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Jiri Hudler Appreciation Thread

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Hudler doesn't skate nor play defense well enough to be a center in the NHL. It has nothing to do with Babcock giving him a chance there. He doesn't get the chance because it doesn't suit him.

So what you're saying is if given the option to have Jiri Hudler or Andrew Cogliano as your first line center, you would pick Cogliano? Shenanigans!

You are seriously overrating his defense. Hudler didn't see a lick of ice time with the Red Wings up a goal in Anaheim the other night in the third.

Yes, and Drew Miller was out there with Datsyuk. Babcock was playing his BEST defensive players. I didn't say Hudler was one of the best defensive players on the team. I have said, and follow me here:

In past years, Hudler has been above average defensively compared to the league.

He has gotten better defensively this year.

The reason Wings fans bag on him so much for his defense is the fact that he plays on a team that is stocked with skilled defensive forwards. Kopecky saw the same fate; he was bashed for his D in Detroit, left the D and was a solid all-around forward for Chicago and now in Florida and has played key PK minutes for both.

These excuses on the Richards goal are interesting too. All Hudler had to do is react a little sooner and get in a position to take away Richards' ice. He broke way too late and was instead left to chase Richards and his poor speed resulted in a goal.

Ah yes. react sooner. Such poor judgment of Hudler to not react quicker than immediately. And such slow reaction speed, in that he didn't make it to the puck that he would have had to be skating towards before the faceoff to stop from exiting the zone. Or the fact that Richards was going full speed, and was within a couple feet of Hudler, by the time Hudler had a chance to react. As for defensive positioning; take a look at the replay and watch how Hudler forces Richards to go around him. The simple fact that Richards was going full speed while Hudler was standing still when the play started pretty much defined the result. Hudler had no chance because he wasn't expecting Cleary to hand the Kings a nice breakout pass, and therefore didn't position himself in "Cleary prevent" formation.

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Ah yes. react sooner. Such poor judgment of Hudler to not react quicker than immediately. And such slow reaction speed, in that he didn't make it to the puck that he would have had to be skating towards before the faceoff to stop from exiting the zone. Or the fact that Richards was going full speed, and was within a couple feet of Hudler, by the time Hudler had a chance to react. As for defensive positioning; take a look at the replay and watch how Hudler forces Richards to go around him. The simple fact that Richards was going full speed while Hudler was standing still when the play started pretty much defined the result. Hudler had no chance because he wasn't expecting Cleary to hand the Kings a nice breakout pass, and therefore didn't position himself in "Cleary prevent" formation.

Cleary was trying to poke the puck out to the point to win a faceoff. It's hardly all his fault. Richards my have been at top speed but you're also not mentioning the 20 foot head start Hudler had on Richards.

When Babcock started using Hudler on the point, several people made comments about his ability to get back in time defensively if anything happened. The Richards play illustrated that exact weakness with Hudler on the point.

There's no getting around the fact that he is slow. He never had a chance for that reason more than anything else. If he had better speed he would have had a much better chance of either getting to Cleary's pass before Richards, or at least chasing down the puck instead of having Richard's blow by him.

Things are going to go bad on the power play, which is why you want guys like Lidstrom back there to prevent and contain them. Hudler isn't going to be very good in that area. Honestly I don't understand why he's on the point anyway. He's much more effective down low where he can make plays. On the point it's like the Wings are trying to play to his weaknesses. No foot speed and he never takes slapshots that far out.

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...

Ah yes. react sooner. Such poor judgment of Hudler to not react quicker than immediately. And such slow reaction speed, in that he didn't make it to the puck that he would have had to be skating towards before the faceoff to stop from exiting the zone. Or the fact that Richards was going full speed, and was within a couple feet of Hudler, by the time Hudler had a chance to react. As for defensive positioning; take a look at the replay and watch how Hudler forces Richards to go around him. The simple fact that Richards was going full speed while Hudler was standing still when the play started pretty much defined the result. Hudler had no chance because he wasn't expecting Cleary to hand the Kings a nice breakout pass, and therefore didn't position himself in "Cleary prevent" formation.

Surprising that you haven't blamed Zetterberg for not winning the faceoff cleanly enough. With you it's always everyone except Hudler.

Cleary was battling for the puck after the faceoff, and swept it back to the D, like he's supposed to. Obviously not perfect, but he was still doing his job.

Kronwall hung back to cover the late man, as he's supposed to in that situation. You could argue they should have switched roles, but from their actions it's obvious neither played felt that was the correct play.

Howie stayed with the shooter, did not over-commit to anything, as a goalie should. He just couldn't react quickly enough.

The fact is that goal was the result of Richards being a lot faster than Hudler. They both started moving when the puck dropped, and as you say Hudler started backing up almost immediately. It's not like Richards was shot out of a cannon or started sprinting up ice three seconds before the faceoff. Hudler was at a disadvantage because he needed to turn around, but he still had two steps on Richards at their blue line, and Richards was past him by ours. And if you want to say that Hudler had no chance due to the disadvantage, then the correct play by Hudler there would be to step into Richards and take him out or at least hold him up enough to ensure Kronwall gets possession. Most likely an interference penalty, but 4v4 is better than giving up a breakaway opportunity.

Not saying it was terrible by Hudler. Mostly it was a good effort from Richards to take advantage of a slower player playing a position he isn't accustomed to.

hooon and GoWings1905 like this

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As Babcock stated, Hudler has a huge head start on Richards there. Then again, maybe Babs is just hating on Hudler again.

Edited by GoWings1905

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Hahaha I was expecting some sarcasm, but he seems serious. "Versatile" :lol:

You know, we may be able to trade Hudler for Iginla straight up.

This way, the Flames get a guy that could potentially be a great center or a good defenseman. Iginla is just an old fool who can only play wing.

greenrebellion and The Secret like this

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You know, we may be able to trade Hudler for Iginla straight up.

This way, the Flames get a guy that could potentially be a great center or a good defenseman. Iginla is just an old fool who can only play wing.

:lol: If only Darryl Sutter was still there GM. Then it would be done before the weeks over, instead with Feaster we'll have to wait till the trade deadline to make the swap :hehe:

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Still can't figure out why he is on the point for the powerplay :rolleyes:

Still can't figure out why he's still on the roster after the '11 playoffs.

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Cleary was trying to poke the puck out to the point to win a faceoff. It's hardly all his fault. Richards my have been at top speed but you're also not mentioning the 20 foot head start Hudler had on Richards.

Not by the time it was clear Hudler wasn't going to have a chance to hold the puck in. At that point Richards was five, maybe ten feet away from Hudler and Hudler was just starting to move.

When Babcock started using Hudler on the point, several people made comments about his ability to get back in time defensively if anything happened. The Richards play illustrated that exact weakness with Hudler on the point.

Babs did it because he wasn't/isn't willing to take other guys off the PP, but knows Hudler has to be there for it to be at its best. What people were concerned about from the comments I read was about Hudler not being able to handle pressure or clearing attempts, and that his skating would be a problem moving back and forth along the blue line. Hardly the same situation.

There's no getting around the fact that he is slow. He never had a chance for that reason more than anything else. If he had better speed he would have had a much better chance of either getting to Cleary's pass before Richards, or at least chasing down the puck instead of having Richard's blow by him.

Things are going to go bad on the power play, which is why you want guys like Lidstrom back there to prevent and contain them. Hudler isn't going to be very good in that area.

Lidstrom doesn't stop that puck from leaving the zone. Nobody does. Skating isn't a factor until you get to chasing the puck down. And Hudler was at a severe disadvantage BEFORE you consider the fact that he's a slower skater than Richards. Line up two sports cars. Say they both do 0-60 in 3.5 seconds. If you set them up so one sports car will hit 60 at the starting line of the other sports car, and give the sports car with the longer track a 2 second head start, it will win every time. That's basically what happened on the Richards goal.

Honestly I don't understand why he's on the point anyway. He's much more effective down low where he can make plays. On the point it's like the Wings are trying to play to his weaknesses. No foot speed and he never takes slapshots that far out.

As I said before; it's because Babcock knows he needs to put Hudler on the PP but doesn't want to take his other guys off. Think about it; Hudler didn't replace a struggling Cleary, or anyone else up front, on a completely unproductive PP. He replaced Jakub Kindl, who was barely given a chance to play on D. Hudler's best spot on the PP is the low right boards; he was LETHAL there in 2008-09 setting up Z and Franzen.

I wouldn't mind seeing a Flip/Dats/Homer, Franzen/Z/Hudler setup for the PP, maybe working in some Cleary and Bertuzzi.

Edited by eva unit zero

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Howie stayed with the shooter, did not over-commit to anything, as a goalie should. He just couldn't react quickly enough.

So Hudler's lack of skating speed makes it his fault, but Howard's lack of reaction speed is forgivable? Especially when we all have seen Howard react much quicker many times in the past WEEK?

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Not by the time it was clear Hudler wasn't going to have a chance to hold the puck in. At that point Richards was five, maybe ten feet away from Hudler and Hudler was just starting to move.

Let's settle for ten. It doesn't change that Hudler's lack of speed is a major drawback to having him on the blueline for the PP.

Babs did it because he wasn't/isn't willing to take other guys off the PP, but knows Hudler has to be there for it to be at its best. What people were concerned about from the comments I read was about Hudler not being able to handle pressure or clearing attempts, and that his skating would be a problem moving back and forth along the blue line. Hardly the same situation.

I'm pretty sure other people said it, but I was definitely worried about his being on the point due to lack of speed. If anything happened or someone fired a shot into a players shin pads, it's off to the races. And if Huds is the only buy back there, it pretty much means it's gonna be a breakaway.

Lidstrom doesn't stop that puck from leaving the zone. Nobody does. Skating isn't a factor until you get to chasing the puck down. And Hudler was at a severe disadvantage BEFORE you consider the fact that he's a slower skater than Richards. Line up two sports cars. Say they both do 0-60 in 3.5 seconds. If you set them up so one sports car will hit 60 at the starting line of the other sports car, and give the sports car with the longer track a 2 second head start, it will win every time. That's basically what happened on the Richards goal.

The two sports cars analogy isn't relevant because there was only one sports car going after the puck.

The other one was maybe a VW beetle.

As I said before; it's because Babcock knows he needs to put Hudler on the PP but doesn't want to take his other guys off. Think about it; Hudler didn't replace a struggling Cleary, or anyone else up front, on a completely unproductive PP. He replaced Jakub Kindl, who was barely given a chance to play on D. Hudler's best spot on the PP is the low right boards; he was LETHAL there in 2008-09 setting up Z and Franzen.

I wouldn't mind seeing a Flip/Dats/Homer, Franzen/Z/Hudler setup for the PP, maybe working in some Cleary and Bertuzzi.

This part I agree with. If Hudler is on the PP (and if he's in the lineup, he should absolutely be on the PP), he needs to be down low where his creativity pays off. Putting him on the point does not play to his strengths.

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The two sports cars analogy isn't relevant because there was only one sports car going after the puck.

The other one was maybe a VW beetle.

It doesn't matter if it's an Enzo vs. a Gremlin; having that extra startup time that Richards had while Hudler was trying to keep the puck IN the zone was far more of a difference than any difference in skating speed. If Hudler starts skating towards Howard immediately, Richards doesn't beat him to the puck. That was the only arguable mistake Hudler made; trying to go after a puck that was well out of his reach.

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So Hudler's lack of skating speed makes it his fault, but Howard's lack of reaction speed is forgivable? Especially when we all have seen Howard react much quicker many times in the past WEEK?

Failing to react in time to stop a point-blank breakaway shot is far more forgivable than letting an opponent blow by you in the neutral zone. There's a reason most people give goalies a pass for allowing a breakaway goal. Stopping a breakaway is mostly a matter of maintaining good position (which Jimmy did) and hoping the shooter hits you or misses the net (which Richards didn't).

You can blame everyone else on the team for not bailing Hudler out, but the fact is Richards was Hudler's assignment defensively. Again, not terrible. Not like I'm calling him lazy or saying he gave up on the play. He's just slow.

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Failing to react in time to stop a point-blank breakaway shot is far more forgivable than letting an opponent blow by you in the neutral zone. There's a reason most people give goalies a pass for allowing a breakaway goal. Stopping a breakaway is mostly a matter of maintaining good position (which Jimmy did) and hoping the shooter hits you or misses the net (which Richards didn't).

Not attempting to make a save is not attempting to make a save, regardless of whether it's a breakaway or not.

You can blame everyone else on the team for not bailing Hudler out, but the fact is Richards was Hudler's assignment defensively. Again, not terrible. Not like I'm calling him lazy or saying he gave up on the play. He's just slow.

Got it. In situations like that, only one defenseman should be trying to get to the puck, even if his partner is much faster and could beat him (and any opposing player) to it.

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Reading this thread was harder than Ron Jeremy in his prime. The absurd blinders were so over the top it's ridiculous.

I'm not a Hudler Hater, nor a blind defender, but the Richards goal was completely his fault. That being said, I do think he's played pretty well on the PP (as good as any forward on the point in the passed few years) and I think he's been getting some chances that haven't been going in.

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Reading this thread was harder than Ron Jeremy in his prime. The absurd blinders were so over the top it's ridiculous.

I'm not a Hudler Hater, nor a blind defender, but the Richards goal was completely his fault. That being said, I do think he's played pretty well on the PP (as good as any forward on the point in the passed few years) and I think he's been getting some chances that haven't been going in.

Got it. So blind passes to our defensive zone, lazy skating when trying to defend such, and not attempting to stop a shot are now acceptable behaviors; at least when Hudler is the victim of the ensuing play because everyone is a big fan of hating on him no matter how hard he tries. Did ANYONE notice he was the only player trying to stop Richards from scoring?

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Got it. So blind passes to our defensive zone, lazy skating when trying to defend such, and not attempting to stop a shot are now acceptable behaviors; at least when Hudler is the victim of the ensuing play because everyone is a big fan of hating on him no matter how hard he tries. Did ANYONE notice he was the only player trying to stop Richards from scoring?[/font]

Well yes, that's bound to happen when Richards was Hudler's responsibility. Hudler was the only player on the ice even remotely in position to stop Richards. What's Kronwall supposed to do? Cover Hudler's point on the powerplay too?

greenrebellion likes this

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Well yes, that's bound to happen when Richards was Hudler's responsibility. Hudler was the only player on the ice even remotely in position to stop Richards. What's Kronwall supposed to do? Cover Hudler's point on the powerplay too?

When the puck cleared the blueline, if Kronwall had started skating as hard as Hudler did, he has that puck way before Richards or Hudler get there. There were also no forwards anywhere near the play. It was basically Hudler trying to stop a much larger Richards, Kronwall coasting off to the side watching, and the forwards just kind of going "meh, whatever. Hey guys (to the Kings) wanna go get a drink while this happens?"

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If Jiri Hudler pushed an old lady out into the middle of the road and she died, I have no doubt that you will somehow try to justify a way that it was the old lady's fault and not Hudler's.

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If Jiri Hudler pushed an old lady out into the middle of the road and she died, I have no doubt that you will somehow try to justify a way that it was the old lady's fault and not Hudler's.

She should have walked faster. If she had walked faster, she'd have gotten to the groceries that made it to the other side.

55fan, P. Marlowe and Motown4013 like this

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When the puck cleared the blueline, if Kronwall had started skating as hard as Hudler did, he has that puck way before Richards or Hudler get there. There were also no forwards anywhere near the play. It was basically Hudler trying to stop a much larger Richards, Kronwall coasting off to the side watching, and the forwards just kind of going "meh, whatever. Hey guys (to the Kings) wanna go get a drink while this happens?"

You're so blind it's pointless to try and make you listen to reason.

It's hilarious that this whole exchange is due to your complete inability to just admit that Hudler is a slow skater, and that his skating can be a liability at times.

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She should have walked faster. If she had walked faster, she'd have gotten to the groceries that made it to the other side.

What's scary is part of me believes you would be serious about this statement as well had this actually happened.

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