I Fail

Posted in Other on February 1, 2010 by Rob

Like most of you, I have already failed to keep up my New Year’s resolutions. Fortunately for me, this has only led to a dormant website, not ten extra pounds around my waist. I had a very busy January and unfortunately both the GHHT and my Xbox have both been largely ignored over the month. I’ve stepped my game up a bit at Detroit4lyfe, including starting some shit last week after the Michigan-MSU basketball game.

Currently, I’m trying to find a healthy balance between D4L, the GHHT, and the rest of my life. I’ll be posting more around here (not a hard task when I had one post in January…) but I’m going to try to get away from monotonous game recaps. Hopefully this will involve more opinionated and open-ended pieces that will generate some comments from my increased readership. Yes, believe it or not, traffic has gone up around here since I stopped writing. Hopefully that means that doing some actual posting will bring those numbers up even more.

So to those of you who have checked out the site recently (and possibly even bookmarked), sit tight. The GHHT will be back soon, hopefully stronger than ever.

New Years Resolutions from the GHHT

Posted in Other on January 2, 2010 by Rob

Another year has come and gone, and now 2010 is upon us. It’s going to be a big year for me. I’ll be graduating in May with a degree in Movement Science. Hopefully, the next chapter of my life will be the beginning of graduate school (pursuing a Doctorate of Physical Therapy) within those next few months. Of all the schools I have applied to, there is only one common theme: no matter where I go, it will not be in the state of Michigan.

What does that mean for this site? I’m not sure yet. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Until then, here are a few New Years resolutions I have specifically for the Gordie Howe Hat Trick.

  1. Post more content. I’ve been fairly lazy over the past few weeks, especially since I’ve been done with classes. I need to get back into the groove of posting stuff every day, as well as keeping up with my work at Detroit4lyfe.
  2. Update the site. There are two parts to this one. First, I want to add a few more bells and whistles to the site itself, making it more than just my words and a few links on the sidebar. Second, I’d like to come up with the means to get my own domain for the site, which would allow me greater freedom to customize the site to my liking. As much as I like the theme, I don’t think it’s the best for what I want to do for the site. I’m not exactly a coding genius though, so this will definitely be a big project.
  3. Build a bigger community. Of all the resolutions, this is the hardest to do for a blogger, yet the most desired. Everybody wants more readers, more comments, and more discussion. It’s what makes the writing so much fun.
  4. Get another writer or two. This is still up in the air, but I may seek a bit of help for this site, especially if I’m unable to watch Detroit sports while away at another school. Most of the lack-of-posting you’ve seen here occurs when I’m unable to catch a game. If I haven’t seen the games, it’s a lot harder to analyze how teams and players have been performing, and then I don’t have much else to say. For now, I’m keeping the GHHT to myself, but that may change in the future.
  5. Find an identity for this site. This could either be the easiest or the hardest of the five resolutions I have for the Gordie Howe Hat Trick. If you’ve read my writing from the start (especially back in May), you’ll see that I’ve jumped around a lot in terms of writing style, posting format, and general attitude. Figuring out what exactly I want to mold this site into is my biggest priority in the next year.

For now, I want to thank you for stopping by the GHHT. Drop a comment on anything you’d like to see from either me or the site in the near future. Posting may be light for the next few days while I do the family thing, but I should hopefully get into the swing of things in the next week or two.

    Red Wings vs. Blue Jackets – Stopping the Bleeding

    Posted in Red Wings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2009 by Rob

    Red Wings: 2  Blue Jackets: 1

    It wasn’t pretty, but they got it done. The Wings grinded out a 2-1 win over the Blue Jackets tonight at the Joe. Todd Bertuzzi netted both goals, probably due to the fact that his #1 fan, Mike P. from The Production Line, was in attendance. Valtteri Filppula returned from his wrist injury and had a decent game. Pavel Datsyuk was better than he’s been recently, assisting on Bertuzzi’s first goal. Jimmy Howard played another strong game, adding more fuel to the goalie controversy fire. Overall, the Wings played a strong game and came away with the win.

    The game itself wasn’t very exciting, other than the win. Fil’s return was obviously the biggest story, and rightfully so. If he was out of shape or practice in any way, it didn’t show. He was easily one of the best players on the ice tonight, controlling the puck well. Other than fanning on a one-timer in the second period, I didn’t see too much to complain about from him. His presence is going to be huge for this team going forward. They’re lacking scoring firepower right now, and Fil brings back some much needed offensive talent. He’s going to be asked to carry a line, something he hasn’t had to do before. The next few weeks will show just how much Fil has progressed as a hockey player. If he can help provide some offense without breaking up the Homer-Dangle-Kaczynski line, I think the Wings will start to put some wins together.

    As far as the goaltender controversy goes, I still don’t think there is one. We said all the same things last year that we’re saying this year. I might be playing with fire by doing this, but here goes:

    via The Chief, Feb. 19th, 2009:

    Somebody pointed this out yesterday and it’s brilliant:  Chris Osgood has exactly one more game of less than 3 goals allowed than Ty Conklin does shutouts.  Think about that.  Have a ballcap Chris. Keep it on for a while.  Like ‘til mid June or so.

    The Chief, Dec. 18th, 2009:

    Jimmy Howard’s your starter.  Yes he is.  Yep. Don’t start your sputtering and tip tapping. He is and you know it.

    These games are important. Every one.  And there he is.  The roster is decimated and Uncle Mike needs strength in net every single game…and there he is.  Four days between games? Howard.  One night between games? Howard.

    Just to set the record straight, I’m not wearing a fedora, hyperextending my pinky, or drinking some puss-ass beer with a Rosby-like “My daddy was naughty with me” grin on my face. It’s just an example of what most fans are saying. What’s my point? Wait until April. I understand that the December games mean a lot more this year. The Wings are in a dog fight for a playoff spot for the first time since… hell, I don’t even remember. But they’re still within striking distance, and don’t pretend that Ozzie doesn’t know that. He might not be as bat-shit crazy as The Dominator was, but he just doesn’t have it in December and January.

    Jimmy Howard is the hot goaltender right now, and he’s playing the minutes he deserves. He should (and probably will) start on Monday in Columbus, and he should (and probably will) start on Thursday against Colorado. But does anyone really trust him to lead this team on to the ice in Game 1? I sure as hell don’t. This is the same guy that we considered a place-holder for Thomas McCollum just a few months ago. Look 200 miles south, to the same BJs that we beat today. Last year, Steve Mason was the heir-apparent to the NHL goaltending throne. This year?

    Ask Khan.

    Goaltender Steve Mason, last season’s Calder Trophy winner as rookie of the year, ranks 46th in the league in both goals-against average (3.40) and save percentage (.887).

    My point is this: Howard is still a rookie. Ride the kid while he’s hot now, but the playoffs are a different animal. Say thanks, give him a gas card when he turns 16 (seriously, grow a beard or something Jimmy), and hand him a faceoff chart. Ozzie proved last season that he’s got a switch, and he knows when to flip it. He’s been there before, and he can do it again. Jimmy may be the goalie of the future, but as long as the #30 remains out of the rafters? Ozzie’s your man.

    As long as this team keeps getting healthy, I think the Wings will make some big time noise in the playoffs regardless of where they’re seeded. No one in their right mind would ask for this team in a 7-game series right now, let alone when Hank, Cleary, Franzen, and the rest of the Dead Wings come back. Jimmy Howard? Carry the load until we get to the pearly gates, but once 87’s baby daddy opens the door? Hit the back of the bus kid, and let Ozzie have the wheel.

    The Wings are back in action on Monday. The Pistons are on the road tomorrow and will be back at the Palace on Tuesday, where I’ll be in the nosebleeds knocking back $8 brews. I love free tickets.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

    Posted in Other on December 25, 2009 by Rob

    Our teams may not be enjoying the same success that we’re used to in Detroit, but a new year, and with it a new beginning, is on the horizon. Today, relax and enjoy some of the NBA action on TV, or just spend time with family and remember that the sports that we watch with such passion truly are just a game. There are many more important things that I am thankful for, and when our teams win it’s just icing on the cake.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Gordie Howe Hat Trick.

    Red Wings Recap – This Is Going to Be Painful

    Posted in Red Wings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2009 by Rob

    Apologies for being M.I.A. over the past week, I’ve been finishing up my last two exams for the semester. But now I’m done and ready to get back to business.

    I wasn’t too worried about the Wings after they lost Saturday at Dallas, but after watching them drop two in a row to the Blackhawks I think there’s a legitimate reason to be concerned about whether this team will even make the playoffs this season. The injuries are starting to take their toll, and there’s no saying that this team will ever be healthy. Guys who were meant to spend the year playing in Van Andel are being thrown into the fire on the second and third lines. With increased ice time for some guys, especially the veterans on the team, there’s a greater risk of them getting hurt too. Tonight, Brad Stuart was just 2 minutes shy of his average playing time (23+ minutes per game) after the second period. Stuart ended up with 29:09 of ice time last night. When Brett Lebda is playing 23 minutes for you (22:58 to be exact), you’re going to have problems.

    As much as we want to point to the blue line, it’s the offense that has been the biggest problem. The last time the Wings scored more than 3 goals was against Dallas on November 30. They didn’t score in either game against Chicago, running their shutout total to five. ALL IN THE LAST MONTH. The offense is the problem, and the only way it will be fixed is if guys can get healthier.

    I was going to say that the game in Chicago was especially embarrassing, but I’ve changed my thinking since last night. They created more scoring opportunities last night than on Sunday, but the result was the same. The power play is God-awful. Nick Lidstrom in particular has looked slow when he’s had the puck. The crisp tape-to-tape passes aren’t there anymore. His scoring touch has completely vanished as well, with just one goal on the year. I don’t want to say that Captain Nick is getting old, because he’s still the same Perfect Human in the defensive zone. I don’t know if “snakebit” applies here either. Teams are allowing the Wings’ defensemen to cycle the puck as they please on the power play, but really cracking down on any shots from the point. It’s no secret that this is one of the big keys to the Wings’ PP success and other teams have made the adjustment. I don’t think that this is a coaching issue. The forwards on the PP unit (Pavel Datsyuk in particular) need to step up when the Wings have the extra man. Continue reading

    Wings vs. Lightning – Down Goes Hank

    Posted in Red Wings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2009 by Rob

    Red Wings: 3  Lightning: 0

    I really could care less that the Red Wings won last night’s game. I said all over the comments of pretty much any Wings preview you could find that I would be happy with an injury-free game. Most of that was out of pure giddyness of seeing the latest massacre at A2Y on Wednesday. Seriously Buddha, you’re way out of your league “dude” (See what I did there, with the quotes?).

    Anyway, the Wings put together a pretty strong effort last night in a game that many of us expected to be a typical long layoff letdown. Drew Miller scored a phenomenal goal that actually prompted me to fall in love with a Spartan. Via @GordieHoweHT

    WOW. Give him a contract extension right now. On the bench and everything. WHAT A GOAL BY MILLER

    Yeah, I was excited about that one. Brian Rafalski did his best impression of Drew Brees on ice with the bomb to Drew Miller. Miller did a phenomenal job of controlling the puck (batting it out of the air, I believe), going to the backhand to avoid the poke check by Tampa goalie Mike Smith, and elevating the puck over Smith. I’ve made my sentiments clear already, but Miller is a guy I want to see in Detroit for a few more years. He’ll probably sign for close to the league minimum if it gives him some long-term stability as far as a regular paycheck goes. Plus, I think he digs playing in Detroit after going to MSU. And having a legitimate shot at this guy every year doesn’t hurt either (I’ll take Hayden Panettiere, he can have the cup). Continue reading

    Quick Wings Update

    Posted in Red Wings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2009 by Rob

    I don’t have much free time for the next few days, but I wanted to share a few thoughts on what I haven’t* seen from the Wings over the last two games.

    * “Haven’t seen” just means that I didn’t watch the games, but I’m coming up with thoughts on the team as I read others’ reactions and check the box scores and highlights for what went down.

    • Todd Bertuzzi, you still suck. Keep scoring buddy. Click here if you don’t understand why I’m telling the Unibomber he sucks.
    • Darren Helm is hurt now. Seriously, somebody did something wrong and hasn’t fessed up to it yet. Click over toSnipe Snipe, Dangle Dangle to confess your hockey-related sins and hopefully we can stop this injury madness.
    • Seriously, get Patrick Eaves a 4-year deal ASAP Kenny. Love the kid.
    • To the staff at the Brown Jug in Ann Arbor: I love your wings, but WHY WAS THE RED WINGS GAME NOT ON ONE OF YOUR 50 BILLION TV’S TONIGHT? I don’t care about a 49ers-Cardinals Monday Night Football matchup, and I especially don’t care when I don’t need any points from Vernon Davis, as my fantasy team had already locked up the win.
    • Apparently Dick Axelsson has decided to go back to Sweden instead of gutting out his lack of playing time in Grand Rapids. I’d want to leave GR too if I had two feet of snow dumped on me in the last week. Hopefully this isn’t the end of “Hat Trick Dick” in the Wings organization.
    • I have to partially call out Kyle at Babcock’s Death Stare for getting angry about the call-up of Kris Newberry for tonight’s game. Yes, he took penalties just like Kyle said he would (which is why his scouting analysis is second-to-none in the Wings blogosphere), but Newberry did score a goal tonight. In all seriousness, BDS is a phenomenal site and Kyle is way better at this whole blogging thing than I am, so keep up the great work.
    • Jimmy Howard has been playing some awesome hockey, but Saturday showed that Chris Osgood is still the clear-cut #1 goaltender in Detroit.
    • This isn’t Wings related, but as you’ve probably heard, Accenture has dropped Tiger Woods as a sponsor. I’m only commenting on this because it was a great move for Accenture. Now that this news is out, people are actually figuring out who and/or what Accenture is. This was probably the best marketing ploy they’ve ever had. Seriously though, kudos to Nike and Tag Heuer for standing by Tiger throughout this ordeal.

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