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Jonathan Ericsson. Knock, knock...


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#1 Wing Across The Pond

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 08:21 PM

Jonathan Ericsson. Knock, knock, it's destiny calling.

A quote is a simple thing. It has no physical form but for the movement of lips or the vibration of air, perhaps even the paper or screen on which it is recorded, yet at it's heart it is entirely simple. It is but words strung together. Different words for different means. Poetic words, strong words, abusive words, kind words. Words that question, words that rally, words that challenge or accept. But simple words none the less. There is a famous quote, one that many of you may have seen numerous time before, even in this very place, that consists of words in equation:

'To whom much is given, much is expected'.

A sort of Yin and Yang if you will. Action and reaction. Yet still a quote of simple powerlessness. For a quote can only acquire strength and meaning through situation. A moment in time where mere words define action in such a way as to have been meant. To have been written in the stars.

Some people in this world believe strongly in things that others may cast aside as legend or myth, believe in structure and purpose against chance and coincidence. Fate. I cannot say I am one of these people, yet I do believe in opportunity to design your own fate. To control a personal destiny if you so choose to take your chances. Jonathan Ericsson? His time is now.

I was talking with a friend earlier today about the less than promising situation facing us this year following the departure of Lidstrom and Stuart, and whilst big things were said about the future of Smith and his potential to be a great of the future I couldn't shake the idea within my head that this could be the single greatest opportunity that Ericsson's life will throw his way. Something inside me seems to be wishing him to be the replacement for Lidstrom that we've all been searching for. Wishing for! Yes, I can't deny he's a whipping boy at times, yet I struggle to think of such a time in recent history. Yes, he's made mistakes on the ice, yet again I struggle to think of others who hadn't also. As a player drafted and trained by this single organisation, moulded into the player that they entirely wanted him to be, cannot simply be put down to chance. There must be a reason for his journey through this team. A young Swede who loves the game and has worked hard in the shadow of possibly the greatest defenceman of all time, a countryman and icon whom he wills to be like one day. A player who has grown to be strong defensively, in his own zone, much like the icon he once used to watch. He isn't near that level yet but there are many years left in the tank and he can only move forward.

Whereas some see a hole on the blue line in the vacated space left by Lidstrom, a void that cannot be filled entirely but partially patched over in the hope that nobody will notice, I cannot help but see an opportunity. Following a solid season from Ericsson, earning ice time in a variety of situations designed to test his skill and nerve and desire, his "metal", I do not look at the coincidence of an ever-improving player and a newly-retired legend. Yin and Yang again. Two sides to the same coin. I instead look towards the opportunity. A chance for a young player to provide the situation for which the quote can draw meaning. A young player to whom much has been given and now has the chance to pay back in full. In retirement, as in much of his career, Nick Lidstrom is incomparable, yet if it had to be done with this Red Wings roster I see no better candidate than Ericsson. He's not flashy. He's stable. He's not devastating. He's smart. His offensive game lacks a little something but nothing that cannot be gained with practice. He could have the skill set and the personality to be another truly great defenceman in the mould of the Red Wings system, not simply a spare part brought in with the hope that it fits. After all, these can be notoriously hit and miss (White as a potential Rafalski replacement springs to mind).

Perhaps nothing of this has sunk in with anyone who happens to read it. Perhaps Ericsson will be nothing more than what I have outlined: a solid, sensible, and smart 2nd pairing D-man. Perhaps my tiredness has got the better of me and has rendered me delirious, yet something inside of me cannot shake this feeling that this year, with a little confidence and a bit of belief, Jonathan Ericsson could start to pay back a little of all that has been invested in him. Oh well, at the very least one can hope.

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#2 Dabura

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 08:23 PM

Good stuff.

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#3 Red Wings Addict

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 08:47 PM

Nick and Stewie's departure already placed an immense amount of pressure on Ericsson. They sat him next to Nick and Stewie in the locker room for a reason, moreso Stewie. It was so that Jonny will one day become a horse of a dman like him. I believe regardless of who else the Wings acquire if anybody that Ericsson has to exceed expectations this year.

#4 Wing Across The Pond

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 08:47 PM

Good stuff.


Thanks. I know a lot of people on here wont necessarily see eye to eye with me on this one, but it's simply a feeling that I can't shake inside.

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#5 Ozzie30

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 08:50 PM

Nicely written, unfortunately Ericcson only answers doorbells. In all seriousness though, I think the best we can expect from E is he becomes a premier shut down defenseman. He will never quarterback a PP or put up 80 pts. I think his emergence coupled with Smiths will be Lidstoms replacement, but Smith has a bit to go.
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#6 Shaman

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 08:52 PM

Ericsson couldn't make the next step when he was being coddled, he will not make it next season. Hes overpaid, and boneheaded defensively, I don't expect to see any difference next season.
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#7 StayClassy

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 08:53 PM

That first paragraph was great. Hope springs "internal" I guess, right?

"Let him live."


#8 Dave

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 08:56 PM

Ericsson couldn't make the next step when he was being coddled, he will not make it next season. Hes overpaid, and boneheaded defensively, I don't expect to see any difference next season.


Ericsson was our 2nd best D man in the playoffs this year. E has made great strides. He will never be a point producing defenseman, but when it comes to PK or shutting down the opposition he has improved a ton.

#9 Shaman

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 01:24 AM

Ericsson was our 2nd best D man in the playoffs this year. E has made great strides. He will never be a point producing defenseman, but when it comes to PK or shutting down the opposition he has improved a ton.

Lidstrom, Stuart, and White were all in my opinion better than Ericsson in the playoffs.
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#10 joesuffP

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 01:30 AM

Lidstrom, Stuart, and White were all in my opinion better than Ericsson in the playoffs.


How so? Stuart and White were pretty much awful. Ericsson was standout all playoffs defensively and earned the praise from his coach and teammates. His confidence grew by leaps last year.

#11 Jaymister

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 01:34 AM

I for one think Big E has made great improvements in his game at least in his own zone. I like many Wings fans used to cringe every time he hit the ice, because of his boneheaded plays. Now however I don't notice him so much, which means he's screwing up much less than he used to. I hope he continues to improve and I also hope he uses that hard shot a bit more this season.
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#12 Wings_Dynasty

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 01:49 AM

No one was good in the playoffs. When you get bounced in 5 games in the first round it is the second worse thing that can possibly happen.

Now as for Ericsson:

1. Learn to hit better. You are 6'5" and you don't act like it. Clear the crease using your size and punish people in the corners and behind the net. Use the summer to bulk up and hit the weights. You are not expected to be a fast skater, so be a solid body that can't be run by people like Parise and Erat.

2. Shoot more. You have a 100mph slapshot. Use it. Goals come from shots.

3. EARN THAT RIDICULOUS GODDAMN CHECK! Seriously, you should have been our MVP last season after that signing.

"I think a tough team, a team that sticks together, is a lot better than leaving the onus on one guy to take care of business." - Brendan Shanahan

 

It still would be nice to have that one guy.


#13 The Axe

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 03:03 AM

People praying to Ericcson to become a solid d man? Please. This guy is a 6th dman. Not a top 4.

#14 joesuffP

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 03:24 AM

Top 4 on this team as of now... The guy is a defensive defenseman and pretty good I might add. People can't tell if a defenseman is good unless he has a hit on tsn highlights or gets points every game. Ericsson is solid and getting better. Funny how nobody noticed the leap forward he took in the playoffs while the whole team struggled. At least the important people noticed, the ones in the organization so Ericsson will get what he has deserved this season... Playing time and maybe even throw him on the PP... Thn we will have a guy who logs major minutes, kills penalties and scores all the while not receiving any shred of credit from these forums

#15 Wing Across The Pond

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 04:35 AM

People praying to Ericcson to become a solid d man? Please. This guy is a 6th dman. Not a top 4.


As per joesuffP as well, he IS a top 4 dman by virtue of necessity at the moment. A lot of people wont like it and will see him as you see him, but I'm just hoping that he can use that good stable defensive play as a basis to move forward and become something more for a team that has invested so much in him.

Lidstrom, Stuart, and White were all in my opinion better than Ericsson in the playoffs.


This is pretty much why I felt so weird writing this piece... he divides opinion so much that I'm probably hoping more than anything. As with Axe's comment above, lots of people have lots of opinions on the guy and I fear I'm basing my theory on blind hope. Yet maybe it could happen.

Lol then again my friend said, "nah... maybe Kindl but not E". I couldn't help but laugh.

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#16 F.Michael

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 07:19 AM

I personally feel for Jimmy Howard...He's gonna have to wear his superman underoos on a nightly basis in order to make this team playoff worthy.

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#17 nuts2u

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 07:39 AM

People praying to Ericcson to become a solid d man? Please. This guy is a 6th dman. Not a top 4.


You are such an expert on talent, how bout telling us your background and what great hockey expert educated you!

#18 55fan

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 07:44 AM

Gabe. Dude. You stoned or something? That was...eloquent.

Jonny has potential. He has shown flashes. He needs to get it going on a regular basis. He's coming. He just needs to take the next step.

When we had Lids and Stewie, we didn't desparetly need him to step up. Now we need it.

Will he do it? I sure hope so.

#19 nuts2u

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 07:46 AM

No one was good in the playoffs. When you get bounced in 5 games in the first round it is the second worse thing that can possibly happen.

Now as for Ericsson:

1. Learn to hit better. You are 6'5" and you don't act like it. Clear the crease using your size and punish people in the corners and behind the net. Use the summer to bulk up and hit the weights. You are not expected to be a fast skater, so be a solid body that can't be run by people like Parise and Erat.

2. Shoot more. You have a 100mph slapshot. Use it. Goals come from shots.

3. EARN THAT RIDICULOUS GODDAMN CHECK! Seriously, you should have been our MVP last season after that signing.


Ian looked like a high school player when Lidstrom was out of the lineup. Piss and moan obout his paycheck!

#20 Wings_Dynasty

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 07:49 AM

Ian looked like a high school player when Lidstrom was out of the lineup. Piss and moan obout his paycheck!


Ian White fills a need, a righty. Ericsson can be replaced unless he plays to his supposed potential and his contract.

And why would I complain about his contract which is $375,000 less than Ericsson's (BTW he had almost 3x as many points as Ericsson) and after signing it he had the best season of his career while Ericsson had a drop in productivity?

I know he blocked shots and played on the PK a lot, but that doesn't win Cups now does it. Having more goals than the other team wins Cups.

Edited by Wings_Dynasty, 05 July 2012 - 07:54 AM.

"I think a tough team, a team that sticks together, is a lot better than leaving the onus on one guy to take care of business." - Brendan Shanahan

 

It still would be nice to have that one guy.






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