Hey, look, I'm actually writing a game recap! This one comes to you courtesy of the fact that I have to work in the morning and had to skip a night out with my roomies. And also my rage over the Lupul goal/Howard's injury. It's always nice to put a good rant down on paper (or, you know, the internet) every once in a while.
The first was one of the best periods I've seen the Wings play in a while. Passes were crisp. Their puck possession was dominant. Even though it ended tied at one, the Wings looked to be in control.
The second was a little rockier, and the Wings found themselves in penalty trouble toward the end.
They took a 2-1 lead into the premature intermission thanks to a classic Homer deflection in front of the net. How sad is it that his first reaction to the goal was to look over at the ref to make sure he wasn't going to wave it off?
Since Dion Phaneuf's shot broke a pane of glass during a Toronto powerplay with a couple of minutes left in the second, the teams took intermission early to avoid a long delay. This kind of played in Toronto's favor since they got clean ice for the second half of their powerplay, but it ended up not mattering. The Wings took another penalty right before the carryover time wound down anyway.
The real disaster came in the third period when Jimmy Howard went down with an injury. I've got some ranting to do about the ensuing goal, but I'd happily spot the Leafs ten such goals if it meant that Jimmy finished the game healthy. All this talk of the Baby Pegger (who, despite being my favorite goalie prospect for his Training Camp snipe, I have absolutely no desire to see in a Wings uniform right now) possibly being called up has me in full RSV mode.
Just to be clear, in the NHL, this is not a goal, but this is. Listen, I like to think I'm a pretty smart lady, but I once again find myself confounded by events in an NHL game. I fail to see how a goal can be called back one night because a goalie initiated contact with a skater who was outside of the crease because of “incidental contact,” and then a few nights later, have a goal stand when a player bumped into the goalie in the crease and proceeded to fall on his back, pinning him to the ice. Take the jerseys the players are wearing out of the question. Only in the NHL does this make sense. Or at least we're supposed to think it makes sense. Or something. I'm not sure anyone really gets it.
Luckily for the Wings (and my sanity), Jiri Hudler put them back in the lead for good with a quick shot off of a rush. Check out this picture of his celebration at your own risk.
Justin Abdelkader was all over the ice tonight. He must've had at least thirty brilliant chances. He didn't finish any of them, but it was a nice effort. Plus, he got into a fight after a big hit on Rafalski, which was also nice to see.
It looks like Rafalski got lucky after the hit, as his knee brace protected him. It looked pretty bad at first though. I would've been pretty happy if that was the scariest moment of the game. Now that the playoffs are approaching, I'm becoming increasingly paranoid.
Nick Lidstrom broke up a great scoring chance for the Leafs with a brilliant defensive play. You know, just another day at the rink for him. Sorry, boys, he's just better than you. It's not mean; it's just a fact. Please never leave us, Nick.
On the other end of the defensive spectrum, Brett Lebda played exactly as you would expect Brett Lebda to play. How's that Stanley Cup experience treating you now?
Hey Maple Leafs fans: Todd Bertuzzi's empty net goal effectively ended your team's slight playoff hopes. TAWD Bertuzzi. Hahahaha. Snack on that for lunch.
Hero: Joey MacDonald
He's been astoundingly solid in his last few games, and performed admirably after taking over for Jimmy in the third. I still don't like it one bit, but I guess it does offer some glimmer of hope.
Villain: Joffrey Lupul
Bet you saw that coming, eh?
This injury nonsense is making my annual post-season nervous tics come early this year.
Caption Mondays: Sara Neuie took back the Caption Mondays title this week.
Hobo: Ugh, this whole hockey thing is hard work, no wonder my hair is always sweaty.
Rig: I wish Eaves wouldn't stand so close to me, he's distracting the girls from my prettiness.
Raffy: Pfffffb *pretends he has awesome hair like Rig and Hobo*
Trivia Tuesdays: TimFill also continued his trivia dominance.
This week's question: Which Red Wing has recorded the most career All Star Game points?
The Answer: Mr. Hockey Gordie Howe tallied 19 points in his 23 All Star Game appearances.
Have fun at H2H2, sunshines. You have no idea how crushed I am that I can't join in the festivities. Bring copious amounts of awesomesauce and know that I'm there in spirit. Here's hoping I'll make it to H2H3.
In honor of the international contingent of Wings fans preparing to flock to the Joe this week, here's a picture of another group of Hockeytown's finest who brought their team spirit all the way to the wasteland that is Florida. It's fun to play Where's Waldo with the Tampa fans.
Caption Mondays: Friend of SSDD Sara Neuie was at it again this week.
Hank: ...and then Millsie totally Eavesed in front of everyone!
Stuart: Ha! I can't believed I missed that! Anything else happen while I was gone?
Hank: Well, there was this time Millsie...
Rig: *interrupting and nodding toward Drew* Uh, Hank...
Millsie: Not this story again...
Trivia Tuesdays: Clark got the answer again this week. I went a little off the reservation with the question, but it was sort of Wings-related.
This week's question: The NHL's all time leader in penalty minutes spent a small part of his career in Detroit. What was his name and how many minutes did he rack up?
The Answer: Tiger Williams (How glad are you that I didn't make a tiger blood joke there? It would've been so easy, too. It was practically teed up for me.) racked up 3,966 minutes in 962 games. That averages out to 4.12 minutes/game. If he would've served all of his penalties to completion, he would've spent 66.1 hours in the box (not to mention the fact that his teams would've had an unbelievable PK%). He was only a Wing for part of one season, but still managed to accumulate 158 penalty minutes in 55 games in Detroit.