The Jonathan Ericsson Watch

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Filed in Jonathan Ericsson Watch 4 comments

Update, 9:01pm MT: I was thinking when I posted this about setting up some sort of actual pool, with a real winner and everything, and Matt’s link today reminded me of that.  So, put in your bets in the comments below.  Whoever’s the closest will win a yet-to-be-determined but still awesome prize.

photo: Jimmy Wixtröm, Aftonbladet

I posted a quick, very informal poll on Twitter yesterday, wondering: how long will it be until Mike Babcock’s patience finally runs out with Big E and nails his ass to the bench for Jakub Kindl?

There are a few factors in play here.  First, the news that Babcock is planning to play Ericsson with Lidstrom for the season opener.  Sara’s reply put it best:

that’s Babs saying, “If this doesn’t work NOTHING will.”

It absolutely screams that this is the desperate, last ditch effort to kickstart Ericsson into playing like the rookie defenseman we saw in the 2009 playoffs rather than the confused, lost kid we watched float around this pre-season so far.  Seriously, if you can’t elevate your game while playing with the best defenseman in the game, well, you might really be a lost cause.  It’s also somewhat of a safeguard, because Nick will be there to at least attempt to cover for the turnovers we can already expect.

Some other Over/Unders on how long Big Rig will last:

@jennyquarx: 2 periods
@onthewings: At this point, it should practically be 2 shifts. Kid needs a sit down talk if he doesn’t turn it back on
@mpetrella: By the second week. Bank on it.
@thetinnishflash: Like, a week. Seriously. Especially if he’s paired with Lidstrom. To me, that’s Babs saying, “If this doesn’t work NOTHING will.”

Personally, I’m giving Big E a month.  I think he’s got until November to turn his game around or else get used to seeing #4 out there.

The second factor is that I do think Babcock is stubborn enough to try and force it to work, and to force Ericsson to show up for be shown the press box, but at the same time it sounds like he won’t have the patience to babysit Jonny for too long, either.

From Khan again:

“It’s at a time in his career he has to be an important player. He has the ability to do that,’’ Babcock said. “Mind drives the body, so he’s got to be mentally strong. The measure of being a good pro is every game, every year.’’

Babcock said he’s not sure how long the arrangement will last.

I feel like that last statement could be taken either of two ways: Babcock puts Ericsson back with Salei, or he just swaps him for Kindl.

Elliott Friedman reiterates the thought that Babcock might not waste time coddling Jonny this season with a quip from the most recent “30 Thoughts“:

Jakub Kindl won’t start the season in Detroit’s top six, but could finish there. Mike Babcock is running out of patience with Jonathan Ericsson. “He’s not a kid anymore,” the coach says. “He can’t make kid’s mistakes.” He’s 26.

What’s your Over/Under on how long Ericsson lasts until we see Big Rig taking up residence in the former Leino Lounge?  Leave your guess in the comments, and I’ll be keeping a running tally of how many games it takes.

p.s. Don’t forget to listen to part 2 of TP:60 with Joe Yerden from Pro Hockey Talk at NBCSports, and Sean Gentille from Sporting News.

Posted by EM   @   6 October 2010 4 comments
Tags : ,


Oct 6, 2010
6:35 am
#1 Graham :

If you’re talking out of the lineup on a regular basis, then I’m going to go with Petrella and say about 2 weeks. The Wings are starting quickly out of the gate, with 5 games in the first 8 days, so this will be a chance for Ericsson to show that he can play well consistently. However, unless he really turns things around, I don’t see how he remains in the lineup, especially if Kindl comes in and plays like he did in the pre-season.

Oct 8, 2010
2:22 pm
#2 Matt Saler :

My answer was sarcastic, but I do think Jonny’s early shifts are important for his usage tonight and thus his chances of actually impressing. If he sucks out of the gate and Babcock is forced to use him a lot less, Jonny’s got a steeper climb.

But realistically, he’s probably got until through the Coyotes game. After that, there’s a break that would allow Kindl and Salei to practice together and offer a convenient spooling up for a Kindl/Salei experiment. So five games for Jonny as a window, and given my level of optimism about him, he’ll only last that long.

Oct 8, 2010
2:48 pm
#3 jennyquarx :

Okay, I have to change my answer to an actual legitimate one if we’re talking prizes. I’m going to go with 12 games and when they come back home for that long stretch, he’s done. That’s probably way too long but Babs is patient.

Oct 8, 2010
3:49 pm

Is it too vague to go with “The second time Ericsson goes -3 in a game?”

If so, how about four regulation losses.

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