Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Game 6 vs ANA

Too little too late

A valiant effort by the previously listless Wings came up just short as time ran out on them and there amazing 2007 playoff run.. The Wings just plain refused to skate for the first 36 minutes of this game and as a result found themselves down 3 - 0 coming into the 3rd period.. A quick Zetterberg goal to open the 3rd breathed life into the boys wearing red until the eventual game winner was scored off yet another Flop Boy fat ass rebound by Sammy Pahlsson.. The Wings continued to push and cut the lead to one late.. But alas numerous fanned shots by Homer on wide open nets doomed the Wings..
A quick comment on DET play this post season: they FAR outplayed most experts expectations (which I find funny when talking about a number 1 seed -- time for realignment Gary?).. Hell they far outplayed most fans expectations.. I run a pool full of serious Wings homers and only 2 picked the Wings to reach the conference finals.. They really dismantled an overrated CAL team, buried an out coached SJS team and should have, could have beat ANA in 5.. While it hurts to not have the home team still playing I have to say I am pleased with the result.. This is all Wings fans have been asking for the last couple years: a team that plays good hard nosed playoff hockey.. They DON'T have to go to the finals every year.. But it would be nice for them to sniff the conference finals every year.. For 2007 I will raise a glass of Labatts to the team that FINALLY got it (and man was it glorious to see it work)..
Off season
knee jerk reaction: to me this should be the swan song for the 1997/98 Stanley Cup winners.. You have a team full of youngsters who are ready to take the reins.. That means it is time to say good bye to some old friends (ie. Maltby/Draper).. Maltby has been reduced to a one dimensional special teams player (Penalty Killer) and Drapers 30 goal days (not that he had a whole lot of em) are over.. Trade Lang and Samuelson and you have a whole new line.. I can't believe I am saying this as I hate people who say it, but the Wings need to get bigger.. The major weakness I saw in this playoff year was that bigger teams could cycle against them at will for long periods of time.. I'm not sold on the fact that Calder and Bertuzzi should go yet. If Calder was indeed hurt (rumors abound that he was trying to play with a broken hand) then I give him a free pass.. If not then you traded a streaky scorer for an even more streaky scorer that can hit.. I would like to see if Bertuzzi can get to full strength.. If when he does he still can't skate past my 3 year old son, dump his sorry ass..
The Wings will need a goalie eventually.. Why not this summer when you have 2 teams with four #1 guys? Ilya Bryzgalov and Vesa Toskala are #1 guys in back up roles.. Flop boy was amazing this year, but his infuriating style has got to go.. You can argue that 3 of the Ducks 4 goals tonight were the result of his refusal to stay on his feet..
So Ken Holland and Mike Ilitch: I make this plea every year.. Please for the love of all that is good -- make some CHANGES!!! Make this team a 4 line threat again.. I love Mike Babcocks style of play, but the man needs a few more horses to play with..
Boys in red: enjoy the golf course.. And GO SENS!!! (I think)..

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Game 4 vs ANA

It was a tough TV night in my household: 7:30 Tigers game, 8:00 Pistons game, 9:00 Greys Anatomy season finale (for the wife), 10:15 Lost special (for me).. It was an even tougher night on the ice for the Wings.. Lets rephrase that: it was a tough night on the ice for Flop Boy.. 3 goals on 8 shots? While the rest of the team was showing the heart that has become the wings hallmark this playoff year, Hasek was asleep in his crease..

What the hell did Kyle Quincey do piss M Babcock off? Dude played 4 shifts and a grand total of 2:03.. All in the first period.. Yet he was on the bench for the rest of the game.. I never understand how coaches can arbitrarily sit guys especially when they have shown they can play at this level.. So he has a couple bad shifts.. LET THE GUY REDEEM HIMSELF!!

Bottom line: Giggy came out and redeemed himself.. Would have been nice to have 3 chances to close out the series.. The Wings carried the play for the first time in this series and the goal tending let them down..

Final: ANA 5 - DET 3

Friday, May 11, 2007

Game 1 vs ANA

Hasek steals one

I am 33 years old with a 4 year old little boy and another child just days away.. As a fairly even keeled sports fan (yeah, the trashcan? ancient history) I do not get as worked up as I used to as a 20 something lunatic who would go off after every home team loss.. Keep this in mind when I tell you that I was genuinely NERVOUS in the hours leading up to today's game.. You know what? I enjoyed every minute of it!! Is this what fans of teams facing the Wings feel like during the playoffs? DET hockey fans have been spoiled for the last 10 years and I truly believe most have forgotten what its like to 'shock the world'.

Wow.. What a 3rd period.. ANA just kept coming the last 5 minutes.. This game looked just like the SJS series in which each team seemed to be dominant in bunches.. Hasek really had to weather a few storms when the Wings would get caught with tired legs in their own zone.. On the flip side the Wings could have easily had a few more goals (Z's post, Samuelsons missed open net)..

Random thoughts:
If Flop Boy doesn't end up in a body bag the Wings have a good shot of winning this series.. ANA ran him from every direction possibly..
F Beauchemin could have easily earned the first star of tonight's game as he was in on both of DET's goals..
ANA is an easy team for me to hate.. JS Giggy -- michelin man, Pronger -- so hard NOT to hate, Kunitz -- yeah, he's a former CCHA star but he was a pain in UM's butt when he played for Ferris State, S Niedermayer -- looks like one of those cocky old doctors with his salt and pepper playoff beard (yeah, I'm reaching but he annoys the snot out of me).. The only Duck I cannot hate is Teemu (met him as a teenager when he played for Winnipeg, great guy)..

Final: DET 2 - ANA 1

Next game: Sunday 7:30 VS, CBC

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Game 6 vs SJS

Game 5 and 6 showed what a champion is supposed to look like.. The Wings never looked liked they were going to lose while the Sharks looked scared.. Really, I can't even say the Sharks looked desperate. That would require SJS to have a pulse and they obviously were done after game 4.. I would love to wax poetic about the mighty Wings, but bottom line is that SJS CHOKED.. How can a team that looked so DOMINANT at times just absolutely go to sleep? I do give the Wings credit for the changes they made after game 3 (shutting down the Sharks PP, changing how they set up there own PP).. The Sharks only have a couple personnel issues to address in the off season (more depth on the back end) but if they really want to take that next step (and lets be honest, they have been favorites for a couple years now) they need to find a new coach..

Random thoughts: Mr Lidstrom? you are a STUD!!! Let me buy you a 6er of Labatts (yes, we all know Swedish beer sucks).. Sincerely -- Dom

It is so refreshing to have a new set of playoff heroes -- DC, Homer, Franzen and yes Lilja.. I know I ripped the crap out of AL this year and last, but he has just played good solid defense the past 2 series..

DET Defense is in deep trouble going into game 1.. The upside? Derek Meech has the confidence of the coaching staff to play if need be.. Kyle Quincey has shown the maturity and skill to play at this level.. And Chelios hasn't logged a TON of minutes this year so I'm not worried about him..

Wings vs Ducks? Could be a short series if the Wings make mistakes like they did vs SJS..

Final: Det 2 - SJS 0

Next Game: Friday 7:30 VS

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Game 5 vs SJS

Could this be the 2007 version of game 6 where DET beat COL 2 - 0 in the Western Conference finals in 2002? Just like this year, the wings were in an intensely competitive series with the final results in doubt.. game 6 in 2002 was the turning point in a Stanley cup run.. Could this be the same? The Wings still have to close out an amazingly tough team, but this is the first game they looked beatable.. A close 1 - 1 game turned into a 4 - 1 route late..

Goals by the action line of Dats, Z and Homer was capped off by a rare goal from Samuelson.. The wings went 2 for 6 on the PP while SJS went 0 for 6 managing just 2 shots.. The difference in the Wings PP on the 2 goals they scored? They came from down low and not up top.. both plays started from behind the net and not the point where SJS PK'ers are parked out to block shots..

Final: DET 4 - SJS 1

Next Game: Monday 9:00 VS

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Game 4 vs SJS

Welcome back Homer!! What an absolute performance put on by Hasek, Homer, Lang and Phil.. I still think that SJS has not played an entire 60 min game (hell, they really haven't played more than 30 min) but I no longer think they could have easily swept this series.. Game 4 belonged almost completely to the Wings.. One perfect goal and a fluky as all hell goal (how do you score off a guys helmet? Especially when he is standing!!) is all SJS could muster on the Dominator (FlopBoy as he is know on this blog).. Is DET in SJS heads? They could be now..

Final DET 3 - SJS 2 OT
Next Game: Saturday 2:00 NBC