(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.
(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.