14 October 2007

The Wonder Twins Strike Again: Wings 4, Kings 1

Having missed the last Wings game due to work (well, that's a lie, I came home just in time to see Robert Wing Killer notch the game winner, but let's forget about that), and not been able to catch anything else recently because, well, Charter you still suck, I finally got to sit down tonight and catch the Wings take on the Kings in the start of their first Western road trip of the year.

This particular road trip was a scary one last season, wherein the Wings dropped three of four games and couldn't score more than one goal in any of those losses. Unfortunately, the one team they did beat was the Kings, in the first matchup of the trip - but let's try not to think about that either.

Going into tonight, the Wings had won thirteen of their past fourteen games against the Kings - a nice feel-good stat that made me even feel good about Chris Osgood getting the start tonight. Luckily that stat has improved to fourteen of fifteen, and Ozzie had a brilliant evening. Midway through the first period he made a flurry of amazing saves where just about every player on the ice was swarming his crease, and kept it up all night long, absolutely robbing Michael Cammalleri, who did eventually net the only Kings goal, at least twice.

The Kings goalie of the evening, Jonathan Bernier, looked pretty solid for the first few minutes, only fumbling the puck once on a second one-timer from Lilja (lucky goalie; he held onto the puck with a little bounce-move that if he'd stumbled over would have almost definitely been a goal, as there were two or three Wings waiting there to tap it in), and even looked all right after recovering from the tag team Eurotwins PP goal. Unfortunately for him, he started to crumble a little a after Kris Draper, who is currently red hot, notched a shortie on him after he went down too early and couldn't move across the net fast enough to stop it.

With those two, the Wings started the game off with a 2-0 lead, the first , which has been a scary number for them lately - and after Andreas Lilja took an untimely penalty that gave the Kings (who had scored seven PP goals to this point) a two man advantage for twenty second, allowing Cammalleri to move the Kings within one, it looked like that might be the case again. Luckily for us, the hero line of Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, and Tomas Holmstrom decided they weren't standing for that. Despite Babock's goal, at the start of the season, to keep the duo of Datsyuk and Zetterberg on seperete lines, injuries to Johan Franzen and Mikael Samuelsson have forced them back together - and what a show they are. Holmstrom scored a beautiful tic-tac-toe goal that proved he's not only a grinder and that he can work with finesse sometimes too, putting one right past Bernier to lift the Wings ahead by two again, and Zetterberg added the fourth shortly after on a brilliantly patient wraparound play. Datsyuk assisted on both, bringing their totals for the night as a line to 3G, 5A. Think that's impressive? Individually on the season their numbers look like this:

  • Datsyuk: 1G 6A
  • Zetterberg: 4G 8A
  • Holmstrom: 5G 2A
Think they're making a damn strong case for staying together through the season, much?

They weren't the only three making an impact tonight - in the first period Babcock ran the gritty line of Dallas Drake, Matt Ellis, and Aaron Downey, inserted with the injury to Samuelsson, quite a bit, and the Money Line (two Czechs and a Finn!) from last year of Val Filppula, Jiri Hudler, and Tomas Kopecky were together for a good chunk of the night. None of them broke onto the scoresheet, but Babcock commented that they were effective in the postgame.

While the game was enjoyable, I was disappointed with the lack of Jack Johnson, having been excited to see him again after watching him play my WMU Bronco's with U of M last season. I only even heard his name twice! Hey Kms2, where was your boy tonight?

Bronco Hockey

Last night was the first game of the season for my WMU Broncos - well, an exhibition game to be precise, but exciting nonetheless. They took on the U of Windsor Lancers, and while they got off to a 0-2 start, they rallied with the help of freshman Max Campbell who led the team with two goals and an assist and ended up winning 5-2. Considering we lost our number one rookie from last year, Mark Letestu, to the WBS Penguins, seeing someone step up to that role was a relief.

As usual the game was a good time - between Jeff LoVecchio chatting with us from the penalty box and helping us cheer on Frank the Tank and Jonathan Lupa getting a game ejection for a great fight, the season started off great.

Other Miscellany
  • Elly told me to mention the Penguins while she's off in Ontario. So could Ty Conklin look a little more ridiculous in this year's Baby Pens roster shot? (Oh and the Pens won with what looks to have been a good 6-4 showing at the ACC yesterday night, too.)
  • Petr Hemsky, forgotten brother of Ales (read: he failed out of the OHL), scored the game winning goal 4:59 in to overtime for his current team Srnsi Kutna Hora (home of the Sedlac Ossuary - possibly the coolest thing I saw in the Czech Republic). Way to do something, other Hemsky!
  • Some sports recap of some football game (yeah, I was paying a LOT of attention to my TV) just used the phrase "He throws like Ernest Hemingway writes." Best. Sports metaphor. Ever.
Tomorrow night the Wings take on the Ducks - presumably not even before I get home from my night class, so here's to hoping the road trip continues the way it's started.


Kirsten said...

The entire world should be disinterested in Lupul's existence. Especially after last year.

KMS2 said...

I hate your fans. :(

*sigh* your team looked so, so good!

Steph said...

Kirsten: I personally like to think that Jason Smith was more upset about having to take Lupul with him than he was about being traded in the first place.

Kms2: Just so long as you don't hate me too! (And they really did, didn't they? I admit though, every time Cammalleri got anywhere near our goal I had a mini-panic attack. Osgood had to stand on his head to keep that kid's pucks out.)

KMS2 said...

I finally actually read your post:

ummm, I have no idea where JMFJ has been. His utter lack of JMFJ-playing style has led me to now call him Jack or Johnson. I've been disappointed with his play since the start of the season. He did have an assist a couple nights ago and does make some good plays, but other than that he's been average.

Steph said...

There was one point where I thought he was going to cream my little rookie Hudler, but he managed to get out of the way. I was so sad though, I think the last two games I saw him play in (in person) he got himself kicked out of, and tonight I barely heard his name! Hopefully he picks it up - I mean come on, everyone isn't wearing those JMFJ shirts for nothing.

Kirsten said...

Steph-that's probably true. Smith: "If it's not bad enough that they traded me to the Flyers, I have to take this asshole with me?"
Insult to injury that.

CapsChick said...

Uh...Elly's not going to like how you chose to "mention the Penguins". I found it funny though :D

Steph said...

Oh come on now, I'm sure she'll love it :D

KMS2 said...

The entire world should be disinterested in Lupul's existence.

Whatever, I'd still do him. It'll take a lot more than a lack of hockey skills for him to be dropped from The List

Steph said...

Kms2, the secret is to stand right up close to the ice wearing a shirt that could be considered skimpy (at a hockey rink, anyway - please note I was only doing this because it had Hemmer's name on it) and try to get Hemsky's attention. THEN, Joffrey Lupul will check you out :P

Elly said...

Not what I meant, Steph!

Steph said...

Hey, did I or did I not mention the Penguins?

Kirsten said...

I can tell you what bar he will be hanging out in when he's in Edmonton...Stupid NHL players taking over the bar we were hanging out in.