May 25, 2010

Yzerman Bolts for Tampa

(Get the joke? He "bol...." oh go to hell.)

First of all, if you have never seen this picture before, I feel humbled that the greatest moment of your life took place at The Triple Deke.

Second, Stevie Y took the GM job in Tampa Bay, if you hadn't yet heard.

Third, turn that frown upside down. Then crack your mouth open a little bit because it looks fucking creepy when people have a u-shaped Joker smile with no teeth. I don't mess around with that shit. If you look at me like that I'm going to assume that you're thinking about doing something to me that breeches my civil rights, and typically in this situation I react by deploying blunt force trauma to your throat with my fist.

Be happy for this man. He's got a job that only 29 other people in the world get to do. (Well I'm not sure if what Steve Tambellini is doing in Edmonton is considered a "job" ... at least I hope he's not getting paid for doing that.) And it doesn't mean that he's going to spend the next 50 years in Florida running the Lightning. Once Ken Holland decides to hang up his phones (lol) and call it a career, we can all make a trip down to Tampa -- we'll make a weekend out of it and refer to it as like "H2H5", probably -- and kidnap him back and bring him home. It will be just like that movie Celtic Pride, except Stevie won't inexplicably be friends with us in the end. Because we'll go to jail. For a long time. But it will be okay because he'll be back where he belongs, and we will be too.

Now I will kick back and wait for the arrival of my newest purchase:

May 13, 2010

2002 Conference Finals, Game 7 -- The Liveblog

This is the second installment of an indeterminable amount of Classic Liveblog posts here at TTD. The first can be viewed here.


I can't quite put into words how awesome the opening montage of this game was.

Take yourself back there for a minute. I recall the buildup throughout the day feeling all sorts of unholy, the first puck drop taking what seemed like centuries to arrive. It made your chest burn thinking about who would get on the board first. The loser of this game would have effectively lost the six year war, and they would do so in the grandest of fashions. It wasn't a series-deciding Game 7 -- it was a legacy-deciding Game 7. This was Gary Thorne in that slow-mo montage:

"These are not just teams of men battling toward a common goal, but tribes, whose greatest satisfaction is defeat of their one true foe. The last line of defense, the protectors of victory are unmatched in their achievements. The greatest of their time, they duel to define who is best. The seventh game is where truth is revealed. No game between Colorado and Detroit has ever .... mattered .... more."

By Zeus' taint, I don't think I've ever felt more alive.

  • Brian Engblom's hair looks identical to what it does currently. The only fathomable explanation I can come up with is that his wife has an insatiable MacGyver fetish.
  • "Party Hard" by Andrew W.K. is playing in an NHL Cup Crazy commercial. Just hearing that song again compelled me to pick up the phone, call a random girl and hear her tell me that she doesn't want to go to Homecoming with me. But now, in 2010, I retort with, "Mwahaha! Joke's on you -- I am Tyler of Triple Deke fame! That's right. No tinted-out '95 Lumina joy riding for you. You know how many groupie sluts I have jerkin' on my home row to get at this 56 words per-minute? You know how many? 'Zero'? Okay that was a lucky guess."
  • Bill Clement mentions that Scotty Bowman used 12 different line combinations in Game 6 of this series. And this of course wasn't a panic move or reactionary -- it was strategy. Can you imagine Mike Babcock doing that? Or any coach? He was only the greatest coach in the history of team sports, I'd assume we would see this duplicated at some point.

  • 18:10 -- I found it to be really interesting: Just under a minute in, the Avs appear to ice the puck, but it's waved off for some reason and they get a scoring chance. About a minute later, Stevie Y dumps the puck in with Fedorov the only forechecker as the Wings go for a change, Roy plays the puck around the boards, and with no imminent danger at all, an Avalanche player needlessly and immediately ices the puck. At the 18:10 mark, a puck in the Avs zone gets whipped around the boards, goes for another icing. Three times they sent the puck the length of the ice, less than two minutes into the game. They played not to lose this game from the nanosecond it started. And on the next faceoff ....
  • 18:03 -- Tomas Holmstrom scores the greatest tip in goal I have ever seen. On a point shot from Steve Deuchene, Homer goes to the front of the net and begins to fall as he's battling for position. The only part of his body or equipment that is touching the ice at the point of deflection is his stick, and he tips it in. 1-0 Red Wings.
  • 16:43 -- Before you even considered sitting back down from celebrating the Homer goal, Sergei took one of those, "Eh, fuck it, I guess I'll shoot" shots -- and it's 2-0. Clement: "For the Avs to win this game, and get to the Stanley Cup Finals, they now have to get three by the Dominator."
  • 16:20 -- The Joe Louis crowd is beyond delirious. It's a sound of joy and disbelief unlike any that I have heard. The first chants of "PA-TRICK" rain down and the game is not even four minutes old. I've watched this game no less than 4,000 times and I still can't believe this start. I'm still waiting for the tape to auto-correct itself and show Peter Forsberg scoring his patented one-handed move while stabbing our goaltender in the back with a fork.
  • 10:20 -- Avs ice the puck for the fourth time this period. Between the the 1996 Conference Finals and this game, I was terrified of the Avalanche. Terrified of them. That all went out the window when I saw the nightmare they were living in JLA halfway through the 1st period.
  • 9:35 -- Lucky Luc scores the goal that made you start questioning if this was a scrimmage. Or a charity event. Or a fucking ruse perpetrated by the ghost of Bob Rouse's three-nutted undead grandfather. It had to be something .... there was no way that this was happening. An absolutely luscious drop pass from the Professor sets up Luc for a beautiful 5-hole finish. (And that has to be the horniest sounding sentence I've ever written.) Colorado uses their timeout. 3-0.
  • 7:09 -- Luc creates the next one all by himself: He morphs into the body of a 22 year-old Pavel Bure with 1980's Lawrence Taylor's coked-up heart rate, splits two defenders, burns around another, and puts a backhander on goal. The rebound is kicked right out in front and oh holy night of satin and rosemary babblefuck it's 4-0 Red Wings. It's 1:40 in the morning and I just high-fived a ficus plant in celebration of a game that happened eight years ago.
  • 2:56 -- It feels relevant to mention that the Wings scored four goals in this game before Colorado had even the most loosely interpreted of a scoring chance. What was supposed to be the most epically, fatally intense hockey game of all time was never even a game to begin with.

  • 16:22 -- "The Avalanche have five scoring chances." Yeahokay. The last three games, maybe.
  • 15:19 -- My long lost illegitimate cousin Boyd Devereaux out-hustles three Avs behind the Colorado net, and pounces on a nonchalant pass. He feeds a wide open Brett Hull who buries a goal for a 5-0 lead. When Boyd Devereaux is beating three members of the league's #1 defense on one play, you might be a red neck. Does that make sense? No. Neither does Adam Foote's face.
  • 13:32 -- As a promotional event for the Wings next power play, they bring a random dude out of the crowd to see if he can score on Patrick Roy. 20 seconds later, a vagabond graffiti artist named Fredrik Olausson scores to make it 6-0.
  • Now Roy is looking to the bench, his eyes screaming, "If you don't pull me now, I'm going to pull off your pubes one by one in front of your crying children." .....
  • .... And it happens. One of the most indelible images in Detroit Red Wings history: Patrick Roy skating to the bench, wholly stunned, eyes darting around and face blank, and looking almost like he's thinking 10,000 different things at once, without finding one thought or emotion to settle on. He hasn't processed what happened. It shouldn't have happened. It couldn't have happened. The alleged greatest goalie of all time had choked away Game 6 and Game 7 in the most important playoff series of his career.
  • 12:36 -- A classic shot of Mike Ilitch shrugging his shoulders in disbelief. (It would be revealed later in a 60 Minutes interview with Mike Wallace that Ilitch's bewilderment was not over the staggering 6-goal lead, but was actually from somebody handing him the blue print to the $5 Hot 'n Ready pizza campaign.)
  • 2:58 -- A really cool shot of Brendan Shanahan watching game video right on the Wings bench. You think Versus would have caught this? Fuck no. In fact, they would've missed it while showing Lindsey Soto interviewing Bob Hartley.
Soto: "Bob, you're down 6-0 with a period to go on the road against Dominik Hasek and one of the greatest teams of all time. How do you get back in this game?"

Hartley: "I want to punch gonorrhea into you."

  • 0:50 -- "WE WANT ROY! ..... WE WANT ROY! .... WE WANT ROY!"

  • 19:20 -- Wow, remember those 1-800-COLLECT commercials? Suddenly this game feels 30 years old, and that makes me want to drink things.
  • 17:00 -- I have to also ask: remember Barry Melrose's frightening-as-all-fuck cackle? He used to do that at the most mundane of jokes. Even things that can't even be classified as jokes. ("One thing's for sure Barry, Carolina can't like what they see--" "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" ....) Nowadays he seems a lot more sedated. It's about time we questioned if his mullet has actually sucked out his brain and placed it in Stan Fischler's head.
  • 13:50 -- What a huge save by Aebischer! A star is born! They're right back in this thing!
  • 11:50 -- The Avs go to a power play. I don't want to jinx anything, but if they can manage a touchdown here, we've got ourselves a ballgame.
  • 8:30 -- "Na-na-NA, NA ....... HEY HEY HEY ........ GOOD BYE ...." I've always wanted to be at a sporting event where I could partake in this chant. The closest to this sort of celebration that I've come is throwing unborn goat fetus at an Ohio State fan for saying hello to me at a football game. He really didn't deserve that, but what -- I'm going to just HOLD ON to unborn goat fetus at a Michigan State game? They would've expelled me for something like that. I was just following Spartan code of conduct.
  • 7:10 -- Chris Drury scores for Colorado, but appears to have kicked it in. They review it. The goal is waved off. Hmmph -- so that's what that feels like.
  • 3:51 -- The Red Wings power play at the peek of their powers: "Hoosiers"-level passing, tic-tac-toe over to Pavel Datsyuk for a one-timer goal. The extra point .... 7-0 Wings.

"Sweet Caroline" plays over the JLA loud speakers, the crowd rises to their feet and the final minutes of this series are played before a standing ovation. They've been singing and chanting the entire period. What I would have given to see this game live. It looked like so much.... fun. Fun? Game 7's aren't supposed to be fun. They are supposed to be bone-crushing in intensity and make you wish that you lacked the "hockey loving" gene.

This game was anything but that. It was great. It was certainly anything but ordinary, and given the buildup, the circumstances and the rivalry, something that we'll never see again in our lifetimes.

May 10, 2010

Conference Semifinals, Game 5 -- Red Wings at Sharks


To be honest, I don't want to write this at all. Not only do I simply lack the motivation to physically type, I refereed a battle royal between my two grandmothers and our family's cat to decide who would fill TTD's Game 5 recap void. This turned out to be a terrible idea because the cat won, and then he wrote this ridiculous thesis on Iron Man 2 which totally blew the whole movie for me before I saw it, and probably most important, it had nothing to do with the game. Fucker watched the game, too. Least he could do is mention the Wings inability to win crucial faceoffs or battles along the boards. Or Doug Murray resembling Guy #3 on the human evolutionary chart. Instead he turns in a 48 page hand written novella that included a disgusting fan fiction tangent where Scarlett Johansson births the world's first "cat baby".

Now I'm stuck here by myself, having said nothing about the season finale until two days later. And I'm not ready to accept it.

I always do this. I let the shock buffer me from the sensation of reality for a few days until I see another hockey game, and then it hits me like a sack of wet gophers*: The Red Wings won't win the Stanley Cup, and I won't feel the cocaine-laced rush of a Wings game for another five months.

* This hit comes from the blind side, makes contact with the head, occurs eons after I've passed the puck, and escapes without consequence.

Final thoughts ...

  • Rafalski's turnover gaffe that led to the winning goal is an image of horror that will stick in my brain forever. It will be joining the ranks of a young Osgood clearing the puck up the boards, Scott Neidermayer's fluttering turd goal, the overhead replay of Kronwall hitting the crossbar, Draper's broken face, and Manny Legace's regular face.
  • As mentioned above, losing the board battles was a reoccurring theme in this series. The Sharks seemed to win them all. All of them. I don't know if that's anywhere close to being accurate, but that's probably because it's been over 24 hours since the final horn and that's a shitload of time to do nothing but drink antifreeze.
  • I want there to be a record this: the Sharks won this series, not the referees.
  • I won't be able to handle an announcement of Nick Lidstrom's retirement, if that's what we are given in the coming weeks. My body will reject it and vomit it back up in the form of jumbled Spaghetti-Os letters and a mysterious, not-previously-consumed pint of liquified goat horn.

It feels ritual to close out the coverage of a hockey season like you would the season of a TV show: with a cliff hanger!

Will Brent make it through the summer alive, or will his lack of knowledge of the Pakistani people lead to his imprisonment and ultimately a gruesome death?

Will Bruce MacLeod return our emails inquiring a joint venture into a nation-wide wafflehouse chain where we make surprise visits to random locations and perform sketches in which we transform his previous blogs into slam poetry?

Will The Triple Deke and Nightmare on Helm Street finally tie the knot?

Am I pregnant? And are YOU the father? Well, why not?


I don't want to go into the "thank you"s and whatnot like we're done doing anything. We'll be busy and around these parts with new stuff in the coming months, so don't go permanently galavanting off to your Tigers blogs just yet.

Go Wings

May 7, 2010

Conference Semifinals, Game 4 -- Red Wings vs, Sharks


Even though The Mule had been putting up the points, he wasn't finding the goals. He had been frustrated and admitted to John Keating that he yearned for the touch of a red nosed balding pseudo poet was lacking in goal scoring confidence. Playing along side that worthless schmuck Pavel Datsyuk was really holding him back. We had begun to wonder where the game-changing, dominant mule faced man had wandered off to.

Then last night happened. Johan Franzen put a Jihad out on the San Jose Sharks. And if you don't believe it, then he'll put a Jihad on you too.

In reality, the Wings could lose Game 5 and this will all be fairly irrelevant. Also reality: it's muthafuckin' FRIDAY Y'ALL and it's time to enjoy yourselves for at least another 24 hours.

I like Joe Thornton about as much as the idea of a taint paper cut. Other thoughts ...

  • Ericsson learned his lesson on pinching by immediately doing it again 3 minutes into the game and causing a 2-on-1 the other way. Luckily it was defended better this time and the Sharks stayed off the board. But I'm still in favor of chipping in to get Big E a shock collar.
  • Brad Stuart got hurt and didn't return to the game after a collision along the boards in the first period. While watching the replay, Mick remarked that Stu didn't even show any pain on his face. That, quite obviously, is because he's from Rocky fucking Mountain House, Alberta, mother fucker. You don't come from RMH and show some pussy-assed "ouchie" face up in this bitch. You act like a gentle breeze flew through your hair and swallow that pain lke it's cotton candy. Mmmmmmm, pain tastes fucking delicious when you're from The Rock.
  • Mattias Ritola played instead of Jason Williams, and honestly I didn't notice anything from him that was more eye-catching than his little biography graphic, which stated he is a fan of UofM sports. Of course he is. Isn't that what 3/4 of all UofM fans are? People with no educational attachment to the school whatsover who just root for them because they (used to) win all he time? I bet Ritola wears a dirty maize and blue Starter pullover jacket and pushes a shopping cart around town when he's not playing. Have I done enough to start alienating some readers yet? Where the fuck are our trolls? They promised us trolls. Two years into this shit and we don't have one fucking troll.
  • I have to say that it was a really good game from #44, too. I have to say this. Literally. He's holding a shotgun to my right eye socket as I type and is making me do this.
  • John Keating to #44 during the first intermission: "...the puck went in off one of your muscular thighs..." I'm done with Keats after this. I just can't do it anymore. There has to be some sort of intervention and a 12 step program we can get him on so that his life can get back on track. This is absurd. Muscular thighs. Jesus Christ.
  • Jumbo Joe has some nerve hitting Z in the back of the head and then claiming he dove. I mean, hell, even if he did dive -- you're really going there, Joe? Honestly? Have you seen that fucking swan you have in goal? Or that Littlegoochi guy who seems like he could use one of these?
  • From the classy (using this term genuinely ... I know it gets confusing) Mr. Plank at Fear the Fin:
"Safe to say this was the worst game San Jose has played this postseason. That being said, don't piss your pants just yet. Game five will be the hardest game for Detroit to win this entire series. Hate to say it's a must-win considering the Sharks have a 3-1 series lead, but it's just about close. Want no part of a game six at The Joe."

I'd have to agree. They don't want to come back to Detroit (but hey, who would? What a shitty city! lol unemployment) and might be playing Game 5 with their scalps on fire. Whether that turns out to be a good thing or not remains to be seen. It sounds pretty awful though. I for one thing that would hurt quite a bit.

Go Wings

May 5, 2010

Conference Semifinals, Game 3 -- Red Wings vs, Sharks



That's an all-time bummer of a Wings game. There's something particularly awful about losing for the third time in a series as opposed to the fourth; at least with the fourth you are dead and can't feel your feelings anymore. Right now I can still feel my skin frying and melting off of my body.

  • I felt good whenever Cleary, Hank and/or Fil were on the ice. I felt shaky when Pav, Mule and Homer were, mainly because that meant Scary Ass Joe Pavelski and his little swan diving friend were near. But also because Mule looks frustrated beyond recognition and it's impacting his game, and because Homer -- while playing his ass off to the tune of perhaps the best run of his career -- is a walking penalty threat. (I say walking because whatever it's called that Homer does on the ice cannot technically be called "skating".)
  • Wasn't surprised that Z's goal was called back, I thought it was about 50/50. If there were any doubts about the goal being waved off, they were soon erased when Mick called it a "good goal" 45 times before the official announcement. I still would've joined the bullshit chant anyway, just because it reminds me of my youth/college days. (i.e. like six months ago.)
  • From the beginning of the game, three things had me worried: Jimmy not looking sharp; Ericsson pinching like he thought he was Lebda thinking he was Paul Coffey; and too many guys taking outside shots without traffic in front of the net. Those three things may have combined to seal our playoff fate all in one fatal ten second span in OT.
  • Helm was about an inch away from taking a puck to the throat in the 2nd period. And now I will fill my biweekly quota of saying that I don't understand how people don't die all the time while playing this sport. With the razor blades attached to the people skating at like 30 mph and sticks everywhere and pucks flying all over the place .... logically it just doesn't make any fucking sense how anyone is alive after three hours of this shit.
  • Things from this game that a tiny portion of me will never get over: getting out-worked on the Sharks first goal with two seconds to go in the 1st (Most important moment of the game and possibly the season); the possibility of it being 4-0 after the 1st period given Z's missed penalty shot and possibly-kicked-in goal; and the thought of Jason Williams yelling "Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!" as he was taking that Overtime slapshot.
  • The Homer interference penalty at end of 3rd: I'm caught in between angry at the call and angry at Homer. At this point it was almost four full games into this series, which is being called tightly. That much is obvious. And Homer decided that this was a good time to go completely belligerent. Again -- playing his ass off -- but he too looks a bit frustrated with how this series is going.
  • I loathe the feeling in my stomach waiting for OT to start. It's a combination of "I hate my life", being ripped on cocaine and having to poop.
  • The undefeated steak of TTD comes to an end. First loss all season that we've witnessed from the same room.
  • Lastly, Ernie Harwell. I'm terrible at this stuff, so I don't want to cloud it up with too many words. He's whatever is more than a legend in this state. Whether you're 10 or 100 he had an impact on your life as a baseball fan. Odds are, even if you hate baseball, you still thought that he was a pretty swell dude. The man's voice was synonymous with driving around on a summer day with the radio on. He was awesome.

It starts with one. The Wings win Thursday, and then all the pressure is on the Sharks to win at home. Then, perhaps they remember that they are the Sharks and choke. Then we stomp out a game six victory at home because we came too far to lose at the Joe again. Then anything can happen in a Game 7.

Go Wings

May 3, 2010

Conference Semifinals, Game 2 -- Red Wings at Sharks



  • The first 30 seconds were terrible and frightening. Sharks dominate possession and draw a penalty. What was the penalty? Apparently Howard for slashing, but I don't really know because the game was on Versus. This set the tone for the night, both on the ice and behind the camera.
  • Thornton turnover, forced by Kronwall. Datsyuk picks up the puck, fights off two defenders and slots a beautiful wrister over Nabakov's glove. Reminiscent of Game 6 in the first round when the Wings were throwing everything at the Coyotes, they hung together and got the first goal. Didn't quite end up the same though.
  • The biggest reason I hate watching games that take place in San Jose? It's not the "tank". Not the usual 10:30 start times. It's the camera angles. It seems for years that the camera position was way too wide, and I thought that that's just where the camera has to be positioned at HP Pavilion. Now, Versus appears to have discovered that little button that let's you zoom in on objects, and are getting wild with it. Buck wild, I might dare to say. Tonight's game looked like somebody's drunk uncle recording a family cookout, except with commercials and without an excessive use of the phrase, "you know why I love you? No really. I fuggin' love you. Wanna know why? Do you? Do you wanna know why? What were we talking about?"
  • Joe Pavelski is whatever is whiter than white hot. I think that might be "translucent". He is translucent hot right now. Scores the first Sharks goal, then sets up the next with a little help from Stu and Flip. He finished with three points, 20 attempted shots, 13 faceoff wins on 16 attempts, and has nearly found a place on the Max Talbot All Star team.
  • I don't understand why the Wings don't win faceoffs anymore. This was something in all my years of watching that I've been fortunate to never worry about.
  • Howard robs Malholtra! What a save! That's one of the best glove saves I've ever seen! Wow, can't wait to watch the repl-- oh, of course. It goes right to commercial. Damn, now I have to wait for this Cash for Gold shit to be over with ... oh well, I'm sure they'll show it when they come back. I mean, that was a pretty remarkable save, no? One of the best of his young career. Okay, here it is-- Ah, nope, no they won't show it. Lindsay Soto is talking to some dude in section 218. Yep. There she is. Talking again. These cutaway interviews are just so fucking insightful, aren't they?
  • Homer had a big night, ass-facing Nabokov to help out on two goals.
  • What a reputation #44 must have. Two of the most mind-blowingly pathetic dives ever committed by man led to penalties -- the humiliating dive from Nabokov on one of the goaltender interference calls, in which #44's knee grazed against Nabokov's, sending him back into the net as if a cannonball plunged into his chest; and another holding penalty which led to an eventual 5-on-3 and a goal. The Wings DID take some dumb penalties, but there were some awful, awful calls made that ruined what could've been a fantastic game between two very good teams. I wish that saying this would actually change something, but the refereeing in this sport is inexcusably terrible at times.
  • And what I hope people will at least try to acknowledge is that the officiating was terrible for both ends. I'd argue that we got the worst of it if you tally up some of the non-calls as well, but San Jose got jobbed for a pretend boarding penalty on Patrick Marleau and a ri-fucking-diculous goalie interference call on Dany Heatley, in which it was plain as day that he was checked into Howard (with no other traffic in the area, it's borderline despicable that a call this bad can be made at the NHL level.) Off hand I can still think of a hook, a slash and a too-many-men call against us that were legit all in the 3rd period, so it wasn't all on the zebras. (This attempt at a clear eyed, level headed paragraph was for reader Fox. You fuck.)
  • Versus accidentally went to commercial during a Wings 3rd period PP, and came back after Nabakov made a big glove save. After missing numerous shots on goal with the zoomed in camera, the overuse of the word "buxom" and too much Lindsay Soto, I seriously considered turning off the TV and flipping on the radio. I really did. And Versus asks me before the playoffs if I'll blog for them as a Wings rep. and pimp their coverage on our site. Eat a taint.
  • Lastly, because I know that you're all looking to place blame after a loss like this: You can put it on me. Before the game I tweeted (What's that you say? You're not following @thetripledeke on Twitter? Improve your sex life by following right now! *Chest bump*) that the Wings had never faced a 2-0 or 3-1 series deficit under Babcock. Also, they're now 0-5 when I watch with Ms. Deke, but undefeated the entire season when watching with the entire TTD crew. It's as if I wanted this to happen.
Tuesday will be different, as the game will be watched by the whole TTD at our Lansing HQ while Ms. Deke is chained to a pipe in the basement without food or water. She won't hurt us ever again, friends.

Go Wings