2 : Nashville Predators @ Detroit Red Wings : 5
We start off by noting that all of the Central Division would make the playoffs if the playoffs were played today. Furthermore, in this mythical universe, the Predators secure home ice advantage with the 2nd seed, and would meet the Wings in the first round, who are the 7th seed.
The Wings hilariously sit at last in the division with a 5-2-1 record.
Wings are rocking the away jerseys this game. I like their away jerseys more than their home jerseys, so this is nice to see.
Ken, ever on top of things, happily notes the Franzen and Franson players in this game.
Some notes from the game:
The first period starts slowly. We have some commentary on Shea Weber and his hard shot.
Finally, five minutes into the period Franzen goes to the box for boarding. Don't leave your feet, Franzen.
Franzen seeks the title of Best Franzen this match, and will use any means necessary
Nick spends the ensuing PK making the Predators look like idiots.
Cleary steals the puck, but nothing comes of this chance.
More boring hockey for a few minutes after the penalty expires. Barely any whistles for the first half of the period, so the game chugs along at a steady pace. No team seems to have the upper hand.
Finally, with eight minutes left in the period, Datsyuk relieves the boredom.
Datsyuk grabs the puck in the defensive zone and stick-handles his way into the offensive zone. He dishes it to Holmstrom, who's closing on the crease, but Homer can't get a handle on it. Homer takes it behind the net for a wrap around, but fans on it. He instead passes it to Salei who comes in from the point and slaps it on goal. Rinne blocks, and the rebound ends up on Zetterberg, who makes a crazy pass to Datsyuk. Rinne is wildly out of position, leaving the net wide open. Datsyuk slaps it home.
That's what happens when you leave the crease with Datsyuk on the ice
They follow this goal with a sickening montage of Datsyuk's dekes. I use the word sickening because there is no other word to do it justice. Datsyuk is a ridiculous human being.
Salei grabs the secondary assist, giving him his first point as a Red Wing. Congrats, comrade.
Next, a Predator hooks Holmstrom in the neutral zone and gets sent to the box.
Detroit goes on to a power play and gets a few good chances, but no scoring.
5 on 5 hockey continues.
Franson turns over the puck no less than twice. Bertuzzi ends up with possession in the offensive zone. Pressured, he passes to Lidstrom, who's dead center on the point. Lidstrom lets a slap shot go. Rinne makes the save, but gives up the rebound. There's an absolute mad scramble around the goal. Rinne fishes around for it, but can't manage to get his glove on it. Franzen, Filpulla, and Stuart crowd around the goal digging for gold. Stuart gets the final poke.
Franzen continues his quest for Best Franzen
The period comes to a close, but not before Datsyuk manages to hit Cleary with a shot on goal, who didn't look to enjoy it and limped back to the bench.
The Second Period:
About a minute into the action we get our first power play when a Predator trips up Abby. Ozzie steps up and tries to get us an odd-man rush by catching the Preds during a shift change. Cleary doesn't get the shot off.
The power play ends without further event.
The announcers spent the first intermission researching the debut of the Russian Five, which occurred on October 27, 1995. We're just past the 15th anniversary. Ahh, the memories...
There's a 3 on 1 in the Predator's favor, but they fan on it.
Moments later Ozzie jumps to grab a puck out of the air and does so, but then drops it back into the crease. There's a mad scramble. Thankfully, no scoring occurs.
Janik emerges from the mob with a holding penalty. Ken and Mick decide that's a good penalty to take, considering.
Janik makes friends
Penalty kill starts. Weber breaks his stick.
This prompts a conversation about Mick handing out sticks for Halloween. Mick gets a few composite-vs-wood shots in. Of course he does.
Just as the penalty expires, Ward scores by shooting one in through Ozzie's legs. No shutout for you, Ozzie.
During the next break, we learn US Army Colonel Tim Kopra is talking Rinne's jersey up into space with him on the Space Shuttle Discovery Mission STS-133. Rinne is a Fin, as is the Colonel, who happens to be a Pred fan. Who knew?
Ozzie spends the next few minutes giving the Predators a series of heart-attack inducing rebounds. Tighten it up, Ozzie.
Ken begs the question, just before a commercial break, 'Does size matter?'. I leak out an obligatory guffaw.
We return to a short pre-game interview with Ozzie, who reminisces about the size of goaltenders when he entered the league. We get a snapshot of some alarming statistics about Osgood and Rinne-
Nick sneaks into the shot
That's... quite a height difference. I didn't know they made human beings that tall.
Anyway. Next, Datsyuk takes a penalty for hooking. Queue PK.
Nothing of note happens during the penalty kill. We spend a lot of time on discussion of goaltender size.
A Predator goes to the box for hugging Filppula.
I'd hug someone with a face that pretty too
The Wings have a power play goal in seven consecutive games, by the way. Best current streak in the NHL.
We squander the power play. Franzen manages another big hit.
Franzen narrows in on the coveted 'Best Franzen'
Little side note by the announcers that last game Stuart had a water/Gatorade bottle with his number on it, usually a fair indicator that he's not feeling well and should keep his mouth to himself. Not the case tonight, thankfully.
Zetterberg gets a nice shot off, but hits the crossbar.
Ken lets us know that Datsyuk's faceoff percentage currently sits at 4th in the NHL with 62.5%.
A Predator takes a delayed penalty. Ozzie makes for the bench for the extra man. We get a few shots off. Lidstrom nails a good slapshot from the line, while Homer makes life miserable for Rinne. This results in a scrum in front of the net. Homer loses his helmet.
The penalty turns out to be some Predator tripping Homer.
Good job, Homer.
The Pred heads to the box, and we start the power play over again.
We jostle the puck around. No good chances.
Homer and a Predator share a few laughs with the ref. I wonder what they're talking about.
I have a feeling the humor exchanged here was rather dark
Next faceoff literally takes 6 seconds for the puck to emerge. It was actually kind of funny. It deserves a pic.
More goalie talk from the announcers. Just give it up already...
The power play ends.
Cleary gets sticked in the face. As if getting hit with the puck earlier wasn't enough.
Good hardworking shift by Cleary. Gotta give him a shout out. Cleary gets the puck to Datsyuk (always a good idea)
Datsyuk has the puck up against the boards. Fellow #13 Predator is shoving him from behind. Pavel fakes him out at least three times before strong-arming his way over to Rinne, where he shoves it between Rinne's pads. The look on Pred #13's face was priceless.
Can't touch this-
Cleary gets a well deserved assist. Salei picks up the secondary, netting his 2nd point as a Red Wing.
The Third Period:
We start off with a shout out to Datsyuk and his 14 takeaways in 8 games this season, good for 3rd in the NHL.
Last season he led the NHL with 132 takeaways.
A Predator trips up Salei, taking a penalty. Larry laughs, letting the guys know that Tuzzi comes by and completely blows the Predator over for his troubles moments later.
Power play time.
Any goal by Homer, with assists by Lids and Dats, is usually summed up this way;
Dats has the puck. Dishes it to Lids on the line. Lids queues up the slap shot. Homer, standing in front of the goaltender, deflects it in.
Business as usual
We haven't lost in regulation in the last 26 games where we've put 4 on the board, so I think we've got this.
Bertuzzi takes a tumble into the net.
Tuzzi asks the ref if this counts as a goal
Weber takes a hard shot at Ozzie, who gets it in the glove. It stings.
Miller enters the zone down the middle. He heads to the right boards, where he's checked from behind and loses the puck, which Helm picks up. The defenceman covering Eaves loses his stick. Helm dishes it to Eaves, who one-times it. Score. This one is pure fourth line, and I love it.
Who says we can't contribute??
Eaves also has a large orange stain on his jersey. There is a good story behind this, I'm sure.
Can't afford laundry on my salary
Cleary has a nice moment where he's got the puck in the neutral zone, decides to dump and chase, catches it first, and gets a backhand shot on goal before the Preds get possession and take up back up ice.
Cleary shows a lot of effort this match.
Eventually, some Predator scores. Ozzie gets a complete pass on this one, and I'm forever immortalizing the screen the Red Wings put up in front of him.
Are you kidding me?
Lidstrom is in his respective Detroit Office, where he's supposed to be. The rest of the Wings gather for a group hug.
A Predator hits a goal post moments later. Dammit guys, get serious.
Commercial break. We are treated to video of Danny's visit yesterday to Norte Dame Marist Academy in Waterford, where he teaches some elementary school kids about hockey.
Ken, Mick, and Larry approve.
Ken gets in a final 'Franzen and Franson' comment.
There have been 3 successful penalty shots in the NHL tonight. In case you were wondering.
Interference penalty on Salei. Awesome.
During the PK, there is banter about the MSU/UofM rivalry. That's how boring it was.
Don't Stop Believing makes its rounds.
Cleary steals a puck and gets another shot on goal.
Next event is a fun one. Todd Bertuzzi gets a penalty for holding. Tuzzi heads to the box looking perplexed. Ken shares his sentiment. No need for that - this is actually a penalty for being Todd Bertuzzi.
This penalty kill sees Ozzie getting drilled in the head by a Shea Weber shot, which has killed lesser men.
Piet makes sure Ozzie doesn't have brain leaking out of his ears.
The crowd chants 'OZZIE!' for good measure.
Shea Weber's slapshot has been clocked at 103.4 mph. I bet that felt good.
Ozzie's mask takes some maintenance, and then we're back to the boring penalty kill.
Not daunted in the least by his narrow avoidance of an involuntary manslaughter charge, Weber then drills another slapshot from the point and almost amputates Eaves. Luckily Eaves sees the slapshot queuing up and snaps his legs together.
His stick, on the other hand, gets beheaded.
Near death experience
The penalty is successfully killed off. The Preds nearly score when a rebound off of Ozzie sits in the blue paint for a second or two before Stuart smacks it away.
The Ozzie chant strikes again with 30 seconds left. The clock winds down and the game comes to a close without further event.
Don't Think We Didn't Notice:
I'm not letting this be forgotten. For shame, you guys. For shame.
No one served with pride this game. Sorry.