Playing against the Red Wings hasn’t been a fun activity over the years. Bill Gadsby (in photo) was an effective defender in his era, and the man Lidstrom is effective in his own way in the modern era. Lidstrom–whose reputation rivals DiMaggio’s in his time–and other important Red Wing players have a major issue to deal with–age.
When I was young, Detroit was a clearing house for the old and the done. In this photo, Gerry Cheevers and former Ranger great Eddie Giacomin are in conversation. Detroit had more grey hair than anyone in the league during the early 1970s, but they still weren’t much good at hockey.
This is a typical photo from about 40 years ago. Red Wings give up a goal, Guy Lafleur (in helmet) celebrates and veterans (and recent teammates, Mahovlich would have been traded to Montreal by the Red Wings earlier in the season) Gordie Howe and Frank Mahovlich acknowledge each other briefly after the crime.
Howe would retire at the end of the season, his storied career filled with Stanley’s in youth but disappointment in the 60s and 70s. Mahovlich, part of several Stanley teams in Toronto, would catch fire again in Montreal and bring home more rings. Howe would return to the game, and retire two years after the Big M.
Sometimes I come across unusual photos online when searching for hockey items. This is a photo from the 1960 Detroit Auto Show. I would love to know the back story, suspect it was some kind of Red Skelton-style skit.
I can’t wait until Taylor Hall gets the swagger back. He’s not in that unreal zone yet, but even with that has 10 points in 15 games. Hall is on track to match his offense from a year ago, but hasn’t kicked out the jams yet this season. He’s going to break out one of these nights, maybe tonight. A year ago, Edmonton visited Detroit on November 11. The themes in the comments section were:
- MVP was DOA
- They had no real option for penalty killers and it showed
- Without Horcoff it’s a train wreck.
- Without Hemsky it’s an unwatchable disaster.
A year later and things are much better. The Wings are a little older, the Oilers are better in several disciplines. The Oilers lost to a better team last night, but if you take out Eager and Barker (and if Renney is serious about winning that’s what he’ll do. UPDATE: I wrote this early and then posted late, both Barker and Eager are out tonight) then they have a shot at grabbing a road point late.
One other thing: I’m amazed that so few msm have picked up on Smyth’s season. He’s absolutely ripping it people. Here are Smyth’s ev numbers a year ago compared to today:
- Smyth last year: 82, 14-19-33 .402
- Smyth this year: 15, 7-6-13 .867
Wow. That’s incredible. The 2nd place Oiler at evens currently is a tie between RNH and Eberle (7 points) and that’s a distant bell. Smyth is playing at an insane level and I haven’t read a thing about it. What’s the phrase they use on MNF? Come on, man! Ryan Smyth is superfreak right now. And according to Desjardins he’s pretty damn impressive league wide:
Ryan Smyth is having an outstanding year. Can anyone argue that? And here’s another thing: How many of the guys ahead of him on this list play the kind of uphill game Smyth does on this team? Zone starts, toughness of opposition, miles and miles of special teams and not just the cherry PP minutes.
I can’t imagine the Oilers are going to be able to ride Smyth all season as they are doing now. The kid line needs to step up on the road. Perhaps tonight.