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February 2019 Game Thread


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55 minutes ago, Buddha said:

every time i watch dekeyser, helm, or abdelkader play it makes me depressed.

Yup, And the hard thing to accept is that as far past his best days as Kronwall is, the blue line core will still be worse for his retirement. DeKeyser is probably the 3rd best Dman on the team and I don't think he would see better than 6th man ice team with any other team.

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1 hour ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Not sure what you wanted him to do on that play.

It was more of a lament than anything else - he was just in over his head, like most of our defensemen are too much of the time. Any attribute a better player might have - quicker feet, quicker stick, half a step more anticipation...IIRC he came close to getting his skate on the shot but was a buck short. He just is what he is. The team seems to just get more schizophrenic (in an almost fun way), I guess in part because Blashill recognizes they have to play all out offensive press to try to protect the defensemen, but of course when a front line is out there that can't hold or get back possession things get really bad. 

The line strategy gets interesting now also. Larkin, Mantha, Bertuzzi are playing fabulous offensive hockey together and are their best trio defensively as well, but the dropoff from the #1 line to the rest was extreme last night in the 1st two periods. Obviously you can't see the issue without the overlay of the standings. Keeping that line together is better for them, more exciting for the fans, but worse strategy for the team GA and so maybe overall as well.

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DDK was stuck on that play in that it was a 2 on 1 with a back-checker that wasn't able to completely get back in time for Danny to commit to Kane soon enough to jam him. 

I agree a top d-man is a half-step faster and makes it harder on Kane, but am not sure he could have been sealed off in any event.

I think DDK is a 4th / 5th D man on a play-off team, 6th on a top defensive team.

This might be the weakest group of D-men since I started watching the Wings 30 years ago.



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Nick Jensen and a 5th to Washington for Madison Bowey and a 2020 2nd.


6. Madison Bowey – 23-years old, D, NHL/AHL
Bowey has been a polarizing player during his young career. Many Hershey fans grew frustrated with his play during his time in the AHL. He was protected during his rookie season, being kept out of high-pressure defensive situations. Those situations were handled by Hershey’s veteran defensemen. Instead, Bowey was put in spots where he was more likely to succeed. That was a smart move by then-Hershey head coach, Troy Mann. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native posted solid numbers in his rookie campaign with 29 points and a team best plus-22 rating. His play dipped in the Calder Cup playoffs. He took unnecessary penalties, compiling 35 penalty minutes in 21 games and fell to a minus-3. He played over fan favorite Mike Moore and when he struggled, many fans viewed it as favoritism that Bowey was not being held accountable for his mistakes the same way Moore was. Bowey’s sophomore season was hindered by injury, but he bounced back to make Washington’s roster out of training camp last season. He tallied 12 assists in 51 games but found himself a healthy scratch for much of the second half of the season and spent nine games back in Hershey to get playing time. Bowey is a strong skater, but sometimes gets caught flat-footed. This is what causes him to take bad penalties. He has good puck-possession ability and is a good passer. He also has the ability to put up points. He scored 60 points in back-to-back seasons in juniors and netted 21 goals one season. Defensively, Bowey is inconsistent in his decision-making process. He is always looking to make the big play, but sometimes he just needs to make the smart play.

Bowey is in an interesting situation heading forward. He will most likely start the season with Washington, as he is no longer waiver-exempt. However, he may struggle to find his way into the lineup. John Carlson, Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik are all ahead of him on the depth chart on the right side. This puts Bowey as the seventh defenseman and means he will likely be scratched most nights. He still needs ice time to continue to develop and improve the areas where he has struggled. He will find it hard to get that ice time in Washington. Bowey has the ability to be a solid NHL defenseman. Sitting in the press box is not going to help him get there. He will need a strong training camp to force head coach Todd Reirden into finding him playing time.


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