Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sports Blogging: The Wide World of Detroit Sports

Certainly had the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat last night. The Wings got their win while the Pistons...well, the Pistons didn't.

I didn't manage to watch the Pistons game except for what happened after the hockey was over but from what I gather, I didn't miss much. Whatever the Pistons had working on Thursday night had vanished by Saturday. Pretty much every thing I wrote here happened but only in some bizarro alternate universe where that game played out exactly the opposite of the way things went here.

Chauncey seemed still bothered by his hamstring injury and even Prince had an off-night. But the biggest difference was the production the Celtics got off their bench. Even Cassel, who'd been killing Boston with earlier in the post-season was playing well.

The Pistons picked a really bad time to fall back into their bad habits, in other words, while Boston came out primed to steal a game. Teams that go up 2-1 are prohibitive favorites to prevail in a best of seven series. Although, teams that go up 2-0 are even more likely to win and look at how well that worked out for the Pistons last year.

I thought going in that this was going to be a seven game series. I thought that before the playoffs even started that the Pistons and Celtics were destined to slug things out over a long, grueling series (One that the Pistons would eventually lose. I'd changed my mind by the start of the series if only because Boston had not looked very impressive in getting there.) and I see no reason to change my mind now. It'd been much better had the Pistons won but that series isn't over yet.

On the other hand, the Wings-Penguins series just might be. I mean, it's recklessly early to say so but, damn, the Wings were playing on another level last night. The Pens, on the other hand, followed the example of the Marc-Andry Fleury, their goalie, and stumbled coming out of the gate.

I'm never going to get tired of watching that.

Look, it's like this, even in the first period with things going more or less back and forth, the Wings had that game. Even after yet another goal got yanked because of Holmstrom's reputation for being....well, Holmstrom (That whole first period was just a mess of bad penalties and awful flow when you get right down to it. But, seriously. What a bad call. Holmstrom may have wacked him with his stick in the pads about a half second before the puck got there. Or he may have managed to control his stick enough to stop short of slapping him in the pads. Since this is a professional athlete I could believe it. But either way, he wasn't interfering with his ability to stop the puck and much worse things go on around the crease all the time - mostly to Holmstrom who's getting mauled by a defensemen or two. But first it was his butt that couldn't be in the crease and, now I guess, it's his stick. ) Detroit was the team generating chances and carrying the play.

And after that? They held the vaunted Penguins offense to seven shots over the last two periods. Seven. Total. They shut the door even before Samuelsson scored.

And, yeah, plenty of games left ot play and everyone looks bad in a loss, Pittsburgh has plenty of time to turn it around, but they're going to have to if they want to get out of this series.

Also playing yesterday and lost in all the shuffle were the Tigers who put up 19 runs on the Twins. And, perhaps, convinced a few more hearts that it might be okay to hope again. Their loss this afternoon, though, would seem to indicate that's not exactly the case. At this point, it's not that the Tigers need to turn things around. The season is a quarter over and they're languishing in the basement of their division. They've been shut out the most of anyone in the majors and certainly more than last year. They're second to last in terms of strikeouts. The big name free agents they brought in over the summer have been busts. Whatever magic existed in the clubhouse in 2006 and even last year's gone. There's no magic solution any more. There's no pretending that they miss Granderson or some other piece of the puzzle. There's something wrong with this team and I think it's that they're not very good.

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