The final score was 4-3 (HI DAD!), but the Kings may as well have lined up each of the Wings — and all of their fans — and kicked us, one by one, in the nuts (or the equally painful lady-parts region). We’ve learned what it feels like to blow a two-goal lead, but a three-goal lead? Jesus Tap Dancing Christ.
To make matters worse, three forwards left the game, due to injury, and did not return. Tomas Holmstrom’s left knee was bruised in a collision at the boards in the first period. Both Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller blocked shots while shorthanded in the second — and each were rewarded with ankle injuries: Eaves with a sprain, Miller with a bruise. SNP’s X-rays were negative. Which is positive. Strange how that works.
In somewhat related news, Dan Cleary took a SHOT TO THE NECK, but finished his shift and didn’t miss any after, either. Presumably, he spent the entire flight, wedged among Holmstrom, Miller, and Eaves uttering things like “man up, buttercup,” “need another Fresca, princess?” and making tampon jokes. Of course three forwards are injured hours after Ville Leino is jettisoned to Philadelphia. That’s just the way this season has gone. Next week: Brett Lebda is traded and three defensemen are sidelined when a meteor hits their hotel. Oh, they’ll be fine in the long run, but they’ve “tweaked” something.
You’re going to read a lot of nonsense about Jimmy Howard being tired or burnt out. If a 25-year-old athlete is tired after having a few days off, all of us 28-year-old slobs are screwed for when the aliens come down and start a war. Make no mistake, I’m not defending Howard’s game — he certainly didn’t deliver the goods against Los Angeles. I don’t think fatigue is to blame, but that second Kings goal is 90% on Howard after he violently misplayed the puck. The other 10%, since you asked, belong to Jonathan Ericsson who had a great view from the opposite faceoff circle, where he was standing completely still watching the events unfold in slow motion. It was like a lumbering, Swedish Donnie Darko, with fantastic hair. And even less hockey skill than Jake Gyllenhaal.
Speaking of Ericsson, I’m pretty sure that the Red Wings plan was to sit him for more than the one game he missed, but the Kronwall re-injury necessitated he come back into the lineup. He is just shy of useless. For the record, if you follow my thoughts closely enough, you’ll know that I’m one of the very few people that wasn’t even enamored with him in the playoffs last season when everyone else seemed to think he was excellent. But, alas, he is still a rookie so there’s room for growth. Just color me skeptical. Still.
I hate to say it but the Red Wings don’t seem to be interested in making the post-season this year. I desperately don’t want the streak to come to an end, particularly in the first season of The Production Line’s existence, but their play is so uninspired on so many occasions, that’s it’s no longer an anomaly, it’s the way of the Wings. And that’s discouraging. Is this what it’s like to be a fan of every other team in the league? I’m old enough to remember the last time the Wings were HORRIBLE, and we’re certainly not there yet, but the difference is that expectations were much different. Also, no Petr Klima/Gerard Gallant/John Ogrodnick trifecta.
The Wings couldn’t even muster a point in this shit show. Ridiculous.