Monday, September 21, 2009

A Self-Imposed Penalty Kill Clinic, Right?...

I was pretty excited to get to watch the game tonight. So much so that I postponed dinner until intermission even though I hadn't eaten since noon. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to watch or not thanks to my computer’s inability to play the sop feed, but as luck would have it, there was a different format tonight and I arrived home just in time to see the Rangers score. Or at least I thought they did. That goal got waived off, but it couldn’t have mattered less in the end. The Wings, bored with the pre-season already, then proceeded to work through a self-imposed penalty kill clinic, or at least that's what I choose to believe. At one point, Mike Babcock felt that it was necessary to remind the referees that there were, in fact, two teams playing. It was a valid thing to point out, now that it's no longer safe to assume that NHL referees can count *coughtoomanymenfor21secondscough*.

The Wings’ PK started out looking pretty good. I actually felt like they had more good chances shorthanded than the Rangers did on the powerplay. I could be wrong though. By the end of the first period, all of the penalty kills just kind of blended together into one big blur. It’s also pretty certain that my new housemates were curious as to why I was sitting in my room yelling, “Come on!” at my computer. Just wait till the regular season starts and the games are on TV, sunshines…

Shockingly, the Wings gave up a shorthanded goal off of a defensive zone turnover. I’ve written several times that I wasn’t worried about this season because I fully expect the Wings to have a team-wide recommitment to defense and fix the penalty kill. But so far, I haven’t see that happen a whole lot. I know it’s only the preseason and New York was icing pretty much it’s NHL roster, but I’m an obsessive fan and these are the kinds of things that I stress about.

I don’t have a whole lot in terms of a recap because after they went down 3-0, I decided that it might be a good idea to actually do my homework for tomorrow, so I spent the rest of the game half watching the game/half reading about Russian Empresses. Good times all around really. I did catch the commentators discussing how the Wings had dominated play for most of the second half of the game after the Rangers had controlled for the whole first period. Well, yes. It’s a lot easier to control the puck against the Red Wings when you have an extra skater on the ice for the majority of the period. I think we can all agree on that one.

I was a little disappointed that Daniel Larsson let in three goals. I was excited to see him in action, but I would’ve been happier with a better result. On the other hand, Dan Cloutier didn’t give up a goal. He even made a couple of pretty good saves. I was shocked.

The Franzen-Datsyuk-Holmstrom line was all over the place again. Not that I would expect anything less from them. I had a hard time seeing numbers because the video feed I had was a little choppy so I don’t have much else in the way of player comments. I was just happy to be able to see anything at all.

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