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TOPIC: o is Pellegrinis first choice, but there is a tend

o is Pellegrinis first choice, but there is a tend 1 month 1 week ago #839462

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The Detroit Red Wings were bounced from the playoffs in the first round by the Boston Bruins, but they have also made the postseason every year since 1990. Off-Season Game Plan looks at a Wings team that has been rejuvenated with youth, but has a small window of time to capitalize on the talent of team leaders Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. The Wings have a bit of an interesting mix, with aging vets combined with young players who were thrust into bigger roles when those older players got hurt last year. While the Wings can be, at times, too patient with their prospects, those that were called upon last year -- including Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco, among others -- were ready to play and contribute and that does provide reason for optimism going forward. "I think theres this perception that July 1 free agents, theres this hockey store, theres this fantasy hockey league that Im running, playing in, and that we can go get superstars," GM Ken Holland told Detroits CBS Affiliate. "Those days are over. That was a bit of the league prior to 2005. Those days are over. This is a league now where youve got to draft, youve got to develop, weve got to make people better." Its one thing to be optimistic about what those young players might be able to contribute; its another to realize that there may not be that much longer that the Wings can count on premier production from Datsyuk and Zetterberg, so theres some reason for urgency in order to take advantage over the next couple seasons. The benefit of having so many young, and cheap, players is that the Wings have the financial flexibility to make some big moves this summer if they so choose. They have the cap room to go after the big fish in free agency, however shallow that pool might be, but also have cap room and prospects to be players on the trade market. The TSN.ca Rating is an efficiency rating based on per-game statistics including goals and assists -- weighted for strength (ie. power play, even, shorthanded) -- Corsi, adjusted for zone starts, quality of competition and quality of teammates, hits, blocked shots, penalty differential and faceoffs. Generally, a replacement-level player is around a 60, a top six forward and top four defenceman will be around 70, stars will be over 80 and MVP candidates could go over 90. Sidney Crosby finished at the top of the 2013-2014 regular season ratings at 87.12. Salary cap information all comes from the indispensable www.capgeek.com. CF% = Corsi percentage (ie. percentage of 5-on-5 shot attempts), via www.extraskater.com. GM/COACHKen Holland/Mike Babcock Returning Forwards Player Rating GP G A PTS CF% Cap Hit Henrik Zetterberg 81.62 45 16 32 48 53.3% $6.083M Gustav Nyquist 77.29 57 28 20 48 54.5% $950K Pavel Datsyuk 77.12 45 17 20 37 55.7% $7.5M Johan Franzen 72.53 54 16 25 41 51.2% $3.955M Darren Helm 68.14 42 12 8 20 52.8% $2.125M Justin Abdelkader 64.83 70 10 18 28 50.7% $1.8M Joakim Andersson 60.79 65 8 9 17 49.9% $733K Drew Miller 60.50 82 7 8 15 48.8% $1.35M Luke Glendening 56.22 56 1 6 7 46.2% $628K Stephen Weiss 55.37 26 2 2 4 41.6% $4.9M Free Agent Forwards Player Rating GP G A PTS CF% Class 13-14 Cap Hit Daniel Alfredsson 70.96 68 18 31 49 51.3% UFA $5.5M Tomas Tatar 68.36 73 19 20 39 56.3% RFA $840K David Legwand 67.39 83 14 37 51 49.5% UFA $4.5M Riley Sheahan 66.47 42 9 15 24 56.4% RFA $900K Todd Bertuzzi 60.56 59 9 7 16 49.5% UFA $2.075M Dan Cleary 57.33 52 4 4 8 47.3% UFA $1.75M Mikael Samuelsson 56.48 26 1 2 3 50.8% UFA $1.8M Its a shame that back problems sidelined Henrik Zetterberg for a good portion of the season, because he was productive as ever, playing a career-high 20:33 per game, with his 1.07 points per game his best since 2007-2008. Since 2005-2006, Zetterberg is one of nine players to play at least 500 games and average better than a point per game. Hes also one of the all-timers in puck possession metrics and remains effective in that regard even though he consistently faces the highest-quality opposition. Its one thing for the Wings to be missing Zetterberg for a significant amount of time, but to also lose Pavel Datsyuk for 37 games, thanks to a degenerative knee. While Zetterberg scored more last season, Datsyuk actually comes in ahead of Zetterberg on a couple of the above lists (points per game, Corsi%). Its worth noting that the Wings took it easier on Datsyuk last season, with more offensive zone starts and easier quality of competition than he faced previously. These could be the kind of allowances you make for a supremely-skilled 35-year-old who is grinding through injury, but Datsyuk also averaged 20:16 of ice time per game, his highest since 2009-2010, so its not like he was relegated to a lesser role. Absurdly demoted to the AHL at the start of last season, because the Red Wings had bottled up their roster with too many veterans under contract, Gustav Nyquist ripped through the AHL for 21 points in 15 games before getting recalled and he was one of the leagues hottest goal-scorers, going on a stretch from January 20 through April 2 during which he scored 23 goals in 28 games. There is no reason to believe that Nyquist will continue to be an 18% shooter, so get ready for regression, but dont dismiss him altogether. Hes got great jets, is a top-shelf possession player and has the offensive track record (including 143 points in 137 AHL games) so that Nyquist has to enter next season with high expectations. Concussions cost Johan Franzen many of the 28 games that he missed last year and while there are some indications that the 34-year-olds play is slipping, Franzen has put up better than 0.70 points per game for six straight seasons, including 0.76 last season. His best years are behind him, but Mule can still be a useful complement to Datsyuk, a spot that has been a good place for him for many years. Injuries have threatened to derail Darren Helms career, but the speedy checking centre battled back to play a mostly regular role once he returned to action. He still missed time with a groin injury and a concussion, but Helm proved to be a valuable contributor, though a tad fortunate considering that his shooting percentage (14.5%) was double his previous career rate. A hard-nosed winger with limited offensive upside, Justin Abdelkader did score a career-high 28 points last season, playing a career-high 15:17 per game. The issue with those scoring totals, however, is that Abdelkader spent most of his time playing with highly-skilled players (Zetterberg, Nyquist and datsyuk were among his most common linemates) so there is some offensive opportunity cost to playing him in that role too often. Joakim Andersson has worked his way into a regular spot in the lineup, but was as unlucky as anyone in the Detroit lineup last season, coming in on the low end of both on-ice shooting and save percentages. Despite minimal offensive production, Drew Miller has played all but four games over the past two seasons. He also plays more -- a career-high 14:08 last season -- than his possession numbers might typically warrant. An undrafted free agent, Luke Glendening quickly earned the trust of the Red Wings coaching staff though hes not very productive and gets thumped in possession terms. It was easy enough to write off Stephen Weisss 2012-2013 season due to the wrist surgery that he required, and he had several suitors as a free agent last summer, but his first season in Detroit was a disaster, and his production over the past two seasons is in the neighbourhood of fourth-line enforcers. Would the Red Wings be willing to stomach a buy out on a contract that has four years and $20.5-million remaining? If not, theyre really hoping for a dramatic turnaround. A first-round pick in 2010, Riley Sheahan was a useful contributor upon getting called up to Detroit. He wont be able to sustain the percentages that contributed to his goal and point production, but he was a solid possession performer too, and that will work in any circumstances. Overshadowed by Nyquist, Tomas Tatar was the Red Wings second-leading goal-scorer in his first full season. His usage tilted the ice in his favour, but Tatar delivered strong possession numbers too and, like Nyquist, has to be counted on as an offensive producer going forward. There are more options to fill out Detroits forward ranks. Prospect Tomas Jurco split last season between Detroit and Grand Rapids; Daniel Alfredsson is an unrestricted free agent and, with so many young players on the roster, the Wings have loads of cap room should they wish to trade for the likes of Jason Spezza, Eric Staal, Ryan Kesler or sign free agents like Paul Stastny, Thomas Vanek, Jarome Iginla or Marian Gaborik. Returning Defence Player Rating GP G A PTS CF% Cap Hit Niklas Kronwall 73.14 79 8 41 49 51.9% $4.75M Brendan Smith 63.93 71 5 14 19 53.9% $1.263M Jakub Kindl 63.73 66 2 17 19 51.6% $2.4M Jonathan Ericsson 62.74 48 1 10 11 51.7% $4.25M Brian Lashoff 56.35 75 1 5 6 50.4% $725K Free Agent Defence Player Rating GP G A PTS CF% Class 13-14 Cap Hit Danny DeKeyser 65.44 65 4 19 23 49.0% RFA $1.35M Kyle Quincey 60.59 82 4 9 13 49.7% UFA $3.775M Niklas Kronwall has played big minutes for the Wings and has top-tier possession stats. A mobile puck-mover who delivers some of the most devastating hits in the league, Kronwall is the clear-cut number one on a unit that, generally, lacks experience. Brendan Smith has the skill to play a bigger role and saw more minutes late in the year and into the playoffs, but he has not displayed the same offensive production that he had in the AHL or at the University of Wisconsin. Nevertheless, there is an opportunity for 25-year-old Smith, who has been a solid possession player, to seize playing time on the Detroit blueline Its been a gradual process for Jakub Kindl to establish himself as a regular on the Detroit blueline and hes managed to put up decent possession numbers in the past couple seasons as Detroit shelters his usage, with relatively easy competition and more offensive zone starts. Jonathan Ericsson has been thrust into a prominent role, playing more than 21 minutes per game over the past two seasons. Ericssons flawed, but manages to put up decent possession numbers while facing high-quality opposition. An inexpensive depth defenceman who worked his way up as an undrafted free agent, Brian Lashoff continues to improve and while hes not pushing for top-four minutes, there is room for Lashoff to hold the sixth spot on the Wings blueline. Though he played more than 21 minutes per game as a rookie, and faced quality opposition, Danny DeKeyser was on the ice for more shot attempts against than for during 5-on-5 play. Hes a fluid skater and can move the puck, but DeKeyser needs to continue to improve if hes going to hold down a spot in the Wings top four. The Wings will have the cap room to spend if they decide that a defensive upgrade is prudent. Free agents like Andrei Markov or Dan Boyle might provide value, in that they wont necessarily require a long term, but would be able to contribute while Datsyuk and Zetterberg are still capable of keeping the Wings in playoff contention. Returning Goaltender Player Rating GP W L OTL GAA SV% Cap Hit Jimmy Howard 71.09 51 21 19 11 2.66 .910 $5.292M Free Agent Goaltender Player Rating GP W L OTL GAA SV% Class 13-14 Cap Hit Jonas Gustavsson 63.72 27 16 5 4 2.63 .907 UFA $1.5M Jimmy Howards .910 save percentage last season was the second-lowest of his career but, over the past five seasons, he ranks above average, with a .917 save percentage. The Wings have cast their lost with Howard, for the time being, it seems, as hes signed for five more seasons. Any changes in goal would require finding a landing spot for Howard. The heir apparent for the Red Wings number one goaltending job, Petr Mrazek has done nothing to diminish that expectation. He has a .919 save percentage in 74 AHL games and a .926 save percentage in 11 NHL games. Thats enough to get first crack at the backup gig next season. Top Prospects Player Pos. Team/League Stats Anthony Mantha RW Val dOr (QMJHL) 57-63-120, +34, 57 GP Tomas Jurco RW Grand Rapids (AHL) 13-19-32, +10, 32 GP Xavier Ouellet D Grand Rapids (AHL) 4-13-17, +3, 70 GP Petr Mrazek G Grand Rapids (AHL) 2.10 GAA, .924 SV%, 32 GP Mattias Backman D Linkopings (SHL) 6-15-21, +25, 54 GP Ryan Sproul D Grand Rapids (AHL) 11-21-32, even, 72 GP Teemu Pulkkinen RW Grand Rapids (AHL) 31-28-59, +18, 71 GP Andreas Athanasiou LW Barrie (OHL) 49-46-95, +25, 66 GP Mattias Janmark-Nylen C AIK (SHL) 18-12-30, -6, 45 GP Adam Almqvist D Grand Rapis (AHL) 4-49-53, +9, 73 GP Alexei Marchenko D Grand Rapids (AHL) 3-15-18, +11, 49 GP Mitch Callahan RW Grand Rapids (AHL) 26-18-44, +23, 70 GP The 20th pick in 2013 Anthony Mantha went off on the Quebec Major Junior Hockey Hockey League last season, finishing with 158 points (81 G, 77 A) in 81 (regular season plus playoff) games. Hes big and can put the puck in the net. Since this is the Red Wings, Mantha is going to start in the AHL, but his rise could be quick. A second-round pick in 2011, Tomas Jurco has good size and brilliant puck skills, breaking out in his second pro season, scoring a point-per-game in the AHL, then adding eight goals and 15 points, with excellent possession stats, in 36 NHL games. Barring a roster crunch, Jurco should be in the NHL next season. Another second rounder from 2011, Xavier Ouellet has impressed with his heady play and earned a four-game audition with the Wings last season. He didnt look out of place and could challenge for a spot as soon as next season. Drafted in the fifth round in 2010, Petr Mrazek has been consistently strong since then, with Ottawa in the OHL, the Czech Republic in the World Juniors and with Grand Rapids in the AHL. The 22-year-old could be ready for an NHL job; then the question will be how soon hes ready to push for the No. 1 spot. Selected in the fifth round in 2011, Mattias Backman is a smooth, puck-moving defenceman who joined Grand Rapids following a strong year in Sweden. He could get stronger and will have to get used to the North American game, but the 21-year-old may not be far away from earning a look. A talented player with a big shot from the point, Ryan Sproul was a second-round pick in 2011. He can refine his play without the puck, but the raw package is intriguing. Picked in the fourth round in 2010, Teemu Pulkkinen had a very strong first year in North America, putting up 36 goals and 70 points in 81 (regular season plus playoff) AHL games and getting a three-game trial with the Wings. There are a lot of young forwards that have just cracked the Detroit roster, which makes Pulkkinens quest more challenging. A fourth-round pick in 2012, Andreas Athanasiou is a gifted offensive player with size and skill, but will need time to work on his two-way play before he might contend for a spot in Detroit. A late bloomer who was a third-round pick last summer, Mattias Janmark-Nylen has put up a couple of strong seasons in the Swedish Hockey League, and the 21-year-old will need to show he can do it in North America before expectations get raised too much. Continuing the run of mid-to-late-round selections that have climbed the Wings prospect ranks, 2009 seventh-rounder Adam Almqvist has tallied 84 points in 141 AHL games over the past two years. Hes on the small side, but the ability of defenders to move the puck is increasingly valuable. Another seventh-rounder, from 2011, Alexei Marchenko had a solid first year in North America, even getting a game with the Red Wings. He has good size and could develop into a stay-at-home defender. Drafted in the sixth round in 2009, Mitch Callahan is an agitator coming off a productive AHL season. His ceiling isnt high, but he could earn a look on the fourth line. Red Wings advanced stats and player usage chart from Extra Skater DRAFT15th - Kevin Fiala, Alex Tuch, Sonny Milano. FREE AGENCYAccording to www.capgeek.com, the Red Wings have approximately $48.7M committed to the 2014-2015 salary cap for 16 players. Check out my possible Red Wings lineup for next season on Cap Geek here. Needs: Two top nine forwards, two top four defencemen, backup goaltender.What I said the Red Wings needed last year: Two top six forwards, one top-pair defenceman.They added: Daniel Alfredsson, Tomas Tatar, Joakim Andersson, Stephen Weiss. TRADE MARKETJohan Franzen, Tomas Jurco, Joakim Andersson, Jakub Kindl, Brendan Smith. Scott Cullen can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and followed on Twitter at twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. T.J. McDonald Jersey . It looked like being another miserable day for Moyes when Ashley Westwood put Villa in front from a 13th-minute free kick. But Rooney headed United level seven minutes later, and the striker netted his 16th of the season for the struggling champions from the penalty spot before halftime. Koa Misi Jersey .ca presents its latest weekly power rankings for the 2013-14 Barclays Premier League season. www.thedolphinsfansclub.com/Black-JaWuan...-Jersey.html?cat=886. Old times for a defence that has looked just plain old recently? "No," safety Ryan Clark said. "We used to be much better than that. Nat Moore Jersey . Last year, Islanders forward Colin Mcdonald released a "Do It For Colin" campaign to promote his teammate and friend John Tavares for the EA sports honour:The most popular sports voting video ever has to go to Chris Bosh who showcased his comedic abilities in his effort to get fans to vote him into the 2008 All Star Game:You can vote for TJ and other star players for the NHL 15 cover vote here. Nate Allen Jersey . Crawford hit his slam off Pirates starter Edinson Volquez to give San Francisco a four run lead in the fourth and they never looked back. Brandon Belt had three runs batted in as well. Bumgarner pitched all nine innings and allowed just four hits.Samir Nasri has a face people just want to punch. If it wasnt Arsenal fans outside of the Emirates last season it was his manager. "I would like to give him a punch!" said Roberto Mancini after Nasris performance against Newcastle last season. "Because a player like him should play like this always, always, every game. Maybe one game he cant play well, but thats it. "I cant understand why sometimes a player with his quality doesnt play like this every game." Nasri had been sensational that day in late March, as City won 4-0, but it was just his fourth start in the last three months and his manager was beyond frustrated with him. The Italian had already spoken out earlier in the month about Nasris prospects of starting games: "When I was a player I always took responsibility," said Mancini. "When I didnt play well, I said: Sorry I didnt play well and will do my best in the next game and it should be like this. I dont like players that never think its their fault." Mancini continued: "These players cant play with me because this is impossible. I want strong players that are upset with me when they dont play but, after that, show me on the pitch that they deserve to play. Samir knows this because I have spoken about this situation many times with him. He can do better because he has quality, technique and hes strong." Against Newcastle it appeared Nasri got the message. (photo: fourfourtwo.com - Click For Larger Image) Having not started four league games in a row all season, the Frenchman went on to be picked in Citys next seven Premier League games, shining in a win against Manchester United and scoring at Tottenham, before eventually finding his way into Mancinis starting XI for the FA Cup final at Wembley. Citys inconsistent performances in the final few months, highlighted by that loss to Wigan, meant any individual performances were off the radar, but Nasri definitely saved his best games in a City shirt for then. Perhaps, it was a coincidence that these came at a time when many of Citys games lacked importance, but upon reflection, it is also worth noting that Mancini, when fighting to save his job, turned to Nasri when he most needed him. It is similar to what has happened with France. Last Friday, Nasri started his first international game since Euro 2012, in a 6-0 friendly win over Australia, and finally started a key World Cup qualifier for the first time this campaign on Tuesday when France beat Finland in Paris. Both games showed just important Nasri is to his country. In a four band 4-2-3-1 system, Nasri offers French boss Didier Deschamps a number of key traits required to master a wide position inside the 3. Nasri, when he is committed and happy, can be a complete player, capable of dribbling past players, picking a pass into a tight space and even working back to help his right back in defence. Against Finland there was a moment in the first half when he picked the ball up in his own half, played it out wide to right back Mathieu Debuchy, ran alongside him, got the ball back, sprayed it cross field to left back Patrice Evra, ran into the central space ahead of the two central midfielders, played a one-two with Franck Ribery, the wide left player, and got the ball back on the edge of the area to play a ball in behind the defenders for striker Olivier Giroud to run on to. It was the perfect example of what is required of a player in that position, by getting the best out of teammatess by keeping an attack going at a good speed.dddddddddddd. It is the same kind of form Nasri has shown this season for City, blossoming under new manager Manuel Pellegrini, who he admits has made a difference in his game. "I am more confident with this manager," Nasri said recently. "He has given me a lot of freedom. Im a guy who likes to have affection with the manager. I like a manager who likes to talk about whats good and wrong. "Im still young and learning. When you have a manager who will talk its always good for a player." It is clear Nasri is sensitive, something many inside the game, including Mancini, have no time for. Some will ask, how can a man be so sensitive when earning 150K pounds a week? He is only human, after all. Part of being a great leader is knowing what kind of players need an arm around their shoulder rather than a good shouting at. Where Mancini failed, Pellegrini seems to be succeeding. "I talk often with him because I know he can be a big player," said Pellegrini. "I dont talk about what happened in the past; but at this moment Nasri is playing very well. "He has great technical quality. He works the whole game a lot, not just the last 25 minutes. Hes a very creative and classy player." After coming on as a sub in Citys first three games this season, Nasri got his chance to shine for Pellegrini when David Silva got hurt earlier this season. Nasri was excellent in Citys 4-1 demolition of United, using width intelligently, to help overlaps with full backs, and knowing when to cut in to make a midfield three. (photo: fourfourtwo.com - Click For Larger Image) The last point is a crucial one for club, more than country and it was no surprise the most pass combinations in the Manchester derby came from Nasri to Yaya Toure. In a way to fit in Sergio Aguero and one of Edin Dzeko or Alvaro Negredo, City have adopted a 4-4-2 this season but have found themselves overrun in midfield on occasions, particularly when Silva has played. Cardiff and Hull benefited when they attacked through the middle in transitions targeting Toure and Fernandinho, with the Brazilian often being the lone man protecting the centre-backs. When Nasri came into the side, City - aside from five minutes of madness at Villa Park - looked more defensively solid. However, now that Silva is fit it appears the Spanish maestro is Pellegrinis first choice, but there is a tendency for Citys attacks to be more cautious and laboured when he is in the team. One thing that is clear, there doesnt appear a spot for both Nasri and Silva on the field from the start as the pair havent played more than 35 minutes together this season. Not long ago the thought of Nasri being preferred to Silva would have been ludicrous but the Frenchmans impressive form, combined with the issues around the teams shape and style with Silva in it, means there is a legitimate chance Nasri could make some significant starts for City very soon, particularly if he continues to improve. At 26, he remains young but not too young for comebacks. After all, he had to talk about one to the French press this very week. "I have stepped into line, I worked hard, accepted all the decisions to bring what I could bring. I know what it is to not be in the French team anymore. During my absence, I could think about it a lot." He was wearing a different shade of blue but it appears he had similar thoughts while sitting for his club also. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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