Archive for Red Wings

Questions for the Weekend

Posted in General Hockey with tags , , , , , , , on 09/24/2010 by Ben Gilbert

First off, I am very grateful to J.J. and to all those who took the time to check out my “in-house” report on the Wings-Pens game yesterday and for the support I received.

I am going to be gone away from my computer all weekend so I’ve decided to leave you all an assignment that hopefully one or more of you will follow up on.  Here is a small list of questions I would love to come home and have an answer to after this weekend:

  1. How did the Flying Circus look in their first performance this year?
  2. How did Mattias Ritola’s play?  Was Pittsburgh a one-off or was he still showing important offensive flashes?
  3. How was Mike Modano’s reception at JLA?  Did he look excited?  Do you think his goal of 50pts. is possibly realistic?
  4. Based on the inevitably small sample size, do you think we’ll see Brendan Smith in the Winged Wheel in the next 2 years?
  5. Is Tiberius still playing like Tiberius?
  6. If they do the Sunday game, are Ken and Mick still as unabashedly hilarious, biased and awesome as ever?
  7. Who are the role players to watch out for on the Blackhawks now that they have such a new cast of characters?

Answers to these questions and any other general comments on the game will be appreciated.  Perhaps it will help me from having to search through the wonderfully exciting, but certainly verbose, A2Y and WIM live blogs.

You can find the stream for tonight’s game on the official Detroit Red Wings site.  Tomorrow’s game is on NHL network, so check around other blogs or justin.tv for streams.  Sunday night against the Rangers will be on FS-D.

Thanks Everyone!  LGRW.

Now Blogging From Pittsburgh!

Posted in General Hockey with tags , , , , on 09/23/2010 by Ben Gilbert

Hey everyone!  I’ll take a stab in the dark and say many of you probably have found your way to this blog by clicking links on either A2Y or WIM.  Thanks for stopping in.  Unfortunately I have failed to keep up with blogging during the off-season and my transition to the city of Pittsburgh.  However, with the new season readily upon us hopefully I’ll be more active here at this site and also around the RW blogosphere.

I was in attendance last night at the Penguins-Red Wings pre-season matchup.  If you’d like to take a look at my more drawn out thoughts, please head on over to the A2Y post and scroll down to the time-stamped comment at 10:19am where I wrote a “recap” of sorts.

Sorry I left you all for so long.  I’ve come back, as healthy and ready for Wings action as ever.  LGRW.

EDIT: Also, you can follow me on twitter now as well at @BTCBen

Hiatus

Posted in General Hockey with tags , , , on 01/14/2010 by Ben Gilbert

Starting two weeks ago I entered what has quickly become one of the most hectic periods of my life up to date.  I figure I owe you, the fine readership of BTC, an update of why my attempt over Christmas break to return to posting flopped.  Frankly, I have one of the toughest classloads I’ve had, work, and all my weekends are full with events through the next 5 weeks.

Consider this my unfortunate notice of Hiatus.  I will still be a loyal follower of many of my favorite blogs (hint: they are listed at the right), but I will be unable to keep up consistent posting until likely after the olympic break.

In good news, I will be attending the game between our own Wings and the Penguins on January 31st down in Pittsburgh.  That is currently the highlight of the gauntlet I am running.  I can’t wait.

See you fools in March for the stretch run…and of course eventually the playoffs!  Let’s Go Red Wings!

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?

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.

A Campaign of Manifest Despair (Review: Calgary Flames and Fight of the Night)

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

Calgary Flames 3 – Detroit Red Wings 0

The depression sets in.  Embrace the darkness.  The dawn must come eventually…

Sad Mickey, the dog, knows how you feel.

It’s too tough to do a review of tonight’s game.  The Wings are trying, and it’s not good enough.

I want to take a cue from Kenny the sleepy panda and nap until the playoffs, and hopefully Detroit will be there when I wake up in mid-April.  This hurts.  It hurts really bad.

I’m not attacking any particular player or coach after today.  I just don’t have the energy.  Please let’s just score a goal tomorrow against St. Louis.

We’re such a delicate team and fan base right now.  Hold strong everyone, the refs cannot hate us forever.  Gary can’t screw us into oblivion.  We need to take a cue from the little guy and get scared…

There.  Are you scared yet?  Are you scared that maybe the Red Wings are not as good as they have been over the last 14 years?  Are you scared that the playoff run will have to come to an end at some point, and this year is as good a year as any?  Are you scared that all that we have held to be sure in Detroit is failing, and that everything we thought we had seems to have been taken?

Now…take that fear.  Embrace that fear.  Convince yourself that it is still worth it to be a Detroit Red Wings fan.  It is still worth it to be a hockey fan.  When you are scared that everything you love could be taken from you, you’ll begin to cherish what you have so much more.  Every amazing play from Dats and Z, cherish it.  Every time Helm creates a scoring chance because he’s the fastest guy in the league, cherish it.  Every time Jimmy Howard gives up a huge rebound but Nick Lidstrom sweeps it away from trouble, because he is all that is perfect, cherish it.  We cannot have excellence forever…but we do have the Red Wings forever, both good and bad.  I’m still on board.  As painful as this season is, it  only serves to make the wins that much sweeter.

Let’s. Go. Red. Wings.

Random Fight of the Night:

Joey Kocur in late 80’s form…

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.