Sunday, April 15, 2012

Game 3 - Detroit v Nashville: On the Books

I can probably copy-paste most of my game 1 review for this one. And that's not even talking about the score. There is one major difference between this game and game 1 however and it's pretty simple: Unlike game 1, I don't think the Red Wings deserved to win this one. It kills me to have to say that, but it's true.

The whole first period belonged to Nashville. Towards the end, the Wings started to come alive, but not in any way that I feel was really meaningful. On top of that, when the 2nd period started, instead of coming out with a ton of urgency, they sorta came out with a whole lot of meh, and got scored on again. If it wasn't for Pavel Datsyuk, this game probably would have ended 4-0. The saddest part about all of that, more than just the loss, is how disappointing it had to be for the fans sitting in Joe Louis Arena.

Look at that. Look at that awesome show for the fans and by the fans. That's awesome.
And after such an awesome showing before the game, after loud chants of "Let's Go Red Wings!" rang out before the game even started and they showed great support for their team and even for Clod Barfluzzie, the Wings promptly dropped the ball and never really got it back until Datsyuk's goal. It's like they forgot where they were, and what time of the year it was, and what they were supposed to be doing. Allow me to help you guys out: You're playing in front of a sellout home crowd at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan - a place affectionately known as Hockey Town, it's April and the first round of playoffs, and you're supposed to be busting ass and winning hockey games.

I'm going to do some quick bullet points, hand out the awards and get on my way because like I said before, so much of what could be said from Game 1 can be said about Game 3.

  • How is Drew Miller's play on his breakaway goalie interference? All he did is what any coach ever would teach any player ever to do. If you're on a quasi-break away, and you've got a defenseman on your back, you have to drive the net, get the best shot you can, hope for a bounce or a rebound. And if you get pushed or forced into the goalie, as long as you do the best you can to avoid and minimize the collision, it's not a penalty.
  • More importantly, how is that a penalty when the Predators are allowed to gang fuck Jimmy Howard in the face and score a goal off it? Or at least get scoring chances off it. Also, Pekke Rinne gets fast whistles. Like ridiculously fast. 
  • Nyquist had probably his best game of the playoffs. He looked really good out there, even looking strong. Like, Barfluzzie just holding people off strong. If Babcock wants more physical play form his top lines, I fail to see how Nyquist can't be an option. I'm still frustrated that he hasn't yet capitalized on an opportunity, but it was good to see his hard work.
  • I think Jimmy Howard took a step back today. He still looked good, and definitely made some saves for Detroit, but he wasn't lights out like he was in Game 2. While the 2nd and 3rd goals were wicked shots and/or defensive breakdowns, he still could have had 'em. I'm not worried about Howard yet, but he'll need to refocus and get his game face back on.
  • If you ever want proof that life isn't fair, watch the third period of this hockey game. The Red Wings got so much great pressure, so many opportunities that wouldn't go, and then in a blink of an eye, Nashville gets the go ahead goal. It's crap. I mean, the Wings couldn't find the puck, which is something that they can control. But the game tying goal deflects off the shaft of a Nashville stick? I mean, come the fuck on. 
  • After the Weber hit and Tootoo gooning it up out there, and Legwand grabbing hold of Johan Franzen when Franzen is on the ice and Legwand is sitting on the bitch, it's no wonder Nashville fans are such ass clowns. Look at the example being set by the players on the ice. I love this Tweet by Kimberly Jako: "I enjoy the NBC schmucks calling Legwand's move cute. Sure, being dirty is down right adorable. He should pose for an Anne Gedes calender" 
  • If the referees make terrible calls AND Nashville gets a bunch of lucky bounces THEN the Red Wings lose. 
  • Hockey gods, I'll sacrifice a baby if it'll get you to remove Nashville's dumb fucking luck for the rest of the series. 
Awards after the Break

Time for the Awards Segment of Our Show:

The Bret Lebda Game Puck:  Valteri Filppula, because I have been singing this guy's praises, and pulling for him, and saying he was due and that needed to get it going. And he just hasn't. He hasn't done anything. And it isn't like, "Okay, he's not scoring, but he's making great decisions and is a major threat the other team has to respect, and he's making great plays to set up other people". He's just a guy out there. And after such an impressive season, he can't just be a guy out there. He has to be THE guy. Or at least one of them.

The Kris Draper Game Puck: Gustav Nyquist. Like I said before, he looked strong. Just forcing guys off the puck, throwing the body around and one handing them. It was great to see, and I hope it shows Babcock the kind of versatility he has. I don't want him back down on the third or fourth lines. But nothing says he can't be a top two line guy who can win corner battles.

The Derian Hatcher Game Puck: Brad Stuart, because he once again was on the ice when goals were scored, and one of them he made a very bad move. And he got his ass deked off by another defenseman. I've been a fan of Brad Stuart until the last few weeks and I'm feeling like he should go and free up some cap space. Less Brad Stuart, more Brendan Smith?

O' Captain, My Captain Game Puck:  Pavel Datsyuk. 

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