First, we torched Bernier for 6 goals, giving Michael Leighton a 1-0-0 record. Lucky for him, considering he gave up 4 goals. The next night, Bob was back in net but continued to struggle. He gave up a 5-spot to the Ducks, as we lost 5-2. I was in the mountains and missed both games. The highlights on defense don’t look very pretty. Lot’s of turnovers, bad rebounds, and defensemen not clearing out loose pucks. Thankfully, I was back in time to see the Red Wings game. That was a beauty.
Ok, so none of the our goals were spectacular. But the way we controlled the tempo for large portions of the game was fun as hell to watch. We’ve played a few tough teams lately, and looked like tired horse shit. Finally, we broke out and played up to the level we’re capable of, winning 3-2. The media loves playing up the fact that it was our first win in Detroit since ’88. I love what Laviolette said when someone asked him what he told the team about that.
Not one word, I don’t believe in that stuff. How are you supposed to coach that? Like what do you do? How do you go on the board and draw that up? Usually, the play on the ice dictates things.
Common sense from a smart coach. Who the hell would ask that kind of dumb-ass question anyway? Nobody on this team even knows what 1988 is. They heard of it, maybe. But they’re hockey players, not historians. The beauty of this sport is that there’s always a next game around the corner. You don’t look back, you prepare for the future. This is something that matters a bit to the fans, especially those around in ’97.
I particularly like beating the Wings because of how they crushed us in the Finals back then. Nothing will ever make up for it, unless of course we get a Cup. Still this was a nice victory. After a dominating second period, I didn’t expect much out of Detroit. We beat them to every loose puck, kept the pressure on for the entire period, and looked like we’d walk away with an easy W. Nope! They finally showed their mettle in the 3rd, scoring a pair to make things interesting. All of a sudden, they were buzzing in our zone, threatening to be the second top-notch west coast team to burn a 3 goal, 3rd period deficit against us (remember San Jose). The current #1, Brian Boucher kept them back, and the D tightened up just enough in the final minutes to secure the win.
So in 2011, we are undefeated, and once again atop the NHL, tied with Detroit. The road trip finally ends Thursday, against the Devils.
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