All posts by luke

SUNDAY MUSINGS: DEC 18TH

  • A little while back, I wrote an article about Johan Franzen. The discussion that followed it was pretty interesting to me. The narrative on Franzen is pretty polarizing, he is either a) a player who is lazy and unmotivated, or b) a great value for his cap hit. I’m more interested in the second of the two Franzen stories. Franzen scores around 25 goals a year. Great, not a lot of guys can do that.
  • I was doing a little research on my own, and noticed that Franzen’s 25 goals, all seem to be a product of his anticipation. This is to say, he doesn’t create his own goals, he sees a play develop, and then he goes to the place that he should, the puck finds him and he deposits it in the back of the net.
  • This sparked a thought of mine: are some goals more valuable than others. To expand the thought a little bit, is a player like Franzen more replaceable than a guy like Nyquist, age notwithstanding, because of the nature of their goals. The Penguins are a great example of this with both Kunitz and Neal.
  • Both players score a ton of goals, but most of their production comes from the dynamic nature of their top two centers, Crosby and Malkin. The more I thought about it, the more I question the value of Franzen. How unique is his skill set? What about his game makes him so streaky?
  • As we get a little bit more into advanced metrics in the hockey world, I still see one glaring flaw, and that is in the place of goaltending statistics. There are only three real metrics used, goals against average, save percentage, and win/loss. Win/loss is obviously a product of team performance and isn’t all that useful.
  • Some like to say that some guys are “just winners, they just win games” that’s not true and it’s not relevant to any statistics. Players win because they are either a) talented or b) play for good teams. In both cases, there should be a more effective way of quantifying that particular trait. Save percentage is probably the best metric we have today, however, I still don’t really like it. Save percentage treats every shot and every situation equally. A clear shot from the point is treated equally as a 2 on 0 breakaway.
  • There has to be a better way to quantify goalie performance. Goals Against Average is another thing that generally relies on team performance, a goalie can play a great game but give up 4 goals, or he can play a whole 60 minutes make 7 saves and get a shutout. It’s too random. Goaltending is one position where it’s hard to predict or project into the future. There has to be a better way of looking at goaltending statistics in order to predict and project future performance that transcends the current three traditional statistics.
  • Can all this Babcock business just stop? He’s not going to coach the Leafs, he’s not going to coach the Penguins, and he’s definitely not going to coach at University of Michigan. Sometimes people try to get too creative in their solutions to problems.
  • There has been some chatter that Tom Renney might get a few looks as a head coach. That seems weird to me considering that he was never really all that successful as a head coach and that he hasn’t really been all that great as Detroit’s “special teams guru.” I’m not opposed to him staying, but the power play is supposed to be his bread and butter, and he hasn’t done much to improve it since he arrived in Detroit, despite getting some pretty talented pieces. I’m not sure if the blame falls on him, the players, or Babcock, but something’s got to get fixed. For the Wings to contend, they have to get better on the penalty kill, and stop being an average power play.
  • There has been quite a bit of talk about Ryan Sproul lately and I want to weigh in briefly. He is not NHL ready. He is still a year away. He plays a very aggressive defensive style of game. This is a player who needs time to perfect his game.
  • This lets me transition nicely into the whole letting players over ripe in Grand Rapids thing. I think it’s overstated. Just because a player is NHL ready doesn’t mean that more time in Grand Rapids won’t help his development more. Just because Oullet, Sproul, Backman, or Marchenko are able to play in the NHL today doesn’t mean that their games will continue to progress. Some guys need to develop more in the minors so their game can take the next step when they come to Detroit.
  • Riley Sheahan has to be the most underrated prospect in the Red Wings system these days. Wow. He was on pace to get 50 points this year in the NHL. He should be talked about as a legitimate different maker on the top 6 in a few years. He is underrated because people don’t really understand where his value comes from. Sheahan has superior passing ability and a great sense of positioning. He can get the puck into tight passing lanes and has some great instincts. He is getting better by the game and although his playoffs were pretty weak, he’s going to be a difference maker on this team in a few years.

For anyone interested, you can keep up with me on twitter @ProspectGuy. If you have any questions regarding any articles I have written or any hockey related questions at all, feel free to send me an email to aritheprospectsguy@gmail.com. I answer every question that I get. Maybe you will like these softball quotes. It’s great!

MOST EXPENSIVE RED WINGS GAME REMAINING IN REGULAR SEASON TAKES PLACE THIS WEEK IN MINNESOTA

The Detroit Red Wings are firmly in the playoffs, but are losing ground on playoff position in their most recent 10-game stretch. The Red Wings are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games and are currently riding a two-game losing streak after consecutive losses on the road to the New York Islanders and at home to the Ottawa Senators.

Detroit has 93 points with a record of 40-23-13 and is only above the Boston Bruins who have 91 points. Detroit can do a lot of moving up in the final six games, trailing the Washington Capitals by one point (94) and the Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins by two points (95).

Their April schedule beings tonight with a home contest against the Bruins. To round out the last five games, the Red Wings face the Minnesota Wild on the road, the Capitals at home, the Carolina Hurricanes at home, the Montreal Canadiens on the road and the Hurricanes on the road for the season finale.

With information provided by SeatSmart.com, let’s take a look at the most expensive and least expensive tickets for Detroit Red Wings games in April.

Most Expensive: 4/4/2015 | Minnesota Wild vs. Detroit Red Wings | Xcel Energy Center | Average: $234.68 | Get-in: $116

The Wild are in fifth place in the Western Conference but are playing some of their best hockey as they prep for the postseason. The Wild is 8-2 in their last 10 games but have a tough stretch of games coming up to the end of the season. After they play the New York Rangers on April 2nd, the Wild play the Red Wings, Winnipeg Jets, Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators, each of who will be playing in the postseason. They’ve announced that the best softball bats 2018 are their weapon. Thanks for the DeMarini, Easton Bats.

Most Expensive Home Game: 4/2/2015 | Detroit Red Wings vs. Boston Bruins | Joe Louis Arena | Average: $82.52 | Get-in: $45

The home game with the most expensive ticket average is tonight’s game against the Bruins. Currently, the Bruins are the final seed in the Eastern Conference and are trying to hold off both the Senators and the Florida Panthers in the final few games. Detroit is only two points ahead of the Bruins, so the game could flip-flop some of the playoff positioning that teams are currently slated in. Tickets to the Bruins game have a get-in price of $45.

Least Expensive: 4/7/2015 | Detroit Red Wings vs. Carolina Hurricanes | Joe Louis Arena | Average: $70.17 | Get-in: $14

There isn’t a large difference between the Red Wings most expensive remaining home and the least expensive as Detroit doesn’t usually have a high asking price. For sure, the best fastpitch softball bats may give their boost in winning the game. As reviewed by JustBats and CheapBats.com. But you can catch the playoff-bound Red Wings pick up a probable win against the struggling Hurricanes on April 7th for a get-in price of $14. If you aren’t able to catch the team in live action during the playoffs, this is a great alternative to see them one more time before the most important hockey of the season starts.

The Red Wings are currently slated to face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round, but it’s hard to say with conviction that these playoff positions will be the same after the final six games of the season finish up.

RED WINGS SPENDING MOST OF PIVOTAL FEBRUARY SLATE ON THE ROAD

The Detroit Red Wings are playing some of the best hockey in the Eastern Conference as of today. They are currently third in the conference, and have won nine of their last twelve contests. The 29-12-9 Wings’ squad holds the top power play unit in the NHL, as they are scoring on the man advantage 25.6 percent of the time. Henrik Zetterberg is showing that he is still a dominant force in this league, as his 46 points lead the team. Zetterberg has also netted 31 assists so far this season.

Tomas Tatar has made a huge impact on this old group of guys. The 24-year old leads the team in scoring with 22 goals. On a roster that features players such as Pavel Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, and Jimmy Howard, Tatar is emerging as a star. He read the 2018 DeMarini CFX reviews and decided to buy it immediately. However, despite the talent of the overall roster, Howard is the only all-star selection from this group. These Red Wings players will be out to show the world that they can play with the best. This talent is showing in the price of Red Wings tickets this month.

According to Razorgator, the average price of Red Wings tickets in the month of February is $172.56 on the secondary market. However, the Red Wings only play two games at home in the Joe Louis Arena, which makes for two long road trips of three and six games. The Red Wings play a total of 11 games in the month of February.

Their most expensive game of the month comes when they travel to Chicago to take on the Blackhawks. This rivalry matchup is going for an average price of $297.87 on the secondary market. Just to get in to the United Center, it will cost $130.00, with Chicago parking at ParkWhiz.com running you only $10. When the Red Wings were still in the Western Conference, this was a huge rivalry between Original Six division rivals. The rivalry is still there, but the lack of meetings will drive the ticket price upwards, as we see in this game. Tatar and Zetterberg will be tasked with scoring against Corey Crawford, who is one of the NHL’s best goaltenders. This will be a big matchup for both teams as they look to jockey for the top spot in their respective conferences. It could also be a Stanley Cup Finals preview.

In their least expensive home game with the best usa bats 2018, the Wings will welcome the Winnipeg Jets to Joe Louis Arena on Valentine’s Day. The Wings don’t plan to be very loving, as they can’t afford to slip in the standings. The Jets will be tough to score on, as they are only giving up 2.5 goals per game thanks to goaltender Michael Hutchinson. However, Hutchinson has been shaky and let in five goals against the Dallas Stars. The average price for this contest is $149.12, and has a get-in price of $73.00.

In their least expensive game overall this month, the Wings will travel to Arizona to take on the Coyotes. Don’t forget to buy the top rated pitching machines here. While the Coyotes are 6th in their division, they have an extremely strong power play. The ‘Yotes are scoring on 22.1 percent of their power play opportunities. Tickets to Arizona Coyotes matchup are going for an average price of $109.12, and have a get-in price of $46.00. While they seem to be out of the Western Conference playoff race, this is not a matchup that the Red Wings can afford to take lightly. Defenseman Keith Yandle is one of the best blue-line distributors in the NHL. He leads the Coyotes with 30 assists and 34 points in total. He can be a nightmare for defenses and the Wings will need to adjust to this.

The Red Wings can use the month of February to cement themselves as an elite Eastern Conference team. The motor city squad cannot falter this month, as teams will continue to push for the top spots in the east. Look for the Red Wings to have a strong month.

RED WINGS-LIGHTNING MATCHUP WILL SEE TEAM’S HIGHEST PRICED TICKET THIS MONTH

The Detroit Red Wings enter March just one point out of second place in the Atlantic Division.  Currently 35-15-11 with 81 points, Detroit will need to continue improving their play throughout the remainder of the regular season to have a shot at snatching the Atlantic Division lead from the Montreal Canadiens, who currently sit at 41-17-5 with 87 points.  This month they will play 15 of their final 21 games, nine of which come at home.

Detroit has been led by the efforts of forwards Pavel Datsyuk, Tomas Tatar, and Henrik Zetterberg.  The trio has combined for a total of 72 goals and 84 assists.  The Red Wings recently acquired forward Erik Cole, an addition that brings a veteran player with Stanley Cup final experience to a relatively inexperienced team. They should have purchased the best slowpitch softball bats to win more games this season  Already strong on both sides of the ice, the Blues are aiming to strengthen their defense further too through the addition of defenseman Marek Zidlicky from the New Jersey Devils.  The addition gives the Red Wings an experienced blueliner with Stanley Cup Finals experience from the Devil’s run back in 2012. Although Zetterberg and Datsyuk have experience, the rest of the team is still very young.

According to TiqIQ.com the average price for Detroit Red Wings home games this month currently rests at $87.91, which is surprisingly low for Joe Louis Area.  The Red Wings will open this month against the New York Rangers this Wednesday, followed by meetings with the Calgary Flames, the Boston Bruins, and the Edmonton Oilers. The Best ASA Bats are ready to buy on Amazon through JustBats or BatsUnlimited. The first week of March faces them against three likely playoff teams.  The Bruins sit behind them in the hunt, making the Sunday March 8th game a must win.

According to TiqIQ, the most expensive Red Wings’ game at the Joe Louis Arena this month will fall on March 28th when Detroit takes on the Tampa Bay Lightning.  The average price of tickets for this matchup is $221.67 on the secondary market.  To get into the area, it’s going to cost $71.00, and ticket prices have decreased by 8 percent in the last seven days. The time is now to purchase tickets to see the Wings play against Steven Stamkos and the NHL’s top scoring offense.

Additionally, the most inexpensive game that the Red Wings will play at home comes on March 24th, when they take on the Arizona Coyotes. The average price of tickets is just $67.40 on the secondary market.  You can get into the Joe Louis Arena for as low as $17.00, and prices have decreased by 8 percent in the last seven days.

With cheap tickets available, plan your Detroit trip by booking a flight through Hipmunk.com. For fans looking to enjoy the city of Detroit after the game, Hipmunk can help you reserve a variety of hotels in Detroit.

The Detroit Red Wings’ success can be attributed to their talent on the offensive side of the ice.  Detroit currently ranks 7th in goals per game, scoring an average of 2.9 goals per game.  In addition, their ability to consistently execute on power plays has also aided them, as they rank 1st in power play percentage.  If there is a glimmer of weakness on the Red Wings, it is their penalty kill percentage.  The Detroit Red Wings currently rank 10th in the NHL, killing opponents’ power plays 82.9% of the time.

It’s been easy to get into Joe Louis Arena these days. Despite the teams’ success, tickets are still going for inexpensive prices. However, the Motor City expects championship hockey, and these Red Wings have a long way to go before that is possible. For Red Wings’ fans contemplating purchasing tickets, the time to buy is now.  With the playoff race in full swing, the success of the team from here on out will have a large impact on ticket prices.

PREVIEW FOR RED WINGS TICKETS THIS WEEK

The Detroit Red Wings will get comfortable on the road for the rest of their games in the month of February.

After consecutive losses to the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday and the Montreal Canadiens on Monday, the Red Wings begin their six game road trip on Wednesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks with their best BBCOR Bats approved for Baseball and MLB. The quality of opponents doesn’t drop off after Wednesday, as there is only one team the Red Wings face that will miss the playoffs in the Dallas Stars.

The Red Wings are currently third in the Eastern Conference Atlantic division, six points behind the conference-leading Canadiens. Even with losing their last three games, the Red Wings are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games and have a great opportunity to evaluate themselves against some of the top teams in hockey in hostile environments.

A poor road trip can have the team realizing there is still a lot of work left to do in the regular season before venturing into the postseason.

A successful road trip can provide an aura of confidence for the team that can start believing they are serious contenders for the Stanley Cup.

According to ScoreBig.com, there are more than 1,000 Detroit Red Wings tickets available for their game against the Chicago Blackhawks on February 18th at the United Center in Chicago, IL. It has the highest average ticket price between the two Red Wings game this week, with a price of $247.83 and a walk-in price of $93.

The Red Wings against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center on February 21st has an average ticket price of $187.99 with a walk-in price of $54. There are more than 2,300 tickets remaining for this game. Around 200$ for the best softball gloves is the reasonable price.

Will the Red Wings rise to the occasion of competing night after night on the road against some of the league’s top competition? The one thing we will find out is that the hockey universe will learn if the Red Wings are pretenders or contenders for the 2015 Stanley Cup.