I stood by a dad and his 12 year old son at the glass during warm-ups last weekend in Nashville. It was pretty clear they were not wealthy, and they told me that it was the boy's first game in person, his birthday. He was star-struck and almost mute, staring at his heroes.
I thought of them last night, and remembered watching the Wings go down three goals in Nashville -- but then rallying and playing like champions, winning the game in OT. Not that it should have gotten that far, but they came back and played like they know how.
I am disappointed in them not playing with any intent to win in front of their last home crowd this season. The Wings admitted to the press that their heads were not in the game last night. That ought to make them feel shame.
Hope last night was just mailing it in since I know they can play better... but I agree with H-Mom. It's not right to not show up every game. If I turned in a performance like that at my job, I would be on the street.
Of course, I don't have a million dollar contract which says I don't have to perform to expectations, either. Sunday's game is on NBC. It's in the arena of the defending champs who made the Wings look like chumps in their last home game in front of their fans. No one wants the Wings to win, so I expect a loss there, if they don't show up with their heads on straight.
This team can take any contender in round one. If they want to...
Yeah, you know...i just don't buy it that their heads weren't in the game. I mean, that is obviously the case, but the problem is not a superficial is my point. How can you not have your head in the game for many games lately? There's something wrong here with this team. Maybe the core on this team has had too many 'big games'. Maybe they are spent. Maybe other teams have just caught up to them and are faster. I don't know. All I know is this is a relatively new problem with a Red Wings team in the last several years. There are always occasions where a team just takes a game off or can't get things together. But not like this. This is something else. I hope I"M just reading more into it, but I don't think so.
This team has played lowsy defense for many months and that means their work ethic has been lacking...FOR MONTHS. This is not a one or two game problem.
Yeah, if the wings show up and destroy a team in the first round I will change my tune, but they're going to have to show me. Because right now, I do not have faith in this team going anywhere. Early predictions were a second round exit because of the strength of the west, but now I am not sure we make it out of round 1, especially if we draw the hawks.
How many games now have the wings been literally booed off JLA Ice in the last month?
You know anyone that thinks this is just Detroit playing lackluster because they'll turn it on in the playoffs, I'm calling you out. You're a bunch of f***in idiots.
I LOVE this Wings team, but this edition of the wings absolutley pisses me off. I swear to God more nights than not this year they have had this lackluster mentality. I don't get it. Sloppy play, bad turnovers ALL YEAR. How are they all of a sudden going to just turn it up next week?
Look at the NOTICEABLE difference between how Chicago is playing and the wings. They'ref****** skating circles around us. Bulls***. This is a rivalry game.
f***in ridiculous. This team sucks. We aren't beating anyone in round 1. I don't care who it is.
Wings playing over aggressive and it's back firing.
The no goal call was legit Their goal was legit
Wings need to lower their emotions just a little bit so it doesn't get the better of them which it currently is IMO.
If you want to argue the non-goal that's cool.
But I don't think they're being overly aggressive. I love it, and I think they need to keep it up. We got scored on because of an unfortunate 5 on 3 (no gripe on that, the ref had to call that 2nd penalty, more annoyed with the first penalty).
I LOVE this out of the wings. We usually see this kind of play only in the playoffs when they're on.
I don't know how anyone can honestly say the refs call what they see and that there is not some kind of conspiring going on. Not necessarily against one specific team, but in general. There are penalties occurring with the ref looking at it and they decide not to call it.
It's just unbelievable.
The no goal on Homer was just stupid. Is this the sissy league or what? Why was the even a call on the hit on Erat? Becuase he looked injured? Was a great hit, Erat had his head down and got his bell rung. Toof****** BAD.
This is why the NHL sucks and is just getting worse. It's f***in pathetic.
What a load of garbage. Before last nights game, the Wings had given up 22 goals in the previous 10 games. That's 2.2 goals/game. So no, the Wings aren't going down the tubes. A zillion shots? WTF does that mean. Losing the capacity to play well. Go watch the Pistons.
Ok, let's look at the entire season to this point. 226 goals allowed over 77 games equals over a 2.93 goals per game average.
That's good for the worst defensive team IN THE PLAYOFFS RIGHT NOW except for Tampa Bay who has given up 230 with one less game played.
It's unbelievable. What was the stat for the goals scored in the last 10 games? Because that number has also been down substantially. The stat that matters less with regard to offense is that the wings have the 2nd best offense out of all the playoff teams currently in the league. This matters less because defense wins championships.
For me, it's not even a matter of if a ref misses a call once in awhile. Refs CLEARLY call penalties like crazy for a period and then stop calling them altogether the next. I swear to God it seems like they go into their referee lounge and someone from Toronto calls them, or someone talks to them telling them they're calling too many penalties and to slow it down.
I just don't get how they can call chincy crap that looks phantom-like and then miss obvious penalties. I honestly do think that if they call a lot of penalties suddenly, they 'decide' to put the whistle away for awhile.
It's not just wings fans that complain about refs. If you go onto any board, every teams' fans are complaining about the refs in most games.
Honestly, it does seem like the refs that let the play go (i.e. McCreary), seem to be deemed as better refs. I tend to agree. I don't think it's good for hockey that the younger refs decide they're going to call every tap on the leg and every horizontal stick as a hook. That's not hockey. Just let the teams play, my God.
I'm not saying there is a conspiracy against the wings, but it sure does seem that way sometimes. Last year in the playoffs, SJ gets a 5 on 3 in every F'n game. That's just ridiculous.
Just my thoughts.
One other thing: I'm tired of hearing people let the refs off the hook because of reasons like "the game is so fast". Yeah, well they're NHL refs in an NHL game. If they can't keep pace with the game, then get someone who can. I get the most frustrated when penalties that occur are so blatently obvious and they are not called. How can you miss a play on Homer last game but call a chincy hook on Zetterberg with 3 seconds left with the game tied? It's just stupid. I'm sorry. Had it happened the other way, I'd be less upset obviously, but I still would say it wasn't right.
A. Stop passing it all around the perimeter.
B. One time the damn puck instead of stopping it, thinking about it, and then shooting it. What is with the slow reaction of the Wings this year? I refuse to believe it's Age. Everybody has said since seemingly 1995 we were too old to win.
But come on. Stop second guessing. ONE TIME THE DAMN PUCK!
It's nerve racking watching them pass all around the outside of the ice and then not even getting a shot.
Anyone notice that most everybody says that just about every game is poorly referreed? I don't disagree, but just sayin. Perhaps this is another reason the NHL doesn't grow. Even hockey enthusiasts can't understand the calls. How would a newcomer?
That's a reflection on the Red Wings offense, not on Jimmy Howard's play in goal. Nashville wins because of Pekka Rinne, the Red Wings win because of their firepower up front. There are very few, if any, starting NHL calibre goalies that wouldn't have the same number of wins as Jimmy with that talent in front of them on offense.
I'm glad some people get it. Thank you for not being a superficial retard when someone says "but he's got the most wins in the league". So ridiculous.
I was a howard supporter last year. i thought he was great. I was hoping it wasn't just because other teams hadn't figured him out. YOu could make this case this year that that's precisely what's happened. Other teams studied howard, and now they know how to beat him. The Wings defense last year was not great either, but Howard was much better. This year the defense is about the same it seems, and Howard's numbers are terrible for being on a super power like the Red Wings.
If we had a proven solid goalie on this team this year I argue that that goalie would have even more wins.
For those saying the defense has hung him out to dry all year, that's just ridiculous. Take the game the other night where Howard got pulled on all 4 of those goals. Tell me which goal the defense left him 'out to dry' on? Howard gave up big rebounds, one of which he never even bothered to cover when it came right through the crease right by his stick. It made no sense. Howard is slow to get from post to post, he over-reacts on shots, and he rarely ever controls rebounds. This is not the making of a good goalie.
Now last year, I gave him the free pass. Even in the playoffs, I didn't care how many bad goals he let in. I just cared that he gained experience for this year. This year he does NOT get any passes from me. I've called him out this season, and if he does not elevate his game in the playoffs, then I will be calling for his head in the off season. There is no excuse. Now that he knows the speed of the NHL regular season versus playoffs, there's no excuse. It's time to become the goalie we need him to be, or start over with another goalie.
With that being said, I feel Howard does get the start in net for the beginning of the playoffs. This would typically be where I say if he doesn't measure up after a couple of games, he should be pulled and put Ozzie in and hope he can do the same as in prior playoff years. But I don't know what the answer would be this time. You can't throw in a pure rookie like MacDonald if Howard buckles. And what a shame, another entire season would be wasted.
I went to NHL.com and checked a couple stats for HOward.
His GAA is 2.79, which has improved slightly. But, he's still ranked 55th out of the 84 goalies that came up.
His save % was .908, which is 48th in the league. I'm sorry, but on a team like the Red Wings, a very sound team, very good team, these numbers are pathetic.
Those comparing Osgood to Howard, there's no comparison. Ozzie quarterbacked us to 2 cups, and I just don't think it's fair. Howard has done nothing yet. This playoff is make or break. I was behind Howard until 1/3 of the way through the season, and as of late I've really lost confidence in him. All 4 goals were absolutely pathetic. If howard lets in goals that are very difficult to stop or impossible, that's one thing. But every goal he let in yesterday was just pathetic. He is slow to get back to posts, he doesn't even attempt to control rebounds (a la 2 of the goals yesterday), he over-reacts to shots/passes...it's ridiculous.
I think he's rattled. I don't know if he sucks this much or if it's a mental game with him right now. I will forgive everything if he plays well in the playoffs, but I don't have much faith.