On Red Wings

Just another Red Wings weblog (but it's mine)

Ozzie, Ozzie … Ozzie?

Posted in Red Wings with tags , , on April 4, 2010 by Steve Klein

We sure don't get to look at Ozzie much, do we?

We sure don't get to look at Ozzie much, do we?

Back when I thought the Red Wings were headed to the golf course this month rather than the Stanley Cup playoffs, I certainly wouldn’t have predicted that they would go on a 10-0-2 streak and become the team nobody wants to play.

The team I don’t enjoy watching the Wings play is Nashville, despite an 11-round, 1-0 shootout victory in Nashville a week ago and a 4-3 OT loss in Hockeytown Saturday.

Both the Wings and Predators should be somebody else’s problem in the first round of the playoffs unless they somehow manage to finish 4-5 in the Western Conference. Now that would be just awful!

Score: Predators 4, Wings 3 (OT).

Game #78 (4 games to play, 8 points), 96 points, 6th place, 2 points (with 2 games in hand) on Nashville. The Kings are just a point behind (95, also 4 games remaining), and both the Avs and Flames, tied for 8th with 89 points, should be more each others concern than the Wings — as long as they keep winning.

Up next: At Philadelphia (boo!) at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC. I wonder how many times they can mention Sidney Crosby?

What I liked about the game: Pavel Datsyuk scored his 26th goal with 37 seconds to play and the goalie pulled to tied the game a 3-3 and assure the Wings of at least a point.

What I didn’t like about the game: Playing the Predators is just so darned hard. Could it be that the teams are so similar? If you watch a replay of the goals, they even look similar, especially those by defensemen from the point.

The BIG question: I really shouldn’t be doubting Jimmy Howard at this point, should I? Interestedly (or not), Chris Osgood starts against the Flyers for the first time since Jan. 27.

Quote: “I’ve got to get some games in, get ready in case I have to go in in the playoffs. Plus, it’ll be a big game. We’re pretty close in the standings, so it’ll be good to get back in and play. I feel really good. I haven’t played in awhile, but I’ve felt good in practice, and hopefully, I can take that into games.” — Chris Osgood

Mood meter: It can change SO quickly, even when the Wings haven’t lost in regulation since March 9.

Ugly stinker

Posted in Red Wings with tags , , , , , , , on March 3, 2010 by Steve Klein

Going nowhere fast.

Going nowhere fast.

I’m going to bed. That was last night when the score was 6-2 Canucks. The 6-3 final didn’t make me feel any better this morning (see Mood Meter below).

It didn’t take the Wings long after the Olympic break to turn in a butt-ugly performance, from the goaltenders (yup, Ozzie was back for a relief appearance) to the sloppy defense to the usual unimpressive offense. It’s 6-2 in Hockeytown with about 10 minutes to play — or whatever it is the Wings are doing tonight.

And let’s be fair about this: Vancouver is the better team. Tonight for sure, through the first three quarters of the season. The Canucks are 10 points ahead of the Wings in third; the five teams immediately ahead of the Wings are 3 to 10 points ahead of them; the five teams immediately behind the Wings are within 4 points.

What that means: It is more likely that the Wings will wake up one of these mornings in 13th place than third. Friday, they are home again to Nashville, the team immediately ahead of Detroit in the standings with 73 points and a game in hand. That game in hand is tonight at home against the Kings. So for the second straight game, the Wings will play a team completing back-to-back games. It didn’t seem to matter against Vancouver, though. So, it will be one of those 4-point games: The Wings could be 1 point out of 7th or 5.

UPDATE: With Nashville’s 4-2 victory over the Kings Thursday night, 7th place is now 5 points distant from the 8th-place Wings while 13th place is only 4 points away. Think tonight’s game in Hockeytown against the Predators is important?

The BIG question: Who plays in goal Friday against Nashville?

Score: Canucks 6, Wings 3.

Game #63 (19 to go, 38 points): 70 points, 8th place.

What I liked: Jonathan Ericsson and Andreas Lilja were both plus-1 in about 17 minutes each. Goals by Jason Williams, Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen.

What I didn’t like: Nick Lidstrom was minus-3; the Wings on faceoff.

Quote: “We were poor. We were poor in goal. We were poor in the back end. We were poor up front. We were poor in the work ethic department. The bottom line was we didn’t look like a team that was dying to be in the playoffs tonight in anyway or shape of form.” — Mike Babcock

Mood meter: I have a head cold.

Wings 4, Predators 2

Posted in Red Wings with tags , , , , , , , on January 30, 2010 by Steve Klein

Jimmy Howard makes himself big.

Jimmy Howard makes himself big.

I have to admit that I didn’t pay as close attention to this game as I usually do. I’m struggling with a heavy cold.

Game #54: 28 to go (that’s 56 points).

Score: Wings 4, Predators 2

Quote: “Howie was sensational.” — Mike Babcock. The Wings have a No. 1 goalie. Ozzie will play when the Wings need him, NOT when he needs to play. Got it?

What I liked about the game: That the Wings won in regulation, so the Preds didn’t get a point. Are you as tired of these 3-point games as I am? How could I not like Jimmy Howard (46 saves), Drew Miller (goal and an assist) and the return of Jason Williams (first goal of the game) in this one?

What I didn’t like about the game: There are no easy games, and certainly never with the Predators. I did not like all the Detroit turnovers. Not one bit. The Wings were lucky in this one. But they made their own luck by scoring. Scoring solves a lot of things.

In search of: Andreas Lilja. Big body and wingspan. If Holland can figure out the cap issues, I’d rather have him in the lineup than out. Sure, he turns over the puck, but so do Ericsson, Stuart and Ledba. Lilja begins a week-long conditioning stint in Grand Rapids. Is the big headache over?

What is: The Wings are tied for 7th in points with Nashville (which has a game in hand) with 61 points, but as close to 14th place as they are to 5th. That means no more 1-3-3 segments. Can’t afford it.

Mood meter: Better. Still concerned.

Wild 5, Wings 2

Posted in Red Wings with tags , , on January 28, 2010 by Steve Klein

Datsyuk and Zetterberg: Anybody got a clue?

Datsyuk and Zetterberg: Anybody got a clue?

So, remind me. Why did I start this blog three games ago? Oh yeah. To follow the Wings’ push to the playoffs. Instead, they’re in free fall. Coach Mike Babcock can’t even remember when the season started (see his quote below).

Nashville next on Friday; they’re only 2 points ahead of the Wings in 7th. And at Pittsburgh on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on NBC. Don’t embarrass yourself, boys.

Game #53: 29 to go (that’s 58 points)

Score: Wild 5, Wings 2.

Quote: “We gave up two power-play goals. We haven’t given up power-play goals like that since our trip to Europe in September or whenever that was,” coach Mike Babock said.

What I liked about the game: Pavel Datsyuk scored two goals. So the rest of the boys got shut out.

What I didn’t like about the game: Goalie Chris Osgood is 1-6 since Nov. 7. Any more questions about who the Wings’ goalie is?

What I don’t like about the way the Wings are playing: Detroit is 1-3-3 in their last seven games with five blown leads in the third period.

In search of: Instead of thinking that players returning from injuries were going to turn them around, the Wings need to continue to focus on doing the little things well. Otherwise, the big thing for this team this year, a playoff berth, is going to slip away.

What is: We’ll dispense with “what might have been” in a 5-2 loss. The Wings are still tied for 8th with Calgary, but the teams behind them are closing in, the teams ahead of them pulling away. The 13th place Blues are only 5 points behind Detroit, and everyone will tell you that St. Louis is having a terrible year.

Mood meter: Discouraged.