Category Archives: Hockey

Throwback Thursday: Miracle

Throwback Thursday is a segment in which we will highlight a throwback video relating to Michigan sports. For the first edition the timing is appropriate to flash back to the Olympics of 1980.

The final 2 minutes of the game referred to as “Miracle on Ice”.

The USA team was a major underdog facing the Soviet power house. To put a recent comparison to how much of an upset this was, think about Appalachian State taking down Michigan, in the Big House. The Soviet’s had defeated the American’s 10-3 in an exhibition game prior to the 1980 Olympics. The game was more than just  hockey at the time. The USA and Soviet Union were at the midst of the Cold War, and this game was the ultimate representation of national pride for both of the teams. Team USA went on to take gold in hockey that year.

Local Connection:

Forward Mark Wells is from St. Clair Shores, Michigan. Wells was drafted by the Montreal Canadians in the first round of the 1977 NHL entry draft. He retired before he played a single NHL game. In 2010 he auctioned off his gold medal for 310,000$ to pay for medical costs for a genetic disease.

Defenseman Ken Morrow is from Flint, Michigan. After achieving gold in the 1980 Olympics, Morrow won a Stanley Cup with the New York Islanders. He is the first rookie to ever win a Stanley Cup and gold medal in the same year. He won 3 more cups with the Islanders from 1981-1983. Morrow retired after a short, but successful NHL career in 1989 due to injuries.

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JUST WING’IN IT ABOUT THE OLYMPICS

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Contribution by P.Giannosa

Starting tonight, the 2014 Winter Olympics are set to take place in Sochi, Russia.  One of The Olympic’s major events is the Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament featuring twelve different countries  who will be competing for a Gold Medal.  The tournament will start  next Wednesday, February 12th and finish with the Gold Medal game being held on Sunday, February 23rd.

The Olympic Men’s Hockey tournament has been known to be intense and grueling, especially for Medal winning teams.  The players on these Olympic Medal winning teams play their heart out for their Countries and have been known to sometimes play up to seven games over an eleven day span.  Meanwhile, most NHL players are at home kicking back hanging out with their families, maybe doing a little shopping at Home Depot and Bed Bath & Beyond, that is if they have the time for it.

2010 Olympic Hockey  Tournament Run-Down

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For those who didn’t pay attention to the Men’s Hockey Tournament four years ago in Vancouver, Canada, I’m sorry you missed out. Here’s a quick run down, so you  can catch up.  Finland beat Slovakia for the Bronze Medal (I know blah, blah, blah who cares) and then those Crazy Hozers from the North, Team Canada unfortunately beat the U.S. to capture the Gold in overtime.

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The buzz during the entire tournament was that Team Canada was unstoppable because of their star-studded NHL roster.  The Russians were also heavily favored, by again having quite a few NHL stars suiting up for their respected squad.  Unfortunately for them, those Comies lost to Canada 7-3 in the Quarterfinals.  Then we have Team ‘MERICA., who wiped the floor with Finland beating them 6-1 in the Semis allowing them to advance to the Gold Medal game against Canada.

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The 2010 Gold Medal game was No Joke probably the best Hockey game that I have seen in the past four years.  It was a fast, gritty, and hard-fought game at both ends of the ice.  It was obvious that players were competing extremely hard wanting to Capture the Gold for their respected countries.  The game came down to the wire and then by a last-ditch effort from Zach Parise, he was able to tie up the game for the U.S.  with just 25 seconds left in regulation forcing the game into overtime.  Unfortunately, the U.S. ended up losing the close match to Canada thanks to “Detroit’s Most Loved Player to Hate” Cindy Crosby shooting one past goalie Ryan Miller.  All in all, the 2010 Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament was very successful  for both the NHL and the Olympics while in the international spotlight.  An old tradition that brings countries together by pitting the World’s most skilled players against each other competing for their countries and for hockey fans worldwide.

Men’s 2014 Hockey Olympic Preview

This Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia starts today with the opening ceremony being held tonight around 8pm.  The Men’s Hockey Tournament can be considered one of the main highlights of the Olympics,  many are hoping  for another fun and exciting hockey tournament that will go down as one of the best the Olympics has ever seen.  Expect early favorites (thanks to rosters stacked with the NHL’s best players) to win the Gold this year including teams Sweden, Russia, U.S.A., and Canada.   If interested in team breakdowns and the schedule of the 2014 Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament please continue reading.  Hopefully this is somewhat news for you and you can get some enjoyment out of it.

TOP 6 COMPETING TEAMS

RUSSIA

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Team Russia led by Captain and hometown hero”The Magic Man”  Pavel Datsyuk (that is if he’s healthy for it) are looking to make a splash in the tournament especially with having the home ice advantage.  A talented group of forwards including Datsyuk, Alexander Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchulk, and Yevgeni Melkin, will look to score quickly and by a lot.  Having an early lead and handling the puck well in front of the 2013 Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL’s goalie of the year Sergie Bobrovski, will allow the team to play relaxed and smart helping them to advance to later rounds in the tournament.

SLOVAKIA

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To be completely honest this team might be the sleeper pick of the tourny.  Slovakia is composed of a defensive core headed by big man Zdeno Chara who is no stranger to the tough competitive international play.  Vetran Power Forward Marian Hossa will lead the scoring attack along with the skilled young guns from HockeyTown Tomas Jurco and Tomas Tatar.  Having talent at both ends of the ice will make it tough for teams to beat Slovakia.

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CANADA

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Team Canada the reigning Gold Medal Champs, once again built by Detroit’s most beloved sports star Steve Yzerman and coached by the Red Wing’s own Mike Babcock, Canada is ready to make another historic Olympic run on the international stage.  Captained by Sid the Kid, Canda has the most talented roster of all the teams competing and again have high expectations to win the Gold.  Team Canada will be sending another star-studded NHL line up to Sochi including Rick Nash,  Jonathan Toews, Claude Giroux, Shea Weber, Duncan Keith, Carey Price, and Robert Luongo. The team will be a tough opponent for all teams they face and they are confident that they can once again become Olympic Gold Medal Champions.

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FINLAND

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A team that has made its presence known as of late in the Olympic Hockey Tourny, Finland’s challengers will have a difficult time facing any of the three rostered goaltenders (especially if they get on fire) Kari Lehtonen, Antti Niemi, and Tuukka Rask.  Goaltending is the obvious key to this team however they still have a solid offense captained by Teemu Sleanne (competing in his sixth Olympics=Geezer) competing along side with former Wing Valtteri Filppula and Wild captain Miko Koivu.

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SWEDEN

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Team Sweden, another favorite to win the Gold,  will have a strong offensive attack that is supported by a great defensive core.  Sweden will be fun for us Detroit Hockey fans to watch and root for because the team is mostly consists of Red Wing players. Henrik Zetterberg, will captain and lead the exciting offense made up of NHL stars including Daniel Alfredsson, Nicklas Backstrom,  and by both Sedin brothers (Daniel and Henrik).  The notable Defense is composed of the skilled Nicklas Kronwall, big man Jonathan Ericsson, and former winner of the 2012 Norris Trophy as best defenseman of the year Ottawa Senator Erik Karlsson.  Not to mention former Vezina Trophy winner, Henrik Lundqvist will be their netminder adding a strong presence between the pipes that won’t make it easy for opposing goal scorers.

USA

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Last but not least, we have the gritty and speedy Team U.S.A.  The 2010 Gold Medal runner-up, Team ‘Merica will be hungry and ready to win this month in Sochi.  Being lead by captain Zach Parise and many returnees from 2010 Silver Medal lineup including teammate D-Man Ryan Suter, puck handling extraordinaire Patrick Kane, 2012 Stanley Cup Champ Dustin Brown,  Michigander Ryan Kesler, and former Mighican State Spartan goalie Ryan Miller.  Red Wing Jimmy Howard and King’s goalie Jonathan Quick will also challenge Miller for the coveted starting goaltending spot for the U.S., my guess is that Quick will win out and be our go-to goalie of choice. With high hopes in Sochi, team U.S.A. would again love to be that surprising underdog upsetting any team that comes in their path and win its first Gold Medal since the 1980 “Miracle on Ice”.

2014 Men’s Ice Hockey Olympic Grouping/Schedule

Below is the complete schedule of the tournament including the Medal games.

Group A

Russia
Slovakia
United States
Slovenia

Group B

Finland
Canada
Norway
Austria

Group C

Czech Republic
Sweden
Switzerland
Latvia

Feb. 12
12 PM ET Czech Republic vs. Sweden
12 PM ET Latvia vs. Switzerland

Feb. 13
3 AM ET Finland vs. Austria
7:30 AM ET Russia vs. Slovenia
7:30 AM ET Slovakia vs. USA
12 PM ET Canada vs. Norway

Feb. 14
3 AM ET Czech Republic vs. Latvia
7:30 AM ET Sweden vs. Switzerland
12 PM ET Norway vs. Finland
12 PM ET Canada vs. Austria

Feb 15
3 AM ET Slovakia vs. Slovenia
7:30 AM ET USA vs. Russia
12 PM ET Sweden vs. Latvia
12 PM ET Switzerland vs. Czech Republic

Feb 16
3 AM ET Austria vs. Norway
7:30 AM ET Russia vs. Slovakia
7:30 AM ET Slovenia vs. USA
12 PM ET Finland vs. Canada

Feb 18
3 AM ET Playoff qualifications
7:30 AM ET Playoff qualifications
12 PM ET Playoff qualifications
12 PM ET Playoff qualification

Feb 19
3 AM ET Quarterfinal
7:30 AM ET Quarterfinal
12 PM ET Quarterfinal
12 PM ET Quarterfinal

Feb 21
7 AM ET Semi Final
12 PM ET Semi Final

Feb 22
10 AM ET Bronze Medal Game

Feb 23
7 AM ET Gold Medal Game

A Not-So-Nice Tribute to NHL Comish Gary Bettman

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contribution by:  P. Giannosa

It is no secret that many hockey fans and NHL players don’t  have much love for the short, creepy, wanna-be sports dictator Jabroni (or is it Dick-Taker) Gary Bettman.  This weasel has been basically responsible for three NHL lockouts which in result have negatively affected the sport of Hockey’s popularity with fans and as well with it’s finances.   Here is a Tribute to possibly the worst comissioner in all of sports which  includes some random funny photos and video clips.  Let the Hate Chants Begin!!!

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Lost Milllllionns of the NHL’s revenue through two shortened and one totally missed season .

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Shit even KISS (once thought as a demonic rock group) wants to rid the earth of this Jabroni’s evil scum.

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I mean really, Who the Hell would Swipe their own self?? A Jabroni would.

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Ah One, Ah Two, Ah Threee AH AH AH…locked out seasons=the most lost games by any professional sports comissioner ever.

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Hopefully the Gary Bearer doesn’t the carry the NHL to the grave by making the league suffer another lockout in the near future.

Chris Chelios is not only known for his Chili but for also being a Bad Ass Mother F***er!

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A bunch of Corrupt Jabronis if you ask me.

Just Wing’In It: Wings in Philly, Not Looking for Any Brotherly Love from the Flyers.

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After a successful five game home stand, the Red Wings head to Philadelphia to face the struggling Flyers.  The Wings finished up their five game home stretch by going 3-1-1, pushing them into the eighth spot with 57 points in the NHL’s Eastern Conference standings.  The  Flyers have lost four straight and are looking to avoid their fifth consecutive loss, which would be their longest losing streak in three years.

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It was nice to see some familiar faces wearing the red sweater over the past five games.  The depleted Red Wings welcomed the returns of some of their key players during the stretch, including: Johan Franzen, Darren Helm, Jonathan Ericsson, and Daniel Alfredsson.   Even  after gaining some of their key players back, the Wings are still missing the talents of Pavel Datsyuk (lower back injury), Henrik Zetterberg (re-aggravated lower back injury), and Jimmy Howard (sore knee). Howard is supposed to be back on the ice tonight in Philly, and hopes to help the club get their first win in “The City of Brotherly Love” since 1997.

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Despite a lackluster finish this past Sunday in Detroit (The Panthers somehow seem to have our number this year with three straight wins over us), The Wings look to bounce back and continue their fight to maintain a playoff spot.  Having  some players return to their roster should add some depth. Veteran leadership will hopefully lead to more consistent play .  This will not be an easy match-up for the Wings tonight in Philly.  The Flyers are in the same boat struggling to make the playoffs and are eager to snap their recent losing streak (Philly is only one point back from the Wings in the standings).  Overall, this should be an exciting game involving two teams looking to save face for their cities by desperately fighting for the last playoff spot in the East!

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Just Wing’In It: Wings Outlast Hawks in SO, Win 5-4.

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Contribution by P. Giannosa

Detroit and Chicago, two Midwest cities separated by less then 300 miles, have been known to be old rivals throughout the history of sports.  Over the years, these two historic sports towns have featured some great grudge matches between the Lions and Bears, Pistons and Bulls, Tigers and White Sox,  and of course the Red Wings and Black Hawks. Last night was another one of those great match-ups, with a back-and-forth victory for the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.

Surprisingly this was  Detroit’s 2nd Shootout win in three games,  The Wings were able to gain 2 points in the standings, and maintain a fighting chance to make the NHL Playoffs.  This was the first time the two teams have met each other since the 2013 Playoffs. Detroit was visibly eager to face their one time divisional opponent and put last year’s playoff collapse against the Hawks behind them.  Down 2-0 halfway through the 1st period, the Wings battled back to tie the game. Tats started things off by netting one, followed by a sweet top shelf goal by Patrick Eaves.  (Eaves goal, assisted by Justin Abdelkader, was the  #5 featured play on this morning’s ESPN’s Sport Center Top 10 Plays).

Still tied at the start of the second period, both teams came out skating hard looking to gain an edge.  Within five minutes, Chicago forward Patrick Sharpe scored his 26th goal of the year on a power play putting one past Jonas Gustavsson.  However, the Wings didn’t back down to the Defending Stanley Cup Champions.  77 seconds later, a  snap shot between the hash marks by D-Man Kyle Quincey tied it back up at 3.  Later in the period, the Red Wings took the lead over the Hawks thanks to the gritty fore-checking of Justin Abdelkader.  Abby beat a Hawk’s defenseman to the corner, dug the puck out and fed  it to Hank in front of the net. Hank slid a perfectly timed pass to Gustav Nyquist who put one past Corey Crawford to take a 4-3 lead.

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Entering the third period, Detroit looked to maintain the slim 4-3 lead, hoping to avoid another OT/Shootout.  Unfortunately, The Black Hawks were capitalized rather quickly by intercepting a terrible pass by Wing’s defenseman Brendan Smith, scoring  another game tying goal.  The 3rd period finished out with several close calls, but once again The Wings found themselves heading into another all too familiar overtime scenario.

After the quick five minute overtime period, the Red Wings and Black Hawks were still tied up and headed into another dreaded shootout.  The Wings having a 3-2 advantage courtesy of goals by Eaves, Bertuzzi, and the now healthy “speedster” Darren Helm, were set up for the potential upset .  Chicago’s Andrew Shaw was lined up to take possibly the final shot for Chicago and came down the center of the shooting directly at Gustavsson, allowing for an easy save and a big win for the Red Wings.

Now the Wings look to face new divisional foe’s, the Montreal Canadians  and the Florida Panthers to finish off their home stand this weekend.  At this point of this  “rocky” season for the Wings, each game must be played out of desperation in order to maintain their hopes of a 23rd straight post-season appearance.  Us fans have been on a roller coaster ride all season long with this team, but after last night’s victory it is reassuring that the Wings can still compete with some of the best teams in the NHL, even with a depleted roster.  With the combination of the speed of their youngsters, smart play of the veterans, and some grit delivered by third/fourth liners, the Red Wings should be able to make their presence be known in the East. The health of this team is imperative if this team is to make  noise down the stretch.

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