December 30, 2008

Wings vs. Blackhawks - The New Year's Eve Eve Classic

Red Wings 4-0 Blackhawks
**********

1st Period
  • 20:00 ... No Nick Lidstrom, who can't even put on a skate. That obviously sucks for the penalty kill. The other night in Denver, the PK made the simple task of clearing the puck as difficult as disarming a nuclear bomb.
  • 20:00 ... Larry Murphy: "The Hawks ... look ... invincible right now." OK Murph.
  • 16:43 ... Obvious tripping call coming for Brad St -- Oh wait, that's incorrect -- The refs saw Tomas Holmstrom breathing wrong on the goalie and decided that was worse, or something, I don't fucking know, and called that instead. Lethargic start so far.
  • 14:02 ... I love when Conk handles a harmless shot by freezing for what feels like 45 seconds as the puck goes tumbling above his head, while he has no clue where the puck is or what sport he is playing. And by "love" I mean it drives me absolutely bat-shit loony.
  • 13:30 ... Wings on the penalty kill again, as FSN segues into a pregame Babcock interview about the PK. Babs' interviews provide limitless entertainment. He talks to the off-camera interviewer as if he's talking to a locker room full of players. In fact, I think he's so in the zone all the time that he probably yells out line changes while he's having sex with his wife.
  • 11:42 ... A stat that would make any Wings fan furrow their brow with confusion: the Hawks are outshooting us 11 to 1.
  • 9:49 ... The Wings get their first power play. Unrelated: last year I was all about the Derek Meech. This year I'm not as thrilled about him. He seems way to anxious to make a name for himself and at least twice a game he throws a lifeless, 4 mph wrister on goal from 50 feet instead of trying to set up possession in the zone.
  • 8:10 ... Conklin just iced the puck, while the Wings were on the power play. I don't think I've ever seen that. I'm pretty sure I've never even fathomed the possibility of that happening during a hockey game.
  • 4:09 ... Datsyuk scores on the power play and credit Homer with doing his usual shit at the top of the crease. Pav was really buzzing around on that shift. 1-0 Wings.

2nd Period
  • 17:02 ... Brad Stuart with yet another terrific hit along the boards. This has been a good game; some chippiness and physicality, and we're winning. I might add that Mickey Redmond is on the verge of creaming his pants right now.
  • 16:00 ... Whooooaa, what a shot from Franzen, on the power play again. 2-0 Wings. I love this sport. Franzen has nothing to shoot at except for a mouse hole-sized area above Khabibulin's shoulder. Fuck, what a goal.
  • 6:30 ... for the last six minutes or so the Wings have been 100 percent in control. Patrick Kane took a frustration cross-checking penalty, and the Wings are piling on the shots. Now somebody is skating around without a helmet and Mickey falls further into a bottomless black hole of drunken nostalgia. He's loving this game.
  • 1:10 ... On the power play (I feel like I've typed that one hundred times) Homer takes a slapper to the face. Not quite Steve Yzerman --


... but he still got bloodied up a bit.


3rd Period
  • 19:23 ... Franzen steals a goal to make it 3-0 Wings. Complete dominance tonight.
  • 16:10 ... Larry Murphy (on the Hawks play tonight): "Kinda like playing Eukre without getting the right bower." I think this is my favorite Murphy quote ever. I'm serious. It was both preposterous and correct at the same time. I don't know how he does it.
  • 7:50 ... Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice goal by Kopecky, good feed from Fil. 4-0. Save some for New Years, guys.

Final

Good for Ty Conklin. Great game Mule. Great game team. Can't wait to see if the same thing happens Thursday. Go Wings.

December 26, 2008

Wings @ Predators - Nothing to see here

Red Wings 2-3 Predators
**********

It was a Boxing day turd.



1st Period
  • 20:00 ... Live from the Somet Center, it's Ken Daniels with Larry Murph, who is filling in for Mickey Redmond tonight. This has me excited. I expect at least five "What the fuck did he just say?" quotes out of Murph before this thing is finished.
  • 20:00 ... While I'm on the topic, Murph is practically making my ears bleed with his pregame things-to-watch segment. Not just the volume, but the way he says shit. Like how he puts the emphasis on the oddest parts of a sentence. For example, "Jason Arnott ... who has been ... OFF HIS GAME ... two assists the other night," and so on. It's impossible to explain to anybody who doesn't get to see these games locally. He's always seemed like just the nicest guy, but my god is he ever a horrific speaker of words. I mean Jesus.
  • 17:25 ... Conk handles a slow dribbler of a shot from the blue line, which may seem like a rather pedestrian accomplishment to most but is actually a minor miracle when Conk is concerned.
  • 16:30 ... Little highlight clip of Jordan T-Bag from last year's playoffs being a nuisance. I don't want to go overboard here but I hope this man dies in a fiery car accident someday.
  • 14:30 ... Zetterberg yells, "Mule!" in an attempt to get Franzen's attention behind the net. Don't know why I'm saying this but I think that's awesome. I wish I had a cool nickname for people to call out to me when I'm at my job. Something like "Horse Dick." Yeah that's a good one. When I'm just barely within shouting distance I want my boss to yell Horse Dick to get my attention.
  • 12:29 ... Huds takes a penalty, and Ken Daniels goes through the jinx-worthy "Wings are rolling on the PK, Preds are sucking ass on the power play" routine. If Nashville doesn't score here I'll shit my shorts.
  • 11:00 ... Wings catch a huge break as Arnott has one jump over his stick. The penalty gets killed and now I have to go throw my clothes in the wash.
  • 10:31 ... But the Preds score anyway right after, straight off the draw. Greg Zanon, 1-0 Nashville. Right after the goal, Murph simply yells, "Faceoffs!", followed by dead air.
  • 7:00 ... Wings fail on their first power play, but not without plenty of action coming at Dan Ellis. Preds looked like they were over-pursuing a lot, maybe it'll bite them in the ass later on.
  • 5:56 ... 1-1 now thanks to (once again) Jiri Hudler and Dan Cleary. Wow what a goal. Jiri out-dekes Nashville, standing still no less, then feeds Cleary who was coming down the right side. And Dan makes a really strong move to score the goal. This line has been playing extremely well together recently.

2nd Period
  • 18:11 ... The puck is bouncing as if this is an outdoor game in Egypt. Do they zamboni the ice between periods in Nashville? Do they have people throw salt from the stands? It's December, I don't get this. (On a related note, Jiri had a gaping net to shoot at but he couldn't control the goal-mouth pass.)
  • 11:32 ... Wings kill another penalty. Random observational note (aren't these all?): Franzen has taken at least three awful shots.
  • 9:25 ... Maltby, Draper and Kopecky are on a 3-on-2 and ... what's the point of finishing this sentence.
  • 8:30 ... Brett Lebda grazes T-Bag with one finger nail and gets a penalty. Unreal. I'm typing this sentence with more physical contact than there was on that penalty. Mickey Redmond just pissed blood watching this.
  • 7:25 ... Even more unreal -- Pav gets stoned on a breakaway.
  • 6:36 ... And with six seconds left on the fake Lebda penalty, Kevin Klein rips a one-timer over Conk's shoulder. 2-1. Helluva shot, but fuck you anyway Kevin Klein. You were awesome in Dave, though.
  • 4:44 ... Nick Lidstrom has been M.I.A. for some time now through the 2nd period. I'm terrified. No word on if he's injured or just taking a dump in the locker room.
  • 3:06 ... Oh ok -- Ken Daniels relays that Nick won't return this game with a "lower body injury." Now I'm completely petrified. And I know they want to protect the players, but for fuck's sake, the lower and upper body injury thing annoys the shit out of me. Just tell me he's injured and leave it at that. "Lower body injury" is literally only one step removed from "something is wrong with him" in terms of vagueness.
  • 1:08 ... Erat scores on a low one-timer, on a pass that came centered from behind the net. 3-1 Preds. I really don't want to lose to the Predators.

3rd Period
  • 17:45 ... Franzen attempts another retarded shot. His shot-selection has been so bad I can only assume that somebody showed him an Antoine Walker highlight reel before the game.
  • 17:00 ... Sammy scores with almost no angle on a one-timer, with an assist from Lilja. Almost as impossible to believe my eyes as it was to type that sentence. 3-2 Predators. Z gets the second helper.
  • 10:10 ... "Red Wings suck" chant. Why. Why do you do this. Cheer your fucking team, you clowns. The Detroit Red Wings do not "suck". You blow train whistles during a hockey game: You -- you people suck.
  • 5:40 ... Since scoring the goal, the Wings haven't had a serious flury of any kind to give Nashville a scare. Still waiting.
  • 1:51 ... Hank tries a shot from the same spot Sammy scored at. I don't see them pulling this one out. The Preds seem to play the Wings better (at home at least) better than anybody else in the league. There egg of a coach must have something figured out.
  • 1:28 ... A penalty for Tootoo! A preposterously stupid slashing penalty. Snaps Lebda's stick in two for a little bit of justice. New life for the Wings, empty net now.
  • 0:00 ... Nothing comes of it. Dan Ellis makes 38 saves and the Predators, to their credit, played a really solid game. Hats off to you, fuckbags.

Final

I've given Franzen enough shit, you know what I thought of his performance. Hossa was nowhere to be seen in this one.

Top 3 Wings:

3) Andreas Lilja -- why the hell not.

2) Jiri Hudler

1) Dan Cleary

At least we have the Avs tomorrow.


December 21, 2008

Kings @ Wings - The Magnanimus Lilja

Red Wings 6-4 Kings
**********

The only redeeming quality of in-game interviews (especially with hockey players) is when the dude's team gives up a goal in the middle of an answer.


Especially when it's Lilja.

ESPECIALLY when it's Lilja. Look at that grin -- even he can't believe it.

I'm through with dogging Lilja until he does something overwhelmingly retarded. As history has shown, that could happen by the end of this paragraph. But you gotta give Lil some credit: he hasn't gargled ball sack this season. He's actually been pretty good.

(Good lord that was hard to admit. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to puke blood for the next 20 minutes.)

*****

If you haven't caught on yet, I missed last night's game. Had a date with the missus. Olive Garden. Chicken Parmesan, you asshole.

But doing the missed-game/catchup routine is a lot easier after a win.

*****

After dropping off the grid for nine games, Mikael Samuelsson finally got a goal.

"That was good Sammy, but you need to stop sending me naked pictures of yourself."

*****

Sweeeet pass to tie the game.

And then the Cleary/Hudler combo teams up to win it. What a job by Hudler to go to the net.


*****

Stuff that stood out:

  • A six-goal game that didn't see points from Zetterberg or Hossa. Whatever. I'm sure they backchecked the shit out of the Kings.
  • Pav still on a roll.
  • Conk was the first star of the game stopping 22 of 26 shots? Honest question -- is there something missing in the highlights I watched, because he looked terrible on a couple of goals.
  • Lilja has more even strength points than Nik Kronwall (9 to 7).
  • Jiri Hudler continues to do the opposite of everything I said about him before the season. Sometimes it's cool to be completely wrong.

December 19, 2008

Sharks @ Wings - Get off our lawn

Red Wings 6-0 Sharks
**********

This is why I like the regular season.

It's not as rewarding as big playoff wins, but the soul-sucking intensity of the postseason is so great that you forget you watch these games for fun. When it's December, you can watch these big games and not end up too low or high at the end. It's just good, fun hockey.

After Monday's VCR debacle, I got it right this time around and, thus, there is a running blog below. You're fucking welcome.


1st Period
  • 20:00 ... I'm scared of the Sharks. There, I said it.
  • 19:30 ... a "let's go Wings" chant. I'm in fucking shock. I can't believe anything other than "down in front" was yelled by anybody this early in the game.
  • 14:35 ... Ken Daniels -- "... pass was too hard for Tom Cavanaugh ... not to be confused with the actor." Who the shit is "the actor" Tom Cavanaugh? Does anybody know this like it's off-hand knowledge? (Looking it up ...) The dude from Ed?? Seriously? Ken might as well have said "not to be confused with the guy who works 3rd shift at a Denny's in Livonia."
  • 6:25 ... Huge scrum in the Wings end that doesn't end in a goal. I have no idea how some of these pucks aren't going in. Conk scares the shit out of me sometimes -- like after a shot and his head is moving around with that "oh my god, this isn't my living room" look.
  • 5:28 ... And out of nowhere Franzen scores a flukey goal, 1-0 Wings. Wow. Don't get too many gifts like that -- Mule takes a quick wrister from between the circles and Nabokov just plain misses it with his glove. That wasn't as exciting as it was strange.
  • 4:02 ... Shit on my face, another wrister from the same spot, this time from Datsyuk ... and it's 2-0. I know he's playing for the second straight night, but we're sure this is THE Evgeni Nabokov, right? Can somebody just peak under his mask for a second? Ok seriously though, you don't get too many of those gifts.
  • 0:27 ... We are reminded that Sharks backup goalie Brian Boucher holds the record for consecutive shutouts, with 5, in 2003. In case you forgot that little nugget, let that name sink in for a moment. I can only picture the NHL's brass sitting around during the lockout, thinking up ways to change the rules of the game, with reason #1 listed at the top of the chalkboard: "Fucking Brian Boucher holds the record for consecutive shutouts."

2nd Period
  • 17:14 ... Nabokov might be done with the Christmas give-away -- he just robber Kronner mightily with the glove.
  • 15:35 .... Another glove save by Nabokov, this time off a Franzen slapper. It's like he got drunk during the intermission, beat his glove with a belt and said, "You're not gonna throw rocks at the house ever a-fucking-gain." Wait, my bad -- that's what my mom did to me after one unfortunate afternoon in 1993.
  • 12:50 ... I've made mention before about my amazement of Marian Hossa's use of one-handed stick moves. He just used his right hand -- almost to the point of being unnecessary --to move the puck off the boards and around his man, then beat him to the spot and got a shot off. Excellent move.
  • 10:42 ... Good god these guys are awesome. 3-0 Wings. Datsyuk had three players circling him, but he looked so calm it was as if he was the only person in the building. He finds Hossa in the slot with ease, and Hoss sends a terrific one timer blocker side.
  • 8:18 ... Brad Stuart absolutely wastes Tomas Plihal at center ice. More of the same from what he's been doing well all season.
  • 6:30 ... I hate Mikael Samuelsson. Ok "hate" is pretty strong for a guy not named Pronger or LaPerriere, but it's something close. His ridiculous point-a-game pace that he was on earlier in the year has regressed back to the norm, as he hasn't recorded a point in 7 games. He somehow was racking up these wild assist totals while, at the same time, being a bad passer. Not mediocre, not okay, not below average -- just "bad". He's not only inaccurate and lacks touch, but too often he stalls for too long before pulling the trigger.

3rd Period
  • 20:00 ... San Jose looks lifeless. Oddly disappointing, but not overly surprising.
  • 18:20 ... Conk just made three saves while covering like 350 square feet of ice. He slides around quite a bit, but hey, he's pitching a shutout so I'll give him some credit.
  • 14:00 ... Pav looks like he's doing whatever he wants, wherever and whenever he wants. Freestyling, one might say. And with the Sharks already headed to the airport mentally, he's having an easy go of it.
  • 12:35 ... 4-0 Wings, Val Filppula finishes off a nice rush aided by Jiri and Cleary. The Wings are still playing with waaaaayy more jump than San Jose, with a big lead, in the 3rd period.
  • 7:31 ... Fuck it, how 'bout another. 5-0 Wings. Datsyuk comes off the bench on the penalty kill, after a deplorable give-away, and wrists his second goal past Nabokov.
  • 6:49 ... An elbow catches the Mule and the Wings get another crack at the power play. This is a refreshing change from all the one-goal games we've had this year. And it's against the NHL's best, the Sharks. Go figure. Now if we can just get this power play revved up again.
  • 3:51 ... 6-0 now after Brad Stuart one times a shot shortly after a faceoff. Good for him (first goal in 45 games). Pav gets his 2nd assist of the night.
  • 2:00 ... Crowd still into it. Also good to see.
  • 1:07 ... Kirk Maltby rushes back through the neutral zone with all of his speed, in a 6 goal game with a minute to go, to make a steal. I love hockey.
  • 0:20 ... Standing-O from the Joe faithful to finish out the game. What a great night for the Wings. It seems like there's less to talk about when they win like this, but I won't complain.

Final

Probably the best I've felt after a Wings win this year. Not much too nit-pick at. It's almost a weird sight to see when they don't start out by giving up a goal in the first five minutes of the game.

Top 3 Wings:

3) Henrik Zetterberg -- No points tonight, but defensively he centered the line that shut down the Setoguchi/Thornton/Marleau trio. I didn't think of those three at all after the first 10 minutes of the game and that says something.

2) Ty Conklin -- Stopped all 24 shots faced. It's unorthodox, but he got the job done.

1) Pavel Datsyuk -- 2 goals, 2 assists, ultimate mastery of the game of hockey. What more can you say other than he looked perfect.

December 18, 2008

Sharks @ Wings pregame - Kind of a big deal

The Sharks are playing their second of a back-to-back, after losing to the Blue Jackets last night in overtime. I almost wish they had won. Regardless of playing twice in 24 hours, they've got to be a little pissed.

The Wings have been home for a minute. Lost Monday to the A ...... to the Ava ....... (fuck, this is hard to say) ...... the Avalanche. Disgusting. Disgusting game. The playoffs are still light years away, but I hope the Wings are up for this one.

And they're going to need to be. It's no secret, or debate really, that the Sharks have been the best team in the NHL thus far. Patrick Marleau has come back from the dead (48 points in 78 games last year) to lead San Jose with what's on pace to be a career year (36 points in 31 games). After a repulsive 2007-08, he leads the team in plus-minus, shots, shorthanded goals and points.

21 year-old Devin Setoguchi isn't doing half bad either. In his first full NHL season he's put 32 points in 30 games, and is averaging 2.01 goals/60 minutes at even-strength - by far the best on the Sharks.

Evgeni Nabokov is in net again for the Sharks, playing in his 22nd game (17-2-2) and for the second night in a row. Conk is in net for the Wings according to Bruce MacLeod, Ozzie's nursing a groin thing.

**********

Fear the Fin has a nice setup for tonight's game:

"The Detroit Red Wings. Ponder that name for a minute. Let it marinate in your mouth. Let that red and white seep into your pores, let it consume your soul. Allow visions of Tomas Holmstrom and Chris Osgood to run wild in your mind; lifting Lord Stanley for all the world to see, drinking it's sweet nectar. Feel the Dark Side coarse through your veins. Accept it as a part of you, permit it entrance to the back of your throat till it becomes almost too much to bear.

Then spit that vile creature out."


And you know they're good when our captain is quick to admit this:

"We're facing the best team in the league," Nicklas Lidstrom said, "so it'll be a measuring stick for our team."

**********

Recap late tonight. Go Wings.


December 15, 2008

Avalanche @ Wings: blame Def Leppard

Red Wings 2-3 Avalanche
**********

I'm a jackass. Before I went to work I casually set the VCR to record at 7:30 on FSN. When I got home I had 4 hours worth of UFC. The game, as you people konw, was on the Versus network. So no Runningblog, just some pictures.

*****
Somehow the Wings have managed to lose to the public embarrassment that is the Dallas Stars and now the 15-14-1 Colorado Avalanche in the last three nights. Something is awry. But it's December and there's time to get through it.

Concerning just this game, though, there is only one place to point your finger. Look no further than Def Leppard. The Wings lost on opening night to the Leafs, on Versus, and then Def Leppard pissed on the proverbial ashes.




Asshole.

*****

The Wings are now 0-2-1 when playing on Versus. All home games. If this continues, we'll not only have to deal with the Sharks and the Ducks, we'll have to go up against the announce team of Doc and Edzo as well. The Def Leppard Curse is real and I'm sure of it, and I don't care if that makes me a crazy person. I will watch every game announced by those two for the rest of this season, whether it's Versus or NBC, distracted with the thought that The Curse has already determined the outcome.

*****

A turnover so bad that it sould only be categorized as a Complete Fuckup at center ice leads to the first goal of the game. 1-0 'Lanche. Sickening stuff.

Not to be outdone, the Wings penalty kill collapses to the near side on a Colorado rush and leaves an acre of real estate open. Before you could get "Oh, fuck me" out of your mouth it was 2-0.


Homer picks up the garbage. 2-1 Colorado.

But then Brett Lebda got intimate with the puck in the crease, which isn't allowed in hockey. Sounds simple enough to the average fan, but Lebda, a professional my sources tell me, forgot. Or something. On the ensuing penalty shot, Jordan Leopold skated at glacier speed and still beat Ozzie for the goal. 3-1 Avalanche. I love the Wings. I really do. But I swear to Christ I hate when these games happen.

Hoss trimmed the lead to 3-2 but that was all the Wings could muster. Ballgame.

*****

So back to my original ridiculous claim. Chalk this one up to the douches that want sugar poured upon them. They did this. Babs will want answers as to why such a shitfest took place. He'll look in net, he'll look at the ugly defense, and he'll look at that dude that stands next to him with the gigantic mustache. But he should look no further than Def Leppard.

"we know he did ... we talked to people at the show and the guy was being real rude to everybody," Chelios said. "He was in a bad mood when they got there, so for whatever reason he didn't want to be there. And that's his way of showing it and taking it out on the NHL."


December 10, 2008

Flames @ Wings: 1st periods are for schmucks


Red Wings 4-3 Flames (OT)
**********


Kipper was given a rare night off for the Flames, and Conk was in net for the Wings in the battle of #2's.

This is how it went down, with what we'll call ... a "running blog". Creative, I know. But that's what these full game recaps will be called henceforth. Not sure if that's the correct usage of "henceforth", but fuck it I don't get paid to do this.


1st Period
  • 1:00 ... McElhinney tested early after Pav makes a nice lead pass to a streaking Hossa on the wing. I'm going to hate typing McElhinney.
  • 3:25 ... The Z line goes 3-on-4 into the Flames end and nearly score, but McElface makes his second huge save in the game's first 4 minutes.
  • 5:05 ... Flames 2-on-1 -- and David Moss misses a gaping net. Conk's positioning was so off that I'd have to question his blood-alcohol level right now. It resembled something out of a 1980's Ron Hextall low-light reel.
  • 13:00 ... The Flames are playing like they have a 2-goal lead; one forechecker and 18 guys in the neutral zone. Nothing real exciting going on right now, Wings only have 5 shots.
  • 15:05 ... Conk looks awful. He gives up a humongous rebound, and after a scrum the puck goes in the net. 1-0 Flames.
  • 18:07 ... Curtis McElhinney, in his 3rd career start, is outplaying Ty Conklin. Our goaltending situation right now is not exactly ideal.
  • 19:10 ... Another Flames goal, and a rather annoying one at that. Todd Fucking Bertuzzi skates around Stuart easily, Conk is hung out to dry after he stacks the pads for a save, and Daymond Langkow pots a gift wrapped goal. 2-0 Flames to end the period. This sucks.

2nd Period
  • 0:00 ... Statistically the Flames are the 4th worst 5-on-5 team (going by g/ga ratio), and they end up +2 after one period. No way this continues, right? Right. Okay. This can't go on, we're in agreement then. Right? Whatever. I hate this shit.
  • 0:30 ... God dammit, get the puck up, Hoss. Should be 2-1 right now. McEldick was stretched as far as his body would let him and made a desperate foot save.
  • 3:01 ... Good stretch of work for the Wing offense. Penalty to the Flames, maybe that goal comes here.
  • 3:15 ... or maybe not. Raf gives the puck away at the blue line, but to his credit rushes back and makes a spectacular poke check without taking a penalty. On the next turn back down the ice, McElgoalie makes an obscene save ... somehow seeing a Kronner slapshot through two players (in which he had like a 2 inch crack to see the puck). Unreal. By the way, this guy has zero career wins.
  • 6:59 ... Of course it would take Kris Draper to get the Wings on the board. He takes a slap shot/pass that gets tipped in by Filppula. 2-1 Flames. The fact that Drapes took a slapper that didn't get swallowed up by the goalie's ribs is the most shocking American story since the Kennedy assassination. Wings have some serious buzz to their game now.
  • 8:00 ... Chris Osgood is 3rd in Western Confernce allstar voting for goalies. That is beyond ludicrous. I love Ozzie but if he makes the all star team, shitting my pants in public would be less embarrassing.
  • 10:26 ... This game suddenly has some edge to it. McElpenalty comes out to deny a breakaway but shoots the puck over the glass like a guy who's in his 3rd career start.
  • 12:26 ... Flames escape again and on top of that, the Wings get called for a penalty of their own. On a side note, Pav is seeing the ice brilliantly tonight; he looked really sharp on the power play.
  • 17:00 ... Defensive zone adjustment, perhaps? For the last couple Flames' rushes, the Wings have had at least one guy in front of Conklin to swat his rebounds away and keep the top of the crease clear.
  • 18:03 ... Homer gets called for a hook, but Cleary bails him out by drawing a penalty in the Flames end. Another solid game out of Dan Cleary so far. In other news, Joe Sakic breaks three of his fingers not playing hockey. It goes without saying, but this would never happen at Steve Yzerman's house.

3rd Period
  • 0:00 ... Intermission interview w/ Daymond Langkow: "We gotta stay out of the box, they've got a pretty good power play." Yeah, no shit. That power play is destined to score this period if the Flames take any more dipshit penalties and the Wings quit screwing around. Whether they do or not will determine the game.
  • 2:31 ... Already six stoppages in play this period. I don't think the Joe could get any quieter. I think I just heard a mouse fart near the Wings bench.
  • 3:58 ... Nice save by Conk. Another whistle. Jesus Christ.
  • 6:00 ... More Datsyuk: kept two pucks in the Flames end by himself at the blue line, then created a scoring chance, followed by another Flames delay of game. Come ON, power play.
  • 7:11 ... Kronner takes a slapshot and it hits Mule right in the dome. Mule also commits goalie interference to negate the power play.
  • 8:49 ... Flames score. Slapshot, bounce falls to Moss' stick, goal. Fuck this. 3-1 Flames.
  • 9:51 ... Just when things couldn't look any more bleak, Hank scores. Yay. 3-2 Flames.
  • 10:00 ... I just realized that I hate time-stamping these bullets with how much time INTO the period it is, rather than how much time is left. Guess I'll change that for next time.
  • 13:47 ... WOOOOOOOO, RAF! Shades of The Finals, Game 5. 3-3.
  • 20:00 ... What a flurry at the end. Phaneuf unleashes a slapper that Conk turns aside, then up the other way Cleary gets in the middle of yet another scoring chance, Hossa can't quite tuck it by the near post. Overtime time.

Overtime
  • 0:30 ... Datsyuk AGAIN creates a chance, and the Mule gets absolutely stoned on the doorstep by McElsave.
  • YYYYYYYYEEEEESSSSSSSSS, and it's Lidstrom with the game winner. Datsyuk providing traffic in front. McElscreened made a good effort out of it but fell one goal short, 4-3 Wings.

Final

Well that was some comeback. I didn't think it would happen after Calgary's 3rd goal but the Flames eventually wore down (played last night, after-effect for sure). Conk was shaky early but hung on at the end. Just another 1-goal game for the Wings, who seem to love making it harder then it has to be.

Top 3 Wings:

3) Brian Rafalski (1 goal, 1 assist)

2) Dan Cleary (2 assists, 3 blocked shots) -- Great, great game. Solid in his own zone, spearheaded some offensive charges. He looks like he's back to pre-puck-to-the-face/eye-injury status of a year ago.

1) Pavel Datsyuk (1 assist, 10/15 faceoffs) -- The past couple weeks I've wondered aloud whether he's been playing too fancy. Well tonight he was the best player on the ice. He had at least five "wow" plays and was playing with a dominating level of awareness in the Flame's end.

December 8, 2008

Suck it, school

Finals = over. The Deke is now in full effect.


**********

Detroit Lions: 0-13


Gosder Cherilus. The fuck are you doing, man.


In 2001 the Lions were in a similar situation against the Vikes at home and came up with a win. They were 0-14. Chuck Batch led an admirable crew to a win that nearly sent a joyous Matt Millen tumbling out of his suite. It was the first win of the Millen-era

A few weeks later my dad and I attended the final Lions game ever played at the Silverdome. We were sitting so high up that our heads were scraping the roof. We were surrounded by fuck-wad Cowboy fans. It was also the most enjoyable Lions game I ever saw live.

Johnnie Morton caught a touchdown pass and did The Worm in the back of the endzone. 2-14 didn't seem so bad. It was a down year, so what.

Seven years later the Lions are on the verge of the worst season in Detroit sports history. Remaining games: At Colts, Saints, At Packers. 0-16, people.

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The Tigers got catcher Gerald Laird from the Rangers for a couple of pitching prospects. I don't know dick about Gerald Laird. The end.

 Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP
+--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+
2003 23 TEX AL 19 44 9 12 2 1 1 4 0 0 5 11 .273 .360 .432 100 19 0 0 0 1 2
2004 24 TEX AL 49 147 20 33 6 0 1 16 0 1 12 35 .224 .287 .286 46 42 4 3 0 2 5
2005 25 TEX AL 13 40 7 9 2 0 1 4 0 0 2 7 .225 .262 .350 58 14 0 0 0 0 1
2006 26 TEX AL 78 243 46 72 20 1 7 22 3 1 12 54 .296 .332 .473 105 115 1 2 0 2 7
2007 27 TEX AL 120 407 48 91 18 3 9 47 6 2 30 103 .224 .278 .349 64 142 5 4 1 2 3
2008 28 TEX AL 95 344 54 95 24 0 6 41 2 4 23 63 .276 .329 .398 92 137 4 4 2 6 5
+--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+

December 4, 2008

Canucks @ Wings - Postgame

Red Wings 6-5 Canucks
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A familiar looking win for the Wings: give up way too many goals, still find a way to win. Here's how it went down on "Igor Larionov Night" at the Joe.


1st Period
  • 0:00 ... The Professor drops the puck for the ceremonial faceoff, and thus helped Nick Lidstrom improve his record in ceremonial puck-drops to something like 28-1.
  • 0:00 ... Igor = legendary.


  • 0:00 ... Cleary starts up front again alongside Pav and Hossa. Just don't ask Homer about it. Yeesh.
  • 1:35 ... Oh my god are we really doing this again? The Canucks score on their first shot, which makes this the third straight game that the Wings have allowed a goal on the opposition's first chance. It's also the fifth straight game they've allowed the first goal. It was a good shot, but once again I find myself typing that it's one that Ozzie should have stopped. 1-0 Canucks.
  • 5:04 ... No fear, Hudler ties is up, 1-1. What a nice play by the Griffins line. Fil dishes across to Kopecky, who makes a one-touch pass back to Jiri who finds an open net. Kopecky looks so much better offensively with Hudler and Filppula than he does (or did) with Datsyuk and Hossa.
  • 7:18 ... FSN shows some practice footage of Homer. I think he was literally skating better in that video than I've ever seen him skate in a game before. Granted it was five seconds of non-game action, but he looked perfectly fine.
  • 10:05 ... Jiri banks another. And what a lead pass from ... Andreas Lilja? It's to the point where we're going to have to devote an entire post to Lilja's play so far this season. He's improved that much. I nearly wish he was the same goofy fuck up as he's always been, just for kicks, but that's sort of mean-spirited. And that's not what we're about here at TTD. We're about ripping guys that are a million times better at sports than we'll ever be and never giving them the proper credit when they redeem themselves. (Jiri now has 11 goals and 11 assists through 25 games, putting him on pace for 72 points -- and he plays on the 3rd line.) 2-1 Wings.
  • 16:15 ... Mule takes a high stick from Willie Mitchell, but he barely flinched. Then they tangle up and both get called for roughing (?). Mick just said "no wonder he's ugly" about Franzen after seeing the high stick replay.

2nd Period
  • 1:32 ... Pav takes a tripping call, and half a second later Vancouver scores. Balls in my mouth. It's 2-2.
  • 4:13 ... Make that 3-2 Canucks. Ozzie gets burned by a bad bounce when a shot banks off the boards and right onto the stick of Mason Raymond. Ozzie helped out by not touching the initial shot at all while sliding 3 feet to the right of the crease. This shit is old.
  • 9:34 ... Wings tie it to make it 3-3. After the power play couldn't quite finish the job, Lidstrom takes a shot from the point that gets tipped in by Tomas Holms-- I mean Dan Cleary. Looks like we're in for a wild game.
  • 12:15 ... the dreaded Meech/Draper/Hossa line puts on a nice performance in the offensive zone, with Hoss double shifting for Maltby. It's like Hossa plays with a 5 foot buffer surrounding him at all times, it's incredible.
  • 13:55 ... FSN Announcer Exchange of the Night:
Ken -- (promoting the upcoming Great Lakes Invitational) "4 tickets, 4 pizza slices and 4 soft drinks all for $44 dollars; get your G.L.I. tickets now, operators are standing by ..."

Murph -- "When's the $1 dollar hotdog coming back to the Joe?"

Ken -- " ... and we'll have Michigan vs. Michigan State tomorrow night here on FS Detroit ..."



3rd Period
  • 0:00 ... Igor's up in the booth talking about the greatest goal of his career (See above) amongst other things. Good stuff. (No really see above, again. Go watch it like four times. Shit I love that goal.)
  • 3:23 ... Derek Meech gets his first career goal (finally), and it's a nice one at that; little shoulder dip deke and then wrapped it around to give the Wings the early 3rd period lead. 4-3 Wings.
  • 4:13 ... Before I can finish typing that sentence, Lids scores from in close on a firm wrister, making it 5-3 Wings. Igor Larionov is +2 tonight.
  • 6:08 ... The flood gates have opened completely, Cleary scores for the second time tonight, this time on the power play. 6-3 Wings. Canucks pull Sanford.
  • 8:20 ... Daniel Sedin takes a shot, Ozzie saves it awkwardly, rebound bounces right to Henrik Sedin and he scores. 6-4 Wings. Ozzie has saved 15 of 19 shots tonight. The Wings could stop 15 of 19 with six skaters, two posts and a crossbar.
  • 18:35 ... Alex Burrows scores with a minute to play. Stab my eyes. 6-5 Wings.
  • 18:46 ... Relief: Mattias Ohlund gets called for a terrible hooking penalty. Just awful. If this were the other way around I'd be screaming until my lungs caught fire.
  • 19:10 ... Canucks pull the goalie to make it 5-on-5. Hossa nearly pulls of a ridiculous move to make it 7-5, but Willie Mitchell gets back with a miraculous poke check ... but the Wings hang on anyway.

Final
  • Ozzie ties John Vanbiesbrouk for 12th place on the all time wins list. Not exactly his best game.
  • Whatever, it's late. I've blabbed enough. Real good efforts from Fil, Cleary and Lidstrom. Jiri continues to impress.


December 2, 2008

Ducks @ Wings - Postgame

Red Wings 2-1 Ducks
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1st Period
  • Stupid fucking goal. Brad Stuart goes to get the puck behind the net, has his head down, turns the puck over, 1-0 Ducks. Good start.
  • I've watched the eye surgery commercial with Datsyuk in it at least 40 times and I still can't understand what the fuck he's saying.
  • 8 minutes in ... finally some life from the Wings, per usual coming from the top line. Hossa gets crafty as a rat on acid, letting a Datsyuk pass ramp off his stick and over his defender's stick, leading to a breakaway that he missed the net completely, but it draws a penalty. Then Pav get robbed by a ridiculous, groin-tearing save from JSG. Holy hell how did they not score there.
  • 14:45 ... Drapes already has two of his patented slapshots that he takes from the circles that land directly in the goalie's logo. At this rate Giguere won't have a chest by the end of the game and the Wings will be able to win this thing handly.
  • 15:20 ... actual exchange from Ken Daniels and Larry Murphy:
Ken -- "...injured duck on the play..."

Murph -- "it's a 'lame duck.'"

Ken -- (at a complete loss for words or dignified thought) "Very good, Larry."

  • 18:50 ... Hudler hits the post. Dammit. Wings are outshooting the Ducks 325 to 4.
  • 20:00 ... Drapes gets whacked after the horn blows by Travis Moen. Hopefully Lilja will be dropping the gloves shortly after the 2nd period starts.

2nd Period
  • 2:00 ... Wings are quietly dominating this game, despite losing 1-0 and the crowd sounding like they're attending a wine and cheese party.
  • 2:55 ... Mule backchecks and breaks up a Ducks' 2-on-1. Nothing I love more than a great case of backckecking. I'm serious. For me, a five minute compilation video of awesome backchecks would be like porn to the common man.
  • Cleary tries not to fall on Giguere, then gets pushed on top of him by his own defensemen. I hate Anaheim.
  • 9:47 ... Draper switches things up with a wristshot into Giguere's chest. A few seconds later, JSG makes a nice glove save on Fil coming around the net.
  • 10:49 ... Mule goads Ryan Getzlaf into a retaliation penalty. No bother for Anaheim though as they kill it relatively easily.
  • 14:26 ... Wings score, 1-1. Lidstrom takes yet another slapper and Franzen tips it in to tie the game.
  • 16:40 ... Clearly was alone for 6 days in front of the net and couldn't put it past Giguere. Then Hank hits another post.
  • Even Mick is commenting on the crowd's lack of, how should I put this: giving a fuck.
  • End of the period: The Wings are outshooting the Ducks 38 to 9. Thirty fucking eight to 9. And it's 1-1.

3rd Period
  • 0:00 ... Jonas Hiller subs in for Guigerre, who has effectively reached his pitch count for the evening. I'd question how smart this move really is, considering your putting a cold goaltender in against a team that has amassed 38 shots through two periods and should be winning this game like 6-1 right now, but if I do that then I already know what will happen. Actually I'm pretty sure just thinking that this is a bad move has jinxed the Wings completely.
  • Nope -- Hossa scores, 2-1 Wings. Bad goal for Hiller. Bad move by Randy Carlisle. Giguere gave 6 solid innings, then Jason Grilli comes in and gives up a homerun on the first pitch.
  • Unofficial word from Giguere's status: Dehydration.
  • 10:11 ... Hossa gets called for a hook that nearly causes Mick to start a mass genocide.
  • 12:14 ... HA -- Pronger with a dim-witted cross check on Zetterberg to cancel out the PP. Way to go, fuckstick.
  • Wings are getting careless with some simple defensive zone outs. Franzen looked asleep while trying to half kick a puck across the blueline and failed. Babs can't be too thrilled.
  • 17:00 ... Ducks finally building some possession. Way to join the game guys.
  • 18:57 ... Ducks pull Hiller. I am permanently scarred so bad from Game 5 of the Finals that a 1 goal lead at the Joe in the final minute makes me sick. It's a December game and I'm watching this on tape delay at 2 in the morning, and I still want to die watching this. I know this game is of little consequence on the entire season and yet I want to swallow an entire bottle of Tylenol PM. This isn't the way people should live.
  • 20:00 ... no worries -- Wings win. Whew.

Final
  • I don't think we got Anaheim's best effort tonight. The Wings outshot them 47-16, and even outhit them by three.
  • Draper: 13 out of 16 faceoffs won, 7 shots.
  • The top line was in full force. Cleary filled in well, assisting on Hossa's game winner and staying in the middle of the action all night.
  • Not that there were that many chances but Ozzie finally looked decent, aside from 1 or 2 scares.

December 1, 2008

Ducks @ Wings - Pregame

Good to be back at TTD Headquarters. Hope all 4 of you had a good holiday.




Wings goal of the year so far. Disregarding the game itself (sucked), it's #1 on awesomeness alone. Mule is a god.

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A look from the enemy's side at one of the Interweb's finest, The Battle of California.


"Patterns: For both the Ducks and Red Wings, the current-year versions have been surrendering way more goals than they did last year -- each team is giving up around 2/3 an extra goal-per-game, with some of that comes from a declining penalty kill. Each team has found a way to generate wins despite a shakier defense, though, mainly through an improved team offense."

(BoC)
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Wings expected lineup:

Cleary-Datsyuk-Hossa
Franzen-Zetterberg-Samuelsson
Hudler-Filppula-Kopecky
Meech-Draper-Maltby

Lidstrom-Rafalski
Kronwall-Stuart
Lebda-Lilja

Osgood (starts)
Conklin

(Red Wings Corner)

Homer's still out. At least he won't have to worry about getting skull-fucked by a caveman.
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All commercials should be this good

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Cherry Picking ...

It's a somewhat different looking Duck squad so far with notably better offensive numbers and a drop off defensively. Their current pace has them giving up about half a goal more per game than last year, and they're allowing the 5th most shots per game in the league. But they have the 5th ranked 5-on-5 goals/goals against ratio (Wings are 12th), the 6th best power play (21.6%), and Ryan Getzlaf (5 assists against the Wings last game).
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Chris Pronger eats puppies. Recap late tonight.