Game 38 – Detroit @ Anaheim – My Kingdom for a Powerplay Goal

I did not miss when the Wings would play a bunch of these 10:30 games. Here I am at 1 in the morning utterly exhausted trying to put this together because it’s not like I take notes or anything and the Wings couldn’t even get me a goal.

The Good

There were some good moments. I thought the first looked good up until the end. Larkin created some good chances. The defense was remarkable especially since we lost both Smith and Kronwall by the end of the 2nd leaving us with only 4 (does this mean we get Sproul back in the lineup? Marchenko will replace Smith no doubt tomorrow night). Smith actually looked the best of all defensemen, with the only chance of the Wings getting on the board.

Darren brought up an interesting point, which is that though Smith interfered with Gibson, Gibson’s attempt at making the save wasn’t impeded. It’s a frustrating take because I get it, but the refs in the NHL have enough trouble getting the letter of the rule right with calls and reviews before you ask them to start taking into account spirit of it. After the first, our skaters pretty much fell off and I didn’t think we looked good for the rest of the night.

In probably brightest news, Petr Mrazek looked good again. Actually he looked great again. I didn’t think either of the goals were really on him, ultimately, even though he could have maybe gotten more they were caused by turnovers in front of him and he got solid pieces of both of them. He was active, looking around in the crease, quick to his pads and making giant saves. Mrazek played great enough to win us a game, and the rest of the team let him down. And it sucks, because the guy has struggled enough as it is. You can see in the second goal he just gives Vanek the WTF stare after making the save on Ritchie

The Bad

Pretty sure Road Powerplay is not a real thing. Like, what would the value you be in analyzing man advantage where you play? I don’t get it. What I do get is that scoring no powerplay goals in away games since Oct. 19th is ridiculous. That’s so long. I’m trying to think of something witty to say about how old that is and I’m drawing a blank. I think I yelled last time I talked about this too. I just can’t anymore. Here’s the problem: nothing is changing. Nothing meaningful. They tried Steve Ott on the PP tonight. He got a goaltender interference penalty almost immediately and cancelled it out.

AA was scratched too, and didn’t play at all in the last 3rd period a couple games ago. Sproul is scratched. Ott still gets all the ice time he wants, including new chances. Right now in our system, if a young player makes a mistake he gets absolutely crucified in terms of his chances to play and ice time, and if vets do it there is NOTHING being done. Did Ericsson get in trouble for causing the first goal (I’ll get to it)? Have DDK and Jensen been removed from top pairing even though they’ve been pretty bad the past few games? Our entire coaching system is quite frankly fucked at this point, and no one seems to care.

Forwards can’t score. Defense can’t defend. Goaltending has either been shaky or unable to get the goal support it needs to win games. I am out of things to say other than this: right now, in this moment, the Detroit Red Wings are a bad hockey team. A bad hockey team can still win games, or have good moments like in the Centennial Classic, I’m not saying they are complete shit, but they are bad. They could be better I think, I know there are players here who can do better, but for now I’ll say it again: they’re bad.

The WTF?

God damn it Ericsson.

Probably my favorite part of this is how it’s actually an avalanche of WTF moments that lead up to a goal. First, that play should never have happened because the linesman completely blew an icing call on the Ducks. So we get another piece of ammo in our fuck the refs belt. But then Big E just completely loses it under pressure and throws the puck straight to the other team. Both goals in this game were caused by unforced turnovers that bit us in the ass. It’s like the only team we can score on reliably is ourselves.

And I bet he’s not going to lose any damn TOI next game over it either.

There’s a theory that either A) Blashill is low key tanking on purpose or B) nothing has changed because we were under coverage for the EPIX Road to the Centennial Classic series. I think both of those theories are crap, but I actually hope to god one is right because I’m not even having fun watching this team half the time anymore.

Next Game

Tomorrow at 10:30 again because of course against the LA Kings. Jeff Carter is 2nd overall for goals right now in the league (though I think Laine tied him tonight), so look for him to do something against us because of course.

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