What do you write about when there really isn’t anything going on in the Wings world that you have the knowledge to write about? (The WJC are awesome, but it’d be like me writing about the World Series…complete BS.) So I using two of the oldest tricks in the book. Stealing from both a prior, overused idea for a list and from someone else…so you know it is time for mid-season grades.
First, go check out Gorilla Crouch, who has graded the forwards (and I will show his grade here compared to my grade) and compared them to a Detroit Landmark. Draper and Hot and Ready Pizza is greatness. Get over there and read it.
Here we go (GC’s grade is first, then mine underlined.)
Pavel Datsyuk: C / B-
He’s only on pace for 64 points (I read that somewhere, so its a fact) and he’s disappeared a few games here and there. That’s got to be because of age and not because he’s had more linemates then than James Cameron’s had overrated, predictable movies. And there is no such thing a slump. No, it has got to be age…
Tomas Holmstrom: B- / A-
Without Homer’s resurgence this year, the Wings would be damn near the bottom of the standings. He’s scored on actual shots that HE took and has looked like the chipmunk we’ve always loved and knew.
Johan Franzen: INC / Hurt He’s Still Better than Meech
Did you know that Franzen has as many points in three games as Meech has in 24?
Hank Zetterberg: B- / B+
Todd Bertuzzi: B- / B+
Bert is back baby. He’s second on the team in shots and has taken over games here and there. This last month has been at A level.
Valtteri Filppula: C / C+
Looks good in his return, now just has to put up the points he should be putting up.
Dan(ny) Cleary: C / B-
Danny, until the inevitable injury, was basically on track for his consistent 40 points, 20 goals season.
Darren Helm: A / B+
I’ve never seen anything like Helmer’s last empty net goal. He simply pushed the puck behind the Phx D-man and not only skated around him, but was at least a zone away from the nearest defender. Every day, he gets faster. But while he’s now perfected the EN goal, he has missed at least 20 near wide open nets. That should come, but for now, that’s what is missing in his game.
Kirk Maltby: C / D+
Maltby was scoring a torrid pace at the beginning of the season, but other than his smack talking against Chicago, have you noticed him since?
Kris Draper: C+ / B-
Draper hasn’t been scoring, but other than one year, Draper hasn’t been scoring damn near all his life. I bet you could put Draper on a Midget A team and he would end the year with single digits in goals. But he has been the fast, tenacious Draper that we thought we lost last year and solid defensively. Can’t complain.
Justin Abdelkader: C / C+
He’s been good as a fourth liner. Which makes sense, because that is what he should be right now. But due to the plague of injuries, he was on our #2 PP and centered our number two line, where he sucked which surprised noone.
Patrick Eaves: B / C+
Eaves was tearing it up for a while right around when everyone and their brother got injured, but since then, he’s really been a bit invisible. Great on the PK though, a big part of its resurgence this year. I love Eaves, but I don’t think he’s been doing as well as everyone else has thought.
Drew Miller: B / B+
He’s been one of the fill-ins that I’ve been consistently impressed with. A little goal scoring touch and hard work. He’s another fourth liner, but hasn’t been terrible playing scoring minutes.
Brad May: C / D+
I liked May when he first was picked up by the Wings, but in the past month or two, he’s done nothing. Hasn’t protected anyone, hasn’t fought for the team, hasn’t scored any goals that were a clearly in, but taken away. I’d rather have Downey right now, at least he hit everyone, even if he couldn’t skate or shoot.
Ville Leino: D / D+
He’s been both snake bitten and lazy, never a good thing. I still think he could be a 20 goal scorer in the NHL if and when he gets things rolling. I do not like to see Babcock sit him right after he compliments his hard work. Talent-wise he’s better than everyone other than Dats/Z/Bertuzzi/Fil up front.
For the most part, I’ve been a nicer grader than GC, but there were a few players we really disagreed on.
And here’s something stolen directly from Gorilla Crouch, highlighting perfectly whats been going on over at A2Y.
A2Y has been raising money to bring a Red Wings fan from Brazil to Detroit to see his first live game. It looks like they’ve raised enough money to get that party started and cover the costs of the collateral damage that is guaranteed to ensue, so any additional money they raise will be donated to a very worthy cause: the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. If you are willing and able please take the time to visit this link and kick in a couple dollars or whatever you can.