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achildr1

The New Reality

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After watching the playoffs I've come to some conclusions, changing my previous knowledge/assumptions as to how good or not good some players are....

The Good:

Niklas Kronwall - is a legitimate #2 guy now and won't be too off base as a #1 when Nick leaves.

Darren Helm - This guy is better than Draper was at the same age and could almost certainly top out at 45+ points on the third line and be one of the best PK'ers in the league.

Pavel Datsyuk - he's getting better. I think Z may have leveled off but Dats is finding new ways to be inhuman.

Jimmy Howard - this playoff made me extremely encouraged with him as our main guy.

The Bad:

Johan Franzen - this signing looks so bad, even more now than I thought it did at the time. He needs to learn to do something other than score so when he doesn't, he won't be basically useless.

Valtteri Filppula - sometimes he looks like a very poor man's shadow of Datsyuk, othertimes (and often) he's invisible, and most the time he isn't contributing as much as we need him to.

He has proved he's not a 2nd line player. Theoretically he could still break out but I'm not holding my breath.

Mike Babcock - when did he turn into Jim Leyland? Making unnecessary changes and putting out very suspect lines/pairings at key times, frustrating to watch.

The Ugly:

Brian Rafalski - how far has this guy fallin'? Two years ago he may have been a #1 guy on several teams, was our #2, and knew how to play defense. Now, he's a highly paid Kurtis Foster/MA Bergeron type. I've never seen his defense so terrible but the big shocker is how he's rushing on offense and taking terribly timed, low quality shots and killing our PP momentum.

Jonathan Ericsson - what can I say? What does he do OK, let alone good, on even a semi regular basis? On top of that, he is literally a pylon.

Jiri Hudler - he's the forward version of Rafalski, without the point production. Gets paid like a top 6 guy but brings almost nothing to the table unless he's on a streak.

Salei, Osgood, Modano - Right there is the rack...hang your skates up, please.

If we were to slot players where they deserve to be...

1st line types:

Zetterberg. Datsyuk

2nd line types:

Franzen, Cleary (both of whom are only good for about 65 games a year)

3rd line types:

Filppula, Hudler, Bertuzzi, Holmstrom, Helm, Eaves

4th line types:

Abdelkader, Miller, Draper

Defense probably reads like this now, with two guys on the brink of retirement.

#1 Lidstrom. #2 Kronwall

#3 Stuart. #4 Rafalski

#5 (none) #6 Kindl

#7 Ericsson, Salei

I think the needs are clear.

At least 1 top six forward, a top 4 dman, a backup goalie who can play when he plays without having to play several in a row to "get into my groove" or whatever.

Edited by achildr1
LidsFan, Weezer, Shaman and 2 others like this

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After watching the playoffs I've come to some conclusions, changing my previous knowledge/assumptions as to how good or not good some players are....

The Good:

Niklas Kronwall - is a legitimate #2 guy now and won't be too off base as a #1 when Nick leaves.

Darren Helm - This guy is better than Draper was at the same

L could almost certainly top out at 45+ points on the third line and be one of the best PK'ers in the league.

Pavel Datsyuk - he's getting better. I think Z may have leveled off but Dats is finding new ways to be inhuman.

Jimmy Howard - this playoff made me extremely encouraged with him as our main guy.

The Bad:

Johan Franzen - this signing looks so bad, even more now than I thought it did at the time. He needs to learn to do something other than score so when he doesn't, he won't be basically useless.

Valtteri Filppula - sometimes he looks like a very poor man's shadow of Datsyuk, othertimes (and often) he's invisible, and most the time he isn't contributing as much as we need him to.

He has proved he's not a 2nd line player. Theoretically he could still break out but I'm not holding my breath.

The Ugly:

Brian Rafalski - how far has this guy fallin'? Two years ago he may have been a #1 guy on several teams, was our #2, and knew how to play defense. Now, he's a highly paid Kurtis Foster/MA Bettering type. I've never seen his defense so terrible but the big shocker is how he's rushing on offense and taking terribly timed, low quality shots and killing our PP momentum.

Jonathan Ericsson - what can I say? What does he do OK, let alone good, on even a semi regular basis? On top of that, he is literally a pylon.

Jiri Hudler - he's the forward version of Rafalski, without the point production. Gets paid like a top 6 guy but brings almost nothing to the table unless he's on a streak.

Salei, Osgood, Modano - Right there is the rack...hang your skates up, please.

If we were to slot players where they deserve to be...

1st line types:

Zetterberg. Datsyuk

2nd line types:

Franzen, Cleary (both of whom are only good for about 65 games a year)

3rd line types:

Filppula, Hudler, Bertuzzi, Holmstrom, Helm, Eaves

4th line types:

Abdelkader, Miller, Draper

Defense probably reads like this now, with two guys on the brink of retirement.

#1 Lidstrom. #2 Kronwall

#3 Stuart. #4 Rafalski

#5 (none) #6 Kindl

#7 Ericsson, Salei

I think the needs are clear.

At least 1 top six forward, a top 4 dman, a backup goalie who can play when he plays without having to play several in a row to "get into my groove" or whatever.

I think you're too hard on Osgood. The guy can still play, he didn't even really get a chance this season. But if we extra money it wouldn't hurt to pick up an extra backup and ask either Ozzie or the other backup to sign a 2-way deal.

I'm actually surprised, I like the way you broke down the "line-type players" as it matches up my impressions as well. I do think Helm will eventually be a second liner for a few seasons, though. But your line-listing really shows where the holes are that need to be fixed. We have a glut of 3rd and 4th liners, which is good, but our top two lines really need a more consistent presence than rotating Cleary and Bertuzzi. Flip and Hudler combined would free up room for Mursak, and a power forward winger who scores consistently on the second line. On defense, it'd be nice to add someone like Weber but it won't happen.

EDIT: And I think you're too hard on Franzen. The guy had a bad year but pretty much every player does. He'll get it together. His history is too impressive to count him out.

Edited by VM1138
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I think you're being too hard on Franzen as well. He did lead the team in goals during the season, and while he did have some cold spots, in the NHL he's making about the right money for a 30-goal scorer. Plus, he started well in the playoffs before his ankle was messed up.

I definitely agree with your defensive reading. Kronwall has really stepped up and finally become a bit of the "Nick Jr" he was advertised as. Preferably, I'd like the team to get a youngish 3/4 defenseman with some physicality and match him with Rafalski.

I would like to see the Fil we got in the last two games for the whole season. Maybe the answer is putting him with Datsyuk. They both seem seem to play off of each other really well and can both be creative. Those two with Cleary or Franzen might be really entertaining.

Ericsson is about what I expect out of a bottom pairing guy. I don't want to give up on him quite yet, but if they can bring in a new 3/4 guy, I wouldn't mind having Ericsson and Kindl fight it out for that last spot. Keep them honest and working.

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I agree with most of what you say as well. The Franzen contract looked really bad from the start, for me, but if he can get his poop in a group, I like him. He needs to start using his size a little more. Start pushing people around, and they'll think twice about bringing some aggressive play his way. Other players seem to back off Datsyuk when he has the puck, because they don't want to be left confused and embarrassed by what he does. If Franzen were to bring something like that, I'd be a happy camper. Hudler is just a little bit less than useless, and so is Ericsson. The odd benefits that they bring are greatly overshadowed by their dumbassery, if that's a real word. Abdelkader would be more useful if he could stop getting high sticking penalties, but hopefully he has gained a little experience and learns to control that. I also think that, as a team, the Wings need to protect their goalie a lot more. Our guys are constantly getting cross checked and pushed around in front of the other team's net, so we need to clear that area as well as we can without taking penalties. Along the "protect the goalie" theme, I also think someone should have drop kicked Pavelski, and others, for all the snow showers that were given to Howard. That would be an acceptable penalty all day long, in my opinion. Howard's confidence, and maybe his abilities, would pick up if someone would come out and say "You can't do that s*** to my goalie, so I'm kicking your ass now". Maybe not those words, exactly, but along that line.

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To me Filppula can still be a very useful player on this team. I think most posters here loved how he fit on the wing with Datsyuk. His production this year (regular season and playoffs) suffered when he centered the 3rd line because for the most part he'd be paired with wingers like Abdelkader, Miller, Hudler etc. Some times he'd get some time with Cleary or something like that and there was the brief stint with Modano and Holmstrom but there was very little consistent scoring going on with him. Filppula's role on this team changes often because he is a very solid two way player. When he plays the third line centre spot he is relied on defensively and when he is slotted in the top 6 they want offense out of him.

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To me Filppula can still be a very useful player on this team. I think most posters here loved how he fit on the wing with Datsyuk. His production this year (regular season and playoffs) suffered when he centered the 3rd line because for the most part he'd be paired with wingers like Abdelkader, Miller, Hudler etc. Some times he'd get some time with Cleary or something like that and there was the brief stint with Modano and Holmstrom but there was very little consistent scoring going on with him. Filppula's role on this team changes often because he is a very solid two way player. When he plays the third line centre spot he is relied on defensively and when he is slotted in the top 6 they want offense out of him.

I believe he is a good player too. Tons of teams would be glad to have him. But at his price, if he doesn't get more than 45 points, he's needs to go somewhere in a trade for a piece that will mean more to us (a top 3 defenseman). Kopecky was better, more physical than Fil this year at a much lower price. That says a lot to me.

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Filppula won't be moved, as he can play anywhere. 1st line wing alongside Dats (this needs to happen full time), can centre the 2nd line and allow Dats and Hank to play together, and he can even centre the 3rd. He is extremely flexible, is great defensively and is still young.

I believe he is a good player too. Tons of teams would be glad to have him. But at his price, if he doesn't get more than 45 points, he's needs to go somewhere in a trade for a piece that will mean more to us (a top 3 defenseman). Kopecky was better, more physical than Fil this year at a much lower price. That says a lot to me.

Filppula wasn't playing with Hossa and Toews too, but anyway...

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We need more speed in the top six. Might have been the injuries but still think our forecheck was a weakness on the first two lines. Bottom 6 was fantastic, don't foresee anything changing there.

On defense I was happy for the most part, might want to start looking for a good physical bottom pairing PK defenseman considering Kronwall's PK time is going to be diminishing the more PP/EV time he gets.

Goaltending was superb, keep Jimmy for as long as you can while paying him no more than 4 million.

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Fil will get at least 70 points if he is healthy and plays with Pav all next year

So...he's only useful when playing with the best player in the world? I'm not going to say Flip sucks, because he doesn't, but he doesn't bring enough to the table to justify NOT being traded for a defenseman or a winger.

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Filppula was tied for second in team playoff scoring and you have him under the bad section? I'd put him under the "Always comes through in the playoffs" section.

He was great against the JV Coyotes, but when it was time to play against some real opposition he wasn't very noticeable until Game 6. Pretty much the same story last year, too.

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Fil will get at least 70 points if he is healthy and plays with Pav all next year

I only played high school hockey but I'd put myself down for at least 25 points if I played with Pavel all year. Jonathan Cheechoo had 50+ goals playing next to Thornton and rides buses in the AHL when he isn't. Colby Armstrong looked like an offensive force next to Crosby and an offensive farce next to anyone else.

My point, that isn't a great measuring stick for Fil, he probably wont play with Pavel all year anyway, and even if he did I'm not convinced he gets 70 points.

Detroit # 1 Fan and Klunzo like this

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I only played high school hockey but I'd put myself down for at least 25 points if I played with Pavel all year. Jonathan Cheechoo had 50+ goals playing next to Thornton and rides buses in the AHL when he isn't. Colby Armstrong looked like an offensive force next to Crosby and an offensive farce next to anyone else.

My point, that isn't a great measuring stick for Fil, he probably wont play with Pavel all year anyway, and even if he did I'm not convinced he gets 70 points.

no :thumbdown:

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Oh good, another overreaction thread from someone who doesn't know what the hell they're talking about.

Seriously, bashing Filppula and Babcock? :rolleyes:

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I only played high school hockey but I'd put myself down for at least 25 points if I played with Pavel all year. Jonathan Cheechoo had 50+ goals playing next to Thornton and rides buses in the AHL when he isn't. Colby Armstrong looked like an offensive force next to Crosby and an offensive farce next to anyone else.

How did Homer look playing first line this year? His scoring was what? Oh yeah 2 points behind Flip.

It appears that the OP has criteria that three first line "types" in the elite sense must populate the first line. Rarely if ever is that really the case. Flip may not be 1989 Stevie Y, but he is great at creating space which has been lacking for Zetterberg in particular the last 2 years.

ZDF FTW

Edited by kook_10

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Oh good, another overreaction thread from someone who doesn't know what the hell they're talking about.

Seriously, bashing Filppula and Babcock? :rolleyes:

Wow. I consider myself a very thoughtful, open-minded, patient and informed fan. I've watched this team closely for 16 years and I try not to say anything that I haven't really considered.

That said, I only pointed out something I started to notice about Babcock this playoff. It's akin to saying I've been noticing Lidstrom make mistakes. Stating Lidstrom makes mistakes doesn't mean I want him gone and same for Babs. Read recent posts of mine, definetly support Babcock.

As for Filppula, I believe I can make an informed opinion as to what he brings to this team in regards to what he needs to bring to this team. I think its consensus that Fil isn't living up to his potential.

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How did Homer look playing first line this year? His scoring was what? Oh yeah 2 points behind Flip.

It appears that the OP has criteria that three first line "types" in the elite sense must populate the first line. Rarely if ever is that really the case. Flip may not be 1989 Stevie Y, but he is great at creating space which has been lacking for Zetterberg in particular the last 2 years.

ZDF FTW

This is such a terrible comparison. Homer is a regressing, near 40 year old, PP specialist on a team with a bad PP. Filppula should be a top 2 line guy but doesn't produce when he plays there. Homer may likely be done because he doesn't put up the numbers he should and isn't suited to be a bottom 6 guy.

In fact, I don't believe that the top line should be all elite players. Most teams can't do that in the cap world. What I do believe is neccessary is, lf you have two elite guys, you should have at least 3 guys that are legitimate, point producing 2nd line types. We have 2 of those guys, both of whom can barely play 70 games. How many of the guys on this team could put up points without playing with Datsyuk or Zetterberg? Were basically a team of 3 rd line guys after our two elite players. I'd just like to see that change a bit.

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Wow. I consider myself a very thoughtful, open-minded, patient and informed fan. I've watched this team closely for 16 years and I try not to say anything that I haven't really considered.

That said, I only pointed out something I started to notice about Babcock this playoff. It's akin to saying I've been noticing Lidstrom make mistakes. Stating Lidstrom makes mistakes doesn't mean I want him gone and same for Babs. Read recent posts of mine, definetly support Babcock.

As for Filppula, I believe I can make an informed opinion as to what he brings to this team in regards to what he needs to bring to this team. I think its consensus that Fil isn't living up to his potential.

I guess some people don't understand that every fan can have an opinion.

I think you are spot on. Franzen gets payed to play every game and he only shows up for half of them. The part that pisses me off about Franzen is he could be so great if he used all his size and skills every night.

I would like to see Flip paired with Pav a lot next season I think they could do some damage together.

Hudler needs to go.

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This is such a terrible comparison. Homer is a regressing, near 40 year old, PP specialist on a team with a bad PP. Filppula should be a top 2 line guy but doesn't produce when he plays there. Homer may likely be done because he doesn't put up the numbers he should and isn't suited to be a bottom 6 guy.

In fact, I don't believe that the top line should be all elite players. Most teams can't do that in the cap world. What I do believe is neccessary is, lf you have two elite guys, you should have at least 3 guys that are legitimate, point producing 2nd line types. We have 2 of those guys, both of whom can barely play 70 games. How many of the guys on this team could put up points without playing with Datsyuk or Zetterberg? Were basically a team of 3 rd line guys after our two elite players. I'd just like to see that change a bit.

Terrible comparison? We are talking about who is qualified to be a 1st liner. Has Homer ever been legit point producing 2nd liner on his own? I love the guy, but that criteria is just fantasy - take a look at first lines around the league. As far as being a PP specialist - that is a BS excuse. On one hand you defend Holmstrom being a first liner and excuse his even strength play by saying his value is on the power play. On the other hand, Flip outscores him but he isn't qualified. Out of 3rd wheel first liners on the teams left in the playoffs, Fil could very realistically with full time fist line duties put up numbers comparable to Clowe, Burrows, Lucic & Horton, and already does outscore Bergenheim. So is it the non-elite teams that you want to compare to?

If a player could produce on the second line on his own, why would you want him on the first line? So he could eat Dats or Z's points? That doesn't make any sense. Z and D need players to complement them rather than supplement them. Supplementary players should be on different lines.

Edited by kook_10

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Wow. I consider myself a very thoughtful, open-minded, patient and informed fan. I've watched this team closely for 16 years and I try not to say anything that I haven't really considered.

That said, I only pointed out something I started to notice about Babcock this playoff. It's akin to saying I've been noticing Lidstrom make mistakes. Stating Lidstrom makes mistakes doesn't mean I want him gone and same for Babs. Read recent posts of mine, definetly support Babcock.

As for Filppula, I believe I can make an informed opinion as to what he brings to this team in regards to what he needs to bring to this team. I think its consensus that Fil isn't living up to his potential.

Not living up to his potential? He had the GWG (and made the play to take away the puck) in game six. How much more clutch would you like him to be?

He also put up 8 points in 11 games, and he only got points in two games of the Sharks series (1 G, 1 A in game six and 1 A in game seven). Also keep in mind that he was primarily used as a defensive center for most of the series, until Babcock put him on Datsyuk's wing.

How about Cleary? He's only paid slightly less than Filppula, and yet he gets a pass for producing markedly less than Filppula in the playoffs? Not only that, he does markedly less than Filppula on defense.

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Not living up to his potential? He had the GWG (and made the play to take away the puck) in game six. How much more clutch would you like him to be?

He also put up 8 points in 11 games, and he only got points in two games of the Sharks series (1 G, 1 A in game six and 1 A in game seven). Also keep in mind that he was primarily used as a defensive center for most of the series, until Babcock put him on Datsyuk's wing.

How about Cleary? He's only paid slightly less than Filppula, and yet he gets a pass for producing markedly less than Filppula in the playoffs? Not only that, he does markedly less than Filppula on defense.

In the Sharks series Filppula centered Franzen and Hudler, and you say he was being used primarily as a defensive center?

Well, I guess that means Hudler was being used in a defensive role, right? So the fact that he didn't score any points either doesn't matter because he wasn't out there to score points.

The fact that Franzen played like s***, and then got injured and kept playing like s*** is what kept that line from scoring. But people here don't like to bag on Franzen for some odd reason. Here's a nice juicy fact. FRANZEN SUCKED. FRANZEN WAS THE REASON THE FRANZEN/FILPPULA/HUDLER LINE WASN'T SCORING. Not Flip, and not Huds. They were both effective in all of the games that line played.

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Guys,

Let's get a couple things clear:

1) There are Red Wings that are OLD, SLOW, and SOFT = Bertuzzi, Holmstrom, Rafalski

2) There are Red Wings that are OLD and SOFT = Modano, Draper, Osgood

All of these guys need to go before we talk about any other upgrading. The team needs an overhall to get some YOUTH into it. It's stupid to talk about dropping Hudler, Filppula, and Ericsson and keeping the guys mentioned above. Do you realize how much better our line-up gets when the old guys leave? Fill in the blanks with anyone, and you'll see an improvement.

Filppula-Datsyuk-Cleary

Franzen-Zetterberg-Abdelkader

Eaves-Helm-Mursak

Ericsson-Miller-Tatar

Lidstrom-Stuart

Kronwall-Salei

Kindl-Pyett

Howard

I would have rather seen those guys on the ice THIS YEAR, let alone next year.

Edited by Grayne Wetzky

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In the Sharks series Filppula centered Franzen and Hudler, and you say he was being used primarily as a defensive center?

Well, I guess that means Hudler was being used in a defensive role, right? So the fact that he didn't score any points either doesn't matter because he wasn't out there to score points.

The fact that Franzen played like s***, and then got injured and kept playing like s*** is what kept that line from scoring. But people here don't like to bag on Franzen for some odd reason. Here's a nice juicy fact. FRANZEN SUCKED. FRANZEN WAS THE REASON THE FRANZEN/FILPPULA/HUDLER LINE WASN'T SCORING. Not Flip, and not Huds. They were both effective in all of the games that line played.

Babcock always uses his centers as shutdown guys, especially against the Sharks, who were extremely deep down the middle (Thornton/Pavelski/Couture). That he trusted Filppula to play center on a line with Franzen and Hudler, two huge defensive liabilities, shows how much he trusted Filppula to play a defensive/backchecking role on that line.

And yes, Franzen sucked. But then again, that's nothing new. He has large periods during the regular season where he sucks/is invisible.

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Terrible comparison? We are talking about who is qualified to be a 1st liner. Has Homer ever been legit point producing 2nd liner on his own? I love the guy, but that criteria is just fantasy - take a look at first lines around the league. As far as being a PP specialist - that is a BS excuse. On one hand you defend Holmstrom being a first liner and excuse his even strength play by saying his value is on the power play. On the other hand, Flip outscores him but he isn't qualified. Out of 3rd wheel first liners on the teams left in the playoffs, Fil could very realistically with full time fist line duties put up numbers comparable to Clowe, Burrows, Lucic & Horton, and already does outscore Bergenheim. So is it the non-elite teams that you want to compare to?

If a player could produce on the second line on his own, why would you want him on the first line? So he could eat Dats or Z's points? That doesn't make any sense. Z and D need players to complement them rather than supplement them. Supplementary players should be on different lines.

OK bud, I hope to be clear this time. Holmstrom isn't not and has never been qualified to be a first line player. I am not defending that. Homer may be the worst skater in hockey, it ain't like he's going to provide much defensively on the back check. Holmstrom is essentially the best lefty specialist ever (in baseball terms) and for the majority of his career has played with two elite players on his line to hold him up.

I had to know when I started questioning Fil that I'd get an uber-reaction from some. Let me state that I was in attendance at game 2 of the Pheonix series and the March 21st Pittsburgh game, both games in which Fil stood out in a big way. I realize his potential. I also realize that I may have noticed him one time throughout the Sharks series (although only a few Wings showed up anyway. Filppula works very hard, is good on defense, and seems to be a mature player although inconsistent. Ill even say, if I were to strip this team down to the most contributing players, he be one of the latter cuts. My concerns are his contract, his age in relevance to his offensive output, and his ability to disappear on the ice and in the scoresheet for long periods of time. Basically, if he doesn't start scoring (regular season and playoffs) to his potential he may be more valuable in a trade than he is as a 45 point 3rd line guy. For the record, I like Filppula. He rarely makes glaring mistakes, usually gives his all, and occasionally can bring you out of your seat. I just want us to get maximum value for our dollars and we no lack for defensive minded forwards and prospects and I believe other teams would covet Fil enough to make an awesome deal. But, if Fil comes out this year on the top two lines and is everything he already is and puts up 60+ points, ill eat my crow....charred.

Edit: as for your Clowe, Horton, Lucic, Burrows, and Bergenheim comparison...

Bergenheim is playing out of his mind and far from his career average. No comparison here.

As for the rest there's an arguemant that any of those guys would be more valuable to the Wings than Fil and I'd like to see how many LGW's would agree with me.

Edited by achildr1

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