January 18, 2013

Pointless Predictions for the 2012-2013 Season


While the infrequency of my hockey writing has approached latter day Albom levels, you always make time for the annual prediction post.  It's a rule, like icing and Tuesdays.  I don't even think I did one of these last year so you know what that makes me?  A rule-breaker.  Yeah, a real rebel.  Girl let's jump on my Harley and motor through some words.

Vroom vroom!  Aw Christ.  Here are some predictions on some arbitrarily selected people for the 2013 season:


PATRICK EAVES

Patrick Eaves, or "Hat Trick Eaves" as I like to call him because he is a hockey player and I'm one of those rhymin' rappers, will never play hockey again :(   Sorry that's just my prediction. 

/phone rings/ "Whaddup we're on phonez, this technology shit is crazy!" (That's how I answer the phone.)

"Hi Trevor it's Ans-"

"Tyler"

"Sorry hi Tyler it's your friend Ansar Khan, look at what I wrote this morning: 'The long wait is finally over for Detroit Red Wings forward Patrick Eaves, who has been cleared to play as the team gets set for the season opener Saturday in St. Louis.'"

"Wow, you just have all the Ansars, don't you, Khan."

"You mother fucker."


CARLO COLLYOCKAVO

Yep that's how I'm spelling it for however long he's here, so deal with it.  I might even change it up from time to time, I don't give a hell.  But I ain't looking it up I can tell you that.  You know what my last name is?  Some of you do but in case you don't it is Devereaux.  Do you know how many times I've had to strain myself spelling my own name over the phone all these years?  I bet it's like 350 at least.  So I know a thing or two about being an asshole for having a difficult last name.  Do I make a big deal if someone spells it Deveroh?  No, and in fact I respect some of those people the most because they're brazen and bold.  So yeah anyway I predict that last names are dumb.


IAN WHITE

After being a journeyman at the center of about 18 trades, he was rewarded with playing a full season as Nick Lidstrom's defense partner.  That was probably really cool for him because it made him look better than he actually is.  Carlo Cornfellow experienced the same type of deal in St. Louis playing alongside Alex Pietrangelo.  So I think the clear answer is to pair these two together.  Then they'll get so frustrated that they'll start trying to top one another with practical jokes that will escalate to the point where Babcock has to force Lidstrom out of retirement at gunpoint and we'll all rejoice in his return.  That is my prediction for Ian White's season.


VALTTERI FILPPULA

Fil is coming off of a monster year in which he blew away his previous career bests in all major offensive categories.  His 2013 season will play out in one of three ways:  He will regress back closer to his previous career averages; he will be so confident with his breakthrough that he continues at this new pace for a few more years; or he will break his leg in the 3rd game of the season.  Isn't that awful of me to say?  Did you cringe at all?  Man, what a terrible thought.  I mean what I write has literally no effect on Fil's upcoming season -- none at all.  My words are powerless.  So don't freak out but yeah he's going to break his leg.


JORDIN TOOTOO

I predict that he looks like the result of a failed Paul Kariya cloning experiment where they used too much 5 Hour Energy and bleach.


JIMMY HOWARD

James had a really good rookie season, followed by a meh sophomore season, followed by a really good 3rd season.  So given that this is obviously a pattern, and given that he will be playing behind a much ass-y-er group of defensemen this year, he is due for a very meh performance.  A Jimmeh performance, that is!  He'll be great!  Ha I tricked you.


JIRI HUDLER

Jiri plays in Calgary now and that is sad.  A lot of you hate him because he's not the greatest hockey player and you hate fun things but I am telling you, you are going to miss this guy.  He was always good for like 15 unexpected laughs throughout the season that just brightened your little heart and we just might need that this year.  Yeah his salary is ridiculous, but he's not the first guy to get paid a lot to not really do a whole bunch other than wobble around and shoot hockey pucks.  I predict that Hudler is such a failure in Calgary that they buy him out, he comes crawling on his hands and knees to Ken Holland, and we get what we all truly wanted whether you want to admit it or not:  a 3rd Jiri Hudler Era.  I'm completely naked right now by the way.


JOHAN FRANZEN

Dude will just be wandering around aimlessly for 5 months with a broom in his hand with that nagging feeling that he's forgetting something.


MIKE BABCOCK

With the Wings struggling to adjust to post-Lidstrom hockey, Babcock will remain as stubborn as ever and really make no tactical adjustments at all and continue to play the Wings in a faulty system that sees us just miss the playo-whoa holy shit wait this sounds all too possible forget everything and abort


DAMIEN BRUNNER

I tweeted that he looks like a grown-up Doug Funny.  I also once said that Kyle Quincey looks like a grown-up Chalky Studebaker.  I think this means that I am suffering from a type of condition where I want the Red Wings to do some Doug LARP-ing in my living room while I watch in the corner.  This would be a very specific and odd condition.  Also, Jordin Tootoo is Porkchop.


DREW MILLER

I was watching Drew Miller during the national anthem at the Red & White game and I thought his hair looked like way greyer than last year.  I think we're about 10 months away from Miller dying of old age and then it will be discovered that he had that Robin Williams from Jack thing.  Ryan Miller will then be quoted as saying, "This is a fucking waste of time, why are we talking about this?  I am edgy and swear in interviews."

(NOTE:  I was so certain that I had already made the Drew Miller/Jack joke that I did this. With the quotes and plus signs and everything.  In fact, I'm still pretty sure that I did.)


THE DETROIT RED WINGS

Our beloved Wings will make the playoffs as a bottom-4 seed and lose in the first round.  This is a strange thing for me to type because, in my 20 or so years of watching hockey, I have always thought my team was going to win the Stanley Cup.  You know what's cool though?  I am always wrong.  If you don't believe me, just ask my wife /GROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAN/


FINALS PREDICTION

The weirdness of the half season's compressed action will remedy any Cup hangover for the really good L.A. Kings and they'll go back-to-back over the Pittsburgh Penguins in 7 games.  I feel very safe in knowing that even before I put the period at the end of this sentence, another hockey-watcher will have made this exact same prediction.  Everyone is picking some combination of Kings/Canucks/Hawks and Penguins/Bruins despite hockey being a very luck-driven sport that is impossible to predict and always produces off-the-wall results.  Such as:  the Red Wings winning the Cup this year!  Yeah!  Fuck it my new prediction is Detroit over the Islanders.


Go Wings

January 17, 2013

TTD Reports From Training Camp


We shot a special news report for Winging It In Motown documenting the Red & White game Tuesday night.  Go there to watch it and we can all be friends.



Go Wings

January 6, 2013

Hockey's Back


Hooray! Sort of!

It is cool that top flight professional hockey will be played in North America this season, yes, but I will not go nuts over its belated return.  We lost a Winter Classic and thus the opportunity to watch the Wings lose to the Leafs on national television, we lost three months of Pavel Datsyuk, and the league will be empowered to do this all over again when we keep watching these games because that's how this whole thing works and it's shitty.

But a lot of cool people get to go back to work, and not just the ones on the ice, so that's a good thing.  It will be cool to do the Winging It podcast again and not talk about lockout things.  And jokin' around with all of you clowns again is going to be great.

Now, a reminder of five things that actually happened in case you forgot:


1) JORDIN TOOTOO IS ACTUALLY A RED WING

This may not be true.  If I cover my eyes every time the camera is on him and I don't acknowledge it with my thinking brain and stuff then maybe he'll like go away.


2) MIKAEL SAMUELSSON IS ACTUALLY A RED WING AGAIN

I am still laughing about this.  I love it.  You probably hate it and I love that you hate it.  Hi Jeff.


3) THE DETROIT RED WINGS MIGHT ACTUALLY NOT BE THAT GOOD

We'll see.  The Wings lost in five games in the first round of the playoffs last year and then got worse over the summer.  But with a weird ass schedule and a bunch of new CBA details that I haven't cared to look over that will probably alter a number of teams, who knows how things will shake out.  There is no result to this season that would surprise me.


4) OUR TOP DEFENSIVE PAIR IS ACTUALLY NIKLAS KRONWALL AND IAN WHITE

Christ.


5)  NICK LIDSTROM ACTUALLY RETIRED

why



And so we drop the puck (LOL) on the 6th season of The Triple Deke, which is a website still.  Let's have fun, friends.

Go Wings.












August 24, 2012

TTD Explains the Salary Cap


In today's episode, we create poor demonstrations of how various NHL teams choose to spend their money.  It is very educational so be prepared to learn, you guys.


July 21, 2012

1994 Junior Goodwill Games, USA vs. Iceland -- The Liveblog


This is another installment of our Classic Liveblog series, wherein I struggle to cope with the NHL offseason and chronicle historic games from simpler times.  If you care to see previous entries:


*****
 
It has been brought to my attention that, in the previous 606 entries of this blog, there has not been a single one devoted to the namesake of the site or the identity that I've unintentionally assumed over the past four years. We fix that today.
 
The 1994 Junior Goodwill Games were a tumultuous emotional battle for Gordon Bombay and his band of misfit hooligan children-turned national superstars. What was supposed to be a smooth march to the final round became and up-and-down battle with lucrative corporate distractions, mutinies, excessive hair gel and ice cream.  But Team USA righted the ship in time for an apocalyptic showdown with the mighty Iceland squad -- the only remaining test that stood between them and a We Are The Champions final credits sendoff.  To Arrowhead Pond!


1ST PERIOD
  • 20:00 -- On the mic for this game is L.A. Kings announcer Bob Miller and Jacques Berman.  Considering Jacques is silent for the entire broadcast, this was clearly an "Eff you" move from Disney putting a guy named Berman on TV who doesn't say anything.
  • 20:00 -- Injured Team USA Star Adam Banks -- who was believed to be lost for the tournament after taking a vicious slash to the wrist in the first Iceland-USA matchup -- miraculously shows up to the locker room fully healed just before the first puck is dropped.  Never mind the fact that a 14-year-old kid is obviously taking steroids to just magically wake up completely recovered .... actually wait a minute, we should look into this.  A 14-year-old kid is obviously taking steroids.
  • 20:00 -- Banks, however, is stunned to hear his completely insane coach tell him, "I'm sorry, but we already have a full roster."  Oh sure, he's only the best player on the team and wears #99 as if to say, "If it wasn't clear enough, I'm the most talented player you have BY FAR and here's the jersey number for symbolism," but keeping him scratched so that you can still dress the immortal Lester Averman is the wiser move, for sure.
  • 20:00 -- But Banks doesn't have to worry, because wussbucket Charlie Conway is there to offer up his roster spot.  "Really, Charlie?  Are you sure?"  "I'm sure Adam, it's cool.  Don't worry."  "No, I mean there's only like 12 kids on this team.  We actually have another eight roster spots at least to use, Coach doesn't know what he's talking about."  "No, I think this way is best.  I don't want to play."  "Are you serious?  We roll only two lines and I've been playing like 45 minutes a game.  We could use the extra legs."  "No."
  • 20:00 -- Both teams try to confuse each other during their pregame pep talks on the benches.  Bombay's incredibly lame, "USA -- All the way!" almost makes their opponents die laughing while Iceland curiously yells out, "EASTLAND!"
  • 19:26 -- Team USA starts out with a line of Guy Germaine, Kenny Wu and Les Averman to take on the high-scoring tandem of Gunnar Stahl and Olalf Sanderson.  The much smaller Averman is bullied off the opening draw and Iceland begins to dominate physically as they did in their 12-1 blowout earlier in the tournament.  After goaltender Greg Goldberg is tripped, Sanderson completes a wrap-around finish to put Iceland up 1-0.
  • 18:55 -- After a terrible start one shift into the game, it would be hard not to look back to Bombay's comments on line-matching from a few weeks ago:  "Matchups are stupid!  Zone starts and all that crap, I just leave that for the nerds.  I actually prefer to dig my team into a big hole early so I can get all motivational-y before the final act of this predictable movie I mean uh the 3rd period."
  •  14:02 -- Bombay tries to play one of his wildcards early by sending out Knucklepuck-shooter Russ Tyler, but Stansson sees this and sends out his big guns to mark him.  It must be noted that the refs appear to be letting things go.  Tyler was just pinned to the glass without the puck by two men with no call.  This type of game definitely benefits Iceland and their stalwart defenseman, Hal Gill.
  • 13:34 -- Russ Tyler finds some space at the point and tries to tee up his specialty shot.  But a great defensive play (i.e: a guy standing still who takes three years to shoot the puck has the puck stolen from him) turns it over to Iceland.  Now on an odd-man-rush, Olalf Sanderson makes a stellar spin-o-rama move to set up an easy goal and it's 2-0 Iceland.
  • 4:02 -- In a daring attempt to change up the momentum, Bombay sends out Adam Banks for the first time in the game.  Utilizing your best scorer when you are down by two goals is a risky move, but USA is getting desperate.
  • 3:45 -- Banks gathers possession and bursts through the neutral zone with his eye on the Iceland net.  As he attempts a spin move, Sanderson again attempts to injure him with a wicked slash to the arm.  This is a huge turning point in the game; certainly Sanderson is going to get ejec-- oh he's going off for two minutes. (But what about Adam Banks?  Is his wrist okay?  "I'm fine. He just hit the pad. Really."  Banks must have been rattled pretty good considering he took a slash to the shoulder and not his injured wrist.)
  • 2:05 -- Now on a power play, USA tries to get on the board.  Team drunk Dwayne Robertson attempts to dangle through all four of Iceland's penalty killers instead of passing it to a wide open Connie Moreau, shouting, "A girl?  Ha!  Yee-haw!"  This leads to a predictable turnover and Amselik darts off on a breakaway for Iceland.  Speedster Luis Mendoza catches him but he and the puck go crashing into the net to give Iceland a 3-0 lead.
  • 0:33 -- Bombay reaches into his bag of tricks once again.  "Show me the Flying V!"  Haha that sounds like a sex thing.  Anyway, moments later, Jesse Hall leads Team USA on the attack right into the teeth of the Iceland defense.  But their old Duck tricks don't work here as Iceland breaks up the rush, leading to a 4-on-0 breakaway.  Gunnar Stahl fakes, passes over to Sanderson (there are other players on this team I swear) and it's another goal.  4-0 Iceland as the 1st period ends.

2ND PERIOD
  • 20:00 -- Bombay's stubbornness knows no bounds, as he again starts the overmatched Averman line for the 2nd period.  "You guys wanna ease up a bit?  Just thought I'd ask."  Iceland continues where they left off, beating the Americans senseless while the referees are busy writing the script for the third movie.
  • 19:41 -- USA appears to have had enough punishment, however.  Enforcers Dean Portman and Fulton Reed take the ice and exert some of their own physicality.  Double-clotheslines and charging penalties are ignored as the duo run amok on the stunned Iceland skaters.  Wolf Stansson's only defense is to ask how two 30-year-olds are allowed to play at the Junior Goodwill Games, but once again there are no referees around to address this.
  • 18:55 -- Kenny Wu carries the puck up the ice with speed before dropping it off to Reed.  Wu splits the defense with a figure skating move because swinging your stick like a dangerous weapon is okay as long as it happens in Anaheim.  Reed delivers a perfect pass to Wu who scores to make it a 4-1 game.
  • 18:55 -- Wu then taunts the Iceland goalie and baits him into a fight, completing the Ken Wu Hat Trick (Goal, Fight, Triple Axel.)
  • 18:55 -- Overcome by the joy of seeing Wu turn into a third Bash Brother, Reed and Portman lose it and spend the next five minutes celebrating and taunting the Iceland Bench.  Despite getting the home crowd riled up, the Bash Brothers have put their team on the penalty kill and Iceland now has a 5-on-3.  To recap: after being physically dominated in the first period to the tune of 4-0, USA responds by willfully committing three unsportsmanlike penalties immediately after they scored their first goal at an event with "Goodwill" in the title.  Feels weird to say, but at this point I am thinking that Gordon Bombay may be the worst hockey coach of all time.
  • 14:09 -- After miraculously killing off the 5-on-3 I guess, the now belligerently drunk Dwayne Robertson is given two minutes for roping.  Quite an embarrassing period for Bombay's team.  His allowing of Robertson to keep a lasso on the bench finally comes back to bite him in the ass.
  • 0:00 -- Uh it's now the end of the 2nd period all of a sudden. OK.
  • 0:00 -- Now that he has set his team up for failure, Bombay can properly and hypocritically lecture his team about moral values.  "We're not goons, we're not bullies," he says as he looks the dejected Portman and Reed.  So wait -- all that stuff they learned playing street hockey with the inner city kids ... was that bad?  Did they show that part to demonstrate what not to do?  Bombay basically just said that playing like how those black guys played would be sinking to a lower level, and that his team had to do the opposite.  Have I assumed the online identity of an extreme racist for all of these years?  Holy shit.
  • 0:00 -- "Ken Wu -- San Francisco, California!"  They seriously wrote this!
  • 0:00 -- Jans: "And now new Ducks and old Ducks must unite under one banner.  And I thought, something like this..."
 
3RD PERIOD
  • 20:00 -- .... And so to start the final period, Team USA reemerges from the locker room as the Mighty Ducks.  Some old Scandinavian dude just walks into the locker room, starts talking about new "banners" and basically says, "That American flag you play for means nothing.  It's these Ducks jerseys that will lead you to victory!"  Huh?  The whole "Team America" thing wasn't united enough for them?  And this foreigner just walks in with some new sweaters and tells you to put them on instead?  Not only is this the most disrespectful, unpatriotic thing I have ever witnessed, it may actually be government-levied propaganda for the institution of communism.  If this Jans guy wasn't dead I'd be looking into this.
  • 20:00 -- Announcer Bob Miller wonders if there's anything in the rules about changing jerseys during the intermission.  Frankly I'm stunned that the Kings had never tried it before and that Miller didn't already know the rule from memory.
  • 19:54 -- For the third straight period, USA starts with Lester Averman at center.  But this time he is the bully on the opening faceoff, aided by the motivational Queen soundtrack.
  • 18:48 -- It must be the jerseys.  Connie Moreau scores what Bob Miller creepily calls, "a LOVELY goal" to make it 4-2 Iceland.  Assisting on the goal is Kenny Wu, who is having himself quite an interesting game.  He's from San Francisco.
  • 17:16 -- Less than two minutes later, Averman -- who at this point I have to assume has compromising photos of Bombay blowing a walrus or something -- turns the puck over right in front of Goldberg.  Gunnar Stahl has no problem netting his second goal of the game and just like that it's 5-2.
  • 8:13 -- With things looking bleak, Charlie Conway finally gets to make his imprint on the game.  As the whole team huddles around the bench, Conway devises an "alley oop" play.  Alcohol-poisoned Dwayne Robertson stops with the puck at center ice, and flips it nearly as high as the scoreboard.  Adam Banks, on his second shift of the game, chases after the puck as it bounces in front of the Iceland goalie, and deflects it in while being tripped.  "Who's the guy who scored?" Bombay asks.  5-3 game.
  • 2:00 -- Still in need of two goals, the Ducks desperately need a lucky break.  They get it as a football game breaks out -- tackling is now happening left and right, all over the ice (like literally tackling, this is no exaggeration, players are just running into each other without the puck and falling down, it's remarkable) leaving open ice for Luis Mendoza.  He turns on the afterburners and has a breakaway ... and for the first time in his life, he stops.  "Put it in, Luis!" Bombay yells, again not talking about sex.  Mendoza scores and it's now 5-4.
  • 1:11 -- Bombay calls timeout after a whistle to come up with one last gimmick.  It looks like the Ducks are moving behind the net to form the Flying V.  Mendoza comes out with the puck, and drops it back -- to Goldberg?  Why on Earth would they do this?  In any event Iceland is obviously going to pay no attention to a fat cheesesteak with no hockey ski-- Oh but it's Russ Tyler!  The moron takes off his helmet to reveal he's the Knucklepuck guy, thus taking away the element of surprise.  No matter though, because mass tackling continues to clear a way for him.  He tees up the Knucklepuck, fires -- and scores!  And just like every hockey movie ever, it's improbably scored with 0:00 on the clock.  It's 5-5 and we head to a shootout.

SHOOTOUT
  • I'm sorry to keep pointing this out, but Averman was on the ice for the final shift of regulation while Banks was on the bench.  It's entirely possible that Dale Hunter bases his whole coaching philosophy on this movie.
  • Jesse Hall starts off for the Ducks.  He begins as a left-handed shooter, then a righty, then a lefty again, and then he scores.  What a mesmerizing trick!
  • Iceland and the Ducks trade goals, and then Goldberg makes a big glove save.  Fresh off an intermission liver transplant, Dwayne Robertson is next.  He defies his own gimmick by attempting no stick handling moves whatsoever and his shot is easily saved.  An 8-year-old figure skater and pansy-assed Guy Germaine can score goals in this game but the stick handling guy doesn't.  Sure.
  •  Iceland battles back to make it 3-3 in the shootout, and now it's Adam Banks' turn.  He takes the Jesse Hall approach by confusing the goaltender of his stick-handedness; earlier in the game he was a righty, but now he's a lefty.  And what's this ... he dekes left, then right, then left .... three dekes ..... The Triple Deke (a bucket of Nickelodeon Gak falls on my head) .... Banks holds, fires -- and scores!  Now the Ducks are one save away from victory.
  • In an unprecedented coaching move, Bombay goes to his backup goalie, Julie Gaffney, to make the final save against Iceland's best player.  "I know this kid's move:  triple deke, glove side."  For crying out loud.  There are other moves out there, guys.  (I'm actually surprised, though.  I was certain that the next words out of his mouth were going to be, "Averman, you're in for Goldberg."
  • Gunnar Stahl lines up for his shot.  He sees a girl is playing goalie and laughs because he is sexist.  He also looks like Huck from Tom & Huck.  Brad Renberg I think his name was.  Anyways it's not important...  Stahl very slowly inches his way up the ice.  He dekes three times as Gaffney dramatically counts off each one like shotgun blasts.  Stahl comes to a dead stop and takes a slapshot from about 50 feet out... in a shootout, mind you (at this point Jiri Hudler is furiously scribbling down notes).  Gaffney goes to make the save and the crowd goes quiet.  They're pretty sure she made the save because the little black disc isn't in the net.  But just to be sure, they wait for Gaffney to flip the puck out of her glove before going wild.  Ducks win the shootout, America wins the Junior Goodwill Games and Gordon Bombay has sex with the lady from Law and Order.  
  • Lastly: Moments after the game, word leaks out that Iceland's head coach, Wolf "The Dentist" Stansson, has just been accused of felony battery after striking Gordon Bombay's knee in a one-on-one hockey game the day before, and would be arrested immediately.  "I mean come on, I'm a lawyer," Bombay said when reached for comment.  "To think he could just try to chop my wounded leg off with a hockey stick and get away with it is pretty stupid.  The guy is going to jail right like right now.  It's hilarious!"
USA, all the way!

July 18, 2012

July Something Twenty Twelve, Anytown USA


During the previous 45 minutes, I heard a very faint knocking noise.  Assuming it was a person trying to annoyingly get my attention, I let out a meager, "Hello?"  Not unlike how Lionel Richie would say it.  "Hello?" I said again, to no response.

Minutes had passed by without a trace of human life lurking beyond the corner.  I thought maybe it was my sister, sneaking into my house and trying to be weird.  I live in a weird family with weird people.  It was possible, I thought.

*knock* ......... *knock* ...........

It was one of those noises that barely registers with your ears; just enough to get a reaction out of you but not enough for you to actually feel as though you should investigate.  If it grew to a full-on knock or an outright banging noise, I decided, I would grab the shotgun and fire a warning shot into the ceiling and/or my face by accident.  The noise remained consistently light, occasionally stopping for a few minutes before continuing again.  Still, I didn't care enough to seek it out.  It was still only a minor annoyance that was distracting me from my important #tweeting and computer work.

............................ *knock*....

I put down my sleeve of saltine crackers.  Okay, what the hell.  Is there a mouse?  Has a cat gone rogue?  I have decided to expend the necessary energy that it would take to discover what has been mildly bothering me for the better part of an hour now (meaning, I turned my head 45 degrees to the left.)  Under the wind of a ceiling fan, my hanging plastic bag of empty cans was lightly bumping against my closet door.

I miss hockey.  Go to hell, July, you big turd.

July 9, 2012

1998 Stanley Cup Finals, Game 2 -- The Liveblog


This is another installment of our Classic Liveblog series, wherein I struggle to cope with the NHL offseason and chronicle historic games from simpler times.  If you care to see previous entries:


*****

What a wild game this was.  And dare I say -- of the great Red Wings games from this generation -- it's somewhat of an overlooked one. Maybe it's because the biggest goals were scored by Doug Brown and Kris Draper.  Or because in retrospect, the Finals were just slightly anti-climatic after three hard-fought, six game series. Or because the thought of losing to this Capitals team even once now seems preposterous, so it was really never in doubt.  Or because it wasn't an Avalanche game.  Man, did I really call the Stanley Cup Finals anti-climatic a few sentences ago?  Wings fans are the worst, I hate us.


1ST PERIOD
  •  20:00 -- Have you ever looked at the word "period" for too long and been like, "Hey that's not a real word!"  It looks funny. 
  •  20:00 -- The Wings took the first game to jump out to a 1-0 series advantage, and the final three wins already feel like a formality.  Because of the loss of Vladimir Konstantinov, the '98 Red Wings played with an unparalleled level of purpose and were as much of a lock to win this series as any team in the history of ever.  An electric buzz sizzles throughout Joe Louis Arena in anticipation of the opening faceoff.  The crowd is already engaged in some sort of euphoric blend of an "OZ-ZIE / GO-WINGS-GO" chant.  And the mere sight of Joe Juneau's weird face nearly ruins the moment entirely.
  •  19:59 -- The Wings start off the game with one of my favorite lines:  Slava Kozloz, Sergei Fedorov, and Doug Brownov.
  •  18:21 --  Joey Kocur gets into a little skirmish after an offside call.  One mustachioed fellow was ready to help Joey even if it meant wrinkling his suit.

  •  18:21 -- he's just kidding he's happy

  •  17:09 -- The Caps forechecking pressure gets to the lovable yet 150-year old Slava Fetisov and he turns the puck over trying to clear it up the boards in the Detroit end.  Chris Osgood is forced to make two big saves to keep the game scoreless in the opening minutes.  (During the 1998 season -- well, his whole career really, but especially this season -- Ozzie was seen by the media as either being in the process of redeeming himself or pissing all of his goodwill away.  He was riding a two game Redemption streak coming into this contest -- shutting out the Stars to win the Western Conference and holding the Capitals to one goal in a Game 1 victory.  Redemption Ozzie was on-point to start Game 2.)
  • 16:55 -- Bill Clement, in reference to that last Washington rush, applauds their "Capital Punishment" line.  I mean that's kind of messed up right, a group of guys with a nickname that implies they legally kill other people.... I'm sure Craig Berube has killed a guy before but I doubt he did it legally.
  • 12:19 -- When watching these old games I always get a kick out of the many line combinations Scotty Bowman would use.  During the '97 and '98 playoffs he seemed to enjoy spreading out Shanahan, Yzerman and Fedorov (as we saw with Sergei on the Two and 1/2 Russians line).  In fact I'm still stunned to this day that Scotty stuck Tomas Sandstrom's corpse (0 goals, 4 assists) on Yzerman's wing for pretty much the entirety of the '97 playoffs without Stevie chaining Sandstrom to a pipe in his basement.  In 1998 however, Yzerman and the Wings got a "Tomas" upgrade in the form of Holmstrom
  • 12:11 --  A line of Homer-Yzerman-McCarty lines up for an offensive zone faceoff; Stevie wins the draw and after a shot deflects to the corner, he goes to the net.  Homer does his puck-retrieval thing and centers a pass to Stevie who bangs home a loose puck for the 1-0 lead.  Still confused as to how a player with a 90-something jersey number not named Fedorov could produce for the Wings, both Thorne and Clement sing Sergei's praises for his assist on the goal, despite him being on the bench.  And by my unofficial count, this was one of 1,250 Red Wing goals that resulted directly from a Steve Yzerman faceoff win.
  •  6:56 -- Every Wing line is pouring it on offensively during this stretch as the Caps just struggled to keep their heads above water.  The Kozlov-Fedorov-Brown combo was just so fun to watch.  The Russian Five were great because they could just dangle and keep the puck the entire game.  With Brown up front instead of Igor though there was a bit more kick -- a defensive guy to win back puck possession with the occasional nose for the net that the Five sometimes lacked.  The whole sequence of this scoring chance from 4:33 to 5:00 was particularly nice.
  • 2:47 -- Not wanting to be outdone by the Red Wings' three previous playoff opponents, the Capitals clearly wanted to score the Bad Osgood Goal to end all Bad Osgood Goals.  Adam Oates nearly pulled it off with this shot from about 190 feet.  Said Bill Clement, "Those are the only ones Chris Osgood has trouble with -- the ones from 4,000 miles away."  Looking at the replay, I'm honestly a little bit mad.  Ozzie let in not one but two goals from center ice previously in the 1998 playoffs; you would think a rink-long slapper like this would get him to just perhaps move his whole body in front of the puck.  For real, I'm actually a little bit annoyed right now.  Let's move on.

2ND PERIOD
  •  20:00 -- I'm telling you there's something about that "period" word.  The "iod" part, it doesn't look right.
  • 18:07 -- With this series looking like it was headed the same direction as the Wings-Flyers curb-stomping from the year before, the Capitals score one of the stranger goals in Cup Finals history to completely turn the momentum around.  The puck is iced from the Washington end and everyone in the building knows that it will either be a two line pass if Peter Bondra touches it, or it will be icing if Larry Murphy touches it.  Bondra takes nothing for granted and rips a slapper on goal; it somehow finds a hole through Ozzie's pads and into the net; and the referees call it a goal.  Replay clearly shows that no Red Wing tipped the iced puck, and that this was in fact a three line pass.  1-1 game.
  • 18:07 -- Just so we're clear: Ozzie should stop that anyway and his Redemption Streak is officially over after seven periods.
  • 13:49 -- Without the landslide of momentum that they were carrying in the first period, the Wings were now unable to run away with Game 2.  And after Ozzie kicks a big rebound right onto Chris Simon's stick, Simon roofs one to make it 2-1 Caps.  This was all the more shocking because up to this point in Simon's '98 playoff run, any puck that left his stick was automatically recorded by the NHL stats department as a turnover.
  • 13:49 -- That was Chris Simon's only point of the playoffs. 18 games, 1 goal, 0 assists.  Bill Clement, verbatim:  "He has got a huge-ie right now!"  That was actually said on air.  I'm sure I'd pop a boner too if I just scored my only goal of the postseason.
  • 10:55 -- Jamie Macoun was a Detroit Red Wing.
  • 9:15 -- More Chris Simon commentary from lip-reading expert Bill Clement:  "We get pretty good at reading lips up here .... watch Chris Simon skating by Detroit' bench: 'Try me.  Any guy, any time.  Try me.'"  Simon was then immediately stricken down by severe gonorrhea and would miss the remainder of the series.
  • 8:58 -- More craziness ensues as Larry Murphy and Nick Lidstrom team up for an awful turnover just outside the Wings' blue line.  Adam Oates is right there to poke the puck free and have a clean breakaway on Osgood, which he buries to make the score 3-1.  We were all stunned.  Through five Finals games plus one period over the past two seasons, I just thought Detroit steamrolling people in the Finals would happen every single year until the day I died.  Because I was 12 and I was stupid.  The Capitals woke me up from that dream and midway through Game 2 things weren't making a whole lot of sense.
 We get it. "A" for Adam, very cute, yes.
  • 0:00 -- "Time running out here, and for the Washington Capitals, an ENORMOUS second period."  Sorta. 
  • 0:00 -- "One guy is gonna have to be called upon to preserve this lead, and he's big #37 in goal, Godzilla, Olaf Kolzig."  I never really got the Godzilla nickname, did he eat a guy named Dave Mothra or what

3RD PERIOD
  • 13:37 -- As shock begins to give way to the realization that maybe this isn't our game, Nick Lidstrom is called for hooking as Todd Krygier nearly breaks his neck diving.  Now it's an even bigger uphill climb.
  • 13:24 -- Then there was Stevie Y.  He grew to be an inspiring penalty killer and shot-blocker during the latter half of his career, and he stayed dangerous on the PK by always knowing when to pick his spots to cherry pick.  After winning another faceoff (see?) he heads up ice upon seeing that Fetisov is in position to either clear the puck down the ice or spot him for a long-bomb pass.  He gets the pass, Larry Murphy joins the rush as a decoy (because I don't think a Red Wing ever passed it to Murph on a rush) to make it a 2-on-1, and Stevie buries his second goal of the game to make it 3-2 Caps.  We're comin' back!  Vladdy's in the press box for fuck's sake, nothing will stop us now!
  •  12:55 -- Before you could finish spelling "Konstantinov", Joe Juneau's dumb face scores with Nick Lidstrom still in the box to put the Capitals up by two once again.  4-2.  Okay, it really wasn't happening now, not after all of this.  Not with Steve Yzerman's heroics being cancelled out, and certainly not while Scotty Bowman was curiously wearing a suit jacket the same color as the other team.  
 the hell

  • 12:55 -- And if you're still keeping track, Osgood has not only lost his Redemption Streak, but he has done what he can to start a collection of Poop Streaks in every pair of underwear inside Joe Louis Arena. (Zing!  Eat shit you didn't pay to read this.)
  • 11:52 -- One of my stupid favorite things is Gary Thorne yelling, "MAR-TAN LAPOINTE!"  He seemed to punctuate most every Marty goal with that same cadence, and I just always loved it.  You can check it out as Lapointe scores the third goal in the game's last 1:32 to make even less sense of it all.  4-3 Capitals.  (Marty Lapointe 1998 playoffs: 9 goals in 21 games.  More than everyone except Sergei, who had 10.  And I'm always, always surprised when I re-realize that he was only 24 years old.  He looks older in this game than Yzerman does today.)
  • 9:53 -- We've come this far without mentioning Esa Tikkanen yet.  One of the great performances in Red Wings history as far as I'm concerned: Zero points, a penalty, minus-3 rating, and one of the most indelible images of my childhood:
  • Thorne's call is amazing.  "Here's the Intercept.  Here comes Tikkanen!  Osgood down .... AND HE MISSED THE NET!  Esa Tikkanen BLEW IT!"  And Chris Osgood redeems himself!  Poor Esa.  The guy won multiple Stanley Cups, yet this might be what he is most known for.  I'd say it would have won the game, no question -- but given how the previous 30 minutes had gone, that would be unwise.  (And funny how that all started from an Yzerman turnover.)
  • 9:06 -- Joe Juneau takes a shot from beyond center ice that Ozzie plays flawlessly.  This is worthy of it's own bullet because it is 1998
  • 4:15 -- After all of that, a goal was still needed to keep the Wings alive in Game 2.  After the Tikkanen miss and how up-and-down things had been, you knew a goal had to come from somewhere, you just didn't know who.  I probably would not have bet on it being Doug Brown, let alone Doug Brown basically doing it all by himself
 The shot of the bench afterward = chills. Crazy.
  • 4:15 -- 20,000 white people and Orange Hat Guy yelling, "Whoomp There It Is".  4-4.
  • 0:08 -- At least 100 people singing that Chumbawamba song.  It was the 90s songs that truly kept the Wings in this game.  To OT we go.

OVERTIME
  • 17:36 -- Sergei Gonchar rips one from the blue line and Ozzie comes up with a huge stop.  That would have been a slight letdown, I think.  Gonchar was wearing a protective face-guard at this point in time so haha to you Gonchar and your gigantic injured bubble-head.  Sucks to be you, nerd!  I feel better about myself now that I've made fun of 90s Gonchar.
  • 14:36 -- Kocur and Tikkanen get into a post-whistle scrum.  Kocur simply went to offer his condolences to Esa after he stamped his career with a flaming bag of horse shit one period earlier, and let's say he took it the wrong way.
  • 12:57 -- Anders Ericsson gets a nice feed from Igor Larionov and moves in from the left circle for a point-blank shot on Kolzig.  Had this game ended with an Anders Ericsson overtime winner, the NHL would still be in a lockout as we waited to finish this series.
  • 10:50 -- Kris Draper comes scorching down the right wing and the only Capital defender in front of him trips over the blue line.  Drapes goes in on Kolzig -- at this point still looking for his first goal of the playoffs -- and fires his patented, into-the-logo wrister.  Another chance gone by.  "I'll NEVER score a goal again," I pretend he said to himself, because I'm weird.
  • 4:36 -- A few minutes later, Draper comes off the bench as the Shanahan-Larionov-Lapointe line neared the end of a shift.  Shanny and Marty were still down in the zone and Draper comes swooping past Kolzig and circles the net.  Upon circling back to the slot, Drapes is left all alone and Marty fires a perfect pass.  And on Detroit's 60th shot of the game .... Open net, one-timer, game over.  5-4 Red Wings.
  awwwww yeaaaahh