Wednesday, October 10, 2007

notes versus the flames

- zettterberg and datsyuk, there's not much to say. seeing them play together it almost seems crazy to split them up. I'm kind of happy franzen got hurt so early, babs had his eyes set on keeping those two apart for a while. but, our attack is limited when we do that.
- being down for a few days, i didn't comment on hudler. the media needs to be careful with this guy. the word 'superstar' is getting thrown around quite regularly. and let's not forget that he is young and had only 15 goals last year. yes, in limited amount of time, but, give the guy time. he could be great or he could be the next greg johnson, who jimmy d once proclaimed to be the next steve yzerman. using comparisons and 'superstar' can be very hard on young players. remember daigle? prognosticating on future talent is iffy at best. that being said, hudler is going to break all of gretzky's record within the year. just kidding, he's going to be good though, eventually.
- kipper made a horrible play on that goal, but really did a lot to redeem his teams confidence in him with a big save.
-huselius was once touted as a superstar waiting to flourish, then he had a few bad seasons. shows what a change of scenery can do for a player.great play on that goal. he made ozzie look silly.
period 2 coming up

-datsyuk is killing it tonight. my question is whether or not that becomes zetta's goal because it looked like he tapped it as it was going over the line.
-kronner-- bad turnover on that goal, but still, ozzie should have had that. There's no way from the angle that Huselius was at that he should have been able to put that in. He opened ozzie up a little bit and banked it off of him.
--Ken Daniels said that Samuelsson thought that playing with Filppula was like playing with Zetterberg. There were many a time last year when I mistook those two for each other. They have a similar skating style, and I do believe that Fil may have some of that potential. I see him as a future Lehtinen. See above if you want to know what I think about comparisons.
- the second line of huds, fil, and sammy had a great shift. they totally controlled the puck. that's one of the first times that i've seen the second scoring line show much of anything.
- we did a great job of maintaining control of the puck on the delayed penalty call. Draper, how did he tip that puck?
- ozzie did a wonderful job of getting to his post after a shot from the point went wide. the rebound off the boards came straight out. ozzie went straight to his post and made a nice pad stop. shortly after that, he nearly undid that earlier save by bobbling an easy shot to his glove hand. the rebound nearly was put in.
-after the 3rd goal I swear that I saw someone holding up a Lilja jersey. That's just plain weird. Is that person a family member? To buy a customized jersey for a 6th defenseman? -- seems like a lot of money. I'm still wearing my O'Connell jersey though. Maybe I'll switch to my Zombo jersey next game.
-switched over to watch some of the Ottawa/Atlanta game during the break. Lehtonen is going to be a game breaker soon. Nick Foligno is wearing his dad's number. Pretty cool. Maybe he should wear the same helmet too. Remember that thing? It had Stan Mikita's signature on it. It was bulbous and huge. uh-oh game's back on.
3rd period
- 2nd pp unit- good to see them get a goal- I've been pretty worried about the second unit. They really are quite a step down from the first unit. You can't really blame them though. I've been really impressed with Samuelsson early on this year. He looks like he's picked up a step, and he's got a hell of a shot.

- ozzie great save on a back door play to huselius. if he doesn't make that save, we have a much closer game on our hands.

-overall the third was pretty uneventful, not many stoppages of play, and not much of note.

game summary
the wings were really pretty dominant the entire game. Even when it was tied and then with a one goal lead, I didn't feel Calgary was ever really pressing. Zetterberg is looking amazing early on. I'm not sure what his offseason looked like, training-wise, but he might get a lot more attention this year from the media.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

a few notes

i've been down for the count recently, fighting something nasty that has taken residence in my head and lungs, so, i've been a bit out of commission.
--joe thornton's goal to force overtime was just an amazing shot. He went short side, upper corner. A thing of beauty. What exactly was Boston thinking getting rid of him? who was it? Marco Sturm, Wayne Primeau, and Brad Stuart? Stuart's the only one that made any sense. Just an idiot move by whoever the gm was at the time maybe o'connell? not sure. Furthermore, those san jose jerseys are just about atrocious. I liked the old design now it looks like they're some kind of minor league team on a budget.
-ales hemsky's move in overtime versus nabokov was ridiculous. There was no way, from that angle, that he should have been able to get that over the oustrectched Nabokov. He hit the crossbar, but, just beautiful.
- Nabokov, for my dollar, is one of the best goalies to watch in the league. He is so fundamentally sound. His footwork is incredible. That being said, I wonder if he has what it takes between his ears. More than other positions on the ice, goalies need to be mental giants to win. A goalie with no technique whatsoever (a.k.a. Hasek) is capable of winning a cup based almost solely on his mental game. Well, he has some technique, it just has nothing to do with anything you'll ever learn at a goaltending school. Anyway, Nabokov showed his lack of focus last year versus the wings when he let a weak shot in from Lang late in the game. It ended up being the turning point in the series.
-- I've been pretty impressed with Toskala in Toronto. He definitely makes it look easy, he's very sound positionally. Same goes for Bryzgalov in Anaheim. I have yet, to date, been the least bit overwhelmed by Fleury in Pittsburgh, he's not shown me much to prove he's capable of what people earlier predicted of him. But, once again, the mental game is the x factor.
i'll be watching the wings tonight, where we get to have a look at old robert lang. what a waste of money that guy was. I was never sold on him to begin with. I think his time with Jagr helped him make some money. People looked at his numbers and thought he was capable of a number 1 center position. Really a joke.

well, i'm not at the top of my game, being sick and all. I'm gonna lay low for a bit. Catch up with you all later.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

here's to hoping

that someone takes me under their wing. i've introduced myself over at kukla's korner and spector's hockey. i'm hoping that you all will find my blog helpful, insightful, inciting, ...

notes on 10/3/07

home opener versus the ducks went well. I thought we dominated the game save some time during the second. Here are my notes on the game:

-Cory Perry looked like an absolute chump in his altercation with Drake. First off, he runs him from behind and then when Drake challenges him, you see Drake unstrap his helmet. The honorable thing to do would be to do the same. Instead Perry fights with his helmet on. On top of that, he wears a shield. It's like going into a wild west shootout with a flak jacket. Ridiculous. Perry also showed his youth in the last minute of a tie game grabbing Samuelsson's stick after he lost his own. Not the time to be doing such a dumb thing.
-Andy McDonald showed a good deal of class when he hit Lilja from behind. It was clear from his body language that he was making sure that Lilja was okay. I saw something similar in the Colorado game when Brett Clark checked on Morrow after Morrow fell awkwardly. It's good to see that even though these guys are competitors, they recognize the boundaries of that.
-There was a time during the second period when it was 4 on 4. Babcock put Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Lidstrom and Rafalski out together. It was amazing. It reminded me of the Oilers teams of the Eighties. They completely dominated. We saw something similar in OT. The Oilers used to purposely take penalties in order to get that situation. I don't think the Wings will go that far, but when the opportunity arises, I'm sure Babcock will be using that same line.
-Lilja really looked quite bad on a couple of plays. Though it wasn't his fault, the Bertuzzi goal came from a deflected pass/shot right off Lilja's skate. As was later pointed out, Filpulla missed his assignment and should have moved to take the late man on the play, which was Bertuzzi.
-Let me qualify this by saying I think that Chelios is a near immortal. He is a personal hero of mine and no one doubts his drive or physical ability-- but, that was an awful turnover that led to the second goal. He easily could have pounded that one up the boards. Furthermore, he got easily bumped off the puck by Bertuzzi quite a few times later on. I know that the wings decided on not resigning Markov, and I just don't know that Chelios can fill that role at this stage. The thinking was that we had other talent and we wouldn't spend on Markov. But, he was great in these situations. I don't know that Chelios is the solution on the PK. He works well to flesh out the third pairing, but, I see him pinch in at the blue line when it's questionable and he mishandles the puck a lot in his own zone. That being said, Chelios is still a god in my book.
-I saw a number of great plays by our defenseman. Lebda's skating ability is tremendous, he looks like Coffey out there. Kronwall, though he wasn't a factor in the scoring shows why he's going to be an elite defenseman in the coming years. His acceleration through the neutral zone caught me off guard a few times. And he had a couple of great hits too. Lidstrom jumped into the play one time and hit the post, Rafalski jumped up another time. That's going to be a large key to the Wings' success this year.
- A further note on Lidstrom-- during the third, he didn't leave the ice during one of the powerplays.
- Rafalski made a horrible turnover at the opposing blueline that nearly led to the gamewinner in OT. Zetterberg made a huge play to backcheck and Hasek did an awesome job of staying with the puck.
- for those of you who saw the game on Versus, what was up with that angle on the shootout? i thought it was pretty bad, you couldn't really see the shots and saves that well.
-hudler showed he's gonna be a force at some point
-hasek's technique on shootouts? odd to say the least.

just a quick note

i'll provide some analysis tomorrow but, I found the tvu tuner to be nearly as effective as center ice online, and much more reliable. I figure that part of the reason for the center ice online was to curb some of the sopcast/tvu channels that were popping up. i found the quality to be better on the center ice site, but, then again, it won't be free forever. but, i did find a way to watch the blacked out games. i'll let you know that little trick soon.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

game time

at game time i'm not able to even log in to nhl tv site right now. great news for anyone who wants to use the center ice online package. i'm using tvu player right now to get versus. updates later.

center ice online vs. sopcast

Just wondering if it is worth the money to spend on the center ice package online. last year i was able to watch a lot of games through sopcast. the quality wasn't great, but was definitely watchable. it was certainly better than listening to the game, though I do hold a place in my heart for listening via radio. let me know what you find yourself. I'm not keen on blackout restrictions, and it looks like i could miss a lot of vancouver games that way. We'll see.