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Things we know: 1/8 of the way

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Old
01-30-2013, 11:57 AM
  #1
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Things we know: 1/8 of the way

1. We're probably the #3 team in the Central. We were blown out by St Louis and will get another shot at them. We played a worn out Chicago team and lost to them in OT. We haven't played Nashville yet but we did beat Columbus. Right now we're the #6 seed in the West and would face Minnesota, which isn't a bad matchup. Obviously much will changes over the next 42 games.

2. Pavel Datsyuk is the straw that stirs the drink. When he started the season as a winger on Z's line we were terrible. I seriously believe we'd be cellar dwellers if Pavs was still playing on the wing. Since being moved back to center he's been dominant at both ends of ice, killing off a 5 on 3 penalty last night and generating 2 assists. He leads the team in scoring and he's also a team best +5.

3. Our defense doesn't look bad. We started off horribly but over the past 4 games we've only allowed 7 goals in regulation, or 1.75 GAA. If we can maintain that type of stinginess we could win a lot of hockey games.

4. Jimmy Howard appears to be rounding into form. He didn't play during the lockout and I am pretty sure Mickey said he should begin to get into game shape pretty quickly. He's made some very impressive saves and based on his last couple games he does appear to be improving his play.

5. Our power play is obviously horrible. I don't know how much is talent - or lack thereof - and how much is scheme. Todd McClellan has a brilliant power play with the Sharks but he also has Thornton, Marleau, Clowe, Pavelski, etc. Given our lack of high end offensive defenseman it probably makes sense to go with 4 forwards and 1 d-man (Kronner and Smith) on each unit. When White is healthy he can obviously be added to the mix. It's probably worthwhile to put Z on the point given he has a good shot. Heck, I'd even be willing to try Lashoff since he can really fire the puck. Our current d-men just don't seem to add much other than being safety valves.

6. Kronner is the only d-man who has generated more than 1 point to date. This is why I was arguing we really do need a legit offensive defenseman who can put up 50+ points per season. Our bottom 6 forwards have generated pretty much 0 offense. If our bottom 6 continues to suck at generating offense I'd like to see Nyquist given a shot. Of course it will never happen but I thought I'd mention it as the old mantra is let them get 20+ mins a night in the AHL rather than 10 mins a night in the NHL. Well the NHL team needs some scoring depth and the old guys ain't getting it done. Something like:

Abby-Helm-Tootoo
Nyquist-Emmerton-Miller

Cleary and Miller PK quite a bit so perhaps you replace one of them with Nyquist who should be the first call up. Nyquist can PK and you can also give a bit more short-handed IT to Cory Emmerton who has started to come into his own.

I still think we're a 6-8 seed come playoff time. Our strengths are team defense while we do not have nearly enough scoring depth from our forwards or any real scoring from our d-men outside of Kronwall. Our power play is brutal and I'm not sure we can expect much improvement given our lack of quality d-men or scoring depth at forward.

If Holland wants to improve the hockey team I think the best bets are 1) calling up Nyquist, 2) acquiring an offensive defenseman like Lubomir Visnovsky, and 3) acquiring a good scoring winger who can be plugged into our bottom 6.

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01-30-2013, 12:20 PM
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Why do you think Nyquist should be on the penalty kill? Isn't he sort of undersized? I think they are expecting him to work on bulking up before they graduate him permanently.

Concerning the power play, why are they still running it through the defense? They know they don't have Lidstrom and Rafalski anymore, can't they try to generate offense from lower in the zone. It seems like San Jose is good at holding the puck in the corners and finding the man coming down the slot. Is there no way the Wings can do that? Do they have no passers of the Joe Thornton caliber?

Other than that, you are right, it is early and a lot could change.

Try to enjoy the trip (for what it is, rather than what it is not) as much as the destination.

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01-30-2013, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Chunkylover View Post
Why do you think Nyquist should be on the penalty kill? Isn't he sort of undersized? I think they are expecting him to work on bulking up before they graduate him permanently.

Concerning the power play, why are they still running it through the defense? They know they don't have Lidstrom and Rafalski anymore, can't they try to generate offense from lower in the zone. It seems like San Jose is good at holding the puck in the corners and finding the man coming down the slot. Is there no way the Wings can do that? Do they have no passers of the Joe Thornton caliber?

Other than that, you are right, it is early and a lot could change.

Try to enjoy the trip (for what it is, rather than what it is not) as much as the destination.
Well the main reason to bring up Nyquist is to add some scoring punch to our bottom 6. If you add him, however, you need to replace either Cleary or Miller or Eaves. All of these guys PK although Eaves gets token time when we're short handed. So adding Nyquist would possibly result in him needing to help out on the PK. On the plus side he could get some time on the power play too.

Regarding the power play I really do like the idea of going with 4 forwards and 1 d-man. You'd need 8 forwards for your two PP units. Something like:

Pavs, Bert, Fil, Brunner
Z, Mule, Nyquist, Cleary/Sammy/Abdelkader/Emmerton

The idea being you have guys who can hold onto the puck (Pavs, Fil, Z, Nyquist, Bert) and guys who can get a good shot on goal (Brunner, Mule, Sammy, Cleary, Abby). Your d-man is either Kronner or Smith and he helps QB the power play.

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01-30-2013, 12:40 PM
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You're forgetting we will have Sammy back in the bottom 6 too, because it would make no sense to bump Bert away from Pavel's line for the time being. Bumping the current 3rd liners to the 4th, and 4th liners to the press box I think will be a huge deal when it comes to secondary scoring. I still think you could fit Nyquist in there though.

Filppula-Datsyuk-Bertuzzi
Franzen-Zetterberg-Brunner
Nyquist-Helm-Samuelsson
Cleary-Abdelkader-Tootoo

If they try these lines at least once, I will shut up.

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01-30-2013, 12:43 PM
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On track for 56 points which would make us an 8-seed. I think we get 59 and are the 6-seed.

I don't think we are going to be seeing the "ideal", everyone healthy lineup too often, maybe 10-12 games all year. The grind is going to wear guys down, and "groin" is going to be the go-to injury.

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01-30-2013, 12:44 PM
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I'm still not too keen on the Mule-Z-Brunner line simply because it takes our 3 most trigger happy forwards and bunches them on one line instead of spreading them out.
Maybe swap Fil and Brunner, that way Hank gets some help on D which he isn't really getting from Mule or Brunner, and Pav gets a right handed shot who loves to shoot.

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01-30-2013, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by optimuspaul View Post
I'm still not too keen on the Mule-Z-Brunner line simply because it takes our 3 most trigger happy forwards and bunches them on one line instead of spreading them out.
Maybe swap Fil and Brunner, that way Hank gets some help on D which he isn't really getting from Mule or Brunner, and Pav gets a right handed shot who loves to shoot.
Why in the world would anyone want to move Filppula off of Datsyuk's wing after having 5 pts the past 3 games with him?

I think people (and I'm not just ranting at you, it's a general sense that I get) are way too much under the impression that shoot first player with pass first player is the end all be all in hockey. It's not. It's the most overrated thing in line combos IMO. Puck possession is the key for a guy like Pavel, so when you find a couple wingers that know how to play alongside him, you don't touch it until you're forced to.

For Detroit to be at their best this year, Datsyuk has to be the star. If he's not himself this team won't make the playoffs. You have to give him the assets to succeed. After years of babysitting Holmstrom, I don't think Babcock can take that approach anymore. Pavel can't be used as a safeguard, he has to keep him going on all cylinders this season.

BTW, I'd take pass first Joe Thornton alongside Datsyuk anyway of the week over the majority of snipers in the league.

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01-30-2013, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by optimuspaul View Post
I'm still not too keen on the Mule-Z-Brunner line simply because it takes our 3 most trigger happy forwards and bunches them on one line instead of spreading them out.
Maybe swap Fil and Brunner, that way Hank gets some help on D which he isn't really getting from Mule or Brunner, and Pav gets a right handed shot who loves to shoot.
Not to mention, Fil and Z played great together last year. We really need Franzen to just start shooting though. That's why I like Brunner. He shoots. Tell Franzen to watch that kid and take notes. He's got a super heavy wrist shot and he rarely shoots unless he's feeling confident or some other mind game crap. JUST SHOOT.

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01-30-2013, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by silkyjohnson50 View Post
Why in the world would anyone want to move Filppula off of Datsyuk's wing after having 5 pts the past 3 games with him?

I think people (and I'm not just ranting at you, it's a general sense that I get) are way too much under the impression that shoot first player with pass first player is the end all be all in hockey. It's not. It's the most overrated thing in line combos IMO. Puck possession is the key for a guy like Pavel, so when you find a couple wingers that know how to play alongside him, you don't touch it until you're forced to.

For Detroit to be at their best this year, Datsyuk has to be the star. If he's not himself this team won't make the playoffs. You have to give him the assets to succeed. After years of babysitting Holmstrom, I don't think Babcock can take that approach anymore. Pavel can't be used as a safeguard, he has to keep him going on all cylinders this season.

BTW, I'd take pass first Joe Thornton alongside Datsyuk anyway of the week over the majority of snipers in the league.

Yes Fil had 5 points in 3 games but how many of those points were served up a silver platter because of Pav's play? Not to take anything away from Fil, but you can put just about anybody on Pav's wing last night and 9/10 they'll come away with 2 goals. That being said I would still like to see Fil with Pav, but I think Mule fits better with Z.

Also you forgot the 2nd reason of putting Fil on the 2nd line being that it gives Z some defensive aid. That line was abused against the Hawks when they had their legs, and I'm willing to bet that the same thing will happen against St Louis.


BTW I think a line with Stamkos and Pav would produce more points and look a helluva lot better than a line with Thornton and Pav (2 guys who both need the puck on their stick to be their best)


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01-30-2013, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by optimuspaul View Post
Yes Fil had 5 points in 3 games but how many of those points were served up a silver platter because of Pav's play? Not to take anything away from Fil, but you can put just about anybody on Pav's wing last night and 9/10 they'll come away with 2 goals. That being said I would still like to see Fil with Pav, but I think Mule fits better with Z.

Also you forgot the 2nd reason of putting Fil on the 2nd line being that it gives Z some defensive aid. That line was abused against the Hawks when they had their legs, and I'm willing to bet that the same thing will happen against St Louis.


BTW I think a line with Stamkos and Pav would produce more points and look a helluva lot better than a line with Thornton and Pav (2 guys who both need the puck on their stick to be their best)
Completely disagree with the idea that you can plug anyone on Datsyuk's line and expect the same. The reason Filppula and Bertuzzi have had goals placed on a platter for them was because Datsyuk was able to attack the offensive zone. Almost all 4 of their goals came from Datsyuk being able to smoothly enter the offensive zone with speed and space. That's the most important part of his linemates. Making yourself available once he has possession in the offensive zone should be the easy part, but getting him the puck in good areas of the ice is the key. At the end of last season Franzen was absolutely terrible at getting Datsyuk the puck in these areas. He'd enter the offensive zone and turn it over. Fil and Bert have both made plays to find Pav in these situations. They understand how to play with him. As simple as it seems a lot of players just don't have that ability. Filppula in particular is key here because he also has the ability to attack the o-zone which opens up space for Datsyuk.

Z's line got abused when he had Hossa on it for a short time in 08-09. Babcock can help by matching lines more effectively at times.

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01-30-2013, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by optimuspaul View Post
Yes Fil had 5 points in 3 games but how many of those points were served up a silver platter because of Pav's play? Not to take anything away from Fil, but you can put just about anybody on Pav's wing last night and 9/10 they'll come away with 2 goals. That being said I would still like to see Fil with Pav, but I think Mule fits better with Z.
Pavel will ALWAYS serve guys goals on a silver platter. The problem in recent years has been his line mates not cashing in and they've not been creating any space for him. Fil can get into shooting areas just as well as any other winger we have, and he's capable of finishing. Fil can also hang on to the puck and create the space I mentioned. As long as he does that, it's enough to be successful. Last night he had a team high 6 SOG, if he can keep shooting five per game on Pavel's wing he will continue to score.

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01-30-2013, 01:41 PM
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Yes, we need more offensive defensemen.

What we need are forwards that can score goals and defensemen that can keep the puck out of our own net. Back when the Wings could outspend every other team we could afford goal scorers that were also good defensively and really good defensemen that were also good offensively.

Now it seems we mostly have average goal scorers that are average defensively and average defenders that are have average offensive capabilities. We're average.

I say get above average goal scorers and above average defenders.

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01-30-2013, 01:46 PM
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At this time, we need a defensive defenseman, or a stay-at-home type. We have all the offensive defensemen we need.

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01-30-2013, 01:47 PM
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I would keep the top 6 as they are currently.

Franzen and Dats have little chemistry. Franzen likes to have the puck and he doesn't get that with Dats. Z and Dats also stopped working together because they both became players that like to have the puck. Z is more willing to give it up than Dats but still neither is a pure shooter anymore.

What makes Flip so effective on Dats line is that he gives Dats a speedy option to enter the zone. When Dats is the fastest guy on his line, the other team always knows that he is going to take the puck in. With Flip on the line he can carry the puck into the zone effectively but he is also willing to dump it back to Dats ASAP to let him set up the play. Bert is a good complimentary part because he can be the big guy on the line but he is also a pretty underrated passer, which means he can give and go with Dats. That line is constantly moving which is huge for Dats to be effective.

Brunner provides the movement on the Z and Franzen line. Neither Z nor Franzen are great skaters. They aren't bad but they aren't going to blow by people down the Wing. Brunner is really good at getting into the soft spots and creating some havoc around the net. I think once Franzen gets going you'll see a really solid line. He has to start skating and engaging more. Honestly I think he is a bit out of shape atm (saw him quite winded at the open practices) so this will hopefully improve as the season moves along and he gets into better cardio shape.

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01-30-2013, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by joe89 View Post
You're forgetting we will have Sammy back in the bottom 6 too, because it would make no sense to bump Bert away from Pavel's line for the time being. Bumping the current 3rd liners to the 4th, and 4th liners to the press box I think will be a huge deal when it comes to secondary scoring. I still think you could fit Nyquist in there though.

Filppula-Datsyuk-Bertuzzi
Franzen-Zetterberg-Brunner
Nyquist-Helm-Samuelsson
Cleary-Abdelkader-Tootoo

If they try these lines at least once, I will shut up.
I really like the idea of a line made up of Abby-Helm-Tootoo. Emmerton is keeping himself in the lineup as he's our only 4th line center. When Sammy comes back maybe do something like Nyquist-Emmerton-Sammy. With Sammy currently out of the lineup I think I'd play Miller over Cleary since Miller plays the second most PK mins behind Helm.

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01-30-2013, 01:57 PM
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I would keep the top 6 as they are currently.

Franzen and Dats have little chemistry. Franzen likes to have the puck and he doesn't get that with Dats. Z and Dats also stopped working together because they both became players that like to have the puck. Z is more willing to give it up than Dats but still neither is a pure shooter anymore.

What makes Flip so effective on Dats line is that he gives Dats a speedy option to enter the zone. When Dats is the fastest guy on his line, the other team always knows that he is going to take the puck in. With Flip on the line he can carry the puck into the zone effectively but he is also willing to dump it back to Dats ASAP to let him set up the play. Bert is a good complimentary part because he can be the big guy on the line but he is also a pretty underrated passer, which means he can give and go with Dats. That line is constantly moving which is huge for Dats to be effective.

Brunner provides the movement on the Z and Franzen line. Neither Z nor Franzen are great skaters. They aren't bad but they aren't going to blow by people down the Wing. Brunner is really good at getting into the soft spots and creating some havoc around the net. I think once Franzen gets going you'll see a really solid line. He has to start skating and engaging more. Honestly I think he is a bit out of shape atm (saw him quite winded at the open practices) so this will hopefully improve as the season moves along and he gets into better cardio shape.
I completely agree with keeping the top 6 intact. Ever since Pavs and Z were split up the offense has been reasonably good against everyone other than Chicago. The Hawks are pretty good so you just have to accept there are some teams we are not going to go off on much if at all.

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01-30-2013, 02:06 PM
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Last night he had a team high 6 SOG, if he can keep shooting five per game on Pavel's wing he will continue to score.
This.
Someone has to be shooting inorder for that line to be effective, as evidenced by their 2 most effective games. Against Minny Bert had 5 shots and he scored 2 goals and Pav and Fil both had 3 point nights. Last night Filp had 6 shots, scores 2 goals and Bert and Pav get 1 and 2 points respectively. ITT I think people are downplaying the importance of shooting the puck and matching people who shoot with people who pass. Just want to reiterate I'd like to keep Pav and Fil together as long as Fil is shooting but I think Val would be better utilized with Hank to give some defensive aid because it looks as though teams are going to take advantage of a Mule-Z-Brunner line.


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01-30-2013, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by SoupGuru View Post
Yes, we need more offensive defensemen.

What we need are forwards that can score goals and defensemen that can keep the puck out of our own net. Back when the Wings could outspend every other team we could afford goal scorers that were also good defensively and really good defensemen that were also good offensively.

Now it seems we mostly have average goal scorers that are average defensively and average defenders that are have average offensive capabilities. We're average.

I say get above average goal scorers and above average defenders.
We have that in Tatar, Nyquist combo. Proven it at every level they have played at. But wait, its the RW way to play them 20 a night in the AHL vs 10 a in the NHL..About time someone else sees that the bottom 6 cant score

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01-30-2013, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoupGuru View Post
Yes, we need more offensive defensemen.

What we need are forwards that can score goals and defensemen that can keep the puck out of our own net. Back when the Wings could outspend every other team we could afford goal scorers that were also good defensively and really good defensemen that were also good offensively.

Now it seems we mostly have average goal scorers that are average defensively and average defenders that are have average offensive capabilities. We're average.

I say get above average goal scorers and above average defenders.
The Wings are sorely missing elite offensive defensemen. Back when the Wings won the cup their offense started from Lidstrom, Rafalski and Kronwall. On the PP the reason it was so effective was because these guys could set up plays that other defensemen couldn't. Rafalski and Lidstrom could get the puck in certain situations that allowed great scoring chances. Sure, Datsyuk and Z made a ton of plays and were the catalyst for the forwards, but without the entire unit working together the way it did it didn't matter who was on offense if the puck wasn't moving up as quickly out of the zone and back to offense through transition.

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01-30-2013, 03:55 PM
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The Wings are sorely missing elite offensive defensemen. Back when the Wings won the cup their offense started from Lidstrom, Rafalski and Kronwall.

Remember the last couple of years when one or more of those three were injured that our entire offense started to stall out?

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01-30-2013, 04:20 PM
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Remember the last couple of years when one or more of those three were injured that our entire offense started to stall out?
Not sure what you're referring to, Lidstrom and Rafalski were both overpaid.


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01-30-2013, 04:23 PM
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The Wings are sorely missing elite offensive defensemen. Back when the Wings won the cup their offense started from Lidstrom, Rafalski and Kronwall. On the PP the reason it was so effective was because these guys could set up plays that other defensemen couldn't. Rafalski and Lidstrom could get the puck in certain situations that allowed great scoring chances. Sure, Datsyuk and Z made a ton of plays and were the catalyst for the forwards, but without the entire unit working together the way it did it didn't matter who was on offense if the puck wasn't moving up as quickly out of the zone and back to offense through transition.
Yes, I remember when we had god himself on our defense - the guy who was a stay-at-home defenseman and found a way to "chip in" offensively now and then.

I think he retired.

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01-30-2013, 04:27 PM
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1. We're probably the #3 team in the Central. We were blown out by St Louis and will get another shot at them. We played a worn out Chicago team and lost to them in OT. We haven't played Nashville yet but we did beat Columbus. Right now we're the #6 seed in the West and would face Minnesota, which isn't a bad matchup. Obviously much will changes over the next 42 games.
I'm not completely sold on St. Louis yet. I'm also not convinced we'll be better than Nashville.
However, any team that can throw a 1-2 punch of Datsyuk-Zetterberg at you is a team you can't take lightly.

Quote:
2. Pavel Datsyuk is the straw that stirs the drink. When he started the season as a winger on Z's line we were terrible. I seriously believe we'd be cellar dwellers if Pavs was still playing on the wing. Since being moved back to center he's been dominant at both ends of ice, killing off a 5 on 3 penalty last night and generating 2 assists. He leads the team in scoring and he's also a team best +5.
Best two-way player in the game.
Most exciting player to watch.
Lots of games, I wish I could fast forward to the next Datsyuk shift.

Quote:
3. Our defense doesn't look bad. We started off horribly but over the past 4 games we've only allowed 7 goals in regulation, or 1.75 GAA. If we can maintain that type of stinginess we could win a lot of hockey games.
The defense looks OK because D-Z control the puck.
Against Chicago, when the Z line was getting beat in the first period, we looked bad.
Like always, our top 4 defense is going to benefit from lots of time with the Datsyuk line and, to a lesser extent, Zetterberg line.

Where we are going to struggle, IMO, is trying to hold late leads and on the PK.
Detroit has a PK percentage of 73 -- 22nd in the league
I don't see that improving with our personnel.


Quote:
4. Jimmy Howard appears to be rounding into form. He didn't play during the lockout and I am pretty sure Mickey said he should begin to get into game shape pretty quickly. He's made some very impressive saves and based on his last couple games he does appear to be improving his play.
I don't think Howie is anything more than average to above average goalie.

Quote:
5. Our power play is obviously horrible. I don't know how much is talent - or lack thereof - and how much is scheme. Todd McClellan has a brilliant power play with the Sharks but he also has Thornton, Marleau, Clowe, Pavelski, etc. Given our lack of high end offensive defenseman it probably makes sense to go with 4 forwards and 1 d-man (Kronner and Smith) on each unit. When White is healthy he can obviously be added to the mix. It's probably worthwhile to put Z on the point given he has a good shot. Heck, I'd even be willing to try Lashoff since he can really fire the puck. Our current d-men just don't seem to add much other than being safety valves.
This comes down to coaching.


Quote:
6. Kronner is the only d-man who has generated more than 1 point to date. This is why I was arguing we really do need a legit offensive defenseman who can put up 50+ points per season. Our bottom 6 forwards have generated pretty much 0 offense. If our bottom 6 continues to suck at generating offense I'd like to see Nyquist given a shot. Of course it will never happen but I thought I'd mention it as the old mantra is let them get 20+ mins a night in the AHL rather than 10 mins a night in the NHL. Well the NHL team needs some scoring depth and the old guys ain't getting it done. Something like:
This to me is astounding -- although White, Ericsson and CC have been hurt
Quincey - 6 games, ZERO points.
Smith - 6 games - 1 point

Just goes to show what I said about Quincey was true. Product of the PP.





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Abby-Helm-Tootoo
Nyquist-Emmerton-Miller

Cleary and Miller PK quite a bit so perhaps you replace one of them with Nyquist who should be the first call up. Nyquist can PK and you can also give a bit more short-handed IT to Cory Emmerton who has started to come into his own.
Don't forget Sammy is coming back.

Quote:
I still think we're a 6-8 seed come playoff time. Our strengths are team defense while we do not have nearly enough scoring depth from our forwards or any real scoring from our d-men outside of Kronwall. Our power play is brutal and I'm not sure we can expect much improvement given our lack of quality d-men or scoring depth at forward.
I think our offense will come around. I think you'll see our defense produce more, trade or not.

Quote:
If Holland wants to improve the hockey team I think the best bets are 1) calling up Nyquist, 2) acquiring an offensive defenseman like Lubomir Visnovsky, and 3) acquiring a good scoring winger who can be plugged into our bottom 6.

Wings are still a pretty good team.
But our development has gone off the rails.

We're loaded up with mediocre players blocking any sort of youth movement.
And if you try to address our needs... it blocks the way more.

Our needs are many:

1) Righthanded, two-way defenseman.
2) Righthanded defensive defenseman - physical
3) Sniper
4) Big winger who hits and fights
5) Righthanded center who can win draws.

I don't know how you address all these needs in one season.

Especially when you've already got too many players on the roster.

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Old
01-30-2013, 04:43 PM
  #24
caseygraves
Don Cherry apologist
 
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Originally Posted by Ricelund View Post
Not sure what you're referring to, Lidstrom and Rafalski were both overpaid.

Ha Ha... yeah, right....

I guess the point is everyone is suggesting all of these changes to the forward lines... when this team does not have a number 1 defenseman... it could be argued we dont have a number 2... Do I hear a number 3?

Defensemen that are good at springing the forwards ahead in transition and quarterbacking the power play.

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Old
01-30-2013, 04:45 PM
  #25
Heaton
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One more thing I know: The Kings look like dog ****. They look like the same dog **** they were during last years regular season except Quick isn't bailing them out every game.

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