Thursday, December 27, 2007

Above the Fold - Want Red Wings coverage? You won't find it in the MSM

The Red Wings do all the right things, yet continue to fly under the Detroit sports radar. I'm guilty as the next guy, as I watched very little of last night's big win over the resurgent Blues. Personally, I'm still in a football mindset. I was totally sucked into the highly entertaining basketball game on field turf that was the Motor City Bowl. Go Chips!

Out of the 4 pro sports teams in town, the Wings are 4th, and falling. For example, it was announced yesterday that the Red Wings signed the best defenseman in hockey, the odds on favorite to win another Norris Trophy, a 1st ballot hall of fame lock, and team captain, the great Niklas Lidstrom, to a 2 year contract extension.

Lidstrom represents all that is right with sports, top 5 in his position all-time, who will rank with the like of Howe, Yzerman, Lindsay, Sawchuck, Abel, and Delvecchio in the pantheon of Wings greats, yet his signing created less buzz in Detroit as the aforementioned Motor City Bowl.

The hot topic on sports talk radio? The Lions. It's always the God damn, soul crushing, Lions. The newspaper coverage wasn't much better.

Obviously, the MSM columnists had better things to (Not) write about. At the Freep, Drew Sharp continued with his tiresome Big 10 bashing. The News' columnists were totally silent. Same for the Oakland Press. Mlive has no columnists, but had nothing special other than their normal coverage from Kahn(!). Save for the great "Snapshots" blog of course, which is always chock full o' link goodness.

The closest thing I could find to an Red Wings/Lidstrom opinion piece in any of the local fishwraps was the the Freep's reprinting of a 6 month old article from Helene St. James recapping Lidstrom's career.

It's a sad state of affairs in regard to the MSM's NHL coverage in Hockeytown.

At least the Red Wings blogosphere stepped up. If you want Red Wings (And the NHL as a whole) coverage, that's the first place you should turn.

There's big doings at Abel to Yzerman Ricci to Garcia. R2G? What happened to A2Y? I know that doesn't make sense till you see the new banner...

Yep, the Wings are playing the Nordalanche tonight, and IwoCPO loves to rile up the what's left of their fanbase. I have to say that I have a hard time getting fired up for the 'Lanche anymore. All the players I loved to hate are long gone. So is the rivalry, sad to say.

On the Wings is prepping us for tonight's game, reminding fans that the Avs are a tough team, even though they aren't what they once were...

The Avs are a young, talented team and will present a stiff test of the Wings’ endurance. Dominik Hasek will have to deal with the second-best net-front player in the League, Ryan Smyth, and will face a deep Colorado offense that is certain to generate strong scoring chances. The Wings will have to be more careful in their own end than they were last night because you know the Avs will be better able to capitalize on turnovers. If they can jump out to an early lead as they did last night, things should go well, but if they fall into a hole, they may have trouble climbing out.

I know the Nordalanche are a solid team, but I still can't get myself worked up into a lather over them. It's not 1997 anymore.

Christy recaps the win over the Blues at Winging it in Motown, a victory that locked up the honor of coaching the Western Conference all-stars for Wings coach Mike Babcock.

With the win, head coach Mike Babcock became the Western Conference coach for the All-Star game next month. No team in the conference can catch Detroit in terms of points by the cutoff date, January 5.

Fittingly, Nicklas Lidstrom scored the game's first goal after his contract extension was just announced earlier in the day. Lidstrom had brought the puck in from the blue line and took a slapshot that beat former Red Wing Manny Legace. Lidstrom scored a goal and notched an assist in just 14 minutes of ice time (he usually averages around 20 minutes). With back-to-back games, Babcock wanted to rest Lidstrom for the tough game against Colorado.

Can Babcock be considered the best coach in Detroit? At worst, he's only behind the Marlboro Man. Babcock's the anti-Dave Lewis, and has brought exactly what the Red Wings needed. That being a kick in the ass, and a whole lot of toughness.

That's "Above the Fold" for Thursday, 12-27-07!

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