The System We Ott Not to Play

Steve Ott is an idiot, yes? We all agree, good.

My personal favourite moment of last night’s game was when Steve Ott took his second straight penalty. “Is that on Ott again?” Mickey asked. “Looks guilty to me,” Ken said. “Sure does.”

It was a great moment for more than just because Steve Ott is a %$#@. It was also yet another lesson from Detroit about how we react to tough guys. Anyone with that sort of complex knows exactly what not to do, harass anyone from Detroit, lest our powerplay get to work (which seems to be steadily improving, although just barely).  

Hit the jump for more from Sully:

And sometime in our 6 game losing streak at the start of the year people asked why we didn’t get someone with some grit? Some tough guy to teach the other teams in the league that we can’t be pushed around. Meanwhile, fans like me relaxed, because we knew we didn’t need a long term solution to a short term problem.

The reason I like our ability to still stand down in the face of tough guys to gain a powerplay advantage is not just because it makes people like Mike Milbury’s head explode, but because it means we’ve found yet another way to win. I love this team because we can adjust. We’ve made fine-tune adjustments all my life, around goal-tending, around the salary cap, around losing Yzerman or any other star player. Adjustments without totally throwing out the script and starting anew and, Bog forbid, missing the playoffs.

Sure, we’ve upgraded with grit a little bit, our bottom 6 forwards have more depth, our favourite pinko Commie was a good signing and isn’t afraid to drop the gloves to show his teammates he cares about his work here, and even Bertuzzi has fought more than any other season I can remember. So did we ever really need a tough guy? I don’t know, may we’ll still pick one up at the deadline, just for the grueling playoff stretch. But without one to this point in the regular season, we’ve done pretty well.