Posts filed under “2010-2011”

Stretch Run Watch: April 2

I’ll make this a recurring feature to the end of the season.

4/1 W 2-1 SO L 5-4 SO
4/3 vs. MIN
4/4 @ STL
4/5 vs. NJD @ MIN vs. DAL
4/7 vs. CHI @ DET vs. COL
Points 99 98 98
Place 4th 6th 5th

The Wings won and took fourth place, while the Hawks’ point in a shootout loss wasn’t enough to vault them over the Predators. All three teams are idle tonight.

Wings 2, Pens 3

Hockey’s Back: Yeah, it was a loss. But it was hockey. So there’s that. And it’s a big, pretty cool that.

Jimmy: Not his best game ever. Not sure if that minor injury from camp has him off a bit, but he did not look sharp overall. In a couple spots, sure, but he’s got plenty of room for improvement, just like he left on the short side last night.

Smith: Very cocky and doing enough to make him look stupid for being so. Obviously a lot of talent, but just as obvious is his need to grow a bit. Big minutes in Grand Rapids should do the trick.

Brunnstrom: Points for effort. He’s acting as a solo agent within the system, but he’s showing enough that he may get tossed a contract and a seat on the Griffins’ bus. I like his skill, but he needs to stop trying to impress on his own and seek to more of a team player, which is what the Wings will be impressed with anyway.

Russian Show: Malkin and Datsyuk both came to play, with the former being the Pens’ TV crew’s favorite topic and the latter doing enough to crack through the reverie from time to time. I did note, though, that a few of Malkin’s most highly-praised plays came against AHLers, so there was an element of hype there. His drive to the net on his goal, for example, wasn’t exactly like bull rushing Nick Lidstrom.

Datsyuk’s impression was likely amped up by the Pens roster too, so to be fair it’s a little early to draw big conclusions about either guy’s upcoming season. Except that Pavel’s gearing up. His play on the Kronwall goal was pretty swell.

Control: The Wings had their periods of control in this one, but the Kunitz goal derailed one, and then it was up and down, with the down stretches feeling a bit longer as the game went on. Unsurprising with the mix of regulars and kids in the lineup, but still worth noting.

The Power Play: New coaching didn’t turn out to be an instant cure, but that also is unsurprising. I’m sure things’ll be better when the full lineup is together.

Commodore: Kind of a loper and lacking the intensity I was expecting. Not sure if that’s coaching or him working to be a good, careful citizen, or what. We’ll see.

Cleary: I’m perfectly okay with that penalty. Sure Samuelsson shouldn’t turn, but there’s also no need to deliver that specific contact.

More Thoughts. Via Hollis at TPL.

Welcome Back, Conks

Ty Conklin is back in red-and-white for one year, reportedly for less than $1 million. Conklin’s numbers last year weren’t super great through 20 games, but playing behind a tighter defense and more puck possession-oriented team should help him address that. He just needs to spell Jimmy regularly, and his prior stint with the Wings demonstrated he can manage that, so no worries.

With Osgood’s body breaking him down into retirement, this is the next best outcome.

It’s Official: Osgood Retires

I  have the press release in my inbox and tweets from the conference call confirming it. Chris Osgood is hanging them up after 17 seasons.

I’ve felt most of this off-season that a retirement was probably his smartest choice, but that doesn’t mean I was prepared in some ways for this day. Chris Osgood has been the goalie in Detroit for most of my time as a fan. This retirement marks the end of an era. The fact that another year would have been a diservice to both himself and the team doesn’t change the sense of loss from closing such a successful chapter of Detroit hockey history. It’s not the way I would have chosen for him to go out, but the ideal wasn’t possible.

I’m kind of at a loss for words.

There are so many memories associated with Osgood,  but a couple stand out: his 2-0 shutout of Dallas in Game 6 of the ’98 WCF following his surrendering of the Langenbrunner lob, and his irritated interview following Game 1 of the 2009 playoffs. He had higher highs than that, but those two moments epitomize his best qualities: the mental toughness and inner belief that led to his standing strong against a ton of pressure.

Thanks for the memories, Ozzie. See you around.

Khan: Osgood Retiring

Khan has it from a source, and his quotes from Osgood’s agent seem to back up that story. However, there are conflicting reports out there. The “Osgood’s retiring” angle seems to have the most steam at the moment, though.

According to Khan, Oz will take a spot with the organization working with young goalies in the system, which would be a perfect job for him.

Khan also says the Wings should be signing Ty Conklin this week, which jives with what I was getting at yesterday with the timing of this announcement: it’s aimed at getting the new #2 locked up.

More if/when it’s official.

Osgood Conference Call Tomorrow

So says the official Twitter account. What’s your guess? I’d say it’d be a little weird to announce he’s re-signing by conference call except that, as @riceadam reminded me, Nick announced his return by one (the day of). But Osgood’s not Lidstrom. Seems like a press release could have served for a returning backup. But if they’re announcing he’s retiring, and maybe taking a position with the team, going above and beyond a release makes more sense.

Paul points out that Kenny’s on vacation (so, for that matter, is Osgood), so that at least explains the fact that it’s a call rather than an in-person press conference. Just speculating, but it may be that they’d want to get him announced as retired immediately rather than wait until their vacations are over, while on the other hand, a re-signing could have waited. Who knows, though.

If he is coming back, though, we can all stop saying “if he’s healthy.” He wouldn’t be coming back if he weren’t healthy enough to at least start the season. What happens after that is anybody’s guess, but the Wings aren’t going to  bring him back just because he wants to unless he checks out physically.