Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Monday, April 24, 2006

It began with the Wings

How great was yesterday for Detroit sports fans? Did you spend all day frequently checking the TV, or did you just park yourself in your favorite chair for eight hours? (With requisite bathroom and food breaks, of course.) You had the Red Wings-Oilers playoff game on in the early afternoon, Tigers-Mariners in the late afternoon, and Pistons-Bucks capping off the evening.

There was yard work to be done at Casa de Casselberry, so sacrifices had to be made. Tough choices. So that meant the Red Wings didn't get all of my time yesterday. (Staying up through Friday night's double overtime helped with my justification. It's not like the Wings didn't get any attention from me this weekend.)

I won't break the whole day down, as Michael Rosenberg did in today's Detroit Free Press. (Who got the better end of the deal? He attended both the Wings and Pistons games, which seems like the type of day I would've loved to have while dreaming of being a sportswriter. But hey, I was able to take a late-morning nap. Is enjoying the simple pleasures a sure sign of getting old?)

But during the staff meeting at the Sweaty Men Endeavors office this morning, we decided that each game from such a big sports day needed to be addressed. So in the interests of time (yours and mine), I'll try to keep my thoughts short.

First, the Red Wings' 4-2 loss to the Oilers, which ties their playoff series at 1-1:

The Wings need to score more goals. Hi, my name is Mr. Obvious. But I've been out of this hockey thing for a while and need to get re-acclimated.

To me, it seems like they need to change their style a bit to make that happen. Crisp passing and pretty playmaking isn't going to get it done, because Edmonton's defense is too tight. So charge the net more. Plant someone in front of Dwayne Roloson. Keep throwing the puck at the net. You might get a rebound. The goalie might get tangled up. Isn't that how Henrik Zetterberg scored the Wings' second goal on Sunday?

So much for the "new NHL," right? Sure, it's ugly, but look how the series has gone so far. Kirk Maltby has scored two goals. Jason Williams' score yesterday found the net on fluke bounces off the defenseman and goalie. Not exactly classic, draw-it-up-on-the-dry-erase-board strategy.

But maybe the Wings are already doing that enough and lost largely because of two costly turnovers. If so, then things should be okay. However, this ain't the first time a more talented Detroit team has lost because the opponent prevented them from showing off their skills. If that's the case, start creasing your forehead with worry.

▪▪ Here's Abel to Yzerman's take on yesterday's game. (Much, much better than mine, but hey, I'm trying to make up for it through hard work.)

▪▪ Radio Free Detroit also has excellent analysis for you.

▪▪ And for several thoughts on the series, as well as the overall NHL playoffs, check out what Off Wing Opinion has collected.

Tigers and Pistons stuff to come...

(Image from "Calvin and Hobbes" ©2006 Bill Watterson/ Universal Press Syndicate)

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