I don't remember when I found out that Johan Franzen relapsed and would be missing tonight's game and another week. After scoring four goals against Tim Thomas and the Florida Panthers on Sunday, you had the think even without Franzen, the Red Wings could score on Steve Mason and the Philadelphia Flyers, right?
The referees started getting bored with the game, so they decided to liven it up by giving Danny DeKeyser the worst penalty call I've seen this season. Of course you knew the Flyers would score on the power play, a Scott Hartnell high tip off a Kimmo Timonen point shot. A second period rush by Claude Giroux led to Hartnell's second goal of the night on a pass to the slot. Adam Hall of all people provided the "kicking them while they're down" shot after a good forechecking shift gave him a free chance to chip the puck over Jonas Gustavsson for a 3-0 Philadelphia lead. Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier beat the dead horse to finish the scoring.
- *Obligatory prefacing complaining about the referees by saying they weren't the reason my team lost.* I guess the referees were like the Red Wings tonight and playing a bunch of call-ups and fill-ins because I have no idea what they were doing half the time. Garbage calls, missed calls, changing standards, getting in the way of play: this game had everything from the stripes. They were bored at the outset and decided to take over then absolutely mailed it in once the score got out of reach.
- Everyone can guess what we *should* have expected from this game given the state of the Red Wings' roster. That said, it wasn't as if this was even the Red Wings' worst game of the season. Luke Glendening had a couple chances he got absolutely stoned on. The Red Wings cranked the iron 3 times. In a universe with bigger nets, this game is tied 3-3 at some point, so don't let anybody tell you an inch or two change in the net size won't make a big difference in an NHL game.
- The power play. *bangs head against wall* I don't even know where to begin. If we don't lose the faceoff, we get one shot attempt at the point that ends up getting blocked and leading to an easy clear. Then we spend the rest of the power play trying to get back into the zone. Hey Red Wings, I read ahead in the rulebook: there's nothing saying that you only have to take shots from the point on the power play.
- *Obligatory prefacing complaining about goaltending by saying it wasn't the reason my team lost.* Jonas, please for the love of God please pick your spots better to try handling the puck. Despite a 5-0 score, you had some awesome saves when you stayed in your crease.
- Your Detroit Red Wings got shutout by Steve Mason. After using their road record to tread water fighting for a playoff spot, the Red Wings have been shutout in three straight road games. I can't wait for the road game we score 7 goals to even things out.
The Red Wings have tomorrow and Thursday to practice or do whatever they can to make sure Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals don't just absolutely light them up this weekend and give Ovechkin an even bigger lead in the Rocket Richard race. A home and home with the Capitals closes out a seesaw January and opens a short February leading into the Olympic break.