Break open the champagne: Red Wings win

WTF!

It’s a beautiful day in Zamunda! The Red Wings needed a shootout, but they finally got off their schneid, defeating the Blues in St. Louis by a final score of 4-3. They had lost three in a row and 5 of 6.

Goals from Homer, Draper, and Z were enough to propel the Wings into overtime. The shootout featured goals by Pavel Datsyuk and — wait for it — Todd Bertuzzi. No shit, Todd Bertuzzi. I’ll give you a minute to regain your composure before proceeding.

It was a better effort all around. The Wings played a bit sluggish at times, but certainly with more gusto for much of the second half of the game. Justin Abdelkader was all over the place, and Darren Helm skated like he was on fire (so, the norm). Brad May didn’t get much ice, but he and the rest of the fourth line were very strong all night.

TPL’S TAKE:
1. For a more “complete” write-up, read my recap at Winging it in Motown. My name was drawn out of a hat just before faceoff and I had the distinct pleasure of typing that baby up.
2. Good showing by Jimmy Howard. He stopped a breakaway early that I PROMISE would have made the game 1-0 Blues if Chris Osgood was in net. Howard did what TPL asks the goaltender to do: keep the team in the game. He didn’t win the game for the Wings, but he didn’t have to. He made 32 saves, which – since we’re on the subject – is 18 saves more than Ozzie made in the Calgary game. Just sayin’…
3. How about that pass from Zetterberg to Homer for the first Wings goal? Jeez, what a thing of beauty, as was Holmstrom’s redirection. Those bounces have not been going Detroit’s way this last week, but it almost FELT like a turning of the tides as soon as 96’s stick made contact with that pass.
4. I don’t remember seeing Brett Lebda or Derek Meech on the ice ONCE. NHL.com tells me Lebda played 11:28, and Meech played 8:16. I think they’re dirty, filthy liars.
5. Nick Lidstrom played a hell of a game. He had a moment where he stripped a Blue as he was coming from behind Howard. Totally understated and absolutely perfect. That’s the Nicklas Lidstrom we all know and love.
6. The energy line of Kris Draper, Darren Helm, and Patrick Eaves were buzzing once again. Their hustle finally paid off in a goal, as Helm fed Draper for the marker that made it 2-2. Darren Helm had another near-breakaway, as the Blues seemed a little caught off guard by how fast he is. In related news, holy Jeebus, Darren Helm is fast.
7. There were zero – I repeat, zero – goals called back from the Red Wings. Also, there were only three penalties called all night. The Wings were perfect on the power play, scoring 28 seconds into their only opportunity. The Blues, however, were 0-for-2, which is a definite departure from the Red Wings recent PK woes. Great news all around.
8. I thought for sure Dan Cleary was going to end the game in the shootout. At least I was hoping and praying he would, because I couldn’t figure out who the fourth shooter would be. No Williams, no Filppula, no Franzen, no Hudler. I actually said — out loud — “maybe Brett Lebda?” I literally would have thought Brad McCrimmon would have shot before Todd Bertuzzi.
9. This was the first time all season I was forced to listen to the opposition’s television crew. A new feature with Center Ice this season (at least for me) is dual feeds – offering you both the home and road crews for many games. Tonight, with the 13 scheduled games, we were only offered the Blues guys. I kind of missed Mickey. I was relatively indifferent to missing Ken. And, by all Twitter accounts, Larry Murphy as retarded as usual.
10. And finally, we’ve been nominated by the NHL Arena in the Wings Blog-Off. I’m not very familiar with the site, but we’re honored to be mentioned in the same breath as many of the other Wings blogs out there. If you’re a visitor to the NHL Arena, you may vote for your favorite Wings blogs.

What’s next?
Stars come to town on Monday. Which means Brad May will score a goal for real this time.

Photo Credit: Bill Boyce, AP

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