Following yesterday's innocuous little win over the Phoenix Coyotes, the Wings have moved into prime position to steal the Central Division title away from the Nashville Predators (and return balance to the universe). It was a game that might have had us worried for just a few minutes in there, but like the Red Wings fans we are, we remembered that scoring first against us means literally next to nothing, and stood strong. I saw the game but didn't get a chance to do a good full review of it - Matt of On the Wings has it covered though, if you're so inclined (and you should be!). I do seem to love to hear myself talk though, so here are a couple points I can't resist bringing up about the game:
- I can't remember a time span in my life in which I have yelled "DOM. NO." with such frequency. I mean, I give Dominik Hasek a ton of credit - he's been damn good this season. He plays like a crazy man, sure, but we've come to accept this and (when he pulls it off) even love it about him. I admit I've even found him strangely endearing thus far this year (something that may have been helped along by such uncharacteristic and oddly cute things as sending Joey MacDonald encouraging text messages and taking his defensemen and PK teams out to dinner for his birthday - oh sorry, "because he's had a few shutouts"). And there's something to be said about a goalie who can make a play like this one and get away with it. But we all know that Dom still sort of, well, sucks at playing the puck. I think the guy just gets bored in net (he certainly doesn't seem interested in the Islanders girls) and wants to wander a little. And admit it, you love seeing him rush out and take some poor innocent defenseman out at the ankles. But the sheer amount of times that hasn't worked lately is reason enough to stop trying it once per game - and the end result of tripping up your own defenseman and causing a ridiculous empty net goal like this should only serve to reinforce that.
- During the game, Ken Daniels mentioned that Wayne Gretzky said something about Henrik Zetterberg being one of the most underrated players in the league. And after seeing what the one-two Henrik/Pavel team have been doing lately, I don't think there's anyone willing to debate that, especially after these past few games. It's nice to see him getting a bit more credit at least within the Wings club if not the league - even if it took Yzerman and Shanahan leaving.
- Our announcers just make me really happy sometimes, and last night was very much one of them. Most especially when they were interviewing Draper, who is still getting over some kind of illness and is thus still having problems with his voice - "Let's be honest, it's from all that chirping at Brendan wasn't it?"
My (completely unbased) prediction is 5-1 Wings, two for Datsyuk, two for Zetterberg, and one from someone on that fourth line (I'd say Hudler but it'd make me look biased, wouldn't it?). Look for a recap at some point after the game.
Go.......Leafs! (Come on it's in everyone's best interest to see them nail the Preds right now!)