Thursday, January 14, 2010

Game Recap: DET 3 - CAR 1

We needed to win this one. I don't think I'm shocking anyone with this news. Thankfully, as opposed to most other games that we've needed to win, we actually took this one. Who'da thunk? Thankfully we got really good games from Lidstrom (who scored! Yay!), Eaves, and Miller, in addition to decent games from most of the rest of the team. Although Filppula took more penalties than May and Bertuzzi combined. Whoa.

Period 1
  • Well, we actually skated in the first ten minutes, so win there
  • Nick Lidstrom finally scored, and I wept with joy like a little baby girl. Also, it was great to see him smiling and joking about himself in the interview with Keating. I love that nothing shakes Nick
  • During one PK shift late in the period, Eaves took 2 hard pucks from Staal, skated to the boards, cleared the puck, then took a high stick to the head. And was back out a short shift later. I loved it. I so want him back next season
  • Basically, I was happy with this period. I'd have liked it we'd offered a little more sustained pressure, especially at the start of the period, but considering how we've started so many firsts this season, I really can't complain.
Period 2
  • Wow, continued with the decent play. I was amazed, yet grateful
  • Miller scored the game's 2nd goal, which also happened to be the 2nd powerplay goal of the game. Who remembered such a thing was even possible?
  • Kerry Fraser actually made an interference call to the benefit of Detroit. I think the only reason it happened was because the Carolina player knocked a Wing directly into Fraser
  • There was major interference on Filppula's rush to the net, which resulted in another powerplay, but was actually the closest I've seen to something that deserved the penalty shot that Ken Daniels loves to predict
  • Bert had a brilliant breakaway at one point. And totally missed the net. I'm pretty sure that was just for you, Petrella
  • Miller actually had a really nice game tonight. Bertuzzi, on the other hand, made a spectacular run of shots that missed the net. It was almost like having Sammy back
  • Flip also looked good tonight, even though he was tripped, hooked and interfered with more than I've seen in a long time. Of course, he also did more of that himself that I'm used to seeing him do
Period 3
  • Looked a bit slower in the third, which didn't make me too happy. But I don't think it was fatigue causing that awful rebound Jimmy left for Carolina to score on
  • Maltby made a great defensive play at the end of a PK caused by Filppula taking another penalty. Maltby's play was nice to see. Flip's, not so much.
  • Bertuzzi drew two penalties on one play at the end of the game. What's up with that?
  • Final score: DET 3 - CAR 1

Well, we won it. Thank God. A much better effort than Tuesday, but then, we could have skated eighteen corpses and had a better effort than Tuesday. But hey, 2 pts is 2 pts. I'll take it.

Thanks, boys.

Game Day: CAR @ DET 1/14/10

I have only two wishes tonight:
  • That Detroit NOT TURN IN A SUCKFEST OF SUCK that SUCKS THE LIFE OUT of me, leaving me whimpering and SUCKING my thumb in despair
That is all.

Go Wings.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Game Recap: DET 0 - NYI 6

Period 1
  • One of those games. The ones where we started out looking disoriented and disorganized. To the tune of 1 down less than 2 minutes in.
  • At one point Leino was behind the net with Abby and it looked like he was trying to strip the puck off him. Did he defect and not tell us? Is he a double agent? Is that why he's been sucking for us?
  • Seriously, a messy, horrible period. I closed my eyes until the horn.
Period 2
  • Just a parade of bad decisions tonight. 
  • 10 minutes in, Howard gets pulled and Ozzie skates in. No discernible change detected. Well, not beyond 1 shift

Game Day: DET @ NYI 1/12/10

Deadlines. I hate deadlines. All I have time for is a few quick wishes.

Tonight I wish that:
  • Detroit does not offer one of its patented "we're better than this team so we don't have to work hard and will therefore suffer a humiliating defeat" games. I  hate those games. They kind of piss me off
  • Darren Helm makes it 6 goals in 6 games
  • Nick Lidstrom decides not to wait for Ericsson to return on Thursday (so he hopes) before he scores his first goal in 17 years
  • Jimmy Howard proves to have the stamina of a porn star and turns in another stellar performance
  • Ville Leino either plays so spectacularly that I am forced to hang my head in shame for ever having doubted him, or does actually falls on his ass somewhere in the middle of the ice with no other players around him so that I can laugh and point for several minutes while insulting him in my grandmother's Lithuanian
  • Final score: DET 4 - NYI 1

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Game Recap: DET 4 - SJ 1

This was a nice big win, and a better game than we've played in a couple of weeks. Very happy to see that.

Period 1
  • Great period for Abby, as far as creating chances. Less great as far as making them count
  • Thanks be to Brad Stuart. I love a defenseman who plays, you know, defensively
  • Spent a bit too much time in the SJ zone, but I'm starting to resign myself to the fact that until we get our starting lines back, we're not going to play very pretty hockey. The important thing is to focus on the wins. If we can get them.
Period 2
  • You know, I was thinking this game could have  gone a lot worse up to this point. We looked outmatched, but not completely outclassed. I suppose that's something
  • Finally a great goal from Pasha. It seems like that hasn't happened for about 7-1/2 years. 
  • Then goals almost back-to-back from Eaves and Cleary. That put a smile on my face
  • I spent a lot of time watching Howard, since a lot was made of his being "more lucky than good" on Thursday. Frankly, I think we might have to get used to his semi-Hasek style. He's not nearly as controlled as the goalies we're used to seeing (chiefly Ozzie) but while he flops around a lot, he generally does it fast and in the right direction. If that's what he does, that's fine with me as long as it stops pucks
  • I can't believe that Kerry fucking Fraser called a reviewed goal in our favor. I honestly think the A/C kicked on in hell...
Period 3
  • Noticed Filppula a good bit, but I'd still like to notice him scoring
  • This was Darren Helm's best game ever. And considering how good he's been all season, that's saying something. That kid...damn. Words fail me
  • Danny Cleary obviously not a fighter. More of a get-the-fuck-off-me-er
  • After the 4th Wings goal, the game went insane for a good five or six minutes. It was awesome, high energy hockey, and I loved it
See, this game illustrates perfectly why I think Red Wings fans have been so frustrated this season. If we can play like this, with these flashes of brilliance, against a team that's this good and riding a streak this hot, how are we not on top of the conference? We're clearly better than we've been playing so far, and tonight we showed it. So I'm damned sure not going to be happy if we don't keep playing more like this.

    Game Day: DET @ SJ 1/9//10*

    *Alternate title: I'm A Big Slacker

    Well, I was going to recap the LA game yesterday, but everyone else did it before me and quite likely better than I would have, so that's my excuse. I plan to stick with it. But I will just throw in here, that James Howard rocked it hard.

    And I had some ideas for some interesting (to me...who else reads these?) posts in the next week or so, but I have a book deadline currently biting me in the ass, so they'll have to wait. In the meantime, the best I can do is my lame wish list preview.

    Tonight, I wish:
    • That Jimmy will continue to justify Babcock's faith in him and to stoke the fires of bitter resentment in Ozzie's heart. Maybe that will mean Oz comes out and throws the kind of game he's capable of the next time he gets to see the net
    • That Hank scores, thus demonstrating that he's not letting some gritty Newfie show him up by coming off an injury hotter than him
    • That Bertuzzi goes back to scoring ridiculous goals instead of taking ridiculous penalties (sorry, Petrella!)
    • That Leino counts as more than a waste of ice so I can finally eat my words about him (don't think I'm going to skip dinner waiting for that to fill me up, though) Ha! apparently Uncle Mike has as much faith in the Finnish Flop as I do. He's apparently not skating tonight
    • That our defense actually plays defensively and responsibly someplace other than directly in front of Howard. I appreciate the effort in that space, but I'd like to see it expanded a little bit
    • That Nick Lidstrom will play a game that will keep me from squinting at him and asking anyone in hearing distance, "Does he look hurt to you? I think he looks hurt. Do you think he looks sore?"
    • That Darren Helm once again scores and makes me shout "Oh, you beautiful baby boy!" at the TV like the dirty cougar he makes me feel like
    • Final Score?  DET 3 - SJ 2
    I'm not naive enough to think this one will be anything but ugly, but I'm optimistic (and masochistic) enough to think that if we work hard, we can grind it out.

    Go Wings.

    Thursday, January 7, 2010


    I'm going to have to recap that tomorrow. Not because it's 1:00 AM, since it's only 10:00 here in the PacNW, but because that game caused such stress on my heart that I need to go take a couple nitroglycerin capsules before I pass out.

    Suffice it to say a much better effort than Tuesday. MUCH. And no matter what anyone says about Jimmy's performance, if you save 51-out-of-52 shots, you get a gold star in my book.

    G'night, all. Hope you all sleep as peacefully as I intend to.

    Game Day: DET @ LA 1/7/10

    Right. Zetterberg and Cleary are back. Homer is out. Is that really the kind of trade we need to make? Honestly? Somehow I think this might be linked to how, over and over this season, I keep finding myself bent over the furniture and feeling chafed...

    But anyway, I digress. Tonight the Wings are in LA against the Kings. Normally, that sentence would elicit nothing more than a desire to get the win over with so we could move on to the next opponent. Not this season. This season, I'll watch through squinted eyes from behind my slightly spread fingers and chant a few prayers to the gods we already know aren't listening because I'm just that stubborn.

    So for tonight I have only one wish:
    • Please, God, let no one else get hurt
    • And let's win this.
    Okay, so that's two wishes.
    • Oh, and let Jimmy play the game that makes Quick's spot on the US team look ridiculous. Not that I'm not glad Jimmy's just sticking around during the break, but I'd still enjoy the statement
    That makes three. Three wishes. I'm gonna stop while I'm ahead.

    Go Wings.

    Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    What. Ever.

    Do we really have to talk about this? Really? You wouldn't rather join me for a nice root canal? Oh, all right. Spoilsport.

    Period 1
    Not ten seconds after my housemate commented that the Wings looked good in the first few minutes, there was a ridiculous turnover in the neutral zone that led to such a parade of suckitude that I nearly barfed on her dog. Seriously. I'm not even kidding. We gave up so many turnovers, we should have been wearing little white chef's toques with dustings of flour on our cheeks.

    And that is ALL I'm going to say about the first period. I will now begin pretending that it.
    Never. Fauxing. Happened.

    Period 2
    Here, we saw less absolutely ridiculous, Keystone-style play, and instead got treated to the Wings of about a month ago. It wasn't so much that we played horribly as that we couldn't finish to save our bloody lives. Or my sanity. And at this point, I began to despair a little. I wasn't even sure I wanted to see the third period...

    Period 3
    Oh, the hell with it. I gave up about five minutes in and let the roommate turn on a Golden Girls marathon. Saw Flip's goal, so at least it wasn't a shutout, but it was as lackluster as one, so same diff.

    As, the Chief would say, "vomit." Let's hope that when we get to LA, we remember what playing a hockey game is supposed to look like.

    G'night, all. I should have just watched the WJC game and quit while I was ahead.


    Oh my God. I'm so excited, I could just cry.

    Johan Franzen skates with team for first time.

    Do A Good Deed


    C'mon. You know you wanna. And it's good for the soul. Just ask Scrooge.

    Seriously, if you missed the story due to life under a rock, go here. If you need the update, every donation at this point is gravy that gets funneled directly to the Children's Hospital of Michigan. What could be better than that?

    Game Day: DET @ DISNEY 1/5/10

    I'm having a day so far, so this will be brief. Tonight is the second game of a five-game road trip through the west. And, you know, New York, since that's totally on the way from San Jose to Detroit. The first game (v. Phoenix) went well, but the next 3 are ones we need to go as well or better. Specifically, wins against LA on Thursday and San Jose and Saturday are key to our clawing our way up the standings and tightening our grip on a playoff spot, but to my mind, tonight's game vs. the Mighty *Ucks is equally important not because of the standings or the challenge or the points, but because I loathe and despise Anaheim and I cannot countenance ever not taking a chance to slaughter this team and then spit on its corpse.

    Did I mention it's been a rough day?

    Anyway, here's tonight's wish list:
    • First and foremost, that Ville Leino get splinters in his ass riding the bench in the press box. I don't care if the seating is neither wooden, nor a bench. He deserves no less
    • That Nick Lidstrom continue his offensive push from the last game and actually put something in the net that carries his name up front
    • That Jimmy Howard keep doing that voodoo that he do so well
    • That Helm manages to continue his new follow-through into something other than an empty net. At least once. I'd say twice, but I don't want to be greedy
    • Aw, hell, I wanna see Draper do something awesome, just for old times' sake
    • That Datsyuk continue to do such amazingly innovative things as shoot the damned puck and actually pot 1. No, make that 2. To hell with greedy
    • That Filppula prove not all Finns are worthless (at least HE bellongs on this team) and get his first goal since his return. Actually, his first since October, I think. That would rock the Casbah, baby
    • That Abby make not just hits but a Kronwallian hit. I long for some open ice devastation, and while it's a bit much to ask of the new kid, I don't know if I can wait til Kronner is both back AND back up to full speed/strength
    • Final score? DET 5 - DISNEY 2
    Since I nailed the score last time, I predict that this one will be wildly inaccurate, but hopefully we'll still end up with more than the *Ucks. And that's really all a girl can ask for.

    Let's Go Red Wings!

    Monday, January 4, 2010

    A Season for Tomorrow?

    Kris at Snipe, Snipe, Dangle, Dangle put up an awesome post yesterday (okay, several awesome posts, but I'm specifically talking about one of them) about the Wings' season so far and how it measures against fan expectations, and asked some amazing questions that really got me thinking. How should we feel about this season so far? Disappointed? Pleasantly surprised? Homicidal? Suicidal? Or should our brains have long since exploded in frustration?

    Of course, the only reason for having this conversation is the injury bug. Without it, this season would have seen an entirely (or near enough to excuse the expression) different roster on the ice. I don't think many people would argue that with the roster we were all expecting, we wouldn't be clinging to the 9th position in the West by the skin of our toenails. We'd be looking back at the rest of the conference over our shoulders, that comfortable old smile of smug superiority plastered on our faces.

    But here's my argument du jour: we still are superior. Let's examine the evidence, shall we?

    We've spent the bulk of this season so far skating our frickin' farm team against the best teams in the NHL and we're one spot out of the playoffs. ONE SPOT. Take a moment to ponder that. I'll wait.

    *crickets chirping*

    I know it's been said before, but for God's sake, where would any other NHL team in our situation be at this point? The answer: Cellar city, sweetheart. Most teams would have thrown up their hands, written it off, and be waiting for next year. We're not even waiting for the next period. We're out there every night battling in the playoffs 4 months before the playoffs are ready to start (thanks, Chief, for pointing this out). Has it been pretty? Hell, no. But pretty can go faux itself. We're the girl with the "great personality" right now--not the belle of the ball, but damned if we won't entertain you better than a supermodel if you let us get a word in edgewise. And we're damned good in bed, too.

    But to my mind, this here is the real kicker: We're skipping about 17 steps in preparing the next generation of Wings to kick ass and take names.

    The Wings are never the young whippersnappers of the NHL. We prize experience and skill over youth and enthusiasm. Now I'm sure as heck not going to argue with that system, but it does tend to leave us icing more players who are closer to retirement than most other teams, so we take the risk of having more players retire at the end of any one season and leaving us with big holes to fill.

    For most other teams, an exodus of experienced players brings about that dread creature, the "rebuilding year." I'd like to argue that this year is as close to a rebuilding year as the Red Wings are likely to get in a while, and we owe that to the injury bug. Instead of having this season in 5 years with a bunch of inexperienced players trying to pick up the slack left by retired stars, in 5 years, we'll have a squad packed with guys in their prime who've already paid the dues, learned the ropes, and can step right up into greatness. I call that a win. we might not like having to develop our players this fast, but I'll be damned if we're not going to benefit from it in the long run.

    So how bout them apples?

    Saturday, January 2, 2010

    Game Recap: DET 4 - PHX 1

    It's amazing how short and sweet a recap can be when the Wings don't give me a lot to bitch about. This was a good, solid effort that warmed the cockles of my Detroit loving heart. Did I get everything on my wish list? No, but I got the final score, and frankly, I'll take that baby and run. Gladly.

    Period 1

    Well, the less said about the very beginning of this period, the better. Number one, because the first ten minutes made us look like a bunch of 90-year-old men skating our way through a bad bursitis flare; and number two, because if it weren't for Jimmah, we'd have been down 3-0 before anyone on the team managed to straighten their joints into an upright position. Thankfully, things started to pick up in time for the 2nd powerplay, leading to Homer's goal on the tip off Lidstrom's shot right after the PP clock wound down. The last 5 minutes did end up being quite awesome.

    Period 2
    Better effort, but what was with those calls? I swear to God the refs were just making shit up there. Once again, the Draper-Helm-Eaves line made me resent the fact that none of them has the hands to be a 1st liner, because if they did, we'd be the frickin' ugly, nuclear-powered juggernaut of the NHL.

    Other than Line 3, my POTG so far? Totally Nick Lidstrom. True, Homer got credit for 2 goals, but The Perfect Human was making shit happen out there, which to me is more important than the goals going under his name.

    Period 3
    Nice consistent effort again, which I like to see. I have to say I still haven't noticed Leino much tonight, but I'm seeing Nick Lidstrom a lot, and that can make up for almost anything. Homer has also looked awesome, and Datsyuk is totally waking up. Finally. Loved his goal. Of course, it's hard not to love a Datsyuk goal.

    Come to think of it, it's hard not to love ANY goal this season.

    And another Helmer empty-netter. Oh, yes, tonight, life is sweet.

    Okay, apparently I have to choose between slow starts, 60 randomly inconsistent minutes, and quitting before the clock runs out. If tonight is a prime example of slow starts, I'll take it. The first 10 minutes were ugly, but once the Wings settled into it, it turned into a good 50-minute session of hustle and flow. Minus the prostitution part.

    Jimmy was awesome, once again. I think the debate over "is he the starter" is moot, at this point. As long as he keeps starting, that makes him the de facto starter, doesn't it? And as long as he keeps playing like this, I'm happy to have him keep starting, stopping, and doing everything else in between.

    All in all, tonight made me happy and kicked the new year off to a great start. Let's hope we can keep it up and claw our way back up the standings. I see no reason why we shouldn't. And once we get out injuries back on the ice, I see no reason why the rest of the league shouldn't quake with fear at the very mention of our name. After all, that which hasn't killed us has made us stronger. And faster. And hungrier. And I, for one, can't wait to gnaw on the bones of our enemies.*

    *Wow, maybe I should talk to my doctor about some Xanax, or something. Haldol, maybe?

    Game Day: DET @ PHX 1/2/10

    Finally, I'm back home and ready to roll. Or skate. Or really, just watch skating. It's been so long since I was able to watch a game live, I feel like it's September all over again. Which, when I think about the first half of this season, might not be a bad thing. It's the first game of 2010, and I'd be perfectly happy pretending that the ones that happened before this point actually, you know, didn't.

    Still, I wasn't born to be a hater (in spite of all evidence to the contrary) so I'm planning to move forward toward the end of the season in the spirit of optimism. Beginning with my thoughts on the upcoming game. Plenty of other blogs do fabulous previews, so I'm just going to do a wish list.

    Here are the things I want for tonight's game:
    • More righteous follow-through from Helm. I'm going to exercise my optimism by predicting that Thursday night marked the turning point for the Nightmare's breakaways and that from now on those shots get buried. Beginning with at least 1 point tonight
    • Ville Leino should become Bertuzzi to my Petrella and ramp up his play for at least 80% decent, two-way play and end in 1 goal and 1 assist
    • Datsyuk should show us all that he was just playing with us for the last 3 months and dangle himself silly to the tune of 1 spectacular goal
    • Bertuzzi should make at least one truly awesome offensive play, turn to the camera, and blow a wet sloppy kiss to TPL
    • Abby should hit someone hard enough to inspire at least one use of the phrase "Kronwall-lite"
    • Homer should remember that he's supposed to draw penalties, not take them, and that if he stays out of the box, he'll have the opportunity to tip in those goals that made him famous
    • Miller should show why he's on the 2nd line and Leino is on the 4th without resorting to the rude faces and finger gestures I personally would choose to use. He should also demonstrate to the 2nd line that whole "somebody's got to shoot the puck" thing that Uncle Mike keeps harping on. Result? Goal. And joy in my heart.
    • Jimmah should demonstrate to Ozzie (who I really do adore and hate to see suck) why #30's not going to get those starts he says he needs to get him into the groove until he takes one of the opportunities he's given and forces Babs to give him another one. Which means Jimmah should keep Phoenix to 1.
    • Final score? DET 4 - PHX 1
    Like I said, that's my wish list. Let's see how kindly disposed towards me 2010 really is, shall we?

    Go Wings.