Since I'm an avowed Tootoo hater, I do feel obligated to check in and give him credit for the last few games. For what Tootoo "is", he's been extremely effective the past few games. I actually found myself wanting him more on the ice, though I'm not sure that's a testament to him or just how irrelevant guys like Abdelkader and Miller have been.
Still, given that we did LOSE the game, and have lost several where Tootoo has been "active" in this manner, I do think you have to put that in the context of the "end result" and ask if you like watching Tootoo because it makes you feel good, or if you truly believe he's making us a more effective team. Tootoo stepped in to a fight between Dorsett and Ericsson, which was (a) kinda embarrassing to Ericsson given his size, and (b) borderline worthy of an additional penalty or suspension for 3rd man in (Ericsson hadn't really engaged yet, so it wasn't that bad). Oh, and by the way, the Blue Jackets scored right after we fired up their whole bench, and held the momentum for much of the rest of the game.
Similar thing late in the game where Tootoo pretty blatantly dove and took that minor in the 3rd that put us on the power play. Yes, it worked, so Tootoo deserves credit for that. But he was also warned by the referee, and that very easily could have been called a dive, which might have been disastrous.
The reason I dislike Tootoo so much isn't really about me disliking him as a person or even his game (though both of those are occasionally true). I just fundamentally don't believe that crap "fits" on a team like this because in a 2-2 or 2-1 hockey game, I believe the Red Wings are better at actually playing hockey than the Columbus Blue Jackets. Players like Tootoo have a target on their back with both opposing goons and referees. Simply by putting him on the ice, the game becomes about Tootoo running around. The game devolves into chaos, and in a chaotic game, the skill advantage of the Red Wings is dissipated. Fans are stuck in the "Cold War" mentality of the Wings getting pulverized by the Devils and beat around the rink by the Avalanche before we won our Cups. That's not what I see happening now (and it's also a different game than 15 years ago). Tootoo isn't the "reason" the Wings are struggling - he doesn't play enough for that to be true. But throwing him on the ice is always going to him, and that's not going to benefit the team long-term.
Edited by StormJH1, 22 February 2013 - 09:01 AM.