Month: October 2017

Game 12 – Detroit Red Wings @ Florida Panthers – Goose is Loose

I gotta save this team really did come through and finally looked motivated to win a game. I guess 6 game losing streak will light a bit of a bonfire under your ass.

It might have been a shootout win, but a W is a still a W.

The Good

Athanasiou is back (on the score sheet) and the Wings have a 1st period goal for what feels like maybe the 2nd time all season.

Athanasiou, regardless of what you think of his skill in our own zone or how he handled the contract dispute, is making this team at least a bit more bearable to watch. He had a goal, and some great looks. He made Reimer turn himself into a pretzel of some kind to stop a weird short side poke and he had a few good looks. The kid is just so fast, that every time he gets the puck it feels like magic is going to happen.

Meanwhile, Nyquist knew that I was planning on writing about his disappointing performance the past couple games and goes end to end to completely school James Reimer who is playing a phenomenal game, and then beats Reimer again to seal the shootout victory for us.

Gonna test this theory. Next game I’m going to complain about Larkin not scoring. We’ll see if he scores against Arizona.

Jimmy Howard backstopped this team in probably the best game of the season for him. 46 saves through OT and some real sketchy plays that he had to overcome. He went full on dirty birdy in the shootout to rob Barkov on a great shot, and continues to be the Red Wings MVP for the season

The Bad

Ericsson, after that one game where we all thought he was maybe not terrible, is continuing to be completely terrible and causing a majority of our goals it feels like. On the first Florida goal, he gets shoved off a puck but a guy 5 inches shorter and like 30 pounds lighter.

That’s always been the more frustrating thing about Ericsson, that he doesn’t use his size to play. He could be a wrecking ball on skates that clears the crease and owns the corners, and instead he’s like this magical pixie fairy that loses every puck battle and panic dumps the puck to the other team in the slot. Basically I think he could be a good hockey player physically, but mentally he kills me like every single night. At least he assisted on the Nyquist goal, which will keep my brain aneurysm from bursting.

The WTF?

Jeff Fucking Blashill comes out the media with some good lines at practice that we all want to see and says, and I loosely quote: “these are the lines we’re going with, no changes for awhile.” We all make some jokes and have a nice laugh about how unlikely that is to happen, but he’s a coach and he’s going to the media so I figure maybe we’ll go like a couple games with no changes.

God damn one and half periods before this guy has Glendening out there with Zetterberg and Nyquist. Because Luke Glendening, bless his heart, is what a top 6 line needs to successfully score.

Put the blender down Jeff. You’re pureeing the last bits of faith this fanbase has in you.

Next Game

Happy Spookyday game against the winless Arizona Coyotes. Their team is so bad their subreddit posts actual Coyotes instead of hockey stuff now. So if we can’t score there.

Wheelhouse Mailbag – AA and Pizza Edition – 10/29/17

AA is back with the Wings. Photo credit WXYZ.com

Well we’re almost at the end of the first month of the season, time for another edition of Wheelhouse Mailbag.

First question comes from fellow some time contributor Zac who asked me over a cup of coffee if Andreas Athanasiou coming back was going to fix the slump the Red Wings are in. I answered him there but thought I would go ahead and put my thoughts out here for those of you who are interested.

Andreas Athanasiou will not fix this team.

Before you get your torches and pitchforks let me explain: he will definitely help this team. A speedy forward with great hands and offensive instincts, obviously that is going to make your team better. But the issues with the Detroit Red Wings right now is firmly rooted in two things to me. The blue line and coaching strategies. AA doesn’t help anything on the blue line, and in fact he does have a few holes in his defensive game that he’ll need to fix there as well. And as much as he brings to this table, right now I think our main problem is that Blashill is not utilizing the tools he is being given. The lines he fields don’t make a lot of sense sometimes and when he does put good lines together he utilizes them in weird ways, like having Kronwall over Green or Daley quarterback the powerplay.

So no, AA won’t fix the Wings, but he will make is better and more fun to watch if coaching lets him.

Oh hell yes. Pineapple is a top 10 fruit, so why wouldn’t that be good on Pizza? I’m well aware of the hatred and expect to lose half of my meager collection of followers but I don’t care. This is a hill I’ll die on. Look plain pizza is basically a waste of potential so you might as well decorate that shit with as much deliciousness as you can. Load that shit up with pineapple and pulled pork and bbq sauce. It’s like a Hawaiian luau in your mouth without the plan ticket or trying to figure out where to buy a suckling pig.

Thanks again for the questions. We’ll catch you next time, and remember our DMs are always open.

Game 11 – Detroit Red Wings @ Tampa Bay Lightning – MMAntha

Steven Stamkos comes into this game with 20 points in 10 games. 2 points per game. That’s insane. That’s 9 more points than leading Red Wing Mike Green, who has 11. If he and Nikita Kucherov stay healthy, they might both come close to or reach 100 points.

Which I hate, because I hate Tampa Bay

The Good 

Well we can;t score on the powerplay but at least Nielsen can score short handed.

That’s a great read, a great hustle by Helm to stay with him, and basically as perfect as a 2 on 1 as you can draw up. Nielsen was the only good offensive player out there on the stat sheet, with another goal to make this seem like a game we could win when there is no way in hell the Wings are good enough to win. Of course, we can’t, because winning is success and we don’t know success anymore.

Some nifty other good plays:

  • The powerplay that Neilsen scored his second on, Zetterberg sold a trip so hard. How hard? You be the judge, but it looks to me like he feels the hook, grabs the stick, and hooks himself extra good to make sure it’s seen.

  • AA looked pretty good for his first game of the season. I’m glad he’s back, honestly, because on paper we can be a pretty solid top 9 with him included, and I would love for him to be a staple Red Wing.
  • Jimmy Howard should get traded to a cup contender the way he’s playing. Put a good team in front of him that’s a top team in the lead. 38 shots faced, 69 attempts from Tampa Bay. Nice.

The Bad

Where do I start?

First of all, too many penalties. Just way too many, every game. We need to adjust to the goddamn rules and stop, because when we play teams with good shooters, this happens.

And in general our defense was bad tonight. I expected nothing, but I’m still disappointed. The second goal, which gave Stamkos his 21st point in 11 games, just looks awful when you see what a pass got through to a wide open STEVEN. STAMKOS.

But you know what if that was the game winning goal, I would have been mildly okay. No instead we get this shit.

WHAT IS DEFENSE?

And what are our powerplay lines? What are our REGULAR lines? Kronwall was out for the last like 2 minutes of powerplay and 6v4 to end the game. He can barely play defense as it is, why are you putting him out there over Mike Green? Isn’t that Mike Green’s entire point of being on the team? Mantha, Larkin, AA, and Frk did not play in the last chance of the game. Excuse me what?

Justin Abdelkader played the second most of any Red Wing.

Sometimes I wish this was a video so I could repeat things for emphasis.

Justin Abdelkader is not a good hockey player. Sorry. He’s got a role, it’s worth about 2 million dollars top, and belongs in the bottom six. Stop trying to make it happen. It’s actively costing us scoring chances. He has been virtually useless this season. I will die on this hill until someone can provide me advanced stats to prove me wrong. And while I wait for that, I’m going to go find advanced stats to prove myself right.

The WTF?

Anthony Mantha appears to be preparing for some sort of MMA career.

I’m not really on the side of “Yeah more fights!” but at the same time, way to not take any shit from the team I hate the most. Especially when they’re giving you a cross check after the whistle. I love Sergachev basically turtle afterwards too. If you’re gonna dish it you better be able to take it.

Later on, Mantha dumped Dotchin with a straight up Greco-Roman takedown, which I don’t have a clip of. But basically: 

I’ll take more Mantha in all my hockey games, please and thanks

Next Game

Saturday against the Panthers. Maybe they’ll start Niemi!