- Though I was at first devastated to discover that this game had been scheduled for Saturday afternoon (a time during which I'm at work), it turned out to be a rather fortunate occurrence. Since our office is dead on Saturdays, I was able to watch almost the entire game on the break room tv. The HD flatscreen we have in there was a huge upgrade over the choppy feeds to which I've been relegated since temporarily setting up shop in this hockey wasteland.
- My game recap will be posted over at CWGAP shortly, but I had a few more Wings-centric things I wanted to throw out there since I've been trying not to rant and rave too much about the only side that matters.
- Pavel Datsyuk was playing on a completely different level than anyone else today. Some of the things he does with the puck just aren't fair. That subtle move he pulled when he scored his goal? Disgusting. His cheeky between-the-legs shot that led to Helm's goal? Even more ridiculous. If he continues to play like this, the Wings are going to be very, very hard to beat.
- While Datsyuk excels at his shifty, sneaky, dangly, puck-on-a-string schtick, Tomas Holmstrom is every bit as good at his particular job. His deflection was impossibly good. He managed to reach behind him with his stick and tip a puck as he skated the opposite direction in front of the net. His screens played a huge factor in the Wings' offense all night. Simply put: nobody is better at Homer's job than Homer. Nobody.
- I don't necessarily think that Doan's hit on Franzen was dirty, but I also don't think it was necessary. That's one of those times when there's no need to finish a check on a vulnerable player. I feared the worst when Mule went down, but it looks like he got lucky and won't be missing any more time.
- I was oddly amused by the fact that he didn't even bother to wash the blood out of his mustache before returning to the game. He kind of looked like he tried to make out with a weed whacker. That's playoff hockey for you.
- That clip of Zetterberg practicing didn't exactly inspire hope that he'll return soon. At the beginning of it, I was excited thinking that it was a good sign, but when he limped off after stopping awkwardly, my heart sank.
- The first period was gloriously fun. It was the kind of hockey that brings joy to faces all over Hockeytown. The Wings were dominant and pressured Phoenix to the point that they started taking stupid penalties. I was feeling pretty good until they decided to take their foot off of the gas and let the Coyotes back in the game. It sure did make for an interesting ending, though.
- The Wings' near collapse in the third gave the Coyotes some hope, which needs to be eradicated early in Game Three. There's no need to drag this series out any longer than it has to, especially with Shane Doan intent on destroying everything wearing a Winged Wheel.
Hero: Pavel Datsyuk
Who can keep up with this guy right now?
Villain: Shane Doan
There's something about the playoffs that brings out the wrecking ball in Shane Doan. He was hitting everything in sight and managed to score two third period powerplay goals. Somebody stop him, please.
Watching playoff hockey at work takes a lot of self-control.