I'm not saying that trading for a top 4 defenseman would have necessarily been a bad decision, but you'd likely have to include someone in that trade who's on the roster right now in addition to Janmark, and the risk of injury or the player not panning out is still there. Franson tanked when he was traded and he was probably the top player LGW wanted last year. If we grabbed him, this thread would still exist, except we'd be debating about how good Janmark + Smith/Pulkkinen/Sheahan/whoever + 1st rounder is playing right now in Toronto, and how Franson did nothing for us, then promptly left in the offseason. Now who knows, maybe Franson would have kicked ass here, but my point is trading comes with its risks, regardless of who you're trading for.
I think trading for Cole was a solid move because he was everything the Wings needed at the time. If he doesn't suffer his injury, the playoffs could have easily been a totally different game for us. And like you mentioned, we have so many prospects right now there's no way it would be worth it to hang onto the kid because he sure as hell isnt making the Wings' roster.
I very well could be wrong, but I think Jensen is better, and I also don't think Ouellet's ceiling is very high. I think he is probably the most overrated prospect in our system. That, I hope I'm wrong on...
How I've read these two players (and I could very well be wrong cuz I haven't seen as many GR games as you) is that Jensen is more offensively capable and likes to join the rush and make things happen. Oulette is more safe and steady and defensively responsible. This may be a case of the team valuing defensive play for that final spot over offensive play. If we didn't land green in the offseason maybe it would be Jensen who stays up? And again, I'm only basing this off their games in the NHL that I've seen.
I don't know. Miele looked flashy, but it never amounted to anything. I definitely noticed him out there, but it was a lot more of him trying to something impressive and it not working out, like trying to deke around a defender or something.
Posted by Echolalia
on 25 September 2015 - 07:36 AM
My buddy scored some pretty nice tickets for the game (13th row up from the glass on shooting end for two periods) and was kind enough to invite me along. Seems like what most people saw on TV echoes my thoughts.
Larkin is good. He's NHL ready right now. There were a couple times when he skated into coverage or tried using a hole which closed up around him I think faster than he was anticipating, but those things you get better with with more time in the league. But his vision, his IQ on the ice is excellent. He knows how to find quiet spots in the offensive zone. In the first period on one of his scoring chances he yelled "Pulkky!" before he was even in the slot to receive the pass. He had the vision to know that spot would be open by the time he got there, and the smarts to let Pulks know he wanted the puck before he actually got to his spot and stood still for easy coverage. He was also playing the point on the powerplay for a couple shifts, but it seemed like he had full reign of the ice, cuz he would pinch pretty low, go behind the net, cover the slot, then fade back to the blueline. He was always available to his team somewhere on the ice. At least in that aspect Blashill seemed to give him a real long leash.
One thing I did notice was that on defensive zone face off wins one of the set plays (at least including Larkin and Anithasiau) involved these guys completely ignoring any defensive responsibility and bolting for center ice after a clean face off win. They didn't look back to see where the puck went or if our D turned it over. They didn't fade to our blueline looking for a short breakout pass. They sprinted as hard as they could for center ice which obviously pulled Puttsburgh's defense off the blueline and opened up the path for our guys to skate out the weakside (or breakaway pass). Obviously the downside of this would be if the Wings turned it over we could potentially have a couple forwards way out of position, and likely a defenseman on the wall also out of position, but it's something to keep an eye on this year. Some other teams do this every now and again, but our young guys have wheels (and our defenseman are better when they have time and space to work and skate with), so this could be something Blash utilizes regularly. I did only notice it happen with Larkin and Anithisiau (or however you spell it). I could have missed it some other times.
I think Brendan Smith had a really solid game. I noticed that before faceoffs Smith seemed like he was doing the play-calling. He would skate to a couple guys on our team and tell them something or point somewhere before the puck dropped. It may have been more a case of him giving tips to kids new to the NHL, but either way he came off as a leader in that aspect, which was interesting to see. He's a risk-taker on the powerplay, which I'm not comfortable with. It didn't bite him in this game, but I can definitely see him trying to make a move around his man at the point and losing the puck leading to a breakaway going in the other direction. Maybe that risk is worth taking for the times he gets past his man and has free reign into the shot. Babcock didn't think so, Perhaps Blashill will. Time will tell.
Pulkinen has an excellent shot. He seemed a little more involved in other aspects of the game last night as well, which is actually was I was most excited to see.
Mantha seems like the type to hide in the offensive zone then strike suddenly, Brett Hull like. I don't like that, especially with how big a frame he has, which could be better utilized winning pucks in the corner or fending off defenseman. Having said that I did notice he forced several turnovers which lead to scoring chances.
Franzen looked like you would expect considering he hasn't played in almost a year. Howard looked steady. Bertuzzi seemed like he had a lot of energy out there. Other than that I can't think of anything else of note.
Posted by Echolalia
on 22 September 2015 - 07:41 AM
I get that but that doesn't change anything. If Tavares had the same bad attitude and showed up late his first day and was taken 1st overall, they wouldn't send him back to juniors. Same if Crosby did it, Ovechkin, Stamkos etc. Any top player in the league.
Wasn't stamkos sent back to minor league (albeit not for unprofessionalism) in his rookie year? I mean, I kinda see where you're coming from, but at the same time one of the things that makes these guys top-end talent is their commitment to the game. Guys like Tavares and Crosby are elite not just because of their raw talent, but also because they made a habit of showing up every day on time and ready to work and improve their game. This kid seems a bit like Semin in that he has the tools to be a great player, but he may have character issues that prevent him from reaching his peak.