November 29, 2010

Game #21 -- Red Wings vs. Blue Jackets

DETROIT RED WINGS 4 - 2 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS


I've always wanted to try this for fun. Below is a word-for-word transcript of Larry Murphy's pregame segment on Jimmy Howard, done in Murph's trademark choppy cadence and inexplicable emphasis on random words. Replaying this enough times to get the words right gave me voice immodulation disorder. Here it was:


"HUH YES ..... it's been an issue for the Red Wings and with last game Jimmy Howard only giving up ONE .... the Columbus Blue Jackets FELT .... that they had a number of great scoring opportunities .... they felt that they had an EXCELLENT chance to win JIMMY HOWARD WAS THE DIFFERENCE .... he faced .... THIRTY FIVE .... SHOTS ... in this one .... a number of .... CLOSE IN .... SAVES .... Jimmy Howard was STRONGmoved well LATERALLY .... FOUND THE PUCK in TRAFFIC .... on the POWER PLAY .............................."


"......................................................................."


".................THE Blue Jackets had SIX outstanding CHANCES he STOPS the PENALTY SHOT .... the Blue Jackets felt HE WAS the REASON .... the WINGS WON two nights ago AND THEY EXPECT TO PEPPER .... as many SHOTS as POSSIBLE and hope ..... they're hoping for more breaks ..... offensively." (Murph was then sprayed with a fire hose.)


  • Just realized that at least 50% of my material comes from Mick and Murph. If I ever move out of Michigan this blog is screwed.
  • The Wings wore their road whites at the Blue Jackets' request so that they could wear and promote their new 3rd jerseys. What the hell is this shit? We're accommodating other teams' wishes in our own building? They must have some dirt on us. Columbus' marketing department has pictures of Mike Ilitch fucking a Domino's pizza or something. If this were the cutthroat Norris Division of old, such a request would get you a house call from Joe Kocur and a can of gasoline. Not to mention a salty letter from Ilitch himself, which would usually arrive about a month late because it was sent by carrier pigeon.
  • I've written on this site before how few things in life scare me more than Rick Nash driving to the net with the puck. Every time he does this, I think his skates are going to chop off the goalie's hands like a flea market thief in the Middle East. Nash did this with under a minute to go in the first period (On Lidstrom, no less); I closed my eyes and prepared myself in the event that one of Jimmy's severed hands would slap a fan across the face in the 8th row, and when I looked up, Columbus had scored.
  • Gary Sinise stopped by the booth in Dino Ciccarelli's clothes to chat with Mick and Ken before the 2nd period. Sinise was promoting his movie Mission to Mars, which you can find for $4.95 at Walmart if you have the physical endurance and absence of self-respect to dig all the way to the bottom of their ridiculously huge DVD bargain bin. I'm pretty sure this exact thing was a challenge on Legends of the Hidden Temple.
  • Random to put a (relatively) minor officiating gripe from the 2nd period in here, but when Zetterberg was blatantly tripped with the puck about 15 feet in front of Steve Mason, right out in the open, plain as day, and no call ...... I mean, how? How? What else are you looking at?
  • Tronwall.


  • Right after the Kron goal, Babs puts the Red Bull line out there for that post-goal energy shift, and it nets them a second goal like five seconds later. I loved this. They won a scrambled faceoff and went two men deep on the forecheck; Miller prevented the BJs from sending the puck back out and Helm finished on a wrist shot. A handwritten blueprint for the ideal energy shift could not look any better than what this goal was.
  • It never fails. You make fun of Fil's looks in one post, and then by the next he scores a goal (That's a thing, right?) He's really good.
  • Derek Dorsett, high sticks Henrik Zetterberg in the face. Derek Dorsett, to official: "It never touched him in the fucking face!" LIAR. And might I add: Bagofdicks.
  • Three straight games for Nick without a point. Fuck's wrong with this asshole?
  • Columbus 5 on 3, 3rd period: I started this bullet with "Minus a flillion points to Kronner for taking a dumb holding penalty," and then it turned out to be the Blue Jackets worst case scenario. They don't know what to do on the 2 man advantage. They're totally lost. And as the penalty kill wore on, the Wings became more energized and aggressive, and the crowd capped it off with a great ovation.

Working the graveyard shift Tuesday at the Sharks, 10:30.

Go Wings.



November 27, 2010

Game #20 -- Red Wings at Blue Jackets


DETROIT RED WINGS 2 - 1 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS


I had trouble posting my recap of the Thrashers game, so in case you missed it, I posted it here.


Big Game James, y'all. Bullets:

  • "The Wings will try to stop Columbus one win shy of their franchise record of 6 consecutive wins ..."BWAHAHAHA
  • Nick Lidstrom saved a goal on a Blue Jackets power play three minutes into the game. The phrase, "Your goaltender has to be your best penalty killer" insults him to no end.
  • This was the night of Chris Osgood's 38th birthday. Before the game the team presented him with a graphing calculator. You know, in case he wants to get bat shit crazy with those face off charts.
  • Mike Modano left in the 2nd period because he took a skate blade to the wrist. This is unequivocally the most emo injury in Red Wings history. (I've said it a million times: I don't get how people don't die regularly playing this sport.)
  • Fact: Whenever Murph gets pulled over by a cop, they skip the normal sobriety tests and instead ask him to say, "Rostislav Klesla" without his head falling off.
  • I'm trying to picture the conversation between Mike Babcock and Jiri Hudler as Babs was telling Jiri to go serve the penalty for too many men:

Babcock: "Huds, go to the box."

Hudler: "What? Why coach? I do nothing! No literally."

Babcock: "Too many men, someone has to sit."

Hudler: "Oh no, coach, that not going to happen."

Babcock: "Is that so?"

Hudler: "No way. I will have nothing to do with anything called Too Many Men."

Babcock: "We don't have all day Huds, just go to the box."

Hudler: "Coach, you not understand. Many girls come to watch Jiri. If they think I am involved with this 'too many men' then they won't agree to have the sex with me afterward."

Todd Bertuzzi: "Wait a minute, they're supposed to agree?"

Hudler: "Please coach, I beg. I need the after the game sexing, it is essential. I promise, I will consider the bank checking thing,"

Henrik Zetterberg: "Back checking, Huds."

Hudler: "Yeah that too, and whatever else you say during practice when I'm busy tricking Ericsson into getting his tongue stuck to the ice ... just send somebody else. I mean really, shouldn't it be Filppula?"

Babcock: "I don't give two moose shits what you say, you're gonna take your hot air balloon head over to that box and sit in it or I'm going to send you on the first thing smokin' back to Europe."

Brad McCrimmon: "Look, Huds, if you go to the box, I'll make sure you're taken care of after the game."

Hudler: "Really? How?"

McCrimmon: "You can sleep with my wife."

Hudler: "Hmmm. That is quite an offer. Is she attractive?"

McCrimmon: "No."

Hudler: "Does she know about this?"

McCrimmon: "No."

Hudler: "Does she have a penis?"

McCrimmon: "No."

Hudler: "You have a deal."


Jacket again on Sunday.

Go Wings.

November 23, 2010

Abdelkader's Jump

Short post here expanding on this tweet, as I try to take up my own challenge to actually add content to this site and not just my Twitter feed. (You know, for Osrt.)

Many of us have taken note of the way Justin Abdelkader is turning into a bona fide shit-wrecking anvil on skates. He's a modern day Grind Liner for this crazy new millennium we're living in where Todd Bertuzzi is a team leading plus-11 and Jonathan Ericsson shrunk and regrew 9 1/2 feet in the last 18 months. I liked this line from Chris at NOSH:

"(Abdelkader's) become some crazy version of Maltby and Dallas Drake combined into one."

I'll also assume that Chris was referring to the "50 goals in Junior" version of Kirk Maltby, the one with the velvet hands who once scored on a 450 foot slapshot from atop one of those mini blimps that drops the "5 dollars off your next car wash" coupons (according to Mickey Redmond). Maybe Abs isn't quite to that level but he's certainly a descendant from that same annoyingly tenacious family tree.

Through 10 games, Abdelkader has 3 goals and 4 assists while only getting slightly less than 12 minutes per game. Coming back to the originally linked tweet: Spread that scoring out to a per-60 minute average and he's scoring at a higher rate than everybody in the league not named Crosby at even strength. Obviously 7 points in 10 games is a small sample to pull from, but the larger point is that he has already shown great improvement in an area where he was firmly planted among the league's worst in 2009-10. On top of that, he makes the other team notice him every shift, leading the Wings in hits per game and penalties drawn-per-60.

He gets put in situations that give him a better chance of succeeding, by facing easier competition than our top guys and having his limited minutes used carefully. But the same could be said about his 2009-10 season, and he still performed like a below average player. So this start has been encouraging to say the least. Abdelkader is obviously impressing Babcock by making the most of his time on ice and thus far avoiding the quagmire of the 12th man rotation. A giant step like this is only going to tighten Babs' pants even more.

November 22, 2010

You Aren't Supposed to be Able to do This


DETROIT RED WINGS 5 - 4 CALGARY FLAMES





Wow. Look at how huge I made that video. Not changing it.

I love this sport.

November 20, 2010

Game #16 -- Red Wings vs. Wild


MINNESOTA WILD 4 - 3 DETROIT RED WINGS (OT)


For whatever reason, I felt like doing this one liveblog style. So tonight's recap is timestamped and called as I saw it.

  • It's hard to not start every one of these Babcock bullets with "I love everything this man says", but it's just so true. The latest great quip from our falcon-faced leader came during the pregame, on line combinations: "As a coach, if you win every night, you're in control. If your a player and play good every night with your line mates, then you're in control and you get to play with those line mates. But if it doesn't go as good, then the coach is in control and he moves you around." I don't know. It's such a simple concept and not at all controversial or anything, but when it's Babcock saying it, it sounds like something read off of a stone tablet.
  • This reminds me: Am I the only one who watches the pregame shows even on DVR? Even if I'm getting home late and watching the game at like 4 am, it feels too weird to just zip right to the opening face off.

1ST PERIOD
  • 20:00 -- Joe. Zay. Theodore. Man, my day just brightens up when this guy is in goal. He comes in with a 1-2-0 record, a mouthwatering 3.02 GAA, and a .909 saves %. Which translated across a season in which he only plays the Wings equates to a negative-7-32-0 record, a goals against average of Samuel L. Jackson saying, "This is some fucked up repugnant shit" and a saves percentage of this.
  • 17:45 -- Speaking of those combinations: I know I'm not the only one that thinks, "Poor old Homer" whenever I see his goofy face not on the top line.
  • 16:30 -- Another very good example for Babs to never contemplate splitting Hank and Pav up. Datsyuk left a drop pass for Nick coming down the slot and he just missed a goal, but the pass from Z to Pav from the boards on the left side was a thing of beauty. His head was up the whole way waiting for that play to develop.
  • 15:38 -- Eric Nystrom darts for the net and ends up plowing through Jimmy Howard at about 75 mph, no penalty. Jimmy gives him a shove. Nystrom thanks Jimmy for bracing his fall with his doughy 1-pack abs.
  • 13:15 -- The "NHL's best power play" belongs to the Minnesota Wild? How long has this been going on? And Cal Clutterbuck is leading the team in goals? Who is allowing this to happen? Jesus, I need Center Ice.
  • 11:44 -- A screen by Nystrom and 13 other players helps Brent Burns to a goal. 1-0 Wild.
  • 7:03 -- Minnesota is playing trap hockey with a 1 goal lead and 47 minutes to go in the game.
  • 0:00 -- Rusty Salei was your 1st intermission interview. I'll sum it up:

    • Keating: "How important is it to stay out of the penalty box against this team?"

    • Salei: "Well it's very important to stay 5-on-5. But I also likes savings the money, with DirecTV's five months free televisions package."

2ND PERIOD
  • 20:00 -- Legit laugh out loud moment from Ken Daniels, as he and Mick pimp the Lions game for this Sunday: "Hang with 'em everybody, come on," said Mick. Ken retorts, " 'Hanging' might be the operative term there." Ken Daniels, once again for the record, implied that the Detroit Lions are so bad that fans want to hang themselves.
  • 18:35 -- I hang myself after Cal Clutterbuck banks in a goal to make it 2-0.
  • 18:35 -- Mick somehow questions whether the goal was good, even though there is zero evidence that the puck went under the net, leading me to wonder if he's even watching the same game. Oh, whoops. He's actually watching a the 1951 No Helmets / Wood Sticks / Say 'No' to New Taxes Heritage Classic game taking place in his own head.
  • 16:23 -- What the fuck is this ad in the corner of my TV? "Dr. Richard Santucci: Urologist", then a graphic of a doctor slowly pulling down his face mask and crossing his arms like he's trying to intimidate me? Am I actually seeing this? Because if there's one thing you need going into a urology exam, it's definitely the image of a guy with a scary voice saying, "YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT. I'M GONNA BE TOUCHING YOUR PENIS."
  • 8:20 -- Wings fail to convert on ages of 5-on-3 time, still 2-0 Minnesota. It's 3 in the morning, I've been sick all week, and I'll willfully admit that I'm staring down the fast forward button on the DVR right now. It's tempting.
  • 5:26 -- Describing this won't do it justice, so hopefully you saw it. Tomas Holmstrom skates to a lose puck along the half boards in the Minnesota end. A Wild player is trailing behind him. Then, as only Homer would do, he fakes a gigantic slap pass back to the blue line before blindly backhanding the puck into the corner (whereupon it was immediately intercepted and cleared, of course). Think about this. As if for one second the Wild player would think, "Yeah, he's totally going to rifle a slap shot at his own defenseman standing 15 feet away. I better cover this." I love Homer.
  • 4:44 -- The Mule is playing frighteningly tentative.
  • 1:00 -- Mick laments against The Trap. Well Mick, it's legal, and it's a good way to beat the Detroit Red Wings.
  • 0:33 -- YES ... Darren Helm's first of the year (exclamation point). 2-1 Wild. More 4th line beautifulness, three guys forechecking below the goal line. Obviously a huge goal, coming with a half minute to go in the period. Great set up from Abdelkader, too ...man, does that guy look confident right now.

3RD PERIOD
  • 17:43 -- TIE GAME ... Hello, 3rd period. The tentative Mule gets just the break he needs with a lucky goal deflected off of Greg Zanon. It must be said that the power play that this was scored on came from a laaaaaaaaaaaaame ass penalty call on Matt Cullen.
  • 16:05 -- Todd Bertuzzi takes his first shot on goal in four weeks. Mitch Albom must be in attendance or something.
  • 15:05 -- Patrick EAVES (three exclamation points). 3-2 Wings. I love this sonnuva bitch. It looked so ugly and barely crossed the line in the end, but they all count. Abby won the faceoff that led to this, getting him another assist (If he so much as looks at a goal the right way you can probably count on me commenting on it.)
  • 10:24 -- Jonathan Ericsson saves a goal by himself on an open net. It's yet another giant step in the right direction for him. And that direction is directly upward as he tries to regain his 9'8" form from 2009.
  • 2:44 -- Really strong move from Mule getting a takeaway behind the Wild net and creating a scoring chance. That was very encouraging.
  • 1:23 -- ......And I didn't see that coming. Really didn't, not like sarcastic didn't. 3-3 game. Koivu caught a gift from Jimmy's right pad and buried it. Jimmy is sprawled on the ice in disgust. On comes Overtime.

OVERTIME
  • 3:32 -- First whistle of OT. The first 1:28 was 100% Red Wings.
  • 1:38 -- Wings look like they're playing 4-on-1 hockey.
  • 0:41 -- Naturally, the Wild win.

Going to fucking bed.


Go Wings.

November 18, 2010

Game #15 -- Red Wings vs. Blues


DETROIT RED WINGS 7 - 3 ST. LOUIS BLUES



Hey!
Over here!
I'm over HERE! See me?

Oh hey, I see you over there.

Whaddya think? I'm left-aligned!
It's different!

Yeah I see that. Stop shouting, please.

Oh, sorry.

It's okay.

I'm just excited, is all. I feel born again,
you know? I can't wait to speak my mind
and be all up on the left and stuff. Like just
sitting up on this left margin and being like,
"Today there was a hockey game and this
and that." I wish I had arms and legs so I
could do a cartwheel, I really do. I mean I
guess I can just say "cartwheel" and boom,
there it is, but, you know. Know what I'm
saying?

How in the fuck would I know
what you're saying.

Huh?

I'm Right alignment, you burgled turd.
Nobody uses me.
I am nothing. I am completely worthless.
I am the condom in Tomas Kopecky's wallet.

Well I'm sorry man, I wasn't trying to...
'Burgled turd'?

Yeah, like you're not even a "turd burglar".
You are the result of the turd burglaring.

Wow, that's pretty low.

You think you're something else. You're traditional,
you have values. You stand for something.
What the fuck am I? I'm right-shitting-alignment
is what I am. I don't get used for anything important.
Sure I'll jot down a name or a date or two.
Or when Ed Belfour does a line of coke
and types mindless number coding from right to left
in a Notepad document because he woke up naked on a
stack of Time magazines and thinks he can solve
the energy crisis. It's bullshit, man. I've got
legitimate stuff to say to0. But you and the Center
guy get all the attention.


Leave me out of this.

Whatever, you guys are dicks.

I've never seen this side of you.

I have never, ever been on this blog before.
You have literally never seen any side of me.

I was just trying to make conversation.

Go to hell.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Recap bullets:

  • Less than 20 seconds in: Jimmy inadvertently shoveled the puck right out in front of the crease, somehow lost track of it despite it moving slower than he does through a buffet line, and if not for Datsyuk's well-placed stick it would've been a very early 1-0 hole. Since I do these posts on the fly, I've marked down here, "19:40 1st period: not a good feeling about this." I hope I'm wrong, Future Me. (Additional note to future self: Use time machine to avoid heavy investment in trapper keepers. It may seem like the apex of portable organization, but trust me on this one. Although I guess I don't have to tell you to do this if a time machine already exists in your world. But since my current reality hasn't been changed ... oh God --





  • Drew Miller would score a goal by having Jaro Halak deflect the puck twice off his own stick and behind him into his own net.
  • Feeling exponentially better about Jimmy by the end of the 1st period. A full extension toe save kept the game 1-1 going into the intermission. At this point I wasn't feeling that great about my own physical condition, as just watching this save tore both my groins clean off the bone.
  • Chintzy but expected hooking call on Mule (gotta know by now that reaching like that is going to put you in the box more times than not) led to an all too easy looking power play goal. The absolutely never lethal Brad Winchester had a relatively easy goal from right on top of the crease. It was Winchester's first goal recorded at any level of organized ice hockey.
  • Patrik TURD Berglund. Oh Yeah. Yep.
  • Doesn't matter what the combination is. Helm/Abdelkader/Miller. Helm/Abdelkader/Eaves. Abdelkader/Murph/Murph's lamp shade. They're all fun to watch. Wings 2nd goal: Loved seeing all three 4th liners drive the Blues D back into Halak, then immediately post up two guys at the crease for instant traffic. They're presence bought Raf enough space to place a perfect shot-pass to Abby's stick for the goal.
  • Credit Crafty Raf again for a great keep-in on Dan Cleary's goal. Cleary's sixth straight game with a goal. Okay fine, he's good looking.
  • Too many D-zone lapses. Way too many. My thought after two periods (tied at 3): If not for two lucky deflections and a phenomenal toe save from Jimmy, this isn't even a game.
  • Another really solid night from Big E. Hope people are taking notice.
  • Completely out of nowhere: Modano to Cleary, then Vintage Hank Zetterberg, then a Brad Stuart power play goal (No seriously), then a Homer. It was 3-3, and the Blues were pressing hard. The Wings somehow didn't look prepared for how heavily they were forechecking. Lack of urgency. This was the Blues game to win, not to lose by four goals.
  • ... In other words -- sounds like we have something special here.
  • Few things better than an unraveling Blues team with an inferiority complex at the end of a game.

Wild on Friday.

Go Wings.

November 16, 2010

Math


::UPDATE:: (2:10 PM) It has been brought to my attention via Twitter that the center alignment of our posts is not popular. Because I am a man of ALL the people, not just the ones with the Twitter, please share your vote for left alignment or center alignment in the comments. :::


Jiri Hudler, on his goal total: "One is better than zero." Indeed it is, Huds.





Weird times, we live in. On November 16, 2010, the day that we're not supposed to say goodbye to the Chief, (Smooth sailing, bitch), the most divisive issue wedging its way between the Red Wing faithful is not Todd Bertuzzi. He's not even 2nd on that list (Osgood), or 3rd (Ericsson; that is, if there are any of you out there -- *raises hand* -- who don't entirely hate him), or 4th (Aftermath of Prodano/Nodano). Bert doesn't even make the top 5 anymore, because you have to put "Dan Cleary's attractiveness" somewhere on that list. As a happily girlfriended man I'm not being petty here, I'm just genuinely confused: You women find DAN CLEARY to be an attractive dude? What is it? His Mr. Magoo-like penchant for catastrophe? The creepy "All I need is 45 seconds and a windowless van" stare? Todd Bertuzzi is so un-divisive now that I just used his name three times in a paragraph without even thinking. A deeper examination and possible apology post is coming in the near future.

#1, without question, is Jiri. You love him or hate him. As cliched as that sounds, it is fact. You either love what he brings to the table or you want to see him float slowly on a balloon raft straight into the Sun.

I've made no attempt to hide that I really like the guy. And more than Huds, I like and trust what Mike Babcock thinks. More from that first link:

While talking to reporters, one of whom pointed out Hudler had responded well to Babcock's challenge Friday, Babcock said: "So I better challenge him again today?" Seeing Hudler siting nearby, Babcock raised his voice and called over, "Huds, they're worried that I didn't get after you today. You're going to be all right, aren't you?"

Told that wasn't quite the point, Babcock smiled.

"No, I know what you're saying," he said. "But most of these guys are all the same -- they're proud guys, they want to do well. In my four years as head coach, I've never met one player that didn't want to please. Some didn't know how, and you try to help them with it, and some didn't want to dig in hard enough. Huds has been here before; he knows how hard you've got to work. And I think it's a surprise for him, when you go and you leave the best league in the world for a year, coming back and playing in it every day is hard."


Babs and Ken Holland both have this guy's back. It would be HIGHLY hypocritical of me to question your undying devotion to those two when I was so anti-Bertuzzi last year that I wrote this -- and by the end, actually half-believed it. You can question their judgment all you want, it's what we do as sports fans. It's a rite of winter, or something.

I, however, have just about given up on doing that. Not only do I like Huds as a locker room/chemistry guy, he actually has a track record of producing points. Before fleeing to Russia, he was doing that at a higher per-minute clip than most players in the entire league. As Babs said, playing a year of hockey with the difficulty level set to Rookie and then coming back to the NHL is tough, and it's really not that unbelievable that Huds is off to such a slow start. But, yes, there's the KHL thing; there will always be a portion of Wings fans who will root for his relegation to the press box or outright removal because he didn't cut his paycheck in half to play for your life-long favorite team. And where you see a guy not trying, I see a guy trying to do too much, a guy thinking too much and a guy who desperately wants to fit into the 12-man Red Wings forward puzzle again. You're entitled to have your perspective and I won't judge you for it, so long as you let me be happy cheering Happy. I like him. I like his game, I like his goofiness, and most of all, I like his weird egg-shaped head.






November 11, 2010

Game #14 -- Red Wings vs. Oilers

DETROIT RED WINGS 6 - 2 EDMONTON OILERS




While against one of the worst teams in the league, this was a win that brought out a lot of good in the Wings. Huds looked somewhat alive for the first time this year, and I don't think it was a coincidence that he reunited his partnership with Flip. Val Filppula might be the only non-hooker on this planet that can hold Jiri's attention for more than four seconds. It's a good thing when they're on the ice together.

Babs pushes all the right buttons. Mule got his 100th goal, Cleary was a monster, the Eurotriplets each got points again. This was a rare stress-free, flat out fun game to watch.

Recap bullets:

  • If I didn't watch hockey, I would think that Zack Stortini is a mediocre Olive Garden dinner special. Actually, I still sort of do.
  • Poor Larry Murphy. He spent all day pronouncing "Magnus Paajarvi" in his room and still fucked it up on live TV.
  • Things I have an inexplicable love for: 1) Any movie in which somebody crawls through a vent; 2) Ham (actually that's pretty explainable. Ham is so salty and amazing and delicious that if there was a sudden glitch in the universe that made it so we had to have sex with pigs in order to eat the food products that they turn int.... on second thought, I can't in good conscience finish this sentence); 3) and saucer passes. I love seeing an awesome saucer pass, which is what Hudler delivered to Filppula to open the scoring. Just perfect. Also, definitely don't have sex with pigs.
  • Bertuzzi turns his stick around to assist Cleary's 2nd goal. I have never seen anybody do that before, let alone see it work. He was skating into the corner, looked behind him to assess where the defender and Cleary were, turned the stick around and, despite a deflection, got the puck to Cleary's stick for the goal.
  • Referees let a handful of would-be Edmonton penalties go because they felt sorry for them. I almost genuinely believe that. First Wings power play came with 4:36 to play in the 2nd period. Of course they scored on it. It was their only power play of the game.
  • FSD showed a clip of Taylor hall with a full beard at 18. I looked in the mirror to check how my homemade beard of glued-on dog hair looked, gave myself the finger guns and then burst into tears.
  • We also got a clip of Dino Ciccarelli's Hall of Fame induction speech. As my formative years as a Wings fan began in the early 90's, he was one of the first sports stars that I truly admired. My favorite Dino moment: His role as Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump.
  • And finally: If you saw the game, you saw the military tribute videos, in which a number of players said thank you to the veterans. Petrella summed it up best: "The thank you’s that the American Red Wings did to the troops (while very classy, touching, and deserved) are exactly why you’re instructed not to stare into the camera. I’m sure they were reading from a teleprompter, which is often directly in front of the lens, but it’s creepy. Next time you watch the news or see another type of interview, notice how they look just off of the camera (i.e. to it’s left or right). That’s because it’s a scientific fact that someone staring through a camera and into your soul scares the living shit out of people."
Sadly, FSD cut out the clip from Homer who, apparently lost on what "Veterans Day" means, thanked the local men and women who helped save the life of his cat, Shawn Purr.


Go Wings



Robert Tychkowski, You Have the Floor


Edmonton Sun:

"Welcome to Detroit, where the forecast, as always, is muggy, with a chance of murder.

When you’re trying to breathe a little life back into your year, this is not the place to visit. And not just because they use more white chalk at crime scenes than they ever did in the schools."


Bob's email is robert.tychkowski@sunmedia.ca. I implore you to take 30 seconds and say hi to him today.


November 9, 2010

Game #13 -- Red Wings vs. Coyotes

DETROIT RED WINGS 3 - 2 PHOENIX COYOTES (OT)


Look at this dumbass. You look at this picture for more than a minute straight and you can't not laugh. You start picturing him saying little phrases. Then you picture him doing a little jig. Before long you start to question the meaning of your own existence. And once you reach that point, you wonder what life could've been like for Boner Stabone on Growing Pains had he just met a nice country girl who accepted him for his quirks and appreciated how he always had the toilet paper rolls facing the correct way. Long story short I'm going to have "Who Let the Dogs Out" stuck in my head for the next four days.


The Wings are iffy the first game after a road trip. They don't play well on Versus under the Def Leppard Curse principle. And this being the 4th game in 6 nights against a team that always plays a tough game, I'll admit it -- I was prepared to be disappointed. Not expecting, just prepared. And still pouting about the Lions game.

They played a little flat, yet still pulled out two points. I was very pleasantly surprised.

  • Took less than two minutes for Rafalski to get swinging again. Versus color guy Archie Bunker said that that Raf missed his target on his shot from the point; but if you've seen more than two games at JLA you know damn well that that shot was intentionally wide, around the traffic, and it left Dan Cleary with an alley oop dunk of a goal on the other side.
  • Did you hear Dave Strader haplessly doing that ad for the T.Ocho show? "/reading/It's the T.Ocho show. If you think you've seen it all, you ain't seen nothin' yet. And for the record, I would rather be prison raped by a guy with a cactus dick than read that again."
  • I used to think that there was nothing more useless than in-game interviews, and then Mike Babcock said "Ass" on live TV. Bob Harwood had the same look on his face as someone locked in Jiri Hudler's sex dungeon.
  • Know what I'm tired of? Montel Williams' "Could you use an extra thousand dollars?" nonsense. This fool is on every channel with his unexposed neck flaunting his money in my face.

FUCK MONTEL WILLIAMS

  • Nice bounce-back for Jimmy, stopping 29 of 31. Really liked Salei, Fil, and Abdelkader. Jiri needs a goal so bad I'd willingly throw down 20 bucks to buy him one.
  • Nick only had 0:47 of penalty kill time. For what it's worth, he's a better penalty killer on the bench than Ericsson is on the ice.
  • I'm loving the schedule for the rest of this month. The next five are home against the Oilers, Avs, Blues (can't wait, seriously), Wild and Flames, then Atlanta and a home-and-home with Columbus. No back to backs, either. There are plenty of points to pick up in November.

Oilers on Thursday, back on FSD.

Go Wings.

November 7, 2010

Game #12 -- Red Wings at Canucks

VANCOUVER CANUCKS 6 - 4 DETROIT RED WINGS



That's actually Anne Heche being eaten by a guy in a whale costume. Bullets:

  • The Canucks sported their 40th anniversary throwback jerseys, giving us three out of three Canadian games with great retro sweaters. My only gripe is that there were no last names on them; whenever the Sedins were on the ice, I couldn't tell who was the ambiguously gay one.
  • Ken Daniels, we know that you know that WE know you're saying "Livonia native Ryan Kesler" every single time. We're on to you. As for Mick, I was really getting the sense that he was giving himself a boner every time he said "Alain Vigneault". He was pronouncing the living shit out of that name.
  • Canucks goal at the end of the 1st: Uncharacteristic of the Pav/Hank line to give up a goal like this, where they get beaten down the ice after shoddy coverage at center ice. Because it was the Sedins, the play ended up developing too quickly for Ericsson to get back (You've got to give that poor guy at least 10 seconds to uncross his eyes after skating from one end to the other.)
  • The Wings responded with two goals in the first five minutes of the 2nd period. An ugly goal from Dan Cleary's hip (Abdelkader involved, again), and Nik Kronwall. Strange: Kronner got his 3rd goal of the season (and then his 4th .... by God, what a shot) before recording his first assist. He has zero assists!





  • Mikael Samuelsson scored. Of course Mikael Samuelsson scored.
  • Johnny got his first of the season, per his very odd belief of only scoring goals outside of the United States. Nope, no reason for you to look that up. He has definitely only scored goals in Canada and Sweden. And it's weird.
  • I missed what really happened on the 3rd Canuck goal. My drink was spiked with asp venom and I hallucinated Datsyuk turning the puck over and Manny Malhotra scoring a short handed goal. No don't get up, I'm okay.
  • Mule went from red hot to room temperature rather quickly, and I'm wondering what his actual health status is. I hate perpetually worrying about his health status.
  • Somewhat better night from Huds. Seemed to do a lot less thinking and moved his legs more, dug some pucks out from along the boards.
  • The 3rd period of a back-to-back: four penalties and 23 shots given up. With six minutes to play in the 2nd period, Vancouver had 8 shots.
  • No truth to the rumor that Michigan's Greg Robinson coached the Wings defense tonight. (That rumor started by me.)
  • After the Canucks scored their 5th goal of the game, Brent sent me this: "Should I turn that Kron picture 90 degrees and have a killer whale butt fucking the shit out of him?"


Well, it was just one game, and all that cliched stuff. Plus, Vancouver is really good. My Pointless Predictions had us facing them in the conference finals in May, so that must be true.

Monday against the Coyotes, back at the Joe. Go Wings.


November 6, 2010

Game #11 -- Red Wings at Oilers


DETROIT RED WINGS 3 - 1 EDMONTON OILERS


Boom, dinner's done.


I'm almost scared to feel this good about a hockey team on November 6th. It's still so unbearably early. Our three best skaters each have 13 points in 11 games played, and they're looking electric. Our ace goalie has a 1.82 GAA and hasn't lost a non-gimmick game this year. Now that Abdelkader has provided a spark to the former Black Hole line, everything is trending upward (with the exception of Jiri Hudler, who only trends upward after feeling a tongue on his back.) This has been a lot of fun to watch so far.

Game recap:

  • Nikolai Khabibulin: Surprisingly good game from the old Russian, stopping 28 of 30 shots, including a ridiculous one with his glove from his back in the 2nd period. Coming into this game he sported a 3.45 GAA, a .897 Save percentage, and a league-high .20 blood alcohol content.
  • How weird is it hearing Mickey Redmond's voice on this western Canada road trip? Usually it's Larry Murphy accompanying Ken Daniels anytime the Wings travel west (or as Chris Pronger calls it, "backwards through time"). But for whatever reason that I apparently have no desire to look up, we've been given more Mick. My theory is that he was finally convinced that they wouldn't be traveling by railroad, which of course Mick hates because it was built by Chinese people.
  • Again it was Jiri Hudler's two worst enemies that created the first goal. Modano and what's left of his open ice speed, plus Abdelkader and his penchant for scoring dirty, ugly goals. I present a fairly large assumption though -- that Jiri is capable of having enemies, or hating people. I actually don't know if it's possible. I have it on good authority that Jiri has in fact never hated or even remotely disliked another human being. However, he is saving up all of his hate for the guy who inevitably cancels Lopez Tonight.
  • Weird sequence surrounding the Oilers' first goal. Datyuk gets hit by Gilbert Brule, and then Ericsson decides that he and Brule are going to fight. I don't know if Gilbert was aware of this, but it happened nonetheless. Brule got a chance to realize what was going on when the linesman held down Johnny's arms in a poor attempt to break up the fight, resulting in three or four flush punches to Johnny's beautiful face. This resulted in the linesman catching a bloody lip, the Wings going down a man and then the Oilers tying the game on a Taylor Hall goal. The "weird" part that I alluded to was obviously Datsyuk getting hit and nothing else I said after that. I mean that never happens.
  • Whether you think the Ericsson penalty was frivolous or not, there isn't much argument over Zack Stortini's a few minutes later. Wing power play, brilliant little pass from Dan Cleary with his back to the goaltender and we're back on top with a 2-1 lead.
  • I don't remember specifically what caused this, but I have here in my notes, "14:49 3rd period ..... Mrs. Tyler Datsyukerberg" and an MS Paint drawing of me, Pavel and Hank riding a golden unicorn with Kris Draper's beard.
  • Very eerie how this game played out nearly identically to the Calgary game. Low scoring, both goalies played well but Jimmy was just a tad better, and despite the game being 2-1 it never really felt in doubt. I feel so happy, and so spoiled, that this is the opposite of what we were facing 12 months ago.

Go Wings

November 4, 2010

Game #10 -- Red Wings at Flames

DETROIT RED WINGS 2 - 1 CALGARY FLAMES



Justin Abdelkader is a dish best served anywhere but a press box. To the recap bullets:


  • Am I the only one who likes the Flames throwback uniforms? Oh, okay. Literally the only one. I'll sit back down.
  • Jimmy made a stellar left pad save on the Calgary's 2nd power play, keeping the score tied at zero early on. Does Chris Osgood make that save? For the love of God I am kidding, don't answer that. Of course he doesn't.
  • I have been completely beaten to death by the continuous Sam Bernstein commercials. Being that I also watch Tigers and Pistons games on FSD, I'm as familiar with Sam Bernstein as Larry Murphy is with Jack Daniels. They've even roped in Mickey Redmond this year and, judging by his hair, convinced him that he was doing a Mad Men cameo. Then of course there's the Bernstein intermission reports from the Call Sam Studios, as John Keating and Murph sit at a desk made of the bones and tears from the Bernsteins of yore. My biggest fear now is blacking out after a horrible car accident and waking up in a hospital to Richard Bernstein feeling my face. It's all a bit overkill.
  • Mule for boarding: the right call. Whether the dude turns into him, doesn't, or whatever, it's an unnecessary and potentially dangerous play.
  • Nick Lidstrom is so good, he doesn't even need to perform an actual hook on another player to get called for hooking. For real, look up "talent" in the dictionary right now. It's a picture of Nick Lidstrom not hooking someone.
  • Man oh man, loved that Modano goal. You could see the back of his jersey trying with all its might to flap up in the wind when he swooped in on that puck and raced down wing.
  • Wings killed off a 4 minute penalty late in the 3rd period. The weirdest part was not feeling worried at all at the time of the penalty, and even thinking, "This feels like a gigantic 1-goal lead" with two minutes remaining. You're not supposed to be thinking that when your sadistically attached to a hockey team, but that's how safe I feel with THAT penalty kill rolling and THAT goalie in net.
  • Modano and Abdelkader got goals for the Wings. Immediately after the game, Jiri Hudler emailed Mike Babcock this with the subject, "HAHA NO TAKE BACKS". Babcock stared blankly at his screen and then opened up yet another lame forward from Jim Devellano.

Back at it Friday night in Edmonton.

Go Wings.


November 1, 2010

Groins 'n Such

"Everything in this room right now is made of wood. (Looks down.) Everything."


David Goricki reports that Ozzie left practice early after injuring himself in a non-America's Funniest Home Videos type of groin accident. Luckily, Jimmy is ready to go and will start Wednesday night.

Something called a "Doug Janik" was returned to Grand Rapids today as Johnny E is slated to return and pair up with Lidstrom. I have never heard of this Doug Janik. I hope the city of Grand Rapids is gracious enough to give us some sort of store credit for it.

Khan says that Abdelkader will stay in the lineup, which in my unexpert opinion means that Hudler is staying in his room for at least one more game. I don't know what happens from here. You can't mess with the top two units while they're excelling, and Babcock loves his penalty killers, Helm, Eaves and Miller. I don't think Modano is getting scratched less than a month into the season after Babs and Holland spent all that money on hotdogs at Comerica Park. You know that Babs also loves him some Abdelkader, too.

13 forwards and 12 spots. I mean couldn't one of these guys just get injured already and make the decisions easier? (That last line brought to you by the Drew Sharp School of Makeyourreadershateyouology.)