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#21 Dabura

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 08:38 AM

Man, you guys. It's not even that I necessarily disagree. But you're just so predictably silly about this.

 

Yeah, no one ever takes a run at your guys when you've got a tough guy in your lineup. (Lemieux-on-Draper, McLeod-on-Kronwall.)

 

And yeah, a fourth line with Orr and Westgarth and McGratton on it is definitely something we should do. Then, when the offense dries up even more and opposing teams exploit that unholy clusterf*** of a "line," we can all get on Holland's case because ZOMG WE'RE NOT SERIOUS ABOUT WINNING. WHAT OTHER TEAM HAS THREE ENFORCERS AS THEIR FOURTH LINE?

 

Dressing a fighter, in this day and age, is pretty much a waste. I get the argument for it, and I don't totally disagree. But, if John Scott is gonna take out Loui Eriksson, he's gonna do it. If James Neal is gonna knee Brad Marchand in the head, he's gonna do it. Having an enforcer just means you get to respond after the fact and make some kind of silly "statement" that doesn't really need to be made in the first place and isn't going to do much good. (ZOMG! Our guy who gets paid to take issue with transgressions takes issue with your transgression! What a statement!) Because, honestly, in all our years of not dressing an enforcer, how many times has a guy taken a clear-cut "run" at one of our soft Euro stars and badly injured him? We're talking, what, maybe five incidents? Which is probably at or below the league average over that span of time. Because, again, enforcers don't really deter. They just make "statements" after the fact. And then it happens again, and they get to make another "statement," after the fact.

 

This isn't the '80s, guys. This isn't the Norris Division. There aren't 18 fights per game. Today's game is not nearly as rough-and-tumble and dirty. It's won mostly with speed and skill. Why are the Avalanche winning so much this season? Because they're fast and they can score in bunches (and their goalies have been great). We can't score to save our lives, so, if anything, we might actually need more skill. Certainly we need to be more fleet of foot.

 

Not that I don't think we need to get tougher. We do. But we have to be reasonable about it. It has to be a change that'll help us win more games and ultimately win a Cup. Not something to make us feel like bigger men, because, ho ho ho, now we have a face-puncher to hide behind! That's how a man takes care of business! He hides behind a hired gun! I'd rather have more overall team toughness - though, again, we need to find a way to score more. So there has to be a balance. Not saying the two - skill and toughness - are mutually exclusive. I'm saying, basically, you can't just load up on one-dimensional tough guys and think it's going to make things a whole lot better, on any front.

 

If it were up to me, I'd take a good look at Ott and Westgarth this summer. I'd almost never dress the latter, but I'd have him just in case things get ludicrous and an actual statement has to be made. Or I'd play him with Datsyuk and Zetterberg. Because that'd be awesome. (Not being sarcastic.) As for Ott - he's a pain in the ass who's not afraid to mix it up, throw his weight around, drop the gloves. Ott and Westgarth. That might be a nice first baby step on the road to getting tougher as a team.

 

I think most of it actually comes down to Babcock. He needs to preach a tougher, more aggressive and intense style. We generally play with no life, no oomph. Or, we'll have little flashes of intensity, but that's it. That has to change. We, as a team, have to bring it. Every shift, every game. We have to push the pace. We have to play to win, not to "not lose." We have to win those little battles that add up over 60 minutes. We have to be engaged and electric. I'd take all that over throwing three fighters into the mix.


Edited by Dabura, 16 December 2013 - 10:13 AM.

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#22 Hockeymom1960

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:04 AM

Another thing bothers me is when it's one of the Swedes getting hurt, the other Swedes are right there to defend them but you don't see them in there when one of the other players get hurt.  I don't know if anyone else has noticed this.



#23 F.Michael

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 10:18 AM

Man, you guys. It's not even that I necessarily disagree. But you're just so predictably silly about this.

 

Yeah, no one ever takes a run at your guys when you've got a tough guy in your lineup. (Lemieux-on-Draper, McLeod-on-Kronwall.)

 

And yeah, a fourth line with Orr and Westgarth and McGratton on it is definitely something we should do. Then, when the offense dries up even more and opposing teams exploit that unholy clusterf*** of a "line," we can all get on Holland's case because ZOMG WE'RE NOT SERIOUS ABOUT WINNING. WHAT OTHER TEAM HAS THREE ENFORCERS AS THEIR FOURTH LINE?

 

Dressing a fighter, in this day and age, is pretty much a waste. I get the argument for it, and I don't totally disagree. But, if John Scott is gonna take out Loui Eriksson, he's gonna do it. If James Neal is gonna knee Brad Marchand in the head, he's gonna do it. Having an enforcer just means you get to respond after the fact and make some kind of silly "statement" that doesn't really need to be made in the first place and isn't going to do much good. (ZOMG! Our guy who gets paid to take issues with transgressions takes issue with your transgression! What a statement!) Because, honestly, in all our years of not dressing an enforcer, how many times has a guy taken a clear-cut "run" at one of our soft Euro stars and badly injured him? We're talking, what, maybe five incidents? Which is probably at or below the league average over that span of time. Because, again, enforcers don't really deter. They just make "statements" after the fact. And then it happens again, and they get to make another "statement," after the fact.

 

This isn't the '80s, guys. This isn't the Norris Division. There aren't 18 fights per game. Today's game is not nearly as rough-and-tumble and dirty. It's won mostly with speed and skill. Why are the Avalanche winning so much this season? Because they're fast and they can score in bunches (and their goalies have been great). We can't score to save our lives, so, if anything, we might actually need more skill. Certainly we need to be more fleet of foot.

 

Not that I don't think we need to get tougher. We do. But we have to be reasonable about it. It has to be a change that'll help us win more games and ultimately win a Cup. Not something to make us feel like bigger men, because, ho ho ho, now we have a face-puncher to hide behind! That's how a man takes care of business! He hides behind a hired gun! I'd rather have more overall team toughness - though, again, we need to find a way to score more. So there has to be a balance. Not saying the two - skill and toughness - are mutually exclusive. I'm saying, basically, you can't just load up on one-dimensional tough guys and think it's going to make things a whole lot better, on any front.

 

If it were up to me, I'd take a good look at Ott and Westgarth this summer. I'd almost never dress the latter, but I'd have him just in case things get ludicrous and an actual statement has to be made. Or I'd play him with Datsyuk and Zetterberg. Because that'd be awesome. (Not being sarcastic.) As for Ott - he's a pain in the ass who's not afraid to mix it up, throw his weight around, drop the gloves. Ott and Westgarth. That might be a nice first baby step on the road to getting tougher as a team.

 

I think most of it actually comes down to Babcock. He needs to preach a tougher, more aggressive and intense style. We generally play with no life, no oomph. Or, we'll have little flashes of intensity, but that's it. That has to change. We, as a team, have to bring it. Every shift, every game. We have to push the pace. We have to play to win, not to "not lose." We have to win those little battles that add up over 60 minutes. We have to be engaged and electric. I'd take all that over throwing three fighters into the mix.

Years ago there was this silly joke when I was little...

 

Kid #1 - snaps his fingers.

 

Kid #2 - why are you snapping your fingers?

 

Kid #1 - to keep the lions away.

 

Kid #2 - there aren't any lions around here.

 

Kid #1 - see - it works.

 

Having guys whom are capable of playing the game, and capable of the 'extracurriculars' when needed is one of those luxuries we simply don't have, or it appears the Holland isn't willing to explore at any great lengths (Tootoo is an example of such, and is currently in GR - so much for that UFA signing)...To be honest - I feel it's best we draft these players rather than overpay via UFA.

 

It's hard to gauge the true value of these players, and their deterrent factor when taking into account the speed of todays game, and the physical play that includes questionable hits, and/or borderline/predatory/dirty play.

 

Unless we're on the ice, or in the dressing room - how can anyone here at LGW honestly say what the value/deterrent factor is with any player who is capable of defending a teammate when things get dicey on the ice?

 

I tend to lean towards what players both past, and present have to say regarding this matter...I don't ever recall reading anything about having  a legit tuff guy/goon, or a guy who can stand up for a teammate when needed claiming that he was capable of thwarting each, and every threat to the smaller/more skilled players on the team...I find it to be a subtle reminder during the warm-ups as to who the opposition will most face that night, and it just might make some wary of how they may conduct themselves throughout the game.

 

Contrary to what some would like to believe - there's a reason why many here prefer the 97/98 Cup rosters over our 2008 roster...It's not just about winning - it's about winning with swagger - the confidence that you can handle your opponent not only on the scoreboard, but also in the 'trenches' if things were to get ugly...This is what I miss about our beloved Detroit Red Wings.



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#24 Dabura

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 10:22 AM

Another thing bothers me is when it's one of the Swedes getting hurt, the other Swedes are right there to defend them but you don't see them in there when one of the other players get hurt.  I don't know if anyone else has noticed this.

 

Didn't Ericsson take a flying leap at McLeod immediately after he'd nailed Kronwall? (Honest question, because I'm not sure I'm remembering it right.)

 

And, in fairness, we almost always have about 15 Swedes on the ice at all times. So the lack of response doesn't necessarily make it a Swedish thing.


(Actually, the way I phrased it sort of does implicate the Swedes, doesn't it? Oh well. I guess we're finally too Swedish.)


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#25 cnot19

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:18 AM

 
Personally my ideal fourth line would contain Westgarth, Peluso and Orr (that's less than 4 million for a whole line!) - that's not a lot of cap spent (= more money for the other 3 lines) and boy oh boy this line could easily go toe to toe with the toughest ones in the NHL. Sure Neil would fight Orr or Westgarth, kassasian too but then ...well fair game against Spezza, Karlsson and Cowen I bet a lot of money, the guy would bring his cleanest game and not even looking at Pasha.
 
Enough with this soft eurostyled hockey, if I wanted to watch that I'd be watching some local games which are boring as hell.
 
tl;dr yup more muscle and a change of attitude is really needed


I would love that fourth line. That would be fun to watch
Get me a real fourth line Kenny!

#26 RyanBarnes!

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:22 AM

Probert, and Kocur mentioned in their book 'The Bruise Bros' that they did their best to protect the stars - however every so often a cheap shot was taken against one of the skilled guys...If they couldn't take care of it that game - there was always the next game where they could finish their business...Many opponents had to keep their head on a swivel when Probie/Joey were on the ice, and that to some extent created some space for others.

Indeed, times have changed a lot since those days, but the principle remains the same. I dont think it is a coicidence that enforcers are highly regarded teammates.
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#27 Z Winged Dangler

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:33 AM

I agree but it doesn't need to be a goon. Guys like lapointe and shanahan were the best. Guys who can do a little everything and but also have the toughness to hit and fight when needed. We've seen glimpses from like Smith and Ericsson but not enough.


Guys who use their body, can share, score, hit and sometimes fights are what we need. Unfortunately they're hard to find especially since wed rather keep our undersized pass first players over guys that we NEED.

Just another reason I'd like to see Mitchell Callahan on the team next year.  And I really hope McKee progresses far enough to at least make this team as a forward if his D isn't up to snuff.  Nothing like a giant animal on your 4th line.


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#28 Dabura

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:44 AM

Indeed, times have changed a lot since those days, but the principle remains the same. I dont think it is a coicidence that enforcers are highly regarded teammates.

 

No, it's not a coincidence at all. They're great team mates. I don't think anyone would deny that. And, as we all know, some of today's most notable enforcers are actually Ivy Leaguers, so it's not like they're all big dumb animals.

 

But, at the same time, being a great team mate isn't everything. Well, it sort of is everything. But you could argue that catering to that wouldn't be too far removed from what Holland is often accused of being, which is overly sentimental and loyal and all that, to the point where it's actually detrimental to the team's ability to win games and, ultimately, Cups. Do we need a guy? Maybe. But let's not go overboard. We're not "getting run" every game of every season.

 

I do like my Zetterberg - Datsyuk - Westgarth idea, though. I'll proudly own that. But that's about as far as I'll wade into the NEED MOAR FIGHTERS pool.


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#29 Learn2LuvIt

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:54 AM

We have no muscle and this is by design.  Our toughest guys might be....Bert?...Big E? ..Abby?   I don't know why the disbelief or questions.  A lot of fans frequently beat the "call up the young guys from Grand Rapids!!" drum and these are all young, skill, mostly Euro players.  Kenny and our staff want it this way.  The players we acquire via trade are not tough guys at all (except for Tootoo who we quickly found no use for).  They are okay with getting pushed around after the whistle.  They are okay with a player getting hammered and with no answer back or retaliation.  

 

You see....we are sort of stuck in a quasi time vacuum.  Kenny and his staff (IMO) are still stuck on this old notion that USED to work magic for us.  That notion is this: play hard, little if any chirping after the whistle.  No sticks up.  No emotional retaliation penalties.  Take your lumps.  Take the penalty and...accomplish two huge objectives....frustrate the hell out of the opposing team and make them pay on the power play.  Worked like a charm! Gosh, I remember how Homer (Lids, Stevie, even Dallas Drake) used to drive the opposing players absolutley NUTS because he wouldn't retaliate.  Malts and Draps, same thing.  A little bit of chirping, but never any physical retaliation.  It would fester and teams would get so frustrated they would take penalties and end up in the box.  Then, we would capitalize with a really potent power play.  We Win.

 

It's way different now.  We don't frustrate teams like we used to.  We don't have a power play that teams fear.  People are mentioning Mac, Joey, Bob, Martin, Shanny...I get it.  But except for Shanny, we threw out the need for Joey, Martin, Mac type of player when Scotty came aboard.  Scotty wanted this type of player...but didn't NEED one.  This carried on with Dave Lewis and then Babs.  Kill them with skill.  We don't have the offensive skill top to bottom to kill like we used to.


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#30 dobbles

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 12:00 PM

i would love to see this team with more grit. guys that finish checks and play a harder style. thats why i think tootoo deserves to be on this roster.

 

but unfortunately, all we get to talk about this year is how we need more fighters to protect our stars. i think dabura hit it on the head perfectly. having tough players on your team does NOT prevent cheap shots. it just gives fans some sense of payback to make us feel better. teams that play tough still get injured. teams that play tough still have dirty plays against. it sucks that datsyuk took that elbow from cowen, it really does. but would having mcgrattan on our team have stopped it? doubt it. it was an in the moment, stick out a body part to get a piece of a guy type move. heck, boston is the poster child for tough teams and yet neal did IMO one of the dirtiest things all season by kneeing marchand. neal doesnt care. he wont have to fight anyone. or if he does it will be some hugfest like all the other crappy fights in the nhl these days.


I love Maltby, but to say he wasn't a ****** is a dis-service to his career of douchebaggery.


#31 Nev

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 12:44 PM

We have no muscle and this is by design.  Our toughest guys might be....Bert?...Big E? ..Abby?   I don't know why the disbelief or questions.  A lot of fans frequently beat the "call up the young guys from Grand Rapids!!" drum and these are all young, skill, mostly Euro players.  Kenny and our staff want it this way.  The players we acquire via trade are not tough guys at all (except for Tootoo who we quickly found no use for).  They are okay with getting pushed around after the whistle.  They are okay with a player getting hammered and with no answer back or retaliation.  

 

 

You haven't watched this GR team much have you?  They fight.........a lot.  Seriously, all you fight fans need to make an effort to watch more of their games, they are exactly the type of team you would love to watch.  They played Milwaukee twice this weekend and there were tons of scraps.  There was even a moment when an enforcer "policed" the ice exactly like you guys said they do!  Pretty funny actually watching an Admiral trying to start ****, then Tootoo skates over and this guy suddenly remembers he needs to be somewhere else :lol:

 

 


"If I can be totally honest, it's not a lot of guys you get impressed by. Actually, it's no one else but him. From the bench, to see what move he makes -- you're like, 'I wish I could do that.' Sometimes you sit on the bench and just think, 'wow,' and you look over to the other bench and they sit there and shake their heads, too. He has great, great skills. I'm probably not going to play with another player who has the kind of skills he has." Mikael Samuelsson on Pavel Datsyuk

#32 Red Crazy

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 12:45 PM

The Wings would have been a much better team with Ott then Wiess. We are way to easy to play against.



#33 frankgrimes

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 12:52 PM

Are three enforcers needed? Hardly would I love a fourth line like the one mentioned? You bet ! I'm a big believer in sending a clear and loud message out to this division, conference and league wide! Yes, this team used to get away with skill and why was that? Well a bunch of Hockey Hall of Famers and some rough diamonds were found (Pasha + Z), allowing younger players to learn from the best. Having the PP as an enforcer when your offense is loaded with talent and gets support from a top 3 alltime defender + Holmer blocking the sun infront of the net is easy, but the reality IS

The 2013 edition is a different one, the PP sucks, the overall skill has dimished greatly and other teams don't fear the PP anymore, so why not rough them up? There won't b e a retailation, deadly PP - like I used to be - or anything like that. Crying for Shanahan to help out and ban that ******* Cowen, is not going to do anything...Having someone to take care of business and either going after Cowen or one of their star players is going to sent out a big clear message.

The former mentioned players would raise this team from a pushover without a deadly PP into one of the toughest. Would they prevent cheapshots? No, but sure as hell these guys would fight eveeryone and also go after their skilled guys and every team has some sort of non fighting skilled top players. Ellbow? Pasha fine Orr is coming to you Cowen, Neal wants to help? Too bad he has to deal with Westgarth that leaves Peluso to either fight Kassasian OR take advantages with one of their star players. Mind you, I like and respect Spezza, Karlson and Ryan but fair game is fair game.

Players have been quoted over and over again, stating how they are all playing taller and bigger, with guys like Boogard, McGrattan in the lineup it is nice to know that someone has your back.

if Kenny doesn't want someone to protect the skilled players, maybe the best owner in all of sports should bring in someone that will. Look at Toronto Boston, Rangers and Flyers took advantage of them, they then went out signed Orr, Mclaren, Frazer are now one of the toughest teams in the league. Even the big bad Bruins are thinking twice before going after Kessel.

Even Alain Vigenault who is known for his offense over everything approach has called Dylan McIlrath because the Rangers were pushovers and he wanted to bring in more grit.

Edited by frankgrimes, 16 December 2013 - 01:16 PM.

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#34 Richdg

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 01:12 PM

Then Holland is remembering wrong. We started to win Cups when guys like Shanny were added, McCarty and Lapointe matured, Kocur was on the Grind Line with Draper and Maltby (that was the original version), all of which were tough pesky players and most would drop the gloves when needed. we scored a lot of goals and raked up record number of wins and points prior to 97. but we didn't win until the team had the right balance of skill and toughness. This formula worked in 97, 98, and 02. 08 was were our organization began drifting to the all skill side and we haven't won a cup since, nor are we going to for a few more years. heck even our skill is as good as it was 5 years ago.



#35 Dabura

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 01:19 PM

What I loved about the change from 1995-96 to 1996-97 wasn't simply the toughness. It was the fact that we had all our other bases covered before we invested in toughness. We could score with the best of them. We could defend with the best of them. Goaltending was always being questioned, but it wasn't a serious issue with the lineup we had. We went for toughness that season, 1996-97, because it was pretty much our only weakness. And even then, when we did go for toughness, we didn't just desperately grab the first four bruisers who came to mind. We traded for a dynamic first-line power-forward in Brendan Shanahan and brought back a familiar, reliable friend in Joey Kocur. We were smart about it.

 

Today, we can't score, we can't defend, and our #1 goalie is somewhat on-and-off. While it's true that we're not a tough team, I'd much rather we address our glaring problems up front and on the back end before saying we need to trade for Colton Orr and Brian McGratton. We need more scoring depth and an actual top four. If we have that and we're still getting shut down by even the basement teams of the league, then maybe we should look to the past, specifically 1996-97. But, as things currently stand, we're just a mess of a hockey team on all fronts, even when we're healthy (see: shootout losses, thousands of blown leads).

 

(Again, though, I'm not saying we don't need to get tougher. I'm just talking about priorities, i.e. What are our most pressing concerns?)


Edited by Dabura, 16 December 2013 - 01:31 PM.

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#36 frankgrimes

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 01:27 PM

What I loved about the change from 1995-96 to 1996-97 wasn't simply the toughness. It was the fact that we had all our other bases covered before we invested in toughness. We could score with the best of them. We could defend with the best of them. Goaltending was always being questioned, but it wasn't a serious issue with the lineup we had. We went for toughness that season, 1996-97, because it was pretty much our only weakness. And even then, when we did go for toughness, we didn't just desperately grab the first four bruisers who came to mind. We traded for a dynamic first-line power-forward in Brendan Shanahan and broought back a familiar, reliable friend in Joey Kocur. We were smart about it.
 
Today, we can't score, we can't defend, and our #1 goalie is somewhat on-and-off. While it's true that we're not a tough team, I'd much rather we address our glaring problems up front and on the back end before saying we need to focus on getting tougher. We need more scoring depth and an actual top four. If we have that and we're still getting shut down by even the basement teams of the league, then maybe we should look to the past, specifically 1996-97. But, as things currently stand, we're just a mess of a hockey team on all fronts, even when we're healthy (see: shootout losses, thousands of blown leads).


Look at the coming UFA class even experts are saying that Vanek will go to Minne or sign with a Stanley Cup Contender (= NOT this team), Phaneuf is close to re-signing so the class is extremely thin.

it is easier to adress the need for toughness/grit than to adress the top 6 and defense problems.

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#37 Richdg

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 01:31 PM

BTW, Franzen has another concussion and is already out for tomorrows game. That is his 3rd or 4th that I seem to remember in the NHL. These only get worse the more you have. easier to get concussions as well.....



#38 Learn2LuvIt

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 01:38 PM

 

You haven't watched this GR team much have you?  They fight.........a lot.  Seriously, all you fight fans need to make an effort to watch more of their games, they are exactly the type of team you would love to watch.  They played Milwaukee twice this weekend and there were tons of scraps.  There was even a moment when an enforcer "policed" the ice exactly like you guys said they do!  Pretty funny actually watching an Admiral trying to start ****, then Tootoo skates over and this guy suddenly remembers he needs to be somewhere else :lol:

 

 

Getting cheeky with Milwaukee is a far stretch from being able to protect and "keep the flies" off at the NHL level.  Like really...B Smith used to drop the gloves all the time in GR....why doesn't he do this now?  I thought he was so tough??  It's cause the reality is that AHL tough and NHL tough are two different universes apart.


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#39 RyanBarnes!

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 01:44 PM

Evans and Grant are tough customers. Thanks for posting! I like the line of Ferraro/Sheahan/Tootoo also. I wouldnt mind seeing something like that on the Red Wings one day. A nice grindline.
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#40 Learn2LuvIt

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 01:46 PM

 Kocur was on the Grind Line with Draper and Maltby (that was the original version), all of which were tough pesky players and most would drop the gloves when needed. 

Joey-Yes.  No doubt.  The other two you mention - No.  Umm....Drapes and Maltby were notorious for NOT dropping the gloves!!  It was their magic spell over opponents.  They would talk so much $h#^, glove wash guys in the face, low jabs after the whistle with their sticks, but they rarely dropped the gloves.  I heard an interview with Doug Brown and he joked that no one actually knows if Maltby can actually fight.  If Drapes were a "fighter", don't you think it would have been him and NOT Darren to settle the score with Claude?


ENJOY THE RIDE





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