Posts tagged “Senators”

Wings 7, Senators 5

First off, Muletrick: Because if you’re like me, you can’t get enough of watching a kicking mule crack skulls:

Derpendable Team D: Yes, derpendable. As in derp. Herp O’Derp.

The time for getting on one James Howard will come. But my first angle is to express displeasure with the defense.

My favorite example: the Campoli goal. This is going to seem unfair because I’m going to be picking on the youthful line of Miller, Abdelkader and Mursak—what’s that you say? The top line and top pairing were out there? And let Chris Campoli get that wide open? Is this Campoli character some kind of Stamkos analog in the Northeast Division? Two goals, you say?

Holy crap.

Look, I buy the argument that the Wings have one of the deepest defenses in the league, on paper. I’ve made it myself. But there have been too many nights this year where the Wings’ D and overall team defensive effort has torn up that paper and desecrated it between the circles. A guy like Chris Campoli cannot be allowed to be that wide open. If it’s Stamkos, he’s probably going to get you a time or two, regardless of your efforts. But this team has to be able to cover the Chris Campolis of the league.

And yes, they should be able to do it after a layoff. That was pathetic.

Jimmy James: Rob Masters  had Jimmy pegged early last night with this after the Senators’ first goal:

He had a whole ASG break to do snow angels.

He did it again on Michalek’s first. And Michalek’s second was a deflection of a Kovalev shot, but Jimmy didn’t even flinch until it was in the net. Not seeing the puck through a crowd is one thing, but I’m wondering how an NHL goalie misses the initial shot motion.

He had no chance on the Regin goal or the Campoli gift and technically had no chance on Michalek’s second, but this was not one of Jimmy’s stronger nights. Derpendable D or not, a better outing from him would have been sweet.

Waived Off Goal: The Wings dodged a bullet on that one, but if it’d been the other way, I’d be livid. As it is, I’m majorly concerned. How can the referee justify that call  based on the push rule when clearly no push took place? If it was intent to blow, that’d’ve been weak, because the puck wasn’t covered long at all, but at least you could understand it. As it was, though, the Senators got screwed by a ref operating in an apparent alternate reality, and that’s not good for hockey fans, however good it was for Wings fans in a given instance.

If the ref is just going to stick with his story after talking to TO, what’s the point of talking to TO? We saw that with the May goal last year and it made as much sense then as it does now. Is he just looking for confirmation of his take, and if he doesn’t get it, he just goes with his gut regardless? It’s stupid. Either 1) the ref needs to have access to the instant replay himself, in the zamboni tunnel, and therefore assume all factual responsibility or 2) he needs to defer to Toronto.

It makes no sense for a referee to get on a corded phone and chat with people relaying what they’re seeing on screen and retain the authority to overrule the people who are seeing the replay, with only his own memory as a basis for overruling.

Give the man a monitor at ice level. It’s the 21st century for crying out loud.

Rafalski: Whatever else he did last night, he deserves credit for the play he made leading up to Franzen’s fourth: intentionally wide and gambling on the perfect bounce. Mule made a great play with his foot to take the pass, but I love seeing Rafalski play the angle like that.

Filppula: At one point, I tweeted “Fil doing it solo…and gets nothing.” That sequence no doubt led some to think “omg Filp like totally NEEDS to shoot teh puck moar amirite”.

Classy: Putting Chris Neil out in the final seconds of the game is a real class move, Ottawa. Way to lose with poise and decency. Idiots. It’s not like the Wings piled it on, unless you count unleashing the Mule as piling it on.

Next: We’ll be treated to a home game against the Blue Jackets. I hope the D tightens up a bit and that we have a less wild game.

Though if Franzen wants to put up another Muletrick, I’d be okay with that.

Five for Franzen

Update (10:26 PM): Thank you, YouTube user RedWingsFan1340:

Awesome. – Matt

Johan Franzen turned a crappy game into a memorable one with the Wings’ first solo five-goal night since December 26th, 1996, when Sergei Fedorov took care of the Capitals.

Huge night for the Mule, and one I hope is the start of a trend for him, now that he’s got a taste of goal scoring again. Tear it up down the stretch, Johan.

Relive it here, here, here, here and here. If anyone posts a super-reel to YouTube (hint, hint), I’ll embed that.

Game Day Notes: @ Ottawa

Update (2:35 PM): Link to George’s post added. Dumb mistake. - Matt

… The Wings kick off the post-Break schedule with what George is suggesting may be a trap. The pessimist in me agrees, but the part of me that wants to chalk up all of the Wings’ pre-Break issues to fatigue says, “No way! They’re rested and therefore will tear it up from here to June!”. Even though their problems in the defensive sphere date back before fatigue was a plausible explanation.

So I’m going to agree with my inner pessimist, and George. The Wings are headed into a trap, but it doesn’t have to be an inescapable one.

… The Senators’ 17-28-8 record is good for 13th in the East, ahead of only the Islanders and the Devils.

… They are winless in February. It being only the 2nd, that wouldn’t be so bad, if the loss wasn’t to New Jersey.

… Worse, they went 1-9-1 in January. This is not a good team.

They’re without Jason Spezza and Jarkko Ruutu tonight, as well as Pascal Leclaire.

… Robin Lehner will get the start tonight, after making 31 saves in Newark last night. So a slight added edge for the Wings there, maybe. He’s also playing at home for the first time.

… The Wings finished up January 6-4-1 with a 3-1 win over New Jersey just before the All Star Break. Everybody but Nick had the Break off and was able to get rest, so in theory they should be ready to go tonight. But getting going after a layoff has been a problem for them in the past, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if that happens again tonight.

… Dan Cleary will return to the lineup, but Pavel Datsyuk remains out. He was shooting for this game as a return, but he’s not satisfied with his shot yet, so he’s sitting in favor of Jan Mursak.

… Lines and pairings per Khan:

Franzen-Zetterberg-Bertuzzi
Hudler-Filppula-Cleary
Draper-Helm-Eaves
Miller-Abdelkader-Mursak

Lidstrom-Kronwall
Ericsson-Rafalski
Kindl-Salei

… Jimmy Howard will be in net for the Wings. Joey MacDonald is still on the bench.

… It’s important that the Wings get back in the saddle with a good start to the post-Break segment of the season. A game against Ottawa is a great test of their focus, as you’ve got a team that on paper should be a cakewalk, but can catch unsuspecting teams by surprise if taken lightly.

The Wings can’t fall into the trap of going into this one with a casual attitude. Take it seriously and escape the trap.

4/15 Links

Update (8:12 PM): At the Globe on Hockey blog, James Mirtle has more on Fabian Brunnstrom. I’m starting to wonder if this kid isn’t overrated. - Matt

Update (3:21 PM): The guys at Orland Kurtenblog have been looking for the greatest hit in NHL history and after five months of polling, a consensus has been reached: Scott Stevens’ hit on former Red Wing Slava Kozlov in the 1995 Finals. - Matt

Update (2:58 PM): If you’re into hockey stats, check this site out. (via Mirtle) - Matt

Update (2:41 PM): I missed posting reactions to the Nonis firing from two of the biggest Canucks bloggers because I got distracted and then forgot. Sorry.

Alanah of Canucks and Beyond, and Orland Kurtenblog. - Matt

… The Fabian Brunnstrom sweepstakes may not be over after all: the Canucks fired GM Dave Nonis last night in a surprise move.

Brunnstrom had apparently narrowed his choices down to Vancouver, but this latest development has him reconsidering, as Ken Holland told Helene St. James.

My guess is he’ll still opt not to come to Detroit for the same reason he was rumored to be headed to Vancouver: guaranteed playing time. The Wings still can’t give him that, but whoever takes over in Vancouver may be more amenable to the idea.

… Reactions to the Nonis firing: James Mirtle, Tom Benjamin, Eric McErlain,

Elliotte Friedman discusses the speculation that Brian Burke could return to Vancover to fill the vacancy left by Nonis.

… I thought the Senators hit a low point with that mural near the visitor’s lockerroom. I was wrong (video here).

… Speaking of the Senators, Pittsburgh is on the brink of eliminating them from the playoffs after last night’s 4-1 win.

Marty Turco’s not a fan of asking the crowd to wear black tonight in Dallas.

… The Avalanche/Wild series went to overtime for the third straight game. Minnesota came out on top for the second time to take a 2-1 series lead.

4/12 Links

… Washington came back from a two-goal deficit to defeat Philadelphia 5-4 last night in Game 1 of their series. Who had the game-winner? Alexander Ovechkin, following a Pavel Datsyuk-like steal.

… A very unfortunate event from that game: Philadelphia’s Patrick Thoresen took a Mike Green shot off a very bad place and as a result, he had to be taken to the hospital. Green went on to score seconds later, after the play was not stopped.

… As a blogger covering the decidedly anti-New Media Detroit Red Wings, I can’t even fathom being in this position.

… So the Senators haven’t completely given up on each other after all. They still lost, though.

… The Wild/Avs series went to overtime for the second time. This time it was Minnesota that scored, tying the series 1-1.

The Devils lost 2-1 to the Rangers last night and fell behind 2-0 in their series. Lou Lamoriello was not happy with the officiating.

4/10 Links

Update (6:42 PM): This a must-read for bloggers as well as journalists. It’s Deadspin so it’s got elements of NSFW-ness, but it has a message I think both sides of the debate over “New Media” need to hear.

This piece by Daryl Shilling, a former contributor here at OtW, is similar in philosophy.  - Matt

Update (6:01 PM): Slapshot has a great piece on the special hockey fervor in Montreal this season. - Matt

Update (5:24 PM): This is just a great piece of writing. - Matt

Update (4:29 PM): The guys at Orland Kurtenblog look at the “NHL Experts Picks” for the Wings/Predators series. - Matt

Update (4:18 PM): Heh. (via A2Y) - Matt

Update (4:16 PM): Steph has a preview of the Wings/Predators series posted. - Matt

Update (3:15 PM): This is great. For the background, read this and this. Kevin Schultz has a good response. - Matt

Update (1:25 PM): IwoCPO presents the keys to the Wings/Predators series. - Matt

James Mirtle reacts to the first night of the playoffs.

… HockeyTownTodd comments on the Wings/Predators series as only he can.

… Rangers fans made a good showing as their team opened the playoffs across the river in New Jersey.

… The Flames beat the Sharks in Game 1. I’ll be honest. I didn’t see that one coming.

… This one, however, came as no surprise: Pittsburgh 4, Ottawa 0.

Ansar Khan says the Wings aren’t looking past the first round. They’re also ready for the physical challenge of the post-season.

… This year’s under-the-rader player, Johan Franzen, is the subject of a Khan profile.

Bruce MacLeod has a piece on the Wings’ big three net front players: Franzen, Dan Cleary, and Tomas Holmstrom.

… The Forechecker gives Predators fans reason to believe.

1/25 Notes

George Malik breaks down the latest on the burgeoning Fabian Brunnstrom saga.

I’d say he has a solid chance of signing with the Wings, given the quality of the organization and the presence of the Swedes. However, they won’t necessarily be able to guarantee him a spot on the roster. From what I’ve read, he’s not expected to take the League by storm right off the bat, but is projected to be a “solid” second- or even first-line forward. The precedents for immediate jumps to the Wings upon arrival in North America on the Wings are Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, and Johan Franzen. Brunnstrom can’t match the former two, but he could be the next Franzen, I suppose. I’m just not sure where he’d fit in.

If he wants to be an NHLer right away and can’t take a year in Grand Rapids or another in Sweden, he may not be the Wings’ man.

… Ted Kulfan touches on the Brunnstrom story and Cleary’s eye today, but the most interesting part of his Red Wings Notebook is the short section on Johan Franzen, who is becoming a better shutdown forward all the time.

… One of the events at the Dodge/NHL SuperSkills competition tomorrow night is a breakaway contest. Alexander Ovechkin told USA Today’s Kevin Allen that he thinks the Wings’ own Pavel Datsyuk will win. No argument there, Alex.

… From the “huge steaming pile of BS” category: The Hockey News reports that Teemu Selanne is expected to return to Anaheim as early as next week. Not that this hasn’t been expected since the summer, but the fact that the Ducks will have two key players back just a little before and a little after the halfway point is repulsive.

It was one thing when Peter Forsberg did it years ago due to injury, but I don’t like the precedent the two Ducks are setting, sitting out when healthy. In a cap world, it’s particularly cheap, as it gives the Ducks relief despite the fact that they’ll have those players when they need them most.

…  Daniel Alfredsson put up seven (7) points last night against Tampa Bay. I’d call that a big “up yours” to Vincent Lecavalier.

… Apparently, Sergei Fedorov is becoming something of “an inspirational leader” in Columbus, as this post by the Columbus Dispatch‘s  Aaron Portzline indicates.  As an old Sergei fan, that’s always good to hear.

… Of all the insane rumors swirling in the Toronto media about candidates for the Leafs GM, there’s finally one I can get behind: Mike Milbury says Brian Burke is interested in the job. I say that’s great. Leave Anaheim, Burke. Go to Toronto. Then maybe we’ll see the resurrection of the Wings/Leafs rivalry. (Update: This has since been debunked.)