Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy new year

Well, I'm sitting, havin' a drink before going out to a new years party. I just wanna thank my 7 and a half readers for their attention and I promise to work on improving the blog in the new year. One of the topics I will discuss is what I'd do if I could replace Lil' Gary or Tick tock (as requested by Nurse Nitz after her hate-contest win).

Tonight is the Avs. The game starts at 1 am here, so I'll be getting wasted at that time. But tomorrow I'll watch it and have some comments on it. From what I know Eaves is out with the flu. So... Let's crush the dive.

Other notes:
- Kyle at Babcock's death stare reports that the Wings are rumoured to be scouting Mats Zuccarello Aasen. That'd be absolutely fantastic IMO. Let's hope he has a great tournament for Norway.
- In my Norway runthrough I mentioned an injury to Mads Hansen. It's a broken cheekbone as a result of a bad hit from behind. He's expected to make it in time fr the Olympics.

Happy new year fuckers!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Norwegian Olympic roster selected

In the first post I made here I said that this "Norwegian Red Wings blog" would emphasise Red Wings and not Norwegian. And I think every post I have made (except for that first one) has been true to that mantra. Now is another one of those times where I have to talk abut Norway again, because we selected our olympic roster today.

Who the fuck cares aout Norway? You should! They might suck, and be a pretty easy victim for USA and Canada, but we've beat the Canadiens before (albeit in the Wrold Championships) and it's not gonna be as easy as many would expect to beat us. And after all we're the opening opponent of the Canadian team an we also meet USA and Switzerland (the only team we have a dacent chance against). And considering that I am not only Norwegian, but have played/trained with or against a few of the players on team, I feel that I owe my nation to write what will probably be the only analysis of this roster published outside of Norway. I will write a bit longer on the guys I know, since I have more info on them.

So here we go:

Pål Grotnes, Stjernen, Norway
Born: 1977. Height: 6 ft 2 (188 cm). Weight: 190 lb (86 kg).
This Year: 26 games, 13-12-0, 1 shutout, 2.95 GAA, .905 save percentage.
Grotnes is a veteran goalie, who has always been a measure of mediocrity. He's been decent in the Norwegian league, though struggling a bit on a weak team this year. INternationally he has a tendency to fall short, let in bad goals, annd quite frankly not measure up. Still he is the veteran goalie, and probably the sturdiest and safest of the three.

Andre Lysenstøen, Haki, Finland 2nd level
Born: 1988. Height: 194 cm. Weight: 112 kg.
I don't read finnish so I can't find any stats.
Andre was always a big guy and and extremely talented goalie. When I was a kid, my team was way better than his when it came to talent level, yet the games against them werealways hard, because Andre would play hard, and be at his best against us. Later he joined my team and I played with him for a few years. He sadly allowed himself to get lazy and not work hard enough and he also gained too much weight. In his first year of high school, he lived alone for the first time, but had to be sent home after a few months because of malnutrition. Luckily his later teams and the National team has been hard on him and upped his work rate. He is still very talented, big and quite smart, though lacking a bit in speed. His best asset and worst enemy is his head. He can be the nicest guy, then turn a fit. He is a winner head above all and can't take losing. This materialized itself badly in his international debut where he collapsed after a couple of goals, and also when he played with me, at which time he'd break his stick every time he let in a goal. But his will to win also leads to him giving his best performances in his biggest games, and he was great in the last year's World Championship.

Ruben Smith, Storhamar, Norway
Born: 1987. Height: 182 cm. Weight: 75 kg.
This year: 25 games, 14-10-0, 2.88 GAA, .908 save percentage.
Ruben is a guy who is yet again, fairly mediocre. Like the rest of the Norwegian goalies, he is no way near the best goalie in the Norwegian league. He's a good guy (as far as I know him), works hard and has a good attitude, but his international bouts so far haven't been great.

Alexander Bonsaksen, MODO, Sweden
Born: 1987. Height: 180 cm. Weight: 83 kg.
This year: No goals, 2 assists, 14 PIM. That's all I can find.
Bonsaksen isn't big, but he's a tough guy and a sturdy defender. He only has 2 National team games, but still his skill will elevated our defense.

Jonas Holøs, Färjestad, Sweden
Born: 1987. Height: 5ft 11 (180 cm). Weight: 210 lb (95 kg). Drafted: 170th overall in 08 by the Avs.
This year: 29 games, 0 goals, 10 assists, 14 PIM.
Probably the most talented young defender on the team, Holøs's great WC in 08 led to the Avs drafted him. He had a great season in Sweden after that, but failed in this year's WC and only got offered a two-way deal by the Avs. Thus he chose to see his 2 year deal out with Färjestad. He is a skilled defenseman, good with the puck and in all probability a future NHLer.

Tommy Jakobsen, Lørenskog, Norway
Born: 1970. Height: 173 cm. Weight: 86 kg.
This year: 29 games, 2 goals, 12 assists, +8, 46 PIM.
Don't let the size of this former German elite league player fool you. He can skate well, hits hard for his size and has neutralized big NHL stars in several WCs. He's the best, safest defender we have and will probably be the captain. Sadly he is winding down his career and is not at the level he used to be. He is also my dad's fav player (now that Fleury has retired).

Juha Kaunismäki, Stavanger Oilers, Norway
Born: 1979. Height: 187. Weight: 88 kg.
This year: 29 games, 0 goals, 5 assists, -2, 70 PIM.
This Finnish born defenseman is tough and good with the puck, but lacks the speed on his skates for international hockey. He takes way too many dumb penalties and should never have been on the roster.

Lars Erik Lund, Vålerenga, Norway
Born: 1974. Height: 187 cm. Weight: 95 kg.
This year: 23 games, 8 goals, 8 assists, +1, 10 PIM.
This veteran defender is tough, skilled with the puck and experienced. Sadly he's not the fastest guy around, which makes him a probable 3rd pairing guy.

Ole Kristian Tollefsen, Philadelphia Flyers
Born: 1984. Height: 6 ft 2 (188 cm). Weight: 211 lb (96 kg). Drafted: 65th overll in 02 by the BJs
This year: 10 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, -1, 17 PIM.
This former BJ defender is a tough guy. He hits hard, fights hard and is still moveable and decent with the puck. Saldy he has had a lot of injuries, but when he was healhty he played very well in Columbus. In Philly his injuries has hurt him and he has also been a scratch alot. Still our best defender by far.

Mats Trygg, Kölner Haie, Germany
Born: 1976. Height: 178 cm. Weight: 82 kg.
This year: 17 games, 3 goals, 3 assists, -7.
This small defender is a smart guy and has a bomb from the point. Has years of experience as Färjestad's top defender and is now doing well in Germany. Skates and passes well. Invauable to the team.

Morten Ask, Thomas Sabo Tigers, Germany
Born: 1980. Height: 185 cm. Weight: 91 kg.
This year: 28 games, 9 goals, 15 assists, 105 PIM.
Ask is a skilled, fast and hard player, who has been a stallwarth on the national team for years. Now he has established himself as a good pointgetter in Germany and he will be an important part of Norway's offense.

Anders Bastiansen, Färjestad, Sweden
Born: 1980. Height: 188 cm. Weight: 97 kg.
This year: Can't find stats, but last year he had 54 games, 10 goals and 22 assists for the same team.
I don't know that much about this guy. He is tough, a hard worker and is among the more average forwards in the Swedish league. The national team hopes he can provide grit and some offense.

Kristian Forsberg, MODO, Sweden
Born: 1986. Height: 183 cm. Weight: 86 kg.
This year: 1 goal, 1 assist, 10 PIM.
This guy is ranked as one of our better talents, but will probably not be among the ice time leaders in the Olympics.

Mads Hansen, Brynäs, Sweden
Born: 1978. Height: 183 cm. Weigth: 90 kg
Last year: 52 games, 14 goals, 8 assists, -4, 38 PIM.
This guy was a star in the Norwegian league before he moved to Sweden. There he has assumed a lower profile, but still does pretty decently on a regular basis. Sadly he is injurd and might miss the whole Olympic thing. He is an assistant captain in his club.

Marius Holtet, Färjestad, Sweden
Born: 1984. Height: 183 cm. Weight: 81 kg. Drafted: 42nd overall by the Stars in 2002.
LAst year: 49 games, 3 goals, 5 assists.
This former 3 year AHL-pro has established himself as a hard working, fast and skilled player in the Swedish elite league. He will be an important part of the Norwegian team in the Olympics, being one of the grinders.

Lars Erik Spets, Vålerenga, Norway
Born:1985. Height: 178 cm. 81 kg.
This year: 27 games, 11 goals, 24 assists, +27, 10 PIM.
This guy has been setting the Norwegian league on fire this year. He is fast and extremely killed with the puck. He makes smart plays and is a good finisher. It's gonna be exciting to see how he can do in the Olympics against better competition.

Mathis Olimb, Frölunda, Sweden
Born: 1986. Height: 179 cm. Weight: 79 kg.
This year: 33 games, 4 goals, 16 assists, 16 PIM.
After a couple of years in Germany, Olimb is now one of the best players on Frolunda. He's not big, but he is skilled and works hard. He's one of the guys that the team trusts to create some offense and hopefully he can be among our top playmakers in the Olympics. Smart player from a good hockey family.

Martin Røymark, Frölunda, Sweden
Born: 1986. Height: 184 cm. Weight: 86 kg.
This year: 33 games, 5 goals, 2 assists, 10 PIM.
Another guy from a great hockey family. He is a hard worker and maybe the most well trained Norwegian hockey player. He's got amazing strenght and a pretty good skillset and a good hockey head on top of that. Exciting talent.

Per-Åge Skrøder, MODO, Sweden
Born: 1978. Height: 180 cm. Weight: 92 kg.
This year: 12 goals, 12 assists, 31 PIM.
He has been one of the top forwards in the Swedish league for years and formed a deadly line with Nicklas Sundstrom and Mats Aasen for MODO last year. He is consistently among the leaders in points. In his younger days there were rumours of NHL offers, but he stayed in Sweden. Expected to lead Norway's offense in the Olympics.

Patrick Thoresen, Ufa, KHL
Born: 1983. Height: 180. Weight: 85 kg.
This year: 39 games, 14 goals, 27 assists.
This ex-Oiler and Flyer declined a two way deal from the Flyers, spent the first year in Switzerland and now he rocks the KHL. He is top 5 in points and number 1 in plus minus. Eat that Sergei! In the NHL he got more of a grinder role, but he is skilled with the puck and will be depended upon to create in the Olympics. First Norwegian in the NHL playoffs ever.

Tore Vikingstad, Hannover Scorpions, Germany
Born: 1975. Height: 191 cm. Weight: 93 kg. Drafted 180th overall by the Blues in 1999.
Can't find stats.
Gotta love a team named after the city's best band the Scorpions. Vikingstad has been the big star of the National team for years, and still is expected to produce big. He has been voted MVP of the German league, is technical, fast and extremely smart. Turned down the Blues in 99.

Martin Laumann Ylven, Linköping, Sweden
Born: 1988. Height: 190 cm. Weight: 95 kg.
Last year: 55 games, 1 goal, 1 assist, -7, 38 PIM.
Ylven is big and strong and goes a lot on his will. He is defensive minded and will be a shutdown guy for Norway. When I played against him he was a defender, and one you didn't wanna meet. He can bodycheck you into dreamland. Nice guy, but a bit cocky.

Mats Zuccarello Aasen, MODO, Sweden
Born: 1987. Height: 170 cm. Weight: 73 kg.
This year: 14 goals, 23 assists, 36 PIM
Aasen always was small and skilled. When we were kids he would go circles around us and outplay us every time. I remember how we feared his shot. During puberty he struggled because of his size, but as a senior he has been vicious. He is ranked not only as one of the best player in the Swedish league, but also one of the most promising. He is fast, magic with the puck and has a nose for the net. He will be essential to the team in the Olympics.

BJs recap, yet again

The first minutes were pretty much back and forth. Then after five mins Flip got a weak hooking minor. Howard came up with some huge saves and the Wings killed it off. Then there was a 4-on-4 after Dats got a roughing penalty for being retaliated against. And then the Wings got a delay of game PP. Neither the 4-on-3 or 5-on-4 gave much joy, but at least the Wings seemed to have gotten a jump out of the gate. The BJs took over a bit after that, but had no huge chances. With 5 mintues left Boll smoked Rafa and May actually decided to do his job! He went after Boll (who kicked his ass in the 9-1 game) and won the fight with some absolute mean hooks. Great job Brad! That's why you're playing. And then the guys got fired up a bit and the hitting started. The period ended 0-0. The Jackets were the best team.

Early in the second Nash got 2 for cross-checking. The PP sucked, but the 'vettes line got some good chances right after it. After that the BJs had a period of much pressure. Then Doug Janik got into a fight with Picard and lost, but at least he was off the ice for the next five minutes. After that the Wings picked it up a bit and Abbie had a great chance after Ritola made a great play which also drew a PP. They got a few chances, but didn't score. Then with 43 secs left of it, the Wings got a 5-on-3. It had a few chances, but lacked movement and forward involvement and it got killed off for 1 min+ of normal PP. That PP actually had some great chances by the 2nd PP unit. After that the play went back and forth for a while with no big chances. Then the BJs got a PP. They had some great chances on and after it, but the Wings held on. Jimmah was awesome! With 40 seconds left the Wings got a rare chance and Mason robbed Homer! The last seconds saw a few more good Wings chances. The period ended 0-0. The Wings were at times great and at times horrible. Need a better third period.

The third started with a good BJ-chance. Jimmah huge again. They continued with further bombardement. Then it evened up a bit, but the BJs still had the best chances. Then the Wings got some jump and had the best chances, including a big one by Ritola. Then the Jackets had some pressure again. Then Bert got a BS delay of game call. i think it touched something, can't be sure though thanks to Versus's lack of replays. The PK was amazing. They moved their feet and did a great job. Beautifully killed off. After that the Wings had the best chances, but the period ended 0-0. Overtime ensued.

The overtime saw some Wings domination, but also a few BJ-chances. Then the BJs got a rebound and ended the losing streak. I'll take the point in a game where the Wings were kinda weak. But fuck!

- Edzo for the second time in less than a week is too much!
- The Jackets made a trade tonight. Seems good for both teams.
- "Rafalski, the eleventh year pro..." So you think he made no money in Europe? Even in Norway foreign players are mostly playing pro you douchebag.
- The Jackest outhit the wings. Badly.
- I had some Twitter fun with Adrian Dater (@adater). Everyone should try it :P
- Steve Mason was amazing (I wanted to write A-mason, but it was too cheap).
- I think my first recap was the 9-1 win. Can't be arsed to check.

Keys to the game
- We need a better first period!
Did get a better one, but not as good as needed. The Jackets were the best team in it.

- Will Filppula continue his strong play?
He was pretty good. Nothing amazing, but solid.

- How will he mesh with Ritola?
Ritola looked good as well. I'd take ten of him over Leino. I'd like to see him on the 2nd line instead of Malts though.

- Can Howard have another great one?
Faux yes. He saved the game tens of times for the Wings.

- Can Bertuzzi give us even more pleasure?
Not in terms of goals.

- How about the rest of the first line?
Not really.

- Can Nick finally score?

Play of the game
Brad May's huge swing at Boll.

Wing of the game
Jimmy Howard. Frickin amazing game. He saved them tons of times.

Monday, December 28, 2009

BJ preview

Well, I wrote one of these a few days ago, so I won't bother, but here's the things I have to say today:

Matthias Ritola will play today (probably on the second line with Filps and Miller). Leino will be where he should, in the press box. This is a great move from Uncle Mike, very promissing. Howard will be in goal.

Keys to the game
- We need a better first period!
- Will Filppula continue his strong play?
- How will he mesh with Ritola?
- Can Howard have another great one?
- Can Bertuzzi give us even more pleasure?
- How about the rest of the first line?
- Can Nick finally score?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Blue Jackets recap

Me, after the game

The BJs started best and after a couple of minutes Abbie took a stupid interference penalty. It was killed nicely. Right after that Homer got unlucky and took a tripping minor. Yeah, that's the start we wanted. And yeah, Murph was drunk. The PK as great and involved Dats feeding Filppula shorthanded, but Val missed by an inch. Actually the Wings were better shothanded than 5-on-5 during the first 10 minutes, but around the midway mark Bert hit the post. The BJs got their first goal off a HORRIBLE turnover by Meech. I hope Meech gets a headache and leaves the game. Fuck! With six minutes left of the period Malts drew a PP. I tried not praying this time.
When the best you get is a couple of point shots from Meech the PP ain't good. When the Wings got another PP with 3 mins left in the period I decided to pray to James Allan Hetfield of Metallica, maybe he truly is God? Nope, the Jackets had better chances on it actually. Congratulations guys, the fuckin Blue Jackets outplayed you in this one! 15-6 in shots.

The second started with BJ-pressure and horrible Janik turnover. No goal on that on though. Then the Wings took over and Stuart hit both posts with a shot. It was reviewed brielfy, but no goal. Born under a bad sing, I've been down since I began to crawl, if it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all... Search Cream Born under a bad sign on Youtube. Then Doug "career AHLer" Janik took a cheap penalty. Dangerous PP, but Howard and Rafa saved the Wings. And then Helm drew a penalty. I decided to pray to Frank Zappa this time, maybe he is God? YES! Dats gave Bert a breakaway, he sent Garon on his arse and scored. So Frank actually is God? That explains A LOT. Let's also take a moment to thank Michael Petrella for this one. He is at the game, and it must have been for him. This seemed to fire the Wings up, through the next minutes they got some nice chances and bertuzzi ravaged Nash. Nice! Then with 6 and half minute left of the period the Wings got another PP. Homer almost blew Garon's head off, the refs didn't blow the play off until the Wings had gathered the puck in their own zone and were entering the BJ-zone again. CENTER FACE OFF! Thanks Gary. Ass. No success on this one. And then Bertuzzi took a dumb offensive zone penalty. The Jackets seemed like they scored, but Darren Helm brilliantly saved it on the line! Killed off. The Wings had pressure at the end of the period.

The third started with some good Wings pressure. TUZZI! Rafa shot the puck in behind the net, it bounced out to the other side where Tuzzi put it into the open net. The next minutes were back on forth with some good BJ-chances. Abbie had a glorious chance from Meech, but Garon saved it nicely. Around the midway mark the Wings got another PP. Nice chance to add insurance. Nothing happened on the PP except for a glorious BJ 2-on-1 and two trips on Red Wings that went by uncalled. That seemed to wake the BJs who pressured hard after that, but the wings defended themselves greatly. With 4 mins left it became 4-on-4 for a reason I didn't get because of a feed error. Helm made himself a good chance, but missed. When the BJs took their goalie out Flips came close, but missed and it all ended 2-1. Finally a W! Nice.

- Brad May is about as useful as a Zamboni in Sahara.
- Brett Lebda is NOT and will NEVER be an NHL-quality player.
- Derek Meech is NOT and will NEVER be an NHL-quality player.
- Doug Janik is NOT and has NEVER been an NHL-quality player.
- Jimmah is the man and the man of men and even better than that. Without him this team would be dead.
- Bertuzzi is the man. Except when he takes penalties.
- Sami Påhlsson, ex-Duck, ex-Hawk, can it become more disgusting?
- Maybe if Dan O'Halleran got a BJ too he'd stop being such a PMSing dickwad.
- American commercials are really, really shitty.
- Darren Helm is really, really fast.
- I spent the intermissions listening to Cream, they were really, really awesome. How did Clapton turn from that great to that horrible that fast?
- No, Shaq cannot stay for dinner!
- Try and read all the BJ-something I wrote. They're all quite good.
- The Wings hadn't won a game since I got my new, awesome haircut. I was starting to get worried.
- Voracek had a great game for the BJs. He was a good BJ. (sorry, that was a bad one)
- 1 shit period, 2 good ones and a W, I'll take it.

Keys to the game
- Will Filppula be awesome?
Well, he kinda blew his coverage on the first Nash goal. But he fired the PP up and looked pretty great. Not amazing, but great. As expected, just a little bit better than that.

- How does his hair look?
Awesome as always. You just wanna bask in it!

- Does he make Leino Better?
Couldn't get worse, but didn't get MUCH better either.

- Can the first line produce again?
YES! Berts goals were things of beauty!

- Can Nick get a goal?
What do you think?

- Can Janik not make me wanna poke my eyes out from bad defensive plays?
Fat. Fucking. Chance.

Play of the game
Darren frickin Helm saving a goal on the line. That was awesome. I want a huge screen in the roof of my bedroom and the replay of that on a loop on it.

Wing of the game
Todd Bertuzzi. 2 goals, can't really ask for much more

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Blue Jackets preview

Probably the worst moment in NHL history, and it happened to a Norwegian. I have no idea why this pops up when you google "blue jackets funny"

As I just copied the Wings lines, let me just start with them. Here they are (if Khan is right):



Howard (starting)


The Blue Jackets. The last time we saw them we came off of an abyssmal 1-5 loss at the ACC in Toronto where Williams got hurt. We won that game 9-1. Now we're coming off another bad stretch. Let's hope we can get some mojo going by another BlowJ-beating. Also, it's always fun to beat people who are down, especially when they have said as many arrogant and stupid thing as Ken Hitchcock.

The record
The BlowJs suck. They suck bad. Which is kinda fitting when we think about their name. Who thell calls their team something that can be abreviated to BJs? Morons. So how much do they suck? Here you go: The BJs are 14th in the West with 35 points and a record of 14-17-7. In December they've gone 1-8-3. Their last win came against the Panthers on December 9th. That's pretty bad.

The goalies
The BJs no longer have a number one goalie, because Garon and Mason are extremely similar, both catch right-handed and both suck. Steve Mason has played 29 games and has a record of 10-13-6, with a 3.40 GAA and a save percentage of .887. He has 2 assists and 2 PIM. Matthieu Garon has played 15 games (9 starts) with a record of 4-4-3, a GAA of 2.96 and a .900 save percentage. Guys, WE HAVE TO BE ABLE TO SCORE ON THESE SUCKERS!

This picture popped up on page 3 of the aforementioned google search and was probably the best picture of the first five pages of results

The players
Their top scorer is Rick Nash with 36 points followed by Vermette (28), Huselius (26), Umberger (26), and Voracek (22). Their top goalscorers are Nash (19), Umberger (12), Huselius (11), Torres (10) and Vermette (10). Only McKenzie (+4), Boll (+3), Dorsett (+2) and Blunden (+1) have a positive plus/minus rating. Only four players are even. Worst are Brassard (-13), Umberger (-13) and Nash (-12). Five players are -9!

The Filppula
Finally we get a guy back! I am really excited, maybe he'll even wake Leino up? Anyway, finally we've got another producing, creative, playing center on the team, which hopefully might lead us to having to producing lines. YAY! But still, let's not expect the earth to shake. The guy's been out for a long time and has to be rusty, and he's only 1 out of 8, so let's be realistic in our hopes.


Keys to the game
- Will Filppula be awesome?
- How does his hair look?
- Does he make Leino Better?
- Can the first line produce again?
- Can Nick get a goal?
- Can Janik not make me wanna poke my eyes out from bad defensive plays?

If 3 or more of those can be answered with a yes, then we're good.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hawks postgame

I went to bed with 12-13 mins left of the game and 2-0 chicago. Fuck knows how it will end.

The first started with some back and forth play, but the Hawks had the majority of the best chances. The first penalty of the game was a stupid offensive zone roughing by Draper. The best chance of that PP was a breakaway shorthanded by Miller where he missed and drew a PP. The PP was quite whisky dick, but with 2 secs left Abbie got a glorious rebound, that he sent wide. Some more chances ensued, but no goals. After that the Hawks had the best chances, but the Wings had some periods of pressure and some decent chances. Howard looked great. After a good period of forecheck at the end of the period, Hossa got a breakaway, but fumbled it all up with a spin move. The Wings answered with a good chance. With a minute left the Wings took a too many men penalty. Stupid! Luckily the only good chance on the first period part of the PP was by Kopecky, no goal of course. Wings won the period shots 11-10.

The second period started with the rest of the Chicago PP. It took Kane 30 seconds to core on a point shot after a chumped clear by the perfect human. Howard was screened. Fuck! The following minutes saw some chances both way before the Wings got a PP after Hjalmarsson ravaged Bertuzzi on a hold/hook. Both a Homer-redirect and a Dats shot were good chances on the PP. The second PP line weren't that good, but Meech had a good chance on a point shot. They also gave Brouwer a good shorthanded chance. A little before the halfway point the Wings were really close on a mad scramble for Pasha in front of Niemi. The Wings actually had a lot of good chances around this point. After some Chicago zone time the Wings drew another PP with 7 mins left of the period and I prayed for a good one. God chose to ignore my prayers. Bastard! Wings won the period in shots 13-10, but lost it in goals 1-0.

The third started with a good chance for each team. After 3 minutes the Wings got another PP after Byfuglien took a roughing penalty. I prayed to all the Gods I could remember for a good PP and a goal. Then it turned out to be 4-on4. Shit! After a scramble that 4-on-4 ended in Sharp scoring. Faux, faux, faux! Abbie's fault for being knocked on his arse by the guy he was covering. Then Toews got an interference penalty. New round of prayers, even Satan was included this time. They didn't listen and Bert took a stupid penalty for slashing. Unless something important like a goal happens I am done recapping now. Too tired and depressed from this game. I wanna be in bed by 4 AM. If the game goes on any longer than that I'll just skip it. Nah. I give up now. Will look at the result tomorrow.

- I hate Eddie Olzyk even more as a Hawks color guy. Even if it was his birthday. Had to watch a Hawks feed. That was rough.
- Wonder how Kopecky felt about Hossa being booed and him ignored.
- Lebda really seemed to want a goal.
- Stuart looked good throwing his body around.
- Brad May = Useless
- Ritola had some turnovers, but played fairly decently.
- The Abbie, Miller, Leino line was really silent. Not good.
- The team played some decent defense tonight and Howard was sound and safe.

Keys to the game
Since I wrote none there are no answers either. This will be a short and boring recap. After all it's christmas eve, the main Norwegian christmas day tomorrow/today.

Play of the game

Wing of the game
Helm was fast, mean and created some havoc.

It's way too late/early and I am going to bed. Good night everyone and Merry Christmas! No wait, I have to quote a thread I saw once when I trolled the Metallica forums in my youth "Marry Christmas"!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Blackhawks pregame and more

Edit number 2: Just stumbled upon this cool new blog called Detroit Red Wings Prospects. Looks exciting, so check it out!

Edit: Kindl is recalled from GR, so it seems like Rafa won't go, and that's just excellent, yeah excellent.

Yeah, yeah, I'll get to the pre-game, but first there are some other things to discuss:

The Contest winner
I asked you guys to tell me how much you hated the Hawks, and I got a couple of great answers. My favourite was nurse nitz who wrote:
Been reading your blog for a while now - AWESOME by the way. But of course, it's hatred for the Hawks that has me coming to post here... I HATE the Hawks so much that I had to commit the cardinal sin against the Red Wings earlier this month. Yes, rooting for the Penguins. When they played the Blackhawks, of course. It made me nauseous, sick, and very disappointed in myself, but I did it. I hoped that Fleury would get a shut-out, that Crysbaby would score a hat trick to sent Huet crying, and that in an eerily similar move to Franzen's playoff move last year, Malkin would decide to take offense to Kane's mouthguard and pull it out of his mouth and throw it onto the ice. Would it have been easier to just wish for an earthquake and for the entire United Center to just collapse upon itself? Sure... But considering how the hockey gods have been treating us this season, I didn't think we'd get that lucky. Can't wait to taunt Hossa & the Hawks at tomorrow night's game.

I admire hatred that is big enough to make you commit a sin that big. So Nurse, you have won the right to choose an (at least slightly) Red Wings-related topic that I will write a blog post about.

The Obstructed View
The great Red Wings podcast just released it's second episode, which is their most hilarious one yet. Definitely a lot of insight, but most of all hilarious. Listen to it at The Obstructed View.
In this weeks episode host Chris from Motown Wings and his producer Brian have with them the incomparable cast of Chief from A2Y, Malik from Snapshots and Jessie from Bingo Bango. And they all rock. Chief speaks like a machine gun, and sounds kinda like that cool, kinda younger, uncle you wished you have. Malik sounds like a crazy genious, kinda like your crazy, older uncle. And Jessie sounds like your cool, older cousin. Either that and the girl you should marry (for readers in Alabama replace or with and).

As I wrote about the Hawks earlier this week, the preview will be short and sweet:

Hawks news
Since the Wings game they have played one game, a 3-2 home loss to the Sharks. They're still ugly and I still hate them.

Wings news
We still have 8 injuries (but Val will be back on saturday!), but we might also miss Rafalski, who is sick and missed the morning skate. He is a game time decision.
Mattias Ritola replaces Kris Newbury and hopefully he can take less penalties and provide som offensive skill.
Howard will probably go in net, and I just wanna say that I want revenge! I want the Wings to win this. At the same time I agree with the Chief in that Chicago can build themselves up as much as they want now, we'll see who laughs when we've got a full roster.

We're kinda freshening up the house for xmas, so I have to go now. Merry Christmas folks!

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's a fricking Q&A

The third post of Kris' Q&As with foreign Wings bloggers at her excellent blog Snipe snipe, Dangle dangle has me as it's subject. If you wanna read the story about the time I was coached by Scotty Bowman, this is the piece to read. So go there! Now!

The most boring and depressing game ever

This random image from google illustrates my feelings pretty well

Shit game, short recap, depressed Norwegian going to bed soon:

I missed the first few minutes, but when I arrived the Hawks were going on a PP after a Maltby hook. The Wings were great on the kill and managed to get the Hawks to take a penalty at the end of it. After a short 4-on-4 Detroit got the PP, but didn't achieve much before the Hawks got a breakaway. Bertuzzi "hooked" Toews and got a soft penalty. After a 4-on-4 that the Hawks dominated, Keith scored on a shot off a Wings defender on the PP. Weak by Ozzie. He went down way too fast. The Hawks dominated the next minutes too, and at the half way point the Wings had no shots on goal. Just after that the Hawks got a crossbar on a horrible Janik turnover. Pasha got the first shot after THIRTEEN minutes! After that it opened up a bit, but the Hawks were still dominating. The biggest Wings chance came with 3 minutes left. Leino had a half breakaway, but as he's slow as fuck he had to take a long shot which Huet saved. After that Detroit actually had a few more chances and dominated the end of the period. But the period before that was pretty weak. They turned the puck over way too much, had no speed on the breakout, seemed offensively anemic and forechecked so bad it seemed like Chicago had a free pass on the breakout.

At the beginning of the second we got to know that Eaves had gone for x-rays. He hadn't, he was playing. Kane got a breakaway after a minute after a bad Lids play, but fumbled it. A few minutes later Ozzie had to run out to near the blue line after Janik fumbled a pass. The Pasha line was the first to get pressure and had a few small chances. Then the Wings got a pen for an absolutely wrong too many men call. Thanks Gary. Ass. The Hawks got some good chances on a too tight Wings box, but didn't capitalize. After a period where the play open up, Abbie tried to flatten Sharp, but fell on his ass, then he went after the Hoser and a scrum ensued. Amazingly enough, only Sharp got penalized, for roughing. Whisky dick PP ensued. Then a few Hawks chances. Wings looked pretty anemic this period too. Then the Hawks scored again. A good drop pass went to Campbell who scored. Weak five-hole goal. Ozzie needs to take those. More Hawks pressure followed. Then a 62-footer from Byfuglien went in. Ozzie's fault. Horrible. Horrible period, bad end, bad goals. I really wanted to go to bed at that point, but stayed for the sake of my 6 readers. Yay!

After an early Bert chance in the third, Dats hit Versteeg. The douche took exception and they "hugged" a bit and got two each for roughing. Miller had a good chance after a strong play on the 4-on-4 and Abbie got another shot in. The period actually started half decently. Then Janik got the Hawks back in it by serving Byfuglien a great chance. Luckily Ozzie saved it. A period of Hawks pressure followed. A looong period. I kinda spaced out after that. With 5 mins left Abbie crushed Kane. Fair hit. Might have hurt him. I loved it anyway. Weirdly Abbie got 2 mins for holding. The Zebra's need glasses. Douchy Toews who went after abbie got nothing. The PP gave the Hawks some chances, but no goals. With 1:50 left bert and ladd got thrown off for roughing. Yawn. That was it.

- Leino seems to run slow, think slow and be too late on everything. I have also decided that I blame him for Z's injury. If he hadn't tried to do a Bertuzzi spin-o-rama and put the puck 4 meters ahead of Z, he wouldn't have been stretching and vulnerable. Fuck you Ville, go home!
- I finally noticed Janik. He played like crap.
- I love the fact that the Hawks can't call up a single player with a contract for next year.
- When the Hawks lose Sopel and 2 of Sharp, Byfuglien and Versteeg, we're gonna see if they can do well with later draft picks too or if they're just good at 1st overall picks and big UFAs. I think they'll suck.
- "Detroit sucks" Yeah, hey, most of the team is injured and you have sucked for 20 years, but sure, shout about how the Wings suck instead of rooting for your team. Hawks fans suck!
- It doesn't count as a chance when it's Kopecky.
- A lot other thoughts, but they break my rule of minimum two words per swear word.

Keys to the game
- Stuart's flattenting of Hossa and Kopecky (?)
Nope. Sadly.

- 20 cent will try to mug Brad May when Brad cracks a Taxi driver joke at him (?)
Sadly didn't happen.

- Can Dats, Homer and Bert keep up their good stuff?
They had some chances, weren't horrible, but no goals.

- Will Bertuzzi do any defensive errors that will make me depressed for another 24 hours?
None that were that big... He had a decent defensive game.

- Will Brett Lebda be "fucking terrible" or "just really bad"?
Somewhere in between.

- Nick, goal, need, now!

- Can someone not on the first line score?

- How whisky dick will the PP be?
Very whisky dick-

Play of the game
What of the what? BAH!

Wing of the game
Tempted to say none, but Helm at least ran around like the little Energizer bunny he is, while the rest of the team looked like a bunch of disinterested playboy bunnies being run over by an 18 wheeler.

Challenge for the readers of this blog
I hate Chicago. I hate the Hawks. I hate their fans. So, I have a challenge for you guys. Tell me how much you hate the Hawks in the comment section of this post. Before the game on wednesday I'll pick out one answer, and the lucky winner will get to choose a (at least slightly) Red Wings-related topic that I will have to make a post about. So come on! I want answer for all six of you (numbers according to the vote).

Good night folks (right, this night's gonna be soo good).

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hawks pregame

This picture is just linked to, because I don't want a half naked Sarah Palin to scar my frickin eyes everything I go into my blog. However it is the first image search result for "Chicago Blackhawks funny"

I just wanna start this off a song called "The Enemy" by an excellent NYC Thrash metal band called Anthrax. Yeah, I know this song is about well, a certain guy and a certain people at a certain time, that not even the Hawls should be compared to, but hey, the song rocks! Have a listen people:

So, this is a game I really don't look forward to at all. The Hawks are one of the premier teams in the league right now and the Wings are without 8 regular guys. Hurray! I just hope that the Wings can come back from the stupid game last night and have one of those performances where they show character and beat an opponent that they really logically shouldn't be beating.

The record
The Hawks are number 1 in the West with 47 points in 33 games and a record of 22-8-3. That's good. At home they are 15-3-1, so it's quite the mountain the Wings will have to climb tonight. In december they have gone 6-2-0, so they're not exactly in bad form either.

The goalie
Fuck knows which goalie is starting, so I'll just bring you the stats on both of them. Cristobal Huet, the guy we all saw as the weak link of the team has actually had a decent season and has played 25 games with a record of 15-7-2, a GAA of 2.09 and a save percentage of .913. His backup Antti Niemi has been better though. he has played 9 games with a record of 7-1-1, a GAA of 1.76 and save percentage of .927. And where Huet has 2 shutouts, Niemi has 3 (out of 9), that's fricking 33,33% of the games this season. So the Wings will need to crash the net hard, create traffic and do something to break the goalie, whoever it is.

The players
The offensive juggernaut of Chicago is actually the best defensive team in the league this season (thanks a lot to Keith and Seabrook), but they have some offense too. They're top scorer is Patrick Kane with 34 points followed by Duncan Keith (26), Pat Shark (25), Toews (22) and Kris Versteeg (19). 14 players have 10 points or more. They're top goalgetters are Kane, Sharp, Toews and Versteeg all with 10 in front of Versteeg with 9 and Troy Brouwer with 8. Toews dominates the plus/minus with a +16 rating, followed by Kane and Seabrook (+12), Hjalmarsson (+11) and Sharp and Campbell (+10). The team worst is former Wing Tomas Kopecky with -8.
This team also has Marian "soon to be crushed by Brad Stuart" Hossa. He has played 11 games, getting 5 goals, 5 assists, 2 PIM and a +2 rating.

The Norwegian lesson
The name Byfuglien is definitely Norwegian. It's not extremely common here, but I know several people with that name, and no other language could bring forth that name. I'm always amazed that you don't pronounce the "ug" in the name, but hey, it's english, so you can all feel free to massacre a traditional Norwegian name. In Norwegian the name would be pronounced Bee-fuel-ian or something like that. The name consists of three words (+ an article):
- By = city
- fugl = bird
- li = hillside
- en = in itself this means one, but at the end of a word it is a definite singular article, like the english word "the".

So the name can be translated to The City-bird-hillside. Nice

A typical Norwegian look...

The Wings
Ozzie goes tonight instead of Jimmy "possible American Olympic third goalie" Howard. Here's what I will be looking for:
- Stuart's flattenting of Hossa and Kopecky
- 20 cent will try to mug Brad May when Brad cracks a Taxi driver joke at him
- Can Dats, Homer and Bert keep up their good stuff?
- Will Bertuzzi do any defensive errors that will make me depressed for another 24 hours?
- Will Brett Lebda be "fucking terrible" or "just really bad"?
- Nick, goal, need, now!
- Can someone not on the first line score?
- How whisky dick will the PP be?

I'd rather not make one.

Other stuff
- I am sorry if my haircut caused the loss yesterday.
- For those of you who haven't voted in the poll (below the picture of Vernon and Roy at the Fight Night), do it! And get your Blues fan friends and everyone else with inferiority complexes about the Wings to do it too!

Thoughts about the Dallas game

So, I was awake for a long time last night, staring at the roof (I kind of have insomnia) and thinking about the game. So I'll write down a couple of the thoughts I had.

First of all, this is a game the Wings should have won. Really no excuse for losing it. The Wings were the best team, they dominated and if they hadn't shit their pants defensively a few times, they would have gotten 2 points out of this one.

Jimmy Howard had quite a good game. He was forced to stand up and be excellent several times. He could probably have been further out to cut the angle on the last goal, but none of the goals were his fault.

I guess the positive here is that the PK was perfect yet again. And that was thanks to good defensive play (actually by Janik a few times) and some defensive forward magic by guys like Miller and Eaves, sacrificing their bodies and playing good hockey. But honestly, those goals against were stupid. The first one was Stuart (!) blowing his coverage completely. The third one was okay (bad luck really) and the fourth one was thanks to fucking Lebda running around like a headless chicken, making ALL the wrong decisions. But the second one was the worst. I can't emphasise than one enough. Yes it was a bad bounce, but the whole situation shouldn't have happened. Look at the replay, watch Bertuzzi, it seems like he doesn't see that there's a Stars player behind him until he's quite close to the goal (or maybe he just didn't care) and that leads to him not getting the time to tie the guy up and move him out of the way. Look at the replay again, now watch Rafalski. He's pointing towards the Stars player and clearly shouting something. How could Bertuzzi miss that? Blows my mind.

I am not a big fan of Ken Hitchcock, but I agree with him on one point. Good puck decisions is the beginning of a good defense. The Wings didn't make those today, and they led to a lot of Dallas rushes and chances. Guys made turnovers in their own zone and the neutral zone. And several times the Wings failed to get it deep. Not good enough.

Well, let's start with the good things. Where Pasha has seemed to struggle a bit with the thought that he has to provide the offense because of the injuries earlier this season, he seemed to really take responsibility in this game. He was frickin' everywhere. He won the puck back time after time, dangled, created plays and were involved in all the three goals. And Bert seemed to work really well with him, scoring one (if not two, I am still not convinced that Pasha actually touched that). So that line was excellent.

But... The other lines didn't create much. Guys like Eaves and Miller didn't get their chances offensively, and seem to need creative players around them to produce. And with the likes of Z, Filps, Cleary and Mule out, that's kinda hard. Helm was great and got some chances, but he still fumbles the finishing. So, it looks like, until we get some guys back, this team is a one-line team offensively. And I don't like that thought. Detroit has always been dangerous because everyone could score on you. Now, with only one scoring line, I fear that they will be too easy to defend against and will have trouble if Pasha has an off game. Pavel is really the offensive catalyst all by himself now, and that worries me. I hope that someone else can start creating chances tonight, but I'm not really feeling confident about that. However, I would like to see how Miller and Eaves can do with Helm, maybe he can create something? I haven't seen any lines for tonight yet, so I'm gonna end this post with the lines I'd like to see:

Homer - Pav - Bert
Eaves - Helm - Miller
Drapes - Abbie - Leino
Maltby - Newbury - May

Thank fuck that it's only like six days to Val returns to the lineup.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dallas Recap

This will be short and sweet as I'm watchin' the game with my little brother.

The first period started with some Stars pressure and they had a few chances on the PP. Then after a May vs. Barch fight that served no purpose Detroit took over, got energy, and even though their PP was whisky dick, they got a goal after a good solo run by big Bert ended in a rebound that Homer pushed in. Great work by Bert, and good hustle by Dats and Homer to get in on the rebound.

In the second the Stars came out harder and got the 1-1 goal on a play where Stuart dropped his coverage. Then they took the lead on a play where Bertuzzi totally screwed up and din't take out his man even though Rafalski was pointing for him and screaming. But Bert redeemed himself with a great pass which Dats (might have) tipped in. Then a blocke long shot ended up on a Dallas stick. 3-2. But Datsyuk, the most dominant player of the period, found Bertuzzi in front of the goal and it was 3-3.

The Stars scored early in the third on a play where Brett Lebda managed to be out of position 3 times in 5 seconds. The rest of the period the Wings were trying, but couldn't do it. This was a game the Wings should have won, but fucked up.

I would also like to thank the zebra's for their contributions. Thanks Gary. Ass.

I'm skipping this section tonight because I have less focus on the game and less focus on writing.

Keys to the game
Can Bertuzzi keep up his scoring and give me another opportunity to bother Petrella on Twitter?
Yep, goal, 2 assists and a big screw up.

Can Nick finally get a goal?
He had a good game, but no goals sadly.

How about Pasha? With all the other top forwards out the Wings really need him to step up bigtime. He's looked better lately and hopefully he can transform that into goals. Pasha was excellent. He dominated the play from end to end and was clearly the best player on the ice. And he scored!

Who will get injured?
Noone fortunately

Kris Newbury was silent during the Bolts game. Can he do something to entertain us tonight?

Will we see the Eaves wrister again tonight? If he emerged as a scorer now it would really help. Same goes for Miller.
Nope, but both guys had a great game, fighting hard, killing penalties and grinding down the Stars.

Will Brad May get revenge for the other goal that wasn't?
Nope, but he had a fight.

Will Doug Janik finally do something to make me notice him?
nah, he was silently and safely good yet again.

Can Jimmah build on his shutout and have another nice game?
Jimmy had a good game. He made some great saves and none of the goals were his fault.

Play of the game
The third Detroit goal where Dats held the puck and then served Bert on a silver platter. Bon appetit.

Player of the game
Pasha. Finally he returned to true dominance.

Sorry for the bad recap, but I didn't have much time or focus.

Dallas Stars pregame

No, that's not a new Stars third jersey, but the jersey of the Norwegian team Manglerud Star which I played on my whole career. Still don't like Dallas though
Tonight's game against Dallas marks the end of a three in a row against the teams that are struggling the most financially in the NHL. It's also a game that would be nice to win, seeing as it would be nice to have the momentum of a five game win-streak going into United Center tomorrow night. Dallas is a team that's hard to play against and the Wings will need to be sharp all night long and not drift off now and then, like they seemed to do in the Tampa game. The Wings have played the Stars twice at home this year. The first time they lost 3-1 in the game we all remember for Dennis LaRue. Wings won the second one.

The record
The Stars are currently in 10th place in the West with 39 points and a record of 14-11-9. They are 2 points back of the last playoff spot (Red Wings). They are 2-1-4 in December though and haven't won in 3 games.

The goalie
Marty Turco will go tonight. As we all know, we own him. Not as hard at the AAA as at the Joe, but still pretty hard. This season he has played 25 games with a record of 10-7-8, a GAA of 2.59 and a save percentage of .912. He also has an assist and two penalty minutes.

The Players
The Stars top point producer is Brad Richards with 37 points followed by Loui Eriksson (30), Mike Ribeiro (who's face and attempt at a stache I hate) (28), James Neal (27), Brendan Morrow (23) and Stephane Robidas (22). Their top goalscorers are Neal with 14, followed by Morrow (13), Eriksson (11) and Richards (10). Their top plus/minus-guys are Fistric and Grossman (+6), Eriksson and Sutherby (+5). On the bottom we find Steve Ott (-11), Matt Niskanen (-10) and Karlis Skrastins (who's named Ken and Mick can't pronounce) (-8).

The Wings lineup

The same normal defensemen (Lids, Rafa, Janik, Meech, Lebda, Stuart) and Howard in goal.

The Wings
In the absense of Z the rest of the core players will really need to step up. Here's what I will be looking for:
- Can Bertuzzi keep up his scoring and give me another opportunity to bother Petrella on Twitter? I have promised him that if Bertuzzi score less than 20 this year I will do an acoustic guitar + vocals cover of the Bertuzzi song, so it'd be nice if Bert hit 20. We don't know what Michael's side of the bet will be, so if you have ideas please tell us!
- Can Nick finally get a goal? It looks like he desperately wants one.
- How about Pasha? With all the other top forwards out the Wings really need him to step up bigtime. He's looked better lately and hopefully he can transform that into goals.
- Who will get injured?
- Kris Newbury was silent during the Bolts game. Can he do something to entertain us tonight?
- Will we see the Eaves wrister again tonight? If he emerged as a scorer now it would really help. Same goes for Miller.
- Will Brad May get revenge for the other goal that wasn't?
- Will Doug Janik finally do something to make me notice him?
- Can Jimmah build on his shutout and have another nice game?

2-1 Wings

Other stuff
- This game is actually a 9 pm start over here, so I won't have to stay up all night.
- I cut my hair yesterday and for the first time in 5-6 years I don't have long hair. I look frickin amazing. Hot as hell! During my time as a fan with short hair (95-03) the Wings won 33% of the cups. With long hair (04-09) they won 20%. Hopefully my shorter hair gives them back their mojo.
- I would like you all to vote on my new poll on how the season will end (right under the pictures I think). If any of your friends are Blues or Hawks fans, make them vote too!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Zetterberg out for two weeks

The Sporting News reports:
The Detroit Red Wings will be without forward Henrik Zetterberg for a minimum of two weeks. An NHL source told Sporting News that the MRI results revealed that the forward suffered a slight shoulder separation.

So. Another callup, another star gone. I am too numb and don't really have time, so I'll just pass on this one for now.

Bolts recap

Good timing by the Wings to have ugly sweater night when a team with an ugly sweater and the worst socks in the league come in.

The first period started up very open ended with extremely few whistles. The Lightning seemed freshest out of the gate with more speed and higher pressure. The Wings slowly worked themselves back in the game and some good plays by Leino created a couple of chances for himself and Z. The Wings took the lead on a long pass from Rafalski which Miller took down with his stick from around breats height. Bolts goalie Mike Smith came out trying to pokecheck, but Miller just sent it past him. Beautiful goal! If the Wings let him go when everyone are healthy I'll kill someone.
The Wings seemed to get energy from this and started pressing harder. In the next few minutes they got their passes right, got out of their zone well and got some chances. And Leino continued to create chances. Then Brad May finally got up and fought. Konopka got some big swings in, but May defended himself decently. Kind of purposeless fight though. After that the game opened up a little, but the Bolts had few good chances on Howard and on the biggest one Lebda made a nice defensive read. Detroit definitely controlled most of the period. I thought they handled the puck well, made (mostly) smart passes and played with a good sense of urgency. The weirdest happening of the period was when a puck bounced out through the small hole in the plexiglass for the cameras. Towards the end of the period Öhlund ROCKED Z. I loved how Eaves came up and went after Öhlund after that. Sadly he got a roughing penalty for it. The PP was a shooting gallery, but luckily they didn't get any closer than a post. That was the end of the night for Zetterberg. Upper body injury.

The second period started with the last 16 seconds of the penalty. It was killed. After that the Wings dominated, got some chances and got rewarded with a PP. Which was promtly turned into a 4-on-4 by a hook by Leino, who kinda disappeared after the first ten of the first. Right before the midway point it opened up and Ken though a Wings icing was a penalty and then a handpass. Then Janik got two for non-interference. Thanks Gary. Ass. The Wings killed in nicely, thanks to, among other things, a great play by Drew Miller. The Lightning looked sharp after that and had the pressure in the middle stanza of the period. They continued that in the next minutes and really took over the game except for a few Wings chances. The Wings looked like they were just holding on. The energy seemed to be gone and they looked like they just wanted to save the win. The passes never connected and they didn't get much offensive zone time. Then Bertuzzi took a stupid high sticking penalty. Luckily the Lightning PP was quite immobile and the Wings killed it nicely. Howard had a good period and robbed the Lightning and Stamkos especially several times. The Wings really needed to step up in the third.

The third started with some extended zone time for TB cause by Stuart losing his stick, but it ended with Halpern taking a puck in his face. The Abbie got the world's cheapest goaltender interference penalty. I want a tin foil hat. That wouldn't have happened to any other team. The stellar Wings PK killed it nicely again. After this it went back and forth until Datsyuk created a turnover just inside the offensive blueline. Got it to Homer who handled the puck well and served Bert an open net. 2-0. I jumped up and down. Fact. Then, shortly after on a 4-on-4, Nick served Eaves who made it 3-0 with a beauty. The Wings really woke up for this period. After the goal the Wings really took over for a couple of minutes, but then the game started swinging back and forth. Three and a half minutes before the end the Wings got a PP. Decent PP, but no biscuit. Howard had to make some stunning saves towards the end. But it went well and he got his first career shutout. And Babbles got his 300th win.

The closest I came to a funny Bolts pic

- Mickey Redmond really can drop some legendary names when telling stories huh?
- FSD had a good point about the goal having similarities to the legendary Bobby Orr flying goal.
- I pray, pray that Z was just shaken up and not badly hurt. If he is, this season is over. I don't wanna think about it now. Maybe tomorrow when we know more.
- I love how Ken and Mick doesn't know the difference between Mats and Marcus Näslund.
- Rafalski had a great game. A nice assist and several good defensive plays.
- Doug Janik looked pretty good. I like him.
- Some guy screamed fuck loudly four times early in the third. I like it.

Keys to the game
- Can the Wings come out and play from the first faceoff for the second game in a row, even though they've had 2 games off?
They started pretty decently and really got it going after about five minutes.

- Can Bertuzzi get back on track?
He scored. So yes.

- What will Kris Newbury do? Tackle a ref? Score a hat trick?
Not much. He tried to pick a fight with Todd "Fridge" Fedoruk, but he doesn't fight anymore. Decent game.

- Ville Leino must start playing well. NOW!
He started out pretty good, but faded in the second half of the first and the second period. He was quite invisible in the third too.

- Nick really looked like he wanted a goal against the Dogs, can he get one tonight? How about Z and Dats?
Z played decently, but didn't get any offense before he was injured. Datsyuk had a great night and got a nice assist. Same goes for Nick. No goals for either though.

- Can this game make me have any other feeling than boredom towards the Lightning?
Nope. I still hate Tanguay, but that's the only thing.

Play of the game
Lidström being extremely patient in serving Eaves.

Player of the game
I wanted to go with Miller who scored, had a great game and was really due for this, but nothing beats first career SO. So congrats Jimmy Howard!

It's 04:00 AM and I am tired. So goodnight everyone. Let's hope for good news tomorrow

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bolts pregame

Shania Twain is apparently a Bolts fan. Lame.

I have to yet again link to Natlie at TSO who takes a long time describing how she feels (and how I feel) about the Lightning. In three words: Not at all.

So I'm not really psyched about writing a pre-game about them, but because I found this awesome way to do it with my last one, I'll go ahead.

The record
The Bolts are currently in the 13th place of the Eastern Conference with 31 points and an 11-13-9 record. They started the season really well, but then started slumping. In December their record is 1-6-1, and it's been something like 4-5 games since they actually won. They suck, which is why the Wings need to beat them. As I have said before, we need to win games against the bad teams. On the other hand that is why the Wings will probably get raped tonight.

Research is boring, so I can't be bothered to find out who's starting tonight. Their goalies share the games between them, so you can't really be sure. Mike Smith has played 18 games and has a record of 5-8-5, a GAA of 3.15 and a save percentage of .898. He also has 6 penalty minutes. So if they go with him he won't be a problem. Antero Niittymäki has played 17 games and has a record of 6-5-4, a GAA of 2.43 and a save percentage of .921. So he's actually a pretty good goalie.

The players
Martin St. Louis leads the team with 35 points in front of Stamkos (31), Lecavalier (29) and Malone (28). After them there's a huge dropoff to Tanguay (17). So if the Wings stop those four, they should be good. I also think that Stamkos and Malone has sucked lately, so they aren't the offensive juggernaut they seemed to be in October. Their top goalscorers are Stamkos (18), Malone (17), Lecavalier (8) and St.Louis and Downie (6 each). Their top plus/minus guys are Malone (+4), Walker (+3), Downie (+2) and Hale and Foster (+1). 3 players have a 0, the rest are minus-players. Also. St.Louis is seriously small. I like that.

My incompetence will likely cut this picture. So click it. Describes the Bolts very well.

The Wings
Ericsson is obviously out for the game and Janik replaces him. We don't know yet if Helm is gonna go, if not, then Newbury gets another game. The Wings have a 3 game win streak now, so this is a good opportunity to get 4. Howard will be in the goal, which is surprising seeing as Osgood has never lost against Tampa (according to something I read today.
I will be looking for this tonight:
- Can the Wings come out and play from the first faceoff for the second game in a row, even though they've had 2 games off?
- Can Bertuzzi get back on track?
- What will Kris Newbury do? Tackle a ref? Score a hat trick?
- Ville Leino must start playing well. NOW!
- Nick really looked like he wanted a goal against the Dogs, can he get one tonight? How about Z and Dats?
- Can this game make me have any other feeling than boredom towards the Lightning?

Kris Newbury scores a Gordie Howe hat trick. The Wings win 6-1 and Lightning gets moved to Canada within a decade. Who the hell though 2 clubs in Florida was a good idea?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Offday randomness

Note: This is my 51st post. YAY!

First of all Jonathan Ericsson's injury seems to be much lighter than we initially thought. It's a bone bruise and the official reports of his time out varies from indefinetly to at least 2-3 weeks. We will know more in a week or so according to master Ken. I am extremely relieved by this. I couldn't really face another guy going down long term right now.

What else can I write about? (I am bored, waiting for my spaghetti water to boil).
Oh yeah. Wanna read some great writing? Here are two great new blogposts that you need to read: First of all read how the Chief at Abel to Yzerman tears a critic/Wild blogger a new arsehole. Secondly the wildest and scrappiest of Red Wings bloggers Natalie, at the Scrappy Octopus gives advice on fashion fouls on game night. I should probably tell you that her blog has explicit content, but hey, you already read me and I swear like a sailor, so what would the point be?

Lastly, one of the weirder rumours coming out of the NHL:
The Philly Fourwrites that:

This one is out of the bizarre rumor mill, however, a credible source told “thephillyfour” a possible affair could be the reason the Flyers locker room appears to be split this season.

According to the source Jeff Carter had an affair with Scott Hartnell’s wife and the entire locker room is split over the situation.

If this is true the question must be asked, could a trade of one of the two players be the only remedy for such a problem?

Also in other Flyers Wives gossip, Danny Brierre is rumored to be close to getting a divorce with his wife.

Too bad for Tiger Woods no one cares about hockey, this story could get just as ugly.

Huh, that's quite a rumour. Let's hope it's not true. Scotty Hartnell played here in Oslo for a year and though he played for the enemy team, I still got the impression that he's an extremely nice guy. So I'm hoping for not true here, but the rumours of trouble in the Philly room are coming from everywhere, so who knows. A person I would call a credible source told be Riley Cote is getting a divorce from his truly gorgeous wife. Don't know how that would upset team chemistry though, so I am just gonna make up my own rumour and assume that she's banging Michael Richards. No wait, she used to bang Richards, but now she's with Rosby.
In other Flyer news, the only Norwegian in the NHL Ole Kristian Tollefsen got his first game in a month last night. He used the opportunity to get himself injured for a few weeks.

Now I promise not to mention the Flyers for a while

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gary's dogs at Wings recap/ Injury bonanza continues

Some guy. Who? Ahhh, Kris Newbury, apparently he scored a goal and took a few penalties against the Coyotes

The first period had barely started when new callup Kris Newbury got a penalty for running the goalie. Straight of the box he went hard towards the net while Kris Draper made a nice play that skipped past Miller's stick and Newbury scored. Talk about redemption. The Wings after that looked a bit sloppy and let Coyotes into the game. But Newbury took charge and got another minor. Eaves scored shorthanded with an amazing snapshot. But in a clean hit Doan's knee hit Ericsson's. He went down and seemed like he won't be back for a loooong time. Shit. The dogs even scored on the play. The Wings had a couple of good PP chances, but the Dogs got the most shots in the period and the Wings had the lead 2-1 after the first.

The second period started with another absurd piece of theatre. Derek Meech took a slapshot from the blue line. It wobbled and fooled Bryzgalov. I have waited for a goal from him for a while, but I thought it'd be on the PP. Right after that Doan took a puck to the ear on the bench and the Wings had a great chance. Then after another period of Wings pressure Brad May almost tipped a shot in. This was a good period of time for the Wings who continued their pressure and got a PP out of it in the end. They didn't capitalize, but kept on pressing. They moved their feet well, worked hard, won battles and got rewarded for it with some chances. At the midway mark of the period the period shots were 13-1 Detroit. The Coyotes took over the last third of the period and were rewarded with a very late goal by Vrbata on a long shot that was deflected. After that they had another good chance, but Howard stopped them. The Wings had the shot in this period 16-7.

The third period started with the play going back and forth. The first big chance came after five minutes after a beautiful Datsyuk feed went to Homer and then to Bert, who didn't score. Nice save Bryzgalov and Dogs took a penalty. The PP resulted in a few chances, but nothing more. Right after it Doan had a breakaway, Howard made a huge save and the Wings took a penalty in the process. The penalty was beautifully killed. After that the game continued swinging back and forth. Phoenix had the best pressure, which was natural seeing as they needed a goal. The Wings weathered off the late storm, took a time out and won the game by their favourite score lately 3-2.


Medically trained fans said it looked bad. It looked bad to me. I have a feeling this was the season for E. And that my friends is a problem. At least until Kronner is back. Aaron Ward is free on waivers. But he's got some bad history in detroit. Cheli might be another option as he is keen to do the job. Or it might be Kindl. I don't know and I plan to drink until it stops worrying me. On a better note, Helm is expected to be back against the Bolts.

Screenshot of the hit. Not for volatile minds

- The Wings switch back and forth between great and sloppy. That makes me crazy
- I cannot take any more injuries now.
- Brad May was horrible in this game. Bad turnovers, no presence, no grit and no fights.
- Where in the world was Leino? He was invisible all game long.
- Kris Newbury did a pretty good job. Better than expected actually.
- I am tired of the Wings letting in goals late in periods. They need to play until the horn goes.
- The PP is still way too impotent and ineffective. The Pk was on the other hand fantastic.

Keys to the game
- The Wings seemed tired during the Nashville game, will they be fresher today? Yes they did.
- The Wings need to ride their win streak and take some confidence out of it by having a good start today. Please show up on time guys, please! The Wings showed up on time and scored after just 4 minutes or something.
- Todd Bertuzzi has 4 goals the last two games. Can he net another one (or two, or curly fries) or at least follow up with some offensive production and continued good effort defensively tonight? He battled good and played decently, but didn't have the bounces offensively and didn't do anything breathtaking. Please don't become bad Todd again!
-The Wings are going to need to break down one of the NHL's premiere goalies tonight. An early, grindish goal would be perfect. The Wings got an early goal, and then another one. And Bryzgalov looked shaky all night. Weird how hot goalies become cold and bad ones good against the Wings huh?
- Will Nick finally score? Have Z and Pasha re-adjusted their aim? On the PP Nick really looked like he wanted one badly, but he didn't score. Z and Pav played well, especially Pav, but they didn't score.

Play of the game
Patrick Eaves' shot on the PK. What a shot! What a goal!

Player of the game
Patrick Eaves. He scored, he battled, he won battles and he looked dangerous all night.

Coyote of the game
I have decided that this category is now dead. Unless an opponent wins player of the game. Vrbata gets the honour of being the last one to win it. Well, at least after two periods when I decided not to do this part anymore. I'm tired and wanna sleep after the game.

Good night everyone. I am tired now.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Red Wings @ Coyotes preview

Early result on an image search for "Gary Bettman ass"

Sooo, Gary's Coyotes are coming into the Joe tonight. Should be fun. We all remember the last game, and embarassing 2-3 overtime loss in Glendale. Before the Nashville game I called for revenge and out of superstition I will do so again: I want revenge!

The record
The Coyotes have had a surprisingly good start of the season and are now situated in the 6th spot of the Western conference, 3 points in front of the Wings. They are pretty hot right now and are 4-0-1 so far in December if I have counted right. So the Wings are in for a challenge keeping up their winning streak.

The most important player of the Coyotes is Ilya Bryzgalov. He's been one of the NHL's top goalies this year and has an 18-8-6 record, 1.95 GAA and a save percentage of .928.

The Players
Offensively their Captain Shane Doan is leading the team with 19 points, in front of the enigma Robert Lang (17), Matthew Lombardi (17) and Radim Vrbata (16). Adrian Aucoin is their top scorer among defensemen with 15. Their top goalscorer is Scotty Upshall with 9 goals. It seems like these Coyotes score by commitee.
Their top plus/minus guys are Taylor Pyatt (+9), Zbynek Michalek (+7) and Daniel Winnik (+7). Surprisingly Shane Doan is second worst on the team with -6.

Former Red Wing enigma Robert Lang will be facing his former team tonight

The Red Wings
The last couple of games have not been the best ones playing wise, but the Wings have grinded out a couple of wins, these are things I'll be looking for in today's game:
- The Wings seemed tired during the Nashville game, will they be fresher today?
- The Wings need to ride their win streak and take some confidence out of it by having a good start today. Please show up on time guys, please!
- Todd Bertuzzi has 4 goals the last two games. Can he net another one (or two, or curly fries) or at least follow up with some offensive production and continued good effort defensively tonight?
- The Wings are going to need to break down one of the NHL's premiere goalies tonight. An early, grindish goal would be perfect.
- Will Nick finally score? Have Z and Pasha re-adjusted their aim?

Wings win 4-2 and the Coyotes doesn't exist 5-10 years from now. Hopefully they've found a new home in Canada by then.

Breaking fucking news reports that Darren Helm is out indefinetly with a wrist injury. Kris Newbury is called up to replace him. Fuck, fuck, FUCK! We really didn't needs this. The only good thing I can see in this is that every time the Wings have lost a forward to injury this year they have won the next game (when Kronwall was injured they lost the next one), hopefully that trend can continue tonight.

Other stuff:
I am now on twitter, you can find me at @FightNightatJoe.
Check out Drew's amazing Pointless Preview. Hilarious as always.

Monday morning thoughts/ week preview

Everyone knows this is who we really SHOULD have been meeting today

So, another week has gone by and I'm gonna look ahead a bit and see what this next week has to offer, and probably get it absolutely all wrong when I talk about what to expect.

After a week that play-wise was not the best, but where the Wings pulled out 4 points out of 6, they have four games on tap this week:
- The first one comes at home against Gary's Coyotes tonight. I'm gonna write more on this game later today, but for me this is an important game. The Coyotes are ahead of the Wings in the standings, and every point we can get on a team like that is very important. Also they have one of this year's best goalies in Ilya Bryzgalov, so the struggling Wings offense will have their work cut out for them. The big question has to be wether or not the Wings can manage to ride on their two victories, give a better performance and pull out a win here. Even more importantly maybe is the question about wether or not Todd Bertuzzi can keep up his level of play in this game.
- Then on thursday we have the Tampa Bay Lightning at home, which makes the Wings have two games in a row against teams that in my opinion should not exist (relocation NOW!). Tampa has struggled a lot lately after a good start, so this is one of the games that should be won. No, must be won. If the Wings hope to get a playoff spot, winning against weaker teams is a must.
- On saturday the Wings head to Dallas to meet the Stars, ending a three game-stretch against the teams with the worst economies in the NHL right now. This is an afternoon game, something the Wings tend to struggle in, so this is gonna be hard one.
- And then on sunday, game of the week in Chicago. Needless to say, the Wings need to win these division games, and this is also a true rivalery game and their first game against Hossa this year. The Hawks lost Kane last night, but it seems like it is only a cut, so until I hear anything else I will assume that he's gonna play. So the Wings have their work cut out for them in that one.

On another not, the new Red Wings podcast called The Obstructed View (direct link to it here) premiered last night. I just listened to it and it is great! Interesting, insightful and funny. The host is Chris from Motown Wings and his executive producer Brian Kiernicki. With them this week they have an all-star guest list of some of my favourite bloggers, Kris from Snipe snipe, Dangle dangle, Michael Petrella from The Production Line and Casey aka. Mr. Norris Trophy from Winging It In Motown. Listen to it now! In related news I wanna point out that I speak good and clearly understandable English (when sober).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Players of the week

First of all, a quick thing I forgot to write last night: How good does it feel that the Wings were finally on the right side of an outplayed, outshot, but still winning game? For me it felt awesome.

Ah, to the point. I have decided to, once and for all, make my own Red Wings three stars of the week thingy. It will be based on my player/Wing of the game selections, stats, but most of all my gut feeling. I will elect this on sundays (or mondays when I'm busy) and it will be covering the games from last sunday, through saturday. So without further ado, for this week (four games: Rangers, Blues, Ducks, Bubba):

Third star:
Henrik Zetterberg: 4 games, 0 goals, 4 assists, +4 rating, 1 Red Wing of the game honour at FNatJ
Hank hasn't had a good week scoring wise. Actually he has struggled a lot with his shot. But he has still battled and dominated on both ends of the ice. He was an integral part of the PK being as good as it was this week. I would also like to say that I hate the fact that I didn't have any stars for Brad Stuart. He's been great this week too.

Second star:
Jimmy Howard: 3 games, 2 wins, 4 goals against, 0.951 save percentage, one player of the game selection at FNatJ
Jimmy was amazing in all three games, giving the Wings a chance to win. The only mistake he made all week was the weak goal Sexton scored in the Duck game. Kudos!

First star of the week:
Todd Bertuzzi: 4 games, 4 goals, 0 assists, +1 rating, 2 GWGs, 2 player of the game honours at FNatJ
From having critized Todd a lot, I am now, at least for the time being, a convert. He's been working harder and harder the last couple of weeks, getting much better defensively, and finally he was able to convert the hard work into four goals. The last three of those were excellent skill plays. Let's hope he can be at least half as good for the rest of the season.

Bertuzzi beats Bubba. Faux yes! Live blog and analysis

Period 1:
18:30: Tootoo's out on the ice. I hate those whistles.
17:02: First Wing PP begins. How's it gonna go tonight?
15:34: Ozzie has to make a great PP save.
15:10: Eaves gets a shot saved on the line by Hamhuis on a rebound from a nice Bertuzzi play.
14:19: Lids gets a penalty. What?
12:19: Great kill!
11:48: Another Wings penalty. On May for interference.
09:48: Another good agressive kill.
09:00: 11 minutes with Fox Sports Bubba broadcasters have made my hatred for the Preds grow tenfold.
07:20: Some good chances for the Pasha, Bert, Homer line.
06:43: Tootoo hurt? Yay, no more whistles!
06:00: Worst country music on a commercial ever.
05:37: Good save Nick, after Bert blew a tire in his own zone.
04:47: Weber takes his second penalty. Leino made that out of hard work.
04:22: Rinne robs Z. Excellent Datsyuk feed.
02:10: Weber hits Draper in the back of his head. Blind refs make no call.

1st period recap:
The Wings were the best team and dominated the shots 14-5 in a period that went back and forth. The period was coloured by the four penalties dished out by a crew of refs who gave out a couple of cheap ones on Detroit players. Ozzie was good, especially on the Nashville surge towards the end of the period.

Period 2:
20:00: Tootoo is out of the game with an ankle injury after taking a shot off his ankle. That means no more train flutes. That means: YAY!
18:49: Bertuzzi gets sprung by Miller, makes a sweet spin move and backhands it into the net. Excellence!
17:00: FSN credits Huselius with the assist on the goal.
16:04: Stuart takes a shot in the foot. Please, be healthy!
15:46: Now Helm is hurt. High sticked on a follow through on a shot. As far as I know that is a penalty. FSN commentators begs to differ.
15:00: Except for the goal by Tuzzi, Nash has dominated the first five.
14:16: Stuart has been back on the ice. Thank God. I think Helm's better too.
10:47: Wings are a bit better now, but Ozzie just had to make a huge save. Hornquist comes after Abbie in a scrum.
08:23: After a period of Nash pressure, Dats gets a 2-on1 with Miller. Dats backhands it off the crossbar and Miller bats it in. Nashville crying over a non call for something. Ref calls the war room for something. Goal.
06:59: After a long delayed penalty call Bert gets 2 for slashing.
06:59: Someone at A2Y claims Z got kneed by Weber, but he's been on the ice after that, so...
05:16: A tip in ends the Wings' PK streak. Someone tipped it in. Legwand or Jones.
03:54: Good save on a Bertuzzi shot. Did the Wings wake up?
03:03: Nah, two good Nash chances followed.
00:45: Two great saves by Ozzie.
00:36: A commercial break with 36 seconds left? You're kidding me!
00:00 Period ends with a few good Wings chances. Still great that the period is over.

2nd period recap:
The Predators owned this one and won the shots 19 to 8. They had a lot of sustained zone time thanks to good play and the Wings being unable to clear and playing too passive. The Wings score on two counter-attacks. I have looked for them to score more off the rush all year, so I'll take that. Towards the end Nashville got the goal they deserved on a PP. Ozzie couldn't be faulted for that. The Wings need to wake up for the 3rd.

Period 3:
20:00: Seems like Weber will start with a 2 min penalty for roughing up Draper. Violent stuff. May needs to fight the goon. Now, or well, at about 18:00.
19:28: Z has a good chance after a nice play by Bertuzzi.
18:34: Rinne robs Abdelkader on a breakaway.
18:00: The penalty is over. We need better 5 on 5 this period. And May needs to kick Weber's arse.
16:48: May collides with Barney Stinson. No call. Good call.
16:02: Leino really needs to take another half step on each wrap around attempt.
15:15: Legwand scores on a weird, broken play. Bad coverage Meech and Lebda.
14:33: Erat takes two for hooking. The PP needs to produce and get the Wings a new lead.
12:33: Nope.
09:30: Ozzie makes a stop on a flying stick blade.
08:46: A lot of Wings chances after Bertuzzi smoooked Hamhuis.
07:49: Ozzie has to step up with another big save, after a fumbled play in the Wings zone.
07:13: After Jones attacked Ericsson a lot, Legwand high sticks his team mate. Luckily a ref sees this and the penalty is called off.
05:45: Jones runs Ozzie down. Penalty is called. The arena formerly known as SoGay plays Bubba PP music. WTF? Preds get the PP... for... what?... Maltby softly pushing Jones into Ozzie. Weeaak call.
03:45: Killed. Puuh.
01:41: Nice save Ozzie
00:00: A point at least.

3rd period:
The Wings were better, but Nashville still dominated and were rewarded with a goal. They won the shots 11-6. Most of the Wings pressure came on the PP.

04:36: Bertuzzi gets sprung and scores on the breakaway. YAY!

Overtime recap
Bertuzzi scored. Wings win

General thoughts:
- Against the Ducks Perry got to elbow Leino and attack Abbie. In this game Weber went after everyone. May needs to drop his gloves soon.
-I really hate Shae Weber
-The Wings need more conctistency, better ways to get out of the zone and more agressive play in their own zone. They also need more shot blocking.
-Yet again Datsyuk mixed good stuff, with stuff that is, well, below his usual levels, but he was better tonight and won more battles. He also got two assists.
-Nick promised a goal. He played decent defense, but didn't score.
-Bertuzzi had a great game. Again. Change that to great, no excellent.
-I like Baroque's suggestion that the Wings' impotent PP should be sponsored by Viagra.
-The Wings looked really tired tonight.

Play of the game
Bertuzzi's spin-o-rama goal

Player of the game
I was gonna say Miller, but it has to be Tuzzi for the second night in a row. I am starting to like him.

Bubba of the game
Marcel Goc was a constant pain.

Good night everyone