Before you read another word, let me first caution you that this post will likely not be funny and will probably bore you to tears. Proceed at your own risk.
With Petrella glued to his television for another riveting episode of Lost and Discher locked out on his porch with his TV and $50 worth of Home Depot chairs, the dubious honor of recapping tonight’s contest has been bestowed upon me. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity and promise to do my best to uphold the high standards of TPL. I may even attempt to slam Bert somewhere in this thing. Hey, when in Rome…
That said, let’s kick off this thing on a high note, since it’s all downhill from here. Since I just watched Chuck last night, the smokin‘ hot Yvonne Strahovski is still running through my mind. Let her take a lap through yours.
Before we go any further, I have to address “The ‘Stache.” I have no idea what Mule is thinking with that thing, but it lands somewhere between “hideously awesome” and “awesomely hideous.” Add some short shorts, high white tube socks and a pastel polo and Mule is just another neighbor out mowing the lawn on a summer afternoon. Either that or Ned Flanders. You decide.
Anyways, the Blues came into this game after a tough one in Denver last night, while the Wings have been off since the debacle in LA on Saturday. One would normally associate this with “Advantage: Wings”, but not this intrepid blogger. Blues came out flying, Wings came out reeling. Shocker.
Brad May finally decided to serve a purpose with a scrap against Brad Winchester about a quarter of the way through the first. Not a very entertaining bout, but I’ll take the effort from a guy who’s most memorable play this year looked like a drunken attempt at a triple lutz as opposed to an actual hockey move.
Jimmah was the only reason this one didn’t get out of hand early. The Wings looked like they were afraid they might melt the ice if they skated too fast and Brett Lebda and Todd Bertuzzi were more concerned with throwing ill advised passes than they were with, ya know, trying to win. Kirk Maltby looked equally unimpressive on the penalty kill, failing to clear the zone on two successive attempts and forcing Jimmah to make a pair of ridiculous saves. That said, Jimmah remained relatively untested in the first, facing his regular allotment of 20 shots.
Kris Draper’s flukey goal was the only one of the opening stanza, coming off a faceoff win where Helm picked the puck out of mid-air and Ericsson’s shot pinballed all over the place, eventually hitting Draper’s skate and sliding into the net. Of course the goal went to review, and the NHL’s spinning “Goal/No Goal” wheel finally landed on the correct square.
Second period opened the same way the first ended. The Blues came out charging like a drunk dude at the bar who just spotted his female target for the evening, while the Wings opted to hang out against the wall and wait for the leftovers.
David Backes sounds like he gargles gravel. I hate him tonight, but can’t wait for him to don the Red, White and Blue in Vancouver.
After being on their heels for most of the period, the Wings finally did something to earn a power play. After mounting an effort that roughly resembled an NHL man-advantage, the Wings got caught in a line change and David Perron juked the jock off of Val Fillpula before ripping a wrist shot over top of Jimmah from just above the circle. Without fail, Paul Kariya found a way to contribute to the effort, tying up Willy Vanilly in front of the net and screening Jimmah.
Now comes the part I’ve been looking forward to the most: bashing Todd Bertuzzi. I’ve been Pro-Tuzzi for most of the season, but I’ll check my inhibitions at the door and let loose: Todd, you are a below average hockey player that makes poor decisions which ultimately cost your team in goals against and in the ever important team morale. You should be ashamed of your ineptitude and should make every effort to correct it.
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Suck on that TODD!!!! Man, that felt awesome!!!
What was not awesome was the fact that you turned the puck over deep in your own zone, took a delayed penalty, fell down in front of the net, and then couldn’t find (you guessed it!) Paul Kariya as he slid home a loose rebound in the crease to break the tie. For that, you earn one more ridiculing: Perhaps you should spend additional time practicing your skating technique, because you are easily rated as a below average skater after that performance.
BOOM. I got plenty more where that came from.
Not to be outdone by Big Bert, Dan Cleary decided to join the undisciplined parade in the third period, taking a holding penalty while on the power play, negating the advantage. Of course, this would eventually lead to the Blues third goal, a bang-bang play that Howard never had a chance on as it got through his five hole while he was moving side-to-side.
With the game looking more and more dire, the Wings finally decided to up the intensity and Mike Babcock finally decided to drop Bertuzzi from the top line in favor of the Mule. It would pay off as Hank would throw one toward the crease that Datsyuk would redirect in with his foot, instantly opening the door for that cruel mistress named “hope” to step in, only to let us down again as she has most of this season. But Valtteri Filppula had other plans for that tricky lady, crashing the net only minutes later to swat home a loose puck against the post, ensuring that the Wings would escape St. Louis with at least one point.
I don’t know about you, but overtime forced me to check my undergarments a few times. Tons of back and forth action, punctuated with the Blues hitting the crossbar once and Jimmah making probably his best save of the year, coming across the crease to stop a 2-on-1 with his left pad. I can’t be sure of what exactly happened after that (since my eyes were closed), but somehow the Wings hung on to force a shootout.
Andy McDonald opened the shootout for St. Louis, missing wide. Datsyuk would do no better on his attempt, losing control of the puck near the crease and flailing at it like a teenage guy trying to get his pants off in his first sexual encounter. T.J. Oshie stepped to the plate next, and beat Howard cleanly through the five hole. Willy Vanilly went next for the Wings, pulling off a sweet move, and subsequently stopping space and time as he scored a goal(?) to tie it up. Brad Boyes stepped up next for the Blues, outclassing Howard the entire way with a sweet deke and easily sliding home the second goal for the Blues, putting the game on the stick of Zetterberg. Hank decided to get crazy, going to THE SAME MOVE HE USES IN EVERY SHOOTOUT, and Mason made the save.
Wings lose, but get an undeserved point in the process.
So what did we learn tonight?
- Hank should never see the ice in the shootout again.
- The Wings appear to be doing everything possible to miss the playoffs.
- It’s good to have Johan Franzen’s playmaking abilities back. He had some nice chances tonight and came close to scoring on a couple of occasions. And he looks superb with a mustache.
That’s it for me kids. Petrella and Discher will be back with some quality writing and funny jokes tomorrow. Until then, I’ll leave you with my best Bertuzzi joke:
What do you call a Red Wing who plays so poorly that he hasn’t scored a goal in eight games?
Brad May pretending to be Todd Bertuzzi.
ZING! I’m here all night Bert.