Red Wings 1 – Sharks 3

Last game of this swing for me being up all night. Don’t get me wrong, fans, I’m doing this all for you and I love it, love the team and I’d be watching it anyway. But work is hell when you’re up late and have to get up early to use your engineering intellect to help solve China’s commodities crisis. Thursday, day after the Ducks game, for example, I forgot to attach a spreadsheet to an email I sent out. EGADS!

Anyway, before the puck drops I’m already happy to hear John Keating say that we can “look forward to the next two hours of Larry Murphy brilliance.” Murph just laughs. Maniacally. Later, Murph discusses standings amongst the West’s Top Five: “Just goes to show the West is much, much stronger than the East.” Hell yes.

FIRST PERIOD
Slow start and good chances for SJ early. Lots of them. None for us. Sigh…another one of these games.
Surprise! San Jose pressure leads to a goal within the first four minutes. Five minutes in and they’re outshooting us 9-1. At this rate, they’ll outshoot us 108-12. Thank Bog Gary’s parity keeps these games close.
Draper takes a bad penalty, and the lack of confidence defensively shows as the PK is really shaky. Shaky but somehow working; and Helmer even gets a scoring chance out of it for us.
Back to five-on-five and back to crazy, goofy play. Team just looks awful early on and San Jose really came to play tonight.
Our fist PP comes when Datsyuk is tripped. Our first good chances come on this PP but instead of sustained pressure we make really, really bad passes and can’t hold the line.
A trend is developing offensively for the Wings, keeping pucks low and getting everything on net; Niemi is a heck of a rebound generator. Still, no dice.
16:59 Mark and Sharks take a delay of game penalty. Kronner buries one right after the draw is won by Filppula. Goal is refuted because Johan Franzen was in the crease interfering with Niemi. Of course he was, until you watch the replay. Absolutely no contact, nowhere close, he wasn’t even in the f***ing crease. Just what the hell? Terrible, terrible call. Next whistle sees Franzen punched in the back of the head. Naturally, he’s called for roughing, part of matching minors.
Epically, Lidstrom holds the puck in at the point twice, passes to Modano for a long range blast and Homer deflects it in…much closer mind you, to Niemi than was the Mule. 1-1 after 1. Period ends with Jumbo Joe mixing it up with Kronner and a Homer interview after that, for sure!

SECOND PERIOD
Starts at four-on-four from the Kronner-Thorton skirmish and also starts with Murph defending the ref’s waiving off Kronner’s goal…because he has to? I seriously have no other idea why he’d agree with the refs on that one, but he rarely goes against them. Colin Campbell must know where he lives.
Phantom hooking call on Homer, this reffing is complete bollocks. 2-1 Sharts now.
Line combinations get changed, inevitable I guess, although I’d like to see Babs do this much more often (a la Scotty Bowman). Datsyuk-Zetterberg-Franzen, Flip-Bert-Cleary, Huds-Draper-Helm, Modano-Abby-Homer. Seems to be working, Detroit stops being out-skated so severely and Detroit plays in SJ’s end for quite a while.
Sharts take momentum after a successful PK and just absolutely dominate in the Wings end for 2 shifts worth of a shooting gallery. Exhausted Wings don’t get anything going until they change for Helmer. We barely make it out alive, down 2-1. PICK IT UP, BOYS!

Pictured:  A fully grown “Murph,” intoxicated, of course

THIRD PERIOD
Stats roll out about the shift of utter domination by the Sharts. Apparently Brad Stuart and Dan Cleary were out there for over two and half minutes. Incredible.
After another incredible save by MacDonald, I’m beginning to realize he’s really keeping us in this game. I will now murder myself as I’ve just said that the Red Wings are being kept in a game thanks to Joey MacDonald.
With 7 minutes left I’m really wondering if the real Red Wings are going to show up for this one, it’s not looking encouraging. Maybe I’m just annoyed to hear Murph defend the no-goal call. Doesn’t help that Kindl gets called for yet another phantom hook. Kindl knows full well not to put the stick in a guy’s midsection but if you’re gonna do it, get your money’s worth.
Red Wings officially give up after the PK when Joey MacDonald comes WAY out of the net to play a puck, pokes it directly into Patrick Marleau and it bounces back into the net. Retarded. 3-1 SJ. What a rotten decision by Joey after such a strong game.

My final thoughts are that I only wish the team that occasionally plays dominant, Red Wings Hockey could have shown up. And Joey played surprisingly well. 2 nights in a row we’ve given our goalies d*ck to work with after they’ve both been really good. Piss.

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