Thursday, December 30, 2010

Take That, Dallas! (Or, Neener, Neener, Neener: A Blogpost)

As it turns out, I was neither dead, nor kidnapped by aliens, jihadists, or skinheads (of which we have an over-abundance here in the PacNW). I was just annoyed, behind deadline, and basically lazy. Sorry about that.

Over the holidays, I was also subject to the Irish-Italian Catholic guilt of my childhood, which forced me to travel back east to Tennessee to spend Christmas with my family (and before you ask, NO, I am NOT from TN; it's just where my parents and assorted relatives live at present). Since they get about 3 TV channels at the ol' homestead and none of them carry hockey--EVER--I missed every Wings game between 12/22 and 12/29. The withdrawal sucked.

Happily, I got back to civilization in time to see last night's game against the Stars and strap myself in to the rollercoaster of elation and despair that is Red Wings hockey.

The despair:
  • The 3-goals in 1:14 flurry from Dallas in the 2nd period. What the hell was up with that?
  • The reality finally sinking in that in addition to the attempted involuntary manslaughter that left Modano out until at least March, we're down Datsyuk AND Cleary for at least a month.
  • Having to look at Steve Ott's ugly, asshole, thug-scumbag face.
The elation:
  • Seeing Useless Jiri finally do something worthwhile, although frankly I think most of the Credit goes to Bertuzzi for the truly awesome pass that set up Hudler's shot.
  • Kris Draper reminding us that every time people start to say there's no room left for him on this team, he makes those bastards eat their words.
  • The 4th line kids continuing to grind it out, hustle, battle, and basically make life miserable for the other team, even if Darren Helm continues to have the hands of an epileptic, three-legged donkey.
  • Watching Patrick "Hat trick" Eaves rack up a 4-pt night, including personally potting 2 past Kari Let-em-in and topping it all off with a curly fry-making empty netter. It almost gives the idea of getting "Eavesed" a whole new meaning.
Though speaking of elation, I have to add that although it was not part of last night's game, the highlight of the year has to be the x-mas gift given to me by the best friend in the history of friendship, who presented me with a SIGNED 1997-1998 Lidstrom jersey, complete with the "A" and the "Believe" patch. It is made of awesome and might have to make an appearance at H2H2 in March.

Now excuse me while I go bask in its reflected glory.

Let's Go Red Wings!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

11/3/10 Detroit 2 - Calgary 1

I finally managed to pack my 'rents off to my brother's house for the southern half of their west coast sojourn, so I actually have a chance to recap a game. I watched the last 2 (secretly, furtively) and can sum those up even after the passage of time with one word each:

Phoenix = Abyssmal 
(even my father, who doesn't watch hockey, noted our lack of defense), and 
Nashville = Better.

Tonight's game against Calgary was better still. I think we got nearly a full 60 minutes out of our guys, which is a nice thing to see. Hopefully it's a sign that we had a slow start but we're now planning to take hockey seriously for another 72 games.

So, things I noted:
  • Jimmy was fantastic. And it was good to have him back. While Ozzie was better than he could have been, I still feel more confident when Jimmy's between the pipes. Not only does he play better in net than Ozzie, but the team seems to play better in front of him.
  • Danny Cleary was on fire. He worked like a demon, created chances, had an awesome chance at a shorty, and basically made himself a top pick for player of the game. Unfortunately, he couldn't get no love from Miikka Kipprusoff and was repeatedly robbed at the net. Still, nice work, Danny. Keep it up.
  • Abby seemed to bring the 3rd line alive tonight. He played like the grinder he is, assisting on Mike Modano's first goal since the first game of the season and even (turns out Abby didn't get credited for this, but I could have sworn he was in the mix there) scoring one himself. Not to mention he did his damned job over and over, every shift, creating chances, blocking shots, pissing off Flames and generally reminding me of how much I like having him on the team. Jiri Who?
  • The officiating sucked. There were like 97 penalties called in the 1st period and the 2nd ended with an unsportsmanlike conduct call on Brad Stuart for... I don't know. I literally have no idea. I rewound and watched the damned thing like 4 times, and I still don't know what the call was for. But whatever. We killed the penalty, and that was what counted.
  • Our PK was a bigger scoring threat than the PP. We might want to ponder that for a minute or two and maybe try and fix that, kay? Thanks.
  • Alex Tanguay went to the box for the last minute of play on an absolutely dirty hit with his knee that was called as tripping. Odds against the league reviewing at are currently running 7942 to 1.
I'll take the win and the day off before back to backs in Edmonton and Vancouver. Let's Go Red Wings!!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Win's A Win

This one wasn't pretty, but you know what? I'll take it, especially after the dismal game in Dallas on Thursday. I ended up having to turn that one off just a few minutes into the 2nd. It had been a bad day around here, and we just didn't have the emotional bandwidth to cope. Tonight, I stuck it out and we got the win. So good for us. But I'd like to mention a few things:
  • After the loss in Dallas, Babcock said, "The big thing for me, in all four games we're not dangerous enough offensively...I'm not talking about hitting people, I'm talking about hanging onto pucks and grinding and working with the puck in the o-zone." He was totally right, but we still didn't bring the danger tonight. We're trying to get too fancy, passing when we should be shooting, trying to set up the perfect shot when we ought to just take it to the net and bang it in. Remember, guys, a goal doesn't have to be pretty to count. In fact, sometimes the dirty ones count more.
  • We have GOT to address the turnover situation. It's just unacceptable. Part of it comes from the fancy-schmancy plays we've trying to make, but some of it is laziness and/or lack of focus, and we need to change that. Stat.
  • What the FUCK has happened to our Power Play? Seriously, where did it go? I know we used to have one, but I sure haven't seen it this season. It's been bad for all 5 games, but against Phoenix, we're talking abyssmal. 1-in-8? ONE-in EIGHT???!!! That's insane. That's pathetic. That's completely unacceptable.
  • I don't know if Hank is having a crisis of confidence or if he'd wasting too much energy knocking his newly-wed boots with Emma, but he does not look like himself. I'm used to Pasha being a slow starter, but Pasha looks better than Z at the moment. So Hank needs to step it up.
  • Kindl looks like a rookie sometimes, but even then I'm still thinking he looks better than Ericsson. I'm not in a hurry to see Big Rig step out of the press box.
Those are the night's observations. Now I'm going to celebrate with a nice big bottle glass of wine. Night, all!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Homer's in His Office, All's Right with the World

Because if there had been Red Wings in Browning's time, I swear he'd have been a fan.

Ah, October! That most glorious on months. The month where the weather cools, the leaves turn, and men start leaving their teeth on sheets of polished ice (fortunately for Kopitar the tooth was fake; fortunately for the fans, the blood was real). And all I have to say is...

IT'S ABOUT DAMNED TIME!!!

The Wings played their first two games, winning 4-0 over Anaheim and 3-2 over Chicago, leaving me with a warm, fuzzy feeling of contentment. Though I got to see both games, I unfortunately have yet to be reunited with Ken and Mickey, since I had to put up with the Anaheim feed on Friday and the NHLN coverage on Saturday. Still a win's a win, and I'll take both of these and summarize my thoughts here:
  • 1 game = 1 shutout for James Tiberius. How awesome is that? Keep it up, pal, and the media will be eating the word "slump" along with a great big side of "too old."
  • Pasha is the man. No only can he deke and score and humiliate opponents on the ice, but he can kick their asses when it's called for. Good going, Pasha. Now don't ever do that again.
  • Franzen made it through the Chicago game, and in a week or so, I expect my nightmares to fade as the relief sinks in.
  • Modano scored his first goal as a Wing and looked like a solid presence on the 3rd line. I like Mike. So far.
  • On Saturday, Bambi was the man. With his big doe eyes fixed on the net and his luxurious locks flowing in the wind (well, their would be if he hadn't been wearing a helmet), Filppula sank 2 around Turco. I love it. This is his year. I can feel it.
  • Ozzie looked good. He gave me a moment or two of nail-biting anxiety, but over all, he got the job done. 1 of the 2 goals he let in was entirely not his fault but rests on the shoulders of Dan Cleary and the defense for hanging him out to dry while the puck was banged out of the corner. The other goal, maybe he should have had, but he came up with the save he needed to when we needed them. So, go Oz!
  • I like Jakob Kindl 100 times more than Ericsson. He might not be as pretty (by like a factor of 100) but he was solid and steady out there in a way Big Rig hasn't been in a year. He gets my vote for the 6th D-spot.
So next game is tomorrow v. Colorado. Since I'm both a traditionalist and a sentimental fool, I'm looking forward to a couple of hours of  vitriol and hate in my living room.

Ah, hockey! How I've missed you...

Let's Go Red Wings!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

All I Want For Michaelmas...

Some people make Christmas lists, but that's just way too far away. I want what I want, and I want it now. And since today is technically Michaelmas (which I found out by googling for current holidays) and marks the beginning of autumn, aka the beginning of HOCKEY SEASON, I figured it was the perfect time to make my wish list for 2010-2011 and present it to the hockey gods for their consideration.

And so, with no further ado, here goes:

Ahem.
  1. A healthy roster that manages to make it to the post season without missing 307 man games. Less than 100 would be preferred. Less than 50 even better.
  2. A 100+ point season. I know, it's become almost de rigeur for the Wings to manage this, but last year we had to struggle for it and it came right down to the wire. This year, I'd like to coast into it without breaking a sweat.
  3. 90+ pts for Pavel Datsyuk with 30+ goals. I know, I know, he's more than capable of a 100 pt season, but this is still the beginning of the list, so I'm trying not to be greedy.
  4. 80+ pts for Henrik Zetterberg. Again, an easy one. More would be good, but since he just scraped 70 last season, I'm restraining myself. See what a good girl I am?
  5. A strong sophomore season for Jimmy Howard. If he can match his .924 percentage from last year, I'll do a happy dance and sing praises to your names, but if we can avoid the term "slump," I will consider myself content.
  6. A comeback year for Chris Osgood. I love Ozzie. I want him to shut up the naysayers.
  7. A healthy Mule. Pretty, pretty please.
  8. 30 goals for Johan Franzen. I know he's appearing on this list twice, but since he missed more than 2/3 of the season last year, he deserves special attention. I don't like to be blunt, but you owe him.
  9. Another 20 goal year from Dan Cleary. We all know he can do it, providing he's healthy. (hint, hint)
  10. Valteri Filppula's breakout year. We know it's coming. It's been coming for a couple of years now. Let's just stop wasting time and make it happen, okay?
  11. For Mike Modano to move me out of the Meh-dano camp and onto the side of the Prodanos. I think he can do it, don't you?
  12. A year that illustrates clearly that Jiri Hudler is suitably grateful to be back in Detroit. Mike Babcock has already put in his request for 70 points, so I'll just ditto him. He's been a good boy, too.
  13. A finishing touch for Darren Helm. He has so much potential! And admit it, even you want to see him score on more of those awesome breakaways. You know you do!
  14. Someone to give the referees a lesson on calling Goalie Interference. We fans know that the rule about being in the crease no longer applies, so can someone please remind the refs about it? If not for me, do it for Homer. He deserves a fair shot.
  15. I'd really, really love for some sense to get knocked into the head of Jonathan Ericcson. He has the talent and we all know it, but if he doesn't crawl out of his own head soon, Kindl's gonna yank his spot away, which would be a shame. I like Kindl, but he'll be along soon enough. I don't really want to see Big Rig fail, do you?
  16. Some Kronwalling. 'Nuff said.
  17. Can I ask to NOT have something? Because if so, I'd like to take a pass on Bertuzzi spin-o-ramas, please. Thanks.
  18. A season to make Nicklas Lidstrom glad he signed for one more year.
  19. The Stanley Cup.
That's it. That's all I want for this season, hockey gods. Can I have it? Pretty, pretty please with a cherry on top? I've been a very good girl, you know. Now give me reason to be even better. Thanks!

Sincerely,
Christine

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Game Thoughts 9/26/10 NYR 3 - DET 5

Not doing a recap because my video feed was so streaky that I missed at least half the game, but here are a few thoughts about what I did see:
  1. Tomas Holmstrom can't get no love. But he can sure as hell put a puck in the net.
  2. Helmer is still fast. And he still can't finish. But hell, he's young; he's still got time to learn. If and when he does, he'll be a force to be reckoned with.
  3. Brian Rafalski may be old(ish) and bald and have a bad back and a watery knee, but he still can make me smile when he's on his game.
  4. I hate Sean Avery.
  5. Howard can make some sick saves and hopefully is working on making even more of them.
  6. The  preseason only serves to make me long for the real season. Come on, October!!!
Let's go Red Wings. T-minus 12 days and counting.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Practice Recap CHI 3 - DET 2

It's not a real one, because seriously, it's a pre-season exhibition game. It's half the roster and meaningless. But it's still more Wings hockey than I've seen in months. Therefore, I was glued to the tv. The new 46" HD tv. Score.

1st Period
  • Ericsson looks lost. Still. I don't know what happened to the kid we saw in the 09 playoffs, but he wasn't on the ice tonight. Again. Fortunately, the season hasn't even started yet, so he's got some time for someone to smack some sense into him.
  • Brendan Smith needs seasoning. I can see potential, but he's not quite there. Some good moves, but a few big flubs as well.
  • Gods, but I missed Pavel and Nick and Hank and Homer and the rest of the guys. Summer seemed 6 years long.
  • 2 goals: Mursak (Emmerton) and Homer (Nick & Hank)
  • Hard to say how Jimmy looks since Chitown had only 4 shots, but he looked alert at least and made at least one nice save, so I'm optimistic.
2nd Period
  • Chi scored on the PP. Jimmy was down after blocking a shot down low and just didn't get a chance.
  • Hank scored on a pretty rebound off Dats. Love that line back together.
  • I'm liking my first sight of Salei. I think he could work.
  • Tatar had a couple of nice moments. I like that he's still so young because that makes his potential a little crazy.
  • Jordan Owens also had some nice moments. I'm interested enough to keep an eye on the kid for sure. He needs to watch it with the penalties, though.
3rd Period
  • Bad turnover, 4-on-2, Joey MacDonald missed it.  3-2.
  • Helmer with a breakaway that hit the post. But at least it was closer than last season. I have hope.
  • Homer goal waved off. It felt just like old times.
So that was it. 3-2. And I made it all the way through a Hawks feed. Pray I don't have to do that again.

Now I can't wait for the games that actually count.

Let's go Red Wings.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Exhibitionists

So the Pit's top line apparently beat our extras tonight 5-1. I say apparently, because there was NO television coverage of the event. Instead, I'm sitting here watching Chicago and TB play (in Winnipeg...talk about cold comfort). But I was able to catch the box score, so I have two or three important observations/questions about tonight:

  1. WTF, Ozzie. All that talk about how ready you are and all the hopes you raised during the scrimmages and the Red v White game and THIS the the performance we get the first time you take the ice? You let in FIVE goals on 27 shots in the space of 2 periods? You let in a goal at the 1:21 mark? Are you fucking kidding me? Get a grip, man. Little Thomas McCollum put in a better showing then you when he took over in the 3rd. He blocked all 10 of the shots he faced. This is no way to try and win back Babcock's confidence. You know, in case you hadn't grasped that yet.
  2. Bertuzzi apparently managed to rack up 5 for Fighting, 2 for an Instigator, and a Game Misconduct, which would normally have me rolling my eyes and calling for him to calm down except that based on the timing and the fighting opponent, it looks like he earned them for going after Brooks Orpik after that scuzzball kneed the Mule, possibly causing the charley horse that caused him to leave the game in the 1st period. So in that case, I say, "Thanks, Todd. Let me buy you a beer!"
  3. The other interesting thing I saw in the box score was the simultaneous Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalties earned by Brad Stuart and Tyler Kennedy, which prompted my housemate to demand, "What the hell did they do? Whip 'em out and piss on each other?"
All in all, I admit I'm slightly disappointed, since I never like to see an opportunity squandered to kick the Pens in the balls. However, consider the facts. We played our 2nd and 2/3 of our 3rd line plus a bunch of guys battling for spots against pretty much all of Pittsburgh's top guns. C'est la vie, right?

Anyway, the season is still 16 days away. We'll get there.

Let's go Red Wings!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Isn't That Sweet?

Look! Kari Lehtonen put a picture of Kris Draper on his mask!


And here I didn't even realize he was a fan. What a nice tribute to Draper, though, especially in full playoff beard. Looks like the Stars are on our side in more ways than Mo.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Gratuitous Dog Love

Wait, somehow that sounds wrong...

Anyway, as there is still no news fit to print in the hockey world, I've decided to take this opportunity to repost my favorite Red Wings photo ever:


Total thanks to NOHS for finding it first! Aren't they just the cutest couple?!

Those (3) of you who actually pay attention to my Tweets might recall that I am shamelessly a big dog person, as evidenced by my home, currently occupied by a coonhound mix (a paltry 85 lbs), a Bernese Mountain Dog (87 lbs and needing at least 5-7 more), and a mastiff (140 lbs FTW!). So naturally, when I first read about Reuben, I knew he and I were soul mates, but now that I've seen his photo I can totally confirm that he's even better looking than his owner. I wonder how he is on the ice?

Reuben, I love you!!! Call me!!!




**Ed.s Note: You see what happens to this blog during the off season? It sucks in non-hockey ways as well as in its normal hockey-related ways. Tragic. Is it October yet?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Abby-Dabby-Doooooooooooooo!

Abdelkader had been officially re-signed for 2 years at a price low enough to make for many happy pants in the Red Wings Nation. I myself am not above a little tingle. However, this officially marks the absolute last bit of interesting news of the off-season. Now, all we can do is wait until training camp and pray to the gods that boredom and desperation don't kill us before we get a chance to see ice again.


Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!!!

Is it October yet?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Seriously. October? Anyone? Anyone?

So I posted, then immediately got wrapped up again in that life thing. What a nuisance. Especially considering the damned thing took me to Orlando, FL and Chattanooga, TN in July and August. It was about as pleasurable as having a facial performed with a belt sander, but I finally got back home last night (no thanks to a certain un-named airline) just in time for today's news:
  • Helm re-signed. Yeah, I know this technically happened earlier this week, but this was the first opportunity I had to put it in print, so deal. I love me a Helmer. Actually I love any player who learns at the knee of Kris Draper and plays every single shift like Mike Babcock is holding a gun to the back of his head and threatening to shoot him and then drop him from the team if he doesn't work his ass off every second on the ice. Thanks, Kenny.
  • Modano finally decided to toe the line and sign on the bottom one. It was announced earlier in the week as well, but today was the actual presser and the live photos of Mikey in his #90 red-and-whites. I saw parts of the press conference, but the damned feed kept cutting out on me, so I finally gave up and decided to just assume that Mo expressed the correct degree of awe and gratitude about coming home to Hockeytown. If I'm wrong, there will be plenty of time to grow to hate him over the next few months. I was firmly in the neutral camp about Mike (or maybe firmly in the waffling about Mike camp), so this one was more of just a relief. At least now, we can all stop reading, thinking, and hearing about it.
  • Chris Chelios has officially announced his retirement and accepted a job in the Red Wings' front office. That news brought a huge smile to my face. I love Cheli, and I'm delighted to have him back in the organ-i-zation. I think he'll be a great influence for the whipper-snappers and a fantastic role model for the prospects. I mean, how can you not love a guy who loved the game so much, he played it until most hockey players his age were on their 3rd set of knees? Welcome back, Cheli. I'm very happy to see you.
But with all that said, it's still only August (*gack*) and I'm jonesin' for my sport. I need to see me some ice soon, before things get desperate. Oh, hell, who am I kidding? I'm already desperate. So hurry up, September. Training camp might just keep me alive until October.

Training camp and the news of Abdelkader's new deal. C'mon, Kenny. I'm waiting.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Permanent Bruise

I confessed at the outset of this blog that I was a latecomer to the Red Wings nation. In my own defense, it was really my parents who were to blame, since they raised me in a relatively sports-neutral and hockeyless environment. Hell, I never even took figure skating lessons as a kid, so to me, ice was just what made for a nice day off of school now and then. Hockey just never blipped on my radar.

Until I met Hannah.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Still Not October?

So, okay, that was a longer break than I expected. Apparently combining the end of the season with buying my first house, and packing up and moving into said house, made me even lazier than I had anticipated. Never fear, though. I might have been hiding under a rock for the last 4-6 weeks, but I did have internet access under there. I've been keeping up with the Wings' news. The earthworms and I had some interesting discussions about Bertuzzi's new contract. They know quite a lot about Ol' Bert, it turns out. (Okay, cheap shot, but it was easy, and we've already established that I'm a lazy bitch.)

First, we did resign The Perfect Human (for what I tearfully feel will be his last season) just before I went to ground, and of course, I rejoiced appropriately over that, as well as our ability to retain Homer for another two. Go, Kenny! Then we had the lull of "beginning talks" with the rest of the current roster, punctuated by the excitement of officially booting Williams and Lebda to the curb. God help Toronto. And recently, we secured Drew Miller, followed quickly by Patrick Eaves, for another year each. Both solid signings, in my mind. I was impressed with both of the new additions this past season, with Eaves especially, and I'm hoping that he, at least, will be sticking around for a bit. So, that leaves Kenny hopefully hard at work lassoing Helmer and Abby into new contracts. I can't imagine him letting either of those young whippersnappers get away, not given their solid efforts on behalf of the Wings. Not to mention the fact that Herm would likely elect to wear Queen Victoria's mourning costume were Helm ever to leave Detroit. I have a feeling more than one of us is counting on #43 to become the Wings' next franchise player. Anyway, that's the big news I personally am waiting for from the front office.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Always A Wing

What did I do when I heard the news? I cried. I cried like a little bitch, and I'm not the least bit ashamed to admit that. How could I be ashamed of a love as pure and true as the love I have for Stephen Gregory Yzerman? The Captain. Number 19 in our programs, Number 1 in our hearts (with all due apologies to Mr. Sawchuk, because he holds a special place in my heart as well). I love Stevie, and I can't be ashamed that seeing him take his first step away from Hockeytown cuts my heart into little throbbing, bleeding bits and scatters them over the lawn like wild bird seed. I just don't want to see him go.


But, like Mick Jagger would tell you, I don't always get what I want. Stevie is leaving us, moving on to the next stage in his professional life to be the GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning. I understand his decision, really I do, and in no way do I resent him or his choice. I'm not angry. I want only the best for The Captain; after all, it's only fair considering that he never, not in 27 years, gave us anything less. I know he'll be brilliant, but I wish him luck anyway. He probably won't need it, but I need to make the wish for him. And then I need to step back and let him go. It might kill me, but I need to, and I will. But I'll never stop waiting for him to come back.

In their statement to the press, Mike and Marian Ilitch said what we all need to say, and they said it simply and truthfully. I can't do much better: We appreciate all Stevie has done for us, our organization and this community, and we wish him all the best. Stevie Y will always be a Red Wing and he’ll always be in our hearts.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Not October Yet?

After Game 5, I did what I do when attempting to cope with any traumatic experience: cut myself off from all humanity, climbed into bed, curled up in a fetal position, pulled the cover up over my head, and slept it off like a five-day bender. Yesterday, I finally emerged, blinking against the harsh glare of daylight, and scoped out my surroundings. And what did I see? That the Hockey Gods, while not the most generous of beings, did manage to do the right thing for once and lift Montreal to victory over the Pens in the EC semis. I saw that, and suddenly, I remembered how much I love hockey.

It's amazing what a little bit of white-hot hate can do for a girl. Once the Pens lost, everything once again became right with my world.

Seriously, though, it took me a few days to deal with the loss. Not because it was shocking, or entirely unexpected, but because I'm a Wings fan, and as the Wings go, so goes my kingdom. When they win, I'm high and when they lose, I'm despondent. It's jut the way it goes. None of that, however, diminishes the pride I feel in this year's Red Wings team. No matter what any of the asshats in the media might be saying or have said all season, this team had a great year. When you look back at the adversity we had to face, at the talent we lost, and at the schedule we played, it's impossible not to feel proud. What other team in the NHL could have gone through a self-proclaimed "transition year" like this and still managed to earn 102 points and 5 place in the Western conference, brought up a handful of new young players to the point where they held the team together during a meltdown of injuries, made it to the Western Conference semi-finals, and done it all with aplomb, grace, and class? I can't think of a single one, can you? And I can't think of any better definition for the term "dynasty." Anyone who wants to claim that Pittsburgh has any claim to being the "new dynasty" needs a bitch-slapping. For sure.

So now the Red Wings are off to rest up and get healthy for next season, and I can finally sit back and watch some hockey that doesn't turn my world upside down every time I see a turnover, or a dirty hit, or a dive, or a missed shot, or soft goal. I can just be a fan and appreciate the sport for what it is--an exciting exhibition of skill, speed, and grit that makes every other sport look about as much fun as watching paint dry. And in addition to that, I can start looking forward to the fun of the off-season.

Yeah, you read that right. I actually like the off-season. Sure, I miss watching the games, but I get to watch the draft. I get to watch the prospects. And best of all, I get to watch Kenny Holland earn his salary and his title as The Kick-Assest General Manager in Hockey History, and that might be the best part. No matter who stays and who goes, whome comes in and who retires, I know that Kenny has our backs. He'll do whatever it takes to keep the Wings at the top of the league and to give us the best chance possible to take back That Which Is Rightly Ours. How can watching that play out not be considered one hell of a good time?

With all that in mind, I can settle into the summer season with a light heart and a decided sense of optimism. We've got plenty to do before October, but we've got the perfect team in place to do it. And lest any of my 4 readers worry, I'm sure I'll have plenty of chance to bring you a continuing stream of drivel and mediocrity from now until then. No, no, don't thank me. It's the least I can do.

Literally.

LGRW!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

It's Not Up to Me

It's up to the men wearing the Winged Wheel. I know they can do it. As others have observed, if anyone can dig their way out of a 3-1 deficit, it's this team. All I can do now, all any of us can do, is sit back and watch to see if it happens. I won't try to tell anyone that I'm not nervous, but I think I am finally able to say that whatever happens, and I'll be okay.

Honestly, to my mind, the best reason to win would be to prove to all the idiots and naysayers that they're delusional if they think this is the end of the Dynasty. How is the 19th consecutive playoff run the end of anything? Bitches, it's only the beginning, no matter how (or when) this series ends. LGRW.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Are You Kidding Me? (Part Deux)

See, this time I'm not the only one who asked. Those were seriously the words that came out of the mouth of one of the TSN announcers when Johan Franzen scored his fourth goal of the first period.  As it turns out, the Mule was perfectly, profoundly serious. He wanted to let us all know that he was back, and since he already missed the majority of a hockey season, he had no intentions of stopping the playoff run last night.

(AP Photo)

Holy son of a donkey, Batman! THIS was what we've been waiting for.

I'll admit that I was nervous before the game. I had my fingers, toes, arms, and legs crossed (which made slipping into my Sawchuk jersey a bit of a challenge) but the last 3 games hadn't left me with a whole lot of confidence. Still, when we won the opening faceoff, a flash of shock optimism raced through me and I wondered if this might be it. If this might be the game where the Wings played like, well, Wings, and showed San Jose that when the officiating is fair and the dives are kept to a minimum, Detroit really is the better team.

It was.

I won't recap the thing, because it's already been done, and done by better bloggers than me, but I will take a moment to ask one very important question of this team:
Are you done fucking with me yet? Seriously, can you stop now? Maybe? Because people are starting to leave phone books open to in-patient psychiatric facilities when they see me passing by.
Recently, I facetiously compared my fandom for the Red Wings with being the victim of an abusive relationship, but honestly, I really can't think of a better metaphor. When the Wings are losing, it's like being punched repeatedly in the head by a 300-lb. construction worker with a bad temper and malt-liquor breath; but when they're winning (or at least playing like they did last night), I forget all the past breaks and bruises, unpack my suitcases, and forget I ever doubted that Detroit returns my love with every fiber of their being(s).

Which means that I am once again all sunshine and laughter, with visions of puppies and unicorns dancing through my vision. The Red Wings have convinced me that yet another run for the WC championship is not out of the question, and the Cup is not yet out of our reach. Of course, today's Friday, and the bruises that have faded since Tuesday night could come back with a vengance tomorrow. But until then, I'm all smiles. For the moment, you can even tell that I still have all my teeth.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Reality Can Go F#%$ Itself

Ten Ways to Cope with the 3-0 Series Deficit to San Jose

  1. Drink. Copiously. With any luck, you'll black out and not wake up until sometime in late September.
  2. Find a gas oven. Extinguish the pilot light. Turn it on, open the door, insert your head. Breathe deeply.
  3. Use your free time to sew a set of 4 small voodoo dolls in the shape of NHL on-ice officials. Practice creative pin-sticking.
  4. Go to your favorite seafood restaurant. Order shark. Wield your knife with gusto.
  5. Dye all your clothes black. Wear only jewelry made of onyx and jet. Demand that the entire nation don black armbands. Begin speaking only in the royal we. Become fat and embittered.
  6. Become fat and embittered. At least getting there would be fun. I suggest the use of cupcakes. And maybe Cheetos.
  7. Sleep. Hell, hibernate. Not only is napping fundamental, it's also the key to a youthful appearance! And it will leave you well-rested for the next season.
  8. Displace your rage and disappointment with humor. Write a blog post about ridiculous ways to take your mind off the thing I'm trying to take my mind off of by writing this blog post.
  9. Go to Amazon.com. Buy the boxed set listed here. Every time a game is scheduled to play on broadcast television, pick the corresponding game from the DVD and watch that instead. Pause it at the breaks where the commercials originally aired and watch live commercials for that authentic feel. 
  10. Look on the bright side and contemplate the fact that this season has caused pain and misery from the first puck drop to the last. And it feels like we've lost the faceoff on all of them.  So why was it that we want it to keep going?
(Un)Fortunately, the season is not over yet. We still have one more chance to prolong the pain and extend the suffering. We can by postpone the sweep and take game 4, so that we can at least say we won one game in memory of our dignity. I just can't decide if that's what I want to happen.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tag Team Hockey: DET vs SJS AND NHL

If there's one thing I'm learning in this year's playoffs, it's that I have a hard time writing a coherent and intelligent post when there are flames shooting out my nostrils and there's a billowing red haze in front of my eyes.

I am tempted, almost beyond endurance, to use this post to spew a a steaming vat of vitriolic bile and hate all over the internet. To comment, as it were, on the fact that the officiating in tonight's 4-3 loss against the San Jose Sharks was so one-sided that the entire 60 minutes was never more even than 9-on-5. The thing that stops me is that very few of the calls against the Sharks (what few there were) came with any more justification than the ones against the Wings. Which means that my problem is not that I'm a Red Wings Conspiracy Theorist (though I am) but that the NHL's officiating is a joke.

Incompetence pisses me off. It pisses off most people in my experience. Why does the NHL not think it pisses off hockey fans? Come to think of it, why doesn't it piss off the NHL itself? Shouldn't they have a little more pride than that? Shouldn't they have a little more respect for the sport they supposedly represent?

Blargh. I could go on all night. I could dissect each of the atrocious calls (which far outnumbered the reasonable ones) but there's no point to it. The game is over, and if the Red Wings intend to make it to the WCFs, they need to take from it one very specific lesson: In order to win, we have to beat the Sharks AND the referees, which means we have to play hard, clean and consistently. We need to make smart decisions, responsible passes, and check as if our lives depended on it. Because they do. And most of all, we need to SHOOT THE PUCK.

The Wings are more than capable of winning this series. So let's put this behind us and move on. Head back to the Joe and remember that even when we're playing against two opponents in one game, we have what it takes to win. Now let's prove it.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Yes, it has been confirmed by our own Khan(!) that Jiri "Happy" Hudler will be back wearing the Winged Wheel next season. I have mixed feelings about this. Yes, it will be good to have his skill and scoring back on the roster, but I happen to be a champion grudge holder, especially irrational grudges, and a part of me will never be able to fully forgive Hudler for deserting us to go to the KHL in search of the filthy lucre. Maybe it's because I know I'll never make that kind of money, but when you've been offered almost $3 mil to stay with the greatest hockey franchise in the history of the game, why would $2 mil more tempt you to go play in a league only die hard hockey fans (and maybe a few Russians) even know exist? I mean, $3mil would be plenty for me, but then I'm not the greedy sort. Also, there's the significant concern over what Hudler's cap hit will mean for a team with a lot of budget juggling already on the boards. I want Hudler back, but I don't want to lose Eaves. Or Miller. Or really most anyone else. Wait, maybe I am greedy...

Anyway, Huds will be back next season, but in the meantime, we have the rest of the playoffs on our plate to keep our minds and the Wings' bodies occupied. It's only Round 2, after all, and in spite of last night's 4-3 loss to San Jose, I remain bafflingly optimistic regarding our ability to prevail and make it through to Round 3. Indeed, there seems to be an odd mood of optimism around the blogosphere this morning. No one is taking the loss too hard, perhaps because so many of us realize that the 3-goal shitstravaganza that put the Sharks over the top is one that will not be repeated. We all know how James Howard reacts to that kind of performance, and it's not by going soft in the next meeting. Plus, for the majority of the game, the Wings looked pretty good out there. We competed, we skated, we played fairly responsibly, and the Mule even started to look like the Mule again. With those factors on our side, optimism should be the least of what we're feeling.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

From Sand to Sharks

So here's the thing: the Sharks don't scare me, and that scares me a little.

I was firmly against facing Phoenix in Round 1. I thought they were too lean and hungry, too young, and had "Cinderella Story" written too large all over their damned faces. No, I wanted San Jose back then. Let's take the Sushi, I thought to myself, so we can ease into the playoffs while they complete their inevitable end of season choke-fest. Perfect.

Only, we got the Dogs and they proved just as hungry as I expected. Not only that, but they had Bryzgalov, who despite all of my I'm-a-mediocre-hockey-blogger-aren't-I-cool-and-clever arrogance, intimidated me. No matter what Anaheim thought, the man's got some game. He can bring it, and he brought it all too often against the Wings. And to top all that off, the Wings brought very little for a couple of those games. The third in particular gave me such bad flashbacks to November that I started craving cranberry sauce like a goddamned speedball. It took game 7 to bring out the kind of playoff Red Wings play that we're all used to seeing. But bring it they did and when I looked at the team that stomped the Coyotes on Tuesday night, I looked on the shadow of the Sharks and I laughed. Like this:  Muahahahahhahahhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Our regular season record against SJ speaks for itself. They're a good team, but we know them and we know how to beat them, so what is there to worry about? Not worrying.

I know I'm not alone in making the observation that the Wings seem to be at their most vulnerable when they're up against teams that don't worry them. For fuck's sake, just look at our record against Edmonton (Edmonton, for the sake of little baby monkeys!) this season for evidence. Now maybe the Wings take the Sharks more seriously than I do, and if so, all to the good. I mean, they do have a strong coach in Todd McClellan, and they avoided the doom of the President's Trophy this season, so they have that going for them. Plus, I've heard rumors that there are a couple of pretty decent hockey players on their roster. So, there might be hope yet. I suppose it all depends on which Red Wings show up: the team with R1 G7 Zetterberg, Datsyuk, and Lidstrom, or the one populated entirely by the pod-people stand-ins dressed in the uniforms of Franzen, Cleary, Helm, and Kronwall.

Thought now that I think about it, I'd take an under-performing version of any of those 4 over a lot of other bodies in the NHL. Even without spectacular efforts from those guys, we've still managed to pull out more than one pretty fantastic hockey game. Imagine what can happen if they all show up tonight...

Monday, April 26, 2010

What? I Walked Into A Door, Okay?

I'm fine. No, really. It doesn't hurt at all.

What? Don't be silly. I already told you, I walked into a door. My team would never hurt me. They love me just as much as I love them.

Now you're just being a jerk. I told you I broke my arm when I tripped over that soccer ball in the parking lot. It was my own fault for being clumsy. Besides, that was back in November, and it healed up just fine.

I wish you wouldn't talk about the Red Wings like that. They did not give me these two black eyes. It was the DOOR.

What? The bloody lip? That was...um...oh, yeah. That- that was the dog. I scared him when he was sitting on my lap while I watched the game and he jumped up and hit me in the mouth with his head. It was an accident. The Red Wings had nothing to do with it. I already told you, they would never hurt me.

Oh, stop harping on yesterday. You weren't there. You don't know how I got these cuts and bruises. They happened just like I told you. You know what your problem is? You're jealous. You've never liked the Wings because you can't stand that they chose me to be their fan instead of you. You got stuck with those stupid Coyotes and you're bitter, so you're trying to make trouble between me and the Wings.

Well, it won't work. I love them, and they love me. Sure, sometimes we disagree and sometimes someone might accidentally get hurt, but they don't mean it. They just have a lot of stress to deal with sometimes. But most of the time they're the best hockey team a girl could ever want. I mean, look at all the sweet, thoughtful, loving things they've done for me. Haven't they brought me 11 Stanley Cups? Haven't they reached the playoffs for me 19 times in a row? Haven't they brought home countless Norris and Lady Byng and Selke trophies? Haven't they created a dynasty for me that is one of the most enduring and celebrated in all of hockey? Doesn't that prove how much they love me? I certainly think it does.

So we had a little argument on Sunday, so what? It was probably my fault. I pushed them too hard. I asked too much. I knew Phoenix would be a challenge, but I had to go and mouth off about how they just had to finish off the series at home and how I didn't want to have to deal with a game 7 back in the desert. I was being selfish. I was only thinking of what I wanted, not about their needs. I deserved whatever I got. They had every right to teach me a lesson.

I mean, you know, if that's what had happened. But it didn't. The Red Wings would never deliberately hurt me. I told you; I walked into a door.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Who Cares? ME, DAMMIT!

If I were the insecure, obsessive, neurotic type of hockey blogger, I might wonder why I bother to keep up this charade. After all, there are like 176 quadrillion Red Wings blogs out there that make mine look like the mold that grows on dog crap out here in the Pacific Northwest. I  might question my purpose, my calling, my avocation, if you will. (Hold me.)

But then we're treated to 1 of 2 things: either a super-phenomenal top-notch ass stomping hosted by the greatest hockey club ever to lace up the skates, or a game like we got last night, and suddenly everything becomes clear. I have to blog, because if I didn't, I would be mainlining heroin (or possibly guacamole, thanks TDD, or possibly even guacamole-flavored heroin. How metal would that be?), kicking puppies, beating small children, sexually assaulting livestock, and setting forest fires. So really, when you think about it, the world owes me a big ol' "thank you, ma'am" for the fact that I vent my rage, frustration, bitterness, elation, exuberance, and fuckyeah this way.

There was not much fuckyeah last night. I can't deny that I had a bad feeling going in. After all, as The Triple Deke pointed out (because clearly they actually wrote this post, only their version was funnier. Obviously.), afternoon games have not gone well this season for the Wings. Beyond that, however, traveling back from Phoenix after a 10 PM start, having one day, and then playing a 3 PM game is a sure way to spell reaming in Hockeytown. My tin foil hat allows me to understand that this is just the NHL scheduling office's way of getting their shits and giggles at our expense. Today, though, we get an actual day of rest before tomorrow's rematch.

The only question left is whether the Wings will use this day to muster up the energy to care whether or not they win. I do. I know at least 19 other non-professional athletes who care as well. Maybe we can send some of that to Detroit? I'll gladly pay the postage.

Of course, I'm not sure the team would bother to open the package. Right now, it looks as if that might be too much trouble.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

You've Got to Want It

And when I say that, I'm not talking about wanting it the way Bertuz-hnikov wants to be a prima ballerina, or the way Pens#87 wants a Playskool Little People Animal Sounds Farm set for his birthday...

 ...or the way Herm wants to go to Helm's house when he dies, or even the way the Scrappy Octopus wants to be Homer's BFF.

I'm talking want. Deep, grinding, obsessive, teeth-clenching, gut-wrenching need. And once you have that, it's still not enough, because you also have to work for it. You have to work every second of every shift of every game. You have to demonstrate that you're willing to skate like your life depends on it and shoot like the buzzer's about to ring and hit like the refs aren't looking. And you have to do it not just after the losses but for every game for every series until you get to rip Lord Stanley's Cup out of the hands of the Midget Unbeliever Over(-weening) Lord (High Idiot) of the NHL.

So it would be great if the Red Wings would remember that and start looking like they understand it. Thanks.

Still, I predicted (in my head, where I also foresaw the inevitable rise of intelligent, programmable breast implants. Just wait for it) the Wings would take the series in 6 games. Tonight we gave Phoenix their second. Time to start wrapping thigs up.

Let's Go Red Wings!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Death By Red Wings: DET 7 - PHX 4

Dude. I can't... I just... I mean, I can't even... And the thing... And the other thing... And when that...

Shit. Suffice it to say that game damned near killed me and every other Red Wing fan I know. If the news media report a surge in the sale of personal defibrilators tomorrow, I'm going to know where that came from. Cause DAMN.

I;m not going to do a recap, mostly because I can't, due to having watched most of the second and half of the third from between my fingers and having flipped back and forth between the game and something on the real-life possibility of comic book superhero powers in an attempt to regulate my heart's tachycardic rhythms. All I will say is that I'm glad that the real Red Wings showed up, even if it took nearly 30 minutes for that to happen. I hope we remember on Sunday that when we play hard we win, and when we get stuck in our heads and try to think instead of just skating, we get into trouble.

Let this be a lesson to us.

Now I just need to call my doctor and see if I can get a prescription for nitroglycerin tablets.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Well, Wasn't That Special?

And by "special" I mean "a gigantic shit storm of shit and assholery." The Wings managed to blow two leads and let the Desert Dogs stomp all over them like a bunch of stiletto-wearing dominatrixes (dominatrixi?) at an Asian massage conference and bondage party. I don't know about you, but it made me throw up a little. Shane Doan made me throw up a lot.

Maybe this is what I get for not giving a rat's ass about a hockey team forced to play in the middle of the fucking desert, but until last night I had no idea that the Phoenix Coyotes were the illegitimate demon-child spawned when the Anaheim Ducks assraped the Philadelphia Flyers in the shadows of the Ben Franklin Bridge. To say the little fucks played dirty uses one of my favorite words in an entirely unfortunate manner. But even worse than the dirty play of the Dogs was the absolute incompetence of the reffing staff. The blind dog down the block from my house saw a Phoenix stick open up Nick Lidstrom's lip, but the official who was being paid to watch the play around the puck at the Perfect Human's feet apparently missed it. Right. Whatever. Wings fans are paranoid conspiracy theorists who should know better than to expect a fair call at a hockey game, especially one graced with the presence of our noble commissioner, Ms. Gary.ass Bettman. We ought to realize that in order to win in the playoffs, we don't need to just beat our opponent, we need to beat the officials as well. So be it. We've done it before, and we can do it again.

What we can't do again is let ourselves be intimidated by a team that refuses to play the clean game we were obviously dumb enough to expect. The Wings had a perfectly good 1st Period, not outstanding mind you, but perfectly adequate to come away with a win. Unfortunately, the longer the game went on and the harder and more physical the Dogs played, the more cautious and less energetic we became until by the third period, it was like watching a team of my dead grandmothers dumping and chasing the puck in the offensive zone, when they could even manage to make it that far down the ice. I refuse to accept that from a team with the talent of the Detroit Red Wings. We can do better; we MUST do better.

There's no secret to what it will take to wrest this series away from Phoenix. We need to play like the Red Wings. We need to be fast, tenacious, strong, and skilled. We need to play with heart and commitment and stop being afraid that we'll get hurt badly enough to hold us back in the later rounds, because unless we stop backing off and letting the other team control us, we're not going to make it to the later rounds. Worry about tomorrow tomorrow. When you're on the ice, you worry about that shift and nothing else and you make sure you've left everything you have out there when you hit the bench. Understand?

Fine, enough said.

The Free Press reports that Jason Williams is out for Friday and Justin Abdelkader is in. Good. I'm a fan of this decision. Williams may have a better point shot than Abdelkader, but I saw way too many times last night when JWill stood back on the ice instead of pushing forward. Or backward, or sideways, or any fricking way at all. I'm rather have a young, hungry, physical player out there than a skilled player who doesn't look bothered to give his all on every shift.

And this here is my last request: I would greatly appreciate it if the special teams could start looking more like "special" refers to their specific and highly developed skills sets and less like it refers to the fact that they ride the short bus to practice every day. I wasn't all that surprised to see a lack of capitalization on the power play, since that's been a problem that plagued us all season, but the playoffs are NOT the appropriate time for the penalty kill to fall apart like a house of cards in a tornado zone. Pick it up, gentlemen. I expect better from you.

We all do.

So please, take 60 minutes on Friday evening and make me eat each and every word in this post. I'll make sure I have plenty of booze available to wash them down.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Game On, Boyfriend!*

*Advisory: The author of this blog post makes no guarantees, either stated or implied, that this post will be free of shameless and obsessive references to the television series entitled The West Wing in general, and the episode "Game On" in particular. Reader discretion is advised.

This is it, mes amis. The playoffs are here, like the sweet scent of springtime after a long, hard winter of enclosed spaces filled with dirty sweat socks and the sick stink of fan fears. The Red Wings managed to hibernate their way into the mix in the Western Conference in spite of October through, um....well, about the Olympic break. And the Wings haven't just made the playoffs, they've made the 5 spot and earned themselves the honor of facing li'l Gary's second son in the first round.

Game 1 vs. Phoenix begins tonight at 10 PM (7 Pacific). If the playoff Red Wings show up, the Red Wings we know and love, all will be well. Remember those Wings? I do, because yesterday, the NHL Network replayed the Cup winning game of the 2007-2008 season and I saw the Red Wings play harder in the first two minutes of that game than I've seen them play in a long, long time. That's the team I want to see tonight and every night until Number 12 hits the air above the head of a certain Perfect Human a few short weeks from now.

I believe we can do it. More than that, I believe we have to do it, and I believe that the men wearing the wheel believe that, too. This is the 19th consecutive visit to the playoffs, and I've heard whispers somewhere along the line that 19 might be a number with some kind of significance in the world of the Red Wings. A number no one wants to disgrace. This is also the chance to correct a little mistake that happened just short of 10 months ago, a mistake that has haunted more than one Wings fan and fed a seething, simmering, bitter, acidic pool of rage just waiting to erupt like Ol' fucking Faithful and spew across the unwary. And I'm not just saying that because I really love being able to use the word "spew" in a post. I'm saying it because it's true. We have a mistake to correct, some excruciating mental images to erase, and some sloppy, dirty, smelly prints to wipe off of the Cup that rightfully belongs to us. The first step to making that happen will be taken tonight.

I'm counting on a very special group of men to make certain that the right thing happens tonight, and every night right up to the sweet, sweet end. I'm counting on the fact that there is no organization in professional sports with the kind of skill, heart, experience, and commitment that exists in the locker room at the Joe Louis Arena. I'm counting on the fact that each and every man who suits up in front of those lockers tonight knows that they serve at the pleasure of the Detroit Red Wings and that it's an honor and a privilege they'll want to remember to the end of their days. Each man in that room was asked to serve, to commit to giving their all to the organization, the city, the fans. The dynasty.

Break's over, Red Wings.

Game on.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Pentultimate BJ: CBJ 3 - DET 4

I actually missed the 1st Period today due to my ridiculous horse's ridiculous health problems, so you can thank him for sparing you from at least one paragraph of useless nonsense. I'll have to start this recap from period #2. You lucky bugger(er)s.

From what I could see, the Wings who played in the 2nd Period, at least, looked like they'd all listened to this week's TOV podcast. I say that because the cast this week seemed to agree that these last three games were not all that important given that our playoff spot had already been clinched. I can understand that feeling. As for our play, it seems like I've said this a lot this season, but it wasn't that we looked BAD so much as that we looked...human. Personally, I hate that. Just because we're locked into the playoffs doesn't mean we should stop playing like it matters, because it matters to the fans, if to no one else. Thankfully, at least Lilja decided to make a super play by diving across the net behind Howard to clear a goal that had bounced past the wunderkid. Not to be outdone, though, Jimmy followed up with a couple of fantastic saves to hold us in it for at least a little while longer. We ended the period the way we started it, down 2-1.

As Mike said during the period break, "we haven't been very good tonight." Ah, a Master of Understatement is Babs. And I didn't even know McGill offered it as a major. Unfortunately, the Wings didn't seem to have watched that interview because they didn't really get any better during the 3rd Period. We had a few stretches of good play here and there, but there were some bad stretches, too. There was one sequence where I shouted "how did that not go in" like 4 times in 2 minutes, but still. And then, at 8 minutes in, the tides turned. With a vengeance. The Wings scored 3 goals in 1:16, beginning with powerplay goals by Holmstrom/Zetterberg and Lidstrom, followed by an awesome shot by Cleary to bring us up to 4-2. Unfortunately, Mike Blunden scored quickly after that on a very good play that crashed the net and managed to slide past Howard. Score: 4-3. But the boys managed to hold out til the end. So, good on that.

Would I have liked a bit of a cleaner win? Sure. A more solid 60 minutes? Yup. But hey, the wins are what count, baby. And I'll take this one.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Fighting Dirty: DET 3 - PHL 4

Wow. Philly came out FLYING in the 1st Period. Pun acknowledged, but not intended. They really did come out fast and hard. So fast and so hard that the Wings look shocked and a little rattled, especially when a stone-cold Ozzie let in a goal 17 seconds into the game. Admittedly, it was a baaaaaad turnover that led to the shot, but bad turnovers seem to be a story with us these days. This does not please me. Thankfully, after the initial surprise at a battling Leastern team wore off, the boys woke up and started playing, in spite of some of the worst non-calls ever in the history of NHL reffing. Finally, Cleary did some awesome work staying in front of the net and whacked one past Boucher at 14:08. A little over two minutes later, Buckets did some more good work and fed one to Helm who scored despite the broken nose he took early from Laperriere. Finished up the period with a scrum between the Mule and Hartnell, who apparently needed help from Pronger. 4 minutes of penalties on each side, and the period ended on a breath of relief.

Okay, you know what? Fuck the recap of the 2nd Period action. The only think worth talking about was the ridiculously atrocious reffing perpetrated by Paul Devorski and his Merry Men. Throughout the entire game, they managed to make weak calls on the Wings for (non)slashing, (non)holding, and (non)roughing, yet were unable to call Philly for charging, boarding, intent to injure, tripping, hooking, crosschecking, and ripping Pavel Datsyuk's helmet off his head TWICE.

At the end of two periods, Philly was up 2 points. Datsyuk managed to bring us within 1, but in the end we couldn't manage to tie it up.

I can't say the Wings were robbed in this game. They made a lot of sloppy plays and Ozzie looked rusty at the start. he warmed up as the game went on, but by then it was too late. So maybe we didn't deserve to win, but neither did Philly. No team deserves to win when they play so dirty it would take a nuclear decontamination chamber to clean them up.

In the end, the Flyers didn't win this game; Paul Devorski and the worst reffing in the NHL won this game.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Magic Ass: NSH 4 - DET 3 (OT)

I won't say we came out soft in the 1st Period, but Nashville came out a wee bit harder.  Thankfully, we were willing to battle, so the first 5 minutes went pretty darn fast. Of course, Bert provided quite a bit of (non)comic relief with his regularly scheduled program of turnovers, but we still managed to scuttle the chances of repeating the last game (scoreless into a shoot out) by scoring on the PP at 18:15. The play was especially sweet because Datsyuk make a pass from his ass (literal AND poetic) to Homer, who whipped it across the front of the net to Franzen to Rafalski, who smacked it in. It was awesome. Pasha's ass, as Wings fans have always known, is magic.

The 2nd Period started with just over a minute on the PK. We managed to kill that off, but 2 Wings caught pucks on the defense without managing to clear the puck so Weber scored while we were aching for a change. Sucked. This seemed to set the tone for a dominant Nashville period. Erat brought the Preds ahead 2-1. Nick briefly tied it up with about 4 minutes to go, but Dumont ended the period with a goal bringing the score to 3-2 with 20 minutes left to play.

Only one word seems appropriate to describe the 3rd Period. Well, okay, only one word that rises above the level of profanity. Suckitude. Nashville is just way too good in the neutral zone. Way too good. Didn't seem to matter if we were up a man, down a man or even ons. It blew.  Especially when Bert took a roughing penalty with a little over 5 minutes left. It was a battle right down to the last 2 minutes, one that stirred my ulcer, killed my appetite, put grey in my hair, and made me weep like Pens#87. I confess I was about to give up hope when Franzen brought the puck behind the Nashville net and passed it to Homer, who sent it sailing to a perfectly positioned Datsyuk. Pasha then sent a gorgeous one-timer up under the crossbar to tie it with 47 seconds left in regulation.

The Overtime period lasted all of sixteen seconds before Suter ended it with a shot past Jimmy. So that was disappointing, but you can't discount that we're still in 6th, we still have 2 games in hand on Nashville, and we don't really want to play Phoenix in the first round anyway, do we? So tomorrow is another day and the playoffs are still in sight. And I'm good with that.

LGRW!!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Yeah Baby: CBJ 2 - DET 3

The Red Wings seemed to start well enough for the 1st Period. I say only "well enough" because there wasn't a huge level of speed or intensity from either team. The first scoring came from Holmstrom at 2:21 off a shot from Datsyuk. Classic Wings play at the side of the net to get us off to a good start. Unfortunately, the lack of jump seemed to make us a little too casual because there were way too many turnover, which seems to be a recurrent theme this year. I thought we'd gotten it under control over the last few games, but another one in our own zone led to the BJs tying it up at just under 13 minutes in. Casual hockey is not the way to head into the playoffs.

Started the 2nd Period without obvious slacking, so points for that. The highlight of the period (aside from Bertuzzi's volleyball spike into the net, which, surprisingly was ruled a no goal) was Datsyuk's powerplay goal at 8:08 when he followed a beautiful takeaway and dangle-fest with an awesome snipe at the top of the net behind Steve Mason. So pretty I had to watch it three times before I was willing to catch up to the live game action.

In the 3rd period, Bert managed to make one count after a Zetterberg snipe bounced in off his skate. The goal was waved off by the official on the ice, but went for review. Oddly enough, the officials actually watched the replays and saw that rather than kicking the puck into the net, all Bert did was put his foot down on the ice and accidentally send the puck behind Mason. Really, I think they should just assume that was what happened. I mean, it's much more likely that Bert would score by accident these days than that he do so on purpose. That goal left us up 3-1, but on a powerplay with less than 2 minutes left, Columbus used a 2 man advantage (PP plus an empty net) to allow Umberger to sink one past Howard. Our boys held on, though, and battled right down to the horn to skate away with a 3-2 win.

That makes for 7 in a row and a Very Happy Christine. Only 5 left, and personally, I'm looking forward to keeping the skate to the throat of the Western conference and sailing into the playoffs on a thin film of the blood of our conquered enemies.

LGRW!!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

NEVER. AGAIN: EDM 4 - DET 5

Wow, I was amazingly happy to see that we didn't spend the first 5 minutes of the 1st Period bent over and chanting "Thank you, Sir! May I have another?" while Edmonton "beat us like a rented mule." (Thanks, Babs.) We came out looking like we realized we were supposed to be playing hockey and managed some decent shots on net. I almost swallowed my tongue when the first to go in looked like it had been redirected off Lilja. I mean, LILJA! I still think it was actually Bambi's goal, which would make the world make sense again. In other first news, Kronner made it 2-0 on a sweet shot from right in front, Mule was robbed twice by Deslaurier, and Miller bagged it in a move so fast I missed it. We ended the period up 3-0 and I smiled, smiled smiled.

The first ten minutes of the 2nd Period stayed pretty decent and Franzen got a sweet goal at 16:31. The problem was that the Wings seemed to think that a four goal lead gave them permission to get lazy. This pissed me off and led to 2 goals late in the period. Apparently they thought with the lead and a solid 30 minutes of play, they could slack. I say NO SLACKING. EVER.

Okay, the 3rd Period needs to NEVER. HAPPEN. AGAIN. I don't know who came out of the Wings locker room after the 2nd intermission, but they didn't look like my Red Wings. At least, not the Red Wings we've been seeing recently. In fact, they ticked me off so much that I burned the hell out of my finger trying to make dinner and watch sloppy hockey at the same time, so I blame them for that, too. Thankfully, Pasha took a shot with just over a minute left and Stuart deflected it in. It went for a review of a high stick, but since neither Watson nor LaRue were reffing, the goal was upheld and we managed to hold Edmonton off for the last 1:05 for the win. Still, when it comes to blowing a 4 goal lead, I say it should NEVER. HAPPEN. AGAIN.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Holy Shit: DET 1 - NSH 0

Since I was not lucky enough to make it to Detroit for the H2H Extravaganza, I woke up this morning without a hangover bad enough to prevent me from recapping this game. However, I did get up and 6 AM and spend the whole day trying to tire out my ridiculous dog, so I am exhausted. Too bad I don't think it will save you from a boring and long-winded recap.

We looked a little slow in the 1st Period, especially during the first seven or eight minutes. A little slow and a lot sloppy. Way too many turnovers and way too many shots getting through to Howard. Thankfully, James started on time (unlike the rest of the team) and kept us in it while we tried to wake up. Other than that, really the only thing worth mentioning is the fact that this game featured the Worst. Reffing. Ever. Seriously. Justin St. Pierre and Brad Watson are morons. I can think of no other reason for those calls; calls that left us with just over a minute of PK time going into the 2nd.

As for the 2nd Period...well, it looked an awful lot like the first. We had a little more energy and some more quality chances, but Rinne seemed determined to stand on his head in the Nashville goal, so nothing came of it. By the end of the period, we stood at 0-0. Which does not make for the most exciting viewing experience of my life.

After those two, it kind of blurred together. The 3rd Period was a clone of the other two, except on worse ice. Actually after the first minute, the ice seemed to deteriorate every damned second. It felt a little surreal to go three periods and an overtime without a single goal BY ANYONE, but as if 65 minutes weren't enough, we had to go not just to a shootout, but to an ELEVEN ROUND SHOOTOUT. I think my heart stopped halfway through round 6. If it had taken one more round, I think Babcock would have had to send Osgood out to take a shot. Everyone else already had. After Datsyuk, Williams, and Zetterberg all got stoned, Bertuzzi potted his shot to much rejoicing. The joy ended when Steve Sullivan got past Howard immediately after. We then got to watch Filppula, Miller, Holmstrom, Eaves (who fell without shooting...looked like he hit a bad patch of ice and lost his feet), AND Draper in futile attempts before Kronwall finally went and saved the day. I have always loved Kronner, but today he became my hero. Especially after Howard stopped the last Nashville attempt by Bouillon.

Really this game came down to a goaltending contest, which made it more intellectual than heart pounding. Pecker Rinne managed to stand on his head all night, but I have to say I've never seen James Howard play better. Tonight I bow before him. He literally ruled the ice, keeping us in it during our slow start and stepping up every single time he needed to. He was awesome and I hearby nominate him for President of Space (TM-BDS), the Calder, the Hart, Man of the Year, the Nobel Prizes in Peace, Literature, Economics, Chemistry and Physics, Catholic sainthood, and to be the Jewish messiah.

Tonight's win puts us on a season-record 5 game winning streak, jumps us up to 6th, and paves the golden road to the playoffs. Let the carnage begin!

LGRW!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

What A MIGHTY FINE Day: MIN 2 - DET 6

I'm not going to be able to manage a regular recap tonight. The whole H2H experience just overwhelmed me, and I wasn't even in Detroit. But I still felt like part of the plan, even sitting on my sofa and yelling at my dog that I couldn't let him out until the next commercial break.

I will say that the 1st period was pretty slow, the 2nd was ca-razy, and the 3rd wrapped everything up beautifully. Franzen scored twice, and Holmstrom, Ericsson, Datsyuk, and Miller each scored a goal. I knew it was a special night when someone mentioned on the WIM game thread that Lilja was +3 and Ericsson was +4 on the night. I mean, what more can you say?

All I'll say is that the game was awesome, and a fitting event for Herm's first ever live game. i hope he enjoyed it as much as we all enjoyed getting him this opportunity. And thanks to the Wings for a solid performance on the anniversary of The Beatdown and the anniversary of Jimmy Howard's birth. Despite him letting in a very weak goal in MN's 2nd of the night, he's been a monster for us and I hope he continues to be for a long, long time.

Today is a day when I'm proud to be a Wings fan. I mean, that's true every day, but today is special. Today we brought Herm to Hockeytown and showed the world why anyone who thinks that Red Wings fans are rude, crude, mean, or classless doesn't know Red Wings fans. We've clearly risen above the average hockey fan, and I like the view from here.

What A Day

March 26, 2010. A date that will live in infamy. For any number of reasons. So many, in fact, that it's tough to figure out where to start, but I'll give it a shot...

  • St. Darren's Day:  On this day in 1997, Darren McCarty went from beloved Grind Line winger to Hockeytown's Hero when he took Claude "Turtle" Lemieux to the ice as retaliation for Lemieux's 1996 hit on teammate and best friend Kris Draper. It wasn't the first fight of the infamous Fight Night at the Joe Brawl in Hockeytown (that distinction goes to scuffles involving Brent Severyn and Jamie Pushor, then Kirk Maltby and Rene Corbet, as well as a scrap between Peter Forsberg and Igor Larianov that opened the door for McCarty's move) but the McCarty-Lemieux incident is the one we all remember. It was the reason, the motivation, and the culmination of a year's worth of suppressed rage on the part of the Wings and dirty play on the part of the Avs.

    We'll never forget it, and we'll never forget Mac for doing it. In fact, he's one of the reasons I became a Wings fan, so thanks, Mr. McCarty. I can't think of anyone I'd rather have guarding my back.

  • Jimmy Howard's Birthday:

    Image by Reuters/Rebecca Cook c/o Yahoo!Sports

    I'd like to wish James Tiberius a Very Happy Birthday, with many, many returns. May he live a long, healthy life in our net! (You know, as long as he continues to play like a top goalie and live up to the kind of "putting the team in teammate" spirit the Wings fans have come to expect. But all he needs to do at this point is hold steady, and I think he'll have it all sewn up.)

  • Herm 2 Hockeytown: This one stirs up a wellspring of mixed emotions in me, not least among which at the moment is envy. I'm envious of the rest of the 19 (all, what, 150 of them?) who have managed to make it to Detroit to celebrate this momentous occasion. I wish with all my heart that I could be there to join in the debauch--er, I mean, the festivities.




    But even stronger than my envy is the sense of pride I feel in having plaid even an infinitessimal role in this amazing phenomenon. I can't think of any other group of fans who would take it upon themselves to bring an isolated individual from a foreign country to Detroit for the simple reason that they all believe no Wings fan should ever have to endure not having seen the team playing live at their home arena. But the 19 didn't stop there. Oh, no. Not only did they indeed get Herm to Hockeytown, they also raised thousands of dollars in charitable contributions and turned a collection of hockey bloggers into a fund-raising machine.

    H2H has proven that no matter what others might say about us, no matter what slurs the Wild fans and the Pens fans and the Hawks fans and the whoever fans throw at us, the true fans of the Detroit Red Wings are just amazingly generous and giving and devoted and simply good human beings. And I'm proud to be part of that group. Hey, we might drink and curse and make lewd suggestions and give shit where shit is deserved, but H2H has proved we're good people. In fact, I think it's made us better people.

    So I say, raise a glass to Herm 2 Hockeytown, to Herm, to the 19, and to the Detroit Red Wings. Drink heartily in the knowledge that all the fun you're having doesn't just represent a good time, it represents a good bunch of people, a great bunch of fans, and better things for the kids at the Children's Hospital of Michigan. Hell, that's worth at least two glasses.

    And on behalf of those of us who can't be in Detroit this weekend, remember that we're with you in spirit, and have another glass for us. We wish we could join you.

    And we CAN'T WAIT for next year!!!

Game Recap: STL 2 - DET 4

There was a bit of a boredom factor in the 1st Period. Not because the Wings were bad, but because they had no urgency. They didn't suck as bad as we've seen earlier this season, by any means, but neither did they seem to display any of the hunger I'd expect at this point in this particular season. Plus, the turnover thing was a little crazy, and led to Kariya's goal at 5:39. Brad Stuart even said it in the intermission interview, that they needed to figure out why they weren't playing hard enough and fix it. I'm all about fixing it.

The 2nd Period started with a rush and a chance by St. Louis, but the Wings finally seemed to find their feet and Z potted an ugly one at 0:26. then he and Bert followed up at 4:35 thanks to the first few minutes of sustained pressure of the game, which made things much more interesting that the 1st had been. James made some nice saves (I feel bad calling him Jimmy after he manned up against Pens#87), and during a 4 minute PK, Miller had a nice breakaway attempt that, of course, he was unable to finish. The pace of the whole period felt much faster than the first, but the last 6 or 7 minutes were blistering. It was awesome.

Of course, the highlight of the 3rd Period was Bambi's gorgeous sweep of a bad rebound from right under Conklin's nose at 13:11 in the period. Seriously, right under his nose. Rafi had fired in a shot from outside the blueline that bounced right off Conks, who seemed to waffle over what he wanted to do with it. It dropped to the ice right in front of him and Filppula came sprinting in between two Blues, swept the puck up with his stick and darted to Conks' left to sneak the puck in behind it. It was a thing of beauty. And with just 12 seconds to go in the game, Bambi sealed the deal with an empty netter. Loved it.

Friday night's game against the Wild is next up, and it also happens to be H2H night, as well as the anniversary of the one and only actual Fight Night at the Joe, the Brawl in Hockeytown, the Day of St. Darren (McCarty). Let's win one for all those reasons and more. Let's win it because we need it.

Let's win it because we're the Red Wings.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tool



Personally, I think watching this clip is self-explanatory, but if you need a commentary, go here and see Red Wings Hardware's superb summary of what the events at the end of last night's game really means.

Monday, March 22, 2010

(This Is Not A) Game Recap: PIT 1 - DET 3

And the reason this is not a recap is because this damned game was on Gary Bettman(ass) Vanity Television(tm) and I couldn't sustain a web feed for more than 2 minutes at a time, so I had to wait with bated (not baited) breath for the final score and the highlights before I could comment on the game. Not having seen the game does nothing to harm my credibility as a commentator. After all, I have zero credibility when I have seen the game.

Anyway, all I can say about this one is, "YES!!! SUCK THAT YOU MOTHERF!*#ERS!!!"

Well, I can also say that I heart Henrik Zetterberg; that my vote goes to Jimmy Howard for President of Everything; that Valteri Filppula shall henceforth be called Bambi on this blog because of his doe-eyes in the Hockeytown: No Limits commercial, but that doesn't discount my love of his increasingly awesome play; and that Pens#87 (because from now on I refuse to acknowledge the piece of trash that is Sidney Crosby by name) makes me want to vomit.

All of the highlight reels tonight feature the stunningly mature actions of an uber-frustrated Pens#87 attacking Zetterberg at the sounding of the horn to close the game. Such a model of the behavior a hockey fan wants to see from the captain of one of the poster-franchises of the league. Way to maintain your dignity there, Pens#87. Nice example for the kids. I'd like to give Jimmy Howard a big, wet kiss, though, for stepping into it and dragging Pens#87 away to the boards in defense of his teammate. Not since the first time I watched little Mikey Vernon launch himself at the behemoth Patrick Roy have I cheered so hard for a goalie. Go, Jimmy! I love you, man!

So, in summary... YES!!! GO WINGS!!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Game Recap: DET 4 - VAN 3 (OT)

Wow, that was, like, a game. I mean, totally. Enough of one so that I'm even going to change the recap format. Mostly because I think they've been too long. I'm going to try a prose format to just hit the highlights.

The 1st Period started a lot better than last night's game. First, because we managed to keep the opposing team from scoring for 4 minutes and 10 seconds, as opposed to letting one in during the first minute. We played with a lot more hustle, but The Nucks managed to figure out that they could sneak 'em past Howie from the point and did so, twice, leaving us to go into the second down 0-2.

Thankfully, we seemed to view that as motivation, because we came out for the 2nd Period with all motors running, and what a period it was! Fast and furious, it was a battle up and down the ice until 12:34 when Bertuzzi managed to tip in a puck that was sitting at Bieksa's feet after a battle in front on the Vancouver net. It was sweet. But sweeter still was Datsyuk's score off the face-off immediately following, which managed to tie to game in the span of 5 seconds. Then five minutes later, Filppula picks up a pass from Kronwall for a breakaway and a shorthanded goal that brought a tear to my eye and earned $40 of my money for the H2H fund. I've never been happier to donate. Of course, i have to give all the credit for those goals to the fact that FS Detroit did a player profile on Helm that told us his favorite player was Joe Sakic (ugh) and mentioned our very own Nightmare on Helm Street! Cheers to the NOHS boys and the heartfelt thanks of the entire Wings nation!!!

Second intermission barely seemed long enough to let me catch my breath. I was all geared up for the 3rd Period, but then the Wings came out and played like the Keystone cops, which did not make me happy. Dumb choices, bad giveaways, sloppy play in the zone. We were not amused. We did manage to pull together eventually, but still let one in off a dumb turnover to tie it up 3-3.

The OT Period almost killed me. Bertuzzi managed some of the dumbest passes in hockey history to give the Nucks way too many chances at stopping my heart. Just as I resigned myself to another shoot out loss (because what else happens when we go to shootouts?), our precious boy Zetterburg managed to score with 0.3 seconds left on the OT clock. I mean seriously. I thought last night's tie goal to take us to OT the night before was insane, but this one beat it. If I could, I'd have it bronzed.

And the end result made me weep with gratitude. 4-3. A win. 2 points. Heaven!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Game Day: DET 2 @ EDM 3 (SO)

I'm not sure what I was expecting from tonight, but I really shouldn't have been surprised by the first 10 minutes of this game. I mean, judging by the way we've played this season thus far, a game against the worst team in the league is exactly the kind of game we can expect to lose. Also, coming off breaks (the Olympic break excepted) hasn't done much for us this year, either. Basically tonight seemed predestined for total FUBAR.

1st Period
  • Is this a new tradition? This giving up a goal in the first 2 minutes thing. Or in tonight's case, the first 1 minute. Because if so, I gotta tell ya, I'm not a fan.
  • We suck off breaks, we suck against lousy teams, we suck against bottom-tier goalies, and we suck in the first 5 minutes. This is the reality of our season thus far. Now, how much does admitting all that suck? A lot. We're talking SMW*.
2nd Period
  • Basically the 1st period sucked. And the 2nd wasn't much better. I think the less said the better. Until St Patrick Eaves scored off a great Helm/Draper play. Have I mentioned I love that Little Red Corvette Line? 'Cause, I do.
  • Finally got a powerplay with only a couple of minutes left in the period, then wasted it. I particularly liked Filppula fumbling a decent pass and letting the puck sail back into the defensive zone. Not.
3rd Period
  • An insane exercise in wide shots and futile passes. I honestly don't know how we can live with ourselves when we play like this against teams that are this far below is in the standings. It's just stoo-pid.
  • The period ended on a crazy note with our savior, Brian Rafalski, potting a shot with just 0.03 seconds on the clock. The Wings nation went crazy, Twitter exploded, and at least a hundred people I'm aware of offered to bear Rafalski's child. I was one of them.
OT and SO
  • We couldn't quite manage to score in the OT period, so we went to a shoot out, at which point the Wings nation dispaired. Why? Because our dear James, while proving better than anyone expected him to be this season, SUCKS in a shootout. He just does. And apparently, God is mad at Datsyuk, because his prayers before his shot got him nowhere. I didn't see if Filppula prayed, but he should have. Maybe it would have helped.
In summary, it could have been worse. We got a point. Which was better than the alternative, but I'm seriously sick of this trend of struggling against bad teams. We're better than this. Now we just need to remember that.



*SMW=Syphilitic Moose Wankie, my absolute measure of the worst sucking able to occur in our reality.

Monday, March 15, 2010

3 In A Row!

I honestly didn't think I was going to last? I almost broke down during Rafalski's gorgeous powerplay goal to win the Buffalo game. And the tension of the Calgary game was way too much for me. I couldn't keep my mouth shut (because saying I couldn't keep my fingers still just sounds...dirty).

1st Period
  • Okay, the first couple of minutes, I swear I thought we were asleep out there. It looked like we were skating through mud. Either that, or someone had secretly replaced my regular Red Wings players with residents of the local retirement home, just to see if I'd notice. I did. And I wasn't happy. Hence, the quick goal by Calgary.
  • We seemed to shake off the haze after the first five minutes, which was a big relief, but we still couldn't seem to get one in the net. We rang a couple of posts, and Drew Miller looked like his head was going to explode if he missed on one more shot, but honestly you'd think he'd realize after the 4th miss that maybe he should try to throw it in from a different angle.
2nd Period
  • Looked much more energetic, which I liked, but still couldn't manage to get anything past Kiprusoff. I swear to God, it looked like that man had 12 pairs of eyes and not a single one of them ever moved from the puck. It made me sick.
  • The lack of calls against Calgary inspired me to consider launching a line of NHL Referee/Linesman voodoo dolls on the market. But then I remembered that Kerry Fucking Fraser was retiring at the end of this season and it didn't seem worth it any more.
  • Thent he heavens opened and fate smiled down on us in the form of Pavel Datsyuk's amazing shot and goal that tied us up 1-1. I love that crazy little Russian.
3rd Period
  • Came out with an early shot, which made me happy. I hoped quite intensely to stay happy for 20 more minutes.
  • My heart stopped when Rafalski went to the box for 4 minutes for an accidental high sticking that drew blood. Thanks to the boys for doing an awesome job killing it off and preserving my sanity. For a few more minutes at least.
  • And then, and then, we closed the game with the most gorgeous of gorgeous goals off a priceless move by the Mule finished with the incomparable skill of Tomas Holmstrom. Followed by the most nerve-wracking minute and 19 seconds of my life. but the bottom line? We won it. We WON IT, BABY!!!!
So bottom line? 2 points over the team biting at our ass, a three point lead to help us hang onto 8th, and the teensiest little bit of breathing room. And we did it by playing like Wings, for which I am happy to give well-deserved credit. Now let's keep it up and take a stand in the playoffs.

Plus, you know, there's that whole part about this being THREE IN A ROW!!! YAY!!!

GO WINGS!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

On Strike

What's up with the blog? Am I just too black-n-blue to type? Have I given up on hockey in favor of home ownership? Have I just stopped caring?

No, but it seems like the Wings have.

I watched the Chicago game, as evidenced by the blog entry, and I watched the Calgary game, too. I even had a blog entry all written and ready to go up, but you know what? That effort didn't deserve a blog entry. I mean, what was I supposed to write? That the Wings played the same old game they've been playing all season? That it was another case of playing only a fraction of the full sixty minutes? That the team worked themselves into a decent position and then fell apart like a bunch of kids who've never seen a run to the playoffs before? Yeah, that would have been all insightful and junk.

So with that in mind, I can assure you that I am definitely (and currently) watching the Minnesota game, and I'll be watching the Buffalo game and the Calgary rematch as well, but you know what? Until the Wings can put in the effort to win, say, 3 games in a row, I don't see why I should give the effort to blog 3 games in a row. I'm on strike, and the Wings have the power to break through my picket line like a wrecking ball through papier mache.

All they need to do is start playing like Wings.

So there.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Game Day: DET @ CHI 03/07/10

Yeah, I know, I've been an absent blogger. My excuse is that I'm trying to buy a house right now, and it's not the kind of smooth, easy process that HGTV makes it out to be. In fact, at the moment, I'd like to introduce HGTV to the business end of one of Franzen's death shots for being such deceptive fuckers. But anyway, I did get to watch a game. And here's what I saw:

1st Period
  • Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. Can we have a discussion about those turnovers? Or better yet, can we just stop making them?
  • Since I watched the first through my fingers, that's all I'm going to say there. Other than to state that building a drinking game around calls against Chicago ignored by the officials would lead to some serious blood alcohol poisoning 
2nd Period
  • I admit, at first I was afraid. I was petrified, thinking I could never live with seeing another thumping by Chicago. But then the 3rd Hawk goal was waived off because of By-Fugly-In's clear goaltender interference that the NBC commentators seemed to have been watching with their eyes closed, based on their chatter about it
  • Then the powerplay and 4-on-3 goals back to back made me jump up and do a little dance in my living room
  • These were followed by a gorgeous Zetterberg to Williams goals, which Williams managed to pot in spite of a stick to the back that sent him to the ice. Loved that.
  • Then Bert to Filppula did the pretty and chased Huet from the net. At that point I got hoarse. But in a happy, happy way
  • Okay, and I have to say that one of the highlights of my life so far was watching the camera fix on Huet on the bench only to see him hiding his face in shame. I'm not sorry to say I giggled
  • Really noticed Chicago being clued into Helmer. They put someone in front of him whenever possible to keep his breakaway chances to a minimum. Apparently, word's starting to get out that this kid might have some speed
  • Did not enjoy seeing Bert limp off the ice after a tangle with Eager. I really don't think we need another injury. Especially not another knee
  • But then the gorgeous steal and breakaway by Datsyuk just made my panties wet, and everything seemed okay. Seriously, as my roommate said, Pasha is the Artful Dodger of the NHL.
3rd Period
  • Okay, do we really need to do our old slacker routine as soon as we have a good lead? Come on, guys, you're supposed to be better than this
  • Thanks be that Kane made a heinous decision to pass to Hossa rather than take his shot, because that would have made it 5-4. I don't like 5-4
  •  Loved Franzen's visual commentary on the Blackhawks' diving for penalties. I giggled again
  • That hat-trick goal by Ladd was weaker than it should have been. Howard should have had that one. He gets a smack upside the head for that
  • Okay, this last minute of the game is killing me. KILLING. ME
  • Wow, how appropriate was it that this game ended with a scrum at the side of the Detroit net? And we pulled it out. So take THAT you so-called "best team in the league"! A pox on you and all your houses! Bwaahahahahahaaaaaa!
So, yeah, I'm pleased with that one. And it's about damned time. Thanks for playing like Wings after the 1st intermission, Wings.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Was I Dead?

Not quite, but I tell you there were days when I wished...

No, I was chained to my desk working on a project that was supposed to be finished a month ago, but it. Just. Wouldn't. Die. I finally killed it at 2 this morning, so I'm back for the rest of the season, just in time for the break. And let me tell you, I'm expecting a reboot during those two weeks. Because I am not impressed with recent performances.

Anyway, 'nuff said. The Bitter Blues are up tomorrow night with the Mule back in the line up, so I'm hoping he'll make my return a memorable one. You know, in a GOOD way.

Ah, it's good to be back. I missed you guys!