Thursday, January 20, 2011

Howard...

Yes, I am aware Jimmy Howard just let in three unanswered goals.

So, maybe we are ready for Nabokov? I don't know.

I hate to rag on the goalie when half the team is hurt.

Detroit Red Wings, Nabokov? Hmmmmm

All this talk about the Red Wings and Nabokov's agent warming up to each other has me slightly upset.

What the heck?

So yeah, Jimmy Howard and Chris Osgood are both hurt. I thought Howard would be back soon, and I thought Joey MacDonald was their man. Is there something we don't know? Is Howard terminally ill?

Here's how I see it, emotions aside:

Detroit is ready for Osgood to hang it up at the end of the season. Management is obviously not sold on MacDonald, so they are ready to sign a veteran to back up, or compete with, Howard next season.

However, with Howard and Osgood both hurt at a crucial point in this season, management is deciding to quicken the process and jump on a free agent like Nabokov, luring him with thoughts of a deep post-season.

But would Nabokov really be the answer for more than just the remainder of this season?

In my opinion, I would not mind a Howard-MacDonald goalie duo.

But as I have learned in the past, Detroit is not shy about signing veteran goalies for very, very short periods of time -- when the opportunity permits itself. And, clearly, the opportunity is upon them.

Yet, out of a list of veteran goalies that came here to win a cup, only two were successful -- Mike Vernon and Dominic Hasek.

But, maybe that's just what the Wings need.

We'll see, it's too early to tell is this Nabokov stuff is for real, and it's hard to imagine he won't choose to go somewhere else.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dave Is MIA, Moving Forward

Firstly, clearly I have been M.IA. from DearRedWings.com for the past few weeks.

This is something I hope can change during the next few weeks.

Secondly, there is a lot to address about the current crisis that the Detroit Red Wings face. Injury after injury, and it just keeps getting worse.

First it was Mike Modano. Then it was Pavel Datsyuk. Then, before Mickey Redmond can say "holy jumpin," Daniel Cleary is on IR during quite arguably his best season -- maybe ever -- and Joey MacDonald is being backed up by Todd Bertuzzi -- yeah, that happened.

Meanwhile, the Red Wings are quietly sitting in first place in the Central Division and second place in the Western Conference. Crisis averted? Well, one can only marvel at the way this season is unfolding. It's eerily familiar to last year, and at the same time totally different.

Somehow this team is forcing overtimes and getting ridiculously timely goal scoring from some otherwise shy players -- such as Drew Miller. If you did not see Miller's shorthanded goal from the past weekend, go check it out. Steven Stamkos beware.

Coach Mike Babcock has been his usual self in terms of conversing with the media, saying the Wings need to get better defensively, and consequently throwing one of the more talented blue line groups in the league under the proverbial bus. One has to love the man's honesty.

Babcock is right. The Wings may be leading the NHL in goals for -- a statistic which frankly shocked me -- but their 131 goals against is nothing to be impressed by.

Defense is something that has definitely been trending in the wrong direction since last season for the mighty Red -- I just made that up, maybe it will catch on. It is quite baffling to see that one of the most hailed defensive and puck-possession teams in the history of the sport finding itself among the more scored on teams in the league.

Where does one point the finger?

As I have said many, many times, I would point nowhere else bu transition: Breaking out of the defensive zone and crossing into the offensive zone. This team struggles with both. It is frustrating to see such a talented squad break down in transition so routinely. Turnover after turnover. NHL teams are way too desperate to miss gift-wrapped opportunities -- the Red Wings should know as well as anyone.

Turnovers in the offensive zone include, but are not exclusive to, blocked shots and air-pucks, as I like to call them -- an air-puck is of course "missing the net."

The solution has to lie in the coach's hands. Babcock must realize this epic fail -- sorry for the banned word.

On the horizon are the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sidney Crosby is a god, the NHL said. But now, I must agree. He has 32 goals for 66 points in 41 games this season. Those are pre-lockout numbers. Those are 1980s numbers -- OK, maybe not that good.

The Wings will have to represent the Western Conference in this one without most of their money, A.K.A. talent.

I look forward to Tuesday night.