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NHL - November 2014


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Rick Jeanerette just announced on the Sabres broadcast that he has been declared cancer free. Nobody who was watching had a dry eye, including me and the announcers.

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FU NHL Gamecenter. National broadcast games get locked from streaming for 48 hours after the game ends. That's all well and good. But here it is 77 hours since the Wings/Rangers game ended and it's still locked. Yeah, I know the outcome but I wanna see the game anyway. I paid for it, I wanna see it,

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Catching up on the weekend's Wings games:

 

Wings vs Rangers - hey look, Gamecenter stopped screwing me over.  Fun game marred by horrendous officiating.  Games like this make me wonder what the NHL's review process is for its officials.  They missed a goal (later fixed on replay), which is understandable.  They called a terrible embellishment on Abdelkader and then followed that up by NOT calling embellishment on Martin St. Louis in OT.  St. Louis went full on "flying through the air Bobby Orr-style" after getting...uh..."tripped"...maybe...by Pavel Datsyuk.  Naturally, New York scored on the power play.  All of those were bad enough but the two worst were a couple of non-calls.  First up was Johan Franzen nailing a Rangers player in the head with a punch/elbow, dropping him like a rock.  Seen by multiple officials, no call.  Brutal no-call.  Worse than that was a one-handed slash to the face of Danny DeKeyser.  ALL FOUR officials saw the play and no call was made on the slash, which left DeKeyser laying facedown bleeding all over the place.  How that doesn't get called is beyond me.  Just terrible.  Anyway, the rest of the game?  A high-speed, high-action game with a dramatic ending in regulation.  Great stuff.  Bad outcome for Detroit but a fun game nonetheless.  The nut punch is the Wings lose stellar backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson for a couple months after he got hurt on the game winning goal.

 

Wings vs Devils - Completely dominant first period for Detroit as they roll to a 4-0 lead.  They hung on as New Jersey punched back and shut things down in the third.  Good win.

 

Wings vs Tampa - 30 minutes of just hanging on for dear life from Detroit to start the game before the tide started to shift.  Tampa is a lot of fun to watch, so much talent all over the place, and guys that know what they're doing.  They don't mess around, they shoot the puck when open, they move the puck crisply, and so on.  Definitely a lot Detroit could learn from their offense.  Game goes to OT, which Detroit dominates but can't score.  Then to the shootout...with Jimmy Howard in net.  You know how that goes, with Detroit again getting embarrassed in the shootout.  The laugh this time comes from Darren Helm.  Helm - who couldn't score on a breakaway if the net was empty - shoved the puck so far ahead of himself on his initial rush that he nearly didn't recover it at all.  By then he barely could get a shot off.  Pathetic.  Anyway, if Detroit has to lose to a team, I'm picking Tampa.  They're a helluva lot of fun to watch.  Stamkos is an amazing talent.  They've got Tyler Johnson, who I saw play multiple times here in Spokane.  And they've got my all-time idol as their GM.  So yeah, that lessens the sting a little bit.

 

So...some good things from these three games for Detroit.  Better offense - 10 goals in 3 games.  The power play picked up and is clicking now.  But the PK has dropped off, the overall defensive effort is down just a bit, and shootouts continue to be a joke.  Detroit's in 3rd place at 7-3-5 but the reality is they've lost over half their games.  That's not good.  But the games continue to be really entertaining, not the skates-stuck-in-sludge affairs we saw the last couple years from Detroit.

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You could replace "Nathan Horton" in that article with my name and it would describe my second half of 2012 and all of 2013. My back has gotten better -without surgery - so I'm not in agony all the time - but I won't be playing hockey anytime soon, that's for sure. Hopefully Horton gets at least that much relief.

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This "one good period" thing is growing very tiresome.

 

Also, we need a goalie that actually makes a key save more regularly. So uh, square one how are you?

 

It's unfathomable the Oilers have kept the same goalie coach since 2009 (AKA "the year Roloson left") when you look at what's happened in that position since.

 

RNH's burst of brilliance on the third goal was really something at least.

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