I had a couple more topics that I wanted to talk about that were questioned differently, but after looking at the other threads, and seeing my paragraphs grow to gcom length, I decided to shorten this to two-ish topics and maybe I'll ask those questions in the other threads.
I must say that I feel a little relieved. Not that the Wings have been knocked out-- I certainly wanted them to keep going. It's just that “OK, it's finally over, I can move on.” Sounds strange, but when you're emotionally invested after what they've done, upsetting the #2 seed and being so close to knocking off the #1 seed, I guess it messes with you. I shouldn't be that invested but hey, I've been following this team all my life so I can't help it. I can only imagine what the players went through.
Anyway, even though I didn't sleep well at all last night, I actually feel rather good today. The sun came out for a bit, and I already can't wait for next season. So let's talk about a few things if you'd like.
Is Justin Abdelkader a top 6 player?
Honestly, I think he is for the time being. I liked what I saw from him later in the season + playoffs when he got more comfortable. He's the closest this team has to Holmstrom, and I thought he filled that role better than Bertuzzi, Franzen and Cleary the more comfortable he got with it and I believe it's a role he relishes.
He still needs more work to be better at it since I think that line fizzled during the Blackhawks series, but I think Babcock should give that time to him again next season. He bangs and crashes, gets under the opponents skin, got better at puck retrieval, did a good job of creating room for Datsyuk and most importantly, went to the net very often and set good screens.
But to avoid more Shane Doan criticisms, he needs to work on this role more. Get better at deflections and be aware of loose pucks to knock in, and dare I say I think he could be the next Demolition Man. It's hard to get players that can do what Homer did, and Abby's certainly not there yet but I think the best course of action for this team is for Abby to keep working at it.
Emmerton vs Ferraro, Miller vs Eaves, Callahan...
This probably doesn't matter much, but I wanted to hear opinions anyway. How do you feel about Miller compared to Eaves? They're both about the same, Eaves is paid more and is a right hander, but overall I think Miller was always the better 4th liner. Eaves always seems to get hurt, and is paid more. I only bring this up because I think the team will let Miller go, which I'll be sad if they do and being a 4th liner he's replaceable, but still.
I also wanted opinions on Emmerton vs Ferraro. I know Emmerton is liked by some, but I never thought he was that good, just a defensive 4th line plug. Could Ferraro be ready and beat him out when training camp comes? Or does Ferraro still need more ice time in GR? I think his speed, energy and offensive ability will be an upgrade over Emmerton's. Defense may be a wash, but I wouldn't know, I just assume Ferraro has worked on it over the last couple years, so there can't be that much of a difference right?
I also wanted to know more about Callahan for anyone that watches GRG. Will he be an NHLer some day? Reading about him over time he looks to be another Abdelkader/Maltby-type. Energy, hits, agitator, fights and a little bit of scoring. But I confess I don't watch much of the Griffins, so I haven't seen his progression or anyone else. I mainly read about our prospects. Could he possibly take Miller's spot after training camp if Miller is let go?
A Callahan, Ferraro, Eaves line would be great to watch.