Author: Christian Schwartz

Game 82 – New Jersey @ Detroit – The End

Well, this was it. The last game at the Joe.

And what a game it was.

The Good

Tatar scored another great goal for his 25th of the season. Confident Tatar is the best Tatar

Then, in his 1000th career game, Henrik Zetterberg caps probably his best season since the Conn Smyth with another goal and his 68th point. O Captain my Captain indeed.

Now…what am I missing.

Something happened. Something miraculous.

Riley Sheahan has scored not just one, but two goals in this hockey game.

They were beautiful goals.

I’m not exaggerating when I say this would have been one of the prettiest goals scored by a Red Wing all season, but couple that with the fact that it’s scored by Riley Sheahan who has been completely snakebit all season and you have what is, in my book, top goal of the season. Riley Sheahan got a lot of flack this season, and a lot of pity, and in the end it was just nice to see him walk in front of the net and snipe it. Not just a rebound, but a goal. Look at his face. There is no doubt that Riley Sheahan almost cried during that game.

Then he scored another, to grab the final goal scored at Joe Louis Arena.

 

Congratulations Sheahan. Gordie knows you’ve earned it.

The Bad

I won’t besmirch this game by talking about the few defensive lapses that caused two goals against (though Hall’s was waived off, rightfully so for a kicked in puck). It’s fine.

The WTF?

Not a what the fuck, more of an oh my god. As in, oh my god, we’re really done with the Joe.

It seems so crazy to be emotional about saying goodbye to a building. I mean a building is just floors and walls and rafters, concrete and steel. People have even expressed opinions about it’s being not a particularly nice building: it’s cramped and blocky and the stairs try to kill you and there’s no windows. There’s a weird smell and you have to piss in a trough. I get the complaints.

But this building means something to the fans that can’t be represented by the physical of the building. It’s where Hockeytown was born. The “Dead Wings” became the Red Wings again, putting together 25 years of continued excellence and streams of some of the best players in the league for years on end. How many young fans saw their first hockey game here? I know I did. People weren’t even writing blog posts about hockey games when the streak started.

The point is, the Joe is the birthplace of hockey fandom for many many many fans. It’s where the Red Wings won 4 Stanley Cups. It’s where we got to see Yzerman, Lidstrom, McCarty, Draper, Shanahan, Chelios, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Osgood, Hull, Hasek, Vernon. I’ve left off probably dozens of other legends of Detroit that have played here since the Joe opened.

So it’s more than a building. It’s a home. The home of an idea. The idea of the Detroit Red Wings, and the idea of Hockeytown.

Farewell Joe Louis Arena.

We won’t forget you.

Game 81 – Montreal @ Detroit – Penultimate Peril

(Close enough, alright?)

The Good

Ehhhh we didn’t look to strong tonight. I really expect better when you play essentially the Habs AHL team. At the same time, only got a point out of it, good for the lottery, not upset. Fun game to watch, even if it was a little slow.

Lorito looked solid for his first NHL game, and picked his first point on a fantastic goal by Dylan Larkin. Something about how long he waited with his stick up was really enjoyable to watch on this goal. I’m also glad that Larkin seems to be hitting his stride over the past couple games. I hope he has a real breakout season next year.

Nielsen also has 5 points in 5 games with his goal tonight, which showed supreme patience and got team on the board.

 

Real standout tonight is obviously Petr Mrazek, who made an almost identical save to that last highlight reel stick save everyone shared around. Is this his move now? Is anyone else able to make saves like this? I feel like he does it a lot more than normal.

The Bad

Danny Dekeyser was responsible indirectly for the first goal scored by taking a penalty, and directly in the second goal by not doing his job in front of the net. How are you trying tie up a guy and yet he still gets full range of motion with his stick? What the actual fuck man?

Riley Sheahan’s stick is secretly made of noodles and paste and he someone manages to put a one timer on a wide open net almost six feet wide. My analysis at this point is that he stole Aztec gold of some kind and is being haunted by a demon with control over hockey pucks. The camera zoomed in on his face on the bench which I thought was kind of a dick move since it was the face of an utterly broken man.

Also the refs. Matt Lorito got his head almost chopped off by a spear and somehow it doesn’t get called. And if you’re like, oh no, it was probably just easy to miss. No. No it wasn’t.

The WTF?

There are a couple explanations for the phenomenal cock up.

A) Mike Green is a french canadien sleeper agent

B) He was distracted thinking about his cat Banana

C) He’s secretly team tank.

Either way, I wound up laughing at this one more then anything.

Games 79 & 80 – Detroit vs Ottawa – Saying Goodbye

Monday night was my last game at the Joe. I went with my father. I wouldn’t have been a hockey fan if not for him. Most of the games I’ve been to have been because of him. I saw the Wings beat the Stars in game one of the western conference finals with him back in 2008. I’ve sat up in a suite with him once. I’ve been down to the Legends club with him where I met Joe Kocur. I’ve had a lot of memories at the Joe with my Dad, and it was only fitting that I said goodbye to the building with him.

And man, was Monday’s game everything you could have asked for in a last hurrah.

Unlike tonight’s game.

The Good

There were some weird bounces helping them out for sure, but the offense was great on Monday. Larkin scored his first short handed goal on a crazy bounce, but man you should have seen the place go nuts. At the time we thought Nyquist had scored 2 but it turned out they had given one to Tatar. I’m going to say this now, I’ve been thinking it for awhile, but I think Nyquist is actually the better player than Tatar. I originally thought the other way but Nyquist brings a lot to the table beyond just goal scoring. He is making really good plays in the offensive zone and he forechecks so effectively that it drives play in a way a lot of other team members can’t reproduce. I am glad we haven’t tried to move him, and hope we don’t.

Svechnikov’s debut was good as well. He sprang Larking for a good rush and I thought he looked good on the forecheck. And when he went out there for the shootout after 7 rounds, and finally scored, the place exploded.

I went hoarse for a few moments there. What a debut. He looked solid tonight as well, but most of the team wasn’t anything to write home about.

Mrazek let in some shaky goals but in the OT and Shootout he was unfucking believable. Great job to pull out the W.

The Bad

I made a game where every time a bad play develops I say Dekeyser at the cat, the tv, the dark recesses of my soul, wherever. It’s sort of like a release valve. Otherwise all the anger bottles up and my heart explodes and I die. When I played this game at the Joe, the guy in front of my literally lost it after about the 5th time. He was cracking up so hard. So it really warmed my heart to see someone who could laugh in the cesspool that is DDK’s play right now.

As a bonus, he sucked tonight too and did not play that Karlsson goal well either.

The WTF?

This ones for my Dad.

In his own words: “How do you five hole yourself?”. Sometimes Dad, things just making you say what the fuck…