Big win over the oft found on raodside dead, run over by vehicle(s) Coyote(e)s. Really, really hate playing this team. Not a clean opponent and their aggressive forecheck puts the Red Wings in a bad state of play every time we meet up. We're not going to get 4 or 5 goals on this team unless Brzhgzwakaskgzv has a really off game, or isn't starting, or the team is very tired. Always close. With that, let's get to the recrap (← Using that word full-time now).
First Period: A surprisingly good start by the Wings. Not too tired looking, or jet-lagged either. Goal on Modano's first shift with a pass from the largest set of teeth to ever wear the Winged Wheel back to an activating Rafalski, off the lively boards and tapped in for another Cleary goal that is scored within 5 feet of the net. Good man, Danny Boy.
I think the incident with Jimmy Howard was one of great peril and horror for all Wings fans. This kid is an incredibly talented goalie who has worked very, very hard to be where he is, which is every bit as important as having talent (just ask Jose Theodore...or not). Luckily, the kid's fine and will Save some more.
Phoennipeg goal with less than 1 minute on the clock, much as they scored late in the first when I saw these two teams play live in Somewhere-not-in-Phoenix, really pisses me off. Pisses me off even more because of the second period that followed.
Second Period: Pure crap. I'd like not to talk about it, except for the fact that Hudler continued to underwhelm and Franzen looks very human all of a sudden. But holy jumpin' did Fil play hard with Bert on his side, and the fourth line drew a penalty on solid effort. Pav and Hank nearly made the magic happen but just not enough. Overall, a terrible period in terms of possessing the puck, turnovers in the neutral zone and letting the enemy have as many shots at Jimmah(!) as his beer gut could swallow up.
Third Period: Much refined effort, much more puck possession and all around, a good bit more intensity (exceptions being Mule and Happy, again). The tying goal was one we've seen Nick do before. Skate around a bit at the point, where he's free, and find the spot that has the open shot with a screened goalie. He's good at those.
On a side note, anyone else notice anything special about Ericsson's goal against the 'Nucks the other night? He scored it from the point, on a one timer, skating away with a slapper that was fed right into the wheelhouse. Is it just me or is that type of shot and goal a really, really good sign for this franchise? Who else other than Nick can score at will with those? Who else can teach that?
I really felt the team finished strong and that last shift was very dangerous by the revised Circus line. I do think the Phx player holding on to Z helped set up the delayed call in OT, too, as a sort of make-up call.
Overtime: Salei makes us all re-read Chris's earlier post about whether or not he's worth the $362.58 plus 3 used radial tires we're paying as his salary, and all agree that he is. Very nice shot-pass but what's even better was Zetterberg's deflection. My goodness can you ever get enough of the displays of talent our team offers us? And the pressure to keep the puck in the zone on that delayed call was...what's the word I'm looking for...dominant?
Dominant. If only for a long enough time to squeak one out in overtime, I'll take it. Ph*k you, Phoenix!