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Abel to Yzerman

‘A’ Grade Players

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Here are the final grades for 2017-18: 

Tyler Bertuzzi A

Key stats: 7 goals, 17 assists in 48 games.

The buzz: What a delight to watch. Hardnosed, smart, goes to the net and scores. Does little things to keep plays alive. Worked his way into the top-six mix and power-play time. Imagine what a big summer in the gym will do for him next season.

Jimmy Howard A-

Key stats: 22-27-9 with a 2.85 GAA, .910 save percentage in 60 games.

The buzz: Gave teammates a chance to win most games. Ended up starting 57 games because of Petr Mrazek’s first-half struggles and Coreau’s second-half struggles. Howard did what he could to make team successful.

Dylan Larkin A

Key stats: 16 goals, 47 assists in 82 games.

The buzz: Led the team in scoring most of the season. Made linemates better, developed his all-around game, showed a shiftiness to his skating, and played both special teams. High-character guy with strong sense of self-motivation. Future captain material. Showed tremendous growth overall.

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Comments

Primis's avatar

Pretty spot-on with most of them.

Was just a tad too generous with AA if you ask me.

Her assessment of Witkowski though is completely laughable and exposes her own inclinations.  Anything except an “F” is a joke.  Witkowski was a joke.  He brought nothing to the table, and on at least two occasions was personally responsible for giving the Red Wings an embarrassing black eye publicly.  You can’t give Booth the grade she did, for the reasons she did, and then turn around and give Witkowski his grade.

Posted by Primis on 04/12/18 at 06:45 AM ET

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From Helen, regarding Mantha.

On a good team, he could probably be a 40-goal scorer.

Does this seem accurate? I was thinking maybe he becomes a consistent 30 goal guy. 40 is reaching too high.

Posted by Pasha1277 on 04/12/18 at 07:37 AM ET

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Her assessment of Witkowski though is completely laughable and exposes her own inclinations.  Anything except an “F” is a joke

While these were “better” than Kulfan’s grades overall, and I don’t agree with a lot of them, you hit the nail on the head with this one. I don’t know how you see a guy who registered 1 penalty minute for every 3 minutes of ice time as above average.

Posted by Manthanasiou87 on 04/12/18 at 07:51 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Abdelkader B-
DeKeyser C
Helm C+
Kronwal C+
Ouellet C-
Coaching Staff B-
Hahahahahaha….... More HSJ drivel.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/12/18 at 07:53 AM ET

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Does this seem accurate?

Absolutely.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 04/12/18 at 07:59 AM ET

Colin's avatar

Does this seem accurate? I was thinking maybe he becomes a consistent 30 goal guy. 40 is reaching too high.

Posted by Pasha1277 on 04/12/18 at 08:37 AM ET

The only way Mantha becomes a 40G scorer is if he somehow gains the tenacity of Jamie Benn.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 04/12/18 at 08:03 AM ET

duhduhduh's avatar

Does this seem accurate?

Absolutely.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 04/12/18 at 08:59 AM ET

No.  If Patrik Liane is a 45 goal scorer on a very good team, there is just no way on this earth that Mantha is fer sure a consistent 40 goal scorer on anything less, even if it’s a better team than the current Wings.  Laine is just better in every way.

Posted by duhduhduh on 04/12/18 at 08:06 AM ET

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there is just no way on this earth that Mantha is fer sure a consistent 40 goal scorer on anything less

Who said anything about him being a “fer sure a consistent” 40 goal scorer?

Imagine, for a moment, if you didn’t put words in other peoples’ mouths.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 04/12/18 at 08:52 AM ET

duhduhduh's avatar

there is just no way on this earth that Mantha is a 40 goal scorer on anything less

Posted by duhduhduh on 04/12/18 at 09:02 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Abdelkader B-
DeKeyser C
Helm C+
Kronwal C+
Ouellet C-
Coaching Staff B-
Hahahahahaha….... More HSJ drivel.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/12/18 at 08:53 AM ET

Well, this is a slippery slope.  If you’re saying these grades are too high for many of the players… you’re then saying those players are a lot better than they actually played.

Which means you can’t then turn around and say that the players aren’t good enough.

Same for the staff.  If you don’t like the coaching staff grade, what you’re saying is the roster is considerably better than the staff made it.  Which seems pretty unrealistic.

Posted by Primis on 04/12/18 at 09:12 AM ET

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This team finished in the bottom 15% of the league in basically every measurable statistic. The fact that there are more than 3-4 guys with C’s or higher blows my mind.

Posted by MZ2215 on 04/12/18 at 10:06 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Posted by Primis on 04/12/18 at 10:12 AM ET

For some it’s living up to their salary (Abdeldaker, Helm, DeKeyser), their potential (DeKeyser, Oullet) or their job (Coaching Staff, Kronwal).

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/12/18 at 10:11 AM ET

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The only way Mantha becomes a 40G scorer is if he somehow gains the tenacity of Jamie Benn.

Or if he plays with Tavares and our PP is at least respectable. If Lee can score 40 goals, Mantha can too.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/12/18 at 11:43 AM ET

Alan's avatar

IO’m sorry, but some of those “grades” don’t seem to mesh with reality.

Abby was invisible for most of the season. C- at best.
Blash was all over the place, and he never seemed to really direct players unless they approached him on an individual basis and asked as much. If you’re going to be a coach, you have to be willing to use your voice and actually direct players. At least a C-.
Errorson got lucky a few times by being in the right place at the right time, but was largely a cause of most problems, not a solution to them. D at best.

For what Witkowski is and what he brings, I thought his grade was inflated just a tad. He was supposed to be one of those “sandpaper” guys who is far more grit, not enough scoring. Maybe a C or C+, but anything north of that is too high a grade.

For what they brought after the deadline, I feel like Helene was a little too hard on some of the kids. Svechnikov did have an injury issue that derailed a lot of his progress. He still came here and put up 2G and 2A. Coreau was a project goalie even before this past season. If Coreau was really supposed to be the goalie that would replace Mrazek and ease the sting of losing him, they thought wrong.

At the end of it all, we had a team that operated at two very different speeds. Our vets tend to be a lot slower than our kids, which causes a lot of problems. Instead of having a lineup that compliments both of that, lines were almost seemingly chosen with a dartboard.

I love my Wings, so losing seasons aren’t going to chase me off. However, I also want a front office and coaching staff that learn from their mistakes. Neither KH, nor Blash, seem to have that quality. They both seem to expect other people to take the blame. Here’s hoping that changes here in the near future.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 04/12/18 at 12:50 PM ET

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Helm .413 pts/gm $3.85M C+
Neilsen .418 pts/gm $5.25M B (LOL)
Abby .467 pts/gm $4.25M B-
Nyquist .488 pts/gm $4.75M B-


Bertuzzi .500 pts/gm RFA A
Mantha .600 pts/gm RFA   B+
Zetterberg .683 pts/gm $6.1M B+
Larkin .768 pts/gm RFA   A

Laughable.  It’s pretty clear to see who the under-achievers were on the team this season and it wasn’t the kids for the most part.  Our veteran core is overpaid garbage. (minus an aging Z)

Posted by Matt_in_MI on 04/12/18 at 12:52 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

These grades are just stupid click bait, I never understand why people take them seriously, because they never give a basis for which they are given on.  Is it based on expectations at the beginning of the year? Salary? The rest of the league top to bottom, or in comparison to either salary or lineup spot? 

For example, Booth
To me gets an A+ on expectations because I thought he belonged in GR and would be there for sure, he wasn’t, he played, he scored a bit.
I give him a B+ as a 14th forward or in terms of league minimums, willing to do nothing but practice, not whine, be a positive veteran presence, and not give games away when he played in them despite not playing in many, passed through waivers without issues remaining positive, that’s what you want for an emergency guy.
But on a league wide scale, E as he’s barely hanging onto a NHL job.

It’s all relative.  Same with Larkin, Is he really an A compared to other elite Centers?

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 04/12/18 at 04:14 PM ET

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“These grades are just stupid click bait…”

nothing could be closer to the truth.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 04/13/18 at 01:15 AM ET

Colin's avatar

I think the team getting a C is fair, because they met my expectations of being in the draft lottery.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 04/13/18 at 08:33 AM 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