Monthly Archives: April 2012

“Too Old and Slow” aka The Broken Record

Well with the Wings down 3-1 in their opening series against Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators, it is no wonder that the annual “too old and slow” critiques begin falling from the sky in Hockeytown.

The Wings have apparently been “too old and slow” for the past 15 years, despite earning 100+ points in each regular season since 1999, by far the league’s longest streak.

This “old and slow” comment is a obvious sign of someone who watches Twitter, and not the game. Clearly, anyone who actually watches the NHL, will know that puck movement trumps speed in all cases. If speed was the only indication of a good team, Apollo Anton Ohno would be taking home his 8th straight MVP this season (but no Lady Byng, he’s been known to trip).

Moreover, the Red Wings are not the grey beards of years past. Their average age is under 30. Abdelkader, Howard, Emmerton, Nyquist, Smith, Kindl, and the list goes on of younger talent within this organization.

Come playoff time, age turns to experience, which often translates into wins. 10 of the 15 oldest teams in the NHL by average age are still fighting for the Cup today.  Meanwhile, only 3 of the 11 youngest squads remain.

That’s not to say the Wings don’t have problems. They’ve scored eight goals in four games this series, have gotten very little production from top scorers and have lost too many pucks in their own end. But please, be better than the parrots on talk radio and social media, who are simply repeating something they overheard at the urinal.  It is far from the truth.

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Game 2: Anything Goes?

Unless Weber has an asphyxia fetish, I doubt he felt very comfortable in Bertuzzi’s chokehold on Wednesday. A little of this and a little of that and we could have ourselves a real good time tonight.

(Never gets old)

Apparently during the 2012 NHL Playoffs anything goes! And all Setoguchi did was high stick…

Game 2 will be on Fox Sports Detroit, CNBC, CBC, and SportsSouth at 7:30 EST. Let’s Go Wings!

Poll: Will Shea Weber Be Suspended?

The Predators took a slow and chippy Game 1 from the Red Wings, but all the reaction is surrounding Shea Weber’s postgame incident with Henrik Zetterberg. I’ll let the the video do most of the talking on the play, but a key thing to note is that the head is targeted, the game is over, and the puck is gone.

Following the game, Weber found himself trending on Twitter for all the wrong reasons and many analyst are predicting he will face a suspension from Brendan Shanahan. One thing to keep in mind is that Shanny recently explained his thoughts on playoff suspensions being far more significant than regular season suspensions. So by this line of thinking, I have trouble imaging anything greater than two games of Mr. Weber. But I will pose the question to you, how many games do you think Shea Weber will be suspended for his cheapshot on Henrik Zetterberg?

PS My guess is 1

Pump, Pump Pump It Up

The 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs promos have been released. They’ve definitely achieved their purpose—they’ve given NHL fans the chills and have gotten everyone pumped up for April 11th.

To increase your excitement, check out the highlight of the Red Wings’ Round 1/Game 1 (2011) vs. the Phoenix Coyotes—the Todd Bertuzzi chant:

What seed best suits the Red Wings playoff chances?

With a week left in the NHL season, both conferences have some interesting races for playoff seeding. The Red Wings find themselves currently in 5th place. They have four games in the next seven days and move as high as four and as low as the 6th seed. Below are the standings as of noon today:

 

WESTERN GP W L OTL PTS ROW SOW SOL HOME ROAD GF GA DIFF L10 STRK
1 y – Vancouver 79 49 21 9 107 42 7 7 25-10-4 24-11-5 239 191 +48 7-2-1 Won 6
2 y – St. Louis 79 48 21 10 106 44 4 9 30-5-4 18-16-6 204 156 +48 4-3-3 Lost 2
3 Los Angeles 79 39 27 13 91 33 6 8 21-14-4 18-13-9 185 170 +15 7-2-1 Lost 1
4 x – Nashville 79 45 26 8 98 41 4 5 24-10-5 21-16-3 227 208 +19 4-5-1 Lost 1
5 x – Detroit 78 46 27 5 97 39 7 2 30-6-2 16-21-3 240 195 +45 2-6-2 Lost 2
6 x – Chicago 79 44 26 9 97 38 6 5 27-8-5 17-18-4 240 229 +11 7-1-2 Won 2
7 Phoenix 79 39 27 13 91 33 6 10 21-13-6 18-14-7 206 202 +4 5-2-3 Won 2
8 San Jose 79 40 29 10 90 32 8 5 25-12-3 15-17-7 214 201 +13 6-4-0 Won 1
Dallas 79 42 32 5 89 35 7 4 22-14-3 20-18-2 207 212 -5 4-6-0 Lost 2
Colorado 80 41 33 6 88 32 9 2 22-15-2 19-18-4 205 209 -4 5-3-2 Won 1
Calgary 80 35 29 16 86 32 3 9 21-12-6 14-17-10 194 222 -28 2-4-4 Lost 3

x – cliched playoffs, y – cliched division, courtesy of ESPN.com

The question now becomes, what seed best suits the Red Wings title hopes? A simple answer is the 4th seed, and guaranteed home ice in the first round against either of their Central Division rivals – Chicago Blackhawks or Nashville Predators. A 4th or 5th seed would also eliminate to possibility of a West Coast first round trip, which many believe hurt the club in the 2010 postseason (The Wings won in Phoenix in 7 games, only to lose to San Jose in game 5.

However, the sixth seed would ensure a matchup with the winner of the weaker Pacific Division champion, which today has four teams separated by two points with all teams having three games to position themselves.  As of today, Los Angeles leads, but based on schedule alone Phoenix is sitting pretty. It may come down to San Jose, whose final three games are @DAL, @LA, vs LA.

All that being said, I would think you would want to avoid Nashville at all costs. They are getting plenty of production from KHL pickup Alexander Radulov, plenty of talent on the blue line and perhaps the leagues best keep in Pekka Rinne. Nashville made better additions than any club at the deadline, knowing that this could be the last year with the current core of talent as both D men Shea Weber and Ryan Suter are free agents this year. Nashville has been ousted from the playoffs by the Western Conference champion in three of the past four years, and each of those series went six games.

A drop to sixth place would all but ensure a second round date with either St. Louis or Vancouver, while a fourth or fifth seed could produce a more favorable matchup depending on upsets. I find myself torn, but the one thing I think we can all agree on, is a few wins heading into the postseason would be big in terms of confidence.

So I’ll leave it to you:

Should be a fun one against the Panthers today, who are clinging to their Southeastern Division lead. 4pm at the Joe.