Monday, October 12, 2009

A game wrap-up and a preview in one

Ahhh yes I'm a multi-tasker attempting to utilize the most of my time so here we go with a post game and a preview in one. I'm all modern and shit like that.

Let's begin with the Wing's grind it out desperation win against the offensive powerhouse that is the Washington Capitals.

After the kick to the scrotum that is the Franzen injury, I had less than warm fuzzy feelings going into Saturday's game. In fact, I'll admit it, I was nervous. Take away another 30 goals from the Wings (yes I kicked my own ass for being the 800th person to write that) and put them up against well basically the top 3 scorers currently in the league and I was nervous.

But then, just as I sat down with a stiff drink, bracing myself for the worst, a little special treat from baby Jesus floated across the screen....Mike Green, yes I knew things would be ok. That douche supreme, with the pathetically dated fauxhawk, and an ego larger than his double chins was in fine form on Saturday. Taking a perfectly timed penalty *snicker *snicker, his Norris Trophy nominated, elite defensive skills, allowed fucking Homer of all people to get the tying goal in the first. I still don't get the obsession with this kid. What was his excuse this time, sticks, gloves, the inability to stop looking at his reflection in the glass...who knows. But I will say, calling him a Norris Trophy nominee is like saying Britney Spears is an Oscar Nominated actress, it just shows the sad state of things.

But anyway, moving on from my Mike Green bitching, the Wings had a slow start and certainly didn't dominate in the first period. Ozzie let in a softy 4 minutes into the first, but as if he flipped a switch he came back strong for the rest of the game. It seems that the pk improved a bit and I think a large part of that had to do with Osgood.

After the first, the Wings seemed to settle down and control the tempo of the game. I think it was their best game so far. It was a relief to see their puck possession style coming back.

A few other random thoughts:

I can't have a game recap without mentioning the reunion of the Eurotwins. It's like those two never stopped playing together. The chemistry was back and despite my initial reservations about Bertuzzi being on the top line, he seems to be adjusting well to their style of play. There that's it, despite his improved play, he still had 3 giveaways and I don't want to let my guard down about him yet. Because let's be honest, anyone looks better when they play with those two.

Jason Williamson has not made me throw my dog at the tv yet....I know I know. Knock on wood, rub a lucky rabbits foot, but he has not extremely pissed me off. And gasp, I've really like what I've seen of him on the point on the power play. He's been, dare I say, consistent???? And the perfectly placed shot on his goal against the Caps made me once again say au revior Samulesson.

Leino showed some grit last game. Scoring his first garbage goal for the Wings. He worked hard in front of the net, took the punishment, and scored a goal. I've been impressed with Leino so far, and he will need to continue to improve his game to make up for the absence of Franzen.

As strange as it was for Leino to score a goal in front of the net, it was even more strange for Homer to score on a slap shot....well his own slap shot anyway. Yes it may have been his farthest goal in quite some time. This really is a fucked up season....

Filppula has stepped his game up when necessary. He seems to gel well with his fellow countryman and perhaps most surprising, he has really brought a physical aspect to his game. In particular the hit on Ovechkin stands out. Everyone knows Ovechkin is not just a skill player, but is pretty damn physical as well. It was nice to watch him go in for a hit on Fil, Filppula stands up and Ovie takes the worst of it.

Which really leads to the entire theme of the night, Ovechkin who??

Despite having one assist the Wings really made him a non factor. And the credit for most of that can go back to Datsyuk. Of course Babcock liked to match Dangle Dangle's line against Ovechkin and Semin and Datsyuks superb two way play and amazing backchecking really stopped any momentum Ovechkin tried to build. Well that and the amazing desperate toe save by Ozzie late in the third to save the game. All the hype about the great 8 was soon drowned out with the Wings, disciplined, patient, defensive style of play.

My choice for star of the game, Pavel Datsyuk. Clearly making a case for another Selke nomination he was spectacular at both ends of the ice. My favorite moment was watching him backcheck to break up an Ovechkin/Semin odd man rush. When your leaders are the hardest working players on the means something. Just ask the Sharks who lost to the Coyotes tonight. Sorry just had to add that. Watching them be dominated by the Coyotes was a satisfying feeling. If the Coyotes could just find a way to score, that game would not have gone to a shoot out.

But I digress, no more digs at the Sharks. Back to the Wings and their grind it out, hardworking, win against the Caps. I see this as a consistent theme throughout the season. Close games, one goal games, and back to the basics. The Franzen injury hurts and this season certainly won't be easy. But it will force the Wings to buckle down, improve their defensive play, the pk, and goaltending will once again be key. It should put them into a much better position in the long run.

Now onto the preview. I don't have much to say about the Sabres. They do seem to be an improved team this season. Some offensive firepower that the Wings will certainly need to control. Thomas Vanek and Drew Stafford will need to be watched and contained.
Despite the Sabres previously pathetic reputation, the Wings will not have the luxury of taking games "off" this season, and they know it. Continued improvement on the pk and in their defensive play will be a must and a key not just this game but throughout the entire season.
Apparently Helm is ready to play but Babcock is not sure if he will be playing....don't know what the hell that means. I'm ready to see him back in the line up, doesn't that mean anything?
Ozzie starts tomorrow which means Howard will probably be in net on Thursday against the Kings. So yeah, enjoy one more night without Howard.
Ok, so I promised a preview and that was well, rather pathetic, but it's getting late. Hope to be back tomorrow afternoon with some more notes.


  1. You got everything all screwed up there in the preview for the Wings/Sabres game sweety (hopefully that doesn't offend you, I know it does some ladies). You referred to them as the Islanders a few times. I mean, they're both pretty pathetic teams, but the Sabres deserve a LITTLE more respect than to be called the Islanders. haha

  2. Haha...offended no, embarrased no, I would need more shame for that. But I do appreciate the heads up. I think I am going to blame it on lack of sleep. Not sure how I can get the players right and then call them a completely different team...fucked up. But thanks and you are right, that was an unintentional low blow ;)