I think the term "hater" is overused here. If you really had so many people that "hated" Ericsson, you wouldn't hear these same people saying they're impressed that he's playing better now; they'd still be saying he sucked. Most of us just thought -- with good reason -- that the contract we gave him before the season was insane. Good for him for proving us wrong.
2. Despite the hate Franzen and Ericsson get on these boards by some they are returning and the Wings will have essentially the line up they are going to start the playoffs with (minus Howard, assuming Helm will need a tiny bit more time).
I have to say, I've never been an Ericsson fan, but he had been playing much better this season prior to his injury. Hopefully he can keep it going!
I like to think I'm usually pretty reluctant to criticize "controversial" players after just a few games, but Ericsson is my one exception. Having watched him since he's come up from the GRG, I just haven't seen him improve much, if at all, over the course of his NHL career. And I haven't seen anything in the first four games to suggest I'm going to have any different opinion about him this year.
I see the guy make stupid plays in every game, whether they're minor blips or major screw ups. Maybe he's out of position, maybe he gets caught on a bad pinch, maybe he makes a stupid turnover, or maybe he takes a bad angle toward the boards and as a result misses a chance to play the puck; but it's always something. I don't consider it good if I "don't notice Ericsson," because he's the only player on the roster for whom I haven't thought to myself "wow he made a good play there." Usually the best I can give him is "well, he managed not to screw that one up."
My prayer is that he has a stretch where he somehow "turns it on" and ups his trade value while some other team is hurting on D men. I'd really rather not be stuck with him on the Wings.