Anyway, that wasn't the best weekend for the Winged Wheel was it? I'll admit I missed the Nashville game on Saturday. In fact I didn't even DVR it. Why you ask....because of course you're dying to know (yes that was dripping in sarcasm) well because we had a rattlesnake in our garage. I was never the kid who ran around with garden snakes and thought they were cool, so you can imagine my utter delight in finding a rattlesnake coiled up and hissing at me in the garage. Certainly not one of my best moments. But from what I read I perhaps didn't miss too much.
But I did have the distinct pleasure of witnessing the beat down on Sunday. And when I say beat down, I'm not referring to the score. That was a dirty game and one of my unacknowledged fears came true. Laperriere and Pronger on the same team. Yes the thoughts of broken noses and career ending hits are enough to send chills down your spine. Perhaps even worse than that giant (please read baby) rattlesnake.
Alright well here we go with my, you guessed it, my random, hopped up on allergy medicine thoughts about the game:
- Well Lilja didn't play. I believe it was a result of the shot he took off his foot. But what that really meant was we saw the return of Brett Lebda. Fuck you Easter Bunny. That is not what I asked for.
- Oh and guess what, Ozzie started. Now I watched the game with some of my in-laws. They're not really big hockey fans as their first question was where is that blue glowing puck. I'm not fucking with you. But they tried. So when I began to express my concern about Osgood starting they asked why. And you know what, Uncle Mike has fucked with my head and this goaltending situation so much that it took me a second to remember that under normal circumstances goalies would split back to backs. Now why he finally decided to do this now, I'll never know. Maybe it was punishment for the rest of the team for not playing to their ability.
- Well none the less, my confusion and bitching about Osgood appeared to be warranted as Carcillo and his pubestache scored less than a minute into the first. Sure the whole play started as a result of a Franzen turnover, but still a pretty bad goal for Ozzie.
- Oh and wait it gets even better, Laperriere being the skilled class act that he is, decided the best way to stop "the kill" is to break his nose. If you don't remember Laperriere, he's the same gentlemen that drove Lidstrom into the boards. Class act.
- Once I calmed the fuck down after that first goal I took a moment to observe how weird it was seeing Ozzie's helmet out there and not Jimmy and his crazy fucking eyes. I certainly wasn't relaxed.
- I completely forgot (since I was still hypnotized by that snake) that Leino was on the Flyers. And in many ways he was still the same Ville Leino that left the Wings. But he did look better and slightly more confident. Perhaps he had some extra motivation for this game.
- While still very early in the game, the Flyers had a 4 on 2 and of course they score. I blame Bertuzzi and Osgood. Ok yes those are two people often blamed but this time it was valid. No really it was.
- At this point, I for some reason wrote the following note. "Hitting hard and dirty." Wow. If there is an online submission contest for cheesy or cliche porn titles, I may have a finalist right there.
- Now I forgot to mention that Dan(ny) Cleary and his groin made a triumphant return. This was one of his best games in a long time. He was driving the net, winning puck battles, and returned to his grinding style. And he was ultimately rewarded with the Wings first goal.
- Speaking of grind it out play, Patrick Eaves had a great game. He took a lot of abuse and some dirty hits, but didn't seem to mind as he opened up a lot of space for his linemates. Please sign him Kenny.
- You'll remember earlier in the game when Laperriere broke Herm's God's nose (I wonder if some Brazilian hex or curse was uttered on Sunday) well that magnificent bastard came back and scored the tying goal, 2-2. Another great effort. Not pretty but just further proof that hard work pays off.
- Now I avoided mentioning that the game was on NBC as my endless bitching about Pierre and "Edzo" can perhaps be, dare I say, a bit repetitive. Not that it isn't warranted, but you get my point. Anyway, Edzo (I hate that fucking nickname and personally feel it has no place in the broadcast booth) had the odd line of the game. "The old legs of Cleary showing a lot of youth in them." Just imagine him and Murph in a room together. What brilliance would take place. Wait, please don't it's Monday and you will probably need all of your brain cells functioning.
- Sunday wasn't Mule's best game. He seemed determined to cough the puck up at every opportunity. But it was interesting watching him and Hartnell go at it. One because I hate Hartnell and his Carrot Top wanna be hair. And two because a pissed off red in the face Mule makes me almost as happy as an angry Homer.
- If I didn't already hate Laperriere for being an ex Ave, a dirty Lidstrom hitter (wow that sounds weird and not at all what I meant), and a breaker of Helm's nose, he then had to rip off Datsyuk's helmet causing Babcock to almost lose his shit. And the Flyers to once again score within the first minute of the period. Awesome.
- Some time later in the second, Datsyuk (illegally mind you) had his helmet ripped off again. Doc mentions that this time there will be a penalty. Imagine his surprise when instead Homer is called for the infraction. Yes it was one of those days. The "let them play" mentality applied only to the flyers as they took turns elbowing various Wings players heads and taking bets on who could cause the most injuries.
- Back to my NBC/Gary hate one last time. What the fuck is with all of the Penguins commercials. Now I fully expect to see that damn washer and dryer nonsense at least 6 times, but now that new one with the Penguins and their fans wanting some sort of encore. For fucks sake, Gary's pushing my insanity.
- Ozzie's helmet breaks at one point and a backup is brought out. I was seriously hoping it would have some superhero effect. You know like he changes his outfit and he suddenly turns into, well Jimmy Howard. Unfortunately it didn't happen. Now I'm not blaming Ozzie for his play. He hasn't started a game since January 7th. But overall it wasn't a good situation for anyone.
- Speaking of Howard, while the trainer ran out in his shorts to deliver Osgood's helmet Howard had himself a good laugh. Seriously, the kid creeps me out a bit.
- All throughout the game the Wings were giving the puck up in the neutral zone. And I'm not sure if it was the mixing up of the defensive pairings, but there were so many breakdowns and miscommunications in their end. I can joke about Osgood's play, but these issues were the real reasons they lost.
- At some point in the third the Flyers were up 4 to 2, and my only consolation was Leino didn't score.
- Datsyuk, being well Pavel Datsyuk, made it a game putting the Wings within one on an awesome shot and a great passing play. Dare I say it looked like Red Wings hockey.
But even with pulling the goalie, they couldn't tie it up within the last few seconds as they did in the Nashville game. I hate to say this but I believe, as a result of the dirty hits, the elbows to the head, and well typical Flyers hockey, the Wings decided to sit back and stop skating. Not all but enough that they put the game out of reach. They need to regroup and go back to the basics they hardworking style that had immediately following the Olympics. A few games left and one win needed to essentially claim a playoff spot.