Saturday, March 13, 2010

Huge

Recap
Due to an old promise I had to be a chauffeur tonight and thus missed the first. Apparently the Wings started very well and Pasha and Eaves scored a goal each in the first four minutes. Sadly, Jochen Hecht made it 2-1 after 7 minutes.

I got home after about 5 minutes of the second, 5 minutes dominated by the Sabres it seems, just in time to see the replay of Hecht's tying goal. The Wings to outworked on that one. The Sabres took it to the Wings for the next few minutes. Around the midway point of the period the Wings got their first shot on goal of the period and started dominating. They owned the next seven minutes and players like Eaves, Z and the Mule all had amazing chances, but Ryan Miller was frickin huge for the Sabres. With three minutes left Cleary and a Sabre both held each other and hooked each other and only Cleary got penalized. The Sabres PP got nothing, but Flip and Miller were inches from scoring their second shortie in two games.

The Sabres started out the best in the third, but both teams had a huge chance early on. Then the Wings got the most obvious interference PP ever. They played well and got a post shot from Nick, but no cigar. The game evened out after that, but then the Sabres got a PP. It was dangerous, but again, no goals. The Wings dominated until there were 5 minutes left, then the Sabres took over. They got as close as a post. With a little more than a minute left, Tyler Myers took a delay of game penalty and while the Wings didn't manage to score, they took the rest of the PP with them into overtime.

And towards the end of that PP, Rafa kept the PP streak alive and secured the win with a great shot that Miller didn't see because of Cleary's excellent screen. Win!

Thoughts
- As Ken and Mick noted there were several minor headshots from the Sabres. Non of them of the type I want suspended, but they should lead to minors so they are elmininated from the game. Not good at all.
- On the other hand, Mike Grier passed up an opportunity to absolutely smoke Rafa, because he saw it wouldn't help the game and possibly hurt Rafa. Grier has always been a class act and a guy I respect a lot.
- Ryan Miller has probably never had as much goodwill in Motown as now. Nice job squabbling it by trying to land himself a major movie role.

Keys to the game
- So, I heard someone murmur something about a couple of brothers meeting in this game. Who are they? Who will be the best brother?
Ryan and Drew Miller. Drew had a great game, but Ryan was HUGE.

- Will Pasha keep playing dangelicious hockey with his linemates?
He scored in the first and from what I saw he won pucks, dangled and played great with Franzie.

- Can Jimmah be the better goalie in the game?
I have no idea about the first goal, but the second wasn't Jimmah's fault. Jimmah played well as far as I saw, but Miller showed why he is NHL's best goalie.

Play of the game
Rafa's goal. The only one I saw. But boy was it huge!

Player of the game
Pasha was the best on the ice yet again. Superstar form has arrived

4 comments:

  1. Once again, I want to thank Team Russia for sucking it up so badly that it royally pissed off Pasha & therefore has sparked him into being the player we'd been waiting for him to be this season. He's been on fire as of late, and last night's goal, another high-light reel one, just proves that. Though, I do believe that a lot of it also has to do with him playing with Mule & a healthy Homer.

    I agree Z was not as big of a force as he was the other night, but still, playing on a line with Fil drastically improves his chances of playing up to his potential. Glad to see that Babcock felt it was time to bring him up to the second line and demote a slow and inconsistent Tuzzi back down to the 3rd line, where he's less likely to get in someone's way.

    I was pretty damn happy that Olympic Rafalski showed up to play (I commented to saraneuie that we should just put him in front of Miller and fail to pick up on Pasha & Mule's (playing the role of Iggy/Crosby here) play, thereby re-creating the Gold Medal OT. Because by that point, I felt it was the only way we were going to beat him. I guess Raf had something else up his sleeve, and decided that it'd be a good idea to shoot the puck and let his Olympic karma do the rest. Nice job, Raf!

    Speaking of the Mike Grier/Raf almost check, good on him. I wish more players had that kind of respect for each other. I was watching the NBC game of the Week this afternoon, and they were commenting on the new head-shot rule that was going to put in place next year, and it just reaffirmed to me what a complete douche Mike Milbury is. While even someone who advocates rough "North-American-style" hockey like Don Cherry, is on board with eliminating these shots, Milbury went on and on about how he thought it would make the game too soft & that it wasn't hurting players as much as everyone says it is... I'm just very thankful he's no longer one of the GMs that can vote on something like that.

    I agree with you totally, this game showed why Ryan Miller is the league's best goalie. I kind of like the Buffalo team besides him, but wow, it shows you how far a goalie can carry a team. The score would've been drastically different if it'd been someone like Huet in net that night. I'm so used to seeing Jimmah give up juicy rebounds that it still awes me when I see a goalie with great rebound control... Jimmah, I hope you were taking notes last night, kid...

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  2. I don't really think the Russia thing has had much to do with it (but I might underestimate their national pride), I think the Mule and Homer thing has the most to do with it. He has strenght around him and Mule brings so much to the table that no one else on the team does.

    I'm still not sure about the Flip move. On one hand I like that Z has someone new and creative around him. On the other hand I do not feel completely confident that the new 3rd line can create anything at all and the PK proves that Miller and Flip work very well together.

    I think Rafa has been better this year than a lot of people are willing to give him credit for. But as of late he has found a newer and more confident level and he has scored some absolutely huge goals, including the one last night.

    As I have stated several times here, Mike Milbury is in my eyes the worst General Manager in NHL history. The best list of his mistakes can be found in Bob McCown's book "McCown's law", but I think we all know about the horrible trades his made that ruined the Islanders franchise. His opinions are still moronic and how he is on television baffles me. Don Cherry is in many ways one of the people that disgust me the most on earth. I disagree with most of his opinions and ideals, but the one thing I respect is that is true to those ideals. And in this case he is right and my respect for him grew when he talked about confronting Matt Cooke.

    Mike Grier is a good guy, always been gritty, but also always clean as far he has been able to be. I don't know him at all, but I used to "follow" him on facebook and he seemed like a really down to earth and good guy.

    Ryan Miller is a phenomenon. I have only attended two NHL games and through those I saw 2 very good and 2 very bad goaltending efforts (Osgood and CuJo). And while Chris Mason was great (and just imagine how he was when he played in the Elite League here, he was blowing everyone away), Ryan Miller is in his own class. And since then (a little more than a year ago) his confidence seems to have grown and his skillset now seems complete. He is the NHL's premier goalie right now.

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  3. Ryan Miller is a freak - if he couldn't sign with the Wings (and realistically, it wasn't going to happen) then I am so thankful he is staying in the Eastern conference. That is what Holland talks about when he mentions that one of the very top goalies is worth a big contract, but if you can't get a stud like that you are better off putting your money into the defense because you don't come across a Ryan Miller every day.

    And it's pretty clear that you suck as a GM when people can assemble a list of your own worst 10 trades, and there isn't much difference with the worst 10 trades in the entire league in your tenure.

    Plus my mom can't stand him and thinks he's an idiot - and it takes a lot for my mom to think you are worthless, so congrats, Mike. :)

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  4. Yup, Miller is something special and trying to give that kinda money to Huets and Gigueres is just stupid.

    I think those 10 trades could be made to top 30 with no difference. Yashin and Peca anyone?

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