Thursday, November 18, 2010

Blues @ Red Wings

3 : St. Louis Blues @ Detroit Red Wings : 7

Some Blues memories:

“Gretzky had it, lost it, Yzerman picks it up, Yzerman moving, blue line chance- SCOOOOOOORE!!! STEVE YZERMAAAAAAN!! DETROIT WINS!!"

Yeah. Makes me feel good inside, too.


Could we hold on to a lead? Ever? I mean really. Genuine question. The Detroit Red Wings always give me a heart attack for the first two periods.

Nick Lidstrom is once again in the spotlight across the NHL for being 40. And awesome. He's on the front page of He's on the front page of YahooSports. No one is saying anything new. Nick is old and perfect. Yeah, we got it.

Obviously all the attention has prompted Mick and Ken to actually point out the little things Nick does. Oh look, Nick poked the puck away. Oh look, Nick grabbed the puck out of midair and saved a goal. Oh look, Nick cleared the puck during the PK. Oh look, Nick had a shot at a wide open net except for that huge Holmstrom-shaped pylon in the way. Oh look, Nick blocked a shot. Oh look, Nick defended a 2 on 1. Oh look, Nick JUST HIT SOMEONE?!

On the downside, and I don't know if you guys know this, but the more you talk about Lidstrom's play, the more you jinx it. I'm pretty sure if they threw Nick out onto the ice with a nameless jersey and a paper bag over his head and nobody knew who he was, he'd replicate Franzen's Game 4 vs the Sharks.

He carried a career-best 11 game point streak into the game. And you'd think, with a 7-3 stomping, he'd have at least managed a secondary assist somewhere. After Zetterberg's goal, Mick did bring it up, wondering if Lids has managed to squeeze his way onto the score sheet. No, says Ken with a chuckle, his point streak is still in jeopardy.

Thanks for jinxing it, Mick.

Some Notes From The Game:

The first goal. I know this is going to be everywhere, forever. And that I don't really need to add to the chaos. But really, who can resist?

Halak checks, just to make sure. Yup. That really happened

Halak goes to swat the puck away from his net with his stick. Except, of course he whacks the puck into his own net. First goal for the Wings. An ominous sign of things to come.

Possbily the best part? Miller was the last person to touch the puck. Where was he when the goal was scored? Leveled by a Blues player, on his knees, and facing the opposite end of the ice. Classic.

As far as first goal of the season goes, Miller sets a high standard. Possibly the best on the team. 
Helm, it's all up to you, buddy. Claim that title.

And then in the third period, Halak spends the better portion of a minute stuck in his crease without his stick, because he lost it in a scuffle and it's being kicked around in a corner by Zetterberg. This might actually be to the Blue's advantage.

The Wings give up the obligatory response goal minutes later. Stop doing that, please.

In the dying seconds of the first period, Howard makes a sick save and completely robs the Blues of a goal.

I pulled my groin just watching this play.

Abby's goal:
Raffi drills the puck towards the net, where Abby is screening Halak. Abby deflects the puck perfectly between Halak's legs.

Abby does his best Holmstrom impersonation. 
He's about two seconds from being crosschecked for screening the goalie.

A little bit later in the second, there's a scrum following the dislodging of our net. Tuzzi is in the thick of it, mostly for no reason. He probably just wanted to shove some Blues around. An understandable urge, if it keeps him from killing kittens in his free time.

Cleary's1st goal:

Raffi does some awesome skate work to keep the play from going offside and dishes it to Cleary, who decides to put faith in his flaming hot stick and just shoots it on goal. It deflects off some random Blue and in. Danny Cleary, I love you. Raffi, I'm so glad you're back.

Cleary's 2nd goal:

This is his 8th goal in 6 games. And it's oh so beautiful. Modano skates into Gretzky's office and passes it to Cleary. It's going to pass through a Blue's legs before it gets to Cleary, but Cleary is impatient and doesn't want to wait, so he bends over and smacks the puck while it's still between the guy's legs. Score.

Now you're just being cute, Danny.

Zetterberg's goal:

Zetterberg probably had some opportunities to make a safer play and maybe pass it around a bit, but I think with the score being what it was he decided to go the Danny route and opted for cute instead. He dances around with the puck in the offensive zone, making a bunch of Blues look like idiots, before getting bored of the play and smacking the puck home.

I don't think the Blues tried hard enough here. There's only three guys surrounding Zetterberg.

Mick follows this goal with his usual hilarious commentary, remarking that Halak is probably not pleased with himself for allowing this goal, and "never mind a Volkswagen, you could drive a semi truck through that hole."

Haha. This goal is unassisted, which is a shame because assists from Datsyuk and Lidstrom would have been well deserved. Lidstrom does a nice little backhand rebound off the boards to keep the puck in the neutral zone before Datsyuk picks it up. A Blue gets his stick on it before Zetterberg takes it and begins his play.

Stuart's goal:

Pretty simple. Stuart drills it from the line. Holmstrom is screening Halak. Score. Nice to see Stuart getting a goal. He and Lidstrom have been a very solid defensive pairing. Not sure yet if they'll reach the levels of the Lids-Raffi pairing back in '08, but they're off to a good start.

Stuart's goal is immediately followed by a blindside hit to Kronwall in the defensive zone. I immediately groan, because Kronner can't manage to go a single season without an injury, and I'd like the Wings to stay relatively healthy this season. Especially the defensive side, because I don't want Lidstrom's or anyone else's minutes to go any higher.

Kronner, taking a moment to collect himself. His discarded glove looks on, forlorn.

He picks himself up after this, so I'm pretty sure he's okay. But still, he'll probably feel it tomorrow morning.

Holmstrom's goal:

Holmstrom is a little miffed that Abdelkader was pushing in on his territory, so he manages to get the final word at the end of the third period. When Holmstrom scores by deflecting a shot on goal by Rafalski, I'm pretty sure Halak actually presses his arms into this sides in order to make himself as small as possible behind Homer. There's no reason he shouldn't have caught that puck with his glove. I think by this point in the game he was afraid of his own arms.

Ken and Mick have some good announcing in this one, but I wish they'd never ever ever ever again bring up Stockholm. Ever. Nobody wants to remember that.

Ken and Mick also spend a good minute discussing Pavel Datsyuk and his takeaway statistic as compared to the rest of the NHL. It's pretty much the equivalent of Lidstrom's +/- as compared to the rest of the NHL. So, in a word, ridiculous. I think the closest person to Datsyuk was Alfredsson, trailing by a couple hundred.

Just a couple hundred.


I was ready to launch into a huge speech about Danny Cleary and his epic-ness. Really, I was. But honestly, what else can you say? He's on an 8 game point streak, the longest of his career. He works hard, he mucks around in the corners and along the boards, rides out his checks and gets right back into the fray, fights for the puck, and never gives up. He works his ass off and his hot streak is well earned and well deserved. 'nuff said.

 Are you not entertained?!

And I can't help but mention that the +/- for the Wings this game is hilarious. Hilarious. I am again at a loss for words. Actually, this whole game renders me speechless.

Lets take a look!

Positive Players!
Abby: +2
Danny: +2
Miller Time: +2
Salei: +2
Raffy: +2
Helm: +2
Bertuzzi: +2
Big E: +2
Kronwall: +2
Mickey Mo: +2
Filp: +1

Negative Players!
Lids: -1
Datsyuk: -2
Stuart: -1
Zetterberg: -1
Homer: -1

The Dead Even:

And that, my dear friends, is funny. Laugh. Because I certainly did.

Also because this puts Bertuzzi at +13, which is good for tied at 2nd in the NHL. Yeah. That's not a misprint. Just to put this into perspective – the last time Tuzzi finished a season in the positive department of the +/- was in 07-08. He was +8. After 66 GP. (He's -33 career).


Don't Think We Didn't Notice:

Oh, Jimmah. Perhaps even greater than your little glove save in the closing seconds – your epic acknowledgment of your awesomeness that followed a moment later.

 Jimmah, puck in hand, wallops Backes in the face with it.

19:57Jimmy Howard: 2 Minutes for Slashing David Backes (Served by Jiri Hudler)

That's right, Huds. Serve that shit. Serve it with pride.

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