Tonight, the Red Wings lost to the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 4-3 in a shootout.
You know the old saying in the NHL: “after you’ve won 23 games at home, there’s no sense in being angry about losing the next one.” Oh, they don’t say that?
That’s because it’s never been done before. The streak may have come to an end — but there’s nothing to be upset about. The Red Wings hadn’t lost at Joe Louis since November 3rd.
You know when I thought the Canucks were screwed? When they were treating this game like it was important. Hoping that the streak was still in tact so they could potentially break it… acting like this was parallel to a playoff game and such. You know who I want to face all day long in the playoffs? Roberto Luongo. He is to big games as dogs are to the curb. Shits all over ’em.
On the other end of the ice was Jimmy Howard, playing his second game since returning from a broken finger. He was an absolute monster in the first period — stopping all 17 shots he faced, including some doozies that had no business ending up anywhere except the back of the net.
Darren “No Finish” Helm scored his second goal in three games. It wasn’t pretty — everyone in the arena, including Roberto Luongo, thought he was going to pass to Justin “Abysmal of Late, But Give Me a Minute Here” Abdelkader. It looked like he might have tried to connect and accidentally scored, but whatever — we’ll take it. He would later add TWO assists. Offensive machine that young man is (not really).
In his first game back, Kyle Quincey acquitted himself quite well. He played on a power play unit, as well as a penalty kill unit. That’s huge for a number of reasons: A) he’s able to do those things, thereby being more valuable than whoever he’s replacing; and B) it provides a bit of a respite for someone above him on the depth chart when he’s eating up those minutes. Those are big things for a newcomer to do, and that’s looking like it’s going to be a smart acquisition. Oh, and guess who was on the ice with less than a minute to play, holding onto a one-goal lead? I mean, it didn’t work out… but that shows he’s got the confidence of the coaching staff.
Oh, also, he scored.
How about that? Kyle Quincey, who was clearly excited to come back to Motown, reintroduces himself to the crowd with the Wings’ second goal on the night and gave a pretty little fist-pump in the direction of Denver. I think my favorite part of the trade so far is how much Adrian Dater hates Kyle Quincey all of a sudden.
Justin Abdelkader (start to) make up for playing so terribly the last few weeks by adding a third Wings goal only 20 seconds after the Canucks tied it in the third. That’s a huge goal in a game that the bottom six had no interest in losing. Miller — Abdelkader — Helm was the lifeblood of the Detroit Red Wings tonight and they did what Johan Franzen and Henrik Zetterberg should be doing in games like tonight’s: scoring important goals.
There was less than a minute to play and resident dumbshit Todd Bertuzzi iced the puck with Vancouver’s net empty. It was a bogus icing call, for sure, but why make it close enough to call? The Canucks took the ensuing faceoff in the Wings’ zone and fired a puck past Howard to tie it at 3. It’s the little things. Bertuzzi should know better.
A few chances were exchanged in overtime (including Dan Cleary’s point blank shot he fired directly into Luongo’s logo) and — for the tenth time since New Years — the Wings would head into a shootout. Normal lead-off man, Pavel Datsyuk, was not in the lineup tonight after having minor knee surgery earlier in the week, so Jiri Hudler would go first (and missed). Henrik Zetterberg, usually the fourth shooter, went next and missed the net after a deke. Todd Bertuzzi, in an effort to make up for his late-game flub, hit Luongo’s pads.
Howard shut the door on local hero David Booth and young All-Star Alex Edler, but allowed a goal by Alexandre Burrows.
With tonight in the books, the Wings have 20 more games to play.
Odds and Ends
Todd Bertuzzi, fresh off of signing his new two-year extension, was all kindsa riled up with known douchebag Max Lapierre tonight. The two were yapping during the first period (Lapierre was still on the bench) and it looked like they may go at some point during the game. Alas, the game ended without any fisticuffs.
I urged the Red Wings DJ (@tunes_by_t) to change that God-awful song that he plays when the Wings take a penalty. Good friend of the site and executive producer of Red Wings event entertainment, Ayron, informed me that it’s the player’s choice. She’ll ask them if they want a new one — but she’s hesitant to change anything during the streak (good point). She has to ask Kyle Quincey what he wants as his goal song, anyway. I suggested this. With the streak over… GET THAT SONG OUTTA THERE, AYRON!
Photo Credit: AP