Month: November 2017

Game 25 – LA Kings @ Detroit Red Wings – Gotta be Quicker

A promising start that was slowly drained away, like a plastic party cup full of your favorite drink with a tiny hole in the bottom. You get to enjoy a few sips to start before it spills all over your pants and it looks like you pissed yourself in front of everyone.

The Good

Mike “Trade Value” Green scores his second of the season on a blisteringly good short side shot off a great backhand pass by Frans Nielsen.

This goal gave me a lot of hope, as did the minutes that followed. The Red Wings had some great chances against Jonathan Quick, including a great short handed look by Dylan Larkin. I really think that moving Larkin to some PK time over players like Miller has really helped the team. Speed, speed, speed, is the name of the game right now and our young players speed is really helping our team right now. Honestly I thought we were having a great game at the beginning and that it was only a matter of time until the floodgates opened for the Wings.

Sadly that was not the case and the game turned into a bit of a cluster fuck.

The Bad

Whatever happened to that good Powerplay is gone and we’re back to this terrible 1 minute pass the puck around until it gets poke checked out of the zone without a single shot. Unacceptable. Marty Frk please come back you are the hero these special teams need.

After a decent stretch in the beginning, the Wings just started chasing. They fell behind and were stuck running around the whole game. Look at this goal by Kempe. He is wide open for that Joe Louis back board assist.

These plays were all over the place. People going all over the place trying to get the puck like it’s beer league and eventually you are leaving someone wide open. You have an assignment. Do it. Cover your man and play the body and the puck properly. This is the NHL and you cannot let yourself get psyched out to the point that you’re playing magnet puck like a bunch of 8 year olds. It was super frustrating to watch and the longer the game went on the worse I felt.

Also, the Kings were getting away with absolute murder out there. I hate to be the guy bitching about the refs but come on. AA got mugged at one point and shoved into the boards in a bear hug well after he no longer had the puck. Mantha took a chop hard enough to fell a red wood tree. Meanwhile Abby actively trips himself in an attempt not to interfere with someone and gets a penalty called on himself for his trouble. Fix your shit NHL.

The WTF?

Quick did shit like this at least 4 times in the first period.

That’s unbelievable. I remember when we used to talk about Quick like a top 3 goalie in the league, and I thought those days were over. But he shut me up tonight with his play. He’s got to be the first star of the game because these high quality shots do a couple things. It both motivates the other team to hustle more and get shit done for your goalie who bails you out, and it gets in the other teams head. Larkin was pissed on the bench, smashing sticks and what not. It gets in your head. And slowly the Wings energy just dribbled out until LA had them fatigued enough to return fire and hammer them for 4 unanswered goals.

Still, man. Those saves. What the fuck.

Next Game

Thursday against the Habs. Expect Carey Price to play and put up a 1.100 save percentage.

Game 24 – New Jersey Devils @ Detroit Red Wings – Booth and Nail

If there was ever a hockey game where the team looked tired, it was this one. The Wings were on a back to back and you could just tell because they were not moving they way I expect, especially the kids. Coupled with the holiday week, it’s probably been a busy couple of days. Not sure I blame them.

Makes for a bit of a boring game though, until your team can finally wake up.

The Good

I say, the Red Wings had to claw their way back from that one Booth and Nail…right?

If there was someone I didn’t expect to have a two goal night it was David Booth, but damn am I glad he did. The first one was a fantastic tip that Kinkaid had no chance on and the second was a wonderful crash the net goal. Happy belated birthday David Booth!

Mantha had I think his best goal of the season tonight as well, an unbelievable snipe that has to end up on some high light packages. It’s also his 11th of the season and still good for the team lead.

Otherwise…ehhh, not too much to write home about here. The goals themselves and the plays leading up to them were the exception not the rule.

The Bad

Well Mrazek was removed from the game for concussion protocol, a decision I totally agree with, but that really sucks if it turns out that he is going to miss time. Howard already has so much of the schedule on his shoulders and honestly I wanted this to be Mrazek’s bounce back season. Unfortunately, he didn’t look great tonight. The first goal, while a tip, had him weirdly far out of position to block a shot going wide. The second goal he flailed a bit and had a wide open five hole when he tried to cut over. It’s always the story with Mrazek: does he look dynamic and fluid as he bounces around the crease, or spastic and reckless? Tonight it was definitely the latter.

Speaking of that second goal holy shit did it come on one of the worst Red Wings sequences of all time. An appalling power play followed by a bad turnover and then a good chance for the Red Wings turned into a being down one. Just awful.

The first two periods in general were pretty terrible. We had the (lucky) goal in the first minute and then we were chasing the rest of the night. Multiple times it looked like a beer league game where one team can’t even manage to get enough on the puck to even clear the zone. Now I’ll give it to New Jersey, that’s a pretty good team this year, but when the team comes out the gate looking defeated it’s not what you want to see in at the NHL level. Thankfully we rallied in the 3rd to make it something of a game but honestly I don’t think it’s wrong to expect more of my team.

We get to overtime and at least this time the Wings had a couple good looks but then wouldn’t you know it, a bad giveaway leads to a GWG goal to the other team. When did we see that last? Feels so familiar….OH RIGHT. Literally last night.

The WTF?

God damn it Ericsson did it tonight, checking Henrique into Mrazek and causing him to leave the game. Last night Smith checked Larkin into Lundqvist. Every single year I get upset about this. Yes, I get that defense is hard and you gotta disrupt the player from getting 1-1 with the goalie but come on. Goalies have it hard enough without getting injured. If everyone in the entire league could just stop shoving huge guys on skates into their goalies I would really appreciate it. MAYBE try playing good fucking defense to begin with and then you don’t have to desperation cross check someone. Ever think about that?

Next Game

Tuesday versus the LA Kings. Couple days off should do the team well I think.

Game 23 – Detroit Red Wings @ New York Rangers – Goalie Duel

All I could focus on in this game was the stellar play of both goalies, Jimmy Howard and Henrik Lundqvist. I swear Zac must be literally screaming at home with this many great saves happening.

The Good 

Obviously, Jimmy Howard. I mean both goalies were so unbelievable I’m still shaking my head. There were multiple shifts by both teams that looked as tilted as a PP shift and they were even strength. The Wings ended the first period with double the shots of the Rangers and then the Rangers had one hell of a sequence where it seemed like they had a solid 10 shots. Plus this happened.

Seriously what did Howard do? Because I got to figure out and do it at all my local hockey rinks. I’d kill for that kind of puck luck. Just nice to see the Wings get it for once.

How can we not talk about the absolute laser of a snipe on the PP by Tatar that gave us a 1-0 lead?

Henrik Zetterberg also tied Pavel Datsyuk (miss you) in all time Red Wings points with an assist on that goal. Which came on the Powerplay. Remember last year when we were one of the worst PPs we’d ever seen? Apparently we’re now 6th in the league, which is astonishing. I think that’s a real part of why this team is doing better than we thought they would, the PP is really clicking this season. Just wait until Frk gets back.

The Bad

I mean we gave up some bad chances there. The Rangers had just as dangerous shifts as we did. It’s unfortunate but whenever your goalie has a truly standout game by it’s very nature means that he needed to make some big saves. And honestly, it’s to be expected, especially after losing Daley to an injury early in the game.

Let’s talk about Daley. First, ow that was an awkward collision and I hope he’s alright. Second, he’s been kind of disappointing for a FA signing right? I mean, I think he’s defensive play has been adequate (not sure it’s much better than Hicketts or someone could do) but the 1 point in 22 games is something that really stands out to me. I remember hearing a lot about how he likes to pinch and is more of an offensive defenseman so I would really appreciate it if he could do a little more on the score sheet. Of course, if he’s injured then that’s not good.

Larkin took a penalty for goaltender interference after Brendan Smith–remember him–checks him into Lundqvist. That was a terrible call and I’m mildly salty about it. I’d be saltier but I’ve been really enjoying the holidays and the alcohol has kind of mellowed me out at this point. Also they didn’t score on it.

The WTF?

How do you play such a great game and then shit the bed that hard in OT?

Larkin completely over committed to leave Zucarello totally alone and of course and NHL player is going to score with time alone that close in front of the goalie. DDK also was all up on Skjei and somehow didn’t stop him from doing anything? I don’t know, people are putting all the blame on Larkin but I think DDK should have done something more to stop that pass from getting off. And before that play even happened Mike Green took a tour of the offensive zone almost two whole times that lead to exactly nothing.

Frustrating as hell end to a much better game than that goal would depict. Glad we got a point.

Next Game 

Tomorrow against the…wait I can’t be reading this right…the red hot New Jersey Devils? 2017 sure is backwards you guys.