Hockey Mom has a confession to make - yes, I fell asleep last night before the third period of Red Winds/Penguins Finals Game 2. I know - what kind of hockey fan am I? But with marathon lacrosse tryouts, a house hockey game, co-worker's baby shower plus the zillion other items on my to-do list every weekend, I was just plain spent. Turning on the NHL Network this morning, I thought I was seeing the score from Saturday night's game (Wings 3 - Pens 1) but the Wings rolled through Game 2 with the same end result as Game 1. Frustrate the heck out of the Penguins' offense, hold Sid the Kid scoreless and plant yourselves in the paint in front of your goalie Chris Osgood (who has been phenonemal).
It's been fun watching the Penguins get feisty (though HM thought Crosby's "love tap" on Kurt Maltby's ankle at the end of Game 1 was uncalled for). And Evgeni Malkin's fight against Wings stud Henrik Zetterberg last night was beautiful (not in an enforcer sense but nice to see Geno drop the gloves). Old time hockey - jerseys, fists and sticks flying. This series is getting ugly fast.
But watching the Red Wings - there are so many reasons why they've been so great for the past few seasons (and why Gabby the cat picked them to repeat as Cup champions). Their play as a "team" is stellar - yes, they have some of most elite players in the game in Nick Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Marian Hossa and yada yada yada. But from the minute the puck drops, there is no "I'll just do it myself" mentality on this bench.
I'll say it again: They are crazy-deep in talent (and secondary scoring). They have dudes like Justin Abdelkader, (HM just calls him "The Abdelkader" for fun) - who never scored an NHL goal before the Finals and now has two! And what more needs to said for The Mule (Johan Franzen) - who is one of the hardest-working players in the game today?
And though it seems like the refs have stashed their whistles in their pockets for the duration - the Wings had virtually no penalties in last night's contest (with the exception of that mean ole Nik Kronwall cross-checking Malkin).
Plus, they have Chris Osgood, who despite being a bit shaky during the regular season, has become an absolute wall in stopping 62 of the 64 shots he faced in Games 1 and 2.
But it's not over til the fat lady sings so the Pens' faithful better be cheering loud and waving those terrible towels furiously tomorrow night at the Igloo.
In other miscellaneous news, the Montreal Canadiens have a new bench boss in Jacques Martin, former GM of the Florida Panthers.
And the Washington Capitals can add one more Cap-crazy fan to the masses. Always a sucker for a happy ending, HM reads Date Lab in the Washington Post magazine every Sunday. So Carolyn, who got set up in this issue, may or may not have found true love but the Caps have added another fun gal to proudly rock the red:
UPDATE: Happy hour didn't work out, but the two did go to a Capitals game together. "We had lots of fun," Carolyn says. A bonus: "I'm a huge ice hockey fan now."