Monday, February 28, 2011

Win in Buffalo sums up Red Wings' collective character

I don't what is more amazing: How clutch the Red Wings are, or how it flies under the radar in this town.
Take the Red Wings' victory Saturday night in Buffalo, for example. Down 2-1 with less than a minute remaining in the regulation time, Jiri Hudler scored as the Red Wings went with an extra attacker. In the shootout, Hudler and Pavel Datsyuk scored, with the first two shots, on the Sabres' Ryan Miller - the world's top goalie. In the meantime, Red Wings' backup Joey MacDonald thwarted the Sabres, who had been stellar in shootouts this season. This came after back-to-back home losses by the Red Wings and they appeared to be reeling.
The Red Wings are unflinching in regard to coming through. That was a truly thrilling hockey game Saturday, which has received little notice. That just isn't right. The Red Wings are too good to be taken for granted in this town.

Random Thoughts

- A 1-0 shutout in a spring training game? Weird. The best part from the Tigers' standpoint Sunday was the one-inning shutout performance by Joel Zumaya. If he pitches well and stays healthy this season, it would provide the Tigers with an extraordinary boost. Then again, can there be a bigger "if."

- Prediction: Michigan State will beat Iowa and lose at Michigan this week to finish 9-9 in the Big Ten. That would also mean Michigan is 9-9, putting the fate of both in-state Big Ten schools regarding the NCAA tournament resting on the conference tournament. At least it will make the Big Ten Tournament compelling for a change.



Anonymous Michael C said...

I use to be a big hockey fan, but during the lockout my love for the Wings spread to the other local teams, and ever since I just haven't been able to get excited about hockey anymore.

7:30 PM 
Blogger David Brennan said...

Great to have you back!

Also great to see some Red Wings talk.

I definitely agree that Saturday's game was a blast. I watched it and then the UFC event, and I actually found the hockey game far more riveting.

I will say, though, that Ryan Miller is completely overblown by the media - he had a great season last year, but beyond that all the stats suggest he's a good-to-mediocre goalie - a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10, let's say. The U.S. media fawning over him has gone beyond celebratory and it's now outright disrespectful to superior players. In interviews, it seems (to me) like some NHL players are annoyed at the publicity he gets. One of the Red Wings announcers seemed especially aggravated when the guys at the Fox Sports studio kept on just spewing, "Ryan Miller!" with every single one of their questions. Yeah, he's a solid American player. Let's move on. (Or at least these media people could be honest about things and just say, "Hey, I just believe that Americans are the master race, so I'm going to talk about them at the expense of the inferior people born in other countries."

Tonight's game (Kings) was a much more casual fun to watch. They're just three points behind the Canucks now, and I think the President's Trophy should be the goal.

San Jose looked like a bunch of studs last week, so I'm really looking forward to the Thursday game against them.

5:06 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Michael C,
A lot of people look at the Red Wings and say, "Tell me when the playoffs start." I still love regular season, too. But many were turned off by the lockout.

1:46 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

David Brennan,
I think Miller is great. Would take him over any goalie in the world. But I can't say you don't make good points. For one, what has he won? The Sabres haven't done much in the playoffs with him in goal. Also, the Americans didn't win the goal medal. And this season, Miller's statistics are just in the middle of the pack among NHL goalies.

1:48 PM 
Blogger David Brennan said...

Yeah, Miller's stats are pretty much what I was referring to (last season was the only season where they were really great).

It's not really that I have anything against him, but I do have something against this out-of-control media fixation with American players. I can't even watch the games on NBC because it's basically like a caveman chant: "American players special! Canadians and Scandinavians inferior!"

Anyway, I don't think that it's going to change or anything, and I don't wanna make a huge deal out of it. But the out-of-proportion praise for Miller just irritates me.

Regarding the lack of attention for Red Wings, one thing that you could consider doing is advertising when you're having your Red Wings show on 97.1 (and, for that matter, the Tigers show, too). I really like those focused, sober shows, but it seems like they have no set schedule, so I can never make it a point to listen. So if your blog or the 971 site were just clear about when those shows are airing, I think that that'd make them much more popular.

6:46 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

David Brennan,
I played up the Americans performance in the Olympics myself, and Miller was great there. But will that be that highlight of his career? If it is, he isn't matching all the hype.

10:49 AM 

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