I enjoyed this game. It was hard-fought, physical and there was bad blood. This reminded me of those games between these teams from ten years ago. When the Blues would start to lose, they'd get all sore and start gooning it up. The Blues had tougher teams than Detroit back then but there were some memorable scraps. I loved the response to the physical play from the Wings tonight. This was a good win for the Wings. Their schedule will be friendly down the stretch as they play a home-heavy remainder while their rivals are mostly on the road from here on out.
Best moment of the game was when the JLA music guy played, "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues" during the scrum in front of Howard.
The backlash is palpable but the league just doesn't learn. Promoting a player is one thing; that's good. But what they're doing with this guy is cartoonish. They don't get it, and I suspect they never will.
what we need is a few more goals in the third to make this goalie look human. i think that's what this series needs.
Niemi is a good goalie but the problems Detroit has had scoring have to do with a lot more than him. Through 2 periods, this is the first game in the series that Detroit has had the puck a good share of the time.
Hear, hear. Congrats to the Coyotes and their fans and I hope to see them back in Phoenix next year. Doan is a hell of a leader and Bryz is a fine goalie who had a bad series but will bounce back. Better days are ahead.
Great to see the Wings close it out in 4. Now some much-needed rest for a veteran team with some injuries.
A tip-of-the-hat to the 'Yotes and their fans. I hope they find a way to keep the team in Phoenix. Shane Doan may piss us off, but that's because he's good, plays his ass off and is a strong leader. Their team was overmatched but Doan always showed up. I saw him in tears after the game on the ice. It's a tough thing for the players and fans having so much uncertainty. Glad they saluted the fans and hope to see them back at Jobing.com arena next season.
Not sure if anyone has been paying attention, but there have been articles in the News and Freep about the sellout streak and surge of energy from the home crowd at JLA recently. It seems some of the wine and cheese crowd that held their season tickets for so long are no longer around and an infusion of younger, newer fans has made a big difference. Lots of credit goes to Tom Wilson, I think. He did the same thing for the Pistons and they had a really enthusiastic, young, raucous crowd. The Joe is a lot livelier lately and it's nice to see.
Man! I didn't want it to be THAT exciting at the end!
Those were stupid penalties by Detroit late. As much as I'd like to blame the refs (and frequently do), the Wings need to be smarter there. It put Phoenix back in the game. The Wings fought hard, though, and didn't give the 'Yotes much after that.
All that matters now is it's 2-0 Detroit as the series shifts to Phoenix. And that's good.
After years of defending the league against accusations of intentionally biased officiating, I'm no longer confident that everything is on the up-and-up. I think incompetence is a factor when bad officiating happens, and I also think it's an incredibly hard job that comes with mistakes. But I also believe there's more to it. Part of it is it seems the league is aware of public perception and attempts to react to it. I think the talk that Detroit was getting too much favoritism (especially at home), backed up by some convincing stats linked to on some very active internet forums, was one example. Since that public discussion, the pendulum seems to have swung to the opposite extreme. Just like foul and penalty disparities at half-time or intermissions seem to always magically "turn around" with calls going the other way to even things up later in the game.
I think we're all being naive if we don't think it's at least possible that inequities in market sizes matter. Big market teams get nationally televised games; small-potatoes teams do not. Look at all the major sports and it's the same. The Yankees, Red Sox, Cowboys, Giants, Patriots, Knicks, Celtics, Heat, Lakers, Rangers Penguins and Red Wings all get more attention. They are either playing in huge TV markets or have marketable stars who have appeal that goes beyond the local fan base.
So to think that this league, or any other, would never dream of letting that affect how they handle their affairs both on and off the playing surface, is probably ridiculous, even though we've been conditioned to buy into it. Stars get favorable treatment all the time. The top NBA players go to the line when a rookie role player who makes the same play doesn't. Supplemental discipline from the NHL is another example. If it had been Matt Cooke instead of Malkin, would there have been an instigator suspension for the Zetterberg incident in 2009? It's bad business to subtract a star player from the game's premier event. So why would entire teams be immune from the same kind of preferential treatment?
But hey, professional sports leagues are in an enviable position. For some reason, everyone believes there is this unassailable sanctity in officiating. It's as if money can corrupt everything except pro sports officials. Sure, the Donaghy thing was a black eye to the league, but has it really hurt the NBA? Even with a guy going to jail after admitting he affected the outcome of games for money, there's this pervasive attitude that it's okay, it was just one guy acting on his own, it wasn't because of a league mandate, so surely it's not indicative of a bigger problem.
Even as fans, we tend to feel ridiculous for bringing up egregious "mistakes" by officials. "Everyone gets bad calls sometimes." It's one hell of a cat bird seat the pro sports leagues are in. No matter how bad or one-sided the calls may seem (see the 2002 Sacramento-Los Angeles WCF and the 2006 Miami-Dallas NBA Finals for Exhibits A and B), you'll be dismissed as a whiner, sore loser or conspiracy-freak for saying you think something smells. What would it take to really create an insurmountable problem for a pro sports league? Is there anything a pro sports league couldn't sweep under the rug? I'm not sure. People love sports and they want to believe.
All this being said, I'm not 100% convinced that there's corruption going on. I try to take a step back and look at the big picture. Detroit, another team with a huge following, was accused of being on the receiving end of a lot of favoritism. Ironically, I thought they outplayed teams to such an extent that they deserved an even wider disparity in calls for/against. But I'm not dismissing the possibility those accusations had some merit and I just didn't see it.
Anyway, huge rant here, but I've been taking notice recently of some fishy stuff that's been going on in the NHL. And my team just won the game that has elevated my own suspicions, so this isn't some sour-grapes rant. It's cause for concern.
That was a great "us against the world" win for the Wings. Night-and-day difference from the flaccid effort we saw at the Joe in the previous game.
The league is showing some bad signs. Twice this season, Detroit has played a game at Chicago and not had a single power play. To my recollection, those are the only two games I've seen in my long, hockey-watching lifetime where that happened to the Wings. And twice in the same season, against the same team?
I have long defended Eddie O. as anything but a Detroit-hater, but it's undeniable that he was awful today. Doc was the only one to even make a talking-point of the fact no penalty had been called as they showed an angry Franzen with blood dripping down his face, yelling at the officials. And Doc only mentioned it somewhat indirectly. I think the importance of today's game pushed Eddie over the line and he lost his composure. NBC will have to reconsider how they assign games moving forward.