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Abel to Yzerman

Midseason Grades

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Filip Hronek

Stats: 10 assists, minus-10 in 26 games.

Status: Signed through 2020-21 at a $714,166 salary cap hit.

The word: The team workhorse, averaging almost 24 minutes per game and playing both special teams. Often used against the opponents top line. Has a good shot and doesn’t hesitate with it.

Grade: B-minus.

Dylan Larkin

Stats: Four goals, seven assists, minus-7 in 22 games.

Status: Signed through 2022-23 at a $6.1 million salary cap hit.

The word: Had a great start with four goals and four assists the first 10 games. Then he lost Bertuzzi as a linemate, and production slipped to three assists in 12 games. Larkin, named captain before the season, sometimes tries to do too much. He has been out since Feb. 27 with an upper-body injury, and maybe the break will be beneficial.

Grade: C-plus.

Anthony Mantha

Stats: Six goals, four assists, minus-16 in 25 games.

Status: Signed through 2023-24 at a $5.7 million salary cap hit.

The word: He’s enthralling to watch when he’s engaged, but he’s looked lethargic for far too much of the season, not what the Wings hoped for after signing him to a big contract in November. He needs to play more to his 6-foot-5, 234-pounds size — he’s on the top line, but has only four penalty minutes.

Grade: D.

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Coming after my Sunday morning MMA binge.  Got me thinking about Mantha.  I wonder how much muscle he is carrying.  More muscular guys tax earlier in MMA than thinner guys most of the time.  More pronounced the higher the weight class.  I wonder if mantha didn’t put on too much muscle during the layoff.  Stipe Miocic is one of the faster more cardio guys in HW and similar physic stats to mantha but looks more lean than Mantha who does cardio for a living.  I wonder if the Brad May approach would help his perceived engagement.  Get lighter and he’ll last longer per shift and have more in the tank for games.

Lots of powerforwards have the same knocks as Mantha. Most actually.  I also wonder if that’s Yzermans thought process on small competitive guys.  Science says they’ll last longer. Less mass,  less oxygen needed for muscles, less lactic acid build up. 

Who knows but whatever is holding him back would be nice to get squared away.

Posted by ThatGuy on 03/07/21 at 10:59 AM ET

Paul's avatar

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

“Sometime the puck is going the way you want, and you get the puck on your stick and you just feel like you want to shoot it,” said Zadina, who had six on net. “You see the option to shoot the puck, and that’s what I do.

“I probably have to do that more often, have more focus on shooting the puck.”

The two goals were only the second and third of the season for Zadina, who hadn’t scored in 11 games.

It’s been a strange season for Zadina. Few will deny he’s been significantly better defensively and is clearly becoming a dependable and effective player all over the ice. But offensive, a part of the game that was supposed to be Zadina’s calling card since being drafted in 2018, has been missing.

“I’m really glad for those goals, and hopefully they will keep coming,” Zadina said. “Shoot the puck more, and good things will happen.”

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Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 03/07/21 at 11:06 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

I am a big fan of Bertuzzi. I think he should have an ‘A’ on his sweater, but not sure I would give a mid-season grade of (A) to a guy who has only played in 1/3 of the total games played…. confused

Posted by Down River Dan on 03/07/21 at 03:15 PM ET

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About Abel to Yzerman

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