Archive for Leino

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.

Review: Columbus Blue Jackets and Random Fight of the Night

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

We’ll classify tonight’s game as attempted assault by the Red Wings.  My goodness…

Red Wings 9 – Columbus 1  Final

We jumped right up and punched them in the face.


Also can you say Kronwalled:


Alright, alright…on with the actual review.

Three bar:

  1. Right Post – The entire Red Wings team played the best game of the season so far.  They were unstoppable and did not seem to let up much at all.  They respnded immediately in the 2nd when Columbus scored, to shut the door and maintain their dominance throughout the entire game.  9 goals, 7 goal scorers.  That’s a good night by a team.
  2. Left Post – Niklas Kronwall had the best vision and energy I’ve seen him have in a long, long time.  At times he looked like he will be a feasible top-pairing D-man in the future.  This performance leaves me encouraged, hopefully we can see much more of this.
  3. Crossbar – Disappointing fight from Brad May.  I actually called the fight when watching the game.  I told my two friends I was watching with, “there is gonna be a fight tonight, probably in the next few minutes,” sure enough, 5 seconds later, Brad May fighting at center ice.  He was man enough to remove his visor/helmet for the fight, but took the first swing and missed.  It was downhill from there.  Not his best showing.  On a night like tonight though, who cares.
  4. Empty Net/Final Shot – Ville Leino was fantastic.  He scored some great goals, forechecked well, and played the best I’ve seen him play all season.  He is a capable NHL player, he can score 20 goals a season, he just needs confidence and drive.  I want to see a couple more games like this in a row though before I completely let up on him.
  5. BONUS – What the heck is Ben Gordon doing Dr. Rahmani commercials during the Red Wings time slot for???  Poor showing Dr. Rahmani, bring Datsyuk back.  His commercial was a classic.  I love it…and you shud tu’.

Random Fight of the Night:

To perpare for tomorrow night’s game against the Canuck’s, I’ve found a solid Darren McCarty fight with Scott Walker.  Notice the shreds of clothing McCarty has left by the end…oh before the jersey tie-downs…

Final question, will Drew Miller, the newest Red Wing Acquisition, see the ice tomorrow against the Canucks?  I’m leaning towards no after a night like tonight…

Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets

Posted in General Hockey with tags , , , , , , , , on 11/10/2009 by Ben Gilbert

First off thanks to Rob over at The Production Line for the mention of the Stu Grimson vs. Tie Domi fight below.  I hope to make Random Fight of the Night a feature of all my game reviews.  Watching old hockey fights is just too much fun not to.  Hopefully I will continue to be able to find gems for you, the find readership of BTC.  Anyway, on with the pertinent hockey talk.

The Red Wings play a road-game the night before Steve Yzerman night at the Joe.  Coming off of 3 days rest they should be fresh.  Normally I would believe the anger of a loss like saturday’s 5-1 stinger to Toronto would be inspiration for the team…but they have yet to show that kind of resiliency and fight this year.  I can only hope they are pissed.

Detroit Red Wings vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

November 11th 7:00pm, Nationwide Arena

Game Notes:

  1. Obvious point #1, The Red Wings are now without Jason Williams who is out for a minimum of 8 weeks as Snapshots reports.  Coupling this with Filppula, Franzen, Eaves’ “sore” foot, and general fear of the swine flu, we’re on some seriously thin ice with the roster.  So far Kenny Holland has stated that he will not bring anyone up from Grand Rapids and is not in the trade market.  I guess if anything more happens, Derek Meech could always see playing time at forward again.  Great joy of joys.  This injury bug isn’t going away.  Hopefully it only makes the team stronger by getting some of the youngsters a load of playing time.
  2. Steve Mason and the Blue Jackets are 2-0-2 over their last 4 games.  The two OTL’s were against the Sharks and the Penguins.  One of the wins was over the Capitals (albeit without Ovechkin) and the other was a comeback victory over the Hurricanes.  They are playing relatively better than say 2 weeks ago and should prove a decent test for the Wings.
  3. Rick Nash is plain scary to start the year.  He’s got a balanced 22 points in 16 games to start the season.  By balanced I mean 11-11, including 2 PP goals and 2 SH goals.  He is a man possessed right now, and we’ll need the finest effort from our defensive core to keep him and his line at bay.  Here is to another Kronwall/Stuart lay-out.
  4. Per Khan, it appears the Red Wings were working on the Power Play in practice and that Brad Stuart will try being point man for the 2nd unit in replacement of Williams.  Hopefully Brad will contribute something on the offensive end, which always seems a bonus for him considering his penchant for stay-at-home play and crushing checks.
  5. Also per Khan, Jimmy Howard will start in goal.  Jimmy Howard was not impressive against the Oilers in his last time out.  In fact, Jimmy Howard is just plain unimpressive.  I hope to see this turned around.  A big save on Rick Nash or R.J. Umberger could go a long way.

Bold and Stupid Predictions:

  1. Stuart picks up a PP assist manning the 2nd unit.
  2. Howard drastically disappoints again and we are left wondering if we’ll make any moves at all this year at any position.  I know we have a stable of forwards and D-men, but until Jimmy Howard shows something more, I’m uncomfortable with him as our only back-up option.
  3. Ville Leino does anything with his 2nd line playing time.  Literally I’m predicting I notice him once, and that’s it.  This would be better than in some games past.
  4. Draper/Helm/Eaves have at least 2 short-handed scoring chances, but fail to put one in for a goal.
  5. Steve Mason plays a solid 60 minutes and gets my fantasy team a win (unfortunately, not the team I actually want to win the game.)
  6. Final Score Blue Jackets win 4-2

Review: San Jose Sharks and Random Fight of the Night

Posted in General Hockey with tags , , , , , , , , , on 11/06/2009 by Ben Gilbert

Red Wings 2 – San Jose 1  Final/SO

Great game tonight by the Wings.  Being there in person for Budd Lynch night was spectacular.  The ceremony was nice, especially with Lidstrom leading Budd out to center ice.  The whole night continued to show what a class act the Illitch’s are as owners.  As for the game, the crowd was up and down overall, but really gave it all in the 3rd and OT/SO.  I was very glad to get my hands on a free center-ice ticket (Thanks Sully!)  What a game to be at! A spectacular, low-scoring, good hitting hockey game.

Three-Bar Review:

  1. Right Post – How about Ozzie tonight?  He’s only given up 2 goals in the last 3 games (this being despite my two wildly offensive based predicted final scores).  I couldn’t be happier that I’ve been way off on my predictions.  Ozzie has stepped up and in general is playing great positionally.  He got caught on the one goal tonight having moved too far to the side attempting to slide over.  One mistake, and not even “glaring.”  If he can play like that 8 out 10 starts I feel much better about the rest of the season.  Finally, the crowd really gave him some great support in OT and after the shoot-out saves.  He deserved it and it was wonderful to hear everyone get behind the wizard.
  2. Left Post – The Speed Kills line (Draper/Eaves/Helm) was once again spectacular. They were forechecking like crazy, creating multiple scoring chances.  Helm has really stepped up his game, his shot and attempt at the wide-open rebound in OT was a great effort.  Draper looks rejuvenated and is playing very well.  Finally Paddy Eaves.  What can I say, when Fils comes back from injury I’ll be hard pressed not to want Leino/Abdelkader to be out of the line-up rather than Eaves.  He played very well again, creating scoring chances and doing just fine on the PK.  I want to see more of what he has to offer.  Until they change the pace they have set for themselves, I hope Babcock doesn’t even consider breaking up Speed Kills.
  3. Crossbar – Man, Ville Leino.  He had some scoring chances, and he got some nice reviews by Babs and the media.  I didn’t quite see it.  I just don’t from him right now.  I have always been behind this guy.  I thought he would pot 20-25 goals this year and be a solid potential 2nd line contributor.  What I saw tonight was a few good scoring chances that he just didn’t put quite enough on.  I also saw a complete lack of defensive effort.  He needs to learn the system, play two-way hockey, and in general look like he wants to play an NHL caliber game.  I hope this happens sooner rather than later, or else I’m all for letting our stable of players play over this guy.  Win me back over Ville.  Prove me wrong.  Please.
  4. Empty Net Goal/Final Shot of the Night – Zetterberg and Datsyuk were as graceful as ever.  Top notch night by Z and Datsyuk was also working his magic.  When these two are on, it is worth the price of admission. (I know my ticket was free…but seriously…Detroit fans need to get out and enjoy these two while they are in their prime still.)  It looked like our best players were our best players, and that is what coach wants right…

Finally on to everyone’s favorite!

Your Random Fight of the Night:

In honor of the upcoming game against the Maple Leafs.  I give you a fight featuring everyone’s favorite Leaf goon.  Mr. Tie Domi

February 22, 1996.  Stu Grimson vs. Tie Domi (Fight!)

Preview: San Jose Sharks

Posted in General Hockey with tags , , , , , , on 11/05/2009 by Ben Gilbert

I will be heading down with a good friend to see tonight’s game in person.  Hopefully the Wings will put on a good show as it’s been…gasp…almost a month since I have seen them live.  Anyway, on to the preview.

San Jose Sharks vs. Detroit Red Wings,

November 5th 7:30pm, Joe Louis Arena

Game Notes:

  1. This is the second game of back-to-back contests for the Sharks.  They played Columbus last night and won in a shootout.  It was mildly entertaining to see wunderkind Steve Mason post a .947 SV% and still not get a win.  That is until I realized I had him starting tonight for my fantasy team.  (I hate you inconsistent Columbus offense…screw it, I hate all things Ohio.)  Apologies for the diatribe.  Looking at it straight though, we can only hope San Jose will be a bit sluggish due to the extra-time game last night.
  2. Dany “Team-wreaking, 70 GOALS” Heatley comes to town for the first time.  His presence along with the entire San Jose offense does scare me somewhat considering that half the Red Wings defensive core is recovering from eating too much bacon.  Ericsson and Rafalski are both supposed to be back in.  This is still scary.  Please let us score at least 5 goals tomorrow…
  3. Due to #2 I will just say this, the odds of Osgood shut-out #51 are about as good as the odds of the Canadian media not discussing Sidney Crosby for one day.  (Don’t listen to them Stevie, you know there are better captains out there for your olympic team…)
  4. The early word is that the Red Wings lines will be virtually the same as Tuesday.  Hopefully that means Leino can do anything, at all, period.  Do something Ville.  Surprise me.  The Speed Kills line (Draper/Eaves/Helm) is still looking amazing as a 3rd line, and I’ll be glad to see the way they check some of the sharks and kill penalties.  These guys are my hope that we’ll be in the top half of the league for PK this year.  Let’s prove it against San Jose.

Bold and Stupid Predictions:

  1. The Red Wings go 100% on the PK, giving up less than a shot per minute of Sharks power-play time.
  2. Holmstrom will score another goal, making it 9 on the season for him.
  3. Dany Heatley scores 2 goals and yet is somehow a minus on the night.  This just goes to show how great Heatley is at individual stats and not at helping his team win the freaking game.
  4. No fights tomorrow night, which disappoints my friend Sully even more than it does me.  This leads to him swearing multiple times whenever there is a scrum and no resulting fist-a-cuffs.  (Sorry Sully, we’ll go to a game together when Mr. May comes back.)
  5. Rafalski is responsible for a bad goal because he is playing at less than 100%.
  6. Final Score: Red Wings win 6-5