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Wing Across The Pond

Jonathan Ericsson. Knock, knock...

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I think a lot of Ericsson's problem with scoring has been confidence. In this last year I've noticed he has been getting more and more confident, and going into next season I believe he will surprise a lot of people and step up. Ericsson's defence is quite good right now. He just has to take a step forward offensively and he'll get the chance this year. At the end of last season, and the first round of the playoffs, Ericsson was great and was even making some Lidstrom-esque first passes. He was moving the puck well out of his own zone and his all around defence was great. Ericsson's problem has been making plays in the offensive zone. A lot of how Ericsson plays has to do with confidence... some days when he makes a bad play he looks uncomfortable and lost and he just keeps making bad plays. Now he has a lot of reasons to be confident and the team is looking for him to take a huge step forward.

Ericsson started as a blank slate, and year after year he has grown new skills. His defence is finally where it should be. Positionally he is great. Now his offence needs to take a step forward

That's why certain D man get scrutinized so unfairly. Some people don't notice great defence unless they're piling up the points

Could very well have something to do with the fact he was a blank slate. Imagine playing your entire life as a forward, play one game on D and the team who drafts you says they like you more as a defenceman. Imagine how that must make you feel about your ability to score/create goals or offense. Dented...

Not to mention he has been working harder and harder on this defensive game that perhaps now he's getting to a good stable point, he can refocus on his offensive side of the game and try to become more complete.

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Guest Johnz96   
Guest Johnz96

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.

I think allowing less is equally important and unfortunately most coaches think it is even more important than scoring more than the other team

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Guest The Axe   
Guest The Axe

Nuts2u, im not mario lemieux, bit i know a good defenseman when i see one. Kindl and Smith are the 2 beauties in our line-up, and should be 1-2 for the next decade. Kronwall is a great #3. Quincey, white, and ericsson are ok, but we could use an upgrade (Weber) with one of them.

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Nuts2u, im not mario lemieux, bit i know a good defenseman when i see one. Kindl and Smith are the 2 beauties in our line-up, and should be 1-2 for the next decade. Kronwall is a great #3. Quincey, white, and ericsson are ok, but we could use an upgrade (Weber) with one of them.

Smith has great potential I agree, but Kindl HAD it. Things didn't particularly pan out for him, he wasn't all that strong in a lot of his NHL outings this year which was a shame. I don't think he's going to be the Wings premier defenceman for future years. Potential is a funny thing because whilst Kindl had it in spades it wasn't fulfilled and I don't feel confident that it ever will be. Happens with the vast majority of players in most sports, and only the truly great rise to the top. Unfortunately I don't see Kindl doing that. Smith could do though, he just needs to be given a good chance. Kronner is 1st pairing this year without a doubt, and for many years to come. He's got so much better over the years as well in developing from a pure hard hitter into a more solid defensive man. Again like E though, probably needs to score more.

Lol love the comment about needing an upgrade to play with them then choosing Weber, an upgrade over most defencemen in the league :) That would be sweet.

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The only time I thought E would become a top guy was during the 09 SCF that. His play during that series was spectacular against the Pens. Of course he was playing with Lidstrom but the guy showed signs of becoming a great all around defensmen. If he was to come close to that level of play again he could be our top guy on the back end. But sad to say

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Lol love the comment about needing an upgrade to play with them then choosing Weber, an upgrade over most defencemen in the league :) That would be sweet.

For what Ericsson is paid, he is doing well. Weber is one of the top 3 defenseman in the league right now. If you are going to call for an upgrade to Ericsson, who would you replace him with when you consider the same payscale? So if there is someone better that makes what Ericsson makes, lets hear it. :)

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For what Ericsson is paid, he is doing well. Weber is one of the top 3 defenseman in the league right now. If you are going to call for an upgrade to Ericsson, who would you replace him with when you consider the same payscale? So if there is someone better that makes what Ericsson makes, lets hear it. :)

I agree, Ericsson is good value for his play. Was just commenting how Axe mentioned we could do with an upgrade for players like E, or Kronner, or White, then gave Weber as an example.

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Ericsson worries me. I think he has the potential to be a top 4 D man, i just dont see it happening. If it hasnt yet, what's going to make it happen now, other than the fact he's forced into the position now by necessity. I want to see him explode and have a breakout year and become the player we all want to trade for right now, I just don't see it. I'm not scout or talent evaluator, but when I watch E play, he always looks so slow, physically, and mentally on the ice. He just seems a step behind alot. Is it a lack of work ethic? Lack of ability? I don't know... but I' hoping he figures it out. He's got ideal size, and obviously skill and potential. Hopefully he has a breakout year.

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Ericsson gets it bad from Wings' fans.... I believe mostly because he set such lofty expectations after he burst out in the 08/09 playoffs and then fizzled the following season. The fact is, he has become a strong shut down penalty killer. It's hard to believe and I had to see the stats to really believe it myself, but when he got hurt last season, our PK suffered.... he returned and all of a sudden our PK got better. I don't believe he'll ever be valued higher than a 3/4 d-man, but I do believe he'll be a strong shut down defensemen with "some" offensive skill going forward. He just never had much of a chance. I say if we don't get any significant defensive help this offseason, we put Ericsson on the second PP and see what he can do. It can't hurt, and the opportunity is there.

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This isn't just about Ericsson - across the board the D needs to step up.

Smith needs to live up to his potential with a Calder contending season.

Kronwall has gone from being a solid 2nd pair man to #1 defenceman in less than a month, and will probably have an A on his chest too. Will he grasp the opportunity with both hands to finally show us why he was "Nick Jr" for so long, or will he be shown up as not good enough to be on the 1st pairing night in and night out?

White - can you play without Lidstrom?

Quincey - will you justify that 1st we blew on you?

Kindl - will you ever be more than an average AHLer out of his depth as a 7th D-man in the NHL?

Edited by Nev

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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.

I man one of the worst comments I've ever heard. Might as well just five forwards out there. Pk and defense are a huge part f the playoffs along with physical play and timely goal scoring.

I'm a fan of Ericsson I thinks he's been steady back there and really helps our pk

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This isn't just about Ericsson - across the board the D needs to step up.

Smith needs to live up to his potential with a Calder contending season.

Kronwall has gone from being a solid 2nd pair man to #1 defenceman in less than a month, and will probably have an A on his chest too. Will he grasp the opportunity with both hands to finally show us why he was "Nick Jr" for so long, or will he be shown up as not good enough to be on the 1st pairing night in and night out?

White - can you play without Lidstrom?

Quincey - will you justify that 1st we blew on you?

Kindl - will you ever be more than an average AHLer out of his depth as a 7th D-man in the NHL?

So, in other words, none of these defensemen have shown that they can step up in your mind. Correct?

While I do agree with some assessments, like Kindl's, some are just unwarranted. Ian White playing without Lids? Hell, Ian White was playing well without Lids the previous season when he was on the #1 unit with the sharks. Kronwall not grasping the opportunity? Hasn't he given us everything the last couple seasons on the #2 line? What about his effort during the playoffs?

I would say that its not unexpected to ask your D core to step up, but to say that none of these defensemen have stepped up before is really a slap in the face to all the hard work they have put in for us in the past. Give them at least a little credit.

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So, in other words, none of these defensemen have shown that they can step up in your mind. Correct?

While I do agree with some assessments, like Kindl's, some are just unwarranted. Ian White playing without Lids? Hell, Ian White was playing well without Lids the previous season when he was on the #1 unit with the sharks. Kronwall not grasping the opportunity? Hasn't he given us everything the last couple seasons on the #2 line? What about his effort during the playoffs.

I would say that its not unexpected to ask your D core to step up, but to say that none of these defensemen have stepped up before is really a slap in the face to all the hard work they have put in for us in the past. Give them at least a little credit.

You're putting words in his mouth there. That's not what he said.

He didn't say Kronwall didn't grasp the opportunity, just pointed out he just became the top pairing guy. And he didn't say none of them had stepped up before.

Lidstrom and Stuart are gone. I took it more to mean everyone needs to raise their game to fill that void, since right now the Wings don't have anyone to fill those considerably large roles.

It's not that they haven't done well in the past, but that they need to do even more this season.

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You're putting words in his mouth there. That's not what he said.

He didn't say Kronwall didn't grasp the opportunity, just pointed out he just became the top pairing guy. And he didn't say none of them had stepped up before.

Lidstrom and Stuart are gone. I took it more to mean everyone needs to raise their game to fill that void, since right now the Wings don't have anyone to fill those considerably large roles.

It's not that they haven't done well in the past, but that they need to do even more this season.

In order to call out players like that, you have to prove that they haven't been called out before and are being asked to elevate their game today. There was a time when Ian White was elevated to the top line in San Jose. So to call him out to elevate his play is just like San Jose doing it when he was untested. Look at the man's track record.

IMHO, if you are going to call out players to elevate their games, call out Smith and Kindl. Two players who have never been called out before and are now in a position where they have to step up. You don't call out Kronwall or Ian White or Ericsson. Those are three players who have proven they can step their games up in the past, and I have no doubt they will be able to do it again. In situations where they had to be that top line defensemen or be that power play specialist, they have shown they can step up to the challenge.

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Guest Heaten   
Guest Heaten

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

He probably watch Ericsson play 5 games two years ago while he was still under his ELC.

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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.

Well said. I too have been a Big E supporter and feel like he really can emerge into a great D man! Thanks for posting!

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Ericsson could really just benefit from some belief/confidence. He just doesn't seem vocal enough, he needs to believe he's a stud and he will be. He needs to try to be the anchor in his d pairing no matter who he is paired with. He just tries to play second fiddle too often.

After Ericsson came back from injury Babcock and his teammates were praising him saying how much they needed him on the PK and what a big part of the team he is, I think that gave him some confidence. That's why I think he is going to have a big season. Holland and the coaching staff need to sit him down and say this is where we need you to take steps forward in offence. I truly believe his defence, positioning and everything in his own end is already great, just need to round his game some more. Needs a great first pass, be able to fire off the shot quicker and shoot whenever her can, and work in the offensive zone.

How many points does Ericsson need this year for him to be a complete success?

Edited by joesuffP

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In order to call out players like that, you have to prove that they haven't been called out before and are being asked to elevate their game today. There was a time when Ian White was elevated to the top line in San Jose. So to call him out to elevate his play is just like San Jose doing it when he was untested. Look at the man's track record.

IMHO, if you are going to call out players to elevate their games, call out Smith and Kindl. Two players who have never been called out before and are now in a position where they have to step up. You don't call out Kronwall or Ian White or Ericsson. Those are three players who have proven they can step their games up in the past, and I have no doubt they will be able to do it again. In situations where they had to be that top line defensemen or be that power play specialist, they have shown they can step up to the challenge.

Again, maybe with the exception of White, it didn't sound to me like he's calling anyone out. That implies that they have tried and failed and are getting taken to task for it.

It sounded more like a statement of what will be required of the Wings defense this coming year to make up for the loss of Lidstrom and Stuart. Not any slam on any of the defensemen. :dntknw:

After Ericsson came back from injury Babcock and his teammates were praising him saying how much they needed him on the PK and what a big part of the team he is, I think that gave him some confidence. That's why I think he is going to have a big season. Holland and the coaching staff need to sit him down and say this is where we need you to take steps forward in offence. I truly believe his defence, positioning and everything in his own end is already great, just need to round his game some more. Needs a great first pass, be able to fire off the shot quicker and shoot whenever her can, and work in the offensive zone.

How many points does Ericsson need this year for him to be a complete success?

Honestly I don't think his season being a complete success has anything to do with points. Sure it'd be great if he put up 30, but that's not going to make or break his season. He needs to continue to be a force on the PK, play solid even strength minutes, and knock the hell out of guys anytime they're around the net or in the corners.

If he does that, I consider his season a success.

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Again, maybe with the exception of White, it didn't sound to me like he's calling anyone out. That implies that they have tried and failed and are getting taken to task for it.

It sounded more like a statement of what will be required of the Wings defense this coming year to make up for the loss of Lidstrom and Stuart. Not any slam on any of the defensemen. :dntknw:

It sounded to me he was slamming on our defense and "calling them out". I guess it depends on how you took it. I don't mind that you took it differently, as it could have went either way. I see what you mean, but I am merely saying that some of these people he is calling out have already demonstrated they can and have stepped up in the past.

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So, in other words, none of these defensemen have shown that they can step up in your mind. Correct?

Uh, no, not correct at all :no:

Haroldspests has got where I am coming from. This isn't a "calling out" as you keep saying, its an open ended question - the departure of Lidstrom and Stuart has left a gaping hole in our D-corps, can the players we have left fill that void?

When Stevie, Shanny, Hull etc all left, the question was, could Datsyuk + Zetterberg fill that void? They did, and Pavel I think has far exceeded all our expectations of him. Now its Kronwalls turn to be asked that question, and lets not kid ourselves, its a big question. Instead of matching up against good players every night, he's going to be matching up against great players every night, every shift. Kane and Toews and Nash and Perry and Getzlaf and the Sedins. Thats a big step-up and a lot of pressure. Furthermore, he is now, incredibly, our oldest Defenceman, expected to provide leadership and guidance to the rest of the D-corps. More pressure.

Now he may step up to the plate and prove himself like Pav and Hank did. Or he may show why he's never made it onto the 1st pairing. I love Kronner - when he's playing well and confident he's got a bomb from the blue-line and he seems to block a lot more shots these days, to go with the monster hits we all know and love. But is he a bona fide #1? We just don't know, but we're going to find out.

And there are question marks over the rest of the defence.

White - I stand by my comment. Can he play without Lidstrom? Was he just the last in the long, long line of partners who Lidstrom has made look good over the years? Seriously, go refresh your memory on his list of partners who have had career years, or revival in old age alongside him. From Murphy to Rafalski, through Dandenault, Bykov, Oloasson and Schneider.

Ericsson - has all the tools, but so rarely puts it all together. I'm convinced (as are others on here) that his problems are between his ears. He seems to seriously lack confidence and self-belief. When he's playing poorly you can almost see him thinking about every move he has to make, a luxury not granted to NHL defencemen. Will he gain confidence from playing more minutes and more situations, or will he crumble under the pressure?

Kindl - I stand by my comment, he isn't good enough for the NHL and never will be.

Smith - if he plays up to his potential he is a genuine Calder candidate. But he must cut out the defensive mistakes (at one point he was giving away a goal a game) and badly timed hits/fights/penalties/pinches. otherwise he will start going the way of a LGW whipping boy. How will he cope with NHL grind of playing every other night that wears out so many rookies?

Quincey - again, its all there but so far he hasn't regained the form he showed in LA and Colorado that had all the Holland haters crawling out the woodwork.

Janik - I know the fight fans love his grit, but there is a reason he's a career AHLer, he's just not good enough for the NHL.

And thats our D-corps. RIght now there are more questions that answers. It may end in all-star games and Norris and Calder nominations. Or it may end up with 10th in the conference and meltdown on LGW. For it to be the former they must ALL up their games, and that was my point.

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Must admit, it is very exciting though. Just thinking of the absolute best case scenario with all these young players gets me all giddy. Especially Ericsson stepping up and proving everyone wrong. He does have all the tools, can't wait to watch him play next season.

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