Detroit Red Wings Dennis Cholowski showing improvement

Embed from Getty Images When his reckless handling of the puck resulted in being pulled from the lineup last season. Detroit Red Wings defensive player Dennis Cholowski was sent to Grand Rapids to work on his game with the Griffins. Cholowski made the 2019-20 Red Wings roster as so far, he has demonstrated better decision-making and earned the trust of coaches and teammates to remain in the  lineup.

“He’s done a really good job of managing his game and a really good job of not giving up easy chances,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “That’s the area where his growth has been the best, is understanding when to try to make a play, understanding when to back off. Understanding when to punt sometimes you just have to put it to a safe area, and I think he’s done a good job of that. He’s been harder in his defense, both in zone and on the rush.”

The Detroit Red Wings drafted Cholowski at 20th overall in 2016. His skating and offensive abilities were a large part of the appeal to the Red Wings. “I’m more calm, more relaxed,” Cholowski told Detroit media. “Better in the D-zone, winning more of my battles now. They know they can rely on me in more situations now. I have it in my head to relax and not be too frantic.”

Dennis Cholowski now has a coveted spot on the team’s first power play unit,  with Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi and Taro Hirose. Cholowski said he just wants to contribute however he can to make the team and the power-play unit better.

Viewed as a player who can help the Detroit blueline, Cholowski is now beginning to live to live up to his scouting report. He is a fast, smooth skating defensive player. Dennis is a strong two-way defender, while offensively he moves the puck very well, with a strong first pass out of the zone to get the transition game started.

Dennis Cholowski is a very smart defender. This season Cholowski seems to always be in the right position. Keeping attackers to the outside, while keeping himself between the puck and the net at all times. Cholowski maintains good gap control as well.

This is good for a Red Wings team struggling with older defensive players.

Forget the official’s for a moment, The Detroit Lions made a lot of mistakes Monday night

Embed from Getty Images Blaming the officials is always on the minds of fans. Do not get me wrong, NFL refs have been awful across the board this season. In my opinion the NFL invited this major issue when they legalized gambling. Official’s aside the Detroit Lions made too many mistakes to overcome Monday night against the Green Bay Packers.

For starters the Detroit Lions need to improve in the red zone. Settling for five field goals is disheartening . The Lions need to find a way to exchange field goals for touchdowns.

The Lions also had two special teams gaffes, “When we shoot ourselves in the foot, we lose,” Lions running back Kerryon Johnson said. “When we don’t, we win. It’s hard to beat us, but it’s very easy for us to beat ourselves.”

The officials hurt the Detroit Lions for sure. But stupid penalties and not scoring touchdowns hurt more. If the Lions had converted two or three field goals the officials would have be a non-factor.

In Green Bay, the Lions played another winnable game. To only blame the officials undermines the fact the Lions blew another game they should have won.

Now about the NFL and the official problems. Detroit Lions defensive end Trey Flowers was flagged twice for illegal use of the hands, extending two Green Bay scoring drives in the fourth quarter. Flowers did not deserve either penalty.

Officiating in the NFL is a travesty and has been for a while now. NFL owners voted to legalize gambling and when people are laying down money phantom calls are made. While obvious penalties are not called. It is a joke.

The commissioner Roger Goodell and the owners have no one to blame but themselves. Monday Night Football displayed the work they put in. It is funny they all wonder why t.v. ratings are dropping. We  Mr. commissioner and NFL owners, fans do not want to watch what your selling. Good football teams can lose on a dime because someone laid down a bet.

Shame on the NFL powers.

Is this the end of Mark Dantonio at Michigan State?

Embed from Getty Images After the 38-0 merciless beat down at the hand of the Wisconsin Badgers, Michigan State Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio said “We’re not there, we should be. We’ve got some very good players, but we’re not there.” It is time for the Michigan State administration to take a deep look and decide if they are okay with that.

13 seasons into his Michigan State coaching job, Dantonio should not be talking about what is missing. It is clear what is missing. Last week the loss to Ohio State gave way to a much worse beat down at Wisconsin.

Offense. The Michigan State Spartans offense is no better than they were last season in which the Spartans were near the bottom of the Big Ten in nearly every offensive category.

The Michigan State offensive line has woefully under preformed to this part of the season. No wide receiver  has stepped up as a game-breaking threat. The Spartans passing game does not scare anyone.

In what is Dantonio’s biggest failure is the failed attempt to switch coach’s around, has lead to coach’s not having any clue how to mask the offensive units deficiencies. The Michigan State  team looks undisciplined on the whole.

With the Spartans next three games against Michigan, Iowa and Penn State the task now seems grueling. Even a much improved Maryland football team looks much better then the Spartans.

This is all on one person. Mark Dantonio. The coach must now look in the mirror and decide if he has it in him or even wants to try to rally the football program, or walk away. There would be no shame if he does walk away. In 13 season Dantonio is the winningest Michigan State head coach ever. He has three Big Ten titles, a Rose Bowl win and a College Football Playoff appearance under his belt.

If he does intend to stay. He must take a good hard look at his program and be willing to bring in new coach’s. He needs to lay down friendships for the sake of his job and the success of the Spartans football program.

Time is ticking. On the Spartans season and the coach who leads them.

Star Wars: Could Emperor Palaptine and Supreme Leader Snoke be related?

Embed from Getty Images *This is not a spoiler, only speculation*, that explores if Darth Plagueis created Palpatine?  Plagueis knew how to create life, so he creates the perfect Dark Side apprentice. Plagueis’ apprentice then kills him in his sleep after learning his teachings, and the apprentice creates even more life in Anakin Skywalker. And some further speculation: Could Supreme Leader Snoke have been created as a backup Palpatine and learned everything from Plagueis as well?

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” director JJ Abrams, said back in the spring, “This movie had a very, very specific challenge, which was to take eight films and give an ending to three trilogies, and so we had to look at, what is the bigger story?

While this week, JJ Abrams revealed why Palpatine is returning for The Rise of Skywalker. He said, “Some people feel like we shouldn’t revisit the idea of Palpatine. And I completely understand that. But if you’re looking at the nine films as one story, I don’t know many books where the last few chapters have nothing to do with those that have come before. If you look at the first eight films, all the set-ups of what we’re doing in IX are there in plain view.”

To link the films and characters together, is not as easy as it would seem. In my opinion, a big shocking moment would be if Emperor Palaptine and Supreme Leader Snoke were created by the same person, Darth Plagueis.

It is already known, Emperor Palpatines is returning for the last installment of the Skywalker saga. What better way to paint a bigger picture on the story and give them more meat?

Anthony Mantha playing the way the Detroit Red Wings believed he could

Embed from Getty Images 5 goals, 7 points in two games. The Detroit Red Wings, Anthony Mantha has come out of the gate swinging. Mantha has started playing like teammates, coach’s and the Red Wings front office always believed he could, using his 6′ 5″, 234-pound body to bulldoze opponents.

Anthony Mantha’s teammate and line mate Dylan Larkin said this about the Detroit forward, “He’s skating right now, he’s moving his feet, He’s flying. When he’s doing that, he’s fun to play with. He’s dynamic. When he’s hot, he can be one of the best in the world. You’re seeing that right now.”

Mantha credits former Detroit Red Wing Thomas Vanek with his improved play. “Vannie saw a lot of a players, had a lot of years behind him,” Mantha said. “He’s been a great mentor, just telling me to cut to the net, that’s one example, that not a lot of people can stop me. It was just little details that he told me that I brought to my game this year.”

Mantha, 25, says this is the most confident he has felt since his junior days. That speaks volumes to the start Mantha has had. The Detroit Red Wings home opener was on Sunday night. A night in which Anthony Mantha put on a show for the home crowd. 4 goals. Using speed, quickness and his physical ability the Dallas Stars defense had no answers for Mantha. Few team do and will have an answer.

There is one additional note to be made. Anthony Mantha has had a successful start due in large part by his other line mate Tyler Bertuzzi. Bertuzzi, has been great on the forecheck as well as boxing out opposing players allowing Mantha to spring open.

Anthony Mantha, credits his teammates and understands hockey is the ultimate team sport. “Playing with Bert and Larks, I can’t praise them enough. They’re playing unreal hockey right now.

The rest of the NHL has been put on notice, Anthony Mantha is locked-in.

The Detroit Pistons need Bruce Brown to be locked-in

Embed from Getty Images In a rookie season that saw Detroit Pistons, Bruce Brown take on James Harden, Steph Curry and Damian Lillard, Brown was asked to do a lot in the defensive end. More than other NBA rookies. Now fresh off a rookie year in which Bruce Brown played 55 games. The game has slowed down. That is the good news.

The Detroit Pistons are currently in the midst of training camp. One of the questions heading into camp was weather Bruce Brown would earn the starting guard job, or if Luke Kennard would wrestle it away from him.

Recently Brown said “The game has slowed down a lot and I know what to expect and what is expected of me.” On who Detroit Pistons head coach Dwane Casey will pick to start, “I’m going to control what I can control and play hard every day. I’m not worried about if I come off the bench or start.” Brown continued.

Bruce Brown worked hard on his offensive game over the summer. Defense has always come easy to Brown. Brown said he worked on fine-tuning his jump shot mechanics, as well as setting up the pick-and-roll. As if Brown’s defense could not get better, it did.

Pistons coach Casey said ‘his anticipation has gotten better in that he knows what’s about to come and the next play.” Casey and the Pistons coaching staff are pleased with the second year guard.

In my opinion, Bruce Brown should remain in the starting lineup, while Luke Kennard should come off the bench. This would give the Detroit Pistons both better depth and better balance.

This season the Pistons are looking for Bruce Brown to take the next step in his game. Brown is looking to build upon last seasons success, especially offensively. If he is able to elevate his game the Detroit Pistons will be closer to becoming a more complete team.


The Detroit Red Wings are counting on top players development with the Griffins

Embed from Getty Images The Detroit Red Wings have five first round draft picks assigned to the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins. Griffins head coach Ben Simon has been charged with developing the talented group. Grand Rapids will be a fun yet dangerous team to watch this season.

Michael Rasmussen, Evgeny Svechnikov, Filip Zadina, Moritz Seider and Joe Veleno, widely viewed as five players who will help the Detroit Red Wings get back to the NHL Playoffs.

Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman resisted temptation to bring one, two or all five prized players to Detroit. Yzerman, instead opted for ice time which is critical to a prospects development. The general manager was wise to not let his emotions dictate decisions.

Each player has been asked to work on certain aspects of their game. For Filip Zadina, who  looked tentative making plays and hesitant to go to his shot this training camp and preseason, the ultra talented Zadina needs to trust his shot more. That comes with ice time.

Joe Veleno, is looking to become a player that coaches trust, at all times. 5-on-5, power play, in the final moments of games. Yzerman believes he can become that and has challenged Veleno to take that step. It is a fast way to the NHL.

Moritz Seider, 18, was Steve Yzerman’s first draft pick. He was one of the last prospects to be assigned to the Griffins. Seider, had a very good prospect tournament and it carried over to training camp and preseason games. He will fine tune his game and is not long for the minors.

Michael Rasmussen, who played in Detroit much of last season is being asked to learn to better use his 6′ 6″ frame. To box players out as well as put himself in better position to take shots on goal.

Evgeny Svechnikov, who looked very good leading up to the season was assigned to Grand Rapids in order to make sure he does not suffer a set back from the torn knee ligament he suffered last season. Svechnikov should be one of the first call-ups for the Detroit Red Wings.

Last season Griffins head coach Ben Simon helped Dennis Cholowski overcome holes in his game. Cholowski is on the Red Wings opening night roster. That is good news. Simon is now in charge of getting five dynamic prospects NHL ready.

The Detroit Tigers are shuffling coach’s

Embed from Getty Images 47-114, with a .292 winning percentage. Yet no one in the Detroit Tigers coaching department lost a job. That alone is baffling and somewhat disappointing. Detroit Tigers  manager Ron Gardenhire said  on Sunday  when you lose 114 games in a season, there’s going to be changes made. No changes, only a shift in existing coach’s.

In what the Detroit Tigers organization and fans hope is the bottoming out phase of a much needed rebuild, the team had a nightmare season. 114 losses is significantly more than Tiger management had envisioned back in spring training.

“We lost one hundred and, I can’t even say the number, and that’s not been fun. And we all take a little of it on ourselves.” Gardenhire told Detroit media after the teams last game of the season.

Of the so-called changes, there will only be one new face on the staff. Steve Liddle, who served as Gardenhire’s bench coach for 10 years in Minnesota with the Twins, will retire after two years in the same role in Detroit.

The Detroit Tigers finished the 2019 season on Sunday with a record of 47-114, second-most losses in franchise history behind only the 2003 team that lost 119 games. Yet all coach’s are coming back.

Even in a rebuild, lines must be drawn. Hard line stances on what is acceptable and what is not need to be outlined. The fact is the Tigers were never a threat to be good, nor should they have been 114 losses bad.

Detroit is set to continue to get younger in the next two seasons. One can hope there will be sweeping changes made. It is not right to hope a person loses their job. In sports there is a need for more than reshuffling needed to get players, young players up to major league standards of play.

By bringing the same coach’s back after a demoralizing season does not make fans want to spend hard earned money on the current product. Better days are coming again to Comerica Park and the city of Detroit. Right now if feels as if that is light years away.

The Detroit Red Wings send top prospects to the Grand Rapids Griffins

Embed from Getty Images Detroit Red Wings franchise icon Steve Yzerman built a juggernaut in Tampa Bay. Yzerman has preached patience since replacing Ken Holland, refusing to put a timeline on Detroit’s rebuild. So what does this mean for the organization this season?

While the Detroit Red Wings have some established young players led by Dylan LarkinAnthony ManthaAndreas Athanasiou and Tyler Bertuzzi, with Joe VelenoMichael RasmussenEvgeny SvechnikovFilip Zadina and Moritz Seider leading the next wave they’re surrounded by some high-priced holdovers and veteran placeholders from the Holland era.

Ken Holland stuck Yzerman with seven players holding no trade clauses.  Yzerman and the Red Wings will have a bit more roster flexibility next summer, with six restricted free agents and three unrestricted ones.

Before training camp opened Steve Yzerman met the media and announced there was open roster spots. In my opinion, If a couple prospects showed enough to earn a roster spot, Yzerman would have eaten one or two of the team bad contracts.

No top prospect showed the teams general manager enough. Yzerman made the right move and assigned Filip Zadina, Evgeny Svechnikov, Joe Veleno, Oliwer Kaski and 2019 first round draft pick Moritz Seider along with 2017 first round draft pick Michael Rasmussen to the AHL and the Grand Rapids Griffins.

There are a couple things to read into this. First and foremost Yzerman like Ken Holland believes wholeheartedly in prospect development. Something he learned under Ken Holland before his Tampa Bay days.

The other factor could be Yzerman, understand the state of the Detroit Red Wings. The team is strapped by underperforming over paid veterans. While players like Zadina and Seider (who was the final prospect to be assigned) could have played in Detroit. It is best to allow them to play and find chemistry together and possibly make the AHL playoffs, while letting bad contracts expire.

Yzerman is still in the getting to know phase with the entire Red Wings organization. But, this is a smart move. By allowing prospects the chance to fail and succeed in Grand Rapids, it gives him time to map out his vision for call-ups as well as what veterans could be bought out after the season.

It was a solid move by Steve Yzerman.



The Detroit Tigers secure the first pick in the draft

Embed from Getty Images Pop the champagne, light off the fireworks, the Detroit Tigers have finished first!! Well not in any way that fans would be hooting and hollering. But the Detroit Tigers are close to the end of a brutal season, in which the only good to come out of Motown is the Tigers have the first pick in the 2020 MLB draft.

For the rebuilding Detroit Tigers, having the worst record in baseball has its benefits, The most important in terms of the rebuild itself, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 MLB draft, the most tangible, having the most money with which to sign players.

Detroit’s distinction as the worst team in baseball seemed a locked in   heading into the All-Star break, a few weeks before two of the teams top players   right fielder Nicholas Castellanos and closer Shane Greene  were traded on the day of the trade deadline.

The good news for the Detroit Tigers who have outstanding young pitching prospects in the minor leagues, is the team can pick a badly needed generational bat.

A player like Arizona State University first basemen Spencer Torkelson. Torkelson a right-handed batter, 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, but it gets better. Stats do not lie, neither do projectability.  Torkelson assaulted pitchers, .351 batting average in 57 games, 23 home runs, .446 on-base, .707 slugging, 1.153 OPS.

It widely believed all 30 MLB teams have Torkelson at the number one overall draft slot. With a pure of body and swing not too mention he won’t turn 21 until late next August.

Torkelson is an above average defender, which is why the Tigers could plug him at first base, where defense is generally overlooked,  and also where the Tigers have a huge need.

Spencer Torkelson has a scouting report of a 70 grade power on the 80 score baseball scouting charts and a 60 level bat. He struck out 45 times in 57 games and drew 41 walks.

If the Detroit Tigers are wise this is the player they will draft. Detroit can add him to a couple young bats already in the system. The Tigers got slick prep outfielder Riley Greene in the past June’s draft as well as Isaac Paredes. Which would give the Tigers a nice middle of the batting lineup group.

So while the Detroit Tigers failed in 2019, the really did not in terms of rebuilding.