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SpikeDDS

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SpikeDDS last won the day on October 25 2018

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About SpikeDDS

  • Birthday 06/06/1969

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    Georgia
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    Fayetteville, GA, USA
  • Favorite Team
    Red Wings
  • 2nd Favorite Team
    Lightning

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  1. And now we begin to see what we expected to see. The last two Red Wing games have been completely different than the previous four were. You could see some of what was coming in the Anaheim game, but now reality has revealed itself: We have a great first line, and a surprising fourth line (thank heavens!), but defensively we just aren't good enough to be consistently solid on a nightly basis; not deep enough to keep solid opponents at bay. Dekeyser goes out, and despite getting an early lead, we watch the opposition score 5 goals, 3 on the PP. They are blaming themselves for a lack of effort. There is likely some truth to that. But there is also the truth that Dekeyser is probably our best defender, and we aren't deep enough to make up for the defensive deficit that comes when he isn't available. The reality could be that these last two games may be more representative of what this season is gonna be like than the previous 4 games were. The fact is that Larkin's line alone is not gonna be able to win many games for us on its own. And yeah, the fourth line (or should we call it the third line now?) has been better than anyone would have expected, but we cannot ignore the void that the middle six are creating. The fact that AA is not scoring isn't as big a deal to me as the defensive liability that the line has. Even if AA scores a goal every night, if they let in 3 goals, they are a liability. It is the defense that must be fixed. If they fix it, the offense will come. AA won't be denied. But he's not getting chances because chances are not being manufactured from defensive play. Yes, AA's most natural position is on the wing. Theoretically, the wing gives him more opportunities for breakaway goals, which are one of his greatest threats to the opposition. But he won't get any if they are not generated by takeaways followed by passes to his tape. That's supposedly why they went out and got Filppula, to fill that role. But it's not working so far. So I hope if things continue this way that they may consider putting him back at center. No, I'm not saying I prefer him there, but it may end up being the right thing to do until we have centers that are good enough to make the plays that spring AA for scoring opportunities. And until those centers develop, perhaps we should consider putting him back in the middle. Even though it didn't work right away last season, by season's end, it WAS working. One thing is certain, if a guy like AA is not scoring goals, something is definitely wrong, and changes will need to be made. I hope they leave this option open as a possibility. Thoughts?
  2. @yave1964 This was before my time. My interest in the Wings began when Yzerman was drafted. I was ignorant of hockey before that. More a Tigers fan as a kid. Hockey began with Yzerman, and my love for curling began in college. But it highlights one of the reasons I have grown to love hockey more than all other major sports: most players remain humble, even as they are confident. Most hockey players don't get the "star" treatment as they develop, and so they don't get too full of themselves, and the hockey culture tries to keep that humility as part of the player culture. "Be confident, but don't EVER think you are bigger than your team or the game itself." Nick Lidstrom personified this idea. As great as he was, he never thought of himself more highly than he ought to have. He looked to Yzerman as a mentor, even though in the end, his play actually surpassed that of Stevie's. But he will be the first to tell you that he learned a LOT about being a leader and a captain from The Captain. And he certainly wouldn't have been the same player had he not learned from the veterans he played with early in his career. This is likely not true for 100% of hockey players. But it IS true of the vast majority of them. They are salt-of-the-earth guys who remain grateful for the opportunity to play the game they love for a good living, and have genuine gratefulness for the fans that support the game and make that opportunity possible. This is the same thread that makes that signed card so valuable. Never trade it. That's all about love for the game and its fans. Great testimonial, @yave1964.
  3. I’ve gotta say, last night’s game was a well-played hockey game by these Wings. What impressed me was the 4th line. Helm, Glendening, and De La Rose. Relentless. Irritating. And rewarded. Helm scored the first one. Glennie closed the door with an empty-netter. Helm was the most obvious with numerous scoring chances. And Bernier was as well-positioned as I’ve seen him play as a Wing. He swallowed pucks. Rebounds were rare. He was tracking the puck well. And one of the two goals he let in was a fluke off the glass that bounced off of his arm into the crease for Domi. Normally, when Bernie plays, it’s a veritable shooting gallery for the opposition, and Bernie looks like a deer in the headlights, and his numbers suffer. Often playing on the second of two nights, he rarely gets solid support. Nice to see him play well when he does get it. But we’ve known we need secondary scoring. The 4th line’s ascendancy has been somewhat organic. They have played well, tough on opponents, and last night they got rewarded. Other than the top line, Glendening leads all scorers in goals. We/I have been tough at times on Blash. And I will openly state here that I have kinda wondered why both Babs and Blash like him as much as they do. I questioned giving him an A this season. He seems to have responded. So far, good move by Blash. But I also have to give him credit for Mantha. Two Thanksgiving’s ago, Mantha was struggling to find his game. Blash showed him on video the best vs. the worst ten shifts and let him see that moving his feet was the main difference. Mantha seems to have taken that the way Blash had hoped he would. And even defensively, this stretch of 4 games hasn’t been too bad. Better than I thought we would be. And it may not be so much about the D-men, but about the forwards being a bit more responsible and helping out. The D core haven’t been perfect, but they’ve been solid. And it seems like right now, we are getting juuuust enough scoring and juuuuust enough good play in net when we need to to win these closer games. Quick nod to Larkin’s line. Definitely the most consistently good line. They were also noticeably good, especially in the O-zone. They are moving the puck well. More no-look passes. Now if we can just get AA scoring too and give him some confidence, this could really get interesting.
  4. This trade happened late last night. Another middling veteran D man for a prospect, which split last season between the ECHL and AHL. Seems to me this could be a sign that they are going to take their time to make sure Seider adjusts well to the North American rink and NHL game before calling him up. I don't have a problem with the trade value-wise. I don't think Pope had much of a chance of cracking the NHL lineup in Detroit any time soon. Too many others to leapfrog. Stevie DID SAY we were going to need patience. Guess he wasn't kidding.
  5. This was a very entertaining hockey game! The Wings came out flat. The Stars took advantage. Seguin totally undressed Larkin getting around him to score his goal, and Larkin knew it! And you think back to last season. One of two things usually happens: Either the team stops playing at all, and we end up with 7-1 loss, or Dylan Larkin puts the team on his back and we make a go of it. Neither of those two things happened. Instead, Anthony Mantha put the team on his back, and we made a go of it! And what a go! For whatever reason, Mantha had time and space in this game. Even his third, rebound goal, no one touched him but the goalie. I’m not sure that it was all Mantha creating that time and space. I think Dallas didn’t play him tight enough. But Mantha made the most of what he was given. He really does look like an elite player right now. His second goal—like his goal against the Preds the night before—was a statement goal, announcing his arrival. They are goals of will, borne from talent. But I will say this—the Larkin Line is going to get its goals, they are going to score. The question for this team is where is the secondary scoring going to come from? Eventually, opponents will adapt and put their elite shutdown lines up against them. They may not stop them completely, but this line won’t be scoring 4 goals per game every game. Who else is going to step up? Hopefully, when AA returns, his line will answer that question in part. But with the level of D we have, if we want a chance to compete, we will need consistent scoring from people other than the top-4. So far, of our 9 goals, Glendening’s is the only secondary goal. But yeah, we ride Anthony Martha’s wave as far as it goes. Hopefully, if teams try to crowd Mantha, it just opens up space for Larkin to create. Oh, and I really like Hirose on the PP. The feed to Mantha on his first goal was his signature. I REALLY like his play. I am a quick fan of this kid. He is the kind of secondary player we need. He keeps going like he is, and continues to grow and improve, I’ll soon be saying top-5, not top-4. But I’m hoping he turns out to be more than a Fillpula. He needs to shoot sometimes. Bernier looked bad on the first goal. He got better and better as the game progressed, with a huge set of saves as the clock wound down. Good to see him play better, and good to see the team rally and support him with scoring. This was, indeed, a good win for the Red Wings.
  6. @yave1964 I agree on Ras and I didn't mention Svech, and I should have. Just didn't come to mind. Had a pretty darn good preseason considering the length of time he had to sit out. I was pleasantly encouraged with him, but he does need a bit of AHL to build him up for the NHL workload. Ras is a conundrum. They want him to play center. He's a big boy at 6-6, and most guys his size are D-men or centers. That kind of frame is often suited for more defensive play. And I think that's what Blash sees for him. He didn't thrive at wing last year, and he may just be better at center. It kinda makes sense. Blash is going to try to build him as a defensively-minded center, and he's got the time to do it, because with our pickup of Filppula that makes one more center that he will have to outplay in the next 2 seasons to be top-6 center. It matches his frame, but does it match his game? He's gonna have to adapt, and I hope he doesn't get worse in trying. We need that net front ability he has. Can he be battling in front of the net AND play responsible D? Time will tell, but that can be a tall order. But I think you and I are in agreement: this year is kinda over before it starts. To me, this year will hopefully be about Cholo regaining his confidence and learning to play a responsible D game, the development of Hirose, Hronek's continued establishment, and hopefully the continued play of our top-4 forwards. It's ALL about what that will mean for NEXT season. That's when it gets a bit more interesting. We should, as you pointed out, have quite a few openings for our youth, and it will be time to let some of them loose and see what they have learned in the AHL, and find out if their games translate to the NHL. And if we suck this year, it can also mean another lottery pick. Perhaps we'll get lucky this time.
  7. The recent silence on this forum—is it silent resignation? I can understand if it is. The Prospects Tournament win was and is a reason for optimism. But that optimism does not translate to optimism for THIS season. It shows that help is coming...in time. As the preseason ramped up toward the end, you started to see opponents playing rosters with mostly NHL players, and our falloff in the last couple of games reflected our compete level against that kind of competition. If anyone has high hopes about maybe making the playoffs this season, the Toronto games should give them pause if not eradicate the idea. It wasn’t just that we lost both games. It is HOW we lost them. The final preseason game wasn’t as bad as last tear’s Montreal games, but it was reminiscent. You want your preseason to ramp up in compete and intensity, and instead we laid an egg! A goose egg! And the breakdown was eerily similar to last season’s breakdowns—the PK was a problem. Toronto scores on the PP almost at will. Defensive lapses led to multiple odd-man rushes and breakaways, some of which Toronto took advantage of. But the bottom line is that last year’s problems came right back once we were pitted against solid NHL competition. These are still systemic problems, and no one should think that these are gone until we see a string of evidence that things have improved in these regards. They haven’t, at least not yet. But I suppose for me, the biggest disappointment is that except for Cholo getting a second chance and Taco being allowed to continue where he left off at the end of last season, NONE of our other young talent was deemed worthy of making the starting roster. They just are not ready yet. It’s not “never!” It’s just now “now!” And it means we will have to be patient and wait. My biggest hopes to make the roster were Veleno and Seider. Seider is young and does need a bit of time to adjust to the North American rink size. I get that one. But I really wondered if Veleno might be ready. He looks really god in the prospects tournament. But if he had made the roster, he would not be on the top 2 lines at center, and so it IS better that he remain in GR for now. By far, the biggest disappointment for me is Zadina. I know he is young. He looks like he needs more time. A LOT more time! He had 1 point—an assist—in 6 preseason games. For a guy who is supposed to be a goal scorer, that’s not a good sign! Even though he didn’t make the roster, it wasn’t so much that he didn’t mKe it, but HOW he didn’t make it that bothered me. IF he’s gonna be great, it’s gonna be a WHILE! Drat!
  8. First of all, welcome, @Hale. Nice to see new RW blood on here. I agree with the heart behind wanting Larkin donning the C. That is an eventuality, and I agree that I wanted it to happen this season. I also think it's getting close to ridiculous to have 4 A's. Why stop there? Why not 8?! (And BTW, 4 probably means Abdelkader will likely don one of them, and after last season's flop, the question is legit: Are that many A's really necessary?) But nobody--and I mean NOBODY--knows more about the pressures of being tapped as captain at a young age than Steve Yzerman. I think he brings a lot of weight and wisdom to that discussion. You and I really have little clue what it takes. He KNOWS what it takes. And I guess to some degree, what Stevie says about players earning spots will be true of the captaincy. Perhaps he wants to provide Larkin the token carrot to try to get his play to the next level--fewer penalties while maintaining or increasing his production and two-way play. In addition, he understands the value of not overloading him with all of the responsibilities of being the sole captain. We do have veterans who can help him. It's not like a total rebuild with only kids. AND Stevie also knows how tough being a captain can be when the team isn't winning. Look at Kronner's post-game interviews and how much gravitas it had to take to answer questions from the press after our two ridiculously horrible losses against Montreal last season. Is Larkin ready to be that sole voice? Will the responsibility that weighs on a captain when the team is losing affect Larkin? Is he mentally ready to do all of that? Even if he is, is it smart to do that? Or is it better to share that weight? Remember, when Stevie joined the Red Wings, they were the Dead Things! He knows how tough those beginning years were. And ALSO remember how long it took him to lead his team to the Cup after he got the C--it was a LONG journey, and as they got good, but not good enough, that whole idea of, "Yzerman's good enough to win, but not win the whole thing," weighed heavily on him during those years. No need to lop on all of that pressure so soon. It'll come. No need to rush it. But I won't lie: I'm somewhat disappointed myself. But again, Yzerman knows MUCH more about this, and I trust his judgment over most on issues like this. Experience is worth gold here!
  9. Don’t know if anyone else has been paying attention, but last night the Red Wings prospects won the Prospects Tournament for the second time ever. This follows up last year’s runner-up performance at the same tournament. Here are my impressions from the tournament: 1. HOW they won was almost important as winning. I think they came back in every single game they played. Their 3rd periods were VERY strong periods. They came back from 2 goals down in multiple games in the 3rd. You’ve gotta like a team that doesn’t quit mentally! 2. Joe Veleno had an an excellent tournament. He scored in every game, had 3 games with multiple goals (the other was an EN only), but he really showcased his shot, especially on the PP. the Red Wing PP was the difference-maker if the tournament, scoring 10? goals, and Veleno was involved in a lot of them. This kid looked really good. I’m not going to say he’s better than Zadina, but he LOOKED. better than Zadina in this tournament, and he was looking good before this tournament. He is making his case to be considered for the big club this season. I liked his demeanor in his post-game interviews. I am becoming a quick fan. 2. Sean Romeo in goal was outstanding. He played the last 3 games of the tournament and looked good enough to win the prestigious Ken Kal award. No, seriously, if you have a guy who did what Veleno did, and as a goalie you somehow outshone him, you’ve done something. What he did was make sure people like Stevie Y are paying attention. Good for him. I had not heard much about him before. Like what I saw. 3. Hirose still crafty. He didn’t score as much as others did, but he is really crafty, just like he was with the Wings at the end of the season. And he had a couple of goals where he picked a tight spot and hit it. 4. Giavanni Smith has his best game I. The final, scoring a couple and playing tough like he always tries to do. It was a good game for him to have a good game. 5. Mo Seider looked solid and comfortable. This was my first chance to see him play. He mad a few mistakes, but there is GOING to be an adjustment for the smaller sheet. I don’t recall him scoring, but he has several assists including shots that were deflected in for goals. Now the not-so-good: 5. Zadina, though he didn’t play badly, didn’t shine like I was hoping he would. Veleno had much more impact than Z did. In fact, Z’s big plus is his one-timer from the circle, but it was Veleno showing that he had one more than Zadina. I hope he impresses more at camp. 6. High scoring affairs. All of which had the same pattern: First period close, Wings staying even or going down by a goal; second period, Wings would get outplayed and go down a goal or two by the end of the period; third period Wings score several to come back and either tie (opening game) or win. 7. The high scoring affairs beg the question—what do our defensive prospects look like? Well, opponents had opportunities, but Romeo was solid in net which saved us to a degree. 8. We were not as strong 5v5 as our special teams were. The PP and PK were the difference-makers, including the play of Romeo in net. I suppose that the obvious strength of the PP is more good news than bad, but you also want to see dominance 5v5. Not as much. Overall, far more good than bad. Other players made their mark too, like Chase Pearson getting a hattie in the third game. And they won the tournament, which says a lot. I hope our guys bring confidence from this into camp.
  10. Hitting school in session. This Kronwall hit is actually after the rules for headshots were already put in place. There was no penalty or suspension for this hit, because it was perfectly legal, even though it was brutal! Glad Voracek is OK. He seems to have learned from it, which is good. Doesn't keep his head down any more, does he?
  11. Niklas Kronwall officially announced his retirement today. I’m actually glad, I think. Not that we won’t miss his leadership. We will to a degree. But I think this completes the transition from the Pav/Z era to the Larkin era. With Kronner gone, this is now clearly Larkin’s team. It will now surprise me if Larkin doesn’t have the C on opening night. What will I miss most? That’s easy: Kronwalling! The league won’t say it officially, but I think that Kronwall’s hit portfolio helped the league navigate how it defines illegal contact with the head vs. a clean hit. The VAST majority of his notorious hits were legal even by today’s standards, and I truly hope it stays that way. He usually hit players with their heads down driving through their bodies—heads and all—almost always keeping his skates on the ice until first contact was made, to avoid the charging call. In short, if you are going to teach young players how to make a legal hockey hit at the pinnacle level—if you want to take a legal hit as far as it can go without getting illegal with it—cue any one of a number of Kronwall’s hits and take notes. The most memorable hit for me was the hit on Voracek many seasons ago. Might have resulted in more potential injury to Voracek that one would hope, but that was more on Voracek for carelessly keeping his head down than on Kronner for hitting him that way. It was the textbook on what can happen if you skate with the puck with your head down. Do that in this league—even with the new rules, which I am grateful for—and you’re gonna pay for playing carelessly. Playing carelessly leads to injury, even your own. I’ll leave the fun of posting the links of Kronwall’s greatest hits to @yave1964 who was his biggest fan on HF.
  12. @TropicalFruitGirl26 @yave1964 Not a bad way to do it. I wonder, though, about having AA and Zadina both on the second line. For me, I always try to have a sniper/scorer, a defensively-responsible center, and either a net front guy or a scrapper who can retrieve pucks. To me, I’d almost like to see Zadina and Hirose on a line and let Hirose feed Zadina. Yes, that would mean Erne on the second with AA, which might be a bit of a push. But I think this may balance the scoring between lines a bit better, with 3 lines that can score plus a grinder. You could also pair Hirose with AA on line two, and count on Filppula to feed Zadina.
  13. I subscribe to the Athletic, and I haven’t been disappointed. I usually enjoy it because of the analysis. But today, I’m reading an article on Svechnikov, and I find out the Wings acquired Adam Erne from the TBL for a fourth rounder in 2020. Didn’t see that reported anywhere. Am I obtuse and just missed it? Anyway, I like the deal. Erne didn’t score too many points, but the kid only got just over 10 minutes of ice time on a talent-laden Bolts team. Tough to nab ice time on a team like that. Tough to get a true read of potential. We saw this a season or two ago with AA. He was scoring, but not getting much ice time. Last season he finally got the time and made the most of it. I see this as a similar opportunity for Erne. My only thing with it is that it COULD block out an opportunity for a prospect—like Svechnikov—to be given a chance to get some games in at the NHL level and for the Wings to be able to see what they really have in some of these young players. Do they have what it takes to be successful players at the NHL level? This notwithstanding, I like the deal for the potential upside of this kid. And I think it is even MORE interesting because he’s coming from the team that Stevie GM’d, suggesting that perhaps he sees something in this kid. Intriguing development that barely made a ripple.
  14. My opinion: It is time. It is almost universally accepted that Larkin will eventually wear the C. The question in the past has been readiness. His youth may have a small bit to do with things, but more important, I think, was trying to avoid giving him too much too soon. And I think the Wings leadership did the right thing in easing him into team leadership while lowering the chances of his play suffering from having too much responsibility. Far better to give him the A for home games and let his play and leadership develop well than try to give him too much responsibility and have that also negatively affect his play/development. He is, without a doubt, the Wings’ best all-around player. Last year just further solidified that position. And while being the best player doesn’t always make you the best captain, I think Larkin’s strengths and leadership qualities make him an ideal captain. And it’s not like he’s in his 3rd year or anything. He’s a veteran that is coming into his prime. And he’s got younger players that he can help connect with as a veteran to be able to teach them how to be pros. What a champion work ethic looks like. I don’t see him as much a talking captain, but rather as a player that leads by example kind of captain, which is far better. I also think that HE thinks he is ready to take responsibility for this teams play and eventual ascent from the near-bottom to competitive. I guess the better questions are: Why NOT him? And why NOT now?
  15. @yave1964 THAT is more like the yave I have come to know and respect. Emotions got the best of you trying to accelerate hope because this is YOUR team! I totally get it. It’s hard to swallow the bitter pill that is a true rebuild. Unfortunately, there will be more than one dose! We knew this back when they were making deals and we were saying “no.” Not as loudly as we say it today, but still acknowledging that we were giving away our talent for very short-term help. And I blamed Holland, but he may very well have been doing Mike Ilitch’s bidding. I don’t really know who to blame. But whoever it was didn’t even get what they had hoped. And then to make up for it, we continued our “noble” cause of loyalty to the falling. You can do that for a very select few. Z for example. Kronner. But Helm? Cleary? Abdelkader? Those are not elite heroes. They are supporting cast. But we have treated them more like just sub-elites. This was a long series of mistakes that have had extended impact that has totally prevented us from doing what Chicago has done. To be honest, I think Chicago learned from Detroit’s mistakes and avoided them by letting go of supporting players. Shaw comes to mind. Bickell does too. They knew they had to cut some ties, and they did it before it was too late. And getting lucky in the draft lottery ain’t gonna hurt ‘me any! I predict that Dach is gonna be a great player for them. When Jimmy Devellano came over, he knew it was going to take a long time to build a great team. It took longer than he thought it would. We are not as bad as the Dead Things were. It won’t take THAT long. But Stevie knows history has a tendency to repeat itself. He’s got the right perspective. Think. Long. Term. In 2-3 seasons it might be time to make that interesting FA move. Now, a signing like that hinders the flexibility we need to be able to get our young talent opportunity to show what they can do. For your own sake, I suggest you swallow the pill. Accept the reality. Lowering expectations makes it easier when we finally start looking mediocre again. Easier on the heart. More likely to be around for those grandkids. And if you just can’t help yourself, yave, there is always weed! ;-D
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