Khan: Athanasiou’s teammates say he’s ‘on the right path’ to stardom, but needs to give more

MLive’s Ansar Khan posted an intriguing post-locker room clean-out day column this afternoon, discussing Andreas Athanasiou’s potential from the perspectives of both the player himself…

Asked if his compete level has been where it should be, Athanasiou said, “I think I can compete at a high level. I think I can compete in playoffs. I kind of showed that the last time we were in the playoffs (2016) when I got in that Tampa series. I think competing at a high level is very important. There’s a lot of times where the stage is big here and you have to compete on that level, and I think I do a really good job of competing on the big stage and at the highest level.”

And those of his teammates (captain included) and coach:

Zetterberg said on Tuesday that Athanasiou needs to “just keep on the path he is on,” while learning to become a more complete player.

“Compare last year to this year, he played a little bit more minutes,” Zetterberg said. “I still think he is a very productive player.

“But, also, if you see what Dylan (Larkin) did this year, his points went up but also the way he played the game got better. He played both ways. I think that’s something that AA needs to do, too. Obviously, he’s a winger, not a centerman, but if he completes his game on that part, I’m pretty sure his production will do the same.”

Khan continues, noting that Frans Nielsen also believes that AA has more to give…

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

15 thoughts on “Khan: Athanasiou’s teammates say he’s ‘on the right path’ to stardom, but needs to give more”

  1. It’s ironic that we have articles regarding how AA can improve. He has more to give. He needs to be more consistent. Blah, blah.

    Where are the articles about say, Nyquist? So Nyquist played all 82 games as Zetterberg’s winger. He played all 82 games on the #1 PP. And he delivered 40 points. That’s a 0.49 points per game pace.

    Meanwhile, AA played 11 fewer games, and then almost 3 fewer minutes per game, getting yanked around the lineup. One day he’s a top 6 winger with Larkin, then he’s a 4th line center with Frk and Glendening, now we’re using 7 d-man so AA is one of the random extra forwards. And despite fewer games, fewer minutes, way less PP time, and a totally random role…AA delivered 0.46 points per game. So Nyquist is at 0.49 and AA is at 0.46. Basically the same output. Yet where are all the articles on Nyquist? Why isn’t anyone advocating for Nyquist to be demoted to the 3rd or 4th line?

    Yeah AA was -15. Not good. How about Glendening, our defensive ace, who was -10 last year and now -14 this year. Can he be better? Abby has been -16, then -20, and now -11 in his last 3 years. While scoring a pathetic 13 goals.

    Oh well, plus/minus just reflects how bad we were as a team and how Abby had challenging assignments. Funny, because Helm was used in more defensive situations than Abby, and Helm managed to be +3 this year compared to Abby’s -11. Helm also matched the same 13-goal output as Abby. I’m not a big fan of Helm at his contract. But I’ll give credit when due…he performed well for his role. So where are the articles asking why Helm held his own while Abby was a disaster once again. Nothing. Silence. Easier to just rag on AA for being so inconsistent…

    1. [sarcasm] Nyquist, being the unaccountable bum that he is [/sarcasm], spent yesterday telling the media that he has to improve and that his goal-scoring output was unsatisfactory last season. He didn’t need any prompting to acknowledge that he didn’t meet the expectations that his contract entails.

      I have no problem with Zetterberg and Nielsen suggesting that Athanasiou has great potential to tap. I don’t think that either player was trying to be negative or suggest that Athanasiou is somehow a poor performer who should be demoted to as low a line as possible.

      Abdelkader also spent yesterday suggesting that he needs to be better, for what it’s worth. That doesn’t excuse his performance over the course of the past season, but the player took responsibility for it…

      And I’m sorry, but on a team as offensively challenged as the Red Wings, I can’t look at +/- as the be-all-end-all indicator of performance.

      There were nights that Henrik Zetterberg was excellent and finished at -2 this season, and there were some really bad nights where the most consistent offensive and defensive performers would end up as minuses because of boneheaded mistakes by their defense, bad goals against by the goaltender, or goals that otherwise went in the net because systems play or team confidence were in the restroom. :/

      1. “….but the player took responsibility for it…”

        This is where AA differs from Larkin, Abbey, Gus, etc……

      2. Thanks George. I’ve seen the interviews. I see Nyquist and Abby took some responsibility. My point is…look what the beat writers focussed on today…how AA and Mantha need to be better. Might be refreshing to see the lens turned to a veteran once in awhile.

        As for plus/minus, yeah it’s a flawed stat, but I do believe that after 82 games these “unlucky” bounces tend to even out. You get stuck with a minus because of a bonehead play by a teammate, but then sometimes you step on the ice and get a plus even when you had nothing to do with the play. After a sample of 82 games you start to see some trends. And since Datsyuk left, Abby has been near the bottom on our roster for 2 straight years, whereas a guy like Zee (no surprise) has been near the top. Wouldn’t most people say that Dekeyser was a nightmare last year, whereas this year he was much more respectable? I think most would agree with that…so it’s no surprise that last year Dekeyser was -22 (3rd worst on the team) and this year he was +2 (2nd best among all regulars). So yeah, not a perfect stat. But still insightful over longer sample sizes. Would be happy to incorporate more complex advance stats into the discussion, but my experience is that most casual fans don’t understand them that well so the discussions aren’t that engaging.

        1. “..but my experience is that most casual fans don’t understand them that well so the discussions aren’t that engaging.”

          oh boy. this really makes me want to have a conversation with you since you’ve already determined how it’s going to go.

          1. I said most casual fans struggle to fully understand many of the advanced stats…so when one person starts citing them, others tend to gloss over them and move on to other discussions. That’s been my experience anyway.

            I never said anything about you. Sorry if you were offended. So what are your favourite advanced stats? Like if you were hired as a consultant by the Wings and had to evaluate the players performance, what would be say your top 3 stats to measure?

          2. “I said most casual fans struggle to fully understand many of the advanced stats…”

            yes literally you said that. We all know that. It’s a generalization. Thanks for the lesson in insensitivity.

      3. I have changed to a non supportive +/- stat. The stat guy in Arizona maybe can dig out some solid info.

        Anyway the Wings issues out number the +/-. I would think the teams with higher GF compared to low GA, at least in the Bottom feeders, have mostly minus players

  2. Advanced stats certainly don’t tell the whole story, or Arizona would be better by now. AA’s low-light films certainly tell a different story in contrast to his high-light films.

    Self improvement comes with self reflection…he has none… or refuses to acknowledge it in public. I believe the clinical term is narcissist.

  3. I don’t recall George posting it but the AA interview with Art Regner(Red and White Authority) was pretty relieving IMO. It’s kind of a hard/awkward interview to listen to but once you get in a ways the words AA chooses to use at some points are interesting.

  4. Well I tried to honestly engage you in a discussion about advanced stats. But I guess you chose to continue arguing. Oh well. Maybe tomorrow?

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