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Guest Crymson

Preseason Game #1: First Impressions

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I figured I'd create this thread for the benefit of those of who could not see the game. Apologies to the mods if this belongs in the GDT.

First off: the Pens’ broadcast team was atrocious. Paul Steigerwald couldn’t even remember the names of some of his own team’s players---Olli Jokinen plays for the Penguins in his world---and botched the pronunciation of others; apparently the Wings have a player named Agleketer. Meanwhile, Bob Errey couldn’t even properly recall his own time with the Red Wings; he reminisced about how the Wings racked up 62 wins only to suffer a heartbreaking loss to the Devils. Needless to say, the two of them were also biased in typically inveterate fashion; they are collectively known rightly as one of the most homerish duos in the league. To their minor credit, they did lavish some praise on certain Red Wings.

General impressions: the PK was very good; the PP was not so great, but then there were a lot of rookies playing on it; after the Wings scored their fourth goal, the top line didn’t see much playtime even when Crosby was on the ice, Babcock instead opting to give the youngsters more time on the ice. Generally a good effort; the first period went the way of the Penguins, but the Wings dominated the 2nd and 3rd frames.

Now to the players:

Abdelkader: Meh. He battled in the corners and did some dirty work in the crease, but his biggest contribution was making little Sid unhappy. The two were jawing at each other all game. Aside from this, Abdelkader was not particularly noticeable; then again, the top line got less and less time as the time went on---particularly after the Wings went up 4-1---and so he really didn’t get much time to show anything.

Almquist: Wow. Though small and not particularly good on defense, this guy’s offensive instincts and hockey IQ are as high as advertised. On both of his goals, he picked the correct time to shoot the puck and picked the correct place to shoot it. If he does as well in the AHL, it’ll be silly to let him go (he’ll be out of minor league options); if so, he might get Quincey’s spot after this season.

Andersson: Good enough. His skating has improved, and he plays as hard as we’ve become accustomed to. Unfortunately, at even strength he was handcuffed by his association with Cleary and Samuelsson. He did well enough on the PK.

Cleary: Sad. He was totally unremarkable. I can only hope that he was simply not trying, because his play on the PK appeared totally lackadaisical. If that's the case, then this was an extremely poor showing after what the management went through for him to maintain his spot on the team. I don’t recall him being used on the power play. He might have been there. I don't remember.

Datsyuk: Typically brilliant, though he was not trying very hard; this was, needless to say, not really a big deal given that this is the preseason and he is an established superstar. That said, he stickhandled wonderfully, defended ably, and scored a beautiful goal. Some of the Pens’ prospects seemed spellbound by his play.

DeKeyser: Excellent. He was functionally the Wings’ #1 defenseman, playing excellently on defense and ably on offense; indeed, he ended up on a breakway at one point and the Pens had to haul him down to stop him (sadly, there was no penalty shot). He did well with Kindl, and was substantially better than either Smith or Quincey.

Evans: Steady but unspectacular. He’s an AHL-caliber defenseman.

Ferraro: Impressive, if not flashy. While small, he’s feisty, hard on the puck, and full of effort. He’s got a right-handed shot---rare for the Red Wings---and has decent offensive instincts. He certainly seems to be better than Emmerton. Look for him to replace the latter next season.

Glendening: A basic grinder. Good on the PK, good speed, good effort, but ultimately unremarkable. While he performed decently in his first NHL game, he doesn’t appear to be anything special. He’ll be a decent call-up option in a pinch, but he’s got to improve if he’s going to have any sort of career in the big league.

Howard: Very good. He made some good saves while being bombarded by the Penguins early on, and let in only one goal on 16 or so shots in the first two periods.

Jarnkrok: Clearly unready for NHL action. This was his first NHL action, but he’s currently too small and too inexperienced to really make an impact of any kind. This was his first NHL action. That’s natural, as he doesn’t even have any AHL experience yet.

Kind: Very nice. He seems to have made significant progress in his two notable problem areas: defense and confidence. He laid down a nice hit, too. As with DeKeyser, he played substantially better than Quincey or Smith. Look for he and DeKeyser to make up the 2nd pairing this season.

Mantha: Like Jarnkrok, he’s simply not ready. He looked alright in his first few shifts, and then disappeared. It was obvious that he was dying to take some shots, but right now he just doesn’t have the experience to find the sweet spots in the offensive zone yet, and he was easily shut down by the Penguins.

Mrazek: Steady. Barring a catastrophe, he’ll be with the Wings in 2014-2015 (obviously).

Quincey: Not very good. He did a passable---but only passable---job on defense and took a few shots, all of which missed the net.

Samuelsson: Gah. He was terrible on the power play and invisible at even strength. Babcock seems to have agreed with this assessment, as Samuelsson’s playtime in the 2nd and 3rd periods decreased while that of the other bottom-sixers increased.

Smith: Worrisome. He showed no improvement over last season. Unfortunately, he was also paired with Quincey yet again. Not good.

Tatar: Quite good. He drove to the net to score the first goal of the game, and throughout the game exhibited his excellent stickhandling skills and willingness to go to the tough areas. Steigerwald and Errey seemed certain that he’ll be on the roster this season.

Tootoo: Invisible. He was simply an unnecessary piece of the roster, though admittedly he did not receive much playtime and is probably aware that barring a miracle, he won’t be on the roster in three weeks regardless of what he does.

Zetterberg: Good enough, though, like Datsyuk, he was obviously not putting forth maximum effort. As with Datsyuk, this was not a big deal.

Edited by Crymson

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The young guys impressed for sure. Tatar, DeKeyser, Kindl, Almquist, Ferraro all pretty good. Smith was indifferent, and the goalies were solid. Hopefully there's a stream for tomorrows game against Chicago.

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What is up with Smith?

I think he's totally lacking in confidence at the NHL level. He was very highly touted as a prospect, so there's a lot of pressure on him to succeed. His best stretch so far was his stint in 2012; he wasn't really expected to excel at that time, as he was only a call-up, and there was the extra comfort blanket of having Lidstrom around. Now eyes and pressure are on him and he needs to be good, and I think that weighs on him substantially.

Edited by Crymson

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I was listening to ray Ferraro on team 1040 when they interrupted him to say Landon got the assist.

He said he asked his brother-in-law Tony Granato to text him during the game to tell him how Landon was doing. Ha ha

He also said Tatar is one feisty hockey player and Detroit will not let him go.

Edited by T.Low

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Jarnkrok has had a few games in for the Griffs near the end of the season I believe. He returned and stated that the experience was great but he now understands that he needs to get much stronger and bigger; the normal stuff. Pulkky played near the end also and in the playoffs until Goose and Andersson came back IIRC. I was at work during the game but caught the highlights via the main website and caught some tweets by Ken Kal. If Tatar is Calder eligible, watch out. Kid just wants to keep proving and you gotta love it. Heard Crosby got pissy and slashed Jarnkrok after he finished a check on em. Apparently Smitty had challenged Sid to go.

Howard looks really clean from what I can see. His positioning is rock solid and his transitions are smooth. He's got a Quick stance going on; his vision almost hip height looking between legs. I've seen Quick normally use it; makes him real deadly.

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I didn't get to listen to nor watch the game but it sounds like a bit of rust for some like Clears and Sammy. Luckily, that's what the preseason is for. Glad Howie played great!

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I figured I'd create this thread for the benefit of those of who could not see the game. Apologies to the mods if this belongs in the GDT.

Thank you! This took some time to do and was exactly what I was looking for so kudos fine duder

Edited by 13dangledangle

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I think he's totally lacking in confidence at the NHL level. He was very highly touted as a prospect, so there's a lot of pressure on him to succeed. His best stretch so far was his stint in 2012; he wasn't really expected to excel at that time, as he was only a call-up, and there was the extra comfort blanket of having Lidstrom around. Now eyes and pressure are on him and he needs to be good, and I think that weighs on him substantially.

Pressure will hopefully lessen as Danny D picks up the slack this season. Smith might be more comfortable letting someone else take the rookie spotlight, which he won't have to deal with anymore.

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Abdelkader: Meh. He battled in the corners and did some dirty work in the crease, but his biggest contribution was making little Sid unhappy. The two were jawing at each other all game. Aside from this, Abdelkader was not particularly noticeable; then again, the top line got less and less time as the time went on---particularly after the Wings went up 4-1---and so he really didn’t get much time to show anything.

Almquist: Wow. Though small and not particularly good on defense, this guy’s offensive instincts and hockey IQ are as high as advertised. On both of his goals, he picked the correct time to shoot the puck and picked the correct place to shoot it. If he does as well in the AHL, it’ll be silly to let him go (he’ll be out of minor league options); if so, he might get Quincey’s spot after this season.

Cleary: Sad. He was totally unremarkable. I can only hope that he was simply not trying, because his play on the PK appeared totally lackadaisical. If that's the case, then this was an extremely poor showing after what the management went through for him to maintain his spot on the team. I don’t recall him being used on the power play. He might have been there. I don't remember.

I think its worth pointing out that Cleary and Abdelkader provided the screens on Almquist's goals, even if neither of them got a point for it.

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I don't think smith was that bad. He had a couple bad shifts early in the game but he settled down and contributed nicely to the offense

Mantha and jarnkrok are definetly not nhl ready.

Once again Tatar proves he is more than nhl ready

esteef and Hockeymom1960 like this

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Tatar is worthy of a serious look with D and Z.

That would be a fun line (2 goats and a kid?) but we all know Babs want Cleary or Abby there.
Rick D likes this

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I really enjoyed the in depth assessment, thanks! Glad some young guys looked good, but my favorite part was this....

"Datsyuk: Some of the Pens prospects seemed spellbound by his play." :thumbup:

Edited by amato

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Jarnkrok has had a few games in for the Griffs near the end of the season I believe. He returned and stated that the experience was great but he now understands that he needs to get much stronger and bigger; the normal stuff. Pulkky played near the end also and in the playoffs until Goose and Andersson came back IIRC. I was at work during the game but caught the highlights via the main website and caught some tweets by Ken Kal. If Tatar is Calder eligible, watch out. Kid just wants to keep proving and you gotta love it. Heard Crosby got pissy and slashed Jarnkrok after he finished a check on em. Apparently Smitty had challenged Sid to go.

Howard looks really clean from what I can see. His positioning is rock solid and his transitions are smooth. He's got a Quick stance going on; his vision almost hip height looking between legs. I've seen Quick normally use it; makes him real deadly.

Calle actually got 9 games with the Griffs at the end of last season. On the Almquist front, it's just too bad that we can somehow transplant his brain into Smith's body.

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On the Tatar goal did the announcer say "good interference"? And to think I wanted to try to watch this game, it would have been muted immediately if I had found it.

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Calle actually got 9 games with the Griffs at the end of last season. On the Almquist front, it's just too bad that we can somehow transplant his brain into Smith's body.

Dr. Rahmani could pull it off :P

hooon likes this

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Sammy has no excuse to be rusty. Sitting out the last part of the season for a pectoral issue, he better have been busting you-know-what to get in game shape. I've got a bad feeling (not based just on one preseason game) that we're going to have the same problems as last year with some line combinations and players. I hope Babcock isn't too loyal to Sammy and Cleary if they can't pull their own weight.

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I didn't get to listen to nor watch the game but it sounds like a bit of rust for some like Clears and Sammy. Luckily, that's what the preseason is for. Glad Howie played great!

If you're thinking the rust is going to wear off on Cleary and Sammy, you will get a huge wake up call..

Hockeymom1960 likes this

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Sammy has no excuse to be rusty. Sitting out the last part of the season for a pectoral issue, he better have been busting you-know-what to get in game shape. I've got a bad feeling (not based just on one preseason game) that we're going to have the same problems as last year with some line combinations and players. I hope Babcock isn't too loyal to Sammy and Cleary if they can't pull their own weight.

I agree. I am actually hoping very hard that Bert brings the Weiss and Alfie line some chemistry and "demotes" Franzen. If that happens, most likely Cleary will be placed on the 3rd line (if Abby does well on the top line) and Sammy dropped to the 4th line. Like this:

Z-D-A

Bert-Weiss-Alf

Cleary-Helm?-Franzen

Nyquist/Tatar-Andersson-Sammy

Tootoo, Miller

Nyquist/Tatar have very good chances to move up into the top six when injuries inevitably occur. I DO NOT want to see Cleary on the top line and only want Franzen there as a last ditch effort (one minute left, down by a goal, goalie pulled). If Franzen is on the top line we move from a 3 line team to a 1.5 line team very quickly.

Emmerton plays in GR/gets traded, Eaves is dropped, and someone not dressed or on the 4th line is moved. I would actually prefer Eaves to stay as one of the undressed players (righty, good one-timer, great PK) but Miller is too similar of a player and is actually better on PK. And with the extension Holland has made his choice. I still like Tootoo as an option against teams playing heavy with similar players (Philly, Chicago, Boston) even though little to no offense will come from him, scoring chances and stars on the other team keeping their eyes on him and off the puck might give the Wings a slight edge. Plus, in the East, there is more "running around" by the pesky players and a "sheriff" is needed on every team. The Wings will see more teams built in the traditonally Burkian style in the East and it will be more physical. Tootoo is good to have around.

Dabura likes this

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Babcock may think well of Cleary, but this has not often been the case with Samuelsson. He has played the point on the power play, sure, but that's purely by dint of being a right-handed shot, and he spent most of his initial stretch with the team playing on the third line. He won't get preferential treatment. That said, it's a damned shame that he was used in the playoffs at all, because that injury allowed him to stay with the organization.


On the Tatar goal did the announcer say "good interference"? And to think I wanted to try to watch this game, it would have been muted immediately if I had found it.

I don't think he meant interference in the penalty sense.

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