Saturday, February 07, 2009

Only 30 Left

Yep, just 30 games left in the regular season and it is time for the Wings to get their act together and start playing like they can. Today's game was a good start, as they beat the Oilers 8-3. They had 5 goals in the first period alone, but didn't keep up the pressure in the third and allowed three goals. Still, they played more like themselves than they have all season--and it's about time.

I could also have titled this post as "It's February So That Means The Wings Are Falling Like Flies." The injuries are beginning to stack up and it is getting scary. First, Brad Stuart goes on long-term injured reserve because of the way he went into the boards just before the all-star break. He should be back in the next few weeks, hopefully. Tomas Holmstrom has been having groin problems again and needs surgery just like last year. He is gone for about 5 weeks, but should be back in time for the playoffs. Tomas Kopecky has a hip that is bothering, but would have been able to play tonight if it had been a playoff game. And Johan Franzen got hurt during tonight's game and there is no word as to how bad his hand is. Keeping my fingers crossed over THIS one. Thankfully, Z came back from his back problems last game and is playing like he never was gone. Dan Cleary took one nasty hook/slash to the jewels tonight, but he claims to be fine. Maybe his wife would have a different opinion, if she was asked tomorrow. ;)

The one good thing to come out of the injuries is that some of the guys from Grand Rapids are being called up. Downey came up for one game and so did Abdelkader. Helm is playing again and we finally have gotten to see Ville Leino play some games. Leino is the second Finn to play for the Wings and he is impressing. In three games, he has gotten two goals and on assist--I believe he WILL be playing on the 'big' team next year. It will be nice for my Baby Boy to have someone else from Finland on the team--as long as VF stays in Detroit!

Babcock has FINALLY started playing the lines I have wanted all season long--and it seems to be working. The Eurotwins are back together on the first line and have done rather well. I think the entire team likes it best when Z and Pasha play together. Baby Boy is now on the second line with Hossa and it has really done wonders for his point tally--he now has 25 points! I think VF might be getting it together--finally--as he is putting up some points and is actually doing more hitting! Now all he has to do is start shooting more and he will end the season very nicely. He still is at a little over 50% with his face-off wins, so that hasn't changed at all since last year--and that is a VERY good statistic. If he can pick up his play, then he might not have to worry about the possibility of being traded.

Tomorrow the Wings play in Pittsburgh. At least today's game wasn't that tiring and Babcock kept everyone's time on the ice to a minimum, so they should be ready to go. A couple of things are bothering me about the game, though. First, it is on NBC, so we get to listen to the announcers drool over Crosby. Of course, being on national TV the officiating could very well be VERY bad for the Wings--kind of to be expected. The worst part of the game, though, will be the Penguin fans. I expect a lot of booing as soon as Hossa shows his face--and it will continue every time he has possession of the puck. They still can't get over the fact that Hossa wanted to leave Pittsburgh--you would think they would have gotten over it already. But, I can't fault the Pittsburgh fans--well, not TOO much. It seems as if EVERY team's fans have SOMEONE that they will boo relentlessly for years and years and years. Detroit fans STILL boo Federov and HIS sin happened quite a few years ago. I certainly don't understand it. At least Hossa is very aware of what will happen and he can adjust as he needs to. All I want is a win--I don't care HOW they do it, I just want them to win. If the win is pretty, all the better! GO WINGS!!!!

--DETROIT - FEBRUARY 07: Theo Packham #49 of the Edmonton Oilers battles for the puck with Ville Leino #21 of the Detroit Red Wings during the first period on February 7, 2009 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)--

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