23 January 2008

Dethroned (Wings 3, Kings 0)

All right - remember when I posted game recaps? I'm not sure if I do or not. I missed almost every Wings game for about a month thanks to working Bronco hockey and a night class - but here I am again...just in time for the All Star break. Great.

However, I've got two game with which to redeem myself, so here we go.

Yesterday night the Wings looked to keep up the precedent set in San Jose the other night, this time against the league worst Los Angeles Kings. The team was again without Henrik Zetterberg and proved one more time that while his presence is missed, the team can step it up without him. Chris Osgood got the start in net (he promises, for the record, that he only lost those couple games last week because "his hair was too long" - no, really) and wound up with yet another shutout.

The game itself was, well...kind of boring, when compared to what we've seen this season. The Wings, as expected, dominated, but not in a flashy way. If I had a dollar for every time the Kings thought they finally had the puck out of their zone only to see the ever present stick of Nick Lidstrom (© Versus) poke it back and stymie them once again, I could probably purchase the team myself. Still, it was great to see the team play well and keep the wins coming, especially when the team has a habit of falling to opponents who should be sure wins - ahem, Atlanta.

The Wings take on Anaheim tonight at 10:00 pm in the final game before the All Star break. Mathieu Schneider promises that Holmstrom is the only guy he's got a score to settle with - just kidding.

Oh and hey, LA - how come Jason LaBarbera is still allowed to wear black pads? I hope Ilya Bryzgalov and his new three year contract are protesting.

Trouble in Paradise

It hasn't all been coming up roses for the Wings though, despite the way the wins keep rolling in. Henrik Zetterberg is once again out with back problems. He didn't play yesterday and won't be in the lineup tonight either, though he is still with the team. It was a hit in San Jose that made his back pain flare up again this time - a bit different from the laundry bag that did him in last December. The injury has become a bit worrisome, even though it's been repeatedly said that it isn't a relapse of the disk problems that saw him miss 19 games last season.

Truly unfortunate is that for the second year in a row he'll be missing the All Star game. While it's great to see his commitment to staying healthy and contributing to the team, and while the All Star game is effectively meaningless, it's still disappointing, which Zetterberg has admitted to.

"Especially this year, I was voted in by fans. I was really looking forward to going. But it's best not to go, and we'll get this squared away and get healthy for the rest of the year."
Thanks, Henrik - we hope you feel better soon (and seriously, make Datsyuk do your laundry or something).

European Style?

The Wings went out and had a little fun participating in simulations with the Huntington Beach police on Monday. Players and their families (players' fathers came along for this road trip) were split into groups of three for the evenet, and most everyone remarked that it was a lot of fun and that they wished they'd been able to have more time, but what really got me was this quote from Pavel Datsyuk:
“I with Homer and Fill,” Datsyuk said. “We special KGB group, me and Homey and Fill. We have European style, jump in and everybody shoot. Ask later, who still alive.”
I wouldn't want to meet him in a dark alley - wonder if that style carries over onto the ice?

Other things are important too, even if they don't have to do with the Wings

Jamie McLennan, former Calgary backup of playoff spearing fame, has a blog about playing in Japan (and when I say 'playing in Japan' what I really mean is 'taking pictures of food and making fun of Tyson Nash'). It's hilarious, I promise - I literally laughed so hard I cried. Thanks Teebz for the link!

The Oilers were in Tampa Bay last night where they mounted quite the comeback against the Bolts before losing 4-3 - the game was broadcast on Oilers PPV, and I have to say, nothing made me laugh as hard as Gene Principe's little flub in talking about the team's rookies: "Craig MacTavish needs to keep having sex - er - success." (I was also a fan of the announcers trying to use the word 'shutout' as many times as possible in thirty or so seconds to jinx Johan Holmqvist - I thought the PPV games were supposed to suck? I was so entertained!)

Oh and I hear the Leafs fired somebody...

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