Holy James Tiberius Howard, what a game! Versus televising our Captain's return home with his new team isn't something I approve of, no, I'd rather hear Ken and Mick any night but especially on events like this, but as far as entertainment is concerned I think it was a huge hit. Amazing night, really. NBC Sports Network, formerly Versus, formerly Outdoor Life Network, formerly QVC had this one with the always enjoyable and hyper-intelligent Doc Emmerick and the unbearable Eddie Olczyck and likewise unbearable Pierre McGuire. And even though Edzo's “they run interference” and Pierre's “am I Irish or am I French, fellas?” nonsense made my ears bleed, this game gave viewers star power, energy, speed, scoring and a look at what many regard as a “non Elite NHL Goalie.”
Make the jump for the rest the recap.
Jim Howard was absolutely incredible. The breakaway for Gilroy was a huge opportunity late in the game for Tampa Bay to pull within one shot, and Howard made a flashy glove save that I think, and the VS/NBC crew thinks, makes a case for people needing to recognize this goalie. Especially his glove.
Other key notes I've observed, albeit from isolation down here in my fire-brick-lined fallout shelter:
- Pavel Datsyuk is now in Pavmode. He is feeling confident, shooting, and best of all, having fun.
- Darren Helm is beginning to “finish” his scoring chances.
- Valtteri Filppula is absolutely owning the puck, and moving with great speed. He's advancing to a “standout” level of Red Wing, even though he would be a standout on any other team 3 years ago. His rise also causes absolute hell for yammerheads like Milbury and Jonesy to try and pronounce his name without either sounding like they didn't read it properly or are trying too hard to "sound native."
- Our breakouts and transition the last 3 games have been superb. Almost reminiscent of the 2007-08 season in which, any time a loose puck (or 50/50 puck, if you prefer that terminology, I don't) was to be won, we had the confidence to send everyone on the attack and the nearest man would either win the puck and pull it to a neighbor who could move it out of the zone or chip it out and lead the charge. It's great to see this again.
- Homer is still the best on re-directions.
- Nik Kronwall is becoming a feared scoring threat (like Mike Green!) as well as a feared defenseman (unlike Mike Green!)
- Yak Kindl is playing great hockey. Great defensive hockey, no less. Rather than being a kid in our defensive corps whom we “just want to have play without noticing,” he's being noticed for his stellar play. He skates well with the puck; is both patient and aware when moving it in his own zone against a super-aggressive forecheck; and even knows when to play the body. He's really surprised me this year and I have to put his trading cards in that “I was wrong about you” pile along with Jimmy Howard, Johan Franzen, Henrik Zetterberg and Nik Kronwall's cards. Yep, I'm a nerd like that.
I was at the game last night!! Except for those random lapses (2 period, oy!), the boys looked pretty great. Jimmah is The Man.
That goal by Homer was AWESOME. Dats was amazing, as per usual. I was happy to see Rig & Helm both score. I also thought Fabs looked pretty good out there. The Fabs-Danger-Buckets line seemed to work well together.
I'm loving the way Fil & Kindl are coming along. Both are on fire this season.
I really want to know what TAWD did/said to get his unsportsmanlike penalty.
Also? Screaming "BLEED, TAWD!!! BLEEEEEED!!!!!" when he got high-sticked netted me a both few odd looks & a few high-fives. *grin*
When Jimmy made that save I pooped my pants. I literally lost all control and pooped my pants. The man is on an entirely different level. If he is not in the all-star game then I don't know what the NHL is looking for in their allstars. All around great game, Ericson had me on his side after he scored but then he brought me back to reality when he turned it over less than ten seconds after his goal for one of Tampa's best scoring chances. I usually never want to see a Wing leave or get traded due to sentimental fan attachment, but I wouldn't shed a tear to see him gone.
REMEMBER TO VOTE FOR JIMMY!!! Vote and vote often!!
@JOHNxJOHN The Only reason I'm not voting for Jimmy is because the All Star Game means nothing to me. And the way it's structured I'm pretty sure it means even less to an NHL Goalie. They're made to look like fools in the skills competition and if they play well and yield zero goals, people bitch that it's a "boring" all star game. A 1-0 final would be a complete disaster. Plus as we hard as we ride him I think it'd be good to give him a weekend off with the wife and kid.
@brendanksullivan It's not that I actually want to watch him play in the all-star game. I just think he deserves more recognition than he is getting.
I thought the same thing about Big E. He threw it up the boards while he was staring intently down at his skates. @JOHNxJOHN
Funny you mention the channel identity crisis, i was joking with my wife last night, that since it has gone form, Outdoor Life Network to OLN to Versus to VS to NBC Sports network, that natural progression would have it being named NBCSN next year... and letting out a loud HA after reading that Mike Green quip, now has my co-workers knowing I really don't do anything... thanks.
helm finishes best when he doesn't think. in this game, he just took the puck and fired it. too often he hesitates and just puts a black mark on the goalies chest. he won't need soft hands if he thinks fast.
He has good hands, he just doesn't use them often. I think it helps that he's been hanging out with Z and Datsyuk so much. Is it just me, or does it seem like he could be a much faster Z type of player if he would just score more? Guess he just needs to keep grinding it out and practicing his shots. @Twig