February 27, 2011

Game #62 -- Red Wings at Sabres


While Jiri Hudler was awkwardly trying to readjust to North American hockey (and failing) for the first half of this season, he wasn't catching any breaks. Tonight, he got a picture perfect rebound land on his stick to tie the game, and then he won it in the shootout with help from a very lucky bounce off the post. If only he could teach Zetterberg how to do that.

I'd have a bad taste in my mouth if I were a Sabres fan. Detroit plays 2/3 of game and still wins. That ain't right. But Sabres fans don't read this blog so fuck those guys haha we win, here's some bullets:

  • MIKE MODANO! VALTTERI FILPPULA! IT'S RED WINGS HOCKEY, ON FOX SPO................ Oh god damn you Brian Rafalski. Once again, Boner Killington over here has a wonky back and throws a wet blanket over our parade. And he sort of resembles a boner, he should be all about them.
  • A simply horrific start. Not for the Wings -- I was talking about this recap.
  • Mrs. Johan Franzen was due to have their first baby today, says Ken Daniels. Almost instantaneously I Googled what a baby mule is called, when I read this on Wikipedia:
"Mules and Hinnies have 63 chromosomes, a mixture of the horse's 64 and the donkey's 62. The different structure and number usually prevents the chromosomes from pairing up properly and creating successful embryos, rendering most mules infertile."
In a related story, Johan Franzen hasn't scored in 13 games.

  • Murph mentioned that Mike Babcock and Lindy Ruff share scouting reports with each other for teams in their respective conferences. If this is true, I think it's about time for Babs to swallow his pride, dial Lindy Ruff's number, and find a way to utter the words, "I give up ...... how do you beat the New York Islanders?"
  • Surprising to see Ruslan Salei caught in a pinch, especially paired with Nik Kronwall, causing an odd man rush and a goal the other way. Had to rewind it twice just to make sure it wasn't Brad May.
  • FSD showed a clip from the press conference of the new Sabres owner wherein the mere presence of his Sabre heroes in attendance had him fighting back tears. I love that -- owners who give a shit. In fact it should be a requirement. If at your first presser as owner you do not cry, or at least look like an 8 year old who was just handed a Tonka truck full of pogs, the first season of TailSpin on DVD and methamphetamines (I was a strange child), the team should be immediately put up for adoption or on Craigslist or whatever the fuck they do. If it were me taking control of the Wings and Gordie Howe was sitting off to the side at my press conference, shit would literally be falling out of my pants. Within 10 minutes I'd be crying and reciting President Whitmore's speech from Independence Day while people looked on in terror and wondered if it was too late to get a refund on their season tickets. Then Gordie would slap me and tell me to quit being a Mary.
  • So here's what a typical mid-season Wings game includes now: The almighty offensive tandem of Mike Grier and Andrej Sekera blowing through the neutral zone and past the blue line with zero resistance, and scoring a goal with the likes of Nick Lidstrom and Henrik Zetterberg on the ice. That sentence makes me want to take a blow torch to my eye balls.
  • Datsyuk's power play goal was essentially Homer's. That screen was eclipse-like. Ryan Miller was on his knees and practically buried in his own net as if Homer had just finished a burrito during the commercial break.
  • Don't know if Modano could have looked much better without scoring a goal. He was flying. Pretty impressive to come back from a scary injury like 'severed tendon' and not look hesitant.
  • Really interesting setup to Jiri Hudler's equalizing goal. As the Wings were dumping the puck into the zone, and even as the puck was held up behind the net, Joey MacDonald was still not off the ice. As it happened I was about to complain about what was taking so long, but Jiri came roaring toward the net at the precise moment that a rebound landed on his stick for an easy goal. Had Joey gone to the bench as early as I had hoped, Jiri wouldn't have been in that same spot at the right time.
  • Buffalo exclusively went to the trap in the 3rd. With at least a two goal lead, I'd absolutely employ this against the Wings; we don't dump in chase, so why not try to force us to while limiting the transition opportunities that we thrive on. But you're tempting fate by doing it with a one goal lead for an entire period (especially when the previous even-strength strategy seemed to be really working).

Good show from Joey Mac. He looked so old, making those shootout saves all half-standing up and stuff. Tom Barrasso, this guy.

Go Wings.

February 24, 2011

Game #61 -- Red Wings vs. Stars



  • My favorite "Murph-ism" ever was created last night. In describing Patrick Eaves: "He's very tough hockey." I'm just .......... I'm not going to say anything. I don't want to ruin the moment. Just gonna leave it be, take it in. He is very tough hockey. By God.
  • Odd moment happened midway through the 1st. Dallas' Jason Williams played a shift and inadvertently went to take a seat on the Red Wings bench, but nobody on either team seemed to notice.
  • Toby Petersen. Haha, Toby. That's a dog's name.
  • Goofy first goal from Dallas, in that you don't ever see a goal result from a defensive breakdown from Pavel Datsyuk. Stuart chased out to the high slot, leaving Pav the only Star to cover down low, Mike Ribiero, who was alone for the easiest non-empty net goal I think I've ever seen.
  • 2-0 Stars .... disgusting goal from Loui Eriksson. Kronner had to have felt like the loneliest man in Detroit not keeping that puck in at the blue line. And then a rarity for Joe Louis Arena, with the home fans showing their displeasure with some annoyed boos.
  • At the halfway point of the game, I was just waiting for the third Stars goal. It's a pretty embarrassing game when Mike Ribiero is doing whatever he wants (including jawing with JLA fans a little later). Then it happened, almost mercifully just to kill the tension. 3-0 Stars. You could tell that Jimmy was pissed about what was going on in front of him -- he showed it from the first Dallas goal.
  • Then Ribiero got checked into Jimmy's lap and he just about lost it. Not sure I blame him.
  • The best thing that Jonathan Ericsson has done in weeks is get a few punches in on Steve Ott in a 3-0 contest.

If this game were a meal, it would be a dog shit enchilada. Fuck.

Go Wings.

February 23, 2011

Game #60 -- Red Wings vs. Sharks


The Sharks take their seventh victory from the Wings in the last nine matchups. They must be getting used to this.

I want to play a game. Not with those of you who saw the Sharks beat the Wings tonight. Just the people who follow the Wings, missed tonight's game, and before hearing or reading anything about it decided to stop here at TTD. So nobody, essentially. Whatever. Here it is:

Hypothetical situation .... puck gets moved back to the point along the boards, is then passed across the blue line to the other defenseman. Without looking up to see if an opposing forward is rushing at him, this defenseman winds up for a one-timer. The shot is then blocked, resulting in a breakaway for the other team and, of course, a goal. If you could somehow bet money as to who this mystery Red Wings defenseman is, the odds would look something like this:

  • 15-1 ..... Brad Stuart
  • 20-1 ..... Brian Rafalski
  • 20-1 ..... Niklas Kronwall
  • 150-1 ..... Ruslan Salei. Mainly because I think he's attempted something like negative-3 shots this year.
  • Infinity-1 ..... Nick Lidstrom. Infinity dollars would be the result of winning this bet. An impossible amount. This would be you -- which is also impossible, since you can't turn yourself into a cartoon. Unless you've clicked on one of those Internet ads that literally say "turn yourself into a cartoon!". Then it's possible, I guess. You've taken the first step to becoming an infinitely rich uncle duck with an enormous vault of gold coinage. Hey, remember that weird half animated movie Cool World with Brad Pitt? I'm drunk.
  • 3-1 ..... Jonathan Ericsson.

I'll blow the surprise for the zero people whom I've allowed to play my little game: It was Johnny E. Not to pin this whole loss on the poor good-looking dumb guy -- I just wanted to concoct yet another reason for me to link the Scrooge McDuck picture again.

But that's been the Sharks/Wings games of the past year. San Jose wanting it just a smidgen more, making smarter plays, and probably doing a tiny bit of out-coaching.

Just a few recap bullets:

  • Shots were 43-38 San Jose. When's the last time the Wings played a game where both teams had that many shots? Probably like a week ago, or more frequently than I think and I'm just really unobservant. But that caught my eye.
  • After pulling out two more goals, it's time for the obligatory "this line needs a name" movement. Huds/Pav/Cleary is too white hot to go nameless. And, naturally, I have no ideas. It's Cleary that ruins it, honestly. If he had an oddly shaped head like the other two, we'd have the "Holy fuck, please put your helmet back on" line.
  • Ryane Clowe, who was doomed at birth to be a cock because of the spelling of his first name, slew footed Johan Franzen and then ate his own shit in anger when called for a penalty. It was truly a sight. He committed a blatant penalty, and yet, reacted like somebody who couldn't believe the "you ARE the father" results on Maury. Imagine how he'd react if he were actually wrongly accused of something? That reminds me, stay tuned next week for the conclusion of my "Frame Ryane Clowe for an unspeakably heinous crime just to see his reaction" experiment.

That's all. Go Wings.

February 22, 2011

TTD Minute: Checking in with Herm

On March 11th, Red Wings fans from far and wide will gather for the 2nd annual Herm to Hockeytown extravaganza. In the newest episode of TTD Minute we pick up the phone and catch up with the event's namesake, our good friend Herm.

February 15, 2011

Getting the whole band back together

Jinx! I just broke Zetterberg's foot with that title.

"Defenseman Brad Stuart was cleared to play by the Detroit Red Wings' medical staff and said he'll be in the lineup Thursday, when the Wings visit the Tampa Bay Lightning." (Freep)

Check out the big jaw on Brad. Our boy Stuart was killed, like legitimately murdered dead, by Tom Kostopoulos only five weeks ago. He somehow came back to life albeit with a broken jaw, and will be playing hockey again in two days. This shit never ceases to amaze me. If I ever break my jaw, I will either be bed-ridden for 10 months or simply commit suicide over not being able to eat jerky for that long. Speaking of suicide, the Freep also reports that Mike Modano is slated to return in 11 days after taking a blade to his wrist and missing three months.

While it wasn't a humongous slip, Stu's absence has helped us to a sparkling penalty kill of 79% in his wake (82% prior to his January 7th injury). And after all of the glum reports after Modano went down I am thrilled that he'll get back in the lineup before the beginning of March. Things are looking up, for the moment.

February 12, 2011

Game #55 -- Red Wings at Bruins


What a perfect game.


  • Brian Rafalski joined John Keating on the ice before the game to talk about the team's inability to start on time. But the only thing I could concentrate on was the difference in cranium sizes that these two men share. You put anyone's head next to Keats' and it's a no-contest, but when compared to Raf's bald melon, it is exceptionally startling. I mean seriously, look at this. Whoops. Oh hell, it's close enough.
  • Keating closed the segment by mentioning Boston's "Taylor Seguin". Not to pile on Keats here, whom we truly love by the way (don't think I've ever said anything other than petty jokes about the man -- I should point out that I actually enjoy him), but as a Tyler who has been called Taylor roughly 2 quazillion times in my life I have to put my foot down and say enough is enough. I know you other Tylers out there are tired of being called everything from Trevor to Tyrone and I say the most sensible action that we can take is to kill everybody else on the face of the Earth. So starting tomorrow, all 75 of us are going to meet at my house, pick up a phone book and start exterminating. I say we start with all of our friends' moms because they are the biggest culprits, then work our way through elementary school teachers, and finally, put John Keating in shackles and hire Brad Pitt -- who will be playing Tyler Durden -- to dump hot wax onto his scalp and punch his nose until it turns and even stranger shade of red. Perhaps I've put too much thought into this.
  • The game had an odd start to it, as the Bruins still had four guys in the penalty box left over from the Montreal game the other night.
  • #44 scores just over a minute in, and I am bloody shocked. Not only a good start, but also a good sign to see us break out of our own zone with some authority and create a scoring chance like that right away. Those quick breakouts have been nothing but a foggy memory of late.
  • I'm even more shocked as Dan Cleary makes it 2-0 3:10 in. Two goals on the first two shots. Pretty backhanded setup from Huds. I do believe these fellas were listening when Babcock brought out the Angry Voice the other night.
  • There was a shift by the Hudler/Datsyuk/Cleary line midway through the 1st that was absolutely mesmerizing. There's no other Red Wing who makes us worry about linemate chemistry like Huds, so seeing this line take off is encouraging.
  • Oscar analysis from none other than Larry Murphy, saying The King's Speech is the favorite for Best Picture, but that The Fighter is a dark horse candidate. I know this is weird, but I was crushed by hearing this. The fact that Murph is aware of the existence of movies other than Weekend at Bernie's makes me sad.
  • It didn't amount to anything, but at about the 11 minute mark of the 2nd period, Darren Helm made a one-on-one move on Nathan Horton that about broke the dudes fibulas. These guys are pros; you rarely see somebody get burned that bad and look that bad while it happens.
  • Mark Recchi still plays hockey. Insane.
  • Hank's backhander had quite a night. An awesome pass to set up Huds' one-timer goal and a much needed power play goal of his own.
  • I have no choice but to say Bert's name now -- he scored the greatest goal you can score: The Behind the Net Bank Shot sponsored by Brendan Shanahan. For a three month stretch one summer it was the only shot I would attempt in street hockey. It cost me most of my friends, but considering that completing a successful bank shot is the hockey equivalent of this, you know that it's as good a feeling as a human can experience.
  • Hockey is a funny sport. I got out of work an hour and a half ago, watching this on DVR at 6:15 am, my eyes barely able to stay open. Yet I can't bring myself to fast forward through a 6-1 game in the 3rd period because I feel like I have to make sure nobody broke their face or had their neck sliced open with a skate. You know how it goes.

Good start, good middle, good finish. Can't ask for more than that.

Go Wings.

February 9, 2011

Gameday -- Red Wings vs. Predators

7:30 -- Joe Louis Arena

Wings: 32-15-6 (70 points) 2nd in West | Predators: 28-19-7 (63 points) 5th in West

If you haven't already, be sure to catch Petrella's first installment of his romantic getaway with the Red Wings this past weekend. It's the opening to a riveting tale of magic wands, hot dogs, the human spirit and Italian people. Probably the coolest thing that will happen to any of us blogger folk unless we band together and help bring a guy from a different hemisphere up to Joe Louis and raise a bunch of money for charity or some improbable shit like that. While a bunch of folks are going to express jealousy and probably some form of bodily harm against you, Mike, I'd just like to say that I'm immensely happy for you and that it couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Unless it were me.

While Mike took a lot of heat for being present for back-to-back shutouts and obviously having some sort of negative impact on the team, Nashville's stout defense and ability to always provide a tough match-up to us can be said to be part of the reason as well. They're a Top-5 squad in goals against per-game and penalty killing, and they're also within range of a long grenade toss to challenge for the division title. Nobody in their right mind actually thinks that's going to happen, but at the very least those guys can be very distracting when glancing at our rear-view mirror.

The Preds will go with Rinne between the pipes tonight, so I have concocted a master plan to start him on my fantasy team to lay the jinx hammer down. (Mini pessimist's pointless prediction: Wings will now lose 9-8.) They're coming off a 4-0 loss the mighty Oilers so I'm expecting nothing less than a hellacious effort out of them to start the game.

Oh, and Homer's back, by God. With him out of the lineup the last nine games, we've gone 2 for 27 on the power play. Eight of those nine we didn't score a goal. In three games against Nashville we've gone 1 for 14 -- the lone goal scored by Tomas Holmstrom.


Nashville plays the 1st period with their hair on fire, but we'll still be riding that turning-it-around momentum with Datsyuk and Homer back in the lineup to combat it. 4-3 shootout win for the good guys to avoid a 3rd straight loss to the Preds. Hank scores the winner with his first shootout goal since a locker room game of NHL 94 against Kyle Calder.

Go Wings.

February 7, 2011

Game #53 -- Red Wings vs. Rangers


The Wings get back in the W column and on the scoreboard with a tough win against the Rangers. While it's a good feeling to celebrate the actual scoring of goals again, I must ask: 47 shots allowed? 47? If not for a fucking wall between the pipes tonight we'd all be more than a little disgruntled right now. But there was, so we won't be too worried until we drop another game to the Preds on Wednesday, amirite?yeahprobably.


  • Obligatory jersey notes: Rangers heritage jerseys are FAB-U-LOUS. I actually tried to write "really cool" but when your with a blog for as long as we've been with TTD, it knows how to show your true colors. They're an A+. And I'm always for the Wings wearing white at home, always a bonus.
  • Pierre McGuire, pregame with the Mule: "What do you have to do to beat an Original Six team like the Rangers?" Because Franzen plays the Pierre McGuire Drinking Game, he took a shot. And because the translation of the rules is unclear to him, the shot he took was at Pierre's head.
  • Sloppy first 10 minutes to this game, and then everybody started getting it together. Drapes talked about having to turn this slump around and playing with some pride and the organization and some stuff (I was half listening, I spend most Draper segments trying to will a beard permanently onto his face), and they appeared to dig in and get back to doing that. What "that" is I'm not sure because I'm half listening to myself, actually, but I recognize it when I see it because I'm from Detroit and Chrysler and Eminem and all that.
  • Doc Emerick referred to Dan(ny) Cleary as "Daniel". Pfffft, that's so (looking through Daniel Cleary Name Encyclopedia) 2007. Hell I don't even know anymore. In real life he probably goes by Cybertron or Jeffery. Maybe he's just "Eleven". Or as I like to imagine: "Sleazy D" -- a wayward Newfy from the wrong side of the tracks who turned tricks for beer money and couldn't pronounce his R's correctly until Ken Holland adopted him and his dirty orphan friends.
  • Oh how we missed the musk of Pavel. Goes to the corner and forces a turnover by himself, goes to the net while taking on multiple Rangers and bangs home the first goal in three games. This came seconds after they mentioned that the Wings have never been shut out three straight times in their history, causing my right eyeball to fall out of its socket.
  • If someone asked me why I like hockey, a clip of Jerry Hudler's 3rd period goal is what I would show them. Four guys touch the puck in a span of like three seconds. Two cross-ice passes, the second one being a perfect backdoor cut for a one-timer goal. A goal like this looks so good, it nearly gives me a boner. I mean ehhhh -- it gives Brent a boner. Wait that sounds worse. God dammit. I really shouldn't have invested in this new computer that replaced the backspace key with a tiny picture of a little laughing Asian baby.
  • Speaking of, a fellow named Scared Stiff point out that my first Pointless Prediction in ages wound up being the final score. S'pose I should do this more often.
  • During the game, Fil left with a lower body injury. My uneducated pessimistic diagnosis: broken thigh, out until 2012. Fuck.
  • A number of people are annoyed by Doc Emrick, but he's one of my favorite announcers ever, any sport. Maybe I'm in the minority. I would definitely be in the minority if I were Mexican, but that's not important. There's nothing like Doc calling the final minute of a one-goal game, goalie pulled, all hell breaking loose. That's right in his wheelhouse and he fucking nails it every single time. I stand by what I wrote during the '08 Finals: "My only gripe with him is that he's a little too good for games like that. Every shot had me shitting my pants because there's something about his voice that can make a mundane 65 foot wrist shot sound as epic as Christ coming back to Earth." Sidenote: assholes quote themselves.
  • Mike Milbury said that he thought "without question" Jimmy Howard was suffering mentally from the Wings going after Evgeni Nabokov. "Without question". Need I remind you of other things Milbury? Sidenote: embedding a video of yourself twice in one week is also done by assholes.

Every hockey game should end with Sean Avery getting his faced slashed twice while your team still wins.

Go Wings.

February 6, 2011

Gameday -- Red Wings vs. Rangers

7:30 -- Joe Louis Arena

Wings: 31-15-6 (68 points) 2nd in West | Rangers: 29-22-4 (62 points) 7th in East

I'm going to try and re-jump-start my writing by pretending like you will read a TTD game preview (It won't work. In fact, I think it was a Super Bowl prop bet). Now's as good a time as any considering the apparent return of our fallen egg-headed hero:

(Khan) "Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Pavel Datsyuk is expected to return to the lineup Monday at home against the New York Rangers. Datsyuk has missed 19 games with a broken right hand."

We went 10-7-2 with Pavel nursing his dominant dangling hand, and seemed to have a tough time battling inconsistency, the other team's offense, and most of all, sheer boredom. Pav makes any hockey game 65% more watchable with his presence, and I'd have to assume he makes the game more fun to play for his teammates. Even on the bench. One time Datsyuk told Tomas Holmstrom a joke during a TV timeout, to which Homer replied, "I don't speak Martian, but I bet that joke was really fucking funny." Then he went out and scored a double hat trick and became a licensed elephant trainer all before the start of the 3rd period. This team has missed their best forward in ways that numbers can't measure. So here's some numbers:

In the first 33 games before the injury, the Wings allowed 2.64 goals per game. In the 19 games since, they've allowed 3.21, and also, they suddenly can't score. (By the way, no Stanley Cup-winning team has ever been shutout back-to-back games in the regular season. Did that scare you at all? Because I completely made it up. It happened to the 2007 Anaheim Ducks.) The jump in goals allowed obviously isn't entirely due to one man's injury, but rather a whole bunch of injuries, and probably our seemingly annual, seemingly unavoidable mid-winter malaise, and probably Doug Janik to some degree (I'm just whoring for cheep applause at this point). But that multiple Selke-winning guy being out of the lineup sure didn't help.

I expect a big spark to re-enter the lineup tomorrow as the Wings slowly get back into winning form.


3-2 Wings. Two assists from Pavel and both Ranger goals scored by Henrik Lundqvist's new buddy Justin Bieber.

February 3, 2011

H2H2 Pledge Drive Commercial


Here's a little ad I did for this year's pledge drive hosted by our friends at The Production Line.

H2H2 Commercial