There are not sufficient words to describe how happy we are to have hockey to write about tonight — dude, off-nights are so brutal! The NHL needs to look into how to solve this recurring problem of the games going away this time of year.
Something else the NHL needs to look into? Chris Simpson’s wardrobe choices. Why would she wear that puke yellow color if she knew she was going to be interviewing Wings in clashing red? Tonight’s exploration of why HD isn’t necessarily a good thing involves an interview with Zetterberg. We agree he looks like if Jake Gyllenhaal and Petr Sykora had a kid, and while some people might say, “That sounds like a very handsome kid,” those people are wrong. Furthermore, his hair is going to haunt our nightmares tonight. So unfortunate.
We come back from commercial to get an interview on the bench between Chris and Andy McDonald. The puke yellow doesn’t match the Duck ensemble any better than it did the Wings one. Pookie cries with dismay, “I can’t take my eyes off her coat!” (Andy McDonald seems to be trying his hardest to do just that, as he keeps his head ducked and turned away from her for the duration of the interview.)
Okay, we may have just complained about interviews with ugly people in HD, but as soon as we get a sweeping vista of the Honda center, we thank the Television Gods for this most magnificent invention.
19:37 Franzen proves that, tonight, holding McDonald is completely legal, as he wraps an arm around the little Duck behind his goal line with nothing called.
18:45 Pronger pulls up behind his net and the Anaheim faithful seem to cheer him. Just as we said to the Wings fans booing him in Detroit, really people, it’s not worth your time.
18:15 Holmstrom gets called for tripping Pahlsson trying to skate off the boards. We get an unhappy reaction shot of Mike Babcock, and a surprisingly tired Pookie exclaims, “What is up with Babcock’s tie? It reminds me of that friendship bracelet I made in third grade that I thought was so pretty but everyone was like, ‘That’s so ugly’. Remember that bracelet? Because I do.” Schnookie does not, in fact, remember that bracelet, but the combo of black background with electric pink and teal stripes on Babcock’s tie certainly seems like something an 8-year-old Pookie would have liked.
17:52 Marchant just misses being a hero on a great tip of a Pronger shot from the blue line, as his redirection hits the post.
17:49 Depressed and slowed by his failure to score, Marchant takes the Ducks off the PP by getting called his own tripping penalty while in pursuit of the rebound.
16:09 WOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! With an offensive zone draw (we think the Wings got called for icing, but we weren’t really paying attention, because we’re all about quality when we’re writing game diaries. “Huh? What just happened?” “I dunno… Just make something up.”) while shorthanded, Pronger rips another huge bomb from the blue line and this time Baby Nieder demonstrates to Marchant how to correctly deflect a puck into the net — see, Todd? You kind of inadvertently let it bank off your skate in front. It’s not that hard.
14:29 Instantly after an offsides whistle, Draper corkscrews Nieder and for a moment it looks like Rob Shick is going to call a penalty for the trip, as Mike Babcock and his tie frown from the bench. But cooler heads prevail, because the trip was after the whistle, so nothing is called.
12:34 The Perry/Penner/Getzlaf line has a fantastic, swirling, jumping-on-every-loose-puck shift in Detroit’s zone, but alas, nothing comes of it.
12:32 Coming back from commercial we get a view of the Ducks dressing room with stupid inspirational signs hanging above the stalls. Just in case any of us thought being a professional athlete would be cooler than being a corporate drone, VS has just debunked that myth. An awestruck Pookie says, “It’s like their Core Competencies.” Schnookie, whose employer has an official “7 Core Behaviors” is jealous that the Ducks only seem to have 5 Core Behaviors they need to worry about. (Pookie adds during a later commercial break, “If the guys need their Core Competencies on posters in their dressing room, they probably can’t read that much in the first place.”)
11:57 Giggy makes a great blocker save on a sneaky backhand by Datsyuk.
10:07 Penner is given a gift of a loose puck behind Hasek’s net, but Hasek makes a monster save on Getzlaf after Penner’s great pass finds him right out front. Eddie Olczyk narrows his eyes at Hasek as the play goes back up the ice and snarls, “I think he just got away with throwing his stick.” Yeah, like us, Eddie’s picked Getzi as his WCF boyfriend.
9:50 Giggy demonstrates his usual maladroitness at puck handling, leading to the Wings setting up in the offensive zone for a stretch while Pookie splutters, “Quit trying to handle the puck and get back in your fudgy bon-bon crease…”
8:18 Samuelsson gets a great chance in close but Giggy is up to the challenge.
6:11 The pace of the game, up to this point, has been swift and favoring the Ducks. But it looks like the proverbial “storm weathering” may have passed, as things are slowing down considerably and the crowd is falling quiet.
5:07 Refusing to let the Wings lull him into a slow-the-game-down slumber, Teemu forces a turnover at the Detroit blue line, sells a stupendous shot-fake, but is stymied by a crazy-looking Hasek. We agree Hasek seems to be buying into his old-school, whackadoo style, and we hope he gets badly burned for it.
3:34 Nieder demonstrates in the corner to Giggy’s right that it’s perfectly legal to slew-foot Holmstrom.
3:01 It might be legal to slew-foot, but the Ducks get nailed, deep in their zone, for too many men. How does a team end up with too many men when they’re playing the puck behind their own net? That has to count as the worst change ever. (Serving the penalty? Motzko. It seems fitting an imaginary player would serve the penalty on this one.)
1:54 Nieder has a splendid, diving clear not long after Eddie excitedly declares, “Zetterberg and Datsyuk are on the ice together for the first time!” Pookie: “It’s the moment I’ve been waiting for my whole life.”
0:51 Motzko all but screams, “Imaginary this!!” as he darts up the ice, throws a huge shot straight up the middle at Hasek, then follows up hard and almost puts away his own rebound. Lidstrom gets called for interference, and probably complains the entire way to the box that Motzko isn’t even real.
0:00 Brett Hull would probably tell you otherwise if asked right now, but the Ducks decidedly outplayed the Wings in this period, and deservedly head to their room with a 1-0 lead. We don’t doubt they’re all going to spend this intermission reading and rereading their Core Competency posters and will skate with even more purpose and drive in the next frame. (And if they’re anything like Schnookie’s Core Competencies, they’ll also Build Alliances and Energize Others.)
VS gives us a telephone interview with Jason Spezza. We wish more than anything that this was being treated like they do on The Colbert Report, so every time they cut back to the little stats-filled “Jason Spezza” title screen there would be a different picture. As the interview ends, VS give us some slo-mo replays of Senators scoring on Crunchy and promises that “Plays of the Week” will be coming up. Pookie says very gently to Schnookie, “I don’t think you should watch ‘Plays of the Week’. I don’t think there’s going to be anything on there you’ll want to see.” (Okay, we admit we were more than delighted to watch the #10 Play of the Week: the famous Motzko-Quincey hit. That’s always funny!)
Schnookie finds herself briefly distracted from the game by the distinctive aroma of a failing refrigerator. Stately IPB Manor has had no manner of luck at all with fridges, and is experiencing its third refrigerator breakdown in 12 months. Because we know you were wondering, Gentle Reader, why it smells in here of cheese that’s gone “off”.
19:30 Perry is a complete loser. Complete. Loser. With a wide-open net and a week to shoot at it, he somehow manages to take so slow a shot that Chelios is able to slide over to block it. It also then takes him about 45 minutes to get back to his feet after falling (presumably in a dramatic show of despair over his own sucktitude), prompting Pookie to ask, “What is it about Perry that makes him so slow to get back into plays?” Other than that he’s a drama queen.
18:49 McDonald whacks Maltby in the face with his stick in front of the Detroit net and gets a single-minor for it. Way to not be able to bleed when your team needs it most, Maltby.
16:39 After a great penalty kill (including some typically sick saves by Giggy), Teemu finds himself the recipient of nearly an entire rink’s worth of open space (because… why? Do the Wings not think he’s capable of scoring?) and skates in for huge blast on net, but Hasek’s glove somehow stops the shot.
14:49 Perry and Getzlaf get a nearly-from-center-ice 2-on-1 thanks to an abominable change by the Wings, but Hasek’s snow-angel desperation move is too much for Perry. If he’d passed to Getzi, though, it would probably be 2-0 Ducks right now.
13:39 Huskins makes a move he probably didn’t even know he was capable of, a lightning-quick toe drag around Chelios that leads to a clear-cut 1-on-1 with Hasek. Alas, the move to get there was all the dazzling offensive stuff Huskins has in his bag of tricks tonight, so Hasek is not forced to make too amazing a save.
13:09 Baby Nieder hooks Holmstrom while following-up on a rebound from Giggy.
11:38 At the risk of cursing the penalty kill, Schnookie says, “The Ducks are making this look easy.”
11:16 We get a long look at O’Donnell’s back as he skates to the bench and are suddenly obsessed with how humongous the apostrophe in his nameplate is. Has it always been that big? It’s practically the same size as the “D”. It’s even more annoying that the various and sundry goalie water bottle issues we’ve had in this series.
10:08 WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! In a shift that reminds us of the good old days of the A Line, the Perry/Penner/Getzlaf line has another minute-plus of domination in the offensive zone. On a delayed hooking penalty to Bertuzzi, Perry kicks a loose puck away from a snow angeling Hasek and to his own stick and this time he doesn’t give Chelios a chance to block his shot. We couldn’t be happier that Hasek’s poor decision making cost him… again.
8:55 We feel cheated — there hasn’t been a “Mic’d Up” yet tonight!
8:02 Giggy decides to steal some of the PPG Line’s thunder by making a staggeringly huge save on Quincey after a sweet cross-ice pass down low from Samuelsson.
4:56 After several minutes of looking like they’re trying to salvage at least some pride in this game, if not an actual win, the Wings get a shot from Cleary walking in off the walls and Giggy is happy to get a whistle when he freezes the puck.
The intermission show teaser after the commercial break includes a promise of the top 5 of this week’s ‘Plays of the Week’. Anticipating having to relive the Crunchy heartbreak over and over again, Schnookie announces, “I think I’ll just go sit in front of the open refrigerator and smell the cheese and rotting strawberries instead of watching that.”
4:12 Neither Doc nor Eddie has any idea what’s going on as a whistle is blown deep in Anaheim’s zone. Doc first thinks the Ducks are getting called for a penalty, then Eddie says Holmstrom is, but it turns out to be Franzen for hooking.
3:46 Hasek repeatedly goes down without control of the puck, but Anaheim is repeatedly unable to score on him.
2:08 On a really innocent keep at the point, Beauchemin cranks a massive slapshot that rings hugely off the crossbar.
1:56 Babcock and his tie look especially hoary while “laughing” in “disbelief” as the Wings are called for too many men. Pookie: “Someone forgot to put up a ‘Discipline’ Core Competencies poster in the Wings’ room.”
There is a lengthy delay for a video review of the crossbar-hit by Beauchemin (no goal, of course), and VS gives us a lingering view of O’Donnell, his apostrophe, and their fantastically impressive mustache.
1:27 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Finally — FINALLY — Hasek gets burned for his possum approach to goaltending. With no idea where the puck is, he falls flat on his back, and Getzlaf hops on the puck (which is, naturally, lying right in the crease next to the motionless Hasek) and stuff it in the net. 3-0 Ducks. Chelios argues with the ref and Eddie assures us he’s asking why the whistle wasn’t blown. Cheli, the whistle wasn’t blown because Hasek wasn’t anywhere even close to covering the puck.
0:30 The Ducks fans are going absolutely ape-shit as the Wings get called for icing. As play resumes the full building settles into a throaty, chill-inducing jeering chant of Hasek’s name. Now that, Ottawa fans, is how it’s done!
0:00 We have but one complaint about the way that period went: at this rate the Ducks are going to wrap this series up tonight, and we don’t want to have to wait almost an entire week for our next hockey game.
After the studio guys spend a few minutes slurping everyone’s WCF boyfriend, Getzi, we get instead an interview with Pronger. Why does VS hate us? The one good thing about a Pronger interview is that he’s so much taller than Chris Simpson that we can barely see her puke-yellow jacket.
VS tries to let Schnookie down gently with the ‘Plays of the Week’ by including Crunchy’s sick stick save on Spezza from OT in Game 5, but she still races to watch that package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts she bought yesterday going rancid in the fridge rather than see the so-called “#1 Play of the Week”, which is, of course, Ottawa’s Crunchy-killing elimination goal.
We never should have complained about the lack of mic’d up: it’s Sean O’Donnell and his apostrophe. We actually kind of like when his apostrophe is caught on tape saying, “Getzi, they can’t handle your line.”
19:37 The fans pick up where they left off in the last period with the Hasek chant.
18:29 The Ducks, thinking the outcome here is a foregone conclusion, ice the puck for the second time already.
As we were watching the icing touch-up, there was, apparently, an off-camera collision between Marchant and Chelios, and Marchant’s nose will never be the same. (Replay shows Cheli drilled him with his stick on a follow-through.)
18:11 Encouraged by O’Donnell’s apostrophe, the PPG’s hit the ice again, looking to dominate.
17:38 The PPG’s don’t seem to realize that by “dominate” we did not mean, in that comment above, that they should ice the puck.
17:13 Giggy makes an alert save on some quick Zetterberg/Datsyuk-line shooting.
16:45 Zetterberg scores top-shelf on a gorgeous tip of a Chelios shot from the point. We suddenly find ourselves worried that the Ducks have a “Sit Back And Hope Your Opponent Will Consider A Three-Goal Deficit Insurmountable” Core Competency poster in their room.
14:06 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! Pahlsson, the Pando of the West, decides he’s had enough of his team lollygagging around. He dishes a great pass to Moen as they cross the blue line, then Baby Nieder follows up hard on Moen’s shot and Pahlsson leaps on the loose rebound and shovels it past a — surprise, surprise — fallen and oblivious Hasek.
11:30 We think it goes without saying that we won’t be satisfied now if we don’t see a Motzko goal tonight. An eager MotzkoNation is breathless with anticipation.
10:36 Boomer jokingly suggests the Wings pull Hasek. Pookie: “That would be crazy…” It turns out Boomer just meant switching him out for Osgood, but we’d rather see them attempt to play 10 minutes with an empty net. Based on what we’ve seen of Anaheim’s discipline, they would set a new record for icings in a game as each and every Duck would shoot at the empty net whenever they touched the puck.
10:16 Marchant, who seems to hate having his team at even strength, takes a lousy penalty for tripping Lang.
9:52 Pahlsson is stipped of his “Pando of the West” title after he fails to clear the puck; Lidstrom lobs a gorgeous shot/pass from the blue line and Datsyuk tips it home and cuts the lead to 2.
8:37 Markov darts through a crowd of Ducks but Giggy just gets a piece of his shot.
6:43 Franzen jumps on a puck that bounces on a broken play to him right in the slot, but Giggy makes a ginormous save on him.
5:21 Pronger chops a loose puck out of the crease as the Wings keep up fairly relentless offensive-zone pressure. We are distracted by a totally depressing conversation about how much the food that’s spoiling in our fridge right now is going to cost to replace.
4:05 Pookie, in a discussion of refrigerator-less meal planning for the rest of the week, suddenly gasps, “Oh my God! I just guaranteed the Wings are going to win this game because I was about to say that we could go out for dinner on Thursday night because there won’t be any hockey.”
3:12 Holmstrom gets a great chance in front and all the Ducks collapse on the crease to clear out the puck. They manage to get the clear out of the scramble, but Cleary draws an interference penalty from Getzi. While he’s still our WCF boyfriend, we’d like to see Getzi stop taking these awful, goat penalties late in games.
3:04 Zetterberg makes a brilliant pass to a wide-open Datsyuk, who cuts the lead to 4-3. We’re not sure who’s to blame: Getzi, Pookie or our fridge.
2:52 Moen hooks Chelios in the elbow, and Cheli does that annoying-as-hell hold on the stick to get the call.
2:11 Giggy thinks he’s corralled a shot, but Datsyuk is able to find a loose rebound… but shoots it across the crease.
1:33 Somehow a bouncing puck in front of a confused Giggy and wide-open net doesn’t find it’s way in for the Wings.
0:32 Giggy desperately grabs and covers a loose puck after it bounces hard off the endboards on a wide shot from Lebda, and for just a moment everyone gets to regain their breath after a chaotic last few minutes. The replay shows Cleary just barely missed being able to tip that wide shot in.
0:00 Holy flirking schnitt! WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Ducks miraculously hang on despite furious pressure from the Wings, and the buzzer is answered in stately IPB Manor’s living room with a chorus of, “What a game!” from all of us.
And how much do we hate the Senators? Pookie declares, as we see a celebrating, maskless Giggy, “I hate Emery so much I was just about to say, ‘Giggy just doesn’t get enough credit’.” Wow. That’s a lot of hate.
Oh, and as Doc throws us to an on-ice interview with Giggy, he says of the Ducks goalie, “He was the MVP of the 2003 playoffs.” No, Doc, he was given the Conn Smythe trophy, but he was not the MVP of that playoffs. Grumble, grumble, grumble…
And for those who were wondering whether he would, Nieder does not touch the Campbell Bowl.