- I was so happy to see Franzen back on the ice that I just wanted to reach through my screen and hug him. But that would’ve made my brother jealous, so I didn’t. I actually clapped each of the first dozen* times I saw him on the ice.
- Brad May got into a fight. Pretty much everyone on Twitter was confused. I was glad I wasn’t alone.
- Todd Bertuzzi took a penalty about three* seconds into the game. The Wings managed to kill it off, but it made me angry.
- Darren McCarty was on Versus again. It made me smile. He looks more comfortable now that he’s got a few shows under his belt.
- My little brother probably shed tears of joy at the sight of The Mule’s stache.
- During the first period, one of the announcers called Jimmy Howard a pitchback. I laughed a lot. It kind of works in an abstract, overly-complex metaphoric way I guess. At the beginning of the season, he was like a brand new pitchback, but by this point, he’s not as bouncy anymore because the bungee cords have been stretched out and deadened from use. I should know. We killed a couple of those things back in the day.
- Draper’s goal also made me laugh. There was something really awesome about how bizarre it was. It looked like he was celebrating before the puck even went into the net. It was like he had a psychic moment there and knew the puck was going in. It was reviewed, and I was terrified that they would rule it a no-goal because I’ve lost any semblance of faith in the review process. They got the call right, though, and the Wings ended the period up 1-0.
- Jimmy Howard had to make approximately 102* saves in the first period. That’s just ridiculous.
- The Wings’ second goal was reviewed too, of course. Nothing can come easy this season. This one was another bounce off of a skate. It was nice to see the Wings actually get a couple of lucky bounces for a change.
- After announcing that the second Wings goal had been upheld by Toronto, the referee started to make the no-goal sign before catching himself and pointing at center ice. My head was this close to exploding.
- There was some sort of delay before the faceoff after the Wings’ tying goal. I was anxiously waiting for them to drop the puck so we could get moving lest Toronto decide to get involved again.
- The Wings looked pathetic for most of the game. I promise you that they didn’t deserve the point that they managed to pick up.
- I dozed off during the second intermission and missed the first eight minutes of the third period. I really don’t think I missed much. The fact that I fell asleep during a Red Wings hockey game says a lot, though.
- Henrik Zetterberg should not be nearly that bad at shootouts. I feel like there has to be a logical explanation for it, but I can’t wrap my head around it and that makes me sad.
- Datsyuk had one shift during overtime when I swear he skated circles around all four Blues like they were cones in a practice drill. He seemingly pulled 462* dekes. It was something else. I wish he would’ve scored then so a) the Wings would’ve won the game and b) it would’ve been one of the sweetest goals I’ve seen in a while. Alas, it was not to be.
- Jimmy Howard made a ridiculous save during OT to keep the Wings in the game. I was 187%* sure that the puck was going in the net when he slid across the crease. I was wrong.
- Jason Williams (Who?) scored the Wings’ lone goal in the shootout. That’s pretty unfortunate for everyone involved.
- I was really impressed with Franzen’s play. More please.
- Fun moments with Versus: During the first intermission, someone said, “speaking of enormous loads…” and the whole panel started giggling. After the game, Darren McCarty was talking about the Wings and he said, “I got four reasons to be a homer.” It was pretty awesome. We’ve all got more than four reasons to love that guy.
- About ten minutes after the game ended, @VersusNHL tweeted this: “Brad Boyers with a crazy deek shoots and scores. Zetterburg up next. game on the line. He misses. St Louis wins the shoot out!” No, I didn’t change the spelling. Or the capitalization. Or the grammar. This was by far the worst, but most of their tweets were horrendous. It looks totally unprofessional. It’s like they hired a kindergartener as an intern to run the Twitter account or something. Boyers? Deek? Zetterburg? Come. On.
- Raise your hand if you think the guys wearing red and white sweaters tonight looked like a playoff team. Thanks to their loser point and the fact that Chicago pulled out a shootout win tonight, the Wings managed to stay a point ahead of Dallas in the playoff race. They're still within striking distance of Nashville and Calgary, which is encouraging. However, it's going to take more than that effort to do anything worthwhile.
1. Obviously, the big story is the long-anticipated return of Johan Franzen. How is he going to look shaking off all those months of rust?
As I said before, I was really impressed with him. He picked up an assist and had several shots. I liked the fact that he was throwing his weight around and checking guys. We’ll see how he holds up in his second game back. That’s when guys tend to fade a little. It was absolutely fantastic to see him back.
2. Can the Wings, for once this season, play a full 60 minutes? No sleepy starts. No collapses. No heartbreaks. Just a full 60 minutes of Red Wing hockey.
I don’t even know why I bother asking things like this any more.
3. How many players are going to go down with injuries? I really wish this one was a joke.
None, as far as I know. I’m not even willing to speculate about that any more, though.
4. I’ve seen a lot of potential line combinations tossed around, but nobody really knows what we’re going to see. There’s a pretty good possibility that Mike Babcock doesn’t even know since so many guys are day-to-day. How is the lineup going to shake out?
Things started clicking when Babcock put Franzen up on the top line with the Eurotwins. Bertuzzi looked totally out of his element tonight. After his few weeks of glory back in December, he’s totally disappeared.
Cookies and Cupcakes for Pavel Datsyuk
He was good. And he deflected in a goal off of his foot that may or may not have been intentional. Either way, it managed to pass a War Room review and pull the Wings within one. I still can’t get over that one shift he had in OT.
An Extra Stick Tap for Johan Franzen
He gave me a reason to smile tonight, when not many other guys were doing anything worthwhile. It’s good to have The Mule back in the lineup.
Todd Bertuzzi gets the Golden Facepalm
You can’t take stupid penalties .06 seconds into the game. The Wings killed that one off, but he took another penalty later in the game, and the Blues scored on the delayed call. While they were putting the puck in the net, Todd was standing around in front of the net daydreaming. Or possibly deciding which of his hostages to eat for dinner. You decide.
What I Learned:
My dog could get a job working for Versus and still represent them better than whoever’s behind their twitter account. She’d probably be the cream of the crop there. Like Air Bud, but with a keyboard.
*This number may or may not have been invented in my head.