5-3 Wings (What Up Mr. P?)
The Freep won’t write a headline like that, but if they were honest, they would. This game was about Curtis Glencross…it was about Jimmah making some amazing saves…it was about Pavel notching a 3-point evening, but in the end, tonight was truly about one thing and one things only:
I had the count at three. Three goals that, officially credited to Holmstrom or not, would have not have happened if he didn’t get his curvaceous 36-24-36 frame in front of Miikka Kiprsoff and make it dance. The kids call it “Twerking” I believe, and while I’m no expert on street culture (not since I had to go clean following the big takedown), I’m inclined to say that no man has ever brought the STREET to the ICE in such a dramatic fashion as Holmstrom on tha regular. Big fella had two goals of his own and the Pavel tally on the PP only happened because 96 was busy making life hell in the crease for everyone in a white sweater.
Onto the period notes…
- Before the game starts, Micky and Mark Howe get the honor of dropping the pucks between Nick and Iginla. Always nice to see Mick get his due. He said after getting back to the press box that he put a word in with the refs to “let ‘em play” and I have no doubt he actually said that.
- A few personnel notes – Ian White is, as predicted, in a full on 12-year old mask. Mulo and Stuart are both on the ice despite some earlier today (including in our pregame, which totally botched the lines) concerns that either one or both of them wouldn’t make it out tonight.
- Wings get on the board first. Homer Homer tips in the Lidstrom shot from the point on the PP. On the most classic of holidays we get the most classic of Wings goals. Give some thanks, playa. That’s our bread and butter. Nice penetration by Flip to get things going in the offensive zone, great little beaver tap by Nick to call for the puck and gorgeous execution from Homer. 1-0 good guys.
- Outside some jump around the 10:00 mark by the Kostppuligiveup line, Calgary didn’t come with much in the first period. The Wings looked in control. The period ends with Shitbox clubing an absolutely perfect setup from Franzen somewhere off the half boards as the big dumb Swede…no, the other one…was trying to break in from the point. Right on queue.
- Iginla opens things up in the first minute with an odd man rush goal, prompting the stat that next to Jumbo Joe Thornton, Iginla has the second most goals against Jimmah among active players. So there’s that. The three points (two goals) Jerome notched last game probably didn’t hurt this stat. He’s now up to 4 points in two games. Bravo.
- The second goes from bad to worse as Brendan Morrison fires a rocket by Jimmy coming down the left wing. I don’t care what Mick says about this, Jimmy has to have that one. No traffic in front of the net…he saw it all the way…just missed it. Mick puts part of the blame on Kindl for not challenging Morrison when Cleary had the trailer, but I still think Jimmy has to have this one.
- After the second goal, the Wings begin to dial things up. Kipper then saves two gorgeous chances by Franzen and Helm at point blank range. The first one looked lucky, the second was a great stretch. Kipper always scares me. Call it baggage from playoffs past. He confirmed that fear tonight in the early part of this game when we started to press.
- About 6 minutes in, Drew Miler comes out to challenge the point on the penalty kill and takes one off the mouth. As much as you can say this with all that recently happened to Ian White a few weeks back, the Miller incident seemed relatively run of the mill(er). Credit that to what gigantic bad asses hockey players are. If this were on some FIFA pitch, they would have scrambled the Harriers and shut down Parliament for a month. Miller seemed largely unfazed.
- The second period continues it’s offensive rampage, this time for the good guys. Ian White who sneaks an ugly one in, wristing what looked like a harmless shot past Kipper. Great to see The Mask get a goal in his first game back. No rust on the relative newcomer. Happy, happy.
- Franzen didn’t connect in this period, but he created a handful of chances, one of which almost landed a Bertuzzi goal. Tuzz was going hard to the net and Franzen, going deep in the forecheck, put it right on the tape for a bang-bang save that could have easily gone in. Both the big guys had decent games. Neither did much on the score sheet, but both were buzzing.
- The second ends with Emmerton getting two for lifting the puck over the boards and then looking around for the nearest Flame to blame a deflection on. No dice. Tiberius comes up massive to save our bacon, pulling a “Jim Dandy” on Alec Baldwin (see the pregame). Whistle. Wings still up by one at the break.
- Wings go on the PP early and make it count, or should I say, “the Wings get a PP, burn half of it with the PP1 unit, and then get the PP2 on the ice which cashes in on a Holmstrom goal.: Ah, that’s much better. Homer gets his second of the night doing his thing, working the glutes and making the Flames pay for sins they didn’t even know they’d committed.
- Jokinen finds the back of the net on a Gator penalty shortly after the Homer goal. They caught Helm without a stick on this one, Jokinen worked hard in the corners and he got rewarded. Bad luck. Not going to blow anyone up about this.
- Kindl takes a dumb penalty that gets negated when Morrison gets flagged for the flop. Mark that “flop” note. You’ll need that as reference in a minute. It looked to me like a penalty on Kindl, plane and simple, but I’m not bitching…for now.
- Cleary’s trip to the box a few minutes later, unlike Kindl’s was completely unwarranted. That mf’r in a Flames sweater…who I’m not even going to bother looking up…ought to be ashamed of himself. Maybe this was a makeup call for the odd diving penalty that negated Kindl’s ‘spoke-in-the-stick move, or maybe the stripes just missed one.
- At this point, the Flames are on the power play and in a perfect position to press the Wings. Amazingly, we respond with a massive effort from Danger that starts a chain reaction of awesomeness. Shorthanded, Helm took matters into his own hands pressing the point. He makes a solidly patient play coming out of our zone and, instead of just dumping the puck low and heading for a breather, he presses the Calgary defense, turning on the burners coming up the right-hand side, going to the net and ending up on his face. Two minutes to the white shirt for being an idiot and not having the stones to handle a short-handed, well-hung Helm. The congo line to the penalty box continues moments later as Glencross two-hands Hank at mid-ice and we’re up 5-on-3 on the man advantage. Pavel sneaks one in by putting it on net and capitalizing on some awesome work by…you guessed it…Holmstrom, who was making life difficult in front of Kipper again. Flip keeps the heat on during the latter half of the 5-4 penalty, making a huge move to the center of the ice right after the Alec Baldwin penalty expired and lifting it over Kipper’s shoulder.
Notes of Less Importance
- CBA talk – should the players be forced to wear the shield? I’m a sound “no” on this, but the floor’s open if you want to debate.
- Jimmy had a little bit of Dom in him tonight. Tiberius was flopping all over the place, saving bouncing pucks, going post to post, looking like the kind of goalie that steals games late in the Spring. Huge, huge stuff tonight from our man in net.
- Gator looked great in the first. Nothing super flashy…nothing of note in the box score, but every once in a while you see him doing something that’s a shade better than “grinder” caliber. He’s a third or fourth line guy for the next 2-3 years, but I maintain that the guy is going to be a top-6 forward at some point in the next 5. Kid has hands, wheels and plays well in his own zone. He’s not smooth like Val or as rugged as Mulo, but he’s got a little bit of both and at some point he’ll cash that set of cards in.
Horsecop of the Game: No contest – Homer. See Above.
Riggy Shitbox for the Night: I’m dumping this on the Shitbox himself. There were a lot of guys playing up tonight…guys whose efforts will show up in the box score tomorrow morning when you pick up your Freep and some who just played sound, hard hockey. Ericsson did essentially none of that. He blew two absolutely golden setups that should have AT LEAST CONNECTED WITH THE NET OR THE MAN PROTECTING IT. I recognize we want our d-men staying active and jumping in on the play, but Ericsson’s dumb ass is going to get caught trying to play hero doing something like that, and as the chances of him scoring are somewhere between zero and zero, I’d just as well he stay at the blueline to tackle the guy heading the other way.
We’ll play you out with these fine tunes, courtesy of Big Sean and his Homer-themed sensation, Dance A$$…