Posted tagged ‘hockey’

Thoughts on the Blackhawks and the Devil’s Trapezoid

March 14, 2010

We’re coming into the home stretch of the season and some things are beginning to bug me.

1.  The Blackhawks.  There is something about the way they are playing that is making me feel uncomfortable.  I can’t put my finger on it though.  The last two losses to the Caps and Flyers didn’t help that feeling.  It’s not about goaltending, even though it’s been less than solid.  It’s a team dynamic thing.  It’s about giving up goals in bunches.  It’s about perhaps being too cocky or confident.  It’s about not being able to always put teams away.  It was summed up when Captain Jonathan Toews said today, “We’ve got the most skill in the league, on any team.  There’s no reason, up 3-0, we can’t go out and finish the team off.” 

He’s right that the Hawks should be able to finish of a team when they’re up 3-0, but I don’t buy that the Hawks are the most skilled team in the league – and most teams in the NHL don’t think that either.  So now, when teams are looking for that extra something to make the playoffs, they’ll have Toew’s  little tidbit posted on their locker room walls.  It’s bad enough that teams are gunning for you because you’re a top team but to say you’re the most skilled team will just tick some teams off and make the Blackhawk’s road to the Cup that much more difficult.

I do value that as Captain he’s trying to fire the boys up, and hopefully he knows his team best and they will respond.    But, only time will tell…

2. Please, please PLEEEEEASE get rid of the stupid trapezoid behind the net (It was such a relief and pleasure to watch Olympic hockey without it).  Last night I watched a game where the puck was trickling to the goal line and a player from the other team was bearing down on the goalie but still was a few strides away (a teammate was coming down the opposite boards).  The goalie accidentally touched the puck almost in the corner and was given a delay of game penalty.  I was stunned.  I know that’s what’s given for the infraction but here the goalie clearly kept play moving and prevented a lull where the puck would’ve died just past the goal line and we would’ve waited for someone to catch up to the puck.  A Delay of Game?  Why not call it a ‘Bettman’?  

New Jersey Penalty, Number thirty, Martin Brodeur, 2 minutes for a Bettman at 14:36, Brodeur 2 minutes for a Bettman at 14:36.  Penalty being served by….”

That has a ring to it!

New Hockey Point Proposal and AHL Goal Video Review

December 1, 2009

Let me first say, I actually like shootouts.  Yeah, I know, it’s not the best way to end the game, but it’s exciting and I like it- though I actually like the AHL’s version better with 5 shooters vs. 3.

Having said that, I don’t like the fact that losing teams come away with a point in shootout games.  Why?

Because it actually rewards a team’s lack of finishing ability. 

Let me explain.  What do you usually hear when games end regulation in a tie?

“Each team earned a point.”

Fine.  They then play 5 more minutes and each team still comes away with a point.  Therein lies the problem.

The purpose of overtime is for the team with the most guts and gumption to put away the other team.  If a team can’t do it, they don’t deserve to be rewarded with a point, especially if they lose in the pseudo-chaotic arena of the shootout (which, as I said before, I actually like).

So this is my solution: If you make it out of regulation with a tie, fine, you get a point.  But if you don’t win in OT,  both teams lose the point.  The MOST a team can then get for the game is one point.  So the breakdown is as follows:

Win in Regulation- 2 points

Tie at end of regulation – 1 point each team

Win in OT – two points total for winner, one for loser.

Tied at end of OT – Teams lose the one point they earned during regulation. Zero points for either team

Winner of Shootout – One total point for winner, none for loser.

So what do you think?  Would it make OT more exciting and make teams want to win?  Heck, teams might pull goalies in OT to get two points instead of one.

Oh, and the AHL still not video reviewing goals? A college game on tv had video review and the AHL can’t do it?  What gives?

Time to Kick it in to Gear-Don Granato Gone as Coach of the Wolves

October 19, 2009

I’m here in Cincinnati checking my email and there is the press release I’d been hoping for.

Don Granato and Jason Christie have finally been let go.

I know they tried but something never quite clicked under them.  I appreciate the effort but this team has seemed like it’s been going through the motions for too long.  The change was needed.

Now it’s on the players and it’s time to kick it in to gear and start playing like they can.

Go Wolves!

Don Granato Has Got to Go…

October 16, 2009

sinking-ship Jason Krog has never received a misconduct in his professional career…until tonight when he slammed his stick against the glass and shattered it (the glass not his stick!) during the Wolves’ 4-1 loss to the Rockford IceHogs.

This team looks as bad this year as it did at the end of last year.  At this rate the Wolves will be out of the playoffs before the season gets underway.  Although Coach says he hates to lose, apparently there’s a disconnect because with the exception of Jason Krog, losing has become the norm with this club.

Wendell, I know that letting someone go is never easy, and it’s a drag that as the new GM you’re going to have to be the heavy to a guy you coached with, but it needs to be done. 

Like now…

Hockey is Underway! (Drew MacIntyre – Get a New Mask, bro…)

October 3, 2009

Hockey is officially underway.  The Blackhawks came away with three of four points against the Panthers.  They looked good in the second game and they capitalized on Florida’s flatness.  The first game the Hawks had a tougher time putting the Panthers away and it cost them a point.  It looked  a lot like last year in some ways, but the season is too young to jump to any conclusions.

The Wolves also started out with a loss tonight against the Milwaukee Admirals.  Great crowd of over 10,000 but the Wolves fell flat for a period and it cost them the game.  What bothered me about the game though was not so much the play  of any particular players but Wolves goalie Drew MacIntyre’s, Milwaukee Admirals mask.

mask2 michaelplishka2009mask1 michaelplishka 2009

Drew,  I know you’re playing against your former team but that’s even more a reason to get your new mask done before you play them.   Also, I know goalies like their equipment but while you’re at it, could you ditch those blue pants and get some black ones?

Wolves fans everywhere thank you.

It’s Almost Over

May 24, 2009

melt michael plishka 2009

The meltdown occurred.

A young Blackhawks team that has battled its way out of adversity in the past has met its match.  Now, while the series is not yet over, being down 3-1 and being drubbed 6-1 in game 4, in your home building, is basically a cue to get tee times ready for next week.

I was particularly puzzled and disappointed by Coach Q’s complaint about the officiating, especially when there were plenty of other things to find fault with, namely the play on the ice. 

Once again, Brian Campbell made it clear why his playoff play has been questioned in the past by making us question it again in the present.

I’ve been pulling for Huet and saying he can be as good as Khabibulin but he wasn’t great today.  He was great at times, but overall, when he needed to make stops, he didn’t.

Duncan Keith and the rest of the defensive crew once again showed that when the pressure’s on, they make stupid plays.  

Again, Kane and Toews couldn’t get free and threaten.

Oh, did I mention that this loss was to a Detroit team that was minus stars, Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk?

I’m not disappointed in what the Hawks did this year.  They surpassed my predictions and expectations, but I had a feeling, as I mentioned before, that this round would be the end of the line – or the beginning of the line to the First Tee.

It’s been a good run. 

Thanks, Hawks, and I hope you at least can bring the Wings back to Chicago for a better send off for yourselves and the Wings.

This year deserves better.

8 to Go

May 11, 2009

Wow…

I was wrong.  Hawks won.  They keep finding ways of pulling it out.  They keep making sloppy plays in their own end, they keep falling behind, yet they come from behind, score goals in frenzied bunches and win.

Vancouver lost today because the Hawks had them where they wanted them.  After the first two games, Vancouver tried different game plans and never found their groove.

After the game 5 win, Vancouver panicked and totally left their game plan.  The result was a disastrous 7-5 loss.

So what does it mean for the Hawks?

Vancouver was tougher than Calgary and the next round tougher still, but the teams that the Hawks will face prior to the finals have not played the greatest against the Hawks in regular season.

Does this mean I’m predicting the Hawks to win it all now?

The stars are aligning, some big teams have gotten bumped already and it’s beginning to look alot like Christmas for this year’s Hawks.

So…will they win it all?

I’ll wait to see who they play next round before predicitng, but as I said at the start of this entry, I don’t think you can come from behind forever, and make bad defensive plays forever and win the Cup.

I’d love to see it and as these playoffs are going, they now have a shot.  But I think it’ll go wide.

I’m hoping for a tip-in in overtime.

Let’s go Hawks!!