Thursday, April 15, 2010

Willy too Wonky, Abdelkader Gets the Nod

In a rush of brilliance, the Detroit Red Wings have opted to bench forward Jason Williams and have called Justin Abdelkader to action in his place. At this time, it is the only confirmed roster change the Wings will make before Game 2 against the Phoenix Coyotes, and I say it's a good one.

I understand Detroit is not a hitting-type of team, I get that. I also understand that a team plays best when they stick to their style of play. But there is a major difference between changing a gameplan and just plain sticking up for yourself. Anyone who has followed me for the last little while, do you remember the game against the Flyers a couple weeks ago? What'd I say? Teams are going to notice that Detroit allows themselves to be bullied and it disrupts our rhythm. You think Phoenix caught on? Well, hopefully with the move to add Abs to the lineup, our gritty #8 will get in the Coyotes' face and help give the Wings the spunk they so noticeably lacked in Game 1.

I also like this change because (surprise!) I can't stand Jason Williams. Now before you go and say I'm just whipping him because I can, let me say that 1.) I like to do it, and 2.) I have numbers to back up my bitching. We're paying Wet Willy a Mil and a half to pad our offense, ya? Well, let's look at his final regular season stats:

J Williams, 44 GP/6G/9A/15PTS, +/-(-7), 3PPG/3PPA/6PPP
Wild Willy translates out to a 0.34 point-per-game player, and many of his games were with a healthy lineup since he was scratched during the worst of the injuries.

Now, let's look at his counterpart who was brought in for the same amount of cash: Todd Bertuzzi.

T Bertuzzi, 82GP/18G/26A/44PTS, +/-(-7), 4PPG/7PPA/11PPP
Yes, I know Bert played more games, but his average still comes out to 0.53 points-per-game. While Willy Wonka is spending 2/3 of his time sitting in his stick blade, Bertuzzi is cashing at least a point every other game.

In summary, you can look at this two ways, either Jason Williams is overpaid for what he is [actually] capable of, or we could have spent that one-and-a-half million getting someone else who could produce as many points and be a role player in this lineup, so we wouldn't NEED to go to guys like Abdelkader to provide a spark.

I'm curious to see how Abs introduces himself in the Playoffs to Mr. Doan, personally. Hope you enjoy it as much as I will.


Michael Smith said...

Finally. I thought this move would have been made before game 1. Abdekader just provides lots more sandpaper than Williams and we need that right now.