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thedatsyukian

Patrick Eaves Watch Thread.

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Guest EZBAKETHAGANGSTA   
Guest EZBAKETHAGANGSTA
While I'm not ready to declare him a success yet, I do think he's done very, very well with the hand he's been dealt this season:

...So Far: 18gp 2g 6a 8pts +8

On Pace: 72gp 8g 24a 32pts +8

That would be tied for his best career pts total in the NHL, but would be behind his two best seasons for goals scored.

Still, if Eaves can put 30+ pts up as a 3rd/4th liner I'd say he can be very happy with this season.

Too bad LGW won't be very happy... Hudler already proved that a third liner scoring 60 points a season will be irrationally hated and deamed useless.

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Too bad LGW won't be very happy... Hudler already proved that a third liner scoring 60 points a season will be irrationally hated and deamed useless.

No I didn't like Hudler because he was a soft Euro. Get it right.

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:reporter:

http://www.detnews.com/article/20091212/SP...0391/1128/rss16

Patrick Eaves earning prominent role with Red Wings

CHRIS MCCOSKY

The Detroit News

Nashville, Tenn. -- Coach Mike Babcock admits he wasn't sure what he had in Patrick Eaves early on this season.

"He was just one of those you kids you sign in the summer that nobody seemed to want," Babcock said Saturday morning. "Jim Nill (assistant general manager) wanted him, had seen something in him. I didn't know what he did. All through training camp, I didn't know what he did. All through exhibition and into the early part of the season, I didn't know. But then he started to find his niche and he's become a real effective player for us."

Eaves' first carved his niche as a grinder on the third line with Darren Helm and Kris Draper. He has been at the center of an improving penalty-kill unit that going into the game here Saturday night had snuffed 25 straight power-play chances.

His plus-6 rating is, with Nick Lidstrom, best on the team.

In the third period Friday he was bumped up to a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi and helped create the game-tying and game-winning goals. He is in the process of expanding his niche into a full-fledged role.

"He started the year out of the lineup, but he came to every pregame warm-up and put his equipment on without being asked," Babcock said. "He comes to every power-play meeting and he's never been asked. He comes to every penalty-kill meeting and he does everything like a pro.

"We are thrilled with him. I haven't ramped him up more because we're thrilled with the job he's doing and we want to let him get as comfortable as he can, then we might play him with different players."

Eaves never got impatient waiting for Babcock to figure out how to use him.

"It's like that for every player who's new to a team; it's a feeling out process," Eaves said. "You can't put a timeline on it. I think he has an idea now of the kind of player I can be and what kind of player he needs me to be. I never got discouraged. I felt I was getting better in practice.

"I didn't look at it as a frustrating situation, it was just a chance to get better and learn the system more. Once I got the opportunity, I was able to step in and know what was going on."

The next step in the progression for Eaves is to unleash his offensive potential. He scored 34 goals for Ottawa in his first two NHL seasons, and he possesses one of the heaviest shots on the team.

"When the shots are there, I'll shoot it," Eaves said. "When I first came into the league I was in a different role. I was playing with Daniel Alfredsson, Brian Smolinski, Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley, and I was on the first power play. That was the role the team needed me to play. I don't care what role I'm in, just whatever the team needs from me."

Killing penalties

Before Saturday, the Wings hadn't given up a power-play goal in eight full games, 25 straight kills going back nine games.

Their PK unit has climbed to 11th in the league.

"Part of it is Eaves and Helm, their willingness to get in shooting lanes and block shots," Babcock said. "Our structure has been real good."

That structure, as Babcock freely admits, was swiped from New Jersey coach Jacques Lemaire.

"We changed the entire structure of our penalty-kill this summer," Babcock said. "We started stealing from Jacques Lemaire last year, and then over the summer when we were together with the (Canadian) Olympic team, we took everything. After we got lit up by Dallas (Nov. 30), I went back and talked to Jacques again and stole some more stuff.

"I tell people all the time, I haven't had an original thought my whole life, so whenever I can steal something, it's a good thing."

According to team statistician Greg Innis, the last time the Wings went more than eight games without allowing a power-play goal was a nine-game streak in 2007-08. They had a 10-game streak in 2003-04.

Tape to tape

Babcock wasn't sure how he was going to arrange his line combinations Saturday night. For sure, though, he was going to split up Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, at least at the start of the game.

"You think you've got a good thing (using Datsyuk and Zetterberg together) and nothing was happening," he said. "Even on the power play nothing was happening. We wound up getting two power-play goals (against Anaheim Friday), but in the first two periods it was sucking the life out of us."

Chris Osgood is making just his third start in 10 games. He hasn't won since Nov. 5.

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We have to keep him, and I think we should keep Miller as well.

Imagine, when Drapes retires, Eaves/Helm/Miller (not sure on positions).

We have a revival of the grind line from the 90's.

Speaking of... anyone else think we're rebuilding this team as a carbon copy of the 97/98 teams? I see so many players that are identical in playing style to former players. Babcock is like Bowman 2.0, Z is Y 2.0, Dats is Feds...

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Didn't hear much from him tonight except for a few hits he dished which is more than enough for me. Unfortunately he was pretty invisible in his scoring line time(albeit very little) but he fell back into his roll on the energy line.

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19:25 TOI tonight, with one goal and four shots. Played fantastic tonight and was the 1st star :thumbup:

Wow, whole lot of ice-time!

I love it how he's playing in all situations now, PK and PP. He's become a very important part of our PK and is a big reason as to why it's turning around.

Love Eaves! :thumbup:

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As a fellow right handed shooter with long hair and a beard i have alot of man love for this guy. haha. Man did he have 2 GREAT snipes tonight. The one that went in and the one that clanged on the post, i thought he was ganna get two tonight. I guess i can settle for 1 goal and like what 20 minutes of ice time? Babs is really showing that he has confidence in this kid by not only playing him so much but by playing him in EVERY role (even strength, PP, PK) this guy is one of the reasons, along with miller, why our PK has turned into a force field lately. The guy really has it all, skill-speed-shot-defensively reliable-EVERYTHING. Its amazing that the Sens traded this guy away, although they did get good value for him. What amazes me even more is that Boston traded for him just to put him on waivers...this guy has been a great addition to the team and im glad that Kenny saw something in this kid. Eaves is making Holland look like a genius (not that he needs the help haha)

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Eaves should be paired with Datsyuk..... with Datsyuk's setup ability and Eaves quick wicked wrist shot, Eaves could be a 30 goal scorer. They make a good defensive combination too. Datsyuk stealing and Eaves scoring.... both with good speed.

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I had relatively high hopes for Eaves going in, and by relatively I meant realistic. I wanted to think of this year for him as a second chance at a rookie season as he's just 25. There's a lot of grace there for inconsistency and slow starts, not to mention expectations that account for his cap hit of $500k...

However...

Once guys got injured and he became a regular in the lineup, he dashed my hopes and rewrote new ones. I really love what I'm seeing from this guy. As much as I hate all these injuries, it's really giving a lot of guys who might've just been shadows a chance to step up and prove something. Eaves is doing just that. This guy can play, no doubt, and he's going to keep getting better. He's got real skill, dedication and a boatload of work ethic. That tends to do guys well. I'm a big fan of hard work. You study guys that are successful and it's common to see that the success doesn't always hit right away. It takes time to develop and sort things out, but once you do, you end up a lot more successful than the "flash in the pan" guys who burn out fast.

I think Eaves is begging Holland to sign him to an extension. Holland better do it quick though before Eaves drives up his price even further! Jury's out on Williams yet, but as far as Bert and Eaves go, I say so long as the price is right, get them signed sooner rather than later...but Eaves for sure...the guy has got a Red Wing heart.

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Eaves should be paired with Datsyuk..... with Datsyuk's setup ability and Eaves quick wicked wrist shot, Eaves could be a 30 goal scorer. They make a good defensive combination too. Datsyuk stealing and Eaves scoring.... both with good speed.

I'd love to give that a try and see how that works

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