26 November 2009

I effing hate Ville Leino.

You know why?

(A) Because everybody expected greatness out of him. And he's been anything but. I've given him compliments on this blog for the rare moments of talent that he shows. But more often than not, he attempts these cute little moves that result in nothing. NOTHING. I was actually glad last night when he passed the puck to Zetterberg during his breakaway because even if you gave that motherfucker a backhoe, Leino wouldn't be able to bury anything.

(B) He's a defensive liability. He can't hold on to the puck worth a good god damn. If an opponent so much as bumps him, it results in a turnover. As a Detroit fan, this is far from good enough. Our players are expected to be strong on both ends of the ice. Which brings me to...

(C) He is not a two-way player. At all. Except last night when he did such a great job covering Nik Antropov. Brian's recap of last night's shitshow does a great job listing suggestions for Leino other than "Calder nominee", which at this point, just sounds like a cruel joke we've made on ourselves.

(D) Remember how psyched we were at the beginning of the season? This guy had so much determination; he threatened to jump ship to Europe if he got assigned to Grand Rapids this year. We were sure that he was one of the main characters who would step up to provide offensive power this season. Ha.

I don't care that I'm probably in the vast minority with this one. I know a lot of people hate Bertuzzi; I'm actually ambivalent toward him. It's maddening how many turnovers Bert allows, but he's also capable of making beautiful and timely defensive plays, which is more than most people, including me, expected from him. Leino doesn't even do that. Most of the time, he's just invisible on the ice. He's this year's Tomas Kopecky; perhaps he's a little more naturally gifted than Kopecky, but it very rarely amounts to anything significant on the ice, so what difference does it actually make?

In order to extricate himself from my shit list, he needs to produce. Now. He has played in 22 games, but has only produced five points. By comparison, Valtteri Filppula, who only played half that number of games before his injury, has six points. Jesus Christ, even Brett Lebda has four points. Bert has nine points. Fucking Todd Bertuzzi! I'm going to stop writing this before my head explodes. Hope you all are enjoying your holiday. For Black Friday, I'm buying myself a fifth of Jack to gear down for the pair of games this weekend.


  1. THANK YOU!!! I thought I was the only person in the world who just doesn't see the future in this kid. Is he a decent player? Sometimes. But I've seen little evidence this year that he deserves the credit we've been giving him.

  2. You are welcome; I'm glad I'm not the only one, either. I think the reason I'm so upset with him is that he crowed about going to Europe if he didn't play this year; it's as if he thinks he's better than he actually is. I can't deal with it anymore. I either had to write this post or submit it to the Postcard Secrets guys. But I'm not a coward.

  3. That half breakaway, where he passed to Zetterberg, what does that say about the guy's self confidence? Gotta be at about zero now. I'm ready to give him a chance together with Filppula when he's back. But if he can't succeed then, well, then I think his future lies in the Norwegian elite league

  4. Andy, you make a good point about Filppula being a good linemate with Leino. I guess we'll see what happens when he returns to the lineup. Also, you're right about his confidence; it's obvious that it's not high right now because of what he's doing on the ice, but he's playing in the NHL. If he needs a confidence boost, he should go back to Grand Rapids.

  5. Yeah, he's been really poor, he had a couple of nice passes during the Blues game, but that's really not enough. Grand Rapids might be a solution, euthanasia another one, but right now I'm really too baffled by how Kirk Maltby can be scratched and Bertuzzi playing to really focus on Leino.

  6. I disagree, as with everyone on the Wings, Lieno has been a bit frusterated all year, but I still see talent and I see hustle.

    I think he plays like a younger, dumber, less talented Zetterman, which is still saying something.

  7. Because I've calmed down drastically since I wrote this rant last week, I can say that I hope you're right about him, Chris. The thing is, I WANT to like Leino; he's on the team, for Christ's sake. I have to admit that I wasn't crazy about him coming into this season, but I started to warm up to him, and then I got pissed off all over again in the meantime.

    What do you think it'll take to get him going? Is it just a question of confidence or inexperience? Please convince me!