GAME 1 MINI RECAP: Wings 5, Leafs 4. I saw the final 30 seconds of the first game, wherein Eddie Mio made an impressive toe save to preserve the victory. Jiri Fischer was the player of the game with a goal and his ability to not fall down, according to the FSD graphic I saw.
But now, onto the main event. The big names were brought out for the second game, a contest that featured a bunch of our favorites from the past two decades and beyond. I was almost a little too excited to watch this. We weren't looking forward to this for the quality of play or because we're dying to see them beat the old Leafs. No, we're doing this specifically to talk Nick Lidstrom into coming out of retirement. That much is universally understood as truth and it will probably happen. Believing this is really the only way I'm going to get through the second half of the season.
To the alumni bullets ...
- God bless John Keating. 15 degrees, sitting outside all afternoon, face redder than Elmo. He's the best. He literally died of hypothermia doing this. R.I.P.
- Ted Lindsay was on the official alumni game roster but sat out. He's day-to-day, as all 88 year old people are.
- Terrible Ted was interviewed by Shannon Hogan before the game. I had it on mute and couldn't find the remote in time, but if I had to guess how it went: "I may be 88 years old but for Christ's sake stop yelling, I can hear you."
- I can't properly convey to you how badly I wanted Mickey Redmond to take a shot and break his stick. Sadly, this did not happen.
- The sight of Sergei Fedorov in a Wings jersey was as jarring as anything I've seen in some time. I was pleased that he didn't come out in a Ducks jersey flipping the double bird. That would have been unfavorable.
- Picture it: Larry Murphy skates behind his own net with the puck, looking like he's going to set up a breakout. He drops his stick and pulls out a gun, sneaking up behind Chris Osgood and taking him hostage. "IT'S ME OR HIM!" he screams into the nearest Fox Sports camera. Tens of thousands of people look on in horror, Keating's face is now purple, and Pat Quinn is still asleep behind the Toronto bench. Detroit PD needs to find a negotiator, but they needed to hurry and had to settle for Detroit Tigers mascot Paws, who was passed out naked and drunk in the bathroom, as he is during every offseason at Comerica Park. "Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!" Paws cried out to Murph, pleading with him to no avail. Murph yells, "I DON'T SPEAK LEOPARD" and spots Kerry Fraser far off walking on the concourse. Confused and scared, Murph fires his gun at Fraser (it's a hotdog cannon), striking Fraser in the face and putting him into a coma. My question is, would Leafs fans still boo Larry Murphy after this?
- To hell with all of you who didn't cheer Doug Brown's introduction with the fury of 1,000 suns exploding. Of course he scored. #HHoFer.
- Weird ass Chris Chelios scored a goal and then slid on his back to celebrate with his hips thrust off the ice like a strange sexual maneuver. Felt like it was worth mentioning.
- Second best goal of the game was scored by Sergei Fedorov on a nice pass from Mickey Redmond. What a sight that was. This could be the final step in the Ilitch family agreeing to raise #91 to the Joe Louis rafters, provided this happens after the Wings move to a new arena and turn JLA into a giant wig emporium for Mr. I.
- Best goal of the game was a snipe from the high slot by Brendan Shanahan. It was glorious, they played the Irish gig and everything. Then he suspended a guy!!!
- After the 1st half period thing, Yzerman chatted with John Keating. It was great, him just doing an intermission interview again like this was another Tuesday night game in St. Louis. As he walked back to the dressing room, cameras caught him managing a painful limp. It will now be impossible to watch the 2002 championship video without immediately fast-forwarding in my mind to the present, knowing the consequences of him choosing to play on a knee made of spaghetti and broken sea shells. It was probably worth it though.
- After the Wings had built a 5-1 lead in the 2nd period, Chris Osgood brought the past to life by letting the Leafs get back into the game with some softies. He also let out some F-bombs, while mic'd for TV. Look, I'm just saying -- Larry Murphy never swore on live TV while employed by Fox Sports.
- Per a request from Mike Babcock, Scotty Bowman listed Mikael Samuelsson as a healthy scratch.
- This was an immensely entertaining event to watch, even as the Leafs tied the game at 5 with 2 seconds remaining in regulation. The Wings went on to win in a shootout, as Manny Legace CORRECTS HIS WRONGS OF 2006 AND SENDS STEVE YZERMAN OUT WITH A WIN,