Monday, October 30, 2006

On the Wings has moved

On the Wings has moved to its own domain: onthewingsblog.com. All future updates will be here but this site will remain for archive purposes. Please update your bookmarks!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Great resource: The Hockey Recap

If you're looking for quick information on last night's games, go here. (via Mirtle)

Filppula Called Up

The Red Wings today called up forward Valterri Filppula after the injury to Brad Norton. Norton has a left shoulder injury suffered in last night's game against Anaheim. If he arrived in time, he could be in the lineup tonight. In two games with Grand Rapids, Filppula has recorded one goal and one assist, with a rating of +1. Also, Brett Lebda will replace Anreas Lilja tonight.

Malik: Wings’ Foul-Out Endemic Of An Arrogant Organization

George Malik continues his practice of posting excellant columns on Kukla's Korner with this critique of the Wings' PR department. He gets a lot right in the first section, where he accuses the organization of arrogance. I do think, however, he somewhat overestimates the response the team would receive if they were to change its ways. Hockeytown has become more and more Pistonstown and Tigerstown lately, and I suspect it will be hard to return to the glory days of Wings fanship.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Greg Johnson Retires

Due to his heart ailment, Greg Johnson has retired from the NHL. I don't want to blame Ken Holland too much on this one, other than the fact that a physical could've been demanded prior to signing him. And catching the ailment before signing him would've allowed the Wings the cap space to go out and get a young forward. Obviously this is all in hindsight and neither Johnson nor Holland saw this coming. Enjoy your retirement, Greg, and I hope your condition improves.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Griffins Update

This is a new feature at On The Wings that Matt has asked me to write. Hopefully, I will write about once a week just to report what’s going on with the Wings AHL affiliate. The Grand Rapids Griffins are made up of players assigned by either Detroit or Edmonton, as well as a few with AHL contracts. I will focus mainly on Detroit prospects, though the general success of the team will be reported.

Tonight is the Griffins season opener. They play the San Antonio Rampage in San Antonio at 8:00 PM. When they take the ice tonight, the Griffins will hardly resemble the team from last year. Their roster is as follows:

Goaltenders 33- Jimmy Howard (DET)

1- Stefan Liv (DET)

Defense 3- Danny Syrvet (EDM)

4- Dan Smith (DET)

8- Nick Naumenko (GR Professional Tryout)

12- Tom Galvin (GR Professional Tryout)

18- Jason Becket (GR Professional Tryout)

22- Kyle Quincey (DET)

28- Derek Meech (DET)

Jonathan Ericsson (DET-Injured)

Offense 7- Stephane Goulet (EDM)

9- Kip Miller (GR)

10- Brock Radunske (EDM)

11- Krys Kolanos (DET)

14- Matt Hussey (DET)

15- Valterri Filppula (DET)

16- Ryan Oulahen (DET)

17- Evan McGrath (DET)

19- Eric Himelfarb (DET)

21- Josh Langfeld (DET)

23- Matt Ellis (DET)

25- Scott Barney (GR)

26- Brendan Brooks (DET)

27- Darryl Bootland (DET)

29- Ryan Keller (GR)

Only Howard, Quincey, Meech, Oulahen, Himelfarb, Ellis and Bootland remain from last season’s team. They had an incredible year, offensively, with 323 goals. 172 of those goals were scored by the top four offensive producers (Jiri Hudler, Donald MacLean, Eric Manlow and Tomas Kopecky)-all of whom are gone. The front offices of both the Red Wings and the Griffins have done a good job of getting some high production skaters.

The Griffins played only two exhibition games, and had a somewhat pathetic showing for both. The lost the fist to the Chicago Wolves, 3-2. The second was an 8-5 loss to the 05-06 Conference Champion Milwaukee Admirals. Hopefully, the regular season will have better results.

This season, there are a few key prospects to keep an eye on. Jimmy Howard is an obvious one. He’s already proven he can succeed at the AHL level in the regular season. He’ll be looking to prove that he can play in the post-season. Stefan Liv is a very exciting addition. It'll be interesting to see how he adjusts to North American hockey. He and Howard will make a great tandem and will hopefully lead GR to the Calder Cup. On defense, the Wings have Kyle Quincey coming up. His skills were seen quite clearly during the Preseason games for Detroit. On offense, Darryl Bootland and Valterri Filppula will hopefully play on the same line once again, though their linemate will be absent (Kopecky). They were arguably the Griffins best line last season. Filppula is on track to reach the NHL quite soon. If Bootland has another season like this past one, it could give him a much better chance of making the Wings next season.

Don't write about hockey, Drew Sharp

Sharp got his annual "let's bash hockey and the Wings" column in today's Free Press. Go read it if you can stomach it. Favorite bit of editorial wit:

But change hit home like a cold slap Thursday. Steve Yzerman took the ice in only a ceremonial role. Brendan Shanahan was opening on Broadway. And the goalie that everyone in Detroit truly wanted was on the ice.

The problem was he played for the other team.

Yes, Drew, the first two were definite slaps to the face but you're speaking for yourself on the third.

Shanahan gets 600th goal

I really would have loved to have seen that. I wish he could have gotten those two goals while still in Detroit. Congratulations, Shanny! As for the Wings, they lost last night and didn't look good while doing it, though it was still great to watch them again. Definitely a lot of rust, for just about everyone on the team. Hopefully they'll be better on Saturday against the Pens. It was very strange to see Lidstrom wearing the "C," but Draper and Zetterberg look good with the "A." Now I have to get one for my Hank jersey. I'm sorry about the lack of posting. I really did mean to do a preview of the game, if not the season, but just was not able to fit it in. I hope to be able to start posting more regularly sometime next week, when the homework push is over.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Wings final roster set

Brad Horton made the cut as the 13th forward, as the players preferred. So, the team will look like this:

Forwards Dan Cleary Pavel Datsyuk Kris Draper Johan Franzen Brad Horton Tomas Holmstrom Jiri Hudler Tomas Kopecky Robert Lang Kirk Maltby Mikael Samuelsson Jason Williams Henrik Zetterberg Defensmen Chelios Chelios Niklas Kronwall Brett Lebda Nicklas Lidstrom Andreas Lilja Danny Markov Mathieu Schneider Goalies Dominik Hasek Joey MacDonald Chris Osgood
I have a ton of homework to do this week but I'll get a season preview up by late Wedesnday night.

Kubina may be suspended for shot at Hudler

Update (7:39 PM): The TSN article has been updated to say that Kubina has, in fact, been suspended for Toronto's first regular season game. He'll forfeit $26,737.97 in pay. - Matt The Leafs' Pavel Kubina was assessed a match penalty during last night's exhibition game in Toronto (a 3-2 shootout win for the Wings) for a cross-check to Jiri Hudler's face. Now, the league is reviewing the play and may suspend the defenseman for at least Toronto's season opener against the Senators. I only caught a glimpse of the play while watching it live (I was distracted) but it seems pretty clear that Kubina ought to sit out at least one game. Hudler is the shorter player by a fair margin, Kubina has to control his stick, even when taking a cheap shot after the play. Hit him in the chest next time, Pavel.