Dear Flames: This is not the way to Bring Stanley Back.
Two games into the series, and the Wings will now take it to the Dome up two on the struggling Flames after this afternoon's 3-1 victory - an excellent way to start off the series, as we've all seen the Flames bipolar tendencies, and struggle or not in these couple games, I can't believe they won't come out much stronger back in Calgary.
Of course I expected a stronger start for the opposition this afternoon, too, but it seemed like once again there but for the grace of Kipper went the Flames. I'm still catching games on a tiny screen that doesn't really allow for the sort of watching that would constitute good recaps, but I have a few observations:
- Nice to see Pavel Datsyuk dispel all those worries about his playoff peformance right away and come out strong in both games, netting one in the first minute and two seconds this afternoon. CBC was showing clips of him during warmup, positioning himself right in the middle of the warmup circle and just working on puck control while everyone else skated around him. He is a monster at it, it's mesmerizing to watch.
- Valterri Filppula has had two excellent playoff games too, with a goal in each. Nik Lidstrom had nothing but good words about him after the game, and considering his limited ice time, it's really great to see him making so much of it.
- After missing the last 19 games of the regular season, Henrik Zetterberg is back and tearing it up. CBC couldn't decide if they thought he was coming back a little slow (they showed a couple recaps of mishandled pucks and some sloppiness) or if he was back and brilliant as ever (a few minutes later they showed a brilliant third-period shot on goal where he even managed to move around all the traffic in front of the net and pick up his own rebound) but either way, it's great to see him back.
- Jiri Hudler had a nice chance to score that he couldn't quite capitalize on - and instead he got knocked down by Regehr and subsequently jumped on by Brad Stuart. Now I don't know, but two guys of that size doesn't seem like the sort of strength you need to hold back the little Czech - seemed a little unnecessary to me. Things like that were what kept Calgary in the box for half of the game. Oh and speaking of Jiri, he's been playing well too - and that bit where he decked Huselius the other night was genius. Still trying to prove those scouts wrong about your physicality, Jiri?
LET'S GO WINGS!