So it’s about the quarter pole of the season, and I’m going to do a team ranking of each player, because, well, why the hell not, it’s not like I have my first real law school final on Monday or anything. It’s going to be hard not to write the same “so and so is doing better after a slow start” for each player on this list not named Maltby. I know it will come out here and there, so bear with it.
After the name is the following: GP/G/A/P/+-.
Abdelkader, Justin – 16/3/1/4/1 – B-
For a guy who is supposed to be in the AHL, he’s fit into the team admirably. While his totals aren’t impressive, he’s been doing what we want him to do. He’s gunna be a solid 3rd liner for a long time for the Wings. Plus your goal got me on FSN.
Bertuzzi, Todd – 19/3/6/9/-5 – C+
I’ve always been a Bertuzzi supporter. I think it’s from his quote from a long time ago when he was a badass and knew it. Plus I was in high school and wanted to be cool.
“If beer has never touched your lips, you’ve never packed a lip or dropped the mitts, chances are you’re not a hockey player…if you are, you’re not a very good one”
So all year long, I’ve defended Big Bert from the haters that absolutely tore him up every game. And the Unabomber has surprised a lot of people, in a few different ways. He’s working harder and backchecking more than any of us would have imagined. He’s also shown us new ways to hit the post when it seems like the puck has no choice but to go into the net. So basically, we expected a lazy player who will put up points. We got the opposite. Is this good? Who knows. I still say he gets it going eventually though and ends up with 60 points.
Cleary, Danny – 19/4/7/11/1 – B
Cleary has, well been, Dan Cleary. He’s a hard worker, isn’t pretty, works wherever Uncle Mike puts him in the line-up, which is a new place every day. And Drew mentioned, he’s on pace for his usual forty or so points. So not great, but not bad.
Datsyuk, Pavel – 17/4/12/16/4 – B+
Pav is starting to consistently look like himself lately, which means he is one of the top players on the ice. He singlehandedly showed the world that he’s better than Ovechkin in the early matchup this year. And when he’s on the ice with Zetterberg, good god, those two give me a rager with the magic that they make together. But, there have been games where Pavel has disappeared. I know he can be better and I’m sure he does as well.
Draper, Kris – 18/3/3/6/1 – B+
Babcock scratched Draper once this year. The team lost that game like 14-1. Yeah, I doubt that will happen again. He’s gained a step this year and since Babbles put together the “Red Corvettes” line (is that gonna stick as like name?) those little f’ers have been flying around the ice.
Eaves, Patrick – 11/1/4/5/6 – A-
Eaves, after a start to the season where he wasn’t even playing, has worked his way into the lineup (or figured out a way to poison people where their bones are brittle….) and has played like a madman. He doesn’t have 20 goal potential really, but he is a quality player. He’s the offensive threat on the Corvette line, but compared to Draper, I’m an offensive threat in my Thursday night bender league. I like the kid and he works. Thanks Carolina and Boston for the gift.
Ericsson, Jonathan – 17/3/6/9/-2 – B-
The Big Rig is having a mixed year. He’s playing like a rookie defenseman, but a seriously talented one. His nine points is solid, but he’s been real, real rough defensively. (He’s third on the team in GF per 60 minutes played, but third worst in GA per 60, what does this tell you?) But hey, we expect this out of the kid. He’ll be great in a year or two, and I expect him to get his shit together by the playoffs.
Filppula, Valtteri – 11/2/4/6/-6 – B-
Before the pretty boy broke himself, he was one of those players that looked like he was playing great, but the stats weren’t showing it. Like I would have thought he had almost a PPG until I looked at his stats. He’s the worst on the team for GA per 60, but unlike those who have the IQ of a chimp and think you can know everything from a few select stats, I know he’s on his way up and was playing well.
Franzen, Johan – 3/1/1/2/0 – N/A
I remember how easily the Mule could score and that makes me sad.
Helm, Darren – 14/2/3/5/1 – B
Helm, our namesake, had a little Babbles mindf’ck timeout, but came back and is dominating like he can. Anyone else notice that he has a wicked wrist shot? Yeah, he’s doing well after an average start. And he’s fast. Real fast.
Holmstrom, Tomas – 19/9/3/12/5 – A
Jesus Holmstrom, you are awesome. The only consistent on the team this entire season, he’s been putting the puck in the net as fast as his chubby Swedish arms will let him. Sure he’s not fast, but you know, he’s not bad with the puck. And I think this year was the first time since the Clinton got his winky wacked that he’s scored on a slap shot. I wasn’t even quite sure if Homer knew how to shoot a slap shot.
Howard, Jimmy – Record 4/3/1 SA 90.0% GAA 2.87 – B
Oh Jimmy, how you’ve split the fan base. At first everyone called for your head served on a platter and called you ugly. Now some people are saying you’re taking over the number one job. Well no, no you’re not. But you’ve done pretty well lately, so please, keep it up. None of that shit from the beginning of the season. Giving you a grade is tough. But a B is a solid way to say absolutely nothing in particular, so that’s what you get.
Kronwall, Niklas – 19/5/8/13/3 – A
Nick Jr. has been playing like the way we knew he could for years now. He’s been smart about his huge hits, hasn’t missed any time yet, is third on the Wings in scoring, and just has a rocket slapper. He’s been great. Not like Sr. great, but great.
Lebda, Brett – 16/1/2/3/-3 – D+
Lebda has lived up to my expectations of an offensive defenseman who doesn’t score. I never thought I would yearn for The Lilja, but I do. He has gotten a little better, but, but, f**k how couldn’t he?
As suggested by JJ, Lebda gets an extra bonus.
Leino, Ville – 18/3/2/5/1 – C-
I like you, Dr. E-Ville. You’re talented, no doubt about that. But it is hard to get a read on you Ville. Are you trying hard? What’s wrong? Are you happy? Did your puppy run away? I can’t tell with that mean look on your face. You scored a few great ones at first. Then I forgot that you played on the team. Now you and Zetterman are on a line, so please use that to your advantage. And please, try to smile.
Lidstrom, Nicklas – 19/1/6/7/11 – A-
Oh, Mr. Lidstrom. I know the season has started a little slow for you offensively, but you’re Nick Lidstrom, of course that’s forgiven. Defensively, you’ve still been incredible (GA per 60 = 1.31), even when the goaltenders behind you were too busy taking a giant dump on the ice to care about the black disk flying towards them. Now the idiots in the media think that you’ve started to fall off, but anyone that watches you play know for a fact that isn’t true.
Maltby, Kirk – 13/3/2/5/5 – A-
For Malts, it is hard. Do I grade him for the fact that he scored three goals already and has been rock solid defensively? Or do I grade him for the fact he’s been in and out of the line-up? He’s proven to me he’s still got a little left in him, so I’d say he’s done better than I expected. Plus he’s a plus five. Impressive Kirk.
May, Brad – 12/0/1/1/-1 – B
Turns out I like Brad May. He seems like a great guy, tries hard, exposes Little Gary for the terrible commissioner that he is, and throws a great haymaker. And you know, he ain’t half bad at hockey either.
Meech, Derek – 5/0/0/0/-2 – D+
Voted most likely to be picked up on waivers by some team and turn out to be a superstar. But honestly, Meech, come on. You can’t win a spot over Brett Lebda?
Miller, Drew – 3/0/0/0/1 – N/A
Hello Drew, welcome to Detroit. Heard you’re brother isn’t half bad, want to talk to him and see if he can get out of his contract and come play here for like, I don’t know, how does 500k sound? It’d buy you like at least 50 or so houses around the area.
Osgood, Chris – Record 6/3/2 SA 90.0% GAA 2.77 – B-
Osgood, you schizophrenic S.O.B., Be good or be bad, just as long as you pick one. I don’t care, this is killing me.
Rafalski, Brian – 18/2/8/10/3 – B-
Rafalski is potent offensively as usual, but without Nick Lidstrom out there, I think he’s +/- would take a beating. He’s been caught a ton this season on pinches and, well hasn’t looked great. But he’s still a great PP guy and hopefully things will start coming together for him defensively.
Stuart, Brad 19/1/3/4/2 – B-
Stuart, we overpaid you a tiny bit, but I like you and your consistent ability to hit. And hey, you get PP time now. Oooh fun!
Williams, Jason 15/2/5/7/-5 – B
Sort of the same as Val, I think he’s been playing well, even if the stats don’t really show it. He’s a lot better than I remember him, though in my memory, he was wearing rental skates and drooling on himself as he passed to the other team for a shorthanded breakaway, so that wasn’t a high bar to surpass.
Zetterberg, Henrik – 19/9/14/23/7 – A
Stupid goalies got in the way at the beginning of the season, but if you’ve watched the Wings more than once, you know Zetterberg has been nothing short of dominate. He’s an interesting player in the fact that he’s not really great at any one thing. Like in NHL terms, he’d be a 89 at everything. And it turns out that being an 89 at everything makes you a 97 overall. Even the create a player guy don’t have enough points to cheat and make themselves as good as Henrik is, though he gets a few bonus points for going home and pounding Emma every night. Hell, I’d be in the show if I could rest up with her just once a week.