Wings / Preds Commentary

posted on 04/14/04 at 11:26:18 am by Joel Ross

The Wings jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the series, winning both games in the third period. So much for being old. Rolling four lines really does have it's advantages late in the game.

But then they went to Nashville. And Nashville got fired up. And gained confidence. And flashes of last year against Anaheim quickly flooded my mind. Suddenly Vokoun looked like Giguere. The Preds style started looking a lot like Anaheim's style last year - give their goalie a good look at the puck, and take advantage of all opportunities, since they are rare.

Nashville had help to get where they are. Draper gets slashed in the face, and the refs don't see it. Homer gets hit in the head by Vokoun, and Homer gets the penalty. The first goal was arguably a two line pass. In the game 3, Yzerman was hauled down - no call - and Nashville goes on to score. Shanahan has lived in the box on some fairly cheap calls.

Nashville got help from the Wings. Hatcher put the puck on Nashville's stick to give them an easy one. Whitney blocks an Yzerman shot that was an empty netter. Shanahan has lived in the box on a few dumb penalties.

The Red Wings nation is panicking. How will it turn out? Like 2002, where the Wings had the same issues, going down 0-2 to Vancouver, before roaring back and taking the next four games? Or will it be like 2001 and 2003? In 2001, the Wings blew a 3-1 lead to LA, and everyone knows the Ducks swept them last year.

I think it's too early to panick. I do think Lewis needs to shake things up a bit though. And dressing Boyd isn't the answer. Williams is a better option than Devereaux. How about this? Scratch Boyd, put Woolley back on D, and move Dandenault up front. Give the Wings some speed (why Devereaux was inserted in the first place), but better skill, and a better defensive player up front.

Here's my lines (if I were Lewis):

McCarty - Datsyuk - Hull
Shanahan - Yzerman - Whitney

Homer - Lang - Zetterberg
Maltby - Draper - Williams

Lidstrom - Schneider

Chelios - Fischer
Hatcher - Dandenault

I just went back on what I said earlier about Dandenault, but I changed my mind. Pair him with Hatcher. A good combo of size and speed. Let Hatcher clear out the front of the net, and let Dandenault worry about no breakaways. Oh yeah, Chelios and Fischer together. Worked before. Why not. And Scheider and Lidstrom together? Nashville might as well just stand behind their net and wait for them to leave the ice!

I also think putting McCarty with Datsyuk will give him some more room to roam on the ice. Knowing McCarty may at any moment lay you out if you hit Pavel will give you pause. Same thing with Shanahan and Yzerman. Every line has a hitter on it - McCarty, Shanahan, Homer and Maltby. Just gotta be careful that Maltby doesn't get left out to dry.

As far as the power play, here are my two lines:

Hull - Datsyuk - Hatcher

Lidstrom - Chelios

Shanahan - Homer - Lang
Schneider - Yzerman

I would love to see Hatcher stand in front of the net. Let's see Vokoun see around Hatcher. Or Nashville try to move him. Not happening. Let Datsyuk feed Hull, and Hatcher screen. Or Lidstrom shoot from the point.

Yzerman on the point is good. He's solid defensively, and can handle the puck. Get Whitney out of there.

Penalty killing has been solid. Don't change anything. Just tell Hatcher to not come up too far, so he has time to get back.

One last position then huh? Goal - Legace or Cujo? 8 mill on the bench is tough. And Legace isn't playing well right now, so give Cujo the shot. And I think Lewis will - Cujo played 17 minutes last night, and he looked good.

One last note. The Wings need to stand up and lay out the next person who runs into our goalie, intentional or not. Hartnell is notorious for this, but the whole team is. Joseph was hit last night, and Legace was hit the other night. It's time for Hatcher or McCarty to make an example of one of them.

Anyway, game 5 is tomorrow night, and I expect the Wings to come out fired up. The crowd will be into it (hopefully they won't be as stupid as Nashville's fans - what's up with "Chelios is a sissy"!?! What kind of chant is that?) and a (true) number one goalie back in net. I expect a whooping (probably both physical and scoreboard). But we'll see. I kept waiting for it to happen last year too, and it never did.

Categories: Sports



posted on 04/13/04 at 09:29:42 pm by Joel Ross

Well, I've had a few blogs, but this is (hopefully) my last move. I got a new domain, and this should be permanent now.

I'll use this to talk about anything and everything, from sports to politics to programming. I'm a developer by day, and well, a developer by night. My technical content will be located here too, but also at, and I'll take my non-technical content off of there, and mainly leave it on here.

I've felt the urge to start my own personal blog because I don't feel right posting too much non-technical data on Geekdojo. Also, the new domain got me going too. I'm still trying to figure out what to do with the main site - maybe a portal? Who knows. It has to be ASP or PHP based, and support a MySQL backend, so if you know of anything good (and free), let me know.

Personally, I'm married and have a daughter, and I'll talk about them periodically. I also own my own business, called Tourney Logic, and we make a bracket control and pool management software. Just something to do in our spare time. I also enjoy watching sports, such as hockey and football. I'm a huge Wings fan, as well as a Michigan State fan. So expect posts about them as well.

So that's it for an introduction. Let's get rolling then!

Categories: Blogging


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