The Detroit Red Wings fight it out, against the Columbus Blue Jackets and hockey gods alike, but come up short in a 4-2 loss.
As much as I try to not be “that guy”, tonight’s game was the perfect example of why referees and linesmen need to be held accountable in some way for their calls and non-calls during a game. Columbus would get on the board first a 1:35, on a power play for a call to Todd Bertuzzi for a Blue Jacket running into the end of his stick. A shot would get through to Jimmy Howard that he fought off, but a scrum ensued as everyone crashed the net, and Ryan Johansen got a stick on it and sent it under Howard for the early 1-0 lead. They’d strike again on another terrible call, as Darren Helm was called for hooking, and a horrible break for Danny DeKeyser. At 12:46, on the ensuing power play, Brandon Dubinsky sent an attempted pass across Howard’s goal mouth, but it was intercepted by the blade of DeKeyser’s stick, and it was redirected into his own net, for the 2-0 Blue Jacket lead. Detroit would fight back though, and got on the board at 14:55. Riley Sheahan took control right in front of goaltender Sergei Bobrovski off of a save, and sent a falling blind pass behind him to a streaking Gustav Nyquist, who hammered home the shot for the 2-1 score leaving the period. Shots were 10-6 in favor of Detroit.
Goaltender Curtis McElhinney took over for Bobrovski to start the second period for Columbus, as Bobrovski was sat for the game with the flu. Detroit would manage to tie the game in the frame, at 10:58 on yet another Nyquist goal. Tomas Tatar took the puck into Columbus’ zone on a 2-on-1 with Nyquist. He let off a shot on McElhinney that was turned aside, but it managed to clip the skate of Nyquist on his way to the net, and a Blue Jacket defender and end up in their own net to make it a 2-2 tie game, and give Nyquist a consecutive multi-goal game. Shots through two periods were 20-16.
The Red Wings fought it till the end, but ultimately could not stave off the wrath of the hockey gods. In what was probably the most fluky, borderline goal of the season, Columbus would strike again at 6:58. A 2-on-1 started for the Blue Jackets after Brendan Smith pinched on the play. Howard would get the puck under him on the rush, but he and the goal were run into as Cam Atkinson crashed the net, the puck came out from under Howard, and over the goal line, as the net had already come up off the moorings. After a short review, it was allowed as a good goal that gave the Blue Jackets the 3-2 lead. The empty net dagger would come at 19:54, as Columbus cleared the puck out from behind their net on the 6-on-5, and Johansen fired a shot from center ice that buried in the back of the net for the final 4-2 score. Shot tallies ended at 33-28 for the Red Wings.
When we have officials making borderline or phantom calls that are deciding the outcomes of games, be they for or against us (because they missed some pretty obvious hooks against us as well), you need to make those individuals responsible for their actions. Every person in the rink for these games is accountable for their own actions come game-time; the player’s penalties, the coach’s behavior, the players on the bench; everyone except for the men in the stripes that dictate much of the pace of the game at times. This seriously needs to change, and quickly. Next game is a big matchup on Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens, for what is now an even more huge 2-points. See you then, Nation.