Agreed, it's tough right now. I like the kid line together too. I guess I would probably just flip Miller and Cleary. It sucks because that 4th line was good in the first, but I don't think the Wings can afford more of Cleary and Bertuzzi on the same line.
Yes, both need to be off the team when some of these other guys get healthy.
The really damning thing is this team, as it currently stands, probably wouldn't miss them. Never mind our team at full strength.
Haven't really read what's been posted in this thread since my lunch break, but I caught some bits and pieces while scrolling. Firstly, I totally agree with kip's Nyquist angle. If we're gonna land that big scoring winger we so desperately need, it'll cost us at least a first-round pick and one of Nyquist/Tatar/Jurco. The reason why you'd even consider putting together such a package is our absurd lack of size and physicality up front, especially in the top six - whereas we have at least one prospect who projects as, basically, a Nyquist clone (that would be Calle Jarnkrok, who hasn't exactly been setting the world on fire this season, mostly because he's very small, especially for a center). I was gonna talk about power forwards (and, more broadly, our lack of size up front) before I disappeared, but I'm thinking I'll address it in that new trade thread rather than do it here, because I haven't quite organized my thoughts yet.
The other thing I wanted to say: I've given it some good objective thought, but, I'm sorry, I just can't get behind DeKeyser-Smith being our second pairing, especially if we're in full-on Cup-or-bust-(because-our-core-is-only-getting-older) mode. Even if it were to work well for us, you know there'd be at least one key injury in the playoffs.
Lol at how silly our defense point are. If you take away kronners 30 pts, thats 50 points divided by the other what, 6 guys? Weak sauce.
I actually think this is the single biggest thing that separates this Wings team from past ones. Which is to say, it's our biggest shortcoming.
Beyond Kronwall, we've got nothing coming from the back end. Nothing. That starts with bad puck management in our own zone, continues with our ugly transitions (really missing those brilliant first-passes) into neutral ice, and carries over into the offensive zone, where, for whatever reason, we struggle mightily just to hit the net from the points.
I imagine The Powers That Be were expecting more from, well, everyone not named Kronwall. But definitely our other offensive defensemen in Smith and Kindl.
As for Mantha - man, I want to believe he has a shot in the near future. But he has a long way to go. How long? Like, our-core-will-be-ancient-if-not-entirely-gone-by-the-time-he-really-breaks-through long.
He's also on the line that's the focus of the other team's defensive efforts almost playing a man short because everyone who has been tried on their other wing has been completely ineffective, while Tatar is playing against lesser competition with 2 linemates that actually do something positive.
I think you're reaching.
But I'm with RedWang. Ideally, we keep them both, maybe play them on the same line. It's really too early to say one is much better than the other. If we need to part with a valuable piece, though, I'd be more comfortable parting with Nyquist. I think Nyquist has a lower point ceiling, tbh.