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Guest EZBAKETHAGANGSTA

Thoughts on Lilija's return

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Now that Lilija has been back for a fair amount of time, what is your inital reaction to his play, and in your opinion how much has he helped the Wings?

I personally have been suprised with how good he has looked out there. While I know in the previous few seasons he had made good strides to become a legit PKer and top 6 d-man, I honestly thought my memory was overating him due to nostaliga and how horrible Ericsson and Lebda had been lately, but this seems to not be the case. Other than that, its nice to have a reliable stay at home defensemen who I don't have to worry about pinching at the wrong time.

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Lebda has been average, as usual. Ericsson has been horrible.

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Besides Helm's great game. Lilja-Lebda was the biggest thing I took out of the Nashville game. They were very solid, I'm not sure on the stats but nothing stood out to me which is great.

It's going to be interesting to see the impact of Lilja's return has on Ericsson.

Either way it should help us in the end.

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Been average/all right, jitters and stuff some, to be expected after being out of the NHL for over a year.

Unless he just falls off the map I don't see any reason why he isn't in the lineup every night. Just figure out who his partner is consistnetly. Just in general I'd pick Ericsson over Lebda more often than not b/c I think Ericsson has more potetenial to reach, but Lilja and Lebda has worked out, for the most part overall, in the past as a respectable 3rd pairing.

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I think he has been very, very good considering he's been away for such a long time. Most of the time you don't notice him out there, and that's a good thing. He keeps it simple and doesn't pinch in time and again like certain other players.

Ericsson should take a long hard look at the way Lilja plays.

zettie85 likes this

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Didn't he have an assist in his second game back? That's a pretty good pace if you ask me. :) I think he's been great, and I'm so glad he's back.

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Didn't he have an assist in his second game back? That's a pretty good pace if you ask me. :) I think he's been great, and I'm so glad he's back.

Yup, he did. And any time I've heard his name out there, it's been something GOOD.

"Lilja clears the puck!"

"Lilja with the blocked shot!"

And so on. I haven't seen any grievous turnovers committed by him, just a lot of hard working, solid defense. It's good to have him back.

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He's playing it safe and it definitely is working for him.

Edited by zettie85

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Lilja has played some very strong defense for us so far. The reason Lebda is good with Lilja is because Lebda is very offensive minded. When Lebda does his Paul Coffey impression we have someone on the blue line covering for him. Ericsson was just trying to get mixed up in the offense when Lebda did that, and it rarely resulted in anything good.

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He's brought some sex appeal and cool back to this team.

We need him for the blocked shots especially. We're the worst team in the league at blocking shots.

Edited by GMRwings1983

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He's brought some sex appeal and cool back to this team.

We need him for the blocked shots especially. We're the worst team in the league at blocking shots.

Whoa whoa whoa GMR, i thought the only reason we brought him back WAS for the sex appeal to raise attendance so people would quit b*tching about our attendance figures.

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Lilja had a strong game today. It sure sucks that he isn't as physical anymore, today when he had Byfuglien in his face all I could think of was how last year he probably would've dropped him :(

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Do we resign him after this year, then? I vote yes, at a similar to reduced salary.

If Lilja continues to play like he is for the remainder of the season, and into the playoffs - then absolutely!

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He's noticeably more physical than any other player on the team by a wide margin, has made smart and simple plays and has made Brett Lebda look much better in the process. Lilja has been everything we've been missing with Ericsson.

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He's noticeably more physical than any other player on the team by a wide margin, has made smart and simple plays and has made Brett Lebda look much better in the process. Lilja has been everything we've been missing with Ericsson.

I know - he's instantly better than Ericsson/Lebda/Meech...For a guy nearing his mid 30's - he's looking like now he hitting his prime...Kinda strange really, but hell I'll take it!

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Oh I remember the times everyone hated Lilja ... Specially after he coughed up the puck to Selanee. After that year his got his mojo going.

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I thought he's been slow, I guess I should temper my opinion of last years Lils. But anything is better then how Ericsson was playing, Lebda actually hasn't been bad the last few games he did good day

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I think he has been very, very good considering he's been away for such a long time. Most of the time you don't notice him out there, and that's a good thing. He keeps it simple and doesn't pinch in time and again like certain other players.

Ericsson should take a long hard look at the way Lilja plays.

No he shouldn't. Part of the problem is that he's been asked to be Lilja this year. Ericsson's not a stay at home defenseman. He's a mobile, puck moving d-man who plays the point on the PP. The Wings have asked him to play a role that's completely different from the one he played and thrived in at the AHL level. Earlier in the year he was scoring and at one point led the Wings' defense in points. He was confident and was able to play good defense for a rookie. Then s*** fell apart for him and he wasn't putting up points or playing passable defense.

Once the points start coming for Ericsson so will the defense. He needs to get back to playing his game and stop trying to be a player he isn't-- Lilja. E isn't going to throw tons of hits and shut guys down with his size alone. He needs to go back to playing the game that made him an all-star at the AHL level.

swiss_redwingfan likes this

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I thought he's been slow, I guess I should temper my opinion of last years Lils. But anything is better then how Ericsson was playing, Lebda actually hasn't been bad the last few games he did good day

Really? In the first period Lebda overplayed the puck and it directly lead to a goal.

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No he shouldn't. Part of the problem is that he's been asked to be Lilja this year. Ericsson's not a stay at home defenseman. He's a mobile, puck moving d-man who plays the point on the PP. The Wings have asked him to play a role that's completely different from the one he played and thrived in at the AHL level. Earlier in the year he was scoring and at one point led the Wings' defense in points. He was confident and was able to play good defense for a rookie. Then s*** fell apart for him and he wasn't putting up points or playing passable defense.

Once the points start coming for Ericsson so will the defense. He needs to get back to playing his game and stop trying to be a player he isn't-- Lilja. E isn't going to throw tons of hits and shut guys down with his size alone. He needs to go back to playing the game that made him an all-star at the AHL level.

Amen.

Asking him to play a shutdown role at this point is a misuse of his strengths. Considering his lack of experience at the actual position, as well as his size, the defense is only going to come with time.

Edited by egroen

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No he shouldn't. Part of the problem is that he's been asked to be Lilja this year. Ericsson's not a stay at home defenseman. He's a mobile, puck moving d-man who plays the point on the PP. The Wings have asked him to play a role that's completely different from the one he played and thrived in at the AHL level. Earlier in the year he was scoring and at one point led the Wings' defense in points. He was confident and was able to play good defense for a rookie. Then s*** fell apart for him and he wasn't putting up points or playing passable defense.

Once the points start coming for Ericsson so will the defense. He needs to get back to playing his game and stop trying to be a player he isn't-- Lilja. E isn't going to throw tons of hits and shut guys down with his size alone. He needs to go back to playing the game that made him an all-star at the AHL level.

As a young guy who's still learning the game at the NHL level - shouldn't he simplify his game by concentrating on his defensive prowess instead of doing what he did at the AHL level?

I'm not trying to bash Ericsson here, but I think we all agree that the NHL is a step, or 2 faster than what we see at the AHL level; guys putting up points/having offensive flair doesn't always translate at the next level...Me thinks Ericsson might need to become more "Lilja like" for a period of time in order to get his confidence back (and coaches confidence as well) before he goes back to the style he played when he was a Griffin.

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Oh I remember the times everyone hated Lilja ... Specially after he coughed up the puck to Selanee. After that year his got his mojo going.

It's really sad that people don't remember that Lilja was the Wings' 2nd best defenseman in that series irregardless of that turnover.

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