KK Members Blog
Well folks, I'm back from another entertaining Prospect Tourney in beautiful Traverse City. Gorgeous scenery, interesting people watching and ultra competitive hockey is the name of the game during the Red Wings yearly competition, and this time around was no different.
What was different this year, besides my wife, who is pregnant with our first, living in her own personal hell of being surrounded by wine and being able to drink exactly none of it, was some of the people we ran into around the rink. Family and friends of the prospects and staff alike were everywhere over the weekend, and we were lucky enough to spend some time with many of them. We were able to talk to Mrs. Blashill (Jeff's mother) while perusing the gift shop. We had the pleasure of watching a game with Dylan Larkin's mother, who gave us her insight into some of the pressure her son is dealing with since the draft. I came across Dan Hinote while waiting for the bathroom, and even though he was in enemy territory he was more than willing to talk hockey for a few. We even had the opportunity to watch the championship game with Evgeny Svechnikov's brother, who tried to tell us many things in heavily accented English, but mainly wanted us to know exactly how to pronounce his brother's name.
Now that the excitements over and my wife is busy thinking up ways to make me pay for her forced sobriety, I figured Id give my thoughts on some of the Wings prospects. These are just my personal rantings, so take them for what they're worth. You're mileage may vary.
I don't care about the circus, as entertaining as everyone has made it. I don't care about the result, as the Wings will survive and continue to rebuild into a contender regardless of Babcock's decision.
I do care about the record, and this everyone's chance to place your predictions. This is not a debate, merely the answer to a simple question
Is Babcock staying in Detroit?
For the record, I think Babcock has had his fun and will be re-signing with Detroit.
How about you?
What will the Wings do?
What do you hope they do?
Who are you following or listening to and what are you hearing?
GDT: Detroit Red Wings (2-1-0; 4 pts) vs.
Phoenix Quebec Seattle Arizona Phoenix Coyotes (1-2-0; 2 pts)
[When] 7:30pm EST, 4:30pm Coyote Time
[Where] Joe Louis Arena (Detroit, MI)
[Catch It] TV: NHLN-US, FS-D; Radio: AM1270
At some point on Thursday, the Ottawa sports media will be stirred from the sleepy doldrums of summer to meet with the man who was, until recently, the longest serving captain in the NHL and the dominant face of the Ottawa Senators franchise. They'll get to question him on why he chose to break the hearts of his faithful and leave for the apparently greener pastures of the Motor City.
The thing is, in the Ottawa media, questioning Daniel Alfredsson is not exactly the natural state of things. Alfie's word has been held to be gospel truth, his actions sacrosanct, his motives pure. Even when he might have seemed to have mispoke, it would be considered the height of blasphemy to do anything less than rush immediately to his defence. A lack of faith in the cult of Alfie was enough to prove one was (at least) out of touch with reality (or worse still, a Leafs fan). Little wonder, to those in Ottawa, that I-Phone's helpful homonculus, Siri, famously confused Alfie with God.
By now, most with any interest in the drama surrounding Daniel Alfredsson's departure from Ottawa will be aware of most of the story. Paul has linked to James Gordon's great piece in Senators Extra where he interviewed Sens owner Eugene Melnyk (insert CSI joke here...and now that that's out of the way). Gordon attempted to get some answers, and ended up with a story that was a bit different from the one that the team put out in the immediate aftermath. It was also chronicled in a fullsome and thoughtful way in the pages of the Malik Report, from the perspective of one Wings fan who happens to have a Senators' jersey with Alfredsson's name on it hanging in his closet. I thought I'd offer one Senator's fan's perspective on the evolving drama, and the evolving explainations that have come from the Sens management and ownership.
It wasn’t long ago that the Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks were two of the best teams in the Western Conference — if not the league. Just last year, in fact, the Sharks were the No. 2 seed in the West and the Wings were No. 3. The Sharks eliminated the Wings in the Western Conference semifinals in seven games before losing to the Vancouver Canucks in the conference final. (Don’t worry, we’ll get to the Canucks in another post.) This year, though, the Wings were the No. 5 seed and the Sharks had to wait until the last couple days of the season to clinch a playoff spot — as the No. 7 seed.
Anybody going to the game? I will be taking the train into STL from my home in KC. I have done this the last few years and had a great time. The Blues fans are pretty good. I always wear my Gordie Howe jersey and when they see it has the number 9 on the back, they always say something nice about him.
On Friday night during the Wings/Flames game, Brad Stuart sustained a broken jaw that will require surgery. He will be out indefinitely. The injury resulted from a blindsided, vicious hit to the head with a deliberate intent to injure by Tom Kostopoulos. Unbelievably, Kostopoulos only received a two minute minor for roughing. Stuart left the game hunched over and bleeding. How did four on ice officials miss the severity of this deliberate intent to injure?
Well, now it’s up to Colin Campbell. If we want to get blindsided hits to the head out of the game, here is your clear textbook opportunity to do so. This action deserves a ten game suspension. Maybe that will wake up the players to knock it it off. Someday, I hope that the discipline becomes that you are out as long as the injured player is out. That will hit them hard on games lost and in the pocketbook.
Paul recently posted about a speculative trade of Versteeg for Filppula. Although interesting, I think Filppula offers far more to the organization over time. Versteeg could boost the Red Wings’ offense and offer some scrappy, physical play on the wing, but I think Versteeg’s potential is at best a second-line winger on a poor offensive team.
Filppula, on the other hand, is a center that is being given a growing role as the team’s number two centerman. He is slowly filling into that role, being given a regular opportunity on the power play and playing on the second line. He began last season on the third line with Leino and Jason Williams, an unproven NHL rookie and a gamble forced on Holland by Hudler’s departure. When he returned from his hand injury, he was soon given an opportunity to play on the first and second line wing and now started the season as our second line center, alongside proven NHL veterans Franzen and Bertuzzi. Babcock’s belief in Filppula is reflected not only in the line combinations but his post-game comments. Everyone knows Filppula is always being encourage to shoot the puck more often, and we’ve heard that he is like a mini-Datsyuk. To be compared to one of the star forwards is no small compliment.
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