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!!