Archive for May

Preview: St. Louis Blues

Posted in General Hockey with tags , , , , , , , , on 11/28/2009 by Ben Gilbert

Detroit Red Wings vs. St. Louis Blues

November 28th 8:00pm, Scottrade Center

Game Notes:

  1. Khan reports that Brad May will be back in tonight, but in a surprise turn of events, Kirk Maltby will be benched to keep Drew Miller on the ice.  This is some high praise for Mr. Miller and he deserves it.  He’s been one of the Wings most consistent forwards throughout this slump, so why not reward that.
  2. Howard is likely to get the start in goal, not that this matters in the least until the Red Wings decide scoring goals is part of hockey again.
  3. St. Louis is in 5th in the division, Detroit is in 4th.  Hopefully tonight the Red Wings can keep it that way.  Who knew a quarter of the way through a season Detroit would be a part of a battle of the bottom dwellers of the division matchup.  This is what we have come to, and the only way out is to claw our way back to the top.
  4. Chris Mason starts for the Blues tonight, not our old friend Ty Conklin.  I don’t know if this is good or bad, since we know how Conks can play when he wants to.  Maybe we’ll have as much luck on this Mason as we did on youngster Steve a few weeks ago.  (9-1 against Columbus in case you forgot…)

Bold and Stupid Predictions:

  1. Zetterberg scores twice.  Breaking the scoring drought and providing some much needed leadership by example for the Wings forwards.
  2. The referees do not blow a goal/no-goal call tonight.  Surprising, but hey, it could happen.
  3. Brad May gets in a fight. (Not bold or stupid, but it’s been a few games so I’m excited…)
  4. Despite all the odds, I think that playing back-to-back helps the Wings.  Their anger and passion carries them to a 2nd period lead they do not relinquish.
  5. Final Score: Red Wings win 3-1.

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: Dallas Stars and Fight of the Night

Posted in General Hockey with tags , , , , , , , on 11/18/2009 by Ben Gilbert

Stars 3 – Red Wings 1  Final

The NHL is asinine at times.


No goal.  Brad Freaking May.  The puck is in the net…And no goal?


Three Bar:

  1. Right Post – Jonathan Ericsson again seemed to find a way to get the puck into the Red Wings net.  That trend needs to stop.  I understand he’s huge and was clutch in the playoffs.  He also managed to somehow blow my prediction that I thought was assured, and was solely responsible for a goal against.  Thanks.
  2. Left Post – The Red Wings did not seem to have the same jump the whole night.  Admittedly, I missed a good portion of the game while out at a dinner.  However, from what I saw, it wasn’t like against Toronto, but it was a mediocre effort.  We’ve been over this.  A mediocre effort isn’t good enough anymore with this team.
  3. Crossbar – Hank keeps the train rolling.  He continues to be on fire, and I love how he is finally getting some respect in these parts.  He does not get talked up enough by the sports media or fans (including myself).  This guy is a model of consistency.  Maybe we don’t talk as much about him because we don’t marvel at his plays like we do Datsyuk or Lidstrom at times, but Z is for real, and is a special player.  Thanks Hank for showing up night-in and night-out.
  4. Empty Net/Final Shot of the Night – Seriously NHL.  Your review process blows.  Intent to blow the whistle is atrocious.  I can’t even begin to write about this tonight.  I’m livid.  At least it wasn’t Brad Watson who made that call tonight…

Fight of the Night:

Shanny vs. Adam Foote.  Classic.

Preview: Dallas Stars

Posted in General Hockey with tags , , , , , , , , , on 11/18/2009 by Ben Gilbert

Dallas Stars vs. Detroit Red Wings

November 18th 7:30pm, Joe Louis Arena

Game Notes:

  1. Jimmy Howard is once again starting in net.  Osgood is still battling the flu, so Daniel Larsson has been recalled from Grand Rapids to fill that bench-warming, face-off counting, backup goaltender spot.
  2. Khan reports that the same lineup from the last 3 wins will be on the ice tonight. This means that while Maltby is healthy, he will be seeing some press-box time while Brad May and Drew Miller stay in.  This has to eat at Maltby a little bit.  Hopefully when he gets back in he’ll be pissed and playing for a more permanent spot.  This competition is good I think.  I can see why Babcock is sticking with the lineup though…if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
  3. Marc Crawford is coaching the Dallas Stars now. Yes the man who brought hockey a new respect for hair-spray and general freak-outs while bench coaching.  He coached Colorado during the first few years of the hey-day of that rivalry.  He also was the coach who was accused of ordering our own Big Bert to sucker punch Steve Moore in the back of the head while coaching Vancouver.  Great track record…
  4. Dallas has been mediocre so far this year, but Marty Turco has been turning it on of late.  The former Wolverine goaltender is 5-1-1 in his last 7 starts with decent peripheral statistics.  Fortunately, Joe Louis Arena has always seemed to be his kryptonite.  He manages to look so good elsewhere, and then be non-existent when he plays here.  Yay for home games.
  5. The Red Wings do not have a regulation loss at home yet this year…dang it…hopefully I haven’t brought about a change tonight to that statement by mentioning it here.
  6. Drew at NOHS has his Pointless Preview up again.  Always worth it.

Bold and Stupid Predictions:

  1. Marty Turco plays well and keeps the game close for Dallas.  (Yes, in JLA this is very bold.)
  2. Brad Stuart decides he is fed up with Kronwall getting all the offensive love and pots a goal of his own tonight.
  3. Jonathan Ericsson is not solely responsible for a goal tonight.  Miracle.
  4. Brad May does NOT get in a fight.
  5. Final Score: Red Wings win 5-3.

Review: Vancouver Canucks and Fight of the Night

Posted in General Hockey with tags , , , , , on 11/13/2009 by Ben Gilbert

Sloppy, but still a win, I’ll take it.

Red Wings 3 – Vancouver 1  Final

Ladies and Gentlemen, your #1 star of the game: Jimmy Howard

Jimmy HowardThe young fella has come quite a long way since draft day.  Let me finally say it…You’ve done us proud Jimmy.  Welcome to Detroit.

Three Bar:

  1. Right Post – Seriously, Jimmy Howard was above average in net.  On a night when the team needed some serious goaltending because they did not show up, Jimmy gave them the stops they needed.  Being outshot 15-5 in the first, and 26-12 at the worst point, the Red Wings needed a big-time game from the goalie, and Jimmy delivered.  Congrats to him on two well played games.  I am more at ease with our backup situation.  I want to see this a few more times still though before I completely feel at ease.
  2. Left Post – Zetterberg’s goal was filthy.  What a shot.  Luongo played well and Z flat out beat him.  Bobby Lu had this to say: “He went from forehand to backhand and then put in right under the crossbar. Not a lot of guys can do that, only a few around the league.”  When TGGTEL (The greatest golatender that ever lived…if you didn’t catch that) says that you did something only a few can do, respect.  Great move Z.  Glad to see him showing up with regularity.
  3. Crossbar – May had another fight, this time only 2:30ish into the game.  He got a few good punches in but eventually got his head handed to him when his jersey got pulled over.  I have to ask, do jersey tie-downs really work?  I thought their purpose was supposed to be preventing jerseys from getting pulled over guy’s heads.  More often I feel as though they are just keeping jerseys pasted to fighter’s faces.  I have no stats on this, but I just seem to think more and more the tie-downs suck and we should go back to fights where all the gear is flying off.  It’s more fun to watch anyways.
  4. Empty Net Goal/Final Shot of the Night – Thank you Steve Yzerman.  The crowd was loud, and it was wonderful to see you ever so briefly out on the ice of the Joe again.  Thank you.

Not-so-Random Fight of the Night:

Just so we don’t forget…and I still hate Brad Watson.

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…