2 : Detroit Red Wings @ Los Angeles Kings : 3
Some Notes From The Game:
Return of Kris and Chris tonight!
Ozzi, please rock. Rock hard.
It is noted before we head into this that the LA Kings are the only team in the NHL with a perfect penalty kill record at home. They are 41/41. That's... pretty fantastic.
The First Period:
Datsyuk starts things by weaving through the LA defense like only he does.
Alec Martinez is a Rochester Michigan native. I've mentioned before that Ken is psychologically incapable of ignoring this fact and not letting you know about it.
Homer gets dumped in neutral.
There's an attractive blond woman behind the Kings' bench listening to head phones. Who does that at a hockey game?
Franzen gets high-sticked in the face. No blood, so just two minutes of power play.
|Not the face!|
This is the second match in a row where Franzen has gotten a stick in the mouth. When I get the time I'm going to look back and find out how many times this has happened to him this season, because I think he's setting some sort of NHL record.
We get a look at this vaunted LA home penalty kill.
Z and Toddzilla go digging for gold, but no joy. And that's all we really manage to generate. Not bad, but we did squander a good portion of it looking for good shots.
THE FUCKING POUNDING THROUGH THE ANNOUNCER'S MICS. ITS THE YEAR 2010, THERE HAS TO BE A WAY TO BLOCK THAT SHIT FROM MY EARDRUMS BECAUSE IT MAKES ME WANT TO MURDER CHILDREN. OH MY FUCKING GOD.
I have this thing about feedback from the announcers. I don't want to hear the fucking pounding on the boards or people's conversations. I want to hear the announcers. Surely there is some way to fix this.
We return from a commercial break to talk about the Wing's winning pace. Dating back to March 11th, we've got a 30-5-4 record.
This essentially puts the Wings on pace for a 62 win season.
The Wings are the current record holders for wins in the 82 game season. In that glorious and oh-so-disappointing year of 1995-96 when we lost in the Conference Finals, the Wings went 62-13-7.
1999 was the year they started the pity point for losing in overtime, by the way. Just in case you wanted to know.
Martinez is from Rochester, Michigan. Ken wanted you to know. In case you missed it the first time.
After another break we get a look at our season so far, broken down into 10 game segments.
Pretty even so far...
Ozzie takes a delay of game penalty for playing a puck outside of the trapezoid. I wonder if referees hate calling this because it's so stupid.
|You all saw it|
So we load up the penalty kill. We've got the first line out instead of the fourth, so Datsyuk sets the tone by stealing a puck and heading into the offensive zone aiming for glory
|Innocent Pickpocket. Kopitar is so painfully oblivious...|
Datsyuk ends up getting a shot off, but his stick explodes. Literally. It was pretty epic.
|Not pictured: the look of abject relief of the faces of these 3 King pylons|
We kill off the ridiculous penalty without further incident.
A 'Lets Go Red Wings' chant makes it way through the crowd, and is answered by booing from the Kings fans, or the 'Boo Brigade', as Ken calls them.
Another commercial break brings us a look at the win leaders for goaltenders. Ozzie still looking for that magical 400.
Stuart nails Clifford into the boards. Daaaamn. This prompts Ken to discuss our trade of a second and fourth round draft pick to get Stuart from the Kings.
So worth it.
Datsyuk, having stolen the puck in neutral, has the puck on the right and rifles one on goal. Rebound is given up and Big E, going deep on the left, one-times it in.
|Keep it up, Shitbox|
I usually try and point out the little things Nick does, as I've found myself under-appreciating him in the past.
The last second of the game finds a King taking a shot on goal. Nick is in his office in front of the crease, and gets a quick stick down to deflect the puck away. This is an extremely quick move from Lidstrom, as it took me six tries to get a screen of the action since it literally happened so fast I couldn't get the game to pause at exactly the right millisecond.
So, yeah. Nick Lidstrom, your reflexes and hand-eye coordination sicken me.
Owned in the first 24 seconds. Awesome. Ozzie, I swear...
No worries. Toddzilla takes the roll of Killjoy yet again, and scores 48 seconds later.
There's a lot of chaos in the offensive zone. Eventually, Franzen ends up with the puck on the left. He gets a shot on goal and Quick makes the save. The rebound is loose in front, and Toddzilla slams it into the crossbar and home.
|You all saw it|
Afterward Uncle Mike has some words with Toddzilla and Franzen on the bench. Not sure what they were discussing, but it looked like Franzen was fighting not to smile. And losing.
Cleary denies me my too many men call. God dammit, Cleary. It's my only source of genuine happiness during a match. That, and hat tricks.
Wings are 7-0-0 when leading after the first period. This statistic should please you.
More hockey. A break lets us know that on Nov 14th the Kings were leading the Conference, with Detroit sitting at the number two slot. Detroit has since moved to the all-mighty Number One, and the Kings slid all the way down to 10th place. What a Conference...
We get a nod to Drew Doughty, who is the second youngest LA defenseman to net a 50 point season when he hit 59 last year. The youngest LA defenseman with a 50 point season was Larry Murphy, who netted 76 points in 1980-1981. Just in case you were wondering.
Does anyone else love Ken Daniels as the play-by-play? I do. I fucking love that guy.
The Kings get the next goal when a shot on goal rebounds off of Helm.
The crowd picks up the 'Os-good, Os-good" chant. Shmucks.
Penalty kill time as Salei goes off for interference. This is Salei's favorite penalty.
Random note, I like the King's arena announcer. Not sure why.
The Kings squander their power play. They get one shot on goal, which Osgood easily saves.
Lidstrom makes several good defensive plays.
Helm throws his one-man party in the offensive zone.
And that's about it for that penalty kill. Helm throws a post-penalty-kill party before letting the first line carry the torch.
Stuart absolutely drills another King. I think he's making a statement of some sort. This statement might be 'Fuck You'. If so... well played, sir. Well played.
|They don't love you any more, Stu. Tear them to pieces.|
Next, there's a penalty to the Kings for tripping Datsyuk.
Franzen gets a few opportunities, but Quick robs him on all occasions. Franzen is displeased.
Funny little moment with about a 50 seconds left in the power play. Datsyuk, having gone at least a shift without showcasing his stick-handling skills, knocks the puck into the air, catches it on the way down and knocks it back up, and repeats this one more time to send it down the ice.
|Can't teach that shit|
Nothing much else for the rest of the period. We head into the third tied at two.
The Third Period:
They give Draper props via this game's player profile.
No real action until about two minutes in, when Abby get drilled in the leg with a puck. He didn't seem to enjoy it. At all.
|This defending stuff is rough business|
Ozzie makes an awesome no-look pad save.
The fucking POUNDING from the ANNOUNCER'S STATION. Oh. MY. GOD.
Some King pushes Franzen into the net, dislodging it.
|Damn you and your talent!|
Now, and this is fucking hilarious... after an icing we get a short break, which treats us to the familiar Dollar Hot Dog Night advertisement.
I think we all know Murph's stance on dollar hot dogs.
So I'm sitting there bracing myself for some sort of drunken outpouring of support for the dollar hot dogs.
Larry Murphy... somehow, using willpower I didn't know he possessed, manages not to say a single word as Ken puts out the dollar hot dog word.
What he does do is silently circle the Dollar Hot Dog Night with his magic blue pen in a show of quiet, staunch approval.
For some reason I found this absolutely hilarious. I mean, like, laughing so hard I was crying.
Play continues. The Euro-twins try very hard to score. Holmstrom digs for gold and gets shoved to the ice. A lot.
A break allows us a look at the ice time for the defensemen throughout this road trip. Completely spread out. I don't think Lidstrom topped 23 mins. Have I mentioned lately how much I'm digging the 2010 Red Wings?
There's funny moment later when Rafalski loses his stick on his way back to the defensive zone. Franzen, ever the gentleman, gives him his stick. And then picks up Rafalski's stick during a free moment and uses that for a few moments until the play is whistled down when Ozzie gloves the puck.
This draws some chuckles from Ken, as obviously Raffi shoots right and Franzen shoots left, leaving both sticks rather useless in their respective hands.
Lidstrom knocks a puck out of the air. Because he's Nicklas fucking Lidstrom.
Zetterberg intercepts a midair pass with his stick moments later. Because he's Henrik fucking Zetterberg.
Franzen tries really hard to score. Again. He seems particularly frustrated this night.
Before the next faceoff, we get a look at the respective masks of Ozzie and Jimmah.
|For your viewing pleasure|
Cleary goes to send the puck into the offensive zone, but it rebounds off a King's skate and into the air. Cleary knocks it mid-air into the zone with his stick. Because he's Danny fucking Cleary.
There's chaos in front the crease as the Kings go digging for gold. Zetterberg manages to get thrown into the goal.
|Does this count?|
Stuart. Still hasn't tied down his jersey. Some day he will... some day....
There's a nice moment where Lidstrom is skating behind the goal to retrieve a puck. A King heads to cut him off, so Lidstrom executes an immediate no-look behind the back pass to - Rafalski. Which is really nothing of note, other than the wavelength that always seems to bind Raffi and Lids, even when they're not partners. Lidstrom has no way of knowing if Raffi (or anyone, really) is watching his back. He just assumes someone will be there - and bam. There is.
And I love it.
A puck lands on top of the net. I always enjoy this play.
In the final minutes of the period, both teams try very hard to score. But, alas, no joy for either team, and we head into overtime.
We're 3 for 5 in the OT victories, not counting our shoot-out loss to the Dive. Just so you know.
Neither team really brings everything to the table. We trade off chances with the Kings, neither team with the upper hand.
With less than a minute to go, the Kings score.
We take our pity point and head home with a 5 out of 6 on the California road trip.
I take a look at the league standings, and feel immediately better.
Don't Think We Didn't Notice:
Funny moment in the defensive zone when Raffi drops his stick in a scuffle along the boards, and only has time to pick it back up by the blade before the puck jumps free. So he tries poking it with the shaft.
|We call this dedication|