Hockey

Schadenfeude: noun, 1. Pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune. 2. When your rival team is even worse than your team. See: 2019-20 Detroit Red Wings.

2018-2019

32-40-10 74 Pts. (7th in Atlantic Division)

2.73 GF/G (21st) – 3.32 GA/G (27th)

47.1 CF% (28th) – 44.5 xGF% (31st)

18.1 PP% (19th) – 77.1 PK% (28th)

Goalies: In my mind Jimmy Howard is at least 65 years old, but turns out he’s only 34. Only. It’s safe to say his best years are behind him, and while he wasn’t a trainwreck or anything last year, his .907 SV%/3.07GAA at evens isn’t exactly going to save this shitshow of a team. Jonathan Bernier isn’t going to do it either. He’s certainly a serviceable back-up, and let’s be honest neither of these goalies are going to be what sinks the Red Wings’ season, but neither of them are good enough to bail out this team either.

Defense: Why is Mike Green still playing? I guess plenty of Wings fans could yell that right back at me but with the words “Brent Seabrook” in the middle of that sentence. But that doesn’t change the fact that if Mike Green is on your top pairing, you’ve got issues. Last season the Wings were 28th in the league in terms of shots against per game, placing them in the esteemed company of the Rangers, Hawks, and Senators. Only one defenseman (Filip Hronek) was above water in possession last year, and just barely—he had a 50.3 CF%. We know a few things about shitty defenses around here, and that’s what the Red Wings have.

Green will probably pair with Danny DeKeyser, Hronek and Dennis Cholowski maybe, and Patrik Nemeth and Jonathan Ericsson will round out to the main six. Will Trevor Daley stink up the joint for a while? Probably! But who cares? Fuck this team.

Forwards: A lot of teams are stuck with one top line and nothing else, but the Red Wings are really taking this situation to a new level. Bertuzzi-Larkin-Mantha is a decent top line—really, Dylan Larkin is probably the only good thing on this team. But all three are young and could be good pieces to build around. Or maybe they can gtfo to better teams, I don’t know.

Frans Nielsen and Valtteri Filppula are your centers behind Larkin, with Luke Glendening probably centering the fourth line. Andreas Athanasiou isn’t horrible, but I swear I hate that fucker so that’s literally the nicest thing I’m going to say. Justin Abdelkader is still playing on this team, for God’s sake.

Now, they have young guys like Filip Zadina, Taro Hirose, and Michael Rasmussen, who may develop into something, but that’s by no means certain and they weren’t lighting up the scorer’s sheet in the playing time they had last year. This team was dead-ass last in expected goals for. And so it goes with a rebuild—it’s going to be a lot of trial and error.

Prediction: Yes, Steve Yzerman is back and people will try to find the upsides, but let’s not kid ourselves—the Red Wings are going to suck this year. It’s entirely possible they’re at the bottom of the division, and I couldn’t be happier about it. If they’re not, it’s simply because the Senators are proving yet again why relegation is a viable strategy the NHL should adopt. The Wings will end up with somewhere between 75-80 points, and Larkin will be like a poor man’s Connor McDavid—not, he’s not anywhere near as good as McDavid so please do not misunderstand me, but he’s young, talented, and wasting it on a terrible team. But too bad. Fuck this team.

Stats from NHL.com, Hockey Reference and Natural Stat Trick

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 vs. 

RECORDS: Hawks 25-26-9   Red Wings 23-29-8

PUCK DROP: 6:30

TV: NBCSN (with Mike “Handsy Hands” Tirico calling his first ever hockey game)

THEY MAKE PORNO MOVIES THAT START THAT WAY TOO: Winging It In Motown

I guess pretty soon we’re going to have to replace the train-wreck picture. Is there a way to represent “no plan but a process?” We’ll find out. Because here’s something for ya: If the Hawks win tonight and the Jets beat the Avs, the Hawks will hold the final wild card spot. Fuck, they’ll only be two points behind the Stars for the first wildcard spot, and they just happen to wash up here on Sunday. The Avs do on Friday. As stupid and nonsensical as it may be, these are actual big games. If the Hawks were to win the next three, including two over direct competitors, they aren’t just in the playoff race. They’re firmly entrenched. Perhaps even slight favorites.

They’ll also only be .500. And even a win tonight would only see them seven points ahead of this twisted heap of metal that is the Red Wings. They’re only two points ahead of the Ducks, who are unquestionably a fertilizer collection of a hobo.

#EndHockey

Anyway, that’s the scene, and just about every time you’ve expected the floor to drop out from the Hawks they just keep finding a way to stick around. Either loss to the Bruins or Jackets could have easily sent them to a tailspin. Especially as both were followed by piss poor starts against the Devils and Senators, And yet they recovered. Yes, they recovered against the Devils and Senators, which essentially is the hockey interpretation of my crazy, 30-pound husky/spitz mix knocking over a toddler out of sheer excitement (and she’s done this). But whatever. They recovered. And now it’s at a point where you have to say the Hawks can’t really lose to the Wings. It would be a bad loss.

So here we are. Surface details: Cam Ward will start, as it appears Collin Delia has played himself into waiting around until Corey Crawford is healthy and he can be packed back off to Rockford. His confidence could probably use it. Brendan Perlini is sick, might not play, letting Chris Kunitz back in. Brent Seabrook will play, which will assuredly tighten up the defense that was more welcoming than a Vegas buffet. Ha, that’s funny. See what I did there?

As for the Wings, they still suck. Since losing to the Hawks even though they outplayed them, they’ve beaten the Predators and Senators, but lost to the Flyers twice in a home-and-home. They’re just waiting for Monday, when they can eject their flotsam for picks and fringe prospects, and fill those vacated spots with more promising kids. There’s talk talk that last spring’s top pick, Filip Zadina, will come up after the deadline to take Nyquist’s spot. Stuff like that.

Unlike last time, the Hawks will get Jimmy Howard instead of Jonathan Bernier. Howard will be auditioning for the Sharks or maybe Flames or Jackets as trade bait. He’s a free agent in the summer, the Wings are going to have to have a longer term plan in net than him, and he’s actually been pretty good this year. He’s got playoff experience, and this might be a chip Wings cash in for more than they probably should. His .913 is certainly an improvement on what those teams mentioned are getting right now.

Other differences from 10 days ago is that Trevor Daley is back with his chaw and wayward sense of direction and logic. He joins something named Filip Hronek on the third-pairing. Justin “Let Out The” Abdelkader (cuz the revolution’s here and you know it’s right) has been punted to the bottom-six where he’s always belonged, allowing Nephew Bertuzzi to be with Dylan Larkin. Other than that, there’s not much to report.

Again, if the Hawks keep Larkin and Andreas Anathasiou (I can’t wait another dayyyyyyy) on a leash, you’re three-quarters of the way to beating this outfit. There’s not a lot of depth here, the blue line is slow, and when the Hawks were fully engaged last time this was a team they actually looked significantly faster than. Keep that up, and suddenly the weekend is awfully interesting.

 

Game #61 Preview Suite

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Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

It almost seems to perfect. You wonder if Ken Holland even sees it coming. He has to, right? Maybe it was always the plan (not a process). But Steve Yzerman resigned as GM of the Lightning, right before the Wings rebuild is supposed to pivot. They’ll likely have yet another top-five pick to play with. And the patience with Holland seems to have run out as the Wings embark on a third-straight playoff-less season. It’s clear change needs to be made, and when a former team legend who just happened to build one of the best teams of the era is waiting in the suburbs twiddling his thumbs, you don’t have to be John Nash to put it all together.

If that’s how it goes down, then this will be the last Hawks-Wings game with Ken Holland overlooking from a suite. And the next one without him will be the first in over 22 years. That’s a hell of a run, but it’s a lot spottier than you might think.

First off, Holland took over in between the Wings first two Cup wins from Jimmy Devellano. It’s not like there was a lot of building to be done back then. And the Wings were known for splashing all of Mike Illitch’s cash, so it wasn’t like he had to unearth much. Much like Alabama recruiting, he just had to throw open the door, leave a trail of cash, and the top available players would come sprinting. Holland had added Brett Hull, Luc Robitaille, Chris Chelios to the 2002 version that won a third Cup, but again, it’s not like these were hidden gems that only Holland could find (fucking Anders Eriksson).

Where Holland got most of his esteem was in the Wings’ European scouting, which led to him drafting Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, and Johan Franzen in the head-to-the-shitter portion of the draft. And clearly, that’s not something you just sneeze at. It also appears to have been just a huge slice of luck, which any draft requires. Because since then, the core of the Wings rotted out while there was nothing on the edges to take its place.

Since 2004 when Holland took Johan Franzen, and they were both unfortunate to have his career cut short by concussions, the  NHL-ers that Holland has managed to find are Jimmy Howard, Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, Brendan Smith, Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan, Calle Jarnkrok, Petr Mrazek, Thomas Jurco, Andreas Anathasiou, Anthony Mantha, Matthias Janmark, Tyler Bertuzzi, and Dylan Larkin. How many true difference-makers are there? Larkin for sure, maybe Howard when he was younger? You’d really have to squint. Anathasiou has a chance, and maybe, maybe, if you really wheel-pose it out Nyquist. Sure, only recently has Holland had top-10 picks, but if he were the genius everyone would have you believe he’d find a late-round gem again, right?

Zetterberg and Datsyuk and Lidstrom got old, and even with all that time Holland had no one in place to take over. Combine that with some utterly woeful free agent signings. There was the bewildering fascination with Todd Bertuzzi. What is Frans Nielsen doing here? Justin Abdelkader was extended into the Earth’s heat-death. What did he think Trevor Daley was going to do? Steve Ott even made an appearance.

That doesn’t make Holland one of the league’s worst GMs, or anything close. Most GMs who achieve the success he can claim in the NHL were either parachuted right into it, got lucky a couple times, or most likely both (say Stan, what are you doing here?). It’s just been years since the Wings were relevant, and Holland had a ton of time to find the next generation and couldn’t.

Yzerman will be parachuted in, though. He’ll have Larkin, Anathasiou, Zadina, Rasmussen, and a few other prospects below the surface. He’ll have the NHL probably jonesing at the chance to rig Jack Hughes to stay home in Michigan. Perhaps Holland will leave them with parting gifts he’ll never get to enjoy and go without the credit he would deserve. Which would probably cancel out all the credit he got for basically pulling a Homer.

 

Game #61 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

Kyle has been the editor over at WingingItInMotown.com as long as we’ve been doing this, which means he hasn’t gotten any more of a life than we have. And we thank him for that. Follow him on Twitter @KyleWIIM. Anyway, this is the Q&A we did with him like, last week when the Wings were here. 

Well, the Red Wings seem to get how this whole tank/rebuild thing is supposed to go, or at least the Eastern Conference has made it so. How do you feel about where the Wings are?
The Red Wings are two, maybe three players away from being back in the thick of things, I think. They’ve got a decent crop of young talent in the juniors, and a few youngsters starting to make names for themselves in the NHL.
If they can lock up a top-three pick this year, they’ll be in a good spot.. Problem is, they need to work on the books. Too much cap space spent on old players. That hogties them to try and make a splash in the free agent market if there’s a big name out there.
Dylan Larkin‘s switch to center last year was a little itchy. Seems to be going better this time. What’s the difference?
He’s just a special player, and the team has embraced his ability to be the straw that stirs the drink. Putting him with Gustav Nyquist and Tyler Bertuzzi has been a magnificent decision.
Is Yzerman slotting in at GM over the summer fait accompli?
I think so, but it could realistically happen. I comes down to Ken Holland. What’s he going to do? Obviously the organization is happy keeping everyone where they’re at.. So it really comes down to him.
Andreas Athanasiou already has a career high in points and will soon in goals. What’s been the difference for him this year, and does the team still hate him?
Team doesn’t hate him, I think they’ve just been very critical. Again, he’s been put with the right kind of players, and being put in the right situations. For a long time, I think the team believed his best skill was speed, and while it is definitely one of his best abilities, his playmaking ability has really shined this season.
What will the Wings be doing before the deadline?
If I’m a betting man, I’m guessing they stand pat. They’ve got a ton of NTCs to deal with, and it’s just been so gosh damn quiet that I find it difficult to see something happening. Then again, maybe the quietness should hint that something is in the works.
They should really be pushing to sell players like Jimmy Howard, Luke Glendening, and even Gustav Nyquist.

 

Game #61 Preview Suite

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Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

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Everything Else

We know that time waits for no one. Things change in sports even more quickly than they used to, and the tenets of your childhood fandom rarely apply when you get older. There was a time when the Hawks and Canadiens were bitter rivals. Hell, most of you can remember the Hawks and Leafs being so.

But Hawks-Wings…that was supposed to be a pillar. That was timeless. That was foundational in the fandoms of both sides. Soon after you learned what the point of the game of hockey was, you were taught that Detroit sucks.

These games used to mean something. And though for the most part they only brought pain and anger, they were symbolic. At the bottom of your Hawks fandom, the times when you didn’t even know what you were doing there or why you were even bothering, there was a game against the Wings to define it. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the height, there was Game 7. Whatever your Hawks memories are, chances are a game against the Wings are what gives it color.

And it went beyond hockey. Chicago-Detroit was just about the only city-rivalry that accompanied all four sports. The Bears and Lions have been throwing themselves at each other for almost 100 years. The Bulls and Pistons had one of the most bile-filled rivalries in NBA history, and the Bulls ascension wasn’t complete without Isaiah and Laimbeer sulking their sorry, bitter asses off the court before the final buzzer. Don’t let Bulls fans tell you that part of the joy of getting the first three was that it was more than Detroit’s two that came directly before. The White Sox and Tigers have had some decent division chases, back when that sort of thing used to happen in baseball.

And it was more than that. It was two Midwestern cities that at least claim to be have sterner stuff than the coasts, one falling on hard times and another looking like it’s following suit now. Two places where sports truly mattered. Don’t think wins for Chicago didn’t reaffirm our true belief that Chicago is the capital of the whole middle (and it is, or at least was). Everyone wants to be here.

All the reasons for the Wings move to the East makes sense on some level. And they’ll build new rivalries whenever they matter again (2029). Perhaps they feel they’ve gained far more than they’ve lost. Probably they have. But we’ve lost something, and it’s not coming back, no matter how hard the Blues and St. Louis residents stamp their feet and whine. Or Milwaukee gets a team to complete the Chicago-Wisconsin set.

It’s even been sanitized further after the Wings move to Shit-Ass Pizza Arena. The Hawks were just as guilty decades ago of course, but even in the East at least the ghosts and echoes still rang within you when the Hawks showed up at Joe Louis Arena (avoiding the muggers, of course). You could still see all that went on there if you looked hard enough, be it Darren Helm’s OT winner or Frolik’s penalty shot or Probert chasing Roenick all over the ice or Kris Draper’s big dumb face. Now the Wings play in an arena that could be anywhere. They might as well be the Jackets.

Of course, we’re the last people that will care. Younger Hawks fans have probably all moved on, once their parents or older siblings shut up about what this used to be. That’s how it works. Maybe letting go of such things will be healthy. But what’s hockey without a grudge somewhere?

 

Game #61 Preview Suite

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Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

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Notes: Brendan Perlini was sick and missed the morning skate, and is being called a gametime decision. One thinks this allows Chris Kunitz to come back in either way…Delia has probably played himself out of splitting starts, though with Crawford’s timetable still nebulous, you don’t want to ride Ward too hard either. Maybe Friday against the Avs, a team Delia has already beaten twice, will set him right…with the last change you would think the Wings would want Larkin’s speed out against Anisimov as often as they can get it, so Coach Cool Substitute Teacher is going to have to save that line for on the fly changes or offensive zone ones…Forsling and Gustafsson together again, everybody duck….

Notes: Been a bit of a reshuffle in the lines, as Bertuzzi and Mantha have joined Larkin, punting Abdelkader to the fourth line where he belongs. More speed there now, though why they won’t just pair Anathasiou and Larkin is a mystery, as that would be just about unplayable…Trevor Daley is back, so morons can pine for him as if he would have fixed the Hawks the past couple seasons…next week the Wings could be stripped of Howard, Nyquist, Vanek, and a few others if they’re lucky…

 

Game #61 Preview Suite

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Corsica

I had an argument with a musician friend a while back. He’s a touch on the hipster side. I told him I had just seen The Kills live. He asked, “What’s the deal with them?” I wasn’t sure what he meant. “Y’know, what’s the deal? What do they mean? What’s going on there?” Finally I told him that not every song or band has to have a deeper meaning or texture to them. Some things just rock or make you dance or make you feel good.

I’m fairly sure this seven-game winning streak doesn’t mean anything. You can’t give up 40+ shots to the Canucks and Red Wings and convince anyone you’re a team that anyone should locate a giveable fuck about. There’s probably an ugly market-correction coming. It could be next week for all we know, rendering all of March pointless. Or it could come later. Maybe it won’t come at all because hockey is dumb and weird.

But at the moment, it’s fun! It makes us feel good, at least most of us. It’s certainly more entertaining to watch. So I don’t want to stare at it too hard at the moment. That’s for another time. Because money, love, success, these things come and go. But wins over Detroit, those never get old.

Let’s do it…

The Two Obs

-I want to start with Dylan Strome. He was my subject on Friday, because if there’s a legitimate point to the rest of the season it’s that we want to see signs of what’s to come from new places. And at least in the first period, and flashes in the rest, Strome was making plays all over the ice. We’ve seen his presence in front of the net, we’ve seen a pretty lethal shot, but the last two games we’ve seen the vision that was the main billing when he was drafted. He only racked up two assists but on another day could have had four, and it’s that kind of playmaking that makes you really excited about what’s to come. He has the ability to make the pass/play that only few can see, or conjure something out of nothing. That’s 30 points in 32 games as a Hawk for him.

-Let’s stick with Strome, because the Wings second goal was another example of what’s not working for the Hawks’s defensively. And this isn’t to single out Strome. Niklas Jensen skates out of the corner along the boards toward the blue line with the puck, with Strome on him. But because Strome isn’t quick, Jensen gets a step. Kahun is covering the point-man, but sees that Strome is beat. But there’s no communication, so they neither switch not stick with their man, and Jensen has a path to the middle of the ice to find Gustav “That’s Good” Nyquist, and we get Cam Ward looking behind him.

There are a few sticking points for me. First of all, this shit is still happening and all it would involve is more communication. Second, Strome is always going to be hard up in some of these due to footspeed. If he were instructed to to play a little softer, keeping things to the outside, and not worry about trying to win a race, it would be fine. Jensen skating away from the net along the boards isn’t really a problem. It’s when you’re trying to apply high-pressure that it becomes so.

Under the old, more zonal system, when a player got beat and someone else had to cover for him, he knew the area he had to recover to. He didn’t have to worry about players moving around. He would have must moved to the point while Kahun dealt with Jensen. And it’s not just Strome, The Hawks just don’t have the speed to do what they’re being asked, because they’ll lose most of these races. It’s akin to someone getting broken down off the dribble in basketball. Someone has to help and then someone else is open and then it’s a mess.

The Hawks can’t go back now, but when it’s on the outside the Hawks can play a little more off, or softer, or more toward the middle, whatever term you want. They don’t need to chase to the boards, because they’re too slow anyway. Right now, any team with a modicum of talent and scouting knows that all they have to do is get possession down low, skate out toward the blue line, have the point-man crash down at the same time, and the Hawks are suddenly wasted and can’t find their way home.

-The only Hawks on the plus side of the possession-ledger were Erik Gustafsson and Slater Koekkoek. I said it didn’t make any sense.

-But hey, they won without scoring a power play goal. So that’s like, something.

-People, we have found a blue line worse than the Hawks’! Niklas Kronwall dies like four years ago and it’s just wonderful that the Wings are making noise about re-signing him. He’s 38, and in hockey years he’s 125. Dude got smoked by Dominik Kahun repeatedly.

-Speaking of Kahun, I think you’ll know the Hawks are ready to be good again when their third line is something like Caggiula-Kampf-Kahun. And he’d be a real weapon down there. Another effective European scouting. Maybe the Hawks should import their European scouts to the pro scouting staff.

Ok, that’s enough. Seven is better than six.

Everything Else

We can thank Dylan Larkin for one thing. And that’s putting end to the always-horseshit “The Red Wings Let Their Prospects Overmarinate” myth. The hockey media peddled that fucking thing for like a decade, and it eventually turned out that the reason they did all that is their prospects were middling at best, fuckwits at worst. Or did Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco, Anthony Mantha, Xavier Ouellet, Luke Glendening, and a host of others go on to redefine the sport and we just missed it?

Larkin was one of the few who never spent a minute in Grand Rapids, breeding ground of legends apparently, because he’s an actual player and quite possibly an actual star. Larkin went straight from Ann Arbor to Detroit, and put up 45 points as a rookie on the wing. He further proved that chances are if you’re worth a shit, you get to the NHL directly and quickly and don’t need “seasoning” on the bus in the AHL, especially at forward.

Larkin’s future was always at center though, and his move there proved rocky at times. He had the husk of Henrik Zetterberg to shield him as best he could, but his first attempt in the middle led to an unsightly -28 and just 32 points, while carrying a 44.3 xGF%. The learning curve was steep, let’s say.

Things improved last year, as Larkin set a career-high with 63 points, improved his metrics to above the team-rate, as the Wings finally put him with a non-pylons, ones like such as Tatar or Mantha, and put speedster Andreas Athanasiou with him.

This year things have taken off, as without Zetterberg around Larkin has joined Gustav Nyquist in his contract-push (or trade-push), and they’ve combined to make Larkin one of the more effective centers around. He’s almost at a point-per-game, with 51 in 53 games. And his metrics are glittering. Larkin’s relative-CF% is fifth in the entire league, and second among centers behind only Sidney Crosby. His relative-xGF% is in the top-20, and fourth among centers in the league behind Kevin Hayes, Crosby, and Patrice Bergeron. Not terrible company to be around.

As the game speeds up, that should only suit Larkin more, whose main weapon has always been speed. Larkin has benefitted from slightly cushier zone-starts this year, but not slanted terribly in that direction. Imagine what he could do if he literally had one d-man who could get the puck up to him consistently, which the Red Wings don’t currently possess.

Moving forward, getting Larkin on an extension before William Nylander reset the market is going to be a boon for Detroit. Larkin is only making $6.1M for the next few years, which for a #1 center is nearly criminal. It also helps cancel out some of the galactically dumbass deals Ken Holland has handed out in recent years, such as Justin Abdelkader‘s, or Frans Nielsen‘s, or Danny DeKeyser‘s. The Wings don’t really have anyone to pay up this summer, unless they decide they want to re-sign Nyquist for some reason. The year after should get interesting when Anathasiou comes due after getting screwed over by the team last time he needed a deal, as well as Bertuzzi the Younger.

Still, with Larkin looking like a top line center, Filip Zadina arriving next year along with another top-five pick (most likely, and #1 if the NHL can rig it so which you know they will, because Jack Hughes must stay home), and the Wings might not be the figure-of-fun they’ve been lately. Which is really sad for everyone.

 

Game #56 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

Kyle has been the editor over at WingingItInMotown.com as long as we’ve been doing this, which means he hasn’t gotten any more of a life than we have. And we thank him for that. Follow him on Twitter @KyleWIIM.

Well, the Red Wings seem to get how this whole tank/rebuild thing is supposed to go, or at least the Eastern Conference has made it so. How do you feel about where the Wings are?
The Red Wings are two, maybe three players away from being back in the thick of things, I think. They’ve got a decent crop of young talent in the juniors, and a few youngsters starting to make names for themselves in the NHL.
If they can lock up a top-three pick this year, they’ll be in a good spot.. Problem is, they need to work on the books. Too much cap space spent on old players. That hogties them to try and make a splash in the free agent market if there’s a big name out there.
Dylan Larkin’s switch to center last year was a little itchy. Seems to be going better this time. What’s the difference?
He’s just a special player, and the team has embraced his ability to be the straw that stirs the drink. Putting him with Gustav Nyquist and Tyler Bertuzzi has been a magnificent decision.
Is Yzerman slotting in at GM over the summer fait accompli?
I think so, but it could realistically happen. I comes down to Ken Holland. What’s he going to do? Obviously the organization is happy keeping everyone where they’re at.. So it really comes down to him.
Andreas Athanasiou already has a career high in points and will soon in goals. What’s been the difference for him this year, and does the team still hate him?
Team doesn’t hate him, I think they’ve just been very critical. Again, he’s been put with the right kind of players, and being put in the right situations. For a long time, I think the team believed his best skill was speed, and while it is definitely one of his best abilities, his playmaking ability has really shined this season.
What will the Wings be doing before the deadline?
If I’m a betting man, I’m guessing they stand pat. They’ve got a ton of NTCs to deal with, and it’s just been so gosh damn quiet that I find it difficult to see something happening. Then again, maybe the quietness should hint that something is in the works.
They should really be pushing to sell players like Jimmy Howard, Luke Glendening, and even Gustav Nyquist.

 

Game #56 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built