Since I watch so many games on TV, I am going to try to find a format for either blogging or tossing up comments on the games that I watch, sort of as they happen. Not sure how it's going to work out, but that's why there's a preseason!
U-G-L-Y, you ain't got no alibi! The Wild came out all stinkeroo for their first game of the season. Matt Foy and Derek Boogaard had a hit-off, and Foy won because DB took a major and a gamer for "interference" when he stupidly elbowed a guy and then complained about it to the ref. I'm sure JL will NOT be happy about that. 3-0 lead for Detroit after one - really nothing positive for the Wild.
Wild first goal of the preseason is from Demo, on a nice second effort off his own initial shot.
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Okay, so that didn't go so well.
For me or the Wild.
6-1 win for the Wings, and not a lot of good things from the Wild. I thought Foy, Reitz, Kalus and Foster played pretty well. I did not think Irmen, Moore and Radio had particularly strong games.
For the record, Boogey and JL claim that no contact was made on the elbow to Downey that got him ejected. Watching online, I am in no position to offer an opinion on that.
Also for the record, SKOULA STINKS!! I remember three distinct plays where he screwed up something (ie clearing the zone) that an NHL-calibre defenseman should not screw up, and one of them ended up in the back of our net. I'm sorry, Jacques, I just don't see why you like him. He simply folds under pressure of any kind. He can't make more than one "right" play in a row. So he settles the puck, but then flubs the pass. And he makes mistakes at bad times (ie trying to clear the zone on a PK).
If Reitz can play like he did last night - where he did nothing spectacular but didn't make any glaring mistakes and did his job in his own zone fine - then I say cut Skoula loose and give Erik a shot. You're not going to be any worse off than you are right now.
In other news, Nik Backstrom had a fancy new mask, and his usual calm demeanor, but was beaten down by the Wild's parade to the penalty box, and it seemed like he didn't see at least a couple of those goals. Harding also had a fancy new mask (tributing the I-35W catastrophe) and looked fine as well, though the Wings weren't pressing as hard once the score got out of hand.
Kalus was involved on several shifts and I thought had one in the third in particular where he was the best player on the ice. I liked how he used his size, wasn't afraid to go into the corners OR the slot, and took shots when they presented themselves.
The Slick Slovaks got a good amount of ice time, and though there were moments of keen play, the brightest memories I have right now are of Gaby missing on breakaways and Radio not finishing any of several nice set ups - mostly from Demo (who actually had a strong game, now that I think about it). I liked Demo on the point on the PP with Gaby and PMB on the wings. There was one PP in particular where they basically moved the puck in a "V" from Demo to Gaby, back to Demo, to Butch, back to Demo...etc and set up some nice looks.
BOTTOM LINE: It's only the first preseason game. I'm happy for the couple of good performances I saw, and not so happy about some of the bad.
STUD: I guess it has to be Foy. He hit everything with a winged wheel on it's chest, showed off some serious wheels and was pretty much the most energetic guy on the ice all night.
DUD: Skoula. Get used to it. As long as he's on the team he will probably be a frequent visitor to this section.
Darn it, just saw that Your Man Cal Clutterbuck was assigned to the Aeros. Sorry about that. They have some open practices coming up next week, I will try to hit at least one.
If you go, I'd sure appreciate a scouting report on what you see. Lemaire made some favorable comments about Cal, and hopefully we'll be seeing him in St. Paul soon.
"Matt Foy is like Wes Walz on crack" That is why I love the kid.
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