I don't really know where I'm going with this post. I'm waiting for a lecture to start and I'm just gonna write and see how it all turns out.
Brad Stuart apparently sprained his shoulder in the first period last night. I would guess it happened after he looked like a fish out of water on the first goal against, so that cannot be used as an excuse. He played on in the game until the Wild got their fifth and I saw him unload some slappers and general seemed to play normally, so I wouldn't think he's hurt that bad. Would be a pain to lose him now that the prospect of a complete defense is so near. On the other hand, well, he has kinda sucked lately.
Our dear Chris Osgood did not look good last night. The 2nd, 4th and 5th goals were all bad by him. His lateral movement seemed terrible. He seemed to be slightly out of position a lot and he seemed to make himself small in goal. And he made no impossible saves, nor did he stand on his head. We should be able to expect all that of Ozzie and apologizing for it will not help him. On the other hand, there were also some positives. He had a strong second period where he seemed to challenge shooters more and he was a lot more on his game. And as previously stated, I really liked his admission of not having been good and his wish of being able to stand on his head to save the game. I have been a bit scared that Babs might have broken his confidence, but I think that if he gets another start pretty soon he can use the hunger he got from this, and some confidence from the second period, to play a better and less rusty game. If Ozzie played up to his best we would have two good goalies, and both could get the amount of rest that they need. So, I hope he gets another shot or two soon and hopefully he can deliver. If he can't, then ride Howard into the sunset and bench Ozzie for good. He has to show that he can play at the level we expect of him. We are in the playoffs right now (TM Chief) and Ozzie should have no motivation problems. He's got a lot to prove and this is the time to do it.
The compete level
Over the past few weeks the Wings have struggled with their level of competing. Some games they have had 40 good minutes, in others 55. Nothing else than 60 is enough. Yesterday we got a fairly consistent 60, but they consistently sucked. The Wings seem to struggle against teams that forecheck agressively and that was pretty clear yesterday. The guys seemed tired, worn out and were off on their passes. They didn't skate, the only physical line was the 4th and well, it was just a shit game. Babs called a team meeting this morning and I hope he can punch the point into their heads. The time of apologizing for a young team is over. They all need to be able to play consistent good hockey. When it's good, it's amazing, and they need to be able to do that every minute, every game.
Does the NHL really love the story of the Wings missing the playoffs so much? Do they want to tear the team down, and then help them to a cup in a year or two? Is it just bad luck? Do the refs themselves hate the Wings? Do the refs just plainly suck? Are we just whiners?
I can't answer that, but the Wings have had a lot of bad/soft calls go against them this year, and yesterday was one of those games. I've seen bad calls go for them too, but most of the bad calls seem to be against the Wings. Right now they don't deserve good refereeing, but hell, this is the top league and we should be able to expect top refereeing.
Pasha and Nick
Nicklas Lidström didn't score for Helm (TMPetrella) games. Then he came back and has scored 4 in the last 8 games. He has also racked up a serious amount of assists. I think he looks better than earlier this season on defense and offensively he's owning the game. Everything just seems to go his way, he is strong on the puck and finally he's able to make the perfect plays. I don't know if there is any coincidence, but Datsyuk has potted 3 in his last 2 games. He too seems to have woken up. I guess this is the good news among all the depression. If they could get Z going a little more, then I'd be really happy. On a related note, Kronwall looks like a God offensively. He has, singlehandedly, created himself at least 4-5 good chances over the two games he's been back. When he gets completely back in it he'll be a dangerous man. Look out. On a related related note: I miss Johan Franzén.
The Twins GM
I refuse to remember his name, I couldn't care less about snowmobiling for charity (don't you have better things to talk about during a hockey game) and I hate the Twins. But what I really can't forgive him for is ripping Mick off and saying "Bingo Bango" after the fifth Wild goal.
Um, I'll quit writing now. The purpose of this post is still relatively unclear to me. Let me just say that I hope to see a hungrier, sharper and more competitive team against Bubba tomorrow. And Jason Williams will be back! Like anyone cares about that...
5 weeks ago