FINAL SCORE (Hi Mr. P!)
3-1 Wings. Suck it St. Louis.
Well how about that? For a team that has struggled to step up and deliver when there’s a cloud of hype and excitement, the Wings got it done and did it in a big way. With the win, they’ve opened up a three point lead on both St. Louis and Chicago and continued to stretch the home winning streak out to an unbelievable 17 games.
BULLETS OF IMPORTANCE
- Despite the win, the first period was nothing spectacular. In fact, it kinda sucked. A bad line change led to a 3-on-1 goal for the Blues and the Wings were clearly on tilt. It was a classic Mike Babcock “Didn’t get started on time” moment in the making until…
- …Brad Stuart levels Alex Pietrangelo near the end of the period, prompting Chris Stewart to rush in and instigate a fight. There are so many things wrong with this sequence for Stewart, including (but not limited to):
- Instigating a fight on a clean hit.
- Stewart on Stuart violence. C’mon, just because they don’t see eye-to-eye on spelling doesn’t mean violence is needed.
- But mostly the fact the Stewart’s antics – trying to defend a teammate and make a statement in a game you are leading – backfired. It’s the classic mistake of forcing a fight when your team clearly doesn’t need it. St. Louis had the momentum and the lead, but Stewart gets antsy, starts a fight, and gets the extra time in the box. That’s playing with the fire of momentum, and we all know what happens next…
- …Pavel Datsyuk converts on the power play less than a minute in to the second period. Beauty of a goal and still the best way to punch an opponent back.
- Gotta love the Mule’s team leading 19th tally. Not only was it the go-ahead goal and eventual game winner, but cleaning up a rebound in front always gets me more fired up than a perfectly wired shot from the slot. Dude is big and huge and gifted. If he’s willing to clean up messes in between sniping the corner of the net, there’s no reason he can’t keep leading this team in scoring. Frankly, there’s no reason he SHOULDN’T lead this team in scoring.
- The Jim Howard lovefest continues, not only because he’s STAUNCH between the pipes, but because the dude has a shorter fuse than anyone of his teammates and is willing to throw some fisty-cuffs to make his point. Remember when a nameless blogger said Howard sucked and would never hack it a few years ago? Yea, Petrella (read: Hollis) sure looks stupid now. I bet Petrella (Hollis) is willing to spend the next few years trying to redeem himself in the eyes of ol’ Jimbo. Oh yeah, dude picked up his 30th win of the season too. Bazinga.
- Todd Bertuzzi with another point tonight. What up Petrella (read: Petrella)?
- Jaroslav Halak takes his first loss in regulation since November 22nd. Sweet, sweet music to these ears.
- One more matchup left with the Blues this year, and it’ll be in St. Louis. So far, the home team has won every matchup. Just sayin’.
BULLETS OF LESS IMPORTANCE
- Mike Babcock’s exchange with Pierre McGuire is the stuff of legends. Babcock essentially telling Pierre to shut up so he could get back to his job may have made my whole year. And judging by Twitter, I assume I’m not the only one.
- It’s been well documented in the @TPLhockey feed, but NBC had some truble wif namez tonight. Apparently a few Norris trophies and a Hall of Fame lock still don’t mean much to NBC Sports Network. Nicholas Lindstrom at your service on the Wings blue line. Wait, it’s not Lindstrom? Oh, you must be talking about Nick LINDSTOM!!!
“HORSECOP” OF THE GAME
Jim Howard. Big saves, 30 wins, some Mike Tyson all up in that grill. If “horsecop” is in the dictionary, that’s the definition.
THE RIGGY “SHITBOX” OF THE GAME
Blame it on the euphoria of the win or maybe just a total lack of respect for the guy, but we’re breaking tradition tonight and giving it to Chris Stewart. His antics were the epitome of “Shitboxian” in that I could totally see Jonathan Ericsson try and get in a fight to rally the troops, win it, and then watch the other team take control of the game from the penalty box. If we have to go with a Wing (checking the rules…….we do) I’m giving it to Dan Cleary.
The Wings kick off a six game road trip in Montreal on Wednesday. Petrella’s back in the driver’s seat, and there’s a strong possibility we’ll be getting our “Armageddon” on for the pregame.
Finally, a personal sidenote: I’m sure this won’t come as a surprise to many of you given my lack of posting around here lately, but a busy personal and professional schedule means this is likely the last you’ll hear from me on the site until sometime in March. I’m going to try and work in the occasional long-form piece here and there, but the lady and I are in final preparations to move down to San Francisco, and for the sake of both our sanity, my focus will be on getting her, the dog and myself settled in the Bay Area. I’m also hoping we can get a TP:60 or two recorded over the next month, so I won’t be completely gone. But between the move, business travel and a bachelor party (Vancouver, Feb. 2nd, Rogers Arena. I’ll be the entirely way too hammered Wings fan) there’s not a ton of time to dedicate to the bloggy business. Petrella, Disch and Stevie will keep you company until I return, which means the content will be both engaging and well-written. My drivel is no match.
Don’t miss me too much.
They had “Lindstrom” up at the beginning of the game as well when they were running through the starting lineups. It was “5 Lindstrom – 22 Commodore”. Pretty lame considering they were pushing the NHL 36 premier all night.
And as to the Pierre – Babbles confrontation (“interview”), while they always keep me breathless with anticipation, nothing will beat the night Babbles response began with “Well, I don’t even know what that means Pierre…”. I noted that the Bald Mr. M has since dropped his buzzwords when crafting a query to The Hair. There is fear. A very palpable fear!
Good luck on the move. I do not envy the location or the thought of moving. We’ll be here waiting for you next to the ice chest… cold beer in hand. Tiberious will keep us entertained.
I like seeing Howard get fired up/excited as much as the next guy, but lost in all this “Jimmahhhs droppin’ motherfuckers!” fanfare is that aside from playing some minor grab-ass around the net, no one on the ice in a red sweater did a damn thing about two St. Louis players taking shots at their goalie. I understand we don’t have enforcers, per se, but what the hell are Zetterberg, Filppula, Hudler, White, and Lidstrom doing out there with 4 seconds left in a 3-1 game that is getting out of control? I don’t expect any one of those five guys to step up and drop ’em, so this one’s mostly on Babcock. Sure, after the penalties were assessed and the faceoff went down to the left of Halak we saw Bertuzzi, Ericsson, and Commodore come out but by then the damage could’ve easily been done.
If I’m a player from St. Louis or Chicago who could benefit greatly from putting Howard out of commission and I see what happened at the end of that game (and how similar situations have been handled in the past), why wouldn’t I take a shot at him next time around? There’s no way the Wings can hang with either of those two teams in the standings if it’s going to be Conklin in between the pipes for any significant amount of time.
Jimmy is our MVP right now. Down the road, our chances of winning the Stanley Cup are directly tied to him being healthy. The Wings need to do everything they can to protect him.
What? The third line was dominant last night. You can’t give shitbox to Clears. The 3rd line has been our best line so many times this season; possibly the best 3rd line in the league. I would give it to Emmerton just for the fact that his presence in the lineup means Mursak is not.