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SpikeDDS last won the day on October 25 2018

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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  1. @yave1964 While I'm not as vehement as you are, I agree with you, and am stupefied by why they are not at least investigating their options. My reason for not being as vehement is merely a difference in how much weight we are giving the lack of talent pool he has had to work with. I actually don't think that a great coach could have coached this team to the playoffs this season or last. Now, that does NOT mean that more could not have been done to better develop our players. On that we agree completely. There are some players--like Dylan Larkin, like Hank Zetterberg, like Pavel Datsyuk--that you don't really have to coach much. They are driven players, and with little refinements from coaching, they take themselves from good to great mostly on their own. But our second tier and younger players--AA, Mantha, Bertuzzi, Chowlowski, Hronek, plus our other young prospects--these guys need direction, discipline, and encouragement that helps them find their game. And the reality is that NONE of them look like they reach what he had hoped was their potential--unless they are on the last year of their contract and will likely be moved ala Nyquist. Let's look at what other players that Blash has coached have done one they left. Tatar is having the best season of his career with Montreal. He's scoring at at roughly the same rate, but his assists have gone up significantly. Now, is some of that because he's playing with better players? Probably. But it's a fairly big jump, so we can't give all that credit to the talent pool around him. He's playing better. It might be too early to look at Gus Nyquist, but so far he has NOT been very impressive with San Jose. 0.5 PPG. 3 goals, 3 assists in 12 games. Too soon to judge, but if anything he's gotten worse, not better. Jensen, kinda the same thing, and even harder to compare apples to apples going from one of the wrost teams in the league to the defending Stanley Cup champs with a LOT of talent around him. 0 goals and 2 assists in 13 games since the trade vs. 2 and 13 in 60 games before it. TBD, but so far, no better. He does have double the number of shots per game with the Caps since his departure. Brendan Smith. Red Wings look smart for dumping him. But this season he is returning to form some. Blash only had him for one full season (which he played about the same has he did under Babcock) before a bad last year that got him moved. He didn't fare much better in the last 3 seasons until this one as compared with his last partial year under Blash. Clearly, that last year with Blash, he didn't like how he was being used and I'm sure that affected his production. But he didn't get better right away either. Mixed judgment here. I guess what I'm saying is that if our gut instincts are correct, we SHOULD be able to see a consistent rise in player production from the players which have left the team and gone somewhere else. But that isn't what we see. But our instincts that say that Blash isn't coaching them to their potential is driven by the disappointment in performance that we see across the lineup. Look at Frans Nielsen! He's a shadow of himself from his NYI days. Granted, he isn't feeding pucks to Tavares any more. But was Tavares responsible for THAT much of a production difference? I think not. And it's not like the NYI were THAT much better than the DRW. AA is mixed also. I think he is frustrated though. You're probably not wrong on that. But losing does that too. But has he made strides this year? Was Blash moving him to center a gamble that has paid off? I think so. He is probably gonna score 30 goals, and he has DEFEINTELY improved his defensive game since Blash made the move. But it just seems like the kid could be so much more than he is. Why isn't he? How much of that is Blash? Tough to say, but gut says it's significant. Mantha is the other biggie. Gosh, you would THINK he could be more productive, but he is not. Blash is right, though, that Mantha sometimes doesn't skate. Is it because he is frustrated? Probably. WHEN he skates, he's a better player, but he's so inconsistent. Just like AA. Just like everyone else seems to be, with the exceptions of Larkin and Howard. (Howard has looked great up until the last little bit here, but look at what's left of what is in front of him, and I've gotta give him a pass.) One thing I DO pin on Blash--the best argument IMHO--is the PP. It has NEVER been respectable under Blash. Granted, at the end of Babs' tenure, it hadn't been good either. But Blash has done NOTHING. We've changed assistants. That hasn't worked. To me, statistically, there is no better argument for his replacement than a PP that has CONSISTENTLY SUCKED, even when our talent was better than it has been lately. All that to say this: I agree that it may be time for a new voice in the room. I don't blame Blash as much as you do for their plight, but he's certainly not been the solution, and there isn't really a sign that he's gonna be. Why not bring in a respected and fresh voice to try to dissociate these players from their frustration? So what if it's not Blash's fault entirely. Kenny Holland's biggest flaw is being TOO loyal to current players/coaches. He doesn't pull triggers as much as he should. That is beneficial as you are growing and maintaining a good program. But at the level we are at, the message that you need to play at your potential or we will find someone else who will do that and let you play like that elsewhere is not a message that is hitting the target. If you had told me it looked like a 1-year extension, I might buy it...except that Quennville's available, and he most likely won't be after this summer. The 1-year would allow Steve Yzerman to come in, shake things up, turn up the heat of accountability and say, "Coach/play like your job depends on it, or it's see you later! We want to win." If Steve isn't GM by the end of the summer, I'll be ticked. KH hasn't done too badly in the last 2 years, but it is high time for new leadership. He doesn't have to go completely away. He's a good advisory voice to have. But I'm really hoping this is Stevie's team again next year, and I just think the potential under Queneville has got to be better than that of Blashill.
  2. Last month, Jeff Blashill announced that AA would be playing center for the remainder of the season. This came after the trade deadline, when we didn't move a center, but rather a wing, Gus Nyquist. And yet, we were moving AA from wing to center. This move was to test him and see if he could elevate his game to a more two-way game without sacrificing production. The answer appears to be yes. After a few games--a few of which he looked positively dreadful--he has come around to the point where right now, on a nightly basis, he is the Red Wings' biggest threat. Overall, certainly Larkin has been a better player this season. But there is NO question that Andreas Athanasiou has come through this transition as a better player than he was before the experiment. I actually have more confidence that AA will reach 30 goals this season than Larkin will. Easy to say at the moment, as AA can be streaky and he's on a good streak right now. But he has had something to prove, and he is doing it. Larkin gets a lot of press, but AA's speed is starting to get him more notice--that and the goals that it is helping produce. I actually think he may be faster than Larkin, truth be told. I wonder how fast he is as compared to McDavid. I'd love to see him go to an ASG and compete in the fastest skater competition. I can see him winning it if he has a good lap. And he's starting to use his speed SMARTER! That was he gamble--could he learn that? The answer is yes. And Larkin coming back to form as well as the addition of more young talent next season is just going to give him more opportunity. This has been a very good, and very important season for Andreas Athanasiou.
  3. Nice article on Veleno in The Atlantic today. If you don't subscribe, you should. [Hidden Content] If you don't subscribe, you can get a free trial and still read it. You'll have to cancel before the trial ends if you don't want to get dinged. (And then later on, they offer you a much better deal, which I took, something like $35/yr. Worth it.) I like the sound of this kid. And only 18 now. Add him to the mix.
  4. @yave1964 @TropicalFruitGirl26 Reminds me of when the 2002 Wings lost their first two games of the SCF's to the Hurricane's. They were BORED! And Yzerman and Lidstrom looked at the team and said, "Wake up!" And they did! The Bolts are very much like that, and it's amazing that they have been able to assemble this kind of talent pool in the salary cap era. I didn't think this was possible. Turns out it is.
  5. PULKINNEN! Could not remember that name! Thanks. It was killing me! We are seeing totally eye to eye on KH. Since the dumping of Datsyuk's contract, KH has made an argument to be kept, actually. For a LONG time there, he was riding on his laurels while swinging and missing repeatedly. I STILL think he hasn't learned his lesson when he re-signs current players. I think he overvalues them. I suppose that when he was trying so hard to avoid the word "rebuild" it may have made more sense not trying to mix up the lineup too much, but avoiding the rebuild as long as he did was a mistake, and we are still paying for it and will for a few more years. But there's hope! Abdelkader just scored his first goal in 41 games last night! <crickets> Only halfway to Riley Sheahan! (Same thing.) BTW, as an aside, Kronwall has not been quite as horrible as I thought he would be this year. Still too slow, but playing a bit smarter. Maybe the knee isn't bothering him quite as much or something.
  6. [Hidden Content] The Red Wings semi-quietly signed two of the top NCAA scorers available outside of the draft on the same day. They have been reasonably successful doing this in the past and ending up with pro players, Danny Dekeyser being the best example of that. I think Luke Glendening was one of these also. These are not likely going to be top-line players, but they can still develop into solid lower-six players. I AM encouraged that the comments about them are that they both make good decisions in tight areas. It seems that the Wings have a pretty consistent recent history with drafting young players who can play at juniors and AHL levels, but when they try to transition their game to the NHL level, they are middling at best. They can't seem to adjust to the increased speed of the game and/or the decrease in time and space for decision-making with the puck. Marty Frk has a GREAT AHL shot. He can look like freaking Ovie down there. At the NHL level, he can't cut it. And he is just one name in a long line of names that never showed in the NHL nearly what they showed in the AHL or juniors. This goes back to guys like Jurco. There was also a player a couple years ago who had a very good shot (can't recall his name at the moment--help me @yave1964) who showed promise, but his dang backswing just takes too long, and by the time he got shots off at the NHL level, they were blocked. And when he shortened it, the shot was much less effective. The word on these two is that they think the game fast. I like the sound of it. I hope it translates to the NHL level. We could use more of that. Even Dekeyser, who is one of the college-to-pro kids, came with much higher hopes for offensive potential when he first came up. It became apparent in the first season or two that we had a solid defensively-minded, stay-at-home D-man, but not the first-pass player that we were hoping he could be. We have seen only flashes of that. Nothing consistent. A good pickup, without a doubt, certainly value-wise it was. It's tough, where we sit now, not to get too hopeful for potential players. But the good news is that there WILL be some competition for roster spots. That's a good thing.
  7. Yeah, this is the same virus that had him out at the beginning of the season. He has been dealing with it all season, and still had an impressive year, being the Wings' best D-man, and arguably the team's most impactful player, especially in terms of how they fared with vs. without him. Night and day difference. The virus is taking its toll, and since the season is practically over, they want to rid him of it so that he can work out this summer in prep for next season.
  8. (This thread may be better off in a different forum, @hf101. Feel free to move it to the most appropriate forum if it seems better located there.) Mistakes get made. When mistakes get made on the ice, hockey teams will rightly suffer the consequences, because they bear the responsibility for the mistake. But in last night’s Red Wings-Coyotes game, there was a very unusual goal scored. There was a scramble as a scurry of shots were made on Jimmy Howard. He made a couple of ridiculous saves, and then was also assisted by Tyler Bertuzzi who made a great save himself, after which the puck continued to bounce out to awaiting Coyotes who finally put the puck in the net. Here’s the replay: [Hidden Content] What makes the goal unusual was that the horn sounded and the lights went off after Bertuzzi made his great helping save. You can see Howard stop playing because of it. He had lost sight of the puck and assumed it was in the net. The whistle was never blown, but you can’t hear a whistle over the horn! And the spotlights shining right on the crease have to be distracting. The goal was reviewed, and it was deemed a legal goal. It shouldn’t have been. The mistake was made by the arena staff, not by players on the ice. You have to give the benefit of the doubt to the disadvantaged team when off-ice malfunctions or mistakes affect the score of the game. If you don’t, it sets a precedent where an itchy trigger finger by the goal judge can make or break a game. That’s just not right. If some of the lights went out in the arena during play, play stops. It stops for the same reason that the play should have stopped as soon as the horn went off and the spotlights came on. In my opinion, this is actually worse, because the spotlights are more distracting for the goalie in the net than they are for anyone else. I do acknowledge that Howard was VERY down and out by the time the goal was scored, and will agree that it is doubtful that he would have been able to recover in time to make the save if the horn hadn’t blown. But it shouldn’t matter, because it DID blow, and play should have been stopped. I think the league got this wrong. I welcome others’ opinions.
  9. I would say Montreal has our number, but we seem to just give them our number wrapped in a bow! Trade deadline passes and I'm not sure what just happened, but some would say that our players just realized that they are a lousy hockey team. So they "played" like that. 8-1 DRUBBING! We mailed this game in. Why even bother playing if you're gonna play like that? And this is what pisses me off. They are professionals. They make FAR more than I ever will in a year. And THIS is how they choose to "compete." Professionals are supposed to compete even if they don't have what it takes to win on most nights. Fellas, that's how it is. That's how it's gonna be for a while. You are getting paid to deal with that by coming out and at least losing being able to hold your head up high as you lose. That is what pros do. Last night was not that. It was the opposite of that. It is hard to ignore the fact that this comes the first game after we traded away our second-highest scorer and someone who was arguably one of our better D-men. (I still don't see it, but if our D looks this bad after losing Jensen, maybe I'm just wasn't seeing him right.) Suddenly, defense was an afterthought. Check that. It wasn't a thought at all! I could accept that if our young players were making all of the mistakes, and the veterans were competing but unable to compensate for the mistakes. That's what should be happening if we have a bad game. But EVERYONE sucked. Our team just had a combined -35 plus/minus rating in ONE HOCKEY GAME! The Habs didn't even have a single power play the entire night! (Imagine that--it could have been worse!) To me, this is the death knell for the front office/coaching staff at it stands. Blashill has had a daunting task. He was dealt a lousy hand. Let's give him that. But to have your whole team repeatedly mail games in means that you are not preparing them right. You aren't coaching them right. This just stinks of lack of discipline! I'm sorry, but it does. Our young kids aren't gonna learn to play hockey right if you can't get our veterans to teach them to compete (nearly) every day. If this happens once, maybe twice in a season, maybe you can excuse it. This isn't the first or second time. This is the 4th or 5th time dating back to a year ago. There is an organizational problem. This did not start this season. This started years ago. The power play numbers have shown it. Bringing in Bylsma is not enough. Stevie Y can't get here fast enough. He will not tolerate this kind of performance. If this is how leadership is going to handle themselves, he will find other leaders who will handle themselves right! The young talent is there. It's hard for me to see otherwise. But they have to be taught how to be good pros and our current leadership apparently does NOT know how to do it correctly. We are repeating ourselves too many times saying the same things over and over again. We better do something fast or Jimmy Howard is gonna change his mind and want to go somewhere where his confidence won't be assailed every night by his own team's lack of playing in front of him. And then where will we be?! Many like to say that this franchise has a venerable history. But let's not forget they also have the Dead Things in their history as well. Are we headed back there? Is history going to repeat itself? Make no mistake: It CAN repeat itself! And the only way for it NOT to repeat itself is for us to decide that it won't. That is an every-day decision, and we seem to not want to make it every day. You can't just talk about making that decision. It must be acted out to be justified. I'd love to think that this won't happen again, but it is hard to try to defend that with the current leadership. Change is coming. Either that, or the Dead Things II are coming soon to a Pizzarena near you.
  10. @yave1964 We (just about) knew this was coming. And you are correct, his best moment was the 26-second overtime goal that you posted. Like you, and even more than for Jensen, I wish Nyke the best. I have nothing against him personally. OTOH, it DID sometimes seem like he was underachieving. He and Tats were like that. Especially in the playoffs. They would both just seem to disappear. You could count on him for around 20 goals-ish, but not more, even though you WANTED more. You'd see the skill of him dominating the puck for 26 seconds in overtime, and ask, "Why shouldn't we see something close to this on a semi-regular basis?" You wanted the two of them to be resilient like Z and Pav who were elite players regardless of opponent or circumstance. I wouldn't say he is elite like them, but he is a solid NHL forward. Next tier down. Still, good player for whatever team he plays for. We'll miss him. But it was the right time for the franchise, and maybe for him too. A chance to compete for the Cup legitimately he has never really known. Good for him to get a shot. As to the future for the DRWs, there is no (legitimate) reason not to put the kids together as much as possible with the possible exception of Larkin (and others) getting too frustrated or discouraged. But those guys have got to be pros! We are going to lose a lot of games now. We need to accept that bitter pill and swallow it whole. That means that fans need to come to games to see the kids, even though they aren't as likely to win as we were before--and that still was less likely than losing was. If we move Howard--looking less likely--we look more like an AHL team playing in the NHL talent-wise. (Apologies to our veteran core.) We need our vets to have the mindset of veteran AHL players--your main job now is to help these kids become pros and adapt to the NHL level. We need to see what we have, and what we don't YET have. Zadina is undoubtedly going to have to work on some things. Ras too. They won't be able to if they are playing 12 minutes a night. This HAS to be about the future now. The future means next season. The front office and coaching staff must look beyond this year's ticket sales. That's tough to do, but ya gotta do it if you are going to do what's best for the future of the franchise. Winning two more games before the end of the season because we sit the kids gets us nowhere! We need to commit. We are rebuilding. We need to act like it. The one thing in our favor is that we KNOW that Zadina's time here is limited. He cannot earn a spot in this year's lineup after his 9 games. That mindset should be the same for the team. The rest of this year should be about preparing for next year and beyond. And make no mistake, I understand how hard it is for a pro to be asked to make winning NOW NOT the highest priority. It doesn't mean you stop playing when you are on the ice. But it might mean that your ice time is a couple of minutes less than it normally is. It's got nothing to do with how you play. It has to do with them needing the ice time and your leadership BOTH right now. And yes, Lughes for Hughes is a real thing. But our pros can't dive. They have to show how to play with intensity even in the face of the fact that if we all play to our potential, against many teams we still aren't gonna win right now. We can "legitimately" lose for Hughes, and that's what we should be striving for now. (Yeah, trading away our talent, some may argue, is not "legitimate." I will say this: We didn't take the dive front-office wise until we were darn sure the playoffs were a pipe dream. At some point, you've gotta "commit" to the future at the expense of the present, and it's "legitimate." For the Wings, the time is now.)
  11. @yave1964 Saw Balshill’s announcement in his post-game PC. At long last, we get our first REAL look at this kid. i hope he is able to STAY cocky. And at the same time, I want him humble enough to be able to receive constructive criticism, because he will need to listen to it if he wants to grow as a player. It’s a delicate balance. I will credit Jeff Blashill for how he approached Anthony Mantha on this last season—showing him his best 10 shifts vs. his worst 10 worked. Mantha took it the right way. He is a better player than he was last year. And we are now starting to see a glimpse of the results. Being an elite player in the NHL NEVER comes easy. Guys with elite hockey TALENT sometimes are able to coast through lower levels of hockey. But even elite talent will only get you so far. The rest of the progression depends mostly on determination and work. There isn’t a single elite NHL player who isn’t a workaholic. It just doesn’t happen. That’s why I love watching Larkin. That guy GETS IT. I’m not sure where he stands on the most elite hockey talent list. But he is highest on our hockey team when it comes to determination and work ethic. It won’t be long before he has the C and will be directly holding other players accountable for their play. I am pleased to hear that Zadina’s coaches are starting to say his work ethic has improved. I think the start of the season humbled him, frankly, and when that happens you can either feel sorry for yourself or you can go to work. He has chosen the latter. That’s what he needed to do. Good. And the truth may be that he may experience the same thing again in the NHL. It should surprise nobody if he does. And I hope having experienced it already at the A level, he will use that experience to help him decide quickly in the face of difficulty and constructive criticism to go to work. These 9 games will show him HOW to work, and on WHAT. I will also be glued to the set. Excited to see what our draft selection might be bringing us in anticipation of next season. (Would love it if Datsyuk would be able to come back for a season or two and show him what work ethic looks like.)
  12. We've talked about him before. @yave1964 more than I, because he watched him more in the AHL. But his analysis (as is usual) is on point. Washington bought the media buzz. The last few nationally televised games I watched, the announcers were mentioning how Jensen is a fast skater. Well, compared to most of our defense core, yeah, he is! But considering our defense core, that's not saying much. And there is no question that he is having a better year than either @yave1964 or I would have ever predicted. But like yave, I agree that this is very likely as good as he ever gets. This deal may actually make sense for Washington if Jensen can play at the same level or better than he has been this year. He's not great. I think Washington MIGHT possibly get the short-term advantage in this deal, which is good for them, as they are trying to win another Cup. But if the Wings don't screw up the draft pick, this will help them more in the long-term. Good deal for both teams for what they need. I think Washington overpaid, but that is not uncommon when you are trying to get those last pieces for a legitimate Cup run.
  13. This is EXACTLY what you said it is. A mediocre AT BEST defenseman has his best month EVER and the media gets a hold of it. Up goes his trade value. I am not at all surprised that Detroit was able to move him, and KH was smart to sell while his value is at its max. The funny part of the "word on the street" (that means the media) is that he is a fast skater. If that's so, why the belly flops? Maybe it IS true that he is a fast skater, but his mind isn't fast enough to keep up with the NHL pace, at least the ELITE NHL pace. I am also ecstatic about what we got. I'm hoping he is not all that we will be able to move, but it's a very good start. I wish Jensen the best. I don't really have anything against him. He served his purpose this year for us, and with this deal, more than I expected he would do. KH is on a roll of late!
  14. @yave1964 I think AA must read HF! Three goals in the next two games? Coincidence? I think not! ;-D And just in case it’s true—Hey Larkin! If you’re reading this, a hat trick would be a really good idea!
  15. OK. I over sold it in the title. But Andreas Athanasiou gets more golden opportunities than any other Red Wing. But they guy has forgotten how to finish. If I was AA, I would try to “recharge” by practicing breakaway moves every chance I could get after practice! First Draper. Then Helm. Now AA? We always seem to have a speedster who is lightning fast, but doesn’t know how to fiiish. Well, AA is better than the first two, but he is also better than he is showing right now. Whaddya gotta do as a coach to get him going again?
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