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SpikeDDS last won the day on October 25

SpikeDDS had the most liked content!

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About SpikeDDS

  • Birthday 06/06/1969

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    Fayetteville, GA, USA
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    Red Wings
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  1. @Hockey Junkie Certainly, our defensive mistakes, more than any other issue, will be what prevents us from contending. We have the offensive skills on hand to compete for a playoff spot. Our goalies have both played more than well enough to warrant a playoff position. Our Achilles heel is and will be the learning of and commitment to playing responsibly on the defensive side of the puck while maintaining offensive pressure and skills. This will take some players longer than others to grasp. Vanek is probably not the best example for our young players in THIS regard. In fact, after Zetterberg retired, it left a void in our veteran staff for a player who is a serious offensive threat who also plays a consistently solid two-way game. Nielsen may be the closest thing we have in our forward corps, but his offensive threat is nowhere near “elite.” Truthfully, the player who best emulates this is...Dylan Larkin. He is now the example to follow. The stats confirm this. No one on our team is as well-rounded at such a high level as he. Green is good for Cholo though. But even Green can get caught forward at times. But on the D side, Green is about as good an example at present (Tip o’ the hat to Kronner for his past play) of a two-way D-man. Oh, Dekeyser is an example of a relatively solid defensively-minded D-man, but not nearly as much puck movement or distribution as we had hoped. The only players that I might say are elite two-way players are Larkin, Green, and maybe AA. There are solid guys like Nielsen, and guys like Nyke and Vanek who are better on the offensive side with some defensive deficiencies, but the very young will have to look more to the young for examples of two-way play than to the true vets.
  2. @yave1964 The reason I didn’t pick Larkin is that his play has pretty much been consistent from Day 1. It wasn’t like suddenly after 10 games he turned it up a notch. He has played up a notch since the beginning. i do think the return of the veteran D-men is a good choice I neglected to add. That’s a good thought.
  3. @Podein25 Relative weakness. It came at just the right time to allow our young players a few games to figure out what they have to do and gain enough confidence to encourage them to play better. They ARE playing better overall. But in the first 10 games, they would play well for 20 minutes, but were anywhere from mediocre to dreadful the other 40. Had we started playing better against top-tier teams, we would have played well...and still lost. Tough for young players to build momentum without W’s. This isn’t to belittle the improvement in our game. What the weak schedule did was allow us to increase the speed of our gaining confidence more than it otherwise would have been, even had we played the same.
  4. Interested in your perspectives.
  5. Hasek redefined how his position could be played. No one had ever seen anyone do it like him successfully. That is when your play "transcends the game." This is why, though a red-bleeding Red Wing fan through-and-through, I still put Bobby Orr above Nick Lidstrom as the greatest D-man of all time. Orr redefined what a defenseman could do, even leading the league in scoring! No one had ever seen anything like him before (or since, really). He changed the role of what D-men can be expected to do forever. He changed the game. Hasek wasn't quite as transcendent as Orr was, but enough to get him in the HOF for sure. Goalies following him are expected to be much more athletic and mobile AS WELL as being in good position as much as possible, more like Roy or Brodeur. Again, he changed how the position is played. He changed hockey.
  6. @Hockey-78 Not a big fan here either. The Red Wings have a recent history of being too loyal to their own players, rewarding them with either too much $, too much term, or both in order to retain them. There is a noble side to this, of course. It is nice that a franchise shows that they will reward players for achievement. The trouble is that the bar for achievement is lower than it should be, which has resulted in several contracts which make obtaining talent difficult. Helm. Abdelkader. Tatar (thankful that we were able to shed that one!). Nyquist. Dekeyser. I'm probably forgetting one or two others. Oh yeah, Dan Cleary, another example. This only adds to guys like Kronwall and Ericcson who are on the ends of their too-long terms. Kronner may have actually earned his, but that doesn't mean it still doesn't hurt now. Had Howard not turned his game around in the last 2 1/2 seasons, I might have added Howard to that list. I probably still can, but he is at least earning most of it now with his more recent play. Another reason for so many of these is that we didn't have good alternative options for replacing them if they walked away a the time their contracts were up. We didn't have youth that were ready to play at the NHL level, and we couldn't afford to pay someone on the FA market with similar skill level. Finally, and this goes back a few years, but still matters now, some of these contracts were the result of trying to maintain the playoff streak instead of cutting some losses and starting the rebuilding process, so we wouldn't be non-competitive for as many seasons as we will be. So Abby's contract? Just one of many that make me <sigh> and say, oookaaayyy. As @yave1964 said, he's not bad. He's just not worth what we are paying him. After the game Tuesday night, he was being lauded for "the perfect screen." Abby mentioned Tomas Holmstrom's name, saying he learned from watching Homer. Uh, maybe you watched him, but so did I, and Justin, you are not Homer. Delusions of grandeur if he thinks so. It was one screen. One. Homer did these in his sleep.
  7. @Hockey Junkie There is no doubt in my mind with the young talent you guys now have that this is the most exciting hockey you guys have watched in at least a decade. Good for you guys! Hasek was a delight to watch. Kinda like watching Barry Sanders in the NFL. You never knew when he would pull off the most unbelievable play, but it WAS coming, eventually. Hasek was like that. He redefined a new way that good goalies can be.
  8. @Hockey Junkie Which is why I did this: As compared with other, more historic, and more successful franchises, the list is pretty short. Not non-existent. Out of curiosity, how many of those listed are in the HOF as Sabres? Seriously asking. Not mocking.
  9. @Hockey Junkie Well, that’s why some of have left the door open a crack. @radoran said it short and sweet, and the odds are he is right. If I’m placing a bet right now on whether Vanek makes the HOF, my money’s on NO, and it’s a pretty safe bet. He should, without a doubt, have his number retired in Buffalo. On the Sabre’s list of career All-Stars, he’s on it. It’s a relatively short list though. And I’m not saying that as a poke (OK, a little ), as much as I’m saying it as fact. But there are few journeymen who made the HOF without, at some point of their career, being an integral part of a Cup winner or a “dynasty.” On the national level, being on a team that makes a few Conference Finals in a row, but falling short each time, isn’t all that compelling. He’s got the goal numbers. But I think the list of questions above is a good list, and honestly, there aren’t too many yesses. Not zero. But not as compelling as it needs to be. As it stands, and very likely WILL stand.
  10. Well, for anyone else who wants to read it, here's the story from the Detroit Free Press: [Hidden Content] Here's the pertinent text on the denial for class action status: The settlement comes four months after a federal judge denied class-action status for the retired players, a significant victory for the league in the lawsuit filed in November 2013. U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson in July denied class-action status, citing “widespread differences” in state laws about medical monitoring that would “present significant case management difficulties.” The bid for class-action status would have created one group of all living former NHL players and one group of all retired players diagnosed with a neurological disease, disorder or condition. Had Nelson certified the class action, more than 5,000 former players would have been able to join the case. Davidson called Nelson’s decision a “watershed moment” for the case and that players lost leverage as a result. “It severely limited the damages to the NHL owners and benefits to the NHL players,” Vanderbilt University sports economic professor John Vrooman wrote in an email to The AP. “This decision essentially forced the 140 (plus) players involved in the suit to settle and prevented the participation of all other potential litigants. So it will seem that both sides ‘won’ in what was really a lopsided victory for the owners. It’s just that all of the owners won by gaining current and future protection from damages and a minor fraction of the players won something that they would have zero chance in obtaining in isolation versus the league.” Seems like the denial of class action was the death-knell for justice, IMHO.
  11. @Podein25 But this quote is only true because the NHL won a previous ruling that prevented this case from becoming a class-action. It limited the potential plaintiffs to the 300-or-so active ones. I'm wondering how they pulled that off. The NFL was not able to do that. That decision is what made this one possible. But I read that quote, and it basically says, "Sue us if you dare! Your attorneys will be going blind on paperwork and we will drag it out so long, you'll regret not taking the deal!" That is just awful!
  12. Interested in seeing others’ thoughts on the NHL’s settlement agreement regarding head injuries. My initial thought is that any player who takes that agreement is a fool unless he has been told his life will be over soon. No self-respecting player should ever agree to that settlement. It’s insulting. I have no idea how the NHL was able to escape the class action suit, but this result is far from justice.
  13. @yave1964 I wonder how much of it has to do with the fact his game is two-way. The great two-way player reputation takes longer to develop, I think. This is ESPECIALLY true on a losing team. if you are an offensive juggernaut, the SIMPLE numbers—goals, assists, points—make it easy to set you apart. You can more easily identify those players by looking at the league leaderboards. The two-way game is more subtle than that. The reputation is more developed when opposing players say, “I HATE playing against that guy. He frustrates opponents.” That requires multiple voices all saying the same thing. Each team and city only has a few exposures to that player each year, and opposing fans won’t notice unless their star players recognize it and say it. It is especially helpful, though, if their team loses and Larkin is the main reason. Zetterberg is a great example. His reputation as a player on a national level ballooned once Gretzky identified him as the opposing player who was the toughest to play against. To be truthful, it wasn’t JUST Gretzky saying it, but when the Great One speaks, the hockey world listens. But it was also that the Wings were winning too. That put him more in the hockey news. The same is true with any great two-way player whose game is weighed evenly on both ends of the ice. It is just as excellent as the premier goal scorer. Just tougher to recognize. Players and coaches know. They’ll keep talking and people will listen eventually. Most of the press write what the players and coaches tell them, not what they, themselves, think.
  14. This resurrection has been more than just this season. It’s been roughly the last 2 1/2 seasons. It wasn’t too long ago that many of us—myself included—were saying Mrazek was the future for goaltending in Detroit. We were very wrong. Howard will not be the future, unfortunately. He is the guy who is going to keep us in things while our youth discover their roles and potentials. It’s going to take longer than Howard has left to get us back to prominence. I’m not making less of him when I say that. It is a LOT tougher to gain confidence in your own game if you have no wins to show for it. Our young and near-future leadership need both Howard and Bernier to play like they have lately to keep mistakes from costing us every time we make them. When mistakes cost you most times you make them, this game can become drudgery. In short, there is a BIG difference between Larkin scoring a goal that makes a game 3-2 in the 3rd rather than 5-1 in the 3rd. Howard has been what makes the former possible. He is doing his job very well.
  15. Really good that the Wings have made two comebacks the last two games to squeeze out 4 points. BUT, they really only played 3 1/2 good periods out of 6. Both Howard and Bernier bailed them out with superb performances. No way we can continue to play half-games and still expect to win games consistently. having said that, when the time has come, the guys we need to respond have responded. Larkin, AA, and Mantha. This is good news, but the team needs to realize that getting outshot like that have will not lead to victory more times than not.

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