Archive for October, 2003

Travesty In Officiating

Last night was a travesty. The refs called the game like they wanted to please Betman rather than please the crowd, fans, and hockey world. I don’t want the refs to go out of their way to solely increase the entertainment, so as to blatantly go against rules, but I also don’t want the refs to go out of their way to make calls based on technicalities or make phantom calls, like the one on Lidstrom, which was perfectly legal “interference”, as Nick was moving his legs the whole time. To find the balance between these two extremes, it takes an ounce of common sense, which last night’s refs obviously didn’t have. I could’ve called a better game from my dorm room in Ann Arbor, Michigan, periodically looking down at my calculus then back at the TV. Seriously, I was surprised I didn’t see a folding chair on the ice courtesy of assistant (or associate, whatever you want to call it) coach Joey Kocur, as he did last year versus the St Louis Blues when Joe Quennville sent out mugs to get at our Lidstroms and Yzermans in the final minute of another Wings blowout victory versus the jokes from St Louis (wow, that was a long sentence–this reflects my frustration with the refs). But the innanimate folding chair last night was Steve Yzerman’s yelling at the refs every chance he got. I was considering throwing something at my TV, except I’m a poor college student and my $89 dollar Toshiba needs to last awhile. I hope Yzerman is not fined and/or suspended for his words (during/after the game), but it is possible, since the NHL wants to deny its faults and blame the players for not accepting Betman-mandated bull-crap calls. If the Nashville Predators had any balls, they would confirm the inequity in calls during the game, which were totally one-sided against the Wings, and call-out the refs. But instead, they are going to say nothing of the sort, and take shots at the Wings, as their coach did. I hope they are ready for the next time we face them, because I think we’ve got a mini-grudge building up here.

I also thought the Wings acted pretty immature in the final minutes of the game, especially after the empty net goal and a loss was all-but-guarenteed. Instead of acting like classy individuals, we were jerks (not mugs, since we didn’t go after their Lidstroms, whoever they are) and started fights. I just wanted the Wings to run the clock out and leave, but they insisted on starting many fights. If Joey Kocur and the Wings are gonna bitch about Quennville starting fights at the end of a game, with the result locked, then we shouldn’t do pretty much what they did. That really pissed me off more than the loss. Honestly. Maybe against the Avs it’s ok, because it’s a Wings players’ instinct to beat the crap out of the “moving snow,” but against the Preds? Come on. You can be frustrated, but don’t pick so many fights against losers. Things just went too far in my mind. But maybe I’m seeing this out wrong. Let me know…

Wings 3, Preds 5

The officiating last night was disgusting. The NHL should be ashamed of itself. Every other league works to showcase its best players and teams yet the NHL goes out of its way to screw them. Those two refs last night were the worst I have ever seen. That holding call on Nick Lidstrom was shameful and they deserved whatever they got from Steve Yzerman before they threw him out of the game. A non-call on Tootoo’s interference with Jiri Fischer led directly to a Predators goal and that’s just another example of the wonderful job Mike Leggo and Tim Peel did last night. I have never even heard of these guys. The Wings should have at least one decent ref at each of their games, not two no-names who have something against Steve Yzerman and the Wings. I cannot believe how much of a double standard the league has when it comes to officiating and I believe that is the single biggest reason why the NHL is #4 in American pro sports. There is no credibility. How are people supposed to get excited about the league when the best teams are called for everything, even when they are following the written rules? It’s sickening. They should call it fair and let the poor teams get better by themselves.

On a more positive note, CuJo didn’t look too bad in his debut. He looked fairly solid and pretty sharp, in my opinion.

Henrik Zetterberg, Steve Yzerman and Brett Hull scored for the Wings. The Preds scored 4 on 24 shots on Joseph and on in an empty net.

The Predators are a bunch of goons. They were going around looking for fights all night, though they only won maybe 3 of 9.

The Wings have lost 3 in a row now and are now 5-5-0-0, thanks to the league’s wonderful officiating and their own swiss cheese defense. They really have to get it together and win their upcoming games, bad officiating or not. The refs aren’t the only reason they have lost 3 in a row. Lewis had better do a better job or we’ll be calling for his head before January.

The Captain needs to start leading his troops and hopefully last night will keep him fired up for a while. It’s time for the Wings to get some emotion and start playing like they can. If they do, watch out. Maybe last night was a wake-up call.

Jiri Fischer has a mean steak and a looooong memory. Keep it up, Jiri.

Manny Legace backed up Joseph. I don’t know where Dom was.

Free Press | Box Score | Photos

Next up: @Edmonton, Saturday, 10:00

Lines-
Maltby-Draper-McCarty
Devereaux-Williams-Holmstrom
Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Hull
Shanahan-Yzerman-Whitney
Shanahan-Williams-Whitney
Maltby-Draper-Dandenault
Devereaux-Williams-Shanahan
Shanahan-Draper-McCarty

Fischer-Chelios
Woolley-Dandenault
Lidstrom-Schneider
Fischer-Woolley
Fischer-Dandenault
Schneider-Chelios
Lidstrom-Dandenault
Lidstrom-Chelios

4 on 4-
Zetterberg-Whitney
Shanahan-Draper
Devereaux-Williams
Datsyuk-Hull

Lidstrom-Schneider
Lidstrom-Chelios
Fischer-Schneider

PP-
Shanahan-Yzerman-Holmstrom
Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Hull
Shanahan-Williams-Holmstrom

Lidstrom-Schneider
Woolley-Whitney
Lidstrom-Whitney
Lidstrom-Dandenault

PK-
Shanahan-Yzerman
Zetterberg-Whitney
Maltby-McCarty
Maltby-Draper
Datsyuk-Hull

Lidstrom-Chelios
Lidstrom-Dandenault
Fischer-Dandenault

5 on 3PK-
Maltby-Draper
Maltby

Chelios
Schneider
Lidstrom-Chelios

6 on 5 Joseph pulled-
Zetterberg-Whitney-Datsyuk-Hull

Lidstrom-Shanahan

Net-
Curtis Joseph

GameDay: @ Nashville (3-5-0-0), 8:00

The Wings will face the Predators for the first of 6 games tonight in Nashville. Curtis Joseph will get the start. Now that the Wings have lost at home, maybe they’ll have more reason to get it in gear on the road. Tonight wouldn’t be a bad place to start. The Wings need to concentrate on their defense tonight and play a complete game. Hopefully Joseph won’t be too rusty and will be willing to play well for a team that doesn’t want him. A lot to ask, I guess. Please, Curtis.

Wings 5, Blues 6

Basically, last night was an offensive match, as Brian said. The Wings’ defense played badly and Hasek looked awful (4 goals on 13 shots).

The Wings provided enough offense but the defense couldn’t back it up. Blues had us playing catch up all night and Ozzie’s (at times) clutch goaltending kept it that way.

Honestly, the Wings should have won but they didn’t put forth the effort on defense that would have given them a win. Too bad and for the home fans too.

I’m beginning to wonder if someone in the league didn’t do something to the pucks. That puck last night bounced a little too much, in my opinion.

Next up: @ Nashville (3-5-0-0), 8:00

Lines-
Zetterberg-Yzerman-Whitney
Shanahan-Datsyuk-Hull
Maltby-Draper-McCarty
Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Hull
Devereaux-Hudler-Holmstrom
Shanahan-Yzerman-Whitney

Lidstrom-Schneider
Fischer-Chelios
Woolley-Dandenault

4 on 4-
Maltby-Draper

Lidstrom-Chelios

PP-
Shanahan-Yzerman-Holmstrom
Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Hull

Lidstrom-Schneider
Whitney-Woolley

6 on 4PP-
Shanahan-Yzerman-Holmstrom-Hull

Lidstrom-Whitney

PK-
Maltby-Draper
Zetterberg-Whitney

Lidstrom-Chelios
Fischer-Chelios

6 on 5 Legace pulled-
Zetterberg-Shanahan-Yzerman-Datsyuk-Hull

Lidstrom

Net-
Dominik Hasek-pulled
2nd period, Manny Legace

Hasek still facing charges???

Hasek may still be facing charges for an in-line roller hockey game fight during last summer in the Czech Republic. He beat the crap out of another player, who was left unconscious and with multipe facial injuries, including a broken nose. Even though prosecutors decided not to go with the case in August, the supreme Czech state attorney is overturning that decision, and investigating whether charges should be brought against the supreme king of goaltending. If charged and convicted, Hasek faces up to eight years in Czech prison, which is not exactly a vacation…

St Louis Game

This was a total offensive match, with Ozzie taking on 5 goals and Hasek 4 on 13 shots in the first. Lewis gave Dom the hook, and Legace only allowed 2 goals for the rest of the game. The Wings couldn’t contain Doug Weight or Dallas Drake: Weight had a hat trick and Drake had 5 assists. The Wings were down 6-4 with a minute left, pulled Manny and scored on a goal from the point from Hullie. Then it was 6-5, we pulled Manny again after controling the face off from center ice, and had 45 seconds to tie the game up. Hull had a decent shot from the point, Yzerman almost got the puck in from the side of the net on the rebound, and that was all she wrote. The loss halted the Wings’ 15-game home winning streak. Tonight, it’s pretty much official that the Wings will be starting CuJo versus the Predators, down in Nashville. It should be an interesting game then, and I guess it’s good for him to be playing away so as to avoid the pressure of making such an awkward comeback at the Joe. Let’s hope the Wings apply the defensive force they are capable of shutting teams out with.

GameDay: vs. St. Louis (5-2-0-1), 7:30

The Wings will face the Blues for the first of 6 meetings this season tonight at the Joe. The Blues have won 4 of their last 5 games but the Wings have won 17 of their last 18 home games (dating back to February 6, last season) and are on a 15 game winning streak at home. They’ll be facing a considerably depleted Blues team tonight, with (most notably) Al MacInnis (eye) and Barret Jackman (shoulder) out. Pronger’s already up there with the leaders in minutes played so expect him to get a lot of ice time tonight. Darren McCarty is probable tonight after finding out his right big toe is broken. Dom will get the start (Joseph will get his first start tomorrow in Nashville). The Wings outscored the Blues 26-10 last year and won all 5 meetings. The Blues are a team the Wings traditionally dominate and hopefully that will be the case tonight.