Hear me Babs? There’s only four lines, only 12 forwards sharing ice time, but come playoff time, Gustav Nyquist better damn well be one of them.I was listening to Winging It In Motown Radio this morning via The Triple Deke, and the boys had a lengthy conversation about Nyquist and his role heading into the playoffs. The consensus? It needs to be a big one.
The kid has top-six talent. Anybody who watched him tear up the AHL this year knows it. He could have been on this Red Wings roster all season, but that’s not how the Detroit brass does things. You earn your keep first. Then you wear the Winged Wheel.
But Nyquist has paid his dues. Give him a real shot in the playoffs.
(OK, so that’s a preseason goal. Big deal. It’s either that or a funny pronunciation of his name. Goo-stuff Ny-quist…Gustav Nyquist!)
Bottom line: He’s got the hands, the speed, and the skill to play with the Red Wings’ best. He’s 22 and top 12 in the AHL in scoring, with 58 points in 56 games. He scored his first NHL goal tonight off a beautiful pass from Datsyuk. He’s improving every game.
Still not convinced? Fine.
Remember 2008? A little guy named Darren Helm? Almost no big-league experience but a huge part of the playoff run to the Cup? Yeah, this guy. (Sidenote: Oh, Marty Turco. How the mighty have fallen…)
Nyquist can be the Red Wings’ 2012 version of Helm, on an even bigger scale. I want to see #14 on the ice come playoff time. I don’t care who sits (OK maybe not Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Lidstrom, Franzen, Howard…stop being a contrarian asshole).
He needs to be in there. My suggestion? Put Nyquist in the top six, drop Bertuzzi to the third line into a grinding role, and toss out Emmerton or Mursak. Their time will come. Nyquist’s is now.