Archive for Miller

Preview: Chicago Blackhawks

Posted in General Hockey with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 12/23/2009 by Ben Gilbert

Detroit Red Wings vs. Chicago Blackhawks

December 23rd 7:30pm, Joe Louis Arena

I’ll be in attendance at tonight’s game since I bought tickets for my mom for her birthday a month ago.  It is perhaps the greatest single blessing that I have as a hockey fan to have a mother who cares about the team probably more than I do.  Let’s pray for an early Christmas miracle that the Wings win…

Game Notes:

  1. As has already been reported by Khan and Malik over at Mlive, Mattias Ritola is in the lineup tonight and Kris Newbury has been sent back west to Grand Rapids.  Ritola is apparently supposed to provide tempo.  Hopefully he takes this chance and runs with it since his season in GR has been very up and down.
  2. Also of note, Jakub Kindl has been recalled as well to take the place of Brian Rafalski, who is out of the game with the flu.  If it’s not those darn back spasms it’s the influenza…and you thought H1N1 took the Christmas season off…
  3. The lineup tonight looks pretty ragged and I’m beginning to think I should write it down on a post-it, put it in my wallet, and every time I think of how bad things are for the wings, pull the post-it out and laugh.  All we can do is laugh at this point.  The amazing thing is the team is still competitive.  I still honestly believe we have a shot tonight….because….
  4. Jimmah Howard is your starter in net.  As odd as this is to say, I believe less crappy goals will go in the net tonight than did on Sunday.  Here’s to Jimmy playing out of his mind and possibly stealing a point or two for the Wings tonight.
  5. The Blackhawks played last night at home against San Jose and lost 3-2.  Hopefully the back-to-back catches up to them as it did to the Wings on Sunday.
  6. Those in attendance get a FREE MOUSE PAD!!  The Joe is 30 years old!  This might be the worst marketing ploy gift I’ve received yet…but I keep going back.  The question is whether the Red Wings believe a gift like a mouse pad is bringing fans into the building or simply making those already paying to see hockey think “oh, that’s nice.”  I’m thinking the vast majority of responses will be the latter.

Bold and Stupid Predictions:

  1. Matias Ritola gets himself on the score sheet with an assist to Drew Miller as the lines will likely be jumbled all night.
  2. Toews to Hossa strikes and Hossa nets one.  The collective teenage breakup angst at the Joe will be palpable.  Let him go folks.  Let him go.  We’re better off without his salary restrictions in the long run as is.
  3. There are at least 3 people dressed as Santa Claus at the game tonight.  I’m banking on this one.
  4. Jimmy makes a couple clutch saves as an early Christmas present to Detroit and somehow limits the Blackhawks to 2 goals.
  5. Merry Christmas, the Red Wings pull off a minor miracle with the lineup they have.
  6. Final Score: Red Wings win 3-2.

Once again, please consider donating to the Bring Herm To Hockeytown movement.  Check out Tyler from TTD’s video appeal.  If that doesn’t convince you, nothing will.  Donate. Do it.  It just feels right.

Finally, It’s good to be back blogging again.  Feel free to let me know your Christmas wish for the Red Wings in the comments below.  Whoever has been the best boy or girl this year will get their wish…it’s guaranteed…isn’t that how this thing works?

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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: 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: 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.