Dallas Stars 3 – Detroit Red Wings 1 – Toronto Incompetent Officials 1

Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard, seen here demonstrating a new style of netminding: turny-backy.
Well, the story here is going to be the egregious blown call on what would have been the Red Wings second goal. Brad May (WORD!) took a shot, and the puck which became wedged between Stars goalie Alex Auld’s leg pad and the side of the net. It was a good four or five inches past the goal-line, in plain view of anyone with eyeballs that it was as good a goal as ever’s been scored.
A few seconds later, the whistle blew. The referees (Stephane Auger and Dennis LaRue) decided it was no goal, for some reason, and play was resumed after a phone call from Toronto, which I assume went a little something like this:
LARUE: ‘Allo, this is LaRue.
TORONTO : Dude, totally a goal.
LARUE : Neaux. Neaux es goal. C’est le Rouge Wings. You sayed Rouge Wings must loses.
TORONTO : Yeah, but I mean… supposed to be less obvious. I mean, I can’t believe we got away with that six players on the ice thing during the Finals…
LARUE : Oh yes, this was good.
TORONTO : Mike Babcock really scares us, I really don’t want to fine him after he understandably tears us apart in the post-game.
LARUE : Que sera sera.
I have now exhausted all the French I know. See the shitstorm for yourself.

1. If we’re going to get royally jobbed by the officials, I suppose I’d prefer it to be in the 19th game of the regular season, as opposed to playing against six skaters for 45 seconds in the Final. Or any number of waved off goals in the playoffs. Needless to say, we’re owed. Big time.
2. Brad May’s fight was actually pretty funny. He and Barch seem to genuinely like one another, and were having a good laugh together during the warm-up and from separate penalty boxes. It was great to see the mutual respect. The fight was pretty good until May punked out, eventually falling to the ice and bringing Barch with him, although it had lasted quite a while.
3. Todd Bertuzzi is the worst player in the NHL. I know I’m a little extra hard on him, but his blind spin-o-rama passes to nowhere are getting OLD. Not only that, there was a time in the third when his linemates did a hell of a job to keep the puck deep and, alone in front of the net, he passed the puck — with fervor — to the Stars defenseman. He’s absolutely horrendous with the puck on his stick.
4. That game was the first one the Red Wings lost in regulation at the Joe this year. Their previous “home” loss was in Sweden.
5. Henrik Zetterberg continued his hot streak, scoring another beauty in the second period. It was the only time that any of the Red Wings seemed interested in playing tonight.
6. Jonathan Ericsson. Boy, oh boy. First he deflects the first Stars goal past Jimmy Howard, then he takes a(nother) dumbass penalty, leading to the third and most deflating Stars goal. I won’t go so far as to say that he doesn’t belong in the lineup, but he’s certainly running out of good will. Good will, it would seem, he earned by being 6 foot 5.
7. Justin Abdelkader played a hell of a game. He was all over the place, making things happen. Great defensive plays, awesome forechecking. He’s a heck of a player. Brad May had his best game so far in a Red Wings uniform. Their linemate, Drew Miller, wasn’t a factor – this was probably his weakest goal since arriving from the waiver wire. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was out and Maltby was back in on Friday.
8. Ville Leino, invisible manager of the Leino Lounge. I’m starting to wonder if he’d be playing if all were healthy.
9. Jimmy Howard played as well as we could have hoped. I’m not sure he had a chance on any of the three that got by him. Howard played in his fourth in a row, allowing an average of 2.25 goals. If you had told me that the Wings would go 3-1 with Jimmy Howard over these four, I would have taken that deal.
10. Moral of the story: The Stars had 32 shots. The Red Wings had 32 shots. Alex Auld stopped 30 of them. Jimmy Howard did not. Said James Tiberius Howard: “that’s the type of game game I needed to come up with another save for the guys.” FINAAAALLLLLLYYYYYYYYYY…..a Red Wings goaltender says what is Commandment Number 1 for Netminding. Jimmy Howard did not lose this game. As a matter of fact, he did more to keep the Wings in the game than they usually get from their goaltender. But, when looking at the byline, and seeing that ALEX FREAKING AULD made 30 (or 31) saves, and your goaltender didn’t, it’s clear that another save might have been the difference. Or a few more, better shots going the other way. Yeah, probably the last one.

What’s next?
Panthers. Friday. Joe Louis. 7:30pm. Supposedly Chris Osgood’s triumphant return to the crease.

Photo Credit: Carlos Osorio, AP