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Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Thoughts on Game 37 (Winter Classic)

-- Wonderfully done by all. I can't imagine the league having a better Winter Classic than this one. The stage was beautiful. (Sorry, I'm an old ballpark fan.) But more than that, this game was good. Make that great through two periods. The Seabrook hit that put Cleary in the Chicago bench, leading to a too many men on the ice penalty? Fun to watch. The scrums and shoving? Keeps me watching. Datsyuk's goal? Jaw dropping. Loved the skill. Loved the rough stuff. Great show by two good teams when the league needed them to entertain.

-- It was odd to see the fans in the lower deck standing throughout to get a better sight line and the upper-deck fans seated.

-- Here's my problem with the NHL's definition of a game-winning goal. There's no way in hell that Datsyuk's goal shouldn't have been the game-winner. It put Detroit up for good at 4-3. The Wings went on to win 6-4. But the NHL calls Brian Rafalski's goal the winner because it put Detroit up 5-3 and it won, 6-4. Rubbish. Duncan Keith scores a meaningless goal with 10 seconds left and that makes Rafalski's goal more meaningful? Garbage. Rafalski's goal was big. But Datsyuk's was the game-winner. The NHL stats won't show that though. There's no way that Rafalski's goal was more clutch -- which is what GWG is supposed to measure -- than Datsyuk's. Sorry for the rant, but people who like old ballparks tend to be stat fans too.

-- On the ice, Chris Chelios has become not a spare part, but a meaningless part on this team. Now that Andreas Lilja has taken over Chelios' penalty-kill duties, Chelios doesn't have much left. Off the ice, Chelios has a ton to offer this team. But playing 1:57 in this game highlights that Chelios isn't going to be used. In a season when the Wings carry one player less than the 23-man limit because they're so close to the salary cap, carrying another player who doesn't have a role strains the roster. That said, I have no way to gauge Chelios' contributions off the ice. It might well be worth the Wings' while to keep him on the roster. Besides, it would be very un-Red Wings-like to not keep Chelios.

-- In the first period, I thought that Zetterberg's line with Hossa and Hudler was under-performing given a favorable matchup against the line of Ladd, Burish and Havlat. That thought left quickly in the second period.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does it seem like Zetterberg has been playing more physical as of late?

January 1, 2009 at 11:45 PM 
Anonymous Garth said...

The GWG is one of those stats that is a bit of a headscratcher, as the "rule" is black and white, but the "real world" (ie. gameplay)ISN'T black and white.

Much like the power play goal. How often does a team score when the penalty ended one second ago? The penalized player did not have the time to even open the penalty box door, much less join the play, yet it doesn't count as a PPG.

January 2, 2009 at 10:50 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read somewhere that most of the goals in this game were scored toward right field. Why? Was it the wind, or the sun?

Also, I think one factor in this game was that Kane was hurt, and on any other occasion, wouold not have been in the lineup.

January 2, 2009 at 11:30 AM 
Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

Hey Garth. I agree totally about PPGs. I would change GWG and keep it black and white. The goal that puts your team ahead for good is the game-winner.

January 2, 2009 at 1:45 PM 
Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

The wind-aided end (wind at back) was ahead 6-1 through two periods. Then the third period was an against the wind romp, with the final wind score being 6-4 in favor of wind at back. Same score as the game itself.

January 2, 2009 at 1:46 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I plan on ditching GWG in my fantasy league and replacing them with SOG.
BTW, is it just me or is Redwingscentral having technical difficulties?

January 2, 2009 at 3:28 PM 

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