December 31, 2009

"Top ____ of the Decade" Blowout -- Everything Must Go!

11 comments:

COLORADO AVALANCHE @ DETROIT RED WINGS

7:00 -- Joe Louis Arena

Avs: 23-12-6 (52 points), 3rd in West | Wings: 19-14-6 (44 points), 10th in West
_________________________________________________________


Avalanche blog of choice:


I started the "Top Five" decade splurge a few weeks ago with the intent of doing many. I only finished two of them.

Here are some random #1's that didn't find homes on complete lists.

*****

TOP ASSIST: PAVEL DATSYUK'S FOOT



I honestly wanted to do a Top Five assists list. I have no idea how hard that would have been. Probably would've taken three whole days.

This had to the top one for me though because it actually made me say the words, "Oh that silly Pavel" out loud -- and I was watching the game by myself.


TOP AWESOME GOAL: THE DATSYUKIAN DEKE




1) It's not even in a shootout, and it's the best deke I've ever seen. He did this during a real game.

2) It's now his signature move. How awesome is that? To be good enough in the sport's top league to have your very own move.



FUNNIEST MOMENT EVER OF THE DECADE EVER. EVER.



God I miss Franzen.


FUNNIEST MOMENT EVER OF THE DECADE EVER. EVER. (TIE)





TOP NIKLAS KRONWALL MOMENT THAT MADE YOU THINK HE MIGHT BE A DESCENDANT OF A TRAIN



Because Havlat is okay, it's alright for us to make light of this (that's how this works, right?). And in making light of a horrifically violent collision, I still get a kick out of the Blackhawks being so overcome with rage that they try to get revenge by nearly chopping poor Marty up with their skates. This is most evident from the 0:10 mark to the 0:20 mark, in which Havlat would have been fearing for his life if he weren't already a corpse.


TOP WORST SHOCKING LOSS: 2006 FIRST ROUND


Even in a decade in which the Wings won two Cups, there were plenty of disappointing moments as well. The Kings ... the Ducks ... the Flames .... I found this one to be the most upsetting out of all the upsets.

58 regular season wins. Yzerman's final year. Manny Legace's face.



Yeah, I'm sure you watched that video.



TOP MOMENT THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HOCKEY: MAGGLIO'S WALK OFF


The MLB are a bunch of tools. How do you put a halt to waning interest among young people? Keep all highlights off Youtube, of course. Whatever ... I tracked it down.


TOP MOMENT FROM A GAME THAT WE PRETEND DIDN'T HAPPEN: BRIAN RAFALSKI'S GO-AHEAD GOAL IN "GAME 5"



I was more naturally high on bliss and child-like happiness (Okay there was a smidgen of angel dust too) after this goal than .... well, maybe anything ever. They played like balls for the first 20 minutes, and then for the next 39:26 they played like the balls. Two totally different things, people.

I'll remember this goal for the sappy memory of watching it with my two BFFs, and us awkwardly trying to stay just friends as we mauled each other in celebration. To this day I'm not sure if we succeeded or not.


TOP ASS CHEEK CLINCHER




TOP GAME OF THE DECADE: 2002 FINALS, GAME 3



Read in greater detail here.


TOP MOMENT OF THE DECADE:

In a memorable decade, this is still an easy choice for me. Cue the leprechaun music.



December 29, 2009

Mikael Samuelsson's Olympic Snubbing : The Whole Story

25 comments:

As you may have heard, Mikael Samuelsson was left of the roster for Sweden's 2010 Olympic squad. It didn't sit with him very well.

"They can go fuck themselves."

No seriously. He said that. It wasn't like somebody had created a terribly inaccurate caricature of him and completely made up something that he had said. This actually happened.

As best friends of the Ilitch's, we've been up close for some of Sammy's finest moments on and off the ice. Now that he's in Vancouver we don't get to see as much of him, but fortunately, (insert contrived excuse to explain how we know what you're about to read.)
___________________________________________________


Swedish Ice Hockey Association headquarters -- Stockholm

Head coach Bengt-Ake Gustafsson has called Mikael Samuelsson into his office for a one-on-one meeting about the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.


Samuelsson: "HEY COACH NICE TO SEE YOU ON THIS FINE WINTERS MORN'. HOW WAS CHRISTMAS."

Gustafsson: "It was fine, Mikael, please have a seat."

Samuelsson: "MINE WAS EXTRAVAGENT, SINCE YOU ASKED. I GOT A GIFT CARD TO SEARS, WHICH IS SO CONVENIENT BECAUSE I NEED SOME BLACK AND DECKER PRODUCTS FOR OUTDOORS WORK."

Gustafsson: "There's g--"

Samuelsson: "NOT GARDENING THOUGH, I USUALLY LEAVE THAT TO THE MISSUS (chuckles). DO YOU HAVE KIDS."

Gustafsson: "Mikael, we n--"

Samuelsson: "MINE ARE TOO ADORABLE TO CONVEY WITH HUMAN EXPRESSION. TO SEE THE JOY ON THEIR FACES CHRISTMAS MORNING WAS TO LOOK INTO THE EYES OF A YOUNG JESUS -- NOT QUITE A BABY JESUS, BUT A YOUNGER ONE OF ABOUT 5 OR 6 YEARS OF AGE -- AND SHARE AN INTIMATE MOMENT OF COMPASSION AND UNDERSTANDING THAT SOMETIMES THIS IS A CONFUSING WORLD BUT WITH A PINCH OF GRACE AND SPOONFUL OF GENEROSITY THIS CAN BE A WONDROUS PLACE TO LIVE."

Gustafsson: "Sit down, Mikael."

Samuelsson: (sits)

Gustafsson: "As you know the Olympics are on the horizon and some difficult decisions are going to have to be made. I want to be able to discuss this like men, and to handle it appropriately."

Samuelsson: "I KNOW WHAT THIS IS ABOUT, COACH."

Gustafsson: "You do?"

Samuelsson: "YES. AND BEFORE YOU SAY ANYTHING ABOUT WHO YOU HAVE CHOSEN TO BE THE CAPTAIN OF TEAM SWEDEN, I WANT YOU TO VIEW A VIDEO I HAVE PREPARED FOR OUR MEETING."

Gustafsson: "That really won't be necessary, Mikael."

Samuelsson: "I INSIST, COACH. I THINK THIS WILL MAKE YOUR DECISION A LITTLE EASIER" (nudges with elbow).

(cassette is put into nearby VCR)



(video ends)

Gustafsson: "..... Mikael, that ...... that is ......"

Samuelsson: "UH COACH, THIS VIDEO PROJECT IS STILL A WORK-IN-PROGRESS, PLEASE RESERVE JUDGMENT UNTIL LATER. UH..."

Gustafsson: "We're getting a little off track here Mikael. I called you in here today to tell you--"

Samuelsson: "DON'T SAY IT COACH -- DO NOT SPEAK THOSE WORDS. DOUGLAS MURRAY MAY BE MORE QUALIFIED BECAUSE HE ONCE CHOKED OUT A WATER BUFFALO TO SAVE A GROUP OF BLIND ABORIGINE CHILDREN, BUT PLEASE, PERHAPS THIS WILL CHANGE YOUR MIND..."

(new cassette is put into VCR)



(video ends)

Gustafsson: (muttering) "This is the dumbest shit..."

Samuelsson: "COACH DID YOU SAY SOMETHING."

Gustafsson: "Mikael you're not on the Olympic roster."

Samuelsson: "YES! THANK YOU C0.... WAIT, WHAT."

Gustafsson: "You didn't make the team, Mikael. You didn't earn a spot."

Samuelsson: "I .... I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY. THIS IS DUMBFOUNDING."

Gustafsson: "Please, just take your A.V. equipment and leave. This has been rather embarrassing for the both of us."

(receptionist enters)

Receptionist: "Sir, is there anything wrong? I thought I heard yelling."

Samuelsson: "HE IS THE ONE WHO IS YELLING. NOT I, SAID THE CAT. THIS WHOLE COURTROOM IS OUT OF ORDER AND EVERYBODY IN HERE IS AGAINST ME. LADY I WANT YOU TO PICK UP THAT PHONE OF YOURS AND TELL SWEDEN THEY CAN GO FUCK THEMSELVES."

Receptionist: "You really want me to tell them that?"

Samuelsson: "Yes. Yes I do."

Receptionist: "Alright."


December 28, 2009

I Did a Podcast

2 comments:

Check out

Episode #3 of The Obstructed View,

in which myself, Kris from Snipe Snipe Dangle Dangle, and Kyle from Babcock's Death Stare are invited into Chris Hollis' interweb home. (The plastic covers on the seats were a little much, Chris. Grow a set.)
________________________________________


I used to be an actual blogger who wrote things on a regular basis. My New Year's resolution will be to get back to that. Just not today.

Now turn out the lights and enjoy my sultry voice as the four of us talk about #44, Jimmy Howard and male pattern baldness.





December 24, 2009

Game #37 -- Red Wings vs. Blackhawks

10 comments:

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS 3 - 0 DETROIT RED WINGS



You know times are different when you flip on the car radio, hear Ken Kal say the score is 0-0 at the 1st intermission, and your reaction is "Oh thank Christ."

While it certainly isn't looking good, I cannot bring myself to freak out after each loss. I don't even feel frustrated anymore -- just numb. Oddly enough though, I'm still enjoying whatever hockey I have gotten to watch over the last couple of weeks. I'm enjoying watching guys like Abdelkader, Howard, Eaves and a slightly rejuvenated Draper just enough to keep me from throwing flaming feces at my neighbor's kids.

Where is the despair and depression? I don't know. The strange assurance that everything is going to get better is overriding all else. Maybe it's the Christmas spirit or the eggnog (eggnog sucks). Maybe I'm still riding the high from Pinky Day, or maybe it's the new turtleneck I bought that's keeping me warm and oblivious. I can't explain it. I just can't get too down on this team right now because of this feeling that we're going to see a second half surge unlike any before.

Other thoughts:

"Blanked again. Shucks. Fifth time on the year. Fourth time at home. Third time in December. Second time back-to-back. First time I don't care. Merry Christmas?"
  • Something has to give -- I don't hate the Hawks enough. And I want to hate them. But even the guys I'm supposed to love to hate aren't that love-to-hateable. I would love to hate to not love to hate them, but I'm afraid it's just not that simple. When I can still bring myself to play as them online in NHL 10, that's not good.
  • Hope everyone saw that great clip of Homer talking about Swedish Santa Claus. In case you missed it, I typed it out:

Trevor Thompson: "Can you tell us about Santa Claus?"

Homer: "In Sveedish vee call him Tomfadkfja;kfd#da2."

TT: "You call him what?"

Homer: "Vee call him GFskdfaewfkaf++++. Akdfa;kefa@~" (shrugs shoulders)

TT: "Are those words?"

Homer: (pulls paper and crayons from locker; doodles)

TT: "That's a picture of my entire family, dead in my house, with me trying to eat the bodies to cover the evidence."

Homer: "Ya."

TT: "Explain yourself."

Homer: "Hahaha, it is Santa Claws. Get it?"

TT: (slowly backs away)
___________________________________________


Final word on the commercial: Yesterday we Tweetered that we were trying to post a downloadable version in which the un-synced parts were corrected, but we weren't able. As it turns out, it sounded like a number of people actually liked the original version for it's janky-ness anyway. So whatever. We'll stop messing with it until the Director's Cut is released, along with TTD commentary, the Fake Herm gag reel, and a bonus 270-frame comic strip of Pluto Nash fan fiction. (And even though that was totally a joke, it still felt incredibly pretentious.) Thanks to all who tuned in yesterday, and spread the word so we can party with Herm in Detroit come March.

Merry Christmas, everybody.


December 23, 2009

We Made a Commercial

23 comments:

As you may have heard, a really cool project has been in the works over the past few days to bring Red Wings Brasil's Guilherme (or "Herm" as I ignorantly started calling him one day) to Detroit to see his first Wings game. If you know nothing about this, you can catch up by clicking the A2Y link at the bottom and watch the video. We're not the Coen brothers, but we did what we could with the (very) limited resources we had.



Herm To Hockeytown


Red Wings Brasil

Abel to Yzerman


December 18, 2009

Game #34 -- Red Wings vs. Lightning

10 comments:
DETROIT RED WINGS 3 - 0 TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING



Oh come the fuck on.

Are you serious? Are you really serious with this? Zetterberg? Henrik Zetterberg? No. There's no way. He'll be fine. He drove himself to get an MRI, how bad could it be? You can't drive yourself with significant shoulder damage. That's absurd. 3 point turnabouts and shit? Checking blind spots? Turning to flip off the dude who thinks he's above using a turn signal (Honestly, who are these people? Who the hell thinks it's okay to just turn without signaling? Do you want to get rear ended? Are you 135 years old? Suck a sack.) He's okay -- he has to be. Nope, no injury here. Move along.

.... He's totally going to be out for the next four months.


As for the rest of the game:
  • That was another win I came away with impressed and happy, minus yet another injury. It's different -- and downright weird -- watching them win games this way, but it isn't any less entertaining. Miller and Abdelkader and Eaves are all great to watch. I haven't enjoyed watching sweaty men work this hard since I spent a summer working at the YMCA. (This unconscionably stupid joke was sent in by celebrity contributor and TTD fan, Dennis Miller.)
  • During the postgame on the radio, Paul Woods said that #44 "looks like a completely different player." He's exactly right. I don't know that I have ever seen a player whose game fluctuated this dramatically because of confidence issues. For the past few games, when he has tried those spin moves that earlier in the season made you eat your ball hair out of frustration, he has actually appeared competent. He can be so strong on the puck -- it's remarkable how he can swat away defenders with one arm while cradling the puck with the other. If he can keep this up for another 18 or 19 solid weeks without a single solitary mistake while being the best player ever and finding a cure for those self-inflicted AIDS, I'm probably going to have to consider using his name again.
  • Milestone night: Mike Babcock got his 300th victory, Jimmy Howard got his first career shutout, and we had our 500th tweet. I celebrated the Twitter achievement by starting contemplatively into the mirror for 30 seconds and then smacking myself across the face.
  • I like what the defense appears to be doing now, collapsing all five guys around the net and eating up those second chance opportunities. What Jimmy doesn't swallow up initially, somebody else has been there to bail him out over the last couple weeks.
  • Raf broke his point drought with two assists, including a football pass to set up Miller's goal which drew obligatory references to Bobby Orr. One of my favorite things ever about hockey is watching Brian Rafalski looking up ice from his own zone and trying to perfectly time those long bomb passes. It's awesome. The two line pass can rot in hell.
  • I'm falling hard for Patrick Eaves. A few months ago I didn't know that he existed (the "Wings sign Patrick Eaves" post was literally something like "I won't pretend to know who this fucker is"), and now I have pajamas with his picture on them.

TOP THREE WINGS

#3 ~ #44 .... Oh go to hell.

#2 ~ Brian Rafalski .... both ends of the ice, not just his Peyton Manning stuff.

#1 ~ Jimmy Howard .... up to date: 11-6-1; 2.27 GAA; .920 SV%


December 17, 2009

Don't Lose to the Lightning

18 comments:

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING @ DETROIT RED WINGS

7:30 -- Joe Louis Arena

Bolts: 11-13-9 (31 points), 13th in East | Wings: 17-11-5 (39 points), 8th in West
___________________________________________________________


Lightning blog of choice: Raw Charge


Before anything else, it must be said that what went down yesterday between Wing fans and a certain Wild blog was too much fun for one Internet. If you were involved, thank you for the laughs. My stomach was sore from trying not to laugh out loud in public. I haven't experienced that much joy in watching somebody melt down since Wolf "The Dentist" Stansson at the 3:50 mark of this clip. (Whenever I hear "The goalie!", I feel like somebody handed me a thousand dollars. Each time I watch this it instantly becomes the greatest moment of my life.)

This is a "Must not lose" game. You save "must wins" for when you're on a losing streak and need a victory more than you need a change of pants after an 18-wheeler doesn't get the fuck over and let you on the freeway and you almost crash because the dickhead driving the truck was too busy looking down below for cars with girls just barely hot enough for him to blow a load that he's been trying to kill off into his steering wheel for the past 65 miles. I'm totally not pulling this from real life, for the record.

The Wings really should not lose this game. The Bolts have lost eight of their last nine games; they are on the fourth game of a road trip in which they've been outscored 15 - 5; Tuesday night they gave up seven goals to Nashville -- a notion which I had previously thought to be against some sort of scientific principle. (Gravity, I think. Yeah. that sounds right. Oh, and that witchcraft that measures energy. What is that shit -- joules? Fuck it we're going with joules.) If the Wings lose this game, you will probably hear Larry Murphy's microphone pick up the sound of Babcock going flaccid. And not so shockingly, that happens to sound like the collapsing of a thousand suns. It will not make for a pleasant post game speech.

*****





So it turns out there aren't an abundance of good Lightning videos out there.

December 14, 2009

The Weekly Red Wings Podcast Has Arrived

4 comments:


A really cool project is getting underway this week. The Red Wings blogging community, lacking in podcasting entertainment, is coming together to put on a weekly show headed up at a site built specifically for all of this: The Obstructed View.

Episode #1 is up right now, featuring Kris from Snipe Snipe Dangle Dangle, Michael Patrella from The Production Line, Casey from Winging It In Motown, and the masterminds in charge: Chris Hollis from Motown Wings and podcast producer Brian. (Basically, if this were an acceptance speech at an award show, Chris and Brian would be the guys whom you'd say "none of this would be possible without". So kudos to them.)

For now it looks like shows will be recorded each Sunday, and you'll get to hear a rotating lineup of bloggers every week. If you've been waiting on pins and needles for this sort of thing, you can thank J.J. From Kansas. He started it all with one simple Tweet, and from there, the right people got the ball rolling. This should be a lot of fun.


And now, I will go back to ignoring the Wings for the next week.

December 12, 2009

Game #31 -- Red Wings vs. Ducks

28 comments:

DETROIT RED WINGS 3 - 2 ANAHEIM DUCKS (OT)



Now that was incredible. #44 scores two -- a Shanahan Special and an amazing overtime roofie colada -- and I'm not around to see or chronicle it. This is becoming a trend, too. When he scores, I'm either out of the room, or I miss the game live, or I pass it off as pure witchcraft or a Robitussin-induced hallucination. From my perspective, he is no different than the Easter Bunny.

Well done, #44.

*****

It will be another busy week before I get back to everyday posting. Barring a very cruel, cruel trick that could only be masterminded by the immortal Jeff Smoker, Michigan State is allowing me to graduate today. Hats will be tossed, shrimp will be eaten, and nipples will be hard enough to break glass.

They've made it sort of strange though, because I still have finals all of next week. Yeah you figure it out.

See you on the other side.




December 10, 2009

Cleary Out 4 Weeks With Separated Shoulder. No, Seriously.

15 comments:

Bruce MacLeod, Twitter:


"Dan Cleary has a separated shoulder and will be out four weeks. Ville Leino returns to the Red Wings lineup."


Out of curiosity I searched the words "Red Wings" and "Hockey Gods" and it returned this:




___________________________________________


Look, I don't want to break kayfabe here but I was kinda sorta joking about the whole curse of #44. I was trying to lighten the mood.

"...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."


In the two week's since I wrote that and later quoted myself like a douche bag, we've dodged serious injury in the form of Patrick Eaves' ankle and Jonathan Ericsson's foot, and had a little scare with Rafalski's back. The team couldn't stay so lucky as to keep incurring day-to-day injuries, and now Dan(ny) Cleary is out for four weeks. He will be the seventh (holy shit, the seventh? Yep, the seventh, asshole) Red Wing since the start of training camp to spend at least a month on the sidelines.

This one, though .... this is the one that broke the spine of my sanity. In a non-salary cap hockey world these injuries would be hard enough to overcome. Now I don't even know that we're icing a good team anymore. I love the Eaves/Helm/Draper unit but it is NOT a second line. As bad as we might want it to be, it simply isn't. We're going to keep facing teams with better depth than the Justin Abdelkaders and Drew Millers and Brad Mays can counter with. Barring a breakthrough performance, the goal scoring is going to continue to be a serious issue.

Ville Leino? Get your act together, fucker.

December 9, 2009

The Year of the Stomach Punch

9 comments:

ST. LOUIS BLUES @ DETROIT RED WINGS

7:30 -- Joe Louis Arena

Blues: 12-11-5 (29 points), 13th in West | Wings: 14-10-5 (33 points), 9th in West
___________________________________________________________


Blues blog of choice:


*****


If the Tigers are affecting my hockey blogging and it's December, it's either really good or really bad. Yesterday, they made me dead to the world by trading Curtis Granderson.









I'm a stat geek, but Curtis is one of -- if not the only -- player in which I throw that stuff out the window. And even that sentence would be misleading since he's a crazy talented player, but apparently his splits against lefties were too much for Dave Dombrowski to sleep at night. In an era of a sport where sleaze bags and 'roided up antiheroes are revealed on a weekly basis, the Tigers just got rid of the opposite of that. He's the epitome of a role model, character and anything else that opposes the Clemenses and Cansecos of the baseball world. It's a disgusting decision to me. Although I guess I really shouldn't be that surprised.

December 6, 2009

Game #29 -- Red Wings @ Rangers

16 comments:

DETROIT RED WINGS 3 - 1 NEW YORK RANGERS


What a huge win.

I didn't get a jump on this game until after Midnight. The whole day leading up to getting home, I was honestly scared to watch it. I simply wished that there wasn't a game on. But I watched dutifully, and what I saw was a gritty, rewarding performance. Saturday, the Wings played a good team in their building and battled back for a point. They played another road game Sunday and ground out two points. I will certainly take three out of four and I'm happy with the majority of what I saw over those two games.

Game Thoughts:

  • Ken Daniels mentioned at the start that Jimmy Howard wears #35 because his idol growing up was Mike Richter. For what it's worth, renowned man slut Henrik Lundqvist wears #30 to represent the number of women that he sexed before the age of 12.
  • The unit of Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Holmstrom, Rafalski and Lidstrom had a shift for the ages in the first period*. Or perhaps it used to be the norm and I've just forgotten what it looks like, but in any event it was great. The Rangers were so tired afterward that they fucked up a line change, then the Wings came right back and forced a penalty.
  • * When I watch games alone and make pithy comments to my imaginary friend Otis -- who laughs at all of my jokes, even the distasteful sexist ones -- I refer to Pav/Z/Homer/Raf/Lids as one solitary unity called the "Five Fingers".
  • The Rangers goal was the very definition of "deflating". Abdelkader turned the puck over and then Ericsson didn't cover for him on the ensuing rush. This was toward the end of a monster 1st period for the Wings but they went into the break down 1-0.
  • Over the past few months you probably haven't noticed my contempt for #44 because I've been so subtle with it. But the truth is I don't really like the way he fits in with the Wings lineup. I will say, however, that his head-first diving block at the end of the 1st period was straight up balls. Even if he didn't mean it and he was just falling forward like a fuck up.
  • What a difference a Lidstrom makes. Big E had a terrible game. Jimmy Howard used all 6'1" of himself to stop the penalty shot that resulted from Ericsson trying to give the Rangers an early Christmas Present (<---------- TURNOVER PUNS FTW)
  • In this horrid, injury plagued season in which each day brings a handful of new players to LTIR, how on Earth is Marian Gaborik still healthy? How, I ask? I imagine that his life is like the Final Destination movies and he keeps cheating death somehow. Security should be on him 24 hours a day. It would be no surprise if Chris Drury's skate mysterious fell off his foot and threw itself and Gaborik's throat.
  • Mick went off on some rant in the 2nd period about not understanding Jimmy's thinking that he has to prove his critics wrong. What Mick failed to mention was that he thinks Jimmy Howard is the guy who gets him hotdogs during intermissions, and is not a Red Wing goaltender playing in like his 18th season in the organization.
  • The Brad Stuart hit on Anisimov was "DAAAAAAAAAAMN" inducing.
  • Oddly enough, with Brendan Shanahan in attendance looking on, Dan(ny) Cleary gets the go-ahead goal via a no angle bank shot. I celebrated like the Wings won an overtime playoff game, albeit with pants on.
TOP THREE WINGS

#3 ~ Nick Lidstrom ... Nick had help from others, including his partner Rafalski (who looked sharp all things considered), but played a huge roll in shutting down Gaborik to the tune of zero shots on goal. I thought the whole team did a good job on him when they needed to.

#2 ~ Jimmy Howard ... One of his best games. The rebounds were more under control tonight than any game I can recall to this point. Huge stop on the penalty shot, huge stop on Higgins' breakaway, huge job on the PK on the 3rd.

#1 ~ Pavel Datsyuk ... 1 and 2 were a coin flip to me here. This one to me was all about how Pav kept getting in the way of passes and making plays with his stick in the defensive zone. It had to have been five or six times at least that he broke up a pass or snuck into a play to make an interception. His goal was sort of important too.

_______________________________________________


FYI: I know I drop these school-related notes every so often, but the next two weeks are crunch time for me and posting might get sparse, I'm not sure. Luckily this will be the last of me dealing with this "school" business. After that, I'm all yours (seductive wink).


December 5, 2009

Wings / Devils Pregame

8 comments:

DETROIT RED WINGS @ NEW JERSEY DEVILS

7:00 -- Prudential Center

Wings: Oh my god. | Devils: 18-7-1 (37 points), 4th in East
_________________________________________________


Devils blog of choice: Interchangeable Parts

My liveblogging skills pale in comparison to the ladies of IPB. They have conquered the medium like a fine art form -- sort of like Kris Draper and his mastery of always putting a slapshot directly into a goalie's logo. To see either of those is to witness Monet in his happiest of happy places.

0:00 - To cap off an entertainingly dreadful period, we get an interview with Niedermayer (the Lesser). He probably also doesn’t know alix’s cousin’s name, but the opportunity doesn’t arise for him to reveal that. Stan asks him for the solution for how the Devils can score goals, and sadly, Niedermayer (the Lesser) doesn’t bust out laughing and say, “If I knew that, would I be (the Lesser)?”

*****

This is Fox's intro to Game 1 of the 1995 Stanley Cup Finals. I watched it three times. I'm having trouble deciding if it's the worst or the worst best worstest thing that has ever happened.




I had totally forgotten that the Finals were part of my slate of Saturday morning cartoons. Thanks for reminding me, Youtube.

December 4, 2009

Game #27 -- Red Wings vs. Oilers

8 comments:

EDMONTON OILERS 4 - 1 DETROIT RED WINGS


Postgame -- Mike Babcock:

"We weren't any good tonight."

"No excuse for what happened."

"It's unacceptable. It's un-Red Wing-like."



And this answer to Ericsson's injury status was exceptionally heavy:

""I don't know. I don't even have the courage to go in there and ask."


Even though he's pretty candid and regularly un-cliche, that one shook me when I heard him say it. For just a second, that steely exterior had a huge, revealing crack in it. You could hear the disbelief in his voice. Like us, Babs can't believe all of these injuries.

Early reports were saying that it was Jonny's knee and not his foot or ankle, and that it wasn't as serious as it initially looked (he's day to day). We'll see. I'm not getting my hopes up.

  • The Wings were outshot 36-28, and were outshot in every period. They played almost exclusively from the perimeter and drew all of one penalty. 12 give-aways. Two goals scored against our own goalie. If you aren't getting the picture, let me sum it up for you: There weren't enough penises to go around for how much they sucked.
  • Was Jimmy Howard bad? Was he unlucky? Does he hate black people? I don't have the answers. It feels like every one of these iffy goalie games end up with us having this same stupid discussion. Somebody says he was bad, somebody says it's too hard to adjust to those redirections, and then my dad will inevitably walk into the room, see Jimmy and say, "You know, he looks like somebody that hates black people." Ok that last one only happened once, but there's a legitimate chance that it could happen again.
My take? The first "own goal" .... whatever. That would be hard to pick up, and I don't blame him. The second one though .... between the point of the deflection and the goal, I had enough time to teach my cat how to give himself a "stranger". It was incredible. With just his four little cat fingers and everything.
  • Ericsson looked weak on a couple of occasions, like when Robert Nilsson took his virginity on the second Edmonton goal. But it seemed like he stayed confident, continuing to rush with the puck and pretend that he was an un-shitty Brett Lebda. I like that he doesn't seem to get rattled.

TOP THREE WINGS

#3 ~ Justin Abdelkader .... He looked like the guy with the most passion and the most jump. He had a team-high six hits while only two guys had less ice time.

#2 ~ Dan Cleary .... He scored the goal. The only fucking goal of the game against this smug douche bag.

#1 ~ Nick Lidstrom .... Whatever else he did, I don't care. His long bomb assist at the end of the 1st period .... how amazing was that? With under five seconds to go at his own goal line, Nick fires a flying saucer pass right onto the stick of Todd Bertuzzi -- I mean ..... intentionally banks it off the head of a referee and it bounces with enough speed over to Dan Cleary for a one-timer goal. Totally all Nick on that one. Astounding stuff.

December 3, 2009

2002 Finals, Game 5 -- The Liveblog

20 comments:

Yesterday, Yahoo! Sports offered us this question: Who is the Sports Team of the Decade? One eloquent commenter from that article summed it up for all of us:

"The '08 Lions, lol."

(Channeling my inner 'Puck Stops Here') *I'm going to disagree with Marzipan23's selection. The Lions played 16 games last season and lost all 16. They did not win a single game. They were 0-16. 16 times they played football and they lost at football 16 out of 16 possible times. It is for this reason that they are not the best team of the decade. It would be more accurate to say that they were one of the 50 worst teams of the decade. Zone starts.*

I'm a little biased. My selection for best team is obviously the 2002 Detroit Red Wings. A spectacular collection of talent that rarely has been seen in this or any decade, in any sport. If you are not a Red Wings fan, you have already clicked away because you are so unbelievably fucking sick of hearing about this team. And I wouldn't blame you.

But holy hell this team was awesome for us to watch. Luckily I have taped a preposterous number of games in my lifetime, and more than a few of them are from this season. The moments I didn't stop to savor in 2002 have been relived dozens of times on my VCR, with this usually occurring on sick days or before I learned how to talk to women. Yesterday I had one of those sick days, and to lift my spirits I put in Game 5 from the 2002 Finals. And like anybody else would do, I decided to liveblog it.

*****

  • Oh, these were the days, weren't they? An epic opening ABC Sports montage .... Al Michaels .... the music .... Thorne and Clement .... national television. It's as if this game was played on Jupiter.
  • Jiri Fischer is suspended for this game after a vicious cross check in Game 4. He will be replaced by the incomparable Jiri Slegr. (Slegr played 17 minutes and finished a plus-2. Inspired by his own performance, he retired to a start a new career as a replacement double for guys named 'Jiri' during awkward moments. Currently you can find him in Jiri Hudler's bed trying to explain to a Czech prostitute what that "clucking" maneuver was all about.)
  • Brian Engblom's mullet is at it's apex in 2002. It just asked Carolina coach Paul Maurice -- after his team hadn't scored in the last six periods -- if "the offense had to improve". Hmmm.
1ST PERIOD
  • 17:00 -- The Wings pile on the shots early, firing at Arturs Irbe at every chance during the first few minutes. The gameplan here was to get Irbe's disgustingly old pads to disintegrate by the first intermission.
  • 15:01 -- A shot deflects into the crowd, and a moron with a tucked in #91 jersey with the name "GORDON" on the back tumbles over three rows of people. Boy, it's a good thing Fedorov eventually left so that #91 was all Gordon's, otherwise he'd look like a fucking idiot with that jersey on.
  • 14:20 -- Crazy sequence unfolds. Luc Robataille makes a phenomenal cross ice pass to Fredrik Olausson, who gets robbed by Irbe but the puck squirts through his pads. Igor Larionov picks up the puck at the side of the net and sends a saucer pass to Luc, who then hits the post on an open net. A serious buzz takes hold of the Joe for the next 30 seconds.
  • An anti-Windows commercial for Mac computers comes on. With the all white background, a pretentious guy, the elevator music and everything else. I swear I do not remember these Mac commercials dating back this far, with the same theme and style, no less.
  • Zero offense so far by Carolina, who are sticking to the trap game and taking absolutely no chances. I don't think they have attempted a pass of more than five feet yet. Sami Kapenen literally just picked up the puck and handed it off to Ron Francis like a quarterback.
  • 9:15 -- Gary Thorne relays that Chris Chelios has more playoff experience than anybody else on either team. And this was seven years ago.
  • 7:09 -- First power play of the game goes to the Wings. It feels strange, because in my head I've already called 27 interference penalties. Carolina kills it off by committing interference another 12 times.
  • 3:34 -- After a turnover, Fedorov breaks in alone on goal, but the puck rolls on him and he shoots it right into Irbe's stomach. I know this is probably my selective memory at work, but it seemed like Sergei opted for shooting 5-hole way more than deking on breakaways during his NHL career, and that annoyed me a bit. Maybe I'm just bias toward the deke since the name of this site isn't "Shoot At The 5-Hole And Hope He's One Of Those 80's Goalies That Tries To Make Saves By Acting Like He Just Got Shot". (Although "SAT5HAHHOOT8GTTTMSBALHJGS" would be a pretty sweet acronym.)
  • Intermission -- The way Barry Melrose is breaking down the game would make you believe that the Hurricanes feel like they're up 6-0 right now. They just could not be more thrilled that this game is scoreless. They love it. In fact they would rather find a loophole that allows them to win 0-0 than actually record a goal.
  • More commercial entertainment: Be sure to pick up Black Hawk Down on DVD this week! That Josh Hartnett is rising like a blinding, fiery comet. His fame will know no bounds in the future.

2ND PERIOD
  • 17:43 -- The Canes had a guy named Jeff Daniels. Still find this funny. By the way, the Canes haven't scored a goal in this series since the middle of the 3rd period of Game 3, which spans about eight periods. I can't believe this series felt as close as it did with a scoreless streak of that length.
  • 15:53 -- GOAL: Tomas Holmstrom ... Igor centers a puck from the corner and Homer stretches with one arm to poke home the first goal of the game. This was an awesome, cycle-filled shift by this line, mostly Homer, Igor and Chelios.
  • 14:09 -- Bill McCreary calls the Wings for their first penalty, but the Canes don't convert as they spend the entire two minutes playing the trap in the neutral zone. This team is allergic to puck possession. Paul Maurice is now working furiously on the bench with his cronies on a way to mathematically win this game while down 1-0.
  • 9:14 -- A spry Pavel Datsyuk forechecks with my long lost cousin Boyd Devereaux. Sadly this is the closest that I will ever come to playing hockey with Datsyuk, and even more sadly this doesn't make fucking sense.
  • That one annoying Coors Lite commercial: "BECAUSE WE CAN CAN CAAAAAANNNNNN! BECAUSEWECAN CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN....."
  • 5:57 -- GOAL: Brendan Shanahan ... On the power play -- after a very pre-lockout-y looking penalty by the Canes, Shanny took a perfect pass from Sergei and blew it by Irbe on a one-timer. After being incredibly snake bitten previously, this marked Shanny's second straight game with a goal.
  • Ahhh, Circuit City. "We're With You", their slogan says. No, you're really not, guys. You are like the opposite of that.
  • 3:45 -- Classic, classic Kirk Maltby. He delivers a fairly harmless hit to Erik Cole, then chirps at him a bit trying to bait him into doing something stupid. Bates Battaglia takes care of the stupidity part by decking Maltby from behind, thinking he's helping his buddy, and a penalty is called. Fantastic.
  • 3:07 -- Shanny takes a bad hooking penalty to cancel out the Wings' power play though, which actually will have a big impact on this game. The Canes get a few seconds of power play time a minute later and Jeff O'neil, defying coaches orders by shooting the puck, scores to make it 2-1. But not without a bit of controversy as we had to go to video review. Bill McCreary goes to the phone to call the video judge, Lord Zordon:
~ McCreary: "Hey, we're trying to see if the puck went in off the back post there."

~ Zordon: "PATIENCE MY SON -- IN TIME WE WILL KNOW. TELL ME -- ARE YOUR BALLS DRY."

~ McCreary: (sighs) ".... Yes, my l0rd."

~ Zordon: "EXCELLENT. BARBARA WILL BE HAPPY TO HEAR THAT HER NEW PANT DESIGN -- THE RBK TOASTY TIGHT -- IS A ROUSING SUCCESS."

~ McCreary: "While I appreciate the pants, my lord, we need to--"

~ Zordon: "MY SON I HAVE SEEN THE FUTURE AND IT WILL BE CHALLENGING TO YOU AND YOUR BAND OF ZEBRAMEN. MANY A PENALTY WILL NEED TO BE WHISTLED AND BALL SWEAT WILL BE OF GREAT CONCERN. YOU WILL BE HIGHLY SCRUTINIZED, FOR EVERY GAME WILL BE CALLED TIGHTLY .... MUCH LIKE THE PANTS AROUND YOUR VERY DRY BALLS."

~ McCreary: "My lord I must admit this is embarrassing. You are shouting loud enough for the linesman to hear me-- Oop, did you hear that? Brian Murphy just called me a fag. Great. Thanks for that."

~ Zordon: "IT'S PROBABLY BECAUSE OF THE GAY MUSTACHE, WHICH WILL GO LARGELY UNCHANGED THROUGH THE REST OF YOUR CAREER. BY THE WAY, IT WAS INDEED A GOAL."

~ McCreary: "Thanks, dick." (Points to center ice.)

  • Intermission -- Commercial of the cast of According to Jim with the Cup in their house. Jim Belushi has touched the Stanley Cup and I haven't. Every time this part of the tape comes on I fast forward it so that I don't have to rub poison sumac in my eyes.
  • Al Michaels looks like he'd rather be watching his wife having sex with a thoroughbred race horse than be at this game.

3RD PERIOD
  • 18:35 -- Slegr lays a huge hit in the Wings end. An underrated-to-never-mentioned subject from this series is how remarkable Slegr was in this game considering he hadn't played in two months. To come in for the clinching game of the Finals and not only play mistake-free but play well was amazing.
  • 15:10 -- Just realized that I'm this far in and haven't mentioned Steve Yzerman once. I must be losing my mind. Did you hear that he was playing on one knee?
  • 14:35 -- Fedorov goes off for cross checking. In a 2-1 game, with Carolina on the power play, this should've been a huge moment. But instead the Canes chose to keep it safe by running three straight times and punting.
  • 11:10 -- Kirk Malby is such a prick. He "accidentally" hits Josef Vasicek over the head with his stick, then tries to skate away, but Vasicek (understandably upset) gives Maltby a low blow and picks up a penalty. What an asshole. I love this man. (A few minutes later, ABC microphones picked up a random player yelling "Fuck off". I don't know who it was or what happened, but it's worth noting that Maltby was on the ice.)
  • 9:40 -- An early-era Datsyuk staple: Embarrasses a guy with a move, but then tries to beat him again unnecessarily and loses the puck. Back then it was frustrating but still cool. Now to watch it is simply adorable.
  • 7:10 -- Things are really starting to tense up as the countdown to victory comes closer: Yzerman almost makes Irbe poop his pants with a slap shot; Robataille couldn't get elevation on a mostly open net; and then Homer was robbed on a twirling shot at the side of the net, all within 30 seconds.
  • 4:47 -- I wonder if Brett Hedican hates that announcers are incapable of mentioning him or his skating ability without making a terrible joke about him being married to Kristi Yamaguchi. That would drive me crazy. If I were him I would've snapped one day and showed up to a game with her face sewn over mine screaming, "WE'RE REALLY THE SAME NOW HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH"
  • 4:20 -- We're to the point of the game where fans are so delirious that hands and pom poms are blocking the cameras -- something that, for whatever reason, I've always liked. I like hands distracting my view. It enhances the moment, or something.
  • 2:20 -- Chants of "We want the Cup" ...
  • 0:55 -- ... Irbe to the bench ...
  • 0:44 -- ... and Shanny seals it. And the degree of difficulty for an empty netter was actually pretty high here -- the puck is rolling, Shanny is shooting from along the boards at center ice, just as he gets wasted by a check. But he still hits the net.
  • Bill Clement: "What a party that erupted on the Red Wings bench. There were two clusters -- one at each end of the bench -- and it was just two masses of humanity jumping up and down, together."
  • 0:00 -- AKJD;FKL.JDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

*****
  • Darren Pang: "You're not retiring, eh?" Steve Yzerman: "Can't afford to, Darren, can't afford to."
  • Brian Engblom: "Are you coming back next year?" Chris Chelios: "I hope so."
  • Gary Thorne, watching Datsyuk skating the Cup: "I think he might do this again."