Friday, December 31, 2010

Wings Hope to Close 2010 with a Bang VS NYI

Detroit (24-9-4) VS New York [Islanders] (10-19-6)

Just in time, thank god I woke up before the game...really haven't been well these last few days.

The Red Wings end the year with a match with the Islanders, who tromped all over Detroit 6-0 the last time the two teams faced off. Let's see if we can't turn that score around this time and end 2010 on the really good note!

With it so close to gametime, I'm going to mix it up and come back to update my thoughts between each period, so stay tuned, Wingnuts, there's more to come!!

Let's Go Red Wings!!

1st Period

(7:28 EST) - Wings are looking better after a pair of flat PP chances. Mule just scored off a nice, quick feed from Hank, Wings up 1-0. SOG are 9-0.

(7:32) - Bert just ran over Roloson out-of-crease and the Islanders got their own PP, scoring on their first shot. The Wings need to keep applying pressure here and not let this deflate them early.

(7:42) - The Wings are doing well at clogging up the neutral zone, but are lagging a bit when the Isles do manage to get into Detroit's end. Need to keep New York's shot total down and keep to their style of play.

2nd Period

(8:14) - Passed out for the start of the period, nice to see there's been no more damage done, but sad to see Detroit hasn't been able to score in almost 10 minutes of play...

(8:22) - Just had a big chance on the PP but Dwayne Roloson robbed Kronner. Still finding the Wings are passing WAY too much on the PP and not driving the net looking for rebounds.

(8:32) - Wings are looking slow out there now, and VERY bad on the draw. Another bad faceoff just went in the net, 3-1 Isles right now with the period about to end.

3rd Period

(8:58) - Invited out to a NYE party and have to leave early, I'll leave you with this thought that I brought up on Twitter: The Islanders have been making much better choices when a scoring chance presents itself. The Wings need to take notes and start doing the same. Cut the cute passing crap and drive the net, drive Roloson crazy, and get some more pucks past him. Also? Start winning some damned defensive zone faceoffs!!

I have faith, boys! Don't let your fans down!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Here We Go Again: Ozzie400 Take 3

Detroit (22-9-4) @ Colorado (19-12-4)

Third time's the charm, right?

Here's the lesson plan:

- Ozzie gets his 3rd crack at win #400, fingers are crossed!
- Danny Cleary has a busted ankle, out a month (FFFFFUUU-)
- Jan Mursak gets to debut tonight against the Avs! Even if he does nothing but maybe get in a fight, I'll be satisfied.

The Red Wings need to review their play from last game and come out with a repeat performance as far as energy and pressure goes.

It's almost gametime, Wingnuts, enjoy the game! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Quick and Simple works for Blogs AND Hockey Teams

Detroit plays Minnesota tonight. If they play 60 minutes of hockey, they'll win. If they don't, they'll lose. Simple. Doesn't take a geek to figure it out. Now let's see if the Wings do.

It's boxing day and I'm busy eating Christmas leftovers! Go enjoy the game!

Let's go Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Osgood Tries Again for 400 in St. Louis

Detroit (21-8-4) @ St. Louis (16-12-5)

There's that damned number. It's staring Chris Osgood right in the face. It's staring all of us in the face, but we all know that it's the last thing on Ozzie's mind. As the Red Wings come off a thrilling OT win against Vancouver, they land in St. Louis for the date with the Blues, one of Chris's former teams. You want a fitting time for Osgood to win #400? How about doing it in front of two of the teams he's played for? Not at home? I don't care. A win is a win, and at the end of the night, Ozzie will be more pleased to walk away with 2 points for his team than his 400th win.

Just to switch it up, instead of the Geek's Winning Formula, I'm going to give you The Geek's Straight-A Star of the Game. Tonight, I'm expecting a Straight-A performance from Henrik Zetterberg. With Pavel Datsyuk out four weeks with a busted hand, I expect Hank to step up huge, and I expect he will start tonight. My report card for Z: 1G, 2A.

Enjoy the game, Wingnuts! Let's go Red Wings!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

This is my disappoint face.

Detroit (20-8-4) VS Vancouver (19-8-4)

Babs, you got it half-right. You listened to your players, that's good. The bad part is you listened at the wrong time. Do you think I give a shit if Ozzie gets his 400th win at home or on the road? Hell no! A win is a win, and it's not like there'd be any special celebration for him at the end of the game just because it's at the Joe!

Bottom line, Osgood would've won in Chicago and Howard would've won against Dallas, and those 4 points would mean a whole lot more to me right now than trying to inflate Ozzie's non-existent ego by winning at home.

Next time, the players defer to the coach and not the other way around. 400 will come, but not by forcing it, Dallas proved that to us.

On tap tonight is the Red Wings VS the Canucks, with Jimmah in the crease. I'm still upset at my Wings for not being able to get one measly win the day before OR after my birthday, so no Geek's Winning Formula for them tonight! They can figure this shit out on their own for once. Maybe if they pull out a win, I'll forgive them...

Enjoy the game, Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Osgood Eyes #400 Tonight VS Blackhawks

Detroit (20-7-3) VS Chicago (16-14-3)

Everyone enjoy their curly fries? I thought so. Now we have another big moment ready to go, as Chris Osgood sets his sights on win #400 when the Chicago Blackhawks come to town. Ozzie beat the Hawks in the only other match these two teams have had this season, and hopefully he can pull off another one tonight for the milestone marker!

I'm going to give the Formula a rest tonight, but the Wings should know what to do. They know they're style of hockey and how to best utilize it. They just need to play hard and keep the rhythm on their side.

I'm going to be going out tonight, so I'll probably miss the game, sadly. It is my birthday at midnight though, so an early birthday present W and Ozzie hitting his milestone would be awesome!

Enjoy the game, Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wings Look to Make Blues See Red

Detroit (19-7-3) VS St. Louis (14-9-5)

After a disappointing loss to Los Angeles, the Red Wings will need to bring the same heat to the Joe tonight and hope that they run into a much colder goalie when Jaroslav Halak and the Blues come to town.

Detroit put 51 shots on Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, but Quick's performance was fast and furious, shutting the Red Wings out for the first time this season. The Wings hope to bounce back from this, and to do so against the Blues, they'll need to remember a few things that are summed up in that segment we like to call The Geek's Winning Formula:

1.) Don't Give Up on Shooting - Wouldn't it just figure that the game the Red Wings listen to me about shooting more, they get shut out? Detroit can't give up on this, though! They had the right idea, but just ran into the wrong goalie at the wrong time. I would love to see another goalie stand up to 51 Red Wings shots and not give up at least 2 goals, if not more.

2.) Shake it Off - Jimmy Howard is starting again tonight, so he needs to put the past in the past. I'm sure he has little trouble doing this, but it never hurts to mention it, you never know. We need Jimmah to get back to his regular sparkling form to keep the gap between the Wings and the West nice and wide.

3.) Break the Huddles Hex - Honestly, Babs, if you're going to waste a roster space on Jiri Hudler, you damn well better find something that turns into pucks in the net. Hudler has 1 point since November 17. 1 POINT! We could play anyone in his spot and they could get at least a point in a month. I'm sick of waiting for this offensive boost Jiri's return was supposed to herald. It hasn't, so if one of the best coaches in the NHL can't help him, sit him the hell down and get ready to cut him loose for something better.

I'll miss the start of the game, but I should only be absent for the 1st period at most.

Enjoy the game, Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Preview: Red Wings get First Chance for Curly Fries this Season

Detroit (18-6-3) @ New Jersey (8-18-2)

After going winless in three before last night's game, it's safe to assume Detroit is not considering any team as an easy matchup. The Wings travel to Jersey for a date with the Devils. While they may not look like much in the standings, don't ever count out a team playing one of the most successful goalies in hockey. Reports show it'll be Osgood VS Brodeur in the clash of the creasemen tonight, with Ozzie still looking for win 399, which would be win #1 in New Jersey for the veteran netminder who has never left the city with a W.

To bring that W home, let's look at The Geek's Winning Formula:

1.) Better Backchecking - The Wings have giving up a few goals that could have been saved if backcheckers were skating better. Our transition game has only been good one way, and I say good because even offensive transitions haven't been stellar. If it must come to pass that we give up the puck here and there, we have to have guys skating hard back down the ice for support for the D-men.

2.) Focus on the Face-Off - That first goal last night? That was piss poor communicating by the Wings on the draw. We can't go screwing up assignments like that, no wonder we've been shitting the bed in draws this season...! Someone on the CBC feed last night said it best: Play the draw like you're going to lose, at least then, you're setup for that scenario. If you win it...well great!

3.) Traffic, Traffic, Traffic! - I can't say this enough. It's been working more than the cutesy plays, boys! I know you don't like doing it, but that's the way it is. The Red Wings need to drive harder to the net. Screens and redirects and muscling to the goal have been a huge part of our offense this year. Dats had it right last night with the beauty he scored: he wanted the goal and he wasn't letting ANYTHING stand in his way.

Running to the liquor store then sitting down for the game!

And, oh yeah, guess what? CURLY FRIES ARE BACK!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Preview: Wings Look to End Skid, Face Preds

Detroit (17-5-3) VS Nashville (12-8-6)

Another quick one, I've had some crap to deal with recently and I'm sorry the quality of the posts isn't up to snuff. Once things get ironed out, TDG should be back to normal as well.

Don't forget to vote Curly at Fox Sports Detroit, either! Only a couple days left and we're winning the fight!!

Here's The Geek's Winning Formula for tonight's match:

1.) Marathon, not Sprint - As we witnessed against the Sharks, it does nobody any good to get an early lead if you waste all your gas doing it. Detroit bottomed out last game and the boys need to remember to save some energy for the later stages of the game.

2.) Buckle Down - The plays need to be sharp tonight, none of this unnecessarily cute business. Be aware of where linemates are moving and don't let go of the puck recklessly. Puck-possession teams shouldn't be producing turnovers like bakeries.

3.) Stand Tall - Howie gets the start again tonight and should shake off the bad taste of last game. As long as he does his job, then it's up to the offense to put the game away.

Enjoy the game, Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Preview: As 'good as it Gets

Detroit (16-4-2) @ Los Angeles (14-10-0)

Arguably the most love/hate goalie to ever wear the Winged Wheel will be suiting up for action tonight as Chris Osgood and Detroit land in Los Angeles to try and dethrone the Kings who have gotten the better of the Red Wings in the last two meetings.

Also, Kris Draper will be skating tonight, so someone will again be rotated out. Based on last game, I hope like hell it's Jiri Hudler because I'm getting tired of his lack of productivity.

To help turn our poor luck against these foes, let's look at The Geek's Winning Formula!

1.) Dominate Face-offs - With Drapes coming back, I'm hoping our draw percentage goes way up. We've not been winning the amount of draws we should be for a puck-possession style team. If we've been having such trouble against LA recently, the last thing we need to do is give them more time with the puck.

2.) Don't be Scared to Shoot! - Still this is happening and still it is frustrating me! Why are so many Wings forwards afraid to let rip a shot? I can understand a pass or two to open up lanes for a better chance, but there's just some times where you've got to let go a rocket and hope for the best, or that someone might...

3.) Create Traffic - We might see more confidence in shooting from our forwards if people would start creating more ruckus in front of the net and drive to the crease looking for rebounds. It seems to me that we focus to much on keeping everyone on the perimeter to cycle the puck and rarely does anyone but Homer or Cleary push to the net area. We need to try harder for second chances and rebounds.

Another late game, hope to see you all on Twitter!

Enjoy the game, Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Preview: Of Ducks and Fries

Detroit (16-4-2) @ Anaheim (13-11-3)

Detroit continues their California roadtrip with a visit to Anaheim to square off against the Ducks.


Supposing a Red Wings player scores a hatty tonight, do you REALLY want a stupid BURGER for the accomplishment? The correct answer is NO, you DON'T want a stupid BURGER, you want CURLY FRIES!

Well guess what, Wingnuts? Unless you've been under a rock the last day or so, we finally have a chance to right this wrong!! Go to this link and vote for your beloved curly fries (or be a loser and vote for stupid roast beef)! Voting is on from now till December 10, and the winner will be declared triumphantly on December 11.

Let's look at The Geek's Winning Formula!

1.) CURLY FRIES! - Detroit has mustered some pretty good offense this season and it would be nice to keep it going tonight, maybe give Mick a reason to yell CURL-mmmmm, not just yet...

2.) CURLY FRIES!! - Anaheim doesn't get curly fries for a hat-trick, I doubt Anaheim even 'gets' gets it. As such, the Red Wings need to keep the Ducks' productivity down, stay tight and battle hard along the boards, win the battles for puck control and maximize time in the offensive zone. Above all: WIN FACEOFFS. We haven't been doing that enough...

3.) CURLY FRIES!!! - We will maximize our chances of what should be curly fries if we capitalize on powerplay opportunities. Similarly, we can minimize Anaheim's chance of getting some dumb loser prize (probably roast beef) by being disciplined and not giving the Ducks unnecessary chances on their man-advantage. This logic dictates one thing: smart hockey = curly fries. That is all.

Have I mentioned curly fries...?

Enjoy the game, Wingnuts!! Let's Go Red Wings!!!

(UPDATE: Added actual link, so now you can GO VOTE CURLY FRIES!!)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Preview: Power Outage an Omen for Sharks?

Detroit (15-4-2) @ San Jose (11-7-4)

Well, what better way for the Red Wings to get into the heads of the Sharks than to sabotage their arena early in the day? I'm sure Todd Bertuzzi was laughing maniacally as he wreaked havoc on the building's electrical systems and beat down any security that tried to stop him from fulfilling his lust for carnage!

Meanwhile, back in reality, the Wings look to start their newest road trip on a positive note. The last time Detroit faced San Jose was during the Wings' elimination from the post-season, so a lot of bad memories can begin to be erased tonight. To do that, let's look at The Geek's Winning Formula!

1.) Stay Disciplined - Detroit played a great game against Columbus: Good offense, great defense (that 5 on 3 kill was phenomenal), and solid goaltending. Simple, smart hockey. Now, the boys need to make sure they don't fall into the trap of routine and stop working hard to improve. Keep pushing the limits and keep coming out with better games each night, that's how you hold onto a top playoff spot.

2.) Blood in the Water - Put the sharks on their heels early. Anttero Niitymaki is no Jimmy Howard, so let's make sure to pound him with shots early and often to open up the chinks in the armor.

3.) Moar Energy Please!! - The energy line for the Wings was crazy last game! If we can keep getting that kind of ferocity from the bottom three forwards, teams are never going to get a chance to rest. The 3rd line has been good as well, but Helm, Eaves and Miller just bring a tenacity and speed that the 3rd line just can't match. I hope to see lots of guts from these guys tonight.

Enjoy the game, Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Preview: BJ's Blow Into Town

Detroit (14-4-2) VS Columbus (14-7-0)

Thanks to @Winghead19 for the photo!

I'm extremely tired from barely sleeping last night, so get ready for a real simple pre-game, folks.

The Red Wings are completing the home-and-home as they host the BlueJackets this evening. Both teams played well and the Wings will need to up their game to come away with 2 more points.

The Geek's Winning Formula:

1.) Maintain Pressure - The Wings did well with this last game and were pretty consistent, they'll need to do so again today.

2.) Avoid Penalties - How the hell we didn't get burned by all those penalties we were called for is beyond me, but boys? Be on your best behavior today, we likely won't be that lucky again for a while.

3.) Don't Shy from Shooting - A lot of our chances would likely convert if more of the Wings would suck it up and shoot instead of ALWAYS dishing off to someone else. This was evident last game. Sure, it works sometimes, but I'd go so far as to say teams expect that given the choice, there will be a pass before a shot on every scoring chance.

I'm gonna go dead now, goodnight.

Enjoy the game, Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cram Session Preview: Wings @ Jackets

Running late to get this up by gametime, so here we go!

Detroit (13-4-2) @ Columbus (14-6-0)

The Red Wings were horrible last game, and they better get their act together tonight, as the Bluejackets are tied for points with Detroit and holding on to good playoff positioning early will help us down the stretch. No sense giving up the division lead now!

Here's a quick Geek's Winning Formula!

1.) Tighten the Defense! - I'm glad I missed the last game, because the numbers spoke for themselves: minuses across the board tell me that there weren't just a few guys having defensive breakdowns, the whole team was swiss cheese. We can't keep relying on scoring 4-5 goals per game to win hockey games. Sooner or later, we need to start shutting down opposing offenses.

2.) Communicate! - It just seems like in most scenarios, the Red Wings aren't communicating well. sure we see bursts of greatness that lead to 4 goals in a period, but there just seems to be so many miscues between players, bad and missed passes, missed assignments, etc. Detroit needs to simplify and start looking for each other, be aware of where YOU are and where your TEAMMATES are.

3.) Break the Huddles Hex - Okay, Jiri, you got your laugh. We benched you to punish you for poor play, and the whole team melted down. Now it looks like Rex will be back in tonight, and now would be a great time for him to reverse his fortunes. Give us a hand here and get some offense going so other people can worry abut playing more defensively!

10 minutes to puckdrop!

Enjoy the game, Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Preview: Wings Play in Atlanta, Hudler Will Not

"We know Huds is a very good player, we need him to be an important player for us..." - Coach Mike Babcock

Detroit (13-2-3) @ Atlanta (9-9-3)

After being one of the heroes in Detroit's comeback win over Calgary to end the homestand, Henrik Zetterberg leads the Red Wings into Atlanta to face the Thrashers.

The biggest roster news coming out today is that Jiri Hudler, the former KHL "superstar" who just can't get it going on this side of the Atlantic again, will be sitting this one out. Although we of Red Wings Nation can voice our disapproval of Hudler's play openly, such is not the case for coach Babcock. As he was quoted by the Free Press, "I don't know what to tell you. If I say yes, it would look bad."

In other news, Chris Osgood's groin troubles are almost past, but he is not healthy enough to start just yet, so Jimmy Howard will be filling the crease again tonight.

Let's look at The Geek's Winning Formula for tonight's game:

1.) Shut Down Ex-Hawks - Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien have been playing hero for the Thrashers of late, with Fugly scoring an OT winner in Atlanta's last game, and Ladd is playing some of the best hockey of his life. These are a pair of guys that Detroit should really look to stifle tonight.

2.) Balanced Offense - We got some good attacking from our top lines in the last match against Calgary, but even then it would've been nice to see the offense be more consistent instead of coming in bursts. If our boys can keep a persistent pressure in the offensive zone, we may not need a last-minute hero.

3.) Come Out Blazing - Ondrej Pavelec has good memories of playing against Detroit, and we should change that as soon as possible. Get him off his game early so he can forget about that shutout from the lone game he's started against the Red Wings.

Gonna be at a rehearsal tonight, so no game for me...but you guys have fun!

Enjoy the game, Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

#OperationCurlyFries - The Spicy Tuber Revolution

It is as glorious to taste as it is to behold. Those golden locks, like the ringlets that framed the face of your first true love. That tender spiciness and that gentle crispness...

I love my hat-trick curly fries.

And I want them back, Arby's. I want them back.

#OperationCurlyFries is on the move, and The Geek is joining the ranks.

Bring back the hat-trick curly fries, Arby's!! Undo this terrible wrong before it is too late!!

Rise with us, Wingnuts! Let's Go #OperationCurlyFries !!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Preview: Maintaining Homeland Security - Wings VS Wild

Detroit (12-3-1) VS Minnesota (9-6-2)

The Red Wings continue their 6-game homestand with the matchup that highlighted the much-talked-about event "H2H" last year. That's right, Detroit will be defending the JLA against the invasion led by the Minnesota Wild tonight. The big story around the Detroit Sports world, however, is the offensive surge being led by resident Newf, Danny Cleary. Will the man from The Rock be able to keep his point and goal streaks alive tonight? I sure hope so!

Let's take a look at The Geek's Winning Formula for tonight's matchup:

1.) Fix the Top Line Troubles - While it's good to see so much scoring from Cleary and the bottom half of the roster, we have so much talent up front on the top 2 lines and it just isn't performing the way it should be. One problem has been shots, but the Wings have been working on that, as was evidenced in the 3rd period against the Blues. The other problem is...

2.) Needs Moar Traffic! - We have nobody running screens in front of the net! Homer has been trying--and succeeded last game, but if his minutes are getting cut, as I believe I had heard previously, we need other bodies jumping in front of the crease.

3.) Build Off PP Success - We were able to convert 2 garbage PP goals against St. Louis. Though I'd prefer they had counted for something more at a more crucial time, I'll take the success when we can get it. Now to start converting earlier PP chances and burning teams when it counts.

Off to work, enjoy the game Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Preview: From Deadly Rivals to Dead Rivalry - Wings VS Avs

Detroit (10-3-1) VS Colorado (8-6-1)

It's been a long time since the thought of Wings VS Avs has sparked a deep passion in my blood. The rivalry that fueled the hockey world in the late 90's and into the new millennium has turned into a distant memory. As the Wings have remained a constant contender in the West, the Avalanche have been to the top AND bottom of the mountain. Most of their time in the last few years has been spent nearer to the base.

That doesn't mean that these two teams can't get a little nasty with each other from time to time, and it just might happen tonight when the Red Wings play host to Colorado. Before gametime, let's look quickly at The Geek's Winning Formula:

1.) Get More Shots - The Wings were outshot by Colorado in their last meeting in October 12, 38-28. Not cool, boys. This should not be a factor tonight, but I mention it in the hopes that some crazy-random chain of events has the team seeing it and further making sure to blast away as often as possible.

2.) Keep Them tired - Colorado played last night, Detroit did not. In fact, the Avs played their hearts out last night, earning a 5-1 victory against Columbus. Let's not waste any time and jump n the throat from the get-go, shall we? An early push and good pressure will help break the Avs quickly.

3.) Blue-Collar Muscle - As long as we keep getting consistent effort from guys like Danny Cleary, we're looking good and able to win any game put before us. Tonight is no exception, and one guy who usually battles hard who I want to see excel tonight is Johan Franzen. The Mule has burned the Avs badly in the past, and I'm still waiting fr him to get back into form this season.

See you on Twitter, Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Preview: Wings Continue Homestand VS Edmonton

Detroit (9-3-1) VS Edmonton (4-7-2)

Coach Mike Babcock will be showing us some new line combinations when the Red Wings take to the JLA ice tonight to do battle once again with the Edmonton Oilers. Still in a horrible funk, Jiri Hudler is being put on a line with Val Filppula and Johan Franzen to try and boost his offense, while Todd Bertuzzi takes over LW on the 3rd line, effectively bumping Justin Abdelkader back down to the 4th line.

I'm really iffy abut messing with that 3rd line, and I would go so far as to put Bert on the 4th line with the more energetic guys like Helm and Miller, but we'll see what happens. If it all flops, I'm sure Babs will waste no time going back to the previous lines.

Looking to return to form next week, Chris Osgood is still hampered by his groin injury, so Jimmy Howard will get the call again tonight.

Let's take a look at The Geek's Winning Formula:

1.) Consistency is Key - The Wings have not been playing consistent hockey. Still, of course, is not helped by the fact that so far the Wings have not had a consistent schedule either. Detroit needs to start working on building some momentum from game to game so we can put together some winning streaks and keep the point totals up in the standings.

2.) Faceoffs - I've been watching a disturbing trend lately: Pavel Datsyuk has not been good in the faceoff circle. As one of our best draw-men this concerns me. I haven't been checking overall team faceoff percentages, but if one of your stars on the dot is not winning draws, it's hard to play your puck-possession style...since you don't have the puck.

3.) Shoot the Puck! - Augh, how many of us on Twitter were screaming about this on Twitter last game?? The wings always seem...timid to just tee one up and rifle a shot toward the net. I can understand cycling the puck to look for an opening, but eventually, you DO have to shoot the puck in order to score. I'm hoping for higher shot totals in tonight's affair.

Now I'm off to work, but I'll be sending good vibes to our boys.

Enjoy the game, Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Preview: Wings Look to Regroup at Home VS Coyotes

Detroit (8-3-1) VS Phoenix (4-5-4)

The Red Wings took 2 of 3 games in Western Canada after dropping a disappointing game to the Canucks on Saturday by a score of 6-4. Detroit now hopes to begin a new winning streak by starting a 6-game homestand against the Phoenix Coyotes tonight.

Reports have already come in that the scratches have been decided. With Brian Rafalski coming back tonight, Jakub Kindl is being given the axe in place of Jonathan Ericsson (who I would much rather see sit), and Jiri Hudler somehow managed to convince coach Mike Babcock to remain in the lineup for tonight's match, despite his terrible play before AND after being benched. Drew Miller is the scapegoat for Hudler's frolicking this evening, a move that I highly question given how poorly our PK units performed at the end of the game against the Canucks.

Which brings me to The Geek's Winning Formula for tonight:

1.) Poise, Poise!! - It's one of Babcock's keywords, but I didn't see a whole lot of it on Saturday. The Red Wings played sloppy--undisciplined even--hockey through most of that game. It'd take longer to review what they did poorly than to talk about what they did well, which has to change tonight. Back to basics, nothing fancy, and stop taking lazy penalties!

2.) A New Day - I really had hoped Ozzie would be back in time for this game, and he did skate in practice, but it appears Jimmy Howard will be forced to start again tonight. Howie needs to shake off that ugly game on Saturday and start fresh against the 'Yotes. Having Rafalski back on the blueline will help make Jimmah's life easier.

3.) Adaptability - This one is very quick: Babs usually does this, but if something in the lines stps working, please, PLEASE do not waste time trying to let it iron itself out and make a change, any change. If we aren't going to score on the PP chances and if we start playing like we did on Saturday, something needs to change.

Missing most of this game for work (Man, why can't I get day shifts???), but I'll be there in spirit.

Enjoy the game, Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Preview: Can Wings Sweep the West?

Detroit (8-2-1) @ Vancouver (7-3-2)

And then there was one.

With 2 Western Canada teams having been dropped, Detroit looks to make it a clean 3 for 3 when they take on the Vancouver Canucks this evening. Both teams have a shot at the top seed in the West--or at least a piece of it, with the Red Wings poised to pull a point ahead of the Los Angeles Kings should the Kings not earn a point in their match tonight.

Both the Wings and the Canucks played last night and both teams won their respective games. Now comes the war of attrition, the marathon. Which team is going to save enough gas in the tank to run the full 60 minutes (or more)?

For my thoughts on tonight's game, let's run the numbers for The Geek's Winning Formula!

1.) Smart Shifts - I really hope to see good shifts out the 3rd and, especially, 4th line for Detroit tonight. If we can get some quality ice time out of our energy lines and make life easier for the top lines to keep their lungs full to drive the offense, it will be MUCH easier to control the pace of the game.

2.) Control your Sticks!! - Our boys' hockey sticks kind of went out of control at certain points of the game last night. As amusing as it was to watch Lidstrom crank a home run with the puck, I really almost died having to watch the ensuing PK with Nick in the Sin Bin. We need to be more responsible with sticks and positioning, don't put yourself into a position where you have to try and use your stick to impede your man, and remember: this isn't the World Series!!

3.) 3rd Line Thunder - Keep this baby rolling, boys! How great has this line been recently? If these guys can keep up the offensive punch they've had going the last few games, we're really going to have teams scared and defenses exhausted. With growing confidence, I only see this line getting better and better, and I have my eyes on them tonight, for sure!!

Game starts in a little over 2 hours from now. I'll be on Twitter and I hope to see you there too!

Enjoy the game, Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Preview: Detroit Slides Into Oil-Town

Detroit (7-2-1) @ Edmonton (3-5-2)

Another late game tonight as the Red Wings take the Rexall ice in Edmonton to battle the Oilers. The biggest question at this point in time is: Who is sitting? According to reports, Johan Franzen will be rejoining the active squad, and coach Mike Babcock has stated that dejected forward Jiri Hudler will also suit up. Considering how well the 3rd line has been playing, it's hard to imagine anyone from that line being benched, though veteran Mike Modano is a possibility, as tonight's game is the first of back-to-back matches. Babs could decide to rest Modano for the game Saturday against the Canucks. The other option, which most believe to be the case, would be to bench a 4th liner and squeeze Hudler in that way.

In any event, we can only hope that things click as well tonight as they did in Calgary. Let's have a quick gander at The Geek's Winning Formula for tonight's matchup:

1.) Turn on the Power - Compared to last year, the Wings have looked improved on the man-advantage, but I was a little concerned that Calgary gave up 7 PP opportunities and Detroit didn't burn the Flames once. I was prepared for that to haunt the Wings should Calgary have tied the game. The Red Wings need to simplify and get back to hurting teams who give them the man-up.

2.) Hole in the Wall - Khabibulin is one of those goaltenders that can get really hot if he makes a lot of saves early on. If the Wings can put a chink in his armor early, it will only mean good things down the road during the course of this game. The Bulin Wall has been thrown in front of Detroit before, I'd prefer tonight not be one of those occasions. Coincidentally, if anyone has some Smirnoff to send Khabi's way...?

3.) The Kids Aren't Alright - Edmonton is a young team. Detroit is an experienced team. You don't need to be a geek to know where this is going, but I'll say it anyway: Detroit needs to capitalize on the mistakes of the freshman on this youthful Oilers team. Very likely Edmonton will look to use speed to their advantage and the Red Wings simply need to counter this with smart hockey. If Detroit gets too fancy, we could see a lot of turnovers and odd-man rushes thanks to Edmonton's young legs.

I'll be missing the first portion of the game for work, but you'll likely see me on Twitter by around the 2nd period!

Enjoy the game, Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Preview: Wings Seek to Snuff Flames

Detroit (6-2-1) @ Calgary (6-5-0)

As per coach Babcock's words, the battle of the 3rd lines tonight will be crucial in tonight's match which sees the Red Wings battle the struggling Calgary Flames.

Jiri Hudler will sit out another game tonight, and Jimmy Howard will return to the crease for Detroit. Justin Abdelkader will get another shot on the 3rd line to replace the slacking Hudler and try to generate some more energy in the bottom half of the lineup.

The Wings currently sit in the 6th seed while Calgary is ranked 11th in the West. Detroit, however, has a handful of games in hand on most teams in the league, only having played 9 games so far.

Let's look at The Geek's Winning Formula for tonight's game:

1.) Get Jimmy Comfortable - Howard would do well to get a few early shots on him and make some quick saves to get back into focus, then let his teammates slow down the opposition's offense.

2.) Third Line Rolling - At least the 3rd line wasn't in the negatives last game. That itself is an improvement, but there is still work to be done, and goals to be scored. Something's gotta give eventually, and I'm hoping it's tonight that it happens.

3.) Capitalize on Flames' Frustrations - Calgary is not so hot right now, and the harder we pressure them early, the better the game will go for the Wings overall. Come out of the gate screaming and we could be in good shape.

Thankfully I don't work today and the game is late so I'm not missing this game for the world.

See you on Twitter, Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Preview: Let's Mix Things Up--Wings VS Preds

Detroit (5-2-1) VS Nashville (5-1-3)

Well, now we know who's sitting, and is it any great surprise he's already whining?

Sources have confirmed that Jiri Hudler will be the odd man out on Detroit's 3rd line, and he has already started voicing his displeasure with the decision. Let's take a look at the stats, shall we? Hudler is in the middle of his two linemates as far as performance goes: not as bad as Mike Modano on the +/-, and not as offensively stagnant as Dan Cleary. The problem is neither Cleary nor Modano have fussed about feeling undercut when it came to money, unlike a certain someone a couple years back...Hudler needs to remember that he was kept on upon his return from the KHL because it was believed he would bring back some offensive punch, but such has not been the case thus far, and I hate to say it hasn't surprised me in the least.

In his stead, Hudler will be replaced by Justin Abdelkader, a kid with a lot of heart and a roster spot to earn back. I expect the Predators are going to be a bit banged up after this matchup. Let's take a look at the Geek's Winning Formula for tonight:

1.) Stabilize Early - The Wings need a strong 1st period. After the game against Phoenix, we don't need to dig our own grave twice in a row. If Detroit just plays simple, smart hockey then we should be fine, the game should be plenty winnable.

2.) Depth Charges - I said in a previous post a while ago that I'd been concerned about the lack of success from the bottom 2 lines, and the troubles no the Red Wings' 3rd line are a prime example that all the holes have not been plugged yet. As mentioned, hopefully Abby will be able to ignite something and turn this thing around in our favor!

3.) The Advantage of History - It's corny and it's cliche', but I like the odds of games where history is against the opponent. The media makes sure that it's never kept silent, and the team can't completely shut it out. Hockey players are a superstitious bunch, many may not tell you that but that's because it'd be bad luck to do so. The Preds have been abyssmal in the Joe, and I'm hoping fate has a part in the Wings' play tonight so that Detroit can spoil what would be Nashville's first 4-0-0 road start in franchise history.

I may be around for the game, so you may see me on Twitter!

Enjoy the game, Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Preview: Can We FINALLY Start the Season, For Real?

Detroit (5-1-1) VS Phoenix (2-3-3)

What the heck is hockey...?

Man, it's hard to remember when you only see your team play twice in eleven days, and it's supposedly the regular season.

Anyway, now that this farce is behind us, the Red Wings can look to try and build some momentum as they play host to the Phoenix Coyotes, a team we've seen plenty of in the last while. Already having played them once in the regular season this year after going 7 games with them in last year's playoffs, the Wings will have a chance to continue their success against the Coyotes. Helping in that effort tonight will be now-healthy Brad Stuart, who was suffering from an illness that kept him out of Wednesday practice. Early success could mean a lot to Detroit as they have at least 1-2 games in hand on most of the Western Conference, the only nice thing about the 2-week in-season holiday the Red Wings received.

Let's do a quick Geek's Winning Formula for tonight's affair:

1.) Make Use of the Rest - Can't be any complaining tonight about being tired, as the Wings have played something like 4 games in 2 weeks. I hope to see a full game's effort from everyone tonight so as to shake the rust off.

2.) Third Line Success - Coach Babcock has made it clear he's unhappy with the lack of production from the 3rd line, so I expect to see those shifts to be played hard. Guys like Justin Abdelkader are chomping at the bit to get out there and contribute, and if Babs thinks there's slack needing picked up, he won't waste time making a change.

3.) (IMPROMPTU) Stay Cool In Net - We literally just received the news over Twitter as I am writing this that it seems Jimmy Howard may be injured. Ansar Khan originally slated Howard to start tonight's match, but the Red Wings' official site has updated with news that G Joey MacDonald has been recalled to backup starting goalie Chris Osgood. The boys need to simply focus on the game and let whatever this is work itself out.

Well, not how I wanted to leave things while heading to work. Can't wait to hear how this plays out.

Wish for the best, Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Outta My Way Teemu, I'm Back on Vacation!

You're seriously on the wrong team if you want to whine about getting hit, Mr. Selanne.

As the Red Wings endure their 2nd fall vacation early in this NHL regular season, the Anaheim Ducks seem less than sunny about one of their star players getting hit. Niklas Kronwall delivered a brutal--but very much legal--hit to the Finnish Flash which left him seeing Swedish stars. Selanne, along with basically all of the Anaheim organization is up in arms about the travesty of letting the hit go unpunished. What exactly they think the league could punish Kronner for is far beyond me. Any rational hockey fan, Wingnut or not, who looks at all the angles of this hit has to know it was clean. The hit was not lateral or blindside, so it is well within the guidelines of a legal hit. Kronwall also explained perfectly the reason why his feet left the ice after contact. Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said that Kronwall "jumped" which is completely false. Kronwall explained that Selanne gave the look that he was going to finish his check heading toward the puck. Kronwall then braced and prepared to add extra thrust with his legs on impact so as to not be knocked over by the force of the hit. When Selanne then decided not to finish the check, all of Kronner's wound up energy had to go somewhere, and as he pushed toward Selanne, the forward motion mixed with the force of his collision brought him off the ice momentarily.

It's called physics, Randy. Learn some.

I also loved how the other complaint out of Anaheim was the supposed lop-sidedness of penalties--not just during the game on Saturday, but apparently every time the Ducks play in Detroit. Talk about comedic gold. How many times has that line passed by a Wings fan's lips about every other team in the league? I've done it a couple times, on extreme occasions where it might be warranted, but I think most of it is simply chalked up to the overall ineptitude of league officials. They all suck equally, we just see it more when it's hurting our team's chances of winning.

Speaking of winning, Detroit's been doing a decent job of it recently, and I have to say I'm happy with our start record-wise. I just hate that we're waiting another week and losing all our momentum again. I haven't looked too far ahead on the skid, but I bet we have a number of back-to-back games to make up for this later. Really looking forward to it. Honest.

At least everyone will be thinking of Kronwall.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wondering if Wings are as Bored as I am

No clever pic to go with this quick update, as my provider is doing maintenance.

I remember being frustrated when this happened last year, and guess what? I'm just as pissed off this season about it. Can someone give me a LEGITIMATE reason why the Wings have to go almost a week before their next game? Is this really necessary? You ask anyone around and 9 times out of 10 they will agree that a break this long is bad for ANY team, let alone a Detroit team that has been having problems sustaining momentum after wins. Who plans this schedule? Are there other teams that have a hiatus in the midst of their season also? Are their fanbases as cranky about this as I am? I would love to know, because I'm getting tired of this.

As a result, I'm going to be cautiously optimistic going into our next game. I'm not going to mention much about the next match--I'll leave that for the pre-game. The only silver lining that I can see t this is it gives our injured players more time to heal before man-games lost start to pile up. Franzen should be fine for Thursday, which is great news considering we need someone to help dictate the pace. Mule has the skillset to do just that.

I just hope the rest of the team is able to focus after another half-a-year between games...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Preview: Reeling Red Wings must Refocus in Arizona

Last time Detroit played Phoenix, they eliminated the Coyotes from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Tonight, though not as momentous as the last game, is still pretty important.

The Wings are on their heels after only pulling 1 point from their last two games, and face the dreary thought of an early season winless streak if things don't improve in the desert.

Detroit (2-1-1) will look to start bringing in the W's again against the Coyotes (1-1-0), one of the few teams still only a pair of games into the season. From the sounds of the reports coming in, Detroit will be challenging the Desert Dogs short one forward, as Johan Franzen and Justin Abdelkader are both scratched for tonight's affair. Drew Miller will be matched on the second line, with Darren Helm and Patrick Eaves playing subs on the 3-line squad.

Let's look at The Geek's Winning Formula for tonight's matchup:

1.) Stay Fresh - Being short a player on your bench is not fun and will tire a team out that much faster. The Wings need to get on the ice, skate hard, do their jobs, then get back off the ice and let another group take over. Detroit can NOT afford to let Phoenix pin them in their own end, this will only end in tears, unnecessary icings, and--eventually--goals against.

2.) Keep it Clean - If Detroit can stay out of the penalty box and get lucky with some penalties on Phoenix's side, it's going to be much easier to keep the lines rested and get a more complete game from all the skaters. It's going to be bad enough playing down one roster spot, it's going to be inexcusable for the Wings to take sloppy penalties tonight.

3.) Depth Charges - Guys, we need some secondary support here, stat!! The bottom half of Detroit's lineup really needs to step up and contribute in tonight's game, if only to help ease the pressure on the top half of the lineup. The whole squad needs to improve defensively, top to bottom, as many of our top guys--including my beloved Dats--are in the minus category. Let's see some stronger shifts defensively, boys!!

Alright, I have tonight off, so I'll be watching along at home. Should be entertaining!

See you on Twitter, Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Preview: Mo Come Home, Wings Visit Dallas

It's okay Mike, you're on our side now!

All joking aside, tonight's matchup is going to be another game with at least someone bringing some emotional baggage to the ice. It's likely going to be difficult for Mike Modano to skate on Dallas ice for the first time and not be playing for the home team, but it's also something that he knew was coming and needed to prepare for.

Also, other veterans on the team probably have #18 in the back of their minds as Kirk Maltby's retirement continues to sink in. Watching the press conference, my only thought was how odd it seemed to see Malts having such a hard time to say something. Kirk never had a lack of things to say on the ice, and his absence could potentially weigh on some of his former teammates.

Through all of this, the Red Wings look to get back to their winning ways and keep getting points, having started strong (2-0-1) and taking an early lead in the division standings. Let's check The Geek's Winning Formula to see how they can do that:

1.) Drop the Baggage - This is such a key point. I know the Wings are professional players, but stepping on the ice knowing that a 16-year comrade on the roster is gone and not coming back can be haunting. Also, for Modano, I think the best cure for any jitters he might get coming back to the big D would be to get on the scoresheet early. In booth cases, the Wings cannot lose focus if they want the 2 points tonight.

2.) Tighten the Gaps - I watched video from the Colorado game, and there were some bad defensive botches on many of those goals. We need to get back to the smart play we saw in the first two games and keep opposing chances to a minimum. This team is too deep to be getting outshot, which we have been the last 2 games.

3.) Oz Needs to be Good - By the sounds of things, Ozzie is getting the nod. This is a perfect time for him to show whether or not his head is back in it: help the team get the W after a disappointing SO loss the game before. I like that Osgood and Howard are a tandem this early on, there's no excuses now. Both goalies are getting their starts, and both should keep rested enough to win consistently.

I'm afraid I'm going to miss this match due to work again. I need to switch to days...

Enjoy the game, Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Preview: Detroit Looking for Snowball Effect, Host Avs

Lots to talk about today in Red Wings world, and surprisingly the Wings/Avs game is nowhere near the top of the list! Let's get a few things out of the way before pre-game:

First, word has been confirmed that longtime Red Wings forward Kirk Maltby will be announcing his retirement today. It has also come to light that he will be taking on a job as a scout for Detroit, some sources claiming he will be taking over Pat Verbeek's position.

Second, the news has gotten out that Kris Draper has been placed on injured reserve, and that Doug Janik will be filling in for a scratched Brian Rafalski. The word is that Raf needs a knee scope performed, which means we now have two top 6 defensemen on the mend.

And finally, as most everyone has heard, head coach Mike Babcock has signed a 4-year extension with the Wings, meaning that Babs isn't going anywhere for a good long time.

Now, onto the pre-game:

It's kind of sad that this former rivalry has died out so pathetically that the mentioning of the matchup barely makes anyone bat an eye anymore. I get that most of the players from the 97 brawl era have moved on, but these two teams were also the cream of the crop in that same time period: 5 of the 7 Stanley Cups between 1996 and 2002 went to Detroit or Colorado, the Wings taking 3 of those 5.

While the Wings have remained a dominant force, the Avs have seen some decline in the last few years, but are looking to make it back with the rest of the front-runners with prospects like Matt Duchene leading the way.

Detroit will be looking to help derail that notion tonight when the Avalanche come into the Joe. The Wings have a chance to go 3-0 to start the season, which would be leaps and bounds better than their start last year. How can they do it? Let's check The Geek's Winning Formula to find out:

1.) Minimize Time Defending - With both Kindl and Janik suiting up tonight, I really do not want to see a lot of Avs puck possession in our end. Even moreso than in Chicago, Colorado will be looking to overwork our defense, and the Wings need to keep the puck out of the defensive zone. Get the puck out fast, try to keep icings to a minimum, and trust Babs to make sure we don't get caught with third-tier D-Men against Colorado's first-tier forwards.

2.) Nothing Fancy - To help the defense, it'll be critical for the Wings forwards to stop trying to make cute plays with a high risk/reward factor. The talent on this team is good enough to make magic out of basic fundamental plays. I didn't like how often we started turning the puck over in Chicago, and Flip's GWG was a fluke, no matter how you slice it.

3.) Play on the Fatigue Factor - We were able to pull off consecutive games for two wins, but Colorado lost their game last night and are likely tired and frustrated at their early season misfortunes. Detroit should try to press that to their advantage--agitate the Avs and run them hard, try to force some bad penalties and get some quality time on the PP. We need to work our man-up units anyway, as they've been less than stellar so far this year.

Unfortunately I won't be getting home for this game before work, so I expect everyone to cheer twice as hard in my absence!

Go get 'em, Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Flip Trips Blackhawks on Red Carpet in Wings Win

Now that was some fine party-crashing!!

The Red Wings came into the United Center and brought the raucous crowd down to earth with a 3-2 victory over the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks.

The game has only just recently ended, thanks to the longest, most drawn-out banner raising ceremony in the history of mankind (puck-drop wasn't until around 9PM EST or later). The Wings, however, were apparently fine with waiting patiently to spoil the festivities. Valtteri Filppula netted two goals, including the game-winner in the third period, to help push the Wings past the Cup-drunk champs.

A couple of key players were in the spotlight tonight: Jakub Kindl made his first start of the season, replacing injured Jonathan Ericsson. Also, Chris Osgood got the nod in net--a move many were ready to chastise coach Mike Babcock for making.

Let's take a closer look at tonight's match by breaking down The Geek's Winning Formula from earlier:

1.) Hold Onto the Energy - Would I pass the Wings on this test? ...Yes, but not with flying colors like last night. The Wings showed spurts of intensity, but there were times when it was sorely lacking. I know it's hard to play two nights in a row, but that doesn't excuse going easy on the boards and losing puck battles that players would normally have no right losing. One spot where Detroit picked up the pace well was on the penalty kill. It was rough to see the Wings down a man so often tonight, but considering the frequency I feel we got proof of a very effective PK corps.

2.) Plug That Hole - Defensive gap? I didn't really see one. Jakub Kindl, in my mind, played admirably in his season debut, and really...would Ericsson have done any better? If Kindl can keep playing like this, improving all the while, I'd like to see him overtake Big Rig for the 6th spot on the blueline. Maybe it would help drive the Big E to improve his OWN game. The rest of the team also played quite well defensively, so that was a big help to keep Kindl's confidence high.

3.) Keep the Ship Afloat - Ozzie...did you read my last post before the game? Seriously, despite the score, I think that was one of the best games Chris Osgood's had in a while. Chris played a solid game while keeping mistakes to a BARE minimum (that turnover behind the net was scary...!). This is more like the Osgood that we love and, more importantly, want to see more of. Any sort of effective tandem between Osgood and Jimmy Howard is a very good thing.

Overall, here is my final grade for the Wings in this contest:

Team Offense - B+: One was pretty, one was lucky, and one was flat out ridiculous. I'm pretty sure Flip jedi'd that last goal past Marty Turco, as he got no power on the release at all. They can't all be beauties, they just have to go in.

Team Defense - A-: While most of the game was played defensively sound by the Red Wings, one area concerned me tonight: turnovers. Too many times I found that our boys were not paying close enough attention to where the Hawks were set up, and errant passes started coming in bunches as the game wore on. Chicago got far too many opportunities for scoring chances, and it showed based on how many bad penalties Detroit took tonight. The saving grace here was the PK--the penalty killing units ran some great damage control.

Team Intensity - B+: Don't want to dive too deeply into this again, but like I said: I know it's hard to play consecutive nights, but you can't play soft tonight just because you played yesterday. The Wings did a decent job of staving that trap off, much more so than the team of last season would have.

Overall, I thought it was an awesome party.

The next tilt will be with the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday.

Till then, Wingnuts!! Let's Go Red Wings!!!

Preview: Wings Look to Help Blackhawks Botch Banner Night

Detroit will look to ride a wave of momentum into the Windy City and put the hurt on the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks.

Jakub Kindl will get an early start to the season due to Jonathan Ericsson's back spasms and Chris Osgood will start what many may feel needs to be a road to redemption after the disappointing performance from the veteran netminder last year.

The Wings will have to wait for the start of the game until after the Blackhawks raise their first Stanley Cup banner since 1961. After that, though, Detroit will have a chance to ruin the celebratory evening for their division rivals.

So without further ado, here's The Geek's Winning Formula for tonight's game:

1.) Hold Onto the Energy - Detroit put an absolute clinic against Anaheim last night, and that intensity needs to carry into tonight's match as well. Everyone knows it's no fun playing back-to-back games, so the Red Wings need to keep themselves highly motivated this evening.

2.) Plug That Hole - Jakub Kindl needs to prove himself early by having a solid game tonight. Likely the Blackhawks will look to exhaust our top defensive lines if only to get Kindl on the ice as much as possible, trying to exploit his inexperience in the wake of the Ericsson injury.

3.) Keep the Ship Afloat - The biggest factor to this game in my mind is #30. Chris Osgood needs to make another one of his fairytale-like comebacks this season if he wants to see much time on the ice--and if he wants to keep his job in Motown. I've been a huge Ozzie supporter in years past, but after the events of last season I think Chris needs to prove he's over this latest hump and ready to get back to his winning ways.

Hour and a quarter till puck-drop, Wingnuts!! Let's Go Red Wings!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Red Wings Pluck Ducks in Detroit Home Opener

Want Pavel Datsyuk's advice? Say no to thugs. The deceptive Detroit forward dodged and deked his way through the worst of the assault led by the Anaheim Ducks--including standing up to and bringing down the oh-so-manly Corey Perry in a tussle between the two--to help the Red Wings cruise to a 4-0 victory over one of the ugliest (in so many ways) teams in the league.

I was fortunate enough to get out of work early for this game, only missing a little bit of the first period. A huge thank you goes out to @uclajenn for helping get me setup part-way into the game when I was raging over trying to find a TV stream!! Everybody be sure to give her a follow on Twitter when you get the chance, she's a real sweetheart and a passionate Wingnut.

As for what I saw in this game, well...let me say that I simply could not stop grinning. This team is going to be scary--very, very scary.

I know it's only the first game, but look at how much we have to take away from this. The play I saw from this Red Wings squad tonight was the stuff of champions past. I really believe this team is as deep as it's been in years, maybe even more so than the '08 Cup team. These lines are ridiculous! Hank and Pav on the top line, Franzen and Bertuzzi leading the 2nd line convoy, a 3rd line center named MIKE MODANO? Are you kidding me?? This team is so deep they'll need to hand out life preservers before every game so people don't drown!!

And just look at the results: Modano scores in his first game as a Wing, we already see production from the top line, and defensively we put on a great show. Most importantly (to me), however, is the fact that this team went out tonight and showed 29 other teams that they are taking guff from Pav takes on Corey Perry and takes the win--however slight, Jimmah then shows Perry where he made Crosby kiss his equipment, and the Wings just all-around dealt with AND dished back the physicality. We dominated puck control, neutralized the opposition's physical game and were a defensive bulwark.

You know what this means, guys...? Detroit played a complete game. From start to finish. Full 60 minutes of hockey. I haven't seen THAT in years.

And that has to be the biggest reason why I'm excited this year.

Tomorrow night we go into Chicago to watch the half-banner go up for the full no wait, sorry, the FULL banner go up for the HALF-team that won it last year, and I think we have the kind of team this year that can start carrying momentum from game to game, so if I were you Blackhawks, I would be mighty worried about the showdown a little less than a day away.

Final Grade
Team Offense - A+: Got the job done and saw production across the roster.
Team Defense - A+: Shutout for Howard and kept the Ducks to less than half of the Wings shot total.
Team Intensity - A+++: It's been a long long time since I've seen the Wings this revved up, and it looks so, so good.

A better opener couldn't be asked for.

We'll see you tomorrow night Wingnuts!! Let's Go Red Wings!!!

New Season Starts Tonight for Red Wings

We waited all summer for this moment.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's finally here.

The Red Wings 2010-2011 season starts TONIGHT!!!

...and I have to work! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!??

Yeah, so I'm going to miss the opener due to work, so you can imagine how pissed of I am right now. I'm not going to get too deep into things tonight, as it's the first game, but here's what I DO have to say: Nothing I say, nothing anyone else says, can summarize this feeling every year of starting the hunt for Stanley anew. Boys, go out there and start this season strong, and I'll be with you in spirit with my Wings shirt on at the office!!

For the first of many times this season Wingnuts: Let's Go Red Wings!!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wings Fans Hearing Same Old Story

I can't believe I'm doing this.

I can't believe I HAVE to do this, but it needs to be done.

As long as there are hockey 'analysts', there will be bad reporting. With that said, as long as the Red Wings are an organization there will also be bad reporting on how age is going to be the downfall of the team.

I can already see the bats coming out. Dead horse, beware.

In a recent article on by "veteran hockey columnist" Mike Brophy, it was suggested that the Wings are going to be on the decline based on the idea that age is making people "wonder if they remain special". Well, isn't this novel? I've NEVER heard this argument before...well except maybe a couple times over the last ten damned years. Will people just give it up already? In response to Brophy, I say yes, my Wings are still very special. Want to know why?

-19 consecutive playoff runs
- 4 cups during that span
- 2 trips to the finals in the last 3 years

Age may do a lot of things, but keeping the Wings from being successful has not been one of them. Also, I would like to point out something that Mr. Brophy neglects to touch upon in his Sportsnet piece. His claim of age tarnishing the Wings should, by logic, apply to other teams. Father Time comes for everyone, but Brophy conveniently omits the fact that there are teams just as "old" as Detroit. Calgary has an average age of just over 30 years old, and they have been pretty consistently in the hunt for a playoff spot, only missing the postseason once in the last four seasons. New Jersey, another perennial favorite to visit the second season, also have an average of 30+ years old. Why don't we hear this argument for the Flames? For the Devils? Why is it an exclusive point of debate held for Detroit discussion? On the other side of the coin, the Toronto Maple Leafs have an average age of 26, and youth sure as hell hasn't helped them accomplish anything of late.

What I'm really saying at the end of the day is this: The only thing that is tired and worn out is the argument that the Red Wings are tired and worn out. The Wings--despite age, injury, and whatever you want to throw at them--will be waving to you from the postseason, and THAT, Mr. Brophy, is why they are, and always will be, special.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Star Power Matters: Wings and Hawks Split Preseason Home-and-Home

That's what you pay the big guys the big bucks for.

In a back-to-back series between the Red Wings and Blackhawks, we got pretty much what anyone could have expected. On Friday, the Wings played with their stars and Chi-town mostly did not. Result: Red Wings 3-2 victory. Tonight, we had the opposite, with Detroit opting to rest its studs, and the Hawks came away with a 4-2 win of their own.

I don't wanna look too hard into things with it being preseason and all, but it's nice to note that most of our young guys are actually doing pretty well so far: putting up points, staying on the plus side of the ratings, and so on. This whole not playing your A-Team every night thing is starting to grate on me though. I'm obviously ready for the regular season.

Next on the skid is a date with the New York Rangers tomorrow at 5PM ET, conveniently in the middle of my shift at work, so I don't have to think too hard on it.

Even so, Wingnuts, I still say: Let's Go Red Wings!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Preseason Preview: Wings VS Blackhawks, 7PM ET

Take a second to play a fun little game of 'Guess which Hawks players in the photo are still on the roster' and then we'll begin the show.

Done? Yeah, it's not as exciting as it sounds, but it's funny to note that the most important player in that pic for Chicago is the one who ISN'T there anymore.

Detroit makes its preseason home debut tonight against the defending (read: pretending--half the squad wasn't even there last year) Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks. With a projected lineup that looks much more like something we'd see during the regular season, the Wings will be looking to show Marty Turco that you can change your shirt and change your number, but that doesn't mean we don't still 'got your number'.

It's looking early on like Datsyuk and Zetterberg, as well as defensive stalwart Nick Lidstrom, will all be playing tonight against the champs; meanwhile, Johan Franzen will be sitting for approximately 3 games due to a thigh injury sustained from Pittsburgh goon Brooks Orpik. Also of great note: one of Detroit's brightest prospects, one Brendan Smith, appears to be making his debut for the Wings tonight as well, so that will be very interesting to watch.

After the one-sided showdown in Steeltown, I think the key for Babs tonight would definitely be to get the boys playing MUCH more defensively aware and responsible. Let them know that performances like that of Brian Lashoff will not cut it in Hockeytown, and push for the excellence we know our guys, both young and old, possess. With Lids on point and Jimmah filling the crease tonight, I expect this to be a much closer game, one the Wings have every chance of winning. Let's open the Joe in good fashion for this 2010-11 season!!

Till tonight, Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

TDG Post-Game Report: More Accurate than the Associated Press!

Did you see my ninjas at work? Of course you didn't, I told you my eyes weren't REALLY shifting sneakily.

In what can only be considered a lopsided affair between the Penguins and the Grif-I mean, Red Wings last night, the Penguins got to do...well, pretty much whatever they wanted, opening their new hole in the ground with a victory. That they can actually be proud of the win is something I would heavily debate; however, as far as the Associated Press is concerned, you may as well say that Pittsburgh beat Detroit's A-game roster!

From the AP: "With a sellout crowd of 18,087 and both teams using much of their “A” lineups, the $321 million arena opened with an almost regular-season intensity."

Really? Are you absolutely sure about that, AP...? Let's take a closer look.

Top 2 Scratched PIT forwards: Jordan Staal, Chris Kunitz
Top 2 Scratched DET forwards: Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterburg

Top 2 Scratched PIT defense: Paul Martin, Alex Goligoski
Top 2 Scratched DET defense: Nicklas Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski

Starting PIT G: M.A.Fleury
Starting DET G: Chris Osgood

The Associated Press considers this to be an evenly matched game. Hmm...I have doubts about the objective integrity of a news source when "most" of our A roster means Brad Stuart is our top defenseman. At any rate, I knew well enough to keep my hopes low for this game and boy am I glad I did. It was nice to give the youngins some actual gametime; that by no means translated into it being a pretty sight.

The bright spot for me through all of this was Thomas McCollum's shutout period in the third. Very promising start for the prospect goaltender, especially in the wake of Osgood's efforts through 40 minutes. On the other end, the biggest disappointment had to be Brian Lashoff at a miserable -4 on the night. Someone on Twitter said it best last night by stating he should change name to Brian in, the roster.

What can we take from this? Well, we know that if Grand Rapids ever played Pittsburgh, chances are they'd lose. Beyond that, it was a great learning experience for the prospects. Almost all of our star power was benched from the game, the biggest star we had out went down for the game with a charlie horse, what did people really expect? I asked to see the game kept close, which happened for about...close to half the game. As soon as the score went to 4-1 it was a write-off, stop worrying about it and look forward to the next game.

Speaking of next game, I'll be curious to see the projected roster for the game Friday against the Blackhawks. It'll be interesting to see if the marquee on the Wings side is a bit more sparkly this time around, or whether our studs will be getting more rest. Have to wait and see.

Till then, Wingnuts! Let's Go Red Wings!!

P.S.: I will be reprimanding my ninjas for not doing more serious damage to the unholy one.