Tuesday, March 30, 2010


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!


Friday, March 26, 2010


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


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!!!


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.