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January 1-January 14, 2018 Combined Game Thread


lordstanley
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This week has been the most fun of the season, three home wins, two of them coming beyond 60 minutes. 

But doesn't really change anything. 39 points in 39 games is an 82-points season, similar to last year. 7th worst overall, just a couple points more than Edmonton and Vancouver and 3 above Montreal - could easily finish 4th worst overall. 

5 points out of a playoff spot but they aren't going to make it. Not going to pass Pittsburgh who are 4 points ahead.  Leafs are on pace for 96 points (same as last year) and the Wings are 9 back with 2 games in hand but aren't going to make that up.

So the Wings will miss the playoffs and finish with a high draft pick. As expected. You'd really want to trade places with Buffalo or Arizona? Sure, they're bottom 2, but they're pretty messed up franchises. I have no doubt that either of those teams are a) capable of losing the lottery; and/or b) having their high pick turn into a bust or not changing their fortunes for the better.

Only thing remains to be seen is whether Holland will trade Green and someone else like Nyquist. If he doesn't, he'll deserve (more) criticism.

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The players are going to try to win.  They just are.  Many are marginal and have a career to consider. If a marginal player doesn't play hard, they will find one who will.  Anyone approaching free agency is going to play hard.  And a guy like Z is going to play hard because that is who he is.

Blashill has to try to win if he wants to get considered for an assistant's job somewhere.

So they idea they will tank games beyond setting the roster is nuts.  The 'tanking' is done up front with roster construction.

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38 minutes ago, lordstanley said:

So the Wings will miss the playoffs and finish with a high draft pick. As expected. You'd really want to trade places with Buffalo or Arizona? Sure, they're bottom 2, but they're pretty messed up franchises. I have no doubt that either of those teams are a) capable of losing the lottery; and/or b) having their high pick turn into a bust or not changing their fortunes for the better.

Would I rather be Arizona with a new GM running the team and a top 2 pick in the draft than where we are at? Yes! Now, Arizona handed the reigns over to some kid and I would not do that. 

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20 hours ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

 

So they idea they will tank games beyond setting the roster is nuts.  The 'tanking' is done up front with roster construction.

Which they shouldn't do. They need to develop the good young players they have. Putting the them with hot garbage is not going to help the cause. They should however, promote younger players to the NHL if they are better than the current veterans on the roster.

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I don't think in the Blashill era there have been many, if any, cases of qualified kids going overripe in the minors.

With respect to forwards, Rasmussen was given a look at training camp but rare for a #9 overall to make the team right away. I think he'll be with the Wings at some point next season. Svechnikov, the Wings' 1st round pick in 2015, is having a poor year in GR this season. After that, who else?

With respect to defensemen, Russo seems like a career minor leaguer, can fill in as a 7th D on the Wings but nothing special. Hicketts? He needs another year at GR. After that, who else?

The one conflict between trying to win now at the expense of relative youth is Blashill riding Howard so much this season at a 3:1 ratio  over Mrazek. Howard's playing well, Mrazek may be a lost cause. But we are about to lose him for absolutely nothing unless he gets some playing time to prove he has value. I understand Blashill's thinking in playing Howard - his job depends on wins.

I'd also be playing AA and Mantha as much as possible the rest of the way. Both players have value and with padded stats the rest of this season could be a prime time to sell high on them if the Wings aren't that confident in either going forward. ****, I'd trade Larkin for the right offer. Don't laugh, if Fulmer isn't totally off the table, why should the Wings have untouchables?

 

 

 

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I'm sure the front office knows more than me about the trade market, but holding onto Mrazek to not play him and lose him for nothing at the end of the season is baffling to me.  Al freaking Montoya got traded for a fourth round pick today!   Try to showcase him in case he gets hot or retain salary and ship him off for a pick please.  If you need a body to sit on the bench and fill in every now and then at least let Coreau realize his destiny.

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One could argue that any Red Wings youth movement looked more promising in the summer of 2014 than it does today 3.5 years later

Summer of 2014

- 24 year old Nyquist had just scored 28 goals and 48 points in 57 games that season

- 23 year old Tatar had scored 19 goals and 39  points that season in a breakout year and a 56-point season was coming up next

- 22 year old Riley Sheahan had put up 24 points in 42 games that season

- 23 year old DeKeyser had just completed his first full season with the Wings, which was considered a success.

- 24 year old Brendan Smith had played 71 games that season and was considered to have upside potential.

- Hope then that 20 year old XO and 21 year old Ryan Sproul would develop into top-4 defensemen

- Mrazek had already seen some NHL action at the age of 21 and was anticipated to be the goalie of the future

- Mantha would turn 20 that fall. He had been drafted in 2013 and in the 2014 season put up 120 points in 57 games in junior

- Larkin had just been drafted 15th overall

Compared to under-25 talent today in January 2018?

- 25 year old Mrazek is pretty well done, at least in Detroit

- Nyquist, Tatar and DeKeyser stopped getting better; XO and Sproul didn't really pan out beyond low-pairings; Sheahan is gone.

- 23 year old AA has 15 points in 29 games

- 21 year old Larkin has 33 points in 39 games, slightly exceeding expectations from when he was drafted

- 23 year old Mantha has 25 points in 37 games, roughly matching expectations from when he was drafted

- Hronek and Cholowski and Hicketts are only three D-men in system with a good chance of making the Wings, and there are question marks about all

- 18-year old Rasmussen gives early signs of matching his #9 overall ranking, but in the short-term is sidelined for wrist surgery

- Some real concern now about 21 year old Svechnikov given his poor GR season to date

 

 

 

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I will say lil Bertuzzi has been intriguing on a line with Z and Nyquist.  I don't think the top six is his eventual landing spot, but he's been doing the dirty work on the boards (nice chip while battling for his first assist I believe it was) and in front of the net (caused havoc a couple times that let Nyquist pick up pucks and score) while the other two seem to be benefiting from the space.  Sadly this is what Abdelkader is being paid to do...

 

Svechnikov has had a bad season, he was battling back from a neck injury that kept him out of training camp from end of September through October 19 and was assigned straight to GR.  It is still a disappointing start, but at least in his last five games he has three goals and an assist.  Hopefully he keeps building as the Wings need all the scoring touch they can get with the lackluster D. 

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1 hour ago, drownwithyou said:

Well speaking of the young guys.... AA scores another one on a nice move!  He's been playing dynamite lately and if he continues to play like this he better keep getting his ice time.  CMON JEFF WE DON'T NEED TO SEE HELP OR ABDELKADER OFTEN.

And now an assist for AA on Tatar's goal. Could the Wings actually win 4 in a row?

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And now an assist for AA on Tatar's goal. Could the Wings actually win 4 in a row?

AA with the nice board battle too, along with a nice heads up play to retrieve the puck and nice pass by Larkin. Finish by big money Tatar.... all just how Holland drew it up baby.


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