- I missed about the first seven minutes of the first period thanks to class, parking, and a slight detour through downtown Detroit. On a side note though, I’m pretty sure I set a new record for fastest ¾ mile ride on a rusty 15-speed bike with flat tires through snow/hail. I’m not really sure how to define what it was, but I caught quite a bit of it on my tongue on the way home. And in my eyes. And my ears. It was great.
- When we finally arrived, we couldn’t get up to our seats because we were waiting for the whistle to stop play. Naturally, we witnessed what I’m pretty sure was the longest span of time without a stoppage of the season so far. We didn’t care very much though, because when play finally stopped, it was for Drew Miller’s goal.
- While we were waiting to be let up to our seats, we were joined by a woman returning from a beer run. She ended up sitting next to us. A little while later, the guy she was with, my seat neighbor, got up to make another beer run. He was standing on the landing at the bottom of the section waiting for a stoppage when Helm scored. Not long after that, the woman made another bathroom/beer run. Guess where she was when Cleary scored? Yup, right on the landing waiting for a stoppage. By this point, everyone around us was sufficiently amused. At the start of the third period, my seat neighbor made one final beer run. As I was celebrating Bertuzzi’s goal, I looked down and saw the guy, beer in hand, arms thrown out to his sides, standing on the landing where he had been stopped to wait for a whistle. I just about died laughing. After they announced the goal and Datsyuk’s assist, we said that it was a shame they forgot to announce his assist on the goal. The first couple of times it was a coincidence. Four times though? Someone needs to start a collection to get those two season tickets and a beer fund. It would be a community service.
- Back to Bertuzzi’s goal: I can’t believe that puck went in the net. I still can’t quite figure out how it did since the replay on NHL.com just shows the wide-angle view from center ice. Todd also picked up an assist. This was great timing since I’m not allowed to say anything bad about him this week.
- The Wings looked pretty good overall tonight. I felt like they were able to establish control in the offensive zone more than they have in the past few games.
- I seem to remember Derek Meech making a couple of really solid defensive plays. He and Ericsson have both really stepped up their games over the last couple of weeks.
- There’s no way that Marty Turco doesn’t have fantasies about burning the Joe to the ground.
- With the exception of Bertuzzi’s,all of the Wings’ goals came as a result of hard work and crashing the net. I’m just saying…
- I was pretty skeptical about the Leino/Datsyuk/Bertuzzi line. I informed my mother that Datsyuk deserved better wingers. Then they went and scored a goal. Combine that with the fact that I’m not allowed to disparage Todd Bertuzzi this week, and it killed my plans to name it the Superstar and Two Wastes of Ice Time Line. (Catchy, I know.)
- During the last few minutes of the game, someone a few rows behind us yelled, “Ducks fly together!” Seat Neighbor and a couple of other people around us spontaneously started quacking. We then proceeded to yell out random Mighty Ducks quotes for a little while. I, of course, contributed my best, “The goalieeeeeeeee” impression. It was a pretty awesome moment in my life. This season, I’ve had the opportunity to watch games from way down in the lower bowl and way up in a suite, but I’ve got to say that the cheap seats are where all the fun is.
1. The Wings broke out of their scoring slump Saturday night with three goals. More importantly, they were the kind of gritty goals that the Wings keep talking about needing to score. So, can they keep it up tonight?
Yes. Yes they did. And most of the goals resulted from good, hard-working efforts.
2. Todd Bertuzzi scored a big goal to win the shootout on Saturday. Will that help his confidence and get him to snap out of whatever funk he’s been in? I’ve done a lot of ragging on Bert over the last couple of months, but I would like nothing more than to see him get on a roll.
He had a goal and an assist. I don’t think we have a right to ask for anything more from the guy. With any luck, his luck has turned, and he’ll find a way to start burying some of those chances he’s been getting.
3. We all know what happened last time the Stars visited the Joe. We’re also aware of what went down against Calgary on Friday. This question is kind of sad, but what percentage of the goals that the Wings score tonight will actually be counted on the scoreboard?
O% I’m happy to report that each and every goal that the Wings scored counted. Bravo, referees, bravo.
4. Will Darren Helm be able to finish the breakaway he inevitably gets tonight? I kid, I kid…but only a little. One of these times he has to put one of those away.
He didn’t get a breakaway, but he did manage to bury his great chance down low. I’m going to go ahead and take credit for that. You’re welcome.
5. The Wings’ special teams units both enjoyed 100% success rates against St. Louis on Saturday. This was a positive sign since both units have struggled lately. Can they build on that tonight?
The powerplay went 0-4, but when you pick up 4 even strength goals that’s easy to forgive. The PK was technically 4-4, but Dallas’ only goal came seconds after Holmstrom stepped out of the box. He never quite made it back into the play, but I’ll take what I can get.
Cookies and Cupcakes for Drew Miller
He opened the scoring with his goal after showing some nice hustle to negate an icing. This is more for his play overall since he got picked up by the Wings since I couldn’t decide who else to single out tonight. He’s been a great addition to the lineup and has even added two goals in his short time here.
Ville Leino gets the Golden Facepalm
This is another cumulative award (not sure that's really the right term...). He got the privilege of playing with Pavel Datsyuk tonight and still didn’t look particularly noticeable and I couldn’t choose any other Wing to pick on tonight.
What I learned:
Hockey fans are indeed the best people around. (OK, so that’s not exactly new information, but it was reaffirmed tonight…as it usually is during my pilgrimages to the Joe.)