• Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Guest Crymson

Ten Games in: Player Grades

Rate this topic

23 posts in this topic

As I've got some time on my hands and figured that doing so would be enjoyable, I've jotted down my opinions on player performance thus far. Enjoy the read.

Justin Abdelkader: B. Abdelkader's role is to crash, bang, retrieve pucks, and score where he may, and he has done a fair job of it. He may be better suited to the third line, as he continues to have trouble producing elsewhere.

Daniel Alfredsson: A-. It took Alfie a few games to get comfortable, whereupon it quickly became apparent why this guy is a lock for the Hall of Fame. He excels on offense, is scrupulous on defense, and positively exudes poise. Now he just needs to start scoring goals.

Joakim Andersson: B+. Faceoffs and defensive play are Andersson’s roles, and he has been performing those admirably. His play in his own zone, already quite good last season, has shown marked improvement in the current campaign, and he has become a mainstay on the penalty kill. He’s committed to defensive play in a way that few players are. Unfortunately for him, he spent quite a bit of time on that abomination of a 3rd line with Bertuzzi and Cleary. As was shown in the game against the Sharks, he performs better on a shutdown line. Look for him to continue improving as he matures.

Todd Bertuzzi: C+. Three points just isn’t good enough for the role Bertuzzi plays. He certainly tries his hardest, and he’s still got a lot of talent, but his age is showing. While it’s possible that he’s not being optimally used, it’s clear that he’s no longer able to generate much offense of his own accord.

Daniel Cleary: D. Cleary has been virtually invisible when he isn’t falling down or making a mistake. He’s still got all the heart in the world, but his play is even more dismal than it was last season. He has been utterly ineffective on offense---Babcock seems to have recognized this, as Cleary’s power play time per game has dwindled to almost none---and even the famously hard-nosed element to his game seems to be absent now; for example, he currently ranks below even Johan Franzen in hits and blocked shots. I can’t say what he contributes behind the scenes, but right now he’s taking up a spot in the lineup that could be far better utilized by any of several other players.

Datsyuk: A+. Datsyuk performs as well as he is able: that is, at a level matched by exceedingly few professional hockey players anywhere. He is capable of feats unmatched by anyone, and never gives less than 100%. He is truly as a fine wine, growing only better with age.

Danny DeKeyser: A. Truly a gem, DeKeyser plays with poise and ability generally reserved for players with ten times his level of experience. He has demonstrated his ability to ably play top minutes in any situation, and this with only 22.5 games of NHL experience. DeKeyser is performing splendidly, and it’s entirely possible, perhaps probable, that he has not yet even sniffed his full potential.

Patrick Eaves: N/A. Patty is hopefully on his way to recovery, though it’s unclear if he’ll have a spot on the team whenever he does return.

Cory Emmerton: C-. Anything that Emmerton can do, Glendening can do better. Emmerton is simply mediocre at everything he does, and he does not work hard enough to compensate. Barring a string of injuries at center, Emmerton's days with the Red Wings are almost certainly over.

Jonathan Ericsson: A. Ericsson has grown from a mistake-prone, boneheaded youngster into a rock-solid shutdown defenseman. While it would be great if he’d learn to better use that giant slap shot of his, he certainly does his job well as it is.

Johan Franzen: C-. It’s plainly obvious at this stage that Franzen is held back from stardom only by his refusal to exert himself. His excellent performance in the game against the Avalanche is a microcosm of his very substantial talent and ability, both of which will continue to go unused so long as he continues to float. One can only hope that he will someday soon find reason to reform his attitude.

Luke Glendening: B. Glendening brings a lot of energy and speed to his game. Though he's a bit undersized, it's clear he's got a future as an effective NHL grinder ahead of him. Whether or not that will be in Detroit is as yet unclear.

Jonas Gustavsson: A. Monster let in a couple of stinkers during his three-game run, but he was excellent in sum. Though his troubles have always centered on consistency rather than talent, it’s nevertheless good to know that the team has a capable backup.

Darren Helm: N/A. As with Eaves, he’ll hopefully be able to play again soon. Unlike Eaves, he has a guaranteed spot when he returns. Hockey analysts rightly refer to Helm as a difference-maker.

Jimmy Howard: A. Howard has thus far been as rock-solid as he was last season, or perhaps even better. He hasn’t yet let in a single bad goal.

Jakub Kindl: B. Two seasons ago, Jakub’s future with the organization was very much in doubt. Not so anymore, as he has developed into a fine bottom-four defenseman and continues to improve. Hopefully he’ll find that offensive touch one day. In the meantime, he’ll remain a very viable and cost-effective option for the third pairing.

Niklas Kronwall: A. Few if any complaints can be made about Kronwall’s play thus far. He has performed quietly and ably as the team’s #1 defenseman, as befits his well-earned position as one of the mainstays of the team.

Brian Lashoff: B. Far from his often bungle-filled showings of last season, Lashoff has performed very ably thus far. He’s unlikely ever to contribute much offense, and he’s best kept away from top opposition, but he has been consistently making the correct plays in the defensive zone. At the very least, he’ll remain an affordable third-pairing option.

Drew Miller: C. While nobody expects Miller to be highly visible, he is rightly expected to be at least somewhat visible, and he has thus far been neither. Perhaps this can be blamed on his linemates---he has played very well in the past with the likes of Eaves and Helm, neither of whom are currently available---but better things were expected of him when he was awarded his new contract.

Xavier Ouellet: N/A. One game isn’t enough to form an opinion from, though his performance therein was very encouraging.

Kyle Quincey: B-. Yes, Quincey isn't flashy, and yes, he doesn’t produce offensively, and yes, he probably wasn’t worth the 1st that was given for him, and yes, he hasn’t done as well as anyone---management included, most likely---had hoped. However, this doesn’t mean that he’s a total loss, and he has stepped up quite nicely in the three games since Kronwall’s injury. Hopefully this will continue.

Mikael Samuelsson: D+. Just about nobody wanted Samuelsson to be on the team this season, management included, and for good reason: he just isn’t a worthwhile component. He did, amusingly, score the first goal of the season, but his very questionable utility has seen him in and out of the lineup since. He’s not the sort to make glaring errors, but he’s also not particularly good at anything.

Brendan Smith: C-. “Frustrating” is the best word to describe Smith’s performance so far. It is plainly apparent that he has a very substantial level of talent. It is just as obvious that he lacks entirely the poise to go with it. His best two games of the season have come when he was not paired with Quincey; whether or not the two of them simply bring out the flaws in each other, it’s clear that Smith has a lot of maturing to do.

Tomas Tatar: N/A. Like Smith, Tatar has got a lot of talent. Unlike Smith, he’s got the poise and confidence to go with it. Also unlike Smith, he’s not being given much of a chance. Hopefully this changes; he deserves a proper shot now, not later.

Jordin Tootoo: C+. Tootoo brings a lot of energy and verve to the ice, and lays out everything he’s got on every shift. Unfortunately for him, whether or not he’s the best use of a roster spot is open to question.

Stephen Weiss: C-. Weiss hasn’t been nearly good enough, plain and simple. He performs decently in the defensive end and on the penalty kill, but he has been generally invisible, and his speed and ability have been nowhere on display. This can be explained away somewhat by his unfamiliarity with the system, but he’s got to turn his play around soon if he’s to justify the very substantial investment made in him.

Henrik Zetterberg: A+. Truly a worthy successor to Yzerman and Lidstrom, Zetterberg brings it all every game.

Edited by Crymson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brendan Smith: C-. “Frustrating” is the best word to describe Smith’s performance so far. It is plainly apparent that he has a very substantial level of talent. It is just as obvious that he lacks entirely the poise to go with it. His best two games of the season have come when he was not paired with Quincey; whether or not the two of them simply bring out the flaws in each other, it’s clear that Smith has a lot of maturing to do.

I agree with the frustrating description but not so much the "very substantial level of talent". At least relative to the NHL level. I see a player who can skate and play aggressively and with decent skill. He doesn't currently have much of a toolbox for the tools/talents he has at his disposal but maybe at the NHL level he doesn't have many special tools after all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't really know what's going on behind the scenes but my hope is that Z and Kronner are in Mule's ear about maximizing his ability. Maybe they're the only ones that can grab his undivided attention.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only argument, as I am sure you would have predicted, is that I think the grade for Abdelkader is a bit generous for a guy who is on pace for 23 points while playing with players on pace for 91 pts each. But I do agree with what you said, if he were on the 3rd line as an energy/depth scoring, he would be having a really good season.

F.Michael likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spot on assessment Cry!

IMHO - from we've seen of Tartar - he looks as though he has the skillset, and overall ability to play on many NHL teams 2nd line (unfortunately he won't get much time in Detroit albeit a few injuries).


Only argument, as I am sure you would have predicted, is that I think the grade for Abdelkader is a bit generous for a guy who is on pace for 23 points while playing with players on pace for 91 pts each. But I do agree with what you said, if he were on the 3rd line as an energy/depth scoring, he would be having a really good season.

Yes - Abby could be doing more (pts wise) when on the top line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fairly decent review on most of our guys.

I must agree with the Franzen, Bertuzzi, Cleary & Sammy comments even moreso.

Bertuzzi is a waste, between those s***ty wraparound attempts on shootouts, and him looking like he has the Wings held at gunpoint for 2 million to "look" like a hockey player. Go, please.

As for Cleary, while I have a soft spot for him, I do agree that he has done ZERO to warrant time in the lineup. These kids have to play. I'm fine with Cleary sitting, although I know Babs loves him too much. I was disappointed the deal with Philly never materialized.

Sammy is too weak on the forecheck, too weak with those infuriating wristers to the opposing goalie's glove, and he looks like just another guy collecting a paycheck on what he has already "done" here - not what he may contribute this year.

Franzen is too weak on the puck nowadays and aside from a glimpse or two of the old Franzen, he looks like a 4th liner out there most nights so far. We are in tough spots with these guys, agreed, but these kids have to play. Tatar & Glendening especially.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree on most of your assessments...

Slight changes:

Franzen & Weiss = C. Franzen has played well in the last 3 games, and his lines have been constantly changing. Weiss's defense has been really good and I like his effort level. Still, they haven't clicked offensively yet. I still have faith.

Kronner & Ericsson = A-. I really think DD has been our best defenseman this year, but of course he hasn't been playing against opponents top lines. Still, I think Pav and Z do a lot of the defensive work to make up for some of the turnovers made by Kronner and E. But don't get me wrong, they have been good... the A- denotes room for improvement IMO.

Cleary & Sammy = Cleary > Sammy so their grades should show that... Cleary =D+/C-, Sammy = F- (and 0.0 GPA)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Tootoo is worth of at least a B-. When he gets on the roster, he does his job. The biggest complaint about him before the season started was that a player like him offsets any positives he brings with penalty minutes. He has zero so far. I can also think of one situation where he drew a penalty that lead to a goal. I would like to see him hit a little more and get to the net a little faster once they get into the offensive zone to be a net-front presence but overall he is doing well.

Now let's see how much longer they will keep him around. With Helm on the way I am sad to say that he seems to be the odd man out.

I would much rather see Cleary and Sammy sent away before Tootoo. But I am not expecting much from Holland in terms of creativity to keep a player he has already shopped around.

hillbillywingsfan likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty good to date. But this was mostly known before the season. Our "big" forwards are bad. Too old, too slow, always hurt, and don't produce. On the plus side, all of them are UFA's after this season. Time for Alfie, bert, Sammy, and cleary to walk. we still have 1 buyout left and it needs to be used on Franzen. he is freaking 33/34 now and it will never click. Time to move on from him and cut ties.

as for the team as a whole, yes it is a lot like last year. when we score 3+ goals we are undefeated. When we score 2 goals or fewer we have a losing record. We have a good solid defense and a O that needs work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great post. I don't usually go on for posts saying nothing more than "this^" but you get an A+ for this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good assessment overall, but here would be my tweaks:

Abdelkader: B-/C+ While he has been a good checking forward as usual, his production is inadequate given his roles on the top-line. As others have pointed out, Abdelkader should be producing at least a legitimate fraction as much as his linemates, or more given the attention both Pav and Z get whenever they are on the ice.

Bertuzzi: B/B- Comparing him and his role to Abdelkader should give Bertuzzi the edge. He holds on to the puck better, creates space better, and manages to make his own hay. Statistically the two are similar with more goals to Bertuzzi and overall better play. As things stand through 10 games, I've preferred Bert on the Top-6 wing to Abdelkader, and he has met/surpassed low expectations.

Howard: A-/B+ He hasn't been bad, and at times he has been very good, but he is far from flawless. He has let in a few stinkers and his rebound control is still a bit suspect. I would say there is plenty of room for improvement, despite being hung out to dry on many nights.

Kindl: B+ I think the kid has taken some huge strides and surpassed expectations thus far. Offensively its just a matter of time before he starts showing up on the scoresheet regularly, especially against weaker competitions in the 2nd and 3rd pairing. In terms of his performance relative to his role, I'd say he is excelling through 10 games.

Tootoo: B+ Again, performance relative to his role, Tootoo makes this lineup better. Even when he isn't dropping the gloves, Tootoo has been our best 4th liner. When he is in the lineup, his line spends most of the time forechecking and attacking. He provides energy and sandpaper, and while he is the most attractive piece to move, he makes us better in the short-term.

hillbillywingsfan likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glendening B+, Kindl B+, Bertuzzi B and Tootoo B+. Other than that I agree with everything and the write ups are very good, especially Cleary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not sure how you list all of the issues of Quincey and still give him a B- and then give Tootoo a C+ who has played well above what anyone on here expected of him. And all the complaints that people had about tootoo like putting himself out of position and taking bad penalties have not been seen any so far. I agree with most of what you said on everyone else just not those 2. I would probably give Q a solid C and give Tootoo a B or B+

Edited by hillbillywingsfan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's time to get over the whole heart and effort bit with Franzen. Like Fedorov and others, Franzen looks like a world beater one night and is invisible the next. Always been that way, always will be that way. But at the end of the season, he's going to have 30 or so goals like always. Move on to something else.

jimmyemeryhunter likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But at the end of the season, he's going to have 27 or so goals like always.

Fixed, Franzen is a bum. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's time to get over the whole heart and effort bit with Franzen. Like Fedorov and others, Franzen looks like a world beater one night and is invisible the next. Always been that way, always will be that way. But at the end of the season, he's going to have 30 or so goals like always. Move on to something else.

Nope. he has scored 30 or more goals one time in his now 10 year career. he 82 game average is about 26/27 goals. of course he doesn't play 82 games in a year.

Z Winged Dangler likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A view from the Uk from one addicted enough to watch almost every minute by hook or by crook....only some minor differences.




Justin Abdelkader: B+ : He lacks the touch, instincts or strength on his skates to be a point scorer, but every line he's played on has looked marginally better with him than without him. His hitting seems to have become more consistent, and his passing has improved.



Daniel Alfredsson: B: The class and smarts are super evident, and he has really had an impact on the PP, but the flesh is not always as willing as the spirit, and he still trying to work out how best to integrate with his team-mates. Needs to shoot more. May be worth another shot with D & Z, because if he can get open......



Joakim Andersson: B. Faceoffs and defensive play are Andersson’s roles, and he has improved a bit on both. Skating and finishing still needs work and he needs legs around him to maximise his strengths, - like a few on this team. Unless Helm comes back 100% and Glendenning kicks on massively, he looks a solid 4th line fixture.



Todd Bertuzzi: B-. Still too many dumb penalties. Seems even slower than before. Close in finishing skills keep people honest, but ideally he'd be the goal threat on a 3rd line with a great skater and a bona fida hitter. Still capable of very very smart plays near the net, but needs to be with the right personnel.



Daniel Cleary: D. Just occasionally he does something really smart or really gutsy to remind you of the player he was 4-6 years ago. But the legs seem to have gone, and unlike Bert, he has no idea how to play without them. He's now basically a plug and play 13th forward in all honesty, and re-signing him currently looks as odd as we all thought. Another who would REALLY benefit if Helm comes back and can still fly.



Datsyuk: A. still the magic man, on a team increasingly reliant on that magic, and still SO GOOD defensively, but has looked a little worn out at having to carry so many around him at times already. Still him and Z are so far above the rest up front, its slightly embarrassing.



Danny DeKeyser: A. In danger of being 3rd d-man already, and if we could clone him our D would be so much better situated. Kind of the opposite of Smith. Less raw talent, far more knowledge of how to use it. His level of calm for one of his experience is remarkable. You just feel kind of safer when he's on ice. Another 15 years in Detroit please young man.



Patrick Eaves: N/A. Before the concussion looked a probable long term 3rd/4th liner here, but every chance we may not see him play for Detroit again. Who knows though....



Cory Emmerton: C-.Just not quite good enough at anything to really be worth it at the big club. A decent enough plug with seemingly a good attitude, but unless he somehow blows people away at the AHL, this will be his last year in Detroit.



Jonathan Ericsson: A-. The faith some of us held has largely been rewarded. Probably still more accurately a no3 than a no2, but much like DD, you feel safer with him around. Always slightly surprised how good his first pass is.



Johan Franzen: C+ The bane of many on here, he's never going to change. Will end up with 25 goals and 50 points, including a real tear at some point, while still pissing everyone off. From the games i've seen, he doesn't have a clue how to play with Weiss, and is only starting to get his head around Alfie. Looked a little invigorated with abdelkader joined him. But his 5 shift spurts of being almost unstoppable and his fair salary makes me think a buy out is unlikely. Again, needs more speed around him.



Luke Glendening: B. Will need the time he has on his side, both for the bottom 6 logjam to clear, and also to continue getting quicker, stronger and slightly more threatening offensively. But the fact he pretty much ended Emmerton's long term Detroit career after 2 games tells you how noticeable his energy and PK impact were. Not to the same extent, but like DD, just seems an instinctively good decision maker.



Jonas Gustavsson: B++. Brilliant then awful then Brilliant again, topped off with an Ok cherry. Disconcerting to see such a big guy Hasek-ing in net, but looks a decent bet at back-up this year, and is the kind of 'tender who might hit a hot streak when called upon, but you always worry about the potential soft goals.



Darren Helm: N/A. If he can come back and stay fit, and get back up to SPEEEEEEEEEED, his skating and general dynamism could make SUCH a difference to the team and a number of players on it.



Jimmy Howard: A-. Solid as ever, without being quite in the top top echelons. Has had some really bad luck on goals against this year (deflections,O.G's, bad bounces etc).



Jakub Kindl: B. Pretty Solid - still could be a bit braver against aggressive forechecking - but has picked up from where last year's improvement left off. Can be trusted most of the time, but needs to either justify more PK time or create a bit more offensively to be a long term important piece. I think everyone's happy enough with him without being that excited.



Niklas Kronwall: A. Continuing his increased responsibility levels and by far our best D offensively, he still feels a little more like a no2 than a no1, especially at times in his own end, but is clearly our most important component after the twins and Howie.



Brian Lashoff: B. A 7th D who sometimes looks like a 6, he's been a little better than last year, and has relaxed into playing within his limitations. Absolute ceiling as a 5th D, but is now ready to be used in exactly the way he has been. A ship steadier on the bottom pairing, and with a small salary and limited trade value, likely to stick around for this year at least.



Drew Miller: C. Mostly excellent on the PK, and still solid defensively, but when you have less points than Emmerton in 3 times as many games, you need to contribute more. Has had chances too. The ill-advised fight was just a bit odd. Part of the bottom 6 malaise without being bad.



Xavier Ouellet: N/A. Looked every inch the future NHL-er, but a swallow doesn't make a summer. Impressive poise.



Kyle Quincey: C. Him and Smith bring out the worst in each other. At times Quincey has been pretty good, and another who has done pretty well on the PK, but still the most likely apart from Smith to miss an asignment or fumble the puck, or fail to clear the zone. If he had been the 4th rounder he was we'd be pretty happy with him, but the trade and his salary are an ugly albatross. Also you suspect, much like first time round, he'd be a better fit on a different team. His +/- is a little harsh on him, but only a little.



Mikael Samuelsson: D. Babs seems to have cut him out, and he didn't really show enough in his 4 games to argue with that. 4 games, 3 shots, 1 goal, +/- of 0 and 8.57 ATOI isn't so bad, but he was floating like Franzen but without the inherent threat to back it up. Could improve as the season goes on, as he showed he's still reasonably solid defensively, but we all want him gone and he probably knows it.



Brendan Smith: C-. Opposite of DD. Lots of lovely glimpses and at times looks the part, but a total lack of calm mean there have been more horror moments. Really needs to cut the bad pinches out ASAP, and somehow find some calmness on the puck, and probably engage more physically. Really, him and KQ go together like Water and Sezium. You can do it, but I'm not sure its terribly wise other than as an interesting experiment. Continues to threaten progress, but yet to achieve it. Desperately needs some calmness alongside him to help him lose the jitters.



Tomas Tatar: N/A. Invariably looks like he will make something happen, and at least drives to the net, unlike so many others. Still a little small, and positionally a little suspect, but great work-rate and points look like they will come. 3rd line or higher please.



Jordin Tootoo: B- Still not always the best positionally, but has cut out the bad penalties for the moment, has had a few chances, and stops us nodding off when the 4th line are on the forecheck. If he was half the salary or in a team that played more his style, no-one would question his value. But for $1.9m, he's just not worth it to the wings. I just hope when he is traded, he goes back out West.....



Stephen Weiss: D+ Pretty responsible, and seems to have the right instincts (and is not frightened to go to dirty areas), but is slower and worse on the puck than I remember him. Has been massively out-performed by Fil so far in terms of points, and is appearing to offer less than out-of-sorts Fil last year. More worryingly for me, he hasn't shown much to indicate we'll see a whole lot more from him any time soon, as he's pretty much had no chemistry with anyone he's been put with. The season is of course young, but he's been a massive disappointment for me, particularly with his passing



Henrik Zetterberg: A.Looking better than for all but a few stretches last year, and is still suitably symbiotic with Dats. Again occasionally looking a little drained, and regardless of the example he is setting, his leadership is being affected by the paucity of the team around him.



Bottom line for me is, we'll probably still make the playoffs again, but even with Helm hopefully returning, next year needs to see Tootoo, Sammy, Clearly, Bert (unless at 500-750k) and one of Eaves or Miller to leave, as not only do they not offer enough to justify their salary levels, but also their overall lack of impact is depressing. Quincey will probably leave too. Weiss has it all to prove, and Smith needs to settle down as we go along. This year will be pretty similar to last for me.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0