Detroit Red Wings = March Madness
The sports word is focused on March Madness and the Detroit Red Wings seem to be fans too. It’s a common thing to see a buzzer beater in college basketball, especially during the NCAA Tournament. In hockey, it’s not so common, but the Red Wings played back-to-back nights against the Edmonton Oilers and the Vancouver Canucks and thrilled their fans by beating the clock on both nights.
Friday in Edmonton, down 2-0 early, the Wings dominated the last 45 minutes of play but found themselves down 2-1 as time was running out. With about seven seconds remaining Theo Peckham basically lies on top of the puck, until amazing Pavel Datsyuk pokes it free and find a wide open Brian Rafalski pinching from the point. Rafalski buries the puck into the open net with 0.2 seconds remaining. The Wings forced overtime and eventually lost in a shootout, but the one point they earned in the standings will go a long way in their race against Calgary for 8th place in the West.
The very next night the Red Wings found themselves with another 20 deficit, this time to the Canucks. In the second period, still down 2-0, Todd Bertuzzi scored his first goal in 20 games to make it 2-1. Five seconds later, Datsyuk won the battle in the center ice face-off, skated across the blue line, and scored on Roberto Luongo by using the Canuck defenseman as a screen. Detroit’s two goals in five seconds is a new franchise record. A few minutes later on a Vancouver power play, Valterri Filppula scored a shorthanded goal on a breakaway, which must have been a nice way to celebrate his 26th birthday. Five minutes into the third, Daniel Sedin tied the scored at three and teams held their own and headed to overtime.
Overtime was an exciting affair but with five seconds left Filppula found Henrik Zetterberg cycling from the left corner. Zetterberg, who was covered by a stick-less Christian Erhoff, skated right into the slot to lift a back-handed shot over Luongo’s shoulder with 0.3 seconds left.
The Red Wings picked up a huge two points and now hold a two point lead over Calgary. If anyone is a fan of March Madness buzzer beaters, right now, it’s a good time to follow the Detroit Red Wings and their desperate push to make the playoffs for the 19th straight year.