Archive for Zetterberg

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.
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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: 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.

Seriously.

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

Whatever.

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.

Review: Anaheim Ducks and Fight of the Night

Posted in General Hockey with tags , , , , , , , , on 11/14/2009 by Ben Gilbert

Red Wings 7 – Anaheim 4  Final

I believe this game can only be described in one way:

Zetterberg - Red Hot

Seriously though, 3-game win streak.  Yes.

CUE BRASS BONANZA!!

Love it.

Three Bar:

  1. Right Post – WTF Ericsson??  That was a learning point.  Let’s never clear it past Ryan Getzlaf when you are last man back again.  What a crappy decision.  What a way to come back afterwards though and play decent the rest of the game.  Forgiven cause of the win.  Moving on.
  2. Left Post – News flash, Jimmy Howard let in a goal he shouldn’t have.  He played average or worse.  The Red Wings still won.  Welcome back to reality and a backup goaltender.  I will say though, he didn’t scare the crap out of me most of the time, and really, he is seeming a bit better over time.  I’m encouraged.  I’m not sold and ready to think he’s a future #1 by any means, but I’m encouraged for our backup situation still.
  3. Crossbar – Drew Miller was solid for the 2nd game in a row.  Solid contributions on the 4th line and on the PK.  Pick-ups like him are the reason we’re the Red Wings and they are the Ducks.  Did you notice the time the Wings 4th line got and what they seemed to do with it.  Compare this to Anaheim’s complete reliance on getzlaf-perry-ryan-selanne…and nobody else.  Our DEPTH, even with Franzen, Filppula and Williams out, is still so much better than other teams.  It feels good to feel that way again.
  4. Empty Net Goal/Final Shot of the Night – Henrik Zetterberg is on fire.  Enjoy this ride.  He had 5 points tonight with 2 G and 3 A.  What a performance and what a roll this guy has been on recently.  Z, thank you for making me be in awe of a forward not named Pavel on this Red Wings team.  I love the Euro Twins.  We are spoiled as fans…simply spoiled.

Fight of the Night:

A nice old Dallas stars fight:

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: 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!)