Friday, April 29, 2011

Red Wings vs. Sharks Game One GP...

0 Red Wings vs. Sharks 0

Random picture from a google images search of "Red Wings" that caught my fancy:

Three things:
  • Shaking off the rust—It's been an eternity since the Wings last played. The Sharks will want to get an early jump and catch them sleeping. Here's hoping the Wings are ready to bring it right from the opening faceoff.
  • Z is back—It goes without saying that this is a huge boost for the team. Their first round sweep was all the more impressive because they did it without him setting foot on the ice.
  • Penalties—Last year in their series against San Jose, the Wings' constant parade to the box was killer. With their penalty kill struggling mightily during the first round this season, it's crucial that they stay out of the box. Then again, Babcock can always pop Datsyuk, Z, and Lidstrom onto the PK for an instant boost. It's not a bad ace to have up your sleeve. It would also be helpful if the refs managed to not fall for the Sharks diving this time around.
Red Wing Zen:
Pavel Datsyuk

2-4-6, +/- 6, 0 PIM

Red Wings Youtube video of the day:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Red Wings 6, Coyotes 3: Post Game Snipes...

  • Pavel Datsyuk's pass to set up Homer's goal was just ridiculous. We should be used to him doing crazy things by now, but it's impossible not to marvel at the things he does with the puck.
  • Homer's shot as he was falling was equally awesome.
  • Phoenix got lucky as their first goal deflected in off of Ericsson's skate.
  • As distressing as Franzen being a last-minute scratch was, it's kind of nice to be able to just pop a guy like Mike Modano into the lineup like that. Mo even picked up an assist on the first goal of the game.
  • Darren Helm is everywhere. He's giving the Coyotes absolute fits. They don't even know what to do with him. It's deliciously fun to watch.
  • Jimmy looked shaky in the first period, but got stronger as the game went on. That's better than the reverse.
  • In hindsight, these late games aren't so bad. Watching hockey in the middle of the night means that my roommates who do not get hockey at all don't have to see me during the third period of a close playoff game. It's probably for the best.
  • The Wings swept the first round without Henrik Zetterberg. And they played Game Four without the Mule. That should be scary for future opponents.
  • So do you think Doan wants to rethink his proclamation of Bryzgalov as the best player in the series?
  • Hopefully the Wings figure out their penalty kill between now and the start of Round Two. They did at least come up with a big kill in the third when the game was tied.
  • I loved Jimmy's post-gamequote: “I'll smile in June.” Swagger is a beautiful thing when it comes from the Wings.
  • I've been on the leave-Phoenix side of the debate from the beginning, just from a practicality standpoint. There's no point in forcing a franchise to stay where it can't be financially successful and causing all kinds of drama. The Coyotes' salute after the handshakes and seeing Shane Doan (who I still dislike) fighting back tears before starting his post-game interview did make me feel bad for the fans who do live in Phoenix.

Hero: Dan Cleary
He had a goal and two assists, and his game-winner gave us an excuse to do the Newfie Stomp. He also led the team in shots and was buzzing all night.

Villain: Shane Doan
Why does he hate Nick Lidstrom?

Final Thought:
This long wait for Round Two should give my blood pressure a nice break.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Red Wings vs. Coyotes Game Four GP...

3 Red Wings vs. Coyotes 0

Random picture from a google images search of "Red Wings" that caught my fancy:

Three things:

  • Skate to throat—Nobody wants to have to deal with extra games during the playoffs. Get it done in Phoenix. No need to drag them back to Detroit.
  • Skate to throat—No seriously, don't do what Vancouver did last night. Just win the hockey game.
  • Injuries—I hope the boys put an extra layer of bubble wrap under their pads because Phoenix will be even more nasty than they have been with their backs against the walls. They have no qualms about injuring anybody.

Red Wing Zen:
Brad Stuart

0-0-0, +- 0, 0 PIM

Red Wings Youtube video of the day:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Red Wings 4, Coyotes 2: Post Game Snipes...

  • Long story short: the Wings didn't play their greatest game, but they got lucky with some quick goals at the start of each period and that was enough.
  • I've never seen Nick Lidstrom get hit as hard as he did early in the game.
  • Game Four should be boatloads of fun. I'm sure the Coyotes won't be trying to injure anyone now that their backs are against the wall.
  • Lidstrom only had 18 minutes of ice time. In a playoff game. That's crazy.
  • Every game makes me like Phoenix less and less.
  • The Wings' penalty kill was a disaster tonight. On the other hand, Phoenix's looked much better than it did in the first two games.
  • I think Filppula took more shots in the first five minutes of the second period than he did for the entire regular season. I wish he'd do that more often.
  • How about that pass Rig made to set up Franzen's goal? Pretty good, eh?
  • This was an odd game. There were stretches where the Wings looked unstoppable, and the Coyotes didn't seem to have the slightest chance. Then, just as quickly, momentum would shift the other way and the tide would turn briefly.
  • This is not an acceptable way to treat Nick Lidstrom.
  • One more win to close out the series...skate to throat time, boys.

Hero: Jimmy Howard
He was on tonight. The Wings' defense hung him out to dry plenty of times, but he stood tall and kept them in the game.

Villain: Shane Doan
Yup, I still dislike him.

Final Thought:
The Wings are going to have to play better if they want to close out this series on Wednesday.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Red Wings vs. Coyotes Game Three GP...

2 Red Wings vs. Coyotes 0

Random picture from a google images search of "Red Wings" that caught my fancy:

Three things:

  • Sixty minutes—The Coyotes are going to be flying right from the start and the Wings have to set the tone early if they want to shut them down. And if Saturday taught anyone anything, it's that they can't afford to let down their guard ever, no matter how big their lead.
  • Doan—He led the way for the Yotes with two goals in Game Two and a plethora of hits. He'll no doubt be lining up everything wearing red tonight. The Wings have to find a way to neutralize him somehow.
  • Datsyuk—What does he have in store for fans tonight? If ever there was a reason to stay up for a late game, the answer to that question is probably it.

Red Wing Zen:
Justin Abdelkader

0-0-0, +/- 0, 4 PIM

Red Wings Youtube video of the day:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Red Wings 4, Coyotes 3: Post Game Snipes...

  • Though I was at first devastated to discover that this game had been scheduled for Saturday afternoon (a time during which I'm at work), it turned out to be a rather fortunate occurrence. Since our office is dead on Saturdays, I was able to watch almost the entire game on the break room tv. The HD flatscreen we have in there was a huge upgrade over the choppy feeds to which I've been relegated since temporarily setting up shop in this hockey wasteland.
  • My game recap will be posted over at CWGAP shortly, but I had a few more Wings-centric things I wanted to throw out there since I've been trying not to rant and rave too much about the only side that matters.
  • Pavel Datsyuk was playing on a completely different level than anyone else today. Some of the things he does with the puck just aren't fair. That subtle move he pulled when he scored his goal? Disgusting. His cheeky between-the-legs shot that led to Helm's goal? Even more ridiculous. If he continues to play like this, the Wings are going to be very, very hard to beat.
  • While Datsyuk excels at his shifty, sneaky, dangly, puck-on-a-string schtick, Tomas Holmstrom is every bit as good at his particular job. His deflection was impossibly good. He managed to reach behind him with his stick and tip a puck as he skated the opposite direction in front of the net. His screens played a huge factor in the Wings' offense all night. Simply put: nobody is better at Homer's job than Homer. Nobody.
  • I don't necessarily think that Doan's hit on Franzen was dirty, but I also don't think it was necessary. That's one of those times when there's no need to finish a check on a vulnerable player. I feared the worst when Mule went down, but it looks like he got lucky and won't be missing any more time.
  • I was oddly amused by the fact that he didn't even bother to wash the blood out of his mustache before returning to the game. He kind of looked like he tried to make out with a weed whacker. That's playoff hockey for you.
  • That clip of Zetterberg practicing didn't exactly inspire hope that he'll return soon. At the beginning of it, I was excited thinking that it was a good sign, but when he limped off after stopping awkwardly, my heart sank.
  • The first period was gloriously fun. It was the kind of hockey that brings joy to faces all over Hockeytown. The Wings were dominant and pressured Phoenix to the point that they started taking stupid penalties. I was feeling pretty good until they decided to take their foot off of the gas and let the Coyotes back in the game. It sure did make for an interesting ending, though.
  • The Wings' near collapse in the third gave the Coyotes some hope, which needs to be eradicated early in Game Three. There's no need to drag this series out any longer than it has to, especially with Shane Doan intent on destroying everything wearing a Winged Wheel.

Hero: Pavel Datsyuk
Who can keep up with this guy right now?

Villain: Shane Doan
There's something about the playoffs that brings out the wrecking ball in Shane Doan. He was hitting everything in sight and managed to score two third period powerplay goals. Somebody stop him, please.

Final Thought:
Watching playoff hockey at work takes a lot of self-control.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Red Wings vs. Coyotes Game Two GP...

1 Red Wings vs. Coyotes 0

Random picture from a google images search of "Red Wings" that caught my fancy:

Three things:

  • Showing up—The way the Wings looked during the second and third periods? Good. The first period team? Not so good. The Wings need to get going at the beginning of the game.
  • Penalties—Despite the fact that their penalty kill looked phenomenal during Game One, the odds of the Wings surviving another parade to the penalty box like the one on Wednesday night is pretty slim.
  • Mule—The Wings need him to keep going, especially since Zetterberg's absence is looking more and more like it's going to span most of the series. The Coyotes are going to be hoping his goal in Game One wasn't a sign that he was preparing to go into full playoff mode.
Red Wing Zen:
Patrick Eaves

0-0-0, +/- 0, 2 PIM

Red Wings Youtube video of the day:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Playoff Housekeeping...

Hey sunshines,

I've got a little bit of housekeeping on this boring Florida Friday night.  First off, I'll be recapping all of the Wings home games (except for tomorrow's since I'm missing it due to work) at Chicks Who Give A Puck.  I'll be doing more writing over at CWGAP than here during the playoffs, so I'd encourage everyone to keep checking out our labor of love over there.  My recap of Game One posted yesterday morning here.  I'll still be doing GPs here at SSDD, and I'll do what I can to get recaps of the road games up, but with my work schedule and viewing arrangements, it's pretty hard to keep on top of things.

I'd also like to introduce the world to my little brother's Spring Break project.  He came to visit me, and what started out as a joke turned into a decision to enter the Wings' viral video contest.  Here's our entry that earned us some Red Wings goodies.  Keep in mind that we weren't aiming for an Oscar nomination with it.  We filmed ourselves walking into palm trees and falling into pools.  Plus, I had to use Movie Maker to edit it together.  Don't judge too harshly.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Red Wings vs. Coyotes Game One GP...

0 Red Wings vs. Coyotes 0

Random picture from a google images search of "Red Wings" that caught my fancy:

Three things:
  • Turnovers—Defense killed the Wings during the last half of the season. Figuring out this issue will make life much easier for the Wings (and their fans).
  • Intensity—Which team will come out flying? Can the Wings “flip the switch” to start the playoffs after floating through the end of the regular season? Game One is huge in terms of setting the tone of the series, but you knew that already.
  • Goaltending—Jimmy Howard's been hung out to dry far too often. He needs to step it up and give the Wings a solid backstop. Especially since the only other alternative at the moment is Joey MacDonald.

Red Wing Zen:
Brian Rafalski

0-0-0, +/- 0, 0 PIM

Red Wings Youtube video of the day:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up Volume Twenty-three...

Caption Mondays: Crater won the final Caption of the season.

"Helm, you've gotta slow down out there, you've warped your helmet."

Trivia Tuesdays: TimFill closed out the season with another victory.

This week's question: Which Red Wing is the oldest NHLer to record his first 100-point season? How old was he accomplished this?

The Answer: Gordie Howe was 41 when he tallied his 100th point on 3-30-1969. He finished the season with 103.

Red Wings vs. Blackhawks GP...

Red Wings: 46-25-10
Blackhawks: 44-28-9
Red Wing Zen:
Tomas Holmstrom

17-19-36, +/- -5, 60 PIM
Point and Laugh:
Patrick Sharp

34-36-70, +/- -2, 38 PIM

Friday, April 8, 2011

Red Wings vs. Blackhawks GP...

Red Wings: 46-24-10
Blackhawks: 43-28-9
Red Wing Zen:
Jiri Hudler

10-26-36, +/- -5, 28 PIM
Point and Laugh:
Patrick Sharp

34-35-69, +/- -3, 36 PIM

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Red Wings vs. Hurricanes GP...

Red Wings: 46-23-10
Hurricanes: 38-30-11
Red Wing Zen:
Henrik Zetterberg

24-56-80, +/- -1, 40 PIM
Point and Laugh:
Jeff Skinner

29-29-58, +/- 3, 46 PIM

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Trivia Tuesdays Volume 23...

Which Red Wing is the oldest NHLer to record his first 100-point season? How old was he accomplished this?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Caption Mondays Volume 23...

I've been saving this one for a while because it's one of my favorites.  What's going on in this shot from a December game?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Red Wings vs. Wild GP...

Red Wings: 45-23-10
Wild: 37-33-8
Red Wing Zen:
Ruslan Salei

2-8-10, +/- 1, 46 PIM
Point and Laugh:
Andrew Brunette

17-26-43, +/- -8, 16 PIM

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Red Wings vs. Predators GP...

Red Wings: 44-23-10
Predators: 42-26-10
Red Wing Zen:
Kris Draper

6-5-11, +/- 0, 10 PIM
Point and Laugh:
Patric Hornqvist

19-22-41, +/- 8, 47 PIM

Friday, April 1, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up Volume Twenty-two...

Caption Mondays: Jeffy Neuie won for the second week in a row.

Ref: That's it! No more hockey until you clean this ice up!

Trivia Tuesdays: TimFill managed to continue his impressive trivia run.

This week's question: Who was the most recent Red Wings goalie to lead the league in regular season goals against average?

The Answer: Chris Osgood led the league with a 2.09 GAA in the 2007-08 season. That year, he and Dominik Hasek combined to win the Jennings Trophy. Prior to Ozzie, the last Wings goalie to lead the league in GAA was Terry Sawchuck. Pretty good company, eh?