Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

What should I have written about yesterday?

Okay, I blew it. I know that. A bunch of stuff happened Monday night, so what did I write about on Tuesday? Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nothing. Too busy sitting outside in the sun, sipping lemonade? Well, no, because it was raining.

I spent most of Monday night flipping between the Wings and Pistons games, Yankees-Red Sox, Prison Break, and 24. It's all kind of a blur, though I swear Jack Bauer tried really hard to stop President Logan from scoring that fourth goal on Legace, while Tim Wakefield went top-shelf with his knuckleball, and Michael Scofield wondered whether he and Alex Rodriguez are brothers, but still worked out a perfect scheme for the Pistons to defend Michael Redd that involved getting a spork and hot dog from the prison cafeteria.

Would I have written about the Red Wings' embarrassing first-round playoff loss to the Edmonton Oilers, which has all the local newspapers writing eulogies on the end of Stanley Cup championship days in Detroit? Probably, although Doug Mirabelli's police-escorted dash from Logan Airport to Fenway Park before the Red Sox played the Yankees was some gripping $#!+, man.

Here's who was on the ball (on the puck?) yesterday, while I was making sure Manny Legace stayed away from belts and shoelaces:

Radio Free Detroit has an outstanding series overview, and speculates what the future might hold for GM Ken Holland as he tries to revamp an aging, underachieving (in the post-season, anyway) roster. Keep on rockin', EJ.

On the Wings has its own comprehensive recap of the deciding game, in which the Wings blew a two-goal lead, and allowed four Edmonton goals in the third period.

Abel to Yzerman has closing thoughts on the game, as well.

Behind the Jersey breaks down the individual performances of each Detroit player.

Big Al says only two Red Wings showed up to play in this series.

Greg Eno thinks the Wings wouldn't have won the Cup even if they'd gotten past the Oilers.

♦ At "The Forehead," Mr. Sports Dude says it's time to clean house. Out with the old, in with the new (and young).

ESPN.com's E.J. Hradek says Legace took a risk in contract negotiations with the Wings, which will likely now bite him right in the five-hole.

♦ And if you'd like to join Manny under belt-and-shoelace watch, or just enjoy some good ol' self-torture, Off Wing Opinion has posted a highlight reel from the Wings-Oilers series.

Meanwhile, the Freep's Michael Rosenberg reveals how close Yzerman was to retirement during the regular season, while Mitch Albom turns out the lights on the current edition of the Red Wings. And the News' John Niyo has 10 questions the Wings need to answer this off-season.

I don't have much to add, other than to say the Wings (besides The 40-Year-Old Veteran, Yzerman) played like they were afraid to lose, demonstrating a baffling lack of composure. A team with as much playoff (and championship experience) as the Wings shouldn't have crumpled like that. Of course, the guy who mattered most - Legace - hadn't faced that kind of pressure before, and he melted under that heat.

And that leaves us with a summer full of Steve Yzerman retrospectives.


  • At May 03, 2006 9:21 PM, Anonymous Evan said…

    Obviously, I'm not sitting on the Wings' bench, but as a fan, I think one thing became abundantly clear to anyone who had any doubts left even after the regular season:

    Henrik Zetterberg is the present and future of the Red Wings.

    He is essentially the only guy who not only gave consistent effort in the six-game series but also got consistent actual OUTPUT.

    I do believe that Datsyuk can and will eventually have some output in the playoffs -- he looked OK in this series, despite missing that time with the injuries. But Zetterberg wouldn't be denied, was responsible on defense, and -- just as he did in the Olympics -- played his ass off when it mattered most.

    If I were Kenny Holland, I'd lock Zetterberg up for eternity. Then I'd find us a top-notch goalie for the next two years until Howard or Liv is ready to make the big jump to starter.

    Beyond that, this team requires only tweaking. Despite all the injuries, the defense is OK -- remember, we should have had Fischer out there -- for the next year or two. And if Yzerman, Shanahan, and maybe another couple guys retire or leave as forwards, that just means more playing time next year for Zetterberg, Williams, et cetera and for guys like Mowers, Hudler, et cetera.

    I'm more of the mind that the team just needs a bit of tweaking rather than outright obliteration. Shanahan needs to go, and we need a better playoff goalie. Those two things alone will help us tremendously. With the salary we'd reclaim from losing Shanny, Yzerman's retirement, and paying Lidstrom less (if he expects the full amount under the cap, he's insane) alone, we should be able to do SOMETHING better in net...

  • At May 04, 2006 7:00 AM, Blogger Ian C. said…

    Evan, would you like to write the hockey blogs here next season? :-)

    But I agree that Zetterberg was clearly the Wings' best player in the playoffs, and Holland has done enough to keep the roster young that wholesale changes don't need to be made.


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