Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Off-day misc.

**I somehow made it through 3 games without linking to Abel to Yzerman -- shameful. There's a few good Red Wings blogs, but Bill is the Worldwide Leader. I have no nits to pick with his summary of last night's action, well done sir. He brings up Bertuzzi's general ineffectiveness; I have two comments here:

1) Flames fans: why are you booing Bertuzzi? I don't really want to pick on Flames fans specifically here (and as always with booing, it's probably 500-1,000 fans, not the whole crowd), but why? Is it still for hurting Steve Moore over 3 years ago? It's not like Bertuzzi has ever been much of a Flames-killer, and these days, he's basically a 2nd/3rd line winger of spotty effectiveness, not some sort of Georges Laraque with Joe Sakic Hands. It just seems unbelievably pointless. Save it for hooting at Hasek.

2) Here's part of a chat I had with a friend in early March. We're going to find out right-quick if I was on the mark.
me: ..I don't want to play the Wings in the 8v1 series.
Nameless Friend: I can't be the only one who thinks the Bertuzzi trade is a jump-the-shark moment for that franchise
me: Actually, my thought was that the Wings were the only franchise that could acquire Bertuzzi at all sensibly
NF: They must have thought so, but why?
me: Much in the same way that almost no other team could have hired Hasek this season. My thought is that the Wings are sufficiently mature(?) that they're not really going to be discombobulated by day-to-day injury updates. They're also not going to expect him to be a "#1 winger" the day he steps back into the lineup, AND they can handle that too.
NF: Yeah, but how do they know he's not going to be a net minus when he does get back out there? There's still no set date for his comeback. You want to be road-testing a destroyed player ten days before the playoffs start?
me: Not unless I'm the Detroit Red Wings, is what I'm saying I guess.
NF: I just have trouble imagining Bertuzzi at the end of the tournament, lifting the Cup over his head.
me: I don't know about their fans, but I have no doubt that the team will just forget about him if he can't play.

etc. etc... and I meant that last sentence both in the sense of "can't dress" and "can't be effective". Developing...

**Interesting, and substantially accurate, comments on Dion Phaneuf last night by Maclean and Hrudey. Phaneuf doesn't hit because he likes the physical challenge, per se; he hits because (A) he likes to be the aggressor, and (B) because he likes to inflict pain (there's a bit of a discussion on this very item in the comments to the previous post -- I'm with Mclea).

Applied to real life, this is basically a psychological disorder (how'd you like to be his girlfriend?), but in hockey, it's not uncommon, and isn't even necessarily a flaw.

This stuff aside (and assuming he's not concussed), I am a bit worried about Phaneuf. Dowbiggin on the radio yesterday afternoon read my mind, noting that watching NSH/SJS, it looks like Shea Weber has caught up (at least) to Phaneuf. I don't know if this is an indictment of the coaches, the player himself, or it's just the way things go sometimes -- but Phaneuf's improvement as a pro hockey player since October 2005 appears unpleasantly and regrettably close to nil. He started at a pretty high level -- and he turned 22 last week -- but it'd sure be nice to see a leap forward next season. (Last thing: obviously he had a rough night last night in every sense of the word, but he was pretty good in G2).

**Can the Flames eke out another home win without the services of Robyn Regehr, giving him 2 extra days to rehab it before he's desperately needed in G5 on Saturday? Jeez, I hope so. (Well, what I really hope is that it feels like $1M this morning, but that seems unlikely.)

**Question I'd ask if I was at the Flames scrum today: "Coach, G2 in Detroit you gave Huselius less EV ice time than any other forward; then last night, you played him almost exclusively against Datsyuk and Zetterberg. Can you explain your thinking there?"

**Dennis in the comments to the previous post, says that he'd want to see Calgary outchance Detroit by a greater margin at home to think they had a real shot at the series. I disagree, but we can get to that tomorrow. Go Flames.


Firstly, I have it on good authority that Regehr might be back if we win this series.

Secondly, Weber didn't look great the other night in SJ, but glancing at his skates, it looks like he could be hurt. I agree with you though, Dion's progression hasn't been stellar.

Anybody old enough to remember the young Glen Wesley? Stud rookie year. Never came close again. 20 years of steady, if unspectacular service. Nothing to be ashamed of. Or maybe Phaneuf reaches Jovo-like levels, where he plays tough, takes risks, and pucks end up in his own net as often as in the opposition's.

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