Wednesday, April 22, 2009

144 Minutes

That's how long Ozzie was able to go without allowing a goal. And it would have been much longer had his teammates not become 'bored' and sat back for about half of the third. For awhile there I thought it was target practice on Osgood.....some cruel joke from his teammates. But aside from that I am happy to say that my 100th post involves a Red Wing win. What more could you ask for?

I had said how critical it would be for the Wings to get the first goal. With the energy from the crowd and the initial energy from Columbus, a BJ opening goal was not an option for the Wings. Luckily Hossa and Homer had similar thoughts, and made sure this wasn't even an issue. 1 minute and 7 seconds in, Homer shoots the puck, Mason allows a big rebound, Hossa hit's the cross bar and Homer's hard work pays off as he capitalizes on Hossa's rebound to score the Wings first goal....I think it was a punch to the gut for the Columbus fans....and sorry, but it made me smile.

For the rest of the first period the BJs had a lot of energy but it seemed like they were skating around without a great deal of discipline or consistently. They controlled the puck fairly well in the neutral zone and certainly had some scoring chances but it seemed like they were forcing it. They were feeding off the energy but it caused them to press to much. To the Wings credit, they sat back and patiently waited and simply played their game. Which was refreshing and relieving since I was almost expecting the opposite after this regular season....

With about 30 seconds left in the first period, the Mule takes a shot on net and Dan Cleary was in perfect position to capitalize. Disclaimer: True I did call out Cleary as having some 'off' games this season, but the switch seems to be fully flipped on. Ok with that out of the way, Cleary battles hard in front of the net, and some how despite the cross checks turns around and scores the Wings second goal. He really is having a great series. I just hope he stays healthy. If Holland could spend some time in his lab and create a bubble suit that will immediately cover Cleary when Kronwall or Samuelsson are within 10 feet of him, I would feel much better.

So Bitchman of course was at the game. Blah Blah. Unfortunately with Center Ice we got the Columbus feed so we experienced the Bitchman spin zone after the first period, and all of you lucky bastards back in Michigan with the Mickey feed, enjoyed Gary's nonsense after the second. Even if I overlook all the crap he pulls in the league, something about that man still makes me feel incredibly uncomfortable. Anyway, I happened to call my sister during the second intermission when Gary was having his special interview with Ken and Mickey. I have a feeling that due to Mickey's love for all things old time hockey, Bitchman is probably not his favorite person. I can just imagine him complaining to Ken about having to interview this cocksucker. So when he asked the NHLs own evil spawn about the inconsistency of penalties, and Gary disagreed with Mickey and assured him Wings fans love the new NHL and the "consistency" of hooking calls, I half expected Mickey to stand up, punch him, and say "this is how we handle things in old time hockey bitch." While Ken Daniels wets his pants and rocks back and forth. Could you ask for a better present?

During this game, I have to say it was great to see both Zetterberg and Ozzie really anticipating and reading plays well. Zetterberg is back in 2008 playoff form and, yes he did get two goals, but his play on the pk and on Nash were the truly unbelievable parts of his game. During the PK he seemed to be consistently a step ahead of the Columbus players, breaking up plays before they had the chance to execute. Ozzie was once again stellar on the power play with his ability to anticipate line changes and hit Hudler for a breakaway chance.

I know this seems kinda bitchy and just unnecessary complaining at this point, but as an announcer isn't your job to research the teams and at least be able to properly pronounce their names?? Apparently the Wings now have someone named Frensen and another player named Johan Ericsson who somehow took a penalty. Babcock may want to complain about that one since I'm not sure someone not on the roster can take a me crazy, but this was the third game of the series the kinks should be out.

You cannot possibly have a game recap without talking about this hit. Stuart apparently is the new 2008 Kronwall. Stuart's game has really been great this series, from stopping a breakaway in one the first two games, to working out the positioning and timing issues he's had all season, to battling hard in the corners, and now the culmination of his physical game. I think this is the definition of making someone your bitch...

I had previously mentioned my dislike for Commodore. Perhaps I can equate him this series to back acne or an inflamed herpes sore....I don't know, something gross. Anywho, tonight he tries to hit Cleary (what the hell Cleary did to everyone I will never know) Commodore misses, ends up in the Detroit bench spread out on Hossa like an airport park stripper. And I might add Hossa moves away fully repulsed as if he can see the crabs jumping around. Yes watching Commordore make an ass of himself would normally be the best part....but not tonight. By getting himself out of position, then going in for the hit on Franzen behind the net, he leaves Zetterberg wide open for the third goal...yeah I could watch this a few times.

Once again Filppula's line has been playing great...or maybe I should say Hudler and Filppula have been playing great. Samulesson still seems a bit out of place out there, especially on the point during the PP. But I should probably just not complain right now. So I'll just say Filppula and Happy seem to be playing their best hockey all season. The chemistry and creativity between the two is at an all time high and a great deal of the success the Wings have had so far this season rests with them.

I haven't talked a great deal about him, but damn Helm just brings an energy to the 4th line that we haven't had all season. He hits, and skates, and as I suspected Columbus and their 'defensive' style are not sure what to do with him. While Helm obviously is never a defensive liability, he seems to have picked up that aspect of his game in Grand Rapids this year, and it paid off today. The kid is just so fast it's ridiculous.

One thought.....I'm well aware that the media in all their infinite wisdom have become bored, with the text book, unbeatable style of Lidstrom. So they have decided to take the Norris away and hand it to Green. While Green is a great player, watching him in the playoffs, I would probably rather have him as a winger than on the blue line. Give me Lidstrom any day, any time. He has shown why he is the absolute best during this series. He completely shut Nash down in what seems like an effortless way with his overall positioning and timely stickchecks. Apparently consistently being the best and doing all the right things both defensively and offensively equals a boring story.....well to all those willing to take the Norris from Lidstrom, Wings fans are happy to take boring any day, and I think you would be hard pressed to find a team that wouldn't. So from me to you, suck it. That's abouts as PG as I can be at this point.

Quickly I'd just like to add that Hossa has been an absolute beast during these playoffs and I am just waiting with a knowing smile for him to have one of his amazing offensive streaks. And the count down begins....

I have once again drug this on for quite some time, which may explain why my readership consists of my sister and my dad. They're family so they feel obligated. So let me finish this up by saying the first two periods demonstrated a dominate effort by the Wings. Similar to what we saw in the first two games. When the third came around, they began to revert back to the dreaded 'regular season Wings.' That's right they began making poor choices with the puck and simply sat back waiting for the game to finish. At the end of the third it was essentially target practice and to Osgood's credit (and Stuart on one play) he held them off as long as he could....but unfortunately Umberger was able to score with just under 4 minutes left. It would have been nice to see Ozzie get two shut outs in a row. That and I'm sorry but it would have been nice to see Columbus deflated even a bit more. But if someone had to score, I guess I'll take Umberger since he got rocked by Stuart earlier.

The good news for the Wings and their fans, after the goal, it seemed to shake the Wings out of their boredom, the switch was pushed up again and they dominated the play which culminated with Zetterberg getting his second goal of the night on an open net. 3 down and 1 more to go.....can they do it on Thursday? Will Ozzie come back in top form once again, will the Boredom subside long enough to finish the series. Only time will tell. Until then Enjoy the Win.

1 comment:

  1. Nice review. The Stewy hit looked like a truck hitting a deer.