Sunday, October 31, 2010

Program notice

As those of you who follow me on Twitter know, my laptop charger is broken. This means I can't watch games and that writing is a pain in the ass (typing this from my phone). So regular posts resume when my new charger arrive, probably Tuesday.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Ranking the worst NHL jerseys

Doug over at the Detroit Transplant invited me to join him for a ranking of the 10 worst NHL jerseys of all time. This may, or may not, be the first in a mini-series of co-op posts. Anyway, head over to The Detroit Transplant and check it out! NOW!

Game 8: Just not enough

In a sentence
Ozzie and the guys stink it up in the first and bad finishing skills seals the deal.

Slow start. Then Kindl took a dumb penalty. It was killed off nicely, but the Wings got nothing going. Then Vrbata turned Kindl inside out and scored. Shortly after Modano took an unlucky hooking penalty and on the PP Yandle got to be alone for far too long, Ozzie went down way too fast and he scored. The Wings tried to bounce back, but their first PP was so bad that they got scored on again. The shot hit Nick's stick and became wobbly, but Oz probably should have had that one too. The Wings woke up towards the end of the period and had some chances, and got two more PPs but remained ineffective.

The Wings started the second on the PP. They had lots of chances, but got no goal. They continued to pressure after that, including a brilliant shift where Pasha deked every person in the world twice. But still no goals. And the shift ended in Homer taking an unlucky penalty. It was nicely killed off and the Wings went back to pressuring. They had big chances and dominated big time, but they just couldn't score. They had another PP, but that was ineffective too. At the midway mark the Coyotes got back into it a little bit. But then Bryzgalov took a penalty and on the PP Hudler had a brilliant shot-pass that Mule skillfully redirected in. The rest of the period went back and forth, but the Wings had the most pressure. No more goals though.

The third started with a few Jets chances before the Wings took over. A nice feed from Z found Pasha who shot three times, Bryz masterfully stopped them all, but Homer banged it in. But then Bert took a dumbass penalty, Helm drew one shortly after, but the Dogs took over and even though the Wings had better chances, they limited them to few. And then the Dogs got a PP towards the end. It was killed off and followed by a big flurry where Kronner nearly scored. Instead the Dogs scored in the empty net. Game over.

- Oz was bad. Really bad. But he said he was gonna be better this year and I believe in giving him more than this game to try it. If he fails in the next few games, then he is done, but I won't judge yet.
- In the second Ozzie got to show his top skill. Making a big save after having nothing to do for a few minutes. He did it several times. Didn't make up for the first period, but nice to see.
- He was good in the third too. Ended with good stats. Yes, he let in some bad goals and doesn't get an approved mark on the game, but he is not as terrible as everyone made him out to be after the first. Relax people. Let him find his groove.
- Credit Bryzgalov for good play and the Coyotes for getting sticks into the shooting lanes.

3 things that worked
- Dominated the second period
- Never gave up
- Strong last two periods by Ozzie

3 things that didn't work
- Ozzie had a terrible first period
- Anemic first by the team.
- Too cute and ineffective offensively. Especially on the PP.

Play of the game
When Pavel dangled everyone behind the goal.

Player of the game
Pavel. He's way too cute with his play at times, but damn that guy is magical.

Final words
Now we're done with playing games, on to serious buisness on Saturday

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pregame 8: Don't blink

So, I haven't done the pregames in a while. The reason is that what I say here is the same thing as everyone else says. I have no revolutionary thoughts on each game and 10 other people will give you the lineup. So I am going to try something new today. Something a little more enjoyable for me to write, so hopefully it is more fun for you to read too. Here we go!

Quick thoughts
We drew first blood against the Dogs with an overtime win in their lair in their home opener. So now they're even more hungry to beat us. They always play us hard and this game will be no exception. Hopefully they are a little tired and we are rested.

Keys to the game
- Eliminate those defensive mistakes
- Play a full 60 minutes
- Avoid the sloppy starts that often comes after time off

10 things you didn't know about the Coyotes
1. Adrian Aucoin is a big fan of Led Zeppelin. I approve. He also loves Entourage and John Candy. I approve again. What you probably did know is that he uses a wooden stick, which makes Mick love him.
2. BizNasty's idol growing up was Sandy McCarthy. True story. He would also like to be a DJ or star of an MTV show.
3. Mikkel Bødker is Danish and thus I hate him. Okay, you did know that. What you did not know is that if he wasn't a hockey player he would be a gay construction worker (okay, I made the gay part up).
4. Shane Doan's sister is a National team basketball player and plays in Europe. His cousin is an Olympic gold winner in speed skating.
5. Shane Doan loves U2, Creed and Garth Brooks. We now KNOW he is a douchebag of epic proportions.
6. Aside from having a slightly dirty name, Vernon Fiddler also has a really bad favourite movie, You, me and Dupree. Really? Did anyone like that movie??? WOW!
7. Maxim Goncharov's idol while growing up was Sergei Gonchar. Fitting.
8. Martin Hanzal loves Matt Damon. Maybe this love of retards is what makes him choose a team only a retard could believe has a reason to stay in Phoenix.
9. Ed Jovanovski has a daughter named Coco. According to my sources the odds are even money that she does porn before her 19th birthday.
10. Peter Prucha enjoys strawberries and dumplings. I KNOW you always wanted to know that.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Game 7: Baaaarely.

In a sentence
Wings win an offensive game despite terrible defense.

The Wings started pretty well and got on the PP after nearly five minutes. The PP was terrible. After that Kronner Kronwalled Selänne heavily. A Duck tried to take revenge, but missed Franzén on an attempted headshot. But right after that Perry collided with Mule and got a penalty. On the PP Nick found Z who let off a blast that went in. Might have gone off the skate of Homer. The Wings soon got on another PP and had some more great chances on a great PP, but didn't score. After that the Ducks came back a little more and got on a PP after Helm half-tripped a guy. The penalty was nicely killed. Towards the end of the period Pavel had a great play where he just stopped, which fooled two guys and fed Kronner. Only a great save by McElhinney and a poor shot by Kronner made that not be a goal. Instead Stuy, Nick and Flip got caught by Ryan sneaking in and scoring in the last minute. Ugh.

The second period started with an energized Ducks team. They got several odd man rushes early and Koivu hit the post. The Wings looked flat. And after 6 mins Kindl and Salei got too weak in front on a rebound and Carter scored. Less than a minute later, a turnover by Janik lead to another goal by Syvret. The Wings slowly worked their way back in after that. And midway through the period it paid off. Lilja was weak on a play and Bert stole the puck from him. He fed the Mule, who had three whacks at the puck and scored on the last. The Wings pressed harder after that and with three minutes left, three straight shifts of good forecheck and great chances paid off when a shot from Stuy was redirect in masterfully by Homer. The Ducks had a late chance or two, but tied after 2.

The third period started with chances both ways, but Anaheim seemed the hungriest. And after eight minutes Selänne lead an odd man rush and scored on a nice shot. The Wings bounced back and after a face off win, Zetterberg scored on a nice shot. The game wet back and forth again after that, but the Wings had the most pressure and it paid off when Pavel took a rebound deked Lilja and scored on a perfect shot. Red Wings win!

- The Ducks are as nasty as ever.
- Big Sexy took a puck to the face HARD. Scary shit.
- Mule and Bert had another great game.
- Mick with the season's first stick rant.
- Kronner still has ways to go, but looks better and better.
- Before Z's tying goal the Joe played Metallica's For whom the bell tolls. Coincidence? I think not. I call it karma. Play a surefire top 10 all time song and you deserve a goal.

3 things that worked
- Had a better start.
- Good comeback in the second.
- All lines looked good offensively.

3 things that didn't work
- Another goal against in the last minute of a period. This has to stop.
- Lousy, anemic start to the second.
- Still too many defensive holes.

Play of the game
Pavel's stop-deke and feed to Kronner. Shame that Kronner couldn't finish.

Player of the game
Henrik Zetterberg with a four point night.

Final words
5 days until the next game. Can we tighten the D before that?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Game 6: JIMMAH!

In a sentence
Inconsistent Wings battle and get bailed out by good goaltending to pull out a nice win.

In the beginning of the first the Wings definitely had pressure and good chances. But then Kindl took a penalty and only luck and Jimmah managed to keep the Flames from scoring. The Flames took over after that and had the pressure for the middle part of the period. With 7-8 minutes left the Wings pushed back a bit, but instead they got scored on. Kindl followed a man back behind the goal and Modano followed behind them. The Flames player passed it to another player behind the net, Salei went after him and that made 3 Wings be trapped behind the net, leaving Västerås-native Mikael Backlund alone in front to score his second NHL goal. Shortly after the Wings scored. Datsyuk and Z had a two-on-one and Pasha fed Z a beauty. But right after that again a broken play ended in front of the goal, where Janik couldn't hold off his guy and Backlund got his second of the night. The Wings pressured after that, but didn't get any goals, despite good chances.

The second started with some good Wings play and they got rewarded with an early power play. After a bad start, they got settled, Pasha deked a guy masterfully and found Nick who scored on a blast of a shot. They of course let the Flames back in the game after that and they got on a PP after a hook by Salei, but the penalty was killed off. After that, the Wings went right back on the PP. It was a weird PP with some good chances, but also some bad play. After that the game evened out for a little, before the Wings got another PP. Again they had some good chances, but no dice. Towards the end of it, Hudler got penalized for a very marginal interference. After a short 4-on-4 the Flip and Muled killed some time in the offensive zone and the rest was killed off too. The rest of the period went fast, with nothing major happening.

The third started with a big Calgary chance, where the Wings got away with one. Then the Wings took over and after seven minutes Mule got the puck at a bad angle. He tried to bank it off Kipper's mask, but it landed on his shoulders, but fell in when he leaned back. Of course the Wings let the Flames go straight to attack after that, but they took a penalty for goalie interference. That was soon negated by a phantom call on Modano. The Flames dominated the 4-on-4 and had good chances. When they started their brief PP Kronner had a terrible turnover and Salei had to knock the net off. The Flames were dangerous both the brief 5-on-3 and on the PP, but some nice plays, luck and some amazing saves kept the lead. Right after the penalty ran out the Wings got a PP and had some chances on it. When that ran out the Flames started pushing to tie it, but instead Bertuzzi stole a puck on his own blue line, raced up ice and roofed it. The Flames seemed to give up after that and didn't even pull their goalie.

- Seriously, I hate the commercials where a company beats down on another.
- Ken sounded like he got aroused when Kronner lost his helmet and looked like an Old time hockey player.
- Janik did not have a good night tonight. He had a good offensive chance though.
- Kronner is looking better again, but had a terrible turnover.
- The refs were very inconsistent.
- Bert silently had himself a great game.
- Filppula had a very good defensive game.

3 things that worked
- Pretty good PP at times. Better movement.
- Jimmah had a good game
- Effective offense.

3 things that didn't work
- Defense still porous and makes big mistakes.
- Can't seem to keep momentum after scoring.
- Inconsistent.

Play of the game
The Eurotwins goal was a beauty.

Player of the game
Jimmy Howard gave the Wings the chance to win this.

Final words
Good win, now let's get it all together a little more before the Duck hunt.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Man (Bradley) Down.

We all miss you buddy. I have talked to alot of tweeters who misses you. You said you'd be back for the season. Come back dude. I miss you! Kristin misses you, Greg misses you, everyone misses you! This is a pathetic blogpost, but we all miss our dear CorpusCavernosa.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Game 5: Winning again.

In a sentence
Wings wake up after one and pull out win in overtime.

The first was quick and boring. The Wings started the best, but then Hudler took a moronic hooking penalty. The Wings killed it off, but even though they got two (very) unsuccessful PPs could make up for the momentum it gave the Coyotes. And on a faceoff with half a minute left, Helm lost it. Nick and Stuart lost their guys AGAIN (WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK? YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE OUR BEST DEFENSEMEN GOD DAMN IT! YOU SHOULD NOT DO SHIT LIKE THE LAST TWO GAMES!) and Hanzal scored. 1-0. Not good by Howard either, but most of the blame has to go to the defense.

The second started with some Wings pressure they had control and kept it until Eaves scored off a pass from Pasha. As it turned out Eaves didn't touch it. Pavel's goal. The Wings pressured for a little after that, but then the Coyotes took over. The game was pretty open, but they had a little more pressure and they got 2 PPs which we killed off nicely. With 20 seconds left we got the cheapest PP ever, but couldn't do anything with that time.

The third started on the PP, but it sucked. They didn't get shit done. Instead the Jets dominateed the start of this period. But after 2-3 minutes Winnipeg took a double minor. Except for minute 2 of those 4 minutes the Wings played well, but the chances should have been bigger and they should have scored. After that it went back and forth through the rest of period, with both teams killing off another penalty.

In the Overtime the Jets first took one penalty and the Wings were close to scoring on that one. And then they took another (or they took two, Homer took one) and seven seconds before the end of it Kronner won the game on a point shot and I probably woke every neighbour by screaming yeeaaaahhhhh

- Jiri Hudler, please get hurt or get traded or something. You never had the heart and you never will.
- After a good start Kindl looked much, much weaker in this game. He struggled and also took a dumb penalty.
- Dave Strader might have been good with the Wings, but he is too much of a homer and Tyson Nash is just the biggest homer in the league (other than Bob Errey). Dear ESPNPlayer, I want Ken and Mick!
- Kronner had a much better game and notched his second for the winner.

3 things that worked
- Good bounceback in the second.
- Kept it up in the third.

3 things that didn't work
- Could not take control of the game from the start and gave away another lead in the last minute.
- Didn't win it earlier
- Bad PP effectiveness

Play of the game
The Kronwalls shot that won the game.

Player of the game
I think Todd Bertuzzi was the game's best player. He worked hard and set up a lot of chances.

Final words
A WIN! Drunk Andy is happy!

Pregame 5: Taking Arizona

We all know what the Wings need to do. They are Mule-less and has only 17 skaters, but let us hope they can play harder and want it more and that they can eliminate some defensive mistakes. Howard starts in the net for the Wings.

The Coyotes have been off for a week since their games in Europe. This is their home opener. This is the game all the Dogs fans have looked forward to. They want revenge. I would imagine the players do too. We ruined their party in the playoffs. We humiliated them in game 7. They want to give us back for that, so look for them to be another team with a little extra motivation to play us extra hard tonight.

I'd advice all of you to do like me and make sure to be drunk before the game, just in case it becomes painful.

Keys to the game
- Need better focus and more energy.
- Stop with the turnovers.
- Stop standing around in the defensive zone.
- TAKE space offensively. Be assertive.
- Test Bryzgalov early and often. He is a great goalie, but will let in softies now and then.
- Look out for Doan's dirty hits.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I hope you're tougher than this in private, Mike

From Red Wings TV we got this video of the Mule, Mo and Babbles discussing the game last night and Mule's injury.

I said this in last night's recap of the Dallas game and I will say it again. This is not the time for us bloggers, the fans or the media to have a freakout. Yes we are 2-1-1 and we'd obviously love to be better than that, but there are 78 games left. Yeah, losing the Mule for some games would suck cause his line has been great. And the fact Rafa is out for 3-4 week is bad. For every game without him we all notice how much we need him and his breakout passes. However it is better to have those injuries now than in March. Much better.

I'm not gonna freak out about the team being crappy either. The Avs game was bad in many areas. I hoped they would learn from that and play with another level of effort and also eliminate some of the problems they've had in all the games. Last night was unacceptable. That doesn't bother me too much in the long run. There are new defense pairings, lots of switching around, new teammates, new lines, new everything. They will settle in. I am worried about Kronner in general, but he was slightly better last night. What I don't like was the anemic effort.

This Wings team is good enough to not play like that. You know it, I know it and I hope Babbles knows it. In that video he talks about having played hard and having done good things, but not being able to convert and Dallas having a good game (which they did). I think that's a smart strategy by Babbles. This is a little early for him to start chewing out his team in the media. However I do hope that he doesn't believe the crap he told the media. This team needs to focus. They need to play tougher with more energy. They need to eliminate the stupid mistakes. Phoenix WILL play us damn hard and there is no way in hell we wing that game if we play like that. So while I am pleased with what Babs said to the media, I really hope that he gives the guys an earful about focus and effort level at practice today. Be angry, Mike! Drive the point home. Cause you know this team can be better than what they have shown so far.

Game 4: Anemic as fuck

In a sentence
Anemic Wings get blown out in a pathetic effort in Dallas.

The first opened with a Dallas attack that drew a penalty. They scored on it very fast on a shot from the point. After that the game was tentative. The Wings had the puck the most, but didn't get any chances. The Stars had some chances, but didn't manage to hit the goal. Their best came off a terrible turnover from Nick. Then the Wings got a nice attack with some chances, but right after that the Stars got another PP. Luckily it was killed off due to good PK and an amazing save by Ozzie. The game continued it's tentative and weird pace after it and no team managed to get anything going. Towards the end, the Wings got two PPs. They got some chances on them, but couldn't keep pressure or get set up and settled down.

The second was UGLY. After just 41 second Nick and Stuart got caught standing around. They didn't stop the guy with the puck, they didn't get the man in front. 2-0. The Wings kinda had the play after that, but got no good chances. Instead the Stars got away with their second hook of the period and seconds later Z coughed it up, Stuart went for the puck carrier, who Nick would have had, made Nick just get shoved out of the play, leaving Stuy's man open. Morrow scored on a weird, broken shot. Then the Wings got two PPs, but got little to nothing out of them. A couple of chances, but they just couldn't set up and settle down. Terrible. They had some chances after the second PP and Hudler hit the post (the Wings' third) with an open net, but instead Stuart didn't manage to take his man AT ALL (FUCKING WEAK) and the Stars scored again. The Stars got another PP to end the period, but luckily didn't score.

The third started with some Wings pressure. Then the Stars pushed back for a bit, but no team had big chances. Midway through the period the Wings got on the PP and at the tail end of it they finally got set up properly. Bertuzzi found Kronner with a nice pass and he made no mistakes. After that the Wings had some more chances, but didn't score. Would have been too little, too late anyway.

- Janik forechecked once. Weeeeird.
- Classy of them to give Mo a standing ovation.
- Mule got hurt on a borderline hit in the first and left the game.
- Kronner with a huge turnover on the PP. He was bad as usual, but not nearly as bad as Stuart. Nick had a bad game too. And Kronner finally scored, which was nice.
- I didn't notice Janik much, which meant he did okay.
- The offense was pretty lame too. Found no space to work on.
- While non of the goals were directly on Ozzie, he did not have a good game.
- Kindl silently had a good game.
- The Wings outshot the Stars badly. Way to not capitalize.
- Credit the Stars with being effective, playing like a team, clogging the neutral zone, not giving up ANY space, being first on loose pucks, being hard on the puck carrier and generally giving the Wings a hard night.

3 things that worked
- Say
- What?
- At least we didn't get shut out.

3 things that didn't work
- Anemic in both ends of the ice.
- Still bad turnovers.
- Terrible power play

Play of the game
The only goal. Bert's pass to Kronner.

Player of the game
Pavel looked like he tried.

Final words
Pityful. Terrible. A waste. A team that plays like this will win no games. Still, no time to panic, but the team has to wake up.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pregame 4: Mo's going to Dallas

So, first of all, skip the whole pregame song thing. I didn't like it. Sooo over that haha

The Wings will ice the same lineup as against the Dive, just with Ozzie in goal. Oz was great in Chicago and let's hope the trend continues. We're gonna need him this year. The D needs to tighten up and be tougher, be better and more focused on the defensive side. This especially goes for Niklas Kronwall. Get it together dude, you've been stinking it up so far. Would also be awesome if Doug Janik played like he wasn't Doug Janik. They also need to avoid the bad turnovers and be better at breakout passes. Offensively all is well. They struggled to keep momentum against the Avs, but that was rather because of bad D and bad breakout passes than because of anything else.

Modano is coming home. I expect him to be fired up and deliver in a big way. It would make me laugh like a moron if the Stars fans boo the player that gave them so much and that their GM sent away like trash. If they were smart they'd boo Nieuwendyk (what a name to spell) instead.

The Stars will not only be fired up because of Modano, but also because it's their home opener and they've won their two games so far. But they have won them in a shaky way and this is a team the Wings should be able to beat. However, the Stars always play us damn hard in Dallas, so this will be tough, but if the Wings take the Avs game as a wake up call, then they win this.

Keys to the game
- Better breakout passes
- Less east-west play (Hi, Amanda)
- Ozzie needs to be solid
- Tougher D
- Be hard on Lethonen. Test him early and a lot.
- Avoid Steve Ott. If necessary, treat Ott to a beating (looking at you Mr. Salei, if nothing else, your face can break his hand. NOT looking at you Mr. Dastyuk and ESPECIALLY not at you Mr. Janik).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Game 3: Unneccessary and unacceptable loss

In a sentence
Wings have Avs on their knees several times, but fails to pull the trigger.

The Wings started well and had the early edge and after less than three minutes, Bert worked a puck loose on the forecheck and the Mule took it and scored on a nice shot. The Wings fell together after that. The rest of the period was controlled by Colorado who had way too many chances. The Wings had some chances, but it was Colorado's period. The Dive did not score on a PP, but towards the end of the period they scored after a Mondao turnover. It wasn't all Modano's fault though as his backchecking gave the line a chance to clear, but they failed it. The goal was also one of those that would have been called off if it was Homer. They looked better in the last two minutes, but this was a bad period for the Wings.

The second opened much better for the Wings. They got on an early PP and on that PP Z found Pavel with a great shotpass that Pavel redirected in. After that it was pretty open for a while, until Flip took a hooking penalty. We rode the PK off, but the Avs got some momentum. The Wings slowly got into it and on a counter-attack, Mule found Flip in the neutral zone. He took it in and found Mule again with a perfect pass for a 3-1 lead. The Wings dominated the rest of the period and were close to putting the game away. But in the last minute Kindl and Hudler misunderstood each other on an Avs counter-attack and O'Reilly got to walk in and score. Jimmah maybe should've had it.

The Avs dominated the start of the third and got an early PP. Jimmah and the guys luckily killed it off. But right after that Winnik turned Kronwall inside out and scored on a shot Jimmah probably should have had. The Wings got a little more into it, but the refs being the refs they slapped them with another penalty. But on the PK, Lids gave Helm and Eaves a 2-on-1. Helm found Eaves and the Wings took the lead back. They played with it for a while, then Jones got his second of the game and tied it. Janik should have taken him out and Jimmah should have saved it. The game went back and forth after that with a couple of penalties to Colorado (among them a high stick) blatantly ignored by the refs.

Detroit dominated the overtime and should have won it there.

Everyone failed for many rounds in the shootout, until Yip put it away.

This is a game the Wings controlled. And they gave it away with defensive errors, some bad goals on Jimmah and inability to keep momentum.

- Janik got schooled in a fight with McLeod in the first. Embarassing.
- Kronner had two amazing chances in the first, but could not connect.
- The Avs did a great job blocking shots and getting in lanes.
- Eddie O.. Shut the fuck up

3 things that worked
- Got more into it in the 2nd period.
- Scored some goals
- Nothing, fucking nothing

3 things that didn't work
- Way too bad in the first. Let the Avs take over the game easily.
- Too many bad shots into blocks or wide.
- Let them back into it in the third. Shootout fail too

Play of the game
Datsyuk's redirection on the PP was ace.

Player of the game
Mule with 2 goals

Final words
A lot to fix here for the Wings. And the shootout will always be a joke.

Monday, October 11, 2010

NOT blogging about Babcock's signing

Mike Babcock and his famous death stare were each handed a four year extension today. Click on any blog in my blogroll and you will find a well written, nice blog about it. So I won't blog about it. You get something better. Me blogging about not blogging about it. And I think I've done enough, so I am gonna stop blogging about not blogging about it and go back to just not blogging about it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Chidenfreude: Chicago Blackhaws - I disappear

So, I made this little tribute to all the players that left the Hawks this summer. The lyrics of the chorus just fits so smoothly. And if you, like me, get sick of seeing Hawks players do good things, then remember where they all ended up.

Game 2: Banner razed

In a sentence
Detroit comes into Chicago and ruins banner raising night in a tight, hard-fought game.

After a lenghty, sickening ceremony the Hawks came out flying as expected on the first shift and got some chances. The Wings took it back though after a minute and had slightly more pressure and better chances during the first part of the period. After the first commercial break the Hawks took over a bit, but then after the next break it evened out. Then Bert fed Mule a pass and he found Flip all alone in front of the net. Easy goal for Val. The Hawks bit back though and controlled the rest of the period. Ozzie had to make a great save on Kane and Eaves made a huge block. Then towards the end of the period Salei took a dumb penalty and on the PP the Hawks scored with three seconds left of the period. Tie game.

Early in the second Stuart bounced a shot intentionally off the boards and Tuzz was in the right place and tipped it in. But the Hawks answered with immediate pressure and scored on a shot that went off Salei. After that the Hawks pressured a little, but the Wings fought back and got a PP. It looked nice, but got no goals. They kept momentum for a little after that before Pirri stumbled in a battle with Rafa and Rafa got a cheaaaap penalty. The kill was good though. After that the game went back and forth with big chances in both ends, but the Hawks got the biggest ones. In the last couple of minutes the Wings had a PP, but it looked very bad and the short span after the PP was dominated by Chicago.

The third started with Detroit in the driver's seat and after a few minutes they got a power play. Towards the end of it a Chicago D lost an edge, Flip got past him and lost the puck. Luckily he lost it so it bounced into the net! Shortly after Kronner took a dumb penalty on a late hit, but it was nicely killed. Same went for a Kindl penalty shortly after. A lot of sticks in lanes and blocks. The Hawks continued to pressure and Bert stupidly gave them a third chance, but the Wings killed that too and withstood the pressure. VICTORY!

- The banner raising ceremony was long and sickening. I feel violated. Let's never mention it again.
- Kindl looked better than E has done in a long time.
- I hate CSN Chicago. So terribly bad.
- Ozzie wasn't to blame for any of the goals. He played well.
- Damn it felt good to beat Chicago!

3 things that worked
- Good goaltending. Ozzie did good.
- Nice, potent offense.
- Did a nice job keeping the lead in the third.

3 things that didn't work
- Too many turnovers
- Inability to sustain momentum, especially after scoring.
- Gave up too many big chances

Play of the game
The first goal was a badass pass from Mule to Flip.

Player of the game
Flipper had two goals including the game winner, so he gets it. Eaves and Ozzie impressed too.

Final words

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pregame 2: We loathe the Hawks and we'll always loathe the Hawks...

The two teams meeting tonight started the season in the most different of manners. The Wings outplayed the Ducks for an easy victory, while the Hawks were outplayed by the Avs, crawled back into the game, but lost in overtime on Turco's second blunder of the night. But tonight is different, tonight they start from scratch again.

The Hawks want to win this. They want it badly, do not doubt that. They raise the banner, they have their opener in front of their home crowd and they have lots to prove. They have to prove that the first game was a fluke. They have to prove that they didn't lose too much talent to succeed this summer. They have to prove that they still can compete with big brother. The Hawks will play hard tonight. And their team has quality players. Guys like Kane and Toews will undoubtedly capitalize if we give them chances as stupid as those we gave the Ducks last night. And Keith and Seabrook will make life much harder for the circus. However, if you watched the Hawks opener against the Avs, you could see them struggle to sustain momentum because their bottom two lines are weak. The Wings bottom two lines rock. This could be exploited. And with Turco in net, there is always a chance for something crazy to happen. But know this, the Hawks will be amped for tonight, and that will either turn into a strong performance or into them being over-amped and nervous, and thus sucky.

The Wings are amped too. They want to show little brother who's king. They wanna ruin banner night. They need to take the good feeling from last night into this game and play hard. If they can do that and eliminate turnovers, then they win this game. Osgood in goal is a weird decision. I do want him to get games, but against the Hawks? And Jimmah needs to rest in game 2? Well, Oz has reportedly been better in this preseason, so let's hope he can play well tonight. He won't have to steal the game for us, just not lose it for us and I choose to trust Ozzie enough to do that. Kindl is in for E, which should be good too. All in all, this is gonna be an exciting game. It's gonna be hard, but I think the Wings definitely have the edge talent wise.

Keys to the game
- Carry on the good offensive play
- Better PP. Need to capitalize.
- Minimize the defensive mistakes and turnovers.
- Hunt for and victimize the Hawks' weaknesses.
- Who can be better? Or less bad? Turco or Ozzie
- Feed upon their fans' minority complexes and "Detroit sucks"-chants and show them who's the real team here.

Motivational song
The third line should be changed to "we won't care about the Hawks this year".

Game 1: Homecoming hero, Gordie Howe hat trick and shutout

In a sentence
Modano scores in his Wings debut and Pavel Datsyuk notches a Howe hat trick as the Wings open the season with a dominant win.

The Wings came out flying in the first and played very well. They had the pressure and after about five minutes Mule had a nice give and go with Flipper and buried a nice shot from the sideboards. Less than a minute later Stuy held a puck in, Cleary worked hard and gave it to Modano who scored his first as a Red Wing on a nice shot. After that the game opened up a bit, but the Wings retained the control and got a PP right before the midway point of the first. They got a few nice chances on it, but no sustained pressure. The rest of the period was controlled by the Wings, but the Ducks had some dangerous rushes. Luckily Jimmah stood tall on those.

The second period started with a couple of good Anaheim minutes, then became pretty open. A few minutes in Z took a point shot intentionally wide and Pasha redirected it in masterfully. After that the Ducks came on strong and got some good chances, but Jimmah was good. And the Wings got some good chances the other way too. Despite some sloppy mistakes, the Wings had control. In the second half of the period Homer got tired of constantly being harassed by Fuckface Getzlaf and Dickwad Perry and picked up a misconduct for 10 mins. Same went to Perry. In the scrum Sutton and Salei half-fought and got a minor each. Towards the end of the period Pasha found Buckets with a nice pass and Cleary got his own rebound in with his body. The net was off, and everyone expected it to be waved off, which it initially was, but apparently the net wasn't completely off when it crossed the line, so it was "a good hockey goal." After that Ryan got two chances off bad turnovers, but Jimmah saved both.

The third period started with Wings pressure. Cleary hit a post and Pavel had a great chances. Then the Wings got an even better chance on a delayed call, but Hiller saved. After the whistle had gone a scrum broke out and Pavel fought Perry and kicked his ass for his first career Gordie Howe hat trick. Getzlaf and Z also picked up offsetting minors. The PP was decent, but didn't score. Right after the power play Parros tried to go with someone and picked up a minor and a 10 minute misconduct. The PP looked better this time, but got no closer than the post. The Wings dominated the period and the Ducks got dirtier and dirtier and chippier and chippier. At the end of that PP Homer took a penalty, but it was killed nicely. Then with 4 minutes left Stuart went with Brookbank on another delayed call. The ensuing PP soon became a 5-on-3 and then an extended one, but the Wings rolled all their lines and though they had chances it stayed 4-0.

- Look at that, I hate Anaheim this year too.
- Jonas Hiller has a badass mask.
- Getlaf tried to goon it up. As always. Hate that douchebag.
- E getting deep in the zone scares me.
- I hate Perry too.
- E got back spasms. I might be evil, but I hope they continue, so Kindl can take his spot.
- The Wings proved they don't need any no-talent enforcers.
- The Ducks are such ugly, chippy bastards.

3 things that worked
- Had a very nice, offensive start and got holes on Hiller early.
- Good offense. Potent shooting.
- Howard was great. SHUTOUT!

3 things that didn't work
- The rush defense needs to be better, need more responsible play.
- Too many bad mistakes and turnovers.
- Gave the Ducks too many chances that a better team would punish them for.

Play of the game
How can you go with anything else than Modano's goal in the first period of his debut.

Player of the game
How can one resist Datsyuk after his Howe hat trick? So it's him. Jimmah and Cleary were awesome too.

Final words
It's on bitches!

Pavel's fight. Thanks to Kukla for finding the video:

Today's game song

The pregames will from now on have a song in them that is somewhat motivational or ties up to the game in some way. Since I came up with this AFTER writing today's pregame, I present today's song in its own post. This song is especially relevant for Modano, but really for the entire Wings team today. Doesn't hurt that it's a fucking great song too...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pre-game- The poultry is coming to town

So, new season, new expectations, new hopes. I could write a page or five of cliches here, but let's get down to buisness. We're opening the season against the Ducks today and we're all fucking excited. The Wings are lacking Drapes and Abby today and Bert is questionable, but will probably play. Anyway, our team looks strong. It looks good. We've got Jimmah, we've got a solid D-corps, even though E is still out there and the pairings are changed up, we've got the circus, we've got a rad second line and the third line looks scary. Even the fourth line looks fucking great. What can stop us?

Hopefully not the Poultry. They lost Niedermayer in the off season and their defensive corps looks really weak this year. Like, terribly weak. Their team struggled last year, so most experts pick them to struggle this year. But we know it's not gonna be that easy. They still have an elite group of top forwards and Hiller's gonna stand on his head in the crease. And most of all they play us hard. They play us dirty. Getting a win against Anaheim is never ever easy. Escaping the game without injuries is even harder. Somehow the Wings need to do both tonight. And they should be pumped to do it on opening night. So let's go out there and get a good start to the season boys!

Keys to the game
- I look forward to the reception Modano will get when he enters the ice.
- Jimmah needs a good game.
- Shut down the Getzlaf line.
- Exploit their defensive holes.
- Get a hole in Hiller early.
- Don't get caught up in a chippy game with lots of rough stuff. Don't retaliate. That's what the Ducks want. Let them do the dumb stuff and take the dumb penalties.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Season preview - the rest

This will be nice and snappy seeing as I am running out of time.

Darren Helm
Helm is the leader of the fourth line in my eyes. He comes off a season where he managed to keep the energy level up for a whole year, played well, killed penalties like a mofo and burned more breakaways than anyone else. This year, I think that much will be the same. He will get a little less ice time seeing as the team will be healthier, but he will continue to do what Helm does. People are becoming increasingly aware of his speed, but I think he will still be effective. On a line with Abs and a rotation of Eaves, Miller and Draper, Helm gets to be the speedy energetic one and I am sure he will score a few with a little better finishing skills than last year and set up Eaves nicely for quite a few goals.

80 GP, 12 G, 16 A, 28 pts, .35 PPG

Justin Abdelkader
Abs showed a lot of grit in the parts of last season that he got in Detroit. He grinded hard, killed penalties and hit a lot of guys. He is tough to play against. He agitates. He is a bit like Kirk Maltby. Except the fact that he fights now and then. We have yet to see the offensive talents he has shown on lower levels, but I expect him to a little, but not a lot better on that front this year.

Prediction 75 GP, 3 G, 9 A, 12 Pts, .16 PPG

Patrick Eaves
Even though I had higher expectations of Eaves than most other people last year, he still was a pleasant surprise. He has struggled a bit in camp, but I think Eaves will get a lot of playing time and give us a lot of good things. He will work, hard grind, be good in the corners and unleash his shot a little more this season. I also expect him to be as stellar on the kill as he was last year.

Prediction 67 GP, 15 G, 12 A, 27 Pts, .40 PPG

Drew Miller
Miller was a total surprise after having been picked up on waivers last year. He scored some pretty goals, but most of all he showed us some hard play and good grinding. He was good on the PK too. I expect more of that this season.

Prediction 41 GP, 5 G, 9 A, 14 Pts, .34 PPG

Kris Draper
Draper is Draper. Still fast, still works hard, still a good grinder. But he is older, he is less effective and will get a diminished role this year. But when he plays he will be a good leadership influence and strenghten the PK. And in the playoffs he will get more ice time. Bank on it.

Prediction 34 GP, 1 G, 5 A, 6 Pts, .18 PPG

Tomas Tatar
Skilled guy, showed a lot of hustle in the pre-season. I think he will be rewarded with a couple of games and do decently in them.

Prediction 3 GP, 0 G, 1 A, 1 Pt, .33 PPG

That's it. Let's go Red Wings!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

25:19 break - NHL app and more

Sorry for the silence. Just haven't been inspired lately. But that will change soon. Tomorrow I hope to have another post out that quickly goes over the rest of the lineup and completes my picks for the prediction contest. And once the season starts I will be here with previews, recaps and other fun stuff. Look forward too it.

25:19 has been gone for 2 weeks now. I know there is like 11 weeks left or so of it, but right now I have no ideas and I don't wanna force it and write boring lists. I love the concept, so I am gonna let it rest for a few weeks and then get back with a few more. Okay?

Last of all: Our mate Michael Gorman, also known as Crater from SoCal over at A2Y and @craterburnsyou on Twitter has written an Android app called NHL Feeds. I have used it for a few weeks now and I find it very useful for checking news when I am away from my computer. It lets you pick a team and then you see all news and links posted on Twitter regarding that team. It's fast, it's nifty, it's free and it is written by a fellow member of the 19, so get into the Market, search for "Michael Gorman" and you will find it.