These are my six takeaways from the latest Detroit Red Wings game. I am committed to finding three positives and three “are you kidding me” moments. In a season that has been difficult to watch there is an overwhelming amount of negativity amongst the Wings fans I know (at least through this site along with twitter) and love. So instead of getting bummed out I am going to take it on myself to find the positive well also realizing that the “are you kidding me” moments are dominant. I am extremely biased. Things I will avoid 1. Management. Like a coach I am working with the team they have given me. By the way I probably will not manage to avoid the one thing I just said I would be avoiding.
Last night was a fun hockey night. The Kings of LA are the main topic but I have a bonus GOOD and BAD moments. And since I can basically do whatever I want I am going to be a rebel and start with the bonus coverage. I know what you're thinking, "Axe, man, I don't care what you do". So lets talk about the WJC.
A BONUS GOOD-
(Authors note: This was real time coverage of watching the WJC game. I do not normally condone the use of so many exclamation points nor awful grammar and punctuation. I cleaned it up a little but reserve judgment. Or don't, it's fine)
OT in the WJC between CAN and USA. Yes Please. Thank you sweet 6lb 7oz baby Lidstrom who has already won 2 Norris trophies for inventing the DVR. I need to follow more junior hockey. This is good stuff. Do the refs leave the whistles in the locker room. If so please do this more often signed, all of hockey. And I spoke too soon. Too many men. That just can’t happen CC: DRW. When the Wings are on the PP it lasts 27 seconds. This PP has gone at least 20 minutes. Time is different in Canada, metric system etc. I hate that the NHL kills any sense of creativity and youthful enthusiasm. Just like Team NA this is fun hockey. WOW! Last 5 seconds were crazy! Great goaltending even in a 4-4 game. USA USA. Nice job Troy Terry. WOW TYLER PARSONS. And Hart answers right back. USA USA!!! Amazing!!!! These kids, man. That is what hockey is about. The emotions both ways you can feel through the TV. I love it. Also I sure love the live mic on the ice. F bombs for everyone!! I feel for Team Canada. That is pure emotion and I appreciate that.
I can not believe they let a gold medal game go to a shootout. Total crap. Somebody needs to get together and talk about this. Any why can’t the NHL Network get advertisers who can afford to shoot in HD. Just annoying and stupid. We will never get ahead in the top 4 NA sports with shoddy programming. Shootout still a bad but at least it is 5 rounds. Still no. Fix that IIHF. This is a terrible way to celebrate a win and even worse to be the losing team out there. Fix that IIHF. Can’t we have one ceremonial medal that the captain gets. Let them shake hands and move on. It’s too much. Those Canadian kids are being kicked while they are down. Being a good sport is important but come on. This is too much.
Alright time for some NHL hockey which I have a feeling will feel like a bit of a let down after that.
FIRST A GOOD-
I was mistaken about switching to the Wings game and it being a let down. As promised in my previous entry, if we scored the games first goal I had my good. Added bonus we scored all the goals. I like that. Someone get Blashill on the phone and tell him to just have his team do that every game. I could rave about this good but we all know how important getting the first goal was for the morale of this team so lets just enjoy that for now.
NOW A BAD-
Having a three goal lead after 20 minutes did nothing to easy my anxiety watching the game. That is a bad. And it seemingly played out. 14 shots on goal after 1 period. 2 shots in the second and 6 in the third. So ya that was a totally justified lack of confidence. And for me, it wasn't even the lack of shots it was the team demeanor. They seemed to look how I felt, waiting for the other shoe to drop. The main thing I wrote about in my notes last night was the lack of identity on this team and that is what played out over the last two periods.
GOOD GOOD GOOD-
I do not think this team would even be in the conversation for the postseason if it was not for Thomas Vanek. That man is a hockey player. I hear he could be trade bait if we dip too far in the standings but I say give him a couple year extension and lets revisit that theory next season. In the first period of a game after your coach said half the team were passengers Mr. Vanek fired up the train and made everyone else push (I am not sure if I even get that analogy but backspace is way up in the corner so there ya go). Best first period of the year.
LETS KEEP THE GOOD TRAIN ROLLING-
Good on AA for showing up. That penalty shot against him was horse manure and the league better take a look at that obvious embellishment. I digress. AA showed the force he can be on both ends of the rink. He heard the message from Coach loud and clear. I hope for his and this teams sake the message sticks. My man Anthony "Larry" Mantha (who for some reason I will refer to as Larry Mantha from here on out) showed beast mode again. I can go up and down the lineup and tell you why I love every player on this team but my man Larry Mantha gets me fired up. Larkin may be groomed for Captain status but Mantha will be with him every step of the way. This game had a lot of good up and down the lineup. Special props to Jared Coreau for the first shutout. I especially loved his post game interview. I have written about the clichéd script hockey players follow and it was refreshing to see him avoid most of those clichés and be genuinely happy for his team and himself.
My second time posting this format and we rattle off a 4-0 win. My whole point was to avoid total negativity so lets split the difference here. The Power Play. We didn't score and we didn't exactly light them up with shots however our lack of shooting was indicative of the entire game. I will say this, I think they are close to breaking the slump. They had decent zone entry and possession time. Although it isn't saying much I think that was the best the PP has looked in awhile. Bonus fact from Ken Daniels we are on the longest streak without a power play goal since 1987. Ouch. We did not take a penalty though, so kudos for that.
AND A BAD TO RECAP-
What can I say. We won by scoring more goals then we allowed. We took our foot off the gas during the 2nd and 3rd periods but managed a goal and had great goaltending. This team still has a long way to go and as mentioned earlier I see no identity in this team. If we can find that maybe we can get rolling. Only 15 more wins a row to match The Blue Jackets. I keep seeing a lack of hunger in this team. Which let me to write a completely unrelated entry about Hunger. Check it out if you desire.
Thanks to all who commented on my first post and I hope you enjoyed this bit of observation.