Month: January 2017

In the Wings: Evgeny Svechnikov’s Griffins Season Heating Up

Photo by Diane Woodring

Evgeny Svechnikov (or Evgeni or Yevgeni), is finally hitting his stride in his first professional season of hockey. The 6’3″ 205lb native of Russia has 13 goals and 10 assists in 42 games played so far this season, which puts him 2nd in rookie scoring behind Kyle Criscuolo and ahead of Joe Hicketts (I’ve talked about both of them here already this season, check it out if you want to know more about their rookie years so far).

Svechnikov, the 2015 1st round 19th overall pick by Detroit, has 2 OHL seasons with the QMJHL’s Cape Breton Screaming Eagles under his belt. In his first season, 2014-15, he was 3rd on the team for points and 2nd league wide for rookie points with 78 (32 goals, 46 assists). He was once again 3rd on the team for points and tied for 18th in the league in 2015-2016 with 79 (32 goals, 47 assists). That’s a 1 point improvement in 2 seasons, though in 5 less games. Additionally, he played 13 games in the playoffs that year and put up another 15 points (4 goals, 11 assists).

The Wings have to hope that they have another solid 1st round pick in Svechnikov as they did with Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha before him. Both of those players have become huge members of the Wings’ Top 6, and adding Svechnikov will only make them more dangerous. He is described as a strong skater with a very powerful, accurate shot and as someone who excels at finding the open areas in the offensive zone in order to get said shot off.

Much like Anthony Mantha, he didn’t explode immediately in the AHL, but now that he is settling in Svechnikov is really heating up. He is currently riding a 4 game point streak and has passed Criscuolo, who he plays on a line with, for the rookie goal lead and is only 1 point behind for the overall rookie scoring lead. If he keeps up his current pace Svechnikov should lead all Griffins rookies in points by the end of the season, and possibly leading the Griffins in goals.

Cape Breton Highlights

Credit to TheHockeyViz, I don’t love the choice of music but it’s hard to find QMJHL highlights so props for that. I’m not going to break down this whole video, but you can see Svech loves to shoot the puck with a quick release, and he has quite a bit of accuracy when he does so. I love the goal where he shoots it so quick he spins, and doesn’t even realize he has scored. With offensive instincts like his I’m not surprised he was considered a 1st round pick.

Grand Rapids

1-27 vs San Jose Barracuda

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This is a trickler of a goal but I like the play in the corner and how much lift Svechnikov gets on the tight angle shot. I think back to the Mantha goal earlier in the season when he had the control to put it perfectly in the corner above the goalie’s shoulder. These get called “garbage” goals a lot but never underestimate a player with the foresight to put the puck in the only space he has. It doesn’t trickle through if its off the goalie’s pads.

1-21 vs Cleveland Monsters

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On the doorstep, backhand forehand five hole. Nice goal. You don’t need me to tell you that.

1-20 vs Chicago Wolves

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This is deflected by Ford, but I love the stick work to get the puck away after the Wolves’ player misplays it and then to get the shot through both defensemen so that it can be deflected at all. He gets the puck, passes it, then shoots it to the perfect place for the deflection in the span of 3 seconds.

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This goal maybe me laugh. Nice toe drag to get into position for the shot but come on. I can’t analyze the goalie accidentally punching it into their own net. Let’s have a chuckle and move on.

1-13 vs Milwaukee Admirals

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Svech is the one in the top corner if you can’t tell from the angle. Helps with the cycle and then gets into position for the rebound. You can see he’s already getting into position for the potential rebound and he once again makes an accurate shot with very little time to take it.

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*To do: copy paste some blurb from Ovechkin one timer highlight here*

1-6 vs Charlotte Checkers

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Another one timer goal. Maybe this is place were I bring up that the Wings are going to need a set up player or many of these type goals don’t happen. It’s been a big problem this season setting up goals on the PowerPlay and the Griffins have a much better PP%, so maybe Svechnikov is the type of player who can help since he actually shoots the puck.

12-21 vs Milwaukee Admirals 

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I love breakaways. You know what I love more than breakaways? Players who can actually score on the breakaways. Maybe it’s the fact that Darren Helm has been my favorite player for the past 5 years or so but I love watching a player getting out behind the defense and then burying it. Little fake back and forth, five hole. Beautiful.

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Oh my, why hadn’t they played this game before I wrote the Hicketts piece? He was dominant. There was a great hip check and fight before this goal too. But this piece is about Svechnikov, and after Hicketts does an AMAZING keep in at the blue line, Svech with another great give and go before he roofs it for his second of the game.

10-7 vs Toronto Maple Leafs (Preseason)

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Preseason goal capper. Another quick release shot, glove side top shelf. If I have learned one thing from going through these highlights, it’s that I don’t want Evgeny Svechnikov shooting at me from anywhere. He has the ability to put it in with very little time. I believe that’s Jhonas Enroth too, so he’s scoring on someone with NHL experience.

Next Steps

Svechnikov is still adjusting to his first season in the AHL but he is really starting to click. He brings a killer shot from several areas of the ice and an accuracy to match, a long with being able to get to the right areas of the ice to take said shot. I would not be surprised to see him as one of the top 3 goal scorers on the Griffins this year, and a key part of a playoff push for them. I definitely am excited to see him on the Red Wings in the future, especially with the powerplay in the dire straits it is now. That said, I am hesitant to rush him along when I don’t think he will magically fix the Red Wings. I expect him to be in Grand Rapids next season barring either an amazing training camp + preseason or injury. But rest assured Wings fans, that this is another prospect who is living up to the hype.

Sources 

Elite Prospects Profile on Svechnikov

AHL Stats

Griff Vision

Awood40

Game 49 – Toronto @ Detroit – I NEED A DRINK

GOD. DAMN IT.

You know what? Don’t read this one. All I’m going to do is yell and cuss.

The Good

NOTHING.

The Bad

Oh you thought I was joking? I’m not joking. I didn’t see anything good tonight. I wish I hadn’t turned the damn thing on but I have a blog and a couple of you read this shit and I gotta talk about it. They were AWFUL. Nobody hustled, nobody looked good. I’d say maybe 5 legit scoring chances tonight. Toronto made us look like a damn beer league team. I THOUGHT WE HAD TURNED AROUND FINALLY. Fuck no, this team just wanted to dangle hope in front of me so they could crush it.

We’ve talked about elite talent and prospects and that shit around here but you know what. You know what elite talent is?

That’s fucking elite talent. Made our defense look like a JOKE. We let them pass around us like planets orbiting the fucking sun. Ericsson just standing there with, I think DeKeyser, helping Toronto screen the goalie. And that’s not all Ericsson helped with either!

YEAH THAT’S RIGHT KEN. ERICSSON HAS SCORED 4 GOALS IN TWO WEEKS AGAINST THE RED WINGS. WHO HE PLAYS FOR. DOES CAPS LOCK GET BIGGER THAN THIS?

For fuck’s sake! What does this team need to do to show up to a fucking game and play hockey. They were tired, sure, but I refuse to believe that this team is this bad. No speed in the offensive zone. No movement of the puck except for when it’s too much movement. Defensemen constantly standing around as if they don’t know where they’re supposed to be. A powerplay that is UTTERLY POWERLESS. Sheahan doesn’t add anything to this team. Nor Abby. Nor Ericsson, nor DDK. All of them have been garbage this year. Maybe they’ve been good in the past, I don’t give a shit. You cannot run a hockey team with players that don’t contribute. I don’t want to hear about intangibles.

I was thinking maybe Mrazek was good because it’s not his fault his own players are screening him and deflecting pucks behind his own net. Then he let’s this fucking bullshit in.

COME ON. ARE YOU SERIOUS? You stop that puck. That’s a fucking Busch league goal. But that’s only one goal that was your fault. At least you owned it in the post game interview. Maybe that should be the good. “Red Wings Player has Accountability for Shit Play”. THROW IT IN THE FREE PRESS.

I’m mad at everyone right not. The players. The Coach. And most of all…

The WTF?

WHAT IS WRONG WITH KEN HOLLAND.

Ken Holland doesn’t want to sell. Ken Holland won’t rebuild. WHAT IS HAPPENING? I refuse to believe he can be this blind after 25 seasons of making the post season. How can he fail to see the problems this team has. I am speechless. I have to think that he is getting told that he’s not allowed to do shit. That’s all I can suspect. Because otherwise, he might be one of the worst GMs in the league right now. And if we can’t fucking start this rebuild soon, because you need to accept that it’s where we are at, then we are going to have to watch this piss poor excuse for an on ice product for even longer simply because of “the streak”.

Next Game

January 31st against the Devils. Thank god we get a week off because I am fucking burnt out at this point.

Where’s my rum and coke?

Lord of the Wings – Week of 1/16

Zac: Coreau

Christian: That’s all you got?
Zac: Consider the following: 1.000, .625, .947. That middle number is terrible. (Although some idiot from the internet said it wasn’t his fault).
Can you imagine what his next game would have been like if he had Mrazek’s fragile mental constitution? But no, he comes back after a game off, and gets a shutout in regulation, his second in 3 games. Granted, I would have preferred to not qualify that with “in regulation,” but still…

Christian: We’e doing this so late I don’t even remember what games we played. Wow a rare 4 game week?

Zac: 4 games indeed.

Christian: When you put it that way, he played 2 really good games

Zac: 18 saves each.

Christian: I don’t know that anyone really stood out last week, but Coreau actually is a good argument. He’s a really fascinating story too. His first pro season he only got 1 win in like 15 games then he lost 15 pounds in the off season and saw a sports psychologist.

Zac: Okay, I didn’t realize all that, nor did I realize that “sports psychologist” was a thing. Although, with people like goalies and quarterbacks, I can definitely see why. Larkin decided to do some stuff. Obviously he reads the Wheelhouse.

Christian: He did one goal. Also got hurt

Zac: He did other good stuff too. Not enough for such a high honor, though. Not this week, anyway.

Christian: I mean, they weren’t that good this week. They scored a lot but also let in a lot against Boston, they got shutout by NYR. One goal against MTL. Buffalo should’ve been a win but between them not playing great and the refs they lost in OT

Zac: But hey, points is points. I mean, not really, that’s a horrible philosophy. But still…

Christian: It was a good points streak. But it kind of feels like the unsustainable points streak in the beginning where they were getting really lucky

Zac: I’ll take what I can get when I can get it. My hopes are still pretty low. So, are you just going to come in here and comment on my ideas, or are you able to think for yourself and suggest somebody?

Christian: No I’ll be honest I had no choice in mind this week. Maybe Vanek? He had a couple points, but he wasn’t like amazing or anything

Zac: Not exactly a ringing endorsement. That’s kind of sad in a week where we won 3 games.

Christian: Uh…we won 2 games. We lost to Buffalo

Zac: That is absolutely true and I have no excuse except incompetence. I submit myself to your judgment and mercy. I also submit that it’s weird that there is no “e” in judgment. But I digress…

Christian: Congratulations you’re a real hockey blogger now, because this was all you

Zac: Is this in the same way that I’m a “real” goalie because I bought all the pads?

Christian: Exact same

Zac: 

AP Photos/Paul Sancya

Congratulations Jared Coreau on his first Lord of the Wings win. He is now the second Wings goalie this season to win the honor. He had a shutout and went 1-0-2 on the week.

2016-2017 Lord of the Wings Tallies

Anthony Mantha – 2

Andreas Athanasiou – 2

Jimmy Howard – 1

Tomas Tatar – 1

Jared Coreau – 1