April 2, 2009

Wings vs. Blues pregame -- Motivation

Blogger paid our way to Detroit for a Red Wings practice this week in order to get more of an inside look at the team. What follows is a group conversation that we overheard as the Wings gathered at center ice after their practice was over. We have documented the proceedings verbatim.

  • Mike Babcock: "All right, bring it in boys, take a knee."
  • "Okay. I know you've all been pretty bored with the regular season since, well, since opening night against Toronto. I've tried everything in my power to keep you guys motivated for more than two consecutive games -- I've screamed and yelled 'til I was blue in the face, I've ignored you, I even tried ventriloquism during a road trip. Nothing is working. Just last week against Edmonton, I had to break up a game of Connect 4 on our own bench. It's fucking embarrassing."
  • "So, because nothing is getting through to you guys, and I'm paranoid that you won't wake up in time for the playoffs, I've brought in a motivational speaker to talk to you. Please welcome three-time Stanley Cup Champion, current Red Wings Vice President the guy who's secretly screwing all of your mothers: Steve Yzerman.
  • Team: (applauds/taps sticks on ice)
  • Steve Yzerman: "Thanks guys, and Mike, thanks for inviting me to come out today. Tomas, do me a favor and give these back to your mom."
  • Tomas Kopecky: (catches mother's used panties, cries)
  • "I've been watching from afar all season. And while most of what I've seen has been promising, there's been some alarming trends that need to be addressed before the postseason. Losing 8-2 to Columbus, 8-0 to Nashville, and 2-0 to the Islanders at home is not the way to get the ball rolling. In fact, if I got shutout at home to a team like the Islanders, they'd find me hanging from my locker the next morning. I wouldn't be able to live with myself let alone rebound for the playoffs. So ... since you've turned a deaf ear to Coach, I want to hear what you guys have to say. Let's go around the team here -- Val, why don't you start."
  • Valtteri Filppula: (staring at reflection in mirror)
  • Yzerman: "Hey yo, Flip --"
  • Johan Franzen: (nudges Filppula)
  • Filppula: "Uhhh, umm yeah. I agree completely" (adjusts hair).
  • Yzerman: "You know, that's exactly what I'm talking about. Nobody seems to give a damn about playing hockey right now. You're talented enough to win this conference by at least 10 points, and instead you're queering up the place. Who's next? Brian?
  • Brian Rafalski: "Well uhhh, sir, I just think, maybe, after we poured all of our hearts and energy into winning the Cup last year, it's been kinda hard to sum up the necessary effort on a nightly basis, you know?"
  • Yzerman: "No, Brian, I don't know. I won a Stanley Cup and a Conn Smythe the year after winning my first championship. So please, clarify."
  • Rafalski: "Well what I meant was that, uhh, once you get, like, an opportunity, or whatever --"
  • Yzerman: "Okay, just stop. (Mumbles) stuttering fuck-tard .... who's next? Is Bob Rouse here?"
  • Babcock: "Uh no, Steve, he's been retired for some time,"
  • Yzerman: "Dammit. Homer, speak."
  • Tomas Holmstrom: "Ay thing dat veeweed da bas an wrreettkakd, uhhh, por adk da gamez haddc, becous dare iss no vay vee in aateradcmonent ... ven dare knn de, um, foroonity abligit, dare gumbbe a vig, vig vay."
  • Team: (confused)
  • Yzerman: "Nick, what'd he say?"
  • Nick Lidstrom: "He said he's hungry, Steve."
  • Yzerman: "Ugh, this is harder than I thought it would be. Is there anybody who's remotely concerned with how the team is playing? Now's the time to say something."
  • (crickets)
  • Yzerman: "What is wrong with you people? I sacrificed my offensive game to play two-way hockey for half of my career! I won a Stanley Cup playing on a line with Tomas Sandstrom! I played the 2002 season on one knee! And I would've won another Smythe if it wasn't for this robotic motherfucker over here" (points at Lidstrom)
  • Lidstrom: (nervous smile, waves at team)
  • Yzerman: "You want motivation? Look at this (pulls out picture from wallet)"

  • Brad Stuart: (vomits)
  • Jiri Hudler: (vomits from being too drunk)
  • Steve Yzerman: "Yeah that's what I thought."
  • Marian Hossa: (raises hand) "Mr. Yzerman? I have something to say, sir. I think that the way we've played in some of these losses has been humiliating. I know it's a long regular season, but that's no excuse to just not show up every other game. We make too much money to just go through the motions and try to win on talent alone. The fans don't appreciate paying large portions of their already dwindling paychecks to come to the Joe and watch us half-ass it. If we're going to do this thing, we've got to go all out, all the time. The rest of the league should fear our talent, but nobody is scared of a team that gets shutout at home to the Islanders. I don't know, that's just what I think."
  • Niklas Kronwall: (starts to slowly clap)
  • Team: (joins in, applause builds)
  • Yzerman: "Yeah, that's the spirit! We need more guys like you, Marian. Way to go, way to do us proud. Boys, if we can keep this attitude up, two months from now you'll be skating the Cup again."
  • Mikael Samuelsson: "ARE YOU RELATED TO PAUL YSEBAERT?"


George Sipple talks about the Mule's contract status. (Freep)

“We’re still talking,” Franzen said today. “And getting closer, too.”

Franzen, 29, said he’s willing to accept less money to remain with the Wings, rather than break the bank as an unrestricted free agent and end up playing on a losing team.“The hockey is way more important than that,” Franzen said after the morning skate.

“I couldn’t imagine playing on a team where we’re losing all the time. … Otherwise you’re going to have a tough career losing all the time. I don’t want to end up with that.”



The Blues lost 3-1 to the Blackhawks last night. They had seven shots total after two periods. So the Wings are at home, after a few days rest, against a team they're 5-0 against this year, against a team that played last night ... yeah you know where this is going.


I went to check my MSU email this morning. Tom Izzo sent me, personally, this message to pass along to the masses.

The media and others have been talking and writing about "a home-court
advantage" for the Spartans at Ford Field in the NCAA Final Four. We
are proud and excited about being in the Final Four in our home state
- there's no secret our presence was our goal and a commitment since we
first heard in July 2003 that the 2009 NCAA Championship would be held
in Detroit. But I want to tell you about a "home" advantage we've
already experienced. When we returned from Indianapolis, we were greeted
by many of you. You shared your pride, appreciation, enthusiasm, and
hopes. You showed us what homecoming at MSU is all about. We were
unified. We were united. We felt it again at the great send-off last
evening. I promise you we are taking that inspirational spirit onto the
court at Ford Field. You are in many ways the "we of team."

That's a classy dude right there. Go Green.


Eric Brewer is out for the Blues, Raf will sit again for the Wings. Get well soon, Lilja.

Lines from Khan (Hossa had the day off):

Hudler-Kopecky (with others rotating in)


Conklin (starting)

Chris Mason is starting for the Blues for like the 80th straight game.

Recap late tonight.


cmk said...

I HAVE learned my lesson--I finish my coffee BEFORE reading this blog! You had me laughing again--and I needed that. ;)

Cameron Kittle said...

haha Paul Ysebaert. amazing

Chris Moore said...

What a fucking reference.