So, I've decided to live blog this game, because, well, I can. :-)
6:41- The FSN broadcast team is ridiculous. Larry Murphy is wandering the Joe today instead of broadcasting from between the benches. Expect some interviews with terrorized hockey fans who only wanted a beer.
6:42- A commercial break, so I'll give you some preview. Both the Red Wings and the Sabres are on win streaks. DRW goalie Ty Conklin is also riding a shutout streak. I haven't actually watched the Red Wings play since last Saturday (stupid college) so I have no idea how this game is going to go.
6:44- Zetterberg just informed Ken Daniels that he didn't get voted into the All Star Game because he isn't playing well enough. I have no idea how he thinks he can be playing better, but whatever. Incidentally his contract is up this year- currently we're paying him just under $3 million. Obviously he'll be getting a large raise.
6:48- Hakan Andersson (the DRW director of European scouting) is absolutely adorable. He's also very good at his job: our only current European that we drafted in the first round is Niklas Kronwall (D). Tomas Holmstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Jiri Hudler, Valtteri Filppula, and some others were all later round picks.
Supposedly after the WJC this year he claimed that he wouldn't recommend Tavares as a draft pick. I don't know if that's actually true, but he brought up an interesting point in his interview just now that the Red Wings play a very European style of hockey and some players just don't fit. I have a very firm belief that Sidney Crosby's style of play wouldn't work in our current system, regardless of his (obviously high) level of talent.
6:53- Just saw the footage of the Ruutu biting incident for the first time. The whole thing is just ridiculous.
6:54- Chelios just said that he bit someone back in the day. And by "back in the day" he probably meant the 1970s.
6:55- Apparently Kronwall isn't playing and Meech is?
7:00- The Kenny Cam? Seriously? But Mickey Redmond looks nice and cozy by himself in the broadcast booth.
Kronwall is not playing tonight for an unknown reason- presumably a health issue, since he had three assists on Thursday.
7:02- Larry Murphy, I would strongly recommend that you do NOT stand there for the beginning of the game, as you will be blocking a lot of views. You also might get hit by a flying octopus.
7:07- Zetterberg just won the first face-off of the game. I usually take that as a good sign. Interesting that Meech is paired with Stuart, rather than moving up Lilja or Lebda and putting Meech on the third pairing.
7:11- Lots of hitting in this game. Filppula and Lebda (two of my favorite players) have both been absolutely laid out only five minutes into the first period.
7:12- Roy just scored. Conklin made a great save on Vanek and the defense failed to clear it. Really bad play by Detroit.
7:13- Roy going to the box on a hooking call. Hopefully we can even things up.
7:16- Sabres successfully killed the power play. Meech played the point on the 1B power play unit. Interesting choice by Babcock.
7:18- Beautiful play by Lebda and Hossa, followed by another scoring chance for Zetterberg. I can't believe we didn't score there.
7:19- I can't believe THEY didn't score there! Conklin comes out to the circle to poke check, three Red Wings rush to the net to try to keep the puck out, fail to clear the puck, and Conklin scrambles back to make the save of a life time. We look sloppy.
7:21- Another good scoring chance for Detroit as all three forwards rush the net.
7:26- My contact at the game tells me that someone just proposed on the jumbotron during the TV timeout.
7:27- She said yes. :-)
7:30- Finally an icing. There's only been maybe five whistles so far this game, so lots of changing on the fly.
7:32- A couple of great plays by Lebda, but nothing.
8:10- Took a break to go get food and missed the first intermission and the first five minutes of the second. Sabres are still winning 1-0 so apparently I didn't miss much.
8:18- Lots of back and forth, not much time in either zone. Meech just shattered a stick on a one timer.
8:24- Jiri Hudler ties it on a one timer after a beautiful play by Brett Lebda to get the puck in deep.
8:26- Hudler just passed his previous record for goals in the regular season (he's at 16- two years ago he had 15). He's an RFA next summer so he scheduled his breakout year nicely- unless you're Ken Holland trying to retain your team.
8:29- Second period ends with the game tied at one. The Red Wings are outshooting the Sabres 25-10.
8:50- Three minutes into the third, and Detroit looks great.
8:51- Detroit getting a power play on a delay of game penalty. Mental mistake by Rivet.
8:53- Power play over. So much for having the best power play in the league... though the Sabres are ranked very high in penalty killing.
8:56- Former Red Wing Brendan Shanahan apparently signed today with the New Jersey Devils. Good for him.
9:00- The FSN broadcasters are RIDICULOUS. They just showed Mickey Redmond on the jumbotron singing "Piano Man" by Billy Joel.
9:03- Red Wings on the power play on a goaltender interference call. It was actually a terrible call, same kind that keeps happening Detroit- a defenseman shoves someone into the goalie and they get called for interference.
9:05- Power play over, no goal. Which is really just as well since we didn't deserve it anyway. Detroit is now outshooting Buffalo 39-18.
9:12- Miller has faced 87 shots over the past two nights, and tonight isn't even over yet. He has to be exhausted.
9:15- Samuelsson! And assisted by Hudler. I can't really blame the Sabres for allowing that goal, the play made absolutely no sense. Yay for the Red Wings being telepathic and doing ridiculous things with the puck.
9:17- Hossa! Assisted by Zetterberg, I think. This goal is very important because it gives me fantasy points! Also, with only a couple minutes left in the third, being up 3-1 puts Detroit in a comfortable position.
9:18- Filppula got the second assist on the Samuelsson goal. Rewatching the play he did a great job getting the puck into the zone. Flip is my favorite Red Wing and he hasn't been scoring much lately- but I am totally okay with him being playmaker. :-)
9:19- Zetterberg did get the assist on the Hossa goal.
9:21- And Detroit wins 3-1, despite a flurry of shots in the last 30 seconds with Miller pulled for the sixth attacker. This was a really great game, very intense.
My stars are Miller, Lebda, and Samuelsson.
Whoever picked the stars went with Franzen, Miller, and Samuelsson. I was close.
Some thoughts from an outsider
10 months ago