Way way way to early. Z is the C until he retires. he has what, 5 more years on his contract? Also, just because a guy is a good player that does not mean he is a good leader. Not saying Larkin is one way or the other, but that is something the players will decide within the locker room. We didn't take the C away from Stevie even though federoz was out performing him the last few years he played. Things don't work that way.
Now in time, somehwere down the road yes Larkin could get the C. I think him and Dekeyser are the future leaders of this team. Dekeyser will get the A when Datsyuk leaves. Maybe Abby.
I'm talking a real blue chip prospect. Put together a nice package and get the Larkin of defensemen prospects
I prefer Dmen that have already made it to the NHL and proven themselves. When we won cups it was with Dmen that largely came from outside of the organization. Veteran guys. Yes we developed Nick and Vladdy, but for about 15 years that was it. The rest were trades and UFA's. With only having 3 years of control in the minors now it is hard to develop young Dmen. They take time, far more than F's do. Draft the forwards and trade for the Dmen.
Not to take things to far off topic, but just adding Larkin, Mrazek (first full year), and Green absolutely raises he bar for me. Those are 3 undeniable improvements. I find it hard to think that someone would scoff at adding a top 6 forward, top 4 D, and a capable (or much more) starting goalie.
Yes, Datsyuk, Z, and Kronwall are on the declining side of their careers, but I don't thinkany one of them has declined from last year to a point where they counteract the improvements to the roster. Z's played as well or better than last year IMO, Datsyuk's still powering up. Kronwall's definitely playing worse, but it's not like he's become Ian White out there.
As for expectations, it was unrealistic to think that the transition from Babs to Blash would go without struggles. I'm predicting that this was the low point of the season. We have Datsyuk back, Helm's playing better, Starting to find more lines with success, Pulkkinen's an offensive contributor that we didn't have last year, we'll get Richards and Q back at some point. I think the fact that we're where we were last year despite injuries and the transition bodes well for the rest of the season.
And Kindl will get better too (see, I can keep it on topic).
In time yes. But as of today all Larkin has done is score the points that Datsyuk hasn't scored by being out with an injury. That is what I am talking about. Now maybe 30 games from now both are putting up points and we are much better. As for Mrazek, yes he looks like a future star. Our G play has been great to date. Does it matter if it is one guy playing every game or 2 guys rotating? nope.
I feel bad for those of you that would prefer to "tank" than see their team make the playoffs every season. Nothing is guaranteed in tanking. Even finishing last overall doesn't guarantee the number one pick. And picking second or third doesn't guarantee a superstar. Sure it betters your chances but every year there are picks in the mid to late first that turn out to be better than someone in the top five. For every team that has tanked and has followed that up with success there are two or three teams that has tanked only to fail and have to do it all over again. I'll take the Red Wings way over any other team, but that's just my opinion...
Agreed. My focus is winning SC's. not just crawling into the PO's and getting the boot. I want Cups! I would much rather be in the LAK's spot the last 5 years than ours. Chances are high they win another before we do.
Howard (Time on Ice - 524:33) : GAA - 2.29 SV% - .918
But yes they are not the problem with this team. It's nice to have two goalies who give us a chance to win no matter who starts. And it's good that they are pushing each other to be better
P.S. This thread has been open for 47 days I bet you're all surprised I hadn't posted in it til today!
This doesn't bother me in any way shape or form. I love the fact that we have 2 very good goalies. having great depth is a good thing, not a negative. I have never understand why so many seem to be one or the other. That is like picking between Z and datsyuk. silliness.....
We won. Good game. The 3rd goal showed the biggest hole on our team. Ryan-how about that compete level Kenny? beats Glendening and Green is standing there. Instead of putting Ryan on his ass like he should, he tried to hit the puck. That allowed Ryan to skate around Jimmy and score the goal.
We don't scare anyone. There are certain places on the ice where a player should expect to get hit. In front of the goal, in the corners, and behind the goal. But not when you play the RW's. Thus F's run at our goal all game long. There is zero pain to our game. None.
No one is happy with our start. For anyone to think that is silly. We all want to win. That goes from the top down. every player, coach, Gm, owner, and fan. But this team as built is not a great team. It is an average team. Nearly everyone in the hockey world believes that Babcock is the best coach in the game. But even with him we barely made the PO's and left quickly. Now he is gone-his choice. So if he is the best, then any coach we have is less than that.
The real issue with this team is the players, not the coaches. This weekend when wewere on the PP we had Helm working as the front of net guy on the 2nd PP. think about that. A 5-10/180 guy with no shooting ability as the front of net presence. Ok blame the coach for putting him there. But who else do we have? No one. Abby is on the 1st PP, Sheahan has been tried but to date has not shown he can ahndle that job. The point is, we lack talent/ability in some very key areas. Look at our BL. Kronwall is a poor defender. Ericsson has never taken the step to become a shutdown Dman, Smith hasn't, green has never played good D. The only good defensive Dmen we have a KFQ-hurt and Dekeyser-he is till working himself into game shape after his injury. These are just some of the issues. There is only 1 way to fix these types of issues: bring in outside talent. That is on Holland. We do have pieces to do so now. So relax-I know no fun, and let's see what happens.
We basically had the same team last year except for Larkin and Green and the first half of the season were one of the better teams in the league.
Same guys just looking inferior. Their potential is much higher than this. I'd say it's a coaching thing and also a player thing.
Yes the coaching change has had an impact. Same is true with the Griffins BTW. But and this is the million dollar question. With babcock one of the best in the business and all the player familier with his style and scheme, we barely made the playoffs the last 4 years. Blashill is no babcock at this point in time. So why did so many expect us to be much better? The players are the same. Most of the "panic" by fans has more to do with them than anything that the team is doing/not doing. This is and was an average team going into the season.
Babcock couldn't get this team to play either. Blash is obviously not close to Babcock's ability as a coach. This team unmotivated. I do say some of this has to do with coaching. Blash is not ready.
Or maybe this team and the players that make up this team are not as good as many thought? I mean it has to be the coach right? he is the one on the ice not blocking out in front of the net, checking in the corners working for lose pucks, failing to go tape to tape on the passes, not holding ground in front of the other teams net....... It is all the coach, players have nothing to do with it.......... But wait, if the players are the problem..........
Abdelkader is a useful complimentary player. Smart GMs don't give useful complimentary players, especially 28 year old physical ones, 7 year deals. Terrible. The likelihood of him being worth that over the last 3 years of the deal is close to nil.
How many years were Maltby, Draper, and McCarty here? All made good money and all had long term contracts.
Kindl has 1 more year on his contract. I agree with your assessments of our D contracts. These are the prices dictated by the market.
Cleary costs .950 to the Grand Rapids Griffins and marks 5000 against our cap (nhlnumbers.com). Franzen was worth his production and now costs us nothing (Capwise) if he stays on LTIR.
Howard is currently top 10 in the league for stats. That's what a goalie at his level and experiance costs. I know everybody's on the Mrazek train now, but Howard's price is fair.
So if I take your rankings for: 1,3,3,4,5,5+6 that just means we chose depth since we couldn't land another top pairing guy.
I would argue DK is a #2 or on his way there. Also E is at least a #4.
We have good goaltending to cover for the D, which isn't quite as solid as we'd like. And now prospects with potential and low price tags on the way. All good to me
What are Mantha's connection to Michigan? He's from Quebec.
You're probably joking, but I doubt that. We've had many Lifelong or long term WIngs that nobody considers retiring: Holmstrom, Draper, McCarty, and reading into the future Kronwall, Franzen. Unless he transforms into the second coming of Hossa, he'll fall in with these guys
Not something to worry about for another couple of years. As of today Jimmy is out playing mrazek. The GAA is 2.01 for Jimmy and 2.42 for Mrazek. The Save % is .934 for Jimmy and .928 for Mrazek. Both are playing great. No need to mess this up. The team has plenty of cap space so no need to make a move.
LW Dekeyser is going to get more than 4 million per. My best guess is somewhere in the 6 million range. He is much better than KFQ and Ericsson and they are close to 5 as you said. DD will be our next big money long term deal, as he should be.
I think going power on power always worked for us in the past. With Larkin in the fold, and Pav back soon, why not do it again? The 4th line vs the 2nd line for other teams still gives us our 2nd line vs other teams 3rds, and then the 3rd vs the 4th. At least when we can dictate the matchups. We have enough depth up front that those matchups should favor us big time.
Ummm..... no. We have Always had a top checking line take out the other team top lines when we used to win cups. Gring Line ring any bells? maltby-Draper-Kocur then Mccarty. That was their job.
Think back a couple of years. We played the Hawks in the PO's and had Z cover Toews. Yes he shut him down. But at the same time Z didn't score. We lost the series. When you take your best players that cost the most money and have them play D first, you hurt your own O. It takes more energy to play D than O. Federov used to talk about that. Yes your top players have to play some D. But have them cover the other teams 2nd/3rd lines when they don't have to spend so much energy and can still score us points.