The rookies giveth, and the rookies taketh away.
I guess we shouldn't be surprised at this. The Wings haven't been known to give young players an opportunity in important situations in the past, but in this series the new Kid Line has scored both of the Wings' OT goals. So it should come as no surprise that Mike Babcock felt confident in putting them out on the ice in a crucial Game 5.
Unfortunately, inexperience is a bitch, and it showed when Ben Lovejoy was able to get a pass across to Nick Bonino, who buried it and gave the Ducks the 3-2 win, meaning the Wings will be facing elimination Friday night at the Joe.
Since it's 12:15 in the morning in God's time zone, let's just get these bullets over with so the bitching can commence.
- I thought before the game started that if the Wings could survive the first 10 minutes, they'd be in good shape. To be outshot 18-9 in the first period and come out tied 1-1 was clearly a win for the Wings. The one goal the Ducks did get was a seeing eye shot that Jimmy Howard couldn't see, but he was the reason the game wasn't over after 20 minutes.
- There is no greater symbolism than Corey Perry stepping on Jimmy Howard in the family jewels only to have the Wings return the favor by scoring on the subsequent power play.
- Speaking of Jimmy, the only reason this game got to OT was because of him. In the first period he made 17(!) saves, many of them difficult. His rebound control was excellent, and the two goals in regulation were scored with traffic in front, preventing him from seeing the puck. When people talk about how he's overpaid, I will smack them in the face with the tape of the first period from tonight's game.
- The start of the second period saw the Wings assert themselves and impose their game on the Ducks. At one point there was a great sequence where Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi created a number of quality chances, but unfortunately Mike Babcock had gone to the bathroom and missed the whole thing.
- Brian Lashoff. Oy. He did not have a good game. He fanned on a high dump in that went over his head, then turned the puck over to allow Kyle Palmieri to get a breakaway in the second. And he was victimized on the final goal when he lost Ben Lovejoy in the corner. The question now is whether Babs will do the right thing and sit him down to bring in the more experienced/dependable Colaiacovo or White or if he gives Lashoff a chance to redeem himself (SIT HIM AND PLAY SOMEONE ELSE).
- For those keeping score, that's $3M per goal that Mikael Samuelsson has scored this year. Actually, factoring inflation and playoffs, that's $5M per goal that he's scored.
- Henrik Zetteberg: -7 Corsi on the night and overall kind of invisible. In the 3 road games Z has not been the dominating force that we saw at the end of the season. That needs to change if the Wings are going to advance.
- Who would have thought that the big bad Ducks would have so much trouble with the smallest, most inexperienced line of the Red Wings? I know they were on the ice for the GWG, but the three best Corsiamong forwards? Damien Brunner, Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson. That line created offense and spent a lot of time in Anaheim's end all night.
- If the condition of the ice in the third period and OT is any indication, then next year's outdoor game between the Ducks and Kings may go down as worse than a Wild-Blues game in February.
- As much as it pains me to say this, because I hate giving praise to people I don't like, but Ryan Getzlaf has been an absolute beast in this series and he scares me every time he touches the puck.
- The killer was the 5 min power play that yielded exactly one shot and ended with Brendan Smith (who actually had a decent game tonight) taking a penalty. Sometimes this team appears to rely solely on their talent and forget that hard work is what makes them successful, and the power play involved way too much standing around and getting outworked. Psychics would have had an easy time predicting that the tying goal was coming. If I'm Ian White, I'm sitting up in the press box seething when watching that shitshow.