Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Blown Calls, Botched Powerplays give Phoenix Game 1 Win

Wow, it's funny how just knowing Gary Bettman is in attendance can make a tough game even tougher. From about the time I saw that rat-faced punk in the stands, Detroit's grasp on Game 1 of their series VS the Phoenix Coyotes had all but slipped away. What was looking like a smooth ride for the Red Wings after the first period turned into an eventual derailing as the Coyotes simply kept working while Detroit basically did not, and Phoenix overturned the scoreboard to come out on top 3-2 to take a 1-0 series lead in Round 1.

I have a couple of reservations about this game. Since I didn't do a pre-game on this game specifically, let's take this as the three keys as to why Detroit let this one get away:

1.) Missed Opportunities - Ohhhhhhh-ho-ho, I'm gonna be pissed about this one until game 2, and things had better shape up at that point. Now granted, Lidstrom's goal was a seeing-eye shot, something he excels in, but our first goal was a gift, wrapped in pretty paper with a bow on top. The Wings had almost doubled the Coyotes in shots after two periods of play and yet we saw the score tied at 2-2. This is not playoff caliber performance, this is not putting in the work to finish a play. Countless one-and done's, shoot, save, backcheck. Lather, rinse, repeat. I did not see a Detroit team willing to get dirty tonight, and if some players need to sit, then so be it. Bring in May, bring in Abs, I don't care who it is, but they better be ready to hit hard and go to the damn net.

2.) Special Teams Meltdown - I can't even get mad about this anymore. I've yelled about this for weeks. Obviously no one who has access to Babcock's ear is hearing me, because nothing's changed. Hell, I'd go so far as to say it's gotten worse, WAY worse! 1 for 6 on the man-up, and you give up ALL THREE GOALS to Phoenix on the powerplay!? The only penalty we technically killed was one that was cut short by a call to Phoenix part way through our PK. I'm not saying by any means, nor have I ever, that the Wings need to score a PP goal every time an opponent takes a penalty. But seriously...1 for 6? And you let Phoenix go 3 for 3 on the first 3 powerplays they get? Uh-uh. Not if you want to advance you don't.

3.) Atrocious Officiating - Say what you want, but I'm bringing out the tinfoil. The fact that video replay is only used for some things and not others is ridiculous. Nick Lidstrom takes stitches from a high-stick, which SHOULD have given us another 4 minutes of PP time (still on the fence if it would've been a good thing, considering...), and the refs don't call it because they MISSED it!? Couldja maybe check the tapes real quick while the docs are sewing Lids's lip back together? Go ahead, you've got a few minutes. This is why Detroit needs to work hard(er) every single game, nay, every single shift: they are not going to get extra help from the referees. It's bad enough that the calls they were given were blown, but then to miss the critical one at a crucial juncture of the game? Well gee, guys, you saw the six other infractions, what happened to your eyes on that one??

This is not what I wanted to see out of Game 1, but it gives the Red Wings something to remember: play lazy and you're going to get stranded in the desert.

Here's to a better Game 2, Wingnuts!! Let's Go Red Wings!!!

Special: Late Night Playoff Game Mini Survival Kit

I thought that with this game going so late and with everyone OBVIOUSLY staying up however long it lasts, I would let you all in on my patented Late Game survival kit. Most of these things any Wingnut will already have. If you don't it's no big deal, Christmas isn't THAT far away, right...?

Okay, so let's get to it, we're burning day, er...ceiling...light:

1.) Coffee Mugs - An absolute must. Any lover of playoff hockey has to learn to tolerate coffee at some point. A word of advice: lighter roast = more caffeine. alternatively if it's more your thing (as it is mine), you can substitute coffee with whatever cocktail of alcohol you prefer, as it helps ensure you'll keep yourself up with all the screaming and shouting you're going to do at the TV/laptop screen.

2) Coasters - Any amounts of drinkage is gonna require some seriously stylish spill-protection. Some fancy coasters like the ones you see pictured are perfect for the job. Not only are they sturdy and sexy but also provide great coverage for your drink-setting surface, so when you're flailing at the bullshit penalty or stomping your feet in celebration of a Red Wings goal, you know you're covered.

3.) Miniature Stanley Cup (Complete with Wings logo) - It is always important to remember what you're playing for, and what better to do that than your own little Stanley? Sporting an owner's tag, I mean...your team of choice, on the front, it's the best way to keep your eyes on the prize and not drooping toward dreamland.

I'll be up till the end of the game to do a post-game report, but till then Wingnuts, enjoy the game!!