The Morning After

Nope, a partial night’s sleep did nothing to change how I feel about the game (which I’ve only shared on Twitter so far). This wasn’t about the BS tying goal. It wasn’t about Osgood’s fanning on the game-winner. This was about a team that got complacent.

They’d played a pretty solid 50 minutes and decided that was enough. Just be “solid.” Don’t worry about killer instinct and putting the game away. I knew the longer they left the score at 2-1, the greater the Coyotes’ chances were of coming back. They needed another goal or two for the longest time and failed to act on it. Had they tried and made Bryzgalov really work, that might have been enough. But they didn’t. It was Shell Red Wings.

The tying goal was a load of crap, but it never should have mattered.

Also, Osgood’ll get fragged today for that game-winner and justifiably so, but it shouldn’t overshadow the fact that he kept the Wings in it. Phoenix had higher quality chances all game than the Wings did and he was there. Osgood showed up for a full 60 minutes. Just not for a little under 65…

I may have more on the game on my lunch break, but today’s the final day for that project at work, so I expect a flurry of busyness. I may not have time.

Filed under: 2009-2010, Game Reports

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Comments

  1. David says:

    "The tying goal was a load of crap, but it never should have mattered."

    Word.

  2. Megan Saler says:

    Yes, it would have been nice for the Wings to score more goals. But the fact is, they did do enough to win. They should have scored on that pp, but they still should have won. Phoenix did not score because the Wings got lazy. Lebda tried to be too fancy (he better be careful, given how quickly Babs benches him), and the puck was intercepted, yes. But Ozzie was there, once again, to bail him out. Sadly, no one informed Ozzie of the rule-change that had just taken effect, and Phoenix was allowed to push him and the puck into the net. I'm still trying to figure out how that goal counts, no goaltender interference, when we've had a goal waived off because Homer's butt was above the crease.

  3. John W. says:

    I'm with Meg on this one, I did not see this as a loss due to a lack of effort in the last 10 minutes. I never really saw them fall back into that dreaded prevent defense, they were still playing and pressing. I saw a lack of execution on the scoring front (coughWilliamscough) but not a lack of effort.

    I did think for the entire game they let Phoenix get too many shots on goal, but the Wings looked pretty good, save for a few stretches they got pinned it.

    As for Lebda's turnover, it didn't bother me THAT much. Could he have slapped it around the boards? Yep, but it would have been icing, which isn't great, especially with no timeout left. To me it looked like when he looked up, he saw nothing but 2 Coyotes, common sense would say if I reverse it, we should have numbers on the other side of the puck and get it back. It didn't work, obviously, but to me it wasn't egregious.

    Ozzie, spectacular for the entire game, especially right after the trying goal when the Wings seemed shell-shocked that the game was tied. However, playing the position he plays, one goal CAN erase an entire night, and it did tonight, that OT was just awful, high-school goalies make that save. Now the question is does Babs still go with Howard on Saturday and let Ozzie think about that one for 5 days, or let him get back out there and redeem himself? I think I'd start Ozzie again.

    And finally, Pavel Datsyuk looked like Pavel Datsyuk. If Pav, Hank, and Homer can keep that up, and the 2nd line can Finnish better (sorry I couldn't resist) they can and will turn this around. I thought Bert looked really good too. That bullrush to the net where he hit the post is exactly what we need, well except for the post part.

    This game left me encouraged, I saw too many good things to think they won't turn this around.

  4. Andre says:

    John,

     

    I definitely hear you re: Datsyuk, its great to see him playing at close to 100%.

     

    Megan,

     

    I had the same initial reaction as you re: pushing Osgood into the net. However (and I could be wrong), I think that rule only applies if the puck is covered underneath the goalie. After watching the replay a few times, the top-down view showed the puck to be under Osgood, but not covered — it was visible between his knees (think of a space between the joint of a "V" made by his legs in a butterfly stance). However, I'm not sure how the ref could have know that it wasn't covered from his viewpoint, and I can't shake the feeling that the Wings don't seem to get quick whistles in these situations. The team really needs to start getting pro-active about protecting Osgood and the crease…but that's not really anything new.

  5. Eric L. says:

    Andre,

    I looked at the replay a few times too and I thought he had it was under him. if that's the case, the ref would have lost sight of it and should have blown the whistle. It also looked like Ozzie squeezed it between his leg pads and he lost control when the Coyotes bumped him. He still would have had control of it for a second and the ref would've had to have blown the whistle.

  6. Matt Saler says:

    Megan,

    I'm not convinced they did do enough to win. To my eyes, there was a noticeable dropping off in intensity in the second half of each period, give or take a couple minutes. They'd come at the Coyotes hard for the first half of the period and then trail off to let Phoenix have at it in their end. They still were playing well-ish, but lacked a killer instinct. Especially in the third, when they really needed it.

    Yeah, I'm sure Lebda will get the axe before Saturday. Sucks to be him right now. can't do anything right. Fans are even being disparaging about his goal last night. Lay off the guy, guys!

    On the goal… I'm becoming less convinced that it was a rule violation the more I think about it. One of the replays they showed last night had the puck on the outside of Oz's left pad, laying there on the ice. Prucha got his stick on it first and that's when the pushing started. I guess it's only a problem when the goalie has it in his possession or under him.

    John,

    As I suggested above, it's not as much about lack of effort as it was about lack of a killer instinct. That's a dumb sports catchphrase, but to me it applies here. The Wings had a chance to put Phoenix on the ropes for the knockout blow and they chose to dance around and let the Coyotes collect their wits. Not cool.

    Thanks for the measured response on Lebda's gaffe. Untypical for this day…

    Absolutely agreed on your first point on Osgood. He was fantastic. On the game-winner, it did look pathetic, but I think Ericsson got his stick on it. Yes, it was still moving very slowly and Osgood should have been able to adjust, but whatever. I stand by my assertion that it should not have mattered.

    I say go with Osgood, too. Howard's not exactly going to do well under the kind of pressure that comes with following up a loss.

    I'm with you on Pavel. He was looking much more like himself again, which is great. He and Hank looked great most of the time last night. The second line has trailed off a bit in my opinion, but maybe if they can get one or two in, their confidence will spike and they'll be off running again. I agree on Bertuzzi–one of his better games in red. Still, annoying how many pucks bounce or flutter or hit posts when he's involved, though.

    I can glean encouragement from the game, as well, but the blown lead really sours it for me. Sure, they played better for longer, but they're still not going 20/20/20 like they should be. Too much of this 10/10/10 or 10/15/10 or 20/20/10 or 5/10/20 crap for my taste.

    Andre and Eric,

    Maybe I'm remembering the replay wrong, then. If that's the case, no way the ref could have seen it. I'll have to check the DVR when I get home…

  7. Megan Saler says:

    I guess it’s only a problem when the goalie has it in his possession or under him.

     

    How does that even make sense, Matt? Then what is goaltender interference, by your definition? As long as the goalie doesn't have it, you're free to shove him out of the way? The way I saw the replay, it was Prucha's foot that got the puck out from between Ozzie's pads. It was not kicked in, because it did not go right into the net. After that, it was against Ozzie's pad to the left of him. He only lost it when they started to push him in.

    If you wanna beat the team up, that's your choice. I can never stop you from doing that. But that was a cheap, illegal goal. They played a good game, you said so last night. I was encouraged by the effort the team showed last night. Datsyuk and Zetterberg both looked really good. They earned their goals. They played good defense. Ozzie was stellar. They had one registered turnover. A bad call tied the game, and a bad bounce won it for Phoenix. Sometimes hockey goes the way of bad bounces. That's why bounces are emphasized so much in the playoffs. Officials make bad calls all year long, seemingly more this year.

    And I still think they played well enough to win. You cannot possibly expect them to have the puck and pressure for the ENTIRE game. Sometimes, the other team will have pressure. The point is to limit that as much as possible. As far as the last two minutes of the game, I don't blame them for being a little shell-shocked.

  8. Andre says:

    Megan,

     

    I think the problem with the "played well enough to win" mentality is that its fatalistic. You're right that a team can't usually have 100% domination or control of a game, but I don't think a team can let itself off the hook after a loss (regardless of one questionable goal) by playing the "well, the effort was there" card. Even if its true of the individual game (last night perhaps), its too passive in nature…its victimizing instead of empowering.

     

    Also, I think that the reasoning with allowing the goal was that, at least initially, the Yotes were playing the puck, not the goalie. I'd have to see the replay a few more times, but to me that's still a situation where the Wings were guilty of not taking enough care of Ozzie and the crease.

  9. Megan Saler says:

    Andre,

     

    In saying they played well enough to win, I was not implying that they or we should be completely satisfying with that. But the fact is, that is only probably the second time this season that they've done that. It was a disappointing and angering loss, but that doesn't mean we should be overly critical. At the beginning of the season, when your team is not playing even close to par, good enough to win should be something. Now, if it were, say, March and we were saying this? I'd have no patience. But they are making improvements, and you can clearly see it. The only one with a flippable switch on that team is Ozzie, so they need to work towards the dominance that we're used to and spoiled by. "Good enough to win" is not the end, but it is a step in the right direction. That's more the point I was trying to make.

  10. Andre says:

    Megan,

     

    I think I understand what you're trying to say now, and on the whole it does seem like progress is being made in certain areas at times — even as they deal with the unforseen of injuries and the like. I just have an alergic reaction to that phrase — baring monumental injustices, I usually feel like the team that "played well enough to win" is, you know, the team that won.

     

    Getting back to your point on the early-season vs late season though, I'm still not happy. I knew coming into this season that the offense would be an issue, at least relatively speaking…but I had assumed that the team would have been sharper defensively as a result. I'm dissapointed so far, as I'm sure many people are. I'm not throwing in the towel as a fan (despite my negativity so far), and I know that there's enough talent to make the playoffs…it just bothers me that they've not shown much improvement in the area that was supposedly going to be the focus (defense).

     

    I'm going to go ahead and start the Larsson watch. If Ozzie needs to split time this year…I'm not sure I want Howard as that guy.

  11. Andre says:

    Megan,

     

    I think I understand what you're trying to say now, and on the whole it does seem like progress is being made in certain areas at times — even as they deal with the unforseen of injuries and the like. I just have an alergic reaction to that phrase — baring monumental injustices, I usually feel like the team that "played well enough to win" is, you know, the team that won.

     

    Getting back to your point on the early-season vs late season though, I'm still not happy. I knew coming into this season that the offense would be an issue, at least relatively speaking…but I had assumed that the team would have been sharper defensively as a result. I'm dissapointed so far, as I'm sure many people are. I'm not throwing in the towel as a fan (despite my negativity so far), and I know that there's enough talent to make the playoffs…it just bothers me that they've not shown much improvement in the area that was supposedly going to be the focus (defense).

     

    I'm going to go ahead and start the Larsson watch. If Ozzie needs to split time this year…I'm not sure I want Howard as that guy.

     

    If this double-posts, sorry.

  12. howefan says:

    I wouldn't get to worried yet. The fact is they could have or should have won four of the games they've lost. It's still a team "jelling" so there's some hope for the future games. We'll have a better idea after 15 – 20 games. Although, it's uncanny and a bit unerving to see them loose this many come-from-behind games. It's usually a sign that their lacking confidence. A few jokes during the intermissions might help, not to mention just plain winning.

  13. Garth says:

    This is probably the one loss I'm NOT worried about.  They played well for the most part and SHOULD have won.  Yeah, it's all fine and well to expect that they'll just magically score a lead-padding goal, but if you play well and you win by one it doesn't mean you should be dissatisfied with that.  They had a lead and played well with it.  For the most part, they defended it well, so I don't see how you can be so down on a team that had a) a goal against that plainly should not have been allowed and then b) a fluky, awful goal that shouldn't have gone in.

     

    And you can hardly blame them for being shellshocked after that ridiculous call on the goal.  Combine that with a Phoenix team that was completely energized by the goal (as they should have been…any time you are handed a game-tying goal in the final minutes of a game, you're going to suddenly find yourself full of piss and vinegar) and it was almost inevitable that they would win.

     

    I understand being pissed at the loss, but blaming the team that should have won (wen you win, you win, it doesn't matter if it's by 1 goal or 12, they all get you 2 ponts) is kind of ridiculous.

  14. Megan Saler says:

    Andre,

    Larsson watch? Here's the story on Larsson: Last week, he gave up 6 goals in like five minutes. Last night he only gave up three goals, but probably should have had all three. We were shocked when he actually made saves. How 'bout a McCollum watch?

     

    Garth,

    Yeah, as soon as that goal was called a goal, I pretty much knew the Wings were gonna lose. Even if I didn't want to admit at the time that I knew it, I did. That sort of thing always give the team that was gifted a boost and takes the wind right out of the sails of the other team. That's part of the reason they are so upsetting. The other part being that it's just wrong.

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