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A Look Back at the First Half, TPL style

Last night was the 41st game of the season for the Red Wings, so I thought it might be fun to look back at the past few months here at TPL and play a game of My Bad (also known as I Told You So for a one of the selected exchanges).

From an October 3rd article titled “This Just In: Jimmy Howard Blows

…what the hell is Jimmy Howard doing in the NHL? He had a very nice first period – making some saves that kind of surprised me, but he absolutely 100% fell apart and it’s quite obvious he’s not the guy he needs to be to keep critics off his back. Two goals in 13 seconds is epic.

My bad.

From a few weeks later, on October 27th:

Jimmy Howard is not an NHL goaltender. Sorry. He isn’t.

My bad.

From the same article:

Ville Leino is getting stronger, and that’s encouraging. But’s he’s not a Calder candidate.

I told you so.

Prior to each game, I put up a preview. In that preview, I try to type up a one-liner about what we learned in the prior game. I thought it might be fun to throw them all in a list and see if it reads like the Red Wings season so far. And this is how it looks:
–We shouldn’t have gotten too excited about back-to-back efforts from Chris Osgood. The version we’ve gotten used to the last two years is back, baby!
–Mike Babcock would rather play me on the power play than Jonathan Ericsson.
–The off-season exodus of scoring can’t be used as an excuse, as the boys peppered a (snicker, laugh, guffaw) division-leading Blue Jackets team to the tune of nine goals. 
–Jimmy Howard has trouble controlling rebounds, but the defensemen are starting to learn that, too, and are helping out a bit more.
–All of a sudden, Jimmy Howard is a reliable goaltender. With Chris Osgood struggling again (not to mention, suffering from the flu), it’s nice to have a Plan B. If you told me in October that Howard would play back-to-back games in November allowing a total of two goals against, I would have kicked you in the groin for being a damn, dirty liar. 
–Drew Miller stepped in rather immediately and fairly impressively. He got some PK time and in true Babcockian fashion, and his strong game rewarded by playing in the final minutes.
–If Henrik Zetterberg keeps playing games like he did against Vancouver, we have nothing to worry about for the remaining 65 games.
–For the second time in three games, we learned that offense should not be used as an excuse for this team’s troubles.
–Jimmy Howard, not unlike his team, is a bit of an enigma. If the right one shows up, the team should be okay against the Stars.
–Arby’s curly fries taste better when they’re earned.
–Tin foil makes for great hats.
–67 shots directed toward the net isn’t enough, apparently.
–We can, in fact, get the second point after the 60th minute. We shouldn’t lose all hope in Jimmy Howard. The power play could have used Nik Kronwall in that first period – methinks the score wouldn’t have been 2-0 after one.
–Now, I’m not going to mention any names, but the team AS A WHOLE took far too many offensive zone penalties. During two of the ensuing power plays, the Preds scored. Moral of the story is: stupid penalties give birth to losses, via goals against. As it were.
–The Red Wings had not, in fact, hit rock bottom on Monday.
–Overtime/shootouts are not the bane of the Red Wings existence after all.
–If Marty Turco was cloned and played for the other 28 teams, too, we’d go 82-0 every season.
–Some nights, the Red Wings just straight up don’t feel like playing. Unfortunately, it’s becoming the norm.
–Apparently it’s not the Red Wings that suck in overtime/shootout – it’s Chris Osgood.
–The Red Wings can, in fact, piece together a good effort – so long as Ville Leino isn’t in the lineup crapping the bed.
–No one on the Red Wings can score worth a damn.
–I learned how yummy crow is. Some folks will never let me live it down. And that’s how it should be.
–Lost makes more sense than Todd Bertuzzi.
–Kris Newbury. Booyah.
–Drew Miller could have been a Street Fighter character. HADUKEN!
–Yawn. Is it February yet?
–Oh, son of a bitch.
–Todd Bertuzzi reads The Production Line. And he loves what he sees.
–Great goaltending outings don’t equal wins when you can’t score goals.
–It still feels good to beat the Avalanche, and ring in the new year the right way.

The Players We  Have Coveted This Season (Super JJ Special)

Ryan Callahan
Mike Cammalleri
Andrew Cogliano
Ryan Getzlaf
Ryan Kesler
Ilya Kovalchuk
Jere Lehtinen, circa 1998
John Madden
Shawn Matthias
Brendan Morrow
Peter Mueller
Rick Nash
T.J. Oshie
Kyle Quincey
Brian Rolston
Patrick Sharp
Fredrik Sjostrom
Jakub Voracek
Joel Ward
James Wright

First Half Best Name Nominees (get your vote in…) 

Artem Anisimov
Dustin Byfuglien

B.J. Crombeen
Nigel Dawes
Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers

Mark Fistric
Milan Hejduk
Niklas Hjalmarsson
Patric Hornqvist
Evander Kane
Zenon Konopka

Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond
Roman Polak
Dan “Big Sexy” Sexton
Raffi Torres
Zbynek Michalek

2 thoughts on “A Look Back at the First Half, TPL style”

  1. I only vote for Dustin Byfuglien if I get to call him "By-FUGLY-in" loudly and publicly. Perhaps over the loudspeakers at the Joe.

  2. Zbynek Michalek is the reason proper names aren't allowed in Scrabble. For that, he gets my vote.

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