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Some-Wing To Be Thankful For

Even though our Red Wings don't look great right now, there are still things to be thankful for on Thanksgiving.

Food Network Magazine Cooking School 2016 Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images for Food Network Magazine

American Thanksgiving, so it’s been said, is a time to take stock of your position in the rankings and make a determination of your playoff chances. Even with a win last night against the Buffalo Sabres, our Detroit Red Wings seem to be poised for April tee times while other teams play for the grandest of prizes.

Despite the dour outlook, at this time of year it is important and customary to reflect on the things that bring value and joy to your life. With that in mind, some of us here at WIIM would like to share with you things we are thankful for with this year’s Red Wings.

Helmerroids and PeterWiiM are both thankful for Jimmy Howard. From PeterWiim: “Entering this season, many people were talking about trading Jimmy Howard. I'm not saying that we couldn't have made a trade that would have benefited the team, but it's looking like a really good thing that we didn't. Howard has kept the Wings in games that they wouldn't otherwise be in. His stats put him in the same grouping this year as Price, Rask, Dubnyk, Holtby, and Crawford (although someone like Price is at another level). So, I'm thankful that Howard has shown that he's still a valuable member of the team, in some games, the most valuable.”

From Helmerroids: “I'm thankful for the resurgence of Jimmy Howard. I've always been a big fan of Jimmy and I'm glad that he's not fading into the backup role without a fight. If this is his last year in Detroit, I want him to make it a great one, and not only for him but also because it makes Mrazek work that much harder.”

Piyer97, KyleWiiM, and Edubbnaz are thankful for what the younger players are showing us this season, Ryan Sproul and Anthony Mantha in particular. From Piyer97: “I'm thankful for the flashes of brilliance we've seen from guys like Sproul, Athanasiou, Mantha, and Larkin. Yes, the Wings aren't very good right now but these guys give me hope. There's potential for a solid core to form and the Wings could build around it.”

From Edubbnaz: “I would like to add that I am thankful for Ryan Sproul finally getting a shot to show just how dynamic he can be offensively.”

From KyleWiiM: “I am thankful for Anthony Mantha. His ability to conquer a serious leg injury at a very crucial part of his development, while receiving unnecessary criticism for his performance after it, has been inspiring. I'm happy to see him flourishing in Detroit right now, and I hope that I can watch him in a Winged Wheel for a very long while. Plus, who doesn't love it when I yell ‘BIG TONY WITH THE SPICY MEATBALL’ when he scores?”

Jpicks19 is thankful for the Vanek signing. Thomas Vanek has been absolutely dynamic in his role thus far, despite his brief injury. The 32 year old winger has posted 9 points in 9 games, including an assist in last night’s return from IR. Even though he's only here on a 1-year “show me” deal, he's certainly been a bright spot on the ice. Thanks for bringing your talents to Detroit, Tommy!

Continuing with individual players, KTBauer is thankful for Tomas Tatar. Even though he only has 7 points (3G/4A) thru 20 games played this season, Tatar frequently brings a level of energy and enthusiasm to the game that can sometimes feel lacking from the ‘'business as usual” veterans. Give the man a damn hug after he scores, and be thankful he's here!

Our own Jeff Hancock is thankful for Brendan Smith. Smitty has had his ups and downs this year, as he seemingly has had throughout his tenure here in Detroit. But at least he hasn't played the puck from the bench yet this season!

Both Redwinger43 and I are thankful for the memories that are being evoked this year. Through the Farewell To The Joe marketing campaign, the Wings have found a way to call upon the ghosts of the past to help pull fans thru what's been a truly rough start to the ‘16-’17 campaign. More than once, I've found myself wistfully thinking back a bit more often than usual to iconic events from the past several decades - being downtown at Hart Plaza for the 2008 Stanley Cup, Fight Night At The Joe, Lidstrom’s hat-trick, and other memories that remind me that no team has had it as good as we have over the past 30 years.

From Redwinger43: “This year I'm more thankful than ever for the history of the Red Wings. My mom went to her first game at the Joe this season and I got to excitedly point out all the banners that I only saw in person for the first time three years ago. There's still nothing like the feel of the place.”

Last, but certainly not least, our fearless leader J.J. from Kansas is thankful for the family of internet monsters we’ve built here at WIIM. From J.J.: “I'm thankful this year more than ever for the WIIM community. To be worthwhile, hockey has to be fun, and the writers and commenters alike at WIIM have kept that alive and well for me this season.” We love you too, J.J., you silly internet sap!

What about you, dear reader? Put down the mashed potatoes, stuffing, pickled eggs, meat-lover’s pizza, sushi, or whatever it is you're having this Thanksgiving and tell us one thing you're thankful for with this season’s Red Wings. Remember, there are no wrong answers - but people may judge you if you're thankful for Steve Ott.