How many Ducks does it take to change a light bulb?

"Hey, who turned off the lights?" -- Louis Tully

Final Score (Hi Dad!)
Wings 4, Ducks 2, California Power Grid -1

The Skinny
Detroit ended their first extended road trip of the season on a positive note, dropping the Ducks 4-2. The Wings will head home to Detroit, splitting the four games evenly and lifting their overall record to 11-7-1. Solid effort for the second game in a row, although they did allow the Ducks to climb back into this one.

Bullets of Importance

  • Henrik Zetterberg broke the schneid right away, stealing a puck in the O-zone, and burying a backhand exactly one shift after Coach Babcock told him, via the press, it was his turn to score some goals. The goal came 1:26 into the game, and seemed to remove the weight from Z’s shoulders, who played like he was on fire all night.
  • The big story is going to be the power outage, as the teams were sent back to the locker rooms after the Honda Center was unable to turn the lights back on for 27 minutes. At that point in the game, it was all Detroit, who were positively buzzing, throwing all kindsa meat at the net, and were (at that moment) on their first power play of the evening. Apparently, the Ducks lost power against the Kings on Thursday as well but this circumstance was “unrelated.” I don’t think that makes it better, actually… if you can’t keep the lights on, you don’t belong in the NHL. Mickey Mouse bullshit for a (former) Mickey Mouse franchise.
  • What to do with Brendan Smith: he has been playing very well, particularly in the last two games. But what I think the most impressive thing about his debut is how much he’s growing from game to game. The first game was a bit testy, the second game was a marked improvement, and he looked downright good tonight. There are still a lot of things he has yet to learn, and I can’t help but think he’d be better served in Grand Rapids (not quite NHL-ready yet). However, it’s clear that he’s more trusted than Mike Commodore — Smith has gotten into as many games, has played significantly more minutes, and has been entrusted with special teams time and better pairings. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mike Commodore waived (when Ian White is ready to return to the lineup), but that’s ONLY if the Wings intend to play Smith every night. If that’s the case, who sits? Smith is better than Ericsson right now, but there are 3,250,000 reasons why Shitbox won’t get sent to the Lounge. Kindl? He looks fantastic, too. Tough decisions coming up for Ken Holland. What would you do?

Bullets of Less Importance

  • Franzen continues his scoring ways, netting his tenth on the season just 14 seconds into the second period after Datsyuk completes a perfectly drawn up trap. Brad Stuart would make it 3-0 and 4-0, scoring the 17th and 18th goals from the Wings’ blueline this season, easily the most in the NHL
  • The Ducks thought they scored in the second period, and the play was reviewed in-house and in Toronto. As it turns out, Jimmy Howard made a monster glove save, swatting the puck right around the goal line and out of trouble. In fact, Howard played really well tonight, despite allowing a few middle-frame goals in short succession. It was his twelfth start in a row, including three sets of back-to-backs, and from where I sit, it looks as though the team has lost all faith in Ty Conklin’s ability to even play the second half of back-to-backs against last place teams. Howard has been excellent against Anaheim the last few seasons, but if tonight wasn’t a night that Conklin was going to be in the net for, I don’t see many options coming up, either. The Wings have three days off before Calgary, and another two days before Cup Champion Boston (matinee on NBC). Next Saturday, the Wings play Nashville about 28 hours after the Boston game will end. Maybe that’s a target.

The Disch Approved “Horsecop” of the Game
Henrik Zetterberg, if for no other reason than demanding he be taken off the hot seat on his first shift. Aside from that first goal, he had two near-assists, another would-be goal, and three shots. Statement game.

The Riggy “Shitbox” of the Game
It’s Jonathan Ericsson. I say it all the time, and might not have a chance to say it again until after the Thanksgiving holiday, but he’s absolutely horrendous. I have no idea what he’s still doing in the lineup. And he’s not going anywhere, so get ready for more entries in the section named for him. Dropping coverage, losing his man, and then taking a penalty with 2:34 remaining in a one-goal game? Automatic selection for this.

Point Pace :: The Wings are on pace for 99 points (+2 from yesterday). Last season, 97 was the playoff cutoff. 99 was good for 4th, 5th, and 6th in the West.

What’s Next?
The Wings have the Flames at home, the day before Thanksgiving. Disch has the keys all week. Prepare for ‘teh funneh.’

14 thoughts on “How many Ducks does it take to change a light bulb?”

  1. If Commodore gets waived I would actually feel kind of bad for him.  He signed a one year deal to come to the wings and get his career back on track.  To get waived would be pretty heart breaking.  Its not like we hear bad things about him from the papers or anything.  Although he has been less active on twitter lately.  Here comes Petrella with a mall joke. 

    Ericsson sucks.  Holy shit does he suck.  How many times is he going to get beat to the outside and pick up a penalty?

    1. Me too… I don’t want to see commie waived or sent away.  He’s been okay so far this season.  We never expected him to set the offensive world on fire or anything.

      1. I’m just curious here… by what standard has Mike Commodore been “okay so far this season”? 

        He’s gotten into three games, playing less than ten minutes of mop-up duty on average, and takes dumbshit penalties while not standing up for his teammates when they get boarded from behind. I’m sure that his injury has set him back a little bit, but he showed nothing worth having during the pre-season, or last season in the AHL. 

        Maybe it’s because I’m a giant asshole, but I wouldn’t feel bad for Commodore at all. Sometimes players aren’t fits for situations, and this is one of those times. If Babcock is playing Brendan Smith, an unproven, learning-on-the-job rookie, over a healthy Commodore, it means that the latter has yet to prove he belongs in this team’s lineup. Even with an injured Ian White. 

        I agree with you both to an extent. He certainly wasn’t brought in to set the world on fire, and I’m sure he’s been looking to get his career back on track. That doesn’t mean we all have to bend over backwards to make that happen when he’s done absolutely nothing to prove he deserves any of it. If he’s going to be the perpetual 7th defenseman (which, in essence, he is) and the team decides that they’d rather have Smith on the roster, there are no other options. Carrying 8 defensemen means that TWO forwards will have to be waived when all are healthy — Brunnstrom and potentially Eaves/Mursak/Emmerton/Miller. No one on Earth thinks Mike Commodore’s worth that. 

        Oh, and yes, Jonathan Ericsson sucks. Real, real bad.

        1. Maybe I should clarify… for the money, he’s played decent IMO. Salei was far better than Commie any day of the week last season, but Salei seemed to have played darn near all the time.  Commodore takes dumb penalties, yes, but it sure seems hard to judge him with so little time on the ice and only playing in 3 games.  I’m just trying to be cautious… that’s all.  Maybe I’m being overly cautious. Wth do I know… maybe we should cut ties and let him make some money being a 5th or 6th defenseman somewhere else.

          1. I was immediately impressed with Salei last season, even though I was similarly skeptical heading into the season a year ago. Salei dropped into the lineup, played well enough to belong in the top six permanently, and shouldn’t have been removed when Kindl started playing well near the end of the season (hint: it should have been Ericsson then, too). 

            It’s certainly possible (hell, it’s down right probable) that I’m jumping the gun here and I’m being overly critical of Commodore. It’s no secret I don’t like him, I don’t like him on this team, and I don’t have any idea what he’s supposed to be doing here. But I’m happy to give him a chance to prove me wrong. If he continues to play nine minutes, however, and doesn’t contribute in any positive way… I don’t see the point in keeping him.

            However, if Smith isn’t going to be a top six every night guy, then someone’s gotta go. I doubt that happens, since Smith can be returned to Grand Rapids without waiving, etc. 

          2. True… very good point about Salei fitting in immediately.  Also, Commie isn’t ever going to get more minutes at this rate.  I’ve jumped off the hate Ericsson bandwagon, but won’t disagree that he should have sat the end of last season.  His saving grace was that he played better in the playoffs than the regular season.  I still don’t get this team’s sporadic play from certain players… it’s as if they shrug everything off and do their own thing every once in a while and it’s enough to piss us all off.

    2. I agree.  I think the wings need to keep Commodore for the season.  He hasn’t played that bad for a guy who’s barely played in a year.  He just needs some consistent playing time.  He’s basically a reliable and intelligent player, if a little slow.  It also gives the wings more depth, which is one of the advantages the wings have over a lot of other nhl teams.  This reallly shows up when injuries hit.  The wings are and will manage to do okay even when injuries occur. 

      1. But what good is that depth in case of injury… if another player is called up and played above him when there’s an injury?

        I don’t think he’ll get consistent playing time, and I agree that’s likely the problem. If a top six goes down, and they have Brendan Smith inserted into the lineup, when is he supposed to play? Frankly, I was surprised he wasn’t playing NOW, because if not then… when?

        I think it’s going to be another long season for Mike Commodore.

        1. I almost think Smith playing now is kind of a fluke. He was along for the West Coast trip to serve the last of his suspension and they figured while he is there, might as well give him a look. The results have been better than expected. Smith did not perform well in the preseason, damn near getting killed a few times, when being to slow to react to game. He seems to have picked it up a bit, and is driving a stake into Commodore’s career in the process. Which doesn’t make me sad. 

          The preseason for me was a huge disappointment for Smith. I saw him twice with the Griffins last year and he didnt’ really set my world on fire. He was getting over his shoulder injury at the time so that might have had something to do with it. But then the preseason rolled around and I was able to see him a few more times and he just didn’t impress. For a player who has been so hyped in our system for so long, seeing this was a big let down. 

          Seeing him get some time now and seeing him start to actually live up to the somewhat grittier, offensive defenseman I keep hearing about is nice. If Commodore is sacrificed for it so be it. We have more invested in Smith and I want to see the kid live up to his potential. 

  2. KInd of annoying to have to consider point pace and playoff inplications so early in the season. It’s been nice, oh, the past couple of decades, just knowing that my team was going to be in the playoffs. Then again, also being a MIchigan football fan, I’m a little better prepared for a potential precipitous fall from grace than I would have been 5 years ago. Not that I think the Wings, with the leadership in place, would ever crash that far.

  3. Smith needs to stay.  Babcock said, after his first appearance:  “He’s an NHL player.”  He’s also part of the Wings future.  No offense to Commodore, but he is not.  I think he should be waived when Ian White comes back.  I like the pairings of Kronwall/Smith and Stuart/Kindl.  Ian White should return to being Nick’s partner as long as he plays well.  BigE can sit.

  4. Totally not a fit.  It just doesn’t feel right and, as others have said, Smith looks better out there.  Hate to be another bad guy, but I don’t expect Commie’s time to be long, and I won’t be very sad when I’m right.

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