yawn...just another win in Detroit, i almost fell asleep there in the third what with us having this one so much under control.. a few thoughts while the defibulator recharges and before my heart completely stops..
...god bless tomas vokoun. this is what 'elite' goalies can do for you, they can singlehandedly win you games that you shouldn't have won. tonight vokoun absolutely stole a victory for us. the calmest i've seen the guy in net this season, very little wasted motion, totally in control, very few rebounds with guys crashing into him on every shot. if i have another son i think i'll name him tomas.
...well we got beat in every area expect two. in net, and on the scoreboard. they outhit us 18-10, out forechecked us, outshot us an unbelievable 41-15, drew nine powerplays, outscored us 2-1 on special teams, had more shots shorthanded than we did on our powerplay, basically killed us with their pk, outchanced us at least 3-1, totally controlled the puck on their pp, had at least 3 times the amount of zone time we did, out face-offed us 36-30. and we still win. (hehehe, god i love this game, when all those things can happen and you can still win)
...30-12-6... just wanted to type that out.
...never in my wildest dreams would i think that we could put detroit on the pp 9 times and 14 minutes and 50 seconds. and get outscored on special teams 2-1 and win this one in regulation.
...is sullivan fast or what? what a great pass by markov, and what a huge breakaway from sully to start this one off.
...our penalties...sigh..do that tomorrow night and we'll lose 5-2. 9 penalties, 7 different guys.
...detroit's forechecking simply smothered us after the first period, we could get nothing from our speed advantage because of it.
...we had at least 10 shots after the halfway mark that were all good scoring chance shots that we couldn't get on net. sully with 4 of those, walker with another 3 of them that missed the net.
... i never remember us winning a game where we only got 15 shots on net all night.
...what we have to hope, is that vokoun's performance tonight starts to get into detroit's shooters heads. lord knows it would have got into mine.
...of all pred defensivemen, markov was the best out there tonight. followed by eaton. both had stellar games.. both with well over 21 minutes of icetime. timonen with only 17, not sure if he was hurt or sick or what... but he would have been hurt by me if they had scored because of that late turnover he had or the powerplay that ensued because of it.
...hartnell with a beauty of a deflection for the gamewinner goal..his 6th game winning goal this year.
..not much offensively to talk about. we were under so much pressure in our own end. our passes were about two feet off all night. we couldn't handle the puck, we couldn't get the puck on net when we finally got shots.
..our pp was totally dominated by detroit's pk. a miracle we got that point shot timonen and that great deflection from harts. we didn't have anything going period any other time. we have about zero puck control on the pp against their pressure.
...draper is the most valuable player on that team, no matter what point totals show, simply because he dominates on the pk
..whew..did i mention that vokoun was phenominal in the third?
man am i pumped, something about winning a game you probably didn't deserve to win
erat didn't have any shifts in the last 13 minutes of the third...and timonen didn't play in the last 9 minutes..i saw timonen take that shot off the ankle, but i saw nothing happen to erat.. anyone else see something?
just a couple of other thoughts the morning after(well more than a couple);
..eaton, for the second game in a row, made a couple of outstanding plays to break up rushes. on lang's powerplay goal (the first wing goal), eaton made a great save by sweeping the puck out of the net. of course they hammered it back in under vokoun right after that, even though markov made a great try to do the same thing on the other post too. what a wild pp goal that one was, they were all over us down low in that sequence, was simply nothing that vokoun or eaton or markov could do to be honest.
..several of the penalties called against both sides were ridiculous ticky-tac type of penalties.. the hamhuis "crosscheck" when hamhuis fell over the guy in the slot, the lilja "holding" phantom call, the sullivan "hooking" from behind the net (even though vokoun should have been called for tripping on this play), and i'm not convinced hartnell "slashed" the stick of lilja either. just several strange weak calls going against both teams.
..the zidlicky hook was a good penalty, because of the timonen blind backhand crossice weak pass that was intercepted..
..personally, i felt the three penalties taken by woolley saved this game for us, even though we didn't score on any of those pp's they in effect killed off 6 minutes while we were protecting the lead.
..perreault's lack of speed hurt the kariya/erat line on two consecutive breakout attempts last night. two passes feathered ahead of him that he simply couldn't get to before a closing wing d-man. both resulted in turnover back into our zone and pressure from the wings. have to be completely honest here, perreault's lack of speed is often a liability in breakout attempts with fast linemates. however if his line can get set up in the offensive zone he is a dangerous weapon and an asset not a liability, but you have to take the bad with the good.
..our pp looked horrible for most of the night.. we did manage 7 shots on the powerplay however. we also only managed 7 shots all night even strength.
..detroit had 13 shots on their powerplays last night. they also had 4 shots shorthanded (while we had zero official shorthanded shots on them).
..seems like we give up so many shorthanded chances every single game. part of this is us trying to play sullivan out on the point on the pp some. always dangerous, for both sides, when a forward is put on the powerplay at one of the points. last night we actually ran kariya on the point for one powerplay and gave up a good chance the other way because of it.
..speaking of kariya. him and walker made entirely too many bad passes last night.
..when we have erat and perreault out on the powerplay they are both dangerous shooters. unfortunately they are both also dangerous puckhandlers on the halfboards and make every pp shift they're out there more exciting than i like. we simply have to take better care of the puck on the pp and reduce the number of shorthanded chances we're giving up.
..one thing i haven't seen mentioned. the quality of the redwing shots last night. yes they got a lot of them. yes they dominated in puck control in our zone. however the vast majority of their shots were from difficult angles, our defensivemen did a great job of forcing them out of the slot and away from the net for the shots. (think of suter forcing holmstrom wide that one rush). i would be surprised if more than 5 of their shots came from the dead on slot area (where the most dangerous shots come from). our d-men need to be given high marks for that.
..another thing we did exceptionally well was block shots from out at the point. lidstrom beat us last time from there. but last night they had terrible difficulty in getting shots thru from out on the point. we blocked 22 shots. zidlicky,markov, hartnell, and suter each with 3 blocks. this was also huge, most all of those were blocks on point shots, that if they had gotten thru would have been trouble with all the traffic detroit puts on net. this might have well been what won us this game more than anything else.
..i admit, i like smithson out on the pk better than johnson, even though johnson is faster and quicker. however, i will hand it to johnson, he made a huge play late in that last 5 on 3 by pokechecking the puck back over the blueline and causing them to set back up and burn the rest of the 5 on 3.
..nichol looked quick last night in limited time. his play to hustle onto the ice after a bad shift change and check the puck away from lang was big. one bad thing about all the penalties is it keeps our 4th line off the ice, and our 4th line is much better than the wings 4th line, so that hurts us.
..note fiddler's icetime was about 4 minutes less than smithson's. i'm thinking it's more and more likely that if the time comes to choose between these two, that smithson is the one kept.
..sullivan's ability to draw penalties while on the pk is huge for this team. would be hard to count how many times this year he has taken us off the pk by drawing a penalty with hi speed and quickness. teams live in fear of this guy once he gets his stick on the puck and starts stickhandling
From this Blues fans point of view, I hope you guys kick the **** out of the Wings both on the scoreboard and in the alley if you get my drift. It would make my year if you guys put a beating on the Wings.