March 31, 2009

Latest on Lilja

It isn't good: he's done for the remainder of the regular season. Every couple of days now we see the same reports ... I can't begin imagine having headaches non-stop for over a month. I fucking hate headaches. I'd probably start guzzling expired milk just to feel some other type of trauma. (Freep)


For Lilja, though, the wait is interminable. Last week, he opted to travel with the Wings to western Canada because he "missed being with the boys," he said. Until he is headache-free for at least 24 hours, he can't as much as ride a bike for conditioning.


I'm thinking that Lil is done as a top 6-er this season, which is a damn shame given his miraculously leap from being a blind caveman on skates to a reliable pillar of axe-wielding Swedish strength. Even if the headaches subside, he's not going to have any time to get back into playing shape with the emergence of Jonny E, or Brett Lebda, who has somehow turned around a minus-87 or whatever he was 3 weeks into the season, is now a plus player and doesn't look completely out of place anymore.

March 30, 2009

Yeah like I'm going to talk about the Wings game


Not gonna lie, I didn't see any hockey yesterday. We were at the beach.

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On Saturday I was in my car, listening to CBS TV on the radio. Greg Gumble and company intro'd a fluff piece on the Spartans tournament run and the depressing state of the Michigan economy. It was predictably what I expected it to be, with sappy string music and spliced-in clips of Detroiters saying how life blows balls right now, and yet it still struck a cord.

This whole year had been about MSU hoops getting to Detroit in April, and they were one game away. Tom Izzo simply wrote "Ford Field" on a chalkboard before the season started. It moved mountains, parted clouds, cured gonorrhea, and apparently inspired his troops enough to put together an incredible year. All that stood in the way was a scary, pressing Louisville team that was favored by 100% of America to win. And how did the Spartans respond? By throwing a perfect game. They could not have been better. If they played Louisville 30 more times, they couldn't duplicate what they did yesterday.

Everything from here on out is icing. Go Green.

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Don't lie: before yesterday, did you know that the best team (points-wise) of 2009 is the St. Louis Blues?

NHL Winning Pct. Since Jan 3:

St. Louis, .684

New Jersey, .671

Detroit, .667

The Blues are tied with Detroit for the most points (52) in the NHL since Jan. 3 but the Red Wings have played one more game than the Blues (STL Post Dispatch, via Malik).


That is simply bat shit. Couple that with Mirtle's piece and everybody is lining up to slurp the Blues. Keep in mind it's not a mini hot streak here -- it's spanning three months.

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It's going to suck framing my State News front page with Izzo cutting down the nets when this is next to it:


Or maybe I should take a look in the mirror since my first concern was my framed Final Four paper instead of the status of a local sex offender.

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Yes.

March 29, 2009

The Final Four

Regional Final

Michigan State 64-52 Louisville

**********

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Wings @ Predators pregame - Damn that Joey Mac

My elongated take to the Islanders loss? Nothing too outlandish, actually. Maybe the MSU win over Kansas softened the blow, but on the Wing-O-Sphere Reaction Spectrum, I think I fall somewhere between the calm, rational words of Matt at On The Wings and the worrisome, apocalyptic, "I'm about to bite the head off of a live puppy and spit the blood at a crowd of kindergartners" tone of the Chief at Able to Yzerman. (So like, if OTW and A2Y met in a bar, watched a Wings game, got impossibly hammered and made a blog lovechild, you'd have The Triple Deke. Makes perfect sense.)

While I have close to nothing to relate to when it comes to professional athletes, I can't help but imagine myself with a mindset of anything other than "there is no fucking way we are losing to the Islanders at home." The Islanders have almost half as many points as the Wings do. Half. If you just go by the points, the Wings are literally almost twice as good as them, and they play in the same league. And they got shutout by them, on their home ice.

But these games just don't mean that much. We're all sick of this dragging regular season. What have we been trying to rev ourselves up for the last two months? The fucking President's Trophy. If the Wings don't give enough of a shit to go out and grab home ice, then I'm not going to lose my head over it. Quite frankly the way they play at home sometimes scares the piss out of me.

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I don't want to talk about Nashville. I know, weird concept for a hockey blog -- "don't talk about hockey teams" -- but there's other stuff going on today. State plays at 2:20. Given certain outcomes of this game, bad or good, who knows if I'll even be in any shape to watch the Wings game afterward. It's hard to predict such things.

In my time at MSU, I've selfishly hoped that they would make a Final Four while I'm still a student here. I want to see the campus-wide joy that is sure to consume every one of the 55,000 people between Hagadorn and Harrison. My dad went to the MSU/Indiana St. final in 1979 (the Bird/Magic game) ... I'd like to at least be able to tell my kids that I tipped over a car or something after we beat Louisville en route to a Final Four in Detroit. Oh, and I'd tell them that I once wrote about two blogs procreating to make another blog. Why are you still reading this.


March 28, 2009

3/27/09

Red Wings 0-2 Islanders
**********
Whatever.

March 27, 2009

Wings vs. Islanders pregame - Not a hockey kind of day

Sharks 2-3 Predators
**********

Thanks to our friends in Nashville, the Sharks failed to take advantage of their game-in-hand last night and now we're even with them. 107 points, 74 games played.

As the Sharks sit idly tonight, the Wings have a golden chance to take the top spot in the NHL against the worst team in the league, at home, with a couple days rest under their belts. And if that doesn't scream "let down game" I don't know what does.

News is slow today so I'll update this post if anything actually happens.

Oh wait, this just in ...






Big ol' basketball game tonight.


Go Green.

March 25, 2009

Wings @ Oilers - Keep them all, Ken

Red Wings 3-2 Oilers
**********


  • Hossa: "WOOHOO, alright, great pass man."
  • Franzen: "Wicked shot dude, way to be there."
  • Hossa: "Yeah, that worked out pretty well, huh?"
  • Franzen: "I'll say -- did you see me brush off Hemsky like a gnat? It was like he was an unattractive groupie and I was Emperor Magus Caligula."
  • Hossa: "What?"
  • Franzen: "He's a metal singer from Swed -- you know what, never mind -- nice goal."
  • Hossa: "No, no, really. Who is that?"
  • Franzen: "Look just Google him after the game, okay? I didn't mean to bring him up."
  • Hossa: "Was he in ABBA?"
  • Franzen: "Hilarious."
  • Hossa: (laughs) "Okay, but for real though, I didn't know you were into metal."
  • Franzen: "There's a lot you don't know about me. I started a foundation called Mule Kick Breast Cancer, I love to cook, and after games I stay at my locker to read Clive Cussler books and do Sudoku."
  • Hossa: "That's cool but back to the metal dude -- I just looked him up with my blackberry and it says on his Wiki that he practices Satanism? For real? Oh -- and he was "impressed" with the killing of a Catholic priest? The fuck's wrong with you bro?"
  • Franzen: "Look asshole I dig his sound, just because I listen to something doesn't mean I agree with the root beliefs of the guy singing it. Of course I don't believe in that shit -- he said the Nazi concentration camps "weren't that bad" ... if I thought stuff like that do you think I'd be friends with Brett Lebda?"
  • Hossa: "Wait -- Brett's Jewish? Didn't he go to Notre Dame?"
  • Franzen: "The fucker looks Jewish, it's close enough for me. Look, this post-goal huddle has lasted long enough, let's head back to the ben--"
  • Mikael Samuelsson: "HAS ANYBODY ELSE SEEN MAMA MIA??"
  • Hossa: (face palms)
  • Samuelsson: "I FOUND THE OVERALL STORY TO BE SOMEWHAT CONTRIVED BUT THE CHOREOGRAPHY AND CHEMISTRY BETWEEN STREEP AND BROSNAN WAS ABSOLUTELY BREATHTAKING."
  • (Ken Holland emerges from Red Wing locker room wearing an overcoat and one of these.)
  • Holland: "Pssssstt. Mule, Hoss, come over here."
  • Hossa: "Hey Mr. H what's up? Are you allowed down here?"
  • Holland: "Never mind that. Look, just sign this."
  • Franzen: "But shouldn't our agents be here?"
  • Hossa: "Yeah, this seems a bit odd; why do we have to do this now? The game's still going on. And where did you get those glasses?"
  • Holland: "Holmstrom's locker. Now shut up and sign on the dotted line, you two. Hoss, you're going to sign for 8 years at 6.5 per, and Franz you're going to sign for 34 years at about 500K ... trust me, it's worth it in the long stretch but we have to lower the cap hit."
  • Franzen: "O.....kaaayy ...." (confused, signs anyway. Hossa follows suit.)
  • Holland: "Splendid, well done on that goal by the way, boys. Lookin' good out there. Oh one more thing, I had to trim some salary to fit you guys under the cap for next year so I put something in Sammy's water bottle. He'll be gone before you know it and we might even get some compensational draft picks to boot."
  • Franzen: "You're sick, Ken."
  • Holland: (Takes off overcoat, activates jet pack, flies through a Ken Holland-shaped hole in the roof of Rexall Place.)
  • Samuelsson: "HEY WHO PISSED IN MY WATER"
::::::::::

Other insightful game notes:

  • Jonathan Ericsson. Nothing else need to be said because his name alone tells you everything that he did. He's that good. If you still don't know how good he is, then you're a Predators fan.
  • It was nice to see Fil score at the end, especially since it turned out to be the game winner. A blind orangutan could've scored on that easy rebound, but good for Fil nonetheless.
  • I loved the Babcock interview after the game. John Keeting asked about the Maltby/Pav/Homer line, to which Babs sheepishly grinned as if to say "Yeah that was pretty fucked up, right?"
  • The Mule to Hossa goal was immaculate. Franzen turned Ales Hemsky into a waste of human existence when he blew by him. He looked annoyed with Hemsky's presence. And who says he needs work on his passing game? That was nearly a no-looker.
  • I said before the game that Homer was a scratch, but that was before I heard that Homer gets to do whatever he wants. He wanted to play, so apparently he played. And I barely noticed him.
  • The face you make when you're team is up 1-0 the entire game but you know they're going to blow it at the end:

March 24, 2009

Alberta

Red Wings 3-5 Flames
**********


I hate this place.


I just don't feel like talking about that game in detail. If you're upset, you can contact Blogger for a full refund at 1-888-CALL A FUCKING PENALTY

Sorry, I honestly don't want to cry about this. But you know what grinds my gears? Inconsistency. The Wings' first goal should not have counted, you have to admit. But then there were a number of Calgary no-calls that were called on Detroit throughout. The roughing call on Sammy caused me to momentarily retire from watching hockey. And one penalty called on the Flames in 60 minutes?? Was Mike Keenan hiding all of the whistles up his ass?

Of course it wasn't entirely the officiating, though: In case you missed it, this was a splendid headline from Puck Daddy yesterday. Brilliant. Ozzie then went on to save 11 of 14 shots a few hours later. (PD)

Let's be done with this.

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Wings @ Oilers

The Lilja situation continues to be worrisome. Every day that goes by where we're reading stuff like this ...


His head is pounding constantly, he is bored out of his mind and his conditioning level is slipping ... This is not how Detroit Red Wings defenseman Andreas Lilja was hoping to prepare for the playoffs, but he has no choice. Lilja is not allowed to work out, on or off the ice, until the headaches he has been experiencing for 3 1/2 weeks subside. (Khan)


... makes me feel 2% shittier that I once hated this man like he was Satan incarnate. From Game 5 of the 2007 west finals through the end of last season, I had been plotting a convoluted scheme to kidnap Lilja, place him on an unmanned space shuttle with no food, water or vocal cords (which I planned to have surgically removed so that he had no chance of calling for he....but wait -- of course, Morris code! I didn't think of that ... I'll have to take a hammer to his fingers as well, and probably his toes too just in case he's one of those weird people who can pick shit up with his feet ... whoa whoa wait, we like him now, I keep forgetting .... man this is hard to get used to) and send him to his doom, ridding us all of his tomfoolery and bone-headed defensive zone gaffes.

But you can't knock him for what he's done this year, even a schmuck like me has to acknowledge that. It used to be his only redeeming quality was that he was a big dumb oaf on the PK who could block shots and move bodies. Well this year he's +13 better at even strength than he was a year ago. The give-aways have been few and far in between. When he goes one on one into a corner, you don't feel that same "why doesn't he just save us all some time and let the other team have it" feel. I'm not saying he's Bobby Orr or anything, but I just think his transition from Vile Human Being Who Attempts To Sabotage All That is Righteous and Holy to solid, reliable stay-at-home defender has been at the very least encouraging, and at best a fucking modern day miracle.

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Let's rummage through the Paul Coffey Division: Wings/Oilers preview (Lowetide).


Detroit's goaltending was poor last night in Calgary but they made it close late. They have supreme talent up front and a very nice blue, and tonight's game is very likely an L for the Oilers. If they do win, it would be a major blow to the team's chasing Edmonton for the final playoff spot.

And it might just be a preview of RD1 of the NHL's playoffs, spring 2009.


Something about playoff hockey in Canada scares the shit out of me. I'm not afraid to admit it. Memories of Calgary '04, Edmonton '06, or even the tough times we had in Vancouver '02 or Calgary '07 will do that to you.

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(Edmonton Sun)

Edmonton's 16-12-5 record is the 25th best in the league. The Red Wings, meanwhile, have the best road record in the league with 22 wins away from the Joe Louis Arena heading into last night's contest against the Calgary Flames ... Despite generating a number of chances, Ales Hemsky has not scored in the Oilers last seven games. Regardless, he's still tied with Sheldon Souray for the team lead in goals with 21 on the season.

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Everything you need to know about Dwayne Roloson.



H/T Bingo Bango.

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Conk will start, Homer is still out. Go Wings.

Recap late tonight (for real this time).

March 23, 2009

Wings @ Flames pregame - "3rd period shots: CGY 17 - DET 2"

Simply put, the Flames/Wings game on March 12th was preposterous.


Red Wings 5-6 Flames (SO)
**********



If those shot totals are too small for you to read, it says "What the fuck" across the board.

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We'd be more impressed with Olli if he could do the Flames logo.

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Assumed lines and pairs (from a number of sources ... We're always late with these pregame posts)

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

Lidstrom-Rafalski
Kronwall-Stuart
Lebda-Ericsson


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It's a shame -- and borderline travesty -- that Bruce MacLeod can no longer give day-to-day Red Wings updates anymore. This was him back in January:


Because of significant layoffs in December at my newspaper, my job duties have changed slightly. I still have the Red Wings beat, but that beat doesn't include travel (hopefully just for the regular season) and hasn't included much practice coverage. The need for staffing in the office is undeniable. I'm not as involved with the Red Wings, but there are a few upsides for me personally. I've renewed my friendship with the snack machine in the office. That's helping the local economy immensely. And I've become much better at Guitar Hero. At this pace, I'll be able to move past the easy level in two or three years.


We Red Wing fans need to start a fund, a petition, a fucking movement ... something that will get Bruce away from whatever else he is doing and back to fulfilling our lives at the expense of his own. It sounds cruel and selfish, but dammit, MacLeod was put on this Earth to reign over the Wing-o-sphere with his limitless knowledge, sex appeal (I imagine that at least one lady reader has thrown her bra at her laptop with Red Wings Corner up on the screen) and astute blog-y-ness. Bruce, if you've substantially lowered your standards of reading material and happen upon our site, we're going through hardcore withdrawals man.

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Noticed this after the Thrashers game: Is it just us or has Slava Kozlov aged like terribly since his days in Detroit?


Hmmmm, this seems like a fun game. Let's do some more.


Sergei from the set of "Dawson's Creek"

...

Drapes

...

Dom


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Brent's computer has been on the disabled list, but he's got one now with Photoshop, and Ski Free. He should be back up to his usual tricks soon. Tyler can color you a dinosaur if you'd like.

To answer a few of your questions:

1) Yes, that is really him.
2) No, he was not sober.
3) No, he doesn't have a Bryan Berard eye.


And as long as Brent's breaking kayfabe here, this is the other guy

Our readership is sure to skyrocket in the "females 9-12 years old" demographic after this post.

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March 22, 2009

Don't ask


Just one of those nights. This stretch of the season seems really slow.

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Absolutely unreal. Brad Richards returned to action tonight for the Stars after missing time with an injured wrist. Then, he breaks the other one. I'd like to know the odds of that. Patty at Penalty Killing isn't too happy.

"Today’s game was the triumphant return of Brad Richards, a week earlier than the low-end of the prognosis. Then halfway through the game, he BREAKS HIS OTHER HAND. He broke! His other! Hand! What in the world is going on here? This poor team cannot catch a break."


A quick look some of Patty's recent posts tell you what it's been like to be a Stars fan this year:

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Puck Daddy questions how it can be possible to not entirely hate Sidney Crosby. (PD)

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Central Division: The BJ's were the only team to play tonight, winning against the Panthers 3-1. West Standings:


The 2008-09 Avalanche is our favorite team of all time.

Hockey Town Todd said something interesting in an A2Y thread yesterday.



"I went over the Centraal Conference schedules last night with Erik. There is no way that all the teams will qualify for post season,. Too many interconference games left. One or maybe even two of them will be knocked out by the Central games remaining. And Chicsgo appears to have the toughest remaining. Quite possible they may be one of the victims. St Louis seems to have one of the easier remlaining schedules."


His avatar is illegal in 14 states.

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Kyle at WTF Holland is a recap tyrannosaurus. It's an encyclopedia of Griffins content. (WTFH)


"Jakub Kindl - It's pretty much becoming the same old story with Kindl. He's just so good with the puck, better than a lot of AHL forwards are, but he's just so inconsistent on defense. He didn't have any glaring mistakes, or even really any little mistakes, but he's just not a dominant AHL defenseman and he's -13 for a reason. However, his confidence is definitely sky high compared to last year, and it seems like he's the kind of player whose defensive brainfarts might be helped out by Detroit's system. He's still definitely got the potential to be a 22-25 minute guy who sees a lot of powerplay time, and while he might never be a top pairing defenseman, he will surely make up for the eventual loss of Nick Lidstrom on the top powerplay unit.. But someone else will need to fill his shoes on the defensive end of things. He had to have played almost half the game though, which is a sign of confidence in that everyone else is just so bad that it would be offensive for Kindl not to play that much."


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Our brackets look like shit.

March 21, 2009

Wings @ Thrashers - Kovalfucked

Red Wings 6-3 Atlanta
**********

We suck.

Calm down, not the Wings. We, Tyler and Brent. Can't set up a VCR to save our goddamn lives. Didn't get to watch the game. Fucking annoyed. Choppy sentences.

And we would've liked to watch it. Judging by the highlights it looked like an alright game, saw some nifty goals. Ozzie looked sharp on a couple of occasions. Jiri scored, Hank had 4 assists, Ozzie looked sharp (worth saying twice), the tall kid played ... whatever. Leave a comment if anything non-highlight-y happened that's worth noting. We like staying in the loop.

And to send money so we can buy TiVo, send checks to-- (okay that's fucking pathetic don't send us anything.)

Go Wings.


March 20, 2009

Wings @ Thrashers pregame - Meh

(Update 2:37 -- Flip will play.)


Update from the morning skate in Atlanta: Valtteri Filppula will return to the lineup tonight, after missing two games with back spasms. He'll center a line with Jiri Hudler and Tomas Kopecky. Johan Franzen was sick and didn't practice, but coach Mike Babcock said he will play tonight. The other lines are Franzen-Datsyuk-Samuelsson, Cleary-Zetterberg-Hossa and Meech-Draper-Maltby.


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Expect Ilya Kovalchuk to suit up for this one. Then watch this shit in amazement.



Crazy.

::::::::::

In the only meeting between Detroit and Oh My God There's Hockey In Atlanta the Wings won 5-3. In his first game against his former club, Hossa scored a goal that made me pee on things.



::::::::::

Malik says Flip's status is still up in the air, and Homer is going to remain out. (Snapshots)


The Red Wings remain unsure as to whether Valtteri Filppula's still-stiff back can heal in time for him to play tonight, and expect Tomas Holmstrom to sit out at least another game or two as he recovers from a knee injury--so the Wings may have to suit up eight defenders while employing Derek Meech as a forward once again.


::::::::::

Good piece on the success of the Griffins this year. (Red Wings Central)


Forward Justin Abdelkader (Grand Rapids, AHL) is in contention to win the AHL rookie scoring race. With 12 games to go, he is third with 48 points in 64 games, five points behind Tim Kennedy (Portland) and four behind Brad Marchand (Providence). His 22 goals are second to Nate Gerbe's 24.

...

"I'm kind of jealous that I'm not on this team," Corazzini, the Griffins' leading scorer last season, told the Grand Rapids Press. "It's definitely the fastest, most skilled team I've played against this year, even more so than (first-place) Manitoba. I think it's a team I would have liked to play for."


::::::::::

Oh, so Franzen is one of THESE douche bags (Freep) ...


POKER FACES: Johan Franzen was the last Wing eliminated at Wednesday's charity poker tournament, which raised around $35,000 for the Detroit Red Wings Foundation, spokesman John Hahn said.

"I think he just wanted out of the games so he just went all-in all the time and he was lucky," Henrik Zetterberg said, smiling.


If the Mule pulled that in a poker game at my apartment I'd flip the table over in rage, I can't stand that shit. Then I'd probably ask him what he's doing at my apartment.

::::::::::

Last summer, during a sleepless night of boredom , your humble Triple Deke authors ranked all the jerseys in the NHL. (The only way that sentence could be more pathetic would be if we did a report on a Steven Segal Marathon on TBS). Anyway, when we got to Atlanta at #17, both of us voiced our confusion about Atlanta's nickname.


Tyler: I don't really know what the fuck a "thrasher" is.

Brent: I still don't know what the hell a Thrasher is besides someone who does tricks on a skateboard but apparently it's a tornado shaped bird holding a hockey stick.


This led to one of my favorite quotes of all time, from a Thrashers message board:


"Maybe I'm just southern but how do you not know what a thrasher is?"


::::::::::

Recap very late tonight.

March 19, 2009

Will this goal ever get old?

Despite feeling like I have a compulsive urge to read anything that is consuming bandwidth out there, I somehow missed this yesterday over at Snapshots. Because it was the single greatest achievement in the record history of bipedal movement, I am morally obligated to acknowledge any discussion or comment upon it.


"Yzerman recalls OT goal vs. St. Louis


"It was a rolling puck I picked up in the neutral zone," Yzerman told ESPN.com on Tuesday. "I think that was the second overtime and I remember thinking in the first overtime, 'I'm just going to start shooting the puck from wherever. I'm tired and they're not calling penalties ..."

"The defensemen were just wrapping us up. I wasn't getting a whole lot done, so I decided to start shooting all the time. So I picked the puck up in the neutral zone, I think Murray Baron was the defenseman, and I thought, 'Just shoot it and try to get it past his feet and not hit him.' Sure enough, I found a clear path and it found the top corner. It was kind of a lucky shot because I was just trying not to get it blocked. That was my only playoff overtime goal."


I love that. He "thinks" it was the second overtime. This game practically jolted me into puberty it was so monumental and this guy isn't even sure what fucking period it was. That's pretty "in the zone".

::::::::::

Here's a take from a non-Wings fan about how Detroit's 2008-09 season has been. (The Puck Stops Here)

"When I look at some of the Abel to Yzerman posts on this board sometimes we see some incredible worry and fear about the progress of the Red Wings. What is interesting is the disconnect between those feelings and reality ..."

"The team that plays the best down the stretch has to be considered a very good contender. This season, that team has been the Detroit Red Wings. They have done well in the standings in the past month and a half. They have moved into first overall in the league. If I was a diehard fan of that team I would be optimistic."


I think that the "reality" of things is that there have been some alarming, prolonged trends during this season that weren't present with last year's team. I know the Chief can respond for himself, but as for the rest of us that have gone fetal after watching a number of shoddy defensive efforts this year, there's legit weariness among us.

I like TPSH because of the interesting takes on statistical analysis (this comes as somewhat of a carryover from my love of baseball statistics ... I once had a drunken 3-way with a calculator and Baseball-Reference.com. Do you know how difficult it is to have sex with a web site? That's what love is.) But outsiders just don't have the same perspective as those of us who have watched all (or at least most) of the Wings games this year. We've talked about gaping lanes and gaps that weren't there last year -- or even any year for that matter. We've stressed about goaltending like in no other year before this. Relatively, yes, we're in good shape compared to some other teams in the league and I could see how any complaining we do would be annoying to, say, Islander fans. However, our complain-to-praise ratio is always going to be a bit skewed because every year Detroit ices a team that can potentially challenge for the Stanley Cup *

And even if you did want to pull stats into it, The Wings are five spots from the bottom in penalty killing and are cooking at a luke warm 78%. In the modern expansion era no Cup winning team has finished worse than 19th in penalty killing, and -- I hate say this -- one of those 19tth ranked-squads had Patrick Roy.

* To anybody revving up a "you're spoiled" comment: This doesn't mean we're spoiled. I'll defend this to the death. If the Wings fall out the elite in a few years and you jump off the bandwagon? Then yes, you're spoiled and you need to have somebody kick you in the balls. But I, and a whole slew of others would remain fans regardless if we were first or dead last. It's too much of a habit, healthy or not, to stay away from this team. Expecting a Cup-winning calibur team to actually go out and win the Cup and "being spoiled" are to entirely separate things.

March 18, 2009

Not a Scott Hartnell post

If you like baseball and humor, this is an imperative read: The Dugout has a hilarious mock chat between Gary Sheffield, Magglio Ordonez and Jim Leyland. And Ron Paul.

::::::::::

In lieu of Marty Brodeur's accomplishment, I found this to be interesting: The last three Stanley Cup-winning goalies for the Wings are currently ranked 10 (Hasek), 11 (Osgood) and 12 (Vernon) on the all-time wins list.



Helene St. James says that our favorite Neanderthal is still experiencing headaches. That's not good. That fight he got injured in was a long ass time ago.

::::::::::

More in the ongoing saga of former Red Wing Aaron Ward's Wikipedia page (Hub Hockey).

::::::::::

I just thought this looked weird.


Hartnell's still a douche. Anybody catch him trying to injure Kronwall? I hope his dog dies.

House Cleaning

As we're in the unimaginably slow process of moving our site, there were still a few improvements I wanted to make here. One of which is the blog roll, which -- now that we're all hockey and stuff -- needed to be updated. I did that tonight.

I figured that everybody else splits their links up by geographical divisions or conferences, or make it just one long list. So to make it interesting, we now have the various hockey blogs divided up by teams that random former Red Wings have played for. This way you can easily access the blogs of other fans and teams while giving yourself a history lesson in the process. Every team is represented. We'd like to give a special thanks to Mike Sillinger, who made this endeavor easier by playing for nearly every single NHL team.

March 17, 2009

Wings vs. Flyers - V is for Victory

(Update 3/18 11:53 AM -- can't believe I forgot our trademark soccer-style scoreboard at the top. Here:

Red Wings 3-2 Flyers

Also, I mentioned in the final analysis that the second goal Ozzie gave up was "somewhat soft", but I meant the first one. And even then, it was kind of a breakaway. Perhaps I shouldn't wait 12 hours to proofread shit I post on the internet.

Alright, the Earth can continue rotating now.)


1st Period

  • 20:00 ... We are watching this game with anticipation -- or paranoia -- of Versus switching to the Devils game at some point tonight as Marty Brodeur closes in on Patricia's record. And it's St. Patrick's Day .... weird. At this very moment, New Jersey has a 2-0 1st period lead on the Hawks, so the switch is a distinct possibility.
  • 15:53 ... The Kop/Pav/Mule line excels in the Flyers end and draws a PP. How this line does tonight will be interesting. Scott Hartnell has a Jheri curl.
  • 13:32 ... Another whistle in the Flyers zone leads to a skirmish, and a penalty. It appeared at first that the Wings were going shorthanded, but then Sammy came out of the box and then a Flyer went to the box ... I don't remember ever seeing that. Then Philly takes another penalty to make it a 5-on-3. Hartnell's insightful pregame strategy is not working for some reason.
  • 11:25 ... Wings pile on the shots (9 to 1 right now) but don't convert. Hossa takes the NHL's Obligatory Make-up Call ™ to put the Wings on their first PK. The only Red Wing with more penalty minutes than Hossa (57 PIM) this year is Lilja (66 PIM).
  • 3:26 ... And of course, it's Scott Hartnell who opens the scoring. Awesome. He beats Hoss into space behind everyone, catches a nice pass from Braydon Coburn and makes your score Red Wings 0-1 Flyers.
  • 2:22 ... Versus shows us a clip of the last time the Flyers beat the Wings in Detroit in 1988. The footage looked more like it was 1928 ... the ice looked like milk at the end of a cereal bowl that had been left out for three days.
::::::::::
INTERMISSION

The Wings outshoot Philly 19-8, Philly racks up 10 minutes of penalties, and it's a 1-0 Detroit deficit. An interview with Patrick Roy is on ... I'd rather tie a cinder block to my balls and heave it off the balcony than watch this.
::::::::::

2nd Period
  • 17:34 ... Sammy had literally two whole seconds by himself to shoot the puck -- and he aims for Martin Biron's stomach. Unreal. I know that he has to be at least 8,000 times better at hockey than I am ... I know that even the worst player in the league would still make my ability look like that of an aborted fetus by comparison ... but I still can't help but think that even I could follow through with my shot and at least hit something else aside from the midsection of the goalie.
  • 15:32 ... The Wings D gets caught pinching once again. Kron leaves Stu all alone, and Joffrey Lupol rips a nice shot over Ozzie's glove on a 2-on-1. That's the opposite of what Sam just did. GrrrraaaaAAAAAaaaahhh that's annoying. Red Wings 0-2 Flyers. (Also, great job by Versus, zooming in on Jeff Carter on that odd man rush so we couldn't see the play develop. Great job.)
  • 11:40 ... Mike Richards was so alone on a scoring chance that he probably would've felt comfortable if chose to stop and masturbate. Luckily it was a rolling puck and the deficit is still only two goals.
  • 4:58 ... Nothing doing. At this point I'm hoping they just do the Brodeur switch now so there's something halfway positive to watch.
  • 2:33 ... Finally the Wings get on the board as Pav makes a little hitch move and the blue line, nearly makes a Flyer fall down in the process, and finishes it off with a nifty wrister. He's at the height of his powers. Red Wings 1-2 Flyers.
::::::::::
INTERMISSION

Rafalski gets questioned about the Brodeur thing, while in the middle of a Wings/Flyers game. Raf says something other than "I don't give a fuck about that at the moment," which makes him a classy dude.

Versus cuts to a live look of the New Jersey game. Devils 3-2 Blackhawks with 1:30 to play...

... and Brodeur finishes the deed. Roy's record is no more. Hey Marty, way to go and shit.
::::::::::

3rd Period
  • 16:24 ... We now resume with the Wings/Flyers game without any major overlap.
  • 11:13 ... Ozzie bails out the Wing skaters again with a poke check on a Danny Briere break in.
  • 10:13 ... The Mule is fucking bank. And Pav is floating in another orbit right now, just incomparable in terms of how in-the-zone he is. Tie game, Red Wings 2-2 Flyers.
  • 8:41 ... Hank the Tank. Lays a hit and then busts up into the play, and scores his 29th of the year. And Jonny E gets the assist. Hit the Shanny music, bitches, Wings have the lead: Red Wings 3-2 Flyers.
  • 1:05 ... Flyers pull Biron. Kimo Timonen makes a ridiculous save on Hossa that would've iced it.
  • 0:00 ... After an icing and defensive zone faceoff, the Wings hold the Flyers at bay and win in come-from-behind fashion.

Final
  • The win wasn't without flaws. The Wings pinned them in deep a few times and then couldn't get back on the Philly breakout, leading to scoring chances.
  • The common thinking tends to be, "we dominate, then the (fill in team here) catches a break and takes advantage of a Detroit mistake." I'm starting to think that it's a form of false domination. If you're the opposition, you know the Wings are going to take some chances. So why not sit back, play smart, and wait for them to get too aggressive? That sort of gameplan directly led to Flyers goals in this game ...
  • ... but then you think about how the other team can't sustain that type of pressure for an entire game. When they can't handle it, they crack, and you see third periods like this one. It's a double edged sword I guess.
  • Philly stood tall in the slot and kept the Wings from second and third chances early on. But Datsyuk almost single-handedly pulled the Wings back into the game. He created the first two goals practically by himself.
  • Pav and Franzen look good together. Well, Pav and just about anybody look good together, but that's exactly why it would be most beneficial for the Mule's career if he stays in Detroit, at whatever cost.
  • Random remaining thoughts: Hank was a monster in all three zones ... Ozzie didn't have to be that good, and the 2nd Flyer goal may have been somewhat soft, but he was still serviceable ... Jiri seemed completely invisible ... In his top line showcase, Kopy was the only minus player for Detroit ... Ericsson is tall ... Hossa didn't have one of his better games ... and finally (keep in mind my hockey-watching career is from like 1993-ish to now) I'm starting to entertain the thought of where Datsyuk's season will rank on the best seasons from a Wing I've ever seen.

Flyers @ Wings pregame - Piling on

Maybe my favorite Red Wings fight that didn't involve French Avalanche players.



In case you were one of the like three hockey fans that didn't see this ...



... and one more to kick start the day. I could watch that every day for the rest of my life and it wouldn't get old.

**********

I'm anxious to see this game. I've been going through withdrawals having not seen a full game (or one on a television) for about two weeks. I have yet to see the growing legend that is Jonathan Ericsson. I start too many sentences with the word "I".

This is the first Wings/Flyers game since The Triple Deke was conceived, birthed, nurtured and raised into a full grown man with budding chest hair. These two last played on February 13th, 2007 when Philly won 6-1.

Last time the Flyers won in Hockeytown, I was macking on chicks in a sandbox.

The Flyers haven't won in Detroit since Nov. 4, 1988, going 0-13-0 with two ties in their last 15 trips to Joe Louis Arena - the NHL's longest active road winless streak by one team against an opponent. (Flyers.com)


Draper plays his 1,000th game in a Wing uniform tonight.

"Anytime you can join a group like that or there's a sentence and Draper slides in with them, it's a huge honor," said Draper, 37. "I know I've been fortunate. I've been able to stay relatively healthy throughout my career and just been given a tremendous opportunity to remain a Red Wing as long as I have." (DetNews)


Homer is suspended for tonight's game for breathing on Steve Mason in Columbus. Oh wait, that's wrong. He's missing the game because of a strained knee.

Holmstrom suffered the injury late Sunday at Columbus when he got caught in a rut in the ice ... "I just twisted it bad," Holmstrom said. "I'm day-to-day." (Freep)


Flip is also out with back problems or a knee thing or bad hair highlights, or something. Jonathan Ericsson will play defence, center and right wing simultaneously to make up for the absences.

(Update 3:12 PM - For a non-imaginary set of line combos, Matt at On The Wings has an interesting projection)

"Kopecky-Datsyuk-Franzen
Hossa-Zetterberg-Cleary
Hudler-Draper-Samuelsson
Meech-Maltby rotating in

Lidstrom-Rafalski
Stuart-Kronwall
Lebda-Ericsson
Chelios rotating in"

:::::

Happy St. Patty's. Recap late tonight.

Check out WTF Holland

While clicking around the Internet on what was a very slow Monday, I came across WTF Holland, a Wings blog that I hadn't seen before. Give it a look if you haven't already. WTFH author Kyle recently wrote up a monster recap of a Griffins game that had more content than a Tony Danza biography and the Kuran put together. This observation of Manny Legace stood out:


"It was clear from warmups he wasn't going to start today, but it was still grimly humorous to watch him. Don't get me wrong, I've always liked Manny, probably the only Red Wing goalie in recent history I can't say I've "hated" for any period of time, and I wish dearly that someone would pick him up because he isn't done. But in the warmup, he looked really depressed. When Peoria's other goalie, Chris Holt, was warming up, Legace was slouched against the boards. When he was taking pucks in warmups, he just waved at everything and stopped nothing. I know how it works, most goalies don't really try in warmups because they'll tire themselves out, but there was something about it that was so funny. He'd drop to his knees eventually and then just wave at everything"


That paragraph somehow managed to be both hysterically funny and morbidly depressing.



March 16, 2009

Philly's Scott Hartnell solved a rubix cube once

Hartnell, on NHL Live:

"Be physical with Datsyuk and Zetterberg, take away their space and we should come out with a win."


This revelation is nothing new from the mouth of Hartnell (which reports say is loaded with Syphilis). Here are some other nuggets of knowledge that mankind had not conceived until he spoke today:
  • "All we have to do is score more goals than Detroit and we'll have a chance."
  • "Substitute players when we're tired and we can stay rested."
  • "If we drink water while we're on the bench, we won't become thirsty."
  • "When skating forward with enough momentum, you can come in contact with an opposing player and knock him down."
  • "The entire time that I'm not sleeping, I'm awake."
  • "Brushing your teeth prevents tooth decay and gingivitis."
  • "Don't yell 'there's a bomb on the plane' and your flight will go much more smoothly."
  • "Drugs are bad."
  • "Rubbing your dick in broken glass is unwise."
  • "Don't try to eat a live grizzly bear."
  • "Having sex with your own mother is both socially unacceptable and awkward."
  • "Having sex with your grandmother is equally if not vastly more unacceptable and awkward."
  • "Poop is not an adequate form of nutrition."
  • "Aside from Datsyuk and Zetterberg, the Red Wings aren't that good if you take away Hossa, Lidstrom, Hudler, Franzen, Rafalski, Kronwall and Holmstrom. And their coaching sucks except for Mike Babcock."

(Note: Scott Hartnell did not say any of those things. Or did he.)

I remember these guys

Red Wings 4-0 Blue Jackets
**********

It's remarkable how scary the Blue Jackets have become, seemingly overnight. Naturally, because they play in the Central, we go into each game just hoping the Wings can find the interest to skate with one of their division rivals. They've been plagued with some sort of "don't give a shit" disease (which roughly translated means "Soft Euro" in Cherryspeak) against these clubs over the last two regular seasons. Last night's game against Columbus, thankfully, didn't have us all throwing our remotes.

It appeared that everything we had been asking for magically appeared. While the Wings have been trying to warn us with obvious signs of an imminent playoff disappointment, they responded to an 8-2 drubbing last weekend at the hands of the BJ's with a dominating win last night. Didn't see the whole game, but I woke up this morning with these pleasant thoughts:

  • With each goal Hossa scores, a tiny part of me dies on the inside picturing him on another team next year. His goal made me stand up and applaud -- alone, mind you -- in front of my computer. It looks like he's trying to win the Stanley Cup on every single shift.
  • Ozzie notched another road shutout. Anytime the Wings play a game and we aren't bashing goalies afterward, it raises our life expectancy by three days.
  • I don't see how Datsyuk has any further room for improvement. It's physically impossible. He's at the absolute apex of his prime, and now we get to see how long it will last. Franzen's goal was awesome in that he looked like 2008 Playoffs Franzen, showing the confidence to make that move and the patience to finish it off. But even so, with Pav drawing the attention of everybody in the arena -- including Ken Hitchcock's stomach which was eyeing a cheesburger in the 18th row -- he still made the perfect play to set up the goal. It was a sweet goal by Franzen but I was still left with thinking it was all Pav's doing.
  • For the portions of the game that I saw, I witnessed some good penalty killing, solid goaltending, cutting off lanes and gap coverage (a hint to aspiring hockey bloggers: any time you drop a "gap coverage", even if you're discussing a hot dog-eating contest, it makes you sound at least 14% smarter than you actually are. Paul Kukla taught me that when we hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro back in 1979 in search of a little-known hydrangea shrub that was sprouting with Dino Ciccarelli's ball hair .... okay, okay, it wasn't Paul but it was definitely a member of his extended family and/or someone who knew his social security number thus convincing me that this quest wasn't a complete farce ....... where am I)
  • Rick Nash was held hat trick-less against the Wings for the first time since indoor plumbing was invented.
  • Unfortunately I did not see Rick Bucher (or anyone within a stone's throw of "Q-list" celebrity status) at the Orlando International Airport like I did last year. I would've even accepted the guy from Sports Soup, but I wasn't that lucky.

March 13, 2009

Who the Hell is Jamie Lundmark

Red Wings 5-6 Flames (SO)
**********


The playoffs are going to suck.

*****

UPDATE (3/13, 11:45 AM) ::: My reign of short "nothing" posts for the week has come to an end. I'll be in Daytona without internet until I return home late on Sunday. I hate the Flames.







March 12, 2009

TTD answers some questions

I participated in Interchangeable Parts' blogging questionnaire yesterday. You can see my responses by clicking what is commonly known as a "hyperlink", which I have attached to the words "Interchangeable" and "Parts" in the prior sentence. Or you can read what is below.

And to the Ookies: That '95 jab? Low blow, ladies, that's a low blow. But you're still cool.

*****

1. What was your motivation for starting blogging? Has that changed at all in the time you’ve been blogging?

First and foremost I’ve always loved to write. I find it easier for me to communicate this way than to actually speak out loud — which may be a hindrance to me in real life, but for the purpose of blogging it’s a plus. Not to say that I’m a full blown jackass in person, but you get what I’m saying. Writing’s cool, it’s healthy. I started blogging because I love sports, so naturally if you love to write and you love sports, you start a sports blog. When I first started in February of last year I had no idea what I was doing. It began as an all-encompassing Detroit sports blog because I genuinely follow all of my Detroit teams with equal attention (yes, Lions included). Since then I’ve brought on board my friend and fellow Wing fanatic Brent, and up until just recently I made the decision to just focus on the Red Wings. I figured if I narrowed the focus down that the content would be better, and so far I think it has improved. I say that I had no idea what I was doing because I wasn’t experienced or knowledgeable about blogging when I started. I was 21 when I began, and yet I followed sports like a 65 year old — reading papers and watching the news. Not that that’s a bad thing, but I just think the Internet gives you infinitely more options to choose from (groundbreaking opinion, I know). Now there’s 10 to 15 Red Wings sites I check on per day, reading different perspectives that I never would have found before. My motivation when I first started was to have an outlet to ramble about sports through writing, because that’s what I enjoyed; I never had an eye on gaining readership or communicating with other writers or anything like that. Over time that has changed. I enjoy the communication between different sites, commenters, the occasional disgruntled Predators fan, and I discovered this all on the fly. Now look at me — it’s a year later and I’m a Wings fan reading a Devils site for god’s sake. The Internet is cool.

2. What do you think your blog contributes to the hockey conversation?

What we don’t offer in terms of breaking news and expert analysis, we try to make up for it by mixing in what we do know about hockey with a bit of humor. It’s hard for either of us to take ourselves seriously for more than like 12 seconds. I don’t really know how or if this impacts the wider spectrum of hockey conversation, because it’s not like we provide anything novel to the table: we’re a Wings blog (there’s a few of those) and we try not to be too serious about it. We hope our contribution is somewhat positive and people are entertained by it.

3. What do you want to get out of the blogs you read?

Either interesting opinion/observation, or humor. If there’s a mix of both, it’s a bonus. But mainly I just like reading stuff that makes me think in different ways. Red Wing sites like On The Wings and Red Wings Corner are two of my favorites because those guys think the game in a very intelligent way, and write accordingly. I get a kick out of watching a game, and then the next day read about the same game but get an entirely different perspective about it than the one I had. I think it contributes to a greater overall knowledge about hockey.

4. What determines which blogs you read and which you don’t?

Harking back to my journalistic roots here, I’d say “voice” is the main thing that keeps me coming back to a blog. There are literally like 50 bajillion sports sites out there; if a site isn’t distinguished by a particular voice or tone, than what’s the point in reading that one over a dozen others that sound just like it? I think about that every time that I write up a post on our site. I mean sure, it started as just a writing outlet and something for me and my friends to laugh at, but now that we’ve done this for over a year and more people read the site regularly, there’s somewhat of a larger purpose in that I’d like for it to stand out in some way, otherwise there’s no point in continuing. Voice is what brought me to IPB, really. I’d have little interest in keeping up on the latest Devils news, but the writing is good enough to the point that I like reading this site regularly now.

5. How important is the issue of gaining press access to you as a blogger?

I don’t think there should be an end-all-be-all decision on whether “bloggers” should or should not be given press access. It would be a blog-by-blog decision, I guess. Like, for us who read blogs on a daily basis, you already know who has credibility for that sort of thing and who doesn’t. But mainly I read blogs to get a fans perspective on things so the whole press thing doesn’t concern me too much. I guess the issue isn’t of great importance to me because it isn’t within any remote semblance of my imagination that The Triple Deke would ever be given access to anything other than an outhouse.

6. To what extent do you feel accountable for the content of your blog?

100% accountable. I can’t blame anybody else if I write something terrible or unfunny or asinine. That’s all on me. Do I regret or wish I could change some of the things I’ve written? To some extent yes, but some of that comes from a small anxiety complex troll that lives in my brain and is always telling me something could be better. Some of that comes from genuine regret, where I’m like “man, that really wasn’t that funny,” or “I sort of rushed that one.” As for the readers: if they’re coming to TTD to read something authoritative or credible, you’re probably in the wrong place. In fact you’d be completely lost. For places of journalistic credibility, read Snapshots or Red Wings Corner or the Free Press … those people have editors and deadlines. The writing at TTD is very light hearted, joke-y, attempts to be humorous, and should not be taken seriously by any means. We’ll throw an opinion in there every now and then, and we’ll even get on a soap box like once a week, but we’re not aspiring to be professionals here.

7. How concerned are you about the authority and accountability of the blogs you read? Do you find it difficult to judge the authority and accountability of the blogs you read?

I rarely think about that, because the only credibility that any blogger needs is his/her readers. They keep you in line. If you are reporting false stuff, or completely horrible/contrived opinions, nobody would like you and nobody would read your site, and therefore I wouldn’t even know about you to begin with. It’s almost intuitive, I suppose; it’s not something that I consciously think about while I’m reading.

8. What value, if any, do you think blogging brings to the NHL?

I now know what fans or entire fanbases think about there team, and that is cool. When Vancouver signed Mats Sundin, I found the fans’ opinons of him more valuable than anything I would read in a newspaper, because they aren’t going to hold anything back. The same goes for Miro Satan or Wade Redden or Crystobal Huet, etc … you can tell how a player or a team is doing based on the general reactions of a fanbase, and therefore you can form your own opinions about a guy. If just read papers and watch the news, you don’t get that same sort of insight because they have to word things far differently.


Checking In

Still in FLA, and I just finished the most fantastic all-you-can-eat seafood dinner on the planet. I think I made shrimp extinct. Here's a free plug to Orlando's Boston Lobster Feast: the greatest "anything" ever. Basically if you can think of something, it's not as good as what I just ate. I'm going to stop myself right now because a book could be written about what transpired there. It was awesome.

Enough about me. Here's some shit that is probably already too old to link but I'm doing it anyway.

*****

As seen at Hockeytown Static, On the Wings, and anyone else with a keyboard: Hoss and Pavol Demitra ... figure skating. I don't know.




And while it's not everyday that the Los Angeles Kings get mentioned here, this is worth the click (from Battle of California).







"In case you missed it or you're at work, Matt Greene went down to block a shot, took the puck off his face, got back up and covered his defensive responsibility until the whistle sounded, and then went to the bench. Holy fuck. I grew chest hair just reading that."

*****

The feeling I get about discussing the Detroit Red Wings Goaltending Situation is bordering on how I feel about politics. I mean sure, I have my opinions like everybody else, but it's to the point where I don't even want to acknowledge it. It's too exhausting, you end up talking for hours on end, you take sides, and afterward you want to put your mouth around the barrel of a shotgun. So on that note: Freep.


"Ty Conklin will get the start in net Thursday. This is a change in the one-and-one rotation coach Mike Babcock has been using -- it was Chris Osgood's turn to go, but since he's struggled especially at home, Babcock wants Osgood to play Saturday at St. Louis, and then resume the every-other-game rotation. Conklin has won 13 straight at the Joe."


Whatever.

Hoss is getting another night off Thursday, still resting the ol' neck after Brad Stuart-ing into the corner in St. Louis. That's splendid. Everyone who follows this team begins every game hoping that they give at least 85 percent (that's a scientifically calculated amount), and one of the only guys who has busted his ass all year is missing multiple games.


Practice Lines and Pairs:

Pav-Hank-Cleary
Jiri-Fil-Mule
Homer-Kopy-Sammy (yeah, ok)
Meech-Draper-Maltby

Norris-Raf
Kron-Stuart
Jonathan Fucking Ericsson-Lebda


Hold the phone. Homer/Kopy/Sammy? I get that Coach Cock wants to gently ease him back in, but with that line? I didn't see the PHX game, so I don't know who he played with or how it looked, but simply reading "Holmstrom, Kopecky, Samuelsson" in one sentence makes my brain shut off. I'd at least switch Fil with either Kopy or Homer, because I don't like the sound of those two playing on the same line. But he has a ring so I'll shut the fuck up for now.

March 10, 2009

Dan Cleary said it::

"It's not going to happen again."

If nothing else, at least these guys are owning up to the apathetic product they've put on the ice the last two Saturdays. (Rubs chin in deep thought) hmmm, "Saturdays" .... we've heard that word thrown around a lot since the weekend. Could the day of the week -- and not the team's effort -- be the biggest concern here?

Well for the first time in months I actually looked something up. The Internet says the Wings are 5-1-2 on Tuesdays this season, which is pretty good, but the only regulation loss was a 6-3 AIDS-fest against Phoenix on January 20th. So clearly the Wings need to be ready as the Coyotes roll into town tonight. Because it's Tuesday. And nothing else.

Anyway, back to my original thought. "It's not going to happen again" is just the type of thing I like to read from the players themselves. It strays a bit from the usual cliche-filled course that every Red Wing seems to have been instructed to follow (I think it's in each player's contract to say, "We're taking it one game at a time" anywhere between 30 t0 50 times per season -- unless that person is Nick Lidstrom, who's been forced for whatever reason to comprise his English vocabulary solely with cliched phrases that are common to American sports and nothing else) and I enjoy that. Hank said the loss was "Disgusting". Disgusting, man, that's a good word to hear from a player who doesn't want to go through that again. Raf compared Saturday's loss to Nightmare on Elm Street. Amazing. You know, for a hockey player, that's fucking creative.

Now, you'll have to excuse me because I hardly ever take vacations like this. Or leave Michigan, even. Or Lansing. Fuck, it's parade-worthy if I leave my living room to be honest with you. So now that I'm at the country's dick tip, chillin' on beaches and eating fried Alligator every night, I feel out of the loop. It's bizarre down here. Toilets spin the other way when you flush them, people walk on their hands instead of their feet, dogs hump cats, and most of all, the news from Detroit comes out all jumbled.

If I read correctly, Babcock isn't too happy right now. I hear that he took the team to a local prison to do one of those "Scared Straight" things, where prisoners yelled and spat in the faces of each Red Wing about the repercussions of not backchecking. One guy went on a tirade for 45 minutes in succession without so much as taking a breath because Franzen rolled his eyes when a prisoner mentioned "gap coverage". Apparently Hudler got so intimidated during this sequence that he puked, and now he's questionable to play tonight. I don't know, sounds like some frightening shit to me. Hope it worked.

I've heard that Jonathan Ericsson is 6'5", but I can't confirm this until I get back home. Too much information to handle at one time.

I also heard that they are allowing Homer's ass to play tonight, but the rest of his body is still scratched.

And the last thing that I heard is that Rick Nash is still playing for the BJ's and indeed is not a member of the Phoenix Coyotes at this moment. I double checked like 26 times. Had to be sure of that one. I'm so petrified of that man now that he invades my darkest of dreams, screaming in Arabic tongues while wielding a machete that still has the bloody residue of all his victims, threatening to sever my genitalia and set fire to my entire village, all while having raucous unprotected sex with my grandmother.

This is the type of season that we've had to this point.