Friday, October 28, 2005

The Wings Are Kinda Good

Another win last night by the Wings. This time they played probably their worst game of the season, and still managed to pull out a 5-2 win over the Blackhawks, who admittedly were without three of their best players in Ruutu, Daze, and Calder. The Wings looked awful the first two periods (bad passing, trying to be too cute in the offensive end, giving up way too many quality scoring chances), but Legace kept them in the game and then in the third, they used yet another PPG to take the lead, a fluky goal by Draper, and a late goal by Shanahan to put the Hawks away. Zetterberg and Datsyuk had pretty darn good games, and the Power Play is just sick. Put this in perspective here....the Wings have scored 20 power play goals on the season. They've only given up 21 goals period. 2nd best power play, 3rd best penalty kill, #2 in goals per game, #1 in goals against average, and far and away #1 in goal differential.

Look at the goal differential category. The Wings are first with a +2.36. Second is Ottawa at +1.75 gpg. That's a pretty big difference, but the gap to third is just nuts. Carolina (of all teams) is third with a +1.22. That means that there's only 1 team in the entire league that is within a goal per game of the Wings in terms of differential. Yikes.

Now, I'm not going to pretend that the Wings have played a real tough schedule. As this excellent article about Mike Babcock points out, they lost to the best team they've played. That said, everyone else has played crappy teams too, and no one else is 10-1-0 right now. Kudos to Manny Legace as well for breaking the NHL record for wins in the month of October (this article says he's the first goalie to ever win 10 games in a month, period. Not sure which is right).

Rasheed has a message for the Pistons' critics: "We'll see them bandwagon ass-cats come May and June." And yes the Free Press printed that whole quote. The Detroit News did not. In other Pistons news, it looks like they're getting closer to signing Tayshaun Prince to a new 5 year deal worth between $45-50 million. Unless Mike Dunleavy of all people screws things up.

Grant Hill is hurt. And in other news, the sun came up today.

A funny moment from the radio this week: Jim Rome had a guest who was supposed to appear on his TV show cancel because of a family emergency. He had only a couple hours to fill that spot and so he said on his radio show that any athlete out there who was listening should contact him if they wanted to be on the show. The first person that called up? No other than U of M's Nick Willis. They talked for a moment on the radio but Romie went elsewhere for his TV guest. It was very funny though. Rome was surprised when he found out Willis was actually an Olympian.

One other moment that made me laugh: Mel Pearson was on WTKA early in the week and Mike Wickett and Ben Holden were talking to him about how they were giving Kaleniecki crap about having not scored a goal yet, and then he went out and netted one against MSU. Pearson quipped, "Can you guys get Chad Kolarik on this week?" I don't think he made it on the radio, but Kolarik is keeping a diary of the UAF trip on MGoBlue. The first installment is up, with some nice pictures, including a beautiful shot of an Alaskan mountain range from the air, and a not-so-beautiful shot of Jack Johnson dozing. What amazed me is that they had practice less than 2 hours after they landed. That's just what I'd want to do after an 11 hour trip.

And in the latest "Whoa Daddy the Lakers are screwed" file, they may be starting Smush Parker at point guard this year. Yowsa. You read that right. Smush Parker. Starting.

In a completely non-sports related event (that I found out about while I was searching for another link), it appears that U of M has found the cause of prostate cancer and will now look to find a cure. There are some way smart people on this campus.

Michigan hockey takes on UAF this weekend. Tonight's game is on CSTV and tomorrow's will be on Comcast Local. No sleep tonight!! Go Blue!

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