Saturday, April 21, 2012

Red Wings 1, Predators 2: Post Game Snipes...

  • I've seen the Wings lose a lot of playoff series over the years.  I've seen them lose because they ran into a hot goalie, because they were devastated by injuries, and because they just didn't seem to try hard enough.  I really don't ever recall seeing them lose because they were straight-up outmatched.  Nashville was honestly the better team --in goaltending, defense, and offense.  The Wings just had no answer for any of it, and it showed.
  • The Predators seemed to make the Wings pay dearly for every mistake they made.  The Wings didn't return the favor.  That was one of the biggest factors in the series.
  • Too many key guys disappeared when it mattered most, and not enough unsung heroes stepped up to provide that little extra spark.
  • The more you watched, the more apparent it became that Nashville's defense was just too good.  And the few times when the Wings got a quality scoring chance, they still had to beat Pekka Rinne.
  • I really loved Zetterberg's effort on that one PK early in the game.  It was reminiscent of 2008 just for a minute.
  • Sure, the bounces didn't go the Wings' way (Except for that bizarre time when Intent to Blow actually worked in their favor -- which I'm still not convinced actually happened, despite seeing it with my own eyes.  I'm still leaning toward it being an anomaly in the space-time continuum or a trick of the wibbly-wobbly nature of time.), but they didn't do all of the little things that you need to do to earn the puck luck.
  • Lidstrom: I don't pretend to know what he's going to decide to do.  I just hope that everyone out there tonight took a minute to really watch him closely and appreciate how much better he is than everyone else.  Just in case.
  • Don't forget Homer either, for sure.
  • One of my favorite parts of the third period was when Homer got booed by the Preds' fans for being blatantly interfered with by there goalie.  You can give a fanbase a good hockey team, but you can't give them a good understanding of hockey.
  • I also really enjoyed the start of the first period when two penalties were called in the first 31 seconds, but that's neither here nor there.
  • For those of you out there on Twitter saying that this loss was as devastating as 2009...really?  This was really as bad as you-know-what-happened?  This was just as agonizing?  Get a grip.
  • Firing Babcock is not the answer either, sunshines.  Let's all take a step back from the ledge, ok?
  • All I'm saying is that prior to the start of the playoffs, Nashville topped my list of teams that I didn't want the Wings to face.  Pekka Rinne was the #1 reason for that.  I wasn't wrong.
  • I hoarded enough playoff cupcakes to last seven games if necessary.  Who wants to join me in eating our feelings as we feast on the leftovers?
  • This should be an interesting off-season.  Not summer of '01 fun, mind you, but interesting nonetheless.
  • I still, and always will, love this team.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Red Wings vs. Predators Game Five GP...

1 Red Wings vs. Predators 3

A scary-looking octopus:

What we learned from Game Four:
  • The amount of shots you take really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.
  • Mistakes kill.
  • So much for home ice advantage...
Exciting things about Game Five:
  • The Wings sometimes play pretty well with their backs against the wall.
  • That's it.  There is nothing else exciting about tonight.
Terrifying things about Game Five:
  • The potential for elimination.
  • The possibility that it'll be Nick Lidstrom's last game ever.
  • If you're not already in the fetal position, you're doing something wrong.
Who will have a good game tonight:

Nick Lidstrom.  Because he's the Perfect Human.

Something to lighten the mood:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Red Wings 1, Predators 3: Post Game Snipes...

  • Hey, it didn't end with a 3-2 final score.  I feel like there are some people out there who would be happy about that.  If nothing else, it means that we can stop talking about how the first three games all ended with the same score, right?
  • The pregame show was absolutely amazing.  It really was incredible.  It gave me chills.
  • I'm not sure I've ever heard the Joe as loud as it was between the pregame show and the National Anthem.  The place was absolutely rocking.
  • I don't even know what to say about this game.  So many things went right, but then there were little momentary lapses and it seemed like every single one of them led to a Nashville goal.  This one was a heart-breaker.
  • The Wings looked like the Big Red Machine for most of the game.   Nashville barely touched the puck.  It was loads of fun to watch.  Except for the part where there was nothing to celebrate.
  • You know what happened on the one Wings goal that did go in?  They got traffic in front of the net.  There were way too many easy shots from the wing.  You really aren't going to beat Pekka Rinne with those.
  • Rinne was the number one reason that I dreaded the Wings facing Nashville.  He's lived up to all of my nightmares so far this series, and he outplayed Jimmy by a mile tonight.
  • One depressing thought hung over me all day:  What if this is the last time I get to see Lidstrom and Homer play live at the Joe?  Please, Hockey Gods, don't let it be so.
  • Nobody really said at the Joe, but that Nashville no-goal that got waved off was because of Intent to Blow, right?  That was my take on the play.  I never expected to be quite so happy about that rule as I was just then.
  • Of course, Nashville came right back and scored a real goal anyway, so it didn't matter all that much in the end.
  • That no-goal and the Preds' third goal went in pretty much the exact same way, at least from my vantage point in the upper bowl.  What was Jimmy doing tonight?  Seriously.
  • So much for Franzen going out and scoring a couple of goals.
  • Do the Wings lead the league in getting tossed out of the faceoff circle?
  • Between the revenge fight with Weber and the Ping Pong Incident that Wasn't Really, I think Wings fans' love for Todd Bertuzzi might be at an all-time high.
  • There was a man sitting behind me chewing tobacco, and my hair might've touched his spit cup.  He actually deserves congratulations for making me more upset than the Wings losing a playoff game.  That's really quite an accomplishment.  I'm off to go shave my head now.
  • To those fans who left early in a close playoff game that the Wings very easily could've tied up: shame on you.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Red Wings vs. Predators Game Four GP...

1 Red Wings vs. Predators 2

A scary-looking octopus:

What we learned from Game Three:
  • Only showing up to play the third period isn't going to cut it.  Oh, wait, what's that you say?  We already knew that?  Well, then.
  • If you don't suffer at least 77 heart attacks during your team's playoff game, you're doing something wrong.
  • Every fraction of a second counts.
Exciting things about Game Four:
  • It'll give us something other than ping pong tables to talk about.
  • The Wings had all of the momentum at the end of Game Three.
  • I'm going to be at the Joe!
Terrifying things about Game Four:
  • Going back to Nashville 2-2 is miles (or kilometers) different from heading back down 3-1.  The whole season kind of hangs in the balance tonight.
  • The prospect of another parade to the penalty box.
  • Johan Franzen.
Who will have a good game tonight:

I'm not even going to bother with this one.  I picked Mule last game.  If I weren't in charge around these parts, I'd have to fire myself.

Something to lighten the mood:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Red Wings 2, Predators 3: Post Game Snipes...

  • This was a typical Wings game in so many ways.  They sleep-walked through the first half of the game before deciding that it might be worth their while to actually try.  In the end, it was too little, too late.  Sure, they almost got away with it, but this is the Stanley Cup Playoffs and playing half games isn't going to cut it.  Especially not against a goalie like Pekka Rinne.
  • [Generic comment about how awful the officiating continues to be.]  Seriously though, these guys were ostensibly chosen to ref the playoffs because they're the cream of the crop.  It makes you wonder how bad the guys who didn't get the call for the playoffs are.
  • Johan Franzen.  I wanted to see Angry Beast Mule, not Angry, Stupid Mule today.  I usually love it when he plays angry, but there's a difference between channeling that anger into energy and motivation and letting it get the better of you.
  • How do those of you not in CBC broadcast areas cope?  NBC was up to its usual level of greatness today.  I delayed the switch to CBC for a long time because we don't get it in HD, but eventually I chose a high quality broadcast over a high definition one.  During the commercial break after the Mule spear, it was pretty apparent from people on Twitter that those watching the NBC feed had no idea what was going on.  We, however, had seen replays and were well into the yelling at Franzen stage by the time CBC cut to commercial.
  • Pavel's goal was awesome.  What was Rinne thinking about in that moment?  Was he trying to remember if he set his DVR to record a show?  Wondering where to eat dinner?  We should make a list of the possibilities.
  • The goal-that-almost-was at the end of the second was brutal.  It was very apparent from the replays that it went in just a fraction of a second too late, but it's hard not to imagine all the tenths of seconds that were lost from the clock earlier in the period.  The same thing happened to Team USA in the gold medal game in Vancouver.
  • It was nice of Zetterberg to score so that the game was just close enough to give us hope for the last minute.

Red Wings vs. Predators Game Three GP...

1 Red Wings vs. Predators 1

A scary-looking octopus:

What we learned from Game Two:
  • Hey, look, rest of the world: the Wings actually can stand up for themselves.
  • That Pekka Rinne guy sometimes actually looks a little bit fallible.
  •  The Wings' rookies can be kind of fun.
Exciting things about Game Three:
  • Back in Hockeytown!  It'll be nice to see the Joe rocking for the playoffs...again.
  • Pavel. Datsyuk.  This is a given.  It's also how you can tell that I'm running out of things to write, so I'm resorting to stating the obvious.
  • You can watch it while eating brunch.  (Or breakfast if you live out west.)  I mean, who doesn't love a good brunch while watching a playoff game?  Oh, you too?  I thought it was just me.
Terrifying things about Game Three:
  • It's an early game on NBC.
  • I have a feeling that the ice quality is going to leave something to be desired.  That usually doesn't work out in the Wings' favor.
  • It's Game Three of a tied playoff series.  Let's face it: everything about it is terrifying.
Who will have a good game tonight:

I'm picking the Mule for this one.  He's clearly riled up about the last game, and it sure would be nice for him to enter his playoff beast mode sooner rather than later.

Something to lighten the mood:

Friday, April 13, 2012

Red Wings 3, Predators 2: Post Game Snipes...

  • Is it just me, or did it seem like the Wings were breaking sticks on every single shift tonight?  And when they were broken, it wasn't a quick change; the player was stuck in the defensive zone for excruciatingly long stretches of time before they were able to get off the ice or replace the stick.  Do they keep stats for things like that?  I'm going to start.  We'll call it the Mickey Redmond Memorial Statistic.  Well, not "memorial" maybe.  That makes it sound like he's dead.  I suppose it's possible that all of the broken sticks tonight might've killed him.  I'll look into that.
  • Bert coming out and fighting Weber early on was perfect in every way.  Someone needed to step up and it really seemed to spark the team.
  • If the Wings hadn't gotten the PK sorted out of late, these two games would've had pretty ugly scores.  The fact that they've managed to completely shut down Nashville's powerplay this series without Lidstrom ever setting foot on the ice shorthanded is quite remarkable.
  • Weber's goal was not received well at the bar I watched the game at.  There's something about a guy who should've been sitting out the game scoring a key goal that really seems to rile up Detroit fans.  Wonder why.
  • I love it when lucky bounces like the one that led to Franzen's goal go the Wings' way.  It's a lot more fun than the alternative.  It's always nice to feel like the Hockey Gods are smiling upon the boys.
  • Jimmy is back to top form.  That can only mean good things for the Wings.

Red Wings vs. Predators Game Two GP...

0 Red Wings vs. Predators 1

A scary looking octopus:

What we learned from Game One:
  • EVERYTHING is a penalty.
  • Puck luck is key.
  • Jimmy Howard is back in top form.
Exciting things about Game Two:
  • Nyquist is making his playoff debut.
  • The Wings are angry about the cheap shot at the end of Game One.  They tend to play well when they're riled up about something.
  • After it's over, the series moves back to Hockeytown.
Terrifying things about Game Two:
  • If the Wings don't win, this series is all but over.
  • We have to wonder if the special teams can be as effective as they were in Game One.
  • Life without Helm.
  • Pekka Rinne.
Who will have a good game tonight:

Henrik Zetterberg.  I know...choosing him is kind of a cop out because, well, he's Henrik Zetterberg, but I think he's going to have a good night tonight.  I keep harping on it, but he tends to be at his most dominating when he's feeling feisty.  And he should be, after Weber's cheap shot that went unpunished for all intents and purposes ($2,500 from a multi-millionaire is like telling me that a speeding ticket is going to cost me $1.)

Something to lighten the mood:

Dance party!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Red Wings 2, Predators 3: Post Game Snipes...

Hello, world; it's been a while.  I thought that moving back to Michigan would reignite my motivation to blog about the Wings, but I still wasn't feeling it.  It took the start of the playoffs to get me back in the swing of things.  I'm not sure what it was, but when I set out to pick up a friend to go watch the game tonight, I had all kinds of ideas running through my head.  So here we go.  I'm back -- at least for a little while.
  • I'll be honest.  I didn't have a great feeling about the game all day.  Truth be told, I don't have a great feeling about the series in general, but that's how I've felt about every Wings playoff series ever.  Well, except for that time the Wings steamrolled the Avs in the second round a couple of years back, but I think that one was more of a surrender than a playoff series anyway.
  • All those things we were worried about coming into the game (namely the penalty kill, powerplay, and defense) actually kind of worked.  Somehow the Wings still managed to lose.  If we're looking for positive things to take away from the game, these successes are pretty heartening.
  • In a moment of weakness in the third period after one of the Wings' glorious open net chances that, according to every law of physics should've gone in, and taking into account Nashville's first two goals, I determined that the Wings weren't destined to pull this comeback off because they just didn't have any luck tonight.  To win in the playoffs, you need a lot of skill.  You need the drive and endurance to battle through every game.  You also, however, need a little bit of luck.  You need those fluky bounces to go your way.  The Wings just didn't have it tonight.  That can change, though.
  • Goals like Nashville's first one are the number one reason why NHL playoff overtime is the most terrifying ordeal in sports. 
  • I couldn't hear much of the commentary at the bar, but I'm assuming that there was a lot of "just like Modano" talk after Helm's injury.  It sounds pretty ugly.  I wish he'd sat out an extra game instead of rushing back from the knee injury for the opener.  I can't imagine him being back this season.  That's a huge loss for the Wings.
  • The pre-game conversation in the referees' dressing room, at least in my mind: "Wow, these were the two least penalized teams in the league during the regular season; it's probably going to be a pretty boring night for us out there...  Hey, wouldn't it be funny if we called them for a dozen or so penalties?  Each?"  "Yeah, it would at least give us something to do out there.  Plus, I noticed this really hot chick sitting behind the scorers, so going over there to announce penalties all night will give me a chance to check her out."
  • I hope Hank comes out mad in Game Two.  He usually dominates when he's all riled up.
  • I doubt Weber will get suspended.  He probably deserves a game, but these are the playoffs and this is the NHL, and Zetterberg (we think) wasn't injured.  It'll give us something to bluster and rage about for the next couple of days, and if we're lucky, it'll light a fire under the Wings and give them some extra motivation, but I'd be shocked if any supplementary discipline came out of it.  But if Shanny wants to bench Weber for a game or two...I wouldn't complain.
  • During one of the Wings' crazy powerplay chances, I slammed my hand onto an empty chair behind me and I was pretty sure that I broke a bone for a couple of minutes.  I'm fairly certain now that it's just fine, but it wouldn't have been the first time I've injured myself while watching playoff hockey.