We're coming into this riding a three game losing streak - a season worst so far. The Habs come in riding a three game winning streak.
I originally caught this on the Canadian feed, so I got to watch the FS Detroit feed for the first time on the recap. Canadian feed wasn't too bad, actually. But nothing tops Ken and Mick =)
Some Notes From The Game:
The First Period:
We start off with the LGRW! chant vying for superior priority over the Go Habs Go! chant from all the Habs fans that crossed the river for the game.
The atmosphere in the arena is great. Reminiscent of the playoffs, which leads me to believe the Wings unconsciously upped their game in response.
Nick catches a puck out of the air. Immediately after, two Habs collide in our zone trying to retrieve the loose puck.
|Heads up, boys|
Then a Hab goes to the box for interference.
The Habs have the best penalty kill in the league. They've given up just 12 goals in 112 shorthanded chances. That's... pretty impressive.
There's some chaos in the crease. Holmstrom goes digging for gold, because that's what he does. Him and this Subban punk joust a bit, but the refs break that up.
No joy on the power play.
After a return from a commercial break, we're treated to some fond memories of Roy's last game as a Montreal Canadien.
It was December 2, 1995 - Detroit beat Montreal 11-1. Roy allows 9 goals on 26 shots. Slava Kozlov gets 4 goals on 6 shots, and Sergei Fedorov walks away with a goal and 4 assists. After leaving the ice, Roy walks up to the Canadien GM and tells him he just played his last game as a Hab. He's traded 4 days later to the Avs, and goes on to win a Stanley Cup. Fond memories...
More verbal fighting amongst the crowd.
Datsyuk puts on a show along the boards. A Hab gets embarrassed.
Rafalski forgets how to skate for a moment and turns over a puck on the point. It was kinda funny.
There's another break that shows us a video of a Mickey Redmond interview following his trade from Montreal to the Wings.
|... oh god, where's his mustache?!|
The Habs get on the board first by banking a puck off of Jimmah, much like Hudler's first goal of the season. Damn.
Raffi hip-checks a Hab, who dies. Seriously. His funeral is next Sunday.
|Oh, god! Call the Waaaaambulance!|
Freakin' diving Canadiens...
Luckily, the refs will have none of that, as play continues.
Delayed penalty to the Habs. We try to take Jimmah off, but the Habs touch.
We get about three good chances on some absolute chaos in the crease. When a Kronwall shot on goal gives up a rebound, Filppula, Cleary, and Zetterberg get some heart-stopping chances at it.
Eventually when the chaos clears, Danny has lost his helmet and his stick is wedged into Price's glove. The play is whistled down and we extricate Danny's stick from Price's paraphernalia.
|Can I have my stick back, please?|
Our power play is on fire tonight. Price makes a bajillion saves. Cleary does some broken stick house cleaning in the crease. Such a good power play... no joy, though.
The Canadiens take yet another penalty for hooking Datsyuk.
Ten seconds into it, the Habs take a penalty for slashing Rafalski and tripping him. No joke.
Rafalski and Lidstrom pretty much run this thing. They trade off shots and passing. Price stones all our one-timers.
Montreal takes their time out.
|Okay guys, here's the plan. I want you to take the puck, and then there's this net here...|
It's all for naught, however.
Raffi tries to wrist one towards the front of the goal. It's tipped behind the goal by a Hab. Holmstrom collects, trying to pass back to Raffi, but a Hab intercepts. Instead of clearing, the Hab plays with it along the boards. Holmstrom manages to get the puck away from him, passing to Datsyuk, who taps it towards Lidstrom, who's waiting in front of the crease. Lidstrom snaps it in.
|I've seen this somewhere before...|
There's some discussion of the time left on the clock. After the goal you can see Lidstrom skate past a ref and ask him, "It's good?". The play goes under review, and is awarded after determining the puck crossed the goal line with 1.2 seconds left.
|In the Nick of time...|
The Second Period:
Cheli joins Ken and Mick in the broadcast booth. Cheli, I miss you <3 <3
|Cheli's first time|
We've got about 20 seconds left in the power play coming into the period. Lidstrom gets a fierce one-timer off that breaks a Hab's stick. Lidstrom gets another hard one-timer off, but that goes wide. Lids gets at least one more off before the Habs clear.
Lidstrom chases the puck back along the boards as the it passes in front of the benches. Instead of collecting it, Lidstrom leaves it right in front of the Hab's bench, where the Habs are in the middle of a shift change...
And the Habs take a too many men on the ice penalty.
.... I'm so excited right now, you have no idea. I've been waiting forever for this penalty. Lidstrom, you clever old bastard...
Before the next power play starts, we get a shot of Nick on the bench. He's in the middle of his putting-my-glove-back-on-by-slapping-the-C-on-my-jersey routine. He does this about twenty times a match, if you watch him.
We load up the power play. Nothing much, as we're having trouble setting up. Nick nabs a puck out of the air. Then, Nick disrupts a 2-on-2. Seriously, now...
Wow. Franzen has the puck along the left boards. He backhands it towards the front of the goal, but it's a little off target. Cleary dives forward to collect the puck, and from his knees passes it to Kronner on the center point. Kronwalls lets go an absolutely beautiful wrister and nails Price top shelf. Abby provides the screen. What an awesome play.
|Good job, Junior|
Cheli and Ken discuss this Subban punk on the Habs' team. He's apparently moronic. He has said publicly that his favorite player is Sean Avery. What an idiot...
Jimmah makes a sickening save.
The crowd dukes it out again as the Habs and Wings fans try to dominate the cheering.
Price robs Danny on a one-timer. Moments later, a Hab tries to pick a fight with Danny. Why? That's anyone's best guess.
There's chaos in our crease for a rebound. The net is dislodged
Finally, Big E goes to the box for hooking and the Habs get their first power play.
Very exciting. The Habs get a lot of shots off. We kill a solid minute before Helm throws a party to get a shift change.
The Habs hit a goal post. The crowd is going nuts.
Successful kill. Then...
Zetterberg emerges victorious from a puck battle along the boards in our zone. He makes a short pass to Big E, who passes it to Dastyuk in the neutral zone. Seeing the open lane, Datsyuk puts on a burst of speed and beats the Hab defenders to the net. He executes the sickest backhander I have ever seen.
|Can't teach that shit|
I effing love this game...
Filppula executes a beautiful spin-o-rama. Toddzilla is smiling on the bench, I can feel it.
That moron Subban goes to the box for hooking Cleary and knocking him to the ice.
Power play time. Again.
Lidstrom perfectly defends a 2-on-1 break. Seriously, Nick...
No joy on the power play.
Price is apparently an accomplished rodeo roper. Honestly. You can look it up.
The period closes right after Lidstrom completely undresses a Hab trying to lead the rush into our zone. It was pretty good.
The Third Period:
Ken Daniels is excellent. Just thought I should make sure you're aware. Best play-by-play in the league.
Jimmah gets things started by making a few good saves.
Datsyuk gets a beautiful shot off on a turnover.
Stuart loses his stick and receives one from Bertuzzi. Who still manages to make himself useful.
The Wings get caught in a shift change and the Habs score. Not that the shift change is an excuse - there were five Wings in our zone when the Hab beats Jimmah with a slap shot he could have stopped. But confusion and unclear assignments definitely didn't help.
More broken sticks.
The Canadiens fans start up an Ole chant, and the Wing fans counter with some booing.
We knock a linesman down.
We double ice the puck, and Uncle Mike uses his time out.
Nothing really of note in the third period, to be honest.
In the final minutes, we get Jimmah making the save of the night. Stuart loses a bouncing puck in our zone that a Hab scoops up. Jimmah makes a sick pad save, and then gloves the puck from the seat of his pants. It was beautiful.
In the last minute, the Habs send Price to the bench for the extra man.
Chaotic hockey. Lidstrom loses a glove. Jimmah makes a great save.
The Habs mess up a shift change and Eaves ends up with the puck in center ice.
Empty net. Shmucks.
They put Price in the for the dying seconds of the game, and then the Habs go back to Canada with a broken win-streak.
Have I mentioned how much I love Original Six match-ups?
Better than playing the freakin' Blue Jackets six times a season...
Don't Think We Didn't Notice:
You know, for such a great match, there wasn't anything that really stood out.
Well, the first two Wings goals were scored by a Nick. FS Detroit seemed to think we should notice...
The Habs took a too-many-men call, so Darche Served With Pride.