Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lets keep winning games. Please.

I always thinks it's really funny to look at which games get picked up by Versus and NBC and then ask "why?" Like last year, when the Devils had to deal with at least two Versus feeds a month because Versus desperately, desperately wanted to be the ones to broadcast Martin Brodeur's record-breaking 603,478,021st win.

I mean, nobody came out and said as much, but it couldn't have been a coincidence. I don't love Versus, but I put hockey on as background noise, whatever the game, and every week, like clockwork, there was Doc talking about how New Jersey was holding its own while Brodeur was on the mend. (Their plan failed, but they dropped everything to show it anyway. And by "dropped everything", I mean "interrupted a Wings game".) No, not a coincidence.

Sort of like I doubt that it's a coincidence that Ken and Mickey aren't calling either of the games the Wings play against the Pens this season.

No, seriously. There's another one in March, on a Monday, picked up by Versus. The league could have scheduled one of them on a Friday night. Instead of playing into NBC's plans to break the network record for most utterances of the words "rematch" and "rivalry".

But I don't care about rivalries or rematches right now. Sure, if the knowledge that they're about to play the Penguins riles the team up into a higher level of play, if the chance at retribution helps them to win, then I want them to play the Penguins every night.

But I'm not playing in this game; I'm watching (or, more accurately, listening, because aside from not particularly wanting to watch the NBC feed, I'll be driving back up to Grand Valley for the better part of the game), and as much as I want to care that it's the Penguins my team's about to play, I don't really care who the Red Wings are playing, if it's the Penguins or the Panthers or the Olympus Mons Dust Mites, which are a fictional team I just made up who play in the Martian Senior League - I just want the Wings to win.

I could change my mind about that tomorrow, when I catch NBC humping Sidney Crosby's leg before I hit the road and switch over to Ken Kal. But as I type, I'm watching Calgary rape Edmonton as they bump us out of the eighth spot in the west, so fuck Crosby - my mind's on those two points.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hey, is it Wednesday?

Because after last night's game, I feel like some wtf.

And nothing is more wtf than Saturday morning cartoons from the early 90s. Especially Saturday morning cartoons from the early 90s staring Wayne Gretzky.

Have you ever found real Wayne Gretzky lacking? Thought that maybe he needed a bigger upper body? A more luscious-looking mullet? An arsenal of pucks that turned into boomerangs and then EXPLODED? If your answer to any of the above questions was OH YES PLEASE!, then today is the day your dreams come true.

"The Perbots of Dr. Lobe" (no, I'm still not really sure what a "perbot" is, exactly), wherein Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, and Bo Jackson attempt to save a vaguely ethnic child from a mad scientist using SPORTS! and... a giant magnet? Or something? Here's part 2 and part 3 where Wayne is sort of a whiny little coward.

I highly recommend you all watch the other episodes in the related videos section.

Preferably sitting on the floor in front of your computer in your pajamas with a bowl of Lucky Charms.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I guess success is a hard word to pronounce (EDIT- Now with video)

I wish I could say I'm surprised, but I'm not. The Eurotwins were showing glimmers of their previous magic, Nick Lidstrom practically doubled his goal count, Jimmy was f-ing rediculous, and somehow the Wings still managed to blow a two goal lead with less than five minutes left in the game. Story of the season. Since I couldn't watch the last period of this game, Trisha was kind enough to send me text updates so at least I didn't have to sit through the pain of watching the disappointment unfold:

"Helm in box for the rest of the game I hope"
"Yep, there it is. 3-4 with a minute and a half"
"Draper missed the empty net, wtf?"
"F***ing Jovo tied it"
"Shane Doan to win. I blame this on Darren Helm"
"At least we got a point? I guess? Why do I keep forgetting that hockey is nothing but pain and heartache?"

In other news, did anyone else hear Andy Brickley say during pregame that Datsyuk and Zetterberg "have tremendous sex"? He was trying for "success". I mean, I know that when the Eurotwins are on the same line a lot of this

happens, but geeze man, watch your Freudian slips on live tv; I almost choked on my baked potato.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


No one except Drew Miller's mom was thinking "Oh, Zetterberg, Bertuzzi, and Cleary couldn't score? Don't worry, Drew'll get us out of this one." Maybe they should have been, but they probably weren't.

It took the events of the last week, but Lindsay's finally been cured of her desire for every hockey game in the history of ever to end with a shootout testing the skills of every player on each team including the back-up goalies. Now she at least agrees that the Red Wings should stop that sort of ridiculousness immediately.

The Red Wings winning a game is an occurrence more rare this season than I'm accustomed to, so when it's happened lately, it's like it was a playoff game or something and I'm jumping around the house forgetting how either team played and am suddenly at a loss for anything to say besides some variation on "Yay we won".

But I can say that I don't really like the Minnesota Wild.

I'm not just throwing that out there, either. If I came on here and put the hate on all 29 other teams and fanbases that weren't my own, you wouldn't be surprised at all, because this is a fan blog, and I'm allowed (by some, expected) to be a ragingly biased, blinders-wearing homer.

But that's not what's going on here. I like players who aren't with the Red Wings. Some of them are legitimate superstars. Some of them are rugged role players. Some of them... make me question my own taste in hockey players and I really can't explain.


And in the same way, I like teams that aren't the Red Wings too - granted, much less than I like the Red Wings, but so long as they aren't playing Detroit that night (playoff series and ugly incidents notwithstanding), I like them quite a bit.

But Minnesota isn't one of those teams.

Maybe it's because of the whole "stealing the name of Hockeytown" business a couple of years ago (which was an asinine argument anyway - it didn't start out as an awarded nickname, it started out as a marketing ploy, and Ilitch probably has the damn thing copyrighted, so... yeah, good luck with that), or maybe it's because they look like Christmas elves out there, which I find obnoxious. Or it could be because they make a big fricking deal about their arena selling out every night while there's empty seats in the Joe, even though the X-cel Energy Center seats less people than Detroit pulls in on an average night, even with the empty seats (and curse me for not bookmarking these statistics when I found them, but they're out there, somewhere).

Or maybe it's because I remember reading somewhere that the ethnic make-up of the team was actually designed to mirror the ethnic make-up of the state in which it plays (with strong French Canadian and Finnish ties), and that just sounds a little too racist to me, I don't know. "Sorry Petr Sykora, you're too central European to fit in our system. Good luck on waivers."

Ok, so that last one doesn't quite hold up to strict journalistic standards of citation, but I'm trying to find a rational reason why I hate that team so much, and I can't find one. Isn't irrational hatred bad? Doesn't it tend to lead to hate-crimes and genocide and...

You know what? I'm willing to deal with that risk and any bad karma if it means I can enjoy the following to its fullest and most spectacular extent:

Bahahaha beautiful.

Seriously, Chicago Tribune?

So, the Red Wings haven't been doing so great lately. I mean, alright, they played pretty well the last few games, but... they didn't win them, as close as they came, and come playoff time, the real season, winning's what matters. Maybe you're getting a little disillusioned. A little frustrated. Maybe you're starting to turn your gaze elsewhere for your hockey needs (stay with me here) and this last week's epic-tacular bout against the Chicago Blackhawks caught your lonely eye.

Are you ready to become a Blackhawks bandwagon fan? They've written you a guide. Go, join their powerful, thriving caravan as it rolls towards its destiny. Patrick Sharp will be there with you, though he won't be looking particularly thrilled*.

Or maybe you're a girl. Here are four convincing reasons to go to games anyway, and a comprehensive guide to what you should wear once you decide to learn the ways of the puckbunny.

Chicago's real fan seems a little offended.

*I don't know, maybe that's just Patrick Sharp's face. I try not to look at Patrick Sharp too closely since last spring, because even though a lot of players are different people on the ice, I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around the thought that someone who looks like such a nice guy almost speared off Nick Lidstrom's balls.

But if he does look tenative about the situation in that photoshoot, it's probably because the author of the second article I linked is there behind the camera, drooling.

Go Wings.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I got detained at the border for telling the customs agent I was heading to Toronto to kill a man

We were planning to postpone the post about the Dallas game until after the Chicago game in hopes that we would have something more substantial and pleasant to write than:

"Grumble grumble argh complain... I hate Steve Ott... grumble rant... NHL officiating... ugh bad photoshop complain... suck it, Toronto... vomit."

Well, after the game against Chicago, the only substantial thing we can do is take that and add:

"argh... 20 cent... why, Marian?... vomit more."

The Wings lost two games in two days, both decided by a shootout. And while they were painful to watch as a Wings fan, I can't say that I wasn't at least entertained.

Who knew Bertuzzi had that in him?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Yeah they damn well better have won that game

That game was far from perfect. But it was the closest the Wings have come to it in weeks, and I'm not going to argue with 2 points.

With 2 points, I'm going to dance around the house jubilantly, like it was a playoff game or something. Except it's January, so that's kind of sad.

I guess the big news of the night (because I refuse to consider the Red Wings winning a game in a decisive fashion "news") is Nick Lidstrom scoring his first goal since practically his rookie season. Talk about getting a giant-ass monkey off your back.

No, not a giant ass-monkey

Also, did anybody else catch Mickey Redmond calling Jimmy "King James" tonight? Yeah, I'm still undecided on whether I want that one to catch on.

You can thank (blame?) the photoshop on the abysmally long time it took for me to load the gorilla picture on dial-up.

Let There Be Vikings.

If you haven't already heard, Jonathan Ericsson will return from a knee injury tonight against the Hurricanes. With this, the Wing's Swede count increases to three. THREE. I remember a time long, long ago when Detroit had seven Swedes on the roster...

...Oh wait, what was that? Seven? Really? This season? You mean 2009-10?

Yeah. There was a time when the red and white of the Winged Wheel and the blue and yellow of Sweden's flag were practically synonymous. I miss those days.

Speaking of international hockey, a couple days ago it was released that Brian Rafalski was named alternate captain America.

He's a defenseman, so the bulletproof shield is used to... stop pucks... or something... I don't know. There was a point in my life when I was on MS Paint, meticulously cutting around a Red Wing player's head, pixel by pixel, so I could copy/paste it onto a comic book character's body, and it occurred to me that I probably shouldn't think far enough into these things to actually come up with backstory for what Alternate Captain American Brian Rafalski uses his superhero paraphernalia for.

Sadly, that day predates this blog by about two years.

Who else felt like the US Olympic roster was subtitled "let's see how many current/former New Jersey Devils we can fit on one team"? There were less Swedish Wings in Torino.

Which brings me back to the whole point of this post, which was supposed to be: I miss our Swedes.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dear Sweet Beautiful Hockey Gods...

When will the shutouts end?

Dwayne Roloson made 16 saves (Yep, just 16. Don't vomit too much) to blank the Wings in the final game of 2010's first road trip. But don't blame it all on the goalie - tonight the Wings were ridiculously out-played.

The first period looked like someone had spiked the gatorade bottles with NyQuil. Double-shots of Viking-strength NyQuil. I wrote it off as jet-lag and hoped they'd snap out of it once they realized they were down two goals at first intermission. I guess somewhere during the win-streak I had forgotten that hope breeds disappointment.

After Babcock pulled Larry Murphy's vote for Calder Trophy winner in the second period, Ozzie finally got some time in net. And boy, did he look rusty. Rusty like the Titanic.

A fitting metaphor for what the Wings did this evening when they hit the ice

That was to be expected though, considering that it's the first time he's played in about ten thousand years (actually, I think he did pretty good for being 36 and coming in more or less cold).

For a minute there, I thought that pulling Howard was the wake-up call that the Red Wings needed, and was going to be the turning point in a come-from-behind win.

And then the Islanders scored while our 4-time Lady Byng winner was in the box for trying to break a guy in half, and I pretty much gave up. Which is what it looked like half the team had done as well; the third period played out less like an attempt to break a shut-out and more like an exercise in damage control. I guess without a period-long concerted effort for either, neither plan pulled through.

As far back as I can remember, scoring goals has never been this big of a problem for the Wings, and this is starting to scare me.

On the bright side, Franzen is skating again and Kronner's ultrasound came back with no signs of a baby, and, maybe more importantly, no signs of damage to his knee.

Ugh. Six-nothing. I'm never watching hockey again.

... until Thursday.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Every time I sit down in front of this blog, I have to fight against the instinct to bang my head against the keyboard and bitch about what a crappy season it's been. (Also, now that every other word out of Larry Murphy's mouth is "Calder candidate", I have to fight against titling every post "I liked Jimmy Howard before he was cool".)

At least the injuries seem to have leveled off for the time being. Of course, now that I've said that, we're going to lose half the team...

Tomorrow the Wings are playing the New York Islanders. And you kids know what that means.

That means Tavares:

Oh man, John Tavares's new nickname in this household is totally "Pooch".

Mostly because Butch, Chubby, Tiny or Ralph just don't suit him at all.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Don't worry. We weren't killed, kidnapped, or kicked off the bandwagon

We got to watch the last couple of games on swanky big-screen tvs with decent sound-systems this week. Of course, this is due to the fact that we're babysitting our aunt's cat. Who who does his business in a Red Wings-themed bonus room I could only dream of having. Underneath a picture of Sergei Fedorov, which I mention only because I don't think I could use the bathroom while I was looking at Sergei Fedorov. That just seems awkward.

But as awful as this sounds, I don't really want to talk about the Red Wings right now. And here's why:

It's not really a secret to the people who know me that I have a hard time relating to the United States as an institution. It has to do with the fact that, being such a huge and hugely diverse country, there's room in the definition of 'American' for everything and everything's exact opposite, and it always seems to be the people opposite of me who try to speak for me on behalf of the entire country. It means that for most of my life, there's been a disconnect between me and my native land, with nothing for me to really hold onto. That, and the fact that I only live about twenty minutes from the border and spent a solid quarter of my childhood across it, meant that I would have been pretty happy with the Canadians winning World Juniors tonight.

But it was the US in overtime, after a spectacular, fast-paced game of amazingness, and when the team sang the Star Spangled Banner (horribly, but it was awesome), I had something in this country to connect to, and I felt more like an American than I probably ever had. I'd hardly heard of any of those guys before New Year's eve, but they felt like my team. I was a bundle of emotions.

And then I had to turn back to the Wings game, which after that sort of felt like a regular season game played on California ice against one of my least favorite teams where I don't even get to make fun of Chris Pronger and half my team was injured and we weren't in the playoffs if they started today and the Wings were down two goals half-way through the second and I could scream "WELL IF TODD BERTUZZI AND TOMAS HOLMSTROM CAN'T SCORE ON HILLER TONIGHT THEN THIS GAME IS ALREADY OVER" at the television and not be sarcastic at all.

Because... that's what it was.

And given my choice between the two, I'd much rather be thinking about the badassery that is the World Juniors Battle Cry. (No, seriously, you should watch that.)

(ETA: Apparently this victory was just important enough to be featured on ESPN's website until the next blurb of football news came up, when it disappeared forever. So nevermind, I hate America again.)