Pens v. Wings, Game 2

Go Pens!

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99 replies
  1. 1
    Ked says:

    WINGS!

    (Why am I shouting, the game hasn’t even started yet…)

  2. 2
    geg6 says:

    Man, I need this distraction from the real world. Thank FSM for sports. Oh, and…GO PENS!

  3. 3
    Death By Mosquito Truck says:

    Cue the assholes that support the opposing team..

    Ain’t we lucky it’s all rahrah Steelers ’round here during football season?

  4. 4
    MikeJ says:

    Ain’t we lucky it’s all rahrah Steelers ‘round here during football season?

    Chelsea v Sounders FC July 18!!!

  5. 5
    Davebo says:

    Ain’t we lucky it’s all rahrah Steelers ‘round here during football season?

    Mike Renfro was robbed.

    Just sayin

  6. 6
    Linkmeister says:

    Um. Dodgers-Cubs is my choice of sporting entertainment. I understand baseball, and my eyes are too slow for hockey.

  7. 7
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Minor rant on sports–must they talk the whole freaking time? I would mute, but I like the crowd noise. However, when Buck and McCarver are on, I DO mute.

  8. 8
    Josh Hueco says:

    Florida State 37, Ohio State 6…No, that wasn’t the score of tOSU getting waxed in a bowl game again. It’s the final score from today’s college world series regional final game from Tallahassee.

  9. 9
    Calming Influence says:

    I don’t follow sports much; are these real penguins?

  10. 10
    Death By Mosquito Truck says:

    @Calming Influence:

    I don’t follow sports much; are these real penguins?

    No, and they aren’t trying to get their red wings during one of the three periods.

  11. 11
    Laura W says:

    @Calming Influence: I enjoyed NFL and NCAA mania here on BJ a lot this year. I am not caring for hockey. Not only do the men have way too much on, scoring seems to be an anomaly in this game, from what I am gathering. That’s way too much effort and energy for no reward.
    I wonder if that huge cartoon penguin on their chest embarrasses them? Sort of woosy.

  12. 12
    Ked says:

    I understand baseball, and my eyes are too slow for hockey.

    HDTV is the answer. It was *funny* a decade ago when FOX tried their little trick with the puck tracking and automatic blur animations, because it didn’t work at all. At standard def, in analog, the puck would all too often just be a grey smear on one scan line,

    The extra lines in the HD image help, of course, but even better is the digital image capture. Not all sports compress well (check out the bullriding events on Versus sometime to see HD gone horribly wrong), but black pucks on white ice is almost a textbook example of something digital compression can do well. You can see the shape of the puck. You can sometimes see the *sticker* on the puck. It still takes some experience to learn the flow of the game, letting the players point you in the right direction so you’re not playing Where’s Waldo with the puck, but since you know there’s something there to spot it’s just easier.

    Aw, phooey, it’s like the Wings just aren’t reacting as fast as in the first part of the period. Nice goal.

  13. 13
    Ked says:

    I wonder if that huge cartoon penguin on their chest embarrasses them? Sort of woosy.

    That’s not so bad – the Anaheim team were the Mighty Ducks for a long time. Mercifully they got the “Mighty” lopped off when Disney sold the franchise.

  14. 14
    N M says:

    anyone have an idea how I can watch online? No t.v. in the N M house lately…

  15. 15
    Laura W says:

    @Ked: Lord. That duck makes the penguin look downright regal.

  16. 16
    Andy K says:

    @Death By Mosquito Truck:

    Ain’t we lucky it’s all rahrah Steelers ‘round here during football season?

    I’m a Packers fan first and foremost, but I root for the Steelers when it doesn’t hurt the Pack. Steelers are a great winning team with, always, at least one admirable, likable personality.

    Not that I have anything against the Pens- other than that I’m a Wings fan- but thet’re just not as big a deal throughout the continent as the Steelers were in the ’70’s and beyond. Add a Franco Harris, a Jerome Bettis and a Rooney family to the mix and the Pens might have that kind of following some day.

  17. 17
    Laura W says:

    Wussy. Also.

  18. 18
    RolloTomasi says:

    “I’m a Packers fan first and foremost”

    Brett Favre is annoying. Go away already. But more importantly – LAKERS BABY!!

  19. 19
    Linkmeister says:

    @Ked

    We’ve got one HDTV set and HD cable box; if I tried to get Mom to switch to hockey from her Dodgers I’d have an insurrection on my hands.

    Maybe I can try later in the week.

  20. 20
    burnspbesq says:

    Florida State beat Ohio State, 37-6, today.

    Unclear whether that’s five touchdowns, one missed extra point, and a field goal, or four touchdowns and three field goals.

    Oh, wait.

    That’s a baseball score?

  21. 21
    Andy K says:

    @RolloTomasi:

    Brett’s been annoying me for at least 5 years. It’s one of those things you don’t bring up at the tailgate outside of the stadium. Packers fans are really fun, and anyone who shows up to root for the visiting team is very welcome to be there- even Vikes and Bears fans-but the only fights I’ve ever seen were between those on either side of the Favre argument. However, with the latest developments, the Favre supporters are rats fleeing a sinking ship. They can’t get off fast enough.

  22. 22
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Andy K: I agree with you. I got tired of Favre when he first started his farewell tour. Is he musing about coming back again?

  23. 23
    Andy K says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    WITH THE VIKES!

  24. 24
    Calming Influence says:

    Check me if I’m wrong, but with those flipper wings I’d bet a penguin could slap a duck silly.

  25. 25
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    Go Detroit!

  26. 26
    Andy K says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    What pissed me off was that you never knew, during those last few years, if he was coming back until the middle of June. We got damned lucky with Rodgers, imo, because if he’d turned out to be crap we’d be suffering for five years, minimum.

    I’m a fourth generation Packer fan. My great-grandfather and grandfather were following the team in the ’20’s. I have followed some suck-tastic Packer teams in my lifetime. I thank Brett for his service, but he isn’t bigger than the team.

  27. 27
    Gordon, The Big Express Engine says:

    @Josh Hueco: Pretty amazing score. So much for a mercy rule!

    My Wahoos are one win from the Super Regional. They took out SDST (strasberg) and UC Irvine.

  28. 28
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @N M:

    Try NHL.com or NBC.com. They might have something.

  29. 29
    laxel says:

    NM, I think you can listen to them through the teams web sites, don’t know about watching. 2-1 wings, if you missed it.

  30. 30
    J. Michael Neal says:

    Holmstrom hasn’t scored in a month, but he’s been key to a lot of goals.

  31. 31
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Andy K: No! I don’t want him! Really. I agree that he held the team hostage for the past however many years. That’s what happens when you start thinking you’re more important than the team.

    Hm. Now I have to go check it out. My team better not be thinking of renting him for a year.

    Tee-hee. Funny.

    http://myespn.go.com/blogs/nfc.....-tree.html

  32. 32
    Andy K says:

    @N M:

    Wings’ radio broadcast here. Kal and Woods are better than NBC and CBC announcers anyway.

  33. 33
    A Squirrel says:

    This is a great game!

    Go Wings!

  34. 34
    Andy K says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Funny…growing up in the ’70’s I hated Tarkenton, Foreman, Page, Eller etc., but I’ve come to respect- and even like– most of those guys.

    But Favre has been chaffing on me for at least ten years, and pissing me off for at least five. The more I get to know about his self-centered sense of entitlement, the less I like him. I certainly don’t by the “Aww, shucks” act any more.

  35. 35
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Andy K: But he plays with such a love of the game! I muted John Madden, too, when he was commenting. You can take Favre. Please. No. Really. Take him. If he ends up being a Vike, I will…well, I don’t know what I will do.

  36. 36
    Laura W says:

    How often do the hockey refs (umps?) get mowed down?

  37. 37
    gbear says:

    @Ked:

    My favorite team logo is the bear with a hawaiian shirt and sunglasses for the Asheville Tourists minor league baseball team. I bought a team hat from a vendor at the MN state fair many years ago just for the logo. I’ve never seen them play.

    PS: Hockey should not be played in June. evar. because. also.

  38. 38
    J. Michael Neal says:

    I’m getting tired of the announcers saying that Ericsson’s was the first goal of the series that was clean. Abdelkader’s goal last night was just a great play. If the puck bounces up in the air, and *behind* the goalie and in, that’s a fluky bounce. What Abdelkader did was take a hard shot, keep sight of the rebound, and put it in. It’s the sort of thing that happens all the time, except that it was a *better* play than most. Not only is it harder to track a puck in the air, but he gloved it, dropped it to his feet, and took the second shot in one motion. That’s a fabulous play.

  39. 39
    Andy K says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    You already have a thing for your new QB? Sage- how dreamy!
    ;D

  40. 40
    gbear says:

    In an interview with 790 The Zone, Tarkenton called Favre’s dalliance with Minnesota “despicable” and said he wants Favre to sign with the Vikings “so he can fail.”

    This sentence has brought me more pleasure than anything I’ve read all weekend.

  41. 41
    Andy K says:

    Justin Abdelkader is going to surpass JD Ryznar as the most famous graduate of Mona Shores HS!

  42. 42
    4jkb4ia says:

    Resistance is futile

  43. 43
    Joe Lisboa says:

    I’ll stick to my pre-series prediction: Wings in 6, but the Pens are making me look foolish :) Sorry, John.

    GO WINGS!

  44. 44
    Calming Influence says:

    And wouldn’t a duck just eat a maple leaf? i don’t think I understand this game.

  45. 45
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Andy K: Wait, what? Sage is our new quarterback? Huh? Crap. I need to start paying attention.

    @gbear: Funny, isn’t it?

    Calming Influence, you crack me up.

  46. 46
    Andy K says:

    @Joe Lisboa:

    I expect the Pens to take at least one of the next two in Pittsburgh. Having the last line change as the home team is a big thing, as is the home crowd. As a Wings fan I’m still nervous.

  47. 47
    Calming Influence says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Thanks, but I’m worried that I’m just pissing off the hardcore hockey fans. (They’re so burly!)

  48. 48
    Andy K says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Sage Rosenfels. Was the back up in Houston. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t start in September. Tarvaris isn’t good, and I don’t think he ever will be.

  49. 49
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Calming Influence: This is Balloon Juice. We welcome funny.

    @Andy K: Oh, so you’re just making a prediction. Sage hasn’t been promoted, then. I think Tavaris will bloom.

  50. 50
    Gordon, The Big Express Engine says:

    @asiangrrlMN: I live in Houston, but am not a Texans fan (Giants). Anyway, it is feast or famine with Rosenfels. He is an upgrade over Frerotte and if Jackson could not beat him out, well then, what does that tell you…?

  51. 51
    Andy K says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    My advice: Don’t hold your breath. There aren’t many guys who could fuck it up with a strong running game behind him, young or not. Jackson is not good.

  52. 52
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Andy K:
    @Gordon, The Big Express Engine:

    So are you saying that Sage has the job? I don’t care! I like Jackson.

  53. 53
    Andy K says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Sage’s to lose, imo.

    Then again, I think Childress, in order to prove his decision to draft Jackson wasn’t a mistake, will give Jackson more chances to win the job than a rational coach would.

    I’m really glad you guys got Brad before we did.

  54. 54
    Graeme says:

    I keep hearing about this Crosby… I guess he’s no Zetterberg.

    GO WINGS!

  55. 55
    Andy K says:

    @Graeme:

    I guess he’s no Abdelkader so far.

  56. 56
    camchuck says:

    3 stars
    1. Osgood
    2. The post
    3. The other post

  57. 57
    raholco says:

    So the Wings won again.

    At least with all of the angst happening vis-a-vis the auto industry, Detroit has something that will try to lift their spirits.

    At least it takes away from the usual jokes:

    Sign at Metro Airport: “Welcome to Detroit-now GO HOME.”

    Detroit-where the weak are killed and eaten.

    I’m so tough I VACATION in Detroit.

  58. 58
    N M says:

    @Andy K:

    Thanks dude! Great game. Sorry John Cole :).

  59. 59
    Gordon, The Big Express Engine says:

    @asiangrrlMN: I agree with Andy. Jackson was not good enough to hold off Gus and I think Sage is better than Gus, so I think this is heading toward Sage being the starter. You never know though!

  60. 60
    Graeme says:

    @Andy K: I am LOVING the effort from Abdelkader and Helm.

    This team is just hella deep. They’ll be good for a long, long time. Sick!

  61. 61
    Andy K says:

    @N M:
    No problem. Hope you enjoyed Paul and Squeaky Ken. They’re a fun broadcast team.

    @raholco:

    Hey, the Tigers are playing well, too.

  62. 62

    They are working plays in for Harvin in the Wildcat formation. If you have a handful of snaps a game with him and peterson in the backfield, that will be pretty awesome.

  63. 63
    Andy K says:

    @Graeme:

    I don’t know how many years are left on his contract, but there’s gonna be a HUGE hole when Lidstrom hangs ’em up. Doesn’t seem like it was that long ago when he was Steve Chiasson’s junior partner. Now he looks like he’ll go down as the best defenseman ever.

  64. 64
    burnspbesq says:

    @Andy K:

    Now he looks like he’ll go down as the best defenseman ever.

    Those of us who are old enough to have seen Bobby Orr before he wrecked his knees will give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume that your foolishness is the product of youth.

  65. 65
    Vlad says:

    Look, I’m a Wings fan, so I’m hardly unbiased, but:

    I HATE how the national press dotes on the Penguins, Malkin and Crosby in particular. Two sequences near the end of this game nearly made me throw my remote at the TV:
    Some Penguin tries to score on a rebound with the novel “spear Osgood in the chest with my stick” tactic. The Wings, including Zetterberg, predictably get in his face. Malkin spazzes out, swinging his stick at Zetterberg’s head before throwing several ineffectual punches; Zetterberg is only marginally more effective.

    Whatever. Malkin is frustrated, end of the game scrum, happens all the time. Except one of NBC announcers is just DELIGHTED that Malkin showed off his “hit like a girl” skillz. He’s so . . . lifelike this year! This is a GREAT sign for the Penguins!

    A few minutes later, the NBC bench announcer opines, absolutely brilliantly, that Pittsburgh won’t be in trouble in this series until they lose a game at home. Embarrassed silence follows as the other announcers fail to point out that, you know, only three of the games will be played in Pittsburgh this year, so yes, the Pens are in trouble. A few minutes later, the moron makes the same point again. The Pens have the Wings right where they want them!

    This series isn’t over. But the Pens now need to beat the Wings 4 times in 5 games. I just don’t see a team with Fleury (easily the most overrated goalie in the NHL) doing that. Especially when they’ve lost the first two games to, basically, the Grand Rapids Griffons (Ericsson, Abdelkader and Helm all spent almost the entire regular season in the minors).

  66. 66
    Graeme says:

    @Andy K: he can play as long as he wants to. I recall about 6 years ago he wanted to raise his kids in Sweden, so he was talking about hanging it up. That didn’t happen, thank goodness. Team is his now. First Euro to win the Cup with the C on his chest.

    Funny: all the people who used to give me crap about being a commie for liking a “Russian” team don’t ever mention all the Swedes.

    I guess it’s more fun to tell me I’m a commie than that I’m swimming in blondes? Or ask if I have great a great health care system?

  67. 67
    Mike says:

    Go Pens.

    Only because Bill Guerin had perhaps the greatest weekly pro athlete radio show ever when he was in Dallas on the Stars.

  68. 68
    Fulcanelli says:

    @burnspbesq: I’m old enough to have seen Orr and the late 60’s/early 70’s Bruins at the old Garden a few times and I sustain your opinion counselor. Orr was a God.

  69. 69
    John Cole says:

    @Vlad: When I’m being a sore winner this upcoming NFL season, someone remind me of this comment.

    My favorite thing from the announcers was how they basically spent two minutes in the second acknowledging what everyone with two eyes can observe for themselves, mainly that the Red Wings get away with interference about 15 times a game and no one seems to care. Even better, they are such suck-ups for the Wings that the announcers thought it was pretty cool.

    See. Two can play this game, Vlad.

  70. 70
    burnspbesq says:

    @Fulcanelli:

    I sincerely believe that Heaven looks like Cameron Indoor Stadium and smells like the old Garden.

  71. 71
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    Pens fans, if it’s any consolation the Steelers will likely beat the Lions by about 50 points this fall.

    Funny: all the people who used to give me crap about being a commie for liking a “Russian” team don’t ever mention all the Swedes.

    Yeah, I went through that too–as if fleeing Russia to make millions of dollars makes someone like Sergei Fedorov a commie.

  72. 72
    burnspbesq says:

    Lidstrom isn’t even one of the five best ever. Those would be Orr, Viatcheslav Fetisov, Doug Harvey, Paul Coffey, and Brian Leetch. If you want to argue for Borje Salming instead of Leetch, that’s reasonable.

  73. 73
    raholco says:

    @Andy K: The AL Central will be interesting this year. Last Year the Tigers were supposed to walk away with the AL title and they crash-and-burned bigtime.

  74. 74
    Andy K says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I saw Orr when I was a kid, just before he blew his knees out. He was great, no doubt. His huge years came during the first expansion. Then he blew his knees out.

    I think longevity matters. Sandy Koufax was absolutely outstanding for 5 or 6 seasons- maybe the best stretch of that length ever. His teams went to three WS in that stretch, and won two, iirc . But Walter Johnson had a 21 year career, had 12 seasons with 20+ wins, 10 of those in a row, and the first 9 of those were 25+ wins/season.

    I’ll take Johnson and Lidstrom for the longevity.

  75. 75
    Andy K says:

    @raholco:

    They stunk it up early. Different team this year. Jackson, Porcello and Verlander are pitching better than the statrers did last year, and the pen is better, Cabrera is comfy at first now, and we’re getting production from the youngsters, as well as Santiago and Inge.

  76. 76
    J. Michael Neal says:

    My favorite thing from the announcers was how they basically spent two minutes in the second acknowledging what everyone with two eyes can observe for themselves, mainly that the Red Wings get away with interference about 15 times a game and no one seems to care. Even better, they are such suck-ups for the Wings that the announcers thought it was pretty cool.

    Eh. The refs just haven’t been calling anything in this series. Malkin tripped Kronwall last night leading to his breakaway. Everyone is getting away with whatever they want out there. It’s been equal both ways.

    Lidstrom isn’t even one of the five best ever. Those would be Orr, Viatcheslav Fetisov, Doug Harvey, Paul Coffey, and Brian Leetch. If you want to argue for Borje Salming instead of Leetch, that’s reasonable.

    1. Orr
    2. Fetisov
    3. Lidstrom
    4. Harvey
    5. Bourque

  77. 77
    burnspbesq says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    Not unreasonable, but for me Bourque and Lidstrom are in an eight-way tie for sixth, along with Potvin, Larry Robinson, Guy Lapointe, Serge Savard, Jacques Laperriere, and Kasatonov. Real old-timers will argue for Red Kelly and Leo Boivin; I can’t evaluate those claims, because I didn’t see them when they were in their primes. Tim Horton? Overrated for hockey, underrated for donuts.

  78. 78
    Andy K says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Coffey, Leetch and Salming?!?! If scoring was the only standard you used to judge. Those guys got caught pushing up waaaaay too much for my tastes. I’d take Borque before any of them, and I’d take Lidstrom before Borque (obviously). I think Lidstrom could win a Norris in Harvey’s era, I don’t think Harvey would have as much success in Lidstrom’s.

    And I know how good Fetisov was in the NHL, and he was damned good, but it’s hard for me to give him credit for all that time on the Red Army team that was artificially stocked with most of the best talent in its league. And in international play, his USSR teams were composed mainly with Red Army players, going up against cobbled-together All Star and college teams.

  79. 79
    Vlad says:

    Paul Coffey? PAUL COFFEY?!?!

    Paul Coffey spent a good chunk of the latter part of his career with the Red Wings, you know. All Red Wings fans have Paul Coffey moments that they cherish. Like the time in the 1995 finals against the Devils when Coffey jumped out of the way of a Scott Stevens blast from the point; wouldn’t be sporting to stop the puck before it got to the goalie, you know. Or the time in the 1996 Western Conference finals against Colorado, when Coffey, who was not in any way being pressured by an Avalanche player at the time, nonetheless shot the puck into his own open net.

    Coffey was a slick offensive defenseman. He put up huge numbers when he was playing with the likes of Gretzky, Messier, Kurri and Lemieux. But he was not one of the top 5 defensemen of all time, and all of his scoring records have to be taken in the context of when, and with whom, he played. He struggled mightily in the trap-era NHL. If he had spent more of his career playing the modern, defense-first game, I doubt he would even be in the hall of fame.

  80. 80
    burnspbesq says:

    @Andy K:

    This could go on for another 150 comments, but I have to go pack and submit a timesheet. Another time.

  81. 81
    Vlad says:

    John —

    I’m not saying the announcers are biased against the Wings, or for the Pens, exactly. I’m saying that the NHL, and the national hockey press, are seemingly so desperate for the hockey equivalent of the Michael Jordan Bulls to emerge that they can’t seem to help themselves from talking up Crosby and Malkin at every opportunity. I’ve been a Wings fan for a long time, and I’ve watched them play in 5 Stanley Cup finals, and the tenor of the TV presentation is definitely different when they’ve played the Pens compared to, say, when they played Carolina in 2002 or Philly in 1997. It’s a little bit like the Wings are the Washington Generals, playing the Harlem Globetrotters. Crosby and Malkin are the story; the Wings are just their foils.

    For what it’s worth, I think the coverage of Ovechkin and the Capitals is just as annoying, for the same reasons.

  82. 82
    J. Michael Neal says:

    Not unreasonable, but for me Bourque and Lidstrom are in an eight-way tie for sixth, along with Potvin, Larry Robinson, Guy Lapointe, Serge Savard, Jacques Laperriere, and Kasatonov. Real old-timers will argue for Red Kelly and Leo Boivin; I can’t evaluate those claims, because I didn’t see them when they were in their primes. Tim Horton? Overrated for hockey, underrated for donuts.

    Lidstrom is much better than any of these guys. What he also is is boring. He is, in my opinion, the most boring superstar in sports history, just edging out fellow Swede Bjorn Borg. I think that this leads to him being underestimated on these sorts of lists, as well as having been denied a couple of Norris trophies he should have won earlier in his career. The definitive Nick Lidstrom play came in Game 1 of this year’s Western Conference Finals. Jonathan Toews, after being a one-man wrecking crew against Calgary and Vancouver, was coming down the left wing. Lidstrom just poked out his stick, knocked the puck to the boards, picked it up, and made the outlet pass. No big hit. Just smart, effective hockey.

    Where was Patrick Kane in that series? He had his only goal in the third period of the last game, and absolutely disappeared for the first four. He went to the same place Eric Lindros went in the 1997 finals. Nick Lidstrom just smothers you to death with a pillow.

    And I know how good Fetisov was in the NHL, and he was damned good, but it’s hard for me to give him credit for all that time on the Red Army team that was artificially stocked with most of the best talent in its league. And in international play, his USSR teams were composed mainly with Red Army players, going up against cobbled-together All Star and college teams.

    Fetisov was that good. He dominated international play, and Summit Series, for a decade before playing in the NHL. Watching him during the 1980s was a joy.

  83. 83
    burnspbesq says:

    @Vlad:

    Coffey had four seasons of plus-50 or better. As near as I can tell, only Orr, Robinson, and Savard had more. Lidstrom’s best season was plus-43, in 1992-93.

  84. 84
    burnspbesq says:

    Fetisov was so good, it was sometimes hard to tell whether Kasatonov was really all that, or was just getting to make a lot of plays because nobody in their right mind attacked down Fetisov’s side.

  85. 85
    Andy K says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Give Lidstrom Gretzky, Messier, Kurri and friends in that era, and that guy will have a great +/- , too, just on the goals he stops.

  86. 86
    Vlad says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Right, which is why he deserves his spot in the hall of fame. But the way his effectiveness deteriorated after the NHL made its mid-90s switch to a trapping, defense-first league shows, at least to my mind, that his game was too limited to be considered truly great. He could be very effective when he was allowed to be a fourth forward on the ice. Ask him to play any other style, and he was a liability.

  87. 87
    Anne Laurie says:

    Check me if I’m wrong, but with those flipper wings I’d bet a penguin could slap a duck silly.

    What, you never heard the expression “nibbled to death by ducks“?

  88. 88
    rs says:

    Anyone who thinks Coffey was one of the best defensemen of all-time is just looking at numbers. He was a helluva skater and offensive player, but you like your defensemen to contribute at least a little inside your own blue line. Him and Petr Klima were the two NHLers I thought would have made the best Ice Capaders.
    Nice to see Dennis Potvin mentioned- maybe the most underrated of the great defensemen I’ve seen in my lifetime, which is approaching old-timer territory. Potvin was not only a great offensive player, but one of the best body checkers I’ve ever seen.
    I saw Tim Horton, as well as an ageing Doug Harvey and Bill Gadsby, but couldn’t really put them on a list of “best I’ve seen” due to their and my age (and appreciation of what I was watching) at the time. Likewise with Fetisov, who I just wasn’t able to personally see enough of during his prime.
    Bobby Orr is not only the best defenseman I watched play, but probably the best player. Followed by Lidstrom, Larry Robinson, Dennis Potvin, and Ray Borque.
    Salming and Leach were good, but not “greatest” material.
    Also deserving of consideration is Chris Chelios- he was something to see when he played for the Canadians and Blackhawks, where he was the Wings most hated opponent (a title held now by Chris Pronger, whose place in a top 15 defensemen could be debated).
    If not for a DUI limo driver, by this time in his career Konstantinov would be getting mentions. He not only was a devastating hitter in a league with Robinson, Potvin, and Scott Stevens, but he was a very skilled offensive defenseman. He would have taken more than a few Norris votes away from The Perfect Human over the years.

  89. 89
    J. Michael Neal says:

    Coffey had four seasons of plus-50 or better. As near as I can tell, only Orr, Robinson, and Savard had more. Lidstrom’s best season was plus-43, in 1992-93.

    Different era. Coffey was +50 on a team that scored 400-450 goals every year. In 2002-03, Lidstrom was +40 for a team that scored 269 goals. Plus/minus will be more extreme in higher scoring eras; the players that lead the league will be higher, and those that trail will be lower.

    The other thing to consider is that Coffey was really only an elite player for a small number of years. His run from 1981-82 to 1985-86 was phenomenal. Then he was hurt for two years and only played in half the games. Then, when he was playing full time for Pittsburgh, he put up great point totals but was a disaster defensively. His plus/minus only became positive again when he started playing for Detroit, and was paired with . . . Nick Lidstrom.

    Bobby Orr gets to the top of the list despite a short peak because that peak was so amazing. If your peak is four years long, it had better be more impressive than Coffey’s was if you are going to be considered one of the five best. Lidstrom became an elite player in 1993-94, missed half of the next year, and has been dominant since 1995-96. That’s a 13 or 14 year peak. That’s phenomenal.

    Here’s another stat about Nick Lidstrom. Here are his penalty minutes:

    1991-92: 22
    1992-93: 28
    1993-94: 26
    1994-95 (43 games): 6 (That’s not a typo)
    1995-96: 20
    1996-97: 30
    1997-98: 18
    1998-99: 14
    1999-00: 18
    2000-01: 18
    2001-02: 20
    2002-03: 38
    2003-04: 18
    2005-06: 50 (First year under the new rules)
    2006-07: 46
    2007-08: 40
    2008-09: 30

    He has never had more than 50 PIMs in a season. Prior to 1996-97, when he was washed up, the only season where Coffey had fewer than 50 PIMs was 1986-87, when he had 49 in only 57 games. In addition to putting up great numbers, Lidstrom doesn’t put his team short-handed.

  90. 90
    J. Michael Neal says:

    If not for a DUI limo driver, by this time in his career Konstantinov would be getting mentions. He not only was a devastating hitter in a league with Robinson, Potvin, and Scott Stevens, but he was a very skilled offensive defenseman. He would have taken more than a few Norris votes away from The Perfect Human over the years.

    He would likely have taken votes, but, by the end of the 1997 playoffs, it was already clear to me that Lidstrom was the better player. He did it very quietly, and, yes, boringly. Nick Lidstrom is in ur passing lane, taking ur puck. Why bother being a big hitter?

    Also, saying that Konstantinov would be on this list assumes an unusual longevity. Unless you’re Orr, you make this list by being good long after other guys who are as good as you were have faded into the sunset. You can’t ever assume that kind of career length. The way Vladdie played, I suspect that the wear and tear would have taken its toll, and he probably would have been finished by the lockout. Keep in mind that, when he got hurt, Konstantinov was already 30 years old.

  91. 91
    rs says:

    You don’t need to convince me just how good Lidstrom is- I’ve been blessed to watch him up close for two decades now ( convince the guy who thinks Leach and Coffey and Salming were his superiors). But there are three candidates for the Norris Trophy each year, and Konstantinov was good enough to have earned multiple nominations, where he would have likely taken votes from his teammate. By the way, Lindros’ disappearing act in the ’98 Cup finals was as much due to #16 as #5.
    You’re right that one can’t simply assume longetivity, no more than you can simply dismiss the possibility. Konstantinov’s conditioning was legendary, and could have compensated for his aggressive style of play.

  92. 92
    Andy K says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    Lidstrom…missed half of the next year…

    No, that was the full year. The season started in January ’95, due to the lockout.

  93. 93
    Rudi says:

    Comparing Orr to Lidstom is like comparing Gale Sayers to Walter Payton. Both Orr and Sayers were phenomenal, but had shorter careers to Payton and Lidstrom. I’ll take Sweetness and the quiet Swede over short term glory. But Orr was one of the best ever, but didn’t play long enough or win five SC’s.

  94. 94
    Andy K says:

    @rs:

    I try not to let Vladdy cross my mind during discussions like these. It’s just too damned depressing. Most of my friends who got into hockey via the Wings rise during the ’90’s quickly adopted Vladdy as their guy, and I’d have joined them if not for my pre-existing man crush on Stevie Y.

    While Konstantinov was a rough character during his time on the ice, I think he had the skills to become a slick defenseman along the lines of Lidstrom. I always saw a little bit of Stan Mikita in him, too, in that I think if he’d put his mind to it, he could’ve cut down the penalty minutes and contended for the Lady Byng Trophy.

    I don’t know how much it would strain the team’s credibility, but I wish they’d hang #16 from the rafters at the Joe. They’ve effectively retired the number by not handing it out since the injury.

  95. 95
    techno says:

    I’m with you Vlad–the announcers are freaking terrible!!! Not only do they push a narrative that makes Crosby, who hasn’t actually won anything, into the best player in the game, they have NO idea what is happening right in front of their eyes.

    For example, the main reason why the Wings are so good is that they play a modified version of Tarasov hockey. Tarasov hockey arrived in the Motor City when they signed the incomparable Igor Larionov who was so good, he convinced Ken Holland to play nothing else. Those few announcers who understand the Wings are playing a different style of hockey call it “puck possession” because goodness knows, they couldn’t possibly credit the great Russian theorist–even if they had ever heard of him. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatoly_Tarasov)

    And of course, the idea that Swedes could master Tarasov hockey as young men and would actually prefer to play that way assumes a level of understanding far beyond anything clowns like Pang or Middlebury will ever achieve. So they watch essentially the core of the Swedish national team on the verge of yet another Stanley Cup victory and try to explain it using the terminology of Hoser Hockey. And when a tenth-round draft pick like Zetterberg absolutely shuts down the “greatest (Canadian) player of all time” or whatever they are calling young Crosby, they literally cannot see what is happening.

  96. 96
    J. Michael Neal says:

    By the way, Lindros’ disappearing act in the ‘98 Cup finals was as much due to #16 as #5.

    No. This is not true.* Bowman sent out the Lidstrom/Murphy pair against the Legion of Doom almost exclusively. He did so because he thought that playing physical against them, and Lindros in particular, would only get them into the series. Denying him the puck without playing a physical game was what led to him getting so frustrated.

    *Okay, it is true, but for reasons I don’t think you mean. The entire team shared equal responsibility for Lindros disappearing during the 1998 finals, because they played Washington that year. In the 1997 finals, it was primarily Lidstrom and Murphy that did it.

  97. 97
    Comrade Darkness says:

    If not for a DUI limo driver

    Obligatory addition (because I used to work in auto safety). Like Lady Diana, drunk limo driver notwithstanding, seat belts would have made all the difference.

    Sucking hole of tragic those crashes are, they show it usually takes a minimum of two factors to actually lead to a worst case scenario. Fortunately, half those factors are usually under your control.

  98. 98
    Morbo says:

    Agreed with everyone above who has found the announcers to be insufferable. It was infuriating actually to listen to them yammer on about how lucky the Wings were to win two games both 3-1. I do think, however, that it’s superstar bias and not team bias. We’ve been treated to the same crap throughout the NBA playoffs in anticipation of the Kobe/LeBron finals. The mental image of Marv Albert crying into his corn flakes when the Magic beat the Cavs warmed my cold, dark heart.

    Did anyone else catch the post-game interview with Marian Hossa? It featured a very viable candidate for most inane question of all time. Paraphrasing here, but the spundit asked basically “Last year at this time you were playing for the Penguins and down 0-2 in the series. Now you’re playing for the Red Wings and you’re up 2-0, what is the difference?”

  99. 99
    rs says:

    1997. All these Cups, the years are starting to run together.
    I do remember the Lidstrom-Murphy pairing being used primarily against Lindros and Leclair, but Konstantinov was also on the ice for a lot of the shifts that those two were held scoreless. I have some of that series on videotape that I’ll have to review when this one is over.
    I like that Sayers-Payton analogy.
    One of the nice things about spring in Detroit is being able to watch the playoffs on CBC. And not only for the 2009 playoffs. I was playing with the remote a couple weeks ago and landed on a replay of 1989 Game 6 between Montreal and Calgary. Robinson, Roy, Chelios, Macdonald, Gilmour, Macinnes, Vernon, Mullen-it was like watching a HoF game.

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