Saturday, November 18, 2006

Wings/Oilers: Predictions and game thoughts here

My first prediction is that we'll get a shot on net in the first period..unlike the last meeting;)

There just isn't as much star power on this Wings team as there's been in the past and while they're off to a great star I'm still not convinced that they're totally for real. They still play a puck possession game and their D makes a great first pass but if you pressure them they will crack. Up front the Wings are giving a lot of icetime to guys that either don't have an overly offensive pedigree, ie Cleary-Maltby-Draper, or kids who are still cutting their teeth, ie Kopecky, Hudler and Flippula. If you shut down Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Lang then you should beat the Wings and MacT has the last change and this game will be played on his terms.


Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

I'm pretty confident tonight. I still think that we've got a hell of a team on our hands.

BTW, I see Selanne mentioned in the Blues thread. He's still PP dynamite but he's down about 1 point/60 at ES right now. He and Radek are in a good fight.

11/18/2006 4:40 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Agreed on all counts Dennis, though they have a lot of other guys (Samuelsson, Draper, Franzen, Holmstrom) who aren't very flashy but win you games. And everyone on that team seems to be able to pass the puck and take a pass well. So I still think they're the class of the field in the west, but just by the skinniest of margins over San Jose, the age of the dominant 3 or 4 squads is well behind us.

I suspect that MacTavish will run Horcoff's line at Zetterburg like he did in the playoffs. Babcock mixes and matches the lines like crazy though, even moreso than MacTavish, almost Bowmanish or Lemairesque in that regard :) Maybe gator's tandem takes on the next line if he loads up Dats and Lang together, I dunno. Always so tough to guess in a game between these two coaches, and they're both likely to mix it up within the game as well.

Detroit still likes that lock, or press, or whatever we're calling it now. If they can't carry it in they chuck it into the corner and two forwards close in on the guy. Ringing it around the boards won't work, if the weak side D pulls back to support then all they need to do is manage a decent pass from one to the other and the Wing's forwards are retreating into their familiar 1-2-2 trap like they have a bus to catch. Staios made a beautiful pass off the back of the net to Smid in the last one, right at the last second, but not many of the Oilers D make that play. That's what it looks like to me anyways, you agree Dennis? Smid and Greene just have to wait as long as they can and bounce it off the boards behind the net to their D partner, and they'll be fine (said Vic hopefully :) ) And gator has to play with some more confidence moving the puck north south, I think that infamous "first pass of the season" sent him reeling a bit, and then he starts to get in the groove and he ends up giving Stoll the suicide pass the Markov punished in the last meeting with DET at Rexall ... this team needs him back on track.

I'm expecting a physical game from the Oilers forwards. The Wings are old enough and smart enough that Babcock won't be able to convince them to get into a really physical game. That Torres hit left some marks on their psyches, no doubt. And like a young and unstable Messier, I kinda doubt that Raffi knows what he'll do next at any given moment either, and the Wings sure as hell don't. I don't think that's a dog they want outta the cage though, I'm expecting a far more passive game from the Wings tonight.

Wings on the second of a back-to-back as well. It would help if they had won in Cowtown, but I still like the Oiler's chances. I expect them to outchance the Wings at a 3 to 2 type clip. And I expect EDM to win unless the gods screw with them. Seriously. How many years has it been since the Oilers outchanced the Wings in the playoffs Dennis? There have been a few that were close, including a couple in last year's playoffs, But this game is the one I think.

BTW: Most bookies favouring the Oilers by a fair bit here, around a 55% chance of winning, which is a lot for a hockey game. They've been giving the Oil a lot of love since the CBJ game actually.

11/18/2006 4:55 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Doh! Above that should read "how many years has it been since the Oilers have outchanced the Wings, including the playoffs"

11/18/2006 4:58 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Anyone interested in volunterring for the scoring chance gig tonight, even for a period?

To standardize maybe we could just use a "great chance" (1 in 4 chance of scoring territory) and "decent chance" (anything better than 1 in 10 chance of going in). All by your own judgment. Does that seem fair? I'm open to suggestion.

If you just note the time on the clock, erring on the early side, and whether it is EV, PP or SH ... then i'll write a wee script to give us the scoring chance + and - of the Oilers.

Go on, I know you want to get your geek on. BobJohnsonIt! (sans brutal self face massage)

I suspect that this idea is on it's way to the grave, but hopefully not. If there are any volunteeers for even a period of hockey I'll do the same for another.

11/18/2006 5:42 pm  
Blogger Slipper said...

VFerrari, are you only considering shots on net as chances? I'm not sure what was the basis for the scoring chance chart you created is, but I'm guessing the stats can only encompass shots that made it on goal, successful or not. Right?

What about plays where the shot itself is unsuccessful, like the other night when Lupul's stick was lifted last second when he had the open net. That's still a chance, no?

I'm also interested on your thoughts on defining 1st,2nd scoring chances (I'm really big on defining the quality, BTW). Or better yet, the first chances and opportunities subsequent to the first chance (or as a result of the first chance?), like rebounds and deflections. My theory is that alot of those are of the higher quality variety and when a team doesn't cash them often iot results in a quality scoring the other way. Just a working theory, and I'm not sure if it could ever be translated through anything other than plain observation.

One last question regarding that scoring chance chart. Does it take in account anything other than shots on goal and percentage scored? Does defender location, type of shot, or rebounds get taken inot account?

11/18/2006 7:42 pm  
Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

Oh for god's's probably a goal but the review isn't conclusive. Either change the standard of review to a balance of probabilities (which would make sense given that it's not like the referee has any sort of special insight on a play like this) or keep it as "conclusive", wave it off and start playing hockey.

Well, as I write this, they call it a goal. Kind of a moving standard there, I think, but Edmonton has benefitted before - think Smyth in last year's shootout.

11/18/2006 8:40 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

I have a hard job believing the Wings had that many SOG but the Oilers surely held the edge in SC's. The Oilers have looked ultra dangerous in the O zone and the 10 line is just terrorizing the Wings thus far. Babcock doesn't have an awnser for them and he's either gonna have to keep Maltby/Draper on them and let MacT run his bench or he's gonna have to combine Pavel/henrik and go PVP.

Three goals in his last five games for Lupul so that's nice to see. The kid lost his bearings on the bank shot but still smart stuff by 15 to just heave it on net. Not a good first period by the 19 line...26 was bringing out the disc with lots of room on one shift and just threw it away. 21/29 tandem not looking overly great either and the D was coughing it up.

Roli looking good though...getting ready for the Kipper showdown on Tues;)

I'll log the SC's for the 2nd period

11/18/2006 9:21 pm  
Blogger Slipper said...

I thought it was a fairly even first period.

Detroit just dominated the second period. I have the chances at six to one for Detroit in the second.

The Stoll line (which i thought played really good in the first)was eaten up in the second. Mainly by Flippula's line, but the Zetterberg line got a signifigant chance and some extended pressure against them.

11/18/2006 10:02 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

2nd period SC' least by my eye"

Edm: Sykora at 2:55 off the left wing
Det: Datsyuk at 6:02
Det: Franzen at 7:30 and he hit the post. Note: you can talk all you want about forwards driving the results but sometimes the D doesn't even give them a chance. This shift was an absolute gong show by 2/5.
Det: Flippula at 10:58.
Edm: Sykora at 13:50. He didn't hit the net but he was shooting from the slot and in the middle of the ice so I still call those SC's.
Det: ZBurg at 19:40.

Overall...just a terrible period. Dr. Jeckyl was handling his biznazz for the Oil in period one and then Mr. Hyde showed up in period two and basically shit on everything. 71 had the Oilers only two SC's in the period but he also took a penalty and turned the puck over a couple of times and he's struggling right now. Speaking of struggling...that D just looks awful when you pressure them or work from behind the net.

I don't know what version shows up for the third but if we get any kind of pressure on that kid tender who should turn out OK. It would be disgusting to lose this game considering the start we had.

11/18/2006 10:06 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Ya, that second period was ugly, the Oilers just couldn't get the puck into Detroit's end. I thought the Oilers looked like the far better team as well Dennis, keeping tabs of the scoring chances just in my head and I had it at 12-10 for the Oilers. 7 of the Oilers chances were high quality - 5 of DET's were.

Slipper, I had the scoring chances at 9-3 for DET. 3 of the Wings chances as high quality, none of the Oilers. So pretty much along the same lines as yourself. Sometimes the Oilers are able to sneak out a few good scoring chances in periods like that, just a counterpunch here or there ... but they just couldn't make a pass in that period, didn't win many battles either, hell they rarelty had the chance to do that in the Wing's end.

Jesus I hate Detroit. And I can't believe how soft the Oilers were in that 2nd period. Sweet Christ. And Stoll's line getting owned by the Grand Rapids Line ... Lord help us, this is shit.

11/18/2006 10:12 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

I really don't know what to make of this Oilers club. Maybe I just expect too much from them. I'm not surprised that they blew that lead late...they really didn't deserve to close it out given all the turnovers. And I keep saying Det isn't all that good but the Oilers don't have a chance of grabbing home ice adv for the playoffs with this corps of dmen. If Lowe wants to be cute and wait until the deadline to pick up a couple of D then it will be too late to gain HIA and this team won't be winning all the road games like they did last spring.

Maybe he doesn't need to pick up two right off the bat but he needs at least one ASAP.

Anyway...the Oilers won the game so now they need to run the table against Cbj, Chi, Col and split the games against Ana and Chi. But I must say that I really don't have a handle on this club or maybe I do and I don't want to admit it;)

There were some positives from tonight, ie 15 with a goal and an assist and I was impressed with how well he was chipping pucks out from his wing. He was really protecting the disc and relieving pressure when the dmen could get it to him. Nice to see one and one from 14 as well and that plus the SO winner should have him feeling a little better. I'd expect him to start on a little bit of a goal scoring tear given his past. His old puck luck was back tonight though with that old wrister finding it's way past the kid. That was an awful goal but we've seen Torres score lots of them it seems.

11/18/2006 11:19 pm  
Blogger Lowetide said...

No matter what else happens in this game, the question of the night is this:

whose fault is it that the Oilers have a player on the ice with :30 left who thinks it is a good idea to hand his stick to the goalie with the puck ending his coverage zone?

And if your answer is #5 then shoot yourself.


11/18/2006 11:19 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Ya Dennis, that 2-5 combo was frightening, happened a couple of times as well, I'm assuming that was by accident. The second time they did just fine, but I still held my breath :)

And damn, is the shootout fun or what? People who don't like it, they must not have any joy in their soul.

And slipper, on the scoring chance stuff, I'm actually going somewhere with that. I'll get back to it another day soon.

mc: I thought that was the right call on the reviewed goal in the first, though for the life of me I don't know why they can't put a chip in the puck. If the could have the Fox TV 'blue streak' nearly a decade ago, surely to God the technology is within the capabilities of modern science. I'd rather it just be clean like that, watching a ref talk on the phone doesn't do much for me.

11/18/2006 11:25 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Yeah, LT, but they won. All is forgiven. And that's not a mistake Smid will make again. Probably not ever, including the playoffs. I actually thought Smid had a good game, he's gone through the 'hot potato' phase, and the 'keep running around the bases until you're tagged out' phase. Now he's at that stage like when we were teenagers and learning to ride a motorbike, and just getting confident ... capable of looking good, and the risk of high speed crashes is very real.

What can ya do ... Smid and Lupul, together with Greene, they're the face of the rebuild on the fly. I don't like the philosophy, but it probably doesn't make a lot of sense to blame the players, so I'm telling myself to be patient. Not 'regular patient' mind, 'try like hell patient' ;)

11/18/2006 11:32 pm  
Blogger Slipper said...

Yeah, I had the first at exactly 10-9 in favor of the Oilers. When I saw they only had ten shots I thought I might have been a bit gratuitous. Overall, considering the quality, I thought it was a pretty even first.

If ever there was an example of a five star scoring chance, I think Cleary's shot in the first sets the standard. The one area he shoots from on the tying goal is an example of a half star or less if it isn't tipped. I think it's pretty cool that they actually note that goal as a tip in the boxscore. Makes me wonder who decides the difference between a wrist, snap, and a slap shot.

There was alot of sloppy play in the third and not too many clean chances, so I found them hard ot judge. Pisani and Smyth each had opportunity on the early PP. I thought Lilja had a good opportunity for Detroit and Horcoff had that chance to an open side of the net where he was muscled of the puck.

Overall Detroit gets the edge, mostly due to dominating the second, but not nearly as much as one would think considering the out shot the Oiler 2 to 1.

11/18/2006 11:34 pm  
Blogger Lowetide said...


You make a good point and I don't mean to make a mountain of a mole hile, but Greene AND Smid?

Let's be honest: this isn't Trammell and Whitaker we're talking about here.

They need to trade for Don Awrey. With Awrey on the ice, they win this is reg.

11/18/2006 11:38 pm  
Blogger Slipper said...

14-15-16 were interesting tonight, the number combination itself just reeks of synergy.

On that third period powerplay Lupul was just lazy and lethargic on the puck in the Wings corner, resulting in a turnover. Later at even strength he's was basically in the same situation, but this time Torres was in the fray with him. They both took and gave some body and seemed to respond well. I don't want to get all "hockey analyst" here and proclaim the answer to these two's woes has been found, but I'd atleast like to see this line stick together for the time being, but with some heavy doses of tape seminars.

11/18/2006 11:47 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...'s not that I didn't want the Oil to catch a break on that first goal but we've been screwed enough that it was nice to see someone get a call right. Of course back then I was thinking it wouldn't bother us because we were up against a kid goalie and we'd at least pepper him with shots and force him to be great. Little did I know...;)

It took way too long to make that call though. Embarrassing for the NHL.

Reasons I hate Detriot: they always get all the calls and every coach they have ends up being glib.

On Scott Oake and and Lupul on After Hours:

Lupul doesn't look the most comfortable now does he? And then Oake starts talking stuff about his name and Lupul looks like he wants to stab him. And then he says he was gonna make him play guitar on the air!! Is Oake seriously trying to get himself punched?:)

I liked the story how Lupul had "had a late night at the cabin the night he was traded for Pronger and then was "sleeping" when everyone was calling him"


And yes Lain...I was keeping track of the shifts after the 14 goal and I see 5/24 out there and then the kid gives his stick to Roli and Roli loses it at him. Like I said...we need more D and D that gives us more options. You'lll see 21/29 really start to put up some terrible numbers if we keep running them at top opp.

11/18/2006 11:48 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

Yeah...if 5 was on the third pairing and was playing with a vet I think you'd see him posting some really good +/- numbers. There's no mistaking that he's gonna be a player though I question just how much offense he'll provide. On the other hand he isn't afraid to use his size, he makes a good first pass and sometimes shows patience beyond his years and he isn't afraid to mix it up either. But like Vic says...we're rebuilding and trying to win at the same time and we CANNOT be playing all of 5-2-47 at the same fucking time. That might be a hard sell even if the first three D were named Pronger-Lidstrom-Neidermeyer. But when the first three D are named Smith-Staios-Tarnqvist..well you;ll see how it turns out.

11/18/2006 11:53 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

I didn't see any of the game other than the last ten minutes plus OT/Shooutout, but of what I saw I thought we looked pretty bad. I'll be the broken record and suggest that the PP let us down again. Not because we didn't score on the PP with 5 minutes left, which would have been nice. But they barely even got into the zone, and Detroit really took it to us from then on in. With that little amount of time left in a game, your team ahead by a goal, and you on the PP, the ride home should be that much easier. Not us, though.

Anyone else laugh when Cleary was on the ice in the last minute, and then go, "oh no, that means he will actually score."

11/19/2006 4:56 am  
Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

5 handing his stick to Roloson with the blade up and the top of the stick down is as useless a play as I've ever seen someone make. I like how Roloson doesn't futz around with him, just throws the stick away because Smid is stupid. He's a fun cat to watch on the ice, Roli. He strikes me as a guy who's always thinking but at the same time always on the edge of going fucking bananas. Good stuff.

Torres: I'm happy to see some go in for him. That "move" in the shootout was pretty fucking terrible though.

What in the fuck is going on in Detroit? I can't believe Dan Cleary is gainfully employed and getting PP TOI. That's insane.

It's rare that I'm at odds with Dennis and LT on stuff but I look at this team and I really think it can be something, even if Lowe holds off on fixing the defence. There's just too much up front and between the pipes. Nothing I've seen so far has changed my point of view. Dennis and I have talked about this and I'm still thinking that they've got enough to hang around in the division indefinitely, although Calgary scares me a little bit.

The Wings still get the calls eh? They had shifts where there could have been three or four penalties called on them but nothing. There was a terrible hook in on the hands of one of the Oil right after Zetterberg took his penalty on Sykora, no call. Lucky fuckers.

Say Lowe makes the move at about G50 or so. You end up having made a sizable investment in

11/19/2006 6:35 am  
Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

You guys look at the Journal today? Both Matheson and the game story talking about the Corsi numbers last night.

11/19/2006 6:45 am  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

Yeah...the Wings are the new Habs in terms of getting the suspect calls. I saw lots of hooking and lots of picks last night and nothing called.

It's odd how MacT wasted so much icetime on Cleary when he was an Oiler and it's finally paying off...alebit in Det;) He was a guy who made way too much money for Edm at a time when he couldn't score and we only had so much money to spend. And he's got no shot and it takes forever for him to pass so he'll never be an offensive player. BUT he could skate alongside 18 or 19 now and shut guys down and no one would be surprised. He actually played on a shutdown line with Marchant and Horcoff in the last season before he left so you could see him going that way back then.

I think G50 is too late to make that move if they hope to win the NW Crown and this team's going nowhere without at least one round of home ice advantage.

11/19/2006 12:27 pm  
Blogger Bank Shot said...

That was possibly the most frustrating game of the season to watch. The Oilers have won despite not playing great in the last couple of games.

With the way Calgary is playing right now, the Oilers will get their shit ripped if they don't bring their "A' game.

11/19/2006 4:25 pm  
Blogger RiversQ said...

With the way Calgary is playing right now, the Oilers will get their shit ripped if they don't bring their "A' game.

I really don't think Calgary's playing all that well right now. They've been outshot in each of their last 6 games by a total of 47 shots. That win over Detroit was against a huge tide of shots directed at net (they were outshot by just 5-6 shots, but it was over 20 by the shots directed). They're also giving the opposition an extra 1-2 PP than they're taking, which won't help things either. It's the opposite of their start where they weren't a total mess for every game of their slump to start the year, but managed to lose anyway. Now they're winning games they certainly aren't controlling.

11/19/2006 7:14 pm  
Blogger SweatyO said...

Ok, did anyone else see what I saw in the first period last night?

On the Oiler PP, I could swear the Oilers were overloading the left side with Hemsky and Lupul, a la the Samsonov/Hemsky alignment when those two were together on the man-advantage last spring. Whatever it was, it's got potential, but I think they need to get Smyth to go to the right side of the net and look for the down low play, in addition to having Sykora on the point, willing to cheat into the was a new wrinkle, and considering what we've seen from the Oiler PP so far this year, I liked it.

Or was it the rum combined with the lack of sleep? (Note: fuck, I hate time changes when travelling...I can sympathize with Spacek, Peca and Samsonov on their choice to sign down east. I'd want to avoid it too).

Other thoughts on last night's game:

- Well, first off, 20 games are in the books, so we're past the point where I think "sample size" is no longer an issue and it's fair to start making some really critical assessment of the Oilers and other teams (i.e. it's no longer "still early")

- Nice to see Torres snap out of it. Some people didn't like that move in the shootout, I thought it was brilliant. Not only the goals, he looked to have his "edge" back as well. Watch him go on a mini-tear.

- Shawn Horcoff has his shit together, and I think that Pisani isn't far behind. I am a HUGE fan of the combination of those two with Ryan Smyth.

- It wouldn't have taken much for Ales Hemsky to have a 2G, 2A night last night. He played well, but ended up with a minus-1 thanks to a SHG against by Draper.

- On that Draper goal, I am still puzzled to what was so conclusive about the replays. The Oilers still got 2 points, so I will not complain.

- Roloson's save on Dan Cleary will be on every damn hilight reel for the next couple of weeks. Cujo-esque. Rollie's really in the heads of Detroit, IMO. With their lack of grit and the departures of Yzerman and Shanahan, this is a team I would NOT be afraid of facing in the playoffs again. Especially if the Oilers add a d-man or two...

- Which brings me to my next comment. The blueline played well tonight when they didn't have the puck. When they did....ugly isn't strong enough of a word. Smid was probably the strongest in terms of passing by the blueliners last night. Staios was average, Greene and Smith aren't expected to excel in this regard, and I thought Bergeron started slow and Tjarnqvist was pretty bad from start to finish. This team is SCREAMING for a better puckmover for the back-end. Christmas is five weeks from tomorrow, and I fully expect for Santa to make an early delivery to Oiler fans.

(SIDEBAR: today I read that both Barrett Jackman and Brent Seabrook are available for a young scoring, I wish Lowe could pimp Schremp and something else and get Chicago or St. Louis to bite).

- Joffrey Lupul had a nice game. That combination with him, Torres and Stoll seems to work, but man oh man, they aren't going to play too many tough minutes. I really think MacT wishes he had Moreau to play with Reasoner and Thoresen right now, so the "fourth" line could eat some tough assignments. Hope Ethan heals fast.

- Toby Peterson's a nice depth guy, but he doesn't do much for me playing with Hemsky and Sykora. Perhaps is it time to flip Toby down to the 4th and see if Winchester can go "Dustin Penner" with those two? Or might they give Pouliot a shot on that line and take some faceoff "stress" off 71? Mikhnov is also an option. I don't think Schremp is.

(Sidebar 2: JF Jacques was sent down today. I'm betting Pouliot's on a flight to Edmonton tomorrow, as the Oilers are currently carrying NO extra forwards).

- I like Patrick Thoresen.

- Tuesday's matchup with Calgary is going to be a hot one. It already reeks of an Oiler OT win, IMO....

11/19/2006 8:53 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

Good stuff SO....

Just a few things to retort:

- On JFJ, MAP and the BPens...the big Pens recalled Petrovicky and the Oilers are obviously gonna bring someone back, most likely MAP, to bring their forwards corps to 13 so that means JFJ should see lots of GP down at the A level.

- Petersen - 14 started with 71/83 and had tonnes of chances but couldn't cash and MacT got skittish early and pulled him away and then when 18 went down macT decided to try 14 out on a tough min line. Torres' iron isn't exactly on fire right now but it's hotter than it's been in awhile so I'd put him up with 71/83 and I'd bet he'll get some chances and he'll cash a couple. Both him and 15 have been tried up there and the same goes with Thoresen so the only other guy to try would be 26. You could talk of putting MAP in there but I just don't thnk he's enough up to NHL speed to be able to work with these guys. These cats are quick on their feet.

- I used to talk about top six and bottom six numbers but more to the point these days would be to talk about top nine min and refer to ES TOI. 4th lines have never been used less so if you're down there you're probably not worth considering. It would be interesting to see what macT would be doing right now if 18 were healthy. If he was looking to win instead of develop then I'd wager that a 18-19-28 line would be our second line in terms of ESTOI, trailing only the new old Horc line, and at the very least the 19 line would be close to lockstep with 71/83 PLUS in terms of ES TOI. A guy like Stoll would be an Special Teams specal-IST and that would mean one of 14 or 15 would be playing with 71/83 and the other guy would get lose in the ES TOI shuffle. Of course that would vary from game to game and if you were losing or winning but all things considered even I'd say it would be 10 getting the big min and then 19 and 71 being close to the same amount.

- I'll assume MAP's coming back and the lines will be"


That gives 26 a bump to a more offensive line but when I look at those units...who's to say what macT will do? I'd imagine they won't bring back Pouliot NOT to play but maybe he sits out the CGY game and they practice some new lines on QWed-Thurs and before the Hawks visit on Friday.

11/19/2006 10:01 pm  
Blogger Bank Shot said...

I really don't think Calgary's playing all that well right now. They've been outshot in each of their last 6 games by a total of 47 shots. That win over Detroit was against a huge tide of shots directed at net (they were outshot by just 5-6 shots, but it was over 20 by the shots directed). They're also giving the opposition an extra 1-2 PP than they're taking, which won't help things either. It's the opposite of their start where they weren't a total mess for every game of their slump to start the year, but managed to lose anyway. Now they're winning games they certainly aren't controlling.

Detroit might have had more shots, but they didn't have much in the way of good scoring chances I didn't think. Calgary kept almost everything to the outside and tied up every man to prevent rebound chances.

Detroit on the other hand couldn't contain the Flames forecheck and two of the Flames goals were scored by guys walking right into the slot. They definitely held the edge in quality chances.

As the game wore on the Flames got stronger and the Red Wings faltered. Their D-men were flubbing passes and the Flames forwards were swarming them. The flames were also making crisp passes in transition.

Maybe the stats dont back it up, but after the first Flames goal it never really looked like the Red Wings were going to be able to mount any kind of comeback.

I'm worried that the heavy pressure the Flames were exerting on the Detroit defense will give the Oiler's D-men fits.

11/20/2006 12:02 am  
Blogger Black Dog said...

I agree Dennis - I think MAP sits against the Flames and then draws in against Chicago with Peterson sitting unless he pots a couple or just has a plain terrific game tomorrow.

11/20/2006 11:19 am  

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