Though I have basically tossed this blog to the gutter because I really hate writing about the Wings when they lose, I still wanted to keep it up and running so I can at least prove how smart I am when I compare the season preview to the season review. Just before the season began, I wrote what I was hoping for from each player. I do believe I fell short on quite a few offensive predictions, but whatever. Let's get this rolling:
If Abby gets 15 goals this year, that's great, but I'm expecting between 5-10 goals. Abby's value to the team will be based on his +/- rating. A rating of +10 would mean he's had an amazing season, but I'm guessing he'll break even.
Abby wasn't quite ready for the big league, but he will be soon enough. He looked great in the games I saw him play in Houston. 3G, 3A -11.
I'll be happy with 15 because of his low salary, but we need him to score 20. What I don't want to see is dumb penalties.
Called it. 18G, 26A and 80PiM, mostly for offensive zone hooks and holds with 2 minutes left in regulation and a 1 goal game. Still, 1.5 million? Sold!
Dear Dan Cleary,
Since Detroit lost roughly 80 goals worth of offense over the summer, your fans would greatly appreciate it if you could score 20 goals or more and have a +/- of about +20 or so. Wings fans want to see the 2008 Cleary. Please leave the 2009 version in Newfoundland.
Mainly due to injury, he fell short of the 20 goal request, but he really broke my heart at -3. I know he could have done better. So does he. 15G, 19A -3
Keep doing your thing, Pav. Another season of 30 goals, 65 assists and a +40 rating is all we ask of you. Shouldn't be an issue for the best player in hockey, right?
27G, 43A, and a +17 rating. Not bad on the goals, but the assists had a lot to do with all the injuries his teammates suffered. If Mule didn't hurt his knee, he would have had more.
This year, the only stat I'll be looking at is his +/-. He's been a combined -15 the last two seasons, so some improvement in that category is in order. At 38 and on the 3rd or 4th line, I'm hoping for +1, but even -5 will be acceptable if he continues to be the best faceoff man in the NHL.
He finished -2 with 7G and 15A. And of course, Babbles put him on the wing so he didn't really take faceoffs anyways.
This season could be a real money-maker for Flip. With 80 goals worth of offense gone, Filppula could get his name out there if he gets anything in the area of 25+. In the end, I'm hoping for 20 goals and 30 assists as well as a +10 or better.
Is it just me or do I suck at predicting +/-? He finished with a -4 rating and 11G, 24A in just 55 games. Blasted injuries! He looked great (and I'm not talking about his hair) before he got hurt.
If Franzen has a 40G season up his sleeve, this would be the year to pull it out. 40G, 30A and a +/- of whatever is what I'm looking for from the Mule.
He only got to play in 27 games, yet he still scored 10 goals and added 11 assists. That's on pace for 30+, not the 40 I was hoping for, but coming back from a torn ACL or MCL or whatever it was, it's still a great stat. I expect fire for the playoffs.
This season, look for him to score between 10-15 goals. His regular season +/- is a bit lacking, but when you don't score much, it may seem worse than it is.
11G, 13A, -2. Not bad at all. Great year for Helmer.
Homer can still score 30 goals in a season if he's healthy and plays on the right line. Really, the only thing Holmstrom needs help with is out of his hands. No one else in the entire league takes more punishment than Holmstrom. I'm not sure why other players are allowed to give such cheap and dirty hits while the Ref turns a blind eye, only to call a penalty on Holmstrom when he's finally had enough and pushes back. It's really pitiful.
25G, 20A (despite missing 14 games due to injury) and zero help from the refs. Called it!
Leino has great hands, but he's not very big. If he can survive an entire season without injury, he can score 20-25 goals. Leino is the guy who teams forget about when they're trying to figure out how to shutdown Datsyuk and Zetterberg. He brings depth to your lineup.
Didn't call it! I was so far off on Leino, but so was the Red Wings front office! He has been sent to Philly in exchange for... a guy who's name escapes me. Still, if Leino doesn't improve drastically, I'd say we made out like bandits.
Malts will always be a fan favorite, but he's nearing the end of his career. He's really not a threat to score and he doesn't kill penalties like he used to, though he still has a place as a mentor for guys like Helmer and Apple-Gator. Look for Malts to be a healthy scratch from time to time this season. I only hope that when he does retire, he retires a Red Wing.
Pretty much called it, but it was hard to be a healthy scratch when guys were dropping like flies all year.
Depth scoring and staying healthy will be the key to success for Willy. I'm willing to bet that he'll be on the power play quite a bit, so 20 goals is not a stretch. Considering his paycheck, 15 goals or more would be perfect.
Thanks, injury bug, for making me look extra dumb on this one! Had he not missed half the year with a broken leg, Williams would have probably been in the 10-15G range, which is what I was hoping for.
Hank's numbers dropped a bit last season, but I'm not the least bit worried about that because his shooting percentage changed very little. He just needs to shoot more this season. The more Zetterberg shoots, the more he scores, the more we win. A lot has to do with whoever he plays with, of course. If it's Pavel Datsyuk, he can score 45+ goals, but if it's someone else, he'll probably net 35.
I blame injuries! Again... He was 4th in the league in shots taken, but only scored 23. I blame injuries!
Well there you go. How did I do? Seemed that most of the guys that stayed healthy were on the money, but not all (Leino). I guess I won't be giving up my day job, then. At least not to become a full-time basement-dweller.