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Member Since 22 May 2008
Offline Last Active Nov 11 2013 06:17 PM

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On a positive outlook

31 January 2010 - 05:35 PM

Ok so anyone who has seen me bitching in the GDT's about the wings and most notably the refs lol, you might find what I'm about to say a contradiction to my previous statements which i made in the heat of the game.

I think people need to lighten up on the guys. Give them a small amount of time to gel as a team again. They were getting into a groove before the injured wings started coming back and that seems to be all thrown off now. My theory is that there is just too much line juggling going on for them to build chemistry with a line and gel. I have a feeling that, after this olympic break the team will have had some time to just get their heads on AS A TEAM and come back and play the last bit of the season energized and ready. Now, I could be blowing smoke out my own ass and just trying to be optimistic but, I still believe in the boys. What do you guys all think? Serious answers only please.

Anyone tired of the officiating?

27 January 2010 - 09:43 PM

Ok so, a while back I wrote a long letter to the NHL Officials Association about how they are tarnishing the game with their inconsistent penalty calling, horrible goal reviews/intent to whistle, and lack of overall integrity. I went into full detail and spent alot of time on what I wrote them. I recently received a reply which, for lack of better explanation basically told me that no such things ever happen and that they would like to see conclusive video evidence. So, I want to make a montage of blown calls on penalties, goals etc. Anything that shows how bad the officiating is (hell there should be tons of evidence just from tonights Wings/Wild game alone) and can be used to shove it back into their arrogant little faces. I don't expect it to make any difference by me making a video to show them but I would like to see their response to it.

What I would like, if all of you would be so kind is to maybe point me to videos of such blown calls that I can use for my montage. I don't just want red wings videos either because I don't want the video to come off as biased. The officiating consistency isn't just a red wings problem. It's a league wide problem. Like I said, I don't expect to see any results in any of this but I'm interested to see the response I'll get from them when I give them the evidence they requested. I would also like videos of missed calls too. Ideally, it'd be nice to have calls from the same game too.

For example, Say the Sharks get called for a hook vs the Flames, yet in the same game the Flames commit the same penalty to an equal if not worse degree yet it goes uncalled. These would be perfect. Any help would be appreciated here because the response I received form them was full of arrogant and very unprofessional remarks that pretty much (but not in so many words) told me if I didn't like the way the game was called, to just stop watching NHL hockey.

So, if you could all maybe just link me to some videos I can make my montage out of I will keep you all updated on what happens after I send it to them. This should be interesting. Thanks.

ANOTHER ozzie/babs scoffle..sort of

20 January 2010 - 06:57 PM

Most of the info is already known but i thought this was an interesting article.


I'd still start Chris Osgood in the playoffs, but I don't think Wings would


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Jamie Samuelsen, the sports director for the morning show on WCSX-FM (94.7), blogs for freep.com. His opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the Detroit Free Press nor its writers. You can reach him at jamsam22@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter @jamiesamuelsen and read more of his opinions at freep.com/jamie.


Is there any doubt creeping into your mind about Chris Osgood being the Detroit Red Wings' playoff goalie?

A couple of weeks ago, I would have described it as creeping. After Jimmy Howard started in the back-to-back games over the weekend, I would have upgraded it to “starting to carve out some serious space.” After what happened Tuesday night, I think it’s clear that Howard would be the starter if the playoffs began tonight.

We’ve all seen coach-player rivalries that have boiled over. Scott Mitchell wasn’t thrilled with Wayne Fontes and punctuated his dislike with a botched Halloween costume that made its way onto Channel 4. Paul Coffey and Scotty Bowman had such a contentious relationship that Scotty left Coffey off his ballot for the 50 best players in hockey history -- and had no problem making that fact public. And Ben Wallace had an issue with Rick Carlisle … and Larry Brown … and Flip Saunders.

That’s all context for what we have now with Osgood and Mike Babcock. To be fair, Babcock hasn’t publicly ripped Osgood. But he hasn’t had to. Starting Howard for 12 straight games and benching Osgood for almost a month pretty much said it. Osgood grumbled a bit about losing his edge by watching so many games. Then Tuesday, it went beyond that.

After Osgood had a so-so game in Washington, Babcock indicated that Howard would start Thursday in Minnesota because the Red Wings need points in their quest to get into the Western Conference playoffs. When he heard that, Osgood said, “I've gotten him a lot of points. I helped him to the finals twice and know how to win."

This comes almost exactly a year after Babcock and the Red Wings' brass gave Osgood a mental vacation while questioning his focus during the regular season. I’m not sure there’s a similar scenario in any sport in which a guy is brilliant when it absolutely matters but struggles during the regular season to the point where the team and the coach feel he needs to be disciplined.

And Osgood doesn’t even think he has struggled. He thinks he has been fine but just hasn’t had the chance to play enough to get his focus.

Howard has been better, though. Howard’s numbers are very strong and, more than that, he has made some huge saves during this stretch. It’s a crime that he took a loss in the shoot-out Saturday in Dallas, because I still don’t even know if he let in a goal. The NHL doesn’t, either. His skaters should have at least gotten one for him. Their effort against Chicago in the shootout Sunday was inspired (such as the goals by Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi). Their effort in Dallas was lackluster.

There is still a ways to go. And I still have absolute faith in Osgood. You don’t win a Cup one year and go to Game 7 the following year on luck. Howard has never played in a playoff game. Personally, I’d still start Osgood in Game 1, assuming there is a Game 1. But Babcock’s opinion is more important than mine. And he seems to be leaning toward Howard.

Wings hanging P/O Hopes on Howard

18 January 2010 - 07:58 PM


For the first time in 15 years, the script is vastly different for the storied Detroit Red Wings. Instead of gradually gearing up for a Stanley Cup run, the Wings know the playoffs aren't a certainty this time around. Beset by injuries, their depth has been taxed to the limit. In the past, injuries afforded the regulars some rest while the front office and the fans got a glimpse of prospects toiling in the AHL.

It is against this unusual but not unforeseen backdrop that the Red Wings are now operating. In their nightly scramble for precious points, they are finding out what they have and what they need. GM Ken Holland knows that he'll clear plenty of cap space after the season. Coach Mike Babcock understood that this campaign wouldn't be about 50-wins and another Central Division title. It was going to mean finding different ways each night to just get to the postseason.

What Detroit didn't know was how much it could expect from goaltender Jimmy Howard. Selected 64th overall in the 2003 entry draft after his freshman season at Maine, Howard had a high profile as an amateur, including a year (2001-02) with the U.S. National Team Development Program. After turning pro, he bided his time in Grand Rapids, playing 186 games for the AHL Griffins over four seasons. His sporadic call-ups produced a 1-5 record and more questions than answers about his development as a NHL goaltender.

Back in the beginning of October, the Wings' brass really didn't know how the goaltending scenario would play out. Veteran Chris Osgood struggled most of last season before righting himself and performing brilliantly in the playoffs. But it was back-up Ty Conklin's 25 wins that carried Detroit. Could the 25-year-old Howard be expected to produce to that degree? Would the Red Wings have to rely heavily on the 37-year-old Osgood? Would it be a shared situation?

Well, the sharing has been mostly Osgood sharing wisdom as mentor to Howard the grateful go-to guy. Osgood has always been team-oriented, so his support isn't surprising. But a cantankerous veteran attitude could have really soured this process. Instead, Osgood has allowed Howard to flourish freely to the point where he is now performing better at the NHL level than he did in the AHL. His 2.18 goals-against average ranks sixth in the NHL and his .928 save percentage is third-best. Pretty heady stuff given the questions coming out of training camp -- questions that only intensified when Howard lost his first two starts in October.

Since then, though, Howard has lost back-to-back in regulation just one other time. Excepting Detroit's lifeless 6-0 loss to the Islanders on January 12, when he was pulled in the second period after allowing three goals on 20 shots, his consistency has been the most impressive and surprising aspect of his season. It's the one attribute that has him playing the majority of Detroit's games, as Osgood has started 18 compared to 30 by Howard, including the last 12 in a row, through Sunday. As Babcock stated, "We need points. We need wins to make the playoffs. He is giving us the best chance to be successful."

In seasons past, Howard's rise to prominence as a first-year starter would have been a nice sidebar. This year, it's a big story, and it's come at the perfect time for a team that needs his steadiness just to avoid an unusually early offseason.

Thought this was just an interesting little article, and a nice nod towards Jimmy.

Ericsson Upbeat about injury

21 December 2009 - 07:13 PM


Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson can€™t quite straighten out his left leg and can€™t quite bend it, either, but given that he has no ligament damage to his knee, he is, more than anything, upbeat.

€œI feel pretty good,€ he said today, the first time he spoke since suffering a deep bone bruise when he was hit by Phoenix€™s Shane Doan in the first period of Monday€™s 3-2 victory. Ericsson is out at least two weeks.

€œIt could have been worse, a lot worse,€ he said. €œI felt my leg go in the other direction, so I felt something was wrong right away. I was just glad that it wasn€™t worse. I was in here and they took a look at it right away, and the things that worried me the most, they were pretty stable right away. So that kind of got my hopes up a little bit more. Then the MRI showed there was nothing wrong with my ACL, so I€™m happy.€

The Wings won€™t really have a firm grasp on when Ericsson might return until swelling subsides.

Ericsson bears no grudge against Doan, saying, €œIt was a clean hit, it€™s just he hit my leg first and just hit the inside of my knee. That was where the big impact was. I don€™t feel it was a dirty hit at all.€

Doan reached out through a Wings trainer to say he felt bad about causing injury. €œI appreciate those kinds of things," Ericsson said. "Even though it wasn€™t a dirty hit, he was still worried. I kind of respect him more as a player right now -- he€™s concerned about me after what happened, and it€™s nice.€

Ericsson joins a sick bay that already included forwards Johan Franzen, Valtteri Filppula, Jason Williams, Dan Cleary and Darren Helm, plus defensemen Niklas Kronwall and Andreas Lilja.

€œIt just feels like it€™s got to be enough now,€ Ericsson said. €œWe€™ve had some unlucky injuries, and it just keeps going. Now it€™s got to be a stop for it.€

I think it was very cool of Shane Doan to reach out and apologize and check in on Big E. I didn't ever think the hit was dirty and it shows a lot of class on Shane's Part.