Friday, February 22, 2013

Game 17: Seeing Red, But Not Dread

I hope I'm still doing the kind of crazy stuff that Vinny Prospal is doing at the age of 38, when I get to be that age.

Which means I should probably try to acquire some skill at skating sometime in the next couple months.

It was an ending that was in very sharp contrast to the beginning.

In a five-minute span away from my car (and, thus, the radio), the Detroit Red Wings hung two goals on the Columbus Blue Jackets, in the teams' third meeting and first in dreaded Joe Louis Arena.

After all, the Jackets had played mightily in the first two games... getting a shootout loss and a blowout win -- three of a possible four points. But those two were in Nationwide Arena. This was The (dreaded) Joe.

Yet, just a couple minutes after nothing less than a dreadful start for the Jackets and netminder Sergei Bobrovsky... R.J. Umberger knocked in a goal to close the Wings' lead to 2-1. Might give an extra assist to Derek Dorsett for taking on the NHL's favorite biter, Jordin Tootoo shortly beforehand to bring the power play... even if the fight wasn't expected.

However, seeing Tootoo do something thuggish and classless like a sucker punch is par for the course.

However, the praise for Dorsett really only begins there. Dorsett camped out in front of the net as the Jackets freed up the puck from behind Jimmy Howard's net, pounded the puck into Jimmy Howard's left pad, then found a way around Howard's skate off the rebound, just five minutes into the third to tie it up.

It would be easy to be nervous from that that point, just waiting for some bad bounce -- any bad bounce -- that would go the Red Wings' way. That is typically how those things go, after all.

Some B.S. penalty... check -- after Jordin Tootoo's epic dive just a few minutes after the tying goal (adding another all-time sportsmanship tactic to his resume). Another penalty to Derek MacKenzie a little more than halfway through the third. However, the Jackets stayed on task from there.

Dorsett contributed to one more highlight... gaining the zone after a Wings turnover and firing a pass to James Wisniewski, who fed Vinny Prospal in front of the net. That spin move in a split second to get that puck to his backhand and past Howard... I haven't stopped watching it.

Not even 25 seconds left.

This is not that kind of CBJ-Red Wings series this year. This team has stepped up in each one, facing down adversity and playing through it. Thursday's biggest adversity was the loss of Artem Anisimov, who was on the wrong end of a frightening accident as he lost his edges and took out the leg of Kyle Quincey, who fell on top of him. In the process, Anisimov took a hip and Quincey's elbow to the head as he fell and took Quincey's full weight... then went off the ice on a stretcher. A tough play to watch, for sure, and a terrible break for a team that is trying so hard to get some momentum.

It taints an otherwise joyous occasion of a win over the Wings. Anisimov has played well -- one of the few who has done so consistently -- and had just returned from a foot injury. He was moving at the hospital in Detroit, though, so here's hoping he's able to return soon.

Two more on the road against St. Louis and Chicago before returning home on Tuesday. Go Jackets!

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