Thursday, April 23, 2009

Whew....and they advance

With a sweep

If there was ever a time to use the phrase 'scared the crap' out of me, now would be it. The utter definition of a nail bitter. Who would have ever thought that a series up 3-0 would be this difficult to finish? I knew it would be a tough game, but not so bad that the Wings would blow a 2 goal lead TWICE! It was unbelievable.

Myself and many others have talked to death the point that the Wings flipped on a switch. Well as quickly as it went on apparently it only took a day and a half to turn it off. I was petrified to see the 'regular season' Wings on the ice tonight. Slopping defensive plays, not covering the slots, and their gap coverage was well....non existent. Seriously they completely reverted back. The fact that they became so complacent and comfortable is astonishing.

I am sure today there will be much debate on the state of Chris Osgood, and the 5 goals that went in. The first three goals were a direct result of poor defensive coverage....or maybe I should just ask what coverage? The other two Ozzie could have had. And that brings up the debate of the injury. Is he injured? I think so. You could absolutely tell he was favoring his left leg and had serious issues moving side to side, let alone trying to get up. I think this injury was occupying his thoughts during the first two periods; he just seemed off. As far as what that injury is and whether it occurred in game three or tonight, we won't know any time soon. I will say that his teammates owe him a drink after this one. I would speculate that he received a shot after the second, regained his concentration, and came up big when necessary in the third. With the series completed, I'm just hoping the time off will allow his injury to heal. They need that Ken Holland special creation in net for the rest of the playoffs.

Here are some of my other random and hopefully coherent thoughts on the game:

Dorsett was going after Ericsson during most of the first period. Definitely trying to get the rookie off his game. Ok so not being a guy (yes, too damn bad I'm making a generalization) I don't have that all encompassing 'guymemory' where I can pull random sports facts, figures, and events out of my head at any given time. But I do remember when Ericsson was first pulled up this season, he allowed the physical play of another team to completely get him off his game and out of position allowing a goal. Not tonight. He stepped up and conversed with Dorsett and was ready to mix it up if necessary. But he never lost his poise. Another great game from Ericsson. But for some reason seeing him and Dorsett just made me laugh. The 6'5'' beast is intimidated by nothing....well except maybe for his suspect playoff 'beard.'

Once again the Wings scored within the first few minutes of the first period....too bad they were too busy debating who would be a better second round opponent, and who had the worst and creepiest playoff beard, when they should have been focused on finishing the damn game.

Nash had a better game offensively tonight, but other than that he lost his composure and seemed focused on trying to prove his all around bad assness (oh yes this is now a word). But instead he seemed like a wannabe Commodore. Between the whining to the officials, and his dangerous cross check on Rafalski leading to a Wings PP and goal, he seemed lost and certainly not the leader of a club. Although I will say it was entertaining to watch him try to prove how 'tough' he really was.

Homer, Franzen, and Hossa (with his two goals), had great games. They embodied the work ethic and grit necessary to win in the playoffs. Mule with the clutch goal with 45 seconds left and Homer simply doing what he always does better than anyone else.

Helm is faster than the neighborhood whore. He's non stop, hitting, blocking shots, getting to lose pucks first. Another great game. The points aren't there for him, and he was a minus two, but his energy always allows him to be an impact player.

Apparently the double fish fillet sandwich that occupies the space where Hitchcock's brain should be, has finally started to function and he used his last change to get Nash out at more opportune times....worked out much better that way.

Hossa's first goal was just a ridiculous effort. It was as if he looked around and said "fuck, their back to playing like shit again," and decided to just take matters into his own hands.

In the third period Babcock realized Maltby and Kopecky are useless and really shortened his bench.....when will Draper be back?

I had previously said I thought the BJ fans represented their team and city well....and I am sure most did. But those who threw crap onto the ice after the let me just say class act...maybe they were just Philly or Colorado transplants so overall douchelike behavior is just ingrained in their psyche...I don't know. Or maybe they're related to Scott Hartnell or Claude Lemiux so not acting like a complete dumbass is out of the question for them....I can't be certain. Also Columbus can bitch all they want but the right call was made. Horrible timing, but the right call. My guess is after they were allowed to play with two sticks, they figured what the hell, let's just try 6 men on the ice. Might as well make it fair. Sorry Bitchman wasn't there tonight BJs and you played the puck when the other guy was like 6 feet from the bench. I am sure they will be screaming and complaining about the "controversy" until next season, well Chimera anyway. Just by looking at the tv you would think the ref bitch slapped his grandma or something. Either way an inexperienced team became overzealous in a playoff situation....they'll learn.

The Bjs never actually had a lead in the entire series. Wow. They lost their playoff virginity to the experienced upperclassman in the most crude way...

All I can say is a horrible game, but somehow they managed to come out with the win. A sweep and the first defending Stanley Cup championship team to make it past round one in 6 years. Congratulations.

Now it's time to put this game behind them and remember they can never ever let up. When they're down and out, give them one last kick to the balls. Trust me, you'll enjoy it. They're asking for it, finish them off. I just hope it's a good learning experience and that we never have to watch a two goal lead lost twice again. Wings fans are resilient, but that was tough.

It's time for them to relax and rest. Get Ozzie back in peak shape and ready for Round 2.

More later when time allows.

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