Just like usual…no sign of Bert
To quote fictional Cleveland Indians manager Lou Brown, “you guys won yesterday. If we win today, that’s two in a row. Win again tomorrow, and that’s called a WINNING STREAK.”
Well, boys and girls, that’s a winning streak for our boys in red. And, all three wins came with James Tiberius Howard in net. This one wasn’t easy. Don’t let the final score fool you – it was tied with four and a half minutes to go in the third. But, future captain Henrik Zetterberg decided that 107 games without a hatty was long enough, and gave us all free curly fries*. I was informed after the game that my good buddy Clay donated a hat to the cause.
Seven goals – and a total of 19 in the three games this week. I don’t want to hear about the 88 goals that departed this off-season (hey, by the way, it’s actually 90, but no one seems to care about Downey and McCarty’s offensive output). Long story short, it doesn’t seem that offense is the problem: the Wings had 68 goals through 18 games last season. That’s only six more than they have through the first 18 games this season. They’re on pace for 282 goals compared to 289 last year. BFD.
How many times were the Ducks offsides? Jesus, guys… welcome to Pee Wee hockey.
*Note: I live in New York and Rob lives in Texas, so neither of us qualify for free curly fries. Feel free to send us one of yours.
1. First, a bit of housekeeping. Yesterday, I said that Darren Helm had the series winner against the Ducks in the playoffs last season. Kyle from Babcock’s Death Stare pointed out in the comments that it was actually Danny Cleary who had the winner. He’s absolutely right – my bad. Thanks for the correction!
2. Speaking of Cleary, it’s awesome that he’s got a hot hand right now. Also, for the second time in three games, he comes away with the quote of the day: “if they want to spend all night in the box, I like our chances.” It’s like having our very own (better behaved) Roenick.
3. Henrik Zetterberg was a man on fire from the opening faceoff. I had the game DVRed, so I was unaware of what was about to transpire, but from his very first shift – I was thinking he was going to net one or two. By my count, he had six quality chances in the first period alone. The absolute best player on the ice.
4. Jimmy Howard looked great in the first period, and much of the second. Like…legitimate NHL starting goaltender good. But, he fell back to earth with some mediocre efforts in the second half of the contest, especially the second Ducks goal, which is 100% on him.
5. Niklas Kronwall has some hot hands, eh?! Keep putting them on/in net, Junior.
6. When Dominik Hasek was a member of the Red Wings, I often said that he should have been fined 20 grand every time he touched the puck. I want a similar policy enacted for every time Todd Bertuzzi spins and throws the puck to no one.
7. I would have loved to watch Johnny Ericsson kick the shit out of Corey Perry again – although, I almost guarantee that Perry wouldn’t have removed his helmet/visor: that’s kind of his M.O. Speaking of M.O.’s, Ericsson’s is quickly becoming dumbass turnovers directly resulting in a goal for the other guys. “Learning his trade” or not, that play was flat out retarded, which – sadly – is not all that surprising from him this season.
8. Ville Leino played with a bit more confidence tonight. It was good to see from a guy whose head is clearly his worst enemy at this point in the season.
9. Drew Miller had a hell of a game. I’m very impressed with him so far. Not enough to knock any of the Top 12 into the press box, but a great waiver acquisition.
10. Brian Rafalski confuses me. Here’s my thought process:
A) He’s a good defenseman. We all know that. I was thrilled to pick him up eleven seconds after Schneider signed with Anaheim.
B) He’s signed for 6M. Yowza.
C) He’s having a rough season, but that’s okay. He’ll get back on track.
D) He flubs the puck behind in the net, in true Ericsson fashion. He may as well have put it behind Howard himself.
E) He scores on the Power Play! All is forgiven!
F) He gets beat like a rented mule at the blueline a few minutes later…
G) Put he comes with a choice of free topping.
H) The toppings contain potassium benzoate.
Brian Rafalski is a riddle, wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in a vest. That’s right, two Simpsons references in a matter of seconds.
Dallas on Wednesday at the Joe.