Blues Clueless

January 6, 2006

Watching the Wings own the Blues the way they have since Steve Yzerman cemented his legend in ’96 with The Shot (and really, again in ’97 with The Speech) has always given me a warm feeling in my tummy, but it’s a little sad to see a once-proud franchise faltering so badly. 

Hopefully, once new ownership is in place the team will regain its luster and watching a butt kicking like last night’s will be a bit more enjoyable. On to the notes:

  • Watching on FSN, via Center Ice, it appeared to me that the Joe looked packed at the start, which I attributed to the return of Yzerman or the goalie conspiracy theorists.  Naturally, a shot of the lower bowl later in the game showed more than a few empty seats.  I’m sure no one else is irritated by the companies who buy the tickets and let them go unused, so I won’t even mention it.  Suggesting that there are plenty of kids in Michigan who would love an opportunity to see Pavel Datsyuk at ice level, kids who could benefit from a little corporate generosity, is probably a waste of time so I won’t even discuss it here.
  • Six weeks since Legace started.  9 weeks since Datsyuk scored at home–unbelievable stat.  His +/- at home and away is dramatically different as well. More thoughts on that in a minute.
  • Despite reports of back spasms, Brendan Shanahan played 14 minutes and had some jump at the start.
  • Was there a difference? Hard to tell but it seemed the Wings were determined not to fall into the early malaise that has struck them the last four games. They came out fast, with pressure on the first shift and outshot SL 12-5.
  • Datsyuk scored on the PP and then Draper shorthanded on a great pass from Chelios.  Ok, ok…I apologize for making fun of the locker shift story yesterday.  Obviously, I underestimated the logistical import of such a daring tactical maneuver.  I now recommend the Wings clubhouse staff move the players’ gear randomly late every evening so no one knows where the hell they’ll be dressing until they get to the rink every day. 
  • Datsyuk’s first goal at JLA since October 21st (deflection off Salvador).  That odd stat, IMO, has to give at least a little credence to the crutch we’ve heard the last five years, that the Wings try to be too cute at home. If anyone’s a culprit of that, it would be Pavel.  Shoot the puck and weird, wacky, happy puppy like things happen.
  • Dan Cleary looked good last night.  One particular play featured a rush up ice, avoiding two separate Blues along the boards and feeding Yzerman in front, who one-timed a soft pass to Homer.  Great save by Sanford, but encouraging play from Cleary and the captain.
  • Jason Williams looked a little more comfortable on the point last night, and assisted on Datsyuk’s goal.
  • Wings coasted after the first.  Blues looked tired and, frankly, disinterested after going down by 2. 
  • So, Manny Legace gets a shutout his first game back.  Congrats.  I honestly can’t remember more than one legitimate scoring chance for St. Louis, but let’s not downplay the fact that the team played very well in front of him.  And that may be a determining factor when Babcock decides who the Number 1 will be.  The Wings were very responsible defensively last night, similar to Howard’s first start.  In Detroit, success as a goalie hinges on the team’s performance–since it’s official now that it is strictly illegal for a Wing goalie to steal a game.
  • Zetterberg’s goal in the 3rd, his 18th, was a little flukey but wouldn’t have happened had he not followed his shot and crashed the net.
  • Did I see Robert Lang almost get into a catfight last night?  I must have dreamt it.  If it really happened, let me know.
  • Good win for the Wings and nice to see they could focus on this one with the beginning of the Nashville series starting tonite.
  • Finally, anyone but me feel the win just wasn’t as fun to watch without seeing Mark Mowers in there? 

On the Wings game report

St. Louis Post Dispatch game report

Detroit News Game Report

Detroit Free Press Game Report

AP Game Report

NHL.com Superstats

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7 Responses to “Blues Clueless”

  1. Yooper1963 Says:

    Hey IWO,

    No you were not dreaming when you watched Lang almost get in a fight. To me it appeared he wanted to go, but did not want to throw the first punch. Yes the Blue player dropped the gloves, but I don’t recall an actual punch being thrown. As Mickey (or was it Ken) who said it was not much more than a lot of “face washing”.

    IMO the Wings try to get the “highlight reel” goal way too much. I think they need to practice the old saying “put the puck on net – you never know what will happen” (preferably with a forward in front also). Yes they had a lot of shot against the Wild, but IMO, they were from the point or not far off the blue line – and had nobody in front of the net (I mentioned this in another comment).

    Have yourself a fine Navy day!

  2. Olongapo Joe Says:

    Jackman would’ve destroyed Lang.

  3. iwocpo Says:

    Yep. He would have. Lang didn’t look happy to be involved in that conversation.

  4. Booty Says:

    You mention Mowers, was that a joke? I’d rather see them call up Darryl Bootland

  5. Booty Says:

    Nice site! Hey were you joking about Mowers? I’d personally rather see Bootland called up to take his place.

  6. iwocpo Says:

    Oh, I was definitely kidding about Mowers, Booty. I have no idea what he brings to the table that Bootland couldn’t. After seeing Lang get goaded into a almost-fight last night, it’s pretty clear we need someone in Detroit throw some muscle around. A little deterence here and there might be useful. As far as I know, the Wings are last in the league with only 4 fights this year. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily, but it’s reflective of the type of game they play. Right now, the Wings are just too easy to play against.

  7. Olongapo Joe Says:

    “I have no idea what he brings to the table that Bootland couldn’t.”

    Speed is about the only thing I can think of. Otherwise, Mowers is
    Boyd Deveraux.

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