You cannot take hockey away from me. I will not let you.
Red Wings Opening Night…WTF?!?!?
January 20, 2013Posted by on
So…that apparently happened last night.
I’m not going to do a typical “game breakdown” since I can do that real quick. Kyle Quincey was beyond bad, the rest of the defense was just above that at really bad, except for Smith who was just meh. The forwards didn’t do shit beyond taking penalties, and Howie couldn’t stop a breakaway (I know those shouldn’t happen, but come on).
I have a theory on WHY this happened. The Wings are typically a “puck-possession” skill-type team. The Blues like to play a north-south game with plenty of physicality. One of those takes time and practice so everybody can develop some chemistry. The other is the Blues.
The top line of Pav-Hank-Brunner didn’t muster a quality chance at even strength. It was obvious Brunner was nervous in his first game, especially after getting smoked by Backes early in the first. All three of these guys played during the lockout, so they should have no excuses. But with Pav coming over late, his body is probably still on Russia time. And Hank and Brunner played in a lower level league on different ice, so it’s a totally different game. It will take Brunner time to adjust, if he ever does.
The second line of Mule-Fil-Sammy couldn’t generate anything (outside of a chance in the third but didn’t matter at that point). Mule and stupid Sammy didn’t play at all during the lockout, while Fil hasn’t played in over two months because he hurt his knee. No playing plus Sammy and Mule typically not being the most motivated players is not a good start. Sidenote – I forget if it was Ken or Mickey, but one of them had a real good “Sammy likes to shoot, although sometimes it goes way too high” joke. I laughed by balls off.
The bottom six wasn’t completely terrible, but wasn’t good either. They need to be physical and win some puck battles to wear down the opposing teams defense. The only thing that was worn down was Mursak’s shoulder after Backes hit him. At least Abdelkader didn’t get a high-sticking penalty! Yeah, they need Helm back. He would at least bring speed and try and hit somebody. Cleary/Miller/Emmerton were meh. Tootoo didn’t really do anything and he’s supposed to be the most physical player.
The defense…yeah. Smith was the best one (which by comparison, yeah…). Quincey played a few games in the CHL, which is probably similar to a meh college league. This probably hurt him more than not playing due to having to play against players who are not very good. Now that he’s going against good players, he sucked. Kronwall also didn’t show anything good last night. Everyone else was just there.
Yeah, if the Wings continue to be a “puck-possession” style team, it may take them a while to get going. It’s harder to dangle and go east/west than it is to chip it in and slam people. With a couple of new players in the top 6 (Brunner and Stupid Samuelsson), and new lines, it’s not going to be an easy transition to life without defense. Fuck balls.
In other news…THE GRIFFINS HAD A BENCH CLEARING BRAWL LAST NIGHT AND CALLAHAN GOT A HAT TRICK! Check it out over on Puck Daddy. Hockey is the best.