Thursday, January 28, 2010

Random thoughts on a thursday

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
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.

The refs
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...


  1. Andy, I thought there were a LOT of soft calls last night: the holding call against Helm (who looked so heart-breakingly sad in the penalty box), the interference call against Bert, the roughing penalty against Rafalski (really?!), and the hooking call against Brad May (which was the exact OPPOSITE of what happened).

    I don't know what accounts for this. I don't want to be the kind of person who blames conspiracies for everything, but...those four calls were all suspect. I think a big part of it may be increased pressure on the refs to blow the whistle for anything and EVERYTHING once player-on-player contact occurs. It's ridiculous. Last night's officiating was a joke. I can't say I blame the game's outcome on it, but it doesn't help matters, as a fan, to watch shoddy penalty-calling, never mind what it does to the team's confidence when they're constantly killing bullshit penalties.

    Regarding Ozzie, I thought last night was a weird night for him; he appeared slow to react to what was going on around him, but I don't believe he lost the game for us last night. I liked his postgame comments, too, particularly that he knew he wasn't stealing any games for anybody. It's time to bring out one of my favorite sayings: six in one hand, half a dozen in the other. Yes, those late goals were perhaps saveable, but how much do you blame the goaltender if he's having to overcompensate for his own team's defensive breakdowns, including the egregious number of breakaways the Wings gave the Wild last night? The only thing that was consistent about the Wings' play last night was that it was sloppy.

    If I had written an actual recap of last night's game, I would have sung Datsyuk's praises for his beautiful goals, even though he had that horrible falldown/turnover behind the net resulting in Miettinen's second goal during the first period. But, like pretty much everyone else on the team, he disappeared after the first period.

  2. One thing I forgot to mention is that Ozzie left out a horrible number of juicy rebounds for the opposition last night, too, and if we had been playing a tougher team, it could have been even worse. Seriously, heart-stopping rebounds. That just can't happen, especially when our defense is shitting the bed, no matter who's between the pipes.

  3. "Yesterday we got a fairly consistent 60, but they consistently sucked."

    Sad but true.

  4. I am completely blitzed right now (start of term party), but I'll try.
    Natlie: For sure, they looked awfully soft to me. Helmer and Zäta has 4 mins each the lat 2 games, which tells you something is wrong.

    Ozzie had no fault in losing the game, except maybe for the second goal. But he did't steal it, so you're right.

    I won't blame Pasha for the 2nd goal. The guy who sharpens the skates however...

    Jenn: Sixty rockin' mins tomorrow is the least they can do to make up for that.

    Wow, that took six mins...

  5. Andy -

    If you are getting wasted you will fit right in at Bless You Boys once the season starts.

    Sign up, already! :)

    (I don't think there is anyone from Norway commenting on the Tigers yet.)

  6. Haha, I will check it out. Just a little much to do around here right now as I am starting to move on monday.

  7. That's right, your new place! You must be excited.

    I warn you, it will take a heck of a lot longer to get things sorted out than you think. It's one thing to live in a rental or dorm room and just jam stuff in closets, but I found out it was something entirely different trying to organize an actual house (and I'm not done yet).

  8. yeah, I know. It's a small place, but still it's gonna take some time.