Bad weather did finally cancel the baseball game I was supposed to work - but not with time for me to get to the Joe. Fortunately, it at least allowed me to watch the game from my couch, rather that missing it entirely, which I'm thankful for - because what a game.
I have to admit, like many other bloggers have mentioned, while Darren McCarty's goal in the first to start off the scoring was hardly a key to the game, it was an amazing feeling to watch it go in and to see his celebration - the same one we used to see back in the day. I watched him with the Griffins through his comeback and it was a joy to see how he only got better each time I saw him, something that doesn't look to stop any time soon, and even more so to see how much fun he was having. The man loves the game:
"[The goals are] all special in their own way. I don't know if one's more special, but they all go in the special box," McCarty said. "Those are great reminders that what I'm doing is right and I'm on the right path. Because miracles keep happening."McCarty's comeback is getting labeled (even by Kris Draper) as the feel good story of this season and it certainly deserves it. He's done exactly what the Wings hoped he would do when they signed him to a contract to end out the season, score some goals, make some hits - after all, as he says, "It's all part of the game, it's all part of the playoffs. You've got to suck it up. Chicks dig scars, anyway."
It wasn't McCarty, however, who really cemented this game for the Wings. Dominik Hasek, despite his behind the net gaff in the second that helped the Predators to score two quick goals and tie the game up, he played like a madman, which is exactly what we need out of the crazy Czech. Sometimes it's tough to deal with Dom - every time he leaves the crease you're left wondering if he's going to be brilliant or make a costly mistake. He did both last night, but the good outnumbered the bad. The Predators were on full out attack mode through the first period, and Hasek stood strong. The man is meant for the energy and the competition of the playoffs, and he seems to have found his groove in these ones.
Unfortunately for the Predators, to crack someone like Hasek they're going to need their star forwards to get their heads in the game. And when it's Jordin Tootoo who's your best player and lead goal scorer, it's safe to say that hasn't happened yet. Speaking of Tootoo, his second goal was an easy pot after our favorite turnover machine Andreas Lilja tossed the puck right to him. The best part about that goal was Greg Zanon's obnoxious, Crosby-esque taunting goal celebration was caught mic'd up by NBC - the guy hoots and hollers and skates off yelping "Five hole, five hole!" at Dom - only to have the next Wings goal (Kris Draper) go in off of his skate minutes later, after Babcock wisely called a time out and calmed the team down. Karma's is certainly a bitch. Tomas Holmstrom, who looks remarkable upon his return and was another huge player for the Wings yesterday, notched the last goal of the night.
The Wings looked good, but they could look better. Valtteri Filppula has to be frustrated with the number of near sure thing tap-ins he's just missed on, for one. The breaks keep on coming, as well - in the first period Radek Bonk put the puck past Hasek, but he knocked the net off on the play. The goal was waived off not because the net was off the moorings, but because the ref said he lost sight of the puck. Unfortunate for Nashville, as the ruling basically everywhere is that the goal would have counted. Yet another break for the Wings, and while it may not have won them the game, it would be nice to see us get one without anything flukey working in our favor. Fortunately even with these bits of luck, the Wings have consistently looked like the better team.
The puck drops for Game 3 Monday night at 7:30 pm, GO WINGS!