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Red Wings recall forward Chris Conner from Grand Rapids

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12-04-2011, 06:08 AM
  #51
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Originally Posted by Filppula View Post
He's probably one of those great call-up forwards, but if you're looking for a full-time man, he's probably not the answer.
He's easily as good as most 4th liners around the league. But most 4th liners are battling for their jobs year-to-year and getting replaced by youth. It's a tough gig to hold, particularly if you aren't a fighter who drops the mittens.

How many guys do you know that are career 4th liners? It's hard to think of many. Kris Barch, I guess, but man he's terrible on all levels and I have no idea why Dallas keeps him around. They must love watching Kris get punched in the face.

But hey, I'm totally admitting my bias as I watched Chris during his days at Michigan Tech and loved his attitude on and off the ice. Following his career I always thought he'd make the perfect 4th liner on a skilled team and now that he's landed in Detroit I'm hoping he earns a place.

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12-04-2011, 11:16 AM
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bench View Post
He's easily as good as most 4th liners around the league. But most 4th liners are battling for their jobs year-to-year and getting replaced by youth. It's a tough gig to hold, particularly if you aren't a fighter who drops the mittens.

How many guys do you know that are career 4th liners? It's hard to think of many. Kris Barch, I guess, but man he's terrible on all levels and I have no idea why Dallas keeps him around. They must love watching Kris get punched in the face.

But hey, I'm totally admitting my bias as I watched Chris during his days at Michigan Tech and loved his attitude on and off the ice. Following his career I always thought he'd make the perfect 4th liner on a skilled team and now that he's landed in Detroit I'm hoping he earns a place.
On a good day he is.
I want to see what he's like after 5 games in the lineup.
Kirk Maltby spent most of his career as a fourth liner. To me, that's the ideal fourth liner.
Smart. Fast. Hits hard. Blocks shots. Kills penalties.

I liked Conner's speed in the preseason, but I also saw a guy who was almost worthless with the puck and not very useful on the wall.

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12-04-2011, 11:31 AM
  #53
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Originally Posted by Bench View Post
Well, he's 5'7" and he doesn't have the world class skills of Marty St. Louis.

He was always the first call-up for the Stars over several seasons. And he played 60 games, plus the playoffs for the Pens last season. If they didn't have so much youth in the pipeline, I'm sure he'd be back there.

So yeah, he hasn't been a typical regular, but he's always found his way onto an NHL roster during the season. And there's a reason a guy who's 5'7" keeps finding an NHL job.
But there's a reason he doesn't stick.
Being small is a reason why it's difficult for him to get his shot.
But he's gotten his shot. And he can't keep it.

What I saw was someone who was incredibly fast, great in pursuit, but without much puck skills, easy to knock off the puck, and not very effective on the boards. I've seen some small guys who are really hard to knock off the puck.

But more than anything, I wonder if he has the motor (competitiveness) to play with high energy on a regular basis.

Not against midgets from Michigan. I watched this guy a lot when he was in A2 at the USNTDP and thought he'd have been a great pick by Detroit

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12-04-2011, 11:35 AM
  #54
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Originally Posted by Captain Bob View Post
I also saw a guy who was almost worthless with the puck
Eh, look again. He's not your 4th line banger with hands of stone. He's actually a pretty skilled scorer if that's his aim. In college and the AHL, he's basically been a point per game player his whole career. Now I'm the first to concede that's a whole different game, but it shows he has hands.

With only 11 minutes a game of icetime last year over 60 games on a depleted Pens (leading scorer was Crosby with 66 points and he did that in only 40 games!) Conner still produced 16 points. That's only a handful behind Talbot (21 points), who played 4 minutes more per game, and played 20 more games.

So when you put it into perspective, it's not too shabby a year for the guy.

Now don't let all these posts about Conner fool you into thinking I believe he's this awesome solution for the Wings, I'm aware he's more injury insurance than anything, but instead I just want to give the guy a fair representation

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Old
12-04-2011, 02:52 PM
  #55
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I think the Wings style lends itself to success for players who aren't very big. Speed and tenacity with skill are our big things. Digging out pucks, our players aren't muscling guys off, they position themselves and use their sticks efficienty and accurately to dig out pucks. How many times is Cleary put on the ice trying to dig out a puck or protect it? Talk about easy to knock off the puck. Conner, however, I saw creating turnovers and putting pucks on net for perfect rebound opportunities.

Small as he is, if he's hard on the puck and abrasive to the other team, he'll get the support he needs to continue to play bigger than he is.

I'm loving having a real checking line now that can go against other teams top lines. Bowman was saying that was sthe downfall in Anaheim, was the loss of a true checking line to open up the offense for your top lines playing against lesser players.

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