Quick thoughts on a couple of strange, exciting, nail biting, white knuckle, games.
I spent the night flipping channels, trying to watch both the Wings and the Tigers, while hanging out in the game thread at Bless You Boys. The result? The Red Wings blow up in a bad way, giving up 3 third period goals, and lose badly to Nashville, 5-3. On the flip, the Tigers blow up in a good way, come back twice from BIG deficits, and win in their final at bat, 11-9. I'll say this, I've had more than enough drama for one night.
It appears the Tigers offense took Jim Leyland's locker room explosion to heart, and exploded themselves, FINALLY showing what I hope is their true colors. The big bats did what they were supposed to do, and punished Minny pitching for 16 hits. The Tigers' pitching, on the other hand...
Not that Jeremy Bonderman wasn't as bad as his stats looked, as the Tigers' defense had a couple of inexcusable errors that led to several Twins runs. Unfortunately, the bullpen disappointed again, as Bobby Seay was lit up by the Twinkies, allowing all his inherited runners to score, along with 2 more runs charged to his stat line. The pen did suck up after Seay's bombardment, as Francis Bentran was fine in his 1 inning, and Todd Jones converted an ugly ass save, allowing 2 baserunners, before a nice running catch by Ryan Raburn on a Nick Punto left field liner ended things.
Despite the pitching issues, this was easily the best win of the young season. But Tigers aren't out of the woods yet. They haven't put together a game where all ll phases of the game, offensively, defensively, and pitching, click.
Still, this could the game that the Tigers build upon, and begin to play like the team we've expected. It was that sort of win...
As for the Red Wings? Allowing 2 goals, scored within 9 seconds of another, late in the third period? That is your proverbial nut punch loss.
I'm not sure who was at fault on the game winner, but...Well, I'll let the Chief at A2Y say what we are all thinking...
The Arnott goal? The one that brought him, and them, back into this series? A bad change and a wide open wing. Wide open. Wanna blame Lilja? Of course you do. So do I. Sure seemed like he was unnecessarily way out of position. But that far? Burned that badly? Not even Lilja can be beaten that badly, that obviously. But I can tell you this. The last three real tough playoff goals to handle as a Wing fan? Selanne’s. Tootoo’s from Game 2. Arnott’s from tonite. All had one common theme.
Namely, Andreas Lilja was on the ice, giving up the puck. If the Wings lose late on a bad goal, Lilja is usually in the vicinity.
I'm not going to get too worked up over a playoff loss, even one as painful as tonight's. It's cliched, but true, in that it was only one game. One game does not a playoff series make. But it does give a team hope, which has me worried.
The Wings weren't going to go 16-0. Nashville wasn't going to roll over and play possum. It wouldn't be a Red Wings Stanley Cup playoff run without a couple of losses that piss you off, have you crying in your beer, wondering what the fuck just happened. Games like this are why winning the Stanley Cup is considered to be one of the toughest things to do in sports.
I'm confident the Wings are the better team, and should win this series in 5 games. Being it's the playoffs and the Red Wings we're talking about here, it may be too much to ask. I do not want to see them give the Preds life, and come back to Detroit tied 2-2.
Too many weird things can happen when you let a lower seeded team hang around.