Pass/Fail: Jan Mursak

The traditional method of ranking individual player performance is usually some sort of “report card” or “A+” grading system. Not here. You see, we like to keep things simple at TPL. You either made the grade or you didn’t. No grey area. Black and white. This is “Pass/Fail.”

Statistically Speaking
[table id=30 /]

The Good
Well, he filled in pretty admirably for 19 games this season, providing depth at a time when the Wings were suffering from injuries. He did score a goal during his stint on the big club, and he seemed to receive regular praise from the coaching staff. He’s got a solid all-around game with some finesse and grit mixed in there, and he’ll make a big push to be a full(ish) time member of the Red Wings this upcoming season.

The Bad
One goal in 19 games really doesn’t knock the socks off, now does it? He also finished the year with a -3, and still looked to be a bit indecisive at both ends of the ice. He never really seemed to be a major scoring threat, essentially taking up space and playing 4th line minutes. For a kid who may wind up in the NHL full time next year, he still looked a bit unready and unsure of himself.

Extra Credit
“The Sak” may be the best nickname ever.

Grades
Disch: PASS
Petrella: PASS
Hollis: FAIL

The Reasoning
Disch: I’m conflicted here, but I’ll go pass.  His job this year was to step in when the injuries hit and prove he had a long-term role with the club.  As he’s still in contention for a gig this year, I guess he did his job.  I’m not crapping my pants about the Sak, and this could be the hangover talking, but he doesn’t really capture the imagination quite like some of the other guys we’ve got in the ranks.
Petrella: Mursak’s a pass for filling in admirably when needed. The spotlight’s going to be on him next year when he’s no longer a call-up, and I look forward to seeing how he handles it.
Hollis: The play didn’t seem to match the expectations for The Sak. For a guy who may be a full time roster player next season, I was hoping to see a little more in terms of energy and grit. He looked timid and uncertain, and that’s not a trait I would expect to see from a guy who is looking down the barrel of fourth line minutes in the NHL.

Final TPL Grade
PASS

Up Next: Johan Franzen

Past Reports:
6/22 :: Cory Emmerton (PASS)
6/17 :: Justin Abdelkader (FAIL)
6/9 :: Jiri Hudler (FAIL)
6/8 :: Todd Bertuzzi (PASS)
6/7 :: Brian Rafalski (PASS)
6/7 :: Pavel Datsyuk (PASS)
6/6 :: Brad Stuart (PASS)
6/4 :: Henrik Zetterberg (PASS)
5/27 :: Jakub Kindl (SPLIT)
5/26 :: Darren Helm (PASS)
5/24 :: Niklas Kronwall (PASS)
5/23 :: Valtteri Filppula (PASS)

Pass/Fail: Cory Emmerton

The traditional method of ranking individual player performance is usually some sort of “report card” or “A+” grading system. Not here. You see, we like to keep things simple at TPL. You either made the grade or you didn’t. No grey area. Black and white. This is “Pass/Fail.”

Statistically Speaking
[table id=29 /]

The Good
Pretty hard to grade a guy on just two games played, but that’s why they pay us the big bucks. First, Emmerton scored in his NHL debut. Second, he scored in his NHL debut after driving like a madman to get to Joe Louis Arena in time for an afternoon game against the Blackhawks. He also (technically) finished THIRD in the league in shooting percentage at a whopping 33.3%, so doubters can suck on that. His game made the coaches take notice and he’ll be challenging for a spot in the lineup this year.

The Bad
He only scored on 1 of his 3 shots, so there’s room for improvement there. Despite scoring in his first NHL game, his team lost.

Extra Credit
He came on The Pipeline this year. Also, did we mention he scored in his first NHL game?

Grades
Disch: PASS
Petrella: PASS
Hollis: PASS

The Reasoning
Disch: Kid scores in his first game and he’s in the conversation to move up to the big club: PASS.  Not sure what else we really expected out of him.
Petrella: Homey scored in his first NHL game, filling in during a rash of injuries. If that’s not a PASS, I don’t know what is.
Hollis: He scored in his first game. Also, he has nice eyebrows. Pass.

Final TPL Grade
PASS

Up Next: Jan Mursak

Past Reports:
6/17 :: Justin Abdelkader (FAIL)
6/9 :: Jiri Hudler (FAIL)
6/8 :: Todd Bertuzzi (PASS)
6/7 :: Brian Rafalski (PASS)
6/7 :: Pavel Datsyuk (PASS)
6/6 :: Brad Stuart (PASS)
6/4 :: Henrik Zetterberg (PASS)
5/27 :: Jakub Kindl (SPLIT)
5/26 :: Darren Helm (PASS)
5/24 :: Niklas Kronwall (PASS)
5/23 :: Valtteri Filppula (PASS)

Pass/Fail: Justin Abdelkader

The traditional method of ranking individual player performance is usually some sort of “report card” or “A+” grading system. Not here. You see, we like to keep things simple at TPL. You either made the grade or you didn’t. No grey area. Black and white. This is “Pass/Fail.”

Statistically Speaking
[table id=27 /]

The Good
Abdelkader’s bread and butter is his physical game and ruthless forecheck, and he had it on exhibit for most of the regular season this year. For a guy playing in his first full NHL season, Abdelkader didn’t seem overwhelmed by the speed of the game, although that’s likely a direct result of his regular appearances in the lineup over the past two seasons. He finished the season with a team best +15 rating, and he also led the team in (surprise!) hits. He’s one of the only Wings regularly willing to drop the gloves, and his physical presence was an important component for the team this year.

The Bad
Let’s just get it out of the way now: Abdelkader took way too many dumb penalties in the San Jose series and it proved costly for the Wings. His stick control leaves plenty to be desired, and he got his stick blade up far too often, usually catching someone in the face and ending up in the box. His game lacked consistency, although many will point to the aforementioned fact that this was his first full NHL season as a reason for his erratic play. He’s a young guy and full of energy, but Abdelkader would do well to take a page out of Darren Helm’s book and slow himself down. Production wise, Abdelkader failed to hit 20 points. Some will say that was to be expected given his role, while others will say that he’s a better player and should have put up more points.

Extra Credit
Tough to find somewhere to add credit. Just hearing his name conjures up memories of the terrible San Jose penalties. That said, his big hits and rough-and-tumble play sure are fun to watch.

Grades
Disch: FAIL
Petrella: FAIL
Hollis: PASS

The Reasoning
Disch: Fail. And its fail because after this season I’m resetting my expectations for Gator. I had these lofty visions of him turning into a poor man’s Getzlaf. Right now I’d be ecstatic if he rounded out as a rich man’s late-career Maltby. Hurts to say that. I think the heart is there, but he did some dumb things this post-season that you hope a guy who’s been with the team more than a few months…more than one playoff run…doesn’t do.
Petrella: I love me some Gator, but if we’re weighing these guys against our expectations of them, poor Mr. Abdelkader fell just short. He was able to chip in some great points, but his ill-timed penalties and unfortunate off-sides and other transgressions put him the Fail pile for now.
Hollis: He only gets a pass from me quite simply because I’ve never expected him to score the points and be the offensive threat that quite a few folks perceive him to be. When he sticks to being a physical, fourth line presence, he’s great. But when he tries to do too much, it’s very apparent. I just don’t see him ever being a 20 goal scorer or 50 point guy, so within those parameters it’s hard to fail him. Those dumb penalties brought me close, but for the kind of player he is, I’ll give him the nod.

Final TPL Grade
FAIL

Up Next: Cory Emmerton

Past Reports:
6/9 :: Jiri Hudler (FAIL)
6/8 :: Todd Bertuzzi (PASS)
6/7 :: Brian Rafalski (PASS)
6/7 :: Pavel Datsyuk (PASS)
6/6 :: Brad Stuart (PASS)
6/4 :: Henrik Zetterberg (PASS)
5/27 :: Jakub Kindl (SPLIT)
5/26 :: Darren Helm (PASS)
5/24 :: Niklas Kronwall (PASS)
5/23 :: Valtteri Filppula (PASS)

Pass/Fail: Jiri Hudler

The traditional method of ranking individual player performance is usually some sort of “report card” or “A+” grading system. Not here. You see, we like to keep things simple at TPL. You either made the grade or you didn’t. No grey area. Black and white. This is “Pass/Fail.”


Statistically Speaking
[table id=26 /]

The Good
We’ll get to the nitty gritty in a minute, but the fact is that his return from the KHL provided the Wings to be a deeper team in the offensive ranks, and — whether you agree or not — he’s a proven NHL-calibre player, able to spark an offensive situation or two. Despite not being an everyday player when everyone was healthy, Hudler was sixth on the team in assists (27 – two fewer than Todd Bertuzzi), and eighth in shooting percentage among players that took 100 shots (9.5%). Unlike the aforementioned Bertuzzi, Hudler rarely played with the top six or with elite talent, but when he did get the opportunity to play alongside Pavel Datsyuk in February, he exploded for four goals and a bevy of assists. But, wait, I thought he was useless?

The Bad
Well, he kind of was. Outside of that little microcosm, he had an extremely disappointing season. Can any of that be blamed on with whom he was playing and how many minutes he logged? Maybe — but that’s on him to force Coach Babcock’s hand to give himself a better opportunity. He didn’t really take the bull by the horns, and that’s especially problematic because of the expectations Red Wings fans had for him after he burned a hole in the KHL stat sheet. He wasn’t a reliable player, hold for a few weeks in the middle of the season, and he never took it upon himself to be a star. Perhaps the biggest statistical clue of how weak a season we experienced from Scuttles is his -7, tied for the worst on the team (cough, with Todd Bertuzzi, cough). Once we were in the playoffs, he maintained his place in the lineup, despite being one of the lesser offense-producers (only Abdelkader, Miller, and Draper had fewer points-per-game).

Extra Credit
It’s difficult to categorize Jiri Hudler’s season because on one hand, our own expectations may be to blame — however, he proved, in 2008-09, that he was capable of chipping in 57 points and doing it without playing with the premiere talent. When looked at under a season-to-season comparative microscope, he was an absolute fail — despite some glimmers of goodness mentioned above. Expectations + paycheck x failed opportunities = inadequacy.

Grades
Disch: Abstinence is the only truly safe way to go…
Petrella: FAIL
Hollis: FAIL

The Reasoning
Disch: We were completely underwhelmed all season with him…remember the discussion on 60? This is a money thing. If Gator puts up shitty numbers, I don’t care…plus Gator plays monster defense and can wear down blueliners on the forecheck. Scuttles got paid “arizona dollars” (Jerry Maguire, whatsup) and put up jack shit.
Petrella: The drop off was startling, and while I don’t think he should be anywhere near the top six, his production improving in that situation proves how much playing with good players can skew your numbers.
Hollis: For a guy making as much as he is, more is expected on the scoresheet. He was largely invisible until he got on a line with Datsyuk, but for all the money he is being paid, his output was sorry at best.

Final TPL Grade
FAIL

Up Next: Justin Abdelkader

Past Reports:
6/8 :: Todd Bertuzzi (PASS)
6/7 :: Brian Rafalski (PASS)
6/7 :: Pavel Datsyuk (PASS)
6/6 :: Brad Stuart (PASS)
6/4 :: Henrik Zetterberg (PASS)
5/27 :: Jakub Kindl (SPLIT)
5/26 :: Darren Helm (PASS)
5/24 :: Niklas Kronwall (PASS)
5/23 :: Valtteri Filppula (PASS)

Photo Credit: Christian Peterson, Getty Images

Pass/Fail: Todd Bertuzzi

The traditional method of ranking individual player performance is usually some sort of “report card” or “A+” grading system. Not here. You see, we like to keep things simple at TPL. You either made the grade or you didn’t. No grey area. Black and white. This is “Pass/Fail.”

Statistically Speaking
[table id=25 /]

The Good
(Ed. Note: I REALLY wanted Petrella to write this. No seriously. Can you imagine Petrella trying to type out what’s about to come across the screen? It’s pure deliciousness in thought alone. Imagine how excellent it would have been if it had come true. No matter…) Always the source of controversy around these parts, Todd Bertuzzi’s game was enough to quiet many of the skeptics around here. It’s taken some time, but Big Bert seems to have finally settled in to his niche in Detroit, and there was no bigger sign of that then his commitment to backchecking and defensive play this season. While it won’t show up in the stats, Bert’s dedication to the little things seemed to win over many of his doubters, especially coming off of an offseason that saw him get a raise that many felt he didn’t deserve. He also did his part on the scoresheet, tallying 45 points as a complimentary wing on the Datsyuk centered line. He’s learned to control his aggression on the ice without taking away his physicality, and his ability to use his body to shield the puck in the corners generated a number of scoring chances this season. He remained absolutely lethal in the shootout, using his “changeup” approach to keep the Wings relevant in the skills competition. Finally, with health always an issue for Todd, he missed only ONE game the entire regular and postseason combined.

The Bad
Despite a refocused effort on solid defensive play, Bert still managed to post a less-than-flattering -7 rating during the regular season. As was the case for a number of his teammates, Todd was helped immensely when playing on a line featuring Pavel Datsyuk as the center. When he moved up and down the lineup and found himself playing more of a grinding role in front of the net, his production suffered and so did his decision making. The blind spin-o-rama pass seems to be here to stay, and while it worked on occasion, more times than not it the puck wound up outside the zone or on the stick of the opposition. Despite his offensive production, Bert was also incredibly streaky, which didn’t bode well during the trying months of the regular season campaign. No matter what he does, he’ll always have a target on his back when it comes to the officials, which proved costly on a few occasions this season.

Extra Credit
The one moment that stands out among all the others with Bertuzzi was his two-fight night against Shane O’Brien of the Nashville Predators. With the Wings getting rolled 3-0 at the time, Bert brought the fists…and then brought the fists again, jump-starting the Wings on the way to a 4-3 win. The Joe was rocking a few weeks later against Phoenix when Bert dropped the gloves again, and for the first time in a long time the fans were chanting his name for a GOOD reason. Close second: Bert’s shootout goal that closed out Minnesota in his 1,000th NHL game.

Grades
Disch: No Vote
Petrella: PASS
Hollis: PASS

The Reasoning
Disch: *Spin Class*
Petrella: You couldn’t have done this Pass/Fail series last year??! Damn… watch what happens – and all the haters take note – Michael Petrella gives Todd Bertuzzi a pass. I still don’t think he’s on the top half of the team in terms of “talent,” but there’s no denying that he’s finding a niche and contributing in the ways that he CAN. He still does dumbshit spin plays, but once in a while they go in. But he’s playing solid and forming chemistry with the right guys… good on him.
Hollis: I’m still stunned at Petrella’s reasoning. No matter. I truly think the Wings are better with Bertuzzi than without him, and he looks comfortable in his own skin now in Detroit. He’s no longer the major scoring threat he once was, but he’s still got enough in the tank to be crafty and dangerous. He’s heading into the last season on his contract, and I would really enjoy seeing him win a Cup in Detroit to help silence the doubters once and for all.

Final TPL Grade
PASS

Up Next: Jiri Hudler

Past Reports:
6/7 :: Brian Rafalski (PASS)
6/7 :: Pavel Datsyuk (PASS)
6/6 :: Brad Stuart (PASS)
6/4 :: Henrik Zetterberg (PASS)
5/27 :: Jakub Kindl (SPLIT)
5/26 :: Darren Helm (PASS)
5/24 :: Niklas Kronwall (PASS)
5/23 :: Valtteri Filppula (PASS)

Pass/Fail: Brian Rafalski

The traditional method of ranking individual player performance is usually some sort of “report card” or “A+” grading system. Not here. You see, we like to keep things simple at TPL. You either made the grade or you didn’t. No grey area. Black and white. This is “Pass/Fail.”

Statistically Speaking
[table id=23 /]

The Good
Brian Rafalski is a pro’s pro. In 2010-11, like several seasons before it, he was the best in the business keeping the puck in at the blueline by whatever means necessary. I meant to type up a thing earlier in the season outlining why that’s so important — and how you can’t really “quantify” that kind of contribution, much like his veteran presence, his incredibly calm demeanor, and his outlet pass skills — which were, to be clear, absolutely filthy. He was second on the team in +/-, even in a “down year,” and was relied on for more than twenty minutes a night. His 0.76 points/game were the second  best in the League among players that played at least 40 games. Read that again: HE WAS THE SECOND MOST PRODUCTION OFFENSIVE DEFENSEMAN LAST SEASON.

The Bad
With all of the wonderful things we can say about Brian Rafalski’s season, there’s just as much on the thumbs down side. He had clearly lost a step, and was getting drilled behind the net a hell of a lot more than he used to, likely a result of his body telling him it was about time to hang ’em up. For an offensive contributor, he didn’t actually score goals all that often — chipping in only four goals in 63 games, and ZERO on the power play (which is his bread and butter). When the post-season rolled around, Rafalski found himself a minus player. Truth be told, the situation had become evident as the season wore on that his body just wasn’t in it anymore.

Extra Credit
Of course, Rafalski threw us a curveball as he walked away from the final year of his deal, and the $6M that would have come with it. He decided that there were things that were more important than hockey at this point in his life, and he was going to walk away (while he still could) to pursue them and spend time with his family. This is a man that has earned that right and — despite the weak season, by his standards — he’s a valuable player that will be nearly impossible to replace internally or via free agency. That’s worth something.

Grades
Disch: PASS
Petrella: PASS
Hollis: PASS

The Reasoning
Disch: Raffy is an easy top-4 defensemen on the Wings and really a top 2 on most teams, injured or not.  He played like it this year…despite some ugly moments that happen for any non-Nick blueliner when you’re out there against the opposing team’s best.  I think next year when Shitbox’s replacement is starting the break, we’re going to realize how big a deal Rafalski was to the 2010-11 team.
Petrella: While his season may be a “fail” in his own eyes, it is so only by his incredible standards. He retired one of the best quarterbacks in the League, and his intangibles can’t be understated. But for someone that’s expected to be Nicklas Lidstrom’s quasi-equal counterpart, he didn’t quite get there. We’ll all be disappointed if we think he can be replaced and improved upon.
Hollis: Despite the mobility issues and the turnovers, Rafalski was still one of the best at breaking open a rush and finding ways to contribute points. Even when he knew his career was done, he kept working and kept contributing. Pass for the season and pass for the career.

Final TPL Grade
PASS

Up Next: Todd Bertuzzi

Past Reports:
6/7 :: Pavel Datsyuk (PASS)
6/6 :: Brad Stuart (PASS)
6/4 :: Henrik Zetterberg (PASS)
5/27 :: Jakub Kindl (SPLIT)
5/26 :: Darren Helm (PASS)
5/24 :: Niklas Kronwall (PASS)
5/23 :: Valtteri Filppula (PASS)

Pass/Fail: Pavel Datsyuk

The traditional method of ranking individual player performance is usually some sort of “report card” or “A+” grading system. Not here. You see, we like to keep things simple at TPL. You either made the grade or you didn’t. No grey area. Black and white. This is “Pass/Fail.”

Statistically Speaking
[table id=24 /]

The Good
Where do you even start with this guy? His puckhandling is a class above everyone else in the league, and his creativity makes everyone around him better. Despite missing 26 regular season contests, he still finished the the top 100 in the league in goals, assists, points, plus/minus, power play goals, shorthanded goals, game-winning goals and shooting percentage. He’s nominated for the Selke award (again) as one of the top defensive forwards in the game, and his ability to take the puck away from guys is still top-notch. He may not win that Selke this year, but there’s no doubt that he deserves to be a nominee. Despite a nagging wrist injury, he was the clear frontrunner for Conn Smythe honors on the Wings during the postseason, scoring clutch goals and forcing defenses to cheat up on him, opening up opportunities for his teammates. Even with the Wings out of the playoffs, Datsyuk is still in the top 10 in the league in postseason assists and plus/minus. He showed an increased physical side this year, never shying away from contact and throwing his weight around on the forecheck. All in all, a complete player from top to bottom.

The Bad
The injury. That’s it. The guy is a wizard on the ice, and clearly one of the elite players in the league. It was a shame he had to miss so many games due to injury, but that was his only limiting factor this season. Unfortunately for the Wings, the damage done by not having Datsyuk on the ice was pretty noticeable. As J.J. noted over at WIIM, the Wings GAA jumped from 2.75 up to 3.23 when Datsyuk was shelved during the regular season. He also looked a little sluggish and tentative in his return to the ice, but that’s to be expected. Some will argue that he still gets a bit too fancy sometimes, dropping passes where he should just carry the zone, but that’s scraping the bottom of the barrel at this point. His presence on the faceoff dot was also sorely missed during the playoffs while he was recovering from that bum wrist.

Extra Credit
Remember allllllllllllll the way back to the beginning of the season when Datsyuk dropped the mitts with Corey Perry? Yea, still one of my favorite memories of the entire season.

Grades
DischPass
PetrellaPass
HollisPass

The Reasoning
Disch: Single most dominant player I saw on the ice all year. Just off the charts. I started to believe this year. Wasn’t genuinely in that camp before….not like the rest of the believers. Wish he would keep the playoff beard.
Petrella: This one isn’t even fair. He’s so good, it’s ridiculous. I’ve always tried to avoid putting him in that top flight of players because I thought that maybe I was biased, as a fan of the Wings. But, I’m tired of keeping him off that list. He’s LITERALLY one of the best players on earth, and his display in the playoffs was absolutely filthy. A full year of THAT, and we have the number one guy on the planet.
Hollis: An incredible talent who seems to get better and better every single year. Just a lights-out player who gets you out of your seat every time he touches the puck. A healthy Datsyuk might just be the best player in the league.

Final TPL Grade
PASS

Up Next: Brian Rafalski

Past Reports:
6/6 :: Brad Stuart (PASS)
6/4 :: Henrik Zetterberg (PASS)
5/27 :: Jakub Kindl (SPLIT)
5/26 :: Darren Helm (PASS)
5/24 :: Niklas Kronwall (PASS)
5/23 :: Valtteri Filppula (PASS)

Pass/Fail: Brad Stuart

The traditional method of ranking individual player performance is usually some sort of “report card” or “A+” grading system. Not here. You see, we like to keep things simple at TPL. You either made the grade or you didn’t. No grey area. Black and white. This is “Pass/Fail.”

Statistically Speaking
[table id=22 /]

The Good
I’d imagine that wherever he is right now, Brad Stuart may finally not be walking with a limp anymore. Stuart prides himself on doing the dirty work for the Wings, blocking shots and sacrificing his body more regularly than any other defenseman out there. He was a regular staple on the penalty kill this season, and his defensive responsibility was a stabilizing force at many points this year. While it took some time for him to get acclimated, Stuart and Nicklas Lidstrom eventually found very solid chemistry with their defensive pairing. Despite a lack of offensive output, Stuart finished a very respectable +10 for the regular season and playoffs combined (-6 combined last season). Statistically, he finished with a better point-per-game production than he did last year, in which he played a full 82 games. In similar defensive roles, Stuart clearly out-shined counterpart Ruslan Salei with much smarter and more physical play.

The Bad
If it wasn’t apparent before, there’s no question now that Stuart just isn’t a guy who is going to put up points on a regular basis. That said, for the amount of money he’s being paid ($3.75 million cap hit) one would surely like to see Stuart earn some more of his cash by finding the back of the net. Stuart’s knack for defensive responsibility also cost him at certain points this season, leaving him out of position and looking lost on the ice. Unfortunately for him, his first instinct seemed to be to stand still when he felt the scheme breaking apart, which essentially negated his talents and left the Wings exposed in front of the net. While not his fault, Stuart did miss a number of games due to a broken jaw and it’s hard to imagine that he’s going to be able to play 82 games again with all of the wear and tear on his body.

Extra Credit
To his credit, Stuart didn’t let his broken jaw keep him down for too long, bouncing back and maintaining the edge in his game. There’s alot to be said for putting the body back on the line after an injury like that, but Stuart didn’t seem to miss a step, and his presence continued to be felt by the competition.

Grades
DischNo Vote
PetrellaPass
HollisPass

The Reasoning
Disch: *At Spin Class*
Petrella: I was always a little hesitant to put much stock in Brad Stuart’s skill set, wondering (to myself) if he was more a beneficiary of the system… or if he was one of the reasons the system was beneficial. After his jaw was broken, it became apparent that he was a valuable member of a very talented blueline. That’s saying something.
Hollis: I continue to hope for more scoring from Stuart, but this year more than ever his defensive chops were evident for the Wings. While he’s not the fastest or most skilled guy on the blue line, his physical play and omnipresent mean streak keep him in this lineup for a reason. He’s entering a contract year this year and one would hope that he’s primed for his best season yet.

Final TPL Grade
PASS

Up Next: Pavel Datsyuk

Past Reports:
6/4 :: Henrik Zetterberg (PASS)
5/27 :: Jakub Kindl (SPLIT)
5/26 :: Darren Helm (PASS)
5/24 :: Niklas Kronwall (PASS)
5/23 :: Valtteri Filppula (PASS)

Pass/Fail: Henrik Zetterberg

The traditional method of ranking individual player performance is usually some sort of “report card” or “A+” grading system. Not here. You see, we like to keep things simple at TPL. You either made the grade or you didn’t. No grey area. Black and white. This is “Pass/Fail.”

Statistically Speaking

[table id=21 /]

The Good
First, allow us to welcome you back to the “Pass/Fail” show. Things went on an unscheduled hiatus there for a bit, but we should be all back on track moving forward. And what better way to ease ourselves back into it than with the beloved #40, Henrik Zetterberg. The future captain bounced back from a self-described “sub-par” outing last season with gusto this campaign, leading all Red Wings during the regular season with 80 points. He was 5th in the league in total shots, yet somehow still found a way to tally a career-high 56 assists. His two-way game is still one of the best in the league, and he’s still an incredibly tough matchup for any player on the opposition that has to line up against him. He picked up the slack when other guys went down with injuries, and he kept up a point-per-game pace the entire way. Maybe most importantly, he found a way to stay healthy for almost an entire season, only missing a pair of games during the 82 game regular season schedule.

The Bad
Maybe it was the fact that he finally did make it almost an entire regular season without missing a game, but there were times where Zetterberg became inconsistent and almost complacent. Despite his two-way abilities, Hank looked like he struggled in his own zone a bit, occasionally flubbing coverage in an attempt to pressure the puck or provide help down low. His 80 games may have been a career high, but 24 goals seems a bit low for a player with as much natural ability and game savvy as Zetterberg. He also finished with a -1 rating during the regular season, and found himself in a nasty goal-scoring drought during the doldrums of January and February. One more thing: He’s still pretty damn awful in the shootout.

Extra Credit
After missing four games due to a knee sprain, Hank came back with a vengeance against San Jose. 8 points in 7 games ensured that his point-per-game performance during the regular season carried over into the playoffs, and his hard work and hustle kept the Wings in every game against the Sharks. His grit and determination showed quite a bit about his character, just another reason why Hank is both a gifted player and leader on this team.

Grades
DischPass (via proxy vote)
PetrellaPass
HollisPass

The Reasoning
Disch: *At Spin Class*
Petrella: He’s a point-a-game player, and played in 80 games for the first time in his career. If he can overcome the injury issues he’s had in the past and continue on the path he’s traveling on, he’s a hell of a guy to have locked up long-term.
Hollis: He seemed to be a little quieter than usual this season, yet his numbers say he was anything but. Where he may have lost some flash, he’s gained more consistency, and he continues to make the guys around him better.

Final TPL Grade
PASS

Up Next: Brad Stuart

Past Reports:
5/27 :: Jakub Kindl (SPLIT)
5/26 :: Darren Helm (PASS)
5/24 :: Niklas Kronwall (PASS)
5/23 :: Valtteri Filppula (PASS)

Pass/Fail: Jakub Kindl

The traditional method of ranking individual player performance is usually some sort of “report card” or “A+” grading system. Not here. You see, we like to keep things simple at TPL. You either made the grade or you didn’t. No grey area. Black and white. This is “Pass/Fail.”


Statistically Speaking
[table id=19 /]

The Good
Following three games as a call-up in 2009-10, Jakub Kindl was a full-time member of the Detroit Red Wings for the first time in 2010-11. His rookie season saw him get into 48 games, and begin to acclimate himself to the pace of NHL hockey. It’s always the Red Wings way to have their rookies sit most of the season in the press box, getting solid minutes in practice and absorbing the culture of the locker room — and that’s precisely what Kindl did, and did so happily. But, by the end of the season, he found himself in a battle for one of the playoff roster spots (more on that later). I’m just one man, but by the end of the season, I truly thought he was one of the six best we had on the blueline.

The Bad
With Jonathan Ericsson getting hurt in game number one this season, Kindl was forced into active duty right out of the gate, and he struggled to get his footing a little bit. He looked every bit a rookie in some of those games, and with good cause: he was, after all, a rookie. Other rookie mistakes include taking panic penalties, when someone has gotten by you and you’re not sure you can catch them — there really is no other excuse for being ninth on the team in penalty minutes, despite playing in just over half of the team’s games (he led the team in healthy scratches, enjoying the press box 25 times in the regular season, and an additional 11 times in the playoffs). His offense left a bit to be desired, as well. Not that he’s expected to be a Brian Rafalski-type blueliner, racking up points and scoring goals from the point. But, based on his production with the Griffins, it’s fair to assume that the Red Wings were hoping for more than four points from the de-facto 7th defenseman. In fact, in eight games in Grand Rapids on a conditioning stint, he gobbled up 5 points: one more than he did with 40 more games on the big club.

Extra Credit
For all his rookie faults, he showed brilliant flashes that proved why he was a first round draft pick. His upside is huge, and he’s coming around. By the end of the season, he looked absolutely poised to take over one of the top six’s spots, and was rumored to be in a battle for the last post-season slot with Ruslan Salei. At the time, I thought Salei deserved to play, but that Kindl should have had Ericsson’s spot on the blueline. With Salei likely playing his way out of an extension in the post-season and Rafalski’s retirement, Kindl looks to be an everyday player next season, and I’m really excited to see what he can do with 70+ games.

Grades
Disch: Incomplete
PetrellaPass
Hollis: Fail

The Reasoning
Disch: I can’t reasonably give him a pass. Just haven’t seen enough. If the job was to be invisible…to not completely shit the bed….fine, pass. But I remain unconvinced that he’s anything more than just a small upgrade over the Rig.
Petrella: He may have started off a bit rough but by the end of the season, I firmly believed he was one of the more reliable defense-first guys we had on the blueline.
Hollis: For a guy who is supposed to be a lock for the third pairing this coming season, I’m unimpressed. Yes, it was more about getting his feet wet, but a line of 2-2-4 and -6 for a guy who is supposed to be NHL ready is concerning. 36 PIM in 48 games also makes me wonder if the game is still too fast for him. He looked better toward the end of the year, but his D skills still need work and his effort this year just didn’t meet my expectations.

Final TPL Grade
SPLIT DECISION

Up Next: Henrik Zetterberg

Past Reports:
5/26 :: Darren Helm
5/24 :: Niklas Kronwall
5/23 :: Valtteri Filppula