Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Reality Sets In

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

An ugly performance at home prompted a rare outburst from Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg....

“There’s too much poke-and-hope on a lot of players,” he said. “If you want to be a solid good player in this league, and if you want to win something, you have to learn to play the right way.

“Poke-and-hope might get you 25-30 goals, but you will never win anything.”

Zetterberg didn’t name teammates, but based on the game - and the season - the criticism fits especially Anthony Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou. It’s tough to see for a guy like Zetterberg, who has exemplified two-way hockey since he entered the NHL in 2002....

The growth of the young players is central to the Wings regaining competitiveness. The plan at the start of the season was to put them in bigger roles in hopes they’d embrace their importance. Consistency is an issue.

“This is the pain you endure at times when you’re asking some young guys to start to take over,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “This is the reality of it.”

 

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Below, watch the game highlights.

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Comments

stonehands-78's avatar

Z doing what needs to be done, saying what needs to be said

Captain

... leading by example.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 03/09/18 at 08:18 AM ET

Primis's avatar

“This is the pain you endure at times when you’re asking some young guys to start to take over,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “This is the reality of it.”

Quoted for truth.

Posted by Primis on 03/09/18 at 08:41 AM ET

duhduhduh's avatar

AA looks too often like a guy who’s packed his bags. Someone needs to tell him that if he doesn’t start showing up he’ll be playing in the KHL.

Posted by duhduhduh on 03/09/18 at 08:49 AM ET

Avatar

AA and Mantha have all the tools but the drive of a 30 year old that lives in their parents’ basement.  It’s very painful to watch.  If one or the other could be packaged to get a top pair defenseman I would be all over that.

Posted by Steve1306 on 03/09/18 at 09:02 AM ET

Avatar

Someone needs to tell him that if he doesn’t start showing up he’ll be playing in the KHL.

Why would someone lie to his face?

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 03/09/18 at 09:53 AM ET

duhduhduh's avatar

Someone needs to tell him that if he doesn’t start showing up he’ll be playing in the KHL.

Why would someone lie to his face?

He seems to want serious coin.  Thinks he’s better than he is.  I don’t think the market is going to form for him the way he thinks.  I think the Wings missed a chance to trade him when they could have gotten something good back.

Posted by duhduhduh on 03/09/18 at 10:11 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

This is what I’ve wanted to hear from someone on the team.

This is also why you need a few vets.

Posted by TreKronor on 03/09/18 at 10:39 AM ET

Avatar

This is what I’ve wanted to hear from someone on the team.

This is also why you need a few vets.

Agreed. But it doesn’t mean you need a bunch, just some good ones to lead by example. The question may become who is that player once Z leaves.

“There’s too much poke-and-hope on a lot of players,” he said. “If you want to be a solid good player in this league, and if you want to win something, you have to learn to play the right way.

While I believe that Mantha needs to put forth more effort, I’m pretty certain Z’s comment is directed at AA. I cannot count the number of times I’ve seen him try to poke check the puck at the top of the defensive zone in hopes of getting that breakaway. That’s not playing within the system, that’s a player doing what he thinks will work out best for him.

Trading AA for a defensive upgrade might mean giving up a 30 goal scorer but it also might be the best thing for the Wings. I think he’s a very good complimentary piece not a building block.

Posted by evileye on 03/09/18 at 11:18 AM ET

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He seems to want serious coin.  Thinks he’s better than he is.

You seem to bring a lot of baggage to that opinion, and I’ve not seen anything to back that up.

That’s not playing within the system, that’s a player doing what he thinks will work out best for him.

IMO, that’s a young player who is not being coached properly.

I think he’s a very good complimentary piece not a building block.

And “complementary piece” means he should be traded? I’d think a complementary piece would be something you want to keep/

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 03/09/18 at 12:31 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

At least Z has the class to not use players names.  HSJ of course , who knows all always decides she knows all, picked AA and Mantha.  Blashill picked thr young players.

That is fine is probably correct.

BUT a majority of Vets certainly are mediocre NHL, lucky to be hanging on by only their bad contracts and no one really wants some of them.

Apparently the Wings would have won if AA/Mantha (at least) were Vets.  Maybe, but not the kind of Vets the Wings are stuck with.  I am OK watching the kids while they learn (Svech at 9:01 Ice Time is wrong). This is a rebuild and we need some good Vets to lead the prospects.

Wings have too many Vets who can’t play up to NHL standards to lead the prospects.

The sooner they get moved the better it will be for the whole team.

Again this problem was caused by KH and Baby Illitch appears to not to want comment or do anything.  The 1st signing by Illitch should be to find someone to put between him and the GM.  He will probably need help there.

Blash and KH and maybe others have to be removed.  Hopefully a hockey savvy person below Illitch can rebuild the management team below him.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 03/09/18 at 01:20 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Cheers for Zetterberg for saying something in public, I’m sure he’s said it in the locker room. If the heartless twins don’t respond tonight or soon, maybe a benching is in order for both. Witowski played better than both of them. 

This season is over, clearly, aside from getting as close to the #1 pick as we can, the only thing that matters is that our younger players get better, both of them have talent, they need to learn to play with heart, make them earn their ice, who cares if they whine and cry and hate Blash, his days are numbered too,

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 03/09/18 at 01:59 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

This season is over, clearly, aside from getting as close to the #1 pick as we can, the only thing that matters is that our younger players get better, both of them have talent, they need to learn to play with heart, make them earn their ice, who cares if they whine and cry and hate Blash, his days are numbered too,

Exactly.  Nothing matters this season except for the amount of heart and development the younger guys show.  If they are going to quit easy and not push to become better, they aren’t going to be very valuable in the long term.

Posted by TreKronor on 03/09/18 at 02:03 PM ET

Avatar

That’s not playing within the system, that’s a player doing what he thinks will work out best for him.


IMO, that’s a young player who is not being coached properly.

Yes, it is on the coach to point it out. But even I, who has a low opinion on Blashill, think that he has likely pointed it out to AA. Yet, AA repeatedly makes the same mistake. That’s on AA.

I think he’s a very good complimentary piece not a building block.

And “complementary piece” means he should be traded? I’d think a complementary piece would be something you want to keep/

Complementary pieces are easier to acquire. If you can move a complimentary piece for something that improves the core of the team (in this case they desperately need defensive core players), you should do that. I’m not advocating trading AA just to get him out of town but if they can improve the D or AA thinks he is worth $5M, I think they have to be open to the idea.

Complementary pieces are more important to teams on the verge of competing for a Stanley Cup. This team is a long way from that.

Posted by evileye on 03/09/18 at 03:37 PM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com