January 18, 2010

Game #48 -- Red Wings vs. Blackhawks


I had my answer from the moment we entered the parking garage: Joe Louis Arena, at 12:30 on a Sunday afternoon against the Hawks, was as electric as a night playoff game.

I would obviously rather see the Wings at 48-0-0 right now, or at least have us back to the point where we're bitching about how the 2nd seed in the West feels like an underachievement. (That sound you hear is a Maple Leafs fan somewhere lighting himself on fire.) But the extra jolt of excitement for regular season games now is awesome. It was January 17th and the place felt the same as it did for the Wings/Ducks game we went to last May.

It was a great game, albeit heartbreaking. The Wings had a handful of opportunities to blow the roof off the place and fell short. A weekend that nearly saw them capture four huge points turned into only two.

... Recap ...

  • I think it's Ozzie's turn now. He's been stewing long enough and Jimmy has been on one helluva run that nobody outside of maybe Kyle at BDS thought was possible. I hadn't read anything about who was supposed to start either Saturday's game or this one, so I was shocked (SHOCKED, I say) to see Jimmy starting this game, especially considering the Dallas game ended like 25 minutes before this one started.
  • Brad May: 4:47 TOI; 6 shifts; minus-2. I'm beginning to think that Ville Leino got caught in bed with Babcock's wife.
  • Lidstrom is so great to watch in person, when you can see what he's doing at all times. There's nothing original that I can add here, but you know what I'm talking about. Is there a better word for "crafty" that I'm blanking on? Because Nick is that. Crafty to the n-th degree. He's too smart for other humans to compete with.
  • Of course I'm biased because I was there and saw it live and had a complete out-of-body meltdown when it happened -- but dammit, Datsyuk pulled off the ballsiest, most awesomest shootout/penalty shot goal in the history of the National Hockey League. I'm going to have children for the sole purpose of telling them I saw this shit.

It was all in slow motion. I thought he was going for his signature Turco-undressing move (which previous to this was the coolest goal I had ever seen), and as it happened I thought Niemi out-waited him and was there for the stop. Then it happened. The "Pimp Chip". He not only had to manipulate a goalie into moving the direction he wanted to while maintaining forward motion and absolute control of the puck -- but to top it, he put an impossibly delicate, arching, floating touch over him while skating by. I was honestly so bat-shit after it happened that I didn't even see the Hawks score on their first shootout attempt. Then #44 had an OK goal.

(I'm kidding, it was awesome too.)

  • I'm envisioning a world where Patrick Eaves re-signs in Detroit next year. They'll give him a couple more seasons to kill penalties and hustle over every inch of the ice. He'll continue to play his ass off. He will continue to block shots that look painful enough to break bones, then somehow suck it up and kneel down for another block three seconds later. He will score a few big goals as more sneaky-good shots continue to come out of his stick. He will be endeared by Detroit for many years to come.
Does that sound too crazy? I hope not because I really enjoy watching this dude play hockey.

This changed how the game felt. Eaves was bloodied and Versteeg scored the takedown but the Wings got more out of this fight than the Hawks did.

  • I'll leave you with a little story. We sat in the 2nd to last row of the lower bowl in 103. I was on the aisle. During the 1st period, I hear some murmuring going on behind me.
"...murmur murmur murmur murmur TED LINDSAY murmur murmur..."

I turn around. It's Ted fuggin' Lindsay. He's watching the game, as he often does, standing where the ushers do on the concourse level. Like 6 feet behind me, smiling, just chillin' like he's common folk. Terrible Ted looks like he's about 5'1"/95 lbs, yet one glance at him and I can tell that he could kill me with his bare hands. I was flipping out a tad.

"OHMIGODDUDE .... TED LINDSAY IS RIGHT BEHIND US" (I'm Mikael Samuelsson when I'm nervous.)

"WOW, go shake his hand or something!"


"Come on, you're a huge Red Wings fan ... It's TED LINDSAY"


A few minutes of hockey passes before us. I'm hardly paying attention as I say say the words "THAT'S TED LINDSAY" seven more times. Then play stops for a whistle. I turn around again.

Me: "Uh.... hey Ted ..." /waves hand.

Ted Lindsay: "Hey."

And that, my friends, is the story of how Ted Lindsay and I became best friends.


Baroque said...

I don't think that Lidstrom can be described in one word. He plays with a subtlety and grace and a touch of elegance that converts hockey into something more artful than just a sport - it's like watching Greg Maddux in his prime look in at a batter and know that the guy had no chance against him. Both chessmasters of their games.

Glad you had a great time and the arena was loud.

Baroque said...

And I hope that Eaves has earned a home in Detroit. I liked him ever since he played for Ottawa, and am so happy to see himself playing regularly and solidly after the injuries he's had lately.

Anonymous said...

Ted Lindsay - I know! He looks like you could put him in your pocket, but I wouldn't cross him. He still scares the shit out of me.


Osrt said...

"Hey Ted, do you like Applesauce?"

It's amazing to watch King Lidas in person and he had a very good game yesterday.

Eaves had his best game yet. If he can step up the forecheck one more notch for the playoffs, he'll stay a Wing for a long time.

Oh, and you're a little bitch for not going up and shaking Ted's hand. I know you know that. Just wanted to remind you. Friends don't let friends be bitches.

jennyquarx said...

Wow, totally cool experience.

Eaves better get signed. He is my new favorite player/hockey boyfriend. Kind of like you guys and your Darren Helm love.

hockeychic said...

Eaves was awesome yesterday. How cool that you and Ted Lindsay are now BFF! I know what you mean, I was face to face with Jari Kurri once and was totally tongue tied. Not the same level as Terrible Ted obviously. I could barely get out a sentence and I know he thought I was nuts.

Glad you had fun at the game!

T/L said...

Damn, you win. I was all excited when he smiled at me on the concourse at a game in November and pretty much lost the ability to speak for the next five minutes. I like to tell people that I was named after him, even though I know my parents aren't that cool. I can dream, right?

Mike said...

I've known Teddy for quite a while through my grandfather, and you could have walked up, said hi, and he wouldn't have let you walk away without a handshake or a small convo. One of the classiest bruisers you'll ever meet.

lauren said...

It's okay, I saw Babcock walking out to his cab after a game in Columbus and was too shocked/scared to say anything (that guy terrifies me under normal circumstances, and they had just been shut out three of their last four). Fortunately my friend is better at life and managed to wish him luck in Vancouver.

Watching games in person makes me wish they would show the camera at the top of the arena more, so you can actually see all the plays develop. With the close-ups I never know where anyone is.

Triple Deke Staff said...

I didn't know until after the fact that it would've been okay for me to turn around and shake his hand. After he left, and during intermission when I was coming back from getting a drink, I asked the usher about it. He said you'd get gang banged by security if you tried to get a picture or ask for an autograph but a handshake would be cool.

- Tyler

cmk said...

I would be TERRIFIED to go up to a celebrity I admired--I'd be too afraid he/she was a total jerk and not the coolest person on Earth like I picture him/her to be. Now, if I only had the opportunity to ACTUALLY get closer than 800 miles of a celebrity, I could possibly change my mind about saying "Hey."

And I'm STILL jealous whenever someone gets to see an actual game in person--even if the Wings lose it. Glad you had a good time.

MrsOtW said...

Sorry, Tyler, but Ted Lindsay already has a BFF, and that is me. Last season, he came to GR to autograph the 7 book. I am a season ticket holder, so got to go in early. Now, I had no idea that he was going to be there. We were just walking around the concourse and I happened to see him out of the corner of my eye. He was just sittin at a table, chatting with some Griffs ppl. So we walked over, bought a book, and had him autograph it. There was like no one else on the concourse at that point, so we had him all to ourselves for a good 10 minutes. He introduced us to his wife. I shook his hand! And he personalized our autographs. It was freaking awesome!

derek said...

while i agree pav's move was one of the most creative, you can't possibly call it the greatest, considering his SIGNATURE move that split turco in half.

Triple Deke Staff said...

while i agree pav's move was one of the most creative, you can't possibly call it the greatest, considering his SIGNATURE move that split turco in half.

I think this one was much tougher to pull off.