The Wings showed two things yesterday to me. They showed that, despite the fact that they are a team that has a ton of new faces out there, they can be the Detroit Red Wings that we know and love. But they also showed that even when they do show that, they are a team that still is having some mental issue of putting the skate to the neck of the opponent and pressing down. The Wings had that game locked up yesterday a few times and let up.
Now, in the team's defense, it wasn't all their fault. An unlucky line changed caused one of the goals (this shit happens, now if it keeps happening, then it is an issue) and Osgood let up two weak ones. The long wrist shot has to be stopped. We know Osgood's issues and potential, but we need him right now to make those saves. We still don't need a game breaker, but the five hole right now is killing him and usually that is something that he is decent at. He've never had good edge control, and this was proven once again in the shootout. (I mean the ability to push off after being down and out.) Honestly, I wouldn't have had an issue with Howard coming in in the shootout, but as Edmonton has showed us in the past, probably not the best idea. All of us and Osgood know he is and can be more consistent.
Now a few fans out there are already jumping out the window on this team. Not yet, I truly believe that they are still the top 5 teams in the league. In fact, I think they are in the top two or three. We saw a lot of good out there Saturday. We saw what Helm can do, he is back and looks like himself out there. Hopefully Babbles will put more faith in him and give him more ice time. May really is fairly talented for an enforcer. I loved Downey. Favorite player on the team for the past few years. But May is a much better player and fighter. I like him out there.
Our 4th line is really stepping it up. Maltby looks like an NHL player again after a few years where I was convinced that he had been replaced by the fan who snuck onto the ice in Montreal, allowing Jose Three-or-four to make his first save in years.
Two of our other acquisitions are looking good. I hated Williams like Bourque hates Bertuzzi, but he's seriously been one of the best players on the ice. Fil's goal yesterday was all due to Williams. And Bertuzzi, no matter what some people think of him, has been a solid player and finally broke the ice and got on the board yesterday. He deserved that and is actually one of the Wings' best passers out there. He sees the ice very well.
And Zetterberg is finally starting to look like Z out there. Bounces aren't going our way right now, and the combination of that, the goaltending, and the injuries are why the Wings are at .500 after seven games (that shouldn't be possible, but damn Bettman is making the math be all f****d up).
I have full confidence that these guys will stay in contention, will learn how to win along the way (remember, this is new for a lot of these players, both winning and not dominating, depending on the player) and then with the return of Franzen in the spring, we will have added another player to an already solid team. And of course, we then will aquire playoff Osgood, dropping regular season Osgood, which for some reason I still somehow blame on Gary..ass.
So don't throw the hairdryer in the bathtub just yet, I think we are alright. Still, keep the razor blades sharp, just in case I'm way off and the need to end it all comes back.
Wings players of the game (lawsuit currently pending against TTD)
1.) Zetterberg: Best player on the ice again. We need that.
2.) Bertuzzi: Finally got a goal, and set up Zetterberg for what should have been a great goal, only to be stuffed by Anderson, who is the real deal. Fairly cool note is that one of mine and Drew's ex-teammate played with Anderson in juniors. I guess he's a good guy and I wish him the best.
3.) Williams: Another solid game, seems to have finally went back to school and passed the 5th grade. He's simply a better player than Sammy and I welcome never having to hit my head in frustration everytime Sammy shot the puck.