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Member Since 09 Oct 2007
Offline Last Active Nov 11 2014 11:20 AM

#2416251 Wow... Danny Cleary

Posted by StormJH1 on 30 May 2013 - 03:22 PM

Wow.  First I heard of that.  Cleary was a great Red Wing, and yet another example of a post-hype player that the Wings adopted and got more out of than you'd expect.


I'll also never forget that without Danny Cleary, we probably don't make it back to the Cup Finals, while Datsyuk, Hossa, and Lidstrom were playing through significant injuries and rendered much less effective. 


Has Cleary played his last game in the Winged Wheel?

#2413972 Trade Smith ASAP!

Posted by StormJH1 on 28 May 2013 - 10:24 AM

I can't imagine any of us feel worse than he does, but I have to wonder how effectively he is being coached. There are some fundamental issues here that can be corrected. Play simple and smart. Either he is a complete ditz, nervous beyond belief or is not being coached and mentored very well.


I can't tell on television if he feels bad or not, but I really don't care.  What difference does it make to me if he's crying alone in a dark room after the game or blowing up wads of cash like Evander Kane on Twitter?  I'm a fan.  Watching him piss away Game 1 hurt MY feelings.  The fact that we couldn't close out Chicago at home leading 2-1 going into the 3rd period makes ME upset.  I could care less about Brendan Smith's feelings right now.


You could tell me that Brendan Smith might be a Top 4 defenseman some day, and that this is part of the growing process, and that all might be true.  That doesn't change the fact that this is the worst individual defensive performance on the Red Wings since I can't even remember when.  Yes, Ericsson has been a goat in the past.  There was also reason to expect that he'd be a late bloomer (drafted as a forward, long lanky body more difficult to coordinate, spoiled by playing early with Lidstrom, etc.).  Ericsson was never THIS bad.  It's basically a running bit me and my brother have this series - you might not even know who's on the ice, but as soon as a complete defensive screw-up happens: "Okay, what did #2 do wrong on that one". 


I would say that his goal in Game 2 (which happened because he was pinching and in which Zetterberg did all the work) was the "worst thing that could have happened", except that with White as the only available alternative, Smith was never going to sit.  White has been pain in the ass since his "60%" comments during the lockout and basically demanding to be traded after they started scratching him.  Still, it's impossible to believe that a half-interested Ian White could be this bad.


I'm not interested in what happens to Smith right now.  We can worry about that in July.  I just want to win Game 7, and it seems like the more Smith is on the ice, the less of a chance there is of that happening.

#2410907 Nyquist thoughts

Posted by StormJH1 on 24 May 2013 - 12:50 PM

Dude has the most potential to take over Datsyuks role in the future. In 3 years I think this kid can become a good offensive threat, in about 4 or 5 a complete player once he gets use to playing against the top players. Next year teams are going to pay attention to him so it will be a little harder.


Happy to have you on the team Nyquist.

Absolutely.  Look, any direct comparison to Datsyuk is going to sound ridiculous because they will NEVER be another player quite like #13.  But if you watched Datsyuk play in that first rookie season (2001-02), Nyquist reminds me a lot of what I saw from Datysuk in those early years.  Datsyuk had obvious creativity and puckhandling skills, but he'd string about 2 or 3 ideas together and then would either run out of ideas, run out of time, or get planted on his butt.  What made Datsyuk into a world-class star was his work effort, added upper body strength, his dedication to the 2-way game, and the added experience of what he could do with the puck in the NHL.  Logic tells you that a 34-year-old Datsyuk can't be as explosive as he was 10 years ago, but his game (like Larionov before him) is so cerebral that I swear there are times he's playing better hockey now than he ever has.


Before this year, Tatar was the player that I thought was most "Datsyuk"-like.  Over the past month or so, I've become a huge Nyquist fan.  That stick check he does is so similar to Datsyuk's, it's almost as if he taught it to him one-on-one.  Time will tell if Nyquist has the additional tools to put it all together, but could you think of a better mentoring situation than playing around 13 and 40?


The idea that we have Nyquist, Tatar, and Jurco, and if two out of those three could become even 70% of what Datsyuk and Zetterberg are, this team could be in better shape than most people predicted.

#2405799 WCSF Game 1 GDT : Red Wings 1 at Blackhawks 4, (CHI leads series 1-0)

Posted by StormJH1 on 16 May 2013 - 09:43 AM

This seems to be an LGW pattern year after year, but I always find it funny that when the Wings get severely worked over in a game or series, LGW'ers key in on that 12th forward or 6th defenseman as the thing we can change to turn things around.  I think there's a lot of people with egg on their face about Tootoo, who dismissed the fact that he was a healthy scratch all year, and that (except for one surprising deflection down the stretch) he was an absolute non-factor towards anything having to do with a scoring sheet.  The Hawks ultimately dominated that game last night - did Daniel Carcillo have anything to do with it?  So what is it about this impulse to throw in bit players and expect them to completely change the dynamics of the 52 minutes they aren't even on the ice?

Brendan Smith needs to sit down.  I'll admit to being wrong about him - I had a (quiet) suspicion that he was "over-ripened" and showed Top 4 Defenseman potential.  He might still do that someday, but he cannot be trusted right now.  That was one of the single worst defensive performances I can recall as a Wings fan, dating back to the days when they couldn't figure out that Derian Hatcher couldn't skate anymore.  We're talking Lebda's worst day, multiplied by four, levels of futility.  He may have only directly generated their first goal, but his constant turnovers and inability to ever solidly possess the puck in our own zone were extremely unsettling to the team.  Give me Ian White, Lashoff, whatever...just not that again.

#2404386 Official Franzen VS Hossa

Posted by StormJH1 on 14 May 2013 - 11:00 AM

"The ever on going debate Hossa or Franzen, Franzen or Hossa, which one should we have kept?"


I HATE this question.  I hear it all the time on LGW, as if it was some clear A vs. B choice.  Nobody ever says "Why did we keep Zetterberg or Kronwall instead of Hossa", even though those guys have more comparable contracts - they only want to compare the two LH-shooting Euro power forwards.


Here is why I lose ZERO sleep over the Hossa vs. Franzen thing:


  • Hossa was a known mercenary from the day we signed him.  He was a mercenary for Pittsburgh, and he was a stopgap solution for us.  If both sides had been so committed to keeping Hossa here long term, he would've gotten more than the glorified "Alex Semin" one-year deal that he got in July 2008 from us (1 year, $7.45 mil, IIRC)
  • Franzen and Hossa were roughly the same age (both born in 1979) and have similarities in their game, so spending $10 mil + on the same type of player would have been superfluous when we needed to sign goaltending and defense at the time.
  • At the end of 2009, Franzen's reputation was as a clutch playoff performer, whereas Hossa had a disappointing playoff performance, which soured the fanbase on him.  (The same fanbase, btw, ignores the fact that Datsyuk scored all of 1 goal in the '09 Playoffs on a bad foot, and celebrates Lidstrom's toughness for his "groin" injury, while ignoring played all 23 games with a destroyed shoulder)
  • Franzen's contract was FAR more favorable heading into an uncertain CBA situation.  Not only is the cap hit about $1.3 million less, but it's a year shorter, and notably less egregious in terms of circumventing the CBA with "backdiver" provisions, which was a growing concern of the NHL at that time, as they cracked down on the Kovalchuk deal
  • While both are "power forwards" (and Hossa's defensive game is admittedly better), Franzen seemed the more likely of the two to assume the role of "guy who stands in front of the net, screens goalies, and picks up garbage goals.  Holmstrom was on his way out, and the Wings really hadn't been absent a player of that type dating back to Ciccarelli in the mid-90's.  Hossa is a better overall player, but (particularly in the '09 Playoffs), he plays more of a finesse game and stays on the perimeter a bit.
  • Amnesty buyout.  This whole conversation basically became moot anyway in the 2013 CBA.  If Franzen's contract is so bad, they can just buy it out, rather than keeping it until 2020.  If they don't do that, and elect to keep him despite the lower salary cap and other changes in the CBA, that tells you that they probably still view it as a pretty good contract.
  • The Hossa signing only "worked" for Chicago because they had to bend and twist the 2005 CBA in every way possible.  It was perceived at the time that it might cost them one of their other core players down the road, like Duncan Keith.  What they did instead was bury Huet in the minors (which you can no longer do) and thin out all their role players, which led to early exits in 2011 and 2012.  They have since rebuilt those lower lines, so the Hossa experiment has "worked", but it's not clear that it also would have "worked" for us.

#2397440 Playing Eaves over Tootoo

Posted by StormJH1 on 06 May 2013 - 03:29 PM


I agree with this.  Eaves kills penalties.  Tootoo doesn't.  I would agree with the argument that Tootoo adds more benefit during 5 on 5 play than Eaves does.  But, I think we're struggling more on special teams than we are at even strength and Tootoo doesn;t help special teams.  I wish he was a good penalty killer.


I also agree that he should be in instead of Bert.  I would not say this if we were talking about a 100% healthy Bert (or even somewhere close to that), but we're not.  He hasn't looked too spry.  Tootoo should have that spot this game.  I don't know that it will be the difference either way, though.


Tootoo's penalty basically lost Game 1 for us.  You can say it was a weak call, and you may be right, but the threshold for borderline calls on Tootoo will always be smaller because he is Jordin Tootoo.  There's a reason he's been healthy scratched by Nashville and Detroit in consecutive years when the games REALLY matter.


I agree that there are times 5 on 5 when Tootoo seems to bring energy to the team.  But the bad will ultimately outweigh the good.  Fans see Tootoo and notice him because he's playing "differently" than the other guys.  He runs people behind the play.  He makes checks to make a statement.  He fights if needs to fight.  Fans assume these must be good things because guys like Bob Probert and Darren McCarty did those things.  But those guys played in a different era, and they could actually play hockey with Top 6 forwards, if needed.  Tootoo cannot.  And if you don't do special teams as a Bottom 6 forward, you don't have a secure job in the playoffs.

#2395375 Eller Destroyed

Posted by StormJH1 on 03 May 2013 - 05:00 PM

I really don't like the suspension.  It punishes the consequence, and is probably for no other reason other than to put Gryba back on the ice this weekend with MTL looking for their own "retribution".  But I really don't view the principal point of contact as the head.  These plays happen so fast, I think it's kind of ridiculous to show the video in super slow-mo over and over again breaking down which part of Eller's body was impacted first.  He had the right to throw a shoulder check in that situation and it wasn't gratuitous to do so.  Gryba was probably as surprised as anybody that Diaz threw the puck towards him.  I'm almost convinced there are situations you could be placed in where you would accidentally get a suspension unless you purposefully tipped backwards on your skates and allowed the unsuspecting player to knock you over.

#2395326 Brian Lashoff to take Dekeyser's place in game 3

Posted by StormJH1 on 03 May 2013 - 02:09 PM

Sigh.  I guess I guess I'll just defer to Babcock to decide which of the seemingly dozen fringe NHL defensemen we have on our squad will be the least cancerous to us and go with that guy.  I suppose it could be Lashoff.  White's right handed shot and experience SHOULD make him the favorite, but he also seems the most gaffe-prone out of the options.


Really bummed about about DeKe going down, though if you watched him in Gms 1 and 2, he was getting thrown around like a ragdoll out there.  He has great wheels and poise for a guy his age, but he's definitely more Bouwmeester than Chara out there.

#2395221 2013 Round 1 Photoshop War: Anaheim Ducks

Posted by StormJH1 on 03 May 2013 - 10:38 AM

NyQuist one is well done! 


Kind of low numbers for photoshop wars this year - the cool thing about it is that even though it's a lot of the same teams year after year, the cultural references change.  (Example: No "Duck Dynasty" references in 2007).

#2391660 WCQF - (8) Wild vs. (1) Blackhawks

Posted by StormJH1 on 29 April 2013 - 10:02 AM

Such a weird vibe here in Minnesota.  This is a "good" fanbase, but it's a very insular one, and they're a bit locked in the past by missing out of 7 years of NHL hockey, and having North Stars and Wild teams that were largely uninspired bookending that absence. 


That Edmonton 6-1 debacle on Friday did some serious damage to the good will they built up with the July 4th signings and the emergence of young players like Brodin and Zucker.  But in a perverse way, I feel like the expectations for the Wild have now suddenly been lowered to fact where people will jump right back on the bandwagon if they even split in Chicago.  Nevermind the fact that they competed for the 3rd seed for much of the season, or that it looked like they were going to be anywhere from 5th to 7th a week ago, before they decided to completely back the truck into the Playoffs.  There was no doubt Yeo was going to be fired if they lost that Colorado game Saturday, and really, they only got in with the help of a bizarre reversed call on a kicked in goal and a tiebreaker with Columbus.


I'm of the popular belief that Chicago is too much for them, but this is the NHL Playoffs.  Minnesota HAS talent that can flash at times, but when you spend 196 million and none of it addresses the center position, we've seen time and time again how that is rarely a recipe for playoff success around the league.


If I'm just predicting, I say Hawks in 5.  But my predictions are garbage, never listen to them.

#2391655 2013 Round 1 Photoshop War: Anaheim Ducks

Posted by StormJH1 on 29 April 2013 - 09:51 AM

Is it wrong that after all the "world is ending" threads that would have plagued the forums, the thing that worried me most about missing the playoffs was the lack of Photoshop Wars? :P


I had the same thought.  Show me a person who said "we might as well miss the playoffs if we're not going to do anything" and I'll show you a person that hasn't thought about all of the fun, excitement, and traditions that go into the "2nd Season".  Photoshop wars are classic.  I even love it when fans of the other teams hop on an post an anti-Wings one here and there.


So far, loving both the "Boudreau as Butterbean" and especially the "Bertuzzi with Shotgun Firing Puck through Duck Wing".  But it's still early.  Great work!

#2386340 Howard = Average

Posted by StormJH1 on 18 April 2013 - 07:31 AM

That game was a disaster in Calgary, but ALL goalies have bad games, and when they do, your team generally loses.  The 2nd goal was arguably as much due to sloppy stick-handling by Ericsson.  The third one was all on Howard, but it is what it is.  If this were M-A Fleury or another goalie with a track record of being sloppy out of the net, maybe I'd get worked up about it.  The fact is that Howard doesn't have a history with that crap, so we need to get past this one VERY unfortunate loss and grab whatever points we can in the few remaining games.

  • Nev likes this

#2385636 Bertuzzi, Samuelsson, Helm

Posted by StormJH1 on 17 April 2013 - 01:11 PM

I thought BEFORE the season and all the injuries that Sammy and Bert were already done being effective Top 6 players.  For all the unfair stuff this organization gets blamed for, the MOST fair criticism is their apparent reliance on "crutch" players they go back to (and usually overpay) when nothing else works out.  They did it with Bert, Jason Williams, and Kyle Quincey, and probably others. 


People say guys like Tatar aren't "ready" to be Top 6 forwards on a playoff team, but if their replacement is a guy who no longer belongs in the Top 6, that's even worse because you're riding declining players into their NHL grave, when you could be developing and evaluating young players on the way up.

#2382940 Official: Howard signs 6-year, $31.8m contract extension

Posted by StormJH1 on 11 April 2013 - 11:48 AM

I think we will have a Luongo/Schneider similar situation on our hands in 3 years when other teams try to rip us off if we try moving Howard to make room for Mrazek.

Wow.  Can everybody just calm down a little bit about Petr Mrazek?  Mrazek is 21 years old with virtually no track record.  He doesn't factor into a Jimmy Howard signing whatsoever.  Based on where he was drafted, anything with him is gravy.  If he ever becomes a passable NHL backup who could threaten for a starting job, that would be a terrific problem to have.  Not quite clear just how terrible the Luongo/Schneider situation is for Vancouver, given that they're leading their division and have tons more firepower than Detroit, even with Kesler in and out of the lineup.


I'm thrilled we got Howard re-signed.  All the people saying how much money we have under the cap, etc. were under some delusion that Jimmy Howard wasn't going to get paid like a #1 goalie.  There's really group of about 10-15 goalies in today's league that make up the "top" goalies in the league.  Will Howard ever win a Cup with us?  I don't know, but if he doesn't, I highly doubt he will be the largest reason for that. 


If the AAV is $5.3 million, that's about right for Howard.  It certainly isn't a "bargain", though there are plenty of goalies around the league that make $6 to $8 million per that play at or below Howard's level. 


The criticism about signing guys that "can't score" is fair, but also totally ridiculous to bring up in a discussion about a franchise goaltender.  For all the stuff Holland has arguably "screwed up" or "missed" on, let it be known be known that he drafted, developed, and retained a franchise-caliber goaltender without the aid of a Top 10 pick.

#2378774 Ericsson for Courturier?

Posted by StormJH1 on 02 April 2013 - 03:36 PM

The Flyers freakin' love Couturier.  They may trade him for the right deal, and for Cap-related issues, but not unless the return is better than Jonathan Ericsson.

This isn't a thread about Jimmy Howard, but I really don't believe in "elite" goaltenders anymore.  There are guys like Kiprusoff, Giguere, and Cam Ward who have won Cups and were considered "elite-level" netminders at points in their career....and then look completely ordinary at other times.  Team defense and system certainly has a lot to do with that.


I think there's minimum level of competency and consistency you need to prove as a goaltender that places you in the first or second "tier" of goaltenders, and any one of those guys could be good enough to do the job in the right circumstance.  Problem is, I think there's literally 15 of those guys.  Lundquist, Rinne, Luongo, Niemi, Price, Ryan Miller....all those guys are capable of playing at at top level, and I think Jimmy Howard is somewhere in that group.  At the same time, I could easily see a guy like Rinne or Price not being nearly has well regarded in 3 years, if their performances tail off a bit.


I feel like in the "dead puck" era, the combination of a defensively-oriented game and no salary cap (which allowed teams like Detroit, Colorado, etc. to restock) helped breed these "super goalies" like Roy, Brodeur, Belfour, Hasek, etc.  All of them were greats, but I'm not sure you could have dropped them into this era and expected 10-15 year careers of sustained superstardom.  With those adjusted expectations in mind, we're damn lucky to have Jimmy Howard, and luckier still that he doesn't cost what Luongo costs (yet, anyway).