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Franzen Actually Scored? Oh Yeah, It's April: Red Wings 3, Blues 2 (SO)

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Feed the Mule (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images).
Feed the Mule (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images).
Getty Images

Well that was...unexpected.

Raise your hand if if you wanted to throw your laptop across the room and thought the game was over when the Blues went up 2-0?

(Raises hand...looks around and sees everyone else's hand raised too)

Man, do I hate this team sometimes. The Red Wings played two very good periods on the road. Which is pretty impressive considering they suck major on the road and the Blues are damn good at home. I was pleased with how the game was going. It was tight and defensive, but the Wings were hanging tough.

And then the 3rd period happened. The Wings had a glorious opportunity after receiving a five minute power play thanks to a dumb hit by Ryan Reaves. Except instead of capitalizing on the man advantage, they looked lost and gave up a breakaway to David Perron which result in the 11th shorthanded goal against of the season. Detroit followed that up by taking a penalty of their own, making it 4-on-4, and giving up another goal, to Andy McDonald this time. It looked like nothing but DOOM & GLOOM at that point.

Of course, during a commercial break, Mike Babcock took out a calendar and showed Johan Franzen that it's now April. Mule and Datsyuk (along with a little help from Bertuzzi) teamed up to tie the game. Franzen scored twice in the final six minutes of the game to stun not just Blues fans that the best defensive team in the league gave up a 2-0 lead late in the 3rd, but to stun Wings fans too that he actually scored a damn goal. Let alone two to tie a game late with a lot riding on the line.

Franzen and Datsyuk seemed to continue their dominance in overtime, but the game headed to a shootout. Both Jimmy Howard and Brian Elliott held serve through the first five shooters until Todd Bertuzzi did what Todd Bertuzzi does. Bert scored the game winner in the shootout to give the Wings the win, their 12th consecutive 100+ point season, and a HUGE two points to put Detroit back in 4th place in the West.

Bullets after the jump.

1st Period Bullets

  • Early turnovers had me scared to start off the game. Both Kindl and Kronwall had passes up the middle that were either intercepted or deflected and ended up going the other way. Neither turned into a great scoring chance for Blues, but you can't be doing that. Wings got out played in the first five minutes, but settled down and got into the game.
  • Oh my...if Pav and Goose would have connected for a goal on their 2-on-1, well, I would have gone into full boner-mode. Those two have chemistry.
  • A small Kronwalling tonight. Any game against the Blues is going to be a physical affair. The Wings need Kronwall to be the big hitter he can be to help swing momentum and set the tone physically for Detroit.
  • Howard was good. He didn't have to make any CRAZY GOOD saves, but definitely solid between the pipes. Lidstrom seem to struggle a bit and Ericsson seemed to have a good period (and a good game overall). One has to wonder if those two trends are related? Did not notice Ian White in the opening frame. That is a good thing.
2nd Period Bullets
  • Some good specialty teams for the Wings in the 2nd. Nice KO on the penalty kill to start off the period. From there the Wings had two power plays. Both generated substantial possession in the Blues' zone with a few decent chances. Overall, it was way better than what we've seen lately, but still no goals were produced. Too many blocked shots and traffic in the way. Wings couldn't get a ton to the net.
  • Remember that chemistry I mentioned between Pav and Goose? Well, I guess it doesn't matter. Nyquist was demoted just over halfway through the period. Uncle Mike really shortened the bench too. Bert went back up with Pav and Mule. Goose moved down with Cleary and Abby. The fourth line didn't see the ice in the last seven minutes or so.
  • Shoot the puck, please. Shoot the damn puck.
  • A scoreless game after two periods?!? Oh wait...the Wings played the Blues. Nevermind.
3rd Period/Overtime/Shootout Bullets
  • The Reaves hit looked pretty bad in real time when it happened. I was calling for a five and a game. After seeing the replay, I'll be honest, the hit didn't look all that bad. I would've been okay if he only got two minutes. Plus, if the roles were reversed I would have probably been upset with the call on the ice. I'd be shocked if there was additional discipline. What was called on the ice was enough or even too much.
  • I'm not even going to comment of the five minute "power play." Specialty teams were promising early on and they erased any good will they had built up.
  • Barring injuries, I bet you $10 we've seen the last of Jakub Kindl. If you're quiet and you listen closely, you can hear Brendan Smith's phone ringing.
  • As a fan, holy hell does it feel good to see Franzen scoring. If he's really flipped the switch into Playoff Beast Mode I will be so happy. The Wings NEED him to be a dominant scoring threat. He cannot go 3-4 games without a goal. He needs to be a point per game player in the postseason. Him and Datsyuk were flying the last five minutes of the game and in overtime. If they're both clicking together in the first out.
  • Still no Goose in overtime. I understand points are a necessity and Babs trusts his vets, but someone please explain to me how Cleary can do more good out there than Nyquist?
  • Hey Todd Bertuzzi, any bad things we've said about you the last few games, well, we never meant any of it. Thank you for being the master of the shootout. You're beautifully skilled hands may have given the Wings home ice.
Ultimately, I'm just glad the Wings won. It wasn't pretty at times. If fact, I wanted to curse out this team and jump off the ledge declaring the season dead midway through the 3rd. But just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. The Wings proved that deep down they still have the heart and the will to win even when their backs are truly up against the wall. It's back to the grind tomorrow night. Detroit doesn't have much time to rest and must prove that tonight's comeback wasn't a fluke.

(Programming Note: CSSI will be delayed and will not be posted tonight)

Let's Go Red Wings.