FGD: The Red Wings are Coming!

Kent Wilson
November 01 2013 09:49AM

 

 

The former juggernaut Detroit Red Wings aren't quite as run down as their unfortunate home town, but cracks are finally starting to show in the armor. Right now, Detroit is 14th in the league in terms of score-close possession, a metric they routinely dominated for years. Datysuk and Zetterberg are growing long in the tooth, but for now remain top drawer two-way players. 

The divide between them and the rest of the club continues to grow, however. Absent Lidstrom, the team doesn't have a third elite leg to support the rest of the average stool (yeesh...talk about your clumsy metaphors). Only three other forwards are in the black in terms of possession so far - Bertuzzi, Alfredsson and Abdlekader. And Bertuzzi mostly plays with Datsyuk and Zetterberg (meaning he's not driving that number). Alfredsson is 40-years old and Abdelkader hangs out at the end of the rotation. Johan Franzen is close (49%), but there's a big drop off after him.

The biggest disappointment for the Wings must be Stephen Weiss. He has the worst possession rate on the team (43%) even with a sky-high zone start ratio (57%). Weiss was a pretty good player in Florida for a long time, but his numbers started slipping over the his two seasons as a Panther. He was supposed to anchor the Wings second scoring line, but he's sinking the boat instead.

All of which is an overly long way to say - the Red Wings are still good, but they don't appear to be ridiculously good anymore. They have two elite forwards, some decent support pieces and a whole bunch of meh. If the Flames can cage Datsyuk and Zetterberg (easier said than done, I know), then they have chance to outplay the Wings so-so depth.

The Lineup

Hartley announced yesterday Backlund would slide back into the line-up and Joey MacDondald would get a turn after Ramo's *ahem* "performance" against the Leafs. Her's how things will probably shape up:

  • Glencross - Stajan - Jones
  • Galiardi - Colborne - Cammalleri
  • Baertschi - Monahan - Hudler
  • Bouma - Backlund - McGrattan

  • Russell - Wideman
  • Brodie - Butler
  • O'Brien - Smith

  • MacDonald

A lot of plaudits have been handed to Joe Colborne over his recent play and particularly his 23 minute game vs Toronto the other night, but I still find the decision making governing his usage rather bizarre - at least relative to other players on the club. Colborne has certainly looked better over the last few games compared to his first few (where he was completely lost) and in general I am not opposed to coach playing the heck out of a few young guys this year for informational and developmental purposes.

Here's the thing - Colborne hasn't been that good so far. Certainly not "usurp Backlund" good. The former Leaf has been fed some of the softest minutes of any forward on the team (65.5% zone start) and yet on Wednesday night he boasted the worst even strength scoring chance ratio on the Flames (3 for, 9 against). He's nowhere near a 20 minute per night center yet and I don't see what he's done to privilege him above players like Backlund or Baertschi (who have seen their minutes limited or slashed at both ES and on the PP).

Maybe it's a motivational thing. Maybe Hartley is using different reinforcement techniques with different players. But on the face of it, the disparate treatment of certain guys on the team seems...incongruous.

The Opposition

It's the Datsyuk line and then everyone else. Via Daily Faceoff:

  • Zetterberg - Datsyuk - Bertuzzi
  • Cleary - Franzen - Alfredsson
  • Tatar - Weiss - Abdelkader
  • Miller - Andersson - Eaves

  • Kronwall - DeKeyser
  • Quincey - Smith
  • Kindl - Lashoff

  • Howard

Detroit's blueline is somewhat underwhelming as well. Kronwall is a legitimate top pairing guy at this point and most teams could probably get away with Smith and Ericsson (currently injured) in their top-4, but the rest of the defense brigade is trouble.

DeKeyser was a highly sought after College free agent, but he's only 24 games into his NHL career. Quincey is kind of the Wing's version of Chris Butler - he has some tools, but always seems to end up a scapegoat at the end of too many games. Kindl is still trying to find his way at the NHL level and Lashoff (Brian, not Matt) is a 23 year old rookie and former free agent signing who has been plying his trade in Grand Rapids for the last few years. HIs resume reminds of Adam Pardy's when he made the Flames a few years ago. 

We've discussed the forward unit, though I'd like to add I continually wonder what power Todd Bertuzzi holds over the Detroit Red Wing organization - he's 38 year old, he was a suspect two-way player even as a Flame back in 2008-09, he hasn't scored more than 45 points in six seasons and he only has four points 12 games this year...and yet he's skating with Dats and Zetterberg at ES. I don't get it.

Sum it Up

Detroit's first line is a powerhouse and can take a game over all by themselves. Calgary has no true power on power option that can be reasonably expected to take them on, but some nights you have hold the big guns in check via luck or hard work (or both). The key to the game will be to minimizing the damage from those guys and then outplaying the Wing's much softer underbelly.

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
Avatar
#101 Seamus McGill
November 01 2013, 07:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Does anyone else here think Monahan shoots the puck in a wierd way? Like, he stops and sort of flickers it as opposed to doing the whole follow through

Avatar
#102 thymebalm
November 01 2013, 07:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I think I've asked this before, but what is the mean scoring rate for scoring chances?

I know shooting is 8%, but what about strictly for scoring chances?

Avatar
#103 beloch
November 01 2013, 07:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Hartley seems to really like Russel. I suppose I like that he's not one of the SOB trio (Smith, O'Brian, Butler), but still...

Avatar
#104 thymebalm
November 01 2013, 08:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Kent Wilson

Thanks.

Chad Billins officially on his way to the NHL.

Avatar
#105 Monaertchi
November 01 2013, 08:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I officially like the thirds.

Avatar
#106 coachedpotatoe
November 01 2013, 08:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

Heat win 4-3. Ortio gets his first full AHL game. BJones, Grandlund and Rhino with 2. Knight gets two helpers. Al least some good news there.

Avatar
#107 ChinookArch
November 01 2013, 08:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

I've found it's about 15-16%.

Interesting. Have you noticed if a players scoring rate roughly doubles when shooting in a chance area?

Avatar
#108 ChinookArch
November 01 2013, 08:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I think I'd like the New Jersey better, if they wore a red helmet. It doesn't look like a Flames team.

Avatar
#109 ChinookArch
November 01 2013, 08:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Hit a double post!

Avatar
#110 Baalzamon
November 01 2013, 08:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props
thymebalm wrote:

Thanks.

Chad Billins officially on his way to the NHL.

Nailed it.

Avatar
#111 ChinookArch
November 01 2013, 08:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Yay BUTLER!

Avatar
#113 piscera.infada
November 01 2013, 08:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
4
props

@beloch

I don't really get the distaste for Russel. I think he's been very good to start the season. Great skater with the puck.

Avatar
#114 piscera.infada
November 01 2013, 08:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Clyde

Maybe I don't understand it fully, but wouldn't corsi in this case, help to explain that goal?

Avatar
#115 beloch
November 01 2013, 08:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@piscera.infada

It's not really distaste, just an overwhelming feeling of mehness. I definitely think he's a cut above the SOB trio and the best option to step up with Gio out. I also think that's not exactly great.

Avatar
#116 beloch
November 01 2013, 08:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

I'd like to see the shoulder-patches on these jersey's moved to the center of the jersey, the script "Calgary" dropped, and some white striping replaced with yellow.

Avatar
#117 piscera.infada
November 01 2013, 08:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@beloch

Alright. I would say given his age, I'm interested to see if he can develop a little more over the course of the season. He's light years ahead of where I thought he would be.

Avatar
#119 Jeff In Lethbridge
November 01 2013, 08:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

I'd like to see Backlund on a line with Barechee and Monahan

Avatar
#120 beloch
November 01 2013, 08:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@piscera.infada

Russel might go down as a bit of a steal given that he was picked up in exchange for a fifth round pick. However, he's 26 and probably pretty close to his peak. WYSIWYG (probably).

Avatar
#122 beloch
November 01 2013, 08:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Those skate-shields seem sub-optimal. I wonder if they could make them out of something a little less hard/rigid so they behave more like unprotected skates while still offering the same protection. Maybe a better idea is to build some kind of added protection into the skates themselves?

Avatar
#123 jonahgo
November 01 2013, 08:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

looks like hartley is rolling all four lines more than usual, which is nice (especially with backlund still stuck on the fourth)...

Avatar
#124 Clyde
November 01 2013, 08:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

What metrics would you suggest instead?

This game isn't all about metrics kent.

Avatar
#125 Baalzamon
November 01 2013, 08:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props
Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

I'd like to see Backlund on a line with Barechee and Monahan

Who plays center?

Avatar
#126 seve927
November 01 2013, 08:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

After calling Butler the worst player in the history of the game, I'd just like to step up and commend mattyc on defending him. He's played really, really well since I called him out ;)

And that has nothing to do with the fact he was credited with a goal. After looking out of place (in a bad way) as a 3rd pairing guy, he hasn't looked out of place as a top pairing guy.

Avatar
#127 beloch
November 01 2013, 09:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

@Clyde

Whether you go by metrics or by eye, the Flames have been really good again tonight.

Edit: Ugh... Except for MacBackup.

Avatar
#128 Clyde
November 01 2013, 09:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Baalzamon

This site tries to

Avatar
#129 Nighteyes
November 01 2013, 09:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Macdonald, I have one question for you. Why?

Avatar
#130 prendrefeu
November 01 2013, 09:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

FFFFFuuuuuuuuuuuuu...... McButterlegs.

Avatar
#131 ChinookArch
November 01 2013, 09:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props
Clyde wrote:

This site tries to

Well then, it's back to Calgary Puck for you.

On you bike, and on your way.

Avatar
#132 Baalzamon
November 01 2013, 09:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

Next game: Ramo in net, Stajan on line 4.

Although with that "big" save MacDonald just made, you never know.

Avatar
#133 KetchupKid
November 01 2013, 09:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

@Clyde

Wins are a metric.

Avatar
#134 beloch
November 01 2013, 09:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
5
props

Brutal giveaway by Glencross on that PP. Yes, circle back into your own end and then try to thread the puck through two Wings. Brilliant!

Avatar
#135 Clyde
November 01 2013, 09:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props
KetchupKid wrote:

Wins are a metric.

You are correct. And, the only one that really matters.

Avatar
#136 jonahgo
November 01 2013, 09:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
13
props

this is a very unprofessional way for macdonald to announce his retirement.

Avatar
#137 And
November 01 2013, 09:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props
RKD wrote:

Brian Burke is coaching this team from behind the scenes, already called Sven out publicly. I don't think he is a fan of Backlund either. He wants guys like Colborne playing a lot. He probably wants truculence in the lineup as well. This is why we see Jackman and McGrattan over guys like Roman Horak.

That is why we lose so many games!like we will tonight!

Avatar
#138 maimster
November 01 2013, 09:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
6
props
Clyde wrote:

You are correct. And, the only one that really matters.

Holy hell, is this a tired discussion! The battle over whether smart statistical analysis has value in understanding and appreciating sports has been over for a long time. If you choose to ignore it all, fine, go ahead. But if you think you can't appreciate the wonder of the athletes playing hockey at the same time you're doing a deeper dive into their performance through numbers, that only says something about you, not everyone else.

Avatar
#139 Clyde
November 01 2013, 09:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props
ChinookArch wrote:

You are a troll. And I think you meant different opinions.

No, I'm not a troll. I'm a hockey guy. Sorry I have caused such an intelligent person to resort to name calling. And, thank you for the correction. I am not a great writer

Avatar
#140 Brent G.
November 01 2013, 09:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
6
props
ChinookArch wrote:

You are a troll. And I think you meant different opinions.

Shouldn't be such a dick dude

Avatar
#141 yomamen11
November 01 2013, 09:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

So, just another game that can bring us points if we have at least average goaltender in the net. 81.82%? Cmon!

Avatar
#142 beloch
November 01 2013, 09:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Kent Wilson

Can't we all agree to just call MacFivehole names? He's so bad that, if we promised to keep playing him, the city of Edmonton would gladly volunteer to cover Mac's salary!

Avatar
#143 Burnward
November 01 2013, 10:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
6
props

One save away again. Monahan sure be filthy though...that kid is officially legit in my book.

Oh...and Clyde, I got your back.

Avatar
#144 Burnward
November 01 2013, 10:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

Re: Advanced stats

My thinking on the whole debate can be boiled down into this:

No stat will ever make me disbelieve what I see with my own eyes.

Avatar
#145 Clyde
November 01 2013, 10:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Burnward wrote:

One save away again. Monahan sure be filthy though...that kid is officially legit in my book.

Oh...and Clyde, I got your back.

I really wanted us to get lindholm. Although very early, I am really liking how things turned out. And, thanks.

Avatar
#146 Clyde
November 01 2013, 10:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
ChinookArch wrote:

Okay, I didn't intend on starting anything with you or anyone else here, but you may want to look over your comments tonight. Maybe you were just having fun, but it came off (to me anyway) like you were mocking. I apologise for the fireworks.

No biggie. I am serious about not being a great writer. I get a little lazy and sometimes don't read over before posting so understand your perception

Avatar
#147 kittensandcookies
November 01 2013, 10:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
9
props

Hey MacDonald, Halloween was yesterday. Take off the goalie costume.

Avatar
#148 kittensandcookies
November 01 2013, 10:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
7
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

Okay. So...

If you watched a car speed by you and thought "That guy's going really fast. Like, 100." And a cop beside you with a laser guided speed recorder leaned over and told you it was actually 65, would you discount his evidence?

Depends. How much grit did the car have?

Avatar
#149 Clyde
November 01 2013, 10:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

Okay. So...

If you watched a car speed by you and thought "That guy's going really fast. Like, 100." And a cop beside you with a laser guided speed recorder leaned over and told you it was actually 65, would you discount his evidence?

If that car was moving faster than Taylor halls, i would

Avatar
#150 piscera.infada
November 01 2013, 10:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props
kittensandcookies wrote:

Depends. How much grit did the car have?

Great.

Comments are closed for this article.