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Member Since 25 May 2007
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#2613192 What changes do you think we'll see with Blashill?

Posted by lomekian on 04 June 2015 - 07:12 PM

The D is an interesting situation because with free agents and promotions it could be very different, but equally it might be the same.


I suppose the biggest question is will the coach keep the Babcock tight positional play that has been reasonably successful or take a risk and go for a more offensive style? The answer to that will determine the futures of many players on the roster, including kindl, smith, weiss, jurco and possibly Pulks, all of whom would be keen to see the latter. 


One of the interesting questions for the new set up is can they get the playoff version of Brendan Smith to show up in the reg season. In the post season he has looked like a top 4 dman, but in the 82 games he can fluctuate from top 4 to #8 without warning. Kindl also has question marks...although he gets the easy ice time, his points to games ratio is not bad at all, and he is one of the few of our D who actually can hit the net on the PP, and he plays great stretch passes. Can they get him to overcome his indecision and lack of fight in his own end? Big asks, but either coming off would be a big help. Can Big Rig get his confidence back with a healed hand and actually look a top 4 damn? Will DD continue to progress? Will KFQ be able to maintain last seasons form without babs? Or might he even surpass it and re-find his offensive touch as seen in LA and Colorado? We know Marchy and XO can cope with Blashill, but can they REALLY step up?


And of course, one can assume KH will try to find a FA upgrade. Landing any of the current options creates spare assets. A trade for an upgrade seems unlikely, but the cap space of others may yet change that, especially from teams out west.


As for what I'd like to see...


If we can't get Green or  Franson at a reasonable price, i would consider Martin, Sekera or maybe even Erhoff or Meszaros (if cheap cheap) if we can swing send some other assets away for an upgrade. Otherwise leave along. Up front, Drew Stafford is an obvious option, Joel Ward as an outside choice but really there isn't much and I'd probably prefer to stand pat.

Again if we trade assets, maybe Shawn matthias, glencross,Justin Williams or possibly at a push Frolik come into, but only would be worth considering if we can shift others out to bring an upgrade on the back end.

In net, I can't see Jimmah leaving, so no change except possibly in GR.


If no trades or signings of note happen, I'd be tempted to shake up some of the lines. Tats works well with D but also with Sheahan so I'd be tempted to go with.


Z - D - Abby

Tats - Sheahan - Jurco

Franzen/Pulks - Helm - Nike

MIller, Glen, Ferraro






Of course Weiss and Kindl if not traded will rotate in, and I wouldn't be surprised if the former bounces back to complicate things no end!


But I would only do so on the basis of situational line rotation and fairly equal ice time for the top 3 lines. Its tricky because it would mean Tats/Sheahan/Jurco would be the only balanced line really. Nyquist has great chemistry with Zetterberg, but the only other person he seems to really have that telepathy with is Franzen and I can't see him coming back or staying back. Otherwise that's a good line because of Franzen's size, and Nyquist's speed taking some of the physical pressure of Z, but only really works if Z and Franzen can rotate central duties as I don't see Z as a full time center from here on in.

Dats can kind of play with anyone as long as there is at least someone providing good forecheck pressure. Pulks I can see moving up and down the line up until he finds a fit as his shot makes him a threat on any line that gets offensive zone time. 

Certainly the 4th line picks itself as the roster stands.


On the back end the only pair that works for both is KQ and DD, and I'm scared of having Kronwall and Ericsson together as Kronner's skating has declined and Ericsson's first 5 yards is SLOOOOW. Smith on the first line IS a massive risk, but he seems to play better when a) given more responsibility and b) with someone really smart! In an ideal world someone comes in alongside Kronner or Marchenko suddenly takes 3 steps forward. We all know our back end is horribly imbalanced and suffers from quantity over quality, so unless we get someone in from outside then there is no really satisfactory solution. I know Smith higher up the line-up might go horribly wrong, but if nothing changes roster wise, i'd prefer to take the risk first up and give him a chance and the confidence to utilise his strengths. Like many, I suspect he just doesn't have what it takes between the ears, but he does seem to switch on when pushed front row centre. As for PP, I only think smith works if we play 2 d- men and he can roam, effectively being a demi forward, so if the current set up works with the coaching changes I'd use him sparingly. I say utilising him there is less of a priority than getting the Pulkcannon in positions to use that slap shot. Our finn has much development to do, but he has the best slapshot and one of the best wristers on the roster and he WILL shoot, so if he's on the team that has to be utilised, and not too close to the crease. His release and ability to find space will never match Brett Hull's but he's the closest this club has seen since.

#2605565 At What Point Does Holland Deserve Blame?

Posted by lomekian on 02 May 2015 - 10:22 AM

Comparing Z & D to Nyquist and Tatar is not helping anyone.


Zetterberg took his great leap forward at the age of 19/20, and by 22 was a more complete player than either of our new kids, and came straight to the NHL on a stacked roster.

Similar with Dats, who arrived with less hurrah, but his team-mates (especially one Brett Hull) were very vocal in saying that he would be a star.


Of course, both had the advantage of being able to develop under the radar to a degree due to the fact that that roster was bolstered by 6 guys who finished with comfortably over 1000 points, and Larionov who would have done had he been allowed over here before he was. And Chelli. And the grind line. And Homer. Apart from the bottom two pairing on D and in net  that was as good a roster as any of us have seen. I would imagine, if Tats and Nike were 3rd liners on a stacked outfit, the transition would be easier.


But ultimately anyone hoping our new euro kids will match the twins is only making a rod for their backs. As I've said elsewhere, if you want a comparison, they are basically slightly more talented versions of Slava Kozlov without the same playoff touch. Very good complimentary players who are unlikely to ever be core stars. But for a mid 2nd and a 5th, that's already far more than this organisation has the right to expect.

#2605195 Who is the coach next season?

Posted by lomekian on 30 April 2015 - 09:19 PM


I agree.  All these great young players people raved about for years turned out to be nothing more than serviceable players who aren't that useful in big games.  Smith is not special.  Tatar and Nyquist aren't special.  


Mrazek may be special but a good young goalie is hardly an anomaly in today's league.  Besides, he can't score goals or play defense.    


I just hope people are right about Mantha and Larkin.  

To be fair, even when the hype was it its greatest, Smith was projected as top-4 guy with the ability to put up 30-40 points, which might not be a stretch if he actually got any PP time, and in a more run-and-gun (and probably less successful) team, i think he'd produce more.


Same with Tatar and Nyquist...for a long time they were seen as possible 2/3 line guys, and it was only really the goose's goal output last year that gave anyone genuine hope beyond that.  Certainly RWC (RIP) managed to predict most of the kids that have come through remarkably well, such as Howard being a solid but not brilliant starter, Marchenko being a good 5-6 guy and Sheahan being a 2/3 Center. These are the Kozlovs of old rather than the Federovs...very good players who are ultimately expendable in a good trade. 


The only real disappointments regarding serious projections of prospects I read were Kindl, Grigorenko and Emmerton. Kindl has all the skill to be a top 4 guy, but sadly none of the calm under pressure, fortitude or physical courage. Grigs never got back after the crash and underestimated what it took to make the NHL. Emmerton was only ever ok at a lot of things, without being NHL standard at anything.


Re the coaching issue, Bab's is clearly an excellent coach as squeezing a lot of not much, but too many of our current younger players and potential assets would be better suited to a different system. So either the roster needs some major re-shaping or a new coach may be for the best. Certainly we will not maximise Smith, Kindl, Weiss, Pulks, Nyquist, Tatar in Babcock's systems. 


If he stays, he's a good enough coach to keep this team going, and the kids 2-3 years away are much more to his taste. If he leaves, some of the current roster may flourish, but overall results may suffer a little.

#2605190 Detroit Red Wings 2014/2015 Eulogy

Posted by lomekian on 30 April 2015 - 08:54 PM

The Chicago take on the Preds however is a thing of beauty...

#2604651 ECQF Game 7 GDT : at Lightning 2, Red Wings 0 (Tampa wins series, 4-3)

Posted by lomekian on 29 April 2015 - 10:00 PM


Abby is not a bonafide top 6 player.  A bonafide top 6 player would score more points in the regular season playing with Zetterberg and Nyquist.  And certainly would do more in the playoffs than Abby did.  He works hard and improved greatly, but still doesn't have a lot of talent.   

He would be a top 6 player if 1-5 were producing more of late. He looked a little banged up tonight, but for the last 2 months he certainly has been a top 6-er. Time will tell if that's just a hot streak or indicative of a step up...

#2604573 ECQF Game 7 GDT : at Lightning 2, Red Wings 0 (Tampa wins series, 4-3)

Posted by lomekian on 29 April 2015 - 09:38 PM

Here's the thing about Nyquist and Tatar.  Yes, we need to be patient.  But we have to be realistic as well and not rely on them.  As of right now, we know neither one is a playoff performer.  Therefore, when building this team, Holland needs to make sure we have two goal scorers (ideally) who we can rely on to replace them.  Dat depth, tho.


Defense was actually a bright spot tonight.  I have no issues with any of the players tonight.  But over the whole season? Ericsson needs to be a #4 again.  Kindl and probably Smith need to go.  They are simply too inconsistent.  But I'm tired of the offense disappearing by taking one-and-done-shots.  I'm tired of...well...everything.



Tatar and Nyquist will never be Dats and Z, but they equally are the best goalscorers we have when the euro-twins aren't 100%. If Pulks can translate his game and that shot, and Mantha can step up, either will be relatively expendable in a year, but unless its for a good deal, it doesn't make sense to trade them now.


As for the D...its a mystery how playoff Smith and Reg season Smith are so different, but I don't think we should trade him unless part of a package for something obviously better. His wheels on the back end are increasingly important in the modern NHL, and Kronner & Ericsson aren't getting any quicker. 


As for Kindl, if only someone could give some of Smith's courage and toughness. They are like the cowardly Lion and the scarecrow...but its more plausible for a borderline idiot to eventually get smarter than for a ***** cat to become a tiger...(mixed metaphors I know).

#2604530 ECQF Game 7 GDT : at Lightning 2, Red Wings 0 (Tampa wins series, 4-3)

Posted by lomekian on 29 April 2015 - 09:29 PM

To the mods....apologies for calling people Morons. But it was a general post rather than a specific one, and I think its less offensive than the borderline casual racism that permeates these boards when the team loses. 


I'll watch my conduct in future, but other posters should remember that DRW has a global fan base, who have to spend twice us much getting any merch and stay up until the early hours to see the team.

They should also remember that without European players this team would still be pining for the 50s.

#2604499 ECQF Game 7 GDT : at Lightning 2, Red Wings 0 (Tampa wins series, 4-3)

Posted by lomekian on 29 April 2015 - 09:22 PM

For all those kissing goodbye to Z, I'd preach patience...until February he was really good, and even after that was ok until that bastard in Dallas punched him in the head repeatedly...his play dropped off badly in late march and April, but that's partly because our weakness at the back end meant he spent too much time in the neutral zone rather in their zone. His shooting has disintegrated, but he's still a great passer. If he can get his shot back next year, he could have a renaissance, because he still gets into goalscoring positions.

#2604480 ECQF Game 7 GDT : at Lightning 2, Red Wings 0 (Tampa wins series, 4-3)

Posted by lomekian on 29 April 2015 - 09:19 PM


Look at the quality of those 31 shots.  The good chances we did have, we missed wide and weren't even credited as SOG.  


It all comes back to not having any real talent that can score.  Guys like Abby and Helm aren't top 6 players.  Either Nyquist or Tatar need to go, because they do have talent but can't score in big moments.  

Lets give them a little longer before we right them off. For 3 or 4 years Dats was almost as bad in the playoffs, and he became one of the best in the world. Hell I vaguely remember the trade Stevie Y conversations.


Unless of course we can get a good deal for quality at D!


As for Abby and Helm..I think the former has proved himself a 2nd line talent. Helmer should be on the 3rd line, and with a fit Franzen and Cole, that's exactly where he would be.

#2604393 ECQF Game 7 GDT : at Lightning 2, Red Wings 0 (Tampa wins series, 4-3)

Posted by lomekian on 29 April 2015 - 09:07 PM

Well a series defined by sporadic scoring and piss poor officiating is decided by a terrible non-call in favour of tampa again.


A valiant effort by the wings, who ultimately lost this in the last minutes of game 4 following the non calls in that game.


Really really really missed Cole and Franzen's size as the series went on. Kindl as expected was excellent today, and Marchenko was solid too, but the Kronwall bulls*** made us overplay different combinations.


The NHL wanted us out and got its wish, and now its up to the summer, to see if reinforcements can be found. I still can't believe that Weiss wouldn't have offered more than Jurco, but there we go.

#2604213 ECQF Game 7 GDT : at Lightning 2, Red Wings 0 (Tampa wins series, 4-3)

Posted by lomekian on 29 April 2015 - 08:45 PM

Icing called for tampa with Glennie winning the race.....sigh

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#2602942 At What Point Does Holland Deserve Blame?

Posted by lomekian on 28 April 2015 - 07:49 PM

With Cole and Franzen this team would be seriously deep up front, with probably more good 2 way forwards than any of our rivals. But as I said, were it not for freak injuries, car crashes and heart defects the dynasty could have been another couple of cups deep...

#2602853 Kronwall suspended one game

Posted by lomekian on 28 April 2015 - 05:51 PM

Further proof that officiating in the NHL has gone down the toilet. 


Borderline questionable hit. No previous record. No injury. Refusal to complain by the opposition. Compare to multiple attempts to injure elsewhere in the playoffs.....

#2602793 At What Point Does Holland Deserve Blame?

Posted by lomekian on 28 April 2015 - 04:46 PM

This is an impossible subject to speak definitively about because many of the positive and negative outcomes of a GM's decision are dependent on a range of factors largely beyond their control, so a case by case basis either way is either cherry picking or at best indicative of minor trends. The only real test is overall results and overall comparisons to others.


First off, it has to be acknowledged that he inherited a great situation. Stacked roster, no salary cap, devoted fan-base, supportive owner and a ninja European scout. Could do a lot worse.


Equally, it has to be recognised that the job he did in extending that situation and improving the infrastructure around him surpassed all expectations. Anyone remember the wings being 'too old' and in terminal decline even before the salary cap was introduced? The wings dropping out of the playoffs within two years has been an annual prediction since the lockout over a decade ago. Hasn't happened.


Of course much of that has been dependent on coaching and drafting, neither of which he can take much direct credit for, particularly given our best draft picks have been late round specials. But crucially, the primary aspect of management is to find good people you trust and empower them with the trust and conditions to do their job well. This is perhaps, along with his patience, his biggest strength as a GM.


One also has to agree that although the post Lidstrom era has been less fun than hoped due to Suter's 50/50 choice being dictated by his ill advised decision to join his mate in the mountains, the Red Wings have done a remarkable job at circumnavigating the primary objectives of the combination of draft and salary cap, that being parity and a rotation of who makes the playoffs. Of course, a quicker route to the big prizes is to fail badly in good draft years, but the roster has remained too strong for this to be appropriate.


The over-riping development model, for the most part has been crucial to sustaining this. Because the team has remained at least partially competitive, it has been important to only rely on prospects when they are ready. If the team was in worse shape, they'd be up sooner.


And yes, the late round gems have kept on coming , from D & Z to the comparative huge successes (ie statistically massively overachieving compared for the norm for their draft location) of Hudker, Flip, Ericsson (and even Meech to a degree!) in '02, Quincey in '03 (though waiving him was such a poor choice at the time, he has eventually proved his worth), Franzen in '04, Abdelkader to a degree but certainly Helm in '05, (06 had real talent, but none made it here for different reasons), Andersson in '07 (just about..), Nyquist in '08, Tatar in '09 (and Jensen and Ferraro and Callahan may yet get there), Mrazel, Pulks in '10. Subsequent years have a very good chance to be equally successful or better, but its too early to say. 


Howard (goalies are different!), kopecky, Smith & Sheahan are about par or just below at this point, and only really Kindl, Mccollum and maybe Emmerton are real disappointments. 


Trading & FA is a bit more sketchy, but its important to balance recent years with earlier ones. Every Legwand (which if you prioritise the streak is a wash), Weiss, Tootoo, Modano, and the later Sammy/Cleary versions or even Robert Lang or Cujo if you want to be harsh is more than countered by Cleary/Sammy first time, Rafalski, Chelios, Larianov (second time I think was KH), Hull, Hasek (both!), Lucky Luc, Brad Stuart, Alfie, even drew Miller! 


Also worth noting that barring the Robert Lang deal where Washington ended up with Mike Green, the wings have won on every single trade for draft picks or exchanging picks in the last 16 years. The only other exception was a pick that was eventually used for Patrick Sharp, but that changed hands about 4 times before the draft in which it was used!


The more recent trend is not that encouraging, but how many of the poor trades or FA signings have hamstrung us? Weiss is the only albatross, unless you decide that Howard's contract is as well, which is hardly a forgone conclusion given pre-injury performance levels. Of course the Franzen/Hossa thing will always be a frustration, but even despite people bagging him, until their is a cap reclaimation (NHL changing the rules AFTER the event), the Franzen contract has actually been mostly very good value.


Of course, what happens next is more important than what happened previously, and in the last 2 seasons the jury is out due to the unfortunate results of trades and Free Agency (such a shame about Cole, who looked a really nice fit in the top 9). So this summer is not insignificant. If Holland can bring in any quality FAs and get Kindl and Weiss of the cap, that would be success I think. but we can wait and see I guess.....


One thought I will leave with...imagine how much stronger his legacy would be if we hadn't seen the loss of Vladdy's norris levels of play, Fisher's punishing hitting or Grigorenko being seen as almost Kovalchuk good before his crash. We could easily be a cup or two better off. 

#2599906 Knuckles vs Numbers - The death of the enforcer

Posted by lomekian on 23 April 2015 - 11:28 PM

Of course the stats geeks can't factor in everything...hence the very word intangibles, and its easy to take pot shots from a laptop rather than out on the ice - but the no skill goon enforces make their argument easy for them. As i said before, Prust, Lucic, McCarty, Probert, Tie Domi etc...yes please....McGratten, Biznasty etc no thanks.