Pacified; Gerber stones Wings

January 11, 2006

Wow.  This one hurt.  I don’t mean it hurt in the standings-although it did. Nashville won; they’re two points back.

I mean it physically pained me to watch the last two minutes.  It seems we get about five of these a year, where the Wings are down 1 with a minute left and they just unleash a barrage of shots on a goalie that you think no one on earth could withstand.

And five times a year, you’re left at the final buzzer saying, “what the hell just happened? We didn’t score? Mommy?”

Well, that was last night.

On to the notes:

Yes, the Wings sucked in the first. Yes, it’s a disturbing trend.   Detroit came out slow, and surprised by the Hurricane reaction to a great crowd.  Whatever the reason, the Wings were on their heels when Matt Cullen scored on a two-on-one with Brett Lebda committing then watching a toe drag move slowly past his nose before beating Legace.

Former Wing Ray Whitney scored, after being allowed to stand free and happy next to the crease, four minutes later. 

At this point it was fun to sit back and consider the fact that the Wings had just given up their 8th consecutive goal.  I basked in the warmth of that gem for a few moments, and must have gone into some sort of trance because I woke up and Eric Cole was doing some sort of figure skating move behind the net. 

It happened so fast that I missed the Wing defensemen who surely must have tried to physically harm him as he wrapped the puck around and past Legace for a 3-0 lead.

9 goals in a row.  You can’t buy that kind of fun. I’m a Sailor and I’ve been to the Philippines, so I’ve tried.

Ok.  A few good things before we move on. The Wings, despite their 15 minute nap to start the game, were a little more violent toward the end of the first. 

Brendan Shanahan, who didn’t score again, looked like a power forward last night.  He was hitting and stationed in front of the net more than he has been.

Wings are down 3-0 and the world is collapsing.  At this point with just less than 4 minutes left in the first, Steve Yzerman showed why Joe Thornton and Joe Sakic refused to wear number 19 in Turin.

It seems that Yzerman determined 9 straight goals was quite enough, thank you.

The Number 19 took the puck in his own end and began to steadily weave, on a knee that you can see pains him every time he takes a faceoff, his way up ice. 

He labored toward the right boards by himself, picking up as much steam as his body would allow.  Once a slim path opened toward the net, the 25 year old Yzerman sprung toward Martin Gerber, put a move on him we’ve seen hundreds of times before, and watched from the air as the puck slid by the ‘Cane goalie.

There are so many moments in Yzerman’s career that we could point to as “defining.”  But that effort, at that point in last night’s game, was his captaincy in a nutshell. 

He was just sick and tired of his team getting their asses kicked. So, he did something about it.

3-1 Canes after 1.  Shots were surprisingly even at 12-11 in favor of Carolina.

Yzerman almost scored again to start the second and the Wings did score on a power play when Zetterberg got his 20th (congrats) at 3:26.

Ok.  Everything’s gonna be ok.  37 minutes to tie it.  Wings started to look stingy on defense.  They’re getting their chances.  Gerber’s playing well, but 37 minutes is a long frigging time, brother.

No, it’s not.  35:13 went by quickly.  Now, you want to know what a long time is?  1:47 is a long time.  Ask my wife.  Did I just say that?

Anyway, 1:47 is a long time.  It’s a long time down by 1, with a man advantage, with the goalie pulled.

And, when Martin Gerber played the way he did during the last few moments of last night’s game, 1:47 seemed like forever. 

Yes, the Wings dug a hole.  But they climbed out of it–were dragged out by their captain–and had plenty of time to correct things.  Gerber wouldn’t let them.

From today’s Freep:

“Not a great start, obviously, but then beyond that, a lot of good things,” Brendan Shanahan said. “We were almost able to do what Dallas did to us the other day, erase a 3-0 deficit. It’s unfortunate. Their goalie was really the difference in the final 50 minutes, especially the last period, and the last 2 1/2 minutes, he was outstanding. I don’t know what else you can do. We just threw so much at him, from a lot of different gifted people. You’ve got to tip your hat to a performance like that. It’s one thing to get hit with pucks; he was actually making some pretty great saves in there.”

When the Wings put that kind of pressure on a goalie, it really is fun to watch.  Lang sets up Shanny for a one timer…save.  Zetterberg from the side, then the front…save, save.  Lang from the slot…save.  Scheider, Lidstrom, Datsyuk…Gerber stopped them all.

Wings outshot Carolina 19-6 in the third. 

More on the effect this game had on the Central race later.


On the Wings recap

Durham Herald Sun game report

Raleigh News Observer game report

Detroit Free Press game report

Detroit News game report


9 Responses to “Pacified; Gerber stones Wings”

  1. Casonblog Says:

    I thought once Maltby and the boys starting laying the body frustration would start to take its toll on the ‘Canes. That’s what happened in San Jose. The last Atlanta game was a statement game for the Hurricanes and tonight was another. The showed up vs. the Wings and on semi-national TV. Brought back memories of game 1. Games 2-5 are thankfully a blurred memory.

  2. Yooper1963 Says:

    Hey Chief,

    Nothing personal here…

    I have to laugh at people when I hear them talk about how the Wings are doomed (except doomsberry from mlive). Keep in mind all the “experts” said the Wings were going to the bottom of the standings because of the cap.

    Most people blame one or two players for losses (in some case it is justified), yet when they win the same people praise the team. I just find that funny – when I watch a game I see 6 people on the ice…

    If I recall correctly, the last three times they won the cup, they were more toward the middle of the pack – rather than at the top.

    I did not see most of the game (had an appointment at the kids school until 2100). I managed to see the last 5 minutes or so…

    I do agree that they have work to do. I have always felt the weak spot was goalie (although Manny has impressed me – he is doing better than I expected). When they had Cujo – it seemed the defense was always suspect – and still is – they tend not to cover up in front of the net. IMO – the Dmen also are afraid to tie the opposing forwards up due to the way the game is called.

    I also believe that the refs have a tendancy to turn a blind eye to the opposition, while they have the Wings under a microscope – the “phantom” call against Zetterberg in the Dallas game is a prime example..

    We discussed the Forwards before so I won’t waste your time other than to say – I noticed they put three guys behind the net before the Cains got the penalty. In all my experience, not many goals have been scored from back there…

    Overall, I think they will be fine – I believe they will “kick it up a notch” (to steal a phrase from Emeril), whether they can do it at the right time and high enough remains to be seen.

    IMO they need to rely on more than just a few people to carry the load… Rather than saying Shanny or Lang or Yzerman need to start scoring – why not say all the forwards need to start?

    Gotta run…

  3. Olongapo Joe Says:

    “Detroit came out slow…”

    Like a well-used Jeepnee.

  4. Olongapo Joe Says:


    Pacified…Gerber, I just got that.

    Good one, Chief.

  5. CasonBlog Says:

    Geeze Olongapo Joe-you playing “smiles” with the Chief?
    Cubi Casonblog

  6. iwocpo Says:

    Alright…enough..LOL. Cason’s too young to know what Smiles is all about, Joe.

  7. Olongapo Joe Says:


    Oh, that was sailor-slang for the naval exercises commanded by LBFMPAC Detachment Subic/Cubi Pt., wasn’t it?

    Ensigns didn’t participate. We were too busy studying our leadership manuals.

  8. iwocpo Says:

    “Ensign leadership manuals”…short reads…:)

  9. CasonBlog Says:

    Hey, It takes great poise under pressure to serve as Bull Ensign and SLJO!

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