Thirty five points playing on Mikko Koivu's wing. Thirty five. For reference, here is the list of players who also scored thirty-five points: Brian Boyle, C, New York Rangers; Jordan Leopold, D, Buffalo Sabres; Wojtek Wolski, LW, Coyotes / Rangers; Anton Babchuk, D, Hurricanes / Flames; Derek Roy, C, Sabres (in 35 games); Joni Pitkanen, D, Hurricanes.
To drive the point home further, that would be three defensemen, a guy who missed nearly 50 games, a fourth line forward, and third line center. Let's just say, the 35 points was a bit underwhelming.
With that type of intro, you can venture a guess at the type of grades Mittens received. Please know, none of us enjoyed giving them. Make the jump, if you would.
#20 / Right Wing / Minnesota Wild
Jul 03, 1980
|2010 - Antti Miettinen||73||16||19||35||-3||38||8||0||4||168|
JS- GRADE: D+ Ugh... I'm done with this guy. We all knew last season that he couldn't hit the broad side of a barn and that the only reason he ever got 1st line duties and 20 goals was Mikko Koivu... but this year... why the hell was he still up there? When the third line center (Cullen) outscores the 1st line winger who plays with a premier playmaker like Koivu, something's horribly wrong. Cullen had 39 points (12 goals), Miettinen had 35 (16 goals). Mittens has always been known for his streakyness. The thing is, this year, he had a lot more bad stretches than he did last year, if that's even possible. He also showed, just like Bruno, that he's useless without Koivu... except when he's on the 4th line. He plays with extra hustle on the 4th line, probably to get back on the 1st line, but Richards should've seen that Mittens was better suited as a 4th line player, as he always was. I'm severely tired of seeing this guy on Koivu's back, he needs to leave. I've never seen a player less deserving of his spot... except maybe the 7 million dollar man Scott Gomez in Montreal.. except he's a very good set-up man when he's on his game. Mittens only scores because the puck is fed to him on a golden platter, and even then, he finds ways to miss the net. 9.5% accuracy on 168 shots...but that's without all the missed shots...it's not that he's the least accurate player on the team, but he's the one who's in the best position to score, getting dishes from Koivu and Brunette, even Burns. Let's get some new blood on the 1st line.
Elise- GRADE: D+ Oh boy, I haven't seen all the grades but I think this could get ugly. Miettinen's play went down this year, and he definitely didn't impress anyone, but not all the blame can be put on him because that's not his role. He gets a lot of flak from people about not being able to finish and missing obvious plays, and a lot of it is deserved, but he was also thrust into a top line role that he shouldn't have been. That being said, he probably won't be back.
Dan- GRADE: B We all know what to expect from Miettinen. 35-40 points goals along side Brunette and Koivu and he does it again. However, he is forced into the first line, a position he really isn't suited for. That should not affect Miettinen's grade since that lies solely on the General Manager.
Bryan- GRADE: F Not too many guys are going to get an F from me. Mittens gets one simply because the expectations for a guy on the right wing of Mikko Koivu and Andrew Brunette should be pretty high. He failed to live up to them for three years. Missing the net more times than not, he was simply incapable of finishing the chances he was given. There simply isn't much more to say that hasn't been said. He's a checking line forward, and he could excel at that. Maybe someone will give him that chance.
Nathan- GRADE: D-. The only reason Mittens doesn't get an F is because he works hard, creates scoring opportunities but isn't talented enough to finish. He's a very, very solid third line guy. Unfortunately, Mikko Koivu protects him or something. Miettinen should NOT be on the first line of an NHL franchise. It's that simple. He's not fast enough, not a good enough playmaker and can't finish. He hits more pipes than Snoop Dogg, and if it weren't for the fact that he had a garbageman picking up his trash and time with the captain on his line he'd be looking at trying to break 20 points instead of 35. Time to let Miettinen either slide down the pecking order to head out of town.
Cumulative GPA: 1.26 D
Antti Miettinen is harder on himself than any member of the media could ever be. I can guarantee you, without asking him, that he is miserable about this season's performance. While we can admire his ability to see just how bad he played, and to not find it acceptable, the truth is, it was still pretty bad. As many said in the post above, the first line was never a place for Mittens. How he ever found a role on that line is beyond me, and there never was a clear answer. If he wants to stay in the NHL, he really needs to accept less money and find a role as a checker with some offensive ability.