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Thoughts after the Ducks game

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01-03-2004, 07:38 PM
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Thoughts after the Ducks game

Wings win another one, remain tops in NHL in points (although we've played a lot more games than those teams pursuing us)

The big players were quiet tonight. Datsyuk. Zetterbeg. Yzerman. Hull. Not that they played poorly, they were just quiet.
Meanwhile, Homer just sniped that top corner looking like Brett Hull or Mike Bossy. And Maltby got a great deflection on the Schneider shot.

Early on in the season, I criticized Shanny for his laziness. And it was well deserved. But for the last month, he's been playing inspired hockey. Yeah, he still floats a bit. But he's more physical. He's getting in fights. And he's scoring goals. His defense has been much better, too.

Great to see Maltby get a goal. He's really working every bit as hard as Draper out there, so it's good to see him get that goal. It was a HUGE goal.

Ray Whitney is really picking up his game. Still, he just doesn't look like the kind of player who's gonna excel in the playoffs.

Jiri Fischer had a huge game tonight. That's two straight solid games. Strange. Chelios is back. Fischer stops sucking.

Meanwhile, Chris Chelios really showed a ton of energy tonight. Yapping and hacking at every opportunity and, on one incredible shift, forchecking hard and sending three shots at the net.

Lidstrom nearly got busted again on the powerplay. There is something wrong with his game.

He did shut down Fedorov today. But damn, Max Kuznetsov could have shut down Fedorov today. Not that he floated, or anything, but the Anaheim defense, without Ozo, just doesn't have anyone to start the play. No transition game whatsoever. With Lidstrom/Schneider/Woolley and, to a lesser extent, Chelios/Fischer/Kronwall making passes, the Wings forwards are spoiled.

Legace looked pretty good tonight. But much like Joseph last night, he got really lucky a few times with goalposts and loose pucks.

Boyd Devereaux is terrible. I can live with giveaways in the offensive zone, particularly when i know that Boyd will work his harded to get the puck bad. But for the third straight game, Boyd make a terrible give away in his own zone. Each time it led to a flurry of scoring chances.

Because we're winning, no one is complaining, but Brett Hull, following a super hot streak, is now in the longest goalless slump in his NHL career.
As mentioned tonight, he has more assists than Datsyuk. But Datsyuk has more goals. How weird is that???

Draper for Selke?

Cujo for Masterton? IMO, what he's done so far shows a helluvalota preserverance.

Matthieu Dandy looks like a pretty big, fast guy out there on RW. Seems like he should throw that weight around more.

What ever happened to Petr Sykora? And Vaclav Prospal? And Stan Chistov?

Giguerre is starting to return to last year's form.

Jiri Hudler and Tomas Fleischmann have been criticized for their play at the WJC's. On the bright side, Valtteri Filppula (I can't wait to see how many people misspell this guy's name if he makes it to the NHL) and Derek Meech are winning rave reviews.
My take? Hudler may have an attitude problem. But if he does, it doesn't seem to have surfaced in the NHL or even the AHL. Because of our depth at center and Filppula's emergence, some have suggested trading Hudler. Perhaps, but his stock might be low now. If he shows what he can do in the NHL and if Filppula continues to develop, it might be wise to trade him.
The Czech team was creamed by the physical Canadians. Not sure if that's a bad sign for Hudler and Fleischmann, both of whom faced questions about their ability to handle physical play.
I like Fleischmann's size, at 6'1, even if he is, as has been noted, skinny as a rail.
Meanwhile Filppula's great tourney means the Wings may have another bonafide prospect on their hands.
Everyone is raving about Meech. Still, I don't buy it. I keep thinking "Jesse Wallin-light"
Saw him interviewed on HNIC tonight and he seems like a good kid.
Oh well, hopefully I'm wrong and he develops into a solid NHLer. He should get a contract this year and should play in Grand Rapids.

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01-04-2004, 02:06 AM
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The Wings looked sharp early on. The Ducks really roared back in the third period probably were on the verge of tying the game before that huge goal late to make it 3-1. Fedorov looked dangerous in the third period. The Wings held on last night...a far cry from the first meeting. The Ducks showed some spunk in the third period and that game last night was much more like what I would've expected when those teams played this year...good goaltending and physical.

NGO--I agree with you on Shanahan...he's been a force with playing physically and scoring goals. He's been very important since Hull has gone on a goal drought. He's my favorite player but he can go through stretches where he won't do much other than shoot the puck. I've been very pleased with his play. Shanny, Whitney and Yzerman has been a good line.

Holmstrom has played well with Datsyuk and Hull. I think Zetterberg eventually plays on that line full time. It'll be interesting to see what Lewis does when McCarty and Thomas return and what line combinations he will settle on. Who still stays in the lineup...Mowers, Devereaux or Williams? You definitely have to like the way Kronwall has looked also.

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01-04-2004, 06:33 AM
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if Holland doesn't sign Meech at least use him as trade bait

Hudler had too much pressure put on his shoulders...Fleischmann IMO was good...and Filpulla was playing well too

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01-04-2004, 07:05 AM
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Shoalzie, I don't think Zetterberg should go back with Hull and Datsyuk. He and Shanny are playing VERY good together, and shouldn't be taken apart. I could see the lines like this...
Shanny - Zetterberg - Whitney (or draper)
Thomas - Datsyuk - Hull
Maltby (or holmstrom) - Draper (or whitney) - Yzerman
Homer (or maltby) - Mowers (or Williams) - Mac (Dandy until Mac is back)
Extras: Williams and Devs (Mowers deserves to play over them, IMO, and all 3 have to clear waivers if sent down...)

The first line has been playing well for us the past few games, and no need to fix what's broke. They could always stick Draper at RW instead of Whitney, Draper does play well with first line time, and a Shanny - Z - Draper line could be good in the playoffs. Thomas is very good on the Hull and Datsyuk line, and if Draper plays on the top line, Whitney with Yzermane is another line combo with a scoring punch, and Maltby or Holmstrom could do the grinding on that line. I also think Mowers would play well with the grind line, Williams could also play there I guess. I really do like Dandenault at forward, but we have too many forwards to keep him up at RW. If Mac is going to be out a while, I bet Dandy will keep playing 4th line RW.

There definately would be a log jam at D when healthy. Kronwall has been VERY good, but he will get sent down once Dandy is forced back to defense, Plus Dandy is one of the 2 right handed shots on or D (along with Chelli, I think it is just them 2)
Lidstrom - Hatcher
Fischer - Chelios
Wooley - Schneider (or Schneider - Dandy)
I think that is how our D would look, I have no clue how the combos would come together.

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01-04-2004, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by SlavaKozlov
Homer (or maltby) - Mowers (or Williams) - Mac (Dandy until Mac is back)
Extras: Williams and Devs (Mowers deserves to play over them, IMO, and all 3 have to clear waivers if sent down...)
Agree about not moving Zetterberg back to the Datsyuk-Hull line, but what about moving Mac to center on the fourth line?

He's gotten progressively better at draws, is right handed and would add a bit of size and grit up the middle. Plus, he wouldn't worry about scoring many goals and could be counted on to play his role as a defensive center. Something like-


The Wings would still have six quality dmen, and Dandeneult could always be moved back to the blueline in case someone goes down during a game.

One thing is for sure: the wings have a stacked team from top to bottom. It'd be nice to upgrade, but it's not a necessity, and they might be able to just stand pat at the deadline, or just add a fourth line center as the top three lines are all playing well, the blueline is stacked and they are more than adaquate between the pipes.

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01-04-2004, 10:27 AM
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I've been really happy with the way Dandenault has been playing up front, and Kronwall has been so good, I hate to see him go when Hatch comes back.

And everyone has been clamoring to play on a line with Pasha...he seems to make everyone's game snap up a little, if you know what I mean...they just seem to get that much more spirit when they are out there with The Magician...

Malts, Drapes and Dandenault is a strong line...or so it has appeared to be. Maybe it's just me, but I like it. And Holmstrom with Pasha and Brett has seemed pretty good too.

Cujo has been an ace in the hole...good thing no one claimed him!

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