2 : Detroit Red Wings @ Columbus Blue Jackets : 1
Road game, so we've got Ken and Larry. And nothing against Larry, but he has absolutely no skills in announcing. Larry should stay between the benches, and we should nab a new guy to replace Mick on the road. Nothing against Larry, love that guy, but still... it's painful to listen to sometimes.
So this is the first of a home-and-home against the Blue Jackets, starting off in Columbus and finishing on Sunday in Detroit
The Blue Jackets (or, as they're fondly referred to, the BJs) are rocking their brand new third jerseys this game. Here's a shot of the goalie, who's also rocking new pads.
They have a cannon on the front... and I'm going to try very hard this recap not to drop about a million inappropriate jokes. I swear.
Ken manages to find time to drop a 'remember November' phrase into his opening comments. I'm not sure if this is a sneaky V for Vendetta homage, or he just got a quiet chuckle from the rhyme.
The First Period:
The first real action of the game is Salei taking a tripping penalty. This turns out to be our ominous sign of things to come.
Helm, as only he can do, throws a party in the offensive zone to get things started. We successfully kill off the penalty with no real action.
Howard makes his first big save of the night. And I'm sure to note 'first' because this game is actually just a match between two goalies, as Jimmah and Mason spend the whole night trying to one-up each other in their Highway Robbery Competition.
Homer, never in a good mood, gets into a decent shoving match the following faceoff.
Raffi hits the post. There's a mad scramble in front of the goal.
The Eurotwins get a breakaway, and Mason makes the save but gives up the rebound. There's another mad scramble.
This is followed by Filppula getting absolutely robbed by a Mason glove save.
Minutes later Holmstrom steals a puck and gets a shot on goal. No joke. It was a pretty sick move.
Next event sees Toddzilla going to the box for tripping.
Helm and Cleary throw a party in the offensive zone.
We kill off the penalty.
Mason robs Franzen.
Mason robs Zetterberg.
Mason robs Abby.
We get a short intermission which grants us a Lidstrom pre-game interview. He's discussing his Thanksgiving.
Turns out he shared Thanksgiving with the Holmstrom family. The kids apparently ate quickly and spent most of the time playing mini sticks. When asked if Homer included himself in the game and stood in front of the net, Nick responded by saying no- Homer was more concerned with stuffing his face. I'm paraphrasing, of course.
And yes, they ate Swedish meatballs.
Next, the Red Wings are called for too many men on the ice. Yes!! I've been waiting forever.
There's no replay, so I don't know who the offender is. Damn.
We successfully kill off the penalty.
The period closes.
Our player profile is Holmstrom, by the way.
Homer, the 32nd to last player taken in the 1994 draft. He wears the 96 for his first year in the league. This is the year Detroit won their first Stanley Cup in the Yzerman era. What an NHL welcome, eh. I wonder how many players have won a Stanley Cup in their first two years in the league...
And I'm pretty sure Homer didn't always wear the 96. I seem to recall him with a jersey with a 39 or somesuch number. This bears further research...
EDIT: Well, I was way off. He wore 15 for a short time his first year, before putting on the 96.
The Second Period:
Absolutely nothing happens for the first 5 minutes of the period.
Then Lidstrom gets checked into the boards by two Blue Jackets, because one obviously wasn't enough. They manage to break his stick for good measure. Lids looked less than pleased as he skated back to the bench.
|Heads up, old man|
During the next break we get a look at the coaches for the Blue Jackets and the Bolts. Sometimes during the game I'll take screen captures without pausing first, if I'm bored/lazy. I took one of Scott Arniel for no reason, but it turned out rather well...
No caption necessary, I feel.
Next, the Mule manages to score his first goal on the road.
Filppula steals the puck from a Blue Jacket at our blue line. Toddzilla takes it across neutral and into the zone. He dishes it across to Franzen, who's following him up the left. Franzen snaps it in.
|Feed the Mule|
Play continues for a few minutes, until Salei manages to hook a Blue Jacket on a breakaway.
Penalty shot time. Luckily it's just some BJ punk, and Jimmah knocks it easily aside.
The Wing then take yet another penalty for hooking and Filppula heads to the box. For those of you keeping track, this is our fifth penalty.
Ken finds time to discuss the current standings in the NHL, and notes that they recently did some research, and if you're not already in playoff standing by Thanksgiving, you have a 22.5% chance of making it to the playoffs.
If the Predators can get their shit together, then all of Central Division will make it. There is some musing on the last time an entire Division made it to the playoffs.
Lidstrom spends the entire duration of the kill conducting a Penalty Kill 101 seminar. It actually looks like the Blue Jackets are sending him tape-to-tape passes, which he then easily sends down the ice. It was sickening to watch.
We kill off the penalty.
Homer gets dumped.
Zetterberg takes a penalty for tripping. No joke. Coach Babcock seems to find something funny, though.
|I didn't know Babs could smile|
The Wings then load up their sixth penalty kill of the match.
This kill sees Jimmah pull ahead in the Highway Robbery Competition
|Not on my watch!|
This earns Save of the Game honors. Jimmah, who'd been hugging the opposite post, does a ridiculous dive to the other side of the crease to block the shot. No picture can do it justice.
We fight off the rest of that penalty.
Next, Jimmah gets bowled over, our net is knocked off, and there's a scrum to be had for the rough treatment of our goaltender.
|Get out of my house!|
No penalties here, thank god.
The BJs dodge at least nine penalties, not the least of which are dumping Zetterberg in center ice, with Cleary receiving the same treatment moments later
Finally, before the period closes, Abby manages to draw a hooking penalty, netting us our first power play of the game.
Never managed to grab a shot of it until now, but the second period also saw the loss of Mike Modano to a wrist laceration.
He suffered a severed tendon and some slight nerve damage. No one is optimistic about when he'll return to the line-up this season, but some tentative guesses are thrown that land around after the All-Star game.
The Third Period:
We squander the power play. Of course.
Afterward, there's absolute chaos in front of our net. It was very worrisome. Jimmah loses his stick.
Next, Homer gets dumped and rocked into the boards. It did not look enjoyable.
Zetterberg then draws a crosschecking penalty. A Blue Jacket crosschecks him once, knocking Z to the ice. He then crosschecks Z no less than three times afterward as Z tries repeatedly to get back up. I think the Blue Jackets are getting a little frustrated.
|Damn you and your talent!|
We waste the power play. Lidstrom manages to get a single one-timer off.
Finally, halfway through the period, Filppula scores.
Filp has it in the left faceoff dot, and passes it to Stuart on the point. Filp skates behind the goal to the other side, receives Stuart's pass and wrists it home. This play draws much approval from Larry.
|How do you like me now, Babs?|
The Blue Jackets respond by scoring a minute later.
No shutout for Jimmah, who looked to be making a statement after Wednesday's game against the Thrashers.
The last half of the period sees Toddzilla drawing a holding penalty.
We squander the power play.
The Blue Jackets pull their goalie in the final minutes. After an icing, a time-out is taken. Babs didn't bring his whiteboard to the game, and settles for drawing on the actual boards themselves.
|There's gonna be an annoyed janitor, later|
This is all for naught, as we fight off the remaining minutes and head home in sweet victory.
Don't Think We Didn't Notice:
The Red Wings are caught with too many men on the ice. You know what that means.
That's right, Happy. Serve that shit. Serve it with pride.