Posts tagged “Manny Legace”

3/6 Notes

… I only caught the first period of the Wings’ 4-1 win over the Blues last night. I was reasonably impressed with what I saw, though it’s obvious they aren’t quite firing on all cylinders yet. Still, it’s a marked improvement over their February play, that’s for sure.

I have to say something about the phantom Pavel Datsyuk call that led to the Blues’ late first period power play. What the heck was that? I’d like to think that the official who called the penalty knows the difference between a trip and a player falling on his own. Apparently not.

In the end, it doesn’t matter, but my confidence in the officiating is waning. What with the missed call in the Sharks game Friday night, the play that was not stopped in Buffalo Sunday, and various phantom calls, how are we expected to trust in the referees? It’s not as though it’s just a problem in Wings games either. Just ask the Philadelphia Flyers.  I hate to complain about the officiating, but to me this is a League-wide quality issue, not a Wings fan-specific gripe.

… I’ve been trying to cut Andreas Lilja some slack lately. I figure there’s a reason he remains in the lineup, despite his more visible blunders. With that change in mindset, I’ve been able to appreciate big #3 more.

On the Blues’ goal, however, I thought his attempt to knock the puck down was a little on the boneheaded side. It turned out to be a perfect redirect. I thought the conventional wisdom was that defensemen leave the puck alone if they can’t outright block it. With Stempniak  right there, I can understand what Andreas was trying to do, but it just didn’t turn out so well.

… It wasn’t  Brett Lebda that Mike Babcock sat in favor of Jonathan Ericsson  last night. It was Derek Meech. I admit it, I was surprised. Meech apparently hit a high point against Edmonton last week, but his play since was still quite good, I thought. I assume Babcock was just demonstrating to Meech that his spot on the roster is not a given. Hopefully it won’t backfire, somewhat like we saw with Quincey.

… Giving Ericsson another game paid off, if only because of a little drop pass  that kicked off the cycle leading to Pavel Datsyuk’s first goal. If Nick Lidstrom does return Sunday, however, last night was probably Ericsson’s last game in the Winged Wheel this season as he’ll be returned to Grand Rapids.

… Since I missed the second and third periods, I didn’t see the hit on Tomas Kopecky or the aftermath.  It didn’t make the cut on the highlight reel, and neither did the Rafalski throwdown or Downey’s coming off the bench. Too bad. IwoCPO says he’ll have video later.

I’m glad to read that Kopecky’s okay. He looked good in the first period and I assume played a strong game in the second and third, as well.

… I don’t know what he looked like in the second and third, obviously, but you get the feeling that Jiri Hudler is finally going to break out of this horrendous slump. I thought he looked strong in the first.

… Where was Manny Legace’s head on Brian Rafalski’s goal? It just blew by him.

… The Dallas Stars lost at home to the Coyotes last night. That’s two home losses in a row for the second-ranked team in the Conference. Much ballyhooed trade deadline acquisition Brad Richards has zero points in both games since posting five in his debut with the Stars. That’s called being brought back to earth.

The Wings’ two consecutive wins have put them 7 points ahead of Dallas and they retain two games in hand.

2/9 Notes

Update (10. Feb, 12:45 AM): Over at KK, Chuck Gormley has some more on the Forsberg situation. He believes that if Forsberg decides to ask for a trade to one of a list of teams, his preferences, “would probably be, in order, Detroit (Lidstrom), Vancouver (Naslund), Anaheim and San Jose.”

I’ve heard the Forsberg-Naslund connection talked up a lot (i.e., they’re childhood friends and used to hope to play together again for their hometeam, MoDo – which they did during the lockout), but not one with Lidstrom so much (it must be from their time together on national teams as they’ve never played together professionally). Interesting that Nick may be a bigger pull than Naslund, thought it could be more because of the Wings’ chances than anything else. If it’s true. - Matt

Update (2:50 PM): ESPN’s Scott Burnside has a take on the Mark Messier GM story that’s similar to my reaction, though his commentary is quite a bit less inflammatory than my knee-jerk rhetoric. - Matt

The Wings were shut out for the first time in 176 games last night as the Blues beat them 1-0 in St. Louis. It looks as though they had another slow start to the game and never really recovered, despite strong goaltending by Joey MacDonald. Joey gave them a chance to win by stopping everything except for a freak goal that went in off Chris Chelios.

For Blues fans, the bad news is that Manny Legace was hurt during the second period in a collision with Thomas Holmstrom.

The Wings play Calgary at home next, on Sunday at 6:00 PM ET.

Since I did not see the game and cannot provide a first-hand account, I suggest going to Gorilla Crouch, where Dave will probaby publish one soon, and No Pun Intended, where Steph already has.

… Unfortunately for the Wings, the Predators did not lose last night. They beat the Leafs in a penalty-filled affair in Nashville and are again in the lead by three points. They can go up by five with a win over the Kings on Saturday.

…. Ted Kulfan suggests that Henrik Zetterberg could be in the running for the Selke Trophy this year. I agree, and thought the same thing last year. It’s the young stars in the East that get all the attention, and though they obviously deserve a lot, I’m with Wayne Gretzky in saying Zetterberg is flying under many people’s radar.

… Kulfan and George Sipple of the Free Press both mention the rumor that the Wings are interested in Todd Bertuzzi. I’ll be frank: I would be absolutely appalled if they do end up going that route. You know may recall my opposition toward acquiring Peter Forsberg due to the uncertainty about his health. Well, I’d take Foppa any day over Bertuzzi, ankle problems and all (even more so now that he’s found some kind of workable solution). Ugh. There is no reason to bring Todd and his baggage into the lockerroom. Please Kenny, no Bertuzzi.

Oh, and by the way, the Forsberg rumor is heating up slightly, with the story currently being that he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause for three teams only: Detroit, Anaheim, and Montreal.

Legace Left Waiting: “No calls, nothing at this point”

Unrestricted free agent Manny Legace, 33, who finished fifth in Vezina voting with 37 wins, a 2.19 GAA, and a .915 save percentage, has not gotten any interest on the free agent market. Says Manny:

“It’s just mind-boggling. I thought for sure there’d be interest from somebody after the year I had. But nothing. I don’t know what to think. And I don’t know what teams are thinking…I thought I had a great year to be honest with you. I thought I’d get some interest but nothing, no one has called…To be honest, I don’t know what’s going to happen…I’m willing to do anything on any team. Ideally I’d like to go to a team where at least I’d have a chance to compete for the No. 1 job. That’s all I’m probably looking for now, a chance to compete.”

Legace’s agent, Ed Ratushny, had to start making phone calls to get the process started:

“We have started preliminary discussions with two teams. But what I find surprising was the bidding for Martin Gerber as compared to Manny.”

Florida and St. Louis are reported to be teams that could pick up Legace. Manny also took time to describe the phone call he got in early June from Ken Holland, in which he learned that the team was looking for another starter:

“It was a shocking phone call. I thought we could work something out. It was just disappointing. That was tough because I loved playing in Detroit, it was awesome. That was the best owner I’ve ever played for, a great organization…But they were very classy about it, they didn’t throw me out like an old newspaper. We talked and they made me understand they wanted to go in another direction…I think they were really going after Gerber. Mike Babcock wanted one of his old goalies there and that’s understandable, coaches want their own guys. It’s unfortunate they didn’t get him…I think now they’re looking at probably (Ed) Belfour or bring back Dom (Hasek). That’s what I foresee for them.”

It really makes no sense that Legace has gotten no offers yet. To think he has fallen this far from grace since early April, when he likely could’ve been traded for a top-line player, is just shocking. Sure, his 4-6 record in playoff games is not all that great. But 14 teams missed the playoffs last season, and Legace could, at the very least, help those teams in getting into the playoffs.

He’s a lot better of an option than most of the remaining goaltenders out there now, and it’s unfortunate that Ken Holland burned bridges with Legace and then missed out on much of the free agent goaltenders available. I would not be totally against Legace re-signing with the Wings, as the Wings offense bears much of the blame for recent playoff losses.

Legace will be come a free agent

The Wings informed him yesterday that they would not make him a contract offer before July 1, when free agency starts. It’s highly unlikely he’ll return to Detroit, though Holland did not say so specifically. This means Osgood is staying here, as backup, unless the Wings can’t get the kind of starter they want. You put in some good time in Detroit, Manny. Good luck in the future, wherever you go.

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