In a few seconds, I'll get to what will become the weekly By the Numbers feature, but I wanted to get a few housekeeping things out of the way first...
First, I wanted to take a quick second and thank Christy and Casey for inviting me to join the Winging it in Motown family -- and congratulate Kyle and Drew, both of whom I've enjoyed reading and can't wait to see what they've got in store for WIM.
Anyway, many of you might be familiar with The Production Line (and I thank you for reading), but for those of you that aren't, here are a handful of things that you should know about me -- right from the start.
1. I'm a big fan of lists. Charts, too. But mostly lists.
2. I'm a selective hockey traditionalist. And by that, I mean I hate the trapezoid, but love the no-changes-after-icing thing.
3. Maltby/Draper/Holmstrom trade or retirement desires of fans literally make me punch myself in the face. In nearly 100 years of Detroit hockey, there have only been a handful of life & death Red Wings, and they are three of them. As far as I’m concerned, they could have roster spots three years after they die, if they wanted them. Sit down. Shut up. Enjoy every shift before they hang ‘em up. There are fans of 29 other hockey clubs that would legitimately run over their mothers to have two decades of any of those guys – let alone all three.
4. Every now and then, you’ll come across a completely random or obscure quote or reference. That means its Simpsons-related. It also means you should watch more Simpsons.
5. During the year, I’ll probably be a little hard on Chris Osgood and Todd Bertuzzi. I’m sorry. I can’t help it. I just don’t like them. The same goes for Henrik Zetterberg, Darren Helm, and Valtteri Filppula. Except the opposite. They can do no wrong. Even if they do wrong, it was on purpose to throw off the enemy.
6. In a fit of what can only be described as a perfect storm of boredom and nerdery, I’ve actually read the CBA. As of this writing, I can understand eleven words of it.
7. Badger, my ass. It’s probably Milhouse.
And now, on to the numbers…
After nine pre-season games, Justin Abdelkader led the way with EIGHT games player – the most of any Red Wing, followed by Jonathan Ericsson and Derek Meech, with seven each.
Of the 53 skaters that took part in Red Wings training camp, only THREE non-roster players scored a goal in a pre-season game: Jamie Tardif, Jeremy Williams, and Kris Newbury.
As of October 5th, Andreas Lilja has missed the Red Wings’ last 53 games – including playoffs and pre-season.
Only FOUR Red Wings have a plus rating since the real games began: Nick Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski, Justin Abdelkader and Kirk Maltby. Lots of players are -1, but only Brett Lebda finds himself more in the hole: he’s -3.
Everyone who thought Kirk Maltby would lead the team in scoring at any point during the season, raise your hand. ....Liar.
Justin Abdelkader is the only Red Wing who has taken more than one faceoff with a percentage below 50% (5/13). Ville Leino is 0/1, Franzen is 1/2, Zetterberg is 14/28, Cleary is 4/7, Filppula is 20/35, Draper is 5/8, and Datsyuk leads the way going 23/33 (69.7%).
After two games, Johan Franzen leads the team with TEN hits, followed by Justin Abdelkader (8), Brad Stuart (7), Dan Cleary and Nik Kronwall (5 each). Can’t wait for Darren Helm to match these totals in his first shift…
The Detroit Red Wings are 0-2 for the first time since 1989. That year, they finished in last place in the Norris Division at 28-38-14. It was the last time they did not qualify for the playoffs.
SURPRISE! Nicklas Lidstrom leads the team in minutes (50), followed by Rafalski (49), Kronwall (47), Stuart (45), and Datsyuk (40). Kirk Maltby is the low man with under 18 minutes played.