Archive for Lidstrom

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.
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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.

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!)