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SpikeDDS last won the day on June 30 2020

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About SpikeDDS

  • Birthday 06/06/1969

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  1. @yave1964 If it is your birthday, Happy Birthday to my HF bud!
  2. Mutually beneficial signing. Yzerman is doing what he can to make this a playoff team, but he is WAY more focused on rebuilding a contender long-term. This deal doesn’t hurt the latter and at best, it makes the playoffs more likely. At worst, they are out $2M, and it doesn’t really affect Yzerman’s ability to acquire veteran talent at the deadline if that’s the move he feels he needs to make. Still plenty of cap space to work with if needed. TBH, at the beginning of the season, I wanted 1 more young player up on the big club, and the thought of possibly adding Kane seemed to me to slow/harm the development of our young prospects. But the short-term nature of this deal makes me more comfortable with the gamble. Kane’s hockey brain still works. It will be an asset. The question is will his body be able to cash the checks his mind writes. It is a heavy and legitimate question. The vids he released showing his conditioning and skating didn’t look bad. But there is skating and then there is playing games in the NHL. Those are two different things. And there’s only one way to find out if he can do it. I hope he can. BUT, as I have said so many times before, history has a tendency to repeat itself. History has a tendency to repeat itself. The question is: Will this be an exception?
  3. @yave1964 Ottawa was a statement game for sure. You KNOW how reticent I am to get optimistic. I’ve had good reason to be that way. I have less good reason now than any time in the last 10 years to be hesitant. I still am. It IS early. But you’re right. This DOES feel VERY different. If for no other reason, despite Larkin and Debrincat being at the top of the NHL in scoring, we’ve had just about as balanced a score sheet this season as you could draw up. EVERYONE is contributing. We are rolling four—sometimes 3 2/3) LEGIT lines that can all play and are real threats. How does a team defend against that, especially if the top line is dominating like they are in addition? If Stevie Y isn’t on top of the GM of the Year standings right now, I’d like to know who else is. He’ll try to play it down, but this is the product of his genius plus good fortune that Debrincat wanted to come home and is playing like he is elated. But to Steve’s credit, he amassed the resources required to make a deal happen. This IS fun, even if I haven’t yet FULLY swallowed the KoolAid. I am taking sips, and DANG if it doesn’t taste good!!
  4. The title might be misleading a little bit. I'm not saying David Perron is or will ever be as great a Red Wing or even as great a player as Steve Yzerman, let me clear that up right off the bat. But there is one thing that happened over the weekend that is history repeating itself that caught my attention. After his goal on Saturday, the camera zoomed in on David Perron sitting on the bench, and in his hand he was holding JT Compher's stick. You could see Compher's name clearly on the stick handle. Ken and Mickey noticed it and commented. It WAS a little strange, because normally when that happens, it's just after a player's stick breaks and someone just hands him the next available stick they have available, whosever stick it might be. But he hadn't broken his stick recently. And no one was rummaging down in the tunnel to find him a replacement. He was playing with it on purpose. After the game, or it may have been before Sunday's game, someone asked Perron about it, and he said he had switched sticks. Why? His response was that he was being asked to play a different role. And whereas when he was primarily playing on the flank and using his one-timer, he used a shaft that had a bit more flex to it to maximize velocity on his snapshot. But now, he was being asked to play net front and down low and screening the goalie, and mucking it up for the dirty goals in the blue paint. He said to do that, Compher suggested he try a stick with a more firm flex for doing stick battles with opponents. So he started playing with Compher's sticks. It was mentioned that he was doing it so much that they were running low on Compher's sticks. Here's the point: Players and coaches talk about "buying in" to their systems. Some players are asked to change their roles. Frequently, when an historically top-rated scorer gets asked to play more defense or to play in the trenches, you'll get pushback. Either that, or the player will give only a modicum of effort, playing "lazy." Players do that when they aren't happy. Ask Debrincat about last year. He admitted it, even though he tried later to walk it back. You can go through the motions playing a role you don't want to play. JT Compher's stick tells you that David Perron isn't going through the motions. He has decided to embrace his new role, and it's allowing Larkin and Debrincat to shine in what used to be HIS role. The stick change tells you he's giving it his best effort; that he is willing to change his game to allow the team to win. Years ago, Steve Yzerman was top-3 in the league (only behind Gretzky and Lemieux) in offensive production. But Scotty Bowman challenged him to buy in to his left wing lock system, which would mean he would have to take on a more-defensive role than ever before. Yzerman did NOT want to do it. He refused. And for the next couple seasons, the Red Wings did what they HAD been doing--winning in the regular season, and being trounced in the early rounds of the playoffs. It almost came to the point where the Wings were actually considering moving Yzerman or not re-signing him because of it. But Yzerman finally came to his senses, and committed to Bowman that he would play his way, and two seasons later, we won our first of four Stanley Cups in the Wings' era. Perron didn't need to wait 2 or 3 seasons. He bought in immediately. I have to take my hat off to the man. That is not easy to do, but he has clearly made the right decision, and both he and the team will be better off for it. Just look at Debrincat and Larkin's stats if anyone isn't convinced as well as the Wings' current position in the standings. It's early, but THIS MATTERS!
  5. Back when the Vegas Golden Knights first came into the league, the draft lottery was so tilted in their favor that they went to the Stanley Cup Finals that year (only to lose). But I remember wanting them to lose, because they were basically GIVEN a team. They didn't have to work at all to build a team other than select from a field of significantly more talent than bottom feeder teams (like us) had. They were basically provided a team. At the time, the players they were given weren't considered top-tier players other than James Neal and Marc-Andre Fleury. But it was a collection of middle-line talent, and four lines of it. They didn't have that one weak fourth line. ALL of their lines were relatively strong, and they had a very successful goalie between the pipes. And even thought they didn't win a Cup until this year, they were competitors with the blaring exception of the previous season, when they missed the playoffs for the only time in their history. One year before winning the Cup! I'm looking at our lineup, and with all of the outside help that Yzerman has brought in, I see a similar kind of pattern. But instead of being given this team, Yzerman went out and built it legitimately, first gathering resources--which took FOREVER!--and then when the time was right, unleashing a series of pickups that followed that Vegas pattern. JT Compher, not that he is a bad player, but no one thinks top-line when his name is said. Klim Kostin. In his prime, David Perron would be considered top-line elite, but he's less than that now. Yes, Alex Debrincat was a very fortuitous opportunity, and it certainly has done what he was hoping he would--and then some--so far. That one kind of fell in our lap, because Debrincat wanted to play here. But the deal was that we HAD the resources to be able to pull off the pickup. And now we are seeing the timely ascendancy (FINALLY!) of Michael Rasmussen and Joe Veleno, Veleno being the more pleasant surprise of the two. Whereas he had never played at a level more deserving than for 4th-line minutes, now he's one of a collection of several guys who can legitimately be called middle line centers. And that pretty much finishes removing the "weak 4th line" that we have had for 6-7 years. It was being kind to say that we could roll three lines at times. Just look at the starting roster from back in 2019, when Yzerman first came back! You look at that lineup and just shake your head. Oh, we didn't at the time...to be kind, or hopeful. or optimistically ignorant...but we barely had a legit top line (Athanasiou/Larkin/Mantha). Now, our second and third lines are better than that one was. Better on BOTH sides of the puck. THIS is how you build a post-cap team if you don't get lucky with the draft, and Yzerman isn't even through painting his masterpiece. We get guys like Berggren, Edvinsson, Danielson, Lombardi, Hanas, and hopefully Kasper going and up here, you're getting close to that team that can consistently compete for a long time. It's early. We're only 4 games in. Can't get too crazy too quickly, but it is getting harder and harder to resist the optimism. I haven't been this optimistic in at least a decade. Red Wing hockey is getting fun again!
  6. Well, only one preseason game left to play until they start counting, and it should be an interesting one since most, if not all, of the lineup will be the team we will carry into the regular season, with maybe one or two more switches at most. Here are my thoughts so far: The Wings that impressed me so far: 1. Ghost - He is making such an impact on the PP. @yave1964, if he keeps this up, you'll be right about it being an upgrade from whatshisname...having a hard time remembering... (Yes I know Hronek's name; just having a little fun with it for effect.) 1a. The PP - It looks the best it has looked since Pav & Z were both here. Puck movement is WAY less predictable. Way more one-touch passing, tic-tac-toe opportunities. Night and day difference. The addition of Ghost and Debrincat in this regard cannot be denied. The PP has consistently been our Achilles heel since the Blashill era. This is clearly another level. 2. Rasmussen - Looks like he's picking up where he left off before his injury. With the way he's shooting, he might be better on the wing, since we have enough centers. Do you realize that other than Larkin, Ras has the most games played in a Red Wing uniform on the team? 3. Veleno - This guy looks like he is responding the right way to a one-year deal so far. He looks fast, he's winning puck battles, making plays, and scoring himself. Even staying mostly responsible on D. I've been very impressed with him, and I was starting to wonder if I was expecting too much. He continues to play like this, and he'll get a deal from Stevie before the season is out. 4. Berggren - Last season was not a fluke. This kid is smart! He gets a little more meat on his bones in the next few years, and he'll be a real force, activating others around him. And showing a nice shot too. 5. Reimer/Lyon - The scoreboards might be somewhat deceptive, but these two have played very solid between the pipes. Lyon was excellent againt the Leafs last night, keeping us in the game so we could at least take them to OT. Reimer has played better than I expected also. This decision will be interesting. 6. Edvinsson - He looks OK, but I think he starts in GR. I think he'll end up being called up, and he could stay up once called, but we'll see. He's had some defensive lapses, and I think he could use at least part of a season to get his mind ready to adjust to the faster game. 7. Soderblom - Looks slow this preseason. Giving up pucks because of it. I think he stays in GR. 8. Danielson - Looks like the real deal. Very mature. Making mostly good decisions. Doesn't look like he's having difficulty adjusting to the speed. He looks more ready for the show than Kasper does. Size helps, and the kid's only just turned 18! I've been super-impressed with him. Like Berggren, smart and creative. Fast too. If there is a young surprise to make the squad, he's it, IMHO. I don't know who gets bumped other than Soderblom from the expected players to make the team. 9. Kasper - Not making enough impact yet. Needs a season in GR to figure things out. He looks to me like the speed of play and the small ice are giving him expected challenges. He doesn't look "bad." He just doesn't look ready enough. Just saw he has been sent to GR. Right call. Noted that this morning, Czarnik, Gettinger, McIsaac, Newpower, Rafferty, Stevens, & Hirose were all put on waivers. Also: Kasper, Lombardi, Johansson, Tuomisto, Viro, Wallinder and Cossa were all sent to GR today. So far, they are reading the tea leaves similarly to how I am reading them. More tough decisions to come over the weekend.
  7. @yave1964 I honestly don't get the ripping Yzerman thing. He is doing EXACTLY what he said he would do, and he let everyone know FROM DAY ONE that this was going to take a long time. Certainly the fortune of Debrincat deciding to jump ship from Ottawa helped Yzerman accelerate things tremendously. Hard for him to take full credit for that one, but rather get a deal done and say thank you to the hockey gods. My only criticism from the offseason is that for the sake of bringing along their young talent, I might have wanted one less veteran offseason signing. It's gonna be tough for the kids to get up here and stay up here, maybe a little too hard, IMHO. Hopefully, some will get opportunities during the season (or even preseason) that make Yzerman's decisions difficult. I'm hoping one of the kids plays so well, Yzerman has no choice but to bring him up and lose a vet. And it's too soon to poo poo Cossa. He didn't have a great prospects tournament, so it's too soon to say Wallstedt should have been the choice. And I'm really hoping Raymond has a breakthrough season after the predictable more-pedestrian sophomore campaign. From the reports, he's added 12 lbs. since last season. Sounds like he took it seriously. And I liked hearing that Edvinsson came to his senses realizing that he needed to compete for a job. He's gotta commit himself, and maybe that plus hi injury made Yzerman cover his bases with an extra veteran D-man.
  8. I was really looking forward to seeing the annual Red-White Game marking the end of training camp. The first period, all 5-on-5 ran as expected, as it seemed most of our better veterans were on the Red squad. Daniel Sprong hit a nice one-timer after a cross-ice pass from Veleno right around a minute into the game, and I was thinking maybe we were going to see some scoring. We did see one more goal in the 5-on-5 by the Red team, and there were some nice saves and more than a couple of posts hit. But not as much scoring as there could be. But don't worry, the second period consisted of 16 minutes total of all 5-on-4 play, 8 minutes for each team on the man advantage. Surely there would be some goals scored in the equivalent of 8 power play opportunities. Nope. The PP on both teams went 0-8 on 1:00 power plays. The penalty kill looked good and the goalies did well, but nobody could finish. Only in the third period and the shootout was there some scoring to please, with 10 shooters for each side in the shootout. The Red team held serve. Team Red took the whole game with a final score of 6-4. The big yawn for me was the lack of PP scoring. Not. One. Goal. Our PP has been one of our consistently weak aspects of our game since the playoff drought began. It was THE most legitimate criticism of Jeff Blashill during his tenure. And while it did improve under Newsy, it was still far from decent. I was really hoping to see some good finishes. And while I do acknowledge there was some good puck movement at times, the same could be said for the Red Wing PP for the last 6-7 seasons. Newsy noted the movement in hist post-game presser, but he had to find things to be positive about, so it was predictable that he would mention that as a strong point. Unfortunately, when it came to the PP that WAS the strong point. I suppose good things can and should be said about the PK and our goalie play. OK, but that wasn't what I wanted to see. 16 minutes of PP time. Not one goal is what I got. <YAWN!>
  9. @yave1964 Have you seen the rumor that Patrick Kane wants to come and play with Debrincat? Might be interesting, but the price would have to be mighty good for me to pull that trigger. But that's because the playoffs this season is NOT my main objective. I honestly don't think Yzerman cares too too much whether we make it or not, and I'm with him on that. I want to see some of our young talent getting opportunities if they earn them. I'm hoping 2 or 3 do. If they do, then they just might make the playoffs. If they don't--and that means we probably stay relatively healthy all season, they should be close. A lot will hinge on how Husso responds. You would THINK that with an improved defensive corps in front of him he would do better. He didn't really suck until we dumped Hronek at the deadline. So I just have a feeling he'll do OK, if not better. For the first time since we were in the basement, I'm actually optimistic about this team making the playoffs. I think Larkin is properly motivated now. He's sick of early golf. He's ready to take this team to the next level, and now he has some talent around him to make that possible. If they add Kane and he's healthy, I'm even more optimistic for THIS season, but it will mean that one of our young bucks stays in GR, and I'm not sure whether or not that helps meet our primary objective which is growing a future champion. But this season is FAR more interesting than the previous 7, most of them by leaps and bounds. This is now a serious discussion.
  10. The Petry trade acquisition completes a 100% turnover on defense from when Steve Yzerman became GM of the Detroit Red Wings. The defense corps Yzerman's first year was:Hronek (65 gp)Nemeth (64)Bowey (53)Biega (49)The corpse of Mike Green (48)Daley (43)Cholowski (36)Ericsson (18)Lindstrom (16)McIlrath (16)Lashoff (9)Dekeyser (8)Hicketts (6)Goloubef (2) Just look at that sad defensive lineup we had to endure and try to make the most out of! All Detroit D-men are now Yzerman acquisitions. No more Holland holdovers on D! It truly is a new day!
  11. That's the only part of your analysis that I disagree with. Ghost is solid, but Hronek is gonna be better than a push. But that's OK, because Hronek didn't fit our timeline, and the return for him was excellent. Ghost fills in short-term until our young talent is ready to displace him or whomever else follows him. He might be better for teaching our kids how to QB a PP. As usual, you and I are never too far away from one another. You know, more than most others on here, that I've been holding off on getting my hopes up these past few seasons, but I am very interested to see if we can remain relevant to the playoff discussion beyond the deadline. I think it is definitely a possibility, and I'm ready to allow myself some additional hope for this season. I have plenty for years to come. And other than being slightly more patient than I want him to be--buying one too many role-playing vets this offseason--I think Yzerman is running the show beautifully. Small-potato differences. All forgivable. Really looking forward to training camp. I'm actually hoping one of the kids makes Stevie's job really hard!
  12. Kane is coming off of hip surgery, one which normally takes a bit of time--sometimes a LOT--from which to recover. Not sure our short-term need is long enough to get return on a deal for him. I prefer the Tatar deal over Taresenko if we are going to do one. Leave more play room for future deals as the potential of our talent comes into better focus, as will our future needs. I already kinda think we are a bit too veteran-role-player deep, which is decreasing the chances for our young talent to get real NHL experience, though. I'd like to see Kasper get a serious opportunity to make the squad; Soderblom too; maybe even Mazur or Lombardi if they continue to impress. (Not to mention Wallinder on D and maybe Johansson). That's a LOT of young talent. If I was being critical of Stevie, I would say one too many veteran role players. Yes, we are a deeper team, which is good. It's certainly not an egregious sin. But I would have liked one more potential slot for a young player to be able to shoot for without having to be perfect. No gimmies, but more of a chance. I don't think we want to put the rebuild into overdrive, but a little acceleration would be good, IMHO. All of his moves definitely make us better for this season, but I still want our talent making its way to the show. Detroit tends to be on the slow side for doing this.
  13. Having said that (and not being one bit wrong), if we had selected Hughes, do you think Stevie would still have stuck his neck out to get Seider? And honestly, I’ll take Seider over Hughes. Note that I am not necessarily saying Yzerman wouldn’t have picked Seider anyway. He DOES like to say, “We are going to take the player we think is the best available player regardless of position.” But that was a gutsy pick and we needed a Dman BADLY.
  14. @yave1964 My ONLY gripe with Stevie was dealing Vrana. I think frustration got the better of him. If we were gonna deal him, let him play to raise Tempe value of his stock and THEN deal him. No GM makes EVERY move right. I’m not even saying don’t deal Vrana (although I think there’s a GREAT argument for keeping him), but if you’re gonna do it, do it smart! Love Stevie as a GM. Nobody’s perfect. This is the one thing that some day down the road, he might say to himself, “I’d have done that differently.”
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