Friday, March 1, 2013

Sharkie Sharkie In The Tank, You're No Match For The Wings And Hank!

I was determined to stay awake and watch the Wings last night, but it's been a really long week for me and by 8 o'clock last night I was already fighting to stay awake. The first period didn't really inspire excitement and I made it to the middle of the second period before I fell asleep. Lucky for me though, I woke up just at the puck dropped for the third period and I got to see the Wings beat the Sharks in a shootout. I hate West coast games because I am compelled to watch them, even though I'm dead tired and I'll barely be able to drag myself out of bed after only a few hours of sleep. That's just part of being a Hockey fan though, and it's all worth it.

Highlights in no particular order:

  • Holy Lashoff Batman! Last night Joe Thornton comes in with Martin (I was Kronwalled before Kronwalling was a thing) Havlat on a 2 on 1 and Brian Lashoff is the only man back. There is no help coming for the young buck. By the time Thornton and Havlat hit center ice, the next closest player behind them hasn't even hit the Sharks blue line yet. With Thornton and Havlat charging into the zone, a lesser rookie may have panicked or possibly pooped himself. Not Brian Lashoff! He kept his cool, used his head and made the perfect play to not only keep Thornton from even getting a shot off, but also to keep him from being able to pass to Havlat for what probably would have been a goal. Lashoff's play would have been impressive had it been against a third or fourth line player, but it's even more impressive because of who he shut down. I've been impressed with him since his first game and aside from a few plays here and there, he hasn't looked like a rookie at all. He's been great 5 on 5, impressive on the penalty kill and even trusted (rightfully so) to help kill of 5 on 3's. I'm thrilled with the 3 year 2.175k contract Kenny signed him to and he's definitely been a sliver lining to all the injuries we've had.

  •  Eaves was credited for his first goal! Woo! It's not how I would have chosen for him to get his first since coming back from that awful concussion, but a goal is a goal and Eaves was working hard, fighting for position and putting himself in front of the net and creating traffic which allowed his foot to deflect Kronwall's shot into the back of the net. It's not a flashy goal, but Eaves did the dirty work and I'm absolutely thrilled he got credit for the goal. I wish I could see his face in the video, because we already know he has the best goal celebration face ever, but you can see in the video how excited he was and if you can see Patty score a goal and celebrate and not feel elation and pure joy, then you're probably dead inside and you should really get some help.

 Goal at 1:04

  •   Speaking of Eaves... Dear Mike Babcock, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please swap Abdelkader and Eaves in the lineup. Eaves can fill in much more effectively in the top 6 than Abby can. I'm a big Abby fan and supporter, but he's not a top 6 player. He's a 3'd/4th line guy who can be very effective in that role, but Abby doesn't match up well against other teams' top lines, and watching Justin Abdelkader try to take on Joe Thornton is painful and I feel terrible for Abby. I also feel bad for the rest of the team and myself since Thornton handily besting Abby led directly to the only goal the Sharks scored last night. I commend him for trying his best to fill the position Babcock has put him in. Abby is in over his head and I'm sure he knows it, but he keeps busting his ass trying anyway. I don't blame Abby for having a hard time on the second line because he's not a second line player but he's being put in that role anyway. Please Mr Babcock, put Eaves up on Datsyuk's wing (until Flip comes back) and let Abby play his role with Andersson and Tatar.
  •  Thanks Ken and Murph for constantly reminding me how great Stuart was for us and how we don't have him anymore.It's not like almost every game I think to myself, "man I really miss Stuart". Go ahead, rub some more salt in that wound why don't you.
  •  This was Gustavsson's first start as a Red Wing. He said before the game that he was nervous and it showed. He did a lot of scrambling around, and quite a few times it looked like he was "behind" by a few seconds and I don't know if I've ever seen a goalie make that many accidental saves before. He still made several big saves, but also got bailed out by his defense a couple times- most notable midway through the 3'd by Henrik Zetterberg who was channeling his inner Brad Stuart and playing backup goaltender. Monster stopped 25/26 shots and the goal that went in shouldn't have, it went in between him and the goal post- right where his glove should have been. Overall Monster still had a pretty solid game, and if this is how he plays getting his first NHL start since playing with the Leafs last year, coming off a groin injury, while re-learning his style after Toronto tried to ruin him, I have confidence in him and look forward to him getting more starts.
 Zetterberg out Stuarting Brad Stuart

  •  Seeing Zetterberg in beast mode does things to me. Watching him fight off 3 Sharks players in the corner, come out with the puck, use his body to hold said sharks players at bay, spin around (still with the puck) and STILL get a shot on net or a perfect pass to an open Wing makes me feel so euphoric that I should probably send him a thank you card.
  •  Damien Brunner has 2 shootout goals in 2 attempts and both have been game winning goals. There was a time when I feared the shootout because it was almost certain that we would lose. If we can put Datsyuk, Brunner and Bertuzzi out in the shootout, and then have the likes of Zetterberg, Tatar and Filppula as "extras", I won't need antacids every time we go to the shootout.

WTF are you doing!? moment of the game:

  • Kronwall tried to keep the puck in at the point and shot it into the Sharks zone.. and RIGHT INTO PATRICK EAVES' FACE!! Luckily Eaves was wearing a shield, but after finally coming back from a concussion from taking a puck to the head, I just about had a heart attack when Kronner hit him.

 I'm glad I stayed awake to watch the game and that the Wings made it worth it by winning and giving me several things to be excited about. Next up? Chigaco comes to the Joe on Sunday and hopefully we can hand them their first regulation loss and hopefully we can get some more players getting healthy and returning to the lineup. Rest up boys, you're going to need it.

Let's Go Red Wings!

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