As I mentioned a few days ago, I suffered the traumatizing experience of writing something as trivial as a post for a sports blog only to have it erased because of a little glitch in my internet connection (thanks Comcast!!!). So for me, writing today is all about gettin' back up on that horse. In the aftermath of this travesty, I apparently tried to hastily write some kind of fucked up word scramble to make up for it, but even with that, I still want to comment on a few things from the last two Pistons games + the Wings/BJ's game before getting into last night's contest vs. the Predators:
- It obviously wasn't the best game of the season, but the game against the Nuggets was maybe the most entertaining one.
- Jarvis Hayes has turned a corner over the last couple of games. We finally have a solid player to play behind Tayshaun, and according to Chauncey, he's the best shooter on the team.
- The shot that Rip had in the first half where he was left WIIIIIIIDDDE open was a hilarious, stupendous, and even transcendent chapter in the great big book of shamelessly bad defense in the game of basketball. If you saw the game, you know which one I'm talking about: Rip caught a pass in the corner, was wide the fuck open, and not a single Nugget gave 2/7ths of a shit to even look at him let alone challenge the shot. He literally caught the pass, looked down at his feet, stepped behind the 3-point line, thought about shooting, double checked to make sure it was still a 3, and then sank the shot. This wasn't a very important moment in the game, but I'd feel remiss if I didn't put my stamp on this play as being the single worst defensive effort that I've ever seen.. I think Magic Johnson saw tougher defense in the 1992 All Star Game (where everybody was playing 5 feet off of him in fear that they would somehow contract HIV.)
- I'll sum up the Cavs game quickly: the lack of effort in the second half, in a late-season rivalry game, was embarrassing. There are games like the ones against the Hornets and Nuggets where you think that watching a well-executed basketball game is the greatest thing in the world, and then you watch a crap bomb like the Cavs game and wonder why you even waste your time. That's sports, I guess.
- Wings/Columbus: For two and a half periods, this game resembled the type of lackluster play that the Pistons showed in the 2nd half of their game. Then Henrik Zetterberg put on the best 10 minute performance of the season. I'm probably overlooking a few goals, but his first one where he split two defenders and beat the goalie with the backhand was likely the best Wings goal of the season. Then, on the next shift, it was like everybody just snapped into it.....the line was Zetterberg/Datsyuk/and I think Franzen (it was a couple days ago, forgive me) and they were playing with the quickness and alertness that you'd wish they could play with on every single shift -- which is easy for my lazy ass to write from my couch, but still. That shift, even though it didn't result in a goal, was one of the best of the year. I don't think that the Wings take it easy and coast to the same extent as the Pistons do sometimes, but when they really turn it on, it's such a huge jump from whatever gear they were playing at before.
Red Wings 6-3 Predators
I don't like the Preds. Stupid fans, ugly jerseys, annoying players, and the fact that NHL hockey is being played in Tennessee instead of somewhere in Canada are all prominent factors. But really it's the ugly jerseys.
- Hasek was dominant for the first time in a long time. The first couple of goals were fluky, and the 3rd one was on a total screen, but other than that he was in Vintage mode. He doesn't give himself too much help in the positioning department like Osgood does, but when he's locked in he can make up for it with his reflexes and anticipation. He made a few yesterday that took me back to "pre-lockout" Dom. Hopefully this holds up.
- The Nashville players can be rather dick-ish, but these traits tend to come out when you realize you can't match another team's talent. It's fine to get under the skin of your opponent, that's just hockey. But when Henrik Zetterberg harmlessly skates past the your goalie and you start a sequence of events that leads to one of your players punching him in the face, this resembles something close to retardation.
- Franzen has really taken off. 13 points in the last 9 games, increased ice time, and looks to be gaining a ton of confidence. And the timing of it has been the best part, stepping up with Holmstrom and Cleary out. He's playing so well when he gets on the ice with Datsyuk and Zetterberg that it's going to be interesting to see the lines once everyone is healthy; like whether the Datsyuk/Zetterberg/Holmstrom line will still be left together.
- I really like Derek Meech, and I hope they keep experimenting with him at forward. It was great how he was constantly looking for a body to hit every time he entered the offensive zone. I wouldn't mind seeing him take the ice time of, say, Samuelsson or Hudler, but we all know that's probably not gonna happen.
- Even though it would be making way to big of a deal out of something that's not the end of the world, I'll still lose my mind if we lose to the BJ's tomorrow. After losing to them in Columbus and then nearly blowing one to them at home, I'd like to see us completely blow the doors of them for once.