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Guest Crymson

Round One Report Card

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Since I'm still a bit amped from the game (who isn't?), I decided to whip this up.

In alphabetical order:

Justin Abdelkader (2G, 1A): B+. Abdelkader has shown, beyond a doubt, his value to this team. His unfortunate brainfart in game three aside, he played an excellent series. He hit everything that moved, did the necessary dirty work in the corners, screened the goaltender, scored some timely goals—especially the shorthanded goal in the series-deciding game—and, as well, proved his ability to play a prime defensive game against top-line opposition in the playoffs. He’s come a long way from the disposable plug he appeared to be in times past.

Joakim Andersson (2A): B. I think we’ve got our future third line center lined up. Andersson played a terrific series alongside his fellow rookies. He needs to work on his skating, and he probably won’t ever score much, but he’s got a big body, can handle the puck well, cycles well down low, and is very committed to the defensive side of the game.

Todd Bertuzzi (0G, 0A): C. This is a generic grade, given because we didn’t see the real Bertuzzi in this series. Bert showed up despite his injuries and did what his body was able to. He made no notable mistakes and did well in giving the Red Wings some pressure from the 4th line, but ultimately he was unable to make much of an impact. That is understandable, given the circumstances.

Damien Brunner (2G, 3A): B-. The OT goal was huge, and he was one-third of the surprisingly effective rookie line. He played fast and never took a shift off. Unfortunately, he was invisible for large stretches. He’s quick and he’s got a good shot, but he needs to work on both his strength on the puck and his shot selection. Still, he had a pretty good series.

Danny Cleary (2G, 3A): C+. Cleary has had a difficult season, and has very obviously been playing injured the entire time. In true form, he stepped up his game in the playoffs, putting his all into every shift. He did some good work mucking around in the corners and screening the goalie. Unfortunately, it seems that his hard-nosed style of play has taken a definitive toll upon his body, as he was unable to contribute much else.

Carlo Colaiacovo (0G, 0A): C. As with Bertuzzi, this is a generic grade. Cola didn’t play much, so it’s difficult to grade him. In the two games he played, he made no notable mistakes and executed no notable plays.

Pavel Datsyuk (2G, 5A): A. This is a no-brainer. Datsyuk brought into the series his usual, excellent two-way play. We were treated to his omnipresent mastery over the puck, and he was huge in the defensive zone and on the PK. He got better and better as the series went along. He provided leadership as well as stellar performance. Can you believe that this guy’s playoff acumen was in question not so long ago?

Danny DeKeyser (0G, 0A): C. Again, a generic grade. It’s a darned shame that he got knocked out of the series so early. His presence on the 3rd pairing was missed. The future is bright for this kid.

Patrick Eaves (1A): B. Eaves came in and played his usual energy game. He was quick on his feet, hard on the opponent, and excellent on the PK. He played his part, and was missed in the one game he was scratched from.

Cory Emmerton (0G, 0A): C-. Cory provided some decent work on the PK in his six games, but he is small, soft, prone to costly mistakes, and completely ineffective in the offensive zone. It was telling that he was absolutely not missed in game seven; the team played better with only three centers than it did with him centering the 4th line.

Jonathan Ericsson (1A): A-. Ericsson performed with admirable steadiness and acumen as the team’s prime shutdown defenseman. He wasn’t exceptional, but he played very well in the defensive zone, moved the puck accurately, and, with the exception of a few turnovers on breakout passes in game two (none of which resulted in anything), he made virtually no mistakes. He and Kronwall formed a very able first pairing.

Valtteri Filppula (1G, 3A): C+. Filppula’s game-winning goal in game seven and his overtime assist in game two were both huge. Unfortunately, he was virtually invisible otherwise, his costly error in game six aside. Too, both of the aforementioned plays came when he was detached from his usual even-strength line. He was almost completely ineffective in centering the 2nd line, and he provided very little to the team for most of the series. His play was, in sum, not good enough.

Johan Franzen (3G, 0A): B+. We didn’t get to see playoff-monster Franzen, but he nevertheless performed quite well. He worked hard; his three PPG were very important; and he played very well in the defensive zone and on the PK. It is very likely that his lack of even-strength production came much from having Cleary and Filppula as linemates for the vast majority of the series; both played very poorly.

Jonas Gustavsson (N/A): N/A. He didn’t play even a second, which is just dandy. It's always a good thing for a team when its backup doesn't hit the ice at all during the playoffs.

Jimmy Howard (.911 sv%, 2.74 GAA): B+. Howard got off to a bit of a tough start in the first three games, but turned his play around to become one of the team’s best players in the next four. It could be argued that he didn’t let in a single bad goal in games four through seven. If he can continue playing that well, the Wings will have nothing to worry about in net.

Jakub Kindl (2A): B. Kindl wasn’t spectacular by any means, but he was good enough in the role requested of him. He made some mistakes, but nothing hugely costly, and he was generally steady. His play suffered when paired with Lashoff, and improved again when the latter was replaced with Cola. It seems unlikely that Kindl will ever be a solid two-way defenseman, but there’s no question that he’s an NHL-caliber defenseman.

Niklas Kronwall (1A): B+. Kronwall and Ericsson generally did very well against top opposition, and Kronwall lent leadership to the team alongside his solid defensive play. He gets a couple of grades deducted for his lack of production, but all told, he did fairly well in his first series as the team’s #1 defenseman.

Brian Lashoff (0G, 0A): D+. Like Cola and Bertuzzi, Lashoff did not play much in the series. Unlike those two, his performance was almost wholly poor. He made numerous mistakes, some of them costly, and contributed almost nothing of substance.

Gustav Nyquist (1G, 1A): A-. Despite his modest production, Nyquist had an excellent series. He was everywhere, and proved that he can play effectively against any opposition regardless of his size. The future is very bright for this one.

Kyle Quincey (2A): B-. Quincey generally takes more flak than he deserves, but it is true that he is prone to very unfortunate brainfarts. He did well enough most of the time, but he has obvious shortcomings, and he needs a defensive partner able to account for them. Unfortunately, that partner is not Smith. He had an adequate series, but nothing more.

Mikael Samuelsson (1G, 1A): C-. Samuelsson didn’t get to play a ton, but, in contrast to some of the others on this list, that was solely because of the coach’s choice rather than any other factors whatsoever. When on the ice, Samuelsson was generally invisible. The one goal he scored came off of a gift rebound. He played by far the least of any player on either team in game seven (a whopping 4:20), and his presence was not missed. He’s not a bad player, but he takes up a roster spot that could more effectively be filled by any forward not named Emmerton.

Brendan Smith (1G, 1A): C. Smith played a bad series. Unlike his fellow rookies—Lashoff excepted—he played a very inexperienced, very fragile game. It’s clear that this kid has a ton of potential, but he needs to learn to settle down. We saw his abilities when he was with the team last season. When he learns to relax and play with confidence, he’ll be dangerous. Unfortunately, that did not occur in this series; he was regularly off balance in the defensive zone, and, with the exception of a stretch in game four, was not particularly effective in the offensive zone either; he probably had more of his shots blocked than any other player on the team.

Jordin Tootoo (0G, 0A): N/A. He played all of 6:24 in the entire series.

Henrik Zetterberg (3G, 5A): A. Though he did not begin producing until late in the series, Hank played very well and provided the veteran leadership that this team needed. He played an excellent two-way game and ended being the series’ leading scorer. He was indisputably the team’s MVP in the final two games of the series, and he yet again showed himself worthy of the captaincy.

All in all, this team has already exceeded expectations. To knock off the 2nd seed during a transition year, and with the multitude of injuries and roster losses that the team has suffered, is very impressive. And unlike the rest of the series wins we've seen in the recent past, this one came from pure determination and with a lot of youth on the roster. Things are looking good for the future, regardless of what happens in the next series.

Since I took the time to write this up, perhaps you all will share your thoughts! LGW.

Edited by Crymson
Ram, DBR, jthiel86 and 9 others like this

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Gustav Nyquist (1G, 1A): A-. Despite his modest production, Nyquist had an excellent series. He was everywhere, and proved that he can play effectively against any opposition regardless of his size. The future is very bright for this one.

It's nice that both of his points came in OT and both tied the series up

Corey Perry should get an A+ for effectively shutting down Corey Perry

Marxx71 and Hockeymom1960 like this

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Gustav Nyquist (1G, 1A): A-. Despite his modest production, Nyquist had an excellent series. He was everywhere, and proved that he can play effectively against any opposition regardless of his size. The future is very bright for this one.

He had an OT winner and the "breakaway" attempt that lead to Brunner's OT goal. The way those two (Brunner & Nyquist) have played at times reminds me of a young Zetterberg playing with Datsyuk. Brunner was invisible at times, however. In Game 7 Nyquist was having an impact on the ice, he was fast, he skated hard, he looked hungry for a goal. An absolute stud. I am really hoping he and Brunner improve as a line the series goes on against the Hawks, they may make a difference.

EDIT: Let me clarify, I mean I like how Brunner and Nyquist play together, and I think they can really develop something special. This reminds me of a young Zetterberg playing with Datsyuk.

Edited by RedLightGoesOn

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Filppula: F

Smith: F

Quincey: F

Lashoff: F

Emmerton: F

Datsyuk: B+

Ericsson: B

everyone else: C

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Filppula: F

Smith: F

Quincey: F

Lashoff: F

Emmerton: F

Datsyuk: B+

Ericsson: B

everyone else: C

I listened to your podcast before game 7!

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Jonathan Ericsson (1A): A-. Ericsson performed with admirable steadiness and acumen as the team’s prime shutdown defenseman. He wasn’t exceptional, but he played very well in the defensive zone, moved the puck accurately, and, with the exception of a few turnovers on breakout passes in game two (none of which resulted in anything), he made virtually no mistakes. He and Kronwall formed a very able first pairing.

Well, there was that own-goal tonight. :confused:

But at least that was just bad luck. I think it was one of the last national broadcasts in the regular season -- the B's Zdeno Chara (not exactly a slouch on D, either) tried a cross-ice pass in the defensive zone . . . and beat Rask the backup goalie short-side. :shocking:

Edited by IndianaRedWing

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Well, there was that own-goal tonight. :confused:

But at least that was just bad luck. I think it was one of the last national broadcasts in the regular season -- the B's Zdeno Chara (not exactly a slouch on D, either) tried a cross-ice pass in the defensive zone . . . and beat Rask the backup goalie short-side. :shocking:

It wasn't an own-goal. He was momentarily eying Perry and the puck deflected in off of his skate.

Edited by Crymson

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I pretty much agree with your assessments. Grading is somewhat subjective without a hard rubric, but I'm pretty much with in a + or - of your assessments, although I had to miss a couple of the games due to work, so my assessments might be incomplete or slanted in a different direction due to incomplete data.

However, I'm not posting this just to say that I agree. I'm also posting to give kudos for a very well-written and well-thought-out piece. It was an enjoyable read.

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Thanks for they write up Crymson. I agree with all of your grades, except maybe, MAYBE Smith. I thought he improved as the series went a bit, enough to get a C+ but that's just splitting hairs. Overall I thought your evals were spot on for the most part. I love reading this kind of stuff after a round.

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Corey Perry should get an A+ for effectively shutting down Corey Perry

:bounce: i think this smiley describes Perrys prefomance pretty well. xD Edited by Marxx71

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IDC for player ratings because everyone has hot and cold streaks. But as a team is say were A- maybe even an A. We were supposed to lose. We also lost DD and unfortunately Sammy made his return. But even with that as well as our youth we still won the series.

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Justin Abdelkader (2G, 1A): A - this last half of the season is the best I've ever seen him play

Joakim Andersson (2A): B - excellent on faceoffs, keeping him from an A is the OT loss and not much point production

Todd Bertuzzi (0G, 0A): C

Damien Brunner (2G, 3A): B- Clutch OT winner but also gave up a bad turnover to ice game 5(?), wicked shot but needs to work on his strength/balance

Danny Cleary (2G, 3A): B Playoff warrior, enough said

Carlo Colaiacovo (0G, 0A): B- couple mini turnovers but overall pretty solid

Pavel Datsyuk (2G, 5A): A what else needs to be said, A+ if he scored in game 7

Danny DeKeyser (0G, 0A): B love this guy, very quietly had an elite impact defensively. the future is bright

Patrick Eaves (1A): B- had some nice chances, gotta convert

Cory Emmerton (0G, 0A): C- invisible most of the series

Jonathan Ericsson (1A): A- quietly becoming the player we all hoped he'd be

Valtteri Filppula (1G, 3A): C+ like Brunner very up and down, hopefully game 7 is a sign of things to come

Johan Franzen (3G, 0A): B- clutch early in the series, lack of production late

Jimmy Howard (.911 sv%, 2.74 GAA): B Darren Elliot said it best, Jimmy is a fighter. I may get down on him sometimes but it sure as hell isn't from lack of trying. Not exactly elite stats which keeps him from an A, but as we all know stats don't tell the full story for a goalie

Jakub Kindl (2A): C+ eh, invisible to me. I liked him a lot down the stretch he's one of the few D we have that's naturally offensively gifted. hopefully that shows up in Chicago.

Niklas Kronwall (1A): A- great defense, great phyiscal play

Brian Lashoff (0G, 0A): D+ looked lost out there but I liked what I saw in the regular season

Gustav Nyquist (1G, 1A): B played awesome, just wish for some more points for our top offensive prospect

Kyle Quincey (2A): B- Some glaring mistakes but also some great plays

Mikael Samuelsson (1G, 1A): C- thanks for the goal, didn't bring much else.

Brendan Smith (1G, 1A): C- sometimes he looks like he just started skating yesterday, other times he looks like a solid NHL dman. this series was rough, but it was also his first series ever.

Henrik Zetterberg (3G, 5A): A. BEAST, A+ if he was more consistant early in the series but he played like a true captain when it mattered most. Yzerman would be proud.

Edited by Number19

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Filppula: F

Smith: F

Quincey: F

Lashoff: F

Emmerton: F

Datsyuk: B+

Ericsson: B

everyone else: C

:bye1:

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All in all, this team has already exceeded expectations. To knock off the 2nd seed during a transition year, and with the multitude of injuries and roster losses that the team has suffered, is very impressive. And unlike the rest of the series wins we've seen in the recent past, this one came from pure determination and with a lot of youth on the roster. Things are looking good for the future, regardless of what happens in the next series.

Since I took the time to write this up, perhaps you all will share your thoughts! LGW.

Nice work! The Wings in the last 12 games they've played have played the way we all (most of us;) knew they could. After a real up and down season-effort level wise especially-they have stuck with it and lucky for them and us started clicking at the right time. I love what I am seeing, just wish Tatar was able to play too, he would add real scoring depth against the Hawks...

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Good write up :clap:

Great call on Big E, I think he has been the surprise of the year. I probably would have bumped Cleary up to at least a B or even a B+. he battled hard all series, got dirty and was rewarded.

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I think Monster should at least get a B for doing his job and keeping his ass planted on the bench.

B+, I understand his charts are very concise.

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Henrik Zetterberg (3G, 5A): A+!! Put the team on his back do!! Haha he might not have controlled the outcome of every game but Z is one of the most clutch players we have. He doesn't score the most goals ever or anything but he scores when it counts!

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Great write up Cryms, sometimes we do not see eye to eye, but I agree with about 90% of your well articulated assessment, the other 10% is just the difference of maybe a +/-

I do think though that Cleary deserves a slightly better grade, I have been harping on him all year (deservedly so) but he really left everything he had on the ice on every shift this series, and racked up 5 points in 7 games to go with that determination. Nyquist and Brunner look awesome together, now that bruns has his "rookie" season gone we will see a much better player out of him next year.

As soon as babs put fil and z back togetherf he got immediate results, which is how fil got his 66 points last year, him and z have a great chemistry together

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I dont think Datsyuk gets graded anymore. He pretty much has earned Arch Mage status in my book. He made Getzlaf invisible last night, which many people did not notice.

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Anyone grading Howard less than an A is out of there mind. In terms of top notch grade A scoring chances the Ducks doubled the Wings up on in them basically every game except game 7. His play is a big reason why the Wings moved on.

dobbles and Hockeymom1960 like this

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Anyone grading Howard less than an A is out of there mind. In terms of top notch grade A scoring chances the Ducks doubled the Wings up on in them basically every game except game 7. His play is a big reason why the Wings moved on.

Agreed.

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