Thoughts from Game 5 in Detroit, 1500(ish) Eastern.
Tarnstrom's back, didn't think poor Greene would draw back in. He shouldn't have used his stick so much. Return of the heart attack twins too, with Tarnstrom and Bergeron paired again. I'm guessing they're not going to see a lot of Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterberg.
First big hit of the game goes to Williams on Spacek - Peca and Spacek have thrown a couple of little ones already too, less than 2 minutes in - looks like it'll be another physical game. Bergeron just tried his best to give the puck to Kirk Maltby - when will he learn that you a) don't give the puck to old guys in the playoffs, because they just kill the Oilers, and b) you sure as heck don't give them to old ex-Oilers?
Garrett's on my nerves already - he's talking about Jason Smith missing the net shortside, same as Radek Dvorak just did, except Smith had the puck knocked half off his stick just as he took the shot. Not much time for him to see replays, and maybe it wasn't clear from the angle he had, but... ngh.
Craig MacTavish seemed pretty amused for the linesman's skate problems.
Spacek missed the net on his first PP shot - off to a great start. Too bad Hemsky was going just a bit too fast to tuck the puck in. Lee's making it sound like he screwed up: "Hemsky misses the open net!" No, the net wouldn't have been open for him if he hadn't been going that fast in the first place. At least they've decided to bless us with a PP clock again.
Poor play by Smyth to take a slashing penalty to neutralize the PP - kind of an innocuous little slash, but you just know they're going to call those, especially since they just called Holmstrom. Then Spacek takes another bad one - guess they didn't learn from last game. I figure now, at 9:30 of the first period, that if Edmonton continues along these lines, it's gonna be 5-3 win for Detroit.
Datsyuk looks to be on, that's for sure - he's flying around. No goals yet, but if he keeps playing like that, he's going to make some Oilers dman look extremely foolish indeed just before he tucks it by Roli.
Not to be outdone by Smyth and Spacek, the other Oilers are trying to get penalties of their own. Guys, it's *goals* you're supposed to be competing for. Ah, this was Spacek again - maybe Greene will draw back in next game, at this rate. Moreau's getting a workout in his second game back though - at least he's likely gonna be good to go for the rest of the playoffs, however much longer they go for the Oil.
Hah, Spacek and Ryan Smyth teaming up to take out a Wing - maybe they wanted simultaneous ones.
Nice deflection by Pisani to get a goal off some good, hard work by Torres and Peca, and a nice shot by Pronger.
Spacek knocked Cleary a bit silly after a suicide pass made it onto his stick - ouch. At least it's not the Oilers alone trying to kill their teammates.
Pronger's still getting booed in the second period - not quite sure what he's done to the Wings to earn that, except to outplay Nick Lidstrom.
Thankfully I appear to have been incorrect on my earlier prediction; Edmonton goes up 2-0 on a nice screenshot by Jarret Stoll (and a shinpad tip by Smyth).
Heh, some synchronized blocking by Tarnstrom, Murray, and another Oiler. All went down together, all got up together. Too bad the puck went the other way and 3/5ths of the Oiler skaters were then out of position.
After that 2-0 goal, the Wings seem to be falling back to their "don't wanna win" - blame the Oilers 2-2-1 or trap or good defensive play or whatever you want to call it, but there were 3 Oilers right in front of Legace just now, and that was their "checking" line of Peca/Pisani/Torres.
Smyth took a penalty on Chelios - I have to agree with Smyth on that one, Chelios gets the stick and elbows up in Smyth's face and then goes down pretty damn easily to draw the tripping penalty. More good hard work by Horcoff to put in (or at least to cause Kronwall to put in) the 3-0 goal, and poor Samsonov bounces off him trying to celebrate. Not really Samsonov's best series of games, I don't think; apparently Boston fans were correct when they said he's a great, undeniably skilled player, but he goes missing in the playoffs. Still, he hasn't hurt the team - keep him around this summer if you can, Lowe.
Interesting - it looks like Hemsky's playing with Peca now? Maybe just for the 4 on 4 - that would make sense. Hemsky used to do really well with Moreau on the other wing, I wouldn't mind seeing that again. But it's hard to argue with (relative) success - the team's doing ok, 2-2 series and hopefully a stranglehold on game 5.
Mark Lee was just on TV - man, can he hold still when he's talking?
I have to admit, I wasn't sure at all about Brad Winchester at all at first, but now the more I see him, the more impressed I am - first of all, he's scoring, and second of all, he gives some good size on that first line, and he's better defensively than Hemsky was there. Of course, my cats likely know the Oilers zone almost as well as Hemsky does, but...
Some terrible luck on Shanahan's first goal of the series - pass went over Pronger's stick, Shanahan got away, and Smith couldn't stop him. I don't know if I'm as convinced as Garrett and Lee that Peca had been interfered with just before that, but Draper sure didn't go out of his way to let him up either.
Second intermission... most players interview in suits if they haven't been playing. Steve Yzerman wears a torn sweater. Good on him. Good sense of humour too: "Are you more surprised that I beat anybody, or that somebody beat Pronger? ... First time I've beaten anybody wide all year." He must think like Lowetide - "Pisani's gotten some key goals for them." And earlier, "I'm day to day, just like you Ron."
Despite my earlier misgivings, Bergeron and Tarnstrom are playing pretty well, or at least, not badly - none of the terrible giveaways that have characterized them thus far this series.
Good save by Roloson on a rebound off Staios - too bad he's 36, I'm not sure how many years he has left in him, but... well, I've already drooled over him enough, suffice it to say I'm still very pleased with his acquisition. Had Lowe stuck with Conkkanen, I hate to say it, but I don't think the Oilers are even in the playoffs, never mind in a position to lead the Wings 3-2 in this series.
Garrett was upset with the non-call on Shanahan for interfering with Staios in the third (6m left), but in all fairness, Staios had his stick on Datsyuk just before that; Shanny wasn't being evil, just naughty in that case. Good to not call either player on that one.
OT a bit, but they've been showing this ad for Crappy Tire cordless mowers. Not exactly new technology, I used to push one around a lot when I was a teenager - except we didn't plug them in, we put gas in them. At least the CTG isn't around any more.
Indeed, a moment of reckoning with Staios in the box with 3 minutes left and the score 3-1 - but the Oilers can ice the puck with impunity, too, like Pronger just did. Great way to kill time. Mixed blessing, I know, but still, with a 2 goal lead, it's not as bad as it could be.
Lots of fans leaving early - you know, if I'd paid as much as they likely did for their tickets, I think I'd stick around for every second of the game. Especially since Zetterberg just scored with 20 seconds left, just to make things interesting. Well, even if it goes to OT, at least it's not already 0130.
Scary moment right at the end - Horcoff went down blocking a shot - looks like the puck caught him near the throat. Hopefully it just knocked the wind out of him.
Series is 3-2 Oilers - Wade, there goes my prediction shot to hell, not that I'm disappointed about it.