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Member Since 31 May 2011
Offline Last Active Jul 01 2015 07:23 PM

#2564240 All Purpose Grand Rapids Griffins Thread

Posted by kipwinger on 18 January 2015 - 04:18 PM

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). 

#2564151 Franzen on IR

Posted by kipwinger on 17 January 2015 - 11:30 PM

This last post of mine was unwarranted.
Sorry Kip for the assinine comment on my behalf ;)

Lol. I thought you were just talkin trash. I understood it, and still understand it, as gamesmanship. No apology necessary.
Also. You should have punned on ASSinine. Just saying.

#2564112 1/17 GDT : Predators 2 at Red Wings 5

Posted by kipwinger on 17 January 2015 - 09:34 PM

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. 

#2563880 Franzen on IR

Posted by kipwinger on 17 January 2015 - 11:28 AM

...I'm just not above a cheap laugh.


And God bless you for that.  High brow humor is the worst!

#2563855 Franzen on IR

Posted by kipwinger on 16 January 2015 - 11:57 PM

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. 

#2563852 Franzen on IR

Posted by kipwinger on 16 January 2015 - 11:32 PM

I never expected this to turn into a pun thread.  Does that mean it's a success or a failure?

#2563812 1/15 GDT : Red Wings 3 at Blues 2 (OT)

Posted by kipwinger on 16 January 2015 - 04:41 PM

Were reallyy not that far ahead.
And Boston's getting back in the swing of things after an abysmal start.

It was good to see us get a win vs st. Louis, because they've been dominant lately.
But they also went through around ten games where they lost seven or eight this season.
Nashville's been pretty consistent this year.
So I'm looking forward to seeing how we play against them.


I'm not trying to take anything away from the win last night.  It was a good win against a good team.  I'd like to see more of that.  Because for a while we weren't doing that at all.  I'm just a little sick of people explaining away marginal performances (i.e. losing in the shootout to Toronto, Colorado, Buffalo, Florida, etc.) by saying "well if it weren't for the shootout we'd be better".  No we wouldn't.  We'd MAYBE have more points, but it doesn't mean we'd be better.  The fact that you're consistently going to overtime against bad teams is proof enough that you're not "better".  I'm also sick of the "well we're only three points out of first" argument.  At one point, a year ago, we were leading our division.  By the end of the season we barely squeaked into the playoffs and got humiliated in the first round.  And all you've got to do is compare the teams we played in the last two months, with the teams we play in the next two months to see just how little our record currently means. 


The only way for this team to prove it's good, or a contender, or whatever, is to consistently beat good teams.  That's it.  And if you don't consistently beat good teams, or do lose to bad ones consistently, then getting rid of the shootout record or counting up points won't make a bit of difference. 


It's a little bit like the Carolina Panthers in football.  Sure they made the playoffs, but what does that mean?  They had a losing record entering the playoffs.  Anybody with a brain knew that they weren't good just because they made the playoffs. 


Like I said, hopefully last night was the start of something good.  A turn around.  We sure looked really good.  But I've got to see that kind of effort, consistently, before I think this team is going to make any noise from here on out. 

#2563775 Franzen on IR

Posted by kipwinger on 16 January 2015 - 01:00 PM

I agree Kip, but there is ONE Leaf that I would love to have... Cody Franson. I think he is the one bright spot on that loser team... :cool:


There are a few of their players I think are good.  But I've got to be "all in" on this.  So I'm calling it.  No Toronto losers.  None.  Even the ones I like.  They'll leave their loser germs on the equipment in the training room and before you know it all our guys will have loser.  Next thing you know we'll be extending crappy defensemen to 7 million dollar deals and blaming everything on our top line wingers. 


Not on my watch. 

#2563769 Franzen on IR

Posted by kipwinger on 16 January 2015 - 12:20 PM

I don't want anybody from Toronto.  They're tarnished with "loser".  I don't want our players catching the loser bug too.  I'm sick of losers.  I'd rather keep our guys.  Our veterans are winners.  Our kids are winners.  The only guys who aren't winners are Weiss, Quincey, and the fourth line...and see how that's working out for them lol. 

#2563416 Are the Wings a Contender?

Posted by kipwinger on 15 January 2015 - 08:02 PM

No, we are not a contender this year in my opinion. Box out our forwards and forecheck the heck out of our D and most teams take us out in the first or maybe second round. I'm enjoying watching the kids get better and my veteran favs this year so I'm not a hater or anything. I, like most here just think we need some ingredients to really contend. The equivalents of Mac, Shanny and Lids would do it in my opinion.


Oh, is that all?  Just a power forward and two hall of famers?  Lol.


I'm just kidding with you.  I agree.  We're a decent team, but we're not a contender.  I've said elsewhere, we don't beat good teams and we're only .500 against crappy teams lately.  Our offense is not existent most nights, and our blue line defense well but does nothing else well. 


Like krsmith17 said in another thread, I think we could be a contender in the next couple of years but a couple solid acquisitions.  But not this year.

#2563348 1/15 GDT : Red Wings 3 at Blues 2 (OT)

Posted by kipwinger on 15 January 2015 - 02:42 PM

Washington doesn't qualify as a good team in your book? I don't think they are elite or anything, but I don't think it is a stretch to put them in the same category as Vancouver.


I dicked that whole post up and combined several thoughts into one, which made it all wrong lol.  These were...


1)  We need to beat good teams.

2) We haven't played a lot of good teams lately so it's hard to gauge ourselves.

3)  St. Louis is a good team, so it should be a measuring stick game.


To answer your question though, yes.  Washington is a good team.  I was completely forgetting about them (despite actually going to that miserable game). 

#2563324 Franzen on IR

Posted by kipwinger on 15 January 2015 - 09:36 AM

No one was saying it was literally impossible.


It was, however, impossible to keep Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen, Filppula, Cleary, Homer, Draper, Maltby, AND Hossa, and the defense and goalies, and ice a full roster.


Right, Holland didn't want to replace all his mid-tier guys with unknown guys or depth players like Bowman did with Versteeg, Byfuglien, Niemi, and Ladd.  I get why Holland let Hossa go.  My problem is that since 2010, the narrative has become "Holland chose Franzen over Hossa".  Which is bulls***.  Holland chose to keep this core team from the 2009 Cup run intact, rather than blow it up just to keep Hossa.  When you put it that way, it seems a little bit more reasonable.  Which was my point all along. 

#2563253 Franzen on IR

Posted by kipwinger on 14 January 2015 - 07:23 PM

Also, people realize Hossa's cap hit was 7.45 million in 2009 right?  By signing him to the exact same money he made in Chicago we would have gained around 2.3 million against the cap compared to the year before.  Or, in other words, his cap hit is less now (for Chicago) than it was the year we had him.  So even if nothing changed from 2009 accept his contract, he still would have been more affordable re-signed than he was the year we actually had him on the books.  And that's with no other changes.  Add to that the fact that we lost Hudler, Sammy, Kopecky, Conklin, and didn't need to sign all of Bertuzzi, Williams, Eaves, May, Miller, and Leino, and there was plenty of money. 

#2563248 Franzen on IR

Posted by kipwinger on 14 January 2015 - 06:58 PM

You're a bit off here. There was no money for Sammy or Hudler that year. We were over the cap the entire year, only getting by on LTIR. We eventually had to dump Leino, demote May, and force Maltby on to IR just to bring Franzen and Lilja off IR. It would have been difficult to keep Hossa instead of Franzen, much less keep both. Both would have meant losing Flip for sure, plus some.


Realistically, the choice was Hossa or Franzen. Mistake? Perhaps, though I doubt having Hossa would have made any significant difference.


I agree it wouldn't have made a difference if we'd kept him. 


We had 5.3 million dollars wrapped up in guys we signed (or claimed) after Hossa left (Bertuzzi, Williams, Miller, May, Eaves, Leino).  And that's 5.3 without making a single trade.  Move a player with a moderate salary out, and there's more money.  I agree it was tight.  But I don't agree that it was one or the other.  It was one or the other ONLY if we didn't want to move out salary to retain Hossa...which clearly Holland didn't.  Lots of teams clear salary to retain stars.  Holland didn't.  Likely because he didn't think Hossa was that important, and not because (as a result of Franzen's signing) there was absolutely no money available. 


Again, they brought on the equivalent of Hossa's current contract AFTER he was signed by Chicago. 


Also, last year also showed that Ken Holland clearly doesn't mind going into a season over the cap if he sees fit.  He had no problem waiving guys like Tootoo, Samuelsson, and Eaves a year ago to get cap compliant.  So he clearly A) knows it can be done, and B) will do it.  I don't buy, for one second, that he REALLY wanted to retain Hossa, but just couldn't make the cap work.  Especially considering they offered him a contract valued 1.1 million dollars less than what he makes now.  You really don't think Holland couldn't have found 1.1 million if he'd really wanted to?

#2563241 Franzen on IR

Posted by kipwinger on 14 January 2015 - 06:17 PM

Please enlighten me as to Holland's history of player movement?
We all know he's not the type to swing big trades involving players currently on the roster - not in the last several years.
You going off the premise that there was a whole list of moves Holland could've made with roster players in order to sign Hossa - something I do not agree with given Holland's history.
I've always seen it as 'black & white'...It was one guy, or the other, and chances of signing both were zero.

Firstly, you can Google Holland's personnel moves. I see no need to list every trade, or signing, or player he let walk for another, just because you feel like being difficult.

Secondly, the fact that you've always seen something one way doesn't mean other options weren't available. It also might explain why, despite the fact that I've listed multiple alternative scenarios, you refuse to think anything else was possible. You don't believe it was possible because you've never believed it possible, despite the fact that there's at least a handful of other possible scenarios. The fact that you think its black and white is the cause of your consternation, not the effect. Because accepting that there were alternatives to what happened, and it happened anyway, either makes Holland dumb or else means he just didn't want Hossa that bad. Neither of which are as simplistic "it was either or". It wasn't. I've now told you several ways in which it could be both. Some of which didn't involve trades. If you still insist it wasn't possible, its because you're being obtuse. Not because you've got a firm grasp of the situation.