January 4, 2006

Well, that’s pretty much exactly how the Wings didn’t want to start the New Year.  As we talked about yesterday, this month is a killer and every lost point hurts. 

Nashville got shut out by little Davie Aebischer and the ‘Dique last night so we remain 4 up heading toward Friday’s game at the Predators–with a warm-up against St. Louis on Thursday.

Observations from last night:

  • Did that doorknob just say Joe “Leweee”?  What?  I didn’t know the names of the guys OLN stuck us with last night and I’m not looking them up now.  But, man, we got the JV last night.
  • Of the three goals Ozzie gave up (fourth was EN), I’d say two were stoppable.  Babcock announced immediately after the game that Legace was starting Thursday.  Put the kids to bed because it’s gonna get ugly.  The battle for number 1 that should have taken place back in September when both were healthy is about to happen now, in January, when the Wings are in a fight for their division.  That’s just plain skippy.  Have I said how much I frigging hate goalie controversies?
  • Nice job letting the blood pool on your cheek long enough for the ref to change his call from 2 to 4 minutes, Shanny.  Now it’s time to score.  4 games and counting.  Mini-slump.
  • Great pass from Williams to find Shanahan alone in the third but Roloson (AKA Kipper, AKA Giguere) was huge last night.  So, good job on that Jason.  Now get the Hell off the point on the power play.  His slap shot is not enough to warrant that job in those situations.  I’d rather see Lebda there, who can rush the puck better, make better decisions under duress, and won’t cough it up as much.
  • Great game from Homer, obviously.  In a lot of ways, last night looked like a playoff game to me.  Tough sledding through the neutral zone, lots of battles in front, plenty of shots on goal.  96 was right at home. 
  • Roloson:  the guy was a stud last night.  We got stymied by a goalie standing on his head.  Another reason why that game looked like the playoffs.  Hard to fault a Wing effort that features 45 on net, plenty of them prime scoring opportunities.
  • Wings start slow again.  3rd time in four games they’ve had to fight back from an early deficit.
  • Babcock pulled Ozzie down by 1 with 1:35 left, a faceoff in the Wild end.  I admit, I remember thinking it seemed early.  But, hey…as we said yesterday, the coach has pushed a lot of the right buttons so far.  Some decisions may backfire.  That one seemed to. Move on.
  • I’m really holding back on Robert Lang.  I mean, my hands are poised over the keyboard and I’m ready to go, but I keep getting this nagging feeling that I’m missing something.  Maybe it’s me.  Maybe I just don’t understand the game well enough to recognize the subtle positives Lang brings to the table.  Maybe when I stomp my feet like a child because Lang has passed up another shot from the slot it’s I who should be looked at with scorn, not Robert.  Maybe, and this is a big stretching maybe, but just maybe I’m seeing things when it looks like Lang is coasting every other shift, avoiding contact and not extending himself to receive passes.  Well…anyway, I’m ready.  One of these days I’m gonna blast him.

Here are your game recaps and stories from the Michigan rags and Minnesota:

Freep: Wings corner

Freep: Wings’ win streak ends

Freep: Wings’ midseason grades

Detnews: Sluggish start dooms Wings

Mlive: Wild snap 5 game streak

Minnesota Star Tribune:  Wild Stop Detroit 4-2

6 Responses to “Trapped”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Hey Iwo,

    I like your blog!

    What I noticed last night is that the forwards have a tendancy NOT to stay in front of the net. This happens on a regular basis – both 5 on 5 and power play.

    Of the few times, when there were Wings in front of the net, they scored… Other times the Wings seem to give up on rebounds..

    I play the game – I have played all positions except goalie. When I was a forward (either wing or center) it was drilled into me: get in front of the net and stay there! Move around to get free, but stay in front!

    IMO the Wings need to do that more….

    As far as Lang goes – IMO he is not as aggressive as he was when he first came to the Wings. Could be due to the injuries, but I am only speculating…


    BTW, I am Yooper1963 on the mlive fan forum…

  2. iwocpo Says:

    Yooper…thanks for coming over. As a former Yooper myself (NMU for a year before the Navy) I appreciate it. I’m reading the new Jim Harrison book right now, by the way. It’s called “True North” and I’d recommend it to anyone who knows the UP. Anyway…I agree on the F’s in front of the net. Homer seems to be the only one willing to go there right now, and it’s hard to understand because no one’s getting popped because of the new rules.

  3. Olongapo Joe Says:

    Maybe it was the injuries so soon after his arrival last [playing] season (and the one this season, too), but I’ve never warmed-up to Robert Lang. It looks like he’s hardly trying out there. A guy that big who doesn’t play big better make up for it by busting his hump to create opportunities for himself and others. Lang doesn’t fit that bill.

    He’s also had trouble all season gaining the zone without having the puck poke-checked off his stick or losing it outright unforced. On the rare occasion that he decides to shoot, he often gets his stick lifted or tied-up because he takes too darn long to load up and release it.

    I would be neither surprised nor disappointed if Lang was dealt by the March 9 deadline.

    By the way, I flew in the Navy for a spell. A Chief in my squadron was a HUGH Red Wings fan. Your first name wouldn’t happen to be Darryl, would it?

  4. iwocpo Says:

    Nope, not Darryl. But, my first duty station in was Subic Bay in 90. Surprised I’m still alive.

    Agreed on Lang. I wouldn’t mind seeing him dealt, but it would have to be East–which probably wouldn’t disappoint him. Not sure if he has a no-trade clause. Now that would be an interesting scenario, where the Wings trade AWAY a big-name player at the deadline.

  5. Olongapo Joe Says:

    I passed through Clark AB in 1985 on my way to Diego Garcia for my first deployment, then found myself in Cubi Point a few times over the years chasing the submerged Ivan around WestPac/SCS. Nothing like the smell of the Shit River early in the morning, eh?

    Buccigross nailed it. The Wings have to replace Fischer’s presence on the back-end and find themselves a gritty winger who can score some on the second line. Kronwall’s impending return will help the situation on the blue line a bit, but he’s still a youngster who will make mistakes, plus I suspect it’ll take some time for him to round back into full form. Lang as bait should be able to pull in something decent, either in back or up front, but his salary is going to be a tough fit in a deal with any of the cap-pushing teams.

    It’ll be interesting to see how Holland addresses this at the deadline without having unfettered access to Ilitch’s checkbook.

  6. Yooper1963 Says:

    Hey Iwo,

    Thanks for the heads up on the book – although that is not my usual ganre (I prefer action or sci-fi) I will have to check it out.

    One book I read that I thought was good is called “A Superior Death” by Nevada Barr. It takes place on Isle Royale (an island about 40 miles off the Keweenaw, but it was interesting.

    When were you at NMU? My father-in-law was a professor there until 2 years (or so) ago, when he retired..

    Sorry to take up space on your hockey blog with non hockey stuff…

    Feel free to email me…

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