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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.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thoughts on Game 3 vs. Anaheim

-- The whistle. That darned whistle. Ref is out of position and he blows the whistle early, afraid that the puck could be under Hiller and being pushed over the goal line. HORRIBLE whistle. Everyone knows it. Stuff like this happens, however, and makes games like this memorable.

Here's my sanity-keeper on this one ... that goal would have tied the score. There's still just a 50-50 chance of winning (pick whatever number you want, but in playoff OT, it's not going to stray that far from 50-50). So even without that horrible whistle, this game could just have likely been a loss as a win for Detroit. That's just rationalization to keep my own sanity.

It also brings up this point ... the Red Wings shouldn't have been in a position to need that goal that late in a game. The first 59 minutes were just as much a part of this loss as the horrible whistle. Even more so.

-- The slow starts can't keep happening. Detroit outplayed Anaheim in the final two periods, but getting ahead, starting strong in both a game and a series is vital to winning in the post-season.

-- The Wings showed a better net-front in the second half of this game than they have in a while, especially by Tomas Holmstrom. I thought that Johan Franzen has been straying too much from the goal-mouth, especially on the power play.

-- Even though it was negated by that whistle -- that darned horrible call again -- I was thrilled to see Hossa score such a clutch goal.

-- Datsyuk played like he was angry and like he needed to shine. I thought he was the Wings' top forward.

-- Chelios and Lebda getting burned on the Selanne goal really hurt the Wings. They need that pair to get on and off the ice without much happening. Quiet minutes from that pair. Rafalski and Lilja are greatly missed.

-- The pieces are all in place. Osgood is playing well. The top line had jump. The Red Wings are positioned to win games. I'm optimistic, but having to win a game on the road as the Wings need to Thursday is a bad pickle.

-- If Wisniewski is out for Game 4, that would be a big help for the Red Wings. He has been as good as any Ducks D-man in this series.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Hannibal said...

What's up with the slow starts? What ever happened to the famous Red Wings' ten minutes of fury? Good thing that they are at least ending games strong, I guess. But it would be nice to have that team that jumps out to 2-0 and then makes the other team play catchup.

Judging by recent history, the Wings would have less than 50/50 chance of winning in OT. More like 0/100.

May 6, 2009 at 10:00 AM 
Blogger John said...

They need to come loosen up the grips. You can tell they are forcing play and forcing pace and not having fun doing it.

Red Wings win when they have fun. That's the reason people who love this sport love the wings.

Datsyuk should have, would have, buried a couple of those shots in a regular season game... simply because he can. But he's trying to force it and not having fun. You can see it in his eyes.

Wings need to take a few hits and go out and play their game instead of playing to the opponent's. No one can match the wings when they are on their game.

May 6, 2009 at 10:40 AM 
Blogger Kurt said...

Bruce,

I am surprised you did not comment on the Stuart penalty. The Duck plays the puck, Stuart makes a clean hit (apparently the ref thought he never played the puck???) and the Ducks score on the PP. Is there some other explanation? If not, the Wings are penalized for being physical around their nets but the Ducks are allowed to hack and whack after the whistle continually through the game? I hate to sound whiny but the GWG was scored on a phantom penalty and the game-typing goal was waived off. Difficult to take when you stay up until 1:30!

May 6, 2009 at 11:05 AM 
Anonymous PRONGER PHYSICS™ said...

the wings are done, unfortunately.

hossa and datsyuk are getting owned by a line of benders.

May 6, 2009 at 11:19 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice point Kurt. I cant stand how the Ducks can cheap shot, punch and play dirty all they want. But when a Stuart made that clean, hard hit, he goes to the box and they score. Complete BS.

May 6, 2009 at 11:23 AM 
Blogger Adam said...

Long live California hockey.

I really don't get how anyone can watch the replays of that goal and say the results of playoff games are not being massaged by the NHL.

May 6, 2009 at 12:32 PM 
Anonymous Mike said...

Bruce...any thoughts on whether the wings will (or should) shake up their lines? I thought the fourth line was great last night...also good to see Hudler getting some PP time.

May 6, 2009 at 1:26 PM 
Blogger John said...

I also enjoyed (enjoyed e.g. enough to start a fight with) the announcers at the end of the 2nd period as they faded to commercial... they said "The better team is ahead, and the score shows it." So, what is the point of these playoffs if there is a script?

They also mentioned it was like a "Hollywood script" later in the game although it escapes my mind whether that was said when the goal was waived off or a different time.

The NHL website offers a link to buy duck's gear as part of the morning news.

It does NOT mention the controversial goal.

When the Red Wings won any of their 5 wins thus far, on none of them was there a link to merchandise.

One of the columns, which felt as if it was written before the game, they discuss the growth of the hockey market in California and how great this is for their growth.

I want to believe that this is the sport that is sold on passion and not Nike Gatorade ads. But if you read all of the above, it sounds like "Disney: A Bettman Story."

Also, reviewing some of the photos, when the ref puts his whistle in his mouth, he is NOT on the goal line. He is in perfect view of the loose puck at the back corner of the net. His right arm is up with the whistle, his left arm is almost completely pointed at the net. Then he blows the whistel. Then he skates to the back wall and waves it off.

Hockey replay is what i do with my weekends. Just like I got to watch Steve Downie wind up and slash the linesman in Hershey about 35 times.

This guy is an NHL ref, who was awarded playoff games. He is better than that or he wouldn't be there. He knows that the anaheim goalie has on black pants. These guys are sharp. They know where it is. Yes Gary Bettman I am openly criticizing the referee work and If I was Ken Holland I would file a formal protest and demand that we replay that game. You can't fine me because I am not paid by the organization I work for and am not an employee. This is ridiculous and you know it. It wasn't just the stuart penalty or the bad whistle either. I could write down 20 should be penalty items that the ducks got away with and 5 for the wings. I could count 40 shouldnt be penalty items that the ducks got away with and only about 10 for the wings. Many of the bad calls for the wings: face-offs, off-sides, penalties were not called consistently by the referee's and linesman for each team. A good job by the refs means you can't remember who reffed unless you were on the ice.

I counted 2 plays where a ref or linesman interfered with a duck's progress with the puck. I counted 13 plays where they interfered with the wings progress. These are not amature skaters. These guys make a lot of money to be good at what they do. This is inexcuseable.

May 6, 2009 at 3:51 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to mention the fact that Perry and Brown repeatedly punched Osgood in the head throughout the game. No call. Not once.

May 6, 2009 at 4:27 PM 
Blogger Jeff said...

We can sit here and complain, but the bottom line is the Wings didn't score earlier, and they didn't score enough.
This is playoff hockey, but the Wings are also a team that scored the most goals in the regular season. At some point the top line forwards need to score more, the defense needs to be tighter, and they need to transition through the neutral zone more quickly. If not, this series is over in five.

May 6, 2009 at 4:40 PM 
Blogger John said...

You are absolutely correct. Unless Holland files a formal protest and has the game reviewed in it's entirety, which won't happen since the league was quick to say the refs made the right calls (which means even if he was right, they'd say it was a good game).

On the 2nd point, the league has some serious rules about protecting goalies. I believe if they were going to follow their rules for this game, both players who punched osgood in the head after the plays were dead would be serving a one game suspension tomorrow night. And for additional infractions, you add 1 game (2 games for 2nd time, 3 for 3rd). But that won't happen either.

I have lost all faith in Daly and Bettman to uphold the rules they claim to have which means the only solution the wings have is to be so much better than the ducks that the refs can't gum it up. They can only manufacture so many goals for one team. The wings need to go out and play well enough to beat the ducks 5-0 every night and they should come away with 3-2 wins. If you score 5 goals, they can only find excuses for so many before they blow their little game.

May 6, 2009 at 7:53 PM 
Blogger Erica said...

Kurt,
I agree. The whistle that negated Hossas goal AND the bad call on Stuart that lead to the PP goal were HUGE factors. I know this comes out of bitterness but seems to me that the refs played a big part in our losing the game.
We can still do this though. We are in the same position the Ducks were back in 2007.
Go Wings!!!! Can't wait for tomorrow. I'm going to the game with my duck on a noose in tow!

Bruce, as always thank you for your great analysis

May 6, 2009 at 8:58 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone has been talking about how Watson was out of position and blew the call. Check the time lapse photos in the Detroit News this morning. Watson was in perfect position to see it all the way. This was one of the most egregiously blown calls I've ever seen.
God help Watson the next time he does a Wings game...........

May 7, 2009 at 4:10 PM 

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