Game 35 – Buffalo @ Detroit – 20 Years From Greatness

Tonight was the reunion for the 1997 Stanley Cup team, which happens to be my first memories of Red Wings fandom. I think I still have a commemorative set of pucks from that season somewhere in my old room at my Dad’s house. That team was such a joy, such a huge part of how I got to this point of hitting keys to say shit about a sports team for hours every week, it was so wonderful to see them reunited like that.

The team we got this season isn’t quite the same caliber. But holy shit, did we get a game that was actually pretty exciting once we got out of the first period.

Today’s streamables come from /u/HailtheBan on reddit, who also works harder than I do.

The Good

SWEET STICK OF GRETZKY DID WE SCORE A POWERPLAY GOAL?

It might have even been a bounce off of Sheahan, which would be two impossible things occurring at the same time. (As of now it has not been credited to him, meaning that the universe won’t fucking implode on the weight of the monkey falling off his back). I didn’t actually know it was possible for us to score on the Powerplay. I thought it was mythical, like the Ovechtrick or politicians working together. Note that I’m not actually saying our PP was good, I’m just saying we got a fucking goal, which is where we are with this team right now.

I liked the offense as a whole tonight, actually. Put up 40+ shots, which means out the gate we are already solving one of the main problems this season which is the inability to shoot the fucking puck. 3 goals is honestly much more than I expect to see from the Wings at this point, so this looks like a game they should have fucking had, but once again they didn’t. This team is not making up ground, even when they more or less play well.

The fights were….I don’t want to say good, but I feel like they’re indicative of when the team is actually trying and so by that metric I like it. However, I don’t want to see fresh off the IR Brenden Smith and literally our best fucking player Anthony Mantha doing it. That’s what Steve Ott is for. Letting them fight is how you get a Max Domi situation (fucking stupid).

Extra note here: I’ve really been noticing Xavier Ouellet in the offensive zone. I like that he shoots the puck and seems to be generating rebounds and good chances. I hope he gets to stay up.

The Bad

Jimmy Howard would have won this game.

God fucking dammit. Mrazek got like 60% of it, and you know what. This goal backs up all the shit that I’ve been told about how goalies work. Mrazek is a reactionary goalie, always playing what I thought was very exciting flashy hockey, but he’s lost his confidence and this is where you see it. He was a fucking half second too slow and didn’t get enough to stop the goal. That’s fucking shitty, and the defense didn’t exactly help, but Mrazek has to have that. He also needs to have the Eichel goal where it gets slipped up over his shoulder. He’s also gotta stop the fucking wrap around goal Kane scored in the first period.

Look he’s young and in a huge slump and I get it, I’m not saying that Mrazek is a garbage goalie like half of goddamn twitter right now. But what I am saying is he is playing bad right now, and he needs to be fucking better for this team to have any real chance of not finishing in the bottom 5.

I don’t even want to get into it again but the fucking lines man. Ott was playing on the top line for a bit. STEVE OTT. I LIKE STEVE OTT BUT NO. Glendening in the top 6 again. NO. STOP. Why is this so hard to put together some reasonable lines that make a minute amount of sense in regards to the stats and just leave them for a few games. Maybe they’ll get some chemistry, maybe the kids can benefit from more TOI? MAYBE SPROUL SHOULD BE PLAYING STILL. Sorry Jensen, but you did not prove you were better than Sproul. What you did do is help take Jimmy away from us.

The WTF?

AHHHHH WHY DOES THIS SHIT ONLY SEEM TO HAPPEN TO US?

I’ll say up front. Glad that Lehner is okay, and the ref’s call was correct in not awarding a goal. Had Lehner not gone down, that would not have been a goal, and the whistle is clearly blown before the puck crosses the line (but you can’t hear that because the streamable has no sound, take my word for it).

BUT FUCKING HELL.

Bogosian happens to both hold our own player and cause the momentary injury to his own goalie, and the refs don’t notice either of these things but is fucking on the ball to blow the whistle at the speed of fucking sound in order to take any lucky bounce away from the Wings. I mean, this is just one of those things that only happens to the Wings right now. When the team is already struggling and under performing, here we also get just the shit end of the stick when it comes to bounces and calls.

At this rate, we’ll get in the lottery and get the worst possible pick we could.

Next Game 

Thursday in Ottawa. Nothing left to say besides: we need points.

 

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