The funny thing about measuring stick games is that someone always comes up short.
With the Red Wings and Canucks both scorching hot coming into their game tonight, it was inevitable that one team was going to assert their dominance over the other, and tonight Vancouver showed why it's only a matter of time before they ascend to their rightful place as the top team in the Northwest.
The Red Wings looked tired and uninterested, and that little thing we like to call "defense", a very big strength for the Wings this season, was completely non-existent, particularly in the first period. The Canucks took advantage of 3 costly errors by the Wings to amass a 3-1 lead that they would never get back, and cruised from there to a 4-2 victory.
It's late and we're all tired, and the Wings played like shit so let's not draw this crap out. Bullets after the jump.
- Niklas Kronwall and Ian White both had clusterfucks of periods in the first. Kronner not taking Higgins on the rebound and floating up and out of position on the Burrows goal is unacceptable. White pinching on the Higgins goal and losing the puck at the blueline on the Hodgson goal was terrible. Yea, Kronwall had the hit on Ryan Kesler (more on that in a moment), but he had a game that was forgettable.
- So let me get this straight: Jannik Hansen can cut to the net, take a tiny love-tap from Zetterberg and use that as an excuse to plow into Jimmy Howard at full speed, and when a rebound is put in the net it counts? On what planet does that count as a goal? Maybe Hansen is just such an awful skater that the slightest little touch causes him to fall down. If that's the case, then I feel really bad for Canuck fans that they have to watch players that can't even skate well enough to be in the NHL. But after seeing Salo fall after being lightly gloved by Bertuzzi right before the first Wings' goal, maybe the ice was bad.
- Hey Canucks fans, before you get all twitchy at the previous bullet: change the player from Hansen to Tomas Holmstrom and tell me with a straight face that you react the exact same way.
- The Kronwall hit. What can I say: I've watched the video a bunch of times and I truly believe he left his feet. However, that's not the part that bugs me; it's launching himself ass-first into Kesler that really puzzles me. Jeebus Christmas, Kronner; throw the shoulder into him. Gotta give Kronwall credit for admitting he didn't know whether he left his feet or not, but I have a feeling he could be getting a call from a Mister Shanahan, and it won't be to reminisce about the time they doubled-up on that girl in St. Louis.
Ryan Kesler, after the game:
"I like the hit, but I don’t like the fact he doesn’t stand up for himself," Kesler said. "I think you gotta answer the bell on that one.
"I gotta get my head up. Obviously you see him backing up and you know that’s his move there. I think you have to put the blame on the ‘hittee’ a little bit, but I also think he’s gotta stand up for himself."
- Hey, Kesler: Kronwall stood up for himself when he planted his ass in your chest. If you can't take a hit like a man, then maybe you should find another hobby.
- Another night, another goal from Drew Miller. As one of a few Red Wings who actually showed up to play tonight, it was nice to see the third line get the Wings' second goal on easily their only quality shift of the entire night. That's 5 goals in 6 nights for the gray-headed one, meaning J.J. is going to be looking up some florist's numbers to send Miller a sign of his growing mancrush.
- At least the Wings' penalty kill didn't suck tonight. Yay for positives!
- It's been a long time since there was any controversy involving the Wings, and that it came against the Canucks (probably the other big "tin-foil hat" fanbase in the NHL) makes things very interesting for the rest of the league. Who will out-whine who? My money's on us, because we've been doing this longer.
- So much for this mutual respect and camraderie between Detroit and Vancouver fans. I guess a big hit followed by a controversial goal will really get the bad blood simmering, but we have over a month before these two teams meet again. Things got positively chippy out there and I thought the refs did a brutal job of keeping things under control.
Bottom line tonight is that the Wings did not deserve to win. The Canucks were better in every facet of the game, and every mistake the Wings made tonight ended up in the back of their net. It looked almost as if they let up a little in the second, and even with the power play discrepancies the Wings couldn't do anything to get back in the game. Late when they finally seemed to wake up, Roberto Luongo was there to make some nice saves. The Canucks were simply the better team tonight.
We'd like to sit back and blame the refs and throw out a bunch of angry insults at the Canucks for being dirty, but in the end the refs didn't impact this game, because nothing the Wings did inspired any sort of confidence that they were going to be able to tie up the game. Thankfully, the Wings won't have time to dwell on tonight's shitshow as they fly east to CalgAry to take on the Flames before the Christmas break.