Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

The Improved Detroit Defense

12/08/2022 at 1:30pm EST

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

"Our D has been great," forward Michael Rasmussen said. "Offensively, for sure, but just defensively, those guys work their butts off and play real hard and make plays when it’s time but also keep is simple and predictable."

Määttä and Ben Chiarot were among the additions made last summer by general manager Steve Yzerman, and they've surpassed the expectation that they would improve the top four. Määttä has been a terrific partner for Hronek (who has a plus rating for the first time in his five-year NHL career) and Chiarot for Seider. Those two pairings have played every game, and the Wings haven't had that kind of stability and skill in their top four in a decade.

Gustav Lindstrom and Robert Hagg were on the third pairing when the season began, but Jake Walman entered the lineup Nov. 15 after being cleared from offseason surgery, and of late he has been paired with Jordan Oesterle. Walman is an excellent skater with a terrific shot, and both he and Oesterle have a goal to their name....

Coach Derek Lalonde described the blue line corps as "NHL defensemen managing their game."

"I know lots has been made of our injuries up front — we have Bertuzzi out, we have Fabbri out, we have (Elmer) Söderblom out. Three of our top six, top nine. But we’ve been healthy on the back end, and that’s been able to sustain those injuries up front. When they are managing their game, that’s a big part of it."

more ($)


Strange that he didn't mention Vrana as a top6 out. Might be just an oversight. But it makes me wonder what's going on with him.


I believe he was referring to injured players. Regarding Vrana, see the comment section here.


Thanks Paul - I did not see that update from you. Good to know that he is getting the support he needs. Hopefully he will get through this and join this team sometime in the future.


from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Sundqvist, known more for his defense and physical, aggressive attributes around the net and aggravating opponents, scored 14 goals in 2019, when the St. Louis Blues won the Stanley Cup (four goals, nine points in 25 playoff games), and scored 12 goals the following season.

He's not the most silky-smooth player on the ice, but that doesn't matter. Sundqvist can, without a doubt, chip in offensively, and be a helpful offensive presence for the Wings.

And he has shown to be, at times.

"Absolutely, and we need him (to be)," coach Derek Lalonde said. "He plays right (the correct way) a lot. When we were struggling with our five-on-five offense, we asked the guys to get to the net and get to the hard areas, which is natural for him. That's where a lot of goals for him happen.

"What's good about Sunny is, the offense he creates is done the right way. That just helps our team with our five-on-five game."

more (paid)


Having a decent D makes a ton of difference for a team. 


I've been meaning to chime in about the D corps for some time. 

What I see is that while the opposition are getting a lot of shots on goal some nights, the D is keeping them away from the net and to the side mostly, which allows Ville to see the shot. And if he can track it, he will likely stop it.

On Hronek, I admit I was the biggest hater last year. Boy has he proved me wrong. Really good stick work, not taking silly penalties and plays an irritating game on opponents. Skates terrifically, and yes obviously I want to see him shoot whenever he has time to wind up in the offensive zone. 

Truly exciting hockey we're watching this year. We've been starved for this brand of hockey for some time. 



Of course our D is better, Seider was playing with a guy who isn't even in the NHL anymore, and we had a rotating door next to Hronek, but the real difference is between the pipes IMO, we have a real starter now, and a real backup, vs. starting a backup and a backup who is no longer an NHL goalie. Our goaltending the last 2-3 seasons has been very spotty and suspect, at times hitting a hot streak but long stretches of ECHL level play.

It also helps that we have a real NHL players playing forward as well to compliment the backend players


Speaking of defense, read something I assume here?  the other day about Simon not playing in the WJs. Had a chance to catch the Griffs last night, and my man was not on the power play, I was floored. And there were a ton of PP ops last night, didn't get a sniff, but he was out there a lot 5v5 and on the PK. I wonder if he's dealing with something undisclosed? 

I will say, looked good, looked like an NHL Player playing in the minors, good puck movement, directing traffic and very physical, but Iowa also took a lot of liberties with the big guy, he got all out face slapped at least 3 times and got hit real low as well.  In general the griffins got pushed around a lot.  

Create an Account

In order to leave a comment, please create an account.

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.