Lilja-E might be just what Ericsson needs. Lebda tries to play too much of an offensive role, and it seems that is messing with E's ability to play strong D. Considering Lilja is a more pure blueline defenseman, he might be able to stabilize Ericsson.
A Lilja-E pairing will let Ericsson play his game. It's time to stop asking him to be a shut-down defensive defenseman. He's always been an offensive d-man who moves the puck up the ice well and likes to pinch in. Pairing him with a defensive liability who's constantly out of position (Lebda) was a recipe for disaster, especially with how E's struggled in his rookie season.
Good news on Bert, but why Ericsson back for Lebda? He's been good.
Good God, I can't believe I just said that.
Lebda overplayed a puck last night and it directly lead to a goal in the first period. He wasn't great. He was good the game before that, though.
But on the other hand, Ericsson had a good game against the Canucks. He was a +1 on a night when Lids was a -3, so he definitely doesn't deserve to be s*** on for that game.
Ericsson is a big piece of this club's future on the back end. Anyone who thinks Kindl is a defensive upgrade over Ericsson is insane. Kindl's struggled to be an even +/- player in the AHL. Griffins fans constantly bemoan Kindl's turnovers and bad decisions with the puck. He was last in the entire AHL in +/- two years ago and has yet to be a + player as a pro. Compare that to Ericsson who was dominant in the AHL. There's zero reason to think Kindl won't struggle much worse than Ericsson has next year. I know Kindl looked good in his 2 game call up but Ericsson looked brilliant in the ~25 regular season and 25 playoff games he played prior to this season only to struggle with consistency in his first full season. It's all part of the difference between trying to earn a roster spot and knowing you have the job. That being said I think Kindl has the tools to be a great NHL player... he just needs to put it all together. I won't count him out based on his AHL play-- Howard had the same problem and look at him now.
This is a really tough call... any of the big three we might meet (SJ, Chicago or Vancouver) is capable of knocking the Wings out, but all are inexperienced at winning in the playoffs. I don't want to pick my poison but SJ is as likely to fail as anyone else (based on their previous play).
I think he has been very, very good considering he's been away for such a long time. Most of the time you don't notice him out there, and that's a good thing. He keeps it simple and doesn't pinch in time and again like certain other players.
Ericsson should take a long hard look at the way Lilja plays.
No he shouldn't. Part of the problem is that he's been asked to be Lilja this year. Ericsson's not a stay at home defenseman. He's a mobile, puck moving d-man who plays the point on the PP. The Wings have asked him to play a role that's completely different from the one he played and thrived in at the AHL level. Earlier in the year he was scoring and at one point led the Wings' defense in points. He was confident and was able to play good defense for a rookie. Then s*** fell apart for him and he wasn't putting up points or playing passable defense.
Once the points start coming for Ericsson so will the defense. He needs to get back to playing his game and stop trying to be a player he isn't-- Lilja. E isn't going to throw tons of hits and shut guys down with his size alone. He needs to go back to playing the game that made him an all-star at the AHL level.
I would say Tatar is a better skater Z and about the same as Pav. Z can look very "hoppity" on skates sometimes.
Fair enough. One thing to remember about Hank is his deceptive power and how well he stays on his feet in all situations. He's got one of those low skating strides that keep him up and balanced when others when be knocked down.
if you mean Andrej Nestrasil, he has a shoulder injury and is out of Victoriavilles line up for 3 weeks. He will be okay when he returns and Im sure he'll move up the charts. I think last years draft could prove to be one of the best the Wings have had for awhile. I see both of them and Ferraro being on the roster. Ref Tatar thou: The 5-foot-10, 179-pound winger simply has too much going for him, with all the tools to be an impact scoring-line player for the Red Wings five years from now. 5 years !! If he aint a Wing within 2 years Ill be very surprised and miffed! I said he'll be a Redwing before he's 20 and Im sticking with it. Mitchell Callahan is the dark horse in this list, if he can bulk up to 200Lb we have ourselfs are very nice little 4th line pain in the arse with a scoring touch. He is having a good year so far, just needs to improve his skating. Here's a bold statement thou, Smith and Almqvist are going to be the next Murphy and Lids!! My mate watches the Badgers and he says Smith is on another level most nights.
The funny thing about their 5 years comment is they can't mean how long he'll take to get to the NHL since he's already in the AHL.
He entered the AHL at age 18 (turned 19 in December). That means he'll run out of AHL eligibility (without passing through waivers) by age 21. By allowing him to enter the AHL this early Holland litterally fast-tracked him compared to virtually every other Wings prospect in recent history. No Wings prospect has ever been assigned to the Griffins that young in the history of the Griffins-Wings relationship (8 years now).
Heh that makes me excited. I've only got to see very limited action of him actually playing, but if he is as good as a skater as Z and has the talent of Hudler (Who I honestly believe has more natural and pure talent than any player othen then Datsyuk on the Wing's right now) then it looks like we got another steal.
I saw that Czech kid dropped a few spots, got any specific info on him Drake?
Nothing beyond what Redwingscentral has on him, sorry man. Following Tatar's been my real pet project. Man, imagine if we could throw Hudler and Helm in a machine and get one player out on the other side.... well two I guess, we can leave the guy with Helm's hands and Hulder's legs for the families to enjoy.
Tatar grabs No. 1 spot from Kindl By Matthew Wuest – RedWingsCentral.com / January 28, 2010
Tomas Tatar would be having an outstanding American Hockey League rookie campaign if he were a 20-year-old. The fact that he is just 18 is what makes his early success as a pro that much more remarkable.
After an outstanding first half with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Red Wings Central has elevated Tatar to No. 1 in its mid-season prospect ranking. The 5-foot-10, 179-pound winger simply has too much going for him, with all the tools to be an impact scoring-line player for the Red Wings five years from now.
“Tatar’s been a pleasant surprise,” acknowledged Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill. “We didn’t know how he’d hold up being a young kid (playing pro instead of junior) but he hasn’t missed a beat.”
Tomas Tatar has 21 points in 30 games as an AHL rookie and could be a scoring-line player in Detroit in a half-decade or sooner.
Tatar, who has 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points in 30 games as the youngest player in the AHL, has been compared by some scouts to Jiri Hudler, although his speed and quickness make him more dynamic.
Bumped from the No. 1 spot is defenceman Jakub Kindl, who still has plenty of promise as a top-four NHL defender and remains a lock to crack the Red Wings’ roster next season with his new three-year contract.
While a strong argument could be made that Kindl is the Red Wings’ No. 1 prospect — and many within the organization would probably make it — RWC expected the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Czech to cut down on mistakes in his own zone, assert himself more physically, and contribute more offensively.
It’s a close call between the two, but Tatar gets the nod from RWC because his upside is on par with Kindl’s without as many question marks.
Here’s a look at the rest of the ranking.
3. Brendan Smith (+1), D, Wisconsin (NCAA). The upside on Smith is sky-high and he’s taken his game to another level. It would be a shock if the Red Wings don’t get him into the pros in 2009-10 to develop his defensive game.
4. Thomas McCollum (-2), G, Grand Rapids (AHL). It’s been a rocky rookie pro campaign for McCollum, but don’t write him off. He’s big, athletic and technically sound, and most goaltenders his age are still playing junior hockey.
5. Gustav Nyquist (+3), F, Maine (NCAA). Nyquist continues to assert himself as a dominant scorer in college. He’s still small and slight, but so was Henrik Zetterberg at one time. The stronger he gets, the better he’ll get.
6. Landon Ferraro (-1), F, Red Deer (WHL). Injuries have robbed Ferraro of what might have been a big offensive season and a spot on the Canadian world junior team. He dips slightly but remains a terrific prospect.
7. Jan Mursak (+8), F, Grand Rapids (AHL). It’s not often RWC boosts a player so many spots, but Mursak started finding the net out of the blue. He’s a scorer who’s finally scoring and the Red Wings are taking note.
8. Cory Emmerton (-2), F, Grand Rapids (AHL). Emmerton has excellent two-way tools but needs to be more consistent to move himself up the list. Some games, he shows his NHL ability. Others, he blends in.
9. Joakim Andersson (-2), F, Frolunda (SWE). Andersson is an extremely solid two-way presence in the Swedish Elite League, but his offensive numbers have been slow to follow. He needs more ice time to fully break out.
10. Mattias Ritola (–), F, Grand Rapids (AHL). The skilled Swede showed flashes in his five-game stint with the Red Wings and looks like he can play in the NHL. What’s still not clear is if there’s a role to suit his skillset.
11. Brian Lashoff (+2), D, Kingston (OHL). Lashoff’s game is made for the pros and he’s knocking on the door to get into the top 10.
12. Andrej Nestrasil (-3), F, Victoriaville (QMJHL). He’s struggled lately and slipped from the top 10, but RWC expects him to rise again.
13. Daniel Larsson (-2), G, Grand Rapids (AHL). He’s Detroit’s third-stringer, but he has yet to show he’s ready for regular NHL duty.
14. Francis Pare (+3), F, Grand Rapids (AHL). Pare recovered from a slow start and could assert himself as a top AHL scorer in the next year or so.
15. Logan Pyett (+5), D, Grand Rapids (AHL). Pyett has really turned it around and can climb higher with further defensive improvement.
16. Brent Raedeke (–), F, Brandon (WHL). The speedy Raedeke is at the top of his game and looks ready for AHL duty next season.
17. Max Nicastro (-3), Boston U. (NCAA). It’s all raw potential, but Nicastro is adjusting to the NCAA and learning to assert himself.
18. Sergei Kolosov (+1), D, Grand Rapids (AHL). He’s safe and steady and gradually becoming consistently reliable on the Griffins’ blue line.
19. Adam Almqvist (+5), D, HV-71 (SEL). Yes, he’s weak, but Almqvist has turned heads in the Swedish Elite League and is a huge surprise.
20. Willie Coetzee (-1), F, Red Deer (WHL). Scoring isn’t a problem for Coetzee, but he’s too one-dimensional at the moment to be ranked higher.
21. Dick Axelsson (-9), F, Grand Rapids (AHL). After pulling his AHL disappearing act, it’s hard to believe he’ll ever play for the Red Wings.
22. Mitchell Callahan (+2), F, Kelowna (WHL). Callahan is a Grade A agitator whose offensive game is coming along nicely.
22. Gleason Fournier (-1), D, Rimouski (QMJHL). Already productive, Fournier became Rimouski’s main man after some mid-season trades.
24. Julien Cayer (-2), F, Clarkson (NCAA). Although Cayer is a big, physical body, he hasn’t taken a step forward in his offensive development.
25. Nick Jensen (–), D, Green Bay (USHL). A great skater who is headed to the NCAA at St. Cloud State, Jensen has had a quiet season.