On this most holy of days, we are reminded that no matter what the date on the calendar, it's never a bad time to send a message that everything is just fine and dandy, and it's also not too late to generate some momentum heading into the playoffs.
What's that you say? Why am I talking playoffs? Well, in case you live in a rock and don't understand math (or are a Blues fan, which is the same thing), the Wings clinched their 21st straight playoff berth with a resounding 7-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets. This one wasn't ever close as the Wings built a commanding 4-0 lead before the first period was half over, and then coasted the rest of the way.
Building off the comeback against the Hurricanes Saturday night, the Wings roared out to a 7-0 lead, and they did so in spectacular fashion. Zetterberg and Datsyuk put on a passing clinic tonight, and every single player and line worked hard and played well. It was just as good of an effort as Saturday, but with an outcome that was never in doubt, allowing all of us to relax and have some fun (including jinxing shutouts).
I've got a few bullets for this one, but I wanted to have some fun. Follow the jump for more.
- I could sing the praises of Henrik Zetterberg all day, but that pass to Tomas Holmstrom for the Wings' first goal was simply beautiful. Then he makes an EVEN BETTER pass to Homer for the Wings' third goal. Hell, his pass to Datsyuk in the third was good, but compared to the first 2 it was something that Jonathan Ericsson could have done. This is 2008 Zetterberg we're seeing right now, and I can't wait to see him kick his game up another notch in the playoffs. He's also your Player of the Game.
- Not to be outdone, what a pass by Pavel Datsyuk to Gustav Nyquist. I wish I could say that I've seen Datsyuk do it all, but every time I think that he goes and does something that makes me warm in my happy parts like that pass.
- A huge congratulations to Goose for the first of many goals scored on opposing NHL goaltenders. We talked at length with Petrella on Sunday night about how Nyquist should be the exception to the rule that Wing prospects should over-develop in the AHL. I'll repeat here what I said on the podcast in that I'd love to see what kind of chemistry Goose and Dats can generate over the last 6 games of the season.
- There's not a whole lot else to say about this game other than the Wings dominated early and then sat back. So in lieu of further bullets, let's have some fun and throw out some trivia from the last time the Wings missed the playoffs (1990):
- A gallon of gas cost $1.16 (it's ok to cry).
- Driving Miss Daisy won the Oscar for Best Picture, and The Little Mermaid made teenage boys everywhere practice holding their breath underwater for as long as they could.
- The Pistons won the NBA Finals, and the Oilers won their 5th Stanley Cup in 7 years. The Edmonton Oilers. That's not a typo.
- Emma Watson was born, and 18 years later I admitted out loud I found her attractive.
- Milli Vanilli returned their Grammy after admitting they lip synced their songs; a very young Ashley Simpson doesn't understand the outrage.
- Paula Abdul, Mariah Carey, Wilson Phillips and New Kids on the Block all had #1 singles, making it the worst year of music for the decade before it even started.
- There was still an award for the best Plus/Minus in the NHL, won by Paul Cavallini; to date no award has been instituted for the best Fenwick Close, but I know a few guys up north who have their fingers crossed.
- Pogs were very popular, but they were not yet in ALF form.
- Neither Nicklas Lidstrom nor Sergei Fedorov had played an NHL game.
- The Penguins had risen among the ranks of NHL teams to become one of the elite 7 years after tanking to obtain one of the greatest young talents the game had ever seen.
- The only number retired by the Red Wings was #9.