Do you remember that feeling you had after game 5? Like you were invincible, and nothing could go wrong? You were so excited that you stayed up until three in the morning talking about how happy you were (yes, I'm looking at you Twitter).
Well I hope you do, because I don't. All my memories of that feeling were rushed out the door with the epic loss in game 6 and replaced with the sudden urge to puke up everything I've eaten in the last 2 days just thinking about game 7.
And now it's time for that puketastical game. It's do or die. Round 2 or golf. But this isn't the time to recite cliches, the time to make excuses, whine about soft goals or complain about defensive coverage or lack of scoring - this is the time to win. If the Wings come out flying they way we all know they can, there is not a single doubt in my mind that they will win the series. They CAN do it.
The question simply is will they?
Until this game starts, I will be attempting to keep my brain focused on the chronology of Roman emperors and not on Mike Babcock's hair. Partially to keep myself from puking. Partially so I don't fail my final.
It looks like the writer's association took notice of Tiberius without Lindsay and I launching that guerrilla ad campaign we had planned. Oh well. There's always the All-Star game.
(No, you're not hallucinating. This is an autographed Jimmy John's bumper sticker with a picture of pedo-stached James on it, and I'm sure it's not the weirdest thing he's ever been asked to sign.)
Speaking of the NHL Awards, I spent the morning wondering whether someone decided that the Norris Trophy will now be awarded to the leagues most offensive defenseman (sort of like an anti-Selke). I'd be ok with that, I just wish someone would go ahead and make a public announcement. Then again, my sister just called to tell me that Mike Green's a plus 39 this season, so what the hell do I know?
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I don't know how many of you actually watch the other playoff series. I usually do. (I'm not recommending it to you if you don't already do it - that triple overtime Penguins game last night was five hours of my life that I'm never getting back). I'm just wondering if anyone else feels like Bettman told the refs that EVERY MOTHER-F*&#$@G GOAL HAS TO BE CLEARED BY HIM PERSONALLY VIA VIDEO REVIEW. Do the guys in the War Room in Toronto get paid per ruling? Is this like some kind of magical Christmas for them with money flying everywhere?
Don't get me wrong - I don't want the playoffs decided by a questionable goal. But I also don't want to spend as much time twiddling my fingers in front of the tv waiting on a ruling as I do watching actual hockey. Just sayin'.
Today, the series goes back to Phoenix. The Joe was rocking Tuesday night, and we send it to you, Hockeytown West, to make their white out bleed red.
If you watched yesterday's game on NBC in anyplace that wasn't southeast Michigan, you probably missed out on a critical portion of every NBC broadcast Red Wings playoff game - the Local 4 postgame show. Bernie Smilovitz (who covers sports for Local 4 News) and Mickey Redmond sit in armchairs in a studio and discuss what went wrong while they wait for Katrina Hancock (who is approximately 8 feet tall (no really. She'll interview Chris Osgood, and the cameraman will have to pan down from her to reach his face.)) to convince players to say something interesting on camera.
In the spirit of the Wings' PR department's season-long "Hockeytown No Limits" campaign, and because we feel as though your lives are incomplete until you've experienced Local 4's ever-endearing awkwardness, we bring you a loosely transcribed version of yesterday's events.
Bernie: So Mickey - why did the Wings lose that game? Mickey: Because they played like sh- Bernie: Hang on, I'mma let you finish, but Tall Katrina has Henrik Zetterberg.
Tall Katrina: Hank, tell us why you lost that game today. Hank: Well, um... *pouty-face* I think we yust need to keep playing our game, and um... *cries* Tall Katrina: Bernie, back to you.
Bernie: Thanks Katrina. Now, Mickey, what do you think the keys to the Coyotes game were this afternoon? Mickey: Well, they had a lot of puck possession down low, and one of their players still uses a wooden st- Bernie: Hang on, I'mma let you finish, but Tall Katrina has Nicklas Lidstrom.
Nick: --of keeping the puck out of our sssone, and we need to be more physssical and not give up asss many odd-man chancesss. Tall Katrina: What happened on that 2-on-1? Nick: It was a 2-on-2 actually, but Raffi f#$%!d it up. Tall Katrina: Back to you, Bernie.
Bernie: Thank you Katrina. Now, Mickey, what do the Wings need to do on Tuesday? Mickey: They need to get in deep, keep the-- Bernie: Hang on, I'mma let you finish, but Tall Katrina has Jimmy Howard.
Tall Katrina: So Jimmy... What the hell was the matter with you today? Jimmy: *voice actually quivers this is not a made up fact* I need to be better. Tall Katrina: Are you less nervous three games in? Jimmy: OMG U GUYZ I WASN'T NERVOUS TO BEGIN WITH. Tall Katrina: What did Ozzie say to you just before this interview started? Jimmy: He told me to pretend this game never happened. And I'd really like to. Tall Katrina: Back to you Bernie.
Bernie: Thank you Katrina. Now Mickey - Mickey: You gonna let me finish this time? Bernie: Yes. Mickey: Well I think Jimmy did the right thing, owning up to the fact that he needs to be better, and -- Bernie: Hang on, I'mma let you finish, but Tall Katrina paid Justin Abdelkader five dollars to talk with her.
Tall Katrina: Hi Justin. Justin: Hi.
At this point I wandered out of the room because I was getting cranky and they weren't talking about anything interesting.
The Wings don't play again until Tuesday and they need a win or else this situation is going to get ugly.
Thought Bubble of the Day: What do you think the arena staff was thinking when the Cusimano brothers threw the first octopus back in 1952?
This thing is a monster, even after I took out the three paragraphs on comparative symbology. I will totally understand if you just skip to the boobs at the end.
When the Winnipeg Jets moved out to the barren deserts of Arizona for the 1996-97 season, they weren't exactly expected to have immediate and bounding success and draw in a large, thriving, profitable fanbase. At least, I really hope they weren't, because they didn't. They really, really didn't. The success they had was small, and the truly devoted fans they garnered were scant. But this season, despite bankruptcy, despite nearly being moved half-way across the continent again, despite years of being one of the jokes of the league, proof positive that the southern US was no place to have hockey, the team overcame, and, as 4th seed in the western conference, have a legitimate shot at Lord Stanley's Cup. As a fan of hockey, and of sports in general, I want this Cinderella story to be able to warm my heart with the fuzzy feelings only achieved by watching bands of brothers overcome adversity prehistoric tribal-style, by beating down all the bigger, meaner tribes with sticks and then hugging it out at the victory feast.
Unfortunately, Cinderella's playing the Wings first round, so there will be no such fuzziness.
This is a Coyote venturing out onto a road to meet its ancient enemy the flying tire in glorious battle
This year, I think the Wings' biggest threat will be not treating the Coyotes as a legitimate threat. They seeded above us, and Babcock's no idiot, so my fears are probably unfounded, but I don't think the Red Wings are used to the mindset of "ok, we're below them, so we're going to have to be really careful and try to upset", and they also have a history of not always bringing their A-game to the ice when they're playing someone they're not scared of. And you know Ilya Bryzgalov's going to be a whore.
There's also going to be a few familiar faces:
Yep. Matheiu Schneider's still in the NHL.
So is Robert Lang.
And while Ed Jovanovski has never been a Red Wing, at least one current member of the team is very, very familiar with him.
omg get a room, you two.
First of all, to get this out of the way, are you one of those people who love a good internet battle, but haven't been online in like three days? You should look here, here, and especially here. Now onto business. I write this entry (and indeed, every entry of this blog) under the assumption that at least nine of the ten people reading it will accept the following as common knowledge:
1. The economy in Michigan sucks hardcore, and lots of Michiganders have been forced to move out to the booming west
2. You don't stop following the sports teams you followed as children (and your parents followed as children, and your grandparents, and your own children) just because the desert is the only place you seem to be able to keep your family fed and clothed.
Phoenix, however, seems to be under the impression that you should just cheer for whatever team you happen to live most near. Rebuttals have been undertaken by better writers than I. If that's the actual mindset of the fans and media, then I pity the Coyotes their fly-by-night bandwagon. I'd never ask any legitimate fan of any team to forgo their loyalties based on something as stupid as geography (especially not in the internet age), and I'm more than slightly offended that there are other people out there willing to ask this of Red Wings fans, who during the playoffs, I consider one and all to be family.
Furthermore, in yet another sad attempt to usurp the authority of the octopus tradition, the fans have embraced the idea of throwing snakes (I'm assuming rubber) onto the ice, to support their team, rattlesnakes being indigenous to the area. On the one hand, I'm inclined to agree with PuckDaddy - this could be the rallying point the fanbase needs. You don't hear "Winnipeg" or "Hamilton" and think "snakes live there"; you might when you hear "desert" or "Arizona". The snakes would represent the fact that this team belongs to Phoenix, belongs in Phoenix, and though it might not have the rafters filled with championship banners and retired numbers, it will bite if cornered.
On the other hand, I'm pretty sure no one in Phoenix thought this far into it, and the snakes are only there to piss off Wings fans by farting on a tradition that celebrates its 58th anniversary today. Those are real unclassy intentions, guys.
Also, the comments to this post, suggesting that instead of throwing them, the fans wave them above their heads, one in each hand, make me think we're about to watch a hockey game played in an arena full of Minoanfertility idols.
Yeah, you didn't know this post was going to be about anthropology, did you? (And before you get excited about all the Coyote fans showing up topless, remember that they're Coyote fans, so they'll be wearing white shirts.) (and they'll mostly be guys.) (and they won't like you because you're wearing red.) (You'll be wearing red, right? You have to wear red.)
The puck drops at 10pm eastern. We'll have our coffee in one hand and our barf bag in the other. Go Wings.
To commemorate the ending of this season and the Wings' sendoff into their 19th consecutive playoff run, Hockeytown Static is pleased to bring you our first annual Static Awards. What makes this completely arbitrary list of players we thought did good for 82 games any different from any other blogger's completely arbitrary list of players they thought did good for 82 games?
All ours are named after Disney songs. You already know this is gonna be awesome.
For staying after several practices to teach Justin Abdelkader the finer points of fighting. (He really did this. They even showed it during pregame a couple of times, but I couldn't find the video online.)
Because sometimes these two fly a little under the radar, but they're out there every night, being exceptionally awesome.
We're going to have what for this blog passes as a series preview for the Wings first round series against the Coyotes up tomorrow. And I'd also like to give a belated thank you to everybody who reassured me in the comments of the last WTF Wednesday post that no time I ever spend photographing Patrick Roy on the back of a unicorn is wasted time. You guys are awesome.
Go Wings. (and let's all try not to puke too much during the playoffs.)
First of all, it's been close to a week since we posted, and I have to apologize for that. Thanks to a combination of near-comical technical mishaps and the after-effects of a bona fide chiropractic emergency, this blog has taken a bit of a backseat. But we're back now, and there is hockey to be analyzed.
The last two games were at least as ugly as Ian Laperriere's face. The Wings came out this weekend with one of a possible four points, so I guess it could have been a lot worse, but... no, I guess it couldn't actually have been a lot worse. Not without someone getting injured. (Injured so they'd be out the rest of the season. Someone did get injured, it was Darren Helm, and it was in his delicate, boyish face. I hope his mother has Laperriere's phone number, and I hope she leaves him an angry voicemail. And I hope, having once been voted Denver's Father of the Year, that it tears at his cold, cold heart.)
In other news...
On Friday I got a very exciting package in the mail. At first I thought nothing of it because I've developed a minor addiction to staying up way too late and ordering free crap off the internet without remembering it in the morning, so I assumed it was just a new pen or a Newfoundland tour guide (did you know they have an island literally called "Random Island"? It's apparently a nice place to visit). Then I realized that it was from CafePress and practically ran yelling "HERM TO HOCKEYTOWN!" into our house. I opened the envelope and expected to find the three tiny H2H buttons we ordered, but instead found this:
Somewhere, there is a very confused (and very pregnant) woman who is trying to figure out what the hell H2H stands for. I wish her luck.
Trisha and Lindsay still don't know what they're doing on the internet. Lindsay currently attends Grand Valley State University, FSN broadcaster John Keating's alma mater. Trisha is a recent GV graduate currently undergoing treatment for her uncontrollable addiction to adjectives. There might have been a time when they were not Red Wings fans, but neither of them have any memories of the womb.