Because my intro thread was being taken over by it until it stopped working for JJJ, apparently.
To continue it from there, this was my last post on it there (JJJ had posted Gretzky's stats and been talking about his style of play and what made him as good as he was):
Oh, definitely. As I said, he was an amazing player. I just have a soft spot for the more defensive forwards, I think--probably because I've gotten so used to seeing them with the styles of players the Wings so often have. Little guys that are nevertheless amazing at what they do. I'm honestly not all that familiar with the west coast players and teams, though one would think I would be--Western Conference is Western Conference. Like anyone, he was mediocre in some areas--but he was unrivaled at what did. I'll give him that. And having a great supporting cast means a lot to any player, I think. Even the most defensive forwards can't do much without other guys around them. It is very much a team sport. Gretzky was a great of his era, Ovechkin is a great of his--hell, Rocket Richard was a great of his. Comparing between eras is hard, to say the least. The game has changed.
Ovechkin does seem to be pretty amazing. I think there are a fair number of players now who would give the older greats a definite run for their money--but the game develops as time goes on, and in a lot of ways it's different from what it used to be. I think part of it may be the greater number of European/Russian players in the league today than at Gretzky's peak--many of the really amazing guys we have now are from countries that didn't get players in the NHL until the early '90s, and even then took some time to really hit their stride. There's a lot of relatively unsung but absolutely amazing players around today, and part of that is the not-quite-fluent-in-English foreign player. Which I suppose Ovechkin is, but he's one of the better known ones. They'd like to make Crosby out to be a second Mario Lemieux, but I think part of that is just because outside of Crosby and Malkin, Pittsburgh doesn't have all that much to work with.
He was without doubt the best player the Oilers had at the time; probably ever. I don't contend that. I also don't contend that he was an amazing player--talented, yes. Perhaps not the most well-rounded player ever. I think that was my initial point... Not really sure.
I had a friend in high school whose one boast was that her mom was friends with Gretzky's wife (or something like that), so she got held by him when she was a baby.
Whether or not Ovechkin is the greatest player of all time I don't think can really be judged until his career is nearer its end. At this point, he's great--but he's still relatively early on, and who knows where he'll go from here. He is definitely one of the greatest, though, no matter what happens in the future.
And Crosby definitely sucks. So does Malkin. But Crosby does more so. God I hate that guy. Pisses me off even when I see people wearing Crosby jerseys. And the fact that he keeps getting his picture for things about hockey in general.
He has a brand. End of story.
I think Malkin is a great player though, but that's my opinion. Datsyuk and Zetterberg are both awesome and I'm of the opinion that Lidstrom is the greatest defenseman to ever play the game.
Malkin bothers me largely due to his behavior in some of the playoffs games--then again, I'm not exactly objective when it comes to playoffs XD Lots of whining about penalties and the like. But I do like him better than Crosby, even if that's not saying much. So as you say, all opinion--and I probably wouldn't think much of him either way if he weren't playing for Pittsburgh.
Datsyuk, if he was bigger, would probably be one of the greatest forwards of all time. Even as he is, he is up there. He's just so small by current size standards that he seems to have a hard time with some of the physical aspects of the game. But seriously--have you seen the guy steal a puck? Absolutely amazing. One of my favorites on "fun to watch" factor, too. Though the number of bandwagon Datsyuk fans is irritating. Same with Zetterberg fans. Though you really only see fans wearing Datsyuk and Yzerman sweaters at games now. Zetterberg too is great, but tends toward fewer flashy "wow!" moves than Datsyuk--but he's also a more average size for the league, and that helps him out a lot. Both great, though by no means the only excellent forwards the Wings have. I'm impressed by the way Datsyuk and Bertuzzi have been working together since they've been put on the same line. Pretty amazing, from a guy who used to be mostly there for checking and a guy who used to be mostly unable to check.
Lidstrom is amazing. Fetisov also was up there for greatest Wings defensemen, even if he's now retired. If Konstantinov hadn't been hurt, he probably could have rivaled them both. To me, however, the great thing about Lidstrom is that he can function as a goal-scorer as well as a defenseman, even if he is one of the smaller, older guys that are the Wings' strength and shortcoming.
It's pathetic how much more I know about Detroit players than others in the league...
I'm wondering why Kovalchuk is not being made such a big deal of as he was two or so years ago. He's apparently still doing well down in Atlanta, but he doesn't get talked about nearly as much as he did a while back. I personally liked the rumors that he might be convinced to play for Detroit at some point, as he'd probably do well here, but I really do wonder why he dropped off the map like he did.
I wish I knew about the teams further west. Time zones make it hard to watch those games here, so I don't know as much about them. Should probably read up on it so that teams out your way can be discussed.
For me, it's mostly Detroit, a bit about Chicago out of rivalry, a surprising amount about Colorado both out of rivalry and out of knowing too many Avs fans, and Montreal because they've been my Eastern Conferernce favorite/second overall favorite for a while now, but most of that knowledge is more historical than current. And a bit about Toronto, but that doesn't usually mean much these days. I suppose I have time to learn, though, as I've become a much more intense fan the last three or so years than I was before.
On Kovalchuk: Definitely; a season or two ago he was one of the talked-about stars, but he seems to be turning into one of the more quietly superb players. As much as I think he'd do well in Detroit, I don't really think the Wings will actually be having much problem after all/most of the injured players get back. Hopefully Lilja recovers soon enough, both for his sake and as there's been a lack of really good experienced defensemen this season (outside of Lidstrom and Rafalski) due to injury—lots of relatively inexperienced guys, and we just don't have the Konstantinov-class hitters that would be so helpful with the smaller defensive forwards and offensive defensemen (and here I go reflecting Russian Five-era nostalgia that everybody seems to have around now...). So honestly, if the Wings were to get more players, they'd be better off getting some nice hard-hitting but definitely defensive defensemen. Might not get them many goals, but it will sure save a lot against them. It's especially frustrating, as they have a tendency to suddenly develop much better defense and goaltending right around playoffs time—good at some levels, but shouldn't it be there all seasons? And wow I digressed from my original point...
A) Everybody seems to like the Russian team. I agree with them, but I'm curious to see whose going to be announced for Canada and the US, of course. Sweden looks pretty good, too. Team Canada's goaltending should be kickass, given the options, but the Russians look pretty good in goal too. With Crosby playing for Canada (as I'm sure he is), I don't really want to like them much, though I can get over it depending on who else is on the team. Yes, I'm petty sometimes about that. Apparently it's kind of funny to people. I don't dislike Malkin enough to offset the wonders of Datsyuk/Ovechkin/Kovalchuk, though it does surprise me that Fedorov made the team and Kovalev did not. As much as my “former Wing” loyalty to Fedorov goes, and as good a player as he was and can be, he's getting older. I'm thinking Russia, Canada, Sweden, maybe the US. Definitely more flashy-but-solid forwards for Russia than most of the other teams can hope to assemble, but defense doesn't look quite so good—and I guess we've discovered that I like defense at this point and so that makes me leery. I'm not really sure who to expect for the US team, to be honest. There are few American superstars right now, meaning that there aren't as many obvious choices. Rafalski on defense (if he doesn't get hurt like almost every other experienced Wings defenseman...), almost certainly. What do you think of Samuelsson not being on the Swedish team? Opinions are split here on whether he deserved the spot and was justified in saying what he did or if he was being essentially a sore loser and should be denied a spot on any Swedish national team for his response. Or something in between.
B) I don't honestly know all that much about him. From what I know, he seems like a solid enough player—if injury-prone. As far as the hit on Booth, I didn't see the game. Watching clips afterward, it doesn't look like it was really intentional—hitting him, yes, injuring him, no. Beyond that, well, Philadelphia has had a reputation as a rough and dirty-playing team for a long time. They have a place for Pronger, you know they don't mind some dirty hits and the like. Bad hit, needed to face the consequences of that, but I also certainly don't agree with the Panthers fans that say he should be given a lifetime suspension from the NHL. It's a game in which players sometimes, whether intentionally or not, make dirty hits and people get hurt. It wouldn't be the sport it is if that kind of thing didn't happen sometimes. It doesn't seem to bother the Flyers, but of course they do still keep a bit of the Broad Street Bullies reputation. With the injuries he's apparently taken and his apparent taste for fighting (even though his penalty minutes the last few seasons don't seem to reflect much of a problem), he does seem a rather risky choice especially as a team captain—but I suppose whatever works for the Flyers. It's still weird to me to see long contracts and captaincies on relatively young players, but once again that comes in part from being used to the mostly-older Wings rosters. I don't expect this year's Winter Classic to be that impressive, though. Wish they'd do more Original Six matchups for that, really.
C) I don't really know. I also don't know a great deal about Kesler. You'd think I would, given that he's from a town in the same county as I'm in, but oddly I don't. From what I've read, he seems to be one of the excellent but relatively unsung players of the league. Sounds to be one of Vancouver's stars without a doubt, but doesn't get talked about all that much elsewhere. I'll have to look into more about him; I do find it strange that I haven't heard more.
I think everyone thinks they're the center of the universe! Detroiters (well, more Michiganders in general. No-one's quite sure what's going on with Detroit proper) only think they're the center of the hockey and automotive universes, usually. Well, automotive thing is dying off, so we switch into this weird obsession with the Great Lakes and possibly slightly harebrained schemes to make them more profitable than they currently are (i.e. exportation of water). As far as hockey players go, though, for the most part I think Wings fans are pretty happy with what we have, but of course always want more. They don't honestly believe we'll be getting anymore stars for a while, though, because of the caps and the honor-system kind of thing going about paying nobody more than Lidstrom gets--which means that guys like Datsyuk and Zetterberg get far less than they would from most other teams. Good thing that players seem to like playing in Detroit.
Well, anybody who gets sent to the Senators has a good chance at a shitty year. Not that the Habs are really doing that great, either. Still, I suppose coach-based hatred would make it difficult for him to be on the team. And would he even really want to be, if there's that kind of tension between them.
I'm honestly not too keen on the prospects for the US team--I hate Kane, and tend to prefer teams that I actually like the players on. In the end, I really just want to see some good hockey, I suppose. Being from one of the few parts of the States that actually truly cares about hockey, you'd think there'd be more feelings of rivalry, but I don't see much of it. I'll probably cheer Russia, the US on principle, and, in the end, I do like Canada well enough to give up on that rivalry. I do like Finland, though, too. In the end, I don't really care much--it's just interesting to watch that kind of international hockey, so I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully I can get the cable in my dorm working so I can actually see it. And isn't that always the thing with Russia? You feel like you should hate them, whether from old rivalries or the fact that they don't really give a damn about the rest of the world, but they're just too damned good at the things they decide to do. Provided it's in one of the areas they don't utterly suck at.
I do like the looks of Canada's goaltending prospects. Russia doesn't have bad ones, but Canada's are amazing. But Canada does always have that kind of advantage, especially with the lines you mention. Just that many good Canadian players on the same teams, while the Russians are all scattered up. If half of them weren't hurt, the Wings' Swedes could probably pull off something not too far from that. There's enough of them, and none of them are bad. But half of them are injured.
For the most part, though, I agree with your predictions--just not sure on the order. But as for who will be up there, definitely.
I need to look into how Fedorov is doing in the KHL. Kind of funny, considering the lengths it took to get him into the NHL, that he would be back in Russia playing again by the twilight of his career. Though I have to say I like Magnitogorsk, if only because the name saved me on a Russian geography test a few months ago. Magnetic anomalies make sense in place named Magnitogorsk. Sorry, bit off topic there. Then again, Fetisov's back in Russia and very important these days--but he didn't have nearly the level of sneakiness to get out that Fedorov (or Konstantinov, for that matter) had. Pity that Konstantinov never did get the chance to have the career he should have, though.
Yeah; Richards does look like a player I'd like. I'll have to watch for him in any games I get to watch with Philly. Winter Classic for sure, as that'll be televised here. Otherwise, I suppose the internet might just be my friend. As if it wasn't already. He looks and sounds like the type of forward I really can appreciate--but sadly, most of the information that just searching his name brought up had to do with that hit they were going on about. Gotta say, the Panthers fans moaning about how he should be removed from the league for that hit were pissing me off. Stuff happens, get over it. I seriously doubt he wanted to knock the guy out. Anyway, him and Kesler do both sound like interesting players, and I am surprised I haven't heard more about Kesler given that he's from Livonia. Which is ten, maybe fifteen minutes from here. And I'll have to Google that sometime when it's not the middle of the night here--bad idea to start checking sites at 2am.
True, true. I'd say I have faith in Yzerman, but I think that's more of the almost everyone respects him thing. Which should make Canada effective, if not as strikingly fun/interesting to watch.
Yeah... Belarus has who? Ruslan Salei? And that's about the only NHL player I can think of... Not sure how they stand on KHL players, though. Probably not a bad prediction, haha.
I agreed with Samuelsson. My family, being the way they are and not liking any team but the Wings (though my dad used to like Chicago and my stepmom used to like Boston), still don't like that Samuelsson isn't playing here anymore, and therefore combine those factors to decide that it was completely uncalled for and that they now hate him. Whatever, I suppose. I agree he'd have been a better choice than Modin.
Haha, well, glad you like having him. I think the Wings are starting to miss him these days. And hey--he's a hockey player, he doesn't need to have a pretty face.
That would be interesting--not good if you were wanting to go to a game then, I suppose, but should definitely be interesting to see how they hold up with that. And I imagine you mean January, not July, haha.
Speaking faces and then replying to solostrike... Yes Crosby sucks. Just imagine the reaction if he screwed up his face, though. Especially considering how much everyone likes to stick pictures of it on things and cry (not to mention the level of whining he does himself) if anything remotely bad happens to him.
That. Is. Awesome.
He really is. And honestly--Ovechkin could crush him. Far easier than vice versa. It could almost be like hockey player vs. model. And then Crosby would whine to the officials about it.
Typical Crosby. Pathetic.
I mean, yes, officials and such are always whining about octopi during playoffs here, but most of the players themselves aren't really vocal about it. Some will remark that it can be dangerous, but for the most part they know it's a tradition that even the league forbidding it isn't going to break. What I don't understand is the people who hide an octopus in their pants to get it into the Joe. That can't be pleasant.
Yeah... hat trick=hats. Or at least it should. I would be hesitant to throw my hat out if I had one, though, because hats can get expensive sometimes. Then again, I usually am in pretty much the back row, and I'm not sure that a hat can effectively be thrown that far. It'd end up with somebody down on the first tier of seating.
God... I don't even know how long it's been since a Wing has scored a hat trick. We've started laughing at the Arby's curly fries offers if one scores one, because it hasn't happened in so long. Come close with the Datsyuk-Bertuzzi teamwork, but still no hat trick.
Well, that hasn't happened all that many times in the NHL at all, really. Last (and I believe only) time it happened for the Wings was in '96 with Fedorov.
Of course, a million bucks is a little more appealing than a box of curly fries...
Only because I don't like Arby's very much.
Nice! Pretty intense, but not one of those silly ones where you just want to laugh at one--or both--of the combatants. (Good) hockey fights are awesome.
I was actually just talking about hockey fights with some of my friends today. Mostly because we were playing street hockey (though 1/2 the time was spent explaining handedness to a few of the people who didn't know what was going on or taunting people who slipped on patches of ice and didn't stand up as soon as they went down), and after discussing whether we should give penalties during a 3-on-3 street hockey match (one person hooked/tripped another and drew blood, and we discussed making him sit in the snow at the end of the neighbor's driveway), it just went on from there and how it's one of the few sports not based purely on fighting in which you can beat the crap out of somebody and be back in the game in 5 minutes.
The Slovakian team does look good--I hadn't really thought of them, but they do have a lot of impressive players this time around. And I've always liked Kopecky, even if he doesn't actually do all that much most times. I might actually favor Slovakia beating Finland (though I'm not really partial to either team above the other--I like them both), but it will definitely be a very close match.
I agree with the judgment on States/Canada and Slovakia/Russia. More flashy talent in the latter match, but the US and Canada both have good, solid teams with some flashy talent and lots of more quietly impressive players. I like the looks of all four teams so far.
I expect Nash would be pretty impressive on a team with other excellent players--he's good in Columbus, and the Jackets aren't much to write home about. Though Fedor Tyutin's name sounds absolutely hilarious when pronounced by radio commentators.
Your predictions look pretty good--I personally hate predicting numbers of goals and the like, as crazy stuff happens all the time, but just on outcomes it looks pretty much like what I'd expect. The Belarusian team might be faintly better than I'd thought (Belarus has produced 4th place teams in the past), but I don't expect them to do much--especially with the strength of so many other teams out there this time around.
Chara is a freak of nature. I mean, I like the guy okay, but that doesn't mean he's not freakishly tall.
And yeah... I can't really think of anything remarkable from a Slovak goaltender, so I would definitely favor Finnish goaltending. Though I like how neither of them have particularly linguistically Finnish names--a Swedish name and probably a derivative of a Russian name.
Haha, Budaj. Didn't think about him. Not terrible, but also not as good as he could be. And I knew a person who had a dog that answered to Budaj.
Yes, Budaj pronounced Boo-dye. It was rather funny and I was jealous. Given that this was also a dog that would go to greet visitors if you said "kill!". Sadly, my dog doesn't respond to anything like that. I suppose I could teach her to if I wanted to, but I'd probably pick a player I actually like, haha.
Well, I've not seen Budaj play all that much. More than most of the Eastern Conference teams, but I don't seek out Avs games to watch and the Wings don't play them all that often. Usually it's just more laughing at his name around here than anything else--because it is a funny-sounding name.
It's sad how few really good but commonly accepted nicknames there are for players in the NHL right now. About the only "not derived directly from name" one I can think of that the Wings have right now is calling Franzen the Mule.
Franzen is awesome.
Haha, well, at least the Canucks have some good ones! Of those, I think I like Edler's backstory for the name the best.
But yeah... the Wings are apparently limited to "Drapes," "Pavs," "Malts," etc. Though they do sometimes call Datsyuk and Zetterberg the EuroTwins still, even though they're not always on the same line anymore as the Datsyuk-Bertuzzi line has been going better.
I suppose most teams probably have a lot of that; I imagine it's the easiest way to make a nickname.
I'm beginning to wonder if the Wings are going to manage to even make playoffs or not. A shutout to the Islanders does not bode well. Sometimes I wonder if they're not falling slowly back into the Dead Things. I mean, yes, a lot of their style of play that made them so hard to beat is being adopted by other teams--but that doesn't fully explain their incredibly erratic play this season.
Well, with the exception of all the Grand Rapids players that the team consists of when the regular players are injured. And guys like Filppula and Helm, who I imagine will start getting more important as the better known players get older--especially Helm, as he's almost strangely young for the Wings. And fast.
...That is pretty crazy. Wish I could skate that fast sometimes. It'd be fun. Then again, I'd probably end up sprawled on the ice, as I don't do very good crossovers and so would likely end up just crashing into the boards at that speed XD
Ahh, felt good to see the Wings on TV again today. God I hate not being able to watch hockey. Though I suppose it more amounts to just hating Ohio and its ignorance of hockey being one of my favored barbs against it. Anyway, even if the Wings lost in OT, still a pretty good game. Got to see some of Helm's speed, too. Which is always nice. And Eaves almost had a Howe hat trick, which would have been cool if he'd managed an assist. Actually, if he'd managed an assist, that would have meant another goal, which would have meant a win. Which would have been even cooler.
Can't stand the commentators on that station, though. The one guy just drooled over Toews the entire time. I'm not sure that he actually did anything else at all, other than compare Toews to various other players and other players to Toews.
Yeah, even if Toews isn't one of my favorite players, I don't have a problem with him and I accept that he's a good player. Announcer just (as you say) did not have to talk about him every single freaking chance he got. To the point where it was, as one of my friends put it when I was talking to him about it earlier, almost like: "Nice goal by Detro--DID YOU SEE THAT PASS? Toews has such great hockey sense! The Blackhawks are really doing well this season--"
Though I loved it when they interviewed Babcock and asked him what he planned to do about the "frustration on the bench" and he pointed out that he wasn't aware of any frustration on the bench at the moment. Struck me funny.
And that's great! Penguins need to be stomped on. Maybe some Eastern Conference teams can do the same and knock them out of playoffs early. That'd be cool. Whether or not the Wings make playoffs, I'll still watch them (I do have other teams I like, after all, apparently unlike my stepmother who thinks it's traitorous that I even consider haivng second favorites and so on), and I have no desire to see Pittsburgh again.