsh although they struggled to win the important draws a decent amount of the time in Milwaukee the other night. A big part of draws is when, where and how you win them. Late offensive zone draws, PK face-off draws, and PP start draws are important and they seem to struggle with those.
I agree, however, with your assessment that they had the propensity to lose the more important faceoffs.

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01-09-2013, 02:09 AM
  #109
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Originally Posted by joe89 View Post
I can see both sides with Almqvist. His smart style impresses, at the same time you might need more as a small guy(well he's close to average I guess, just very slight still) to stick in the NHL. I really don't doubt his skills are enough, it's just that he plays a game normally played by bigger guys. Do you pair him with a puck rusher or with a defensive D? Because he's kind of a stay home puck mover. Doesn't play with a lot of risk.
His style is like the young Lidström without the 6'2 frame. Don't know how that can pan out. Timonen is same sized (5'11), so everything could be possible. Let's wait and see.


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01-09-2013, 02:41 AM
  #110
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Really?! They were hardly brutal during the game I went to. They were excellent. Maybe they had an unusual night. But your assessment shocks me.
They've been one of the worst teams all year at faceoffs

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01-09-2013, 02:56 AM
  #111
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They've been one of the worst teams all year at faceoffs
Any data about this somewhere?

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01-09-2013, 07:01 AM
  #112
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Originally Posted by Henkka View Post
His style is like the young Lidström without the 6'2 frame. Don't know how that can pan out. Timonen is same sized (5'11), so everything could be possible. Let's wait and see.
Difference is that Timonen is build like a tank and is very strong for his size.

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01-09-2013, 07:50 AM
  #113
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Difference is that Timonen is build like a tank and is very strong for his size.
Timonen wasn't build like tank at the age what Almqvist is now. So what's the point?

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01-09-2013, 08:10 AM
  #114
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Almqvist needs to become a way better skater if he wants to make the NHL. If he had that extra gear he could manage without being more physical. He seems to always find the forwards and I'd like him to take an even more offensive role and more risks with the puck. Promoting him to the 1st PP unit might not be a bad idea either. He still looks like a 16 year old...

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01-09-2013, 08:32 AM
  #115
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Almqvist needs to become a way better skater if he wants to make the NHL. If he had that extra gear he could manage without being more physical. He seems to always find the forwards and I'd like him to take an even more offensive role and more risks with the puck. Promoting him to the 1st PP unit might not be a bad idea either. He still looks like a 16 year old...
I think his stride going forward is fine enough, decent acceleration aswell. But he needs to become a better backwards skater or he's gonna get smoked in the NHL by just about any above average skating forward. Which is probably a big reason why he doesn't rush too much to begin with.

Muscles will come, skating might not. I wouldn't be surprised if they go hand in hand, his legs are like chop sticks. The time frame on him remains, he'll play the full three(well, two) years in the AHL with maybe the occasional call-up next year.

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01-09-2013, 08:41 AM
  #116
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Looks like I'm going to have to start paying more attention to Almqvist now.

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Billins has slowed down a lot. I like his game but even while Rafalski's shot was never awesome it is significantly better than Billins and he used it more to keep defenses honest. He battles hard in the corners but he does lose a decent amount of those. It has been an impressive rookie year, but there are several things to still work on and as he has hit his wall of sorts that is showing.
Eh, he's still playing at a high level, but he's just not racking up the points like he was at the beginning, so I don't know how much of a wall that really is. I mean, he's still a great puck mover with great mobility and on-ice awareness, and I think he's only going to get better in the next couple of years.

The key for both of our points of view is "rookie season."

Quote:
Chelios called Nicastro the most improved defender in the system earlier this fall, even while he wasn't playing. In his five game cameo when Paetsch and others were injured he was impressive and even played really well with Smith. They looked very comfortable together, I was disappointed to see that broken up. A big physical player that skates well, has puck skills, I understand the numbers game has kept him down to this point, but he should draw in now. That Fournier played has more to do with the lockout being lifted 12 hours before game time and him being the one that was up as the seventh d-man at that time. They have been going back and forth to practice with the better squad but also get games in, I expect now that Nicastro will play ahead of Fournier but I guess we shall see.
Nicastro is certainly the more interesting of the two (for me, at least), and seems to have the raw tools the Wings are looking for. Who do you think they'll pair him with now that Smith is up?

Quote:
The whole team is pretty brutal at faceoffs, Sheahan is probably the best slightly better than Andersson, but that isn't saying a whole lot. He at least wins probably half, but was beaten often in the offensive zone when he needed to win one at the game I went to. Sheahan's game is very positionally sound, he makes the choice to do the fly by and keep shape. What needs to be stressed is players are starting to recognize that and spinning off not expecting contact. Once every four or five times he needs to finish the check to stop this behavior.

As far as offense, he is probably a second/third line tweener. He has a heavy shot and does a good job of driving the middle to create space for his linemates and stretch the defense. Very good passer in tight spaces which is encouraging and as many of us have always pointed out a heavy shot that he seems to be more willing to use in the pro game than he was in college. But the offensive tools are there and those expecting just a fourth liner I think are going to be surprised. Really reminds me a bunch of Jared Stoll. We will see with everyone shifting around Sheahan might play the point something he is comfortable doing and a lot of people will get to see he has a very heavy slap shot as well in his arsenal.
As you later amended, I wouldn't say they're brutal, but I do agree with Jman in that they do seem to lose a fair number of important draws. I really do like Sheahan and think he has the tools to make the NHL, but I still think his ceiling is a solid 3rd/great 4th line center. Do you think he'd be better suited as a winger?

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01-09-2013, 08:45 AM
  #117
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I think his stride going forward is fine enough, decent acceleration aswell. But he needs to become a better backwards skater or he's gonna get smoked in the NHL by just about any above average skating forward. Which is probably a big reason why he doesn't rush too much to begin with.

Muscles will come, skating might not. I wouldn't be surprised if they go hand in hand, his legs are like chop sticks. The time frame on him remains, he'll play the full three(well, two) years in the AHL with maybe the occasional call-up next year.
Yeah I agree. I didn't mean he's slow but if he was a very good skater with top speed he could be dominating the AHL right now (Erik Karlsson type of player). His offensive skills are clearly top notch but the skating kind of holds him back. He has time to develop that, though.

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01-09-2013, 09:06 AM
  #118
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Nicastro is certainly the more interesting of the two (for me, at least), and seems to have the raw tools the Wings are looking for. Who do you think they'll pair him with now that Smith is up?
Hopefully Blashill will put Nicastro to play with Paetsch to Smith's spot and promote Lashoff-Almqvist to be the 1st pair.

Lashoff - Almqvist (defensive - puckmoving)
Paetsch - Nicastro (puckmoving - defensive)
Billins - Evans (puckmoving - defensive)
(Fournier)

Nicastro could take some of Smith's defensive minutes, but those offensive minutes from 1st PP should go to Almqvist. Billins is already there. Lashoff to 2nd PP with Paetsch ?


Quote:
As you later amended, I wouldn't say they're brutal, but I do agree with Jman in that they do seem to lose a fair number of important draws. I really do like Sheahan and think he has the tools to make the NHL, but I still think his ceiling is a solid 3rd/great 4th line center. Do you think he'd be better suited as a winger?
Those faceoffs are really a thing that comes only with training and experience. Nobody has ever born to be a good faceoff guy. Of course some god-mode hand-eye coordination talent is a better starting point than without it, but most of it comes as you get experience. You just have to play the games and learn. Griffins center corps are just so young that they losing against the experienced veterans in the league.

This is something I wouldn't worry about. For example, Cory Emmerton did a big jump during the last season. He was horrible at the start, but from February he was >50% at faceoffs. People are looking to his 48% season average, but was affected by the abysmal start. Darren Helm's faceoff career started kind of similar way. We have Kris Draper in this organization to teach those kids when it's time.


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01-09-2013, 01:48 PM
  #119
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Timonen wasn't build like tank at the age what Almqvist is now. So what's the point?
Because imo to excel at next level he would need to improve skating. I don't think he could be much better skate if he was as massive as Timonen is.

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01-09-2013, 03:22 PM
  #120
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Timonen wasn't build like tank at the age what Almqvist is now. So what's the point?
Timonen had the frame to out on 25 lbs, Almqvist does not

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01-09-2013, 04:12 PM
  #121
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As you later amended, I wouldn't say they're brutal, but I do agree with Jman in that they do seem to lose a fair number of important draws. I really do like Sheahan and think he has the tools to make the NHL, but I still think his ceiling is a solid 3rd/great 4th line center. Do you think he'd be better suited as a winger?
I qualified my biggest concern to which he agreed, but I would still call them subpar on the whole and especially bad on the most important draws which isn't great. I just think on several instances I have been frustrated with the lack of success on the draws and in person it was no different.

I think Sheahan is a center, he will probably have the ability to play wing, but I want him down the middle. I do know that if he slides out to the wing he is going to have to be much more physical on the whole.

I really believe Sheahan has a chance to be the fourth line center a la Helm when he was first called up when they hit the playoffs. This allows Abdelkader back on the wing and assuming Babcock would actually use him there helps the PK in my opinion. We will see as Babcock is pretty high on Andersson as well, but I honestly think for a playoff run I could see it happening.


On Nicastro: I would like to see him paired with Paetsch

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01-09-2013, 07:32 PM
  #122
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Raedeke opens the scoring from Grant and Parkes.

Sheahan follows it up shortly after continuing his hot streak from Nyquist and Billins on the PP.

Mrazek is making it stand up.

Nice to see Billins find the score sheet again, he has been struggling there since his hot start.

Riley now has 10 goals on the season, looking like he should crack the 20 goal mark this year for those that thought he would never score at any level (I was not one of them) that is pretty nice to see.

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01-09-2013, 07:34 PM
  #123
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Nicastro is in over Fournier tonight, so that is good news at least in my opinion.

Top PP unit was Almqvist and Billins on the backend, so good news Joe it looks like Almqvist is getting the first chance.

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01-09-2013, 07:37 PM
  #124
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[QUOTE=RedWings19405;57367265]Raedeke opens the scoring from Grant and Parkes.

QUOTE]

shorthanded with Brett Lebda on the ice

oops not shorthanded - my game chart originally left off almquist


Last edited by waltdetroit: 01-09-2013 at 07:40 PM. Reason: oops
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01-09-2013, 08:13 PM
  #125
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Nicastro looks pretty good out there, the playing time in Toledo seems to have done him well.

Aubry, Nicastro, Sheahan, Jurco, Ferraro, Almqvist and Tatar are all getting regular PP minutes out here. Aubry and Nicastro are most surprising to me. Glendening looks good again

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