Sunday, March 10, 2013

100th Post: Recap - Red Wings: 2, Blue Jackets 3 (SO)

I've written 100 posts, which is kind of crazy. What's also crazy is that the Red Wings have only beaten the Columbus Blue Jackets once this season, and that was in overtime. There is something seriously wrong with that sentence, but it's the reality we're facing. Back when I played hockey, there was a team we played four or five times. Before our first match up, my team mates told me, "Oh these guys are a garbage team, we always beat their asses last year. Easy win." And every time, we'd lose to them, usually in a close game.

We just didn't show up with the same kind of intensity, the same level of poise and the same level of drive to win. And the results spoke for themselves. You cannot take any team for granted, ever. It doesn't matter what their record is, it doesn't matter how many of their best players aren't playing, and it doesn't matter how much better you are than they are. If you don't show up and play to win every night, you're going to lose hockey games. 

The first period was a story that I think we're all sick and tired of hearing: the Red Wings got out worked by the other team and Jimmy Howard bailed us out. The second period saw some bad beats, some sloppy play, but the Red Wings came out of it only down by a goal. We tied it up on a 5 on 3 power play goal from Franzen and took it to the shootout where the Blue Jackets danced around Jimmy Howard. 

Kevin said there'd be a power play goal, and he was right. Josh said it'd be a close game and he was right. We all said the Red Wings would win the game and we were all wrong. It's hard to say more than that. Some bullet points, the awards and then we'll hope to forget these past couple of games.
  • We discussed in the podcast the role officials play in deciding games. It started off feeling like I was going to be vindicated early on with a slew of bad calls against the Wings. Then it just turned into a slew of bad calls across the board. I still feel slightly vindicated because I think it could have been a different game had it not been for bad refs and bad rules.
  • The first period, it seemed like the only line that cared about winning were the bottom lines. That's discouraging. 
  • It was good to see the power play score, but it's still not where it needs to be. I've said it before, but when Jakub Kindl seems to be the most dangerous power play threat, there's something wrong with your power play.
  • Jimmy Howard was great for the entire game right up until the shootout. It still seems to be a weak spot in his game. He's got to get more patient and be able to out wait the shooter. 
  • Two things need to happen: They have got to get Zetterberg and Datsyuk scoring, and Kronwall has to let himself off the chain and start getting more physical. This team is way less dangerous when those two things aren't happening. 
The Red Wings have a road trip coming up and it basically goes without being said that they have to come home with at least two out of three wins in regulation. 

The Bret Lebda Game Puck: Henrik Zetterberg - This time, I'm honestly giving it to him with a heavy but honest heart. Zetterberg has to be better. Yes, he's working hard but he had so many issues handling the puck today, and one of his mistakes cost us a goal. He's the captain of this team, and I don't question him being captain. But he has to do a better job leading by example by being smart and responsible with the puck and putting it in the back of the other team's net. 

The Kris Draper Game Puck: Tomas Tatar and Joakim Andersson - They did a ton of great work, and the first period they seemed like some of the only players who gave a shit. If these guys are the future of the Red Wings, then I sincerely hope we see more of them and less of some of the guys currently skating for us. 

10 Points to Griffins-dor: Brendan Smith - He continues to show why he's going to be a leader on this team. He continues to jump up and be an offensive threat, although he still hasn't managed to get one in the back of the net. Today he showed that not only all of that, but he also decided it was time to stand up for himself and the team and beat the ever living tar out of someone. It was a good, clean fight by both sides and Smith won it.

The Perfect Puck: Damien Brunner - We need the kid to score goals. It's crucial to the future of this team. However, at least he managed to make a pretty sweet pass to Franzen in the slot. It was a great play all around but Damien got the puck down low, drew the eye from the defense and put it right into Franzen's wheel house for an easy goal. At least we know the kid can pass, too. 

O' Captain, My Captain Game Puck: Pavel Datsyuk - He needs to score goals, he's well over-due and it looks like he continues to get pissed off with the sub par linemates he's been forced to play with. In the meantime, he continues to make amazing plays to his team mates and keeps the Wings alive in games. He's either going to snap and go home to Russia, or he's going to snap and score every goal scored in the NHL from here until the end of time. 

I hope you all have enjoyed the 100 posts I've made. I hope I can continue to make more and earn more readers and followers. It's been great so far. Let's just hope the Red Wings can get back to greatness as well.

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