Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Feel Better this Morning

Well what can I say other than, that was playoff hockey. Intense, sometimes tentative, on your seat, shat your pants, playoff hockey.

Game three reminded me of this video. Things just weren't clicking. The Wings weren't giving it their best effort and the win (or the sandal) was just always out of their reach. (By the way, I love drunk people.)

But tonight they grabbed that win (sandal) by the balls and came up with the victory.

I missed the first period thanks to some fantastic and well thought out scheduling that had the game start at 3:30 Phoenix time. We don't participate in day light savings. And yes everything really is ass backwards here. But during the ride home, at every stop light, safety first, I refreshed my blackberry to find out the score. With every slow refresh, fuck you Verizon, I held my breathe and counted to 10 hoping I wouldn't see the Wings down a goal or two. When I finally arrived home and ran (alright this is me, I walked briskly) to the TV and my computer to find the score still 0-0. The great people at A2Y both assured me the Wings were playing better than Game 3, albeit a bit tentative, and that Jimmy Howard seemed focused and prepared.

Semi-sigh. I wasn't ready to really relax, what with the score being 0-0 and one bad bounce changing the course of the game. But at least the Wings decided not to shit the bed in the first minute. It already felt like progress.

Below are my random and quick thoughts about the game. Work is a nasty bitch today.
  • Immediately in the second period it was clear the Wings forecheck was better. They were hitting through the neutral zone and generating the speed necessary to "solve" the trap. At first I wasn't sure how I felt about Cleary moving to the first line and Homer to the fourth. But now I kinda feel warm and fuzzy about the whole thing.
  • What else helped the forecheck you ask? The long stretch passes they were finally using and connecting to get behind the Phoenix defense. My eyes may be deceiving me, but I believe I even saw Todd Bertuzzi win a foot race and start the cycle. At that point you knew either the Apocalypse was coming or the Wings were going to win.....basically the same scenario either way for Gary.
  • Both teams seemed to be playing a bit tentatively at times. Like they knew this shit was going to be close and the first team to score was basically going to win. The difference, Phoenix looked like they were playing not to lose and Detroit was playing to win. And no, that's not the same thing.
  • The Wings PK went 6 for 6. It was unfuckingbelievable. They even killed a 5 on 3 for 17 seconds after a weak Lilja hooking penalty late in the 3rd. Jimmy was on, Helm, Eaves, Miller, they had that bitch rolling. Fantastic effort and with each kill they deflated the Coyotes just a little bit more.
  • Now being in Phoenix I was forced to listen to the Coyotes feed (I used to like you Dave Strader) so I missed the interesting Lidstrom facts such as his favorite Karaoke song is "Sweet Home Alabama" and if he weren't a hockey player he would be an engineer. One, what a strange song choice for a Swedish hockey player living in Michigan and two, I guarantee he has a fantastic singing voice. Would you expect anything else? Homer probably breaks down into tears of joy each time he hears Lidstrom break out the chorus.
  • Moving right along out of order of course, Howard had possibly the save of the game. Was it his most difficult, probably not. But it was his bad ass move of the night. After taking a shot to the head, his helmet falls off and he still covers up the rebound. I'm pretty sure after game three he would have stopped that puck with his mouth if it came to that point. He wanted the win and the shut out.
  • Jimmy was then rewarded by the bipolar Wings fans and they started a Jim-my, Jim-my chant and gave him the big O. I mean ovation you sick fucks. You know he both peed himself a bit out of excitement and rewarded himself with an entire banana cream pie when he got home.
  • At one point on the bench, Zetterberg looked hurt. He limped off and hung his head in pain. How did I react? Calmly of course. First I threw up in my mouth a little and then I changed the spot I was sitting on the couch. Obviously to realign the fate of the Wings. I think it worked.
  • At the start of the third period, Helm had a big hit and a few great shifts. After a rather blah series so far, he turned it up for this game. I told you, he just needed to adjust to the buzz cut and figure out the aerodynamics of it all. Future engineer Nick Lidstrom probably drew up a diagram and created a powerpoint presentation that morning to help the kid out.
  • I'm still waiting for playoff Franzen to show up. I'm this close to reinstating the face on the milk carton campaign. I would put a crazed picture of playoff Mule on there in hopes someone would find him. Chances are he wandered away, got lost, and is now working as a runaway stripper in some dive bar by the airport. If you see him, please return to Joe Louis Arena ASAP. The Wings and the fans miss him. And yes I know he assisted on Datsyuks goal. And he did have a big hit in the third which caused Tyson Nash to say "wakey, wakey" I still shutter because of that. But aside from that, the only other time I noticed him was when he took a penalty. No questions asked, the Wings need him to start delivering.
  • At the start of the third the Wings seemed to have issues with turning the puck over and I began to fear the Coyotes would take over and dominate. They had some quality scoring chances and their game plan was to shoot high on Howard's stick side. I was just happy they were up 1-0 after the first Zetterberg goal.
  • Favorite part of the game, Zetterberg scoring his second of the night and Datsyuk scoring his first, 25 seconds a part. And that was the game folks.
  • As my friends little kid said, "there were octopuses all over," and the crowd at the Joe was on their feet, screaming, singing, chanting, and cheering the Wings to their victory and Howard to his first career playoff shut out.

It was a white knuckle effort until Zetterberg scored that first goal late in the second. The Wings certainly looked better, but it still wasn't the best we've seen them play this year. With the talent and experience that team still has more to offer. And we should take that in and use it to get through the next 2 days. Because the effort was there. It was finally there. The series is now tied 2-2 and the Wings need to bring it all, the talent, the hard work, the drive on Friday. I feel so much better about going to game 5.


  1. It was a much improved effort by the Wings. I hope they build off of it for Friday. The Coyotes are a good team and aren't going to go quietly.

    If you want to hear the Wings radio feed, tune your computer to during the games and click on listen live.

  2. Yes it was a much better effort and they seemed ready to really gut out a win. Are you going to game 5?

  3. @Michael Thanks for the Radio feed. I believe that will make the Phoenix broadcasts much more tolerable. :)

    @Hockeychic, I will be at game 5....and I feel much better knowing it's not an elimination game. I certainly hope they can build off last nights momentum. So far I'm 1 for 1 in playoff games attended ;)

  4. As if that video couldn't get any better, it came with a Specials soundtrack. It did make me sad that I've missed two in a row now...

    I think the Mule is slowly awakening. That was a sweet dish to Pavs. And the hit was nice. I think Friday needs to be a win and a big one. Time to put the upstarts to bed. I for one have had enough of them.

  5. @Krononymous, when I found the video this morning I wasn't able to hear the audio on my work computer. I'm sure it adds to the overall experience.

    When he finally grabbed his shoe I found myself cheering him on like a toddler taking their first steps...Awesome.

    You're right the Franzen pass was brilliant, but I'm still waiting for playoff Mule to show up...well him and Kronwall for that matter. :)

  6. My favourite part of that video is him noticing the small group of young ladies that he almost clears out by backing into them. He quickly says "FUCK the sandals, there's poon here!" And attempts, and succeeds, to chase them off. A job well done, Mr. Coachella Thought-I'd-drank-booze-out-of-a-camebelback-and-got-way-too-drunk Guy.

  7. Oh and Nice re-cap. I like how you included the part we missed about Lidas joining my industry as an engineer. I knew it all fact, I have an office for him when he's ready to start.

    The feed with Tyson Nash makes me want to pour molten lead into my eardrums and, with whatever's left of it, splashed into my eyes.

  8. You know Nick does Design Of Experiments in his sleep with full on blocking varibles..anyhoo, one thing from last night - TAKE NO GOAL FOR GRANTED! JAM THAT SHIT HOME! Uncle Mike needs to say (paraprhasing my favorite movie Platoon): "If I catch one of you sobs copping zs on your shift (you raise your hands and stop playing before the light goes off), I will personally see to it that you suffer (cut your freakin arms off)"....

  9. Kronner is getting there too. I think Babs explained it all with the haircut and Blizzard story. Is there nothing those two things can't fix?