Friday, September 18, 2009

2009-2010 Player Profiles: Tomas Holmstrom...

OK, it’s that time of year. Hockey’s so close that you can almost taste it. By my count, there are 14 days remaining before the Wings kick off their season in Sweden (which is still entirely too many, but at least we can see the light at the end of the tunnel). In order to pass the time, I’ll be posting a player profile every day until then (in alphabetical order, because I’m one of those people). I want to make it very clear that these are not predictions, because I do not, under any circumstance, make predictions. They’re simply my thoughts on each player’s performances last season, and my hopes and expectations for them this time around. Today’s subject:

Tomas Holmstrom

2008-2009 Regular Season: 53 GP, 14-23-37, +/- 18, 38 PIM
2009 Playoffs: 23 GP, 2-5-7, +/- -2, 22 PIM

Season Highlight: This was a pretty important goal to help finish off Columbus.
Season Lowlight: Mid-season surgery/disappearing in the playoffs.

Homer’s spent a good deal of the last couple of seasons injured, and that’s hurt his production. All of those years of taking a beating in front of the net are finally taking a toll on him. Even though he didn’t miss any games during this playoff run, he was pretty banged up, and it showed in his play. He seemed to disappear after the first round, and I’m willing to attribute that to injuries. There’s no doubt in my mind that with a healthy Tomas Holmstrom, the Wings powerplay would’ve looked better.

When he’s at 100%, he’s still the best in the world at his job. Even when he’s not deflecting shots into the net, his presence has a tendency to cause quite a ruckus in front of opposing goaltenders. I wish they kept stats on how many “honorary assists” Homer’s notched over the years by causing pucks to sail by unsuspecting goalies who are completely unable to see the shot. It’s hard not to like a guy who willingly takes that kind of abuse day in and day out just for the sake of winning hockey games. The Wings need him to continue driving goalies crazy by driving to the net and camping out in his “office.” In order to do that effectively, he needs to stay healthy. He’s coming off of a couple of groin surgeries and a bum knee, and his ability to stay injury-free is going to make or break his season.

What he needs to do to make me happy: Make every opposing goalie frustratingly familiar with his rear end.

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