Red Wings win…Sid the Kid throws a tantrum.
Last night the Pittsburgh Penguins traveled to Detroit for the first time since they hoisted Lord Stanley’s Cup in Joe Louis Arena last June. The Detroit Red Wings, however, brought their A-game on this night and it became very evident why the hockey writers around the league continue to churn out stories about teams not wanting to play the Wings in the first round of the playoffs.
Detroit was up to their usually puck possession tricks and really controlled the play throughout the game. It was also evident that the Pens were missing the added depth that Evgeni Malkin brings to the line-up. Detroit’s defense was able to focus on Sidney Crosby and render him invisible for the entire game.
For the Wings, the game was a dominant effort by the line of Valterri Filppula, Henrik Zetterberg, and Todd Bertuzzi. All three men were a part of each of the Wings’ goals. Bertuzzi had arguably his best game of the season registering two assists. Filppula had a goal and an assist as well. Without a doubt though, the number one star of the game was Zetterberg. He scored two goals and an assists. Most notably though, was his outstanding defensive coverage on Crosby. Zetterberg was matched up mano-e-mano the entire game with Crosby and shut down the Pens’ captain. It was a Selke-worthy performance. Crosby finished the game with no points and a minus-2 rating. Crosby’s inability to get anything done on the ice last night was evident when his frustration boiled over after the horn sounded.
Crosby took some cheap shots at Zetterberg and cross checked him repeatedly from behind. This caused Zetterberg to retaliate and scrum broke out. The biggest sight to see was Red Wings’ rookie goaltender Jimmy Howard coming to the aid of his teammate and smearing his glove in Crosby’s face. If any Detroit fans were still on the fence about Howard, who allowed one goal on 26 shots, last night’s performance, both in the game and after the horn, should have solidified him as the Wings’ #1 goalie from here on out.
After the game, Crosby appeared annoyed and frustrated with the situation.
Howard was sick of Crosby constant cheap shots against his teammates, “he does that stuff all the time. Somehow he gets away with it.’’
Regardless of whether fans think this game or scrum was a big deal or not, the fact remains that both these teams are extremely talented and do not like each other. If the Wings can hold of the Flames for the 8th and final spot in the playoffs, they might be the most dangerous 8th seed of all time. Hockey fans can only hope for the rubber match between these two teams this June. You know what they say…third times a charm.