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Abel to Yzerman

More Needed From The Wings

from John Niyo of the Detroit News,

Clearly, this team has improved defensively, though you wouldn’t necessarily know it watching the first period Tuesday against the Predators. Seider, a rookie who plays with beyond-his-years poise, has exceeded all expectations in his debut. (He’s on pace for a 56-point season, which would be Nicklas Lidstrom-type production if he managed to sustain it.) Nick Leddy is proving to be a savvy free-agent signing by general manager Steve Yzerman as well. Throw in the goaltending they’re getting from Alex Nedeljkovic (.918 save percentage) and the floor for this team looks much more solid than it did in recent years.

Up front, rookie Lucas Raymond’s arrival appears to have raised the ceiling, too. The young Swede is shooting, he’s scoring and he’s showing he has a knack for doing both when his team needs it most. And coupled with another key free-agent pickup in second-line center Pius Suter, it means the Wings finally have a top six that can compete with the better teams in the league.

Few would’ve predicted that back in September when Blashill announced winger Jakub Vrana — a potential 30-goal scorer —  needed shoulder surgery and would miss at least four months. But thus far, it seems to be true, at least when Bertuzzi is in the lineup.

The question is whether we’ll still be saying that in January and February. Can the Wings avoid any more significant injuries? Because they simply don’t have the depth to keep winning if they can’t. Can Blashill and his staff find a way to get more out of Filip Zadina? They'll need to at some point. Will the rookies hit a wall after 40 or 50 games? Time will tell on that front, I suppose. (The Olympics could play a factor, too.)

But as Blashill says, with a young team like this, every game is a measuring stick. And every loss can be an inflection point.

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Comments

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Nick Leddy is proving to be a savvy free-agent signing by general manager Steve Yzerman as well.

C’mon Niyo, get it right.

Posted by maltby18 on 12/08/21 at 09:15 PM ET

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It’s easy to blank when rushing and forget some things.
I recently forgot we’d signed Oesterle to a second year.

But yeah: there’s no real fact-checking or copyediting
anymore. I don’t envy reporters and writers at legacy papers
because, let’s face it: in many cases the barrier to entry in that
profession isn’t high. Now we’re not talking about elite journalism where you have
to intern for pennies in NYC or DC. And maybe knowing someone or your family knowing someone is a barrier to entry. But this isn’t chemical engineering.
If you’re persistent and knowledgeable and can hustle and produce good copy, fast,
and maintain a bunch of good contracts, you can report on or analyze sports.
Maybe you don’t get a press credential or preferred access. But if you work hard and bring a different angle you can compete for readers.

If I were in the legacy people’s shoes, I’d be racking my brain for new insights
and info - and would promise myself: don’t press send until you’ve combed the piece five times for typos or factual errors. I’m sure Niyo knows we traded a 2021 2nd round pick for Leddy who had one year left on his deal. But stories like this make it sound like he doesn’t. Or if he does might miss other more important details.
They do want people to subscribe after all.

Posted by lefty.30 on 12/08/21 at 10:25 PM ET

jhpcarrier97's avatar

Hey, watched the Colorado Avalanche tonight against the Rangers, they hammered the Rangers and beat them up physically as well.  We are going there soon, and we are going to run into a buzz saw, I hope we load up physically these next two games.  Those guys will be running the Predator tapes, we need to counter the idea that the Wings are soft and weak.

Posted by jhpcarrier97 on 12/08/21 at 11:41 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Leddy a free agent lol…if only…(sighs loudly and mutters) 2nd round pick #52 overall gone…could have had Aatu Raty plus saved one of the two allowable 50% retentions.

...but certainly a point about Zadina. He looks lost offensively…I mean he’s shooting right into the goaltender’s mitt without the goalie moving his hand. And his defense while much improved doesn’t look passable—I mean what was with that stop skating on a puck at an empty net the other night?

With the team’s success my worry is that Yzerman is limited to not being a seller at the deadline and we lose Leddy or even Greiss for nothing this summer.

Posted by d ca on 12/09/21 at 12:18 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Nick Leddy is proving to be the worst defenseman on the roster playing actual defense, there fixed that for ya

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Window Seat on the Captain's Ship on 12/09/21 at 08:37 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