Here's another excellent guest post from Franklin Steele:
What does a guy have to do to get a call-up to the Detroit Red Wings these days? If you answered "be over 35 years of age and posses a frail, oft-injured body" you're probably being sarcastic, but you might be on to something too.
With a certified "shit ton" of injuries befalling the Wings through their first couple of games I was almost certain that Gustav Nyquist would be among the first players called up and inserted into the lineup. And while the two time, two time, two time AHL All Star was, in fact, called up, he laced up the skates for one measly game before Todd Bertuzzi and Darren Helm returned from injuries.
To be honest, every time I see Mikael "the invisible" Samuelsson out on the ice for a faceoff my stomach turns. Not because I don't understand why Detroit brought the guy back for a second round of duty, but because he is taking a roster spot away from Nyquist, who is overly-seasoned for a top-six role with the big club at this point.
There were reports from training camp that a line of Henrik Zetterberg, Damien Brunner and Nyquist were making defenders look like they were standing still. Why aren't we seeing that for the offensively starved Red Wings right this second? Why didn't we see that line out on the ice against Dallas two nights ago?
Hit the jump for more from Franklin:
I can't think of any valid reasons, aside from "this is just how Detroit handles their prospects." Lets get real for a few seconds though.
Detroit is currently 22nd best (worst) in the NHL in goals for per game, scoring at a lowly 2.33 clip… that simply isn't good enough for a team that lacks defensive acumen or any semblance of penalty killing ability. They also have the third worst power play in the NHL, behind only Colorado and LA. If you think this is good enough to make the playoffs, let alone make some noise, you are sorely mistaken my friends.
Nyquist was the most effective Grand Rapids Griffins rookie of all time last season, posting 58 points in 56 games. He has shown no signs of the sophomore slump this year as he currently has 40 points in 42 games played.
Think the Wings are playing good enough offense to excuse not having that level or production off of the farm team? Well, that makes one of us I guess.
If this is about ice time, just give it to him. The top-six of Detroit isn't getting any younger. And as we've seen with the transition away from Nick Lidstrom, not giving your kids a chance to play before you need them costs you in the long run.
I'm not asking for an overhaul of the roster. I'm asking for Detroit's best, most effective up-and-comer to be given a fair shot with the Red Wings. It'd be different if the Wings had an immaculate record, but they don't.
They've been pushed around by the elite of the Central Division and need to add a little more spark. Gustav Nyquist should be a full-time Wing, and he should have been since the beginning of the season.