I had to give up hockey at a young age because of heart-related health issues. I'd always known there was something wrong with me health-wise, but it wasn't until I'd started really pushing my body to its limits that the true problem reared its very ugly head. Now that I'm older, I appreciate that it was probably a major blessing. By bringing out this issue I didn't even know I had, hockey might have saved my life in the long run. And this was before the Fischer incident and everything that's followed, all of which makes me really worry about high-level athletes. You could be in "top shape" and yet you might also be a ticking time bomb, and without even knowing. It's scary. It puts things in perspective.
Sorry, that all probably seems narcisstic. Just felt like sharing.
I love the fact that neither Nyquist or Tatar are afraid of or taken a back by the big stage, they have no fear when it comes to shooting, carrying the puck, or just making plays in general.
I would think it would be tough for a youngster to walk into the Wings locker room with all those vets and not be taken a back or play a little bit more conservative.
Not that I have any great insight to share on this, but I tend to think it's a number of things...
Blashill uses very similar - if not identical - systems in Grand Rapids
We've got a Grade A locker room, one that is, of course, very friendly to HSE (Highly Skilled Euros)
Nyquist and Tatar each came into this season with something to prove, a statement to make, a chip on the shoulder (both of them having had to wait probably a season more than they needed to/should have had to, and Nyquist having had to start this season in GR)
...At the same time, they're not super-hyped-up Top 10 picks, so not necessarily a ton of pressure
Generally, if you're gonna be a really small and skilled player in today's NHL (and both Nyquist and Tatar are small), you'd better be damn good and damn sure of yourself, a point which Mickey Redmond has made about Tatar about 15 times this season. Nyquist and Tatar (can we call them NAT? Or TAN?) definitely have the goods, and certainly in Tatar's case there's no shortage of swagger. I think now we're seeing a little more swagger from Nyquist. (Worth noting: Nyquist, though a playmaker more than anything else, has been known as a formidable scoring threat since at least his college days)
Z. Captain Clutch. Hank. Mister Emma Andersson. Zeddar-Cheddar. Grizzly Beard. The Most Interesting Man in the World (Early Years). Henrik Zetterberg has got some profoundly sick telepathic chemistry going on with Gustav Nyquist. I could watch these two set each other up on the cycle all. day. long. (DATSOOK WHO???)
Wheels. Nyquist has them
I'll also second the Abracadabrabdelkader love, though I've been really high on his potential as a poor man's first-line power forward since last season. He may have hammer hands, and he may make costly, boneheaded mistakes now and then (see: running the Stars' goalie late in the game for absolutely no good reason), but he's always contributing in some way, whether it's leading the team in hits or setting great screens. He makes stuff happen. Which maybe shouldn't be all that surprising, given that he's at That Age now. God help the opposition if he and Helm ever get real hands. Like, with fingers and stuff!
Andersson is probably the more valuable player. He can play on the third line, he's clutch in the faceoff circle, and he's a very good PKer. But, as I've said many times, I'm just not terribly fond of him.
Glendening has been a nice surprise. He gives us a good agitating presence, some spunk, a right-handed shot. But let's also be realistic: he's a career fourth-liner.
Gotta trade something to get something. Pulks is awesome, but I like Reilly's all around game a LOT! Boston was apparently interested in Q for some unknown reason and Andersson could laughably cover for Smith on the 3rd line in Boston. Swap Andersson for Reilly Smith and I will have the Ron Burgundy pants illusion going on.
Ericsson is a legit #1. Kronwall makes too many mistakes and takes enough bad penalties to knock him off that top tier.
Not to be an ass, but...are you high?
Re: Orpik - I have a very, very hard time seeing Orpik coming to the Wings. And I don't think he's quite what we need on the back end anyway. I think we need a solid puck-mover, a guy with Real Good offensive instincts. Smith and Kindl have been disappointments, and Quincey has been a train wreck. We're not getting nearly as much offense from the defense as we thought we would. To which someone will probably say, "Yeah, but you like Girardi. He's not an offensive defenseman by any stretch." True enough, but he moves the puck very well, among other things.
As for the nuts and bolts of these hypothetical trades, e.g. Edler and Visnovsky - tbh, any solid top-four defenseman is probably going to cost more than we'd ideally like to give up. Edler almost certainly would make us wince, in terms of the return. And Snow could very well say, "Screw off. Visnovsky is essential to our blue line and I had to put my natural charm into overdrive to convince him to play for us. And now this whole Vanek thing is threatening to taint my otherwise perfect legacy. So I'm not giving Lubo up for anything less than a top-six forward, a good defenseman, and a first-round pick." Which wouldn't be worth it.
Solid top-four defensemen are so highly coveted these days. Hats off to Gillis for getting Diaz for, basically, a nobody.