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In Topic: Jim Devellano on Mantha's play: "Very disappointing"

24 July 2015 - 02:21 PM

Yeah I've read it. Exactly which of my points do you think is... ridiculous?


Mantha's season was, perhaps, a bit disappointing. His game still needs work. But the Wings knew what they were getting when they drafted him. They knew he was going to be a bit of a project. Anyone who'd watched him play knew he was going to be a bit of a project. He was never going to make the team out of last year's camp. At most, he might've earned a couple games with the big club towards the end of the regular season. He needed to learn defense. He needed to learn how to protect the puck against men. He needed to learn how to emerge from a brutal scrum with possession of the puck. He needed to learn how to operate with much less time and space and civility than he'd enjoyed in the QMJHL. His game was weighted wildly towards the offensive side of things. That had to change in a big way, and that's not a change you make in half a season. And that's saying nothing of the broken leg.


For all these reasons and more, you can't say his season was "very, very, very disappointing." You can barely say it was disappointing. He was in for a tough season even before he'd broken his leg. All things considered, 15 goals and 33 points in 62 games, with limited power play time and third-line minutes, is a pretty good year. If the hype surrounding Mantha hadn't been so absurdly huge, no one would have a problem with his season. We'd be saying he needs another year, and that that's no big deal because it's to be expected with a 20-year-old who's never had to play defense or compete against men.


But none of that really seems to mean much to you, which I don't get. The way you see it, Mantha sucked this year, and it wasn't because of the injury, it was because he sucked. And if someone tries to "use the injury as an excuse" for his "poor play," that line of reasoning doesn't hold up, because it's "100% speculation." Even though saying the injury had nothing to do with his performance is equally speculative and, in fact, much less reasonable. Because, which sounds more plausible: that breaking his leg right before his first NHL training camp and spending the first part of his first AHL season unable to do much of anything in the way of physical conditioning A) had a significant impact on his season and should be taken into account when reviewing his season and the progress he made (or didn't make), or B) had no impact whatsoever on his season and should not be taken into account when reviewing his season and the progress he made (or didn't make)?


He needs to be better away from the puck. He needs to compete harder. He needs to improve in some key areas. No one's more aware of this than the player himself. But I don't see the need for trashing him. I'm not sure most people appreciate how tough it is to go from being a big fish in the QMJHL (which is pretty much a terrible league) to a boy among men in the AHL, especially when you were such a big fish that you were never really asked (or taught!) how to play AHL/NHL-level defense and your shifts would often stretch to 120 seconds long.


I don't see the basis for saying he sucked. I don't see how comparing his first few games as a Griffin to Tyler Bertuzzi's first few games as a Griffin really tells us anything. It's sort of like the Franzen-versus-Chris Neil thing. Franzen doesn't play with Chris Neil's "intensity" and "edge" and "physicality." But Neil doesn't have Franzen's skill, talent, skating, hockey IQ, scoring prowess, etc. Bertuzzi's game, at this time, is more complete than Mantha's. So is Landon Ferraro's. But Mantha's strengths can't be taught or instilled, while the things he needs to learn can. Same deal as Nyquist, Tatar, Pulkkinen - except, Mantha's going to become a full-time Wing at 21 or 22 years of age, versus the standard 23 or 24. Because 1) he's that talented, 2) the things he needs to work on are things that virtually all 20-year-old snipers need to work on, and 3) the Wings are the best at taking raw talent and sculpting it into a rounded NHL player.


The kid's going to be a very good NHLer. He's not a problem player. He's not lazy. He just has to learn to play a kind of game he's never really had to play, and at the highest level. It's a process. It was always going to be a process. Nothing has really changed since the moment we drafted Mantha. There was always going to be an adjustment period.

In Topic: Jim Devellano on Mantha's play: "Very disappointing"

24 July 2015 - 12:42 PM

I agree, I think it was very un-wing like, but I think his statements are accurate at least.


Devallano's comments are ridiculous. All the Mantha hate is ridiculous.


The Demise of Anthony Mantha Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

In Topic: Holtby Asking for $8M

23 July 2015 - 01:04 AM

Nothing unusual about it teams are going intro arbitration with the lowest offer and players with the highest. I think they'll meet somewhere north of 6.



In Topic: Pulkkinen re-signs.... 1 year deal

22 July 2015 - 11:50 PM

We're not going to get a Buffy-level player for him, despite what some people think.


I'm assuming "Buffy" = Byfuglien...?


If the Jets do move Byfuglien, it probably won't be for all that much, as he's on an expiring contract and he's going to Get Paid next summer (so, you can trade for him, but don't expect to have a shot at keeping him past 2016 if you're not willing to give him big money and long term. And even if you do offer him big money and long term, there'll be other teams offering just as much as you're offering, if not more.)


This piece, written by a knowledgeable Jets fan for a knowledgeable Jets community [Note: I'm not implying that you folks aren't knowledgeable], suggests a realistic return might be Pulkkinen and a defenseman...


Detroit seems to be an ideal destination for all parties. Detroit is insanely deep with left handed defensemen and could use another righty. This trade makes a ton of sense for both the Jets and Red Wings. For a trade of Dustin Byfuglien to Detroit to go through, the Red Wings would probably offer Teemu Pulkkinen and maybe a defensive prospect like Xavier Ouellet.


Believe it or not, I wouldn't necessarily pull that trigger. While I really, really, really, really, really want to see us swing a trade for Byfuglien, and while it's fashionable to say Pulkkinen isn't going to be an impact player at the NHL level because "zomg he's one-dimensional," moving two of our better young assets for only one guaranteed year (or less) of Byfuglien would not be a total no-brainer.


And, about Pulkkinen: he shoots, he scores. He puts up points. I like points. I like scoring. Every team needs producers, us more than most (especially at even strength, where we're absolutely toothless). Five goals in 30 games projects to about 12 goals over a full season. If we assume he plays good minutes with quality linemates for a full season and that he takes even just the slightest step forward in his development, he's probably good for 15-20 next season (2015-16). 15-20 goals for $735,000 is the kind of bang-for-your-buck you need if you're going to build a serious contender with staying power. If he becomes the power play hammer of death we all know he can be, 25 goals isn't out of the question.


Again, the kid scores. He lives to score. He loves to score. He's gifted. It's not like "Yeah, well, he's not gonna have time to get his shot off, and NHL goalies are the best, so he's not gonna score. He's just so one-dimensional." I love one-dimensional. I want one-dimensional. We have more than enough 200-foot players who can play all four positions at the same time and backcheck in their sleep. Give me a specialist who specializes in something as amusingly trivial as putting the puck in the other team's net. ("When would would we ever have a need for that?") I'm not saying all this as an argument against pursuing Byfuglien. (Byfuglien puts up points. I like points. I especially like defensemen who put up points. I super-especially like defensemen who play against the opposition's best players every night and still manage to put up points.) I'm saying we shouldn't knock Pulkkinen when he's obliterated the AHL and played in fewer than 40 NHL games.

In Topic: Things you would like to see for 2015-16 Season

12 July 2015 - 01:59 AM

Ya it's funny cause green is only 29 and right in his prime, he could have a career year


He absolutely could.


I plan on doing a post on why we should expect great things from Mike Green and why media-driven narratives (e.g. "The Red Wings are paying $6M for a third-pairing defenseman who can't play defense") are just the worst.