If you made the ill-fated decision to finish up that souffle while the game was starting instead of planting your ass like a good American in front of the television with a beer, you missed everything worth watching. The Wings dominated this game early, notching 5 in the first period and then riding out the clock for the next 40 minutes.
BULLETS OF IMPORTANCE
- Before we hit the 5:00 mark tonight, we’d already gotten goals from Bertuzzi and Flip. The former was a nice tally for a guy who has been working hard lately but not seeing that translate onto the score sheet. The latter was a solid “yea, I got this” (h/t Hollis) from Filppula to all the folks wondering if he was ready to come back from the laceration. The Flip goal came off a great play from Hank, who held his ground behind the net, warded off an obvious hook and still had the strength to get Flip the puck.
- The Flip goal had everyone from the press box to my couch wondering if Tips might yank Mike Smith before the first was up. He was getting hung out to dry and the Wings took advantage. It looked like we were playing a squad full of drunk middle school kids. No heart, no legs. If it weren’t so damn awesome, it would have been sad.
- With 5 left in the period, Gator draws a hooking call and Pavel finds an absolutely wide open Ian White on the backside of the play who makes a nasty reach move and throws it on net. Enter Homer, doing his “love the buns” routine in front of a beleaguered Mike Smith. 3-0
- At this point, things are getting stupid and you get the sense that someone who doesn’t usually get on the score sheet might use this as a chance to break the silence. Right on prompt, Helm comes storming up the ice after the faceoff. He gets tied up and Chris “The Modern-Day Petrella” Conner picks up the change, crashing behind the net and serving a perfect feed to Helm. Danger taps in the easy bang-bang and Smith heads for the showers. Jason LaIdontwanttobehere comes in to try and stop the bleeding.
- The period ends with a gorgeous finish from Hudler on a series that looked like the Coyotes were on quaaludes. Jason LaGetmethehelloutofthisjoint had zero chance on the cross-ice play. In Mick’s words, “there have been more giveaways here than at the Salvation Army.” Well said, Mick.
- The second period felt like the Wings woke up on Saturday morning next to a woman they didn’t remember from the night before…who coincidentally looks a hell of a lot like Keith Yandle. The Wings started things off with a PP that went nowhere, then proceeded to take two pentalties in a row – the first for putting 15 guys on the ice and the second for a Bear Clearly boarding. Phoenix does jack and shit with the man advantage, but eventually finds some redemption…and I’m being generous…when Vrbata unleashes a certified monster over Jimmy’s glove hand for their first goal of the night.
- The most exciting thing to happen in the third period was the Dodge Ram commercial where Johan gets to smile about his contract. Gets me every time. Shane Doan and Martin Hanzal combine for a PPG with 8 left where Jimmy was screened. Ho-hum. At this point, I imagine half the Wings bench was trying to find Alec Baldwin on Words With Friends. I don’t entirely blame them. The damn game was over before even the most boisterous of cocktailers had to take their first leak in the opening frame.
BULLETS OF LESS IMPORTANCE
- This game honestly feels like my fantasy football league, where 2-3 guys have teams with no hope of making the playoffs and they don’t even bother updating their roster. Hanzal and Vrbata gave them a little jump, and LaBamba did a decent job holding off a lackluster second and third period Wings effort, but the rest of the team genuinely looked like they didn’t want to be out there tonight.
- Mike Smith looks like a 15 year old boot in the box score, but he was the least of that team’s problems tonight. His defense left him out to dry. Plain and simple.
HORSECOP OF THE GAME
We’re rolling out something new tonight with the horsecop reveal. Stay tuned for a little Friday Morning Cinema carrying the “big reveal.”
RIGGY SHITBOX OF THE GAME
Bear Cleary looked incredibly frustrated this evening. I was hoping Buckets would notch one tonight and get things back on the up and up. Instead, he looked like one of the few guys who never found their rhythm, even in that first period where everything was clicking. Hard to be too tough on anyone when the game goes as well as it did tonight.