How many games has Rafalski played? How many times has he shot the frickin' puck into the feet or the blade of an opponent. WHEN is he supposed to learn not to do that? What's it gonna take? Right now he's the most disappointing player on the team and I've felt the same way in the past. He's good. But invariably he gives the puck right back, gift-wrapped and tied in a ribbon to the opponents. He absolutely drives me frickin' berserk. I wish Babcock would sit him for a week. Yeah I know it's not going to happen but oh, how I wish it could.
Meanwhile, whoever said Ozzie's going to have to get a shutout to win his 400th was right on. A three-on-one at the end of the game. Way to go boyz. Way to support.
Every team has it's share of fans that are jerks, this team is no exception, even though I root for the LSU Tigers down here to win, I consider a lot of their fan base to really be a bunch of over the top jerks. I know plenty of Saints fans down here that are over the top with things as well, but in general (at least for the Saints), I consider many people down here to be welcoming and friendly, enjoying the company of people and fans from out of town and typically nobody goes overboard to where visitors feel unwelcomed.
I know all Blackhawk fans and Chicago fans aren't like this, but it's just a disgrace that Chelios was disrespected by a large majority of people last night just because he played for a rival. And this isn't the first time I've seen or heard of really bad disrespect from Chicago fans. In 2006 when the Chicago Bears went to the Super Bowl, they beat the Saints in the playoffs that year. I didn't travel up for that game, but a few friends/family did, not one story I heard from them, or from people on local talk radio down here was positive. They were not really welcomed or wanted, they were harassed, etc. And it's not like any Saints fans that I know of were looking to start trouble or stuff like that. I hate doing that - basically don't provoke me or give me reason to snap back at you in an angry or negative way when all I want to do is watch the game and mind my own business.
It's unfortuantely because I really like the city, went there in April and was the first time I was there in at least 15 years and I loved it.
I don't share in some of the disliking of the Blackhawks like some do in here because I'm not from the north (though I think I get it/understand it), I was happy they won the Cup last year partially for Hossa and partially because I have some family ties living up there and one of my friends down here is from Chicago, but for people here who live/have lived there or go there sometimes or whatever, do bad game experiences outweigh the good ones?
Officiating didn't lose this game for the Wings, Howard playing like a block of swiss cheese did. This loss is all on him. His softies have deflated this team. Time for Babcock to bench him. 21 goals in 6 games is unacceptable.
I know what the numbers are. The marginal differences are irrelevant. Franzen's marginal difference are marginally higher because he plays with Datsyuk on the first PP. Just watch the game and you'll see that Franzen and Bert are under performing and while Filppula may not be playing to the best of his ability (And I mean that literally, I'm not implying he isn't playing well - he is), he is getting no help out there.
I also got no rebuttal to my rebuttal in the last GDT.
I'm actually pretty happy with Bert's play. It'd always be good to see him get more goals, but he's a cheap addition that plays hungry every game and he's really transformed his game to fit into this system. He's had a very good season aside from putting up descent numbers already. Last summer when we brought him back, we were more worried about his being able to stay healthy enough to play and whether or not he'd be a liability let alone whether or not he could actually contribute. He's only "underachieving" lately because he's done such a good job of overachieving, especially this year in developing his two-way game and taking less penalties.
If Franzen was truly slumping even Dats and the power play wouldn't help him. He may not be hot but he's not quite slumping. Again, 4 points including 2 goals in 7 games isn't great, but is it really bad, let alone slumping? Either way, it must be nice to have a "slumping" stretch that puts you on pace to put up more points than Flip is on pace for on the whole season.
Flip's had power play time too, no?
Flip did play a good game and he did create chances. Again, I never said he didn't. I just think it's ridiculous to rip Bert and Franzen, declare them to be slumping when they'e both completed better not only lately but all year.
The line isn't clicking right now, it's as simple as that. Tough to assign blame for that and I would've been fine with the suggestion that the line simply isn't clicking. But again and again, it makes no sense to criticize the guys doing more while praising the guy doing less and then blaming any such issue on the players who have been doing more.
Flip is hardly above criticism lately despite a good effort tonight. Babcock called him out Monday in the press too...
I think the refs just look at Hudler and think "poor little guy, he's not much of a factor so let's leave him alone".
And yes, I also get worked up when they sit Eaves or Miller because even though they don't score much, they hustle and work hard. Hudler is incapable of doing either. And with Flip, he tries too hard to be a clone of Datsyuk. I rarely see Flip complete a deke. He always loses the puck. But at least Flip has potential to be better and we know this because we've seen it.
I don't buy the potential. He's never shown himself to be even close to consistent at any point in time in his career. He's been a streaky player from day 1. Flashes of brilliance don't demonstrate potential to me. They're all pros. They're all capable of making good plays, but to be able to do so consistently is the key, and again, Flips never come close to showing he can do that. He doesn't have a great shot and he just doesn't have those legitimate goal scoring skills. They would've done better signing him for less money and trying to develop him into a Draper with skill. Signing him based on a "best-case" evaluation of his potential was a rare misstep by Holland. And to this day, pushing a heavy offensive role on him continues to be a mistake.
I mean, how many times has this damn article been written since Flips second season???
I've been scratching my head on this guy from the start. I started pulling my hair out when he signed for 5 years. Now, I'm just apathetic. I don't get how so few people can see that we keep saying the same thing about him now again and again. Like...this is his 4th breakout year now...???...shoot the puck more...again...???...it's like Groundhogs Day with this guy.
I really do think he's a descent NHL player and if he focused on his strengths, I think he's got Selke-level defensive skills. But the guy just doesn't have what it takes to put up big points let alone goals. People need to get over it, including Red Wings management.
I just wish they would've done so before they let Hossa go to Chicago...
Osgoods had 1 rough start this year out of his 6 this year and even in that game he had no help at all from his team and was hung completely out to dry on 2-3 of the goals against. He's been nothihng but strong in the rest of his starts this year. The stats now reflect that with a .907 save % and a 2.48 GAA putting him ahead of Howard even on that stat. Bottom line, as many have said again and again, he's anything but "done."
And wait for it: I think his play will improve even more once he gets that 400th. It's a huge mental monkey on his back that will be good to move past.
I think Osgood's a lock for the Hall of Fame. They're not going to keep a 400 win goalie out with 3 Cup rings and multiple all star game appearances.
Rafters? Who knows. It's anyone's guess at this point. I think there's more reasons to think he'll be up there than reasons why he won't to be honest, but there still may not be enough reasons to get it up there.
What I think will be interesting to see is how the fan base regards Osgood 5-10 years after he retires. I've always felt with Osgood that it's a "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone" situation. He's taken for granted around here, and many newer fans don't remember just how good he was in his prime. Maybe if he was more of a nutjob he'd get more accolades, but I think he's a bit to down to earth to get the media attention necessary while around to be considered a big time goalie. The reality of the matter is though that by all the numbers and all the Cups, he's one of the best goalies in the league over the last 20 years. He really is among an elite group of championship goalies with Roy and Brodeur.
Even Hasek only won one Cup, and he's an all time great...