Some things are predictable. The sun will rise in east. You will pay taxes. You will die. Kim Kardashian’s marriage will not last. The Ducks will lose when they play in Detroit in the regular season.
The last time hell froze over (in other words, the Ducks won a game at the Joe Louis Arena) was February 10, 2008.
In Saturday’s match up between the Red Wings and Anaheim, there was no worries of Satan doing a little ice skating any time soon.
Does it matter that Detroit was on a six game losing streak? Not when the Ducks come to town.
Suddenly the Detroit Red Wings looked like….well, the Detroit Red Wings, not the Dead Things. The only dead things were the Ducks.
It was a Swedish revival on ice at the Joe Louis Arena.
Niklas Kronwall scored. Nicklas Lidstrom scored. Twice. Henrik Zetterberg scored. Johan Franzen scored. Tre kronor, five goals.
Anaheim? Jonas Hiller stopped 40 shots. After goal number five went past midway through the third period, coach Randy Carlyle felt that Hiller had had enough. Dan Ellis got to take a turn in the shooting gallery and stopped five more shots.
For those of you who can’t add quickly enough, that was 50 shots on goal for the Red Wings.
The Ducks? Jimmy Howard did not have nearly as much work at the other end of the ice and only faced 22 shots on goal. Not quite asterisk worthy, but certainly he did not have a heavy burden to bear.
Getting a goal from Luca Sbisa called off because Corey Perry was interfering with Howard certainly helped with the shut out.
Getting Teemu Selanne to the showers early helped. Selanne got an unsportsmanlike conduct, apparently fed up with what he perceived to be poor officiating. Because officials everywhere love to be verbally abused and harangued, (not) Selanne got a two minute minor. And a misconduct for not stopping. And how about that game misconduct as well for ignoring the previous two warnings? In NHL rule terms, Teemu reached his three strikes limit. Nakamiin Teemu!
Better for the Ducks to get out of town and take what is left of their dignity with them. Then again, what dignity? A road trip that went 1-3-3?
“We needed a win badly,” said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. “To tell you the truth, I would’ve taken playing poorly and winning – because we’ve played a lot of good games and not won. We just needed to win and it was nice to see some guys score some goals, so you can get the weight of the world off your back.”
One can only hope that these will be the same words that Carlyle will echo on Wednesday night after Nashville comes to town. The weight is still on Anaheim’s back and the sooner they shed it, the better. Assuming they remember how to score and how to win.
IN OTHER NOTES: Peter Holland, who was called up this morning from Syracuse, made his NHL debut. When one envisions one’s NHL debut, the 5-0 debacle that he got to witness up close and personal from the bench was not what anyone ever has in mind.