FINAL SCORE (Hi Dad! Even though you were watching tonight from Uncle Mark and Aunt Toni’s)
Wings 5-4 in a Shootout
:: The Wings pull out a 5-4 shootout victory, after being dominated early in the game.
:: Brad Stuart has his jaw broken by a flying elbow drop. HADUKEN!
:: Detroit wins the season series against Calgary 4-0.
:: The Wings had no business taking two points out of the Saddledome, but that’s what they did. Also, the Wings are undefeated in games in which an over-eager Albertan fires the spotlight after a non-goal by their team. Keep it up, clowns!
:: The goaltenders exchanged weak goals in the first, including Darren Helm’s second in as many games. Big man is finding some hands. I like where that’s headed. Then, like clockwork with nine seconds left in the first, a squeaker gets by Jimmy Howard and the Wings take a 2-1 deficit into the intermission. Stop me if you’ve heard that before.
:: In his 800th career game, “Brain” Rafalski scores his first of the season (h/t to @mserven for the screengrab) as soon as the second period opens. It seemed like he wanted to make up for that whack ass Budd Lynch goal that ended the first period. Things are looking good, right?
:: SON OF A BITCH. Less than 30 seconds later, the Flames re-take the lead. In the interest of being fair: if that was Chris Osgood, I would have been sharpening my pitchfork, so I’ve got to call Jimmy Howard out on some absolutely terrible goaltending in the first half of this contest. But, for as poorly as he played in the early going — he kept the boys in it at the end, making several big saves to close out the third period and throughout the overtime (not the least of which was the Calgary barrage on the power play thanks to a phantom Todd Bertuzzi slash).
:: The Wings came to play in the third period. First, an absolute monster of a shot from Patrick Eaves as he one-times a Scuttles pass damn near through the net to pull the Wings within one. A few minutes later, Rafalski gets his second of the night on a seemingly harmless shot with twelve minutes to go. Eight goals against in this game, and it’s fair to say that at least six of them were varying degrees of weak. The fourth Flames goal was a shot that no one could stop — a Babchuk power play cannon that hits something on the way in. Can’t fault Jimmy for that one. The other three, however…
:: Tom Kostopoulos is going to be the story of the night, as he boomshot Brad Stuart with an elbow to the jaw. He left a few chicklets in a pool of blood near Jimmy Howard’s crease. I won’t get into the suspendability of the hit, because you’ll read enough about that soon enough, but I can’t help but wonder why it wasn’t more than two minutes. Even accidental high sticking calls that leave a scratch on a chinny chin chin are worth four… and while I understand the dynamics that one must always be in control of one’s stick, you’d have to imagine that “blood/injury = four minutes” standard exists for all fouls and not just those involving twigs, and that one must always be in control of one’s bony-ass joints, too.
:: Following the script he wrote for himself in the second half of regulation and overtime, Jimmy Howard was outstanding in the shootout. He stole the extra point with his play in the 64th and 65th minutes — and stopping all three shooters in the skills competition. Four goals against is discouraging, but it was better than five this night…
:: In completely unrelated, yet hilarious, news: the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Atlanta Thrashers by a score of 9-3. Former Red Wing and current worst player in the league Brett Lebda SOMEHOW found a way to go -3 in the winning effort. If you’ve never played the game, it’s understandable that you may not know how difficult that is. It’s nearly impossible to pull that off.