Ericsson Irks Wings Fans After Inking Offseason Deal
Some interesting conversation tonight around often critisized Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson. Many Red Wings fans were shocked to hear the free agent Swede recieved a 3 year, $9.75 in July. But the organization cleary stated they hoped Ericsson would take a step forward this year into one of the top two pairings. “He’s had three years (in the NHL), we need him to take a bigger role on the team,” said coach Mike Babcock this summer.
Although statistically Ericsson has had a pretty productive December, 8GP 1A and a +6 rating, a closer look shows the he benefited from two +3 nights in blowouts against the Jets and Kings. While that does not discredit his effort those nights, it does illustrate how stats fail to tell the whole story.
Ericsson has been penalized often, his 31 PIMs leads the team. And he has been directly involved in both Oilers goals so far tonight. It will be interesting to see how coach Babcock will use Ericsson for the remainder of this game. As the third period starts only Jakub Kindl has played less at the blue line for Detroit. And if the last ten minutes of that period were any indicaton, Kindl should make those 30 seconds up quickly.
Long term, it is tough to imagine the Red Wings being able to move Ericsson. As the season progresses, there may be increasing pressure to see what Brendan Smith can do at the NHL level. He has 13 points in 22 AHL games thus far.