Archive for March, 2010

Wings 5, Oilers 4

Dominance (cont): Way to wrap up March with yet another dominant win, Wings. Seriously. Aside from the whole blowing the four-goal lead thing, that was another flat out dominant performance by the Wings. By all rights, they should have won 8-0. Or 8-4 if you’re of the opinion that the Oil would have managed to score those four despite being browbeaten to the tune of 8 goals in the first 34 minutes. A little more finish on the part of the Wings and no way the Oilers come back.

The number of incomplete chances still hurts today, but sometimes you just don’t get the puck luck. The Oilers did. The blown lead is troubling, but it’s less so with the fact that they managed to staunch the flow in the end.

Tin Foil: And how did they do that? Because they’re the Detroit Red Wings and this is March. But also because of this:

Yep. When the hats went on, the Wings scored to break the tie. We’re sorry we forgot to put them on until then.

Howard: Pedestrian game. The skaters wouldn’t be winning any awards for their part in the meltdown, but I have to lay the bulk of the blame at Jimmy’s feet. After the season he’s given us, he’s allowed a weak game or two, but can we all admit this may have been one of them? But he’s starting Thursday, so no worries about punitive action on Babcock’s part.

Franzen: A little snakebit, despite the goal. And even that one I’d argue was a little flukey as it seemed to me he didn’t get all he wanted on it, but ended up scoring anyway because Deslauriers conveniently moved out of the way. He had 4-5 awesome chances and should have had 3-4 goals easily. His shot is just a little less potent than you’d like to see from him. He gets so many chances and could be really lighting it up.

Miller: There have obviously been better players to get picked up on waivers (Bryzgalov for one), but I don’t think many have offered the bang for the buck that Miller does. Another nice night from Drew. Would really like to see him signed, Kenny. Make him and Eaves the new Maltby and Draper.

Puck possession: When the Wings were on last night, they were so much fun to watch. I love when they’re moving the puck like that. As Ellen said, “I love the sound of tape-to-tape passes.”

Standings: One point behind Nashville and one point ahead of the Kings. And six points back of Chicago. Just saying. Imagine if April 11th meant something.

Big Surprise: Refs Overreact

So, Real American Hero and Livonia Native Ryan Kesler got ejected for that hit last night. Sure, Derek Morris was, as Wyshynski pointed out, perpendicular to the boards at contact, but hey, it’s still boarding, right? I guess. But an ejectable offense? Not from where I sit.

Morris saw him coming and did exactly nothing to brace himself, instead choosing to imitate a wet noodle when Kesler’s freight train hit him. Just a little bit of, you know, preparing for the hit on Morris’ part would have made that a whole lot less ugly. You almost wonder if Morris chose to remain in a vulnerable position.

This is exactly why the on-ice headshot rule is delayed. If refs can’t even get long-standing boarding rules right, how’re they going to get a new rule right?

Game Day Notes: vs. Edmonton

So glad that the NHL’s schedulers managed to work in this little exception to the Make Them Play Their Division to Finish the Season policy since I missed the last time the Wings were faced off against the West’s worst team. The Wings are on a five-game streak and the Oilers are looking to sweep them in the season series. Should be fun.

The Wings will be without Dan Cleary again as he’s still nursing that groin injury. Derek Meech will demonstrate his utility by skating with Eaves and Helm while doing his best forward impression.

Jimmy’s in net again, which leads me to believe Babcock’s promise to get Osgood in before the end won’t be fulfilled unless there’s an 83rd game we don’t know about. There’s no much margin for error though, even with the 6th seed in-hand. Just three points separate the Wings from the 8th-seed Avs (would be hilarious if Colorado missed after that start). So Howard’s the guy for another important game, even if it is against a team with 36 fewer points. Just don’t try to direct the puck into the corner when fully kneeling to trap it will do, James.

At the other end, it looks like Deslauriers is in for the Oilers. George has the rest of the set-up for their side here.

The Wings are showing a high level of consistency lately, so there’s only a pessimist’s reason to think the worst about this game. Doesn’t mean my brain doesn’t tend that way. This season has just gone that way. But maybe they’re tired of being beaten “like a rented mule,” and will return the favor tonight.

Preferably with an outburst from The Mule.

(sorry for the brief post—gotta run to try to ship Herm’s Helm stick to him)

Wyshynski, Interviewed

Greg gets a lot of flak in the Wings-o-sphere for the tin-foil hat comment and other things, but this is a good insight into the guy behind Puck Daddy.

And without that tin foil hat comment, H2H just wouldn’t have been the same!

The Tennessee Athlete Tax

In case you missed it over H2H weekend…

The PA should challenge this law. Ludicrous. Regardless of how much they make, they shouldn’t have to pay to do their jobs.

And for those of you who agree with Deadspin’s take, do you understand that it’s because of us that these guys make the money they make?

The NHL is a multi-billion dollar industry because we, the fans, make it so. Why shouldn’t the players get their fair share of money the owners would just as soon take themselves? They’re the ones doing the work.

If you think they make too much, stop supporting the industry. Every time you watch a game on TV, buy a jersey, or go to a game in person, you support it and endorse those salaries. Take your self-righteousness over sports salaries and go do…whatever it is people who don’t watch sports do.

Now to this specific issue, sure it’s pennies to a guy like Rafalski, but it’s the principle of the thing. Would you be as accepting of a similar rule that covered emergency workers who had to cross the boarder to aid in a natural disaster in Tennessee, even if the rate was only $75 per trip? It doesn’t matter how much these guys make. The point is they shouldn’t have to pay to work in this way, with such a specific tax.

Need More Europeans

The Globe and Mail’s Roy MacGregor wants less Mike Milbury and more Igor Larionov in his hockey coverage. Can’t argue the point, and in this day and age, with English so widespread, media outlets can’t hide behind a language excuse.

I’d take Igor or virtually any other European over Milbury any day of the week.