Sunday, November 21, 2010

Flames @ Red Wings

4 : Calgary Flames @ Detroit Red Wings : 5

I'd like to start this recap by saying that I take immense pleasure in bringing you the highlights of this particular game.

This is mostly in reference to the third period, and the overtime that followed.

The first two periods sucked- no doubt about that. And that was because my friend Nick was present in the JLA. I sent him a txt letting him know his presence was jinxing the game. He left after the second period because someone sitting near him got violently sick and had to be helped to the bathroom, and Nick didn't want to re-occupy the vomit-laden seats afterward.

Coincidence? I'll let you decide.

Some notes from the game:

We start off with the camera catching Chelios as he walks across the screen right before the pre-game. Ken and Mick are vastly amused.

Nick Lidstrom trusts his eyes to Dr. Rahmani. He thinks you should too.

And some ridiculous commercial about chestnuts. What. The. Fuck.

Just before the opening faceoff, Ken lets us know that Kelly Sutherland was supposed to ref this game, but couldn't make it. We get Dan O'Halloran instead.

I really can't decide how I feel about that, so lets just get on with the game.

Forward lines are wacky today. The most notable change is that the Eurotwins are broken up. Datsyuk is on a line with... himself and Holmstrom.
In a perfect world
(For the record, it's Datsyuk-Filppula-Holmstrom)
Zetterberg moves to a line with Franzen and Hudler.

Filppua gets things started by getting absolutely dumped by a Flame. 

Not the face!
This turns out to be our ominous sign of things to come. We move on to a Detroit power play.

We start by doing some experimenting. Babs has clearly been busy. Lids and Raffi start off on opposite sides. I'm sure a lot of thought went into that move.

We are rewarded for our experimentation.

Franzen's goal:

Lidstrom slapshot from the point. This is blocked, and Raffi grabs the rebound and passes it across ice to Franzen, who adjusts his position and slaps it home.

 I laugh at your blocking attempts
Next, some Flames give Jimmah a snow shower, and nobody appreciates that. 

Merry Christmas, bitch
Some shoving is to be had.

This fight looked so promising..
After a brief scrum, which sees Hudler wielding his hockey stick like a baseball bat, the hockey match continues.

Iginla brings the puck into our zone by some apparently 'iffy' measures, passing to some Flame, who dekes Jimmah and scores. Damn.

Ken pulls out the rule book (Rule 83.1 for those interested) to make sure you can back the puck into the zone.

Next event sees Abby getting freight trained. We get a few good shots on goal during the delayed penalty by Big E and Raffi. Jimmah makes for the bench, but the Flames touch it before anything comes of that.

With nearly ten minutes left in the period, we lose Ericsson. He takes a puck to the ankle and limps off the ice, where he's helped to the dressing room. Crap. 

Not good
Iginla talks some shit to Raffi shortly afterward, for no reason. 

 Raffi is not daunted by the height difference. He can still kick your ass at 37
I remember a few Raffi fights in the playoffs. I hope he drops the gloves soon.

Calgary takes yet another penalty, thanks to a nice acting job by Mickey Mo. Glad to see that role in the Mighty Ducks paid off.

Modano melts on the ice after this shot. It's very believable.
Ken and Mick are pleased with Modano's acting efforts.

Kip'off then goes on to make the first of several sickening saves this game.

The announcers find time to let us know that Bertuzzi has thankfully dropped to 7th in the NHL in +/-

Thank god. That was starting to freak me out a little bit. He still leads the Wings, though. This needs to be fixed.

Yet another penalty to the Flames for holding towards the end of the period. We squander it.

The period ends without further action.

The Second Period:

Big E makes his dramatic reappearance. He doesn't bother with the ankle fenders, drawing much ire from Mick.

Iginla nabs a goal. Of course he does. Come on, Howie. Didn't you do this last game? Hug that goal post.

Next, Lidstrom loses his stick. This really has no bearing on the game. I just like pointing these things out. Does this need to be immortalized? Of course it does

Who's The Perfect Human now?!
There's a lot of faceoff commentary this game. It's ambiguous if we're doing good on faceoffs. The announcers can't decide.

Cleary and Conroy collide in the defensive zone.

 Heads up, boys
This is the start of something awful for Danny this game.

Bertuzzi takes a holding penalty for hugging some Flame.

 The look on the Flames' face is priceless
Iginla scores a minute later on the ensuing power play. Of course he does. Lids makes an aborted attempt to whack the puck in midair before it goes in. It would have been epic if he did.

 Save it for later, Nick
Cleary gets tripped up and rocked into the boards. Mick expresses concern and remarks that Cleary gets in more scary collisions than anyone else in the NHL. I share his frustration. 

As if in direct response to this remark, Cleary gets rocked again by Giordano.

 Please stop, Danny. My heart can't take it.
This hit causes Danny some injury. He spends a moment afterwards propped up against the boards, before collecting himself and skating painfully back into the play still going on in the offensive zone. It looks to be an injury to his left shoulder, as he keeps his left arm wrapped around his stomach and holds his stick with his right hand.

There's no way for him to get off the ice, so Danny sets up shop in front of the crease. When Giordano and Danny fall to the ice in a struggle for a rebound, Danny seizes an opportunity to wallop Giordano in the back of the head. Danny, I love you.

Take that, shmuck
The whistle blows and Giordano and Danny exchange a few choice words as they climb to their feet. Giordano tries to pick a fight, but Danny and the refs will have none of that.

 Class act, that Giordano
Danny makes his slow way off the ice. He doesn't come back.


The next injury on our long laundry list is Johan Franzen a minute or two later.

Oh god. There's blood.
As the Mule makes his way off the ice, bleeding from the face, Ken and Mick dig into the video files to find out what happened.

This picture speaks for itself
The accusing way Murph says 'Todd Bertuzzi' is hilarious.

Franzen skates over to the bench, where he's tended to by Piet.

Does this mean we're not friends anymore?
Tuzzi makes sure to apologize to Franzen. The Mule accepts.

Nick knocks someone down at center ice. Accidentally, it looks like, but I'm obligated to note every open ice check Nick makes, because hey – how often does that happen?
You all saw it
Next, Abby nails some Flame with a sandwich check, using Big E as the other slice of man-bread.

 Man sandwich
Moments later, a line brawl takes place in retaliation. Bloody Sunday rocks the JLA speakers, prompting my brother to send me a txt, just to make sure I could hear it. Kudos to the DJ for an excellent choice.

Bloody Sunday
Rafalski, Abby, Big E, and Helm all make appearances. Iginla is in the thick of it. They break it up, eventually, and the refs hold a lengthy conversation with Lidstrom and Iginla to handle the penalties.

 The referees lay down the law
They eventually decide on matching 2 min unsportsmanlikes to Abby and Iginla, and the period mercifully ends.

As the players head to their respective locker rooms, Mick lets us know that Babcock sends Nick to talk to the refs about something, but the refs tell Nick to get lost and send him back empty handed. Where's the respect?!

The Third Period:

A Flame takes a penalty for hooking Bertuzzi, and Jimmah books it off the ice for the extra man. The effort is wasted, as a Flame touches the puck.

We start the power play with Mick instructing the team to give the puck to Pavel Datsyuk, who makes things happen.

The team obliges.

Datsyuk's goal:

Lidstrom drills the puck from the point. Datsyuk, using his sick hand-eye coordination, deflects it into the goal.

Datsyuk doesn't let Holmstrom's presence interfere with his Holmstrom impersonation
We get another good chance on goal when Big E gets deep into the zone, which draws approval from Mick.

Mick comments on the comfortable attitude of the Flames, and how that's ill advised with only a 1 goal lead. They might want to watch out for the Wings, who will throw everything at them, 'including the kitchen sink'.

Thanks, Mick.

Ken and Mick let us know that Raffi's assists on Franzen's and Datsyuk's goals give him career assists 400 and 401. Congrats, Raff.

This is followed minutes later by Raffi fumbling on a pass from Big E.

 And the Flames score. Dammit, Raffi.

I'm really starting to dislike this Iginla character
As if this isn't enough, a minute later Tuzzi gets an interference penalty, and an unsportsmanlike just for kicks.
My hopes for this game start to sink.

Luckily, a Flame takes a slashing penalty, and we get a nearly two minute 4 on 4.

During this 4 on 4, Kip'off fucking robs us. Several times. I say ugly things to my computer screen.

After the 4 on 4 ends, Zetterberg restores my faith.

Zetterberg's goal:

Datsyuk passes to Zetterberg in the neutral zone, who takes the puck in the left side. He weaves his way to the front of the goal, and backhands it past Kip'off.

Don't worry. I got this.

The Wings have now cut the goal deficit to one. Zetterberg's goal is just what the Wings need, as they noticeably turn up the heat after this. Moments later, Dats and Z throw a party in the offensive zone. There's a mad fumble in front of the goal that gives me a heart attack.

The party is followed by Modano dodging a check from a Flame, who crashes into the boards and hurts himself.

The Flames escort their wounded off the ice
This has been a rough game for all involved.

Next, the Flames dodge my too-many-men call. Damn!

The Bernstein Player Profile offers us this little gem:

I'm officially no longer calling him Tuzzi in my posts. It's Toddzilla from now on.

Next event is Filppula getting fucking corralled. I use the word corralled because there is literally no other way to describe it. The picture truly doesn't do it justice.

Freakin' Canadians...
Iginla is not pleased with the penalty and drills the puck down ice in anger. Mick doesn't approve.

Detroit moves on to a power play. Which they squander. Keep it in the zone, for chrissakes.

(I'm pulling directly from my notes here for realism) FUCKING HUDLER. If there's two seconds left in a penalty, don't pass the puck, SHOOT IT ON GOAL. We don't have time to pussy-foot around!

After the wasted power play, we get a view of the Save of the Game. It's Kip'off absolutely robbing Kronwall from the seat of his pants.

Awesome. Just what I needed to set the mood.

Someone drills Abby, and during the delayed penalty we pull Howard, but the whistle blows before any real action is had.

Iginla tries to scrum with Abby. The refs break that shit up real quick.

Dan O'Halloran will have none of your foolishness

Now pay attention, because this little effort to scrum by Iginla is how we win the game.

Bouwmeester goes to the box for interference for his hit on Abby moments previous. Both Abby and Iginla nab 2 min unsportsmanlikes.

This nets Detroit a power play, which will encompass the rest of the third period.

I dare to dream.

EUROTWINS ROCK THAT SHIT!!! (Zetterberg's goal):

We'll do this play by play.

Howard is pulled for the extra man. It's 6 on 4 hockey.

The puck dribbles over Raffi's stick, forcing the Wings to clear the zone. I die a little on the inside. 18 seconds. 

Wings re-enter the offensive zone. 12 seconds. 

A Flame breaks his stick. The puck dribbles out again. 9 seconds. 

The Wings clear. 8 seconds.

Datsyuk stick-handles his way through two Flames to bring it back in. 7 seconds. 

Datsyuk weighs his options. 6 seconds. 
He passes it to Zetterberg. 5 seconds.

Kip'off is still focused on Datsyuk, leaving the left side of the net wide open. 

Zetterberg shoots. 4 seconds.

Zetterberg scores.

The JLA erupts.

The Wings mob each other.

We head into overtime.


We set the tone with Franzen getting the first shot on goal. It's a good one. My heart-rate starts to climb.

A minute in, Modano gets hit awkwardly and limps off the ice. Uh oh.

Helm gets a shot in. It rebounds and hops around the crease before going wide. Oh god.

Helm retrieves the rebound behind the net. Helm, Stuart, and Toddzilla pass it around.

Helm ends up with the puck. Lidstrom is wide open- Helm makes the pass.

Yeah, Nick will know what to do
Lidstrom. Nicklas Fucking Lidstrom, that unbelievable, ridiculous man. Shoot that puck at the open net?

Nope, too easy
Lidstrom decides, in a thought process that will forever escape me, not to backhand it into the wide open net. Instead, he's just going to calmly dangle that shit right around a sprawled Kiprusoff in the crease -

'scuse me-
 -and gently ease that baby right into the goal.

 It's more dramatic this way
Stunned disbelief. The JLA roars. Ken shouts into the mic. Mick laughs.

The team appreciates the hell out of Nick
And that's game.


This brings our six-game homestand to a close.

The final score?


11 out of 12 points.


Don't Think We Didn't Notice:

Nicklas Lidstrom, that was the most unnecessary dangle in the history of the world.

There were 15 penalties in this match, but none of them were served with pride.

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