Detroit Hockey Now’s Bob Duff posted a column noting that the Red Wings are receiving more “bang for their buck” from Steve Yzerman’s draft picks over those made by Ken Holland thus far in the young 2021-2022 season:
There are only four Holland first-round picks in the Detroit lineup. One of them, Joe Veleno, just arrived on the scene. The others, for a variety of reasons, aren’t making significant contributions.
Captain Dylan Larkin can’t be criticzed for his absence. He’s been away from the team for a week dealing with an undisclosed personal matter. That it’s keeping a staunch competitor such as Larkin off the ice tells you the issue must be dramatic in its seriousness.
Winger Filip Zadina continues to be more hype than reality. Every so often – usually on the power play – he’ll flash an indication of his ability to finish. Then he goes back into hibernation.
That brings us to Michael Rasmussen. The 6-foot-6 center is looming large as an enigma. On Tuesday, he was skating in the middle of the team’s top line. Saturday against the Sabres, he’ll start the day as the fourth-line center.
When Blashil spoke of missed assignments on the penalty kill during Thursday’s 5-1 loss at Boston, Rasmussen was the unnamed guilty party. He was caught in no man’s land on the game’s first two goals as his man, Patrice Bergeron, was netting two of his four goals.
“When he’s on his game I think he does a pretty good job of defending, being long, making it hard on other people, being physical, being hard at the net,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said of Rasmussen. “When he gets off his game a little bit he probably thinks too much and it slows you down a little bit and you start to second-guess yourself. That’s the reality of a young guy being in a prominent role.”
Continued; I’m a little more forgiving of the Wings’ “Holland picks,” but it’s early yet.