Sunday, November 09, 2003

Wings 3, Preds 4

A snapshot of the Wings last night: Tomas Holmstrom taking a nose dive after being hit in the back by Predators goalie Tomas Vokoun, much like the Wings took a nosedive in the 3rd period of last night's game Last night was a microcosm of the Wings' season so far. They came out of the gates hard, scored 13 seconds into the game, and, for the next two periods, dominated the Predators in just about every phase of the game. They took a 3 goal lead and seemed to have the game in hand. Then, in the third, they fell so completely apart that I'm almost ashamed to be a Wings fan. To put it plainly, they freaking sucked last night in the 3rd period, giving up 4 goals in the final 13 minutes of the game. Nashville deserves credit for not giving up and fighting back but the Wings basically handed them the win. I went from expecting a win to hoping for a tie to hoping for an a overtime loss to expecting a straight loss, all in one game. It wasn't the officiating this time. In fact, both teams had five powerplays and both only scored once. It was not the goaltending either. Joseph was very steady in the first two periods where he got very little action and the Predators goals were results of poor defense and not poor goaltending. Last night's loss is completely on the Wings' shoulders. They cannot blame anyone else but themselves for that shameful display in front of their home fans. I almost wish I had spent my time from 7:30 to 10:00 watching the Pittsburgh/Virginia Tech or Clemson/Florida State games instead because Pittsburgh and Clemson know had to play for their home crowd and they pulled off big wins over better teams, something the Wings couldn't even do over a much lesser team (at least on paper but maybe not in reality). Scott Walker, who scored the GWG with 57 seconds left said last night "It was awesome. To be honest, we had only played 20 minutes or so, so we should have had a lot more left. We just stood around and watched them skate for two periods." The Wings played 40 minutes or so and then watched the Preds skate around them for one period. You tell me which one worked out better. Play well in the beginning instead of the end or play well in the end instead of the beginning? I'd rather just have the Wings play well all the time instead of their standard practice of playing terribly in either the first or third periods. Play the whole game, guys! Maybe you are too old, if you don't have the endurance to play a whole game after not having a game since last Tuesday. More bad news: Darren McCarty left early in the first period with back spasms, a result of going into the end boards feet first after a rush to the net. He is supposed to get X-rayed today. If he goes down, the Wings are even further screwed. On a more positive note, Darryl Bootland looked good in his first NHL game. He wore #27 and worked hard all night, though he took a bad penalty. Good job, Darryl, I hope you get more games with the big team, though I wish we didn't need you. Another non-regular young guy who played last night was Jamie Rivers. He's played another game for the Wings before but last night was his first as a defenseman. He played right wing in his other game for the Wings. He played fairly well also. Maybe it's time Lewis throws away tradition, swallows his pride, hands the offense back to Barry Smith and takes over the defense again. That's how it was under Scotty and maybe that's how it should be now, tradition or not. The Wings are now 6-7-1-0. Disgusting. I'm beginning to doubt that they'll even make the playoffs, let alone win in them. The Cup is an unattainable goal, in my mind, as of right now unless things change dramtically in the near future. The Wings took one step forward on Tuesday in Calgary but now have taken at least one step if not two back. Jerry Green says in today's Detroit News that Scotty Bowman has turned out to be a prophet when it comes to the Wings. According to him, Bowman retired because he believed the Wings' run was over. Read the article. It's depressing but true in many ways. I'm not sure if I'm ready to accept that the Wings are done and that they will not win the Cup again any time soon but it looks like I may have to. Next up: vs. Chicago, Monday, 7:30 News | ESPN | Box Score | Photos Lines- Holmstrom-Datsyuk-Whitney Maltby-Hudler-Hull Shanahan-Yzerman-McCarty Shanahan-Yzerman-Hull Devereaux-Draper-Bootland Shanahan-Yzerman-Draper SHanahan-Yzerman-Devereaux Maltby-Draper-Hull Lidstrom-Schneider Fischer-Chelios Rivers-Woolley Fischer-Schneider Lidstrom-Woolley PP- Shanahan-Yzerman-Holmstrom Holmstrom-Datsyuk-Hull Lidstrom-Schneider Lidstrom-Whitney Fischer-chelios PK- Maltby-Draper Shanahan-Yzerman Whitney-Hull Whitney-Holmstrom Maltby-Whitney Maltby-Yzerman Lidstrom-Chelios Fischer-Schneider 6 on 5 Cujo pulled Whitney-Datsyuk-Holmstrom-Hull Lidstrom-Schneider Net- Curtis Joseph


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