This is dumb. I appreciate Cleary's attitude, but this is the playoffs we're talking about - we need the best men for the job, and that's that. I don't think it would affect Cleary's confidence if they sat him. It's no knock on his playing abilities when he's healthy - he's just injured and needs to heal.
I get that the team is more used to playing with Cleary on it, and it's an advantage to know your teammates' style and have some chemistry going into these important games, but considering how his line has played this year, it seems like it'd be more of an advantage at this point to bring someone in like Conner who has NHL experience and is 100% healthy.
I think Homer's earned the right to decide what he wants to do. Also, I think Homer should be the least of our worries - I'm way more frazzled with certain players in theirs 20s and early 30s who aren't contributing up to their level than I am with Homer. Homer may not be the player he used to be, but he still works his butt off while others take a free ride, which puts even more pressure on him. When your one still-functional sentimental favorite has a bad night, it shouldn't completely unravel the whole team. There should be other players there to step in and pick up the slack, but instead certain guys don't seem to be willing to put in the effort, and that's their problem, not Homer's. I can't read minds, but if I had to guess, I'd say that's where everybody's negativity is coming from on this issue. The whole team's got a problem, and it's unfairly putting the spotlight on Homer, in my opinion.
GUESS WHAT?! I got a fevah! And the only prescription is MORE NYQUIST!!
Ahem, anyway, regular season games don't get much more nitty-gritty than this. Whaddya say we help ourselves toward a little home ice advantage, and give our potential first-round matchup something to think about over the next week or so.
It'd definitely be nice if we ended up playing a team like Dallas in the 1st round, but the points are so close that the best I can really hope for is home ice advantage and less travel. If we fell back to 6th, we could just as easily be playing the Sharks in the 1st round, which wouldn't be fun. I just hope luck is on our side and we can get SOME sort of advantage going into the playoffs.
I feeeeel good (duh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh), I knew that I wooould! (I agree, in case you couldn't tell.)
More great teamwork. I mean, you can't get much more of a wide range of offensive contribution than that (unless you got Franzen in there...man, am I on his butt lately), and everybody was on it defensively, too. Granted, Minny didn't put up much of a fight, but this isn't a 3-2 win we're talking about, this was 6-0! Now THAT'S the kind of score I like to see against a struggling team! Especially when we're missing our star forward and d-man. Good stuff.
Yeah, our young guys are doing great - I love having Mursak and Smith with us now, and our regulars always have a ton of heart, especially Helm. You can tell he's trying really hard, and I'm glad it paid off for him tonight.
Detroit is Hockeytown. New York is Baseballtown...and heck, it can be Footballtown for all I care, but Hockeytown? I don't think so. New York is the center of the universe for a lot of things, but you have to earn that. I don't see the titles, the hardcore and widespread following, or the modern day heroes that stand as tall in the fans' eyes as heroes past. Nope, none of that.
Also, being the center of the universe works against them a little - they're known for so many things that it's hard for a hockey team to stand out. Hockey in Detroit, on the other hand, is like beaches in Southern California. It's what we DO. As an outsider myself, I've seen it - even out here where ice is for little trays in my freezer, and white Christmases are only in a song, we KNOW. If you want hockey, you get it in Detroit. End of story.
I don't think it can be fixed - there's only so much excitement you can inject into a game that pretty much doesn't matter. It's just an exhibition game, and it doesn't really showcase the players' skills all that well, at that. As far as "big games" go, I like the Winter Classic 100 times better, and I think it shows what hockey's all about a lot better, too - teamwork, rivalry, tradition, that sort of thing. I think it was wise to find a format that's better than the ASG and just go with that, rather than trying to artificially pump up something that's just not all that exciting or representative of the sport.
I do like the changes Shanny & co. have made; I like how the draft lets you see a different group of guys playing together each year (I'm kinda glad that Malkin's playing with Datsyuk this year - wouldn't have happened under the WC-EC format), and the show gives you at least a little insight into the players' personalities, which is no small feat considering what tough nuts hockey players are to crack in general. I think the skills comp changes make it a little more fun and a little less serious, so I'm cool with that. The game itself is just going to have to stay the same - it's probably my least favorite part of the whole weekend, but I don't know what they're going to do about that. I'm happy with their efforts to make the weekend more fun, and I don't blame them at all for not finding a way to fix the actual game.
Well, *gulp*, I made hotel reservations. Hopefully out of 110,000+ tickets, I'll be able to find one that doesn't cost a zillion dollars. This is such a dream come true! I thought I'd died and gone to heaven just to get to go to Detroit and see the Wings play at the Joe last March, but this is a whole other plane of bliss!
Congrats, Tiberius! I'm so happy he's doing well - not only because it helps the Wings win, but also because he seems like a really nice guy who deserves to have things go his way. What a win #100 was - against the team he'd already left an impression on in the playoffs for the past couple years, and in a shootout, no less. Nice going, Jimmy, and here's to many, many more!
Good on ya! Here is a question for you stat hounds. At what point of their career's did Roy and Broduer get their 100th? Are we talking sooner or later?
EDIT: Nevermind...It tool Roy 4 whole seasons to get 101 and Brodeur 4 whole season to get 108. Good job Jimmy, only 2.5 season to get 100!