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Detroit Red Wings Roster Analysis: Week of March 17th

Kirk Irwin

Detroit came through their Western road trip with four out of a possible six points. That's probably what most of us would have accepted at the start of the week, although if you had told us that the Vancouver game was in the bag, we'd probably have demanded six points, especially with how bad the Calgary game was.

Detroit has Wednesday against the Wild before heading west again for Friday and Sunday matchups against the Ducks, who are running away with the Pacific. Another week where the Wings are going to have to steal points.

With that, we're going to take a look at the roster from an individual standpoint on a good/bad/neutral perspective and see what kind of trends are working out. We'll be doing this on a week-by-week basis. Everybody will get a good/bad/neutral rating based on what they've done this past week and what we can expect from them for the coming week.

They'll also be ranked in order of strongest-to-weakest in their category.

The Forwards

Damien Brunner - Henrik Zetterberg - Valtteri Filppula
Johan Franzen - Pavel Datsyuk - Justin Abdelkader
Daniel Cleary- Joakim Andersson - Patrick Eaves
Drew Miller - Cory Emmerton - Jordin Tootoo

Todd Bertuzzi (Back)
Darren Helm (Back)
Mikael Samuelsson (finger)

Gustav Nyquist

Up arrow green The Good
  1. Pavel Datsyuk: Naming anybody else the Red Wings' best forward this week would be a crime. For those who skipped the late games, Datsyuk just about willed the Edmonton comeback and then spent most of Saturday making the Canucks look silly.
  2. Blank Space: I want you to appreciate how much better than everybody else Datsyuk was this week, so here we are. Don't read on until you appreciate that. Ready? Ok, go ahead.
  3. Valtteri Filppula: Points in all three games since his return, Filppula has played well. His turnover against Calgary was an ugly mistake, but the guy broke Detroit's road PP schneide and has played well against tough competition.
  4. Henrik Zetterberg: Hank's two goals against Vancouver were great to see. He also won the overall possession battle, despite the toughest competition. He needs to keep up the shooting pace.
  5. Johan Franzen: Mule led the team this week in corsi and had a very quiet three points. The setup on the Edmonton game-winner was a great pass. It's a fairly weak "good" for Franzen who, as a power forward, probably needs to be more noticeable.
  6. Justin Abdelkader: Go to the net and good things happen for you.
  7. Drew Miller: He got moved up to Zetterberg's wing because he deserved it. Good play on the PK and good forechecking work at even strength.

Down arrow red The Bad
  1. Damien Brunner: I absolutely hate putting him on this list because there's no indication that he's doing anything but trying his ass off. The guy's just not getting results and he's struggling with the transition. Brunner's got to get shots off quicker.
  2. Joakim Andersson: I was really unimpressed with Andersson during the Edmonton game for a number of missed opportunities to use his size.
  3. Cory Emmerton: He picked up a couple of extra minuses on coverage mistakes and didn't adequately make up for them elsewhere.
    Pictogram voting neutral The Neutral
  1. Daniel Cleary: Saved by the goal in the Vancouver game, Cleary pretty much just held his own over these three games.
  2. Patrick Eaves: He got himself benched after a turnover in the Calgary game led to a goal (which had plenty of blame to go around), but Eaves did his job well this week.
  3. Jordin Tootoo: I'd have been ok if he hadn't played this week. He hasn't been noticeable.
  4. Gustav Nyquist: Scored his first point of the season against Calgary, then struggled against Edmonton. I would personally like to see him get more time.
  5. Son of Sam, Sam's Son, and Samson: Ok, the third one is a stretch for a guy who doesn't have long hair, but Helm's a strong PKer, so there's that.

The Defense

Niklas Kronwall -
Ian White
Brendan Smith-
Jonathan Ericsson
Brian Lashoff
Jakub Kindl


Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder)
Kyle Quincey (Cheekbone)

Kent Huskins

Up arrow green The Good
  1. Niklas Kronwall: Four points this week for Kronner, who didn't play his best in the defensive zone, but overall did more good things than bad.
  2. Jonathan Ericsson: An overall positive for Riggy, despite a fairly bad performance against Edmonton. He handled Iginla well on Wednesday and broke even for possession against the Sedins on Saturday.
  3. Jakub Kindl: A good performance against Vancouver and a bad performance against Edmonton makes the Calgary game the tiebreaker, and I thought Kindl was good in that one. When he's on, he's putting good shots on net and keeping pressure in the zone.

Down arrow red The Bad
  1. Brian Lashoff: Too many rookie mistakes for Lashoff this week, as he struggled against his competition this week.
  2. Kyle Quincey: He's in the bad category in that it's too bad he broke his cheekbone because I think he's a good option.

Pictogram voting neutral The Neutral
  1. Ian White: Again just one game played this week, White managed to go +3, despite not really being involved in the plays which created those pluses. Decent play against light competition is only enough for a neutral.
  2. Brendan Smith: Too many penalties this week dropped him from an otherwise good week where Smith did a good job of getting the puck moving the right way. I think he's set for a good week coming up.
  3. Kent Huskins: No games played.
  4. Carlo Colaiacovo: He should be back soon.

The Goalies

Up arrow green The Good
  1. Jimmy Howard - Howard rules. 63 saves on 67 shots and 2-for-2 on the win column, along with 0 bad goals allowed. I like this Jimmy.
Down arrow red The Bad
  1. Jonas Gustavsson - The Calgary game was a debacle for Gustavsson, who allowed five goals on three shots.
Pictogram voting neutral The Neutral.
  1. Detroit's empty net: No goals allowed, but not much chance to shine either.


Two straight wins and the sky is tentatively held up by scaffolding.

As a bit of a bonus, here are the lifetime career stats of the Red Wings against the two teams the Wings will play in the next seven days.