Wednesday, April 29, 2009

WTF Wednesday

I don't really know if anything catastrophic is going on in the hockey world at the moment. Part of me feels bad that this blog has been slacking in the news department lately, but frankly, if this was your main source of news to begin with, there's something wrong with you.

But while we may not be journalistically committed to providing the hard-hitting, breaking news stories of the hockey world, we do have an awful lot of hockey cards.

Really, really, mind-blowingly, what-the-crap-were-they-smoking-in-the-idea-room hockey cards.

This time, they were smoking something that made them wonder what would happen to hockey if the Borg Collective ran the NHL.

Cyborg Stevie here is part of the 96-97 Metal Universe series put out by Fleer. The scan does not do it justice. The laser shooting out of his bionic eye-piece is holographic.

I don't know. If I could have fit Steve Yzerman with robotic implants, I would have gone for the knee.

This one isn't much better...

...Who comes up with these things?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Quack quack

Ducks in the second round.

I'll be honest, I have special secret reasons why I was hoping Anaheim would take the first round. And it doesn't have anything to do with having an excuse to get more use out of that masterful ms paint portrait of Chris Pronger.

Lindsay's excited to see how Ken Daniels' playoff beard has been progressing. He's like My Littlest Hobo out there.

This entry doesn't sound very enthused. That's because I'm not enthused. Should I be? Are you? Maybe it's because I haven't gotten to watch the Red Wings play hockey in five thousand years but Lindsay's had Versus running in the background 24-7 and Brian Engblom's hair is stealing all the joy and happiness and puppy dogs and unicorns puking rainbows from my universe. Maybe it's because the Ducks make me want to punch babies. Maybe it's because it's after one in the morning and I'm full of junk food and I've been sorting coins all fricking day in a house with no air conditioning and crappy internet.

I guess I'm just worried that this next series will suck hard. Not because I don't think the Wings can make the Ducks curl up in their locker room stalls and sob quietly to themselves, but because I'm worried that it could eventually come down to injuries. And the Red Wings have some. Maybe.


Because it's the playoffs, it's a secret. Kris Draper's still out with food poisoning, or temporary blindness, or chaffed nipples, or something, we don't know. And I guess Hank has the flu now, but in the playoffs that could mean anything from a bad hangnail to "my arm is on backwards and my femur is poking at my spleen."

And the Ducks have a history of being skanky.

I'm sure I'll feel better about it in the morning.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bring out your brooms

What a game. What a sweep. I'm not going to lie, I was formulating what I would write if the Wings lost this game all through the third period; how I could post something that wasn't "jakhskjdhf Rick Nash asdjjsd Dorsett asfdfhsdfsidfkj I hate hockey akjdsfls Ozzie why?". Thankfully, my thought process came to a halting stop when I looked up at the big-screen television for the last time this year (the only good thing about college, and the only bad thing about leaving) and saw half the Blue Jackets screaming at the refs because I guess they thought it would be cool for six of them to be on the ice at the same time. It wasn't, and Johan Franzen made sure they knew it.

The game toyed with my emotions, and it wasn't cool. I went into this series hating the BJs as a team, but still with neutral to lukewarm feelings for some of the players as individuals. After that game, it was over. Steve Mason was pretty much the only one that didn't give me the urge to hurl a brick at the tv when I saw their face (and maybe make it a real brick, because the tv's in my sister's building and I wouldn't have to pay for any damage inflicted). In the beginning I was happy, then I was angry, then hopeful, anxious, nervous, terrified, distraught, hopeful again, and then, I honestly don't have an adjective for when Franzen scored. I never went so far as to entertain the notion that the Wings could lose 4 straight, but the very thought that the Wings would even give the Jackets a chance to make a comeback in this series was enough to make me want to curl into the fetal position and stay there forever. For the most part, I hate fan bases more than the teams they cheer for, and Columbus is no exception, especially given my Michigan-bred dislike of Ohio to begin with. I don't think I would have been able to handle those smug fools in the future if the Wings wouldn't have taken the first round.

Ozzie didn't look quite as solid in this game as he did in the last three (and Ken Daniels seems to think it's because he's having an issue with his left leg and/or groin (right, like we're going to get a straight answer about that before the playoffs are over)), but the team as a whole looked pretty sloppy at times. It was a sloppy win, but a win is still a win, and the Wings are guaranteed at least four more games before their summer starts. Hopefully more.


A parade of skankiness. I personally disagree with their choice of #2, because I will never use his name and "love" in the same sentence, even if it is followed by "to hate".

That man angers the crap out of me, and I wasn't even old enough to be awake for/remember most of the games where all that stuff went down. At least I can come up with a couple redeeming points for Avery off the top of my head, ass though he may be.

(p.s. Starting Saturday, we will be blogging from a computer with dial-up. For the whole summer. Remember this? That's what we get every time we get online, only no Bill Nye the Science Guy. The flash-heavy Takes almost a half an hour to load, if it loads at all. We'll try to not let this have an effect on the posts, but if they come slower or with less pictures/videos, we apologize in advance. Sometimes the computer just says "no", and there's nothing we can do about it. Wish us luck.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

WTF Wednesday is a little late...

But it's here!


One more win and we're done watching the BJs.

(Also, what is Kelly Hrudey doing on Twitter? Next thing we know Don Cherry will have a facebook...)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Three down, one to go

This video sums up the entire game. The Blue Jackets try to be sweet, but they fail, the crowd gets confused about what to cheer for, and then the Red Wings score. That's pretty much how the whole game went.

Listen to the disappointment in the announcer's voice when Hank scores. It almost makes me feel bad for Columbus. Almost.

...and of course this monstrous hit cannot be forgotten.

On a final note, if you didn't happen to catch this when it was live, go check it out now. Lilja took part in a live chat this afternoon and it's a pretty good read. About halfway through, the talk changes from pure hockey to Kris Draper's food. I'm not sure if the link will last, but I sure hope so. I guess he'll be doing another one this Thursday, so you have another chance if you missed it, like me.

Game three

Have been awake 26 hours. Finals are hell.

If you want intelligent thoughts on hockey and/or the Red Wings from this particular blogging establishment, go read the epic comment left on my last post.

More than I could ever try to say at the moment. Thanks Jason.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Columbus is looking for hope in shaky places

The Free Press has been graciously printing most of the Columbus Dispatch's hockey related articles. They seem to have missed this gem though. Who would have thought Rick Nash was such a fan of dried dates?

And Nationwide Arena, like every other arena hosting the Wings during the offseason, has declared their series-long 'war on octopi'. (A much better informed take on the subject than we got from Nashville or Pittsburgh last year.)

But the one that got me was the one bashing Osgood. Michael Arace contends that despite the fact that this is what the bottom of looks like:

"Every save he has made, no matter how pedestrian, has brought chants of "Ozzie" from the crowd. Teammates have gone out of their way to praise him. It is as if there is a citywide effort to channel positive thoughts and artificially inflate Osgood's confidence. Why? Osgood is, by any measure, the Wings' weak link, and everybody knows it." He uses the term "shaky".

"...a citywide effort to channel positive thoughts and artificially inflate Osgood's confidence"? Of course there is, are you kidding me? We've watched Ozzie through the good times and the bad, and know perfectly well how good he is at giving up stupid goals for no reason. "Shaky"? Maybe during the regular season. But the regular season is over now. This is the goddamned Stanley Cup playoffs, and at the end of the day, shaky doesn't shut out.

Look, Mike, I'm sorry I haven't been watching the future Calder Trophy-winning goalie carry his team through the season here. I haven't been treated to some boy-wonder who makes every stop look flashy, and has to, because he's on a team struggling for a playoff berth. No, Chris Osgood didn't steal either of those games away from the BJs. He didn't have to.

Dear Columbus - a save is still a save, no matter how "pedestrian". Don't you wish Osgood could have made just a few less?

(I promise you right now that this is the last time you'll ever see me use pedestrian as an adjective in this blog.)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

An actual game recap will be written when it's not almost four in the morning...

I guess "cheating" on the faceoff doesn't work for everyone. Or at least not the Blue Jackets. I'm sure you've all heard by now Hitchcock's spiel about this, and either he changed his mind and decided that hopefully the honest route would win him a series, or the Red Wings really are just the better team.

With the win Saturday the Wings pull ahead in the series 2-0. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that means there is about an 72% chance that Detroit will win the first round. I'd feel a lot better if the Wings could up that to 87 and go 3-0 on Tuesday.

That would mean that temporarily my stressing can go back to focusing on finals (Who's idea was it to have finals the same week as the first round, anyway?).

[*Edit from Trisha - the last four years finals were during the second round. You've got it easy, kid.]

Thursday, April 16, 2009

That's more like it

That game was awesome.

Ericsson was awesome. Pavel was awesome. Maltby's line was pretty awesome.

And I don't know where that Chris Osgood was three months ago, but frankly, I don't care, so long as he stays.

Don't break out the brooms just yet - the BJs are not going to take this one lying down. And I'll echo pretty much everybody I've already read when I say that I'm going to want to see that again to make sure it wasn't a fluke and practically the entire regular season was. But damn if that game didn't make me feel better about life.

Now the Wings only need to do it fifteen more times.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Going too far? Or just far enough?

This is your three-hour early WTF Wednesday, to make up for all those times I posted at ten from midnight with Wednesday mostly over.

Maybe you've been there during spring, or maybe you've seen pictures or heard tales, or maybe you have no idea what the hell I'm talking about, but you know the giant Al the Octopus sculpture that looms near the front entrance of the Joe around playoff time?

Well this year, in keeping with the Red Wings' playoff slogan, he'll be growing a beard.

I'd make some kind of sarcastic comment about an octopus being technically unable to grow hair (I mean, even letting alone the fact that Al's facial features are not where most octopodes' facial features are, obviously making him a special sort of octopus), but then it occurred to me that tires don't generally spout wings, either, and that's not stopped anyone for the last 75 years, so I'll let this one slide.

That's just ridiculous enough to be awesome though. Does anyone know if they've done this before?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Columbus? Really?

The regular season is over and it's been a crazy ride. For me, the 2008-09 season started with a phone call while I was at Pet Supplies Plus buying cat food telling me that the Wings had just signed Marian Hossa. It ended with a phone call while I was playing tennis telling me that the Wings had just signed Johan Franzen. (I guess for Trisha, the start and end to the season involved knocking things over to get to her cell phone to tell me the news.) This season had it's ups and downs, ranging everywhere from the Winter Classic awesomeness to those two horrible Saturday games (you know which two I mean). At least this season didn't have a February 2008 (Uh, so far. Let's hope this whole Hossa resting thing isn't the start of something unpleasant).

The season as a whole was good, even if it was peppered with the ridiculousness that was the 82-game "goalie situation", spotty defensive coverage from a team whose players have 9 Norris Trophies (and 2 Selkes) between them, holding the top spot in the league for a day (it was a glorious day), and a seemingly unnecessary amount of west-coast road trips and back to backs. I don't really want to remember the All-Star game.

It was a crazy year.

Derek Meech scored his first NHL goal

So did Ville Leino

And Pavel Datsyuk got his 500th point

Draper and Maltby made it to 1000 NHL games

Hossa got in a fight!

Ozzie tied Dom for the #10 spot in all-time wins for goalies with 389 (yeah, not quite the same as Brodeur's awesomeness, but I'm doing what I can with what I'm given)

And the Wings signed Hank and Franzen FOR THE REST OF ETERNITY

Awesome. If the 2008-09 Detroit Red Wings were an ice cream flavor, there would not be quite as many chocolate chunks per scoop as 2007-08, and the caramel ribbon might be a little grainy, but you would still go back for seconds, and probably thirds too, you porker.

Now the playoffs are here. I'm not excited. The first round opponent the Wings got stuck with this year? The Columbus Blue Jackets: an irritating Central Division rival that has never managed to make the playoffs in the history of the team. I know - it's better than Anahiem by way of travel. But I like to think in worst-case scenarios, and the Ducks knocking the Wings out in the first round would fuel a dirty rivalry. I'd be angry. Losing this series to the BJs, a team with no franchise playoff experience, and a crappy reputation? It would make me sad. I hope I never have to hear that cannon go off.

In Red Wings news: The Red Wings have recalled Darren Helm. It seems a little early to be bringing up the Black Aces, and I deeply hope that it's not because Hossa's groin injury is going to keep him out of the first round. I haven't heard any solid indication that it will, but this is the playoffs, and "lower body injury" can mean anything from "nasty hangnail" to "my foot is facing backwards and my femur is poking my spleen."

Columbus loses its playoff virginity to the Red Wings this Thursday April 16th at 7pm. I doubt the Wings will be gentle.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Jason Arnott had a wet and wild night

No, really. That's Jason Arnott.

It seemed like his was the only name Ken mentioned. If nothing else, that meant that at least I didn't have to spend the entire game hearing about Jordan Tootoo. But it also meant that by the time he skated out to take the shootout, it felt like he was destined to score. I spend another night watching the number on my kitchen whiteboard not go up. Lindsay curses Ken Daniels for jinxing the game with his talk of numbers.

It wasn't like it was sixty minutes of pure awfulness, either. There was a lot of good hockey played tonight, against a desperate team. Some defensive idiocy as well, yeah, but up until the end, a lot of good hockey.

And all I'm going to remember is how the Red Wings blew another 2 goal lead. Ugh, how frustrating.

I fricking hate Nashville.

It's the Preds again...

I'm so excited.

Rafalski is back.

Lilja's brain is bleeding, and I'm not going to lie - I'm a little worried.

Unfortunate piece of news from the bottom of the article I linked to concerning the likely event of Johan Franzen getting a new contract:

"Holland also wants to re-sign Marian Hossa but cannot sign both Franzen and Hossa now due to a lack of salary cap room."

I was still holding out hope that signing both was possible. Who would you rather see stay? Personally I'd pick Mule, but it's for sentimental reasons, and I'm probably a crazy fool, which is why I don't run a hockey team, I only blog about one.

As for this game, I only hope that Kronner and Ericsson be careful, lest they fall victim to Shea Weber's attempt at systematically laying out every Swedish defenseman on the team. Lidstrom missed 2 1/2 games last December after blocking one of his shots with his ankle, and the Lilja/Weber fight during one of the teams' last meetings was the last thing Lilja will have done all season. Joy.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

WTF Wednesday- Nikolai Khabibulin looks like other people (and chases Norwegians with a wrench?)

Well, he does. In honor of the Wings playing Chicago every other day for the rest of the season, here he is.

He makes one face while he's in net, and it's the same face every time.


Here's what he does on weekends?

(make sure you at least skip ahead to the 2 minute mark)

Alright, Evgeni Plushenko a bit of a stretch, but imagine turning on your television at three in the morning only to find this creep who looks like an NHL goalie licking his hand. Because I did. It haunts me still.

And this one is dead on. I cannot have been the only one who noticed this:

Tomorrow's game is against Nashville. What kind of sick joke is this schedule?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Some much more intelligent thoughts on last night's game

That game was much closer to something I would expect to see going into a Wings game, especially as compared to a few of the games preceding it: a few bogus calls (or no calls in the case of that high stick on Mule), decent defensive coverage, five minute fighting majors for giant Swedes, an away arena filled with Wings fans, a Nick Lidstrom goal from ten thousand feet away, Chris Osgood not failing, and most importantly, a win. It was by no means perfect, but, like I said, it was a vast improvement from the the last few games.

And come on. I can't be the only one who was excited to see Ericsson finally drop the gloves.

So maybe it wasn't as good as Hossa's fight against Suter (because since when does Marian Hossa fight?) but it still makes me smile. There's a part of me that wants Ericsson back in Grand Rapids so I can see him play live again for $10 and a crowded bus ride, but every game he plays in the NHL the better he gets. And he's been looking pretty good. I guess Babcock's obvious man-crush on him was fully warranted.


Useless fact of the day: Pierre McGuire's real name is Regis. His middle name is Pierre. Regis Pierre McGuire.


Hossa Hits 40, and other good news

Games like that make me feel better about the Red Wings in general, especially heading into the playoffs. And I don't just mean because they won. The Red Wings won plenty of games this season where afterward I felt like screaming into a pillow as though they'd lost. I can name some, if you like. The 10-25 game against the Blackhawks. That one in January against the Ducks. February 2nd shootout against the Blues. I'm sure there's more, but you don't want me to list them all.

It's probably no coincidence that all three of those were one-goal games. At the same time, there were plenty of one-goal games this season, even a couple of losses, that I didn't walk away from wanting to puke. You remember. Those games when the Red Wings actually showed up to play close to 60 minutes of hockey. Those games were wonderful.

Tonight really reminded me of those games.

This was an ass-boring post, but I'd like to still have something to say tomorrow. This has become a real M-W-F kind of blog, and that's never what we intended. Of course, that wouldn't be a problem if someone (*coughcoughMySistercough*) would contribute once in a while, but I won't point fingers.

Oh, and for those of you who care, the Wings signed Francis Pare today. Just look at that face.

That one's a keeper.

Friday, April 3, 2009

And the big news of the day, I guess -

Chris Osgood is the playoff starter. Definitely.


Well, Babcock's "pretty sure," anyway.


I'm a little worried about the playoffs.

Ok, I'm a lot worried about the playoffs. And it's not because of Chris Osgood and The Craptastic Season of Why Did You Let That Puck In.

It's not because I don't think the Red Wings can do it, either. They most certainly can. They have the talent. They have the experience. Even with the hangover, they probably still have most of the drive. But will they? That's the question.

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but this season it felt like the Wings rarely lived up to full potential. They played some good hockey, and had some awesome games, and with where they are in the standings, I have no right to complain in front of the fans of most other teams - but the whole time it seemed like something was failing to click.

They remind me of those kids in high school who coasted through doing the bare minimum and graduated with a B- average - a good grade, good enough to get into the colleges they wanted to, but they could have been valedictorian if they'd only taken notes and done their math homework.

To put it another way, this season, the Wings were like the following picture:

Yes, there are some awesome things in that picture, but taken as a whole... it doesn't make any goddamned sense.

I really hope that sometime during the next week, the Red Wings start to make sense. Because even though I made it, that picture is starting to creep me the hell out.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The organization will provide

I was fully prepared to scrap WTF Wednesday this week, because I had nothing worth your time, and it was April Fool's day anyway, so even if I had something, none of you would believe me. Then, at zero-hour, the following was brought to my attention:

No, the Red Wings aren't putting on a production of Fiddler on the Roof (but god, what I'd spend to go see that). They're promoting their 2009 playoff slogan, which, in case you haven't heard yet, is "The Beard is Back."

Have you guys seen this yet? I have never seen so many rich people so reluctant to do something in my life.

You can vote for your favorite playoff beard here. I'm rooting for Kris Draper, because his beard actually scored a goal in the conference finals. What has your beard done lately?


Yeah. That's what I thought.