Detroit Red Wings
What does the date March 26, 1997 mean to you?
Today is the 15 year anniversary of what I consider to be the single most significant game in modern Red Wings history.
In a single game, the Wings were able to exorcise the demons of a playoff series past, launch themselves towards their first of four Cups over the next 11 years, and cemented the Wings-Avs rivalry as one of the best of its era.
I still remember listening to this game on my walkman radio while following my parents around as they got their taxes done by a real accountant. The rush of elation and joy after McCarty scored in OT was something I'll never forget. I was hooked on the Wings for life. We'd won the game AND we'd won the fight. And that bastard Claude Lemieux had answered for his crimes. And even Patty Roy had gotten his face bloodied. It was sublime.
Here's what I believe is a mostly-full replay of the game (minus commercials/intermissions). Embedding for that vid is not allowed by yootoob.
For the fight alone, here you are:
Puck drops at 7:30ET. At stake is the home streak (going for 24) and sitting alone at the top of the NHL/Western Conference. Two points for the Canucks tonight and they tie us up. Datsyuk is still out tonight, so we need production from elsewhere.
I have some Fat Tire on deck, and that seems to coincide with good performances by the Wings.
Title saysit all, we're on NBC Sports tonight, trying to tie the record as well*.
*thanks Waggles, I mispoke in the first OP.
Per multiple reports, Jimmy Howard has broken a finger last night and will be out ~2 weeks. Joey MacDonald is being called up as the 2nd goalie until Howard's back. Obviously, if you are a Wings fan, this is not good.
UPDATE: The Red Wings press release states that Howard is out for the remainder of the road trip (games against Edmonton and Phoenix), after which he will be reevaluated. So hopefully it's less severe than initial speculation.
META OT NOTE: There is nothing in this post about Michigan except that Michigan is the state where the Red Wings happen to play; if you think this is an abuse of my blogging powers let me know in the comments so that I may summarily smite you. Brian has his soccer, me and Ace, we're Wingnuts. Deal.
So I was screwing around with a Wings stats database to try to string some thoughts together about the losing (oh the damn losing) which mercifully ended this weekend. Since it became a blog-like substance, I figured I'd throw it up here for the rest of the hometown fans of Blue who share a secret love affair with Red.
The burning question in Hockeytown this year is if the early losing streak was a blip or symptomatic of something very wrong. The easy answer is to say Detroit's not scoring enough. This is true:
Scoring is significantly down from last year. But is this from a lack of effort, e.g. are they not getting enough shots off?
- Brian Rafalski, 2010-'11: 4 goals in 106 shots = 3.8%
- Ian White, 2011-'12: 2 goals in 36 shots = 5.6%
Not there, unless it's in Raffi's passing.
- Modano/Draper combined 2010-'11: 10 goals in 136 shots = 7.35%
- Cory Emmerton 2011-'12: 1 goal in 11 shots = 9.10%
|Player||Goals||SOG||2011 ShP||2010 ShP||Diff|
There. It's not Zetterberg, although the dropoff in his accuracy since January last year is noted. Datsyuk and Cleary and Filpulla are way, way down, Holmstrom isn't getting the deflections like he's used to, and Eaves and Miller, Detroit's garbage goal guys can't get a puck in. Among Detroit's top shooters only Lidstrom, who had an uncharacteristically bad year last year, and Franzen, whose 2010-'11 season was slowed by his injury and creaky comeback, are doing better.
It could be their shots just aren't going in, and it could be that Ian White is passing to the bolded guys instead of Brian Rafalski. That it has affected the top scoring line (Datsyuk's) and the checkers the most suggests it might be Rafalski's passing that's missing. Extrapolating his season numbers from last year Raffi would have 8.38 assists and be a +2; White so far has 4 assists but is a +4.