Jimmy Howard is Superman. He was hung out to dry, particularly in that first period, and came up with 46 saves on 48 Predator shots. At one point in the first, he got a nub on a breakaway attempt, and seemed to be playing other-wordly, like the Kings game. Make no mistake, the Wings did everything they could to lose, what with the various turnovers and whatnot, but Howard seemed tired of giving away points to in-conference rivals. Good on him.
Hey speaking of turnovers, how bout that Bertuzzi pass to no one but a pack of Predators? Apparently he nearly missed the game with a groin injury, but something tells me a 100% healthy Todd Bertuzzi makes that same, stupid ass play. I wouldn’t be the Michael Petrella you all know and love if I didn’t pick on him.
Welcome back, Willi Vanilli! He opened the scoring by re-directing Miller’s re-direction of Flip’s shot. An all-around strong game from Williams, particularly for a first game back from a long injury. The Wings wouldn’t take the lead into the first intermission as Francis BOOYAH! scored in the closing minute…
Nik Kronwall nearly lost his face, as a skate totally connected with his half-shield. That’s why everyone should wear a visor. He could have lost an eye, easily.
Red-hot Nicklas Lidstrom continued along those lines as he cocked his cannon (stop thinking dirty) right around the blue line and unleashed hell from the top of the circle. Chi-chick boom. That’s what 2-1 looks like.
I tell ya what, Drew Miller looks really good in Homer’s office. He found his way to the crease twice, and two goals came of it. Who knew? 3-1 Good Guys. P.S. From now on, Drew Miller will be referred to as SNP (h/t @wkfink), which obviously stands for Salt N Pepa.
We all know the relationship the Wings have with two-goal leads, and Shea Weber cut the lead to one with a skipping puck that looked like it hit something on the way. I didn’t bother with the replay, because it was just a matter of time, so why punish myself further?
Hank sealed it from just behind the goal line, on a shot he banked off of Dan Ellis and into the net. BUT WAIT! We gotta go to Toronto to see if there’s any way we can possibly shaft the Red Wings. Thankfully, for once, common sense prevailed and the goal stood. Winner winner chicken dinner.
IN RELATED NEWS
It was revealed that the Red Wings are working on a conditioning stint for Andreas Lilja. He’s to spend three games with the Griffins, as early as next week. That means he’s coming back, folks. And soon. I suspect it’s Brett Lebda on his way out. I was chatting with Hollis during the game and wondered aloud if we could get a second rounder for him. Somehow, I doubt it. But this upcoming draft is damn good and I’d do a backflip to get a 2nd round pick for him.
REVISITING THE PRE-GAME QUICK THOUGHTS
1. Well, the effort wasn’t there for sixty minutes, but the Wings were bailed out by Tiberius and got timely goals from the real leaders of the club.
2. Drew Miller played a hell of a game. More like that, and it’ll be impossible to scratch him. He’s making a case for himself…
3. Jimmy Howard played like the #1 he is. And needed to be.
4. Willi Vanilli made his return felt. Good on him. Forgotten no more.
Penguins on Sunday. Join us in the WIM thread for a Haiti fundraising event.
BECAUSE I PROMISED ROB…
I know it’s TPL policy to greet you fine folks with “deh hotnezz” after a loss, but we had to be prepared for the unspeakable again. I had a young lass lined up, and I think he got excited to see who I’d come up with for my first LossCandy Girl. So, in celebration of a big win…. I present Christina Milian.
Hockey photo credit: Paul Sancya, AP