June 10, 2009

That Damn Breakaway

Stanley Cup Finals, Game 6
Penguins 2-1 Red Wings

(Exasperated sigh)

Uh, yeah ...........

Yep.  Definitely don't want to do this.

  • From the sounds of it, you would've thought that Mike Milbury had $50,000 and both of his knees betting on Hossa to get a goal.  During the 2nd intermission his mouth was foaming while trying to convey how badly Hos was mailing this one in.  And he wasn't even close to acknowledging what could be the case -- that he's hurt.  There's simply no way that he isn't.  In 100 years you couldn't convince either one of us that a guy would turn down a jillion dollars for a shot at the Cup, and then with the trophy in the building he decided to just say "meh" and let his teammates take care of it, as Milbury said in so many words.  We haven't seen him bull his way to the net in forever -- it's highly improbable that it's because he just doesn't feel like it.
  • How sick was Fleury in that 3rd period?  Regardless of how the series plays out, that breakaway denial will be etched in the soul of every Red Wings fan for eternity.  Time stood completely still.  Datsyuk provided the buttery-soft feed and Cleary probably tried to get a little too fancy for his own good by going to the backhand, and then Fleury was in terrific position to make the save.  God, if only he buried that over the right shoulder.  If only.  Dammit.
  • Zetterberg continues to amaze.  His post shot was one of three total heartbreakers:  the others being the breakaway, and Franzen partially whiffing on the puck at the top of the crease with 15 seconds to play.  
  • Kris Draper scored the Wings only goal.  Kris Draper.
  • The refs didn't steal this one from the Wings.  Calm down.  The officiating hasn't been great, since, like, ever.  No sense hanging ourselves now.  The Wings didn't put themselves in enough positions to draw penalties in this game, period.  And the only two they did draw were pretty flukey anyway.  (By the way, have you ever wanted anybody to bleed as badly as Drapes on that high stick?  We were half hoping that he'd stand up and look like a wrestler after a chair shot to the face.)
  • Had a penalty shot been called in the final seconds after that pile-up in the crease, there would be no city of Pittsburgh right now.  It would be nothing but ashes and rubble.
  • This team has a far different beat to it than any other Wing squad in this modern, dynastic era.  It feels too over-simplified to call them out and say "they weren't hungry enough".  It just seems like there's something else there; like they're a little too composed, or something.  When they didn't come out on fire in the 1st period, it felt like they were trying to play smart before taking any chances, and that they were really concentrating on the defensive end.  But, like a few times before this, they turned it on a little too late -- and it makes you question why they didn't play that way to begin with.  Even during the first two periods when they were playing cautious, they were still committing bad turnovers here and there.  Too many blind backhanders from the corners, not enough quick transitions.
  • Fucking Mikael Samuelsson.  That no-show on Kennedy's goal was atrocious, inexcusable and probably punishable by law.  That was more gut wrenching than if you were to literally stab somebody in the stomach with a steak knife and do one complete twist.
  • Needless to say, no more singing bananas.  And for the record, this was the first time that the "no pants" trick didn't work.  Tried it with about six minutes to go.  But dammit was it ever close.
  • Datsyuk looked great aside from an egregious turnover that nearly gift-wrapped a goal.  It's infinitely important that he has a significant impact on Game 7.  Hossa's running out of steam, Franzen scoring touch might be starting to fade, and Hudler died sometime during the conference finals.  Game 7 has to be all about Hank, Pav, Nick, and Ozzie.   

Time permitting:  more tomorrow.  Hell, we've got two full days.


hockeychic said...

I was yelling, "Bleed Draper, Bleed!" at the tv (this is on DVR delay mind you). Boyfriend looked at me and said, "That's it, you've officially gone insane."

No, the refs did not do us in. We had our chances. I do believe the Hossa is hurt, he just isn't strong on the puck like he was earlier in the season.

Cleary...if only.....

Anonymous said...

Not just Hossa - think about the injuries that fans sort of know about because of missed time. Pavel likely has a broken foot, Lidstrom has been bothered by an elbow all year and took a stick in the groin in game three against Chicago, Draper missed a lot of time, Cleary is banged up with a little bit of new injury and a little bit of old ... and there is no telling how many guys are banged up but haven't missed time, so we don't really know that anything is wrong with them.

Normally I would expect the healthier team to run away with a series. They are dead even and have two days to recuperate before one more home game to end the season.


Anonymous said...

@ Hockeychic.....

You weren't the only one wishing Draper would suddenly get a stigmata. The screaming was pretty intense here too.

How heartbroken was I??? So heartbroken I turned off the Tiger game in the 9th inning. It is an awesome, yet terrible thing to love a sports team. Friday cannot get here soon enough.


cmk said...

At one point--can't remember when, as I screamed a little too much last night--I screeched so loudly at the TV that my cat jumped straight up in the air and ran from the room, NOT touching carpet until she was halfway up the steps going upstairs.

I think what makes me so sick about last night's loss is the fact that EVERYONE--other than Wings' fans, of course--will look on this as Pittsburgh's winning the series. After all, they DID push a game seven, so that just shows how superior they are, right? Despite what happens on Friday, this gives us one more year of seeing Pittsburgh in commercials 'winning' the Cup--and having to see The Boy's face even more than we do already. And I don't even want to think about the daily articles in newspapers and online. ACK!!

Tyler said...

Verlander looked unbelievable against the Sox. Cy Young-caliber stuff.

I dare not interrupt a string of posts in the Stanley Cup finals with the mentioning of a regular season baseball game, but this had to be acknowledged in some form. He was simply preposterous tonight.

Anonymous said...

Verlander was awesome. (Hey, we have 30 hours to kill, I need to obsess about something else). My love/hate relationship with Thome continues. I love him if he is playing against Cleveland or Minnesota. I hate him when he plays against us. What a homerun!
As bad as my beloved Tigers have been in some games - they offer glimpses of greatness like last night. And dare I say - look at the standings! Who would believe it.


Anonymous said...

There is never an inappropriate time to speak of the awesomeness that is Justin Verlander.

My favorite is when he strikes a guy out looking with a pitch that just burrows underground, it disappears so well, and he, the catcher, and the batter are all headed for their respective dugouts before the umpire signals the obvious. :)