- I feel like I should just keep two standard recap posts with blanks to fill in team names and scores. The first would be the obligatory (and far too overused) “they played like crap with no jump or intensity” post in which I try to make sense of the team’s inexplicable failure to resemble anything close to a playoff hockey team. The other would be the one saved for those special games like the one against San Jose in which I think that all is finally right with the world and proclaim it to be a turning point. I think I’d save myself a lot of time and effort that way. If the Wings can get away with lackluster efforts like that on a regular basis, why can’t I? I’m pretty sure I put more effort into that game than any of their players did. And I was sitting on my bed at home in my pajamas eating a TV dinner.
- Using the west coast roadtrip as an excuse would be passable if the team hadn’t shown that kind of effort on a regular basis all season. I think it’s just lack of caring.
- This was the seventh time the Wings have been shut out this season. I’ll let that sink in for a minute…seven times. Somewhere, Ted Lindsay weeps.
- The Wings mustered a grand total of 16 shots tonight. And, quite frankly, that number sounds generous. The Islanders probably could’ve played the entire game with their goalie pulled and still won. Sixteen shots.
- The first period was atrocious. That’s all I’m going to say about it. I could tell pretty early on that it was going to be one of those games. By “early on,” I mean exactly 1:11 into the game when the Islanders opened the scoring.
- This was Brad Stuart’s worst game since Game 7 of the Finals.
- I really liked Babcock’s decision to swap Ozzie in during the second period. I thought it would give him a chance to get some ice time and try to earn his way back into the net. Instead, he looked just as bad as the rest of the team.
- At one point during the second period, the Wings actually put together a good shift cycling in the offensive zone. It was novel enough that I actually twittered about it.
- Someone threw an octopus during the second period. A) Why would you bother bringing an octopus to a meaningless game like that? and B) That was just an embarrassingly bad time to throw it in an embarrassingly bad game. At that point, the only place that octopus should’ve been thrown tonight was in the trash can.
- For the life of me, I don’t remember seeing Zetterberg on the ice once tonight. Likewise, the only reason I noticed Datsyuk was because he took a penalty. Somebody needs to wake up the Eurotwins because the Wings need them to lead the team. Now. Not in a couple of weeks or next month. Now.
- Another invisible Wing (not that it’s surprising): Ville Leino. I know I said that I didn’t notice Z or Pav at all, but that was a bit of an exaggeration. I literally didn’t see Leino once. Not one single time. Admittedly, I wasn’t paying 100% attention, but still…not once.
- Only 5 Wings finished with an even +/- rating. Everyone else was negative.
- Datsyuk only played 16:06 and Zetterberg 15:18. Bert led all forwards with 17:48 tonight. Who thought they’d see that day when the season started. Eaves and Filppula also beat out the Eurotwins in ice time. It’s also interesting that not a single Wing was in single digits for ice time. What does all this mean? Probably nothing other than the fact that I can read numbers in a spreadsheet.
1. The Wings have a chance to enter the playoff picture with a win tonight. They also need to start to pull away from the teams below them in the standings, which is almost as important. Can they follow up their latest “statement game” with another performance that brings hope to Wings fans everywhere?
No, no, and no. It’s interesting that the Islanders were also on the cusp of a playoff seed tonight. I guess it’s clear which team wanted it more. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t the Wings.
2. Datsyuk roared back with a stellar game against San Jose on Saturday night. He’s been inconsistent all year, with a tendency to fade in and out from game to game. Can he put together another strong performance and start climbing out of Wings fans’ collective doghouse?
Hahahahahahahaha. How cute and naïve this question seems now. He was absolutely invisible for the entire game except for that part where he threw a nice, hard check into an Islander…who didn’t have the puck.
3. When is Nick Lidstrom going to score a goal again? It’s been the better part of a decade since he put one in the net, and I’m going to copy/paste this into every GP until he does.
4. What’s Darren Helm going to do to make Wings vans swoon tonight?
He hobbled off the ice during the first period. I wouldn’t classify that as swoon-worthy, but it darn near made every Wings fan faint in a fit of panic...which is kind of like swooning, I guess.
Cookies and Cupcakes for Darren Helm
I think I noticed him skating once or twice, which is more than I can say for most of the guys on the team. This is only being awarded tonight because I set a rule when I started saying that I had to hand this and the Facepalm out for every game. I'm going to make them non-fat cookies and cupcakes tonight so that they taste like cardboard and air.
Brad Stuart gets the Golden Facepalm
His turnover leading to the Islanders’ third goal was just horrific. I’m going to go warn my housemates that if I wake up screaming in the middle of the night tonight, it’s because I was having nightmares replaying that play in my head.
An Extra Facepalm for Derek Meech (still need a better title for this one)
He was -5 on the night. Enough said.
What I Learned:
The San Jose game wasn’t the turning point we’d all hoped for after all.