Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blues @ Red Wings

2 : St. Louis Blues @ Detroit Red Wings : 5

Nicklas Lidstrom

I don't think there could have been a more beautiful ending to Operation Curly Fries. Congratulations to Captain Nicklas Lidstrom on his first career hat trick.

God, that felt good to type.

Some Notes From The Game:

This gonna be a good one.

We start off with the classy outfit of Mr. Ken Daniels. Mick uses the phrase 'everything, including the kitchen sink'.

Apparently the Blues are suffering from some injury woes. QQ more, I say.

We preface this game by noting that Pavel Datsyuk has a streak of 2-goal games without a hat trick.
We call this 'foreshadowing'.

The First Period:

The Circus line rocks the socks off the Blues. We crash the crease at least twice, but no love.

The Wings nab the first penalty as Kronner heads to the box for interference. He says a few choice words to the ref en-route.

Clinical kill. Not even remotely exciting.

Next, the Circus line with Cleary in for Holmstrom crashes the crease again. A Datsyuk shot produces a rebound. There's chaotic whacking away with sticks, but by some miraculous turn of events, we can't manage to nail it. Ugh.

Sweet chaos
A Blue is shaken when he gets tripped up with Datsyuk. He wobbles his way to the bench.

A break in play shows us a few shots of the Wings at the Children's Hospital yesterday.

Of course these two hang out together
Cleary is all about fashion

Hudler and Helm get a 2-on-1 break. A Blue decides to trip Hudler, so no joy. No penalty, either.

Hudler has clearly been cursed by a heathen god
Helm gets another small break. No joy.

Bertuzzi and Big E team up to make a man sandwich with a Blue. Big E and the Blue then get tangled up for a solid 5 seconds before managing to extricate themselves from each other.

Man sammich
The Blues rookie making his NHL debut tonight nails a goal post.

Cleary and Filppula drive on the net. No joy.

The period closes without further action.

The Second Period:

Helm is our player profile.

Damn you, foreshadowing
A minute into the period a classy Blue decides it'd be cool to slash Helm in the back of the knee.

The ref saw nothing
 We lose Helm to the dressing room. 

Not good
Lidstrom's goal:

Lidstrom collects the puck in our zone. He passes to Zetterberg in neutral for entry, and then joins the rush. He receives the puck back from Zetterberg as he crosses the blue line, and lets a slap shot go at the top of the left faceoff circle. The puck catches Halak's glove and goes in.

The Knuckler
The Blues follow this up by scoring a minute later. A Blue manages to backhand one between Jimmah's arm and chest.

Big E makes a good defensive play on a 1-on-1, and a puck goes off the side of our goal post.

Holmstrom takes a ridiculous penalty. And I say ridiculous not because I think it was a bad call, but because it looked like Homer wanted to spontaneously hug a Blue. 

Queue penalty kill.

Clinical kill. Nothing even remotely of interest.

Next, and this definitely needs to be immortalized-

Johnathon Ericsson, touching a puck for an icing, manages to put it into the back of our net.

Holy. Freaking. Shit.

Let's see this from some angles.

Still looks awful from this camera
In a race to beat a Blue to the icing puck, Big E manages to flip it perfectly between Jimmah and the goal post.

Yup. Definitely earned that Shitbox title back for at least a period
Riggy Shitbox, I can't believe you.

Obviously the goal doesn't count because the whistle goes as soon as the puck is touched on an icing, but still..

Mick reminisces about a time in Juniors when he scored on his own team. His parents were in the audience.

Franzen hits the side of the net, missing a wide open goal. Poor guy.

Jackman heads to the box for crosschecking Datsyuk to the ice. And he does it again for good measure when Datsyuk manages to climb back to his feet. Shmuck.

Stuart tries to pick a fight to show what we think about this particular play, but the refs will have none of that.

Damn. This would've been a good one...

Whatever. We load up our power play unit. Hudler and Kronner play catch for a few seconds, Bertuzzi gets robbed on a nice one-timer.

The first unit comes out to try their hand. No joy.

Big E manages to defend a 2-on-1. Still not making up for that almost-goal earlier, Shitbox.

Cleary and Helm get a rush going. Nope.

Helm manages to draw a tripping penalty immediately following this.

Lets try this power play thing again.

Kronwall's goal:

Helm and Hudler battle for a puck along the right boards. The puck manages to pop out towards Cleary, who tips it to Kronner. Kronner executes a sharp wrist shot straight in.

Someone's been working on his wrist shot...
We note that the top Blue scorer has 8 goals. That goal was Kronner's 7th of the season. Yeah. I'm digging this scoring by committee thing the Wings have got going on so far.

Backes decides to crosscheck Homer in the ribs away from the play. Not sure why, but he does. Homer collects himself on the ice with assistance from Piet before skating grumpily back to the bench to sit it off.

Oh god...
Stuart tries to pick another fight in retaliation, but no joy on that front.

Lidstrom makes sure to tell Jackman his guys should probably stop acting like such dickwads.

Try to tone down on the asshattery, shmuck
Power play time.

Cleary's goal:

We'll call this goal karmic justic. A Lidstrom slapshot from the point, with Halak making the pad save but giving up the rebound. Cleary just so happens to be standing in perfect position to get a stick on it.

We call this dedication
Cleary pulls ahead in his ongoing competition with Franzen for team scoring lead with his 14th goal.

Ken notes that Lids has a goal and an assist. I send a txt to my brother rooting for a Gordie Howe hat trick.

Delayed penalty to the Blues, and we pull Jimmah for the extra man. No joy on the effort, and we head towards yet another power play.

We start off by letting some shmuck Blue get a shorthanded shot on goal, but Jimmah makes the save. Which is good, because I'd probably have cried if he let that one in.


Cleary gets another great shot on goal, but is robbed.

The period closes mid-power play.

The Third Period:

We continue our power play. Holmstrom is back on the ice.

A wrister towards the front of the goal nets a nice deflection by Datsyuk in front of the crease, but Halak makes the pad save. Denied.

No joy on the power play.

Bertuzzi whips out a very nice spin-o-rama. Denied by Halak, of course, but still... verraa niiice...

Ken remarks on how this is a very Todd Bertuzzi move. Mick manages to squeeze in a 'Bertuzzian?" comment in the background. Ken and Mick share a few chuckles.

Filppula gets a breakaway and tripped. No penalty shot, but the Blue goes to the box for tripping.

Not on my watch!
FS Detroit is very good about showing all the angles when it comes to replay, usually allowing viewers at least three different angles of the action, and the final camera that catches this event nets this brilliant shot-

Colaiacovo catches the camera between the eyes. Seriously.

Yet another power play.

Lidstrom's goal:

Holmstrom enters the zone down the middle. Rafalski is trailing behind. Holmstrom drops the puck back to Raffi, who passes to Zetterberg at the left boards. Zetterberg weighs his options, decides to pass to Lidstrom on the point. Nick nails it with a slapshot.

I've definitely seen this somewhere before...
Lidstrom has two goals now. Ken and Mick make further remarks on how they said at the beginning of this game that Datsyuk had a streak of two-goal games without a hat trick in the regular season.

Cleary and Helm get a good chance.

Datsyuk embarrasses some Blues.

Nick makes some good defensive plays.

Hudler randomly goes to the box for a mythical holding penalty. I say mythical because compared to some of the shit I've seen the Blues commit this game, this is a mythical penalty.

Whatever. Load up the penalty kill.

The Blues get things started by drilling Backes in the shin with a puck. It's called Kharma, shmuck. He limps off the ice.

The Blue screening Jimmah scores a goal off a redirect. It was a very... Holmstrom play.

Whatever. We're still sitting pretty at a 4-2 score, so I'm not worried.

Zetterberg gets absolutely dumped by Jackman in center ice. A Blue breaks a stick.

The Blues have a pretty crazy shift in our zone. Wow.

They follow this up with another shift that I have trouble describing. There's about five shots on goal in the span of five seconds. Jimmah gets bowled out of the crease, Helm and Ericsson play goalie and Helm saves a sure-fire goal by getting drilled with the puck, and when the next shot goes off Rafalski gets nailed. Cleary dives in front of a puck in the next second and then gets dumped along the boards for his troubles.

Thanks, boys
Somehow, out of all of this, Hulder receives a breakout pass, but Halak makes the save on the breakaway. Hudler gets a whack at the rebound, but no joy.

The crowd gets a LGRW chant going.

Bertuzzi gets called on an offside and exchanges a few words with the refs.

Zetterberg and Datsyuk have a few Eurotwin moments.

Hulder and Cleary have some moments as well. The Cleary, Helm, Hudler line is actually pretty good this match. Like, noticeably good.

A Blue gets nailed in the knee with a puck. He gives himself some time on the ice to collect himself before being helped off the ice.

A Blue nails a goalpost.

A Blue very blatantly trips Draper. Glad those refs are paying attention.

Franzen, Filppula, and Bertuzzi get denied. C'mon, Toddzilla... score a damn goal. That was a wide open net....

Don't Stop Believing plays as Ken and Mick debate Nick's chance for a hat trick.

Rafalski gets a perfect breakout pass to Datsyuk.

Who decides he's going to get flashy. And I loved every hot-dogging second of it. He tries to get a shot off between his legs - he missed, but I don't particularly care. It was awesome.

You all saw it
Cleary and Datsyuk discuss the awesome.

Cleary receives some pointers on hot-dogging

The Blues empty their net.

Datsyuk gets bowled over in center ice. We dance around in the neutral zone. Mick comments that Nick isn't on the ice.

That's okay, because the Blues take their time out and we get to throw the Captain on the ice afterward.

The Hat Trick:

A Blue wrists one towards Jimmah. Lidstrom gets his body in the way, and puck bounces of him and is picked up by Cleary, who taps it to Zetterberg. Zetterberg races up the right, with Cleary mirroring him down the middle. Zetterberg makes the pass as Cleary pulls ahead, but Cleary 'somehow fans on it' in front of the empty net. He retains the puck, pulls a U-turn, and then passes to Lidstrom, who's in his spot on the left point.

Lidstrom winds up, and lets 'er go.

Curly Fries
Ken and Mick make a correction to their Hats Off graphic.

And that's game...

Don't Think We Didn't Notice:

Nick and Danny survey their curly fry handiwork

Nick's expression never wavers as he scores his hat trick and celebrates. I like to imagine he's smiling on the inside. It's okay to look excited, Nick. It only took you 19 years and 1,442 games.


No one Served With Pride.

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