Hey, kids, guess what? Hockey's almost here. That means it's time for me to get back into this whole blogging thing that I've neglected during the off-season. Since I lack the creativity to come up with a new gimmick, I decided to continue the Player Profiles series I did last year leading up to the season. I'll be taking a look at a different player (almost) every day between now and when hockey starts. By my count, there are 22 days until the Wings open the regular season. Get excited. Today's subject:
2009-2010 Regular Season: 62 GP, 4-9-13, +/- -15, 44 PIM
2010 Playoffs: 12 GP, 0-2-2, +/- 1, 8 PIM
Season Highlight: He led the Wings in +/- at H2H (stick tap to Lauren). His +4 that night makes his -15 for the season seem all the more dismal.
Season Lowlight: Getting benched. This play in which his knee was injured and the Wings allowed a goal was pretty unfortunate, too.
Everyone was really high on Ericsson heading into last season based on his performance in the 2009 playoffs. He didn't quite live up to that promise, though. He even found himself benched. At times, he looked like a deer caught in the headlights, and not having a solid partner upon whom to rely seemed to do him a disservice. He managed to turn things around a little when Andreas Lilja returned to the lineup.
This year, he'll most likely be paired with newcomer Ruslan Salei. Having a veteran presence back there with him will allow him to settle down and hopefully look a little better. He's got a fantastic shot from the point, and has shown the ability to contribute offensively from time to time. He needs to cut down on his mistakes and take care of defensive responsibilities first, though.
What he needs to do to make me smile: Live up to that promise he showed during the 2009 playoffs.