The Red Wings returned to Nashville for the first time since Nick Lidstrom's last game in April of the year 2012. I know that sounds sad and brings about bad memories, but c'mon! Let it go! How good was Lidstrom really? Not that good, if you remember correctly. He never fought anyone, was not from Michigan and sometimes wore a visor because he didn't know how to do his taxes without one.
So with Lidstrom out of the picture, other storylines could get their due attention, like former Predator and gerbil Jordin Tootoo coming back to Nashville where his career started some 10,000 punches ago. He scored a big goal -- a goal so ugly that it made perfect sense that he was the one who scored it. Also, it made the game 2-2 which is his name, did you know this ///whistle///
From a neutral standpoint, this was a pretty entertaining game -- especially the final 20:44. You could say that at least the Wings played their tails off to try and win this thing, but moral victories are for dummies. Don't be a dummy and read my recap bullets.
- Jordin Tootoo, pregame: "It's a big, big rivalry." Spoken like a guy who played in Nashville for eight years and gets his brain fisted for a living.
Mikael Samuelsson, who had just returned to the lineup after missing 12 games with a groin injury, was scratched due to a slapshot hitting his hand this morning. Who hates Mikael Samuelsson more than anyone? Our own Jeff Hancock. Who writes the Morning Skate around here? Jeff Hancock. When was Samuelsson injured? During the morning skate. Yeah. You didn't need me lay out this very obvious and rather embarrassing homicide attempt, but I did anyway.
- Jonas Gustavsson made an appearance midway through the first period, and it was so fun! The best part was when the goalie change was completely lost on Preds fans, who continued telling Jimmy Howard that he sucks while he was in the dressing room with an upper body injury. Much-needed comic relief.
- Oh yeah, that. Yeah that was me trying to casually drop the Jimmy Howard injury thing in there in hopes that if I don't wholeheartedly acknowledge it, then maybe the year 2013 isn't actually happening.
- Penalty kill analysis: Wings always seem to give up goals on the PK when they lose track of a guy and he ends up wide open. Solution? Throw a 5th guy out there to cover that hole in the defense. To do that legally, the Wings need to not take penalties. And to do that, they need to drown Jakub Kindl.
- I was torn between two games tonight, the other one being Michigan State's hoops matchup with top ranked Indiana. Admittedly I turned my attention completely to the basketball game during its final 15 seconds, which unfortunately meant that I missed the final 2 1/2 periods of Wings/Predators.
- (j/k that was just a little b-ball humor for ya)
- I try not to question Mike Babcock's line combinations too much given the shakeups in personnel he's had to deal with. But even I raised an eyebrow midway through the game when Datsyuk was centering a line between Dan Cleary and Babcock himself, who had taped a picture of Zach Parise to his face.
- With things turning as sour as they have of late, let's try to just sit back and enjoy this:
That was a goal from Pavel Datsyuk that tied the game 3-3 in the 3rd period. It was amazing. Even with the losses and the injuries and the Kindl, we still have this. We have a seemingly ageless superstar who can do whatever he wants with a hockey puck, and that includes going through six guys to score a coast-to-coast goal like that. That's the sort of moral victory that dummies like you and me can take from this game.