Well that sucked.
Goals were as follows:
Detroit: Dan Cleary (Rafalski, Lidstrom)
Toronto: Wayne Primeau (Orr, Finger); Phil Kessel (White, Blake); Jeff Finger (Stempniak, Stajan); John Mitchell (pp; Kessel, Beauchemin); Alexei Ponikarovsky (Grabovski, White)
Trying a new format here for my game recap, and it’s going to be my plus/minuses of the game. Yes, it’s a blatant riff off the +/- stat. And the hope is that there will be more pluses than minuses. Unlike tonight. Ahem.
+ Good for Cleary for getting his 100th career goal. Now that he’s gotten over that milestone hump, here’s to hoping that he can start producing a bit more offensively.
+ There was a nice smattering of Red Wings fans at the ACC, and occasionally got the “Let’s Go Red Wings” chant going. Unfortunately it was quickly washed out by “Go Leafs Go”
+ The Leafs did a very cool job at the beginning, showing first a montage of past Hall of Fame inductees, and then having several of them introduced. They lined up to greet the 2009 inductees. Stevie Y got a huge ovation. As did Scotty Bowman.
+ I’m putting this under pluses just because I thought it was a cool stat, but apparently the Red Wings and Leafs are 274-274 in career games (ignoring ties which is 93). So they were touting tonight’s game as the tiebreaker. (Apparently the tie occurred at the Red Wings opener in the 08-09 season, when they lost their banner raising game to the Leafs)
+ Lidstrom had a very nice hit at one point, driving Ponikarovsky off to the side boards. You don’t see it very often, so you appreciate it when you do.
+ Well, this is a plus for me, but I had a surprisingly good vantage point from my seat.
– I saw a girl wearing a white RBK Edge style Red Wings jersey, with number 7 and Lindsay on the back… and if that wasn’t bad enough, she turned around and there was no logo on the front! It was totally blank. No Winged Wheel. Talk about a jersey foul… I wanted to get a picture to send to Puck Daddy, but didn’t get a chance.
– Speaking of Cleary, he’s -7 on the season so far.
– The defense sucked. I saw way too much of Lebda (16:35, 1:02 PP) and Ericsson (20:03, 3:58 PK). Even worse, they were usually paired together. I had a feeling that Babcock thought that the Leafs’ anemic offense was a good opportunity to give them more ice time. Too bad that backfired. Though it wasn’t entirely their fault alone–everyone was a little lackadaisical.
– Along those lines, I felt like they took the Leafs too lightly. Or they simply didn’t care because it’s an Eastern/Western conference game. Who knows, but it was unacceptable.
– Honestly, I thought Howard should have, and was going to start tonight’s game. Along what I personally think is the reasoning for giving Lebda and Ericsson so much ice time, I would have thought it a good chance for Howard to play.
– Jason Williams has a freaking broken leg. He was bringing the puck into the zone and slide into the end boards with a Leaf player. It didn’t really make a huge bang on impact, and I was honestly surprised to see him hurt. I was also very relieved to see it wasn’t Rafalski–it happened on my end, and I could only see the 2 and what was either an 8 or a 9. This sucks regardless, but I agree with Matt that it would have been much, much worse had it been Raf.
– There was simply not enough established pressure. Too much cycling and pretty passing on the power play. The Red Wings outshot the Leafs, but that doesn’t matter when they get outplayed completely like they did tonight.
– Ozzie sucked. Let’s be honest with ourselves, this was not a good game for him.
Random thoughts on Toronto, the ACC, and Maple Leafs fans:
More can be found on my Twitter. I’ll also be posting pictures from my weekend up here in a short bit.