Saturday, October 22, 2011

Look! Over There! Is That Hockey Season?!?!

Like any fabulous and fashionable celebrity guest, I'm arriving late for the party. Along with my entourage of toadying fans, slavish hangers-on, and arrogant upstarts (read: my dogs), we (read: me and my tapeworm) are just tickled pink to be back to doing what we do best (read: slacking off, lazing around, and ditching anything remotely resembling being constructive). So in preparation for tonight's exciting match-up vs. the undefeated Washington Capitals, here's the super-condensed Red, White & Black-n-Blue summary of the season so far:
  • Game 1:  Season opener at home against Ottawa. OTT 3 - DET 5
    • The Wings surged to an early lead, sucked on the PP, and squandered the 5-0 tally during the 3rd in a scene reminiscent of... oh... all of last season by playing as if we didn't really need to worry until, oh look, they have 3 goals. How the hell did that happen? Thankfully, we held on largely do to the performance of our bottom 2 lines and our top defensive pairing, both of whom manged to get their names on the scoreboard.
  • Game 2:  DET 3 - COL 0
    •  Conks rocked the block, earning the first shutout of the season and giving Jimmy the inspiration for his own next performance. Conklin really did put on a great show, especially in the first when the Wings took a little bit to find their legs and get it going. If that's the way he plans to play this season, I say, "Welcome back, Ty. Make yourself at home."
    • The Mule fed early, getting the lone goal in the 1st, and the Eurotwins power activated for the other two tallies of the game.
  • Game 3:  VAN 0 - DET 2
    • Jimmy Howard took up the challenge laid down by his backup in the previous game, turning in a stellar performance including two amazing saves on the D- variety Sedin at the close of the 1st period and two blanks on breakaways in the 2nd.
    • Abby drew first blood after catching a beautiful cross-ice pass from Bert in the 2nd while Pavel distracted the goalie, the defenseman and quite likely the hotdog vendors on the concourse with a drive up the middle.
    • Fil scored the second goal with a one-timer off a gorgeous give-and-go dance routine with Franzen. It looks like swapping those two at wing and center might have some juice to it after all.
  • Game 4: DET 3 - MIN 2 (OT)
    • Of course, I missed the first OT game of the year, so busy was I playing the dutiful friend and maid-of-honor checking out potential wedding venues when I could have been watching the Wings. It's not always easy being an amazing best friend, let me tell you.
    • Anyway, since I didn't see this one on my own, I don't have much to say except that I'm glad to see the Mule seems to be taking the regular season seriously so far, which is a relief. I love that he comes alive during the playoffs, but I'd like to see him at least exhibit a heartbeat before then.
  • Game 5: CBJ 2 - DET 5
    • This one I took in start-to-finish, and let me tell you the best thing about the night was seeing the Power Play figure out how to tell their asses from their elbows, going 3-for-4 with the man advantage, including one 5-on-3 in the third. The Mule himself scored on the first two of them, coincidentally the first two power play chances of the game.
    • Mule and Bambi showed more of the magic of their new switchoff, turning in 3 and 4 pt nights, respectively. Mule had the 2 PPGs plus an assist on Fil's lone goal, while Filppula registered assists on both of Franzen's goals as well as on Lidstrom's 3rd period PPG.
And that's where we stand, a 5-0 start for the first time since 1972. Not too shabby. Tonight we face a challenge, heading into D.C. for a match up against the similarly undefeated Washington Capitals (6-0 to start). Not only is it a meeting for two of the top teams in the league, but it marks Fabian Brunnstrom's regular season Wings debut and the 1500th career game for Nicklas "The Perfect Human" Lidstrom. Bow your head and recognize your insignificance, please.

Trust me, I'll be watching this game if it kills me. And it really, really, really has that potential.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Hockey! Hockey! The Greatest Game in the Land!

Yes, I am, indeed, walking around the house today singing the climactic musical number from Score: A Hockey Musical. And why shouldn't I? It's an anthem and a statement of devotion, the kind of devotion I have for the Detroit Red Wings.

Months, years, lifetimes have passed (for fruit flies) since we last saw our boys, our real boys, take the ice and I, for one, am jonesing like a crackhead for more of that sweet, red and white candy, the kind only Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Lidstrom can provide.

The roster has changed. Rafi's gone, and we'll definitely miss him; Draper is up in the office, and I still haven't stopping weeping over that one. But Ozzie is whispering in Jimmy's ear, and we've got fresh faces and fresh legs and nothing but smooth ice and open nets in front of us. Now let's show everyone how old we really are:

Twenty years... and counting.

Let's Go Red Wings!!!