Wednesday, April 3, 2013

It's alive?!?!?!?!

It's a bird, it's a plane.... it's a phoenix risen from the ashes?

Nope... It's just me needing a place to rant.

Been a couple of years...

Talk about a fucking impulse decision. I poured my heart and soul into this thingy for more than a year. Then it stopped being fun. I felt like I needed to recap stuff. To write stuff. To be funny. To frequently update. It became a chore, not something I did for fun. So I tried other stuff... same thing. Well, no more. I'm gonna fucking write here when I fucking wanna. When I'm provoked. When I care. When I have something to say. I need a place to vent. And what better place than here. My new followers might wanna check out some of the old stuff. Most of it is obsolete, but the 25:19 series, the videos and most of all, the day in the life series is pretty damn good and funny. If I might say so myself.

But fuck that, that's not why I am here. This is a place I will rave. I will rant. I will sing praises. And I will likely even ignore this place at times cause I have nothing to say. I'm done with the blogworld, with previews and recaps. But I have shit to say. Enough with the procrastinating already, Andy! Here we go...

So, I don't like a warring fanbase more than anyone else. But fuck, it won't stop me from being honest about how I fucking feel. (If you're new here... I swear. A lot). I have been for Babcock's firing for a couple of years now. Almost 2 years to be exact. I started getting bad feeling almost 2 years before that, but it took a while. Towards the end of the 2010/2011 regular season is when I concluded that he had to go. Since voicing this, I've been routinely unfollowed, I've been told I'm a bad fan, I've heard it all.

I'm not gonna go through everything that is wrong with the Wings in this post... it'll take time. I just need to get 2 things off my chest.

First of all: Being critical of a player, several playes (every player, but I'm not), Babcock or Kenny does not make me a bad fan. I am loyal to the Detroit Red Wings. Those three words. That logo. Those jerseys. That's what I am loyal to. I might love the Illitches, I might have loved both Kenny and Babs. I might love some of the players and have loved some others, but my loyalty is to the Wings logo. I want the Wings to win. If someone is a detriment to that, I want them gone. Team over individuals. And if I think the teams or the organization has weaknesses needed to be adressed to win, I sure as hell will point them out.

Yeah, a team with a fanbase who freaks out at the first sign of anything wrong, that fires coaches every other week, will go nowhere. But so will a team that has a fanbase that accepts everything. And in this Wings fanbase everything and everyone have gotten so sacred, that criticism makes you a bad fan, an idiot. And I see a lot of people being accused of this, and I'm tired of it. I've accepted that a few people regarding themselves an elite have taken over the Wings blog world and frozen the ones doing it for fun out, but on Twitter we should be open to different views. If someone thinks Babs should go, that Holland is too careful, that some player needs to go, or that no one needs to go, then ridicule is not the damn answer. Discussion is. Stop greeting every dissenting response and opinion with ridicule. It looks shitty as fuck.  And fuck me did me piss me off to hear "where are the Abdelkader haters now" all over my feed when he scored that hat trick. It was the first worthwhile thing he did all season. It takes more than a game, more than a week. He has been decent since, but he's still far from proving that he deserves a spot in this line up.

I think Babcock has lost this team, I think he has grown complacent and so have the players. He's a great coach for a few years, but that's his sell by date. He is past it. He is too stubborn to change lines he sees doesn't work. He is too stubborn to change his tactics even when every team has figured them out. He needs to go. I'd love to be proven wrong, but don't call me a bad fan for thinking that.

I think that Hank has relaxed since he got his deal. Not given his all. Not been the dominant Z we were once used to. I think giving him the C was at most a last ditch effort to wake some fire in him. It failed. He is still talented, but the dominance and fire has gone.

I think Mule is done. I think Filppula never had the balls and determination to get to where he could be. I think we have no top 2 defenders. I think we need to find a replacement for Pavel BEFORE he leaves. I think Kindl, Cleary and Emmerton bring nothing to this team and that Abdelkader needs to prove consistency before this season ends. He is also shit as a grinder and always fights at the wrong time. I like Tooto's grit, but he too has never fought at a time when it mattered.  I say this because I'm a fan and want the best for my team, not to prop them up with soft pillows.

This team, this year... It could do a Kings and win the cup... Sure. This Wings team is weaker than that Kings team. Don't fool yourself. But we've seen that when everything clicks, this Wings team can be pretty good. So if they catch fire and some luck, they'll win the cup. But chances of that are 3 %. And I get that we're not doing anything now. I think, that had Kenny been active early on this deadline, he could have gotten a lot of what he needed for a quick fix, for a deep run, cheaply. But he didn't. Now it's too late.

But this is a fucking trend. Summer 09. We lose several key guys, we sign Bertuzzi and some players I don't even wanna mention. Summer 10, Nothing to better the team. Summer 11, we lose Rafalski and get White... yeah, that's not exactly replacing someone. And we enter the season with TONS of cap space.  Summer 12, we lose NICKLAS FUCKING LIDSTRÖM, THE BEST PLAYER OF A GENERATION AND WE DO NOTHING! NOTHING! Tootoo, Gus and Samuelsson together are worth about as much as the tape on Nick's hockey socks. Maybe less. And all of these years, we do nothing at the deadline. At deadline we hear that deadline deals are too expensive, rentals and we'll do stuff in summer. Players returning from injuries are our deadline acquistions. In summer we sing a couple of mediocre twats who do zero to make the team better, and get to hear that the market was bad, there will be better next summer (when we do the same) and that it's nice to have room to have some fun at the deadline (when we do nothing). And we lose in the 1st or 2nd round every year.

I am not falling for that shit anymore. The Wings are filled with a bunch of players, especially the veterans who know that Ken Holland is undyingly loyal to them. Even though they, unlike Malts, Stevie, Drapes, Mac etc, the guys that made Kenny loyal cause they worked their butts off, aren't deserving of it. Today's guys don't go out to lead by example, they don't go out to win no matter what, hell or hight water. They don't go out to play for their contracts and careers and a team in their hearts. They don't. Also, a few guys on the Wings just don't have the talent.

Mike Babcock doesn't coach for his career or position or anything. He is just chilling with the dudes he likes. Refuses to change lines, other than when lines are clicking, refuses to explain himself and refuses to tear his team a new one when shit goes bad. Loss? Optional skate. Shit, I played for fucking junior team, and if we lost to ANYONE we were bag skated every damn practice until the next game. Tell ya what? We sure as hell never lost two in a row.

This team has a SHIT mentality. SHIT. They don't go out there with confidence. They go out there with hope. Man Utd (who I hate) play like shit 70 % of their games, but win cause they know they're gonna. My hockey team was the same. Being down was a nuisance. We knew we'd catch up. The Wings used to be the same way. Now they wait for something bad to happen. We need a coach and Captain that can start changing that. We need a team that buys into it.

And most of all... it has felt like since 08 that all we wanna do is stand pat. We have this playoff streak. I'm proud of it, you're proud of it etc... Great stuff. We don't wanna risk it. But Kenny doesn't wanna risk it at all. Rather than make the moves to make us a true contender and then maybe because of loss of picks/space/whatever we'd suffer in 2-3-5 years, he does little both at the deadline and in summer and stands pat. Better to be stuck at keeping the streak alive and fucking up in the 2 first rounds.

FUCK  NO! I think that with a bit of daring and smartness we can make the playoffs most years and be contenders in several of them. But in a worst case thing, I'll take 3 years as contenders, 3 years rebuilding etc over and over, over this. Or 5-5, whatever. In the end, we remember cups. That's the goal. Shit seasons are forgiven when we win cups. 1 cup is worth more than a 50 year playoff streak if that streak has no cups. We might be spoiled, but this team exists to win cups. Either fight for a cup now or rebuild for a cup run. Choose. Its not the pre-cap or early-cap era Holland. You have to change your ways, gamble. Let young guys play earlier, take a chance, over pay for a TRUE star etc. It's how the league works now. Sorry. If not, we'll be left in the fucking dust.  It needs to change this summer. Big revamp. Minumum 2 new stars. That is what we need. Cups or nothing. Cups are ALL that matters.

If we don't will I stop rooting for the Wings? Never. Never ever. But it is what we need to do. Do it.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Dear Nicklas Lidström

I am sitting here watching the All Star Game. I might be buzzed or drunk. But I am crying. Tears of joy. I am wearing my Lidström jersey. I am watching you be a plus-5 after two periods of a 7-6 game. I am watching you, thinking about you, remembering all the joy you have given me. You have been a Red Wing since I was a toddler, you were a Red Wing before I became a fan. My entire Red Wings life has been with you in it and strongly based on your amazingness. You are perfect, you are amazing, you are probably the best defenseman the NHL has ever seen. Thank you for that. Thank you for bringing our team all the glory you have brought, thank you for being an amazing ambassador for the Wings and for the sport both on and off the ice. Thank you for existing. I cannot imagine how I will feel the day you retire. It's gonna break my heart. But for now, keep on rocking and thank you for every amazing memory you have brought me over the last 16 years. I am truly thankful for that and thankful for you.

People, let's all stop and take a moment to imagine the last 20 years of Red Wings history without Nick. Try to imagine a life without Nick. Be thankful. We Red Wings fans have been blessed with a lot. Stevie, Stanley Cups etc etc, but being blessed with the opportunity to watch the greatest defenseman of all time, arguably one of the five best players of all time and an all around great human being play for and represent our team every night for 20 years is a hell of a gift. Let us be thankful. Let us appreciate Nick when we still have him. Thank you Nicklas. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are THE MAN.

Andy, Oslo, Norway.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Ozzman Cometh, the Ozzman saw, the Ozzman got his 400th

1st period
- Altitude feed tonight. I hate that. Not as bad as FS North and they do suck up to the Wings a lot, but they are still dumbasses.
- Early on the Avs took it to the Wings. Outworked them and got chances. Three and a half minutes in Fleischmann (The Flesh Man?) took a shot and neither Kronner nor Eaves could cover Duchene on the rebound and he could score easily.
- Shortly after the Wings got a PP chance and the unthinkable happened. Flip found Hudler with a cross-ice pass. Hudler took one shot, it went off the legs of a player and came back to him and he scored. His second of the year. His second against the Avs and Budaj. What's up with that? He promptly went on to disappear for the rest of the period and had a few PP fuckups.
- The booing of Bertuzzi is relentless. I wish he'd scored a hat trick or won a fight or something in response.
- Less than a minute after the equalizer the Avs scored. I'd like to blame the refs for their non-call on a crosscheck/interference 5 seconds before. Or the coverage for letting Galiardi walk in with the puck, but a weak, short-side shot from the circles NEEDS to be stopped. This one is all on Ozzie.
- Ozzie was good for the rest of the period. Made some strong stops, especially on the PK, but looked kinda shaky doing it.
- The Wings followed the goal against by taking two penalties, but both the 5-on-3 and the following short normal PP went by without the Avs scoring.
- The Wings pushed back and got a PP. It came after 5 fucking crosschecks from Liles to the neck of Homer. Homer was on his knees. The call came on the fifth crosscheck. I know cause I kept looking at the ref.
- On the PP the Wings needed only 7 seconds. Nick found Mule in the circle and he scored on a nice shot. Kudos to Homer for screening Budaj.
- The Avs went back to pressuring, but handed the Wings another PP with 5 minutes left. The PP was a carcrash. Terrible. Biggest chance was to the Avs after a Ber giveaway.
- The Avs took it to the Wings again for the rest of the period. They were speedier and outworked them. Won all the battles. The Wings were lucky that they escaped the period with a tie. 16-9 was the shot total in favour of the Avs.
- Homer took a puck to the face from Budaj late in the period. Hope he is okay. (Came back in the 2nd).

2nd period
- CHRIST MOTHERTRUCKING OSGOOD! That could be my full summary of this period. Okay then, I'll give you more.
- The Avs came out like they ended the 1st. Dominated the Wings, kept them in their defensive zone and brought tons of pucks to the net. The Wings looked flat, but did a good job blocking shots in this period.
- Less than five minutes in Mursak got on the scoresheet of his first NHL game. Sadly it was for taking an unlucky penalty during one of the few and short trips into the Avs zone.
- The PK did good and Ozzie stood tall, then the Avs took a penalty on a dumb interference. The 4-on-4 was an onslaught by the Avs. But then the Wings went on a short PP. First the Avs had to instances of uncalled aggravated assault on Wings players and then the Wings got a few chances. No goals though.
- The Wings followed it up by taking a dumb penalty and even though the Avs didn't get too many shots they still looked dangerous.
- After that PP the Avs took it to the Wings. The Wings got nothing. The Avs kept occupying the Wings zone shooting and passing around the Wings. Luckily the blocking of the D and Chris Osgood stopped all the pucks.
- The Wings looked a tiny bit better towards the end, but only after killing another penalty and a ton of Avs shots. They got badly outplayed this period.
- Shots in the 2nd? 23-9 Avs. YIKES!

3rd period
- The Avs came out hard in the third and got an early PP. It was killed off nicely, but they kept pressing.
- A little into the period the Wings got better. For much of the period they got some chances, but the Avs were still dangerous.
- 13 minutes into the period the Avs took a penalty. The PP took some time, but almost 90 seconds into it Nick got the puck at the point and scored on an awesome wrister.
- The Wings controlled for a little after that, but with 3 minutes left Kronner was dumb and unlucky and the refs were cheap and the Avs got a PP. Of course they scored on it. Duchene got to stand alone on the far side and bat in a rebound.
- Shots in the third was 10-9 Avs.

- After a little back and forth the Wings got a PP the ouck ended up at Kronner's stick at the top of the circle and he blasted one home!
- How fitting that Ozzie's 400th happened against the Avs.

Play of the game
Hudler scored. It happens so rarely that I have to make it play of the game.

Player of the game
Ozzie got his 400th and had 46 saves.

Monday, December 27, 2010

It's a Holiday in Cambodi.. uh... St. Paul

1st period
- The Wings went right on the attack and drew a penalty less than 90 seconds into the game. The PP was pretty good and had some great scoring chances, but got no goals.
- Four and a half minutes in the Wings pressure paid off when a shot from Kronner rebounded out to Z who shot it from behind the goal line, into Backström's pants and into the net. The FS North crew whined about how it was luck, but he clearly knew what he was doing.
- Shortly after that Jonathan Ericsson took a dumb interference penalty in front of his own net, but the kill was great. The Wild barely got shots off cause the Wings were in every shooting lane.
- The Wings responded with attacking. And when Flipper found Cleary in the corner he banked one in off Backström from behind the goal line.
- Then both teams got slapped with a penalty each in quick succession. The Wild one was the rare 2 faceoff infractions penalty. The Wings one was Homer getting tripped and pushed into Backström. When are PxP people and refs gonna learn that "In the crease" stopped existing 10 years ago?
- Both teams got a borderline cheap penalty each later in the period. The Wings PP seemed weak while the Wild one was threatening.
- The Wild had some pressure now and then, but Jimmah stood tall and the Wings had the best chances.

FS North
- Many stations suck. You have dumb play by play people, dumb commercials for the home team, dumbing down for the viewers etc. But no station is worse from top to bottom than FS North. They had technical issues all night. They didn't send HD (at least not to GCL and ESPNPlayer.
- The announcers are so fucking annoying, homers to the stupidest degree and they bumble and mess up anything.
- Last time I watched FS North we got one period of discussing Ron Gardenhire's snowmoblie race/Ron Gardenhire getting a blowjob by the announcers. Worst interview ever. Was pleasantly surprised that they didn't do features like that on Span, Favre and whoever else they could get this time.
- Every commercial, everything the announcers talked about between whistles was: Vikings, Vikings news, where to find Vikings news, Favre etc etc. State of Hockey? Really?
- I think the bad quality was due to every HD cam, every technician and every talented reporter being on duty making the 5 hour mini series about how Brett Favre's cock celebrates Christmas.
- Rant over.

2nd period
- The second started with some nice Wings pressure. Not the biggest chances, but they dominated.
- 5:30 into the period Kronner took a great shot from the point. Draper who was out in the circle, stretched past a defenseman and masterfully redirected it in mid-air. It was a thing of beauty. 3-0.
- Shortly after the Wild got a counter attack after some blatant hooking and interference. On that odd-man rush E dumbly tripped Havlat who dived like he was shot. Luckily the ensuing PK was excellent, the Wild never got to a point where they could fire.
- The teams kept battling for a couple of minutes until Kyle Brodziak delivered a MEAN crosscheck in the back of Helm's neck. On the PP Z deked his way into the zone and shot. The rebound ended in the skates of Homer. He was tied up but managed to stretch around himself, score and then fall on his stick and break it.
- For the rest of the period it was pretty even, but the Wild had some nice chances. Maybe they finally decided to try and attack.
- It sounds like the PxP guys get so turned on every time they get to mention Matt Cullen.
- In all fairness to Minnesota, while I despise the Vikings and Twins and dislike the Wild, I have no ill feelings towards the Timberwolves (except the name is kinda dumb). That might be because I don't give a flying fuck about basketball and don't know anything about the Timberwolves except for the fact that they exist, which frankly, in and of itself, is more than I really wanna know.

3rd period
- The third started with a holding call on Bert which was killed off nicely. Except for one gaffe later on the PK did great tonight.
- Then followed a long period of nothing. A few chances here and there for both teams, but nothing much to note except that fact that Cleary got shot in the ankle by Stuart. I thought he broke it for sure, but he went back on the ice and finished the game.
- The Wings had a bad PP right after the midway point of the period and then Draper took a hooking penalty. On the PK 2 guys couldn't stop Havlat from jamming himself through the crease and no one picked up Burns. 4-1 and shutout ruined.
- The Wings got another PP towards the end, but got nothing on it.
- Good, solid game, albeit really boring.
- Hudler was as invisible as ever. He also only played 8 minutes. Least on the team.
- Didn't notice Kindl much which is good.
- I did credit the Wild with some chances here and there, but they didn't get much going. In a game where they had 7 PPs (two of them shortened though) they had a grand total of 17 shots. The Wings had 27.

Play of the game
Draper's amazing tip

Player of the game
Zetterberg had a nice and dominant 2 point night

Friday, December 24, 2010

30 minutes are 30 too few

1st period
- The Wings started terribly. First line let the Blues first line play with them in the zone for a full minute to start the game and though the Wings had a few chances after that they decided to let the Blues keep dominating the game. Yes, Pavel is out, but the difference in talent level between these teams is so big that letting the Blues dominate like that is unforgivable. No focus coming out.
- Then, midway through or so, the Wings took a penalty. It was hard to see if it was right. In the Blues feed it seemed like Abby just lifted the guy's stick and nothing hit him, but I am sure it was right. Terrible PK. Yes, the Blues should have been penalized on a blatant interference, but still, they let the Blues get a way too good shot and Ozzie had no chance.
- Seriously guys, the Doug Janik joke.. funny once.. But sure, a nice way to stay away from blaming the guys really responsible.
- The Wings luckily resonded. A high dump from Z found Franzén who scored on a nice shot. 1-1 just 30 seconds after the first goal.
- But the Wings let them right back. They let them into the zone easily and the Blues had luck. The shot went off Kronner and in. People blamed Ozzie, but even if it was 60 feet out he had no shot. The puck was going glove-side, then it changed direction and went to the other side. No goalie reacts that fast. Sorry. I know it is easy to blame Ozzie when the team plays badly, but this one is too cheap. No one would blame Howard for that, except for the Howard haters and the guys who will blame every goal on the goalie.
- The Wings did nothing to get it back. Instead they took another penalty. On that PK they let the Blues have a way too clear shot and they let a Blues player stand way too alone in front of the net. Still, THAT was not a good goal by Ozzie. But damn, the PK SUCKS these days.
- The Wings ended the first with the first half of a PP and got nothing.
- The Wings seemed dead. They didn't pass well. They didn't skate well. They didn't win a single fucking battle. Weak.
- Blues fans shouted Ozzie's name after the second goal. Louder after the third. I guess after the third it is useless, but understandable, but after the 2nd? After two goals he had no shot at?

2nd period
- The rest of the PP sucked too. Then the Wings got another. They had some good chances towards the end of it, but the biggest chance was a 2-on-1 by the Blues that needed a big Ozzie save. Second time in two PPs that that happened.
- Five minutes in E made a big fuckup in the neutral zone and gave D'Agostini a breakaway. Ozzie overcommitted and let him score way too easy. At this point Oz should have had 2 of 4, but three of those four were situations he never should have been put in.
- In the middle of the period I was about to throw this recap away and write a tirade. Except for a few 4th line shift I hadn't seen a single play where the Wings hustled. They won NO 50-50 battles. I was irate.
- At the midpoint Bertuzzi decided to take responsibility and drove strongly to the net. He drew a penalty and then the Blues took another when a player played with two sticks (weird situation) on that penalty. On the 5-on-3 the Wings made no mistake. Nick scored on a great shot with Halak screened.
- The Wings got close on the rest of that penalty. The Wings got better after that. Especially the bottom two lines did good stuff. Hudler had a great keep-in on the PP and they grinded.
- With three minutes left the hard forecheck lead to the Blues giving the Wings the puck and it eventually ended on the stick of Eaves who scored on another nice shot.
- Shortly after a Blue tried to high stick a Wings player, but the Mule decided to lift his stick to defend himself and got the high sticking penalty.
- The penalty was killed off and Mule got a breakaway coming out of the box. He missed the net. Wings down one goal after two. They sucked for 30 minutes but still had a chance after 40.

3rd period
- Sure, the Blues had a few chances in the third and they hit the post twice on the empty net. Sure they even had a PP after a dumb crosscheck from Kronner, but this period was about the Wings. They shot and shot, attacked and attacked, but Halak was great and nothing went the Wings way. Tough loss.
- The Wings woke up after 30 minutes. That was 30 minutes too late.
- Make sure to vote in the poll in the top right corner.

Play of the game
Nick's PP goal gave the team hope.

Player of the game
Helm had a good game.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

When you can't recap - make poetry!

There once was this fella called Edler
He was in way over his head-ler
And when Pasha he came
Really put him to shame
Yeah he thaught him to not be a meddler

And then there's Roberto Luongo
Bad goalie, but played a mean bongo
The puck he couldn't stop
It went in off the hop
Yeah his ass was deported to Congo

Please meet my friend who's named Abby
Plays hockey like if he was crabby
And he hits and he grinds
Smacks some lady behinds
And you won't see him beating a cabbie (hi Patrick!)

Our friend Mike he can really babble
His words they are perfect for scrabble
He stares people to death
Yeah they die like on meth
To the press he can sure rouse a rabble

There once was this fella named Pavel
He was cooler than Czech Vaclav Havel
When he dangles and dekes
Well the D looks like geeks
He composes his plays just like Ravel

Lidström's the one perfect human
He is prettier than Karen Newman
Never makes a mistake
Awesomeness he does make
He is much cooler than Harry Truman

Our goalie is named Jimmy Howard
We all know he isn't a coward
Took Oz's place in the net
And his place it is set
Did you see Ozzie cry when he showered?

And then there's the winger named Danny
And the way he can score is uncanny
Has the grit and the speed
Everything that we need
Now he just needs a mustache like Lanny

Have you seen the young blonde we call Flipper
He's a much better player than Kipper
But he needs to shoot more
If on ice he shall score
But in bars he is sure a good tipper

Have you heard of my friend who's named Tomas?
His vocabulary rivals A. Dumas (yeah, I know French pronounciation, but work with me here!)
He speaks English like few
Better than me and you
Or at least that's his wish for this christmas

Well Hank is the man with the mad skills
His playing it gives us some big thrills
And he scored from the back
off the net - took some sack
To do that and give us some real chills

That Burrows he sure is a dumbass
He whines and he acts like a jackass
Yeah, he goes after Nick
And his play makes me sick
Take a goon like yourself you big bitch ass

But where is the legend Kyle Wellwood?
The way that he played it was real good
But to Russia he went
All his money was spent
And he got a bad craving for fast food

After this one my whole head is spinning
And my face, yes that's right, it is grinning
Cause today what we got
With that Zetterberg shot
God damn it feels good to be winning

Programming notice

- Seeing as people might be busy during the holidays the Q&A will go on hiatus and return in 2011.
- I was gonna recap tonight's game, but an old friend drunk dialed me and I missed the middle of the first period.
- Fight Night will be on and off during the holiday season due to some work and my family's excessive amount of xmas parties and dinners. Will return stronger in the new year.

Merry christmas and a happy new year

Love, Andy