The Red Wings answered any doubts as to whether they were too old or too slow to keep up with the Phoenix Coyotes by dominating all phases of the game in a 6-1 win last night. Pavel Datsyuk and birthday boy (well, today anyway) Nick Lidstrom both scored twice, with the other goals coming from Brad Stuart and Todd Bertuzzi. Jimmy Howard nearly pitched another shutout, giving up a weird goal off a faceoff in the second period.
A fast-paced, back-and-forth first period left many fans (myself included) checking their shorts before the second period, but Datsyuk scored twice in the first four minutes of the 2nd to put the Wings up 2-0. Phoenix winger Vernon Fiddler scored directly off a faceoff at 8:23 to bring the Coyotes within 1, but The Captain answered the call just over 5 minutes later with a power play goal to put the Wings up 3-1.
Brad Stuart scored on a breakaway just after getting out of the penalty box in the final minute of the second period. After Stuart scored, Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle tripped Henrik Zetterberg, sending him flying into the boards. Thankfully, Z is a viking warrior and didn’t miss any time. Check out the video. [via Guyism]
To make matters worse for Z, a dumbass Phoenix fan (I’m assuming) threw a beer bottle at him from the stands midway through the third period. Play wasn’t stopped, but hopefully that asshole saw some jail time for that. Karma was served on the ice when Lidstrom scored his second goal a few moments later to make it 6-1.
THE BEST PICTURE EVER?
Courtesy of Nightmare on Helm Street. I love the expression on my physics professor’s face in the background (the dude near the armpit).
RED WING REACTIONS
Pierre LeBrun, ESPN:
With the whole hockey world waiting intently to see how Alex Ovechkin and his star-studded Washington Capitals will react in their Game 7 against Montreal on Wednesday night, if they were watching Tuesday, they saw how it’s done. Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Lidstrom raised their games, and the rest of the group followed.
A flurry of class posts today from Five For Howling:
The reports of the Detroit Red Wings’ demise have been greatly exaggerated. They were written off at various points in the season and it looked like the Coyotes might have had a good shot at knocking them out of the first round. And then, the Red Wings played like the Red Wings that have made it to two straight Stanley Cup Finals.
How good were the Wings? Winging It In Motown has the answer:
Make no mistake: the sole reason the final score was that close was because of the goaltending of Ilya Bryzgalov, who faced 50 shots and made a series of sparking saves in the first 30 minutes that would’ve made it a much bigger blowout.
How about that offensive explosion by the Wings? They looked downright dangerous for nearly the entire game. The power play was as terrifying as I’ve seen it look since the mid-to-late-90’s when it was practically automatic.
A back-handed Russian Five reference? I’ll take it.
JIMMY HOWARD LIKES WHAT HE SEES
Keep staring James.
The Wings will go up against the #1 seed Sharks, starting God-knows-when (seriously NHL, get on top of your shit) [Ed. Note – Thursday at 9 PM EST]. Apparently, there are two Eagles concerts scheduled at HP Pavilion in San Jose for Friday and Saturday, so the guess is the first two games of the series will be tomorrow and Sunday. Kudos to the Sharks ownership for having no faith in their team to move on.