- During warmups, Sara, Amanda, Liz, and I tried to lure Homer in with some Homerbait candy that is one of his favorites, according to the Ikea staff. Sadly, we were not successful.
- Apparently someone saw Amanda’s “Snipe Snipe” shirt and asked her if she wrote SSDD. How cool/random is that?
- All day yesterday, I had horrible visions of this game going to six overtimes, and me crawling into work in the morning still wearing my jersey and smelling like a hockey arena.
- The scoreboard wasn’t working on at least two sides for the start of the game. Luckily, they got it working by the midway point of the first. People cheered.
- Why on earth was Z’s first goal originally credited to Bertuzzi? They had to have had a good look at it during the review.
- Datsyuk had four penalty minutes last night. I don’t think he knew that the Lady Byng votes had already been cast.
- Imagine if Zetterberg played the entire regular season like he did the playoffs.
- I didn’t see a single fan in a Coyotes jersey or shirt all game. I’m sure their fans were just being respectful of our building. Yeah right. I saw a bunch of Team Sweden jerseys, who I tallied in the Red Wings’ column and yet I didn’t see a single Phoenix one.
- I want the world to know that during that long PK in the third period, the LGRW chants didn’t stop for one second. That crowd last night knew its hockey. I was NOT a fan of the “Stanley! Stanley!” chant that was going around at the end of the game. That’s just not cool. Seriously guys, it’s only halfway through the first round. Remember what happened after the “Stanley” chants started at the end of Game 5 of the ’08 Finals.
- There were entire sections of the upper bowl standing up for the last few minutes of the third period from Datsyuk’s goal on. It was amazing. Seriously, the building was louder last night than it was during the third round game I went to last season. And, for the record, the building was full from start to finish.
- My only regret from the night was that there was no "Don't Stop Believin'." The late stages of the third were the perfect opportunity for it. We did do an epic job of rocking out "Livin' on a Prayer" though, if I do say so myself. You could hear us still singing well after play had started on the broadcast.
- I put my pictures up on photobucket. I can't edit them here at school, so they're pretty rough looking, but there they are.
15. This entire team needs to wake up and start taking this series seriously.
This game was much, much better. The boys looked engaged and made me feel a lot better about this whole playoffs thing.
14. Jimmy Howard needs to tighten things down and start looking like his regular season self again.
Boy did he ever. It was nice to see him turn in his first career playoff shutout after having a lot of fans calling for his head. Remember the days of STFU Ozzie? Maybe he passed that mentality onto Jimmy.
13. Defense, sunshines. Defense. It’s kind of important.
Vast, vast improvement over the last few games. I mean there’s still some work to be done, but it looked good.
12. Rafalski sat out practice with his old man back. Is he going to be able to go tomorrow? Are we going to wish he wasn’t?
He actually resembled an NHL defenseman last night. Having him playing real hockey made a huge difference with the defense.
11. I want to see the Eurotwins in full flight. There are few things more spectacular than seeing Datsyuk doing those crazy things he does in person.
I went to the game. Zetterberg and Datsyuk both scored. Coincidence? I think not. I stand by my statement that as the Eurotwins go, so go the Wings.
10. I’m hoping that his goal late in the game was the spark Franzen needed to get going. The Wings need him to start acting like playoff Franzen.
Franzen was more noticeable for good and bad reasons last night. His pass to Datsyuk was stellar, and he was actually driving the net from time to time, but stupid penalties are not good ways to show up on my radar.
9. Can we avoid any octopus-fumbling to start the game? I really had a terrible feeling when I saw that octopus slip out of Al’s hands on Sunday. It’s just bad karma.
There were tons of octopi on the ice last night both before the game and in the third period. Al executed a textbook octopus swing to kick off the game, and all was well. I’m telling you: this was key.
8. Are the Wings going to have to deal with Shane Doan? I would not be unhappy if he had to sit out tomorrow.
No Doanface. No sadface from me.
7. Make Bryzgalov work. His life hasn’t been difficult enough so far this series, and he’s already demonstrated that he’s beatable.
Bryzgalov was good last night, but Jimmy was better. That might be what this comes down to.
6. How many times are whistles going to go a split second before the Wings put the puck over the goal line? I think I remember a quick whistle preventing a goal against the Wings once ever. Usually these things even out.
There were no intent to blow incidents last night (which was good because, let’s face it, me being out in public during one of those would not be good), but that didn’t stop them from reviewing Hank’s first goal.
5. All I’m really asking is for a sixty-minute effort tomorrow. I don’t think that’s unreasonable.
This was as close to a sixty-minute effort as we’ve seen all series.
4. Special teams could be the key again. It’s no coincidence that the game when the powerplay and PK were clicking was the one that the Wings won.
The PK was dynamite. That 5-on-3 in the third period nearly killed me. The best part was that the Wings were steady for the most part on the PK. They weren’t collapsing and running around. They stuck to their system and got in the passing lanes. Sometimes that’s half of the battle. What an improvement from Game One.
3. Where is Playoff Helm?
Helm was much better last night. He’s still not at playoff monster level, but he looked good.
2. I’m 1-0 in my playoff viewing career at the Joe. Please don’t drag me down to .500 with another lackadaisical effort.
2-0 baby. I’m taking donations to attend the rest of the games if you’re interested.
1. Mike Babcock said it best. What this game comes down to 99% of the time is deciding that you’re going to work harder than the guy on the other side of the ice. Every guy in the lineup could use an attitude like that.
Last night validated that, I’d say.
Hero: Jimmy Howard
I was so happy for Jimmy. Way to answer your critics, sunshine.
Villain: None of the above.
I'm feeling magnanimous today.
This was one of the top three most fun games I’ve ever been to at the Joe. The crowd was even louder and more rowdy than it was during the third round last season.