Archive for September, 2009

Slap Shot Appearance, Admin Note

Jeff Klein of the New York TimesSlap Shot blog was kind enough to ask me to take part in their Hockey Night in Blogdom: 30 Teams in 30 Minutes feature, which you can find here.

The general off-season slowness around here will run out soon and the pace’ll be picking up soon, as it should be. I’ll have some sort of look at the upcoming season up before the opener Friday.

Life’s been busy this off-season, but it’s high time to get the blog rolling again. I apologize for being so slow to the draw.

Wings 1, Sabres 3

Not a lot to say about this one. The Wings pretty much controlled play the bulk of the game only to lose on a couple of deflected shots.

Ryan Miller was very good and kept the Wings’ offense from matching the scoreboard to their boxscore dominance.

Jimmy Howard was pretty strong and had no chance on the two goals he allowed. He was sheltered by the Wings for a while, as they played very tight defense through two periods and kept the heat off him. It probably helped his confidence, but I think having to make a few more saves would have been better for him given what happened in the end. Losing on two deflections, despite being unstoppable, probably won’t help his head game.

I thought the top line looked good, Datsyuk especially. His play on the Franzen goal was pretty great and led to as easy a goal as Johan’s ever had.

Tomas Tatar was a puck magnet whenever he was on the ice. Patrick Eaves didn’t do a ton offensively, but seems to fit a defensive role pretty well. I did notice a few mistakes on Jonathan Ericsson’s part, but he’s still young so Lidstrom-esque perfection can’t be expected yet. Abdelkader was in the lineup and looked good, but wasn’t a stand-out. Kindl  continues to show that he’s not NHL-ready.

It was good to get some hockey after so long, but I think the game just made me look forward to the regular season more.

No Zetterberg Tonight

George Sipple reports that Hank’s groin is going to keep him out of the game tonight and likely any game between now and sometime next week.

Fortunately, it’s just the pre-season (which probably factors into the decision to hold him out of the lineup) and not a meaningful game, but it’s still a bit worrisome that he’s dealing with an injury already. Here’s hoping he can heal up, or this doesn’t bode well for his season.

9/17 Pre-season Notes

Ansar Khan has the lineup for the Rangers game here.

It looks like Zetterberg will play after sitting out the Red-and-White game with that disturbing nagging groin injury (already, Hank? Seriously?). Fans at the Joe will have an opportunity to see Todd Bertuzzi in a game situation as one of Hank’s wingers (ugh), and they’ll likely see Thomas McCollum replace Osgood at some point in the game. Jason Williams, who Michael Zuidema praised today in a podcast, will be on Filppula’s wing on the second line with Leino.

Unfortunately for the rest of us, though, the game will not be televised. We have to wait until Saturday’s game against Buffalo.

You’re probably already aware that the Wings won their first exhibition game, 3-1 last night over Philadelphia. The story of the game, it seems, was the fourth line of Justin Abdelkader, Kris Draper and Patrick Eaves. It’s cool that those guys were so instrumental in the win, but disappointing that the top line of Datsyuk, Franzen and Holmstrom was so apparently low-key.

As a side note, I have to say I’m looking forward to seeing Eaves play. From my wife’s reports from camp and other bits and pieces I’ve picked up on him, he sounds like he’s going to be a real good fit here (whereas I’m afraid the other two signings may end up as duds). Here’s hoping he’s in the lineup Saturday.

Helm out 2-4 weeks with shoulder sprain

First bit of bad news from camp*: Darren Helm took a tumble into the boards today and sprained his shoulder (technically, his AC joint), reports Helene St. James.

Fortunately, though, the injury is not serious as it will only keep him out 2-4 weeks. That would put him back as early as the 30th  for the pre-season game with Farjestads BK Karlstad  the season opener against St. Louis on October 2nd, or as late as the October 13th game in Buffalo. Even in the worst-case scenario, he won’t miss any meaningful games.

Still, he’ll miss camp and the pre-season, which is important despite being shorter this year.An unfortunate start to his first full NHL year.

*Actually, the news yesterday about a “nagging” groin injury of Zetterberg’s wasn’t so hot, either, but at least it’s not sidelining him. Still, it’s a little disconcerting that he’s already got anything nagging him at all at this point in the year.