The Hat Trick got to watch the Red Wings yesterday due to a national broadcast on NBC. Needless to say the Hat Trick has missed quite a few games this year...unemployment forcing the decision to cancel the NHL Center Ice package and then the pissing contest between Versus and Direct TV has not helped matters...but I digress...
The game was a match-up of the 2008 and 2009 Stanley Cup teams...namely the Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Wings played solid throughout the game and kept is close forcing an overtime and getting an important point that is desperately needed for making the playoffs. Unfortunately the shoot out didn't go as well with the Penguins taking the victory on a Evgeni Malkin backhander that Wings Goalie Jimmy Howard couldn't grab.
Needless to say there is a reason why the Penguins are unbeaten in shootouts this season. The Hat Trick knew this was a problem going into the shootout but I had hope since Jimmy Howard had played very well throughout the game. At least the Wings got a point and are sitting at the number eight spot in the conference right now with the Calgary Flames.
It's been a difficult year for Wings fans...the salary cap really hurt the team by forcing them to part with several key players. Add in a really tremendous amount of injuries and it just adds up to some bad losses and bad hockey. Luckily the Wings are starting to get some players back so hopefully we'll start seeing that with the standings although even the Hat Trick could not have predicted that the Wings, if the playoffs started today, would be counted out for the first time since the 1980s. Luckily they have time to recover and hopefully we'll see that in the coming weeks, especially with the Olympic break in play that is coming up later in February.
Let's hope things improve otherwise it's going to be a boring playoff season for the Hat Trick.