Wednesday, March 30, 2011

St. Louis Blues at Detroit Red Wings, March 30, 2011: The Live-Blog

Pre-Game Skate:  With a win tonight, the Red Wings will hit the 100-point mark for the eleventh year in a row.  And here's the thing: when the 1992-93 season began, the Wings had had only two 100-point seasons ever and had not hit the century mark since 1951-52.  In the 17 seasons since (not including the current one) Detroit has racked up at least 100 points 14 times.  Of course, it's easier to get to 100 points today than it was in the '50s since teams played only 70 games a season back then (it's 82 now) and what used to be a tie good for one point can turn into a win worth two if you prevail in sudden death or in the shootout, neither of which used to exist.  Still, ten straight 100-point seasons is not unimpressive.  The Wings have twenty points more this season than their opponents from St. Louis (98-78) and have ten more wins than the Blues (44-34).  Once again tonight, Pavel Datsyuk is not dressed.  Detroit is a .750 team with him in their lineup, a .542 team without him.  This runs to six the number of games he's missed since sustaining a lower body injury in Columbus a week ago Saturday night.  Jimmy Howard, Detroit's number one goalie, is also a scratch tonight.  He was injured in the game against Toronto here on Saturday night.  It's the second game he's missed since sustaining the injury.  We do not, in either case, know the extent of the injury since NHL teams are not required to tell us and, since they are not, they do not.

7:48pm:  The Wings grab the lead at 5:51 on their 5th shot on Jaroslav Halak when Mike Modano is there in the slot to fire home the big rebound Halak gave up on a left circle slapper by Tomas Holmstrom.  It's the 4th goal of the year for Modano, who missed 41 games--exactly half the season--due to a nasty gash in his hand he suffered last fall when that hand came into contact with a skate blade.  He's fortunate to still be playing.  He's fortunate to still have use of the hand.  Detroit is 29-4-6 (.821) when they score first this season.  St. Louis is 10-19-6 (.371) when they do not.  FIRST PERIOD: DETEROIT 1, ST. LOUIS 0.

8:05pm:  We are tied at one.  Chris Stewart, one of only two Blues with at least 20 goals this season, tapped number 27over the Detroit goal line after the puck slid through the legs of Wings goalie Joey MacDonald who almost, but not quite, stopped a close-in shot by Patrik Berglund.  The goal came at 14:06.  And now, at 16:04, we await word on whether or not the Blues have gone into a 2-1 lead.  At issue is whether or not the puck was kicked into the net.  The ruling from the video review boys sitting in an office somewhere in Toronto is that it was not and so the ruling on the ice, that it was a goal, stands.  Cam Janssen gets his first of the year.  It never did touch his stick, going into the net off his left leg after MacDonald had made the initial save.  FIRST PERIOD: DETROIT 1, ST. LOUIS 2.

8:16pm:  We are tied 2-2 and as I write the words--before a Detroit goal by Todd Bertuzzi, his 16th, is even announced--we are untied as the Blues go back on top 3-2.  The goals came :29 apart.  Bertuzzi was standing in front of the St. Louis net when a shot by Johan Franzen hit him in the rump and caromed into the net off the post to Halak's right.  At the other end, Chris Porter became the second Blue in this period to get his first goal of the season.  MacDonald went down and Porter went high with a shot from the left wing circle.  The period has just ended.  Detroit allowed the Blues a whopping 19 shots on goal, getting 11 themselves.  END OF THE FIRST PERIOD: DETROIT 2, ST. LOUIS 3.

8:41pm:  It might be 4-2, St. Louis but we cannot be sure.  The puck went into the Detroit net at 1:54 but it went in off the skate of Matt D'Agostini but was waved off right away.  I thought it was a goal.  So do the boys in Toronto.  They have overruled the call on the ice and awarded the goal--#20 for D'Agostini.  SECOND PERIOD: DETROIT 2, ST. LOUIS 4.

8:49PM:  It's now 5-2 and MacDonald is done.  St. Louis now has more goals in the period (2) than the Wings have shots (0).  The latest goal came at 5:23 and it was BJ Crombeen who got it.  The Wings are running around in their own end like I can't remember seeing them do for at least a couple of decades.  I mean, when I was growing up until when I was well past 30, that's all the Wings did--run around in their own end.  But not so much the last twenty years or so. But this has really been something here tonight.  Thomas McCollum is in goal now for Detroit, he is 21 years old and he is making his NHL debut as we speak.  MacDonald allowed 5 goals on 25 shots in 25:23 of playing time tonight.  SECOND PERIOD: DETROIT 2, ST. LOUIS 5.

8:58pm:  Poor McCollum doesn't even last five minutes before the light is on behind him.  David Backes scores on the power play from the circle to the right of the Detroit goalie and, although there's still half a game to play, this one is over.  This ties for the most goals the Wings have given up in a game this season--Vancouver had 6 on November 6 but that was over the course of a complete game.  We've got thirty minutes left in the one.  SECOND PERIOD DETROIT 2, ST. LOUIS 6.  

9:10pm:  The Wings came back from four down last Monday night here against Pittsburgh and got a point by getting the game to overtime but I'm not seeing it happening again tonight.  The Wings came roaring back to within 3 on a power play goal by Henrik Zetterberg but now the Blues have scored two more off McCollum. The kids has seen six shots and three have gone in the net.  Ouch, etc.  We have 3:50 left in the period.  It looks strange to see an "8" on the scoreboard on the visitors side.  SECOND PERIOD: DETROIT 3, ST. LOUIS 8.

9:20pm:  The Wings outshot the Blues 15-14 in the second period.  But they were outscored by the Blues 5-1.  Many are leaving early.  I am thinking of joining them.  The less said the better at this point.  Except for this:  it has been 25 years, dating to March, 1986, since Detroit allowed 8 goals in two periods.  Remember I said that thing about not having seen Detroit run around in the own end like they have tonight for 20 years?  I was only off by five. END OF SECOND PERIOD: DETROIT 3, ST. LOUIS 8.

9:36pm:  This seriously and literally might be the saddest thing I've ever seen in hockey.  Joey MacDonald has gone back in to play goal for the Red Wings at the start of the third period.  McCollum gave up three goals on  eight shots on goal in 14 and a half minutes.  I hope the kid can rebound from his NHL debut.  He was Detroit's #1 draft choice in 2008.  This is the kind of thing that can ruin a player.  THIRD PERIOD: DETROIT 3, ST. LOUIS 8.

9:55pm:  Did I mention it's now 10-3?  well, it is.  And we still have about half a period of hockey left.  I don't know what to say.  Oh, wait.  They just announced no goal as the whistle had blown before the puck went into the net.  So it's NOT 10-3.  Only 9-3.  I feel silly about starting tonight's live-blog with that fascinating look at the Red Wings' 100-point seasons.  THIRD PERIOD:  DETROIT 3, ST. LOUIS 9.  (I think we are going to sneak out of here now.  See 'ya Sunday when Minnesota is here, k?)

10:07pm:  Geesh.  I JUST HAD to stay.  Now it is 10-3.  9 different Blues have scored a goal tonight which if it is not a record ought to be.  Under a minute left.  The crowd, which booed the Wings of the ice at the end of the second period has, as expected, cheered the announcement that we are in the final minute of the period.  shots on goal were close.  47-44, St. Louis.  The final score was a different story.  FINAL SCORE: DETROIT 3, ST. LOUIS 10.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Chicago Blackhwaks at Detroit Red Wings, March 28, 2001: The Live-Blog

Pre-Game Skate:  There is no pre-game skate for me tonight.  I had to sneak into the Press Box as it's a little crowded up here and I had to wait until the last minute to see if somebody didn't show up  so I would have a place to sit.  (Somebody didn't, I'm pleased to report.)  Still, I could be ejected at any time for Improper Seating.  Remember sneaking into the good seats when you were a kid?  This is the adult, professional version of that.  Before that happens, while we are here, we may as well write, don't you think?  Chicago needs this one more than the Wings do.  Detroit, with 97 points, is all but assured of a playoff spot.  The defending Cup Champion Blackhawks meanwhile are fighting for their lives.  They have 88 points, good for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot, but are only one point ahead of ninth-place Calgary and only two ahead of tenth-place Nashville.  The Wings have Joey MacDonald in goal tonight.  Jimmy Howard was injured when he was run into as Toronto scored the game-tying goal here Saturday night in the third period.  It's being called a shoulder sprain but there are whispers of a rotator cuff injury.  Pavel Datsyuk is out again tonight: the fifth straight game Detroit's best player has missed due to what was at the time called a relatively minor lower body injury.  Johan Franzen is back in tonight's lineup.  He missed Detroit's last four games.

7:43pm:  Chicago scores early.  At 2:55, MacDonald gave up a juicy rebound off a long wrist shot from the point and Jonathan Toews is right there to bang the rebound in.  It's his 31st goal of the season.  Chicago is 29-9-5 (.733) when scoring first this year.  Detroit is 15-18-3 (.458) when scored upon first.  Todd Bertuzzi has just gone off, a 5-minute major for elbowing and a Game Misconduct to boot at 5:17  That's big trouble for the already-injured Red Wings.  This one could be over early....  Then again, Marian Hossa gets a slashing minor to even the sides less than 90 seconds after the Bertuzzi major.  The crowd, still annoyed with Hossa for either not-resigning with Detroit two years ago after spending a single season as a Red Wing or for playing as poorly as he did in the playoffs that year, it's hard to tell, really, cheers the news lustily.  They cheer even more lustily when the Wings tie it on the ensuing 4-on-4 at 7:36.  Nicklas Lidstrom's left point blast finds its way through a screen past Chicago goalie Corey Crawford to tie the game at 1.  I do not think the shot was tipped.  It wasn't.  It's Lidstrom's 15th goal of the year.  FIRST PERIOD DETROIT 1, CHICAGO 1.

8:05pm:  Literally while they were announcing on the PA system a tripping penalty on Darren Helm at 13:08, Chicago scored the go-ahead goal.  A cross-crease pass found Brent Seabrook all alone just off to the side of the net to the right of MacDonald and he slammed it by for his 6th of the year at 13:18.  Chicago struck quickly on the power play.  The goal came exactly :10 after the penalty to Helm had been whistled.  FIRST PERIOD: DETROIT 1, CHICAGO 2.

8:17pm:  It's over.  It was a good first period.  14 shots a side.  The big news was Bertuzzi being excused for the night just five minutes into the game.  END OF THE FIRST PERIOD: DETROIT 1, CHICAGO 2.

8:40pm:  Two developments to report here early in the second but no change on the scoreboard.  The Wings had a 3-on-1 and failed to get a shot on goal (which is a sin) and Detroit's Tomas Holmstrom had a clear-cut breakaway and got hauled down from behind as he drove the net.  Not only was there no penalty shot, there was no penalty call at all. The fans booed (especially when they showed the replay on the Big Board) and I'm not going to sit here all night arguing with them.  It looked like it should have been a penalty shot to me.  The Wings have otherwise spent the first five minutes of the period turning the puck over.  Chicago's outshot them 7-3 in the second but MacDonald keeps bailing them out, so far.  Eventually though, if Detroit keeps it up, one of those turnovers is going to cost them.  SECOND PERIOD: DETROIT 1, CHICAGO 2.

9:04pm:  I told you Chicago was getting a lot of chances out there.  They outshot the Wings 16-9 in the second period, but they failed to make the Detroit pay.  It was a scoreless period, thanks largely to Detroit goalie MacDonald.  Chicago is 30-4-3 (.851) when leading after two.  Detroit is 7-20-3 (.283) when trailing after two.  END OF SECOND PERIOD: DETROIT 1, CHICAGO 2.

9:30pm:  The Wings tie it on a power play goal by Zetterberg on a shot from behind the net. They have announced the goal for Dan Cleary, but clearly (see what we did there: Cleary and clearly) the puck bounced inn off the skate of Chicago's Chris Campoli when Zetterberg threw it out in front.  The goal came at 2:26 and we will bet each and every one of you a dollar right now they wind up giving it to Zetterberg, except that gambling at the rink is STRICTLY PROHIBITED.  THIRD PERIOD: DETROIT 2, CHICAGO 2.

9:33pm:  At 4:22 the go-ahead goal by Chicago is waved off and, while it is being reviewed by those guys in Toronto who sit around and watch TV and who have the final say (which has always struck me as kind of odd, but, whatever), if you ask me, this one will be waved off: no goal.  Former Red Wing Tomas Kopecky used what we in the hockey business call "a distinct kicking motion" to send the puck past MacDonald.  The wave-off was immediate and, according to the arbiters in Toronto at League Headquarters, correct. THIRD PERIOD: DETROIT 2, CHICAGO 2.

9:50pm:  For the second time in a row here in the third, Chicago is going on the power play.  This is a nail-biter with 7:19 left and, yes, they did change the tying goal to Zetterberg.  And I stand corrected on the power play thing.  While Niklas Kronwall did get a minor, so did Chicago's Marcus Kruger, so we skate 4-on-four for the next two minutes.  We may be skating four-on-four in few minutes more, should nobody score in the next seven minutes of regulation.  THIRD PERIOD: DETROIT 2, CHICAGO 2.

10:04pm:  I stand corrected--not the first time that has happened tonight--on the 4-on-4 thing in overtime because with 4 seconds left in regulation time, Zetterberg gets a minor for hooking.  So, it's a four-on-three and Chicago has the four.  Shots in the 3rd period: Chicago 9/39, Detroit 12/35.  It has been a terrific game.  Well-paced, plenty of chances.  The toughest situation to defend is four-on-three when you've got the three, though.  So we shall see....  START OF OVERTIME: DETROIT 2, CHICAGO 2.

10:07pm:  Yep, just like that. it's over.  Chicago established possession in the Detroit zone with the man advantage and the Wings never got close to getting it back.  The Blackhawks threw it around the perimeter until the much-hated Hossa got it between the circles and fired it past MacDonald.  It took less than a minute, with the goal coming at 0:51 of OT.  Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith got the assists.  The goal came on Chicago's second shot in overtime.  Detroit didn't have any.  With the point the Wings improve to 44-22-10 for 98 points and inch closer to clinching a playoff spot.  They lead San Jose in the race for second in the Western Conference by a single point.  Chicago moves past Anaheim and into seventh place for the moment.  The Ducks are home tonight to Colorado.  In any event, Chicago has a three point lead in the race for the final playoff spot in the West.  St. Louis--a team which is out of the playoff hunt--will be here Wednesday night to wrap up the Wings five-game homestand and we'll be back with you for that.  FINAL SCORE (OT):  DETROIT 2, CHICAGO 3.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings: March 26, 2011 The Live-Blog

Pre-Game Skate:  The sad thing about all of this is that in spite of the fact that these two teams have played 642 times (Detroit leads the all-time series against Toronto 274-272-93-3), this is the first time the Wings and Leafs have played since the fall of 2009.  Back when I was a boy, Toronto would come to town, to The Olympia, 7 times a season.  When the NHL moved the Leafs out of the Western Conference all they did was to destroy one of the greatest rivalries in sports. It's like the Red Sox coming to Yankee Stadium once every other year.  That's how it is now.  Toronto comes to Detroit every other year only. This their first visit here since October of 2008 and the first meeting between the teams since November of 2009.  The Leafs, for the record, won both of those games and thus take a 2-game win streak against Detroit into tonight's game.  Toronto--having not won a Cup since the last year of the Original Six, 1967, and having been simply awful for about that long--are making a strong bid for the playoffs right now.  The Leafs have the third-best record in the NHL since the All-Star break.  They've won their last 3 and are 5-2-0 in their last 7.  Their goalie, rookie James Reimer, who made his first NHL start on New Years Day, is one of the best stories in the league right now.  From Reimer has won four in a row, allowing just six goals in the process.  He's been particularly special on the road, where he is 8-0-1 in his last nine starts and hasn't lost a road game since Feb. 5 at Buffalo.

The Wings, winless in 3 (0-2-1) and winners just four times in their last eleven games (4-4-3) are hurting again tonight.  Pavel Datsyuk, injured a week ago tonight in Columbus, misses his third game in a row.  Johan Franzen is out again and so too is Ruslan Salei.  Todd Bertuzzi is back after missing Wednesday night's Vancouver game, but my guess is that he's playing hurt.  How badly Datsyuk and Franzen are hurt remains unknown, but it sure sounds like it's worse than the Wings are letting on.

Time for the face-off....

7:19pm:  The atmosphere in here tonight is just great.  As we are just across the river from Canada, a few thousand Leafs fans are here and, although they are way outnumbered, they are trying to outshout the Detroit fans.  They've got their "Go, Leafs, Go" chant going and the Wings fans are responding with their "Let's Go Red Wings."  The Detroit fans, by dint of their numerical advantage, are winning but Toronto fans are giving a good account of themselves.  We are 3:23 in and the Wings are on the power play---AND THEY SCORE!  At 5:05, a shot by Henrik Zetterberg hit the skate of Toronto defenseman Luke Schenn and came right back to Zetterberg (I thought it had rebounded off the goalie Reimer back to him but the replay showed otherwise) and he made good on the second chance with a backhand from the low rim of the left circle.  It is Zetterberg's 22nd goal of the year.  Nicklas Lidstrom and Jiri Hudler get assists.  The goal has quieted the Toronto fans, a lot.  FIRST PERIOD: DETROIT 1, TORONTO 0.

7:40pm:  I just saw Leafs coach Ron Wilson yelling at his players and while I don't know what he was saying, I'll bet it was interesting.  Wilson is as cerebral as they come in this game.  I remember listening to him talk about ice for about 15 minutes one morning after a skate--it seems to me he was coaching Anaheim at the time--and I'm telling you, it was fascinating.  I could talk about ice and hold your attention for about a minute.  Ninety seconds, tops.  He went on for fifteen minutes and it was not boring.  For the record, the ice is better is the northern climes of the National Hockey League, places like Edmonton, for example, on account of permafrost.  Tortonto's going on the power play at 15:23 as Brad Stewart got caught tripping some guy.  FIRST PERIOD: DETROIT 1, TORONTO 0.

7:47pm:  Nazim Kadri (not a household name) has just tied the game 1-1at 17:56.  He beat Jimmy Howard high on the short (glove) side with a wrister from low in the right circle.  Howard was totally screened by Toronto's Darryl Boyce and that's why the puck went in.  Howard--who didn't leave much of a hole for the shooter to hit--never saw the puck and the shooter found that little hole as they sometimes do at this level.  It is the second goal of the season for Kadri and Boyce, the man responsible for the goal as I saw it, doesn't even get an assist on the play.  There's no justice in this game.  Detroit outplayed Toronto in the first--outshooting the Leafs 15-9--but we're tied after one.  There's no justice in this game, as I said.  AFTER ONE PERIOD: DETROIT 1, TORONTO 1.

8:22pm:  We've played almost eight minutes of the second period and nothing's changed.  Detroit is on the power play--AND AGAIN THEY SCORE!  The time is 9:17 and the goal scorer is Tomas Holmstrom.  He was right in front of the net, which is where he is every time Detroit's on the power play and the puck is in the zone.  He scored his 15th of the year by deflecting a shot from the line.  The assists go to Nicklas Kronwall and Brian Rafalski and to tell you the truth, in all the excitement, I didn't notice which of the two had the shot which was redirected by Holmstrom past Reimer. As soon as we get a look at a replay, we will pass the information along to you.  (We saw the replay and it was Rafalski shooting from the line).  There's a chance the puck never got to Holmstrom.  It may have been touched in mid-air by Kronwall and was never was touched by Holmstrom.  If they change the scoring, we'll let you know.  SECOND PERIOD: DETROIT 2, TORONTO 1.

8:39pm:  Ohhh, a fight and the crowd goes crazy.  Toronto's Boyce ran Rafalski into the wall (it looked like Charging or Boarding or both to me but, hey, no call so whatever) and as Rafalski limped to the Detroit bench unable to put much weight on his right lef, Justin Abdelkader lit out after Boyce.  It was a pretty good fight as far as these things go.  Rafalski went to the room but has since returned to the Detroit bench.  Meanwhile, at 17:03, Darren Helm goes for tripping and the Leafs go on the power play.  SECOND PERIOD: DETROIT 2, TORONTO 1.

8:44pm  The second period is over, sort of.  With 2:03 left in the period, a pane of plexiglass was jarred loose and The Crew had to be called in to effect a repair.  The teams are going to the rooms now and the extra two minutes will be played post-intermission.  The Zamboni's own the ice, now.  END (SORT OF) OF THE SECOND PERIOD: DETROIT 2, TORONTO 1. 

9:06pm:  The second period is now over, officially.  We had a total of nine shots on goal in the middle twenty tonight, five by Toronto, four by Detroit.  The Wings have held the Leafs to 14 shots through two periods.  Toronto is right back on the power play as Hudler was called for high-sticking Phil  Kessel at 19:56 of the second.  The teams have switched ends and the third is underway.  THIRD PERIOD : DETROIT 2, TORONTO 1.

9:15pm:  Joffery Lupal has just scored a most unusual goal.  Lupal fell on top of Detroit goalie Howard and while lying prone on his stomach, slid the rebound of a Kessel shot past Howard to tie the game 2-2 at 6:11.  Howard had to leave the game (injured?) and has been replaced by Joey MacDonald who, just as an aside, played half a dozen games in net for Toronto last year.  The goal was reviewed and was called a good goal.  If it wasn't Goaltender Interference though, then there is no such thing.  THIRD PERIOD:  DETROIT 2, TORONTO 2.

9:18pm:  Just like that, the Wings re-take the lead.  Hudler whistled a shot past Reimer at 6:49 (:38 after the game-tying goal).  Hudler fired from the top rim of the left circle and, no screen, no deflection, no nothing watched as the hard shot fooled the Toronto goal high on the blocker side.  The Toronto faithful are quieted, once more.  The only assist on the go-ahead goal went to Zetterberg.  THIRD PERIOD: DETROIT 3, TORONTO 2.

9:26pm:  Here's something (else) I don't know about hockey.  What happens if MacDonald gets hurt and Howard is unable to return?  Who plays goal for Detroit?  We still have 9:39 left here--maybe tonight's the night I finally get my shot.  I want you to know that if it comes to that, I'm ready.  Back in the old days the trainer would go iN.  One night in the 50's, Wings trainer Lefty Wilson had to go in and play an entire period plus part of another against Detroit.  Against his own team because the opponents goalie (and I'm 90% sure it was Toronto) was injured and could not return and the teams only dressed one goalie in those days until they changed the rule in the 1960's and made teams dress two.  Wilson said later the Wings were shooting at his head which is a pretty good strategy considering that--it being the 50's and all--he wasn't wearing a mask.  They had yet to be invented.  Crazy bastards....

9:43pm:  An empty-netter by Bertuzzi ends this one with :52 left.  Schenn had the puck for Toronto for the longest time at the Detroit line but when he finally fired, Kronwall was there to block it and send Bertuzzi the other way.  Bertuzzi took his time, gained the Toronto line and slid it into the empty Leafs net.  The final seconds wind down in what has been a good one.  The Wings win and are 44-22-9 for 97 points.  The Leafs playoff chances take a severe hit.  They are seven points out of playoff spot and they have only six games to play.  Meanwhile, we'll have to see how badly Howard is hurt.  Can he play Monday when Chicago--battling themselves for a playoff spot even if they are the incumbent Cup holders--come to town?  If he can't, Joey MacDonald will have gone from 3rd on the Wings goalie depth chart to being Detroit's starting netminder in the course of a few short months.  We shall see.  And we will see you again on Monday night.  FINAL SCORE: DETROIT 4, TORONTO 2.

Friday, March 25, 2011

These Dead Bodies Were The Answer.

I am reposting the following eyewitness account of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in New York City which killed 146 persons 100 years ago yesterday, March 25, 1911.  The disaster--still the 4th-largest industrial "accident" in American history--is the proof of what happens absent government regulation to protect working people: they die.  It is a sad chapter in our American history.  10,000 people turned out yesterday at the site of the tragedy in remembrance of the dead.  I post this in that same spirit:

...The nation learned of the horrible fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company through the eyewitness account of a United Press reporter who happened to be in Washington Square on March 25, 1911. He phoned in details while watching the tragedy unfold. At the other end of the telephone, young Roy Howard telegraphed Shepherd's story to the nation's newspapers. 
"Eyewitness at the Triangle" by William G. Shephard
I was walking through Washington Square when a puff of smoke issuing from the factory building caught my eye. I reached the building before the alarm was turned in. I saw every feature of the tragedy visible from outside the building. I learned a new sound--a more horrible sound than description can picture. It was the thud of a speeding, living body on a stone sidewalk.

Thud—dead, thud—dead, thud—dead, thud—dead. Sixty-two thud—deads. I call them that, because the sound and the thought of death came to me each time, at the same instant. There was plenty of chance to watch them as they came down. The height was eighty feet.
The first ten thud—deads shocked me. I looked up—saw that there were scores of girls at the windows. 

The flames from the floor below were beating in their faces. Somehow I knew that they, too, must come down, and something within me—something that I didn't know was there—steeled me.
I even watched one girl falling. Waving her arms, trying to keep her body upright until the very instant she struck the sidewalk, she was trying to balance herself. Then came the thud--then a silent, unmoving pile of clothing and twisted, broken limbs.

As I reached the scene of the fire, a cloud of smoke hung over the building. . . . I looked up to the seventh floor. There was a living picture in each window—four screaming heads of girls waving their arms. "Call the firemen," they screamed—scores of them. "Get a ladder," cried others. They were all as alive and whole and sound as were we who stood on the sidewalk. I couldn't help thinking of that. We cried to them not to jump. We heard the siren of a fire engine in the distance. The other sirens sounded from several directions.

"Here they come," we yelled. "Don't jump; stay there."

One girl climbed onto the window sash. Those behind her tried to hold her back. Then she dropped into space. I didn't notice whether those above watched her drop because I had turned away. Then came that first thud. I looked up, another girl was climbing onto the window sill; others were crowding behind her. She dropped. I watched her fall, and again the dreadful sound. Two windows away two girls were climbing onto the sill; they were fighting each other and crowding for air. Behind them I saw many screaming heads. They fell almost together, but I heard two distinct thuds. Then the flames burst out through the windows on the floor below them, and curled up into their faces.

The firemen began to raise a ladder. Others took out a life net and, while they were rushing to the sidewalk with it, two more girls shot down. The firemen held it under them; the bodies broke it; the grotesque simile of a dog jumping through a hoop struck me. Before they could move the net another girl's body flashed through it. The thuds were just as loud, it seemed, as if there had been no net there. It seemed to me that the thuds were so loud that they might have been heard all over the city.

I had counted ten. Then my dulled senses began to work automatically. I noticed things that it had not occurred to me before to notice. Little details that the first shock had blinded me to. I looked up to see whether those above watched those who fell. I noticed that they did; they watched them every inch of the way down and probably heard the roaring thuds that we heard.
As I looked up I saw a love affair in the midst of all the horror. A young man helped a girl to the window sill. Then he held her out, deliberately away from the building and let her drop. He seemed cool and calculating. He held out a second girl the same way and let her drop. Then he held out a third girl who did not resist. I noticed that. They were as unresisting as if her were helping them onto a streetcar instead of into eternity. Undoubtedly he saw that a terrible death awaited them in the flames, and his was only a terrible chivalry.

Then came the love amid the flames. He brought another girl to the window. Those of us who were looking saw her put her arms about him and kiss him. Then he held her out into space and dropped her. But quick as a flash he was on the window sill himself. His coat fluttered upward—the air filled his trouser legs. I could see that he wore tan shoes and hose. His hat remained on his head.

Thud—dead, thud—dead—together they went into eternity. I saw his face before they covered it. You could see in it that he was a real man. He had done his best.

We found out later that, in the room in which he stood, many girls were being burned to death by the flames and were screaming in an inferno of flame and heat. He chose the easiest way and was brave enough to even help the girl he loved to a quicker death, after she had given him a goodbye kiss. He leaped with an energy as if to arrive first in that mysterious land of eternity, but her thud—dead came first.  The firemen raised the longest ladder. It reached only to the sixth floor. I saw the last girl jump at it and miss it. And then the faces disappeared from the window. But now the crowd was enormous, though all this had occurred in less than seven minutes, the start of the fire and the thuds and deaths.

I heard screams around the corner and hurried there. What I had seen before was not so terrible as what had followed. Up in the [ninth] floor girls were burning to death before our very eyes. They were jammed in the windows. No one was lucky enough to be able to jump, it seemed. But, one by one, the jams broke. Down came the bodies in a shower, burning, smoking—flaming bodies, with disheveled hair trailing upward. They had fought each other to die by jumping instead of by fire.

The whole, sound, unharmed girls who had jumped on the other side of the building had tried to fall feet down. But these fire torches, suffering ones, fell inertly, only intent that death should come to them on the sidewalk instead of in the furnace behind them.

On the sidewalk lay heaps of broken bodies. A policeman later went about with tags, which he fastened with wires to the wrists of the dead girls, numbering each with a lead pencil, and I saw him fasten tag no. 54 to the wrist of a girl who wore an engagement ring. A fireman who came downstairs from the building told me that there were at least fifty bodies in the big room on the seventh floor. Another fireman told me that more girls had jumped down an air shaft in the rear of the building. I went back there, into the narrow court, and saw a heap of dead girls. . . .

The floods of water from the firemen's hose that ran into the gutter were actually stained red with blood. I looked upon the heap of dead bodies and I remembered these girls were the shirtwaist makers. I remembered their great strike of last year in which these same girls had demanded more sanitary conditions and more safety precautions in the shops. These dead bodies were the answer.
"Eyewitness at the Triangle" by William G. Shephard. From Leon Stein, ed., Out of the Sweatshop: The Struggle for Industrial Democracy(New York: Quadrangle/New Times Book Company, 1977). Orig. published in the Milwaukee Journal, March 27, 1911.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Vancouver Canucks at Detroit Red Wings: March 23, 2011. The Live-Blog!

5:35pm:  Pre-Game Skate.  Once again we file the pregame skate early.  We like to write it whille the boys are actually out there pregame skating, but logistics again tonight prevent us from doing so.  Nonetheless, copious research has resulted in the following Items of Interest:

  • With a win tonight, the Canucks will equal their team record for Best Record Ever.  It's true.  The Canucks amassed 105 points in 2006-07, the current team record.  The Canucks enter the game tonight with 103 points (Detroit, for the record, have 95 and are second to Vancouver in the Western Conference) and so, if they come out of this one with 2 points, they will be able to call themselves Tied for the Best Vancouver Team Of All Time.
  • All-Time started for Vancouver 40 years ago.  The Canucks began play in the National League in the fall of 1970.  Ah, the memories.  I remember some of those guys from so long ago.  Andre Boudrias led Vancouver in scoring with 66 points in that debut season.  Rosaire Paimont led the first Vancouver team with 34 goals.  (The Canucks would later have a Wilf Paimont in their employ who would be involved in one of the most storied hockey fights in Red Wings history--the stick-swinging brawl that left Dennis Polonich next to dead--but he's a totally different guy.)  I remember I liked their goalie's name: Dunc Wilson.  
  • Do you know who the Canuck's first coach was?  Read your Media Guides, people.  It was Hal Laycoe. I saw that and it got me thinking, "Hey, wasn't Hal Laycoe the guy who got into that fight with Rocket Richard which led to the "Richard Riot" in Montreal?"  (We include a pronouncer here because we know some of you are young and/or American.  It's "Ree-SHARD and he is to Canada, or at least to Quebec, what Babe Ruth is to the US.)  As for Laycoe, he is indeed the one and the same guy.  It was March, 1955 and Laycoe, a Boston defenseman famous for wearing glasses while he played which we mention just as an aside, got into a fight with Richard.  Stick swinging was involved.  Linesman Cliff Thompson grabbed Richard and Richard reacted by punching him.  The punching of linesmen by players has always been frowned upon in the National League.  So, a couple of days later NHL President Clarence Campbell suspended Richard for the balance of the regular season and for the entire playoffs.  The announcment came down March 17, 1955--St. Patrick's Day--and and wouldn't you know it, Canadiens were home that night to the Red Wings at the Forum.  You know the rest.  Fans began rioting during the first intermission and the Wings--already ahead 4-0--were awarded the game on a forfeit.  Fans set cars and buildings on fire near the Forum and Richard had to go on the radio to appeal for peace.  The Wings beat the Richard-less Canadiens for the Cup the following month--the last Stanley Cup for Detroit until 1997.   
  • Finally, Detroit is, if anything, even worse off injury-wise tonight than they were the night before last when they were down to 10 forwards against Pittsburgh.  Pavel Datsyuk (indeterminate, ubiquitous lower-body injury), Johan Franzen (groin) Todd Bertuzzi (stiff back) and Jiri Hudler (we can't remember) are all out.  Additionally, goalie Chris Osgood, who said a couple of days ago he might be ready to return to active duty tonight--he's been out since Jan. 4 after having hernia surgery--instead was today put back on Injured Reserve due to complications from the operation which puts into question whether he'll be ready for playoffs with Wings GM Ken Holland today quoted as saying that Ozzie is "nowhere near ready" to return. 
We'll see you at gametime, everybody.... 

7:45pm  We are underway and it's Detroit 1 (crossbar), Vancouver 0. Jan Mursak, up from Grand Raids due to all of the aforementioned Detroit injuries, walked to the bottom of the left circle and whipped a wrister over the shoulder of Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo and that thing hit the crossbar as clean and as hard as can be.  We've a little over 5 minutes in. 1ST PERIOD: DETROIT 0, VANCOUVER 0.

8:05pm:  Darren Helm just had a shorthanded breakaway and it took a terrific save by Luongo and a late hook by Daniel Sedin to deny him with about five-and-a-half left in the period.  Sedin took the call--it wasn't quite enough of a Hook to merit a penalty shot--and it evened the sides at 4 skaters a side (Detroit's Patrick Eaves was off for Interference at the time).  The Wings, although getting chances, failed to cash in on their first power play chance of the game.  And now, the period ends.  Detroit outshot the Canucks 11-5.  It was a well-played, entertaining period of hockey.  END OF 1ST PERIOD: DETROIT 0, VANCOUVER 0.

8:38pm:  Daniel Sedin scores the games first goal at 6:31.  He was all alone in behind the Detroit net then came off to the side and--in something you don't exactly see every night--he banked a little shot past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard off the skate of sure-to-be Hall of Fame defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom.  Sedin was all alone behind the net for so long I was sure they'd call it an unassisted goal, but the maximuM, TWO, were handed out, including one to Henrik Sedin.  For Daniel, it is goal #39 this season which ties him with Corey Perry of Anaheim for 2nd in the league.  For those of you scoring at home, Steven Stamkos of Tampa Bay leads the NHL with 43.  12:00 left in the 2nd Period: DETROIT 0, VANCOUVER 1.

8:50pm:  Here's a disturbing statistic.  Vancouver, when scoring first this season, which they have done now 46 times, has lost only twice!  They are 37-2-6 (.889) in 45 games so far this year in which they have opened the scoring.  Detroit meanwhile is a sub-.500 team when allowing the first goal, 15-17-3 (.471).  Jimmy Howard just kept the Wings in this one, making two of the best saves we've seen in this building all year long to deny the Canucks who came in on a 2-on-1.  Under 5 to go in the period now.  2ND Period: DETROIT 0, VANCOUVER 1.

9:05pm:  The Wings will be on the power play for the first 1:05 of the 3rd after the Canucks, which outshot Detroit 20-10 in the period, took a call late in the second.  The Wings are 7-19-3 (.293) when trailing after 2 this season, the Canucks are 33-0-3 (.958) when leading after 40 minutes. AFTER TWO PERIODS: DETROIT 0, VANCOUVER 1.  

9:35pm: Eaves goes for high sticking at 8:47 of the 3rd.  Detroit has had 3 penalties called against them tonight, and 2 have been on Eaves.  And while he's off--:42 seconds after he goes off to be precise--Daniel Sedin scores his second goal of the night and his 40th of the season.  He fired into what amounted to an empty Detroit net from the circle to the left of Howard who had been forced out of position after making two or three fine saves before the puck caromed to Sedin who fired it by.  The Wings are in real trouble now, down 2 and under 10:00 left in the game.  3RD PERIOD: DETROIT 0, VANCOUVER 2.

9:43pm:  Jiri Hudler bangs in a rebound on the power play at 11:38 to put the Wings back in the game.  it's his 9th.  Assists awarded to Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski although it sure looked like Dan Cleary took the shot which created the rebound which Hudler scooped into the net.  7:26 left, now.  3RD PERIOD: DETROIT 1, VANCOUVER 2.

9:58pm:  It's over and the Wings lose 2-1.  I got to pick the 3 Stars tonight and I went with the 2 goalies (Luongo the #2 Star, Howard #3) and Daniel Sedin.  It was not a difficult decision.  The two goalies were great tonight.  Detroit had 40 shots on Luongo and Vancouver 33 on Howard and each made HUGE (ALLCAPS) saves.  Sedin scored both the Canucks' goals and when you do that, you usually get the 1st Star.  Vancouver--as if they hadn't already--has pretty much ended Detroit's chance to catch them for first in the West.  The Canucks are 10 points up on second-place Detroit now, and the Wings are down to 8 games left to play.  The first of those comes up Saturday night when the seldom-seen Toronto Maple Leafs come to town.  We'll talk then...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pittsburgh Penguins (at) Detroit Red Wings, March 21, 2011: The Live-Blog

Pre-Game Skate:  Normally I'd be writing this as the players were out on the ice for warm-ups but I've got a logistical issue tonight which will mean I'll be arriving at the rink only a few minutes before face-off and so for now, instead of the Press Box, we greet you from the (wi-fi enabled) Macdonald's in lovely Novi, MI.  One of them, anyway.  Novi's big enough for more than one McDonald's.  

The Wings--after overcoming a rash of injuries in December and January--are hurting again tonight as they skate into this rematch of the 2008 and 2009 Stanley Cup Final.  In fact, Detroit may be down to 10 healthy forwards and could as a result be forced to put d-man Ruslan Salei up front in this one.  The injuries?  What can we say?  We can only tell you what they tell us, and what they tell us these days isn't much.  Pavel Datsyuk is out with the catch-all "lower body injury" suffered in the third period at Columbus last Thursday night when he went hard into the boards.  The Wings--and Datsyuk himself--are keeping mum after Datsyuk was quoted after the Columbus game as saying he thought he'd be able to play in Nashville two nights later.  He couldn't, though, and he's a scratch again tonight.  Johan Franzen with a groin and Jiri Hudler with a sore neck and fever are also scratches.  Todd Bertuzzi did not take the morning skate today due to an aching back.  He told the Detroit Free Press he'd take warm-ups tonight and decide if he can go.  Coach Mike Babcock meanwhile said this morning that he was "certain" Bertuzzi would be in the lineup.

Matt Cooke did not come with the Penguins from New York to Detroit, taking a side trip to Toronto to talk to NHL officials about his latest viscous hit: an elbow to the head of Ryan McDonagh of the Rangers Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.  Cooke has been suspended three times in the last three seasons for illegal hits.  His fourth is expected to be announced prior to puck-drop here tonight.

This is the second and final meeting of these two teams this season.  The Penguins beat Detroit 4-1 in Pittsburgh on January 18th.  The Pens are 4th in the East with 90 points.  Detroit is 2nd in the West with 94.

We gotta get to the rink.  We'll talk to you from there in a little while....

Friday, March 11, 2011

Edmonton Oilers (at) Detroit Red Wings: Friday, March 11, 2011

Pre-Game Skate:  I can't believe it's been as long as it has been since last we met this way, but I've been medically cleared to watch hockey again after my little heart procedure so let's go, shall we?

The Wings (39-20-8, .642) are winless in their last 4 (0-2-2) but remain in second place in the Western Conference.  San Jose is closing fast though.  They've pulled to within a single point of the Wings (86-85).  Chicago--honored today at the White House by President Obama for winning the Cup last spring--have caught fire: (8-1-1, .850) in their last 10 and now a mere 5 points back of the Wings in the race for the Central Division lead.  Detroit has 3 yet to play against the Blackhawks, including a home-and-home on the final weekend of the regular season which, as it turns out, is not that far off, now.  After tonight, Detroit has only 8 home games remaining.

The Wings are 3-0-0 against the Oilers this season and go for the sweep here tonight.  The crowd is into it early and we are now underway here in Detroit...

7:50pm:  The crowd is quieted when, at 6:40, Jimmy Howard gives up a goal that would have upset me if I had been the goaltender who let it in.  Ryan Jones flipped this little wrister at the net from outside the top of the left wing circle and it sneaked in under Howard's left pad.  It's a bad goal, a very bad goal, for Howard to allow and the Oilers, 16-8-3 (.648) when they score first, have scored first in this one.  Detroit is 13-17-2 (.438) when scored upon first this season.  The goal was unassisted which seems about right.  FIRST PERIOD: DETROIT 0, EDMONTON 1.

8:15pm:  The period ends and the Wings, outshot 6-8, are fortunate to be down only 1.  In the final minute, Detroit turned it over with goalie Howard trapped behind his own net.  Alexandre Giroux had an empty net to shoot at from 20 feet and fire he did, but Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall got in front of it.  If he doesn't, Detroit's down 2, for sure.  AFTER ONE PERIOD: DETROIT 0, EDMONTON 1.

8:52pm:  No change, still 1-0 Oilers as we are a little past the halfway point of the period and the game.  The Wings are on the power play for the 3rd time in the period.  They didn't generate much on the first two.  Dan Petry--a starting pitcher for the Tigers when they won it all in '84 (my second-favorite season ever, trailing only 1968 when the Tigers also won it all but I was just a little boy so it was better) is here tonight.  We believe it's because his son is here.  Jeff Petry wears #58 and plays defense for the Oilers.  There cannot be many father-son, MLB-NHL connections, can there? I can't think of any.  Meanwhile, Michigan State smoked Purdue like a trout tonight in the Big Ten tournament.  Beat 'em by 18, which--I'm not going to lie to you--I did not see coming.  State's now 19-13 and that win tonight ought to be enough to get them into the NCAA tournament after all.  There were many (me, for example) who believed the Spartans would not make it in this year, which would have ended a run of 13-straight NCAA appearances.  SECOND PERIOD: DETROIT 0, EDMONTON 1.

9:09pm:  The Wings tie it with 21.1 seconds left in the period--or at least it looks like they do as the play is under review.  A wrist shot from the left point by Nicklas Lidstrom is deflected past Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk to tie the game at 1.  It looks like a good goal from where I sit, which is right in front of a hi-def monitor here in the Press Box.  THEY RULE NO GOAL!  Really?  It didn't even look like a particularly close call to me.  The TV review people in Toronto say the puck was batted in by a Detroit players hand (Todd Bertuzzi).  The period is over. Detroit outshot the Oilers 17-10 in the period and have outshot the Oilers 23-18 in the game, but still trail.  I can't get over that call in the final minute.  I also can't get over the save Howard made with 2-and-a-half left in the second.  He came out of nowhere to make a left pad stop good enough to earn a standing ovation, which I can assure you the fans here don't hand out for just any save.  Too bad Howard gave up that weak one in the first.  I suppose you could say he's even now.  The Wings however, are not.  Detroit is 6-19-2 (.259) when trailing after 2 periods this year.  Edmonton is 13-2-2 (.824) when leading after 2.  END OF 2 PERIODS: DETROIT 0, EDMONTON 1.

9:30pm:  I just got a text from ESPN saying Detroit scored at 19:38 of the second to tie the game 1-1.  They must have thought it was a good goal, too.

9:40pm:  The key moment of the game comes with 14:00 to play.  The Wings--0-3 on the power play tonight--get a 5-3 advantage for 1:26. Can they cash in and tie this thing?

9:47pm:  No, they cannot.  They didn't get many good chances at all and are now 0-5 on the PP. Most importantly, with 11:38 to go, they still trail.  THIRD PERIOD:  DETROIT 0, EDMONTON 1.

10:10pm:  The Wings tie it 1-1 with 24.8 left to go!  It was a slapshot from the left point by Lidstrom which hit the skate of an Edmonton defender out in front and caromed past Dubnyk to send this one into OT.  It's #14 for Lidstrom.  The Wings outshot Edmonton 19-7 in the 3rd and have outshot them 41-25 through regulation time.  It was that 41st Detroit shot that made all the difference.  On to OT!  END OF 3 PERIODS: DETROIT 1, EDMONTON 1.

10:17pm:  THE WINGS WIN ON A GOAL BY PAVEL DATSYUK AT 4:18 OF OVERTIME!  It was a beautiful play all the way around.  Johan Franzen had the puck out near the line and handed it to Datsyuk cutting to the net.  Datsyuk held on to it FOREVER, got an Edmonton d-man to go down and stepped around him to the high slot where he had plenty of time to wind up and blaze a 20-foot slapper home blocker side high on Dubnyk for his 21st goal of the season and for a 2-1 Detroit win.  It wasn't such a good game for 59 minutes, but you couldn't beat the last 5 here tonight.  FINAL IN OVERTIME: DETROIT 2, EDMONTON 1.