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Abel to Yzerman

One Loss, Two Topics…Panic In Detroit

Nothing gets the blood boiling around here like a loss.  And when Chris Osgood’s involved?  Holy hell.  There is no middle ground and it’s best to pick a side and stick with it.  It’s deep seated and it’s a subject capable of dividing the closest-knit gaggle of hockey fans on the Gore.  You can throw out the third-line woes, a power play I still consider “stagnant”, a Rafalski-less defense that is worrisome at best.  You can even introduce a Hall of famer into the mix and throw him right under the bus after an 8-game sample.

That, the Modano Judgment, is absolutely ludicrous.  But it’s nothing compared to the venom that accompanies a discussion regarding Chris Osgood.

Here’s what I know and here’s where I stand.  More often than not Chris Osgood allows 3 or more goals against.  Including this regular season and dating back to last year, he’s started 26 games.  Of those games, he allowed 3 or more on 15 different occasions.  He lost every one of them.  Every single one.  This year, 24 goaltenders, all with at least five starts, allow less than three goals against. Osgood’s on track for another season greater than 3.00.  Last year, 38 goalies…all with more starts than Osgood…finished the season below that mark.

It is what it is.  Blame it on the team itself if you want.  Bottom line is this though: when Osgood starts, the goals pour in at a greater rate than almost any goalie in hockey.  And the Wings lose nearly sixty percent of the games he starts. 

Those are facts.  And here’s the speculation to accompany them:  we’re in trouble if this back thing is serious.

Khan(!)

Jimmy Howard did not practice due to his sore back. Howard said tests revealed no significant damage and he’s not concerned that it might be a long-term injury. Babcock believes he’ll be ready to play Wednesday in Calgary.

“Wednesday in practice, went down in the butterfly, nothing out of the ordinary and just the back locked up,’’ Howard said. “It’s happened a couple of times, once last year, but the pain wasn’t as severe as it was this time, so I just played through it. Just got to stay off it for a couple of days and I’ll be ready to go.’’

That is disturbing and I stated why above.  Pin your hopes on Osgood, and we will; because we always do.  But Jimmy Howard as the starter is the key to this season.  2.26 was his GAA last year, and look at it this way: it’s the TEAM’s GAA when he starts.  The team just plays better, a lot better when it’s Howard.  He’d better be healthy or we’re all in store for serious counseling. Soon.

Goaltending is the thing, even though we’re spending huge amounts of time angst and energy talking about a third line that some are declaring an absolute failure after less than ten games.  Maybe the chemistry isn’t there, because we can be so sure about that considering they had practically zero minutes together during a largely meaningless exhibition season. Maybe Mike Modano is a defenseless diva.  And what about his career attests to that?  His long-time failure in the Hitchcock offensive orgasm of a system?  +43, +26, +25, +23…all under Hitchcock.  Yep, those numbers got worse toward the tail end in Dallas, but so did the team.  Mike Modano doesn’t backcheck?  Mike Modano floats?  Really? Based on what?  8 games and 3 camera angles?  If he doesn’t have the physical skills to stay with a first or second line center?  Got it.  But spare me the crap that it’s due to his approach to the game.

As always, I stick with this:  Mike Babcock wanted Modano here.  Ken Holland did, too.  Now after 8 games, we’re questioning that because the third line isn’t clicking yet?  Ok.

Modano’s not sitting Saturday and as I said earlier today?  He’ll retire or get waived before he’s ever a healthy scratch for this team.  It’s not the way the Wings operate, right or wrong.

And I don’t think Hudler’s sitting either.  Abdelkader’s gonna be in there. We got it.  But he’s a 4th liner and he should take the place of a 4th liner if he’s gonna play.  That means Miller or Eaves. 

That third line doesn’t just “look good on paper.”  Smart hockey people, the absolute smartest actually, have said again and again that it’s gonna click.  They’re not giving up on them after 8 games.  But, hell.  We should, eh?

If there’s a problem to fret about it’s between the pipes until Jimmah’s back and between the ears of the guy who’s replacing him.  Unpopular as it may be, that’s the issue at hand.

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Comments

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Mike Modano floats?  Really? Based on what?  8 games and 3 camera angles?

I’ve got 8 games and 3 camera angles that says Datsyuk is the fuching man and Bertuzzi is ready to rape and pillage his way through the league again.

I’m in the group that thinks the line needs more time.  I also think it would be ok to sit Modano for a game to remind him that he has to work harder, because he’s been the worst Red Wings forward this season.  Blame his linemates, blame his defensemen, blame Osgood, but when we’re looking at those eight games, whatever the reason, the Red Wings suck when Modano’s on the ice more often than they don’t.

And seriously, while we’re talking about hypotheticals (because what he’d do if made a healthy scratch is purely hypothetical) I say if he retires for being sat one game because he’s sucked then good riddance to the pussy…  hypothetically.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/29/10 at 11:49 PM ET

ITDeuce's avatar

Damnit Chief, every time I post a longish post in a thread you post another thread.  So I’m gonna copy and paste from the last thread, because it still applies to this discussion.

Hey, just out of curiosity, where the fuch is Voox?  I haven’t seen that guy in forever.

And fuch it, I’ll throw my coupla pennies out there about the goaltending.  3rd goal.  Um, Ozzie shoulda had that.  He got fooled, but he is a vet and damn well should have known better.  The other two.  Giving full credit to the shooters.  They beat him with good moves/shots.  They deserve those goals.  But again, the schedule is totally jacked right now, and it’s only 8 games into the season.  Relax.  Jimmah is just having back spasms.  It happened to him last year.  I get them myself, they just kind of come on, you take it easy for a few days or a week and then you feel better.  But since worrying is how we roll around these parts, Rafalski is one of if not the best “first pass men” in the league.  The sooner that guy gets back the better.  I remember from last year how much easier they tend to get hemmed in when he’s not on the ice.

And whoever made the comment about Janik I totally agree.  I don’t think he’s a terrible hockey player.  Even though I do rag on the guy.  He is in over his head.  I really don’t think he’s nhl material.  There just seems to be something missing from his game.  Although he was a shooting mofo on Thursday.  This schedule sucks ass.  I need some hockey.

Posted by ITDeuce from The Sunny High Desert on 10/29/10 at 11:58 PM ET

ITDeuce's avatar

One more thing.  I think someone touched on this already too, but I’ve watched a couple of Flyers games and Leino just makes me fuching sad a hell.  Seriously.  WTF, did he just hate all the Swedes or what?  He looks great in an orange uniform.

Posted by ITDeuce from The Sunny High Desert on 10/30/10 at 12:00 AM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

I’ve watched a couple of Flyers games and Leino just makes me fuching sad a hell.

I watched the Flyers tonight.
Leino, 14:29 TOI, 1 PPA, -1 in the Flyers 3-2 win over the Crosby’s.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 10/30/10 at 12:15 AM ET

Osrt's avatar

Now after 8 games, we’re questioning that because the third line isn’t clicking yet?  Ok.

Are you accusing us of impatience? How dare you Sir! If I wasn’t a gentleman, I would take the condom off this horse and slap you with it.

Anyway, yea. 8 games into last season, a lot of people here were ready to get rid of Jimmah and sign Martin Biron. No, seriously.

CTFD: Calm the fuch down.

Ozzie played well for the last two periods but I think that’s partly because the crowd got on him. He doesn’t like being shit on. He doesn’t like being disregarded, although that didn’t help his game last year. This year, IF Jimmah can’t play for extended periods, Ozzie will get the job by default. That’s not the angry Opie that gets the job done. Or did get it done before.

I say we mock him every game. We should pay Karen Newman to mumble that Ozzie has a junior sized stick.

Posted by Osrt on 10/30/10 at 12:29 AM ET

Osrt's avatar

He looks great in an orange uniform.

Posted by ITDeuce

Eastern Conference. Put him in the West and he becomes a fluffer again.

Posted by Osrt on 10/30/10 at 12:30 AM ET

ITDeuce's avatar

Eastern Conference. Put him in the West and he becomes a fluffer again.

Posted by Osrt on 10/29/10 at 10:30 PM ET

Good point.

Posted by ITDeuce from The Sunny High Desert on 10/30/10 at 12:34 AM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Join the club boys !! Pens are Brutal right now too

Posted by Evilpens on 10/30/10 at 12:35 AM ET

CaptNorris5's avatar

Those are facts

Whoa, whoa, what the fuch. When the fuch did we start using facts around here…

Posted by CaptNorris5 from The Winged Wheel, stuck in Chicago on 10/30/10 at 12:39 AM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

yawwwwn so tired of Ozzie saying he feels good but still performing terribly…just please please have an STFU statement game tomm.

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 10/30/10 at 12:54 AM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

“My job is to be ready no matter what,” Osgood said. “I started to feel good halfway into the second. They lost three games in a row and they were desperate to do whatever they can to win.”

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20101029/SPORTS0103/10290368/1128/sports0103/Back-spasms-put-Wings-goalie-Jimmy-Howard-on-shelf#ixzz13o6TFPw7

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 10/30/10 at 12:55 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Know what I miss from our defensemen?  Shooting the puck intentionally wide to get a rebound when there wasn’t a good option.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/30/10 at 01:17 AM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

Shooting the puck intentionally wide to get a rebound when there wasn’t a good option.

I used to like pretending Samuelsson was doing that too.

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 10/30/10 at 01:36 AM ET

John W.'s avatar

Know what I miss from our defensemen?  Shooting the puck intentionally wide to get a rebound when there wasn’t a good option.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/29/10 at 11:17 PM ET

I’d settle for not allowing 4 breakaways and actually giving a damn with the goalie pulled with a minute left.  Kronner deserves a healthy scratch just for that shift alone.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 10/30/10 at 01:51 AM ET

Osrt's avatar

“I started to feel good halfway into the second. They lost three games in a row and they were desperate to do whatever they can to win.”

He’s working hard in practice, ya know. He doesn’t let things get to him. Everyday at the rink is a fresh start. You know.

Yea, more shutting and more doing.

I’d settle for not allowing 4 breakaways
Posted by John W.

I’m surprised we haven’t talked about this more. I haven’t seen so many partial breakaways against us in a long time…or so it seems. They kept finding a guy in full flight and he’d split our D. Didn’t we intercept or shut down those passes before? By doing that one thing….defense…as a group.

Posted by Osrt on 10/30/10 at 02:18 AM ET

EDJ's avatar

In the style of Chris Hollis previously at Motown Wings, here are some line stats for people who enjoy that sort of thing. I’ve modified it somewhat since the sample is still small. Some lines have been left out. All PP units are included, all PK units are included.

PP F units:
40-13-96: 2G, 4A, 1GA
93-51-26: 2G, 2A
26-51-44: 2A
PP points:
5-90: 1G, 2A, 1GA
55-90: 1G
5-55: 2A
PP 4v3:
40-11-5-55: 1G, 2A

EV F units:
93-51-44: 7G, 11A, +4, 3GA
40-13-96: 6G, 7A, +4, 2GA
25-90-11: 1G, 1A, -6, 7GA
20-43-17: -3, 3GA
EV D units:
5-23: 4A, +2, 4GA
23-28: 3A, +3
55-37: -1, 5GA
4-24: -5, 5GA

PK:
43-17-5-24: 1GA
20-11-55-23: 1GA
20-11-55-24: 1GA
43-17-5-23: 1G, 2A, +1, 0GA

Posted by EDJ on 10/30/10 at 02:27 AM ET

Behind_Enemy_Lines's avatar

3 goals by ozzie is a blessing and we should win any game he only gives up 3. That being said I would l like to repost my semi-pro Ozzie statement (made too late) from he last thread:

Ok, I have been reading this back and forth stuff all day. Everyone has some great points for sure. I just wanna put my 2 cents in about that 2nd goal. Did any of you guys watch that game live? Because my 4 year old could have made that shot on Ozzie. Why? We gave Yandle about 10 fycking min. to set it up. Everyone froze, nobody challenged him and they left the Wiz out to dry.  I will kick the next person in the dick (or vagina) who says the 2nd was ozzies fault. I mean yeah he is the goal tender, duh, but come on man you cant give a guy 10 min to stand there and set up a shot. Just sayin.

Posted by Behind_Enemy_Lines from Evanston,IL on 10/30/10 at 02:41 AM ET

Behind_Enemy_Lines's avatar

Can Willa play wing at all? I would not mind seeing Helm center that line with Willa and Buckets. Then put Abby centering the 4th with Happy and Eaves. Dunno might be worth a try.

Posted by Behind_Enemy_Lines from Evanston,IL on 10/30/10 at 02:48 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

Dude based on the length of the post I kinda just assumed it was Malik…  glad to see you’re writing more than two sentence posts again Chief.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 10/30/10 at 04:42 AM ET

Joe Z.'s avatar

come on, ozzie made 32 stops. he wasn’t the problem this game.
kindl, janik and kronwall played like someone who awaits his HIV test resulst. they didn’t play as a team at all, best example was one chance from filppula, instead of passing to a wide open hudler, he took a shot from a bad angle against an non-human goaltender…

Posted by Joe Z. from Austria on 10/30/10 at 07:03 AM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

he HAS to move closer to the shooter to cut down the angle

I only saw the photo, but there’s nobody covering Yandle.  If Ozzie moves out to challenge him, then he passes back high and three other shooters have an open net covered by three disorganized skaters.

I’m inclined to agree with Gramps here…there’s such a thing as ‘goal support.’  The best goalies will still struggle to win you a game if you only score two.

He looks great in an orange uniform.

How great did he look backchecking, or did he do none of that too?  How about making the dump-in, or forechecking?

We have plenty of guys in the minors and Europe with great puck skills who would be defensive liabilities, and we don’t bring them up either for a very good reason.

but because he has consistently been a defensive liability throughout his career.

I was under the impression that Modano at one point was regarded as one of the better two-way forwards in the League.  What the hell happened?

how long before red wings nation starts really, really regretting bringing him to town?

I was in the significant (but vocal) minority, but I was regretting it before we even signed him.  Courting his flaky ass instead of pursuing free agents who didn’t take half Methuselah’s lifetime to decide was a bad idea.

And don’t look now, but Willie Mitchell has more goals, points, and a better +/- than Modano.

I never said he should be replaced right away.  But after another five or six games, if he shows no signs of improvement and keeps giving up scoring chances?  Oh yeah—bench his ass.  The worst that can happen is the line gets slightly better defensively and stays anemic offensively.  I can live with that.

Join the club boys !! Pens are Brutal right now too

Thanks for coming by to commiserate, dude.  VooX, get this man a turpentine.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 10/30/10 at 07:14 AM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

You can even introduce a Hall of famer into the mix and throw him right under the bus after an 8-game sample.

Good thing he’s a future Hall of Famer, because on current play he wouldn’t even break into the League, let alone the Hall of Fame.

Uncle Mike doesn’t care about reputation, he cares about results.  He won’t stroke the egos of guys with long illustrious careers unless they can perform to that standard when they don the Winged Wheel.  Like it or not, that’s who he is.  I don’t think he’ll hesitate to bench Modano if he thinks it’ll improve the team, and Kenny, despite the Red Wings Way, will not stop him.

On the flipside, how ironic is it that our summer worries have been reversed?  I worried that bringing in Modano, while improving the third line, would leave the third defensive pairing flapping in the wind.  Now the bottom pairing isn’t great, but Modano has made the third line far worse than Kindl/Janik/Salei.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 10/30/10 at 07:37 AM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

From the previous thread.

  Ozzie would not be taking all the heat, had the team scored more than 2, as I mentioned earlier.

  Posted by HockeyTownTodd from A. K. A. NostraGrampus on 10/29/10 at 06:08 PM ET

Got that right. Some members of the 19 need a little history lesson regarding hockey. You win by scoring goals.

And yes, I’ll stickup for the much maligned, Rodney Dangerfield of goaltenders. He get’s no respect, and, that is nothing but horse-hockey.The numbers do not lie.

And as far as I’m concerned, Jimmah is the one that has a lot to prove. Bitches.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa. on 10/30/10 at 07:46 AM ET

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 10/30/10 at 09:49 AM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Oh, yea. Good morning.  I wonder, who is going to be riding the pine? Bitches.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 10/30/10 at 09:56 AM ET

monkey's avatar

Anyway, yea. 8 games into last season, a lot of people here were ready to get rid of Jimmah and sign Martin Biron. No, seriously.

But the Wings didn’t pull the trigger and look where that got us.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 10/30/10 at 10:04 AM ET

monkey's avatar

From Babs:

“Real good goaltending,” coach Mike Babcock said of the Predators. “They play hard. They don’t turn the puck over. But I really like their goaltending. Big guys that play well.”

Mind games.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 10/30/10 at 10:08 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Osgood was almost on his angle and Kronwall took a Final-Jeopardy-like long time deciding whether he wanted to challenge Yandle or stay on Doan in front.  Yandle made a very good shot.  All good points; I’m still not of the opinion that’s a goal Osgood could not have stopped.

The argument about how the team only scored 2 goals and the worry that the defense gave up 4 breakaways are the same thing.  When you spot a defense-first, fast counterattacking squad like the Coyotes a 3-goal lead in the first period, this is what happens.  Did nobody notice the Coyotes switching from 2 forecheckers to 1 after the first?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/30/10 at 11:04 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Mind games indeed.

I didn’t post anything the other night cuzza fact I was 1/2 hour behind b/c let’s face it, The Big Bang Theory was more entertaining and the only thing that could relieve a pending suicidal jump off my deck.  Granted, it’s only 3 feet, but it’s the principle of the thing.

Here’s what I thought, so bite me.  Ozzie flamed badly on 2 goals with a gaping short side.  The 140 footer reminded me of Chevaldae, he fanned with a huge gap.

The little roofie from close in?  Mick started to say “what a shot” as if it was Shanahan-level, but when he showed the replay it wasn’t as if there was merely a tea cup saucer opening, there was a Ozzie corridor top to bottom on the short side.

The breakaway?  That dude is a finisher, a team failure there. 

That said, Ozzie made some good stops that kept them from getting much worse as they began skating and trying to make opportunities.

obtw the Wings put up a lot of classic 2003 shots from 40 feet with few second chances.

Speaking of Big Bang, I still enjoy watching Kaley Cuoko.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 10/30/10 at 11:30 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

“I started to feel good halfway into the second

Well that’s good, Chris. I mean, we wouldn’t want you to feel good or be prepared for an entire sixty minutes.

After all, those past years with those magnificent teams in front of you in the Nineties and early-2000’s allowed you to coast a lot of the time. And if putting in a half-assed effort was goon enough then, well then by golly it’s good enough now.

I’ve about had it with that guy.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 10/30/10 at 01:07 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste. Marie on 10/30/10 at 11:07 AM ET

Finally, someone else caught that statement.  Ozzie, buddy, you have to feel good from the first puck drop.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 10/30/10 at 03:33 PM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com