Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Red Wings Rule All

Yes, this is just a friendly reminder: The Detroit Red Wings rule all.

Now, you may be thinking, "Dave, I know this, you don't have to tell me." This reaction would be acceptable. However, it never hurts to throw out a nice reminder from time to time.

Coming up:

The Red Wings take on Columbus at Joe Louis Arena Thursday night.

The Columbus Blue Jackets: Ohio's piss poor excuse for a professional hockey club. The team squeaked into the 2009 playoffs - where they were fully demoralized by Detroit. It was their first trip to the post season in franchise history. Weeeeee!

Since the franchise joined the NHL in 2000, the Jackets have done a fine job of exemplifying the terms "bottom feeders" and "door mat." They have proven just how important it was to expand the NHL to 30 teams. Yes, this is me laying on thick sarcasm. What a waste of time and space this Ohio franchise is. Did I mention the team is in Ohio?

See the logo up there? Yeah, that was Columbus's original alternate logo used from 2001-2004. And yes, that is a bug holding a hockey stick. Joke.

The joke is quite an unfortunate one. The franchise did in fact pick a legitimate name for the team. Ohio contributed the most soldiers to the Union Army during the American Civil War. Many of the Blue Jacket uniforms worn by union soldiers were manufactured in Columbus. Hence, Blue Jackets. Solid name, right? Yeah, so there was no need for a bug, RIGHT?!? Oh, actually no one in Ohio gives a CRAP about hockey. But hey, just make the logo a bug in a 19th-century war uniform holding a hockey stick. Yeah, that will put them in the seats.

Bottom line: Columbus will forever be a waste of a franchise. But they will always find a way to bug the Red Wings (I couldn't resist).

Detroit needs to pull it together before tomorrow. After what happened against Edmonton, it seems anything can happen.

Anaheim or LA?

I live in Los Angeles - on the west end of Miracle Mile. I'm not more than a 20-minute drive from the Staples Center - home to the LA Kings, LA Lakers and LA Clippers. Dodger's Stadium is not much farther than that - just north of downtown.

Anaheim is at least an hour southeast from here. During rush hour - which consumes most of the day in sunny Southern California - the Honda Center might as well be in Arizona.

The point is, by studying my geographical status, one can assume I am more inclined to back the pure LA teams. On the contrary, I find myself cheering against them - a lot.

Of course, one also can assume I'm talking about two entities: The Kings and the Ducks. I do recall making a bold statement on this blog way back in September. It was something like, "I hate Anaheim, I will only back the Kings." Man, one can learn a lot in six months.

Among the numerous other conclusions I've made about sports, cities, careers and life in general during the past six or seven months, I have come to this very important conclusion: The Anaheim Ducks are a better hockey franchise. For starters, the team's television commentators trump the Kings'. John Ahlers and Brian Hayward are fabulous guys to listen to. They are true hockey aficionados.

On the other side are Jim Fox and Bob Miller. Jim Fox is a child. It is impossible to listen to this man call a game without muting the TV. Seriously, he's that annoying. While Bob Miller is average at best, old Foxy makes sure to bring him down. Fox would be the worst voice in hockey, even if he had intelligent comments to make - which he absolutely does not.

Honestly, Jim Fox is a big reason why I would rather be a Ducks fan.

Now, here's a huge problem with my conclusion: I've never been to a Ducks game. I have attended three Kings games at the Staples Center. I am only assuming there cannot be a worse place to see a hockey game than the stupid Staples. The fans are awful. They are complete embarrassments to the sport - and quite possibly to all sports. I would rather not believe there could be worse "fans" in this state. I've met some San Jose Sharks people - they seem to have their shit together. Ducks fans seem smarter and less sleezy than Kings followers.

Maybe I'm not being fair. I am certain there are decent LA Kings fans. In fact, I just met one last Sunday. He grew up here and said he has been a life-long Kings fan. I believe him. However, I still know more about the Kings' history than he - but this is a given. The thing is, Mr. Decent Kings Fan is buried among a crowd of atrocious idiots. So, his existence is therefore forgettable. Which leads me to wonder why someone would want to be part of such a crowd.

I hope this clears up any confusion about why I would choose one team over another. My decision is wholly based on the quality of fan bases and TV commentary. I know, seems feeble, but I am bored and watching the Ducks right now. Why not?

What a Pathetic Game

What the F was that? Detroit blew a 4-0 lead against Edmonton Tuesday, at home. The Red Wings scored a late goal to get ahead 5-4. They won.

Yeah, they won. In my mind, they lost.

I don't want to see crap like yesterday's game ever again.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Let Me Complain

Let me take some time to complain about my own pathetic, border-line abysmal blogging. Believe me, this blog has not evolved into what I had originally intended.

Where did all the bold statements and opinions about hockey go? I used to pour some serious emotional discharge into these posts.

Now, it seems boring and watered-down with mediocre game recaps and previews. Ugh, there is enough of this shit all over the Internet. My plan was not to take part in the average "super fan" rantings. My plan was to take it a step further - where great hockey analytics meets passionate hockey purism. I used to perform my daily blogging tasks without the uxorial prompting of my hockey conscience. I used to be proud to throw this URL up on any social media site.

Where did it all go wrong?

I do not know. However, it needs to change.

My readers can expect an overhaul. Also, I may be looking into a design face-lift.

This blog needs to move away from these exiguous tendencies of short rants and unfinished thoughts. I will try to get back to some serious blogging.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Kings Fall to Wild, Help Wings

The Los Angeles Kings lost to the Minnesota Wild 3-2 Monday. This is extremely helpful to the Detroit Red Wings.

The Wings face a familiar foe Tuesday: Edmonton. Detroit lost to Edmonton about a week ago in a shootout - after scoring with a second left in regulation to tie the game.

The Wings will be playing with a "chip on their shoulder" - no doubt. This is the last of four regular season matches between Edmonton and Detroit. Edmonton is 3-0 this season. So, there is plenty for the Wings to play for on top of their fight for playoff position and the recent shootout loss. Of course, the dead-last Oilers will have absolutely nothing to play for but their pride.

What to watch for:

The Mule and friends. Honestly, I feel a blowout brewing in Detroit. Johan Franzen should have a couple goals up his sleeve. I call on Franzen because I feel Edmonton is the type of team a guy like the Mule should be able to take it to the net against. The Oilers' defense is weak - understatement.

Sure, Edmonton will be playing a wide open hockey game - shit, why don't they just pull their goalie at the beginning of the game? But, Detroit will be ready to unleash some offense after such a conservative game against Nashville. This game could be 7-1, or even 7-6 if Edmonton gets a few lucky goals. Basically, Detroit can play a wide open hockey game and still get back for some defense and bank on some saves from Jimmy. If Edmonton allows this game to break wide open they are screwed. But like I stated, they have no reason not to run around.

Here we go. Detroit needs to sprint into the playoffs for once.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Epic Game

The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Nashville Predators 1-0 in a shootout Saturday.

It was a scoreless chess match through 60 minutes. Goaltenders Pekka Rinne and Jimmy Howard were human walls. Overall, Detroit controlled most of the of the game after the first 10 minutes.

To call this game playoff worthy would be wrong. It was in a classification of it's own. All I could think of while watching the conservative, meticulous play was this game resembled the NHL of 15 years ago. Scoreless games in regulation were much more common 10 or 15 years ago. Teams used to focus more on neutral zone traps and opposing blueline dump-ins.

As a hockey purist, I hate the shootout. However, I can't dismiss the excitement it brings. My heart was racing. The eleven rounds yesterday made for the longest shootout Detroit has ever been a part of. My favorite part of the shootout was me screaming at the TV: "Prove something to me Bertuzzi!" Then, I said the same for Kronwall. Those are two guys I rag on a lot. At least they stepped it up in the shootout.

In all honesty, I thought they would lose Saturday's game - before it even started. I didn't believe they could keep winning - especially back-to-back games. They proved me wrong. I definitely did not expect a 0-0 game. But, man, I am impressed. Also, I have acquired a high respect for the Nashville Predators. They are a blue-collar, old-school hockey club. Detroit did an awesome job of taking their game and shoving right back in their faces.

So, here we are. Detroit is currently sixth in the West. Wings fans have to be impressed with the team's play in the past few weeks. I am.

Just keep winning.






Thursday, March 25, 2010

New Olympia

If you haven't seen this before, study it. It is cool.


Personally, I love this idea. I doubt this will ever happen. If it does, I'm moving back to Detroit immediately.

Grow the Gap

The Red Wings are four points ahead of the Calgary Flames. Calgary just lost to the New York Islanders 3-2. The Red Wings face Minnesota Friday. This is Detroit's chance to finally get a few games ahead of Calgary.

Minnesota is clinging to their chances of making the post season. It is a long shot for them. But, if I have learned anything from the NHL in the past few years it is never to count any team out. March is an absolutely ridiculous month.

Example: Columbus beat Chicago 8-0.
Example 2: Washington lost to Carolina, again.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jimmy Howard: Welcome Home



Jimmy Howard just won over Detroit.

Sidney Crosby took a few cheap shots at Henrik Zetterberg at the end of yesterday's game. Now, Zetterberg could kick Crosby's ass, no doubt. But why should he when Howard can come to the rescue and do it himself?

The point is: Howard will be remembered as the Detroit goalie who facewashed Crosby - possibly the most hated hockey player in Detroit since Claude Lemieux. The scary thing is Crosby has potential to surpass the amount of hatred Detroit fans had for Lemieux.

Next time, I want gloves off and blood on the ice.

Howard is the man. Before yesterday, he probably already had the city's heart. Yesterday was just the icing on the cake - or something to that effect.

In related news: The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2.

The Wings gave a solid 60-minute effort. Zetterberg finally took over a game like he can. I am happy. This is their potential. They should be one of the top teams in the NHL. I said it in SEPTEMBER: The Detroit Red Wings are a BETTER team (When healthy) than they were last season. If they make the playoffs, they have the potential to make a run.

Why?

Depth and experience. They still have it. They have three world-class centers. Thy have solid veteran defenders. Also, they have quick, young grinders (Miller and Helm). And, maybe most importantly, they have a goalie who is playing out of his mind.

That's the formula. It's all there.

Just make the playoffs.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Yzerman Goal

Steve Yzerman scored a lot of great goals. Here is one he notched way back in 1989. I definitely don't remember this - I was three.


Mickey Redmond calls it perfectly: It doesn't even touch the back of the net. Awesomeness.

The current Red Wings need this type of pure determination toward the opposition's net. Johan Franzen shows it sometimes.



A Post

I keep thinking of things I would like to comment on throughout the NHL, then I don't. Just too much going on.

I have been watching a lot of games around the league. The parody in the NHL is amazing right now. For example: Edmonton is currently beating San Jose 4-0 in the third period. Bottom line: Don't bet on any NHL games.

The Red Wings have had a flair for the dramatics. It's nerve-wrecking. On top of that, Michigan State basketball has been nothing short of a heart attack waiting to happen. In fact, if I don't have a nervous breakdown by the end of the month, I'll be surprised.

I'll have some interesting posts coming up this week. I need to get a lot of things sorted out and put down in words here. So, please stay tuned to Dear Red Wings - the greatest blog on the Internet (Or most underachieving, kind of like the Red Wings).

I now leave you with this.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Latest

The latest is: Win, and keep winning.

I am sick of hearing about the Red Wings' chances if "this" team loses and if "that" team wins. Seriously, just focus on winning the next game.

Edmonton:

Forget the Oilers' abysmal record. It seems they have always known the art of f***ing Detroit over (2006 playoffs, I will NEVER let it go). They are sure to be idiotic today and play like a .500 team or something against the Wings.

Ride the Mule.

The Mule should have a hat trick today. I am serious.

Friday, March 12, 2010

5-1 Victory Over Minnesota

The Red Wings topped the Wild 5-1 Thursday night. Unfortunately, Calgary beat Ottawa Tuesday in order to regain the eighth spot in the West, forcing Detroit down to ninth place, again.

The way I see it, at this point Detroit cannot worry about what other teams do. They just need to focus on winning. I think the fans need to do the same. Just focus on the next game.

Buffalo Sabres:

The Sabres are not great. Ryan Miller steals games. That's their thing. The Wings need to handle this team and get a couple past Miller.

On another note:

Yes, the Detroit Red Wings rule all. However, lately it is difficult for me to put much stock and effort into the team. I am far removed from hockeytown. I am far removed from Detroit. Hell, I am far removed from most things. But, I will try to keep up on it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Obvious Must Win

Yeah, it's obvious: A must win.

Same story.

Minnesota is desperate - maybe as much or more than Detroit.

A must win. That is all.

Chris Osgood

Mike Babcock is talking about Chris Osgood getting between the pipes before the season is over.

I'm going to skip asking why, and just give my only logical reason for this: He (Babcock) is desperate. Obviously, Jimmy Howard is Detroit's starter - and he better remain the starter if the Wings do squeak into the post season. However, according to Babcock, Osgood has been "practicing well."

Practicing well?!?! We talkin' 'bout practice?!? Where is A.I. when you need him? (The Pistons could use him).

Anyway, all sane Wings fans know goal tending is not the problem this year (There are definitely insane ones blaming Jimmy - the same idiots who blamed Martin Brodeur for the USA loss). Just take a look at Howard's stats and rankings if you really need numbers.

OK, here's what I think: If Osgood loses any game he plays in, Babcock sits him right away. If Osgood wins any game, Babcock SITS HIM. I just don't want to see him in there right now.

Is it logical to just throw the veteran in net for a playoff run? Sometimes - if he's played well during the season and didn't sit on his ass for months. But in this case, it is not. Howard has earned his spot. Let him see it through.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How Crazy Am I?

Yeah, I realize how insane the last post is.

I guess it's just impossible for me to see the Wings not in the playoffs. Someone will have to pinch me. Maybe I need to just wake the heck up and smell the dead roses.

Maybe it is time for a Tigers blog. Or, dare I say this, a Lions blog.

Whatever.

March Madness is right ahead. Michigan State might actually get one hell of a fortunate draw in the tournament - whether they deserve it or not.

I thought about a Spartan blog. But, really, I can't see myself doing any justice to a college sport without being on campus. It is difficult enough maintaining a Detroit hockey blog in Los Angeles. There is something called "being out of one's element."

I am barely hanging on here. Someone throw me a life raft.

Kings Lose to Hawks

I didn't pay too close attention, but I had the game on while I was reading some stuff. The Kings were beaten in OT by Chicago. The final score was 3-2.

Well, it doesn't really matter too much. But, looking at the standings, it will eventually help Detroit in the long run if top dogs like San Jose and Chicago just start beating up on the rest of the pack. Really, it's kind of better if all teams between the Wings and the top three in the west just start losing. It will help.

For example, if Nashville loses to LA on Sunday, it will help the Wings. But, LA losing to Chicago helps Detroit too. I know it's a stretch in some cases. Take a look at the standings and maybe what I'm trying to say will make sense.

Of course, best case scenario is Detroit starts winning. If they can't win, any team losing in place five, six, seven or eight will help. So, even if those teams play each other, the team with the worst record (I.e.: A seven losing to a five) will help the Wings gain some ground.

Does that make any sense?

It is ridiculous I even have to think like this. But like I said, the Red Wings still need to win more than they lose.

My head hurts.

Joe Louis Arena


I would like to address the Joe Louis Arena situation quickly. I am certain I will have more to say about it in the coming months.

For starters: This sucks. The Red Wings are moving out of JLA, which is no surprise I guess. But what really stinks is the Ilitch's don't have a real home for them yet. I guess the plan is to move them to the Palace of Auburn Hills for a few years while a new arena is built downtown. It is unsettling to think of the Wings not being housed downtown.

Yeah, the Joe was never the ideal location for any Detroit team. It is far from the action of downtown. Moreover, the arena itself has been quite sub par since day one. They built that thing in like a week. It's really quite a strange, cheap building. However, it has a certain character to it. But I am not one of those people (like the Tiger Stadium crazies) who believes in keeping an old piece of garbage around just to, you know, keep it around - like most of Detroit I guess. But I'll miss it nonetheless.

Personally, I'm really interested in seeing an ideal building created for the Wings - based on both architecture and location. Because, in a city like Detroit, when it comes down to it, the professional sports are all about benefiting the city. Detroit finally started to grasp this concept about 10 years ago. It would be nice to see all four teams downtown. The Ilitch family has another great opportunity to rejuvenate the downtown.

I trust the Ilitch's have the right plan in mind. I'd like to think the family will make the correct decision for the benefit of the city. They need to put the Wings right by Comerica Park. I mean, it doesn't get much more obvious than that. It's a rumor which has been going around for a few years. I think everyone is becoming impatient. Plus, hearing the high chance the Wings will be in Auburn Hills for a few years is upsetting for any fan. But, if it means a great facility can be built in a fair amount of time, I guess I am for the temporary uprooting.

I hear Mike and Marian Ilitch actually hired (or partnered with, whatever) the guy who built the whole Palace complex, etc. I hope they are planning something great for downtown Detroit.

I know, I don't even live there, so who am I to have an opinion? I'm just concerned.


This Post

This post was an accident.

But I will say this: Screw you Jonathan Ericsson, take a seat.

Gross Loss

The Detroit Red Wings did it again. They were up 2-1 in the third period, only to lose 4-2 to the Calgary Flames Tuesday.

Yeah it was bad. I actually thought Ken Daniels would start crying. I think he's ready to blow his brains out. I can hear it in his voice.

Well, they are back out of the top eight.

People are saying they'd rather not see such a team even make the playoffs. Personally, I can't come to terms with Detroit not being included in the post season. It's just too weird.

They need to at least squeak in there at an eight spot. One never knows what could happen in the first round.



Kings stuff

I'm going to the Kings game this upcoming Sunday. It will be difficult to face the Staples Center again after what happened to the Wings in early February. But, I guess the pressure is off me and I won't be wearing the winged wheel. In fact, I'll most likely be cheering for LA to beat Nashville. The Red Wings need all the help they can get.

I was thinking back to the 90s - that mystical time we will never get back. The Kings, which I'm beginning to hate, were decent enough back then. And, let me just say, I didn't want to hate the Kings. In fact, I kind of like a lot of the players on the team. What makes me hate them is their fans. It's really quite a shame.

Anyway, the Kings of the 90s were OK. However, I remember them choking a lot. They had some really high-caliber players. They should have won the cup at least twice in the early 90s. But they choked.

I know I live in this city now (LA), but I'd actually love to see them choke again. That's awful, but I'm really upset about the Red Wings. So, if I can't have joy, I don't want anyone near me to be happy - ever.


The Future

The Red Wings could very easily lose the next two games to Minnesota and Buffalo. If it happens, we can all forget about the playoffs.

The future is gloomy.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

3 Points Up, Or 1 Point Down

The Red Wings have a chance to go up three points on the Calgary Flames today. Or, the Wings could fall a point behind them and, consequently, back out of the top eight in the Western Conference.

This may be one of the most important games this season. I think this sets the tone for the home stretch.

First of all, I can't remember the last time Detroit won three straight - a win today would be their third straight. Second, if the Wings see themselves as a contender in the playoffs, they absolutely cannot lose games to teams like Calgary at this point in the season.

Good news: Looks like Bertuzzi and Datsyuk will be playing tonight.

Horrible news: Jonathan Ericsson is replacing Brett Lebda tonight. He better not see more than four minutes - which is still enough time for him to turn the puck over a few times.

The best way to beat the Flames is to score early on Miika Kiprusoff - like within the first ten shots. Otherwise, the guy gets hot and turns into a wall. Detroit needs traffic in front of him with well-placed shots. I mean, none of this throw the puck at the net and something will happen junk. The Wings need to make sure they are smart about their shots. Kiprusoff is the type of goalie who 1) Never gets tired of shots, 2) Feeds on mediocre shots and 3) Doesn't let up generous rebounds very often. His rebounds often turn into odd-man rushes the other way, and that's exactly how Calgary scores. They are a transition, north to south, team. Detroit needs to recognize.

Here's to being smart in the offensive zone.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Woah

Woah, the Wings beat someone in their division (Nashville 5-2).

I didn't see it.

I only watch the games they lose.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wings Lose 6-3 to Canucks

Losers.

The Red Wings seem to be at the mercy of turnovers at their own blueline and through the neutral zone. Watching the Wings defenseman turn the puck over play after play reminds me of Saturday morning pee wee games. It's disgusting.

Turnovers are exactly what led to yet another loss at the Joe.

They will never win like this. They don't even stand a chance.

Mike Babcock must be losing his mind. I know I am.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Not a Bad Way to Come Back

The Wings beat Colorado 3-2 Monday night. After getting up 2-0, Detroit found a way to blow yet another two-goal lead.

Somehow, the Wings managed to hold on and win by a goal.

Yeah, still not a great team effort.

However, let me focus on some positives:

Pavel Datsyuk: He's answering the call of Mike Babcock. Datsyuk is playing some amazing two-way hockey. He really controls the game when he's on the ice.

Johan Franzen: The Mule is back. Now we get to see Detroit reach full potential. Franzen is a big guy with great hands. He is Todd Bertuzzi, but younger and more talented. His goal Monday is a reminder for how one guy can change an entire team and its fate. The real scary thing is he will get better and more dominant in games to come. When he's on the ice you know he has one thing in mind: Go to the net and score. It's really quite comforting.

Tomas Holmstrom: So he was screwed by the officials on the no-goal call. But, whatever, he's not going to change how he plays in front of the net. He looked as good as ever on Monday. This guy never seems to slow down.

Those were the top three standouts for me. Here's a look at some guys who need to get it together:

Henrik Zetterberg: OK, he's not playing awful. But we all know he can be the best player in the world on a good night. He needs to be the best player in the world again. Recently, I just haven't seen it. I don't know if it's the lines or what, but he doesn't look like his dominant self out there. He and Bertuzzi have both fallen off.

Todd Bertuzzi: Enough is enough. He needs to decide what kind of player he wants to be. I know he has the skill and talent to be a gigantic offensive force. He needs to show up every night. I never know which Bertuzzi will show up on a given night: The 40-goal scorer from Vancouver or the shy, uncertain guy after the incident.

Jonathan Ericcson: Ugh, he's such a train wreck. Just when you think he'll be OK, he turns the puck over about three times a game. I would bench him for the remainder of the season. Detroit can't afford his carelessness with the puck. Now that Lilja is back, and looking good too, Ericcson can just take a seat.

Overall, Detroit's defense looked OK. There were a couple of turnovers which led to untimely goals, but that's hockey - not good hockey mind you. But I think the team did a great job of weathering a storm on the road. Colorado definitely had the momentum at the end of the second period. Detroit escaped, regrouped during intermission, and came out in the third to get the job done.

Detroit plays Vancouver at the Joe today. Watch out for a hot Roberto Luongo and a bunch of Olympians like the Sedins and Ryan Kessler. This team scares me.