Thursday, October 4, 2007

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.

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