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Member Since 18 Dec 2003
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In Topic: Poll: Who was the Wings regular season MVP

14 April 2014 - 05:41 PM

Obviously Nyquist, but I think Alfie should be getting a lot more credit for what he did this season. He was one of the only older players that was consistently in the lineup who produced decently as well. I don't know if we would've been able to pull through without him there. Z was great when he played, but that was half a season. Gustavson was a major help the first half of the season but was less effective as time went on and injuries piled up. Howard? Absolutely not. Kronwall deserves a look, but eh. 

In Topic: Play em or rest em?

10 April 2014 - 09:30 PM

Alfie's the only guy I'd rest. Ideally I'd rest Kronwall too, but then you increase the risk of having Howard get shelled. Which would be bad for his confidence, and bad for the team.

In fact you could argue that they should all play. Being hot is more important than being rested. Get through that 1st round and rejoice when Z and Ericsson return.


Is Howard for sure starting both games? If Gus starts a game, I'd rest Kronwall at least that game then. But I definitely see your point on this one.

In Topic: Play em or rest em?

10 April 2014 - 09:28 PM

Rest Alfie and Kronwall, absolutely. That only stands to help those guys, albeit minimally. But rest Datsyuk only if he's hurting more than he expected to, otherwise he needs all the games he can get to elevate his conditioning and feel on the ice in game situations. 

In Topic: Nyquist since Datsyuk's Return & Unnatural NHL Development

10 April 2014 - 09:26 PM

Again, I get what everyone's saying and I don't really disagree. I'm not trying to suggest that he's screwed now that Datsyuk's back or that we should be overly concerned about a 4-game goalless streak. If we could, why don't we not get too hung up on Nyquist in particular as even if he is affected by the factors I've been thinking about, it doesn't have too much to do with the bigger point. I wish I had left it out at this point as people have zeroed in on that alone.


The bigger question I'm pondering is how good it is for some of these kids that can obviously play at an NHL level to stay in the AHL for so long. Instead of making the team out of camp and having a more natural progression into the NHL, they're oftentimes thrown into the fire mid-season into unusual circumstances, and quite often, they do a real good job of filling in. It's easy to imagine them being motivated to make an impact, and they're likely already overly ripe, and there's just a different kind of pressure that you deal with when you're a call up as opposed to a regular coming out of camp. But as many of our younger players have learned, learning to play a steady NHL game and building off that is something that takes more time. What worries me is that the expectations get set too high based on a limited and unique period of time and when it comes time to become a regular, it ends up being just another thing hanging over their head when they're trying to adjust to just being an NHL regular.


It just seems to me based on what we've seen the last couple of years, that we have a better NHL team built from players that we've traditionally deemed not yet NHL-ready, and maybe we ought to start getting some of these guys into the lineup sooner and do so coming right out of camp. Sure, they might now see as many minutes as they'd see in the NHL, but NHL minutes might be more valuable to development ultimately, and again, maybe they're a lot more ready than we've typically thought anyways. The process allows them to grow into a role in a more natural way, adjust to playing on a team that isn't patched together due to injuries, and most likely avoids players getting frustrated playing in the minors when they know they're ready to be playing in the NHL. 


Side benefit: less room for the old hacks Holland can't seem to help but sign...


But all that said, I don't think it's healthy for a guy to come up to fill in for an injured player, have a great run, and then when they should just be focusing on getting an NHL career off the ground, have to deal with feeling the need to keep up with the newly minted expectations, forged during an unusual period of time. I don't think it does players any favors mentally, and I think it may be a big reason why we often see young guys struggle once they get elevated to being an NHL regular. You know, it's broader than hockey really, because I don't think many would say it's good to have too much success too early in most areas of life. You're not as fit to deal with the kind of pressure it invites and you end up struggling with the details you need to be picking up along the way that help you build a stronger foundation. There's just something about early success that has a way of haunting many people, no matter how smart or gifted they may be. It almost always comes as an anomaly, and anomalies are hard to reproduce.


I could very well be wrong, but again, from what I've seen the last few years, any way you shake it, I think it's high time we start letting some of our kids do more of their "ripening" in the NHL, and perhaps the Wings management needs to adjust their values for how "ripe" players are, and you know, perhaps acknowledge that the frustration some of these guys may experience staying in the AHL too long does them no favors either. After all, as you develop, you need bigger challenges to continue growing. And in the end, there's that glorious side benefit of less room for so many old hacks that have clearly become worthless parts of the team in too many cases.

In Topic: Nyquist since Datsyuk's Return & Unnatural NHL Development

10 April 2014 - 11:43 AM

Try to bear in mind that I'm not trying to overreact to Nyquist not scoring in a few games. That's less the point than wondering if these kids would be better served getting a shot at the NHL earlier than they do, coming out of camp with a healthy team, as opposed to spending perhaps too much time in GR only to get thrust into the NHL when guys get hurt for extended periods of time. The approach you're going to have and expectations are going to be different, and if you come up and shine fast, those expectations can get raised, perhaps too much so and well before you've really had time to adjust to the team and to the NHL. I have wondered about this sort of thing for many years now with other guys that have come through the system, it's just all the more in focus the last two years as we really have had to ride the Griffins to the playoffs. 

We joke, but people think Franzen should be a 40+ scorer based on a similar breakout hot streak six years ago. If Nyquist settles in as a 25-30 goal guy, he could be our new whipping boy.


Nyquist isn't such a one-dimensional player like Franzen and tends to always be skating harder and faster, so I don't think we'll have to worry about that even if he doesn't become a scoring force.


They were just rhetorical questions.


Pulkkinen will be 23 next year, with a full (and very impressive) season of North American pro hockey under his belt. He's leading the Griffins. He made the AHL all-rookie team. He's a RH sniper with a cannon of a shot. But the only way he gets serious NHL ice time next season is if we lose a couple guys to injury. If we're arguing that our most promising kids need to be getting serious NHL ice time pretty much as early and often as possible, why is no one worrying about Pulkkinen? (Rhetorical question.) Or how about Sheahan? First-round pick. Big and strong. NA hockey's all he's ever known. And yet, very few seemed to care that he hadn't come anywhere close to serious NHL ice time until very recently. Why is that? (Rhetorical question.)


And I would say that if there's any truth to my concerns about the way these guys develop, he should make the Red Wings out of camp next year and start developing in the NHL in a smaller role and let him work into a bigger role if he can. Don't thrust it on him all at once because you're in a desperate situation. I think in general though, our kids have been making a major case for Holland changing up the way he does things. It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out.