Postgame: Red Wings @ Predators – 12/15

I didn’t see any of Nashville’s comeback so I don’t have much to say about this game. And I’m exhausted from a brutal but insanely fun soccer game so I’ll make this quick.

End to end action in the first period didn’t favor Detroit. The Wings are the more skilled team and back and forth like that just gave Nashville more chances than they should have gotten.

Detroit picked things up in the second and dominated for about 15 minutes. Then they did what they seemingly always do, they sat back on their two-goal lead.

No comment on the third, other than the tying goal coming on a Predators’ power play after Paul Woods spent much of the second talking about how disciplined Detroit had been.

Postgame: Flames @ Red Wings

As I mentioned before the game, I had soccer tonight (also a 4-1 loss) so I missed most of this one. My thoughts are going to focus on a couple things from the Wings’ announcers tonight.

Early in the third, before the Flames’ third goal, Ken Kal and Paul Woods were talking about how great of a night several Detroit players were having. “Best game of the season” was a phrase being thrown around. From what I saw later in the third and from what I see people saying now, what the hell were they watching? It’s disappointing if they were just being cheerleaders.

In the game’s final minute, FSD showed a shot of Johan Franzen on the bench, staring off into space. Ken Daniels said that it summed up the game. To me, that’s the problem. The Wings’ sixth loss in a row was just about to be complete and Franzen looked like he was bored.

Show some passion, Mule! The Wings are losing because they’re sleepwalking through games. The fact that it seems to be acceptable in the Detroit dressing room drives me nuts.

Postgame Thoughts: Red Wings @ Wild

I got back just in time to see the game-winner. Caught the rest on the radio.

First off, I’ve gotta say, the Minnesota radio guys are really good. Nice kind of conversational flow, came across like Ken Kal and Paul Woods but without Kal’s squeaking.

Since I didn’t see any of it (until the end), I’ll just comment on the feel of the game.

It sounded like the Wings got caught on the two Minnesota goals but otherwise pretty much controlled the game. Shots being 41-14 is just unreal. Almost hate to see Josh Harding come back from a year off due to injury and still lose after a great game like that.

All three Wings goals were the second goal of the season for the scorers, breaking a streak that saw the first ten goals of the season scored by ten different players.

I’ll try to catch a replay but overall, it’s great to see the Wings stick with it and rally. It’s the first time they’ve trailed this season and it’s good to know they’ve got the mental toughness to come back when they have to.

Great Calls in (Recent) Red Wings History

Jamie Samuelsen has a piece in the Freep today about the lack of great sports calls in Detroit history, relative to the great announcers.

Nowadays, and Samuelsen touches on this, the availability of video highlights kind of negates the effect of the related call. As he puts it, “We still listen to the games, but when the big moments come up, we make sure that we’re sitting at the game or sitting in front of the TV.”

Nothing against Ken Kal and Paul Woods but when I think of the Red Wings announcers, I think of Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond. That’s just how it is. I watch the games on TV, I don’t listen on the radio unless I have to.

That said, just because the TV guys have the benefit of video to accompany them doesn’t mean their words are any less powerful. There are still plays that I saw on TV, I know the video of, but just the sound is enough to bring back memories.

As a counter to Samuelsen suggesting that Detroit sports doesn’t have any great calls, I’m posting my top three for the Wings. Unfortunately, none of them come from Detroit’s own broadcasters, all coming from ESPN/ABC’s Gary Thorne. In no particular order…

“Here’s Holmstrom. Dropped it, Larionov in, Larionov for the game-winner, Larionov shot, score! Igor Larionov! The Detroit Red Wings, three; the Hurricanes, two.

Larionov’s triple-overtime game-winner to put the Red Wings up 2-1 on the Hurricanes in the 2002 Stanley Cup Finals. The way it all runs together, puncuated by Larionov’s name and the final score… Just fun to listen to.

“And a great save… The goal counts! The goal counts! The goal counts!

The “Statue of Liberty” goal by Brendan Shanahan in Game Six of the 2002 Western Conference Finals. This call sums up the confusion of the time. Patrick Roy had just made a tremendous save (two, in fact), and suddenly, somehow, the puck was in the back of the net.

“Gretzky had it, lost it, Yzerman picks it up. Yzerman moving, blueline chance, SCORE! STEVE YZERMAN! DETROIT WINS!”

Okay, I’ve said time and time again that this is my all-time favorite goal. Of course it’s on this list. I actually think Thorne’s call is better than the radio version from Kal. The eruption is just so sudden, it fits with the crowd and the scene on the ice. And Bill Clement’s later addition of “That is everything Steve Yzerman had in the bag” is about as good of a description as you can get.