Behind the Blog

December 29, 2005

A great feature from Christy at Behind the Jersey.  This week, she talks to David Johnson at Hockeyanalysis.com.

Johnson’s thoughts on Yzerman and Lemioux’s decisions to bypass the Olympic tournament:

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“I think it was a very honourable move. Both could see that they couldn’t contribute at the levels they one did so they bowed out to let a new generation of Canadian hockey players take the next step. It’s quite a contrast to Jeremy Roenick.”

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Who said this?

December 29, 2005

“If I don’t stay in the newspapers, how else am I going to get all the pretty girls?”
Visit Vancouver Canucks OpEd to find out.  Great blog.

Legace headed to GR

December 29, 2005

Freep reporting that Manny Legace’s headed to Grand Rapids for conditioning stint.

 Should be interesting to see just how Legace reacts to Osgood taking over the starting role.  Things have been tensely quiet the last few weeks, with each goalie carefully stating to the media how much each would like to be the starter.

 Not exactly the love-fest we saw/read/heard of in September.  I don’t see a Hasek/Cujo situation, but…

Spector’s back to his

December 29, 2005

prolific old self after the trading freeze.  Trade rumors today are filled with interesting possibilities.  None specifically mention the Wings, but this comment did stand out:

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I’m sure Keenan has probably fielded some inquiries about Luongo but let’s face it, he’s not going to move him if he can’t get a strong return, which includes a comparable goaltender.

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“Comparable” is a pretty broad term.  So, let’s take a look at one of our goalies,  perhaps the one with the big mouth and cranky knees.

Luongo: 3.12 GAA and a .914 save percentage.

Legace: 2.21 and .914

Seems comparable enough.  So much so that we’ve all been making similar “comparisons” for weeks now, months even. From MLive forum poster, Ilovewings last week:

“Babcock coached Luongo so he knows his abilities but alot of teams will be knocking at florida’s door.” 

The thought that Mike Keenan doesn’t have Luongo on the market is only reasonable if you add “yet” to that idea.  When the market is right, he’ll deal him, as long as the deal is right for him.  Luongo is a commodity that can shape the future of a franchise, and would command much  more than just Legace–or Osgood, for the sake of discussion. 

I would guess that if Luongo’s the asking price there are only two Wings Holland wouldn’t send to Miami–Zetterberg and Lidstrom, and the latter would be an admittedly tough choice to make.

Luongo’s going somewhere.  My guess would be Colorado only because LaCroissant has the track record.  Throw in the fact that he must sense his reputation as a master dealer has lost a little luster and he must be starving–so to speak–to make that deal. 

 

Resilient Osgood

December 29, 2005

Apt description of the Wings current starting goaltender from Andrews Stars Page.

“I’ve always like Osgood because he is resilient. People can laugh about that Game 5 Jamie Langenbrunner goal in the 1998 Conference Finals, but Osgood bounced back and pitched a shutout in Game 6 to clinch the series and then went on to win a Stanley Cup.”

Wings fans are most definitely split.  Perhaps no subject in the last five years has earned the volume of discussion Chris Osgood prompts.  Furious 13, from the Detroit News Wings Forum:

“All the bashers complain he is inconsistant and hasn;t “stolen” a game for us. Guess what? He stole that game for us against Dallas with his play in the 1st period. A lesser goalie would have let 3 or 4 of those in and who could blaim him when Dallas has 13 shots, 11 of which were quality scoring chances.”

Completely agree. I’ve been waiting for months to see if one of our goalies would steal a game and that’s exactly what he did.  Ozzie supporters will say he’s been heading toward this type of performance his last several starts.  Detractors will say it’s the same old mercurial Ozzie and that he owns Dallas, anyway.

Furious 13 went on to make this comparison:

“Oh and stats are real nice to look at for judging goalies. but seriously only one stat really matters; wins. And Ozzy is now 11-3-3. Yup that sure is inconsistancy at it’s finest. That’s a .647 winning percentage. Luongo-.382, Brodeur-.448, Belfour-.536, Joseph-.555. Legace-.684. I’d say we have 2 pretty consistant goalies in the stat that matters most.”

Sorry, bud. Gotta disagree on that one.  Luongo, Brodeur and probably Belfour would all have significantly higher winning percentages playing for the Wings so those numbers are skewed a bit.

Chuck Carlton still the best

December 29, 2005

beat writer as far as the Wings are concerned.  Prior to taking the job with the Dallas Morning News, he held the same job with MLive.  He left in ’98 and took an immense amount of knowledge and ability with him.  In today’s game story, he was blunt in his assessment that the Stars may be an elite team, but still lagging behind the Wings.

“To be Stanley Cup contenders again, the Stars are going to have to learn to beat Detroit – again.

The visiting Red Wings’ 4-1 victory Tuesday night illustrated plainly the difference between the teams, the winningest regular-season clubs since 1996. “

Great quote from Modano, that re-affirms what we’ve known for ten years–that the Wings are NOT the Yankees of the NHL, but rather a team benefiting from astute scouting and foresight.

“I don’t know,” he said. “They keep on breeding younger guys. They come up and fill in for guys who left. They have guys who you never heard of until they get to Detroit and then play well.”

Kevin Allen on all things NHL

December 29, 2005

Of the two consistent contributors to USA Today’s hockey section, Allen is the one I find to be credible.  The other, Ted Montgomery, is a joke.  He’s the guy at the bar who will play devil’s advocate just to see your reaction, and hope that he’s right so that his well-formulated prediction looks genius in the slim chance that it actually bears fruit.  More on Teddy when the opportunities present themselves.

Now..on to his qualified counterpart.  In Allen’s most recent chat he made some interesting points.  Responding to a question about young Swede Nils Backstrom and where he may end up in the NHL, Kevin said Hockeytown would be a comfortable spot for him:

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“Most scouts like his total package of talent, although they still wish he was a bit bigger. But that’s less of a factor in today’s game. He could be a good fit for the Detroit Red Wings, who seem to like Swedish players quite a bit, or Vancouver. Both of those teams will be picking late. “

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Heck yes, I say.  Make it 8.  The Wings have evolved from the Russian 5 to the Swedish 7 without missing a beat.  Heck, our best scouts where Samuellson was concerned were the Swedes themselves.

Allen was also asked whether he believes the Wings will be active as the deadline approaches.  That’s the question we’d all love answered.  But consider the last time Ken Holland tipped his hand.  I know I can’t remember.  Do we need defensemen? Yes.  Even with Kronwall back? Yes. 

Great player and an all star for years to come, but more experience and a bit more grit–intelligent, but violent, grit–on the blue line this Spring would be nice.  Brendan Witt, meet Kenny Holland.  And vice-versa.  Every year the last five seasons I’ve been hoping for a deal to bring Bob Boughner to Detroit at the deadline. Witt’s my new Boughner.

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“Too early for rumors about the Red Wings. They will probably have some money to spend at the trade deadline, presuming that Jiri Fischer isn’t coming back this season.”

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Kevin said a deal for a goalie isn’t out of the question…we know, we know.  It’s NEVER out of the question in Detroit.  He also made a more perceptive point regarding the Wings’ strength down the middle.

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“The Red Wings seem to have a crowd at center with Datsyuk, Lang, Zetterberg, Kris Draper, etc. The Red Wings may like Michigan native Weight, but another center doesn’t help much.”

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Ahhhh….Weight would be nice, but unnecessary in my opinion.  If Holland makes a move, let it be on the back end.  If you look at our centers it’s hard to find a team out there stronger than Detroit at that position already.

Motormouth at it again

December 28, 2005

…and this time it appears to be irritating his coach.  Manny Legace, the NHL player of the month for October–and informal mouth that wouldn’t stop roaring during the lockout–is claiming he’s ready for action. 

“Really close,” Legace said. “After a good week of practice with the guys, I should get it going for (Saturday).”

Naturally, that’s news to his coach.   Mike Babcock, proving to be more of a Bowman disciple every day: 

“Manny hasn’t broke that news to me. I’m glad he let you guys (media) know first,” Babcock said. “So when he lets me know, then I can talk about it.”

IWO:  Legace had already earned a prominent place in Babcock’s doghouse by running his mouth about lying to the trainer and coaching staff about the condition of his original injury.  He’s probably found a home there after this one.  Babcock pulls no punches, apparently.  Babcock, already the longest tenured current coach in Detroit, has no problem pointing fingers through the media if he sees fit.  He’s also quick with the praise.

Inaugural post

December 28, 2005

Welcome to Hockeytown South, a location to receive up-to-date information on your Detroit Red Wings.  This will also be a prime spot to find links to hockey and Red Wing-specific blogs.

The goal here will be to do what the Michigan mainstream media slugs have refused to accomplish:  provide comprehensive opinions of the Wings, by fans, media members and other bloggers.

 The plan, tentative–as I try to figure this site out–is to highlight Red Wing stories, mentions in blogs and even posts on various message boards.

Thanks for reading and showing patience as we develop.