Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Nothing But Praise For The Red Wings

With a 3-0 lead in their series over Colorado, there are a number of things that standout about the Red Wings:
- They can’t say Chris Osgood is just the benefactor of playing with a great team in front of him. He’s made several key and timely saves and has outplayed Jose Theodore by a wide margin in this series.
- Johan Franzen is a budding star. He closed the regular strongly and has been even better during the playoffs. Come on - eight goals in nine games. That’s the stuff of a potential Conn Smythe Trophy winner. The Mule has extraordinary hands.
- Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg were outstanding Tuesday. Those two, along with Nicklas Lidstrom, give the Red Wings three of the Top 10 players in the NHL.
- Mike Babcock has had the golden touch as coach. He switched to Osgood at just the right time during the Nashville series, his decision to play Darren McCarty over Aaron Downey was the right one and he has made the proper moves in terms of adjusting his game-night lineup.
- Niklas Kronwall is on the verge of becoming a great player. He has been the Red Wings most-underrated player during the playoffs.
- Don’t discount Dallas because the Red Wings have owned the Stars in the past. They are clearly better built for the playoffs this spring, and Mary Turco is a much better playoff performer than he used to be.

Random Thoughts

- It is hardly a coincidence the Tigers have started playing much better baseball since Curtis Granderson returned to the lineup. Looks like he is going to be returning to Yankee Stadium later in the season - for the All Star Game. Amazing how he keeps getting better. That injury didn’t throw him off a bit.

- What a find Clay Rapada has been. Every time the Tigers have turned to the guy, he has come through. That was a huge out he got Tuesday night.

- Hey, how come nobody is calling sports talk radio lately begging the Pistons to trade Tayshaun Prince? He has been the Pistons’ one constant during their series against the 76ers.


Anonymous Bryan152 said...

It appears as though Detroit and Dallas are on a collision course for a fantastic third round. I like what Dallas has done in making the right tweaks at the deadline and knocking out the Ducks is no easy task. If healthy, Dallas will give the Red Wings about as much as they can handle.

The immeasurable aspect of the Red Wings' success thus far has been their play in front of Chris Osgood. Not only has Osgood refused to let in soft goals, he looks utterly sure of himself in net. Remember Legace and Joseph in the not-so-distant past? When they would give up a goal and just look down and shake their heads? You don't get that out of Osgood, mostly because he doesn't ask for many goals back.

Simply put, the Red Wings play with more confidence in front of Ozzie and Babcock must realize that if they are to win the Cup, it is going to be in front of #30.

On an unrelated note, do you think Pittsburgh has a shot at sweeping their way to the Finals? I know they're still five HUGE wins away but they have dominated the Flyers in the past and they seem to get better with each game. I don't think any team has ever won 12 in a row to get to the finals. Although there is no current rivalry and I'm looking way too far ahead, a Pittsburgh/Detroit Finals would make for one heck of a June.

3:22 AM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, DD and Team are the best at finding good players from other teams such as Monroe, Thames and others. Guillen could be put in that group because he was not a star until he came to Detroit. Polanco was good too with the Phillies but he really broke out with Detroit. I am impressed by last year draft too.They are putting megabucks into the draft which is smart and saves a lot of money in the long run. Finding the next Granderson or Fryman is the best way to go. I just wish he would do a little better when signing high end free agents. I also have a feeling that Tiger management all see the glass either half full or half empty at the same time. I know you could point to great free agent signings such as Pudge, Maggs, Rogers and T.Jones but those guys were knocking on the Tigers' door. Unlike their cousins, they open the door and let them in.

11:50 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

bryan 152,
I think there might be a false sense of overconfidence from Red Wing fans about that series. The Stars will come in having knocked off the Ducks and Sharks, far better teams than the Predators and Avalanche.I think the Penguins will lose along the way, particularly if they face Montreal. To me, that series would be pick 'em.

12:02 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Actually, the Tigers have been very fortunate that way. Ordonez, Pudge, Rogers, Todd Jones - all panned out. They could have signed Barry Zito.

12:03 PM 
Blogger Dakota Mark said...

I have said all along, and even to you Book in a past blog, that Osgood is up for the task. He has not let me down yet. I am very glad we have a couch like Babcock, cause Bowman would have stuck it out the old vet Hasek.

Franzen is playing out of his mind, even he admitted that he is not this good. The scary part is coming this off season...the contract decision for Zetterburg just got harder with the emergence of the Mule. Franzen has to be signed also, and now will demand a much bigger payday then Holland probably forcasted. Getting them both to stay long term is very necessary for the teams long term success, but can they both be signed???? Good luck with this one Kenny.

Dallas has made our path to the cup much easier...but now we will have play them...scary..they are on just as big a role as the Wings...but, I think the wings have just way too much scoring and raw talent for Dallas to overcome. Wings in 6.

As for Clay Rapada, he has been lights out...a converted sidewinding lefty, who can throw strikes....WOW! (and what is C-MO doing these days?!) What a steal. Our pen is really starting to come, no more Grilli...there really is a God!

2:29 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

dakota mark,
Osgood's importance to the Wings right can't be understated. If he hadn't come through, they would have been in deep trouble. You raise an interesting point about Frazen. Is he emerging as a star or is this just his 15 minutes of fame in what will otherwise be an ordinary career.

3:14 PM 

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