Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Of all the games I couldn't watch, it had to be this one...

I'm sure that was a really great game. I know the last ten minutes were pretty good. The rest of it, I was stuck at a choir concert.

No, I couldn't get out of it early. It was my choir.

I'll catch it when it replays at three in the morning. Of course I'll still be up. I have a paper due tomorrow afternoon.

Apparently Leino's new goal celebration is cross-country skiing. Or maybe slow motion running. Awesome.

One more item of note - all the cool kids on the internet have been blogging the crap out of the Washington Capitals' new all-female fan club, Club Scarlet. I personally have mixed feelings about everything when the subject of hockey and gender comes up, but for the sake of my time and your sanity, I'll save my requisite girl-blogger "I AM NOT A PUCKBUNNY OMG" diatribe for another post. Let's just say that I think it sounds like a good idea in theory, and that everyone's making it out to be a bigger deal than it is, and that I just hope it doesn't serve as another means by which men can be dismissive toward female hockey fans. I've met a few who don't need any more help.

In the meantime, a few observations:

1. "Club Scarlet" sounds like a strip club. (EDIT: It is*. I think it's in Peru.)

*Why did you click on that, you perv? I hope you're over 18.

2. A lot of the content seems to be geared toward the new hockey fan. I can appreciate this - when I took my roommate to her first hockey game last month, I could not have possibly anticipated how ridiculously confusing the sport could be to the uninitiated. Try explaining icing to someone who's never heard of it before. At the same time, I'm assuming they'll eventually have more content for long-established fans, right?

3. They did an eyecandy photoshoot? Yes. They did. Sid Abel's grandson was totally working that pout.

Or at least... that goofy goalie furrowed eyebrow thing...

I still don't know about this just yet.

Because god help us all if the Aaron Downey Ladies (and I still mean ladies like your high school English teacher, or your best friend's mom) ever figure out a way to schedule club meetings.

And by 'god help us all', I mean 'god help Aaron Downey'.

Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? (...and by Carmen Sandiego I mean Mark Hartigan)

Important things first:

Wings vs Sharks tonight at 7:30 on FSN. If the Draper-Skank issue comes up more than once during the game, I might throw something. However, being aware of the inevitable, I already have a pile of small, non-breakable items near my television ready for my stress relief. The name Skank is pretty self-explanatory, and I'm assuming that all of you are smart enough to figure it out. (Variations sometimes include Skank the Turtle and Skank Prime.)

Kopecky and Chelios are out tonight, Brad Stuart is back and partnering with Kronwall (as far as I know)

This past week, I've been contemplating some of the most random things in the world. One is music, and how if anyone gets their hands my ipod, I would probably be admitted to a mental institution.

Songs that are far too epic to listen to on your ipod while buying lasagna:
1. Larry Santos & Dan Yessian- Red Wings, My Red Wings
2. Bon Jovi- Living on a Prayer
3. Journey- Seperate Ways

Another is where the heck is Mark Hartigan? This one has been bothering me for a while, but I was never motivated enough to go look it up. Well I found out yesterday, and I'm not going to lie, I was surprised.

Places you don't expect to find Mark Hartigan:
1. Your bed
2. Hosting a television game show
3. Latvia

Latvia? Really? He's currently playing for Dinamo Riga in the KHL. There is a good chance that I already knew this, but my hockey amnesia made me forget it.

Prepare yourselves, Hockeytown. This game has the potential to be filled with so many "Skank returns" and "the four-point game" comments that your head might explode (at least it's not on Versus).

Go Wings.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Nothing to say on a Monday night

I don't know why I'm watching this game. Versus is terrible, Marty Turco is a whore, and Skank the Turtle plays for San Jose now. And I really hate watching any game in Dallas, because at the end of each period their arena announcer goes "OOOONNNNNNNEEEEEE MINUTE!" like a total ass. It's the most obnoxious one-minute countdown in the entire league. Typing it really doesn't do the irritating-ness justice.

Brad Stuart is supposed to be back on Wednesday. Until told otherwise, I'm assuming this means the defense pairings are back to how they were before he got injured. It could give the team a boost.

On the topic of Goalies: Tyfus will start Wednesday against the Sharks, and Ozzie will be back in against the Kings Friday. Jimmy Howard was sent back to Grand Rapids Sunday, where he played a pretty solid game against the San Antonio Rampage, except for maybe the last few minutes. But I'll give him some credit because driving the two and a half hours on I-96 to get from Detroit to Grand Rapids in the middle of winter is horrible, especially if you're just getting back from Minnesota.

On top of all this, there was no way that he or the rest of the team could have fed off the intensity of the crowd, seeing as Van Andel Arena was filled (using the term 'filled' loosely) with elementary schoolers singing the Sponge Bob Square Pants theme song (I may or may not have joined in), and ladies there only to see Aaron Downey. (and by "ladies", I don't mean like - "hey, ladies!", I mean ladies like your best friend's mom. The one who made really good casserole, and owned a lot of purses full of coupons and mints, and had you zip your coat up before you walked the twelve feet from her door to your car. Van Andel is swarming with them. And they all wish they could make casserole for Aaron Downey. I sort of love them.) Anyway, crowd or no crowd, the Griffins won. Take that, Phoenix Coyotes primary AHL affilate!

Can you tell it's kind of a slow day for Red Wings news?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

It wasn't pretty

There'll probably be some people quick to fault tonight's loss on Howard's inexperience, but a lot of those goals shouldn't have even been scoring chances. Tonight's defensive coverage was pretty gross. Hopefully the team takes this as a wake-up call and comes out full force on Wednesday. I'd really hate to see them lose to San Jose next week.

Congratulations to Kopecky on his goal and his new baby. It's kind of sad that he was already in Minnesota when he got the call, but I guess his wife went into labor early.

On what I'm sure is an entirely unrelated note, this week marks 8 1/2 months since the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Jimmy got called up

By now this is probably bordering on old news, but the Wings called up Jimmy Howard to back-up Conklin tonight, and probably start against Minnesota on Saturday.

Osgood is taking some time off for what George Sipple is calling a 'mental breather'. George sounded a little upset that Ozzie didn't want to talk to him after practice the other day. I don't know. If I were him, I wouldn't want to talk to George Sipple right now either. The indication is that he'll get the start next Wednesday, against San Jose. I know it's been said that he plays his best under pressure to prove himself, but now that game is making me nervous. Not least of all because I won't actually be able to watch the first half of it.

Find-your-happy-place-mantra of the day, courtesy of Ken Holland - "the playoffs don't start today." And I can use that to assuage my raging hockey-panic for another month and a half.

Lost in a lot of discussion on whether or not Chris Osgood is going to be able to pull it together by the end of the season (and I'm pretty sure he'll pull it together eventually, but I don't know when) is Howard. His call-up is absolutely killing the Griffins, who have had to sign Joel Martin to a professional try-out because Larsson is sick this week. (No. I don't know who Joel Martin is either.)

Howard's numbers have been pretty good this season, even though I've never personally seen him win a game (my presence in Van Andel Arena this year has consistently been the kiss of death), and Holland sounds pretty confident in him for now.

And anyway, I like him. A close inspection of his mask will show you that this season, he's travelling at just under Yzerman miles per hour.

That's gotta be like wicked fast.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Swedes are going home

No, not forever. Just for the 2009 NHL Premiere. The Wings and the Blues will kick off the 2009-10 season playing two games on October 2nd and 3rd in Stockholm, Sweden. The Blackhawks and Panthers will play their NHL Premiere games in Helsinki, Finland on the same dates.

So, lets pretend that the Wings don't lose any of the Swedes at the trade deadline or the off season and for some reason every Swede in Grand Rapids gets called up...there would be 10. Ten players of Swedish decent playing in the "the mother country" next (or I guess it would be this) October for the 2009 NHL Premiere. Wow. Realistically, I'm expecting a number closer to seven to be playing. Can you imagine the borking that will ensue?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

If you haven't seen this yet

then you need to.

This Hossa character is such a goon.

This is a stressful time of year, all around

Franzen's back in for tonight. That's good, because apparently Nashville is putting Dan Ellis in net, and last season it seemed like Mule was the only one who could consistently score on him. As always, I'm hoping for the best, but expecting 60 minutes of unmitigated ridiculousness. That way, I'm never disappointed.

It's two weeks from the trade deadline, and everyone is freaking out over rumors. It's our policy at Hockeytown Static to not follow trade rumors until the trades have already been announced. In fact, if we accidentally stumble across one, we automatically assume that the exact opposite will happen. So, you know... if in a month Pavel Datsyuk's on the Penguins and Hudler's signed a 15 year contract, you heard it here first.

Actually, I'm worried about Hudler. Not that he's a shoe-in for a trade next week, or that if he ever does leave, the Red Wings won't be able to go on without him (because I'm sure they will), but that if he goes to another team, I don't think I'll be able to deal with my father.

I guess this is where I explain that my dad has the biggest man-crush on Jiri Hudler in the history of man-crushes on Jiri Hudler. His work computer background is Jiri Hudler. He uses his breaks to go online and look up pictures of Jiri Hudler. If he ever bought a jersey, the name on the back of that jersey would be Hudler. I get a phone call during games every time a goal is scored by Jiri Hudler. If asked, I'm not sure he wouldn't admit that he'd go gay for Jiri Hudler. If Steve Yzerman, Henrik Zetterberg, and Gordie Howe were hanging on the edge of a cliff and my dad could only save one, he would save Jiri Hudler.

He has a button pinned to the driver's side sun-visor in his car. This thing is about as big as your fist. Can you guess what's on it? It's not just Jiri Hudler.

It's Jiri Hudler and Jiri Hudler's REALLY BAD HAIR. I like Huds too, but this thing is terrifying. (especially in the dark, when you don't know it's there until it gets suddenly lit up by the headlights of the car behind you.)

If Jiri Hudler is ever not a Red Wing for any reason, the universe will implode. Now, I love my dad, but this year, the trade deadline is smack dab in the middle of my spring break. Do I think Hudler's getting traded? I have no idea. I am not Ken Holland. I don't pretend to know what he's thinking, which is why I try not to read trade rumors. I planned on spending the entire week asleep, but now there are no promises, and if I have to deal with my grieving, irrational father cussing out the Red Wings' front office the whole time, I might just stop watching hockey forever*.

(*this is a lie.)

So, Jiri? Do what you can to stay where you are. I don't want my father's evening news debut to be in a story titled "Crazed Man Attacks Wings GM with Baseball Bat." Although, if it is, I'll be sure to post a link to the youtube. "Yep, that's my dad. Trying to kill Ken Holland."

Monday, February 16, 2009

damn, it's late at night

I heard about tonight's game. I didn't actually get to see it. I was grocery shopping. It sounded pretty ridiculous. This whole season it's looked a little like the team as a unit just hasn't been able to get its legs fully under them for more than a game or two at a time. If it's not defensive coverage, then it's the goaltending, or the cup hangover, or bad officiating, or ill-timed injuries. A lot of nights, the Red Wings can win games without being the best team they can be, so when I look at their record of wins so far, I forget that I've been a little worried about one thing or another concerning their play after all but a precious handful of games this season.

Do they still have time to pull it together?

Hecks yes.

Are they going to?

I don't really know.

It could be worse. The Penguins fired their coach today. (or I guess yesterday, it being four in the morning now.) His last game was a 6-2 loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs. I watched it. Part of me sort of felt bad, but... I laughed anyway.

That's not all I watched. We rented "Newsies" this weekend.

I understand that out of the five people who read this blog, there's probably two people who have even heard of that movie, and one of them is my mother, who only has because she was watching it with us. Bear with me here.

The movie stars a young Christian Bale.

Here are some screencaps of him interspersed with pictures of Leafs rookie Luke Schenn:

Tell me I'm not imagining this.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Well that sort of sucked.

I should have written something Thursday night, because it would have been relaxed and upbeat, filled with the joy that comes from beating the Minnesota Wild. It wasn't a perfect game, but it made me forget the fact that with Lebda out, the Wings would technically be out two defensemen and two forwards for the next game, and only let me remember the happy memories - the kind of memories that get soft-lit and put up against bad music, and shown slow motion in montage form.

Alas, it was not to be.

(We'll take the blame for this one, guys. I left my lucky braclet up at school, and in a horrible accident involving a blood pressure cuff, a bag of Smarties, and a Steve Yzerman card, Lindsay messed with the delicate mojo of her lucky hat. Whoops. Our bad.)

Hopefully the more miserable moments of that game (like the Wings' "powerplay" in the third, maybe?) will be outshone in my memory by the good ones.

Like that time the Red Wings killed off a penalty without Nick Lidstrom, who got the puck as he was exiting the penalty box, took it up the ice on a breakaway, and scored like he was fricking Henrik Zetterberg or something. Tell me that wasn't awesome. You can't.

And you really can't fault the loss on Osgood, who still looks like he's well on his way back from whatever dark, dark place he went to during the last couple of weeks.

And then there was Darren Helm, whose stats don't really refelct the fact that he was everywhere last night. McCarty, who was in again on 97.1 for Ken Kal's laryngitis, said he thought Helm was the best player in the league right now with no points. I can see where he might say that, and I think the points'll come soon. I'm going to miss seeing him play live when they finally stop sending him back down to Grand Rapids. He scores goals, he makes assists, he finishes his checks - he's faster than pretty much anybody out there.

And I don't remember where I saw this, but I guess he's been winning an awful lot of face-offs for the Red Wings lately, too. Kris Draper better watch his back.

Colorado? Hopefully by tomorrow the Red Wings are back to playing like the Red Wings for a full 60 minutes.

Oh, here. I got you something.

I know it doesn't look like much, but you have to keep in mind the amount of work and sheer length of time it takes to upload images to Blogger from a dial-up internet connection. Oh yeah. I love you that much.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

There can be little or no denying

how awesome that new page header is. I know you're trembling at the sheer force of the jpeg compression artifacts assaulting your retinas with amazingness.

Alright, well. It seems a little silly saying something about the last game when we're already more than halfway to the next game, but since we here at Hockeytown Static are thoroughly committed to showing up at least three days late to every party, I'm going to anyway.

Normally for games on FSN+, I opt to listen to Ken Kal because three hours hunched over my computer in front of a grainy feed doesn't do much for my back. This time, I went with the streaming video, available only in Nashville feed version. Not a great plan, to be honest.

- The announcers pronounced half the roster differently than I was used to hearing it (and apparently the Red Wings were giving ice time to Lindstrom again. About damn time, too. That man won the Norris Trophy.)

- It was sort of sad listening to them being excited about only being down by two after the first (I know. It was because the Wings had more shots that period than some (boring) games have between both teams after three.)

- During the last two minutes or so, when the Preds called a time-out, the camera zoomed in on Barry Trotz's head. Directly behind him was a man who had decided that the best thing to do was to sit back in his chair and spread his legs as wide as... I had a great simile for this last night, but now that my mother reads this blog, you'll have to use your imagination. His limberness was putting the goalies to shame. Trotz was centered. Perfectly centered. It was like he had one of those legs growing out of either ear.


But he did. A visual I didn't need.

- This:

I have three things to say about this:
1. Jay Leno is a creepy man who makes bad jokes on tv late at night. Ville Leino is a really good Finnish hockey player (even though his reluctance to shoot pucks hard to the net is a constant source of frustration in Grand Rapids. Hopefully with players like Franzen, Cleary, Zetterberg, etc., who can pick up those pretty passes he makes instead, this won't matter so much.)

The point is, Jay Leno makes this joke old before you tell it, and I'm already sick of hearing it. If Ville Leino needs a nickname, I'm going with what we've been calling him since he signed with the team last summer - Violin.

2. That's the best photoshop job you can do, Nashville? I'm pretty sure I could best that, and I've only got MS Paint.

3. Sometime mid-way through the game, Lindsay called me to tell me that she was 99% sure that the neck they stuck Leno's head on belongs to Kirk Maltby. And you know what? I think she might be right:

I still don't have an answer from her as to how the hell she became so intimately familiar with Kirk Maltby's neck that she recognized it on sight. And I'm not really sure I want one.

As for the Red Wings' actual play, there were a few 'what the crap was that, guys?' moments, but mostly, they actually looked like the Red Wings out there. I'll have a moment of silence now for how truly blessed I must be to be able to be blasé about my hockey team winning five straight, two of them back-to-back shutouts, and then I'll go to bed, thinking unhappy thoughts about the Minnesota Wild.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

News Flash

Tyfus is in net again tonight. So I'm taking that as a yes to the question of "Is Osgood the backup again?". Mule won't play tonight; he didn't even make the trip out to Nashville. Helene St. James has the info, like always, here. The Eurotwins are still apparently on together on the top line with Cleary, which, I don't know about you, but it's a major stress reliever for me.

Sean Avery is back. Well, sort of back. He's playing for the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack. It may just be a coincidence that he was sent to the Ranger's affiliate because Dallas's lack of an AHL team forces them to send players everywhere around the league (thanks for that, Dallas. I was starting to like Landon Wilson), but I have heard rumors that the Rangers were thinking of bringing Avery back. tonight versus Nashville, so be prepared for an overload of Kenny Chesney and a possible appearance by Taylor Swift. Excited? Then you're the only one.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Well that makes me feel better about life

for the time being, anyway.

If you're reading this, I'm sure you know what happened. And you probably feel a little better about life too.

Granted, the Penguins were in a position where I'm not completely shocked they were bowled over. That doesn't matter. I still feel better about life.

12:30 is a god-awful time to start a hockey game. And on a Sunday. Do you have any idea what time I stay up on Saturday night, NBC? No, of course you don't. Because only old people watch network tv, and at 12:30 on a Sunday, old people are just getting back from church and/or Denny's and are ready to spend three sedentary hours watching a professional sport.

My bleary, sleep-deprived eyes didn't matter - the entire city of Pittsburgh told me with riotous boos when Marian Hossa got anywhere near the puck. The sound made me happy to be alive.

It's four in the morning now, and I don't have anything else intelligent to say. Here. Laugh at this picture of Sidney Crosby looking put out:

That is not a happy face. But at least it's a clean-shaven one. I was a fan of many things concerning the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs, but Sidney Crosby's pedo-stache was not one of them. For one, to be able to grow a pedo-stache you should be reasonably old enough to warrant the 'pedo' moniker. Sidney was not. For another, I am a girl and my playoff beard was coming in less patchy than his was.

So... is Ozzie our backup goalie again? I'm cool with it; if he's going to play better with a little of the pressure taken off him, then by all means Tyfus* for starter. I would just, in a world where people make podcasts about the playoff goaltending situation in the first week of February, like it to be given to me straight. It won't shatter my world or anything. I'm one of those insufferable little fangirls who would support Chris Osgood if his GAA were higher than your school's valadictorian's GPA and he got sent down to the ECHL by the farm team, but if Conklin's our starter for now, I'm willing to pretend I've never looked at his playoff record and roll with it. I am not, however, willing to listen to five different anylists and 10 different bloggers a night try to find some sort of mystical pattern in Mike Babcock's 'wait what's going on here?' goaltending rotation. That just makes me want to hit things.

(*I realize that Typhus is a terrible, contageous disease spread by parasites, which has killed uncounted people over the centuries, but that's what Lindsay's been calling Conklin for the past six weeks or so, and I've sort of grown attatched to it. Tyfus it is.)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Dear NBC,

While I greatly appreciate the potentially seizure-inducing effects of this video, if this is your attempt at convincing people from Detroit to watch the "Game of the Week", you failed.

Unless the demographic you were aiming at was the fifteen crazy fools who think it's fun to be reminded of that horrible game back in November, and in that case, good job. I, however, already hate having to listen to Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury argue about Detroit's "goaltender situation", and it will only be made worse hearing them yell at each other about which team gets their revenge: Detroit for losing that game at the start of the season, or Pittsburgh for losing in the Finals. I, however, will continue to hope that one day Mike gets sick of Pierre and beats him with his own shoe live on the air.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

No coach makes more amusing bench faces than Gretzky

There's a game tonight. I have mixed feelings about it.

On the one hand, after the Red Wings won the last game in a shootout over the St. Louis Blues, I skipped elatedly back to my room, wave after wave of happiness and relief washing over me. Then I stopped and thought about what kind of ass-tastical month my team must be having if I was about to break into song over a shootout win against the St. Louis Blues, and the hockey stress kind of came back stronger.

The good news is tonight I have a really good excuse not to watch the game - it's on FSN Plus, a channel that GVSU's cable service provider decided we didn't need. I'll be listening to Ken Kal via the internet, because nothing gets more French homework done than hockey over the radio. At least Zetterberg's back in the lineup.

My thoughts on what we're walking into? Well, the last time I made predictions before a Phoenix game, the worst ones came true, so I'm not even touching this one with my own opinion. Hank's horoscope has no useful insight today, unless I'm to take that his "lucky numbers" mean that the lines are going to run Helm-Samuelsson-Maltby and Zetterberg-Draper-Hudler, although if they're still playing sucky and Babcock starts pulling names from a hat again, I would not be surprised. Creeped out, maybe, now that I've written it down, but not at all surpised. Maybe somebody who's actually watching this game can fill me in if it happens; it's kind of hard to keep track of line changes when you can't actually see them.

Osgood gets the start again tonight, which I guess means that he'll also be starting in Pittsburgh on Sunday, and... ... I don't want to talk about the goalies right now, so here, have a picture of Wayne Gretzky being pissed off.

Let it give you hope for the near future.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy Groundhog Day

The Red Wings have lost their last 5 games (6 if you count the All Star game as a Red Wings loss, which I do, even though the standings don't). According to Bruce MacLeod, Hank's still out, Homer's still out, and now Meech is out. I think I'm having flashbacks to last February.

There are a lot of different approaches people take to hockey-related stress. Some of them turn to religion. Some of them turn to alcohol. Some of them turn to early trade rumors.

Today, I've turned to astrology.

I hold in my hands a genuine Meijer checkout line $2.49 Starscroll. Why have I purchased this? The same reason horoscopes are still printed in newspapers - sometimes you just want to see what they say. Apparently, I have no less than ten lucky love days this short month. Awesome!

How does this have anything to do with hockey? Even though he's not playing tonight, I share my sign with Henrik Zetterberg. Let's see what the fates hold in store for him today:

"What seems like a "no win" situation is apt to change quickly. Your careful handling of a $-matter or love tiff does the job. Your selflessness alters a penny-pincher's mood to create a good time this evening."

So if everything goes according to plan, the Red Wings should have a come-from-behind win against St. Louis tonight, and Hossa and/or Franzen will be inspired to take a massive pay cut to stay with the team. I hope it's right, because I can't get my money back if it isn't.

(Although, keep in mind that you're also reading Chris Pronger's horoscope. I don't know if I'd have pegged him as a Libra.)