Posts Tagged ‘Red Wings’

Huge Twist: Modano Returning To Stars Tonight

May 10, 2011

They’ve since changed it, but for about 10 minutes, ESPN.com had this headline on their homepage:

Wow, Mike Modano’s returning to the Stars? Tonight?? Mid-playoffs??? Anything really can happen in the postseason.

To fill Modano’s roster spot, Gerard Gallant will be returning to the Red Wings.

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Penguins 2, Red Wings 1 (OT-SO): Pens Finally Solve The Great Jimmy Howard

February 1, 2010

I’m pretty sure I’m the first person to notice / mention this, so please credit my astute powers of observationalism, but what in the world is going on with the Detroit Red Wings?

The Penguins outshot Detroit 47-24 on Sunday afternoon, just two days after Detroit gave up 48 shots to Nashville (and won). Granted, Detroit’s dealing with some injuries, but I can’t comprehend how missing Johan Franzen and Tomas Holmstrom — two dudes who never step more than six inches from the opposing goaltender — could contribute to Detroit magically turning from an 18-shots-against per game machine of boredom to some Western Conference Panthers-esque shooting gallery.

Equally baffling to the Red Wings’ sudden defensive struggles is the emergence of Jimmy Howard, a 2003 second-round pick with seven career NHL starts before this season and one career win, who’s been playing absolutely out of his mind, posting a .928 Save Percentage in the midst of Detroit’s malaise and turning in the most dominant goaltending performance the Penguins have faced this season (save Antti Niemi’s game in December. SAVE – get it??? I just won the Grammy for COMEDY).

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Red Wings Sign Bertuzzi; Fill Need For Third Annoying, Injury-Prone Goalie-Interfering Dude

August 18, 2009

ESPN:

The Detroit Red Wings have agreed to terms on a deal with Todd Bertuzzi pending the free-agent forward passing a physical, sources told ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun on Tuesday.

The one-year deal is “worth around $1.5 million,” a source said.

Red Wings GM Ken Holland gushed, “Todd fills our need for a third huge annoying guy who can go to the net and interfere with the opposing goaltender so constantly, the refs will have to raise their standard of what constitutes an interference penalty.”

He added, “Right now, we’re probably penciling him in on the third line to spread out our goalie-interfering capabilities, but in a pinch, we could conceivably put him, Tomas Holmstrom and Johan Franzen on one line together, have them stand on each other’s shoulders in the crease wearing one big long jersey, and literally murder the opposing goaltender.”

“The fact that Bertuzzi is extremely injury-prone is a nice bonus, too, so he can be out for long extended periods of time and we can call up random AHL dudes you’ve never heard of who will instantly be better than most teams’ second-line forwards and it’ll piss you off. It’s a great fit for both parties.”

State Of Michigan Still Bitter About Malkin’s MVP

June 15, 2009

Henrik Zetterberg may have recorded fewer goals, assists, and points than Evgeni Malkin this playoff season, in addition to the minute technicality that his team didn’t end up winning the Stanley Cup, but according to this ESPN.com poll, the people of Michigan still don’t think Malkin deserved the Conn Smythe Trophy:

ESPN Conn Smythe Poll

I realize these state-by-state graphics are designed to bate rival fans into disagreeing for no reason, but surely even the most ardent Detroit fan doesn’t actually believe that someone on the Red Wings deserved the Conn Smythe when they didn’t win the Cup this year, right? Even those Michigan travel commercials with the Tim Allen voiceover admitted that Malkin was a Conn Smythe no-brainer.

Or maybe the entire state agrees that Rob Scuderi’s defensive contributions went overlooked?

A Quick Reference Guide For Marian Hossa

June 15, 2009

Current Penguins And Red Wings With Their Names On The Stanley Cup:

Pavel Datsyuk

Kris Draper

Valtteri Filppula

Darren Helm

Henrik Zetterberg

Justin Abdelkader

Johan Franzen

Jiri Hudler

Tomas Kopecky

Daniel Cleary

Tomas Holmstrom

Kirk Maltby

Mikael Samuelsson

Chris Chelios

Jonathan Ericsson

Niklas Kronwall

Brett Lebda

Nicklas Lidstrom

Andreas Lilja

Derek Meech

Brian Rafalski

Brad Stuart

Chris Osgood

Sidney Crosby

Tyler Kennedy

Evgeni Malkin

Jordan Staal

Maxime Talbot

Matt Cooke

Pascal Dupuis

Ruslan Fedotenko

Chris Kunitz

Craig Adams

Eric Godard

Bill Guerin

Miroslav Satan

Petr Sykora

Philippe Boucher

Mark Eaton

Hal Gill

Alex Goligoski

Sergei Gonchar

Kris Letang

Brooks Orpik

Rob Scuderi

Marc-Andre Fleury

Mathieu Garon

Current Penguins And Red Wings Without Their Names On The Stanley Cup:

Marian Hossa

Ty Conklin

Ville Leino



…Makes you feel a little bad for Ville Leino…

My Dream Game Seven Outcome

June 12, 2009

Beggars can’t be choosers, as choosers like to say, so I’ll take a Pens victory in Game Seven any way I can. But if I had to pick a Game Seven “dream outcome,” I definitely have one in mind…

A lot of Pens fans would probably love to see Crosby bank the winning goal off Marian Hossa’s eye and in the net, or possibly Malkin to score the winner on a breakaway after Hossa suffers a heart attack and turns the puck over, or maybe Fleury launching a puck the length of the ice and it hitting off the boards, rocketing back into the crease, hitting Osgood’s ass and slowwwly trickling over the line in the final second of regulation (then Hossa explodes).

No, my fantasy outcome isn’t quite that spiteful. In my ideal Game Seven, a 0-0 game enters the fifth Overtime period, with the shots close to even at about 130 per team, and the game-winning goal is finally scored by PASCAL DUPUIS doing the “Dupuis” and firing a slap shot from a crappy angle down the left wing that miraculously beats Osgood. Dupuis is given the Conn Smythe, and boasts on the air, “I TOLD you that works about once every 40 games!”

The Lightning then offer Dupuis a 7 year, $45 million deal on the ice as he is carrying the Cup around, but he turns it down.

GAME SIX: Pens 2, Red Wings 1 — NHL Rigs Game Seven By Having Pens Severely Outplay Detroit

June 10, 2009

For the first time in the entire Cup Finals, aside from some brief isolated stretches in Game Three, the Pens completely outworked Detroit for their 2-1 Game Six victory. They blocked shots, got to loose pucks, the Staal line dominated shift after shift (and produced both Penguin goals), and despite the slim lead, heart-attack worthy moments like the Zetterberg post, the Franzen 3rd-period rebound bonanza, and the inexplicable Dan Cleary breakaway, I didn’t get as nervous during this one as I usually am during games. I attribute this in part to the Pens’ distinguishing play in the first two periods, but I think more than anything, these Playoffs have already sucked the life out of me, restored it, and sucked it back out again so many times, I simply don’t have the energy to get nervous or swear at the screen like I was two Series ago, or even two games ago.

I have a feeling that won’t be a problem in Game Seven.

Onto the Game Six specifics:

— Nice bounceback game for Fleury, keeping in line with his extremely consistent “good when you lose faith in him, bad when you start to trust him” career theme. For that exact reason, I will be thoroughly not trusting him heading into Game Seven.

— The game was almost Washington series-esque in that the Pens totally dominated the majority of periods one and two and completely outshot the Red Wings, but Detroit still happened into a handful of totally random amazing scoring chances. Fortunately Viktor Kozlov never arrived to score on an unscreened wrist shot from the top of the circle. The score shouldn’t have been as close as it was heading into the home stretch of the third, and I especially couldn’t believe the Pens ended the first scoreless, but give Osgood credit — this wasn’t a typical “could’ve thrown a cone in net and won 4-2” Red Wings defensive performance by any means.

— Liiiittle bit of ref help for the Pens, but nothing that affected the outcome of the game and certainly nothing “NHL Wants A Game Seven At All Costs” conspiracy-theory worthy. The Zetterberg goalie interference penalty was an awful call, made by the trailing ref and not the ref standing literally right behind the net, and I thought Brooks Orpik should’ve been called for a slash on the Dan Cleary breakaway, but neither of those were game-breakers, just odd. Also, the ref threw his arm up unprofessionally late on the Malkin cross-check call; I’m surprised Bylsma kept his cool after that, it’s exactly the kind of thing coaches love to complain about (John Tortorella would’ve been punching nearby fans’ children). Bill Guerin’s high stick on Kris Draper was also the correct call, but man, Draper couldn’t have helped buy that call more if he literally assembled a briefcase of cash and purchased a plaque with the words “That Call” engraved onto it. Crosby is a diver.

— I won’t say a word about Marian Hossa’s impact on this series until after Game Seven.

— In a weird way, Malkin and Crosby haven’t played poorly at all this series, and Malkin’s actually been pretty dominant, even if their numbers don’t reflect it; Bylsma threw them together for a couple more shifts than usual in Game Six, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see some more of Malkin and Crosby jumping out together on the fly to try to screw with Babcock’s home ice defensive matchups.

Rob Scuderi’s triple-shot-block at the end of the third period was absolutely mind-boggling. The play looked to be a random, bouncy scramble in regular motion, but replays showed Johan Franzen getting good wood on four distinct, deliberate shots, three of which were directly saved by Scuderi, and one of which mercifully hit Fleury and came to a stop. Good thing Scuderi didn’t cover the puck in the crease, or else nothing would have happened to him.

— Relatedly, Scuderi continues to have an impressive postseason, and while I really like the guy, I’m growing increasingly worried that the Pens’ run this season will result in some team offering him a ridiculous Jay McKee type contract and the Pens won’t be able to re-sign him. No point worrying about that now, but regardless of this offseason, it’s been a tremendous postseason for a previously much-overlooked part of the Pens’ resurgence.

Prediction for Game Seven? I still forsee visions of the Red Wings skating the Cup around, then breaking it into small indvidual cubes and consuming those cubes to provide necessary metallic nutrients to their ever-beating robot hearts. But I’ve been wrong before.

I will also take the Over on “Me having 75 heart attacks before the first commercial break.”

GAME FIVE: Red Wings A Lot, Pens Not A Lot

June 7, 2009

I missed Game Five to attend a friend’s wedding in New Jersey. I agonized about this decision all week, and before the reception, I planned a getaway route back to our walking-distance hotel and planned to catch from the second period on (my route included kneeing the father of the bride in the groom for good measure), but increasingly profane texts from my friends combined with increasingly delicious food at the wedding made the decision rather easy. Upon watching the highlights, I’m glad to know that my decision to not watch the game probably bought me an extra two years on the end of my life, which is cool.

The Pens did not play awesomely. There’s your analysis. It’s why I do this, folks.

Also, as I mentioned in the Game Four recap, to all the people thinking the Red Wings might be tired with the grueling series schedule: robots do not require sleep.

GAME FOUR: Pens 4, Red Wings 2 — Did Jeff Goldblum Sneak An ID4 Virus Into The Red Wing Computer?

June 5, 2009

I thought for sure we’d see Pavel Datsyuk tonight, and I was wrong, but I did also think for sure we’d see the Pens score three goals in five minutes in the second period including a shorthander and two warmup-drill-looking tic-tac-toe one-timers through a bewildered Red Wings defense, and I was correct on that prediction, so we’ll call it even. The highlights and the low-highlights of the series equalizer:

Fleury came to play for the second straight game. Of the two goals he did allow, the first came off an unusual braincramp giveaway by Rob Scuderi, who was apparently just jealous of Hal Gill appearing in all the Red Wings highlights, and the other came while Bill Guerin — a winger who should never be as low in his own zone as he was even if he was trying to cover someone, which he wasn’t — screened the crap out of him. My brother suggested that Guerin suffered from a senile lapse and thought he was in the offensive zone, which isn’t as funny as it is probably just completely accurate. I’m going to temper any Fleury praise until the series is over, though, because every time I begin to praise him on this blog, he turns around and craps in my hat (literally – it’s super uncalled for). So for the time being, I’ll just say “U SUCK MAF!! Y R U SO BAD A BABY CUOLD PLAY GOOD GOAL BETTER THAN U U SUCKKKKXX!!!!!!”

Malkin is playing in some other ethereal dimension where the rules that bind mortal hockey players do not apply. I’ve said it before, but he really creates scoring chances as though he’s running a practice drill and the defending team is intentionally backing off a little so the goalie gets to face a quality shot. Ever since I started this site, our faithful banner representative has taken his game to another level; I’m not saying my blog is the only reason for this, just the most important one.

— The refereeing was spotty but didn’t seem to favor either side; Versus showed a replay of the Pens appearing to go offsides on the sequence that ended with their first goal, and the first Kronwall tripping penalty on Malkin wasn’t a trip (though he got away with an uncalled interference seconds earlier). The refs also missed a pretty obvious Matt Cooke interference penalty, then didn’t call anything on Detroit in the second or third until the hook on Kunitz while their net was empty, ignoring, among other things, a laughably deliberate Kirk Maltby stick-jab on Crosby well away from the play. I vote to replace the buzzterm “New NHL” with “Just Whatever The Hell”.

— I don’t know who keeps the “Giveaways” stat, but apparently the Red Wings only turned the puck over six times last night. Can someone check and make sure the Giveaways tracker didn’t have a heart attack and die halfway through the first period?

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GAME THREE: Pens 4, Red Wings 2 — The Hockey Gods Giveth, The Hockey Gods Miss A Really Obvious Too Many Men Call

June 3, 2009

After the Pens ended up on the dark side of both physics and officiating in Game Two, they played their worst game of the series so far and walked away with a 4-2 victory.

Credit Where Credit Is Due:

Max Talbot played his ass off, Fleury had arguably his best game since mid-Caps series or possibly Philly Game 4, and the Pens’ power play actually scored twice against a team without Tim Gleason on its roster, including at the game’s most crucial juncture.

And Now, Ripping On People:

–The refereeing sure took a wild swing back in the Pens’ favor last night, with Pittsburgh avoiding a lengthy, crazily obvious too many men penalty that just simply doesn’t ever get missed in the NHL (unless it’s a three-second infraction where the player hops back on the bench right as the opposing team starts yelling, which this most certainly wasn’t). The refs also forewent a Chris Kunitz cross-check to Johan Franzen’s head, but went ahead and whistled Jonathan Ericsson for interference in the third, which was definitely interference but also more minor than about 30,000 other uncalled plays in this series. Again, I’ll always argue that it’s tough to say refereeing “cost” a team a game, as the Wings did allow two power play goals on only three opportunities, to the same power play that we spend about a paragraph making fun of every other day.

— Detroit also managed just three shots on goal in the third period. I don’t think the refs blocked many.

Kris Letang’s goal was pretty weak on Chris Osgood’s part; I’ve always felt that if you don’t one-time a power play point shot, there’s no point in then going ahead and shooting it anyway once the defense adjusts, because it gets blocked and cleared about 80% of the time, but Letang’s shot got through the D and went right through Osgood for a refreshingly questionable goal. Now if only we can get one to hit off the boards, post, his pad, and his ass before trickling in…

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