Did you read the title? I have moved. Thanks Typepad.
Did you read the title? I have moved. Thanks Typepad.
Well that sucks. Let's just get down to brass tax.
-First things first. Yes, the Wings didn't get much puck luck this series. In a series with two evenly matched teams, that's going to be a factor. However, that is NOT why they lost. I kind of disagree with myself. Kind of. I dunno. I'm trying to convince myself. I need a peanut butter and jelly sammich.
-If you have ever uttered "the Wings are too old" or "the Wings aren't tough enough," this blog is not for you. Go away. I'll give you a chance to leave quietly. Go on. Git. The Wings are who they are. They have a certain formula, and it's been working. Four championships in the last 15 years. Four! One, Two, Three, Four. That's second most in the four major sports behind Kobe Bryant's team in a city that has no lakes. Let Kenny Holland do his magic.
-On a related note, the Wings were winning the battles on the boards more often than they were losing them. That's where Cleary and Homer shine. The young guns were working hard on the boards as well. Speaking of.
-I am excited for the development of Emmerton, Nyquist, Mursak, and Brendan Smith . Emmerton is a horse. Nyquist has some serious talent and just needs to gain some chemistry with his teammates. Mursak has shown flashes when healthy. Smith is going to do well running the point on the power play in the future.
-Filppula has quietly become a pivotal part of this team. He is strong to quite strong with the puck. I like him with Zetterberg and Cleary. Also, a friend of mine suggested we trade Zetterberg. If you email me, I'll send you his address so you can go punch him in the eye socket.
-Will he retire? Gee golly gosh I hope not. Still one of the best in the league. Still worth the 6 mil he would require. Still ballin'. And take this for what it's worth, but that look on his face after the game was over was not a look of "well that's it." He looked pissed and ready to seek revenge. I think he comes back with an announcement that it'll be his last year. If he does leave, that means...
-Suter becomes a necessity rather than a DO WANT. Kevbo has a wish list. When people say "changes need to be made" they mean they want a roster overhaul. When Kevbo says "Changes need to be made" it means signing two guys. Parise and Suter.
When the Wings sat back and did nothing at the trade deadline besides acquiring Kyle Quincey, this is what they had in mind. At the time, they had just set the record for consecutive home victories and in great shape to have the best record in the league. No need to take on unnecessary contracts or break what was working. But now, they have money to spend. Give Kenny Holland money to spend, and he'll be ready to party. It's likely Stuart is gone as he wishes to go back to the west coast with his family. Thanks for the help Stu. Best of luck. That adds more money to the pot. I wouldn't be surprised if Holmstrom gets the Draper/Maltby treatment (1-year, less than a million dollars, two-way contract), and he will decline and retire. That's just my guess at this point, but he's certainly slowed down, and he skated with the 4th line a lot. That frees up space as well. They'll have to make decisions on Hudler and Quincey, but the way I see it, the Wings could have 10 million dollars to spend. Oh my word.
I've already spilled the beans on what I want them to do. First, sign Zach Parise. He's one of the best two way players in the game. He's young. He's sexy. He's cute. He's popular to boot. And yes, he will likely cost at least 6 mil a year. Kenny, get in there and offer him 9 years, 5.5 a year. Front load that shiz. He needs to be a Wing. And he needs to be cheaper than market value because we also need...
Ryan Suter. This guy... wow. Great positioning. Physical enough. Smart. He also needs to be a Wing. Not sure what his agent is going to demand, but they can afford Suter and Parise if Suter is around 4.5 a year. Once again. Sign a looooong-term deal. Front load it. Make it so.
The question people are asking is whether he would want to leave Nashville when they are a rising team. First, almost everyone on their team is a free agent this year or next year. No srsly. They are gonna throw 9 mil at Weber, who Wings fans need to forget about because the Wings 1) Never go after RFA's and 2) would rather have Suter anyway. After Weber's record contract, who knows what the Nashville GM is going to do. He has to put a team on the ice. Even if he re-signs everybody from this current team, I think the smart move for Suter is signing with the Wings. As it stands right now, these are two very evenly matched teams. I'd say Nashville is a 90 Overall and Detroit's an 89 Overall. If Suter goes to the Wings, that makes Detroit the better team. I'd say around 92 for Detroit and 87 for Nashville. He'd be on the better team. Makes sense, eh?
Or they can just go out and throw the kitchen sink at Rick Nash. I'm down for that as well. Just go to CapGeek and make your own team. It's fun. I promise.
-This is longer than I had intended it to be, and I didn't even put in any pictures. So uhhh here:
At the end of the day, the Wings are still super cool, you guys. They bounced out early, but they still broke the record for most consecutive home wins. Just another accolade on the long list of accomplishments of one of the best franchises in sports. They have a boatload of nickels to spend on whomever they want. And they aren't run by this guy:
Prepare for one of the more exciting off-seasons in Red Wing history, but don't expect the formula to change. Should be fun.
Hell of a season boys.
It's desperation time over at The Triple Deke. I might as well join in. I hate busting out this gem in round 1, but it must be done.
Win this one for Kevbo. I haven't even had a chance to hear Mike Emrick call a Red Wing playoff game yet this year.
I've been blessed to grow up in a region of champions. I've been able to expect greatness out of my favorite teams. Multiple Big Ten championships (now available in basketball flavors!). Heisman trophies. National Championship in Football. 2 National Championships in hockey. An NBA title. ALCS Champions. Central Division Champs. 2012 World Series Champs. Barry Sanders. 2013 Super Bowl champions, and a dog face.
Oh, not to mention 21 straight playoff appearances, advancing to the Stanley Cup finals 6 times, winning 4 of them.
As a Wings fan, I'm spoiled. This team has never been anything but great. No one ever wants to face them in the playoffs. If they were to barely squeak into the 8th seed, many experts would say, "You can never count out the Red Wings." And if it wasn't for a young, talented, and hungry Nashville team, the Wings would be a popular pick to face the Canucks in the Western Conference finals.
Un-expert analysis: Here we go...
MVP of the series: Jimmy Howard. It has to be in order to win. With Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, and Pekka Rinne in net, goals will be difficult to come by. Jimmy has to do his best to keep Nashville's scoring to a low to give the Wings a chance.
Guy who doesn't score any goals, therefore he's "In a slump": Pavel Datsyuk. I doubt he finds the back of the net in this series. He will never be on the ice when Weber and Suter aren't. However, I still believe he plays a great series, creating scoring chances for his teammates. In a series like this, Datsyuk isn't going to be counted on to score goals. That job belongs to Hank, Bert, Hudler, Fil, and Homer to a smaller extent. Speaking of Homer...
Over/under goals called back because Homer's "interference": 2.5
X-Factor: Helmer. He isn't ready to go in Game 1, but expects to play friday night. I'm glad this guy's agent doesn't realize how important this guy is to the Wings. Penalty-killer. Grinder. Energy guy. He's also the guy they give it to when they want to make a line change. "Hey Helmer, go take the puck and play with it in the opponent's zone. We need fresh guys out there." I wonder what his statline would be if he was put on a top line...
UPDATE: Helm to play tonight. Cleary is 50/50.
Unsung hero: Filppula. This guy has been an unsung hero for a few years. A great 2nd/3rd liner, he has had a career year. The thing I also liked about him was how difficult he is to get off the puck. He protects it very well when driving the net, and when defensemen crash in on him, it opens up passing lanes. I can see him being a point-a-game type guy, but nobody will talk about him.
Funniest moment: Someone will try to get into Bert's face, and Bert will stare into the guys eyes and remind him that he almost killed a guy on the ice. Also, someone should make a tribute video of Bert's remaining 7 teeth. Those guys are holding on to dear life. They are like the last few guys at a party at 4 a.m., trying to drink until the sun comes up.
Hype videos: Here are two phenomenal videos. Watch them in high-def.
Prediction: You can never count out the Red Wings. Wings in 6.
Let the heart attack begin...
Gone for a minute, now I'm back again. Back to back, back to break backs again.
I was watching the Red Wings game last night, and Lidstrom wound up and fired a 'weak' 90 mph slapshot (I'm guesstimating, of course). For whatever reason, I started thinking about how I'm gonna miss Ken Daniels casually saying Lidstrom's name. Daniels began pleading for Lidstrom to come back next year, and the inevitable "What happens when he's gone" thoughts creep through your mind. We've already seen what happens when he's out with an injury:
The suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked
Obviously, when Lidstrom decides to retire, hopefully in 25 years, the Wings will do something severe to replace him. It won't just be "Recall (Insert unprepared, way too young guy) from the Griffins." They will take Lidstrom's 6 million salary and get themselves a bossy defenseman.
Speaking of which, I was doing some thinking, and even if Lidstrom plays another year at around 6 million, the Wings could afford Ryan Suter AND Zach Parise. They already have cap space to play with, and with Stuart likely heading back to the west coast, that frees up more space. After Suter becomes a Wing, Holland will look at his roster and say, "Would I rather have Jiri Hudler and unused cap space, or Zach Parise with little cap room?" The choice is obvious.
Am I digressing? You betcha. The reason I bring all of this up, is I started to wonder where Nick Lidstrom ranks on the list of all-time Detroit greats. There are many throughout time. Ty Cobb, Alan Trammell, Joe Schmidt, Bobby Layne, Gordie Howe, etc. However, I have never seen them play, and sports have changed throughout the years. So I give you...
Kevbo's top 5 Detroit athletes of the last 25 years:
The Honorable Mentions:
This part of the list was the most difficult. The top 4 are pretty obvious. However, that 5th spot was tough. Henrik Zetterberg has an argument, being one of the best two-way players in hockey, also earning a Conn Smythe for MVP of the playoffs. Miguel Cabrera also has a claim, being the best hitter in baseball right now. It came down to three guys though.
HM1: Justin Verlander. Pitcher. Boss. Rookie of the year in 2006. MVP, Cy Young, 1st place in the Pinewood Derby, probably. Every time I watch him pitch, I get the feeling I got when I first saw Goodfellas. If he keeps this up, he will be the best pitcher in Tigers history. Plenty of time to do that.
HM2: Chauncey B-B-B-Billups. This was a tough one. Mr. Big Shot. The point guard and court general of the 2004 NBA Champions. He lead the team to what, 6 straight conference finals? He was the leader of the "Going to Work" Pistons, and I don't think he was truly appreciated until he was traded for Allen Iverson, a move in which everyone, myself included, thought was necessary and excellent. When he left, the team fell apart, and now they are rebuilding.
Now to the list.
5. Pavel Datsyuk
I can already hear a couple of you attempting to call out my Red Wing bias. Those are probably voices in my head, but regardless, of course Datsyuk gets the nod here. When you have the most successful franchise in the city, and one of the best in the country, the list is gonna be dominated by players from that franchise. Also, DID YOU SEE THOSE HIGHLIGHTS OH MY WORD. He's the best player in the league. Am I biased? Sure. Take away my bias, is he still the best player in the world? Yes yes.
Also, he likes James Brown.
4. Isiah Thomas.
Watch this video if you love early 90's VHS recordings.
I was just a wee lad when Isiah was taking over the NBA with his massive inferiority complex. Like Billups, he was the court general for this back-to-back NBA championship team. If it wasn't for a wrist injury to Thomas, that darn Jordan guy, or old age, these guys probably would have won a couple more. He's one of those players I wish I could've seen more of.
3. Barry. No need for a last name.
If I had to sum up Barry's career in one word, it would be: Unfair. It was unfair what he did to opposing defense. It was unfair that the front office could never put together a good offensive line for Barry. It was unfair how he never won a Super Bowl, or even been to one. It was unfair how he left Detroit, starting the Curse of Barry Sanders. It's unfair he isn't on this Lions squad, the best we've seen in years. It's unfair that idiots try to claim Emmitt Smith as better than Barry. It's unfair that Sports Science wasn't around to analyze Barry. And it's unfair I have to put him 3 on this list. I have no choice. I MISS YOU BARRY.
Man, I swear his center of gravity was 6 inches off the ground. How do you tackle him? There's a run against the Cowboys where he's a good 5 yards ahead of his pulling lineman. That's how to hit the hole hard.
2. The Captain.
Is there a tougher athlete in the history of the 25 year window in which I decided to make this list? Huh? The point is, Stevie Y breathes toughness. Every single time the Wings lose in the playoffs, it was a guarantee that two weeks later, we would learn about the broken foot/shoulder/whatever that Yzerman was playing on. One of his lasting images in my mind is him using his stick to get back up. You can see it in the above video (while listening to more Bush!).
I could go on and on about his toughness, leadership, courage, attitude, humility, scoring prowess, defensive mindset, and sexy missing tooth, but I got shiznit to do, kinda. An absolute stud on the offensive side of the ice, he sacrificed that scoring touch to focus more on playing better defensively, thanks to the tremendous coaching of Scotty Bowman. He wasn't able to score 50 goals a year like he was capable of. Instead, he won 3 Cup rings, a Selke Trophy, a Conn Smythe trophy, a Lester Pearson trophy, a Bill Masterson trophy, the hearts of everyone in the city of Detroit for decades to come, and the honor of being one of the best athletes in NHL and Detroit history.
If this list was of the players that have meant the most to Detroit, he would be the entire list. No one else is even close.
1. Nick Lidstrom
I'm sorry this highlight video doesn't feature any music by Bush, but rather an orchestrated version of the Final Countdown!
Super Nintendo was the bomb. It changed my life. Whenever my brother comes into town, we decline the Xbox and Playstations, and we choose to play Super Nintendo. Legendary gaming console. A personal favorite growing up was NHL 94. I remember getting mad at how slow this "Lidstrom guy" was. He was clearly inferior to Paul Coffey and Steve Chiasson (r.i.p.).
Derp. Derp de Derp. Of course, who could've predicted that the slow, scrawny little Swede could become one of the best NHL players of all time.
Wanna know why he's so good? He's a robot. He runs on high-efficiency laundry detergent. He has never used a muscle that he didn't need to. That is why he turns 42 this month, but he could play another 10 years if he wanted. He has 37 Norris trophies, 4 cup wins (1 as captain), a Conn Smythe trophy, an Olympic gold medal, and a bevy of fans who call him Lindstrom. Seriously, those people need to go away.
The most impressive thing? He has never missed the playoffs. Yea, really.
Like I mentioned in my foreshadowing prologue, this team isn't the same without him. They go from having the longest home winning streak to barely able to beat the Grand Rapids Griffins. He hardly misses games, he has a career plus/minus of 450(!), and when he speaks, he sounds American.
Favorite Lidstrom memory? Down 2 games to none against the Canucks in 2002, Lidstrom changed the Wings fortune with a half-ice goal to break a 1-1 tie in Vancouver. The Wings went on to win the series 4-2, and eventually win the cup. Lidstrom was named playoffs MVP, and then he won 18 more Norris trophies and took a nap.
It took every ounce of energy not to put Yzerman at the top of this list. But at the end of the day, Lidstrom is still proving day after day that he is the best defenseman of all time, and one of the best athletes in Detroit history.
Never retire, please.
So I haven't been posting much lately. Not many people will have noticed that. However, I just wanted to let people myself know that I'm taking an indefinite break as I dedicate my time to things in real life...
I'll be following the NCAA tourney closely along with some Red Wings playoff action. I might make a return to this thing, possibly sporadically if I need to rant, but most likely around football season if my life will allow it. In that case, I'll take my talents to a new website (Blogger). Before I go, this guy makes me giggle:
Until I see you again, cheers, and God bless.
Quick note on the Super Bowl, a.k.a. second best sporting event this upcoming sunday: I don't like the Giants. I like Tom Brady. And the Gronkowski storyline is simple: If he plays, the Patriots win. If he doesn't, the Patriots win, and Aaron Hernandez has a big game. Derp.
Patriots - 24
Giants - 20
I don't really have any expert analysis for this game. You want analysis? Check out my preview and recap from the first game. Just add in the home court factor, and this will be Spartan victory without too much trouble.
In the first game, Teddy Valentine was the referee, and he swallowed his whistle, much to the chagrin of the Wolverines and their shallow frontcourt depth. I hope we see him again on sunday, not that it should matter. Anyone who has watched any Big Ten games this year know that the home cooking is real, and Michigan has been on both sides of it. Anyone else see that blocking foul called on Indiana after Novak passed, and Smotryzcyztz made the lay-up, and they counted it? Yea. Home-cooking. You just have to weather that storm. Add that to the raucous crowd at the Breslin Center, and you will have an intimidating atmosphere for freshman point guard Trey Burke.
The only reason that MSU should be on upset alert is that ALL of the pressure will be on MSU. Michigan won the game at home and is having a nice season. They aren't expected to win this game, so they should be able to play loose and try to have some fun.
But the REAL interesting part of this game are the consequences if MSU loses. Yea, they will lose 4 in a row to Michigan for the first time in uhhhhh I dunno. Stats? Anyone haz them? Anyways. If UM beats MSU on sunday, and they don't meet in the Big Ten or NCAA tournament, Stu Douglass and Zack Novak will graduate from Michigan with a winning record against MSU. That hasn't been done since 1996 or so. And the FUNNIER part is that Draymond Green, one of the best players in the past decade, and arguably the most important players on any team in the Big Ten this year, will graduate with a LOSING record to Michigan. Stu/Zack and Draymond are currently 3-3 against each other. Draymond's legacy would be a losing record to Michigan. Wouldn't that be hilarious.
Lastly, I hope Draymond plays, mostly for the reasons stated above. I believe he will play, and he knows what's at stake, meaning he will play really well. Of course, if he does play really well, it will be the first time he's played really well against Michigan. Zack Novak is Draymond's bugaboo.
To steal something from MGoBlog's football previews, a loss would cause me to:
A win would cause me to:
Go Blue. Enjoy your weekend, loyal reader.
I thought about doing a big preview for this game, but meh. I'm currently in the middle of an intense Zelda: Twilight Princess session, and I have plans for this evening.
But fear not, loyal reader, for there is only one of you, but I have looked into the future. I have travelled through the depths of time, defeating the seedy warlocks that stood in my way, and I gazed upon the final images of tomorrow's game in Columbus.
I couldn't believe what I saw. Stu Douglass made a buzzer beater 3 pointer!!!
...to lose by 7.
Insert some glimmer of hope regarding Beilein's record with 4 or more days to prepare for an opponent, then come back to reality. OSU starts games in the double bonus. Sullinger is good. Buford is shooting extremely well. Aaron Craft is the worst human on the planet. Better to just accept the loss and focus on beating Indiana on wednesday. Also, who decided on the spelling of 'wednesday'?