Moments after the final horn blew on the Wings 3-2 victory over the Blue Jackets on Thursday, my cell phone rang. It was none other than game-winning goal-scorer Todd Bertuzzi. Oh you didn’t hear? He and I are tight now. I said that one nice thing and he’s sidled all up to my business, hoping for more positive press from the boys at TPL…
Anyways, I picked up the phone – confused as to why he wasn’t celebrating a 7th straight win and . Tuzz was sure to clear it up for me.
“Yo man, you see that shit?!”
“The game-winner off of your foot? Yeah, dude, great job. Two more goals until TPL changes to all Tuzz all the time. Even though I talk a lot of smack, I’m hap-…”
“No man, not that. That was whack. You know damn well I didn’t mean to do that shit! I’m talkin’ ’bout my mad hops, son!”
“Oh, the play in the second when you swatted the puck out of midair into the net for no goal? I wasn’t going to mention it beca-…”
“YEEEEEAHH BOOOYEEEEEEEEEEE. The ladies love that shit! That Woody Harrelson douche almost ruined it for us white boys, but you know I got jumpz. I got like four, five inches on that bitty.”
“Yeah, but you can’t punch pucks into the net, you’ve never be-…”
“That was just practice, homeboy. I think I found my true calling. I’ma play me some volleyball. Yesterday, I decided this game was going to be my swan song, and in the second period I got so swept away in emotion, I had to show Steve Mason my BOOYAKA! spike. Pav asked to take me to dinner tomorrow to bid me farewell, but I’m not sure I can be seen in public with that dude – he scores all his goals on purpose and with skill. I don’t get down like that.”
“That was a nasty shot to take the le-…”
“Do you think Karch Kiraly was watchin’ tonight? I know for a fact he’s a hockey fan. Do you think you can get in touch with him? You have access to contact info for celebrities and shit, don’t you?”
“Well, yeah, but I don’t really know if he quali-…”
“HOOK A BROTHER UP MAN! I’ll do whatever I gotta do to get to that next level. My bod was built for sun, and my smile is going to blind the opposition. Sand in my toes… that’s the life, man. Do you think I’m allowed in Hawaii?”
“Yeah, dude – why wouldn’t you be allo-…”
“Oh, don’t worry about that, don’t worry about that. Just some shit that went down. Totally accidental. Someone told me to… ya know what, forget it. Not important. I’m sure everyone’s forgotten about that. Mmm mmm… ENDANGERED SEA TURTLES ARE TASTY AS A MUHFUGGA!”
The first Wings goal was just Homer doing what Homer does: scoring from INSIDE the net somehow. I’m not even sure I understand how he got enough stick on it, but clearly he did. One-nil.
The Blue Jackets struck back with what might be called a weak goal – and yeah, I won’t fight you. Howard needs to have that angle. But all things equal, that shot was sick nasty. To put it right where Andrew Murray (yeah, I’ve never heard of him either) put it takes skill. Should it have gone in? Probably not. But I’m not going to begrudge that shot. I wasn’t even mad it was tied… I’ll donate ten grand to H2H2 if that guy ever does that again.
Seriously, though… I need a gif of that Bertuzzi spike. Like immediately. I’ll make that shit my ringtone and desktop background and alarm clock and I’ll even start splicing into casting tapes I have to present to networks. How could they not greenlight my pitches then? “Did I just see a massive oaf attempting to leap and swatting a rubber disc into a frozen house? Oh, I like this casting guy…”
Pavel Datsyuk’s goal was beautiful. Great work in the corner by Homer to dig it out. Excellent puckhandling by Datsyuk (redundant), and a ridiculous shot under the bar. That nearly stood up as the game-winner, but our protagonist would strike again.
Bertuzzi’s actual goal was iffy. Yeah, in real time it seems entirely impossible that he meant to make contact with that puck. I understand that he’s an athlete and much more coordinated than I like to pretend he is, but the speed with which that play unfolded and the position of the skate when it made contact seems entirely accidental. That said, he skate absolutely made a motion toward the net. Again, probably entirely coincidental, trying to balance himself or whatever, but if you’re reading the rulebook to the letter of the law, it would have been really easy to overturn that goal. In super-slow motion, it looks like the puck was already heading toward the net when his skate starts to make that motion. Six of one, half dozen of the other.
Speaking of half dozen, that’s about how many of Todd Bertuzzi’s goals that I think he meant to score this year.
Rob e-mailed me as I was writing this post and said only the following:
“I’m back to loving Todd Bertuzzi. I came to that conclusion before the gwg. Mark it down.”
Tiberius made a great save after Brad “Perpetual Game Seven” Stuart turned the puck over somethin’ awful in the third. The lead was preserved at 3-1, but it wouldn’t last forever, and R.J. Umburger had a Homeresque deflection to cut the lead in half. But that’d be it, and Todd’s goal (the real-ish one) would stand as the winner.
REVISITING THE PRE-GAME QUICK THOUGHTS
1. Howard played better than Tuesday, stopping 20 of 22 shots on net. At least he wasn’t destroyed on every play like Steve Mason was!
2. I was hoping to escape without injury and with two points. Well, the two points are safe, but the injury thing is up in the air. Flip crashed into the boards and came up wincing, shaking his right wrist – the same one that he broke earlier this season. But he did return to action, and didn’t appear worse for wear. Johan Franzen, on the other hand, blocked a shot with the tongue of his right boot. And he didn’t look happy.
We didn’t see him anymore, and I’m willing to bet that his right ankle and foot are the size of Todd’s practice volleyballs right about now. (As Mauvais pointed out, Mulo did, in fact, return to the game. He played what was essentially the final shift, so that’s good news…)
3. The Red Wings are now 14-1-1 in their last sixteen, including 10-0-1 in their last 11. For you keeping score at home (who does that?), they’ve nabbed 95.5% of the possible points since March 11. I seem to recall saying something along the lines of “boy, one of these winning streaks everyone’s gone on would be really nice and would solidify a playoff spot” in November. Who knew it would take until the final two weeks of the season to be delivered…
Nashville on Saturday at 2pm. I’ll be recording The Good Old Hockey Show at 1:30, so feel free to listen in live!