Kindl Strutting His Stuff

So another weekend goes by and another W for the good guys.  Detroit picked up the garbage in OT to beat the Wild (on the PP no less) 3-2 in Minnesota on Saturday.  I’m sure you’ve read everything you’ve wanted to regarding the game by now, so I’m not going to bore you with any sort of recap or reflection.  But I will excite you with two other items. 

First, did you know that the last time the Wings started the season 4-0 was in 1997-98?  The only other team to start the season 4-0 so far is Washington.  The last time they started 4-0?  1997-98.  Anyone remember how that season finished for both Detroit and Washington?  All smiles for the boys in Red and White is one thing that comes to mind 

And a heavy object as well.

Secondly, Jakob Kindl.  How impressive has he been so far?  I’ll admit, I would have had no problem trading him last season.  He never put up the points in Grand Rapids that he was supposed to and was a combined -57 in three seasons.   In his first season with the Wings he appeared to be a Derek Meech or Brett Lebda.  Not really useful in any particular way.  I didn’t see anything special in his place and I was completely indifferent on his staying with Detroit.

This season, I’ve completely changed my tune.  He’s put on some weight, the good kind, up from just over 200 last season to around 220 lbs this year.  You can completely tell by the way he plays.   He’s stronger on the puck, passes harder, and is simply more stable.  He looks like a veteran in the way he plays this season, and not the scared timid little girl that we say in the past.  As explained by Mike Babcock:

“He has confidence in himself so he earns confidence in himself.”

And it shows.  I had never really realized his vision before.  The past on Saturday to Happy was nothing short of perfect.    He’s made smart plays consistantly, which has helped put him in the team lead  in +/- right now, with an impressive +6 in four games. 

This all has  given him, in my eyes, a jump on Big E and Commie22 for those last two defensive spots.   For all the talk about how happy we are with Happy, Filppula and Franzen’s play thus far, I’m even more surprised and delighted with Kindl’s play.