The Great One once said “You miss 100% of the shots you never take,” and newcomer Damien Brunner sure seems to take that to heart. Two of Brunner’s greatest assets are that he isn’t scared to shoot the puck and he keeps trying until the very end (and it doesn’t hurt to have an amazing set of hands to go along with his persistance).
He had 2 goals and 2 assists in Sunday evening’s spanking of the Vancouver Canucks. He also has a team-leading 66 shots on goal this season, a 15.2 shooting percentage, and leads the team with 10 goals.
Here are a couple clips that demonstrate his awesomeness:
This Datsyuk-esque airhook goal is jaw dropping:
Now watch him dangle…
His chemistry with Zetterberg is incredible (he has assisted 7 of Brunner’s 10 goals), and their bromance is adorable. The captain always looks so proud of his rookie.
I can assure you that there’s much more to come. And for those of you who think Ken Holland would ever let this gem go…tsk tsk.
stats from redwings.nhl.com
So I was doing a usual round of late night heckling of a friend who sadly cheers for the Avs. I told him to remember his team had just “six playoff wins in the past six years”. I quickly pulled up the Wings number to compare. I was shocked to add up the numbers to 54. That’s nine per season, or by average, a trip to the Western Conference Finals every year.
I quickly began looking at a list of our rivals, mostly in our division. If nothing else interesting. Sure it is a abstract and arguably meaningless stretch of time. But I think if you listen to talk radio, or water cooler talk about the Wings, it would be tough to imagine the Wings far and away the leaders (next closest team I found was the Penguins with 43).
Anyways here’s a list. If nothing else, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, smile. It’s great to be a Wings fan. And when you have a Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Helm down the middle, you’re going to be in most games you play.
Central Division & Other Rivals Playoff Victories Since 2007
- Red Wings 54
- Penguins 43
- Canucks 33
- Sharks 32
- Blackhawks 30
- Predators 16
- Coyotes 12
- Avalanche 6
- Blues 4
- Blue Jackets 0
- Maple Leafs 0
It’s been 175 days since the Detroit Red Wings played. 175 days. That’s an awfully long offseason for the Detroit Red Wings and their fans. I’ve attempted to keep busy by taking up 12 new TV series, getting a real job (ew) and pretending to like baseball (Wait—how many innings are there? How come there are 4 bases? Oh. Go Tigers!)
Over the last month, 9 Red Wing players have signed contracts overseas…and 1 in Denver (Oh Quincey…you WOULD). I’ve spent countless hours looking for illegal websites so I can livestream some hockey and get my fix. I’m pretty bitter that I didn’t see Datsyuk’s header goal live. ESPN2 airing KHL games??? Best news I’ve heard in months.
Let’s sum up what we’ve been missing:
Valtteri Filppula – Jokerit Helsinki (Finland) – SM-liiga
8 GP, 9 pts, 4G, 5A, 2PIM, +5
(Out indefinitely with UBI)
Jan Mursak – HDD Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia) – Erste Bank Eishockey Liga
4 GP, 10 pts, 0G, 10A, 0PIM, +9
Pavel Datsyuk – CSKA Moscow (Russia) – KHL
7 GP, 9 pts, 3G, 6A, 2PIM, +6
Damien Brunner – EV Zug (Switzerland) – National League A
8 GP, 11 pts, 4G, 7A, 6PIM, +2
Fast forward to 1:07 – game against EHC Biel (Tyler Seguin’s team)
Jakub Kindl – HC Pardubice (Czech Republic) – Czech Extraliga
7 GP, 1 pt, 0G, 1A, 0PIM, -6
We haven’t missed anything yet from Cory Emmerton (signed with SaiPa in Finland this week), Jonathan Ericsson (Vita Hasten in Sweden), Drew Miller (Braehead Clan in Scotland – EIHL), Zetterberg (joining Damien Brunner on EV Zug in Switzerland), or Kyle Quincey (Denver Cutthroats…have I been watching too much Dexter or is that really graphic? – CHL).
Overall, I’m pretty impressed with what (4/5 of) the guys have been doing abroad and am interested to see how the other 5 look after a long summer. Wishing Filppula a quick recovery.
stats from hockeydb.com
The awards that really matter…
Best Dressed: It’s a tie: Henrik Lundqvist and Erin Andrews (I can see your hoohah!)
Biggest Upset: Patrice Bergeron taking the Selke over Pavel Datsyuk. He’s good, but Datsyuk is better.
Best Acceptance Speech: Henrik Lundqvist follows the trend of dropping f-bombs on live TV while accepting the Vezina Trophy
“Damn, You Clean Up Nice” Award: Erik Karlsson, Norris Trophy winner.
“Someone Had To Do It” Award: Matthew Perry got stuck with the awkward job of honoring Nick Lidstrom, the best defenseman of all time, right before announcing the winner of the Norris Trophy. Lidstrom wasn’t even a finalist this year…which is total bullshit. We all know who the real winner is. Check out 6:15:
Is it July 1st yet? I see Ryan Suter every night in my dreams… LET’S GO WINGS!
The Wings clinched a playoff spot last night with a 7-2 blowout against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but the next 6 games will be just as important. The Wings will face the Nashville Predators at the Joe on Friday, which may be the determinant of who gets home ice in the first round of the playoffs. The Red Wings are just one point ahead of the Predators and are battling for the #4 spot in the Western Conference. Unless the Blues have a major collapse or Chicago really steps their game up, it’s likely that the Preds will be the first round matchup for the Wings. The Red Wings have won 3 of their 5 meetings with the Predators this season, 2 of those at home, 1 in Nashville. Here’s a look at the first 5 games:
11/26 Nashville 1 @ Detroit 4
The Red Wings took down the Preds for the 9th game of the 23 game home win streak. Valtteri Filppula had two goals and an assist, Henrik Zetterberg had a goal and an assist, Danny Cleary scored a goal, Jiri Hudler had two assists, and Todd Bertuzzi, Jakub Kindl and Darren Helm each had one assist. Jimmy Howard had a .947sv% and stopped 18 of the 19 shots on goal.
12/15 Detroit 3 @ Nashville 4
This loss really pissed me off. Shea Weber’s two goals in the last 5 minutes (the GWG with just 1:36 left in the 3rd) gave Nashville the 2 points over Detroit.
12/26 Detroit 4 @ Nashville 1
Valtteri Filppula scored 2 goals, and Pavel Datsyuk and Danny Cleary each scored one to give the Red Wings the win over the Preds in their 3rd meeting of the season. Howard stopped 31 of 32 shots, but his opportunity for a shutout was ruined with just 2:12 remaining in the 3rd.
2/17 Nashville 1 @ Detroit 2
This was one of my favorite wins of the season — the one and only Pavel Datsyuk gave the Red Wings their 22nd consecutive home win with just 5 seconds left in the game. Captain Nick Lidstrom hit Zetterberg with a no look pass off the boards, who sent it up to the magician, who then blew past Ryan Suter…and the rest is history. I can only imagine what Pekka Rinne was thinking. Most likely it was “Oh (insert 4 letter word here).” Datsyuk also had an amazing assist…while he was lying down on the ice.
3/10 Detroit 2 @ Nashville 3
This was the first of the Red Wings 6 game losing streak this month. Although it was a loss, Datsyuk found a way to make Detroit fans proud. After Shea Weber blocked and knocked Datsyuk a few times as he attempted to make his way to the net, Datsyuk got back at him…twice as good. The video makes me giggle every time I watch it.
The next couple weeks are going to be tough, but if anyone can push hard and prove their excellence, it’s the Detroit Red Wings. It’s time to smash Smashville.
(stats from detroitredwings.com)
Overtime always stresses me out. However, last night I found myself praying for a shootout against the Coyotes. The Wings are 4-0 in shootouts this year, 3 of those in the last 5 games. The face of the Phoenix goaltender, Mike Smith, was priceless last night. Smith was the losing goaltender two Thursdays in a row against the Detroit Red Wings, and looked like he was going to burst into tears when the buzzer went off at the end of 4-on-4 overtime play. I don’t blame him. Last week’s shootout even made the ESPN highlights–and we all know how ESPN feels about hockey.
On January 12th, Detroit went with Pavel Datsyuk (easy), Jiri Hudler (stopped), Valtteri Filppula (stopped), & Henrik Zetterberg (The “Forsberg”) and Jimmy Howard was in goal. Zetterberg tore that sh*t up:
On January 17th in Dallas, Detroit started with Pavel Datsyuk (shocking stop), Jiri Hudler (The “
Forsberg” “Zetterberg”), & Todd Bertuzzi (miss) — but luckily Ty Conklin “Conkblocked” all three of Dallas’ shots. Can’t believe that move worked AGAIN:
On January 19th, Mike Smith’s nightmare came true. Another shootout loss to the Detroit Red Wings ended up on ESPN. The order was Pavel Datsyuk (a SICK shot… kudos to Smith for making that save), Hudler (stopped), and Bertuzzi’s famous “spin-o-rama,” which was the only goal scored in the shootout. Jimmy Howard was in goal for the Wings:
This wasn’t the first time we’ve seen Bert do the “spin-o-rama”…
Let’s just say that Big Bert would be a gold medal figure skater if he wasn’t such a badass.
TGIF Red Wings fans! It’s been a roller coaster of a week but overall mostly good stuff.
Up: The sweet, sweet, taste of revenge in Chicago on Sunday. After losing to the Blackhawks 3-2 on December 30th, the Wings came back from a 2-goal deficit to win it in overtime with a magical move by Pavel Datsyuk. Ty Conklin got a W and a boost of confidence–just what he needed.
Down: Why can’t we beat the Islanders? It’s all psychological (says the therapist…) My opinion: It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy– what you believe, you shall receive. The boys gotta get some help with that. The Wings lost 5-1 in New York Tuesday night (which makes me cringe). I can hear those Long Islander’s and their annoying f’in accents talking about the game and EW.
Up: Pavel Datsyuk and Jimmy Howard were selected for the NHL All-Star Game. Howard wasn’t even on the fan ballot. This is his first time as an NHL All-Star and it is definitely well deserved. It was a great day for Jimmy, according to an article on DetroitRedWings.com:
“It doesn’t get any better than that. What a great day. It’s been awesome,” Howard said. “I think the highlight of my day was probably when I woke up from my nap and my little guy had a T-shirt on that said, `My Daddy rocks.”‘
I was absolutely APPALLED when I didn’t see Nick Lidstrom’s name on the roster, but I was relieved when I heard it was due to a request. Even Superman needs a weekend to rest.
Up: The Wings then returned to the Joe Thursday night to earn their 13th straight win at home and Jimmy Howard’s 100th career win. Fil and Jimmy continued to be hot and Detroit beat the Phoenix Coyotes in a shootout that caused fans to squeal/scream (cmon, it couldn’t have been just me). It started off with Datsyuk who of course made it look so easy–It finished off with Henrik Zetterberg’s “Peter Forsberg” move that left Mike Smith in tears and fans on their feet (and me in tears as well).
Up: After Ed Snider, the founder of the Philadelphia Flyers, EMBARRASSINGLY claimed that Philadelphia should be called “Hockeytown” and not Detroit, their fans ruined their brief moment in the spotlight by assaulting off-duty police officer and Iraq war veteran, Neal Auricchio, who sported a New York Rangers jersey to the Winter Classic. Thank goodness the cops arrested Philadelphia resident Dennis Veteri today. STAY CLASSY PHILADELPHIA.
Up: Tomorrow the Wings and Blackhawks face off at the Joe at 12:30. The Wings will be looking to earn their 14th straight win at home. The game will be shown on NBC.
Up: Cheers to the fricken weekend. I drink to that, yeah yeah.
(ps I did not take this photo, nor do I have the rights to it. I only love it. Google images, yo).
After showing the Chicago Blackhawks who da boss on Sunday night, Houdini will be sitting out tonight due to a lower body injury (according to mlive.com). My guess is that it was sustained at 0:15 in this video:
The Wings did not have time to replace Datsyuk before tonight’s game at the Nassau Coliseum against the New York Islanders so they will be dressing 11 forwards and 7 defensemen.
Detroit hopes to beat the Islanders for the first time since 1/30/2007.
LET’S GO WINGS!!!
I’m sorry but I could watch this over and over and over.
You don’t mess with a Johan…
Welp…that was a bust. Ian White had a great game, Pavel Datsyuk had a great game (except one booboo), Nick Lidstrom got his 7th of the season, shots were 40-21 in favor of the Wings…so WTF?!
1st Period Highlights:
- SOG 12-8
- Loved the power play goal by Tomas Holmstrom (5:15, assisted by White and Datsyuk) … so sexy. All six of his goals this season have been on the power play.
- About 5 minutes later, David Legwand tied up the score (10:09, assisted by Smith and Erat)
2nd Period Highlights:
- SOG 15-5
- Halfway through the period Henrik Zetterberg got a PPG after some nice passing by Bertuzzi and Hudler
- Nick Lidstrom got his first goal since November 8th (11:30, assisted by White and Datsyuk) putting the Shwings up by 2
- What a bad surprise. Jordin Tootoo returned to the ice after looking totally struggs (def thought he was out for the game) and made it a one goal game (17:22, assists to Klein and Spaling)
3rd Period Shiz:
- SOG 13-8
- Jimmy Howard got a hooking penalty (seriously) and 22 seconds later Shea Weber tied up the game (15:36, assisted by Suter and Erat)
- Datsyuk made a mistake??? I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you but he’s human. Weird, I know.
- With 1:36 left in the game, Weber got his 2nd of the period (and within a 3 minute time span) — the game winner, assisted by Jordin Tootoo. What a lucky piece of shit.
Time to head back to Detroit to regroup. Next game: Saturday, 7pm, NHL Network vs. the biatches from Tinseltown.
stats from redwings.nhl.com