Archive for Eaves

Antarctic Birds and Essential Points

Posted in General Hockey with tags , , , , , , on 03/22/2010 by Ben Gilbert

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Detroit Red Wings

March 22nd, 7:00pm, Joe Louis Arena

So I’m returning to the blogosphere to hopefully be able to comment more fully of the goings-on in the world of the Red Wings with more frequency.  I’ll be beginning tonight by posting a little pre-game, and noting my excitement because I’ll be attending tonight’s game against the Pens with my friend Joe who is a born and raised Pens fan.

This game should also put us way way over the goal for H2H, which is bar-none the coolest story associated with Red Wings hockey this year.  Hockey fans are the best.

Game Notes:

  1. Eaves and Cleary are still out tonight as they were against Vancouver on Sunday.  On the one hand this sucks, but on the other I hope that Cleary will become more effective when he gets back to full-health.  He was slumping in a big way since the Olympic break, and I think he may have been trying to play through an injury.  We want to welcome you back fully healthy Buckets.
  2. Evgeni Malkin is out tonight.  This is hopefully a plus for the Wings as the injury bug makes a trade. What do you guys think?  Is it pretty much even for us to be down Eaves/Cleary with the Pens losing Malkin?
  3. Speaking of Eaves again…dang I want him back on that PK unit stat.  He needs to be resigned after this year for a 2-4 year deal.  He and Darren Helm make up perhaps the best forward combination on a PK unit in the league.  Pure dedication from Eaves and the deadly speed of Helm…that is a winning combo.
  4. The game is at 7pm on Versus. My guess is that the over/under on Ovechkin references is 15, and on Ovechkin’s recent suspension or “overly-physical” play is 5.  I know you will all be missing Ken and Mick, I’m glad I get to see this one in person.
  5. We need these two points to continue to keep alive the hope of moving up to the 7 or even 6-seed in the West because everyone and their mother keeps winning games.  At this point if the Coyotes keep winning maybe we could get lucky? and play them in the first round.  I’m not sure how I would feel about that versus the opportunity to take out Chicago or San Jose in the first round.  Oh well, let’s just make it in first.  We need the points to do it.
  6. WIN
  7. Prediction: Wings Win 5-3.
Advertisements

Preview: Calgary Flames (Christmas Wish-List)

Posted in General Hockey, General Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 11/27/2009 by Ben Gilbert

Instead of just doing the typical game notes and predictions, in the spirit of the season, I’m going to submit you to my early Christmas wish-list.  Maybe the Red Wings can get me some of these on black-friday…

All I want for Christmas:

  1. I want Ville Leino to purchase a nice cottage in northern michigan and retire there.  He obviously does not want to put out the effort Detroit fans expect form their players, and this way he’d be able to tell all the people up-north about his glory days playing for our beloved hockey team.  Maybe in 20-25 years an age group will come along that will marvel at the fact that he once wore the winged-wheel, failing to realize that he was a complete disappointment the entire time he did.  Little would they know, he only played for us because of gary’s salary cap and the obnoxious amount of injuries we’ve sustained.  I’m done with Ville…yes, I’m writing him off.  I hear Charlevoix is nice this time of year…
  2. I want Todd Bertuzzi to join Ville.  Reference everything I wrote above and apply it to Bert.
  3. I want Johan Franzen to stop thinking that he’s going to make it back for the olympic games.  This scares the thanksgiving stuffing out of me.  So he wants to skate in a month, then play in a couple games with the Wings, followed by a grueling 2-week single-elimination tournament.  Coming off ACL surgery, somehow this doesn’t seem like a spectacular idea to me.  The last thing the Wings need is Franzen to re-injure anything or even be hurting heading into March.  This is all considering that we may, unfortunately, be battling in the playoff race come that time of year.  We need the Mule back strong and healthy.
  4. I want better Special Teams.  Namely I want better Penalty-Killing.  We’re the Red Wings, and we have “great” defensive depth and a good core of penalty-killers.  Yet somehow we can’t actually stop other teams from scoring…it baffles me.
  5. I want Ken Holland to go back in time and sign Vinny Prospal to play wing rather than Bert or Williams.  Oh hindsight…
  6. I want Georges Laraque to never play another NHL game.  It’s painful to watch this man play hockey, and no fan should ever have to pay to see it.  End this.  Immediately.  (I’m looking at you Bob Gainey.)
  7. I want Ryan Getzlaf.  What!? I’m allowed to dream alright.  It’s Christmastime, maybe a surprise is awaiting me…
  8. I want the Red Wings to sign Darren Helm for life so that I can feel confident purchasing a #43 jersey soon.
  9. I want the Red Wings to have a 4-game winning streak at any point this season.
  10. Finally, I want to wake up and have this nightmare be over.  I’m ready for April and for us to be a top-4 seed.  I don’t enjoy watching games like the last two.  I’m sick of hearing about different players “trying” and “working hard.”  This is the Red Wings.  To quote our favorite muppet Yoda: “Do or do not, there is no try.”  That is a mantra the Wings need to pick up and run with.  The Red Wings win.  Period.  If they aren’t then things need to get changed.  I’m tired, and I’m not enjoying the fact that we’re not even in the top 8 in the conference right now.  I’m not completely freaking out, but this is taxing as a Wings fan and I’d simply like to be reminded at Christmastime that my hockey team is still one of the premiere franchises in the league.  Let’s start with tonight.

Side note, at the pace the Red Wings are taking shots and failing to score goals, I only have one thing to tell them…You’ll shoot your eye out.

Calgary Flames vs. Detroit Red Wings

November 27th 7:00pm, Joe Louis Arena

Game Notes:

  1. Eaves is back in the lineup and Brad May is the odd-man-out for the rotation tonight.  It was surprising to see Eaves sit, but I’m glad he made a quick return.  He’s played decent and deserves to be in the lineup.
  2. Ozzie starts tonight due to the goaltending carousel the Red Wings have going on right now.  Howard will probably get the start tomorrow since it’s a back-to-back.
  3. Jarome Iginla is really awesome.  As in 16G-7A-23Pts-28PIM awesome.  Hopefully his awesomeness is not on display tonight…
  4. Mikka Kiprusoff will likely start for the Flames in goal tonight, since he plays like 95 games a season for them.  He is prone to have some great games followed by 6-7 goal duds. He’s given up 5 goals in his last 3 starts.  Hopefully this means his due for a flop.

Bold and Stupid Predictions:

  1. The Red Wings score tonight. (Bold, I know…)
  2. Dion Phaneuf puts a questionable hit on a Wing and we somehow are left wishing Brad May was in the lineup to respond…
  3. Abdelkader puts a goal in tonight.
  4. The Red Wings have the lead in the 3rd but blow it due to defensive let-downs…
  5. Final Score:  Flames Win 4-3/SO.

Preview: Atlanta Thrashers

Posted in General Hockey with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 11/25/2009 by Ben Gilbert

Atlanta Thrashers vs. Detroit Red Wings

November 25th 7:30pm, Joe Louis Arena

Game Notes:

  1. Khan is reporting that Patrick Eaves will be out of the lineup tonight. This is an interesting decision since Eaves has the best +/- of any Red Wing forward and is 2nd on the team to Lidstrom.  Perhaps Babcock thinks that May might have to get in a scrap tonight, otherwise I would have figured Eaves stays in.
  2. On the flip-side of Eaves watching from the press-box for a night is Kirk Maltby being in the lineup and Drew Miller being bumped up to the 3rd line.  Tonight we’ll get to see what a Draper/Helm/Miller line can do.  I’m ok with this and I think rewarding Drew Miller for being one of the only Red Wings to fully show up on monday is a good thing.  It lets the whole team know where things stand and that the players that work hard are going to get the better playing time.  Congrats to Drew, maybe he’ll even work up to a scoring line if he keeps this up.  Can we all smile a bit and say once again, what a great pick up by Ken Holland as usual…
  3. The Thrashers have the 2nd best Power-Play in the East.  The Wings have the 3rd worst Penalty-Kill in the league.  Special teams will be key.  C’mon Brad McCrimmon, earn your freaking paycheck.
  4. Ilya Kovalchuk is ridiculously good.  I wish the Red Wings could have him on the wing of Datsyuk.  Seriously though.  14 games and 21Pts is mighty nice.  He’s also +1, so he’s not a total defensive liability.
  5. Rumors continue to swirl about Atlanta being a team that could be re-located relatively soon if things do not turn around there.  Considering their play this season, if they continue to have strong outings and make a run at the playoffs, my guess is these rumors die down.  I don’t think Atlanta should necessarily have a team, but now that they are there, I think the Thrashers can have success in Georgia.  Even if the entire state probably has 2 snow-plows.
  6. Jimmy Howard is back in net.  Almost time-share status with Ozzie at this point.  It’s good experience for the kid though, and for the most part right now, he’s earning the time as much as Ozzie is.

Bold and Stupid Predictions:

  1. The Red Wings power-play gets back on track and they score 2 on the man-advantage.
  2. Ilya Kovalchuk scores a hat-trick.  Yes.  He hasn’t scored in 2 games and he is definitely due.
  3. Darren Helm is finally able to have a big night with a goal and an assist.  2 points, count it.
  4. As you can tell, it will be an offensive battle-royale.  Which probably means it will be a 1-0 slug-fest.
  5. Final Score Red Wings Win 6-4.

Preview: Nashville Predators

Posted in General Hockey with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 11/23/2009 by Ben Gilbert

So yeah.  Apologies for being gone all weekend.  Blogging was on the backburner for a bit, but I now make my triumphant return! We resume with a belated look at tonight’s matchup:

Nashville Predators vs. Detroit Red Wings

November 23rd 7:00pm, Sommet Center

Game Notes:

  1. After the highly-offensive and downright vile shift Georges Laraque took on saturday night, where he high-sticked Helm in the mouth and then took out Krons for up to 2 months, the Red Wings are a bit battered.  Helm is fine, but the Kronwall injury hurts…a lot.  We thought we’d be subject to a Derek Meech/Brett Lebda 3rd pairing, while Big-E will moved up to the 2nd pairing. However, per Khan, it appears we’ll see Big-E up with Lidstrom and all the pairings will be jumbled.  Having Brad Stuart on the 3rd pairing while Brett Lebda is on the 2nd seems comical to me, but I guess Babcock knows what he is doing.  Please come back soon Nik Jr.
  2. Ozzie will be starting in goal tonight.  Considering the state of the defense we might need a big game from our goaltender.  I’m left wondering though if we’ll actually get that game.  Ozzie was good against the Preds, and I think this time-share of late with Howard has been helping him get his head on straight.  No matter what people like/dislike about Howard, the fact remains I want to see Ozzie be the goalie that can still keep the Wings in the close games. Hopefully he has returned to that form with Jimmy “giant-rebounds” Howard taking up so much playing time.
  3. Nashville has won 5 in a row and Pekka Rinne has been on fire for the Preds.  He’s sporting a 9-1 record in his last 10 starts and his peripheral stats are spectacular. 1.71 GAA and .931 Sv%.  I guess all we can hope is that Z’s Red Hot power can help the wings put more than 1 goal in against the guy.
  4. Darren McCarty will be doing analysis for Versus during the intermission.  This will likely be the highlight of the night.  I can’t wait to see D-Mac doing analysis.  Does he wear a suit?  Does he punch Brian Engblom in the face?  The intrigue and suspense is killing me.

Bold and Stupid Predictions:

  1. Meech gets an assist on the power-play.  No this doesn’t mean he should be a stalwart on the point from now on…
  2. Eaves puts one in finally.  He’s been working too hard not to.  I like the Draper/Eaves/Helm line to get a goal tonight.
  3. Pekka Rinne reminds the Red Wings of the power of the Finnish Goaltender and holds the Wings to a low-scoring battle.
  4. Osgood holds it down just enough, but let’s in one goal he certainly shouldn’t.
  5. Red Wings Win 3-2.