Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Win's a Fucking Win

So the fucking Red Wings just won a fucking overtime game against the fucking Coyotes. Once a-fucking-gain, the Wings seemed to fucking lack some sort of fucking intensity or fucking motivation until the last fucking minute.

I watched the fucking game with a nagging fucking migraine, so I didn't take any fucking notes and sometimes zoned out, so this write-up isn't going to be all that fucking great. That having been said, here we fucking go:

The power play just looks fucking fucked these days. Sure, Kronwall has scored 2 fucking goals with the fucking man advantage in the last 2 fucking games, but on the season, the team's something like 4 for 1fucking36. Which the fucking caliber of players on this fucking team, sending a man to the fucking box against us should be a fucking automatic fucking goal like it used to seem a few fucking years ago.

And how the fuck many times am I going to have to fucking mention late fucking goals this season? Yet another goal was scored tonight with less than a fucking minute on the fucking board. Seriously, what the fuck? Did someone forget to tell the team that fucking hockey games are played in three twenty minute fucking periods? Not nine-fucking-teen. This is a fucking problem that needs to be fucking fixed ASAP.

One thing I did fucking like was how Patrick Fucking Eaves played tonight. Yeah, the silly fucker took a penalty, but he also fucking drew one, not that it fucking helped, but you know. AND SPEAKING OF DREW... Drew Miller fucking fucked Eaves up at one point of the game, which I immediately fucking called the fucking check of the fucking game. But going the fuck back to fucking Eaves, I liked his fucking play today, I liked his fucking hustle, I liked his fucking grit. He was fucking credited with the first fucking goal tonight for a little fucking while, but the fucking goal ended up being given to Pavel "Don't Fuck With Me" Datsyuk. But it was all because Eaves' fucking hustle and following up what looked to be a broken fucking play.

Other than that, the fucking team looked pretty fucking average out there. Sloppy fucking passing, missed fucking assignments, and not being able to stay on their fucking feet because the ice was all fucked. Just like the fucking Colorado game, they looked content to just get a fucking point, maybe two out of the fucking deal. This isn't going to fly for very fucking long.

But because I fucking say things like this, I'm not a fucking fan, apparently.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I've Seen Better

Well, don't I just look silly now.

I was so confident about this game, and we just go and lay a turd on center ice in a shootout. However, if you want to be the optimistic type, we did get $50 pledged to H2H2 AND still got a point at the same time. If that's not win-win, it's at least win-overtimeloss. So there's THAT.

Now let's dig into the game a little bit. That second line was still the deadliest line in the entire LEAGUE tonight, with (my boy) Franzen netting 2 goals with Filppula and Bertuzzi contributing to the cause. When that line is playing full charge, I don't think anyone can stop them. We saw what this line could do in Game 4 of the San Jose series, and I think I can speak for the whole of Hockeytown when I say that I'm relieved they haven't really lost that chemistry. We could have used a little more tonight, but this makes 2 straight games that someone on that line has had a multi-goal game.

Someone on the opposite end of that spectrum would be Doug Janik. That fight... really. If I'm Janik tonight, I'm calling everyone involved with Fight Night and personally apologizing for the sad display I put on out there. Looking like that much of a bitch in a fight against an Av, that's grounds for a public flogging in my book. And knowing that Darren McCarTHY was watching in the Versus studio just makes it worse. Speaking of McCarTHY... you can't really fault the guy on Versus for calling him that. It's not like Darren spent his entire playing career with his last name plastered across this back. OH WAIT. He did.

Pardon me while I go off on an elitist rant for a second. Calling a player by the wrong name is inexcusable unless it's one of those names that looks like the last spoonful of alphabet soup left in the bowl. These people have their names on their jerseys, and I know you fuckers have stat sheets and shit sitting in front of you. Now, maybe the educational system in America isn't what it used to be, but simple reading skills are one of the very first things I learned when I was growing up. It's not as hard to figure out how to pronounce these names as they seem to make it look. Then again, it IS harder when you're throwing random fucking letters in all willy-nilly. (LiNdstrom, McCartHy)

Okay, climbing down off of my soapbox... This game has put me squarely in the So-Sodano camp for now. He has to earn his way out of my doghouse after a game like this. He was a -3 tonight. I feel he was directly responsible for the Dupuis goal, flubbing the puck at the Av blue line and turning it over. If this is more of what were going to see from him this year opposed to the scoring-on-his-first-shot Mikey Mo we shit our pants over against Anaheim, I'm going to be unhappy. Very unhappy. The good news is we have kids that we can put in if he keeps up like this. When Abby gets back from his ribs, I say he takes over for Modano unless Mike proves he's not going to be a liability like tonight. I feel that the 4th line is looking too good right now to pull someone out just beause someone else is healthy. You have to pull someone who deserves to be pulled. Right now, I'd say it's Modano.

You might remember that last year, I had an H2H pledge for goals scored by defensemen below the top of the circles. Tonight, I noticed that was the trend again. Kronwall had a couple really good chances from the slot that he just couldn't put on the board, Stuart had a few deep chances, and I think Lidstrom clanked one off the post from inside the left circle.

They were good chances, and I'm not knocking the strategy completely, but it seemed to be too much of the gameplan and we completely abandoned the idea of point passing and moving the puck to open passing and shooting lanes. We probably could have used some movement and confusion seeing as Colorado seemed to be in the way of EVERY shot we took ever. I mentioned in the pregame post that Colorado had given up 38 shots in both of their first two games. It looks like they might have worked on that a little bit in preparation for the game tonight. And it looks like it worked because they were definitely clogging the lanes out there tonight.

Maybe it was just because Serven mentioned it, too, but it looked like most of the night, the offense was only using half of the offensive zone, trying to keep things deep. Maybe Budaj is a poor lateral mover, so that was the strategy... I don't know, I didn't write the scouting report on him. All I know is we lost tonight so I'm bitter, critical, and riding a high horse that's standing on a soapbox.

And, BOY, we all love those shootouts, don't we.

I know there have been countless comments about how we need to take it out of the game and come up with a better way to break ties. And it looks like someone on the Wings agrees, because it looks like they completely took it out of their game. Did they even practice that at all over the summer or in training camp?
To be fair, the Wings beat Budaj at least 4 times but just went wide or hit the post or couldn't elevate the puck. That was a game we should have won. Not in regulation, but we should have taken that second point in the shootout. That was the only part of the game we played well enough to deserve that second point. If ONE of those four shots that Budaj missed goes in, Jimmy's playing well enough at the other end to seal the deal. It never should have gotten to Yip, and Yip shouldn't have scored.

Maybe it's just me, but the way the guys played tonight, they seemed content to just scrape a point away. There was no urgency when momentum was on thier side after a goal and there was no aggression when Colorado scored and we needed a good counter-punch to bring them down a peg or two. And there seemed to be a sense of complacency that led to a few goals. I mentioned Ozzie has always had a tendency to let in the late goal after that Chitcago game. Yimmy got hit twice with that tonight.

Overall, we're lucky to still be riding a point streak after that game. We certainly didn't play like the undefeated team we were coming into this contest.

But, there are bound to be more games like this. There are still (at least) 79 more to play. Some will be ridiculously good. Others will make this game look ridiculously good. That is hockey.

That is why we love it and it's also why we hate it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Working the System (aka LOLZ)

I got this crazy idea the other day while on the phone with my girlfriend... we were discussing the crazy things the Wings fans do, and how we can change the system in place to better help the Wings and the league out. Because we ARE the most knowledgeable fan base out there. And the DO know what's best for the league. So I propose the following idea:

If you're a blogger, or an ardent follower/reader/commenter on any one of the fine blogs the Wings fans have to offer, we all enter the NHL Draft this upcoming year. Why? We infiltrate and bring down the machine from the inside out. In order to be the NHLPA Player Rep, you have to be a player, right? SO THERE YOU GO! The pieces are all falling into place now, aren't they? So let's do this*.

One of us is bound to get picked up by Edmonton or Florida or Calgary.

*Let's not really do this

"Monday" Morning Inanities

This is a Monday post because with yesterday being Columbus Day, we had work off here in the Marines. And at 4:30 last night, I started a week long vacation, so here I am, posting up in my room, pouring over stats and listening to the new episode of TP:60 and doing what I do best, which is making nothing out of nothing.

I'm looking over a couple aspects of the match up tonight. We're playing Colorado, who has given up 38 shots against in every game this season. Granted, it's been 2 games... but still. The Wings are averaging 34.5 shots per, and won both games so far, whereas Colorado has split games between Chitcago and Philly.

SPEAKING of Chitcago, apparently Toews skated the Cup out during their 15 year long ceremony the other night. You're not supposed to touch the Cup unless you win it. Skating it out after you've already played --AND LOST-- a game in a new season... You must have lost your fucking minds, Chitcago. Did you SEE what happened to us last year?! And we didn't even do anything wrong! Yet there you were, openly mocking hockey traditions, hockey superstitions, and MOST of all, the Hockey Gods.

Have fun with that.

Getting back to teams and games that DO matter, tonight will be a good night for the Wings' first line. You read it here first. The match up of Pav/Zata/Homer against Stastny/Galiardi/Stewart seems favorable for the Wings. The Colorado side is rocking an amazing cumulative -2. The Wings are a +3. That bodes well for us.

Then again, I could sit here and waste both your time and mine and type out the line-by-line matchups, but I'll take the quick way out and say this: We have the advantage. 1 v. 1, 2 v. 2, 3 v. 3, 4 v. 4, G v. G... it's all the same across the board. We have the better team, the better lines, and the better individual players. If we don't win this game, I will be shocked. And I'll put up the goals against x10 to the H2H2 pledges. Already. This early into the season. Pledges.

Now, this means one of two things. Either I'm feeling completely confident about this game, or I'm feeling completely philanthropic.

I'm taking the first option. Wings win. 5-2.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Everything in it's Right Place

Yes. Red Wings hockey is back. I am back. And what better way to come back than with a Radiohead reference?

I didn't get to see much of the game against Anaheim, but I'll touch on a little bit of what I thought to be important:

Yeah... and this.

Go ahead and skip to 1:00 into it for Yimmy facewashing Perry.


There was a lot of anticipation for this game leading up to puck drop. And I don't mean since the schedule came out. I mean after everyone was already sitting in their seats, on their couches, or in front of their computers and ready to watch some hockey.
Personally, I think the Hockey Gods looked down on me and smiled because I was having issues with internet connections and finding a feed for the game for about... 46 minutes, but by the time I found a tolerable feed, it was only the national anthem. So I didn't get to (have to) watch the festivities. I lucked out.

As for the game, hell, as for the season, that second line looks BRUTAL. They have 8 points this season. A collective +6 rating. 15 shots on goal. 2 game winners in 2 games. I know myself and a few other bloggers and knowledgeable people were coming into this season expecting big things from a healthy Franzen, a Filppula who's overdue for a breakout season, and a Bertuzzi who may or may not care (or even know) that he's often depicted as a glitter-kitten eating She-Tuzzi villian 'round these parts. And so far, they have not let us down. I am hereby declaring that line the BFF line. Because it's their initials and stuff, but also because it's a commonly used acronym and... yeah...

I do believe I'm down in the record as having been, and continuing to be Pro-Tuzzi. I even predicted his big Game Seven performance back in the Phoenix series last season, which then led to to proclaim the day to be TuzzDay, which was really gutsy of me considering it was already a Tuesday. But the point is I went out on a limb and he didn't let me down. He's working some sort of something with the boys on the second line, and it's working. I don't know if it's the pre-game glitter snooters or the intermission Patrick Eaves puppy sacrifices, but he seems to have his shit in gear this year. In my eyes, at least. Which is all that really matters since I'm the only one posting things here anymore.

Wait, I never did have co-writers, did I? Well, now would be a good time to hang up a Now Hiring sign or something.

At one point in the first period, Eaves and Miller blocked shots within a span of 5 minutes and I thought to myself "Self, you've been a supporter of those two for that exact reason for a while." And it's true. Back when they were resigned in the offseason, I posted this:
Both players stick out in my mind from the past season for their willingness to put their bodies on the line to block shots and passes. This is one of those intangible factors that don't really show up on the back of hockey cards (do they still make hockey cards?), but it's one of the major keys to success on a game to game basis, and bleeding over into seasonal success.
 For me, it's good to see them picking up right where they left off. Now, if they can just put a few good points on the board, that post from July is going to make me look like I actually know shit.

One minor cause for concern so far in this young season is the fact that the Red Wings still have yet to score a power play goal at the same time they get a shot on goal. Fil scored a PPG tonight, but let's not shit ourselves. He didn't score that goal as much as Turo let it in. It wasn't a good shot. It wasn't even a whiffed shot. I even say that it wasn't even a shot, but I'm not a statkeeper. I'm a Marine. And we're not known for our popular opinions. I know someone reading this has got the means to get Babbles on the horn and fix some shit.

The great Ozzie/Howard debate might flare up again this year. We thought that was put to bed last year. And Yimmy coming out with a shutout is a good start for him. But in the Chicago game, I thought Ozzie looked good and solid. He's always had an issue with late and weak goals, and this was no different. But in the third period, when Chicago was on a 36 minute straight man-advantage streak, he came up as big as he needed to be. He didn't make any jaw dropping saves, he didn't stone anyone on a break away, so it came across as kind of quiet. But he had positioning and angles down, so he didn't have to be flashy. He made his saves, hung on to the puck, got faceoffs, and eased the pressure quite well. If I'm a goalie in this organ-i-zation right now, I'm real happy with my start. Either one.

To sum things up: The offense is looking good. The defense is looking good. The goalies are looking good.
And Little Brother just got their banner raising pissed on by the superior team.

It's been far too long. But now everything is in it's right place.