FINAL SCORE (Hi Dad!)
Red Wings 4, Flames 1.
The Wings didn’t look too much in control of this one until the third, when difference in talent showed. Nice way to start a road trip, but the Wings will face a tougher opponent on Thursday when they meet Vancouver. With the win, the Red Wings evened up the season series with Calgary, each winning a game at home and on the rod. Fact is, this is a game that they should win, and the team gets back up to .500 when wearing white sweaters. They’ll look to build on that the rest of the week.
BULLETS OF IMPORTANCE
- First, and very much most importantly, the tribute to Brad McCrimmon was beautiful and classy. It was impossible to have dry eyes during a wonderful video with excellent clips and comments. Kudos to the Calgary Flames for allowing the Red Wings to be a part of the ceremony. Once again, we hope he rests in peace and is coaching from up above.
- Cory Emmerton got the scoring started, notching his fifth of the season on a well-placed rebound. It would prove to be the only goal of the first frame, but another one almost squeaked by Kiprusoff, but it was reviewed and determined not to have crossed the line.
- During the first Wings’ kill (with Todd “SURPRISE!” Bertuzzi in the box), Justin Abdelkader caught a stinger, blocking a shot and slowly limping off of the ice to get looked at in the room. It didn’t even last the whole period, as Gator would return. I was unaware except that he started to tussle with a Flame toward the end of the 1st… but it was an undercard for Mike Commodore vs. Tim Jackman, which sort of came out of nowhere. Commodore didn’t seem terribly into the fight early, but he certainly held his own and arguably won the bout — though it might be fair to call it a draw. Good on him for answering the bell and having a good time with it. The Wings would take a 1-0 lead into intermission.
- Bertuzzi started the second much in the same way he played the first: by taking penalties that probably weren’t deserved. But the Wings weren’t as lucky this time around — the Flames converted on their power play, as Mike Cammalleri banged in a rebound of a Alex “Where Are You GOING” Tanguay shot. Seriously, I couldn’t figure out what Tanguay was up to, but he’s a better hockey player than I was. A relatively uneventful second period would end, with the Wings and Flames tied at 1.
- The back-and-forth hockey would continue into the third, until the 11:29 mark when Valtteri Filppula shoved a lazy backhand through the crease, putting it on a tee for Jiri Hudler, who nets his 16th on the season — and third in two games. The lead would be Detroit’s again. Tempers started to flare — Justin Abdelkader gets tied up with Tom “I Broke Brad Stuart’s Jaw” Kostopoulos with 7 minutes left. Both would get two minutes for purse-swinging and the teams would play four-on-four for the next thirty seconds before Mark Giordano gets two minutes of his own for interference, a call he protested by flip floppin’ his punk ass all over the ice.
- Detroit made it 3-1 on a kick-ass play where Dan Cleary’s stick was torn from his hands (and wasn’t called a penalty only because the last call had been against the Flames), Ian White waited a second to allow Cleary to regain his stick before moving the puck up to Helm, who immediately gave it to a streaking Cleary, who put a puck through the slot to Drew Miller. Really nifty play that involved everyone and you could see coming from a mile away because the Wings’ composure was palpable, especially compared to the monkey-chasing-their-own-ass approach the Flames have.
BULLETS OF LESS IMPORTANCE
- A fun thing happened about five minutes into the second period. Jan Mursak played a whole shift with a Calgary Flame stick stuck in the fighter’s strap of his jersey. That he could skate as well as he was with that hanging off his back is pretty amazing.
- Pavel Datsyuk caught an errant Jay Bouwmeester stick up under the chin near the end of the second period, but he was no worse for wear. Anytime some lumber catches your face, it stings, but Pavel’s part man, part amazing, so he was fine.
DISCH APPROVED “HORSECOP” OF THE GAME
Brad McCrimmon. This was a partly chippy, partly finesse kind of game that Beast loved playing and, very likely, loved coaching. All of the best highlights of the night had him, and his gnarly nose, in them.
THE RIGGY “SHITBOX” OF THE GAME
Todd Bertuzzi took two penalties and then passed to no one in particular, nearly causing a third.
I’ve got the pre-game for Thursday’s tilt in Vancouver. If you’d like a hint for the theme, click here for an audio sample.
Photo Credit: Mike Ridgewood, Getty Images