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Abel to Yzerman

Rol’d Again

A note on game recaps: I'm in the process of moving from Bubba to Cap territory. Until I settle in DC, I'll be without Center Ice. So, games I have to listen to six inches away from my computer screen like a pathetic gamer will feature recaps a little skimpier than those I watch on tv (Versus!) or through Yahoo streaming. Bear with me until mid-December when the hockey package is once again the primary ingredient to my successful marriage. ------ Oh, the fond memories Dwayne Roloson provides the Wing faithful. Oiler fans will have to give us some insight on a question I have, and how they respond will make you feel better, worse or both...if that's possible. I think we deserve to know whether Roloson plays this well against everyone or if he saves these kind of performances just for us. Let's just get it out of the way. If you passed out in the fetal position after another sporting event yesterday and perhaps slept through the Wing game, well, here's the game for you right here. Wasn't that fun?

While a point on the road, especially….there, a night after getting violated in Calgary, is not something to frown upon; it should have been two.

But, and this statement says a lot…I’ll explain in a bit, you’ve got to be proud of the effort.  Three comebacks, young players coming of age, a reckless scramble at the end to tie it and a point in hostile territory.

As I said above, I was stuck with radio coverage of this one and it started out very nicely.  As you may know, before every game Ken Kal asks the production crew who they feel will be the star of the night.  We got the standard answers: Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Cleary (that’s a standard answer now, by the way), Lidstrom.  And then someone piped up and said, “Troy Smith.”  There was literally five seconds of silence, then Kal says, “okaaay….Paul?”

Chris Chelios probably hasn’t slept yet.  Sure, it was the first period and probably not the turning point, but his ill-fated outlet pass from deep in his own zone was Ricci-ugly.  Right on the stick of Smyth (Ryan, Jason, Smith, Smyth) who fed Horcoff, who beat our little pal Joey MacDonald, making his first NHL start. 

Edmonton Sun

“I told him on the flight (Friday) night that he better call his mom and tell her what time the game was on,” said Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock. “This is a good opportunity for him.”

And he played well.  I happen to think that of the two Wing goaltenders dressed last night, Stefan Liv has the brighter future.  But it was MacDonald’s night, and it could have been a much fonder memory if not for Roloson.

Three minutes after Chelios’ assist on the first Oil goal, Zetterberg and Draper broke in shorthanded.  Have I mentioned that those two together on the PK is a brilliant move?  Zetterberg waited approximately 36 minutes, then finally slipped the puck to Draper who one-timed it straight into Roloson’s glove.

Which just happened to be completely in the net.

A review followed that lasted longer than any single Ohio State possession did yesterday (I’ll bet that’s true) resulted in a goal for Draper.

“It was unfortunate,” Roloson said. “They have all the video in the world but they still missed it. The call came from (the league office in) Toronto. But if they can’t see the puck then it is obviously inconclusive. You have to be able to see the puck cross the line. I don’t know what was going on there.”

I watched the replay at least five times this morning and I have no idea what Roloson is whining about.  No, they didn’t see the puck.  But his glove was completely over the line, and I have a feeling the puck was in the glove.  I mean, I didn’t see the puck, but I’m pretty sure the puck was in the glove, which was..you know..over the line. 

So, Dwayne? You beat us again…so, I don’t know, just STFU.  You have the save of the year to discuss anyway.

Joffrey Lupol sent a puck off MacDonald’s pads and in for a 2-1 lead before Samuelsson stole the puck in Edmonton territory and found Datsyuk, who sent it cross-ice to Cleary for an open net.  You saw the rest up top.  Amazing save.

“That save is probably going to be number one in the top ten tonight,” said Red Wing Jason Williams. “If that had gone in it would have been a different game.”

Yeahhhh….prob’ly.  Markov tied it after a great pass from Cleary (9 points in his last six, including 5 goals) and we’re tied going into the third.

9 minutes in and we’re reminded there’s a kid in goal making his first NHL start, in Edmonton, in a tie game.  Raffi Torres’ innocent wrister hit his blocker then beat him.  Nice to see Torres have an impact in a Wing/Oiler game isn’t it? 

Down 3-2 and the Wings are buzzing.  12 shots on goal in the third, many in the last six minutes.  MacDonald pulled and you could smell something cooking.  Why? Because Cleary’s on the ice.  How crazy is this?  Cleary with the puck and Zetterberg’s watching from the bench.  Shake your head with me.

But it worked.  He zipped two passes through the crease before he gained the puck again on the right wing with 8 seconds left and fired again.  Allegedly it hit Hudler’s stick and beat Roloson. But you may as well give that goal to Cleary.  Amazing. 

And this is where I threw a tantrum.  Listening to the game via NHL.Com, the league’s official website. The same league that decided to institute the shootout, but seemed to forget to tell some employees that, well, it’s still in effect. 

Because NHL.com, the league’s official website, cut the feed before the shootout began.  Refreshing, re-starting, re-launching, re-loading and repeating obscenities did no good.  I, in pure pressure-packed reaction mode, went to the trusty The Game Live site to find another feed.  No dice.  Screwed.

So, I missed the fourteen shooters, the goals from Williams and, of course, Cleary; the winner from, of course, Torres. 


A few notes: 

*  I mentioned above the fact that getting a point out of last night’s game is something we can look at with optimism.  Yes, the Wings outplayed Edmonton and deserved two.  But, Mike Babcock has to be pleased.  The youngsters are coming around, led by Dan Cleary. Jiri Hudler is coming around.  Filpulla is, it would appear, here to stay.  When Kronwall and Homer are healthy again, I see no reason why the Wings aren’t going to continue to improve.

*  Jason Williams played 14+ last night with three shots and a couple hits.

*  I’m not going to discuss the power play today.  You can’t make me.

*  A few weeks ago, Alana from puck bunny central commented that the Joe is dead.  I agreed with her, but almost replied that even Rexall is less-than playoff loud during the regular season.  I’m glad I didn’t because that place was rocking again last night.

NHL.com Box

Detroit News: MacDonald Thrown Into Fire
Detroit Free Press: Cleary Brings It On Self
Detroit Free Press: Wings Fall Short
MLive: Wings Fall In Shootout

Edmonton Sun: Oilers Clip Wings In Shootout
Edmonton Sun: Joey In The Pictou





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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com