Pavel Datsyuk could order a pizza for two and a half hours and I would sit on my couch and watch, mesmerized.
And by that, I mean his goal in the first period to kick off the scoring was quite a beauty. Not a few minutes later, we found Todd Bertuzzi on a turnover chance, all alone, doing what he does best. Surprisingly not a spinorama chance, but a goal nonetheless to take the Red Wings to an early 2-0 lead. The first period was pretty much all Red Wings.
Six nights in ten games made the Red Wings sit back a little bit during the second. A little sloppier in their own zone, a little more careless with their passes, a little more end-to-end skating with not a lot of sustained pressure. I mean, we’re all tired by this time of night, but not all of us are playing in a hockey game.
In a strange twist of events, the Red Wings scored on a play just after the halfway point in the second period, but goaltender Mike Smith had been down earlier in the play. It looked as though the puck hit him in the mask, then as if a stick had hit him in the face. Then, commercial break, and when we came back, Smith was up and staying in the game. No goal.
Phoenix managed to score with less than a minute to go in the second period to cut the Red Wings’ lead in half.
The Coyotes scored within the first five minutes of the period and a goal by Martin Hanzal barely two minutes later meant three unanswered Coyotes goals and the Red Wings down 3-2. But it didn’t stop there. A bad bounce resulted in another Coyotes goal and a two-goal deficit for the Red Wings.
Despite a power play in the last five minutes of the game, the Red Wings were unable to make a comeback against Phoenix. And Mike Smith scored a goal on a empty net at the very end of the game–literally, the very end. 0.1 seconds left on the clock. The man who had been injured earlier in the game on a Red Wings goal.
Especially on that last power play, the absence of Niklas Kronwall was very noticeable. This was a disappointing loss, not just because of the strange no-goal call, but because of the hints of lethargy the Red Wings team showed.
Unsung Hero Of The Game
Chris Osgood, for learning by the end of the first period that he didn’t need to tell a story for every other comment he made. He’s doing a good job covering for Mickey Redmond on this Western Conference road trip.
Also, a bonus unsung hero of the game to Johan Franzen, who looked to actually be awake this game. Those two goals in the game against the Colorado Avalanche may have woken the Mule up. Or at least made him more attentive during games.