It may be the weekend, but school is still in session and it's time to hand out some more grades. So far we've reflected on the seasons of the Eurotwins, Johan and Homer, Val and Huds, the Netminders, Bert and Cleary, and Danger and Abby. Now it's time to take a look at a couple of role players -- Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller -- and their performances during the 2010-2011 regular and post season as well as a few kids who could be around for the years to come.
Preseason Expectations: In J.J.'s preseason expectations post, he expected both Eaves and Miller to see a big reduction in games played with the addition of Mike Modano and Jiri Hudler. However, due to injuries and poor play by Happy, both players each suited up 60+ games. Eaves was expected to play around 50 games, he saw the ice 63 nights. Miller was expected to suit up around 30 games, well, he doubled that and played 67 games. Both players were expected to chip in a bit of scoring, but ultimately make their impact on the energy lines and the penalty killing unit.
Follow the jump for the rest of the season recap and the grades for each player.
#17 / Right Wing / Detroit Red Wings
May 01, 1984
|2010 - Patrick Eaves||13||7||20||-2||14|
Patty Eaves pretty much fulfilled the expectations put in front of him for the season. He was expected to find himself as the 12th or 13th man on the roster and spent the season in that role.
What he did well: First and foremost, he did very well at making sure he stayed the hell away from the shootout. After that, he was once again a solid addition to the penalty killing unit. Yes, the PK unit struggle at times this season, but the pairing of Eaves and Darren Helm was once again a rock when shorthanded. Eaves chipped in one shorthanded goal. A big surprise is was his two power play goals for the season. In late Dec/early Jan. when the team suffered a lot of injuries, Eaves got a chance on the PP and scored in back-to-back games with the man advantage. When he got a chance, he took advantage of it.
What he didn't do well: He was a minus player for the second time in his six year career. Eaves ended up playing two less games this season than last season (65 to 63), and ended up scoring two less point this season than last season (22 to 20). He's not expected to be in a scoring role, but I would have liked to see an increase in points, especially when played about the same number of games. He was more familiar with the team and had excellent chemistry when playing with Helm and Kris Draper.
Overall Grade: Eaves was expected to play less and chip in less on the offensive end. Turns out he played almost the same amount of games and scored almost the same amount of points. He was there night-in-and-night-out providing energy and filling his role perfectly. Plus, he added 3 goals in the playoffs and registered a hat trick against the Stars, which occurred when I was in Michigan and I got curly fries. A solid B+ grade this season for Eaves.
#20 / Left Wing / Detroit Red Wings
Feb 17, 1984
|2010 - Drew Miller||10||8||18||-2||13|
The story is the same for Drew Miller. He has a clearly defined role on this team and he fulfilled his duties as the 12th/13th forward and a penalty killer.
What he did well: He hustled. He backchecked. He chipped in offensively every now and then. He killed penalties. Pretty much what you expect from a 4th line guy. He matched his 10 goals from last season and but 2 of them were game winners.
What he didn't do well: He was a minus player again (-2). He...umm...only had 85 shots. Drew should shoot more when he gets a chance.
Overall Grade: Much like Eaves, Miller met his expectations for the reason. He added depth, killed penalties, and fulfilled his role when called upon. B+
#39 / Left Wing / Detroit Red Wings
Jan 20, 1988
|2010 - Jan Mursak||1||0||1||-3||4|
Time for the call-ups from Grand Rapids. We start with Jan Mursak.
What he did well: The Sak played 19 games this season in a Wings uniform and he looked like he could easily slide in on the 4th line next season. He only scored one goal, but what's the saying? Speed kills? Yeah, that's it. He's got some wheels and he uses them.
What he didn't do well: He was a minus-3 during his time in Detroit and only averaged eight minutes a game. He'll improve on that with time.
Overall Grade: Jan gets a B. He's not flashy, but he's fast. He served his role during his call-up. I look forward to more from the kid next sesson.
#21 / Center / Detroit Red Wings
Dec 01, 1990
|2010 - Tomas Tatar||1||0||1||0||0|
#48 / Center / Detroit Red Wings
Jun 01, 1988
|2010 - Cory Emmerton||1||0||1||1||0|
And now the final call-up for the Griffins.
What he did well: He scored a goal in his very first NHL game and was a plus-1.
What he didn't do well: There wasn't much he didn't do well...mostly because he didn't play enough to screw up. He was solid in his role in the little time he saw the ice.
Overall Grade: If Tatar gets an high grade for scoring a goal in his first game, so does Emmerton. Cory gets an A and will have to fight to make the squad next season.
The kids have been graded, stay tuned for the old men of the team up next.