Ok, so playoffs start tomorrow. But before we get to that, I thought we'd do something like what Peewee teams do, have an awards banquet for the team.
So we here at NOHS have each nominated a player for the following catagories and you get to choose between the nominations. Here we go:
Most Underrated Player:
- Dan Cleary: I can't remember even seeing him on the ice all year yet he scored 12 and assisted on 21. That's the bottom 6 production we need.
- Johnny Ericsson: I will prepare for my lashing... but Ericsson has been one of the most underrated players of the year. My lord did the PK tank while he was hurt. He's learned to block shots, use his reach, and uses that big body of his to get the puck and make good passes.
- Nick Kronwall: Whilst everyone in the media seems to tout Matt Cooke's amazing transition from curb-stomping pugilist to kitten-saving sweetheart, Kronwall has effectively learned how to still be an effective and feared hitter and done it legally. Kronner has also stepped up and was 5th in the team in goals this season.
- Todd Bertuzzi: Sure, he wasn’t a dominate force all year, but he was always there when we needed him. Most of all, he was a force in the shootouts, with 4 game winning goals. And don’t forget he finished a plus 23, #1 on the team (whoooaaa…).
Hit the jump for the rest of the awards:
- Holmstrom against Columbus 11/30/11
- Datsyuk against Nashville 2/17/12
- Hudler against Dallas 1/18/12
- Jiri Hudler: It really shows that he worked on his stride and skating ability in the off season. I'm not worried about him going to the corner anymore. He skates much better without the puck and seems to find the right spot on the ice. Dude can shoot and score and he's improved his passing and general defense by leaps and bounds.
- Drew Miller: The guy has gone from a very good penalty killer to a very good hockey player seemingly before our eyes. He's one of the best bargains out there. Guy plays great defensive zone hockey and can drive the net and get the puck in for big goals.
- Val Filppula: Flip exploded this season on the wing. I think we have a hybrid Datsyuk/Zetterberg on our hands
- Darren Helm: Took an injury to get him to take a shift off. Consistently the hardest worker on the ice.
- Brad Stuart: Stu is getting bashed and busted with elbows and slashes and never complains, and even seems to be a competent backup goalie with his knack for saving pucks that get past our netminders.
- Tomas Holmstrom: At his age and the beating he's taken over the years I'm amazed he can still walk let alone continue to be the best net front guy in the game.
- Henrik Zetterberg: Doesn't matter how much we're down by... he's going at it.
- Jimmy Howard: I want to say Pavel Datsyuk, but honestly... Jimmy's really been what has kept us in games. He's on the ice for all 60 minutes. As lame as 5th place is, without Howard's play all year, Wings don't make the playoffs at all.
- Henrik Zetterberg. The guy never stops competing. He may have slumped in production in the first half of the season but he was consistently the best player on the ice.
- Pavel Datsyuk: He might be the best player in the NHL, not much else to say.
- Nick Lidstrom: I would have picked Pavel until I saw what this team looked like without the Captain. He's the rock of this team and the glue behind the blueline. With him, this is the big Red Machine. Without him, it's just a bunch of good hockey players.
Your thoughts in the comments. LGRW.
Underrated: Bert - I thought about voting for Kronner, but he has been getting quite a bit of attention for his play this season, so I think Bert is more underrated (especially for his shootout goals!).
Best goal: I really wanted to vote for Homer's goal, because it is a thing of beauty (the passing, I mean), but I remember the Pav goal at the end of the game and I freaked out...and since it's against Nashville (I want to see more of this) I gave it my vote.
Most Improved: I wanted to give this to Miller, but similar to Huds, Miller has always had the skill and shown flashes of it in previous seasons, but Fil just took things to a different level this year, he gets my vote!
Hustle: Obviously Helmer, but if it would have been a grit or dependable player award, it would have gone to Stewey for sure.
MVP: This is a tough one! How do you choose between Lidstrom, Howie, Pav, and Z? I decided on either Howie or Pav, with my the final vote going to Pav, he just has the ability to change the game when he is on the ice, ngiht in, night out.
Jesus, grow up, no one is sucking Bert off without a gun pointed to their head (you laugh, but you'd be surprised how often that happens) and I'm beginning to recall why "hyperbole" was word-associated with a certain hater.
Seriously, hate Ericsson all you want and bring zero facts to the table here while you're at it, I get a laugh out of it and it sparks meaningless pissing-contests of discussions. But saying he isn't worth his paycheck only makes me ask the question "What qualifies you to determine who on this team is worth any dollar amount?" The amount any player makes, at the end of the day, is determined by Ken Holland. And if his screen name is "garth" then I'll back the fuck up right now but otherwise this shit is way too much fun. It's like teasing your little brother for having a crush on the mentally deranged girl in school as he swears up and down "that's so stupid!"
Oh and "salary" does not equal "rating" in this universe. It's the cap era, let's all remember.
Okay, enough of dictating this little spiel, I'm getting parched and Bertuzzi hates how I perform when I'm parched.
@brendanksullivan Thanks for proving my point. He's getting paid $3M in the cap era. That's a lot more indicative of how Detroit "rates" him than if he was getting that kind of money in the pre-cap era. Cap space is worth a lot, so to give a guy $3M it means you expect a lot out of him, yet he's still playing at the level of a #5 or 6 guy. He signed a deal that more than tripled his salary and he came back with his worst offensive season of his short career. But yeah, underrated because he's doing what a #6 guy should be doing while being the third highest paid defenseman on the team. Boy, is he ever underrated. Maybe if he cracks 17 points in the next two years he'll be offered the maximum salary of 20% of the team's cap. And still be underrated somehow.
And nobody's sucking off Bert? Then why am I being called a hater because I pointed out that him being good on shootouts isn't going to help at all, in any way, in the playoffs? Am I wrong? Or is there some way that they're going to allow Bertuzzi to make a shootout attempt after 5 minutes of overtime?
Gotta love the guy who falls back on the "who are you, Ken Holland?" argument when they've got nothing to add. What's next? Will I not be allowed an opinion based on the fact that I'm not also a professional hockey player?
And it's cute the way you're pretending you're just having fun when you're clearly pissed off by my opinion.
@garth No, you're a hater for saying we were sucking off Bert. And I'm not pissed, I honestly think the garbage you spew forth is hilarious. Think of me as the Stephen Merchant to your Karl Pilkington. Your stance on Ericsson is like his on monkeys. Talking shit, that's all it is.
And no, I didn't prove your point by saying it's the salary-cap era. My point is that it is much more difficult to shop for the perfect fit on your team at the optimal price. You have to take what's available and keep them by whatever capspace you can manage. Comparing his price to others on the team or those with more/fewer goals, which you continue to do, is simply not what we're doing here. That's all I'm saying. I'm going to stop trying to convey our difference in the term "salary" and "rating" because it's not getting through.
Clearly pissed off,
Sully :) xoxox
@brendanksullivan Jesus, what a great reply.
As an open and outright "E Hater," it pains me to say this, but I think Ericsson is the most underrated. Mostly because his play in the past has garnered such low expectations and so much hate. We only expect failure from him. He is still good for a couple of bad giveaways a game and doesn't exist in the offensive zone, but he is growing on me back in our end. He has upgraded from "Useless" to "Pylon 2.0" in my book, and our ignoring that makes him the most underrated Wing.
The stat that shows our PK dropped without Ericsson needs an asterisk by it. Here are some other names who were out during this time:
Datsyuk, Lidstrom, Howard, and Helm near the end.
The stat SHOULD say that our PK dropped without having Datsyuk, Lidstrom, Howard, Ericsson, and near the end of the stretch Helm.
I went wtih Buckets for the underrated award because I dont think people realized how hurt he was during the year playinig on one knee and still producing on that 3rd line.
I love Rig and I think Bert got his due this year from the fans. Kronner in my opinion should be nominated for the Norris but that'll never happen.
@DetCapC19 I hate shitbox, i mean ericsson, he's so bad that when he plays average everyone think he's playing great.
That's precisely why I voted for him. He's "rated" by people so terribly low that it's not hard for him to exceed expectations. And he was actually pretty good this year. Turnovers happened, but they happened to everyone. And the stats (JJ at Wingin It in Motown has more on the CSSI) on the PK show he was actually, painful as it is to admit, our best PK defenceman. Scary, I know, but his absence supports that claim.
I abstained from voting for underrated player. Reasons? Well for one, who is underrating Kronwall? Two, Cleary has been either invisible or a liability for a lot of the season, points totals notwithstanding. Three, Ericsson sucks most of the time. He he had any consistency then I might give him more credit, but playing really well 15% of the time isn't a great thing. And lastly, Bertuzzi is only good when he's playing with Datsyuk. To say he's underrated is like pretending White's numbers aren't heavily aided by playing with Lidstrom. And sure, Bert is good in the skills competition, but who gives a fuck about the skills competition?
@garth The NHL cares, those points we picked up because of him are big.
@moorecha Yeah, thank god he his shootout prowess helped Detroit win the divi- um, I mean helped Detroit get home ice adv- oh, I mean...Shit.And let's see how many shootouts he helps the Wings win in the playoffs...
Herr Garth, I have noticed in ze past zat you have many posted rebuttals related to ze sucking of another man's penis, und you appear to be very aggressive, one might say angry. It is not uncommon for latent homosexuals to be very aggressive, angry, und confused in zis society. It's okay to be angry with society, but projecting your anger onto persons and into places where it is ill deserved can make you unpopular, unlikeable, und ultimately about as wanted und useful as a used feminine hygiene product, und ze box it came in. I have been asked to speak on ze behalf of ze entire Nightmare on Helm Street blog, und you should know, it doesn't have to be zis way Garth, und I would like to schedule a session, und hear vat is really going on inside that head of yours, zat is full of unbridled anger und mens penises. I'm sure zis is very scary und perhaps exciting to you ja? Do not vorry little fella, Dr. Siggy will take good care of you, mein liebling.
@garth Buddy, as usual, calm down. We both root for the same team here, I just disagree with you on one point man.
@moorecha Sorry, I guess not sucking the serial killer's dick makes me a hater.
@garth Man, you love to hate.
@garth I would go as far as to vote White as most overrated. I give him as much flack as many give Ericsson. At least I know with Ericsson he will hit someone and try and win a battle in the corner. I am tired of watching White lose a battle that he had position on and then Lidstrom bail him out.
White is very soft in the corners, and though he seems noticeably bad in those puck battles, he can cover for himself with good stickwork. He's basically like a light version of Rafaslki, costing us 1/3 the price. But I don't think he's 1/3 the D-man Raf is. So as far as being Raf-Light is concerned, I give him an all-around pass.
Not strong, in fact pretty weak and small. But sound technique usually.
@garth I guess I'd say "we" are underrating Kronner. Not voted into the All-Star game with those stats is a crime.
And glad to know your Ericsson Hate extends beyond the realm of A2Y.
Just kidding, totally agree about Bert though. He seems only to do well in the shootout or when paired with Pav.
@brendanksullivan @garth I don't think Bert is a Top 6 forward. The dude plays with Pavel pretty much all season and ends with 71GP: 14G, 24A. This is no claim to my skill, but I feel like anyone who can stand in skates will get 10G, 25A playing with Pavel. Pavel will bank pucks off of you for goals and self-passes enough to produce those stats. He and Hudler need to be on the 3rd line with Helm. Nyquist and the sniper we didn't acquire at the deadline then take their places. Let's hope for next year! (Bert does equal a win in the shootout though)
@brendanksullivan Kronwall wasn't in the top 25 in scoring for defensemen. Why would he be voted into the All-Star game? I love the guy, he's great, and I like most would agree that he's a top pairing d-man on most teams, but underrated is something he's not.
Do I talk a lot about Ericsson on A2Y? Either way, I'm not sure a guy who's making $3M+ and has held onto the #5 pairing only because he's making $3M+ can be underrated. The organization way overrated him, based solely on one good playoff runn he had years ago, and he certainly hasn't lived up to his contract. I can't believe anyone would suggest he's underrated.
@garth Wow... just wow to ya. Everything is relative to the situation. His salary was determined at a pretty crappy time to get a defenseman to replace him. Now, if you want to present facts to show that he's "so terrible" that's fine... but do it in a sensible manner. It seems I'm not the only one that feels this way. Just look at the votes. Our expectations were pretty crazy last year for him, but I'm willing to say that he's had a break out year. Was it not so long ago that people also wondered if Kronwall was worth his contract that he got? Also, I'm not basing my rationale on saying "he's not the worst player". I just look at the numbers. More often than not, he plays in the defensive zone. He CAN play on the top pairing if he needs to. The maturation is there... it's coming along just fine. I trust Ken Holland. Dude knows what he's doing more than you or I or anyone on this blog. There's a reason he gets paid and we dont.
@Josh Howard Hell, if people say you're TERRIBLE and the defense is "hey, he's not the worst defenseman in the world, dude", you REALLY think that he's worthy of an AWARD? Of being HONOURED for not being absolutely terrible?!?!?!?!Jesus, what a fucking world we live in...
@Josh Howard @brendanksullivan So what if salaries aren't going down? Ericsson is NOWHERE NEAR worth his salary right now, so even showing more than the tiny bit of improvement he's shown lately he's still going to be way overpaid. Show me anywhere else that has a #6 defenseman making $3M+. Great, he's got potential. Lot's of people have potential. Potential means nothing until you start actually delivering on it.And who cares if you don't call him your stupid nickname anymore. He's still well known in lots of places as "Errorson".If you think Kindl or Ericsson could play on most teams' #1 or #2 pairings then you're just plain out of your mind and this conversation is over because you're just not a reasonable, sane person.
@brendanksullivan @garth "You can't blast the guy as a complete waste of space and say you aren't rating him low, it's a catch-22."I didn't say he's low-rated. I just said he isn't UNDERrated. Of course he's low-rated, but that's because he's not very good. He's finally starting to show a little improvement, but I would laugh at anyone who suggests he should be any higher than where he is on the depth charts, which is 5 or 6.
@garth @brendanksullivan Garth.. you are easily outnumbered. Let's face it... salaries in the NHL are not getting smaller. If Big E continues to improve through the playoffs and into next season like he did this year.... Holland got a good deal. That's really all that mattered. He's big, he can and does use his size (finally!), and his passing is getting much much better. Dude's got reach and still has more potential that people want to give him credit for. Even I used to call him Riggy Shitbox... NO MORE... his play this year caused me to throw that title away. He's not a HOFer, but he's solid enough and has certainly improved to the point of being missed when he's gone. You sir, are far too spoiled. We all are.... we get used to seeing Lids do his thing and don't realize that even our worst player could play on other teams 2nd or even 1st pairings at times. Told ya that you wouldn't agree... but that doesn't make ya right.
@garth It's actually pretty clear Ericsson is the most underrated when you think about how much hate he had coming into the season. You can't blast the guy as a complete waste of space and say you aren't rating him low, it's a catch-22. He is better than most Wings' fans opinion of him, meaning they underrate him, which is all you're doing the more you hate on him. And contract, I'm not worried at all about how much money he makes, how the organ-I-sation rates him and how we as fans rate him are two totally different criterion.
And Kronner is definitely All-Star worthy. It's just a shame the All-Star voters are mostly idiots. Why on earth did Jimmy have to be a write in with the season he had? Oh and I apologise for saying he was 5th on the team in goals, double check says he was 6th. 6th in goals in a season on the Detroit Red Wings as a D-man is pretty solid performance.
Columbus look a lot like Tampa in that first clip. Went with Kronner for underrated til I saw his +/-, Datsyuk's goal for sure, Fil most improved, Helm for hustle, Howard for mvp - before his injury people were mentioning him and vezina in the same sentence, how long since that's happened to a wings tender?
The best thing I heard about Hudler (don't want to sort through the emails we sent back and forth) is that Hudler is back to the level he was in '09. So that doesn't really count as an improvement. So if you voted for him, I hate you :)
Looks like I agree with everyone besides the Underrated player as I voted for Ericsson. He showed flashes of brilliance during the playoffs last year, but I was still upset we signed him for as much as we did. This year he really showed that he's taking that contract seriously and has only gotten better through the season. Dare I say he's been our best defense man (aside from TPH), since his return to the line up?
Most Underrated: Would love to give to Kronner but I feel he is starting to get his attention. I went with Bert because when he's on, we have an extra first line winger.
Goal OTY: No question for me, Pavel. I temporarily lost sanity when that went in.
Most improved: I would've went with Val here but he disappeared a bit at times. Therefore I went with the man whose improvements never disappeared, Drew Miller.
Hustle: I knew everyone would vote for Helmer, deservedly. So I gave Stu some love.
MVP: Can't go wrong with any of these. But without Pavel, this team loses its offensive dynamic and their best defensive forward. He might be the best all around player in the world.
@nickbarnhart Hustle was the hardest for me to vote for. I could see reason for both Helm and Stuart. I did like you did, knew that most would vote Helm so voted Stuart because he does quietly do so much.
@nickbarnhart Drew has really improved, but there were a lot of questions on when Filppula and Hudler would elevate their game to the level we know they can play at and I feel Fil has been more consistent than Huds. You can definitely tell Drew is playing with a lot of confidence.
@thebiglachovsky Huds biggest improvement would be just shooting the puck. The whole "wide open 3 feet from the net with the puck and pass" thing makes me sad.
@nickbarnhart I couldn't go with Kronner because he finished a minus on a team with a +40 goals...
@moorecha To be honest, Johnny had a surprisingly decent year. I had fewer expletive-laden outbursts in his direction than any other year.
Had to vote for the Homer goal. Pav's last second beauty was awesome, but all 5 Wings touching the puck and scoring on the PP is legit old time Red Wings hockey, and that's how we're gonna win this series against Nashville. Got my tix for Game 3, LGRW!!
@billtownbadass Certainly a tough choice, but given our opponent tomorrow, I feel Pav's goal is more appropriate.