April 24, 2009

Wings @ Blue Jackets - The 4th is the hardest

Western Conference Quarterfinal, Game 4
Red Wings 6-5 Blue Jackets


This game had a little bit of everything, except OT (thank Christ.)

Given the circumstances, that probably was the least stressful close game possible -- up 3 games to none in the opening round after thoroughly dominating all three games. But because it is the playoffs, and because it's hockey, the title of "least stressful" game doesn't mean all that much. It's still hell on the heart no matter how you dress it up.

It's a recap.

  • Start of the game: Red Wings get a power play after Dorsett missed a check on the tall guy, then they exchanged words for some reason, and before you know it Columbus has done the dumbest thing possible -- take a maniaclly stupid penalty three minutes in when an early goal is the last thing you need to happen. What's next? A Wings goal of course.
  • Line 1A was dominant on the 2nd goal. Pav was being Pav holding the puck in the zone against two players; Hossa flew around the net, hanging on to the puck with one hand. Homer knocks in a loose puck to break the tie, with his backside halfway down Mason's throat.

  • Fil punked Rick Nash en route to creating the Cleary goal. Nash had to waste him in that spot and he didn't. Instead Fil brushes him off as if he wasn't half his size, and then Cleary eventually took advantage of Steve Mason not holding the post.
  • After a 3-1 first period, things started to get way too loose. After giving up a goal to make it 3-2, the Wings were way disorganized coming off a change and Columbus tied the game.
  • The Wings would answer. What an unbelievable shift by Marian Hossa. He and the rest of that line looked absolutely frightening the whole series. Might want to keep track of where that guys is.
  • Another dumb penalty. Nash crosschecks Raf in the Wings zone, while CBJ was on the kill. Hitchcock had to have been pulling his ball hair out. And what the hell did Raf do to deserve all the shit he got from Columbus? He took a beating this series.
  • Homer made an excellent pass to the slot for Hos, netting his second goal of the game. This line is unfair.
  • Ozzie's first real big gaffe of the series was made when his glove let him down on Kris Russell's goal. Needed to make that save. It was at this point that concern for whatever injury is bothering him was brought up by Ken and Mick. There were a couple shots of Ozzie wincing in pain, and he looked like he was avoiding putting weight on his left side when he would get up. When this apparent "injury" occurred in Game 3, we didn't think anything of it because he seemed to hop up from his knees to his feet just fine. But he looked bothered for a good stretch of this game
  • I haven't seen a TV interview with Hos this year that didn't include the phrase, "this is why you came to Detroit, isn't it?"
  • The CBJ crowd was awesome for the entire game up until the littering part at the end. Excellent playoff atmosphere.
  • Unreal way to end the game. You kept expecting the Wings to score the 6th goal, then for about 10 solid minutes the Wings lost controll, battles on the boards, and got too sloppy. A Columbus goal seemed inevitable. And then the most unthinkable thing happened -- too many dudes with 1:34 to play. Chimera is still bitching about the penalty as we speak. The guy was yelling at the refs like they just wrote him a $400 parking ticket.
  • Never question Jiri Hudler's toughness. He tried to commit suicide by taking the puck to the net, and the Mule scored his easiest goal ever. Game over. Series over. Have to admit: if that penalty was called on us in the same exact situation, our heads would've fallen off. But it was a pretty huge brain shit on the part of the BJ bench. Here's what Hitchcock had to mumble afterward:
"By the rulebook, it's probably the right call. By the circumstances of the game, I didn't like the call. ... Unless it's obvious, let's play," said Hitchcock, who said the third period had been loosely called to that point.

  • A comical number of Red Wings had a great series. The Mule/Hank/Cleary line was very good, putting up 15 points while keeping Rick Nash in check. Lidstrom had 4 points and was pissing excellence on the back line. Darren Helm was a blinding comet of hope and glory. Women shouldn't be allowed to reproduce without Jonathan Ericsson's seed. Oz was as good as can be for three games until the floodgates opened in the final one. The Jiri/Fil/Sammy unit was suberb. And Brad Stuart was a rock.

More to come tomorrow. Maybe. For some reason it feels like there's a dozen other things that need to be said. But whatever, we've got like six weeks until the next game.

And Derek Dorsett beats children, you can just tell.


cmk said...

After last night, I have a feeling a couple of glasses of wine are NOT going to mellow me out the rest of the way--just might need to see my doctor for some big-time pharmaceuticals! Good grief, but I'm working on a monster ulcer over here.

Osrt said...

"Darren Helm was a blinding comet of hope and glory"

Great line in a great re-cap (a joke so lame it's awesome)