I hate calling out players on the Red Wings, but by god if it worked for Zetterberg, then maybe we should be doing this more often. So let's pick on Jason Williams for a second...
Who, you ask? Jason "J-Willz" Williams. This was a guy that I liked while he was playing in Detroit (the first time). He was sick in shootouts, and could score goals with fair consistency. Sure he wasn't particularly fast, or tough, and he coughed up the puck a lot...plus I didn't know how whiney he apparently was behind closed doors. But nevertheless, I was mad when we traded him away to Chicago for Kyle Calder. Don't remember him? Maybe it's because he did absolutely nothing for Detroit. Nada. In fact, he ended up being a healthy scratch in the play-offs and then signed with LA in the off-season, so we basically gave Williams away for nothing.
Many of you didn't want Williams back this year. The squabbles with Babbles was still rining in your ears. You didn't buy the whole "he's replacing Mikael Samuelsson on the 2nd PP". You thought he was still soft. You thought he was still going to be turning that puck over at the point.
Well...unfortunately, some of that is hard to argue.
But first, let's acknowledge a couple things before I go any further:
- He broke his friggin' leg and missed almost 40 games this year
- He's not getting the prime time minutes that he was getting on less squads
But you know who cares about all that when it's all said and done? No one. Not a single G.D. Red Wings fan is going to accept that as an excuse for futility. Let's take a second to see where Williams stands on the Red Wings stat sheet:
Whew boy, just outside the top 15 in points. Granted, he's played the least amount of games of anyone on that list...but still. Kronwall and Stuart have more points? Miller and Draper have more goals? Something's not right here.
Actually you can look at Williams' stats over the past few years in 35-40 game chunks with the different teams...
Not good. It's time Williams starts putting the puck in the net. I realize that he's getting 3rd or 4th line minutes, but like I said before...I don't care. He's still getting his PP time, and he's still getting chances to score. He better start taking advantage of them.
Again, I hate calling out players on the Wings. I wanted the Williams resigning. I have defended him throughout the entire season.
So why call him out now, amidst the best winning streak Detroit has seen this season? Because Hank, Pavel, Mule, and Holmer can only do so much. This winning streak will be a lot easier to extend if the depth players would step it up a little more. Guys like Williams and Eaves...guys we know can put the biscuit in the basket.
I'm not tick tock, but playing half the season and accumulating anything less than 20 points, and we'll use that $1.5 mil to try and get Kovalchuk away from New Jersey (or something).
Pick it up, J-Willz, and you won't get Eavesed when it's contract time.