This won't be near as messy as a BP re-cap, but it won't be pretty either. My memory of the game, it's fragments, are represented as follows:
- Leave the Mines of Mor(ia) at about noon, get informed on the way to the game that puck drop time is actually at six, not 7:30 like it should be, then hustle on over to Glendale and begin drinking beers at Yardhouse and meeting up with others. Amassing our force.
- Once again, Red Wings fans were absolutely everywhere, totally dominating the outside and the bars and everything in and near Jobing.com arena. Spectacular turn out, no surprise really but it's always great to see and I never get tired of it. So we talk hockey, a lot. And then the game starts.
- Now Phoenix fans aren't normally known for their loyalty, hockey knowledge or wit, so I don't take their supposed witticisms the way I would from an informed, intelligent hockey fan. Because these people aren't funny. So of course, I spoke up and out of turn to a man who says, at the concession stand, “25 dollars for a personal pizza and a beer? I could buy a house in Detroit for that.” Obviously, he's made the dangerous presumption that Phoenix, yes the one in Arizona, the 49th best educated state in the union, the land of “beach without the ocean,” is somehow better than Detroit...at something. So I say to him “Phoenix is really nothing to brag about, pal.” To which he says something retarded in response involving the current economic situation in Michigan. “Which is fine,” I said, “because you can't talk any crap about hockey when your garbage team is hosting us. So you'll resort to the economy. No I get it, it's cool.” Douche, seriously.
- Anyway game gets going and aside from our powerplay being a bit impotent I liked the first period. Up until the last minute. What the eff? Another last minute goal against? That's 3 in five games...there's a trend there and I don't like it. Play your hockey kids, until it's OVER. Don't look up at the clock. Seriously not cool.
- Intermission: So yeah, I have to throw in this ditty about the intermissions. I was running around the concourse in each intermission meeting friends, fake internet friends, and blogging rivals and each time went out to the patio to have a smoke. I didn't have a lighter so I thought I'd rely on the little bit of Irish charm my parents gave me in lieu of good looks and bum a light of a fellow Wings fan. Well when I open the door I saw the most glorious thing I think I've seen since the last time I was in Detroit. Outside, in the out of doors, there is a noticeable haze of smoke. I'm not making that up or exaggerating. There is totally a cloud outside from all the smokers, and the best part....nearly everyone out there is a Red Wings fan. So I had plenty of good talks and one really, really hearty guffaw at how much ire we fans can draw from the snotty arrogant a-holes of Glendale. I guess you have to have stood up for smokers at one time in your life to appreciate it, but it was a great scene.
- Second period goal was a strange one, and I'd wished Eaves would get credit for it but instead it'll go to Datsyuk's wizardry. Who am I kidding, he probably did that on purpose after all the other crap I've seen him pull.
- Third period saw Detroit on the powerplay for basically all 20:00 minutes, and no success. Bryzgzhygolvyavyov had to make a lot of really big saves and he was phenomenal I thought. Very good goalie keeping the undisciplined Jetotes in the game. After the third there is still, thankfully, sudden death before it goes to skills, so I really wanted it to end here. Detroit outshot Phoenix 8-0 in the extra session, mostly because Phoenix can't stay out of the box to save their lives. Is there heroin in the penalty box or what? Why are they constantly trying to get in so bad? Just seconds after killing off the Ed I'm-the-reason-Bert-had-to-do-what he-did-to-Moore Jovanoski, Adrian Aucoin decks Tomas Holmstrom for absolutely no effing reason. He tries to make up for it by fighting him, but that only ends in minors for roughing. The powerplay unit comes back on the ice.
- My roommate, whom I'm trying to get into hockey by bringing him to his first game, can't hold back the need to use the men's room so he leaves, usually a safe bet at the end of OT in a 1-1 game in which Detroit is 0 for 7 on the man advantage. As soon as he hits the concourse Nik Kronwall (pictured to the right) hits the back of the net and finally, mercifully, we beat Phoenix in a slightly closer game than last time we played them here. Hugs for everyone!
So yeah, the game was great and Jimmy looked amazing out there. Modano Huds and Cleary are all working hard but there's just not enough...something...to that line. They don't play enough in the offensive zone and it worries me. Our tough-guy side, now world famous thanks to Pav's fight, was good enough to keep Phoenix, a very physical team, in their place all night. We were never rattled or even annoyed after whistles. Very discipline hockey by Detroit and in the only near fight, Bertuzzi skated by to ask the Phoenix player if he “really wanted to do this?” And then added, “I mean really?” As he pointed to the tattoo on his wrist that says Adamantium Reinforced.
They looked great again, and I was very happy for it. I also want to take this time to apologize to anyone I drunkenly cursed at or peed on or slapped in the face. It was all in good fun.
Lastly, I did manage to talk to the police, this time without breaking any rules, and brought up the issue with people who work at the arena as well as the cops, in regards to a kid being jailed for throwing an octopus on the ice. Apparently there's some bogus, b.s. rule about public events and not throwing things “on stage or on the ice,” such that if Phil Collins is in town and he's wailing away about not caring anymore and you throw a bottle of beer at him, you can go to jail. Similarly, octopi on the ice for a hockey game. I know, stupid. They've been tossed in every arena and pretty much every Red Wing home game in my hockey-watching life (again, which predates the Phoenix franchise), and no player has ever been hurt by one. Somehow, some way, people are taking the initiative to ban these creatures from being thrown, lest we find a way later on to weaponize them and actually hurt players.
Stupid. And Goodnight from Arizona.