Just give Weiss a chance I really don't get it. Guy was brought here for a reason for that money. I loved him in Florida you can't tell me he can't play anymore/lost all his talent. Give him a couple good linemates and he will produce. I would put money on it
I'm sure that's the eventual plan, but I think right now the big thing is getting him back to game form. He's been off the ice for the greater part of two years, and now that's he's ready to come back, its with a team/system/coach that he hasn't really had an opportunity to play with at 100%. He had a hop in his step during the preseason that was absent all last year, and he was looking to get involved more, but Weiss' timing was way off. He wasn't completing passes well, he didn't seem in synch with his line-mates, or the game overall, for that matter. I don't know what Babcock and co are thinking with benching him because I obviously don't have access to the practices or lockerroom, but I have to imagine that they want him to get back up to speed, and comfortable with the pace and the way the Wings play before giving him time on the top 6, against other team's top players. I suspect this process will take a few weeks.
Maybe the thinking is to have more of a staying at home guy with a strong shot at the blue line to reduce the risk to run into a breakaway. As good as I think Smith is on the PP he's also very offensive minded. Not a problem with a second defender, but if you are the only one the team could get in pretty nasty situations when the puck is lost in the zone.
I agree with this, and if Smith was on the PP, I wouldn't want him as the high defender. But if Kronwall or Dekeyser was the high defender, Smith could work one of the walls.
Well, I don't think it's inconceivable that the team could have kept around one or two defensive prospects to fill out the points on the PP. At which time you'd only need six forwards. And we've at least six who are much more qualified to do that job than Helm. Sadly, however, we've apparently got exactly two defensemen that Babs feels confident enough to put on the powerplay (and one of them is Dekeyser).
Justify it however you want. If you're comfortable with Darren Helm on your powerplay I don't know what to say to you.
Speaking of, why is it that Babs would rather have Helm and Nestrasil on the powerplay than Smith? I thought he was supposed to get a shot this year?
This is what doesn't make sense to me. I'm a bit surprised that they're going with 1 defender for each line, especially because Smith has the potential to be a difference maker on the power play, and Oulette (whom I think deserves to be on the team over Kindl and Lashoff, at least based on preseason performances) also showed he knows how to generate offense, albeit in a small preseason sample size. I would certainly rather Smith in over one of Helm or Nestrasil, specifically Nestrasil because I don't even know if he's a reliable NHL player yet. My biggest reservation on Oulette on the powerplay is during the preseason on the man advantage, he threw a terrible pass into the slot from the half-wall which was immediately picked off for a breakaway. It only happened once, but those kind of risky moves are exactly the thing that coaches get aneurisms over, so I can see Babcock (or actually, who's the PP coach now?) holding him off the powerplay in the regular season until Oulette is smarter with the puck.
In theory. But if Helm were any good at that then his offensive production would be significantly higher than it is. The fact is, so far, Helm's speed has not translated into much offensive productivity. I'm not really sure why he seems to be the guy Babs is counting on to fill holes in the offense.
Maybe I'm wrong, but I just see Abby all over again. "Well, put him alongside Datsyuk and he'll score just fine...". *facepalm*
I think that mostly has to do with his stone hands in front of the net
Agreed on Jensen. But Mrazek's sample size extends into solid performances last year (2 shutouts) and, of course, his AHL record which includes the Calder Cup.
Agreed on Mrazek. He had better numbers than Jimmy and Monster last year, and although I haven't looked at the stats for the preseason, but he looked the most impressive to me from the three of them. His unsustainable one shutout for every three games played he had last season continued through the preseason as well. But numbers aside, Mrazek is aggressive as hell in net, and he's real comfortable handling the puck. Not to mention every account of the kid says he's as confident and competitive as anyone you'll meet. The kid is the real deal.
Of those prospects I think they made the right call. Jensen and Oulette both consistently outplayed almost half out defensive NHL roster, and both provided much needed offense from the blue line. Callahan could have provided some much-needed sand paper from the bottom six, but overall Nestrasil has the potential to be a bigger difference-maker, both now and especially a couple years down the road. That said, there's no guarantee that Callahan even gets picked up off waivers, so there may be hope still that he sticks with the organization.
Looks like Jensen, Marchenko, & Ouellet are considered the front runners to take spots with Sproul & Backman being sent down. Just hope they are given a legitimate shot yet at taking Kindl & Lashoff's jobs to start the season, especially with how bad those two looked against the Pens last night.
It's crazy because I didn't even know who the kid was a couple weeks ago, but I gotta say Jensen looks like the biggest difference-maker of the bunch from what I've seen. I can't believe how solid he looked at all ends of the ice. It doesn't hurt that he has a good set of wheels and a right-handed shot either.
Actually Lashoff looked like the one who screwed that one up. He was caught up way too high, covering absolutely nobody, while Kindl was stuck responsible for two bodies in front of the net, although he was out of position to effectively do that. Weiss also looked lost on that play, but with Lashoff so high up, I don't know if Weiss noticed a second too late to cover for him or what happened. He was in an awkward spot on the ice.
I would like to see another replay of the play just to see if there was a winger who coughed up the puck on a potential breakout, and Lashoff was anticipating the puck to go to center ice. I can't remember those details of the goal.