This post is going to be short, unstructured, and random.
So, in other words, just like the rest of this blog.
The first period of this game started just like it should have, with the Wings running around making the Islanders look silly. The first line was pressuring. The second line was pressuring. The third line was pressuring. And the 5th line was pressuring.
Yep. The 5th line.
Usually, when a team has so many injuries that you have to call up AHLers, it never bodes well for a team. However, with the Wings' roster being managed by Ken Holland and coached by Mike Babcock, the Griffins playing for us right now have looked good. Sometimes, it's an invisible kind of look. Like Mursak. He's been good enough to not look like an AHL player called up out of necessity. He has been better so far in his first few games with the Wings than certain players named Hudler looked in their first few games with the Wings this year. He hasn't been flashy or great by any means, but he's played well enough to not be a liability. And that's an extremely good thing for someone in his position.
And then there's Tatar. He, to me at least, looked downright GOOD tonight. He looked like he belonged on the big club. He was speedy, he was meshing with his linemates, and he ended up tying the game with an intentional/unintentional redirect when the team really needed it.
Where was this last year when half of the team with the Winged Wheel on their chests were fresh out of Grand Rapids and perhaps the nearest roller hockey rink? Where was the solidly quiet defensive responsibility and slightly above average offensive upside?
Has that extra year of development (you know, the kind of development the Wings have long believed in) made that much more of a difference?
Either way, I'm cool with it.
As for the rest of the game...
fuck the rest of the game.
Welcome to the NHL, where the only consistency in the officiating is the inconsistency.
First things first, before we go into OT territory... I have a hard time believing that LOLoson didn't do anything warranting some sort of penalty after Flip's goal. Running his mouth to the ref, throwing the net off it's moorings, then yapping a bit more at the refs after getting pulled for the extra skater right afterwards. Nothing exhibited there is unsportsmanlike? Bull. Fucking. Shit. He threw a huge bitch fit because his own player pushed Bertuzzi into him, resulting in a goal, and somehow got away with all of it. That's something that's going to bother me about this game for a while because I've seen players get called for more for doing less.
Maybe we don't even go to overtime if something gets called there. But since nothing was called and we did go to overtime, we were treated to extra hockey, where the best aspects of Gary's NHL were put on display...
I know we Red Wings fans are often given shit for crying foul when the refs don't call things the way we want. The main difference between us Red Wing fans and fans of nearly every other NHL team is that we know what the hell we're talking about, so the way we want things is the way things SHOULD be done.
I have no doubt that if the tables were turned in overtime, with an Islander in front of Yimmy on a power play getting his stick intentionally slashed and incidentally broken by a Wing who got away with it, we'd still call it a bullshit non-call. But with things as they are now, we're going to look like whiners because we got hosed and the refs took the extra OT point from us and basically gave it right to the Islanders.
There is no way in Hell you can tell me that the Wings don't score against the ISLANDERS in a 5-3 situation. Not with the way momentum had been swinging. Assuming it even gets that far.
How do we even know that Franzen doesn't score or in some other way contribute to a goal if he has a legal, whole stick in his hand during the last exchange? Who's to say that Z takes his "penalty" if Franzen is able to go into the corner and fight for the puck?
And can I just say that this has got the be the first time I've ever seen a professional hockey team direct their professional hockey player to hide behind the net for 16 seconds because they're that afraid of getting burned in a 3-on-3 situation. Going from their 1-1-3 defensive scheme to that 'cowering puppy' ploy in overtime, the Islanders have got to be the biggest pussy team in the NHL.
The Red Wings were the only ones on the ice all night with any sort of pride, professionalism, or class.