November 30, 2009

Red Wings "Blog-Off" (Not as Sexual as it Sounds)



There is a hockey interweb tournament over at The Arena -- hosted by a guy who I swear is named Leafer Sutherland -- in which a number of Wing bloggers will be pitted against one another in a grueling steel cage royal rumble to determine who is the least mom's-basement-y of them all.

While that's what I wish was truly happening (Lord knows how badly I want to set my elbow on fire and drop it on Animal Drew's skull), what is actually going down is a preliminary vote thing that will determine the Red Wings blog of representation at The Arena, and from there that blog would face the winner of other teams until an NHL blogging champion is crowned.

If you're still awake after reading all of that, you can vote for your favorite Wing blogs and then email me you personal info so that I can send a cash reward.*


*Not true.


A Look at Some Red Wing Christmas Lists


DALLAS STARS @ DETROIT RED WINGS

7:30 -- Joe Louis Arena

Stars: 12-7-7 (31 points), 7th in West | Wings: 12-9-4 (28 points), 9th in West
______________________________________________________________


Stars blog of choice: Penalty Killing


*****

One of the perks of being best friends with Mike and Marian Ilitch (by the way, we're best friends with Mike and Marian Ilitch) is that they like to include you in team activities and stuff. This past weekend was all about the holiday shopping, so Mrs. Ilitch wanted us to tag along and help pick out some Christmas gifts for the players. Except for Jason Williams, who is a Jehovah's Witness (of course).

We were given the wish lists of a few different players. Also, since we're on the cusp of the 13/41-st mark of the season, it sounded like a good time to reset and summarize things a bit. Below are the lists and a thought about each player's status.





DREW MILLER
  • Dr. Scholl's shoe inserts, size 10
  • Wilson tennis balls
... We're spinning this in a good way: Not a whole lot happens when Drew Miller is playing. At even strength, seven total goals have been scored with him on the ice this season -- 2 for, 5 against (which includes his time spend in Tampa). Last game against St. Louis was his first as a Wing that he finished in the minus column in nine total games. You know that you're going to get a good effort out of him every time out. He's really not a bad guy to have in the lineup as a bottom six plug-in. Although I'm still waiting for the day when that Duck blood creeps up and he tears off Paul MacLean's mustache or something.


DEREK MEECH
  • Norelco T980 Accuvac beard & mustache trimmer
  • Wool socks
  • About six more injuries to various players to increase ice time
... (Sort of an odd request, but we'll check Target anyway.) Meech hasn't drawn the ire of Red Wing fans to the same extent that Ericsson and Lebda have at certain points of the season, but it's not like he's been given much of a chance to make us hate him. He's averaging the least amount of ice time of any defenseman by far (10:31 / game ... even Janik played 13:56 in his lone appearance). Kyle at BDS made a good point about Jakob Kindl, wondering what better time than now to give him some playing time. He could fill in for those nine or ten minutes instead of toying around with Meech, who doesn't seem to fit the future plans if he's not getting any ice time now.


PATRICK EAVES
  • Auto-Tune EFX software
  • Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. II
  • Assorted tupperware
... It didn't take long for Patrick Eaves to start growing on people. He's fast, and I like how he works the boards in the offensive zone. Did you know that not a single Wing has a higher plus-minus than his +5? Or that he's got the best per-game Corsi average? YEAH I SAID IT. You may blindly hate the Corsi number if you're reading too much into what somebody is saying about it, or you might have some legitimate beef with it. Or you might not know what the fuck it is (simply a ratio of the shots your team records with you on the ice versus the shots allowed). Basically it seems like Eaves is doing the best job of creating pressure in the offensive zone, which is nullifying an attack coming back the other way. That hasn't translated to many goals scored for the Wings, but still, the way he plays is admirable.


MIKE BABCOCK
  • Gum
  • Nothing else
... Nope, don't change a thing. Everything's all squared away, it's all in place. He's got all he needs. No dilly dallying or tinkering or any of that bullshit, it just wastes time. Precious time that the Master Plan needs to in order to marinate and simmer and eventually boil over into something visible that makes us go, "Oh, I see what he's doing now -- maybe I'll stop trying to sound so smart and just give this dude a pat on the back since his dick has seen more success in last 20 minutes than I have in my entire life."


TOMAS HOLMSTROM
  • Garfield & Friends seasons 3 and 4 on DVD
  • Xbox 360 controller / rechargeable battery pack
  • Michael Phelps
... Last year, Homer was a bit confused by the Rosetta Stone commercials and was disappointed that his edition did not actually come with Michael Phelps.


VALTTERI FILPPULA
  • New Moon duffel bag and Team Jacob matching tank top
  • Vintage Flapper-era Pube Primp from the Winifred Matheson collection
... You really had to have watched Fil in his first 11 games to understand why so many of us were upset when he got injured. Look at his stats and you see 2 goals, 4 assists and a glaring minus-6 rating. But you could see a different hockey player from what what he was a year ago.

We're still looking at another month without him and each passing day brings more sadness. I felt worse for him -- about how he was playing with such confidence and was turning into a really, really effective player -- than how I felt about it affecting the team I watch. I just hope he doesn't come back thinking that he has to do more than he's capable of.


NICK LIDSTROM
  • Thomas S. Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions in paperback
  • Home Depot gift card
  • CCM Vector V10.0 hockey stick
... Nick probably figures that Alex Ovechkin is using a CCM stick, so he should probably consider a switch since he's sporting one goal on 1.8 % shooting this season. It's totally the equipment. It's not his age or a greater attention to his own end -- it's his Easton stick.

Part of what you get with your subscription to this blog is blunt honesty (I think). So I'm going to put this out there: I have nowhere near a smart enough hockey mind to break down and analyze what Nick is doing differently this year compared to his previous 17 seasons. If you've spotted something, I'm all ears. Or I guess "eyes" would be more accurate. But until then I'm going to continue to fabricate excuses for him that completely ignore rationality and reason.


#44
  • Wooden keg; 450 pounds of gun powder; bowling ball; roughly three feet of rope; old-time metal ball alarm clock; one of those gigantic portraits of open road that tricks people into driving through them; and probably some duct tape just in case.
... This certainly raises a red flag.


November 29, 2009

Game #25 -- Red Wings @ Blues


DETROIT RED WINGS 4 - 3 ST. LOUIS BLUES (SO)


It took a fluke goal and a skills gimmick, but the Wings pulled out a humongous two points tonight.

I was all set to declare this game the 9th different "rock bottom" so far this season. After Kris Draper had tied it up early in the 3rd, Brad Boyes scored a disheartening goal at 8:32 to put the Blues ahead again. And for parts of the next ten minutes -- in between the Blues trying to get the Wings to quit by icing the puck repeatedly like this was NHL 10 -- it really felt like this season couldn't get any worse. I didn't feel that the Blues were even playing all that spectacularly defensively and yet consecutive passes or a sustained attack seemed too advanced for the Wings. That's the type of lineup we have right now. Everything has to be like pulling teeth.

But they still did it. And just how "flukey" was Hank's goal, really? Yes it got a lucky bounce, but that's becoming his thing now. That fluttering backhand from the right corner. He set up Dan(ny) Cleary to win the Anaheim series on a pass just like it. He's set up Homer a couple of times this year with it. Who's to say he wasn't aiming for the inside of Jackman's elbow? "Common sense", you say? Whatever. I just can't believe they scored with the goalie pulled. It was the first time in the history of the Detroit Red Wings that they scored with an extra attacker. That is a fact. I'm not even going to look that up.

Other stuff:

  • Let me get this out of the way: Nice move, #44. That's your move and you actually did it with ease. Not a terrible past few games, either. P.S: Eat shit. (Just kidding! Wouldn't want you get sick! But seriously though.)
  • Another questionable outing from Leino again as he resorted to playing laser tag with himself or whatever the fuck it is that he's doing out there.
  • Just bury it, Darren Helm. There is nothing you could possibly do to make me stop liking you but my god if there is a way to not score a goal, you sir have found it.
  • Drapes has 4 goals, 3 assists and is a +1 for the season. I'll take that.
  • Homer is on pace for 31 goals.
  • May and Abdelkader were good. When May ended up on Pav's line in the 3rd period I shat a little bit.

TOP THREE WINGS


#3 ~ Jonathan Ericsson ... He played three more minutes than Nick Lidstrom (28:20) and the world didn't end.

#2 ~ Jimmy Howard ... 32 saves on 35 shots. 6-2-1 record in his last nine games; SV% has climbed to .902.

#1 ~ Henrik Zetterberg ... Huge assist to break the longest goal scoring drought ever. Huge-ier goal to save the game with under a minute to go. Team MVP.

November 28, 2009

Game #24 -- Red Wings vs. Flames


CALGARY FLAMES
3 - 0 DETROIT RED WINGS


The industry in which I am enslaved to refers to the day after Thanksgiving as "I wish I was an abortion" Friday. Commercially, these companies tell you that it's "Black" Friday, but the insiders know its true name.

This is the first that I've been home, having missed the game, and really don't plan on catching a replay of it. The script reads the same as so many previous losses have:

  • More than double the opponent in shots
  • Have two goals called back
  • 0 for 6 on the power play

What wasn't so typical was that this was the first set of back-to-back home shutouts in 32 years.

So I ask ... was it as bad as the score says? Were the two non-goals legit? And is it "stuffing" or "dressing"? (If you say it's the latter: what is wrong with you? You put dressing on salads. Quit being weird. They might tolerate that shit on Winging It In Motown but we eat stuffing at this blog.)

November 25, 2009

Game 23 -- Red Wings vs. Thrashers


ATLANTA THRASHERS 2 - 0 DETROIT RED WINGS


I'm not going to dignify that game with the usual recap. That was too brutal to describe. It's Shea Weber's fault, it's Jobu's fault, and it is most certainly Osrt's brother's fault. Fuck that guy.


Have a good Thanksgiving everybody.




Red Wings & Tin Foil: An Injury Conspiracy


ATLANTA THRASHERS @ DETROIT RED WINGS

7:30 -- Joe Louis Arena

Thrashers: 10-7-3 (23 pts), 12th in East | Wings: 11-7-4 (26 pts), 10th in West
___________________________________________________________


Thrashers blog of choice: Bird Watchers Anonymous

*****


Perhaps this is too broad of an observation, and perhaps it is in fact wrong, but it seems to me that the Red Wings have stayed relatively safe from the Injury Bug over the years compared to everyone else. There was the '07 postseason, but that debacle can be blamed more on an errand turd goal, because I'm petty. Other than that, just about every other playoff exit can be attributed to the Wings simply being out-played. Or out-Giguere'd. Or out-Roloson'd.

Then came Shea Weber.

February 28, 2009. Andreas Lilja is miraculously having a very un-Lilja-like year on a loaded Wings squad whose only problem is defense. The thought of us liking Lilja is still beyond comprehension. If I were in a coma from 2008 to 2025 and you tried explaining this concept to me, I would give you the dismissive jerking motion and go back to watching "2019: The NHL's Final Season" on the History Channel.

So, Lilja and Weber get tangled up in the corner. Without a bonafide heavyweight, Lilja has commendably taken up the role of enforcer/tough guy for this Wings team. A fight ensues, and as you are well aware, it didn't end well. If only this game had taken place one day later in the mysterious twilight zone of Leap Year, it would have all been a bad, bad dream. (Still looking into how "leap years" work. Will have to get back to you on that.)



Never in your wildest dreams did you think that this would set off a chain of injury-filled events like we've seen during this calendar year. I'll show you what I mean.

I have uncovered a secret plot from the Hockey Gods, which was mistakenly left at a Denny's by my house about a month ago. It was table #13; Steve Chiasson got the Meat Lover's Scramble and in the hoopla of trying to leave exactly 15% for the waitress, he dropped something. Thank goodness this didn't fall into the feeble hands of a Dater or Eklund, or else you might not take this as seriously as you should. I've pieced everything together with the best of my ability.

____________________________________________


Shea Weber was born on August 14, 1985. The woman that he came out of, or "his mother" if you prefer, is named Tracy. A simple Google image search of Tracy+Weber yielded among other things this picture.


Thanks to The Triple Deke's Genetics Analysis division, we were able to determine that the woman in the middle -- next to what is probably Corey Feldman -- is Tracy Weber. Details within the picture reveal that she was a part of a ruthless gang of black market drug merchants who specialized in dealing Diprivan, a hypnotic drug used for sedation. Not only has Shea Weber withheld his mother's secret his entire life, he himself is no stranger to the drug, as you can see here:

(From left to right: Alfonso Ribiero, Weber, some guy, Patrick Kane)


Weber's reputation has grown with each year that he's been in the NHL. Now known as one of the West's more prolific blue liners, he is noted for having a booming slap shot that ranks up there with the league's best. But as I have found out, his on-ice implementation of Dirprivan is actually just making everyone and everything else around him seem slower by comparison. Outside of an NHL rink, Weber cannot summon a slap shot that would penetrate a pane of glass. His self-conscious nature has led him to performance dehancers (shut up, it's a word), which he utilizes on his enemies to comparatively enhance his own worth. Exhibit 'A': back to the Lilja fight. We have highlighted a small vile of the drug which Weber had converted to gaseous form the night before.


You might argue that it appears to be a clump of Lilja's jersey that Weber is holding. I would argue that you are a naive fuck.

Weber handily won the fight, but in the process he poisoned Lilja and potentially ruined a career. Lilja hasn't seen the ice since due to post concussion syndromes. But is that all? Was that the end of Weber's destructive plot? Of course not.

As we have read, Lilja hasn't strayed too far away from the Wings' locker room during his recovery. He likes to be "one of the guys" and be around them as much as he can. Unbeknownst to the big oaf is the biological warfare that he has inadvertently contributed to. Without proper detoxification he has been emitting the gaseous poison in the form of evaporated sweat since early March. For eight months now he has slowly been weakening his teammates and making them susceptible to injury. Think back to the playoffs:

Kris Draper: torn neck cartilage .... Brian Rafalski: herniated disc .... Pavel Datsyuk: charley horse, foot injury .... Henrik Zetterberg: wrist injury .... Dan Cleary: severe groin pull .... Marian Hossa: reconstructive vaginal surgery .... Nick Lidstrom: Patrick Sharp likes balls ....

It has no doubt carried into this season as Franzen, Osgood, Maltby, Filppula, Helm, Eaves, Williams, Datsyuk, and now Kronwall have missed time due to injury or illness, and it's only November. It's only going to get worse. From what I can tell, the sequential ordering of the injuries will snipe each individual player once a week for the next few months until we are left with only one.

And his name, of course, is Todd Bertuzzi. Many of us have wondered aloud how an organization that has made so many shrewd and successful decisions over the last 20 years could succumb to putting this waste of talent in a system that thrives on hard work and team defense. Well it is clear to me that it isn't their fault. No way could they accept this. Make no mistake that Bertuzzi came to a Detroit straight from a saucer pod flown by the ghost of Bill Barilko.

Shea Weber was put in place to hatch this crazy plan by the unforgiving Hockey Gods after we bought too many championships and blamed Bettman for everything. And now we will be left with nothing but Bertuzzi's toothless smile and a tee time come April.

Lord help us all.


November 23, 2009

Game #22 -- Red Wings @ Predators


NASHVILLE PREDATORS 3 - 1 DETROIT RED WINGS


Just past the quarter pole, the Wings have lost as many as they have won. Four of those losses were New-NHL-happy-time-hand-job losses, but they still go in the books as defeats. The Preds are now ahead of us in the Central standings, and only the Blues (remember them?) are worse off. To temper that thought, I will point out that the '97 Wings (38-26-18) actually won less than half their games and proceeded to have the best playoff run of any of the Wings' championship teams.

None of those teams had Todd Bertuzzi though. (I had to say his name instead of '#44' so I wouldn't get the trolling dick who goes "yuh huh they had Anders Eriksson".)

Tonight was an awesome performance by #44 in the art of loafing, reaching, not skating, not hitting, and not needing a cup to protect what were once human testicles. Those were given away a long time ago after he did a very bad thing and lost everything that made him a dominant power forward.

For those in the "They're not paying him $1.5 million to be a dominant power forward" camp: have you seen Pavel Datsyuk lately? He hasn't had an assist in four years. On every possession he drags the puck into the zone, drifts off toward the side boards and puts a gun in his mouth. The only thing keeping him from pulling the trigger is knowing that Brad McCrimmon's wife has it worse. Tonight I watched him carry the puck through the neutral zone, and when he looked up and saw #44 on his wing, he traded himself to New Jersey. This is fucking depressing to watch.

#44 isn't making elite power forward money, but he sure as shit isn't supposed to be the personification of AIDS. That's what he is. AIDS. Sorry to trivialize it by reducing it to #44's level, but they are now the same thing. Mike Babcock gave Pavel Datsyuk AIDS when he bent him over and stuck in #44 and now this is one big dying gay mess. A guy who I am wrongly comparing to a horrible disease got seven more minutes of TOI than Darren Helm tonight. Change something, for fuck's sake.

*****

TOP THREE WINGS:

#3 ~ I just ..... I don't know. Not Bertuzzi. There. If you weren't him, you win the day.

#2 ~ Drew Miller ... First goal as a Wing. I like him. Solid guy to have in the bottom six.

#1 ~ Chris Osgood ... Few games have had that many "wow" saves from Ozzie. Unfortunately he had no help for the first two periods and he ends up losing by two goals. His save late in the 3rd right before the final goal was preposterous. Without him the score is like 12-1.


Fucking Georges Laraque.

November 22, 2009

Top Five Individual Performances of the Decade


Up front, I'm going to say two things. First, we all know that this list could really be Nick Lidstrom's name repeated five times; it's just not as quantifiable or easy to show with highlights. That is, unless there's a secret society of tree-dwelling mice that holds video for all of Nick's angle-cutting maneuvers, clever stick lifts, prestine outlet passes, and all of the times that he gave a winger a brain aneurysm simply by looking at him.

Secondly, this was actually pretty difficult. I'm sure that I forgot a great game that somebody had or that you're going to disagree. A list of the best team games would be tough enough to narrow down, but multiply that by a goalie and 18 skaters* and you're bound to leave out somebody.

Multiply by 17 for games including Brett Lebda.



#5 ~ HENRIK ZETTERBERG: 2008 CONFERENCE FINALS, GAME 3

On a larger scale, if you recall, the Wings played better in this game than perhaps any other of the last decade. Think about this: Dallas actually played well and still lost, in a must-win playoff game, by three goals, at home, with the uber hot Franzen sidelined. This was the last of a nine game buzzsaw of a winning streak in which the Wings looked like they were playing with eight guys on the ice at all times.

Also consider that Pavel Datsyuk (decent player) scored his first and only hat trick, and I'm still making the case for Henrik Zetterberg to be the one most remembered for this game. The impression I was left with was even greater than his line of 1 goal / 2 assists. He had the back-breaking short handed goal at the start of the 3rd Period, which effectively put this series out of reach and Brad Richards in the hospital with two fractured ankles. And he also set up Pav for his hat trick goal after an incredible 1-against-4 display in the Dallas end, which was a Zetterberg Pantheon moment right up there with The Kill* and anytime he's been mentioned in the same sentence as Arby's.

I decided to leave out The Kill from this list because this is more about dominant games, and not "moments". Also, are these star/footnote things alright? I grow tired of using parentheses all the time. You can bet I'll be using a lot of them in my first book, "Stop Doing That, Dad. Please." which is due out Fall of 2028.




#4 ~ NICK LIDSTROM: 2002 STANLEY CUP FINALS, GAME 2

Trying to find the best Nick Lidstrom game of the decade is as hard as locating your shortest pube. I ultimately decided on this one due to the game's importance, Nick's super clutch game winning goal, his perfect feather pass to free Kris Draper, and his mind-boggling 35 minutes of ice time in a 60 minute game. I also will also blindly assume that 75% of the reason the Canes only recorded 17 shots was because of Nick. It sounds reasonable enough to me.

He was the obvious first star of the game, and this was the finest moment of his Conn Smythe-winning campaign. And my god, what a one-timer (Goal is at 4:30 mark. But if you watch the whole video you can catch Bob Cole yelling "SPREAD EAGLE".)




#3 ~ STEVE YZERMAN: 2002 QUARTERFINALS, GAME 3

Two nights earlier: The Red Wings, with the greatest non-video game roster ever, somehow lose 5-2. They're down 2 games to none to the 8th seeded Canucks. They have to go to scary ass Vancouver. Clouds parted over the top of the Ilitch mansion, God appeared in the sky with his Al MacInnis jersey on and he was doing a very inappropriate celebration dance. Or so I assumed, because none of us could understand what was happening. The Wings were one loss away from, in all likelihood, an inescapable hole that would lead to probably the greatest playoff disappointment in NHL history.

What does Steve Yzerman do? After hobbling up the stairs to get on a plane to Canada, he tells his team to calm down. He says they're going to win Game 3, and then Game 4 and eventually all will be right again. Like this is just a trip to Kroger or something.

Backing up his words, Stevie picked up a goal and an assist. He had better games statistically than this one, but few were this important or inspiring to his team. With that subtle guarantee in his teammate's minds, they went out and won the next four games as Stevie continued to wear that knee down to the bone for the next two months. And it all started with Game 3 in Vancouver.




#2 ~ DOMINIK HASEK: 2002 CONFERENCE FINALS, GAME 6

You remember this game for the Statue of Liberty Goal. It was the embodiment of abject humiliation, the funniest thing to ever take place in the Pepsi Center that didn't involve Claude Lemieux's penis, and it was probably the greatest moment of your life. I watch it before I go out in public each day because it keeps me from killing people. It's like streamed Prozac.

The star of the game, though, was at the other end of the ice. Dom only had to make 24 saves, but many of those were game-savers. A couple of them were of the "unreal" variety. After a few questionable goals allowed earlier in the series, his absolute best game as a Red Wing had to be this one. And it was. That's probably what "clutch" is, although my perception of that term is skewed after the whole Alex Rodriguez thing this past October. (I think we need a new meaning for the word "clutch" now. A-Rod ruined it. It should include the original definition of the word, but it should disqualify those with bitch tits.)

*Also clutch: Not playing with an illegal stick.




#1 ~ JOHAN FRANZEN: 2008 SEMIFINALS, GAME 4

This was the fourth installment of The Mule's ferocious romp through the Colorado Avalanche in the 2008 playoffs. It was the most impressive thing that I have ever seen from a single Red Wing in a playoff series. His nine goals in four games broke Gordie Howe's previous record for goals in a series, which dated back to 1949.

What I have yet to comprehend, though, is that he was playing with a subdural hematoma in this game, and he still managed to completely own the Avs (part of that incomprehension is due to big words like "subdural hematoma".) It was flabbergasting when we later found out about the injury. I mean blood was actually pooling between his skull and his brain. Just floating around in there. That shit is gross.

And Franzen somehow shook all of it off. It was impressive enough that he wasn't scratched -- but then he went out and put up a hat trick, in a series clinching game on the road, with the entire hockey world eying him and his torrid scoring streak. He had a power play goal, a short-hander, and what proved to be the game-winner in an 8-2 blowout. It was one of those cool moments as a sports fan when you realize you are witnessing something truly historic, which to me was the greatest individual run that I saw from a Wing in the 2000s.



November 20, 2009

The Best NHL Officiating Site You Aren't Reading

FLORIDA PANTHERS @ DETROIT RED WINGS

7:30 -- Joe Louis Arena

Panthers: 8-9-2 (18 pts), 13th in East | Wings: 10-6-3 (23 pts) 9th in West
________________________________________________________


Panthers blog of choice: Litter Box Cats

*****


OH SNAP Y'ALL--

That's right. You know what it's time for: NHL Officials Association... Dot. Fucking. Com.

Have you seen this? I pity the fool who hasn't, because you've been missing out on some of the dopest shit on the net.

You want graphics? Fuck me. You have come to the right place, sir. Here you get ice dimensions out the ass, plus a shot of Bill McCreary looking like warm pee is running down his leg.


*****

Do you wish you were one of these striped mother fuckers? It's as easy as pretending to blow a whistle. CTRL + V that shit:

"Remember, whether you are a first time official, have some experience, or are looking to officiate after or during a playing career ( at any level ). The key to your success is you. You need to get out there and 'just do it' " (No really, that's actually what it says. With the absence of a period at the end and everything.)

Nothing on this godforsaken planet is more motivating than that last paragraph. I now feel like I could bench press a pregnant horse.

*****

Becoming a referee wouldn't feel as rewarding if it weren't for a taste of tradition. What enhances tradition? Dead people.

Well, you've seen Mount Rushmore. It's Mount Queermore compared to this historic list of zebra legends:


Vern Buffey. George Hayes. John fucking McCauley. By Zeus' beard, I can't believe they aren't charging us by the second to read this shit. You think you're blowing a call with the ghost of Red Storey peering over your shoulder? Don't be an idiot. Of course not. And don't think for a fucking second that John D'Amico doesn't know where you sleep. Even in Heaven he wears an eye patch, but with the good eye even he can tell interference from a good clean puck battle. Hell, I can still hear that old bag of bones now .... "You lost sight of the puck? What are you, gay?"

*****

We've saved the Holy Grail for last. If your balls are constantly wet, all of your problems are now one click away. Your next BJ can be forwarded directly to the lap of a Reebok exec thanks to the "ultimate moisture management" of the Toasty Tight.


We're talking 76% micro-polyester here. We're talking the finest in spandex technology to keep your taint warm and your shame hidden under the tightest of coverage.

Oh tap dancing Christ. The things I would do to moose-knuckle my way into a pair of those things. Best part: sweet ass whistle logo, nestled right next to the goods. Intend to blow this, bitch.

*****


It goes without saying. I am now properly pumped to watch the Wings take on the Panthers.

If you are as excited as me to watch a game officiated by men of dry balls, don't just sit there. Tell them about it. And while you're there, tell them anything else that may be on your mind.


November 19, 2009

How to Explain the Inexplicable: You Can't. So Fix It.


NHL.com ...

"The way we've always handled it and the way we will continue to handle it until we have a procedure change is the referees call on the ice stands. He sees the shot and he sees the save and doesn't see the puck in the net and kills the play or blows the whistle," Murphy said. "It's not when you hear the whistle blow, it's when he intends to blow the whistle. There is a little bit of a gray area there between when he intends and when the whistle sounds.

"In this case Dennis LaRue was clear with what he saw and clear with what he interpreted and that was, 'I had killed the play before the puck entered the net.' When we scrutinize it and go through video review I think everybody would concede that the puck was in the net, and Dennis didn't see that unfortunately."


That's Senior VP of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy, sounding more like Larry Murphy trying to explain long division.

Last year, when many of us were introduced to "Intent to Blow" during the Anaheim series, I could at least process it, kind of. I could see that Brad Watson had already imagined the play to be dead, and because there hasn't been an invention yet that magically allows for a whistle to blow simultaneously as a referee thinks it, they want what's in the ref's brain to be the dictator of the action. I think that's fucking stupid, but I can at least understand what they're saying without agreeing with it.

In this case, Dennis LaRue unintentionally* makes up something in his head that didn't actually happen, which is apples-to-oranges in comparison to the Watson Saga: he concluded that Auld made a save with his left pad, the puck was under it, and the play was dead.

* (I don't own a tin foil hat)

Here's my favorite part: According to Murphy's explination of how these matters are handled, somebody in Toronto (probably this guy) saw what happened and said, "Whoooaa, fellas, looks like we had one slip by Dennis, let's give him a call"; then they tell him how the reality of things was actually the opposite of what LaRue interpreted; and then LaRue -- with an opportunity to see or be told that no save occured in the first place -- overrules everything by claiming that what he imagined to have happened initially holds greater power than what actually happened.


Incredible.

Game #19 -- Red Wings vs. Stars


DALLAS STARS 3 - 1 DETROIT RED WINGS


Important note before going on: In regards to this game, the Wings did not play well enough to win. The Stars played a good game and deserved the result they got. I mean it. That's not what this is about though.

The bigger picture reveals that you can legally shoot a puck with your stick, the puck can cross the goal line without any interference occurring in the crease, and there is still a possibility that you haven't scored a goal. That's what the NHL laid out for us tonight when somebody didn't have the sack to admit they messed up, and there was no plan in place to prevent this from happening in the first place.

It wasn't even that fairy tale gray area of "intent to blow", where the puck is momentarily out of view and therefore imagined to be dead by the official. It was a shot that crossed the goal line. The goal effectively blew the play dead, not the referee.




I can get over the loss. It's November 18th. Tonight, I'm not worried about giving up valuable points to the Dallas Stars. I'm worried about this repetitive cycle of not just bad calls, but a flawed structure that has been put in place that creates such calls, and does nothing to correct itself. If there isn't a contingency plan in place for when an obvious goal is scored, one that contradicts the call of the referee and overrules his authority because he's too dumb or arrogant to overrule his own mistake, then there is a fatal flaw. Something is fundamentally wrong at its core. And please, don't put us through the fucking charade of calling Toronto between whistles when it doesn't fix something as mesmerizingly incompetent as what went down tonight.

The most intelligent and correct statement about this from a fan's perspective was said by J.J. in Kansas in this thread. Everything about this is spot on:

"My worry, and a worry I’m sure is mirrored by a lot of hockey fans (not just Wings fans), is that the response from the league will get basically no coverage. The fans are the ones who deserve explanation, them being the reason the guys play the game. We’re so used to getting short answers from the league that translate to little more than “screw you”, that the frustration continues to boil over. I’m almost positive the only response that fans get will be something along the lines of “Referee Dennis LaRue intended to blow the play dead when he lost sight of the puck, which was before the goal was called”. The Wings organization might get a secret “sorry, we screwed up”, but that doesn’t help the fans who feel like the league is doing nothing to keep these things from happening in the future. If any member of the media were to come out with a report from Colin Campbell’s office that were to say something along the lines of “This will count against Dennis LaRue when it comes time to choose which refs are called upon for postseason duty”, then I would be exceedingly happy with that statement and might even be able to let something like this go. Unfortunately, all we will get is a vague statement that doesn’t even address the concept of a problem, let alone hint at anything resembling a solution."


I can't wait to hear what the league says tomorrow. It will either be nothing, which would be too embarrassing to comprehend; or it will be a defense of something that has absolutely zero defense to begin with.

Finally, Babs sums it up with his troubled thoughts:

“The guy never meant to blow the whistle. It was a shot, it was in on the shot,” Babcock said. “It’s as dumb as I’ve ever seen.”


November 18, 2009

Worst Goalie Ever Goes For 4th Straight Win


DALLAS STARS @ DETROIT RED WINGS

7:30 -- Joe Louis Arena

Stars: 8-5-6 (22 pts), 8th in West | Wings: 10-5-3 (23 pts), 7th in West
________________________________________________


Stars blog of choice: Patty at Penalty Killing


"They keep saying they’re looking for consistency, but as Ryan Lambert, the Puck Daddy What We Learned guy, points out, win lose win lose win lose win lose is consistent. They need to start winning games when it’s their turn to lose one.

I’m almost expecting them to win against Detroit on Wednesday night. I never assume that, but this win-lose-win-lose thing might be more powerful than the usual pattern against Detroit of lose-lose-lose."


Patty isn't kidding. The Stars have not gone two consecutive games yet without picking up at least one point. In case you missed it, Dallas lost 3-2 in regulation to the Coyotes. So, long layoff for the Wings + coming off big win + home game = "should win". But Dallas' win/lose universal karma = a Wings loss. So that flips it back to a win again based on my Reverse/Reverse jinx hypothesis thing. (I swear to god when I first started this blog I intended for it to sound more analysis-oriented. A year and a half into it and I sound like a fucking tarot card reader.) Patty also had this about Mike Ribiero:


"Ribeiro frustrates me no end. I actually really like Ribeiro. I love the crazy dipsy-doodling stuff and the highlight-reel goals and the unbelievable passes. But I do not like the poking along, the standing around, and the refusing to give up the puck to a teammate before he’s forced to give it to the opposition. I can take a little of that if I have more of the good stuff to cling to. But the percentages are way out of whack. Lately, I’m only seeing the stuff I don’t like."


*****


This video never gets old. If you've had the misfortune of not experiencing it, be sure you watch it all the way through.





November 17, 2009

Brendan Shanahan retires


Shanny is my second favorite Wing of all time. I think. I'm pretty sure. I don't know. I'll determine that on another day with complicated formulas and stuff.



I liked his style and personality. The same thing is probably being written on a trapper keeper about Zac Efron somewhere, but so be it. He was an interesting guy to have in Detroit for 10 years. He could score, hit, lead, fight, and score again if needed. And his playoff goatee was more influential in my life as a kid than either of my parents. It was pretty badass.





At the 2:38 mark is my favorite Shanny goal. You would've thought this moment would be a huge sigh of relief, but instead it wasn't. It was just joy, like they hadn't won two Cups before this one and were getting over the hump. This wasn't the Yankees winning the World Series and Jorge Posada letting out a little bit of pee as finally exhaled. This was pure bliss. Shanny scored, and then he and Stevie shared a moment on top of each other that was more intimate than anything I've ever experienced with a woman.


*****


Rather than fight, Adam Foote tries to make a tackle with his nose. So Shanny breaks it.




Another favorite:




So long, Shanny.


November 16, 2009

Top Five Underrated Red Wings Goals of the Decade


Igor Larionov and the Statue of Liberty can sit this one out. These are the most underrated Wings goals of the 2000s -- or in other words, five goals that I have somehow arrogantly determined you aren't remembering enough. That's what "most underrated" is, right? Whatever. It was a good excuse to dig through old hockey videos instead of going to sleep.



#5 ~ BRETT HULL'S 700th GOAL

I seem to have blocked out how the 2003 season ended, but something important occurred before all of that. Brett Hull scored a huge milestone goal, in a Wings uniform, at Joe Louis Arena. This happened. I swear it did. I'm telling myself this because I never talk about Brett Hull, a guy who I will always think of as a Blue despite winning a Cup in Detroit and having what was probably a pretty underrated Red Wings career: 92 goals in three seasons between the age of 37 to 39, including a team-leading 10 goals in the 2002 playoffs.

A small handful of players have scored 700. Think of that number. That is a stupid number of goals. And that was the last that you're are going to see 700 goals from an NHL player for a considerably long time.

When he was inducted into the Hall last week, did any of the 950 Red Wings bloggers (including myself here) say anything about Brett? I mean ANYTHING? Even a little side note sandwiched between all of the Stevie slobber? Probably not, but even a tiny bit of recognition would've been better than none. So here it is, a week late.




#4 ~ 2007 CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS, GAME 4: ROBERT LANG

The goal is automatically underrated because there isn't a single Wings fan who wants to remember anything about Robert Lang. Even the people who say they liked him have a little Lang voodoo doll in their closet that they pee on each morning.

Regardless, this was a huge moment. The Wings hadn't done anything in the playoffs since winning the Cup in '02 despite icing their usual loaded lineups. They escaped one potential disaster in the first round, but here they were less than a minute away from going down 3 games to 1 to the Sharks, which likely would've resulted in another earlier-than-expected playoff exit.

After watching the video I still can't believe they won this game. Down two goals and Homer scores with 4 seconds to go in the 2nd period; down one goal and Lang scores with 30 seconds left; and then they pull it off in OT. One of my favorite games of the decade.

(Lang scores at the 2:25 mark)





#3 ~ 2002 CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS, GAME 4: STEVE YZERMAN


You remember the game before this one, in which Nick Lidstrom scored the Least Underrated Goal maybe ever -- the center ice bomb that people cannot speak of without mentioning the words "momentum", "Cloutier" and "adkf;adj;ksdadff".

The next game, however, the Canucks didn't just wilt up and die. From the USA Today's recap ....

"Mattias Ohlund and Matt Cooke each had a goal and an assist for the Canucks, who outshot the Wings 24-15 .... Unlike Game 3, it was the Canucks who came out flying, creating big hits and a handful of scoring chances off the forecheck during their first three shifts."

It wasn't easy by any stretch. When I think about watching those two games in Vancouver, I remember how legitimately scared I was, sitting in my room with the lights off and my 13" TV on, trying not to wake the entire neighborhood. The Wings had done half the job in Game 3, but losing Game 4 would've failed the entire mission. Enter Steve Yzerman in a 2-2 game in the 3rd period.

(Goal at 3:12 mark)




#2 ~ 2008 CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS, GAME 5: JOHAN FRANZEN

Maybe this goal is properly rated, I can't really tell. I think that it was arguably the most important Red Wings goal of the playoffs.

Look back at that season. The Wings were dominant aside from a horrid February stretch ... and two bad games in Nashville in the first round. They had their slip up with the Stars later on, but this was the only series in which they didn't hold a lead throughout. I think we'll grow to appreciate this particular Wings team even more as the years pass, because while it didn't have that staple of being "the first one for our generation" or the "one for Vladdie" or the "one with the best team ever", it was such a solidly consistent performance.

And who do we have to thank for that? A lot of people, yes. But my God the Predators were potentially one shot away from taking a 3-2 series lead back to Nashville? Against this team? Honestly how shitty would that have been? Well, you don't have to to worry about it because of Johan Franzen.




#1 ~ 2002 STANLEY CUP FINALS, GAME 3: BRETT HULL

(Really trying to give him his due today, apparently.) Without Brett Hull, there is no "Igor Larionov in Triple Overtime" -- or as you might think of it: The biggest goal by a Red Wing of the last 10+ years. It's only natural that Hull's goal was going to be forgotten by the casual fan. Somebody sees a highlight of Igor's goal and maybe they remember the deflection that tied it, or maybe they don't. All they really know for sure is that it was an epic Finals game.

It was anything but a typical Hull goal. With just over a minute to go in the game, off a faceoff win by Yzerman (Great -- there goes the drama from a potential Top Five Offensive Zone Faceoff Wins) Brett bolts for the net instead of his usual island on the wing. The puck swings around the point before Lidstrom whips one toward goal. Brett puts his stick out, and scores as clutch a goal as one can score. In doing so it changed the feel of a series that the Wings couldn't seem to get on top of through three games, and Igor broke the Canes' hearts a few hours later.

(Goal at 5:25)



November 15, 2009

Game #18 -- Red Wings vs. Ducks

DETROIT RED WINGS 7 - 4 ANAHEIM DUCKS




You know what an odd fear of mine is? That I don't like Henrik Zetterberg enough. If that sounds ridiculous to read, it feels twice as ridiculous to type it. I just worry that I get so caught up in the wizardry of Pavel Datsyuk and the perfection of Nick Lidstrom that I don't talk about Hank quite as much as I should. Maybe I'm completely wrong about this. But I don't feel like I mention him as often as I do Pav or Homer or Helm, and for every time I do mention him I probably make five or six jokes about #44. Under no circumstances should #44 get more attention than Zetterberg (unless we're recommending people to be shot out of a canon into the sun).

I want to fully give him his due on this one. Z was phenomenal tonight. He was so good that I momentarily forgot that half the team is out with swine flu bone fracture tumors. He was so good that he scared Arby's into downgrading their Hat Trick prize to "free urinal cakes". He was so good, in fact, that Mitch Albom is going to lie about being at this game and write a column on it.

The guy works his beard off every night, on and off the ice. He is an absolute machine. Most players think that "double shifting" is playing on multiple lines; to Z it means dominating a hockey game and then going home to work over Emma.


  • Hank's season line: 8-14-22 in 18 games. And this is with his shooting percentage (7.7) well below his career percentage (12.6). Hopefully he can get his act together.
  • On the Wings fourth goal, Dan Cleary made a huge play at the blue line to corral the puck, shield it along the boards, and then passed the puck off before getting smoked to set up Z's 2nd of the game. I couldn't shake the word "invisible" from Cleary for the first few weeks, but he's been really effective since the Wings starting rolling and Babs is singing his praises.
  • Solid effort out of Leino as well, who actually looked like he was worthy of being on Hank's wing.
  • Ryan Getzlaf is beastly. Very much an unlikeable mook, but a scary good hockey player. This isn't the first time he's put up monster numbers against the Wings.
  • 5-4 game. 3rd Period. About 2:30 left.
Oh shit.



  • My friend told me via text that when Hank records a hat trick and two assists, it is called a "Zetterberg T-bag game". I have no idea what this means, but if I'm going to make dysentery salad tossing jokes then I've pretty much cut out any filter that I once had for this site.
  • Jimmy Howard wasn't anything spectacular. But thankfully Jonas Hiller was worse.
  • Spam sent to my email this morning. Click to enlarge (this is what we in the biz refer to as a "pun".)


  • Top 3 Wings:
#3 ~ Justin Abdelkader/Drew Miller ... Because MSU swept Michigan this weekend and we're leading the CCHA. Suck it, start your own blog.

#2 ~ Dan Cleary ... 1 goal, 2 assists. Also a plus-3, and 5 out of 6 on faceoffs.

#1 ~ Henrik Zetterberg ... Curly fries.
__________________________________________________________


The Wings are now off until next Wednesday against Dallas. To appease my fondness for lists and "decade"-related cliches, I will kick off a series of Top 5's of the 2000's starting Monday. Don't get your hopes up too high -- I couldn't find enough video to do a "Top 5 Valtteri Filppula Hair Tosses".

November 14, 2009

The Ducks are the Best 14th Seed In NHL History


ANAHEIM DUCKS @ DETROIT RED WINGS

7:00 -- Joe Louis Arena

Ducks: 6-8-3 (15 pts), 14th in West | Wings: 9-5-3 (21 pts), 8th in West
_________________________________________________________


'Tis the first meeting of the year with our arch rivals. Don't feed me that nonsense about the Hawks being the top enemy because of the tradition, or the Avs because of the 90's, or the Blues because their fans hate us to the point where I don't visit their sites out of fear that one of them will jump through my computer and rape my unborn children. Anaheim is #1 until Chicago can prove otherwise. It doesn't matter that Pronger is gone -- the Ducks could ice 17 clones of Steve Yzerman and put my grandmother in goal, and if the 18th skater was Corey Perry I'd still want their entire team to toss Pierre McGuire's salad while he's infected with dysentery.

*****

Ducks blog of choice: Earl Sleek at Battle of California

The degree of difficulty on this post was through the roof: a mock translation of a mock interview that the fake Sammy Pahlsson did with a mock Swedish newspaper. Just click and read the whole thing, it's astounding. I would've laughed more while reading it if I hadn't kept turning to the lamp next to me and saying, "You know, this is really, really well written, Lamp. I'm not crazy. I know you can hear me."

*****




Some thoughts about this clip:

1) I still can't believe that game was tied with just 3 minutes to go.

2) I miss Jiri Hudler. At the end of the video you see him lean over and rub Cleary's head, talking to him, giving him some hearty "atta boy"s and more than likely there was some clucking going on. Just a cool thing to see.

3) If you lean in really close, you can hear Ken Daniels' nipples puncture his shirt.


November 13, 2009

Game #16 -- Red Wings vs. Vancouver Canucks


DETROIT RED WINGS 3 - 1 VANCOUVER CANUCKS


Bust out the piƱatas and line up the blow -- Jimmy Howard has won two consecutive games. He looked more calm and sound than he ever has in an NHL game, not sliding 12 feet out of the crease or spoon-feeding juicy rebounds to the opposing team. The two buzz words that always surround Howard are "rebounds" and "consistency" .... well, he controlled the puck, and for at least two games now we haven't screamed at him like parent watching their child wander into oncoming traffic.

  • And while Jimmy may have played well enough to get the win and the first star, he hasn't yet earned the right to a human face:
  • Drew Miller looked pretty good, getting some PK minutes and playing the waning minutes of his first Red Wings game. I can't lie, I was a little nervous. 20+ years of Michigan State sports have trained me to cringe anytime there is a Spartan involved in the final seconds of a game while guarding a lead. In fact I was momentarily confused when Miller wasn't lined up in the prevent defense.
  • Kronwall and Stuart both looked excellent to me. For the most part we've seen solid play in our own end the last couple of weeks. Take out the abortion orgy in Toronto and you've got 5 games with one or zero goals allowed.
  • What to say about Tomas Holmstrom. 9 goals before mid-November. He should start screaming "I'M NOT DEAD YET MOTHER FUCKERS" each time he scores. Here was my non-hockey-liking dad's take on his goal: "I mean, it's goals like those ...... the guy just throws the puck at the net and it bounces in? How is this even a sport?" We have a conversation at least once a week that revolves around how bizarre I am for following hockey. Then I remind him that he soaks his nail clippers in anti-bacterial solution and makes his Christmas lists with Microsoft Excel.
  • Good officiating tonight. (Lies.)
  • Non sequitur graph:

  • I love the Eaves/Helm/Draper line. Love it. So much that I want to take it on a special vacation to New Hampshire.
  • Brad May gets in fight #4, and loses again. I really don't care, I just like having him in the lineup. They did a feature during the pregame show where he was giving Abdelkader some fighting tips. Now, I really like Abdelkader, but if I see him get into a fight, I am immediately going to look up the Griffins roster to see who will be taking the place of his bloody carcass for the next eight weeks.
  • Top 3 Wings:
#3 ~ Niklas Kronwall: 1 Goal, 1 Assist. Great game all around, but how sweet was that empty netter? Funny thing was, I had sort of looked away for half a second and thought that Jimmy shot that puck down the ice. Anyway, three goals in the last 24 hours for Kronner.

#2 ~ Henrik Zetterberg: 1 Goal, 1 Assist. Hell of an effort. He and Livonia Native Ryan Kesler went at it the entire game, with Z getting the last laugh with the game-winner. It seems like the whole team is on Z's shoulders right now.

#1 ~ Jimmy Howard: Stopped 31 of 32 shots. He has survived another day as a goaltender in Detroit.

November 12, 2009

Wings/Canucks pregame, now with more mustache

VANCOUVER CANUCKS @ DETROIT RED WINGS

7:30 -- Joe Louis Arena

Canucks: 10-9-0 (20 pts), 9th in Western Conference | Wings: 8-5-3 (19 pts), 10th in Western Conference
_______________________________________________________________


Canucks blog of choice: Tom Benjamin's NHL blog






Going back to the reverse-reverse logic: The Wings could get on a roll after blowing through Columbus ... the Canucks are banged up .... only Carolina has lost more road games than them .... prediction: Canucks 4, Wings 1.

Game #15 -- Red Wings @ Blue Jackets


DETROIT RED WINGS 9 - 1 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS


...the fuck?

  • I did not see that coming. Not at all. I did think that by some strange form of reverse-reverse logic that the Wings would win (you know, as opposed to a legitimate reason such as "talent"), but not this way. There is nothing to complain about. In other words, this game was Drew Sharp's worst nightmare.
  • This was the biggest beat down that the Wings have ever laid on the BJ's, and it was their worst home defeat in their franchise's storied history. Even the Ron Tugnutt days didn't see one this bad.
  • Dating back to the first round of the 2009 playoffs, the Wings have scored somewhere between ten and eleventy thousand goals on Steve Mason. In fact, I just scored on him. Did you see me -- were you looking? Here, I'll do it again for you. Bam. Just scored another one. Dammit I know you weren't looking Tram, pay attention. With my eyes closed this time, watch this: HooAHH. This is too easy.
  • Yes, even #44 managed to bury one, although he nearly quadruple-clutched the opportunity away and the goal had to be reviewed to make sure it actually happened. Seriously, the dude can't even score right.
  • (note I forgot to mention first time around... ^^^ The Wings should just try that play on every rush with Pav on the ice. He floats down to one of the wings with the puck and stops, letting all of the action + Homer fly toward the net, as they always assume the puck is going to follow him to the crease. But Pav does his usual patience thing, waits an extra second or two and waits for that trailing 3rd man, who we've seen time and time again be wiiiiiide open. With all of the crazy free-styling and ad-libbing that Pav does, this is the only recognizably repeatable thing that he does, and because he's Jesus, he makes it work more times than not.)
  • Discussion between a friend and I during the 2nd Intermission: how does #44 eat? He has like four of his bottom teeth missing, it doesn't look like he can bite anything. Does he just man up and gum his food? Does Babcock chew it up and then drop it in his mouth like a mother bird? Does he only eat the liquefied brains of his victims? I'm much more interested in this than any of the Steve Moore stuff.
  • Astounding stat during the game: the first six goals were scored by six different players, and for each of them it was their 3rd goal of the season.
  • Certainly not the "Gamewrecker" = Chris from NOHS.
  • Top 3 Wings:
I'm going to be totally gay and say "The Detroit Red Wings". This game had a wicked pace to it for the entire 60 minutes. They were getting out of the zone in a hurry, pinning the BJ's deep and keeping them there (I love watching Helm and Eaves work together), causing turnovers, getting to the net, and doing anything else in their power to spoil Hitch's 1000th game. His post game buffet of deep fried chocolate cake and gravy juice probably tasted a little bitter.


November 11, 2009

Rick Nash somehow becomes even scarier


DETROIT RED WINGS @ COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS


7:00 -- Nationwide Arena

Wings: 7-5-3, 11th in Western Conference | BJ's: 9-5-2, 6th in Western Conference
____________________________________________________________




*****

You know that the Wings are going to lose this game. Which means they will win it. Don't look at me like that, it makes perfect sense.


Blue Jackets blog of choice: Puck-rakers (Columbus Post Dispatch)


"The 1,000-Game Coaches Club

A list of coaches who have coached 1,000 games or more in the NHL:

1. Scott Bowman (2141 games) 1244 wins, 573 losses, 314 ties, 10 overtime losses
2. Al Arbour (1607) 782-577-248-0
3. Dick Irvin (1449) 692-527-230-0

............

16. Ken Hitchcock (999) 520-328-88-63"


That's right, it's "Hitch 1K" tonight. Yeah I made that up. Dammit I said quit looking at me -- it's
been a zany few days on my end of the Internet and my 'A' game is missing. I'm like "2004 Dominik Hasek" right now: rusty, all over the place, and waiting for my groin to pop out of my pants at any moment. (Wait, I essentially just said that I'm normally the Dom Hasek of bloggers.)

2nd try: I'm "pick-a-year Tim Chevaldae".

*****

A video search of "Columbus Blue Jackets" results in "Did you mean: watch paint dry". So how about something interesting to get you going this morning:




This is totally related. The catch was made by T.J. Duckett, who caught the pass from Jeff Smoker, who was later suspended by the team for substance abuse, which is exactly what I consider doing each time Rick Nash touches the puck.

November 9, 2009

#19


I knew this day was coming for a while now. I still haven't thought of any cool words to say or found a way to capture what Stevie's career meant in just one post. This guy did, and it's perfect. Not good -- perfect.

I've dropped one-liner odes to the Captain here and there over the past year and a half, and those won't ever stop. I'll keep posting that goal from '96 every couple of weeks because watching a moment that shot you through your living room ceiling as well as puberty is something that doesn't ever get old. The guy is the reason for why hockey has become a maniacal obsession of mine, and if I ever have the honor of meeting him, (no wait, scratch that) -- if he ever has to feel the disappointment of meeting me, I will tell him exactly that. His legacy is as flawless as an athlete, or a human, can have.

I don't give a damn if Lemieux and Gretzky were better talents, or if Messier is recognized as a better leader, or if Gordie was better than all of them. What I saw from Steve Yzerman was more than I'll ever deserve and I wouldn't change anything about it.




November 8, 2009

Game #14 -- Red Wings @ Maple Leafs


TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS 5 - 1 DETROIT RED WINGS


I only saw the 3rd period. That was plenty.

J-Will is down for the next several weeks with a broken leg, which leaves us with a lineup of like,


Datsyuk - Zetterberg - Holmstrom
Leino - Helm? - a guy
my neighbor's dog - Christmas tree stand - pointillism drawing of Steven Seagal
uh ...... Tim Taylor?


Should we start a pool for who goes down next? My money is on Homer. He smells rather injury-ish right now. Everything is going his way, after he was written off last year and over the summer, and he's literally like the only guy that hasn't been hobbled by something over the last two months. And it won't be a petty injury either, like a bruise or a tweak -- it's going to be a fractured skull. A puck is going to be shot through the man's head and he is going to die.

Moreover, what in the hell is going on in this league right now? Is there anybody who isn't injured? Half the players are on IR. The other half have swine flu. Pretty soon fans are going to get injured if they keep having to watch Lebda and Ericsson paired together.

What if this doesn't end? Worse yet -- what if Bertuzzi keeps not getting hurt?


God this sucks.

November 7, 2009

"Celebrate The Stevie"


DETROIT RED WINGS @ TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

7:00 -- Air Canada Centre

Wings: 7-4-3, 10th in Western Conference | Leafs: 2-7-5, 14th in Eastern Conference
_______________________________________________________________


1:10 mark. Pavel Datsyuk gets too anxious about the upcoming trip to Toronto and confesses his desire to have an Yzerman pants party.



I pray that somebody somewhere is in the middle of writing a book of nothing but Pavel quotes.

*****

With a Wings win + Columbus loss, the Wings could jump from 10th in the West to 3rd by taking the Central Division lead. Odds are this won't happen because the Jackets are playing the lowly Hurricanes, who are going to need to sign Tom Cable if they want to beat anybody this year (HEY-OOOHHH).

Maple Leafs blog of choice: Down Goes Brown. The crown jewel of Blogger's hockey division.
If you aren't already reading DGB, you might as well cancel your internet.


"Watching a talent like Kessel go to work, it's hard not to notice the skill gap between him and so-called frontline talent like Mikhail Grabovski or Matt Stajan. The contrast was unmistakable on virtually every shift. It was enough to make me want to take the pen I was using to write "Mrs. Down Goes Gustavsson" in little hearts on my three-ring binder and jam it into my eye."


*****

Before Bob Rouse was the unquestioned cornerstone of the Red Wings' Cup winning teams of the late 90's, he was kicking asses in Canada. Here, he upper cuts a dude's face up into his brain while talking trash at the same time.




I love the year 1993. It's the first year of my life that I really remember watching sports. I remember being allowed to stay up late to watch the World Series; I remember Barry Sanders leading the Lions to a division title (and subsequently thinking that Jesus was a 5'9" black dude with a mini fro); and I remember watching hockey at my friends house and becoming immediately hooked. The Leafs knocked the Wings out of the playoffs in overtime of Game 7 that year, which made me cry and become attracted to men until the age of 13 (I didn't know how to deal with sports losses at the time). But being a weird kid I was fascinated by these blue Leaf people and continued to watch them, as they went on a memorable playoff run. Here they are destroying the Blues, which is fun to watch no matter how old you are.



Nice save, CuJo.

November 5, 2009

Game #14 -- Red Wings vs. Sharks


DETROIT RED WINGS 2 - 1 SAN JOSE SHARKS (SO)


Apologies, but I have to hit the books early tonight, so I'll skip to the Top 3 Wings:


(Honorable mention to the Eaves/Helm/Draper unit.)

#3 ~ Nick Lidstrom. 27:31 of ice time. He has said publicly that the guys have to tighten things up, and only two goals have been given up over the last three games. I never felt overly threatened by the Sharks' attack in this game. Nick's the anchor. He is perfect.

#2 ~ Chris Osgood. Really toiled between #1 and #2 here ... Ozzie made more saves in this one than on Tuesday and was challenged a bit harder, having to come up big in the shootout.

#1 ~ Henrik Zetterberg. You knew it from his first shift. Game-tying goal and Game-winning goal in the shootout with a disgusting move on Nabokov. He was on like Ansar Khan tonight. (You have to say "on" with sort of a thick Michiganian accent for it to totally rhyme with "Khan" ....... you know what, fuck it.)