You know, I typically do a game recap by going back through my Twitter feed for descriptions of the pertinent plays as they happened in real time. This note-taking technique isn’t going to work for this game. What I have are descriptions of the substitute play by play guy’s soporific voice (Matthew Shepard was filling in for Ken Daniels), complaints about how this is the slowest-paced game I’ve seen all season, and jokes about prunes. But let’s wing it, shall we?
1st period: No scoring. Drew Miller got a penalty for high-sticking Jason Arnott. Replay showed that Arnott was actually sticked in the face by one of his own teammates. I suppose it could have been worse– it could have been a 4 minute bleeder instead of a single penalty. Also, Brad Stuart made a play for Vezina candidacy when he absolutely saved a goal by batting away a puck that was halfway across the goal line. I had to wonder after that if Jimmy Howard taps Stuie with the goalie paddle after saves like that, the same way he taps the goal posts when a shot rings off them.
2nd period: Johan Franzen opened the scoring with a power play goal. The Mule skated up towards the side of the net and flipped the puck into a tiny little space between Brian Elliott’s shoulder and the crossbar. For a brief shining moment, Franzen had as many power play goals this season as the entire Blues team did put together (that would be 8). Then Alex Steen scored a power play goal with Jakub Kindl in the box for tripping to tie the game and put St. Louis ahead in that race again.
3rd period: The Blues scored twice very early in the third, and Jonathan Ericsson figured in the errors which led to both goals, giving further fodder to fans who think Kenny Holland really messed up by signing Ericsson to his current contract. David Backes scored a power play goal off a T.J. Oshie pass. Howard was focused on Oshie, who looked like he was about to cut across the front of the crease, but passed instead. Backes was waiting by the side of the net completely missed by Ericsson, and it was an easy task for Backes to flip the puck in. Patrick Berglund’s goal two minutes later was admittedly a shared fault goal. Niklas Kronwall was caught pinching in to the offensive zone, allowing the Blues to escape on a two on one. Ericsson seemed unsure of which guy he should be covering, which led to Howard trying to cover both guys, which rarely works and didn’t in this case. Jiri Hudler got the Wings within one late in the period when he deflected a Danny Cleary shot past Elliott, but even with Howard pulled for a sixth skater the Wings weren’t able to score again.
Howard provided pretty much the best moment in an otherwise nearly-unwatchable game shortly before Hudler’s goal. David Perron took a run at him and knocked him over. Howard is not the sort of guy to take this abuse lying down, and he certainly doesn’t get THE VAPORS and need a FAINTING COUCH like some goalies we could name. *cough-Elliott-with-Justin-Abdelkader’s-alleged-charging-call-cough* No, Howard decided to throw a few punches at Perron himself. Warmed my heart, it did.
Next game: Returning home to face the Phoenix Coyotes Thursday at 7:30.
Note: I’ll try to have a note on the NHL’s realignment for you tomorrow. I’m still so garbled that it happened as fast as it did that I’m not quite sure yet what I want to say about it!
(Sorry this is so late and so basic– I had to work late, since, as of yet, hockey blogging doesn’t pay the bills!)
The Wings go into the Scottrade Center in St. Louis hoping to shake off the lethargy that plagued them against Colorado on Sunday and hoping to do better than they did last time they played the Blues, a 2-1 loss on November 15th.
Valtteri Filppula, who suffered a deep leg cut during the Colorado game, will not be able to go tonight after determining at practice that he couldn’t skate well enough with the cut. “It was pretty painful. I could cruise around a little bit but when I had to skate a little fast I couldn’t really do it,” he told reporters. Danny Cleary will be promoted to the second line with Henrik Zetterberg and Jiri Hudler, and Cory Emmerton makes his way back into the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the past four games. Jimmy Howard will be starting in goal.
On the Blues’ side, Brian Elliott will be the starting goaltender. Elliott currently leads the NHL with a 1.53 goals against average and a .945 save percentage in 13 games played. (Howard is currently 2nd in GAA with 1.83 and 9th in save percentage with .931, with 21 games played.)
Let’s go, Red Wings! *clap clap clapclapclap*