We've taken a look back and handed out grades for the forwards and now we shift our focus to the blue line. I've been given the chance to review the seasons of two of Detroit's finest. Two defensemen that are household names...to Griffins season ticket holders. Ladies and gentlemen, get ready, it's time to review the seasons of rookie Jakub Kindl and everyone's favorite defenseman, Dougie Janik.
Preseason Expectations: In Casey's preseason expectations post, the bar was set for Kindl to play in nearly half of the Wings games during the regular season and throw in a couple goals and 10+ assists. It was a learning season for Kindl. As for Janik, the bar was low. His preseason expectation was to appear in 5 or so games. That's it.
Follow the jump for the rest of the season recap and the grades for each player.
#4 / Defenseman / Detroit Red Wings
Feb 10, 1987
|2010 - Jakub Kindl||48||2||2||4||-6||36||0||0||0||62|
When it comes to being the 7th defenseman, Kindl nailed it. He spent half the season in the Leino Lounge and the other half skating on the third pair with Ruslan Salei.
What he did well: He learned. I don't know about you, but as the season went on, I felt more and more comfortable with Kindl out there on the blue line. He might not have been fantastic statistically and may have been shaky early in the season adjusting to a full time NHL gig, but by end of the year, Kindl easily passed the "eye test." He looked like he could play in the NHL. In fact, there was a lot of discussion whether Kindl should've gotten the nod over Salei as the 6th defenseman in the postseason. The 2010-11 season was a big step in the maturation of Amazon.
What he didn't do well: Kindl didn't put up many points. He nailed Casey's expectation of 2 goals, but was way off the mark of 12 assists (he had 2). I would've liked to see more, but at the end of the day, he was only averaging a little bit over 13 minutes of ice time a game. He was a minus player (-6), but was anyone really expecting him to be on the positive side? It would have been nice to see some more assists, but expect his numbers to improve drastically next season.
Overall Grade: The lack of production on the offensive end will definitely hurt Kindl. The biggest thing we should all take away from this year is that he looked liked a NHL defenseman by seasons end. He wasn't Lidstrom by any means, but I was more than comfortable having him out on the ice. He should've gotten a chance in the postseason over Salei and will continue to grow and play a top 6 role next season. For his rookie campaign though, Jakub takes home a solid B-.
#37 / Defenseman / Detroit Red Wings
Mar 26, 1980
|2010 - Doug Janik||7||0||0||0||-2||7||0||0||0||8|
Good old Jug Danik.
What he did well: He took up space on the ice for an average of just over 13 minutes a game for 7 games. He had 8 shots and the Wings had a 4-3 record with him in the lineup. He averaged 1 blocked shot per game.
What he didn't do well: He was a minus-2 in those 7 games. He only had 2 hits in that time span. He averaged 1 penalty minute per game.
Overall Grade: What is there to say about Janik's performance? All of his appearances occurred in October and he did his job of filling in as an injury replacement. He wasn't amazing on the ice, but he wasn't expected to be. Incomplete.