Monday, November 30, 2009

Sweet Swedish retribution

The St. Louis game put us in a position where, for the first time either of us could remember, so long as no Red Wings left the ice dead or injured, or as long as they scored a single goal (that counted), we would be satisfied.

The realization that this was the point to which the season had sunken our spirits sort of made me want to throw up a little in my mouth.

Watching Todd Bertuzzi skate out on the ice to take the shootout made me want to throw up a lot in my mouth, and the awful sound of the puck hitting the post that I 100% expected to hear still sort of haunts my nightmares (and I actually like Todd Bertuzzi, so I don't want to imagine how horrible that moment must have been for the haters) even though he actually got the puck in the back of the net and I danced around the living room in happiness.

The Wings are still gunning for a home ice being-shut-out record of like ten thousand minutes though.

I'd post something relevant about tonight's game against the Dallas Stars, but all I have is a rant about how I want the Eurotwins back on a line together and a picture of Marty Turco shirtless. I'll post either upon sufficient request.

But if there's sufficient request for naked Turco, I might have to retire from blogging forever.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Two games. 80 shots on net. No goals. The first double shutout since 1977.




Maybe I should have been a little more specific when I said that I wanted to witness Red Wings history when I attended the only two games I was going to get to attend in probably two years.

I'm not really sure how this makes me feel. I don't know if I want to be angry, or if I want to laugh, or if I want to throw myself off the ambassador bridge, or maybe I want to do all three. I had the urge to do all three today, but I don't think jumping off a bridge while laughing angrily at hockey is quite the way I want to go. But I don't even have anything relevant to say about the game yet, except that it was ridiculous. I'm sort of too in shock right now at it having happened in the first place to form an opinion about it.

Seriously, what was that?

Remember how Lindsay wanted to corner Jarome Iginla in an elevator and give him a swift kick in the shins for his team's past transgressions before tonight's game? Her blind hatred of the Calgary Flames has now crossed over into the realm of the comedic. I've spent most of the night whispering "Dion Phaneuf" from across the room and watching her face spasm with disgust.

It's funny in the same way that disallowed goals aren't.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

While I agree that the Wings could have played that game with a little more jump and eagerness, you can’t fault them for a lack of effort. 40 shots on goal and not a single one in Atlanta’s net? That Pavelec kid was kind of ridiculous, and I’m sure the save he made in the second period will be on all the week’s highlight reels.

This being Thanksgiving (unless you’re in Canada, then this being Thursday), here is a list of things I am thankful for:

-That at least nobody got injured in that game
-Henrik Zetterberg
-The infinite classiness of Wings fans, who gave a pretty earnest clap for Slava Kozlov’s second period goal
-East side accents. I know you have no idea what I’m talking about, because you can’t hear them, but trust me – milling around a building full of locals going ‘hockey’ this and ‘pop’ that after having spent the last four weeks up in the Grand Rapids area? It was heaven.

But this whole not winning thing? Sort of beginning to become an issue. Those two goals Jimmy let in last night could have been the softest two goals ever to have been scored in the National Hockey League, and I’d still have trouble faulting him for the loss because you sort of have to score at least once to win a game.

Yeah. Yeah, the Red Wings got shut out by the Atlanta Thrashers. The good news is that when you’re done puking about that, you’ll have more room for turkey.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

At least we got to see Darren McCarty?

There's not really much to say about last night's game. The penalty kill sucked, Brian Engblom's hair sucked, the final score sucked, and as usual in Nashville, the fans sucked. Or I guess maybe they blew. Because god forbid Jordin Tootoo take a shift without the world being alterted. If I ever find myself in Nashville, I am marching into the Sommet Center with a jug of lighter fluid and a match, and burning everyone's train whistles. In a big, giant train whistle bonfire.

(yeah you best view that shit full-sized.)

I literally watched half the game on mute so I didn't have to listen to it. But the final fwa-eeeeet that they'd all make together as the superheated air of the whistle-fire blew through them? Would be worth hearing.

Also, after martin Erat's hat trick--- oh wait, he only scored two goals? So it wasn't a hat trick then? Well that's good to know. I guess I got a little confused from there having been more hats thrown on the ice for him than there were after Teemu Selanne's actual hat tick against the Wings last season in Anaheim. Maybe they just thought three goals for one team in a game or three points for one player in a game was a hat trick. That's an honest mistake that anyone could make.

I feel bad for the 8 or 10 Nashville fans that actually like hockey.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

And things go from bad to good to worse

Well, the Wings managed to come out of that game with two points after giving up a 2-0 lead and forcing it to a shootout, which was sort of awesome because lately I just expect a ridiculous loss every time they step out onto the ice (it's hard to be disappointed when you keep expectations low). It was really nice seeing the Eurotwins back in their usual form. More importantly though, they came out of it with only five defensemen.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Kronwall will be out a minimum of two weeks with a sprained MCL. Wonderful.

This is the sort of thing where I'm not exactly sure where my opinion lies. On the one hand, the homer in me wants to call Ultimate Foul, ban Laraque from the league and put the Wings on the man advantage the full 60 minutes of our next eight games.

And then, rationally speaking, I don't really think there was any intent to injure, at least not injure seriously - hockey is by nature a dangerous game of centimeters and sometimes millimeters, where huge men go barreling across giant sheets of ice with knives strapped to their feet, knocking into each other at high speed, and not everyone can always pay attention to where every part of everyone else's body is at any given time, let alone the sticks they all carry, or the little fleck of rubber they send at each other in occasional excess of 100mph - unfortunate accidents happen (especially this season, it seems). And part of me is willing to just let this one go as an unfortunate accident. I don't really care if Laroque gets a suspension - I just want Kronner back.

Still. He didn't have to stick his leg out. He'd already just knocked Helm in the teeth - he didn't need to try to trip anyone. And now we're out another guy, for god only knows how long. Ugh. Laraque. You unclassy, whorish bastard. How dare you.

At least he's not out four months. I guess.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Puketastical (Link Updated)

I know that all signs point to this season being back-weighted on wins - surely we'll get more production when Filppula and Franzen come back from injuryland - but right now the statistics say that the Wings are on track to win 41 games this season.

And I'd really like them to aim a little higher than that.

The really frustrating thing is that they're not playing like complete shit in every game they lose, but they're losing them anyway. I feel like beating my head against a wall.

But I'm not allowed to hit walls on purpose. I crack enough drywall unintentionally.

To distract yourselves, go read an article about hat tricks and curly fries that yours truly was interviewed for.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Just your average referee rant

Well that was pukey. The Wings lost to the Stars 3-1, and as I'm sure all you who watched the game are aware, the score should have been 3-2.

Play whistled down? Intent to blow the whistle? Really? It took him over two seconds to raise his hand to his mouth? I don't even know. I could put some of the blame on Toronto for being lame, but I'm not. I'm putting it on Dennis LaRue. I will always put it on Dennis LaRue, because it's always his fault. Trisha said it best back in May:

"I hate Dennis LaRue. Every time I see a tiny man skate onto the ice wearing a striped jersey with a number 14 on the back, my stomach drops because I know I’m about to sit through at least sixty minutes of ridiculousness. I hate it. There are some refs in this league I give second chances to, allow occasional mistakes from, try to forgive a little even if I can’t forget (because we’re all human) – but Dennis LaRue is not one of those refs. I want to get him alone in an elevator so I can kick him in the shins more than I do Jarome Iginla."

As you can see, there's not much love going around Hockeytown Static for that man.

Besides that outrage, this game put back a lot of the worries that I had in the beginning of the season back in my head. It's not that this game was extraordinarily bad, but the Wings just didn't seem to have the same drive that they've had for the last few games. Maybe I'll just forget this game ever happened...

But at least I got to watch the game. Our dad is in Texas for a couple of day on a business trip, and he was happy the Wings were playing the Stars because then he would be able to still see the game. So he went back to his hotel room, and there was no game. Then he went to TGI Friday's, and still no game. Finally he went to a bar and asked the bartender if he could turn on one of the T.V.s to the game, and the bartender responded "Sorry but we don't have it. We don't watch a lot of hockey in Texas". I can't decide if this is funny or sad. Maybe it's both. Here's to hoping Friday's game against Florida is less painful to watch.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

And they were the most delicious curly fries I have ever eaten

I almost thought the Arby's Curse truly existed. I remember reading somewhere that last season was the Wings' first hat-trick-less season since sometime in the mid-70s. Craziness.

Also craziness - Chris Osgood still has... whatever it is he's got. I don't know why fate is constantly conspiring to keep Ozzie a backup goalie.

And we're playing Dallas on Wednesday. A game against Dallas can get real ugly, real fast, even without a rookie goalie and a team riddled with injuries and illness. Especially now that Marty Turco thinks he can just waltz into Joe Louis Arena and win games.

Which is why we've sent our father, who's in Texas this week on business, on a secret undercover mission to sabotage the Dallas Stars.

So far he's had strong words with three people who look sort of like Mike Modano, and egged Steve Ott's next door neighbor's house.

We should have hired a professional.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Arby's here I come!

Wings beat Anaheim 7-4 in what ended up being one of the most exciting games that I've seen in a long time. And while thankfully Chris Pronger wasn't in this game, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf are starting to get to be just as annoying. They're like your annoying little cousin at Thanksgiving dinner that just won't stop poking you because they think it's funny. Well, it's not funny and neither are their constant goals against the Wings.

This game proved that while the Wings still have a long way to go this season in terms of defensive brain farts (coughJonathanEricssoncough), hitting goalposts, and taking bad penalties, the future is still looking bright. Leino looked good, Helm looked, well... fast, and Jimmy now has a mastodonic 5 NHL wins. Also tonight was the first hat trick in over a year. Not that I didn't love Hossa, but he apparently missed the memo on how to put the third puck in the net and just ended up being the ultimate roastbeef tease. Not Henrik Zetterberg. Nothing will be as sweet as walking into Arby's tomorrow holding the boxscore and asking for free potatoes. It's taken a freakishly long time, but it's here now.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Holy dear sweet Jimmy Howard

Well. That was pretty much a complete 180 from every worry I was developing ulcers from.

I mean, the Columbus game was just ridiculous on a level I don't think can be explained. When my team wins by more than five goals, I don't really have much to say except "awesome". Awesome.

And as much as you never want to see your starting goaltender sick at home, Howard's play in last night's game against Vancouver quelled dozens and dozens of worries I was starting to have about his development (and gave me a few new ones to mull over concerning rebound control, but... that's for later). I can only hope that this stretch of games is the momentum change in the season and that the Wings keep picking up steam.

At the same time, I'm not sure I want to get my hopes up for the future, if only because it still seems as though the Wings are unable to deliver any awesomeness until I'm sobbing into my hands with the fear of imminent torture thinking about the next game.

I think this is the kind of cycle of joy and agony that's supposed to be indicative of an abusive relationship. Hockey is a crappy boyfriend.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

So about this game on in a half an hour...

Pretty much the only thing I look forward to less than the Wings playing the BJs is the Wings playing the BJs when their roster is being quickly chopped to pieces by highly contagious Random Exploding Leg Syndrome and Albertan Swine Flu.

I've sort of been in a sleep-deprivation-induced haze the last couple of days, and as such, have nothing more to say about tonight's game.

But hey, look who we just picked up on waivers. Drew Miller's just the kind of scoring touch the team really... oh. Oh, nevermind. But we can put him on the roster and only count half his salary towards the cap, right? That's how waivers work? There are three things I never really bothered to learn in high school, and the waiver system is one of them. (the other two are mathematical proofs and how to apply eyeliner without poking myself in the eye, in case you're wondering.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Congrats Stevie

This video dosen't really need any words. Steve Yzerman is practically a God to us, and now his face and legacy is forever immortalized in a little square piece of etched glass. I can't think of anyone who deserves this more. The Triple Deke and Abel to Yzerman summed up his importance in Detroit better than I could ever hope to. Read it and be amazed at all things Yzerman.

Thank you Steve, and congratulations.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I scored a goal for the Leafs tonight

... didn't everyone?

I suppose, if I had power over these things, that I would have picked a different game to honor Steve Yzerman and Dan Cleary to score goal 100. One where the Red Wings didn't lose 5-1, and go down another forward because Jason Williams broke his leg.

If I were a better blogger, I would have diligently watched the game with my eyes glued to the screen so that I could break down the Wings' play period by period and explain to you exactly what went wrong, but around the third goal against my team, I usually start to zone out and hope that if I just don't look at it directly, it isn't really happening. Like if I don't watch the end of the game or check the scores online, the Red Wings won't have lost. They won't have won, but they'll never have lost. The more games go sour, the more I have this urge, and the more I have this urge, the more I'm convinced that Schrodinger was a hockey fan.

If you put a gun to my head and told my to think of something positive, I'd beg you to pull the trigger say that at least I got a good giggle out of watching Jonas Gustavsson stand next to Ted Lindsay and Johnny Bower to accept his player of the game award, because of how outlandishly tall he looked next to them.

And I'd make a bet on the next forward to get injured but the last time I bet on player injuries, I won five dollars and Andreas Lilja still isn't back in the lineup.

That's not even the worst game the Red Wings have played in the last year. Why does it feel like it was the epitome of gross, and the end of the world besides?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Aren't shootouts fun? (wherein I wax nostalgic)

Well that was exhilarating. But it was by no means perfect. The Wings had some bad turnovers in the first two periods, there were defensive brain lapses, and countless shots on a practically empty goal never found the back of the net. Thankfully, none of that mattered in the end and they were able to snap the Shark's 5-0 record after scoring the first goal and 6 game winning streak. The Triple Deke has a pretty solid three stars selection that I couldn't have put better myself. And it was good to see the Eurotwins remember how to score in the shootout. Those dekes were glorious.

And while I don't necessarily love the idea of having the winner of 65 minutes of NHL hockey be decided by how good a team's goaltender and top three scorers are, I have a small place in my heart for shootouts. Don't get me wrong; I wish every Wings game ended with Darren Helm getting a hat trick and a shutout for our goalie, but there is just something about them I really like. Maybe it's because I get to see Pavel and Hank do this:

But more than likely it's because of the IHL. When I was still an impressionable young child, my family attended a lot of Detroit Vipers games. The bulk of the memories I have from this team consist of the suites at the Palace, cotton candy, Vipe-bear, and shootouts followed by confetti.
More than likely, I'm combining two memories with the shootouts and confetti, but because they're particularly happy memories, the idea of a shootout brings me warm, happy feelings in the midst of the bleakness of being third in the division behind Chicago and Colombus (thankfully, we're only one game behind them).

Overall I'm happy. The Wings played a pretty solid game and if they can keep it at this level or maybe even push it a little more, I'll stay happy. I can actually see the team's confidence growing and it's giving me hope for the future. The Wings are missing a handful of their top/breakout players and are still managing to find wins even though the roster is filled out with players that would normally be scratched or shipped back over to the west side of the state with me. I have hope.

Maybe less of the team has the flu than was initially reported

I know I'm two days late on this, but wow, was Tuesday ever a game. I mean, sure, there were still more turnovers than I like seeing, and the Wings got lucky on... every bounce the puck made all night, but after a 2-0 game that looked like the Red Wings were finally starting to turn on the awesome-juice and gel together as a team (it's only been, what, a month now?), I don't know if I can complain.

Should I? I spent pretty much the entire first month of the season optimistic and hopeful. My team was awful.

Once I gave up on them, and life, and finally started to bitch about how awful they were playing, it took them all of two days to pull their act together.

So with that in mind, I don't think we'll ever make the playoffs if we keep playing like this. This is terrible. Worst team in the league. Where's our defense? Evgeni Nabokov's probably going to get a hat trick tonight and I'll weep in the darkness of my empty room.

Game Day Randoms:
Tonight the Wings play San Jose at home at 7:30pm. All of the defensemen have successfully fought off the flu and should be back in the lineup tonight. Speaking of defensemen, Lilja is finally starting to make some progress on the headaches, but still has no idea when he'll be back. Brad May is still out thanks to Jason Williams and his crazy stick ending up in May's eye. Khan has the potential lines here, but with Mike Babcock coaching, you'd be crazy to take them as the truth. I'd bet that by the end of the night he has Zetterberg playing with Gordie Howe and Kid Rock. Now that's a line I'd pay good money to see.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Also, the entire team has the flu.

Tonight there's a game against Boston. I'm not sure I have much to say about it, except to note that the team needs the points (I think we're 11th place out of 15 in the conference right now. I think, if I have any grasp on the sport at all, that we need to aim for at least 8th. Right? I'm not hallucinating that, am I?) and to spend another ten pages bitching about how much I hate Versus.

Which I should really stop. Granted, there's a lot to bitch about. There's no denying that. Especially in these trying times, where, if I have to watch my team lose consistently, I want everybody on the channel I'm watching it on, from the regional producers down to the lowliest interns to at least pretend to be ragingly unfair, completely biased homers. It just makes it easier when you feel like the color guy might be hurting right along with you.

But I feel like I've been too hard on Versus in the past. At least they're trying. At least they're a nationally broadcast cable network in the States airing hockey games across the country on a regular basis. Sure, they're not perfect. Sure, their commentators don't always kiss the ground that Ken Holland walks on like I think they should. Sure, Brian Engblom's hair looks like he scalped MacGyver and then decided to wear his mullet as a trophy headpiece but MacGyver's head was a little smaller than his so the mullet didn't quite fit right so he had to put it on little mullet stilts on his head so it would stay there*.

(*MacGyver's mullet wouldn't stay there. MacGyver's mullet would steal three paperclips and Kieth Jone's pen and use them to escape.)

But at least they're not NBC, who forbids teams from holding playoff viewing parties, makes us spend every intermission hoping Mike Milbury will finally just kick Pierre MaGuire's ass but he never does, and has a disconcerting anti-Swede bias, which I wouldn't even mind if my team didn't have more Swedes than Ikea had chairs, but it does, so I do mind, quite a bit.

I'm sorry, I'm sitting here rationalizing the legitimacy of the existence of Versus, where I should be doing my job - which is making myself feel better about a potential loss tonight by making fun of the Boston Bruins.

Sadly, all I have to give you is this video of some bears playing hockey:

I don't remember if we'd already posted this. Aside from the obvious ethical PETA/ASPCA questions I have... I just want to know how much fish paste and tranquilizer you have to use to teach bears to skate.

Probably more fish paste than it took to get Zdeno Chara to strip naked in front of a camera. (Don't worry, it's... tastefully... posed...) The good news about that picture is that if it struck you blind, you don't have to see Brian Engblom's hair at all tonight. Awesome!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

That game made me smile

Alright, before I completely geek out about everything that was awesome about yesterday, let's recap the holy-crap-not-so-awesome:

- Jonathan Ericsson appears to have caught the flu. Thanks bunches, Edmonton.
- Jason Williams tried to take Brad May's eye out last night; he should be fine, but that was a little scary, and logistically, we don't need another man down.
- Not a single kid showed up to my front door as a Red Wing last night. Back before I went to college, Halloween was good for a solid McCarty or Shanahan and two Yzermen, at least. How disappointing. There were a couple Tigers, but it's just not the same.
- Filppula still has a broken wrist, Franzen still has a gimpy knee, and yo mamma so ugly, she on long-term IR cause the coach don't wanna look at her.

But hey, the AWESOME:

- The Red Wings won a game! And more than that, they won a game where they didn't blow a lead, didn't have to switch goalies mid-way to wake the team up, and were, for the most part, defensively responsible. To quote probably the entire rest of the internet, they looked like the Red Wings again out there. (I don't think they ever stopped looking like the Red Wings though. The organization's been around for more than 8 decades. They still looked like the Red Wings last week. Just... maybe the Red Wings of the 1970s or something.)

- It's really nice to see Brad Stuart score on a team that isn't the Red Wings. You have to understand, I like the guy. But did he realize last spring that Lilja was going to be out for a while, and took it upon himself to unleash a string of did-he-really-do-that? so long that he would take up the responsibility of fan scapegoat? Because that's what it's been looking like. Not last night though. Last night earned him back his spot in the middle of the popular kids at the cool table in the lunch room.

To the ancient Celts, Halloween was the start of the new year, a time to chase away the ghosts of the past year (literally and figuratively) and turn over a new leaf. Are the Red Wings living out this tradition and finally finding their way as a team? Or was last night just a shining bright light of greatness amid what will turn out to be a dark season of fluky injuries, heartbreak, and inconsistent play?

That's an awful thought. Let's hope for the former.