People forget that "fan" is derived from the word "fanatic" meaning : "marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion". A term which, lately, is used negatively when we talk about terrorists. i.e.: religious fanatic. My Point? now think about what terrorists do for their "team".
Me, as of right now, I'm committing my unwavering optimistic support from now until the end of June. I really do think we can make it to finals..
Here's how: our boys would love nothing more that a short travel schedule and we're not going to have to play one series outside of the central conference.
1st round: Wings over Preds. Stl over SJ Chicago over Phx Van over La
2nd round. Wings over Stl (who are battered from a long tilt over SJ) Chicago over Van (hawks have done it before)
3rd round Wings over Chi town. (no problem there, chicago is just a half ass version of the wings)
Let us compare Helm and Abby- I am assuming you believe that Helm is 'good enough' for the NHL while Abby is not. To put the statistics is perspective, Helm has played two less games, but he has a 2min/game TOI advantage. Helm has played ~45 min more than Abby this season. Thus, Helm's statistics (in total) should be similar or better (if you assume Helm is the better player), as it would take Abby three more games to equal Helm's total TOI.
Face off percentage: Abby has a .2 advantage. IMO this is a draw. Hits: Abby has 24 more hits than Helm. Advantage Abby. Blocked Shots: Abby has 5 more. Advantage Abby. Giveaways: Helm has 4 more. Advantage Abby. Takeaways: Helm has 8 more. Advantage Helm. Goals: Both have five. Draw. Assists: Helm has one more. IMO draw. PIM: Abby has more (minors and total). Draw IMO as Abby has off-setting minors often. +/-: Helm has a +2 advantage; however, they have equal goals for when on the ice. Draw/edge Helm. Fights: Abby has two, Helm hasn't come close. Advantage Abby.
You credit Abby's success to Cleary, but you do not credit Cleary with the success of Helm or Miller. Simply, Abby has done at least as well as Helm (on paper) despite spending more time on a line with Emmerton and Homer. Abby is not the problem, the makeup of the fourth line is the problem IMO.
I'm sorry but saying Abdelkader is better than Helm is completely asinine. This make me think you 1) don't watch many games and judge players by what you see on the game sheet or 2) Abdlekader's moher.
I won't waste my time trying to prove why one player is better than another with someone who is so blatantly ignorant.
I can guarantee you that no one in the hockey world agrees with you on that one. You might find some posters who might agree that Abby > Miller. You should start with that.
And I can guarantee that nobody in league goes into a game worried about being roughed-up, hit, or fought by Abdelakder. I would bet most players haven't even heard of him. Don't worry about him getting traded, he's not worth a 3rd round pick.
The problem with Abdelkader is he is not good enough to play in the NHL. Not on this team anyways. If the waiver situation was reversed, we would be seeing Nyquist, and Tatar instead of Emmerton and Abdelkader.
Abby got most of his points and that big +/- playing with Cleary at the beginning of last season when Danny was scoring every time he shot the puck.
It drives me nuts that he get preferential treatment from Babcock because of his size.
Anyways, I agree with everyone about the lack of depth at centre being the bigger problem. In previous years, the Wings have had plenty of depth at centre, but now that Draper is gone and Filppula is playing wing, we've found ourselves with a serious hole up the middle.
We need to acquire a Nhl caliber centreman. If he's better than Helm and can take the 3rd line spot, Great! but if not, I'd be happy with any step up from Emmerton.
With a good enough centre I think Abdelkader can be a serviceable 4th line winger, sort of a "Mcarty light" type guy.
Defensively the team is more than fine. They've addressed the problems of previous seasons and in my mind we have one of the top few defenses in the league. Focus needs to shift to a reliable second line scorer. It's nice to have depth scoring from everywhere, but we need at least one player who can consistently pot a goal outside of Datsyuk and Franzen.
I strongley disagree that Franzen can consistenly score goals.
I think it's a little too soon to be getting excited about our 3rd line. They have only had 3 really good games together, and two of those games were pretty much blow outs. There's going to come a game or two when the first two lines "phone" it in and we're going to need our bottom 6 to step up for us. Untill then I'll be cautiously excited for them.
I'm also going bet that now that Cleary is scoring again, it won't be long untill he's put back up in the top 6; ruining the chemistry on all 3 lines.
When, Eaves and Mursak come back, Emmerton and Brunnstrom will be in the ahl and the remaining 4th liners will all be put on rotation, just like last year.
and since we are talking bottom 6, I'd like to point out that IMO Drew Miller has been fantastic this year. They should give him a shot at centre before putting him on bench rotation because he does not deserve to be sat.
Abby has done more than Fabian in the past two seasons. Fabain has played in the AHL (and NHL for the Wings) with teams affiliated with two non-playoffs teams. Abby has played in the playoffs and has been a constant NHler. Fabian has passed through waivers without being claimed, Abby has not been sent down and IMO he would be claimed if he were sent down.
Abby has proved he is a stable third line player through his play last year in the playoffs and his play this year. Fabian has not proven he can play in the NHL on any line (he is a solid fourth liner for the Wings though). Abby could become a Cleary type player for the Wings (playing any line) if his scoring improves when his lines-mates improve.
I have nothing against Fabian, but he needs to earn his time. This is a player that could not crack two non-playoff teams, and was not claimed on waivers. I am glad the Wings are giving him a chance- he just needs to earn his minutes.
I think Fabian is unproven. And I don't have much of an opinion on him, as he has played and looked ok in what 2 games?
my beef is with Abdelkader. I don't think Abby has proven he is a third line player. I believe he was our worst player during last year regular season, and during the playoffs he was horrific.
It also sounds like you think he could become a Cleary type player. Which implies he's not as good as Cleary right now. Well, if Cleary is not working out with Datysuk right now, why would someone who's not as good as Cleary work out? doesn't make sense to me.
in his defence Abdelkader has been better this year, and I hope he proves that he deserves a chance on that first line. I'd rather be wrong and have a winning team, than to sit here and say "told you so"
Watched the game on DVR, and here is what I took away fromt he game:
When Hudler back checks, good things happen. His back check directly lead to Helm's goal. Helm needs two perfect set-ups to get one goal, which is why he'll always be a third liner or lower. Filppula is boss. Zetterberg looked much better than he had all season. Ericsson needs to stop chasing guys in our own zone. It directly lead to the 2nd Dallas goal (along with suspect goaltending) I'm so glad we got White. Kronwall is boss. Lidstrom > Souray.
This is completely ridiculous. Helmer has created a countless number of chances with his own hard work and speed. and statistical note: Helm has the 4th highest shooting % of the top 9 forwards, so you can lay off the "hands of stone" comments.
This season, I feel neither Helm or Abdelkader have outplayed one another. They're just about equal.
But, last season Helm was far, far better than Abdelkader. It's not even close. I think a closer comparison last year, would be Helm to Filppula.
Abby was the worst player on the team. Hudler and Modano were the most disappointing, but Abdelkader was the hands down worst. He got most of his points playing with Danny Cleary when he was on fire at the beginning of the season. After that, he had one two goal game late in the year. His playoff performance was, well, would any disagree if I said "horrendous"?
Helm, on the hand, was the top Pk'er, second in FO % and helped carry the team when Datsyuk was out. I also not that the line of Draper, Eaves, Helm had been our most consistent performing line the last two years. I remember at the end of the year Helm had some votes for season MVP on this forum, I don't remember the results, but a third liner just getting a vote on this team must tell you something.
It was infuriating to watch Eaves, Miller, and Draper rotate last season while Abdelkader got 2nd line minutes and time on the PP. He was even out there a few times as the extra attacker. I really can not figure Babcock's love affair with this guy.
Anyways, I will get some negs for this post. some people here think very highly of Abs because 1) He is from Michigan 2) he was drafted in the second round 3) he fights, only one of which is even close to a hockey quality.
However, this season Abdelkader has been much better and is one of the more consistent guys out there. He has definitely stepped it up after a terrible season last year. which, really, is what really matters now.