There was wide-spread panic after the wings knotted themselves into a 6 game loosing streak early in the season. Many calling for various players heads and hoping Holland would make a trade. This is what separates the men in charge with the media and fans. That calmness, knowing they have a good thing even if things aren't going so well.
Here are grades after the quarter mark.
Valterri Filppula - This rating is based more on my honest expectations of Flip. I was amongst the people that thought even though he had the potential to be a 60+ point two-way game changer, he would most likely never hit that ceiling. Well I was wrong. He is dynamic and putting up the points and it's looking more and more like it isn't a fluke.
Johan Franzen - The leading point getter for the Wings after 22 games. When Franzen is putting forth 100% effort the Wings, more times than not, come out on top. I don't expect him to keep up a PPG production so I'm impressed with what he has accomplished so far.
Pavel Datsyuk - He has really come on as of late but struggled to put up points at the start of the season. We expect a higher level of production, one that I have no doubt will be reached. That said, his Defense and puck control have been outstanding as usual.
B+Tomas Holmstrom - You know what you are going to get with Holmstrom on the ice. He competes as hard as anyone on the team and although he doesn't have the skating skills other guys do, he still finds a way to get it done. 9 points playing the 4th line is pretty damn good if you ask me.
BDrew Miller - He has at times looked really solid and other times just solid. He never really makes mistakes which is what we expect of him. Doesn't hurt having 6 points playing at10 minutes per game.
B-Darren Helm - His typical, speedy self. If I wasn't also looking at his stat line, he might be an A, but with only 4 points on the season, I want a little more production from him. After last season I was wondering if we might have something more than a great Bottom 6 guy, maybe I was wrong?
B-Justin Abdelkader - I haven't been extremely high on Abby, not that I don't like him, I just don't see much in him. That said, when he was on the top line with Franzen and Datsyuk I thought he fit in perfectly and if it wasn't for a lack of production that game, he might still be playing there. He seems to have taken less dumb penalties as well. I'm okay with that.
C+Henrik Zetterberg - His lows have been low (Giveaways against Boston anyone?) but his highs haven't been quite that high. 13 Points in 22 games is not the level of production we expect from Hank.
Jiri Hudler - Hudler has had stretches of bad play. But lately I haven't been frustrated by his dumb mistakes and have found myself enjoying his average play. He still passes up prime scoring opportunity but at the same time, I don't see him as an anchor, weighing down the team. I don't think he belongs on the point during the power play though.
C+Patrick Eaves - Eaves is having a hard time breaking the roster for whatever reason. Most teams he is a 3rd liner, and that's where h ebelongs. Tough break on the fractured jaw in the Nashville game.
Dan Cleary - He really struggled that first month of the season but the chances are starting to come. I don't expect a consistent 25+ goal scorer but I also don't expect a 15 goal scorer. He is better than that.
D+Todd Bertuzzi - He has played his best hockey since returning from injury. Before that, he was playing well below his level. If he keeps up his recent play the grade will rise but for about 75% of the games he has looked downright terrible.
Cory Emmerton - He is a rookie making rookie mistakes. I'm not sure there is room for him on the Red Wings once we are healthy but for now he is a plug. I don't see much potential in him.
Nick Lidstrom - Playing how he should be playing, good production, great defense. Hopefully he can keep this up once he hits the wrong side of 30...
Nik Kronwall - He looks like a 1A/B Defenseman out there. He's simplified his game and it has made him a reliable, elite defender.
Ian White - What a pickup. This guy has been nothing short of fantastic and the "protecting-a-goal-with-his-face" shows he is an all-out warrior. Love it.
Brad Stuart - He really struggled early in the season but has come around to playing that hard-nosed defensive game we have grown to love.
C+Jonathan Ericsson - Still making his regular giveaways and bad penalties but there is a solid defenseman hidden in there somewhere.
C+Jakup Kindl - I like the way he plays but I'm worried about his lack of special teams time. He hasn't shown high end ability but looks to be a reliable defender for now. Good outlet pass and smarts.
Mike Commodore - I just haven't watched enough to have an opinion.
Jimmy Howard - Is this a breakout year for the young goaltender entering his prime? He looks incredible at times and rarely lets in that squeaker.
ETy Conklin - Not the way he wanted to start the year. He hasn't shown the ability to even give Howard a rest which is something to be worried about come playoff time.
Brendan Smith - Man does this kid have potential. He does get caught due to jumping up more often then not but he has great vision and speed. The Kronwall comparisons are very accurate.
Gustav Nyquist - Very little time in the NHL. He has taken the AHL by storm putting up PPG numbers and looking like a constant threat. He's leap-frogged Tomas Tatar in the depth chart.