Game 6 – Tampa Bay @ Detroit – X Not Gonna Give It To Ya

Welcome back to the gorgeous LCA. The first real test of the season (besides Dallas, who beat us) against who I consider the closest thing the Wings have to a rival right now. Tampa Bay is a big, tough, skilled, fast, physical hockey team. Watching them is so aggravating. They’re constantly throwing hits that you hate, getting into their zone is like being mugged by Mafia hitmen, and they have players who can snipe like no tomorrow. Believe me when I say that I wanted a win tonight more than I’ve wanted a win in a hockey game in a long time.

Of course, I don’t get things I want.

The Good

Before we even got on the board Tampa almost made it 3-0 except NO.

Ladies and gentlemen your new backup goaltender Xavier Ouellet. This isn’t just a good play but it’s nice that we can get highlights from a defensemen every game or so even with a terrible line up.

Justin Abdelkader got us on the board in the 2nd with truly one of the more bizarre situations I’ve ever seen.

First he rushes the net on the breakaway, but gets hooked. Then after the hook, he takes out Vasilevsky while trying to stop. Helm scoops up the rebound and buries it. Which was clearly goaltender interference, so Tampa challenged which was correctly called as goaltender interference and the hook penalty added. But then Detroit called for review for a penalty shot, since the hook was on a breakaway, which was then awarded after what felt like roughly twenty minutes of reviews.

So that was nice. This season is basically a list of potential NHL Jeopardy questions. Who scored the first penalty shot at Little Caesar’s Arena. Who is Justin Abdelkader?

Later in the second Mike Green, unhappy with Ouellet stealing the show decides to score a goal after a net scramble where he picks up his own rebound. That’s a goal and eight assists for Mike Green, who I assume desparately wants to get traded to a Stanley Cup contender at the deadline.

In general, I thought our offense continues to look good when they can get more than 5 seconds in the zone. The biggest problems still stem from the fact that we can barely breakout and are break ins are met constantly with an influx on enemy players stripping the puck away. But these things can improve. If I’m honest with myself…I don’t hate our forward lineup. I really don’t. We have a surprisingly solid core for how long we’ve struggled in the draft, and if we can just shore up the defense.

Also it’s way too soon but screw it. James Howard for Vezina. He’s clearly the best goalie in the league, playing the way he has with this team’s back end.

The Bad

In a league with 500% more slashing calls than the previous season, it is amazing how many terrible calls there were this game. Every ticky tack thing the Wings did was called while Tampa was getting away with murder. Case in point, Stamkos blind sides Nyquist sending him off the ice with an injury.

I…I don’t like this hit. It’s to the numbers, the puck is already well on it’s way away from Gus, and just in general I don’t like it. It’s not illegal but it’s what I would classify as “dirty”. Then after all of that somehow Mantha ends up with a cross-checking penalty? That the feed was evidently unable to even find because they never showed us it.

The game winning goal came when Ericsson, mad at XO for a great save and Green for a goal, decides to try to do something to get himself on the highlights. Of course, being Big E it’s a horrible play that causes the most Red Wings goal I can imagine.

Ericsson I’m sorry but why would you try to chip it to Nielsen? WHY? He’s two feet from you and UNDER COVERAGE. I wouldn’t make that play and I’m literally terrible (career -21 thank you very much). Watching Ericsson is like the world’s worst reality show: the concept is, you watch a man fail every night and then the credits reveal that he’s being paid $4.25 million dollars a year.

Also, fucking hell Kucherov must have brushed that with the NANOMOLECULES of the tip of his stick.

The WTF?

Can we talk NHL?

No of course not because I, like many of your hardcore fans, am just a basement blogger and not important enough to talk to you but I’m getting it off my chest AGAIN.

This is a two minute penalty for boarding. Two. Minutes. Just a game after concussion spotters did nothing and let Fleury play after taking a fast moving knee and skate to the head.

You are facing a lawsuit for Concussions. Do you want headshots gone? Do you want players to have full, healthy careers? Then you gotta punish this shit. We can go back and forth for days on who launched or who turned or why this hit was/was not dirty. It’s all bullshit smoke and mirrors. Punish every hit to the head with a 5 minute major. Punish it with an ejection. I don’t care if it was intentional or not. You are willing to, as a league, punish everything that looks like a slash to a legally blind person, but head hits don’t merit more serious punishment?

Get your shit together NHL. Try to actually protect players, instead of finding annoying ways to increase scoring like taking a hard line against fucking faceoff violations.

Next Game

Wednesday, 7:30 versus the Maple Leafs. First Yzerman, now Babcock. Also both the Leafs and the Wings have weak defense and solid offense so I expect this game to be roughly 15-13 when all is said and done.

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