Tuesday, September 22, 2009

2009-10 Preview: Andreas Lilja #3

Most Wings fans hate this guy. Personally, I think he's good for the team. I'm not about to spend $150 on his jersey, but he's good in his own end. Good penalty killer. GOOD, not great. Sometimes, I think that maybe Red Wings fans are a bit spoiled. Not every player is Nick Lidstrom or Pavel Datsyuk. Now, I mentioned before that Holland had said he might move a defenseman sometime around training camp. If the choice is Lebda or Lilja, I'd take Lilja (unless he doesn't recover from his concussion), because he's better in his own end.

Lilja was +13 this past season before getting a concussion. That's great, but his 66 PIM are an issue. A few of those minutes are from fighting, but most came from little hooks and holds. This is the "New NHL" so a 'free hand' is now considered 'Holding'. Most of the other guys on the team have gotten the message.

The two stats I'll be watching the most this season will be his +/- and his PIM. +10 and 50 penalty minutes in 75 or more games will be a good season for Andreas Lilja.

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