Gustav Nyquist rules. True story. I think it’s time I expand on this topic.
Let’s take a look at some numbers before we get started, courtesy of HockeyDB:
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2008-09 U. of Maine H-Eas 38 13 19 32 28
2009-10 U. of Maine H-Eas 39 19 42 61 20
2010-11 U. of Maine H-Eas 36 18 33 51 20
2010-11 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 8 1 3 4 2 -- -- -- -- --
2011-12 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 56 22 36 58 18 -- -- -- -- --
2011-12 Detroit Red Wings NHL 18 1 6 7 2 4 0 0 0 0
Let’s just do a pure numerical analysis here (mmm, numbers are fucking delicious). As a freshman at Maine, he registered 32 points in 38 games. I’m not going to pretend that I watched all of his games and knew every detail about this season; I’m not THAT creepy about Nyquist (….yet). However, as a 19-year-old playing in college against some guys who are 23-24, those are some good numbers. At almost a point a game, that’s some solid shit right there.
Now let’s discuss his sophomore year. 42 points in 39 games is a great improvement oh wait what’s that? 42 assists?!?!? 61 points in 39 games are you fucking kidding me?!?!? That would be 1.56 points per game. I know it’s “only” college hockey but holy shit snacks! This may have been good enough to get him in the top 3 for Hobey Baker voting. Proof of said statement. No sophomore slump for this amazing Swede!
Junior year sees Gus only getting 51 points in 36 games, which averages ONLY 1.41 points a game. What a buffoon. I mean, it was only enough to get him into the top 10 for voting of the Hobey Baker, just not the top three. More proof. Well I mean I guess it was smart for the Wings for sign him at this point before he slacked off more in college.
Okay, enough with jokingly talking bad about Gus. Gus rocks. Let’s check out one of the many slick moves he pulled while at Maine:
Awesome. After the 2011 college season ended, Nyquist signed a pro tryout with the Griffins to get his feet wet in professional hockey, then signed a two-year deal with the Wings. He had four points in eight games, which isn’t bad considering he joined a new team and was in a league with established veterans and not just college players. I know what you’re asking: Where can I see Nyquist’s first professional goal? I know what’s up:
(please ignore the fact that it was a garbage goal…it was still fantastic!)
Next came Training Camp with the Wings in September of 2011. This could also be known as My Awakening (it’s a working title!) to the wonder that is Gustav Nyquist. Yes, I read all about him during his college years, but I didn’t know how awesome he was until I saw him skate in Traverse City. Even though he didn’t start on a line with regular NHL players, his hockey sense and skill stood out from the start. Want to see my first pic of Gus in his first Training Camp? Yeah you do!
My first picture of Gus! Photo Credit: Me, bitches.
OKAY FINE SINCE YOU ALL ASKED SO MUCH I WILL POST ANOTHER NYQUIST PICTURE FROM TRAINING CAMP:
He rules. Photo credit: Again, me and my awesomeness.
Yeah. But yes, I am aware that being awesome at Training Camp doesn’t guarantee success (see Brunnstrom, Fabian). You have to see him some games against other competition. I know preseason games are stupid, but they are a better indication of what a player can do. So, how did Nyquist do in preseason? Let’s start with my first picture of Gus at JLA (yes, this post has apparently turned into a photoblog. I love writing for myself now):
Anyway, Gus ruled in the preseason. There was talk he was going to make the team out of camp, but sadly, the Wings opted to send him to Grand Rapids. Let’s take a look at some of his awesome preseason highlights, yes?
Okay, that was a little weak, as it was against the Maple Leafs. But still, what a play. Also, gotta love the Nyquist fist pump. I’m going to start doing that when I score goals…HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I play defense and score every 2o games I’m like Lilja. BACK TO NYQUIST:
That second goal was beautiful and I want to watch it again and again and I did. I love the internet. As you heard Mickey say, it looked like Nyquist belonged in the NHL that day. Sadly, the Wings decided to send Gus to the Griffins to improve his already amazing skills.
Okay, so as I mentioned earlier, numbers do not lie. As a rookie in the AHL, it’s not exactly easy to be a top line player when you’re used to playing against guys who are in their early 20s. So, how Nyquist do? He only had 58 points in 56 games. That’s, you know, really good. Good enough to make the AHL All-Star game, as a matter of fact. Even though the Griffins were not very strong last season, Gus did tie for the lead in points…despite playing 20 fewer games than the other top players. So, what happens when you’re the best forward on the minor league team?
You get called up to the big club. And if you’re a huge Gustav Nyquist fan, what do you do? You go to the game by yourself since it’s the last-minute and your friends can’t go. I don’t care I’d do it again…and get more pictures like this:
Over the course of the season, Nyquist appeared in 18 games. A few of these were around December-January, when he was on the fourth line, where he also notched his first NHL point:
Oh Cory Emmerton. You are a lucky bastard because you got to play on a line with Nyquist for a few games. And, not shockingly at all, you get a goal. Sadly, all good things must come to and end, and when the Wings started getting healthier, Nyquist was sent down to Griffins to show most of them what a real hockey player looks like.
It wouldn’t be long before we’d see Gus back in the NHL. He was called up again in March and did his best to stay with the Wings for the remainder of the season , including getting 6 points in 7 games. In related news, Nyquist + Datsyuk = HOCKEYBONER. Let’s watch these two in action on March 26, 2012 against Columbus in a video I have only seen once or eleventy billion times:
Man, I only seem to watch that video when I’m cutting onions. Odd. Anywho, yeah, that was awesome and everything and I was at that game. Miiiiiight have gotten a few texts/tweets within the next 5 minutes after that goal. I’m not creepy.
Sadly, after that goal, Nyquist cooled off. He didn’t register another point in the regular season or the playoffs. You know, he didn’t want to embarrass anyone else. Just how he rolls.
And now, it’s time for a new season. I think we all agree that Gus belongs in the NHL, but since there is that STUPID FUCKING LOCKOUT RIGHT NOW, Nyquist is in Grand Rapids and playing with the Griffins. He’ll be a top line player there and will have a definite chance to be a top 6 forward with the STUPID FUCKING LOCKOUT ever ends.
And now for a brief personal story about my extra Nyquist interest. As said above, as soon as I saw his skills in Training Camp, I immediately became a fan. When my friends and I planned a trip to see a Griffins game on Feb 4th, 2012 (and to get a Kronwall bobblehead!!), my friend Jason, who has mad art skills, decided to be THAT guy and make a sign asking Tomas “THE SOUSE” Tatar for his stick. Naturally, I mocked Jason for being THAT GUY because that’s what friends do…
…and then I told him I would buy him Subway if he made me a similar sign asking Nyquist for a stick. Exhibit A (click for full size):
YUUUUUUUP. Awesomely, we had tickets for the seats right about the tunnel where the Griffins walk from the locker room to the bench. Nyquist, because he rules, scored two goals that game and was the first star of the evening. After he went back on the ice quickly, he began the walk to the locker room. My friends and I got his attention and read the sign. This happened next:
I know, that could be any stick. If only there were some way to acknowledge what player uses what stick. Fuck. OH WAIT JUST A SECOND THERE:
And no, that’s not Gary Nyquist. I have a game used stick from the one, the only, Gustav FUCKING Nyquist in my possession. He signed at a later date, but that moment wasn’t nearly as cool as the Griffins game, so I choose to gloss over that fact and remember the time this happened. And yes, Jason got his stick from Tomas “THE SOUSE” Tatar (who also fucking rules) and we were very happy and made some little 7-year-old kid very sad because we have the hockey sticks and he didn’t get one. SCREW YOU, KID!
Okay, I think I’m done with my extremely unbiased analysis of Mr. Gustav Nyquist. If you want to share your favorite Gus story, feel free to comment or hit me on the twitter device (@KevinN37).
Also, if Samuelsson somehow fucks over Gus from getting a top 6 spot (if there’s a season) this season, the amount of Sammy hate coming from my mouth and internet postings with increase exponentially. Samuelsson sucks.
…and yes, I did buy Jason some Subway after this event in Grand Rapids.