The Future is Now

  1. Redder Winger
    Watching the Wings win three straight is kind of rough. It's been great to see the kids play well. Larkin. Athanasiou. Bertuzzi. And Mantha and Frk played well last night, too. At the same time, a three- game win streak isn't helping our lottery odds (though I'm beginning to think that other than Dahlin, it doesn't really matter where we pick as long as we're top 10).

    I've heard Paul Woods and other Red Wings broadcasters talking about the bright future. I think it's a crock of ****.
    The only high level prospect we have not currently on the team is Rasmussen, and even he comes with questions.

    When they talk about the bright future, they're talking about Athanasiou, Mantha, Larkin and Bertuzzi. That, too, is a crock of ****.
    Here's their age.
    Athanasiou - 23
    Mantha - 23
    Bertuzzi - 22 (will be 23 next month)
    Larkin - 21

    Larkin is the only guy in the group who I'd consider pretty young.

    The truth is that a lot of NHLers never produce any better than they did between the ages of 21-25. At a young age, they're at their peak, physically. They're less likely to have had a major injuries that have lasting impacts on their abilities.
    You can't treat these guys like they're 3-4 years from their prime. This could be their prime.

    I think the Wings have to find a way to get Athanasiou and Mantha over 18 minutes a game on a regular basis.
    That might mean dropping Bertuzzi in the lineup as along as Blashill views Helm-Nielsen-Abby as 15-19 minute a night shutdown line/pk guys.

    Last night Mantha played just 12:51. He was coming back from injury, so that's kind of understandable. But Blashill has AA and Mantha bouncing back and forth between a top 6 role and the 4th line - and that needs to end.

    It's great seeing Athanasiou take advantage of the minutes. But not if it reduces Mantha's time.

    Blashill needs to get these kids full-time, top six jobs.

    It's going to get harry when Glendening comes back, by the way.

    Possible lines:
    Nyquist Zetterberg Mantha
    Athanasiou Larkin Tatar
    Glendening Nielsen Abdelkader
    Frk Helm Bertuzzi

    I'd modify that a bit further to make Nielsen an attacking 3rd line.
    Nyquist Zetterberg Mantha
    Athanasiou Larkin Tatar
    Frk Nielsen Bertuzzi
    Helm Glendening Abdelkader

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