This is one area where I'm a little skeptical of the listed stats, because reported weights fluctuate pretty significantly. I can't tell you how much the kid weighs. What I can say is, when I watched them play in Washington a couple weeks ago he was the tiniest guy on the ice. Nyquist and Tatar looked significantly bigger by comparison. Now, saying that, he doesn't look small and skinny like Landon Ferraro for instance, he looks small but more solid. If you get this kid a nutritionist and pro-level workouts and I don't think 195-200 lbs of explosive muscle is out of the question. And that, to me, really is the difference. It's like Tatar last year (small and weaker) vs. Tatar this year (still smallish, but more powerful). That's what I'd like to see out of Pulkkinen.
To me, the biggest thing he's going to have to do is get WAY stronger. He's a little guy. You don't realize it until you see him in person. By comparison, Nyquist and Tatar look like big dudes. Which, I assume, is because of their respective fitness levels. I don't even really care if he gains weight (which he probably will), as long as he just gets WAY stronger. He's got a really low center of gravity, so if he does put on some muscle and/or add some power, he'll win a lot of the battles he loses.
Other than his shot, there are a few things I really like about his game. He's got good first step quickness. He can jump on loose pucks and find open spots on the ice as a result. He's also pretty defensively responsible. I noticed him backtracking and checking his coverage a lot. Finally, I really like his aggressiveness. He doesn't play pensive, at all. He jumps into scrums, battles on the boards, and will put his body on the line to make a play. He battles, he's just too weak to win the battles right now. But he's definitely not afraid.
He's got an alpha mentality, but right now beta strength. If he can be an explosive 195-200 lbs. (which I don't think is unrealistic given his frame), I think he'll be a really exciting player because he doesn't lack much else.
Rivalries happen for a lot of reasons, and they can't be manufactured. That's why they wax and wane. Anybody want to tell me there wasn't a good, healthy, rivalry with Pittsburgh for a couple years after 2008 and 2009? And watch out if Boston and Montreal meet again in the playoffs after Lucic was a ****** and Subban made the Bruins look like assholes. Rivalries can't really be forced, and only relate to history or geography tangentially. Wanna know why the Detroit/Chicago rivalry died? Because Chicago was horrible for 30 years, and once they got good we weren't great. However, let two powerhouse teams meet each other a couple years in a row (with something on the line) and you'll have a pretty good rivalry for a while. Remember Chicago and Vancouver a few years ago. Those games were intense because they were both good and the stakes were high.
Holland knows what he's got with Callahan, Marchenko, and to a lesser extent Pulkkinen. However, Sproul, Mantha, and Ferraro seem like (until recently) they're still in flux. I imagine that's why he's scouting them. He already knows who his most NHL ready guys are, but why not take a look at the next in line guys and see how they've progressed?
An opinion cannot be wrong, hence it being an "opinion"... An estimation of the quality of worth of someone or something. You can throw as many stats at me as you want, I'm going by the product I see on the ice. Smith is the better option for the second pairing, while Quincey would be a great shut-down third pairing guy.
Yup, I said Quincey surged ahead of Smith in ALL those areas in just one week... It was very clear in what I said that I was specifically talking about points, as in the one extra goal he got, and the four extra assists... Is it really that impossible for you to fathom that Smith could have potentially got that plus some if he were paired with DeKeyser for the past month rather than babysitting a rookie?... Give me a break...
Christ, are you really saying that just because you hold an opinion it "cannot be wrong"? You're definitely smarter than that.
An opinion can absolutely be wrong if the preponderance of evidence suggests the opposite, as it does in this case. Because there's an objective truth here. Opinions can't be wrong when the choices are subjective (e.g. I like red better than blue tshirts). If you said "I like Smith better", I couldn't argue. That's your subjective opinion. But you said "Smith IS better". Which is not an opinion, its a demonstrably false statement.
That's like saying my "opinion" isn't wrong if I say Steve Yzerman was better offensively than Wayne Gretzky. "Well...um...I don't care what the stats say...umm...it's my OPINION".
You're wrong dude. Get over it. One day Smith MAY be better than Quincey, but as of right now the universe of evidence proves otherwise, regardless of your opinion.
Smith is better than Ouellet now, and I believe Smith will be better than Ouellet in the future. I'm not, nor have I ever been as high on Ouellet as most fans. I don't think he's close to our top defense prospect. I've watched a ton of Griffins games over the past few years and Ouellet has never done anything to impress. I'll admit that his hockey IQ seems to be high, and he does everything above average, but nothing he does, points to him being better than a bottom pairing defenseman at the NHL level.
I think Smith is a second pairing defenseman now and he has the potential to be a really good one in a year or two. I think Sproul is the only other defense prospect that we have (other than Backman, and he's gone back to Sweden...) that has a legit shot to be a top 3/4 defenseman.
As good as the DeKeyser / Quincey pairing has been does anyone actually think that it is better than the DeKeyser / Smith pairing? I sure don't, but we're all entitled to our own opinion...
No, I don't think Smith and Dekeyser would be better. Quincey is better than Smith in nearly every objective measure for a defenseman.
Quincey has more goals.
Quincey has more assists.
Quincey plays on pk.
Quincey has more hits.
Quincey has FEWER give aways.
Quincey has more blocked shots.
Quincey shoots more.
Quincey has a higher shooting percentage.
Quincey has a higher Corsi.
Quincey starts in the offensive zone less often.
Smith has FEWER penalties (by two).
Smith has MORE takeaways (by a lot).
Other than those two areas, Smith is not better than Quincey in any measureable way. And that's not an opinion buddy. That's a FACT.
Sproul was our best defender for a while there, playing great hockey, while paired with Paetsch. The past few games he has been paired with Brennan Evans and he hasn't looked near as good. A lot can be said about the veteran presence of a guy like Nathan Paetsch, he makes whoever he is paired with, that much better. There's no question that Marchenko is our most consistent, and definitely most NHL ready defenseman. He is more of a shut down defender but can put up some points as well. He doesn't shoot very often, despite having a pretty decent shot, he is also a very underrated passer. He leads the Griffins defense in points, despite getting very little power-play time, spending most of his time at even strength and penalty kill.
Mantha hasn't been playing as well as many had anticipated, but he's right where I figured he would be at this point. I said that I think he will start to pick it up after Christmas and I still expect that to be the case. He has been playing much better as of late, although he did have a pretty forgettable game last night, with a couple horrendous turnovers. The thing that I still see Mantha lacking, is what he was labeled for in his draft year, up until he supposedly proved everyone wrong in his final year of junior. He lacks compete level. Often times he will give the puck away and then show little to no effort in trying to get it back. He doesn't back check the way he should, and until he improves his defensive game, I don't see him making the jump to the NHL. I'm sure Blashill has had talks with him and I'm sure he will get it straightened out, but until then, he will remain down in Grand Rapids.
I agree with your assessment of Marchenko. He's a "shutdown defender" in the way that Dekeyser is. Which is to say that he's not known for his offense, and he definitely prioritizes his defense and plays a safe game. But he's also an effective puck mover and is really good at getting the puck up the ice. I actually think he'll put up more points at the NHL level than he does in the AHL when he's surrounded by more first rate finishers.
Edit: As far as Mantha goes, I think he struggles from the same thing that Jurco does. He's a big guy, and at the pro level will be expected to play a big man's game. But until he came to GR, he played a skilled, finesse game, despite his size. He's basically learning how to be a power forward at the pro level and the learning curve is steep. Once he figures out the power forward's game (i.e. where to be on the ice, how to play without the puck, etc.) he'll be fine. But until now he's always played the way a center has to play at the pro level (carry the puck and make plays on individual effort).
Excellent win, and two wins against two really good teams. Keep it up boys.
Also, in my opinion that was the best game Mrazek has played as a Wing. He's had other games where he was flashier. But he faced a reasonable amount of shots tonight against a good offensive team, and weathered a few long dry spells to stay in it. I liked it.
What I appreciate most is how organically it happened. You could tell that it was a clear evolution of thought from "Kip's an ass" to "I'll write ASSociation because puns are ironic and funny" to "it's a pun free for all!".
You're right. Booze is probably involved now that I think about it.