He was 20 last year, and no, 6 weeks injured does not excuse 6 months of mediocre performance. Laziness is an over-used criticism, but it was hardly the prevailing opinion anyway. His season last year was disappointing, whether due to laziness or something else.
Furthermore, 5 goals in 18 games and a bit under a point/game is hardly anything to get excited about (nor is at as good as Nyquist was). He's been good lately with 3g, 8p in his last 4 games, but he also had just 2g, 7p in his first 14. He needs to keep up his play for considerably longer before we re-annoint him our future superstar.
Assuming he stays healthy and plays 70-ish games, anything less than around 30g should be considered just as disappointing as his first year. And I wouldn't bother getting excited unless he starts putting up Pulkkinen-type numbers.
I just think about who is more likely to score on Dats wing, Tatar/Nyquist or Jurco/Pulkinnen... The top six has our best players and should be counted on to do most of our scoring. Not having depth scoring down to the third line isn't going to break us. Load up the talent up front because we arent scoring, we don't have the luxury of having amazing depth
Over the last 5 games, since Tatar and Nyquist have been together on the 3rd line, our 5v5 scoring was a full goal higher than it was over the first 19 games. Overall scoring half a goal higher. And that's with only scoring 1 against FLA. Tatar and Nyquist had 4 goals in those games. From their history, I don't think you can expect much better.
Not to say they shouldn't be in the top 6, but having them on the third line hasn't been hurting. Could even say it's helped.
Agreed. It is an upcoming problem. I have no solution. Krsmith's solution regarding Miller/Sheahan seems the best one to me right now. Still don't like it. Almost want to "ignore it".
Bottom line is I think Jurco has that "something". Don't wanna give him up. If we have to drop someone, Andersson or Miller has to be thrown out to the wolves. Not concerned about lineups at the moment my main concern is keeping that young chump Jurco in the organization. He needs a proper shot to dazzle.
For the record, no one needs to be waived once Jurco comes back. Players on conditioning assignment are still part of the active roster. We only need to move someone when Quincey comes back, or if Franzen does.
It's going to be tough for him to crack that lineup for sure... This may not be popular with a lot of people but I'd bump Miller out. I know, it's not likely to happen but I wouldn't mind seeing something like this...
Abdelkader - Zetterberg - Nyquist
Larkin - Datsyuk - Pulkkinen
Tatar - Richards - Jurco
Sheahan - Glendening - Helm
I'm not anti-Miller by any stretch but he is very replaceable in the lineup and I'm hoping they lean toward not bringing him back after this season.\
He is one of our top penalty killers but plenty or guys can kill penalties. Glendening, Helm, Sheahan, Abdelkader, Richards, Larkin...
More or less what I was thinking as well. I'd prefer Larkin at center, but Richards should work too. I thought the Shea-Glen-Helm line was good the few games it was together.
I was pointing out that Holland shouldnt be giving away our prospects for free. Trade them for ANYTHING. A 32nd overall pick is close to a 1st round draft choice. We just gave up an NHL calibur player for no reason. That's bad management. We could have placed 2 other players on waivers that wouldnt have been claimed (Andersson and Miller), and we could have received future considerations in a trade for Ferraro. Instead, Holland did NOTHING and let him go to Boston for free. Stupid.
I have also noticed a tendency for Howard to let in the tying goal during the last ~5 minutes of the game. Without looking up any stats, I assume Mrazek doesn't do this quite as often. That's why Babcock started Mrazek in the playoffs last year and, hopefully, if they make the playoffs again this year Blashill will do the same.
Made me curious, so did some looking. Unfortunately, war-on-ice doesn't filter by time in game, so it's not quite conclusive.
Combined last year and this year, leading by one, with opposing goalie pulled, both are nearly identical. 2 GA for each, on 16 shots for Mrazek, 15 for Howard.
Leading by one, all situations there's quite a difference though:
Howard - 44 games, 548.5 TOI, 32 GA on 306 shots, 89.54 sv%
Mrazek - 32 games, 570.1 TOI, 16 GA on 293 shots, 94.54 sv%
The team is better defensively with Mrazek, but Mrazek is also much better. Better on all shot types too.
Low-danger (perimeter shots basically): Howard 7 goals/155 shots, Mrazek, 2/137
Medium (high slot/circles inside the faceoff dots): Howard 6/69, Mrazek 3/90
High (low slot/goal mouth): Howard 19/82, Mrazek 11/66
I figured there would be a difference, but I'm surprised by how dramatic it is. Among all goalies with at least 300 minutes in that situation (42 of them), Mrazek is 4th best, Howard is 3rd worst.
Oddly, when trailing by 1, Howard is 21st of 47 while Mrazek is 44th. Trailing by any amount, Mrazek is 56th of 61, with Howard 20th. Tied Mrazek is 2nd of 61, Howard 38th.
Granted, Howard wasn't great last year. Limited to just this year, they are much closer.
Overall, I don't know if you can say Howard is particularly prone to giving up late, tying goals. Not enough information available (unless someone cares to dig through game logs). But it does look like Mrazek, so far, is generally better in tied games or when protecting a lead, but more likely to get a bit rattled when behind.
I haven't seen anyone blame him for a loss, the worst I've seen is people criticizing him when he can't hit the net, or get frustrated when he decides to tee his shot up and most of the time those guys aren't averse to eating a healthy helping of crow.
Sometimes its hard watching all our smaller wingers get pushed around all game, get relegated to the corners or boards and end up losing the battles. Then they(Nyquist/Tatar) will go on an amazing run where it looks like no one can touch them. Pulkkinen brings a different dimension than then, as he is almost primarily there to shoot. But he isn't quick enough to create his own separation, so most of his shots end up as non threats.
I think pulks could turn into an awesome third line winger/pp specialist and as long as he understands thats all he is (even though he gets moved up and down the roster) and doesn't go searching for top 6 money, he should be a good depth scorer for us.
As for Kronwall, he'll be alright, hes had a revolving door of partners in smith, e, and green. Him and green look better together every game, as long as green can stay healthy and blash doesn't decide to give him another partner they'll start to gel.
Wasn't Nic Lidstrom -5 one year?
I think we're starting to see the team click, and its only going to get better as they get more experience with system.
This forum is pretty damn bi- polar though, when we lose the Sky's falling, when we win all the boo birds seem to disappear.
Certainly an exaggeration to say he's "blamed for all that's wrong", but I think he is turning into a scapegoat for the struggling offense. People nitpick him more than most players. Notice mistakes they'd overlook in others. Larkin has missed a lot of shots and had a lot blocked as well, no one notices. Every GDT has some form of "Pulkkinen sucks". People notice when he loses a battle or makes a bad play, but never notice anything good other than goals. Even those sometimes get comments like "I still hate Pulkkinen". It's irrational.
It's far too early to try to predict what Pulks can be. He's played 54 games. 11 goals and 18 points. At 54 games, Tatar had 11 goals and 21 points. Nyquist had 8 goals and 21 points, or 6 and 17 if you count playoffs. He's following the same trajectory as those two so far, and there's no reason to think he won't or can't improve the same way they did.
Lowest ice time of all forwards? Don't think that's right. Point is that Nyqvist and Tatar are clearly better players offensively and defensively. Nyqvist's minutes are going down despite having the most goals on the team (until Larkin got his eighth) We've got two 30 goal scorers playing the third line in favour of a guy that has less than 10 career goals that can't play D, forecheck or make any plays and is a midget. So either Blashill has a boner for him or he's being showcased
Lowest of our regular forwards. I suppose you could consider Andersson and Ferraro a regular though. 2.5 minutes less than Tatar and 3.5 less than Nyquist. In this game, he played just under 12 minutes, while Tatar and Nyquist played about 17. LA game he did play more than them, one of the few times this year. One game is hardly enough to call a trend, especially considering tonight's game.
You say he can't play defense, but his defensive metrics are among the best on the team, with similar usage to Tatar and Nyquist. You say he can't forecheck in the GDT for a game where his forecheck helped create two goals. Yeah, he's small, but no smaller than Nyquist or Tatar. And he's producing about as well as those two.
If it turns out that Tatar and Nyquist do start losing ice time to Pulks, and he's not producing enough to warrant it, then a change would be in order. But for now it looks like we might finally have three good lines. Nyquist-Sheahan-Tatar has been a good line in pretty much every game they've been together. As has Larkin-Z-Abby. Richards-Dats-Pulks has been together 2 games, been our best possession line both games, and got a goal tonight. Let it ride.
Captaincy in hockey is by far the most over-hyped, over-analyzed aspect of any sport. Whatever is in that bowl that I'm afraid to touch in the back of my refrigerator could be the captain and it wouldn't make any difference. Leadership makes a leader, not a letter on your chest. Larkin's play is already making him a leader. If he's similarly good off the ice, he's already becoming a leader there too. Whether he gets a letter tomorrow or in 5 years or never gets one, if he's really a leader, he will lead.
We are too small and he's been gifted a top six role over better players that have proven something at the NHL level. If he didn't get that OT winner, he had a generally bad game in all three zones of the ice. Blashill utilizing him this way makes me genuinely concerned about his decision making if him and management don't have some plan for him. Swap Nyqvist/Tatar and move Pulks at third line and what happens? The second line is much better and the third line is much worse. What does this tell you about Pulkinnen? Why is this unproven rookie being carried to success over the good of the team?
He has the lowest ice-time of all our regular forwards, and has played more games with Miller/Andersson as a linemate than he's had with Datsyuk. Despite his limited use, he's one of the top producers on the team. He's not being carried to anything. He's earning everything. Except the irrational dislike so prevalent here. Definitely not earning that.
Sorry, maybe I said it in an unclear way. To me, it does seem to me that Nyquist draws a lot of penalties. He was caught for the dive of course, but I've noticed him do the chicken wing 'hold the stick so it looks like he's hooking me' thing a few times. Then there's been a bunch were he's gone down, but didn't look like a dive.
I was just hoping to see if anyone had numbers to show how many calls are with him involved.
According to war-on-ice, Nyquist has drawn 7 penalties this year. Pulks is 2nd with 5 (tied with Larkin). Probably not a coincidence.
Like I said with Nyquist last year, the fines are a good start, but I think more needs to be done. Diving is effective, and will continue as long is it stays that way.
Good chance for Blash to set a precedent here. Give Pulks a day off, tell him to knock that crap off.
+/- isn't a good stat to judge much of anything, especially in a short time frame. The issue I have with him is that he's a small one dimensional offense only winger. Doesn't skate well, not physical, no defense.
The real issue is his linemates though. Sheahan and Andersson are softer that Persian kittens, Andersson has little skill and is at best an average skater, and Sheahan is looking like he's peaked. Give him a couple guys who are better skaters and Pulk wouldn't stick out as much.
Yeah, +/- isn't worth much. But he's a pretty good skater and his defense is no worse than Tatar or Nyquist. He's leading our team in takeaways, 3rd lowest Corsi against, and been on the ice for only 3 goals against, 2 of those being empty nets.
He hasn't been playing with Sheahan by the way. Andersson and Helm for a couple, then AA replacing Helm last game. He also played with Tatar and Larkin for a few games. Plenty of good skaters. Hasn't stuck with anyone for more than a few games.
From what I saw, aa moved up and helm got demoted.
That's when you seen helm start to turn into a wrecking ball.
I wish i could find a gift, but helm coming back and stealing the puck in the offensive zone amid a flurry of his ice spray was a beautiful photo opportunity.
I want athanasiou to be developed properly, and I don't want him to be in the position Jurco is, but if he can push helm into being a better player then it will be worth keeping him here. His speed is too good to ruin him completely anyway.
He played awesome today.
Miller-Glen-Helm was together from the start.
... I don't know why Pulkinnen is gifted that third line scoring role with PP time he's probably our worst forward
Not sure what your problem with Pulks is. By pretty much any statistical metric, he's been one of our better forwards.
I have a feeling he's going to be our new Franzen. No matter how well he does, some people will always think it's not enough.