Game Day Notes: @ Phoenix

… Tonight’s the first late-night test of your dedication: a 10:00 p.m. ET start. Fun times, eh?

… The Coyotes are off to a pretty strong start in spite of all the distractions of the summer that have bled over into a season of organizational uncertainty. They’re 5-2-0 and sit in 8th place in the West, just 1 point back of San Jose for the Pacific Division lead.

… The ‘Yotes have been off since Saturday, when the beat the Bruins at home 4-1.

… They’re winning, but doing it in front of very few fans. They hit 17,532 (official)  in the home opener, but fell to 6,899 (official) for the second home game. Apparently, the tally for that one was closer to 5,000 in actuality. Their most recent game supposedly had 9,162 fans in attendance, but like the other two numbers, that includes unused season tickets.

Those numbers are quite pathetic, obviously, but given how those fans have been jerked around over the past few months, I can’t blame them. It’s easy for me, as a fan of a team with zero chance of ever moving, to say, “Well, why don’t the fans rally and prove their team belongs there?!” Like I said, they’ve been jerked around all over the place throughout this process. And there wasn’t a massive herd of them to begin with.

… There should be some more fans there tonight, though, since the Wings are in town and the Coyotes know games against Detroit are popular enough to enforce “Premium Gate Pricing” for them. As far as I can tell, the Wings are the only team they do it for. Nice, huh, Michigan expats?

… Ilya Bryzgalov hasn’t been confirmed as the starter yet, but you know he’ll be in net. He’s 3rd in the League this young season in save percentage at .953 and fourth in goals against average with 1.14. He was the NHL’s First Star of the Week last week. He’s tough to beat.

… I’m not aware of too many Coyotes blogs, but Five for Howling should suit your needs if you’re looking for their perspective.

… Like the Coyotes, the Wings haven’t played since Saturday. Unlike the Coyotes, they lost that night. It took them blowing a two-goal lead and a one-goal lead in succession, and failing to stop a puck in the shootout, but they did it.

… Tonight they’ll look to get their season back on track and, we can hope, find a way to string a few wins together so this win-loss wave can end. Getting away from any distractions in Detroit should help, as should the team’s being forced to spend more time together off the ice. With so many new faces, some bonding’s obviously got to be done.

… A big boost should be provided by the scheduled return of Pavel Datsyuk to the lineup. He missed two games with an upper body (probably shoulder) injury and, if he’s in tonight, should be amped to go.

… Chris Osgood will start tonight. As a side note, I have to comment on something I missed yesterday due to the move: the question of Osgood and number retirement. I say “yes.” Megan pointed out that the current banners, with the exception of Yzerman, are all players from that ’50s dynasty. You’d obviously want guys instrumental in the 1990s-2000s dynasty to be up there next.

I don’t see how Osgood could be excluded. Sure, he wasn’t here his whole career, but his departure was due to Hasek falling in the Wings’ lap and forcing him out for a couple years. Two Cups with him in net means something, however. I’d think he’d be under consideration, for sure.

As a further sidenote, other guys I’d like to see receive that honor:

Lidstrom – lock, lock, lock.

Fedorov – As George has said, a likely lock if he and the team can get past their differences. Big if.

Shanahan – Doesn’t quite meet the criteria as an outsider originally, but he was the final piece.

Holmstrom – No one short of Yzerman sacrificed more of his physical health over the years and not many guys are more responsible for wins without showing up on the scoresheet than he is. That said, I doubt the Wings’ll look at him.

… Anyway. This is where it needs to start for the Wings. It’s true that the season has barely started, but the sooner they can right the ship, the better. Get it done, guys.

… I do plan on livetweeting again tonight: @OtW_InGame.

Filed under: 2009-2010, GameDay

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Comments

  1. John W. says:

    Differences or not, I'd say Sergei HAS to have his number retired. I'd say no for Shanahan, not so much because of how he left, but for some reason I don't think of him as a "Red Wing." Not really sure why, but I was never really upset when he left. I could see Draper and Holmstrom up there before Shanny, which I don't see happening either.

    Lidstrom is obviously a no-brainer.

    As for Osgood, I'd probably say yes, but I wouldn't be at all surprised or disappointed if he didn't get the nod.

    Here's hoping Hank and Pav keep it up now that they're in their PRIME (bite me Buccigross) and are up for consideration in another dozen or so years. It would be really cool to see them get their numbers retired on the same night.

  2. Eric L. says:

    I think that Bryzgalov is the best goalie in the league. The 3 people that are above him in the standings are all backups with no playing time. Garon, whose winning in GAA, has played in 2 games but only started one. I think that the Wings are going to have to rely on their offense to win tonight since our defense has forgotten how to hang on to a lead. 

    On the bright side though, our PK has been a lot better this year. I'm really excited to see our team kill more penalties. I think that the poor defense is a fluke and will get better later in the year, the PK shows it.

  3. John W. says:

    I think it's kinda hard to name someone the best goalie in the league in the 2nd full week of the season. Bryzgalov has always been known to be frustratingly inconsistent. Some days he looks awesome, some days he looks like Jimmy Howard. This begs the question, is he just on one of his hot streaks and will cool off in a big way soon, or has he finally put it all together? A few more weeks are needed to begin to answer that question.

  4. Garth says:

    I see one number being retired in the near future and that is #5.  After that?  Well, we'll see what the future holds for #s 13 and 40.

     

    I just can't see Osgood's number being retired.  I say he's a solid be (in my mind a lock) for the HHOF, but retiring his number?  To me, a retired number is WAY bigger a deal than the hall.  A retired number literally means that this guy was SO GOOD and SO INTEGRAL to the team that NOBODY will EVER wear his number again.  Yzerman?  Of course.  Lidstrom?  F*ck yes!  Zetterberg and Datsyuk?  Know what?  Probably.  Osgood?  No disrespect to the guy, but no.  I mean really?  Nobody should ever be able to wear the number 30 after Osgood is done?  Sorry.  I don't think so.

     

    Yzerman was a top draft pick who was the cornerstone of the franchise.  It was BUILT around him.  Retired #.

     

    Lidstrom is The Perfect Human.  One of the top 2 or 3 defensemen to EVER play the game.  The first European to captain a Stanley Cup winning team.

     

    Retire his number.

     

    Osgood?  He's a really good goalie, and it's very commendable that he was able to change the way he played and become arguably a better goalie in his mid-30s than he was when he was younger.  But retire his number?  I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous.

     

    If you retire Ozzie's number then you HAVE to retire Holmstrom's, Shanny's, Fedorov's, Draper's and while you're at it, Vernon's and Hasek's.

  5. John W. says:

    …and the Wings get screwed and have to go to OT. WTG refs, to quote Mike Babcock, "do your f*cking job."

  6. John W. says:

    No defending Osgood there, pathetic.

  7. Richter says:

    Like I said………this is just the beginning. Another inexcusable loss with many more to follow. Can't see both Babcock and/or Holland surviving this swoon that was once a dominating force in the NHL. One or the other will undoubtedly have to go.

  8. Garth says:

    …and the Wings get screwed and have to go to OT. WTG refs, to quote Mike Babcock, “do your f*cking job.”

     

    Fucking ridiculous…just ridiculous.

     

  9. John W. says:

    Funny Richter, you made the same comments last year, then we heard nothing from you during the playoff run. The only people who "will undoubtedly have to go," are pathetic "fans" such as yourself.

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