Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Phoenix Tonight

The Phoenix game is, again, a must win. I'm not really in the mood, nor do I have time to break it down. However, here are two good things for Detroit: The return of a top four defenseman - Niklas Kronwall - and the Coyote's record at Joe Louis Arena - it is bad, but I guess those types of records just don't matter this season.

Enjoy the game. I'm probably going to miss it due to the fact that it's at 4 p.m. PT.

Cheers to a win!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ouch

I'm not over Tuesday's loss. I've had a really bitter, sour taste in my mouth since.

Everything I imagined would go wrong, went wrong. But it was worse. The Red Wings had them. They had the Caps on their heels. Under 10 minutes to go in the third and Detroit was up 2-1. Then came the meltdown.

Well, I assume you all saw it. Two things I want to touch on:

Chris Osgood:

This is not about me bashing Ozzy. This is me bashing Mike Babcock's great idea to sit one of the hottest goalies in the NHL before a game against arguably the NHL's hottest team. Why? What reason did he have for such a coaching folly? Jim Howard is on fire. ON FIRE! He could have saved at least two of those goals which made Osgood look like a fool. I don't understand.

Alexander Ovechkin:

Where was this guy? Oh, he was playing. Detroit just shut him down completely. He didn't have a single shot. I'm really surprised. I'm not exactly sure what to say about it. I wasn't doubting Datsyuk's or Zetterberg's abilitly to shadow world-class players. However, I assumed Babcock would screw up the lines at some point and Ovechkin would just run around without a certain Pavel or Hank on his ass. And that did happen. Just not too often.

Minnesota:

The Wild suck. If you listen to as many hockey analysts as I do, you would think Minnesota is a top- five team in the West. Apparently these guys are going to go .900 before the end of the season. No. They are awful. If Detroit loses today, they do not deserve to be in the playoffs.

Ouch. It hurts to say it. But it's true.

On Another Note:

I guess I have more to say. This weekend is huge - especially if Detroit loses today. Los Angeles will be at the Joe Saturday. Take a look at the standings. It kind of makes me sick. But there it is. The Kings are one point ahead of the Wings. Here's what really sucks: LA has been making it easy on Detroit, going 5-5 and pretty much losing when the Wings lose. This won't last forever - but I hope it does. Seriously though, Detroit needs to win today, then beat LA Saturday in order to stay close. There is no choice. Both of these games are huge. I cannot stress the importance here.

I sound extremely obvious and rhetorical now. But what else is there? What else can be said?

I have my tickets for the Wings' final regular season game at the Staples Center on February 6. I just hope they are still in the playoff picture.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Washington

Yes. Yes. No. No.


This is mostly how I feel about today's game: Yes, I get to see the best player in the NHL. Yes, Detroit has a chance to prove something. No, it is not a good time to be playing the best team in the Eastern conference. No, I do not think the Wings will match well with Washington's explosive offense.


Overall, I expect Detroit to play well today. Why should I expect less? The Wings have been flying as of late. The Chicago game was basically the playoffs. I'm only worried about the defense. Detroit has some holes on the blue line, it's obvious. I'm not going to name names, but let's just say one starts with L and ends with ebda. Without Nik Jr. in the lineup, other guys have had to double shift against teams with three solid scoring lines - like Washington.


It could get ugly. I suggest Coach Babcock splits Ericcson and Lebda - I don't like this combination. Otherwise, keep them on the bench. I'd like to see Stuart and Ericcson paired, which would put Lebda with Meech, who is fast enough to bail them out when Lebda coughs the puck up - and he will.

I'm predicting a high-scoring game - maybe 5-4, or 4-3. Zetterberg will have two goals. Datsyuk will get one on the power play.


I don't even want to think about what Ovechkin could do. Detroit should focus on keeping him under a goal. Yeah...


Take a look at the standings - these are desperate times.


Note:


It's worth mentioning Monday's blowouts: San Jose beat Calgary 9-1. Colorado blanked Edmonton 6-0. Interesting.

Monday, January 18, 2010

What A Weekend

What a weekend. It's obvious the Red Wings need to get better at shootouts. However, one can't complain about the show Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi put on against Chicago.

Sunday's game was unbelievable. I really think the difference is Johan Franzen and Tomas Holmstrom. With a couple extra power forwards in the lineup, Detroit would be able to roll two strong lines to match up with Chicago's. It would have meant a world of difference in a high-intensity game like Sunday's.

I've been stressing how important getting even one point is. So, I was pleased when Sunday's game went to OT. Especially after the Wings were down 2-0 at one time in the game. However, to see them fall in a SO two days in a row is quite frustrating. They can't just give points away.

Overall, Detroit is playing at a higher level. Jimmy (Or, as Mickey Redmond seems to be pushing for: Jim) Howard is a big reason for that. Howard is so hot right now.

I hope everyone had a chance to catch the games this weekend - especially the Chicago game. It was a special one.


Looking ahead:

I guess it's time to see how Detroit matches up against the Eastern's best. Next game is Tuesday against Washington. If they can just pull a point out of it, I'll be happy - sort of.

My head starts to literally hurt when I begin to think about Detroit's potential to miss the 2010 playoffs. I will not know what to do with myself. Plus, I'm not even slightly looking forward to baseball season - that literally makes me want to cry.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ridiculous

I need to see what the assholes in Toronto saw in order to rule the Steve Ott shootout "goal" an actual goal. From the replays I saw, I can't seem to fathom how someone could overturn the on-ice official's call. He was in perfect position and was so emphatic about it being no goal.

But, the bottom the line is Detroit blew Saturday afternoon's game against Dallas. They had a 2-0 lead going in to the third, only to let Dallas come back and win in a six-round shootout. What makes it even more disgusting is the way the shootout unfolded. Detroit had three opportunities to put the game away. Plus, Patrick Eaves had a chance to tie the game again after Ott's goal. He didn't.

Sick.

Well, now Detroit has to settle for an eighth place tie with - and this is fucking typical - the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings play Boston Saturday. Go Bruins. It's the first time I've ever rooted for the Boston Bruins - it has gone this far.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Turning Point


Jimmy Howard's brick-wall goal tending in last week's 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings was nothing less than incredible. Howard is proving to be a guy who can rise to the occasion.

I was at the game in LA last Thursday. I was quite pleased with the outcome. It was my first experience at the Staples Center. The place was covered in red and white. It was quite embarrassing for the Kings fans. They seemed more interested in bashing what they called "band waggon Detroit fans" than cheering on their club.

Whatever. I wouldn't have expected much better. However, I am quite aware of the expansive following Detroit has garnered over the past 15 years. Sadly, a lot of the people wearing the red and white sweaters weren't even native Detroiters.

"I just like the team, they've been fun to cheer for," said the guy sitting next me with a Wings sweater on. He was born and raised in Southern California.

What can you do? I guess it's all a part of winning championships. But, one never likes being called a band waggon fan - especially when he has worshiped the Detroit Red Wings since the womb.

The horizon looks promising for the Wings. Losing Tomas Holmstrom is a big blow, yet again. But, as long as he's back by March, the team should be OK for the playoffs. Yes, I'm confident the Red Wings will make the playoffs. They belong there. They are proving it. They have everything a playoff team needs: Depth, talent, solid goal tending, experience and speed.

Guys are coming off the injured list. And hey, the Olympic break couldn't have come in a more convenient year for Detroit. It's all working for the Red Wings' advantage. Young guys who wouldn't have even touched the ice are now looking like professionals. Old guys have gotten rest and will be ready for a big playoff push. Before anyone knows it, Detroit will be sitting comfortably in fourth or fifth place in the West.

Saturday's demoralization of the San Jose Sharks can go down as one of the biggest regular season victories in Detroit Red Wings history. It was that important. It was a statement.

It was the turning point.

Next up: New York Islanders.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wings v. Kings

Yes, the night I've been waiting for. I'll be at the Staples Center tonight to cheer on the Red Wings. Detroit faces the best team Los Angeles has had to offer since the early 90s. However, I believe the Red Wings are not a favorable match for these young Kings.

I'm picking Detroit, 4-1. If Zetterberg is really lacing up the skates tonight, then maybe 5-1. Also, I hear Cleary is coming back for the game tonight - great news.

I am calling it now: Tonight's game has the potential to be an exciting turn around for Detroit. It's a new year and guys are finally coming off the injured list. Detroit was beat up by Anaheim a couple nights ago which means they will have a chip on their shoulders tonight. LA better be ready for a team desperate for some sort of spark. A big win in LA will hopefully light the fire to a 6-10 game winning streak.

That's just how I feel.

Look for me on TV.