Jun 152009

So contrary to what I thought would happen, Detroit did not win the Cup last Friday night. I wish I could lay blame for the loss on some egregious call by the officials, or some other external factor that would absolve the team, but I can’t. Detroit got beat, and that’s the cold, hard truth of the matter. Which isn’t to say this is 1984 revisited and a new dynasty is ascendencing. The fact of the matter is that Detroit is a strong team still in it’s prime. Yes, depending on what Hossa decides the Wings will feel a salary cap crunch, at least until the end of next season when they have ~10 million coming off the cap in the form of Holmstrom and Lidstrom’s contracts. But even if they lose Hudler and Samuelson, or Hossa, you can pencil Detroit in as a Cup contender next year. Yes, it sucks they came up just a bit short, but this was the Wings’ year, there was just too much stacked against them. So kudos to the Penguins, and enjoy your long term boat anchor contracts. I’m thinking Detroit might see you again next May, and the outcome will be more to my liking I’m sure.

Jun 142009

One thing I’ve noticed in a lot of the press and fan reaction is a lot of disdain thrown Marion Hossa’s way. To a certain extent it’s fair, after all his “old” team did win the Cup after he said Detroit gave him the best chance to do so. However, I think that’s simplistic and lazy. The fact of the matter is that for much of the season Hossa looked to be prescient. Pittsburgh stumbled for most of the season, and were out of the playoffs as late as February. Detroit meanwhile cruised to yet another fifty win season — and perhaps that was part of Detroit’s problem, but that’s for another day. If Pittsburgh does not make that late surge how smart does Hossa look? If Washington had a more balanced attack how smart does Hossa look?if Detroit got bounced by Anaheim how smart does Hossa look? The fact of the matter is that to even get to the Finals is an accomplishment as hard, if not harder, than winning the Cup. And to crush Hossa because of a bounce of the puck is rather unfair. Now if you want to crush Hossa for coming up small in the Finals go right ahead.

Jun 092009

Some quick thoughts before game six tonight.

1) Home ice matters. This series is the exception to general conventional hockey wisdom — San Jose says hi.
2) The more I see him, the more convinced I become that Crosby would be a more polished player if he had been drafted by Detroit.
3) I’ve said before that if the Wings won game five they would win in seven, and I think I’m sticking to that
4) That being said, it wouldn’t surprise me if Detroit rips out Pittsburgh’s heart tonight.

May 202009

Drew Sharp needs to be keeping his yap shut. Seriously, stop saying stuff like that. This series is not over, and it won’t be until the Wings (or the Hawks) win four games. Was Game 2 a big win for the Wings? Sure it was. Was Game 2 a big loss for the Hawks? Oh absolutely. Is Detroit in control of the series? Without a doubt, after all they only need to win two games while Chicago needs four. But there is still a lot of hockey left to be played. I’m sure Friday night the Hawks are going to play out of their minds in front of the home crowd. If, and it’s a huge if, the Wings can overcome that and take the 3-0 lead, then the series is over but for the shouting I think. But I don’t think that’s the likely scenario. My gut says there is more Western Conference hockey left to be played at Joe Louis Arena, and hopefully it’s just one more game.

May 072009

Highlights of the Detroit Red Wings draft from 1989. Numbers in parenthesis are games played in the NHL.

1st – Mike Sillinger (1049)
2nd – Bob Boughner (630)
3rd – Niklas Lidstrom (1330)
4th – Sergei Fedorov (1248)
6th – Dallas Drake (1009)
11th – Vladimir Konstantinov (446)

Best draft ever? Comes very close. Jimmy Devellano was a genius of a talent evaluator.

Nov 122008

In light of a certain debacle last night at the Joe Louis Arena — and let me confess I saw the Wings were up three goals and turned off the game in favor of some Rock Band — I am more convinced then ever that what Detroit needs to do is cut lose Kirk Maltby and bring in Ville Leino. It’s a move that doesn’t exactly solve the problems the team is having defensively, but it does provide a younger, hopefully higher energy player to spark some life into the team.