Living where I do and living with a BJ fan, I take issue with Rick Nash's hustle. He's constantly lackadaisically skating around unless of course there's a scoring chance and then he turns on the jets. Otherwise, it's floating in circles around the ice and an apparent allergy to backchecking.
To me, this is what comes to mind when Nash is mentioned. It certainly isn't hustle.
Further, if you look at the objective reality of the tie-breaking system (i.e. ROW and season series) you will know that in addition to "just two points" being on the line there is playoff positions and perhaps home ice advantage at stake on Thursday night. So with respect to your comment about the importance of season series, I just say you are objectively incorrect. I'm not sure why a Red Wings fan would downplay the importance of this game, but make no mistake, from an objective point of view this is a reasonably important game.
I'll give it to you, it's a 4-point game which is normally rare outside of division match-ups. As a Wings fan (and without sounding condescending) I'm not seeing it as much more than that, the reason being that even if the Wings get a win it will not do them any damn good if they lose the next 5 games.
Vancouver can play .400 hockey the rest of the season and win their division fairly comfortably. But even though Detroit has been able to claw out a slightly bigger points lead in their division, playoff position is at stake for the Wings in every game at this point of this season. A slump could drop them to the 4-5 slot in the standings.
To me, it is a match-up between two very good teams who play the puck possesion game I prefer watching but I'm not going to blow the importance of this game out of proportion.
I haven't read this whole thread, so maybe its been mentioned elsewhere...but...is it just me or has Ericcson been playing a very solid game recently, especially on the defensive side where his positioning is solid and decision making is much much better.
Because of work I do not watch that many games but in the ones I do watch, I never really notice Ericsson. I'm of the conviction that if you do not notice your 3rd pairing D, they cannot be doing that poorly because you'd notice them when they mess up.
Ericsson is +16 so far this year. Could he throw his weight around more often...surely would be nice but he has been better than most people give him credit for.