Oh Ozzie, Why do you do this too me?

Why do you have to turn me into an angry, hateful bitch every regular season? Why? It seems like such a waste of time and energy for you to play like shit, force me to spend at least half a season bitching about you, plays balls out during the playoffs, forcing me to recant and claim to never doubt you again, only to repeat the pattern next season.  It’s mean. And exhausting.

Every Wing fan knew tonight would be a tough game.  They are down 8 regulars, including Zetterberg, and the Hawks have a ridiculous amount of offensive talent paired with the best defense in the game. At least Hossa didn’t score I suppose. 

The game started off pretty pathetic for both teams. The Wings seemed completely disjointed and had difficulties communicating, and the Hawks did dominate however certainly not to the level they should have. Of all the games, this one in particular highlighted the fact that most of the team is made up of third and fourth liners. It highlighted the fact they they were missing their best players. And perhaps most importantly it highlighted what a vital, quite leader, Zetterberg really is.

This game left me pissed off at Ozzie. But with the rest of the team, I merely felt sympathy.  I think my expectations can at times be too high for this injury depleted team.

Below are my random thoughts about the game:

  • At the beginning of the season Maltby had a short handed goal and a few other good games. Lately he has either been nonexistent or irritatingly bad. His pathetic offensive zone penalty at the beginning of the game sums up his overall contribution to the team.
  • Miller had another great game. It’s just nice to see someone out there working hard in both ends of the ice. He pushes himself and gives that last little bit of effort that makes a huge difference.  You know compared to a Ville Leino for example.
  • The first of three goals Ozzie let in was from about 50 feet out.  Personally, I felt he should have seen the puck. If my friend who appreciated the fox glowing puck could see it, then so should have Osgood. Mick disagreed, but I think he just felt bad for the poor bastard.
  • With about 6 minutes left in the first, the Wings had their first shot on goal.  Not only did they spend much of the period in their zone, but they were all apparently watching old Samulesson tape and kept shooting wide when they did have a rare opportunity.
  • Despite the shitty goal in the first, the Wings did hold off the Hawks many rushes.  They just needed to settle down.
  • Near the end of the first Eaves blocked a shot with the inside of his ankle.  Apparently he had xrays but was able to come back.  Enough already. With the way this season is going, not only should Lidstrom (the last player from the Hockeytown No Limits commercial) be wrapped in industrial strength bubble wrap, but all players should be required to wear the ankle guards Stuart and Kronwall are wearing.  Come to think of it, maybe they should all wear a full cage mask and any other additional protection available.  Better to be safe than sorry.
  • Helm made a fantastic pass to a breaking Leino.  Too bad it wasn’t the other way around.  I’ve heard a lot of talk about what a poor skater Leino is, but this really showcased how slow he is.  Too bad he didn’t have that “burst of wind” Datsyuk had during the Winter Classic.
  • I completely forgot Kopecky was on the Chicago team, until Daniels pointed out that he gets about 6-7 minutes of ice time a game and has one goal.  Damn, if only he stayed a Wing.
  • Abdelkader was really pissing off some Hawks. Nice to see he’s getting comfortable enough that his game is fully taking shape.  Watching him as a Spartan, when he was agitating the other team, he was usually playing his best hockey.  So when he and May were mixing it up, I was hoping for a momentum swing. We didn’t get it, but after the last Wings podcast, I’m glad May stepped up or an angry mob may have come after him.
  • On Chicago’s second goal, Osgood’s legs were open wider than one of Tiger’s 12,000 whores.  Sure Campbell was left wide open in the low slot, but Jesus Ozzie….
  • The third Chicago goal was another 50 footer.  Osgood should be ashamed. My three year old niece could have scored on him tonight.  Howard better be preparing to come back strong after the Dallas game.  Ozzie won’t be ready until late next year.
  • Tonight not only did our defense look pathetic (remember they are missing Kronwall and Ericsson) but the forwards apparently didn’t feel like backchecking? I don’t know how many times a Chicago player would skate completely uncovered into the slot.  Sure they have injuries but that was just damn laziness.
  • Finally, Ville Leino, you are now playing the NHL. The shit you did before in the Finnish Elite Leage, and the AHL will not work against teams like Chicago, or Tampa Bay for that matter.  Every shift you need to skate hard and learn what backchecking means. Watch Datsyuk for an example.  Leino has just been so frustrating. I have tried to be patient, remembering that he has had a number of different centers and is still adjusting, but at some point, he needs to prove he belongs.

Overall, a rough game for the Wings.And perhaps my take on all of this is a little too harsh.  It’s clear the effect of the injuries is starting to show and while it is not an excuse, it is their reality.  They need to find a way to pull together and gain some points before Christmas and until Zetterberg gets back.  Until then, too bad Stuart wasn’t able to lay out Hossa, and congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks. You beat the Grand Rapids Griffins….however it was not the ass kicking you should have administered. So yeah, suck it.