Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bullies Reborn in Flyers Win over Detroit

"We didn't win the game, but for me it was a step in the right direction in getting ready for the playoffs." - Goaltender Chris Osgood

Wait...what!?? Honestly Ozzie, I think you're a little confused. We can't be talking about the same game because I, sir, did not see anything that would persuade me to put you between the pipes at all come the playoffs.

Chris Osgood admittedly did have to shake off a lot of rust, but the fact is he did not get it done for the Wings today as the Flyers took it to Detroit and came out on the winning side of a 4-3 score. Philadelphia pounded Detroit, quite literally, for the entirety of the game. It hearkened back to the days of the Broad Street Bullies, only now the bullies are named Laperriere, Carcillo and Pronger. A number of "hits" put on by the Flyers should have been called and were not, much to the chagrin of many a Wingnut I'm sure, and Detroit was content to play the five-year-old who can't take a teasing. I don't wanna go off on too much of a tangent, but let me put a set of numbers out here that really bother me:

Todd Bertuzzi - 6'3", 245 lbs
Jonathan Ericsson - 6'5", 205 lbs
Johan Franzen - 6'3", 218 lbs

These are three of the biggest Red Wings who suited up for today's game. Now, I got a feeling someone's not giving it their all when these guys get shown how to throw a body check by this guy:

Pavel Datsyuk - 5'11", 197 lbs

Yes, Dats. Don't look at me like that. I watched the footage, like I said. Out of all the "hitting" Detroit did in retaliation to Philly's physicality, Pavel-bloody-Datsyuk put the best hit of the game on for the Wings. I think he may have even got Carcillo, the checked player's name eludes me. Regardless of who he hit, Pavel is not out on the ice to instill fear in the other team with his brute force. See? you giggled even thinking about it!! Why can the Bertuzzis and the Franzens on this team NOT THROW A GOOD HIT??? Go back to the highlights, our biggest players will ease up before a hit, every. single. time. Without fail. And the result today was the Flyers basically playing our game of puck possession because Detroit was too scared to muck it up with them to take the puck back!! our best checkers are currently guys like Patrick Eaves and Darren Helm because they're the only fearless ones on the team! Look at Helm, he almost assuredly got his nose broke or something grim and what does he do? Gets a band-aid and keeps on truckin'!! Throwing the body, mashing in front of the net and because of this, he was one of the goal scorers for the Wings today.

Oh wow, okay. I need to talk about the Winning Formula before this turns into the next Gilgamesh Epic...

1.) Get Mad, Get Even - Haha, well...Detroit got mad. But instead of the productive kind of mad, Detroit got the useless kind of mad. Every problem Philadelphia created for Detroit was worked around, not solved. The Wings tried to circumvent all the obstacles: the physical style of play, the Flyers' checking line working over Dats and Hank. You name it, Detroit tried to dodge it. Problem with that is that Philly was doing what I've been preach to the Red Wings: they stuck to a gameplan. They never gave up on the plan, and the plan got Philadelphia two precious points and cost the Red Wings two of their own. Today's game will be the deciding game should Detroit end in a tie with Nashville.

2.) Stick to the Plan! - Oh hey! Wow, nice segue huh? Well, as much as I say this I usually mean stick to a plan that works. Detroit's refusal to adapt to the smashing style of the Flyers ultimately cost them the game (along with Ozzie's stellar screw-up in the first 17 seconds of the game...) and further prevented Detroit from attaining any sort of foothold on 5th. Almost makes me wonder if the Wings WANT to play the Canucks...

3.) Two Words: Chris. Osgood. - After watching this game, I have just two more words: Go. Howard. I can understand the early flubs by Chris, but Detroit battled back and was able to tie the game after 20 minutes. The other two goals are those opportunities where, even if your defense let you down, you need to come up big. Osgood did that very rarely today. I will give him credit on a few saves he made after the score was 4-2, but really, once you've let in four you're almost assuredly past the point of no return. Today that was the case.

Hopefully the Wings can get back to their winning ways to end out the season. I'm praying that there are no more day games, because looking back, I can't honestly remember the last time they won one. Well, maybe this little tidbit will help: WE CLINCHED A PLAYOFF SPOT!!! ...Feeling any better about today?

Till next time Wingnuts!! Let's Go Red Wings!!!

Preview: Wings at Flyers

"We battled back and got a point...On the other hand it's disappointing losing in the first shift of overtime." Captain/Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom

Detroit (41-23-14) @ Philadelphia (38-34-6)

After a heartbreaking overtime loss to Nashville yesterday, the Red Wings get a chance to pull even with Nashville again as they travel to Philly to tangle with the Flyers. The Wings have two games in hand on the Predators and a victory here will tie them for 5th seed with the Preds. I didn't really get any input from anyone on how the game yesterday went, so I'm still quite in the dark, highlights only tell you so much. But I'll do my best to come up with a Winning Formula that will ensure success for Detroit today!!

1.) Get Mad, Get Even - Detroit needs to come out pissed off in this game. The Wings have to turn the rarely-seen Flyers into a veritable whipping boy in this matinee affair and punish Philly for the loss to Nashville. Like Nick said above, it's disappointing to lose on the first shift of extra time, so get mad and take it out on Philadelphia, and if the Wings can do that they'll get even with the Predators. See what I did there? Of course you did.

2.) Stick to the Plan! - I could be way off here, again I didn't watch the game, but the way I see it is that Detroit battled back to send a 3-2 game into overtime by tying up with Nashville, and got a bad break on the very first shift in OT. That's just bad luck, that's not implying the Wings had a poor gameplan. They did get something from nothing. Detroit needs to come out with the same plan, just with more intensity. Anytime your team is able to rally from a deficit and keep themselves in the game, you know you're adapting well and playing good hockey. If the Red Wings can jumpstart their game early, they could wrap this up in the first two periods with little concern in the third. Of course should they do this, discipline will be tantamount to maintaining for the W.

3.) Two Words: Chris. Osgood. - This whole formula hinges on one key ingredient: Chris Osgood. If Ozzie can shake off the rust, we may have a shot at the win, but if he comes out lackluster, I would almost say we would need to can him after about 3 goals. We're too far into the season and points mean too much to spare Osgood's feelings. There's a big difference between playing Vancouver and playing Phoenix, and if it looks like Ozzie may compromise that I'd be giving him the hook with no hesitation. Chris has a lot to prove in this game, losing his last three starts and having a 4.10 GAA through his last five games. Ozzie needs to be in playoff mode now if he hopes to see any post-season playing time, because at this point, I'm quite alright with starting Jimmy once the Playoffs begin.

Ugh, why all the day games, damnit?! Looks like I'll be missing this one too, but I may be able to catch SOME of the NBC coverage during breaks, so hopefully that will mean the boys will win this one. Still kinda creeped that Detroit's only loss since I started this blog was the one day I couldn't see any live footage of the game...spooky. But for the rest of you Wingnuts, enjoy the game!! Let's Go Red Wings!!!