Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wild @ Red Wings

4 : Minnesota Wild @ Detroit Red Wings : 3

My father was in attendance at this game, the jerk. He actually called while driving to the JLA to let me know that he had tickets and would be there.

How nice of him. Where was I at the time? Well, I got recalled to work for the night, meaning what was supposed to be my Friday evening was now an all-night endeavor that saw me getting off work the following morning. And when I arrived at work, I found out they put me on the watchbill for a lovely 0200 to 0600 watch. That's great. Who needs sleep?

So that is why this post appears on Saturday, instead of Friday night.


I told my father he'd better get tickets to the Philly @ Wings match on Jan 2nd, or I'd be very displeased. It's the only home game on the schedule that falls on my leave dates. He assures me he will try.

I think my whole family gets some sort of sick delight knowing they can just go to Red Wing games whenever they feel like it and I'm stuck down here in Virginia.


Some Notes From The Game:

We open up with Ken and Mick reminiscing about the last time Homer rocked a fourth line. That would be back during our 2002 Stanley Cup run, when he was on a line with Luc Robitaille and Igor Larionov. Who are both in the Hall of Fame, by the way.

We play hockey for a few minutes. Lidstrom gets a nice shot on goal during a cluster in front of the crease, but he is denied. This is the first in a long run of rotten puck luck for Nick this game.

A Wild gets a 1 on 1 with Howard, but trips on himself and goes crashing into goal. After the collision, Jimmah gives him a good shove just for kicks. Does anyone else appreciate what a badass we have between the pipes?

 Get out of my house!
Stuart gets a nice shot off early in the first that literally deflected straight into the goalie's glove. Honestly. I watched the replay just to make sure.

The shot prompts some random conversation among the announcers – which is more important to Brad Stuart? Playing the right side, or playing with Nick Lidstrom? Stuart eventually decides on playing the right side. These defensemen sure are picky about their sides.

Brent Burns scores the first and only goal in the period. I notice this Burns guy a lot this game. More on him later.

The Second Period:

The period opens with Ken and Mick bantering about the Lions. The word 'hang' was used repeatedly.

Clutterbuck scores by apparently banking a shot off Howie's skate. Everyone seemed kind of confused on how it went in, since Howie was pretty solid up against the goal post. They review the goal to make sure it didn't go through the netting. It didn't and the goal is awarded.

 Hug that post a little harder, Jimmah
Funny little moment a minute or two later when Zetterberg has a good shot on goal and misses the net. Ken and Mick decide to 'give him the benefit of the doubt' and say that it must have deflected off something. How kind of them. I'm starting to see a trend in our shots tonight...

Ken finally obliged and used the words 'lively boards' about halfway through the second. Thanks Ken. I thought we were going to go through an entire game without hearing it.

The third line had a pretty extreme shift with eleven minutes left in the period. There was a very nice, very obvious trip on Tuzzi that wasn't called, because hey – it's Bertuzzi.

 Clearly not a trip
In the referee's defense, it was kind of ambiguous because Tuzzi nicked the side of the goal too before he crashed to the ice.

Either way, the ref must have felt bad because moments later he calls a tripping penalty on a different Wild.

We then move on to a power play. Nothing really happens until some idiot Wild shoves his stick between Datsyuk's legs and gives them a 5 on 3 for a minute thirty.

Clearly a trip
Here's a pretty good sum of the 5 on 3:

The first shot on goal – Lidstrom hits the post.
Zetterberg grabs a rebound and tries to shove one past the goalie up close, but fails.
Lidstrom gets another shot off. He shoots it wide.
Lidstrom gets yet another shot off. He shoots it wide.
Huds gets the puck and tries his hand - that one goes over the goaltender.
Lidstrom back on the point with yet another chance. He shoots it wide.
Cleary with a shot. He shoots it wide.

End power play.

I'm sensing a trend here.

Nick heads for the bench after a 2 minute 51 second shift. It's tiring business, shooting those wide pucks.

Later on we get another tripping penalty drawn by Helm. I nabbed a shot of this one for hilarity factor. I mean, this is so blatant I had to wonder what exactly this Wild was thinking.

As if the stick across both ankles wasn't enough, he throws a hand in there too.
On this power play – Rafalski and Nick get one timers off that are easily caught and held by Theodore. Who is really good, I noticed. The Wings go for a rebound off the 'lively backboards' and Theodore pretty much just yawns and jams his skate up against the goalpost – the puck bounces harmlessly away.

Franzen misses an open net.

Modano turns over the puck. Luckily Kronwall was on his game.

Franzen and Holmstrom can't decide who's going to check Wild Number 55, so they just check each other. Franzen gets knocked to his knees. I laughed.

 Man sandwich
Stuart hits the post.

With three minutes to go, the Wild ice the puck twice in a row. Poor Burns is stuck out both times as the refs make him come back from the bench. Homer and Burns share a chuckle over it as Burns meanders his annoyed and tired way over to the faceoff circle.

Nice mustache.
Apparently the Wild are having some sort of team mustache growing for some sort of charity. You can see Burns' nice attempt in the above picture. The Wild have reached a consensus that Brunette claims the title of Best Mustache, but they refuse to show a shot of his face. Bastards.

Helm's goal:

This earns a Bingo Bango from Mick. A wrap around pass from Abdelkader to Helm, who smacks it in.

Helm smashes the dude behind him in victory
Congrats on your first of the season, Helm!!

All Red Wing forwards now have a goal. Last game I gave the title Best First Goal of the Season to Miller, for his Halak knock-in. Miller retains his title. Nice try, Helm, but not quiet cool enough.

In the dying seconds of the... second, Lidstrom gets another shot off. My feed glitches at this EXACT moment, so I never get to see the shot, but Ken and Mick assures me that it was a good one. And it was wide.

God damnit, Nick.

The period closes with Cleary and the Ref discussing their dinner date after the game.

 No, Danny, I didn't forget. Applebees at 11.
The Third Period:

My feed has some real issues this period.

Franzen's goal:

Datsyuk has the puck, dishes it to Franzen who's over in Gretzky's office. He comes around and shoots the puck towards Holmstrom, who's camping outside the crease with his stick ready for the garage. The puck never makes it to Homer – it bounces off the blocking Wild defender and past Theodore.

Maybe next time, Homer
This makes 2 goals for Franzen in the last 9 games. Franzen has looked a little off to me, lately. Real timid and about as physical as Lidstrom.That is to say, not at all. Injury? Nagging headaches from a concussion he refuses to admit? Naw, Franzen would never do something like that...

Next we get a minor scrum between Koivu and Holmstrom. Datsyuk breaks his stick on the faceoff and Holmstrom covers Datsyuk's retreat to the bench by manhandling Koivu in the neutral zone. They go on to joust with their sticks in the defensive zone as the play moves on.

Words are exchanged, and you know Homer. He's always ready for a scrum, and 'those Fins and Swedes don't get along'. 'But Homer lives so far north in Sweden he's an honorary Fin!'

Where have I heard this conversation before?

Nothing much comes of it. They rough-house but no fists are thrown. Play continues.

Eaves' goal:

Shot on goal by Rafalski, blocked by Theodore. Eaves tries to bury the rebound but can't. He retains the puck, skates around behind the net and scores on a wrap around.

4th line. Suck it.
The Wild complain about something, but the refs will have none of that.

The fourth line is extremely pleased with itself. Tried to get a shot of their joyful celebration, but they're jumping on each other too much to get a clear picture. They grant an awful slow-mo angle of it later on – at least I tried.


Ken, Mick, and Larry spend a minute after this goal discussing the fourth line's situation with the healthy scratch rotation, and express admiration on how well the players take it and how well they are able to come back without missing a beat and contribute.

They then go on to discuss the outstanding play by Abby, Miller, and Helm, and adjusting who's in the healthy scratch rotation. Someone playfully mentions Datsyuk, which produces laughter all around.

Third unanswered goal. Come on, Wings.

Next event is Nick taking a tripping penalty. Nervousness sets in, as we go up against the 'top power play in the league' without Lidstrom.

Statistic time! Lets take a look at the stats so far this season.

2.4 goals per game - 20th in the NHL
29% power play - 1st in the NHL
85.5% penalty kill - 8th in the NHL
20 even strength goals – Dead Last in the NHL
2.18 GAA - 3rd in the NHL

3.6 goals per game – 2nd in NHL
19.4% power play - 10th in NHL
84.6% penalty kill - 9th in NHL
43 even strength goals – tied for 5th in NHL
2.44 GAA - 5th in NHL

Just in case you were wondering.

So the Minnesota power play beings. Howard gets a little out of position, and Big E makes a crazy great save in the crease. I'm starting to like this kid again.

Helm almost has a breakaway, but my man Burns taps the puck away as he goes sprawling on the ice. Excellent play by Burns.

My feed really starts kicking my ass by this point.

Detroit successfully kills off the penalty. I bet Nick was relieved.

Seven minutes left, Lidstrom slams the puck into Theodore, finally getting a shot on goal that doesn't go wide (from center ice), and Hudler gets a stick on the rebound in midair, but can't get it in.

Ken and Mick manage to find time to remark that on Wednesday's game vs the Blues Detroit netted 7 goals and Nick still managed to end up -1. Thanks for pointing that out, guys. The make up for this by exchanging a few comments on Nick's durability, and the fact that he's missed exactly 31 games in 18 years.

Zetterberg gets nailed into the boards in the final two minutes and doesn't seem to enjoy it. Him and Franzen muck around in the offensive zone in retaliation, but no scrums.

This is followed by Journey's Don't Stop Believing. The face off stops the last two lines, but the crowd doesn't give it up and happily carries on with 'just a city boy, born and raised in SOUTH DETROIT'. This always makes me smile.

Loose rebound given up by Howard nets the Wild a goal at the end of the period.

Of course.

Howard gives himself a good few seconds sprawled on the ice in misery. Play carries on into overtime.


64% of games have been decided in overtime as opposed to the shootout by this point in the season. FYI.

My feed turns into a meaningless powerpoint presentation at various points. I do have the sound going completely fine, which is nerve-wracking but helpful.

Wings pretty much tear this OT apart, as nearly the whole thing is spent in the Wild's zone.

The Wild do get in a good play towards the end. It's my man Burns again. He's coming in the left side and tries to get a pass off. Lids taps that shit away, like he always does, and the puck heads towards the backboard. Nick and Burns chase after it – Nick sandwiches Burns up against the boards and rides him along the back of the goal. But Burns, with some awesome stickwork, manages to get a great poke in on the puck as they come around the other side of the goal.

This is kind of funny, because the puck goes sailing across the goal crease. You can tell Howard has no idea where the puck is until it happens to ever so gently hit his skate as it enters the blue paint. Startled, Howard looks down and has a pretty clear 'oh shit!' moment. The puck hits Stuart in the skate and starts to rebound perfectly toward the goal. Jimmah dives across and gets a leg in front of it as the Wild starts digging for gold.

Not on my watch!
It's a nice save and all, but just moments later the Wild score with 42 seconds left in overtime. And that's game.

Nabbed this pic mostly for the Wild on his back next to Howie. Excellent form.
And so ends game 5 of our 6 game home stand. We've got 9 of a possible 10 points so far. Not too shabby.

No action from Shake and Bake tonight. They did have themselves a good time, despite staying off the score sheet.

Danny's ridiculous goal scoring streak was snapped, though. Sorry, Danny.

Datsyuk managed to pull ahead of the pack as Detroit's point leader.

No one was sneaky and no one had good penalty servitude, so no editions of Don't Think We Didn't Notice and Served With Pride this time. Maybe next game.

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