Friday, November 26, 2010

Pregame 20: Blowjays and third jerseys

Dear family members. If any of you still peak in from time to time, I would advise you to exit now and stay away until Monday, because I'm immature, my friends here are immature and a team named the BJs just leaves way too much open for sexual innuendo.

Soooo... that said... The Wings REALLY shit the bed in Atlanta. It was terrible, it was gruesome, it was the most depressing thing I have seen this autumn (Lions games obviously excluded. Wow.. that Pats game. Shoot me now). In the week before, the Wings played 3 games and pulled out five out of six points, but didn't play well in any of them. So they need to be better. Seeing as yesterday was thanksgiving and probably not a day spent working too hard, this have to come from the inside. The team needs to stop with the damn turnovers, turn up the energy and grit and go for it again. They need to be bold. They need to work hard, be better and be much stronger on puck support defensively. They need to start winning battles again. And if Joey Mac is in net like some rumours say, then.. well.. we need to be realllllly good.

Because while it earlier has been easy to laugh at the Columbus Blue Jackets, they are no laughing matter this year. With one more game played than the Wings, they are at the same level in points. They have a 14-6-0 record and are +12 in goals. They've been fucking great so far. And, if that wasn't enough, they're on a fucking five game winning streak, with some impressive results along the way. So the Wings really need to step it up for this one.

Oh, and well, tonight and Sunday night, I have a task for you guys. It's BJ nights. They have Clitsome. You know what to do. If you decide to tweet a BJ-tweet, tag it with "#BJnight" and I will try and round up the best dirty tweets you make. Also, if Bradley is out there, you are needed for this one, and it's not too late to come back to Twitter from this.

On another note: The BJs are debuting their new third jerseys tonight. They are bland and boring as fuck. Very similar to the Panthers and Pens third jerseys. BUT the mascot that comes with it. Holy shit. You'll see to night. It's a cannon. And it totally looks like a phallos. So..

Keys to the game
- More energy
- Simpler plays
- Win battles and have puck support

The Blue Jackets media guide sadly has no fun personal section. But feel free to search the internet for random facts against blowjobs. I'm sure you can find some, but it's probably smart to have safe-search ON.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Not an Atlanta recap

My internet fell down for most of the first period, so I won't write a recap. I wouldn't wanna anyway. This game is the culmination of a week of bad Wings hockey. Better to forget about it and hope for something better on Friday cause this was terrible.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fight Night at TP:60

Yesterday I had the pleasure of making my debut on The Production Line's TP:60. Chris Hollis couldn't come because of weather issues, but TPL's own Michael Petrella and Rob Discher were there, doing a great hosting job. The other guest was Graham from Winging it in Motown. It was a lot of fun and we covered a lot of Red Wings subjects and I hope you guys have half as much fun listening as I had recording it.

You can find it HERE!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Game 18: Undeserved victories taste excellent

First Period
- How about those Lions *shoots myself*
- Dan O'Halloran in as emergency ref. Greaaat! *shoots myself again*
- The Wings got an early PP and capitalized. A shot from Nick went off a skate and out to Rafa. He found Mule with a fast cross-ice pass. Mule settled it down and roofed it. 1-0.
- A few minutes later the Flames tied it. Iginla got past Salei who pinched in the neutral zone and sent it to Hagman who scored. Iginla was backing in with the puck and it is a bit iffy if he had control when he entered the zone, but it wasn't ruled offside, so there is nothing we can do about it.
- The Wings had some new lines today. I like them in theory, but in the first they showed nothing.
- It was pretty even when the teams played at even strength. Calgary might have had a little more control, but Kipper had to make some huge saves.
- The Wings had 3 more PPs, but didn't get more than 4 PP shots total. They struggled. Too many cute passes, not enough movement. The puck got cleared way too much and they didn't find open shooting lanes. Just really bad PP play.

Second period
- The second started terribly. The Flames had the pressure and after less than 2 minutes Rafa lost the puck behind the net, it came out in front and Iginla gave the Flames the lead.
- Of course the Flames got a makeup PP shortly after and on that one they got the puck out to the blueline with all four Wings caught in front. The defenseman found Iginla on the weak side where he had all the time in the world to make it 3-1.
- The rest of the first half of the period, the Flames kept pressing and the Wings sucked.
- The second half the Wings had more play, but still looked lifeless and tired, with no jump. Didn't get too many good chances either.
- Towards the end Abs had a big hit and after a whistle two Flames got after him and a scrum ensued. It ended in a minor to each team. The refs suck.
- The team has seemed worse and worse after all the line juggling.
- Hudler plays lifelessly and like shit. Eaves is a ball of energy and is in the press box. Switching them wouldn't have been enough to change everything, but damn, it would have been better.

Third period
- Early in the third the Wings to on the Power Play and Pavel Datsyuk scored on a brilliant tip in off a shot from Nick.
- The Flames came back controlling the game though and 7 minutes in, Rafa lost an edge and Tanguay took it and scored.
- Dan Cleary did not play in the third after getting hurt in the second period. Regher from Calgary went down in the third.
- Shortly after the Flames goal, Bertuzzi got a minor for interference and then weirdly another for unsportsmanlike conduct. The PP was short for the Flames though as they soon took a penalty themselves.
- On the 4-on-4 it went up and down for a while until Z took the puck past a defender and fanned on a backhandshot. This fooled Kipper and the lead was cut to 4-3.
- The Wings came on strong after this, but struggled scoring. They had good chances, but the puck wouldn't go in.
- With a few minutes left the Wings got a PP and it looked terrible. Then with 2 minutes left they got another and even though they had chances and Howard was pulled they couldn't fool Kipper. When the puck was cleared with 10 seconds left, things looked bleak, but Pasha and Z got a 2-on-1 and Pasha gave Hank an open net to tie it with 3 seconds left.

Overtime
- 90 seconds in, after the Wings had controlled most of it, Nick got a good chance and could have shot into an open net. Instead he deked Kipper, went around him and scored. I yelled loudly.
- We didn't deserve a single point in this, but took 2. 11 out of 12 on the homestand. Excellent!

Play of the game
The 2-on-1 goal that tied it with 3 seconds left.

Player of the game
Henrik Zetterberg. We should call him out more often.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Game 17: Giving it away

First period
- The first period started with some back and forth hockey. The Wings controlled the play, but didn't really get anything big, because the Wild play tight defense.
- Todd Richards is a fraud. The Wild are still a boring, defensive trap team.
- The Wings finally got a few good chances, but a dumb hook by Z sent the Wings on the PK.
- It was killed off, but before Z could get back into the play, a point shot from the Wild went in with E screening his own goalie.
- The Wings kept trying, but the Wild cluttered the neutral zone and the blueline so they didn't get much.
- On their second PK the Wings actually had some decent chances, but didn't score.

Second period
- The second started terribly. Clutterbuck, the team's leading scorer (I know, what the FUCK?) banked a puck in between Howard and the post from behind the net. Terrible post coverage by Howard.
- Then it went back to the Wings trying, but not getting through. It looked like they were sailing for much of the period. The Wild just slowed them down so much. Well (and boringly) played by the Wild, but also just not good enough by the Wings.
- The Wild barely had any attacks this period.
- When the Wings got a little offense they finally got a PP and then a 5-on-3 midway through the second. They got a few shots, but no good ones. It was embarassing. They were just standing around, moving the puck slowly.
- I am tired of seeing guys on the PP sailing around the net and then doing nothing. The Wild were clogging the front and they should be prepared for that.
- Zetterberg looks weak this days. Takes bad shots, does too little, does too much, just not the Z we are used to.
- The Wings got a 2nd PP that was better, but didn't score on that either.
- In the last minute, Eaves won a puck behind the net for Abby, he took it around and fed it across the crease to Helmer, who scored. This happened 20 seconds after Mick had ranted about the boringness of this (really boring) game.
- The Wings nearly got another with a few seconds left, but like every other shot by Nick tonight, it went wide.

Third period
- The Wings got on a PP early in the third. It was the second soft penalty on Matt Cullen. The Wings took advantage of it and the Mule scored on a shot that went off a Wild player.
- The Wings continued to pressure and got rewarded 5-6 minutes in when Eaves took two whacks at a rebound after shot by Rafalski, then took it around the net and scored on the wraparound.
- The Wings kept the pressure a little after this, but it got broken up when Nick took an unlukcy penalty. It was killed off.
- The Wings looked in control until 6-7 minutes were left. After that the Wild pressured, but the Wings got a few good chances on the counter attack.
- With less than 2 minutes left a Detroit center (Mule? Flip?) lost his assignment and let Koivu be all alone to tie the game. And they pressured on and nearly won in regulation.

Overtime
- The Wings dominated the first 3 minutes and had tons of huge chances.
- Then Havlat had a huge save that Jimmah stopped, but shortly after a rebound ended in the net when Stuart couldn't keep his guy.

Play of the game
Eaves' goal. Great hustle.

Player of the game
The entire third line was great, but I am giving it to Eaves.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pregame 17: Take ride on the Wild side



The Wild have won five of their last seven and are coming into the Joe tonight. The Wings are even hotter. The Wild are defensive, they are playing tight hockey and they are hard to play against, but we usually play them well at the Joe. Not much to say about this one other than that we need a better and more consistent effort than against the Blues. We need the PP to be better than it was in the first two periods. We need the Wings to be quicker to loose pucks and be better with the second man. No more sloppy passing. Make Pinky cry. Do it!

Keys to the game
- Another good defensive team that we need to get to early.
- Better power play
- 60 minute effort

Ten things you didn't know about the Wild
1. Niklas Backström would like to meet James Hetfield and Bono. So would I. James is my hero and I wanna slap Bono in his face.
2. Cam Barker has a pug name Puma. Who gives their dog the name of a feline animal is its name?
3. Kyle Brodziak's favourite reading material is FHM. A true intellectual.
4. Brent Burns listens to John Mayer, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Blink 182 and Fall Out Boy. He is also a 13 year old girl.
5. Cal Clutterbuck grew up idolizing Stevie and Sakic. Really modelled his game after them, didn't he?
6. Chuck Kobasew lists Lance Armstrong and Eddie Vedder as the people he would most like to meet. Cheaters and whiners are his thing it seems.
7. Mikku Koivu used to work at an ice cream shop. Quite the step up to the NHL.
8. Guillaume Latendresse is a huge Bon Jovi fan.
9. Tom Brady is John Madden's favourite athelete. Shame Madden can't have the same glorious hair.
10. James Shepphard's hobbies are playing guitar and being a complete failure.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Game 16: 3 minutes is enough to win or Sometimes talent trumps determination.

First period
- The Wings started terribly and gave the Blues several chances. Typical for a team that hadn't played in 4 days.
- Then the Wings took over and Halak stopped several huge chances.
- The first goal however came when Abs took a simple shot on net, Miller was on the rebound and Halak saved. Halak tried to just bat it into the corner, but instead he batted it into his own net.
- Hahahahahahahahahalak
- Both teams blew some huge chances. Wings' best were Hudler not elevating a shot close in and Nick missing a big 3-on-1.
- The Blues' biggest came on a terrible Wings PP.
- The Blues goal came on a weak shot after the Wings just got trapped in a 4-on-3. Weird goal. Good play by the Blues, not good by Jimmah.
- In the final second, on a PK (that will continue into the second) Jimmah made a HUGE save.

Second period
- The second started with the rest of the PP. Weirdly, a clock malfunction delayed Bertuzzi getting back onto the ice with 5 seconds.
- After that the Wings had a couple of chances, but then let the Blues start to roll over then.
- The Wings were terrible for much of this period. They looked like they were sleep walking. Sloppy plays, bad passing, bad at having second man-pressure, bad at covering in front of their own net.
- The Blues eventually got a PP and scored. Nothing Jimmah could do.
- The Wings had a terrible PP after a weird penalty. Or well, the penalty was a big slewfoot, but Datsyuk got away with a vicious cross check right before it.
- In the second half of the period the Wings kinda got going a little more and the 4th line capped off and energized shift with a nice shot-pass from Rafa (also called a Rafa special) that was deflected in by Afrogator.
- The Wings soon took the lead with a nice shot from the boards by Cleary. The nice wrister went in on the short side.
- But the first line went out and had a terrible shift. After some terrible passes in their own zone, the Mule tried to make a fancy play instead of getting it out and served up the tying goal.
- The Blues got close to potting another on the last shift of the period. This was really a period to forget. Need a much better third.

Third period
- The Wings finally came out with some fire in the third and had some good early chances. Then they got a PP and you might have expected the third time to be the charm. Sadly it wasn't. The Blues forechecked and pressured hard on it and the Wings didn't get the passes and skating going. It was the most pathetic PP I have ever seen.
- The Blues took over right after that and spent 5-6 minutes outplaying the Wings. Only Howard held them in. He had a great game tonight.
- Midway through the third I thought that the Wings would be lucky to win this. The Blues forechecked hard, worked hard and were quicker on every puck while the Wings looked lazy. But then, over a span of four minutes, it all changed...
- First Modano finished a rare attack by putting it out in front. Cleary found it between the legs of a defenseman and scored on a quick shot. His second of the night.
- Less than a minute later, Z had a long raid into the zone, turned back, went to the net and scored.
- Then on a PP, Brad Stuart scored on a big slapper.
- The Blues were dirty tonight. Many small dirty plays. Backes went after guys a few times. And when under 6-3 they sent out Janssen who first blindsided Kronner dirtily (but not in the head) and then took a roughing penalty.
- On the PP Homer tipped in a shot from Rafa with his body to settle the score at 7-3 This happened just 4:14 after the 4-3 goal.
- With 3 seconds left Backes slashed and went after Jimmah for no reason. He was held away and it looked like he was crying. Fitting for the bitter Blues. Always a bridesmaid.
- The Wings did not deserve a win, but 4 good minutes gave them just that and we'll take it.

Play of the game
Jimmah's HUGE toe save to keep it a tie game in the final second of the first.

Player of the game
Tempted to go with 2-goal scorer Cleary who played hard all night, but he seems to win this every game, so I will go with Rafa and his 3 assists.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pregame 16: Playing the Blues



I went to the Crossroads, fell down on my knees...

So the Wings are playing the Blues tonight. The Blues had a really hot start and looked like the team to beat, but then got slapped with some injuries, the one to Oshie hurts them bad, and have lost four straight and played terrible. Which probably means that they will come into the Joe on fire. Know this: The Blues are talented. Their team is chock full of talent from the front and end and all the way back to Jaro Halak, who will probably follow up some recent bad efforts with a mindblowing game. How do we handle this? The guys just need to go out there and play good, solid Red Wings hockey. That will lead to a win.

Keys to the game
- Get to Halak early. Make him break down again.
- Don't let the Blues speed capitalize on our defensive mistakes.
- Thank God that Kariya is gone. Such a Wings-killer.

10 things you didn't know about the Blues
1. David Backes would like to play golf with Sarah Palin, Ronald Reagan and Albert Einstein. Yowza...
2. Patrick Berglund is a really bad tipper according to my friend who's dad drove him in his cap after his rookie season. The tip: 20 cents.
3. Eric Brewer was on the 2002 Canadian Olympic team. No, I don't get it either.
4. Ian Cole is nicknamed "MachEEN"
5. BJ Crombeen likes Old School and Will Ferrell. His name makes me laugh.
6. Matt D'Agostini and TJ Hensick grew up idolizing the player everyone grows up idolizing. Hockey players get it. Stevie was the man.
7. Jaro Halak grew up idolizing Curtis Joseph, the worst goalie I have ever seen live.
8. Aside from loving DMB, Barret Jackman won the Calder back in 02/03. Bet half of you had forgotten who snubbed Z.
9. Cam Jansen is a metalhead. I approve.
10. Erik Johnson would have the Blues assistant equipment guy in his golf foursome.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The All Star experiment rosters

As you know, Doug and I have an All Star experiment going to see if the snubs will be better than the worst players on the ASG ballot. Check out the rosters here and check in now and then for updates at TDT. Actually, bookmark it. Whatever sport it is TDT rocks and you SHOULD read it.

Game 15:

First period:
- The Avs looked really quick. Even thought the Wings controlled most of the first, the Avs speed still created trouble for the Wings.
- Both teams had a PP in the first half of the first. None of them successful. Both good penalty kills.
- On the Wings second PP, Bert got the puck along the right boards in the offensive zone and sniped a shot over the top of Budaj's shoulder on the short side. 1-0. A real goal scorer's goal.
- Jonas Holøs is getting his named slaughtered. I understand that you can't get it right, but Hol-aass is unacceptable. At least understand that ø is like the Swedish ö and say Hol-us, which wrong, but acceptable.
- The Mule had a breakaway where he deked himself to an open net, but shot wide. WTF?
- The Avs did not score on a late PP and will start the second with 23 PP seconds.

Second period
- The second started with an Avs PP, but when he came out of the box, Nick found Huds. Huds missed on the breakaway, but banked the rebound off Budaj from behind of the net and in! Cheeky!
- I talked about the Dive's foot-speed before the game and how possession is important. The Wings did this in the 2nd. No speed can match up to good passing.
- Love Kevin Porter. Shame he is an Av.
- Both team had two PPs and while the first from the Wings looked real good, they were both killed off.
- The 3-0 goal came midway through when Bert, along the boards, found Cleary who scored on an awesome shot!

Third period
- The third was a typical 3-0 period. The Wings relaxed, let the Avs control it, but won easily.
- On an early Avs PP, the refs decided to overlook severeal fouls because the Dive was already getting slaughtered, instead they got a too-many men 5-on-3 and scored. It was goalie inteference. The forward clearly hindered Jimmah's horizontal movement and for a person used to see the shit Homer gets blown off for it was ridiculous, but it ended 3-1, so who cares.
- Seriously, can anyone tell me how to stop on person's tweets from being retweeted to me? I have already stopped the worst sinners from retweeting, but still 4-5 of you keep retweeting him/her and I don't wanna have to stop retweets from you all.
- The Wings had an empty net for the last 2 minutes, but did not score.

Play of the game
Hudler's goal! Cheeeeeky!

Player of the game
Nick did not only contribute offensively, but also controlled the D.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pregame 15: Down with the Dive

The Divealanche are coming to the Joe again tonight. Last time the Wings lost a heartbreaker in the shootout, let's hope for something better today. The Dive have 9 players on the IR and Budaj is in goal, just like the last time. The Wings will continue with the lines that were successful against the Oilers and will hopefully get the same out of them tonight. No word on who sits though.

The Avs will play us hard, but we're a better team and if we can overcome their speed and play a puck possession game where we slow them down a bit, we will win. Sound defense, faceoff wins and good passing will be key.

Keys to the game
- Eliminate those turnovers and defensive errors.
- Continue the offensive onslaught.
- Stop the Avs speed.

Ten things you didn't know about the Avs
1. Craig Anderson's brother Jon was drafted by the Red Sox and his dad was a professional car racer. In related news, motor"sports" are NOT sports.
2. The reason Peter Budaj has Flanders on the back of his helmet is that he is a Christian, straight-edger, just like Flanders.
3. Adam Foote idolized former Red Wing-flop (and Toronto hero) Börje Salming.
4. Milan Hejduk loves playing tennis and golf. I don't.
5. Jonas Holøs from Sarpsborg, Norway is not even on the roster in the media guide. And it is unforgiveable that journalists call him Holos. Bloggers I can understand, but paid media are paid to get the names fucking right with a fucking Ø/ø.
6. David Jones, a 288th pick, is the lowest pick in franchise history to make it to the NHL.
7. Peter Mueller is a Twins fan, which is a good reason to hate him with a passion.
8. Ryan O'Reilly was nicknamed "Snook" as a kid. You know where I'm going with this.
9. Kevin Porter is from Detroit, idolized Modano growing up and is an avid Detroit Tigers fan. Can we make it illegal for him to be an Av?
10. Chris Stewart sat out the 03-04 hockey season to play High School football.

Friday, November 12, 2010

All Star Ballot Snubs and Errors. We need YOUR help

The All Star Game ballot came out today and it was, as usual, full of guys who shouldn't have been on there and there were also a lot of noticeable snubs. Doug from The Detroit Transplant wanted to do something about it and Brad Boswell on Twitter gave us an excellent idea. Me and Doug have set up a 2-man fantasy league where he manages Team Snubs and I manage Team Overrated. His team will be filled with the worst snubs from the ballot, mine with the players that shouldn't have been on it.

We need YOUR help to decide who should be on each team, and we want you to post your ideas of which players were snubbed and which players should not be on the ballot in the comments here. You can give us 1 player name, or enough to fill a team, everything is appreciated.

The teams will be as such:
3 goalies
6 Defensemen
4 Centers
4 Right Wings
4 Left Wings
3 bench spots

We score goals (1 pt), Assists (1pt), Plus/minus (1 pt), Game winning goals (2 pts) and blocks (.5 pts) for skaters and Wins (1 pt), Goals against (-.1 pts), Shots against (.1 pts) and shutouts (1 pt) for goalies. It is a total points league.

So sound off in the comments with your ideas for who we should include.

Here is the list of the players on the ballot:

GOALTENDERS (18)
Anderson, Backstrom, Brodeur, Bryzgalov, Fleury, Giguere,Halak, Khabibulin, Kiprusoff, Lundqvist, Luongo, Miller, Niemi, Quick, Rinne, Thomas, Vokoun, Ward

DEFENSE (29)
Boyle, Bouwmeester, Byfuglien, Campbell, Chara, Doughty, Enstrom, Gonchar, Green, Hamhuis, Jovanovski, Kaberle, Keith, Lidstrom, Markov, Martin, McCabe, Phaneuf, Pitkanen, Pronger, Rafalski, Robidas, Seabrook, M. Staal, Streit, Suter, Timmonen, Weber, Zidlicky

FORWARDS (53)
Alfredsson, Backstrom, Booth, Briere, Bergeron, Carter, Cammalleri, Crosby, Datsyuk, Doan, Franzen, Gaborik, Getzlaf, Gionta, Heatley, Hejduk, Hemsky, Hossa, Iginla, Kane, Kessel, M Koivu, Kopitar, Kovalchuk, Krejci, Lecavalier, Malkin, Marleau, Morrow, Nash, Oshie, Ovechkin, Parise, Perry, B Richards, M Richards, Roy, Ryan, D Sedin, H Sedin, Selanne, Spezza, E Staal, Stamkos, Stastny, Smyth, St Louis, Tavares, Thornton, Toews, Umberger, Vanek, Zetterberg

Game 14: Suck it Jacob!

(Jacob is my little brother and an Oilers fan)

First Period
- Early on Mule had two good chances. One came after he made some awesome moves, but Bulin made a great/lucky save.
- Hudler created things and looked good early on and it paid off on a shift where he dominated and found Flip on a flip-pass from behind the net. Val batted it in for 1-0. Let's hope that is what Happy needed.
- The Oilers had a few good chances, but were stoned by Howard each time. Except for a PP for the Oilers (after a blatant hook by Modano), the Wings dominated the period.
- The Wings second goal came off a Z pass from the sideboards, that Pav just pushed forward to Homer. Bulin stopped Homer's redirection, but scored on the rebound.
- The third goal came when Bertuzzi found Cleary with a backhand pass. Buckets made no mistakes and scored on a shot that Khabibulin maybe should have had.
- Not much to say about this period. Everyone looked fricking awesome.

Second Period
- Early in the second Bert took a breakout pass down with his hand, took it to the corner, switched from left-handed to right-handed and passed it to Buckets. He decided to be equally good and scored his second on a spin-o-rama move.
- The Wings continued to dominate, but then in the middle part of the period they let the Oilers in to it a bit. It's natural to let up a bit, but I disliked it anyway. Luckily they never got really dangerous due to good defense.
- Bert and Kronner had a bad giveaway each, but what really got me was how well we cleaned up after those.
- The Oilers got away with a few because the refs felt bad for them, but the Wings got slapped with a cheap penalty. The kill was entirely dominant, which switched the momentum back in favour of the Wings. I love the kill this year.
- The Wings dominated towards the end, got rewarded with a PP and on a scramble in front of the net Mule scored his 100th career goal. Now that he's over that he can maybe start scoring regularly again.
- The shift after the PP looked like a PP.
- The end of the second saw half a kill. A good one. Penalty will resume in the third.
- Loved to see Ndamukong Suh taking in the game and getting a good "SUUUUUUUUUUH" from the crowd. Go Lions!

Third Period
- The Oilers played the rest of that PP like they meant it and scored.
- The Wings relaxed a little more this period, but still controlled the play.
- Datsyuk laid out Penner.
- Hemsky got hurt. Let's hope it's not bad.
- Homer made it 6-1 on a rebound off a Z shot.
- The Oilers scored again right before the end, but the Wings won 6-2 in dominating fashion.

Play of the game
Bert's take down and switch of handedness, his pass to Cleary and Danny's spin-o-rama.

Player of the game
Dan Cleary scored two, set up tons of chances, made himself some chances and worked hard.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Standing up for Detroit

Robert Tychkowski of the Toronto/Edmonton Sun is in Detroit following the Edmonton Oilers. As we all know the Oilers suck and I've heard Edmonton is a dreadfully boring city. So those Oilers fans don't have much to feel good about. So when playing a superior franchise, both history-wise and right now, there's a certain need to take shots at Detroit the city, so that the Oilers fans can feel better about their weak team getting another ass kicking by the Wings. His article, a hockey article, which you can find here opens with the following:

Welcome to Detroit, where the forecast, as always, is muggy, with a chance of murder.

When you’re trying to breathe a little life back into your year, this is not the place to visit. And not just because they use more white chalk at crime scenes than they ever did in the schools.


Classy. Tyler, over at the always excellent The Triple Deke posted about this and included the douchebag's email adress. So I decided to take action and email him. Going for some sarcasm on my first attempt. Here is my email to him:

Dear Mr. Tychowski

I write to you from Oslo Norway to congratulate you on choosing the oldest joke ever for your article today. It shows real class to beat down on and crack jokes at a struggling city that has been hit hard by recession and that is full of hard working men and women doing their best to get their lives and the city on the right track. Nevermind that the murder rate in Detroit has gone significantly down since the 80s and 90s and that you write this in a piece about a hockey game, it is still a classy, nice touch. Sets the tone nicely. I'm proud of you and hope you can continue to write pieces where you get off topic to make old jokes and laugh at struggling, hardworking people. Kudos

Andy
Oslo, Norway


Mr. Tychkowski responded less than two minutes later with this charming and classy reply:

Feel free to walk the streets here at night. I'll notify the next of kin


I felt that I needed to point out his ridiculousness and replied:

Sure, there are areas in Detroit where you shouldn't go at night. Yes they have problems. But I don't see where this gives you a license to take cheapshots and make jokes at a city full of people trying to change it for the better. Especially not in an article about sports teams. I am pretty sure Edmonton and every other major city in North America has a higher rate of violent crime than the one I was fortunate enough to grow up in, but none of this gives me the right to make jokes on the expense of those cities.

Furthermore, it's just so extremely unoriginal to write the same old intros that make Detroit sounds like it's Johannesburg or Bogota. If you really want to set the mood and do a good journalistic job I am pretty sure there is a lot of good stories you wouldn't have to dig deep to find. Storylines about the Wings signifying a hope that the inhabitants of a struggling city can rally around, something about the efforts to make the city a better place. Or you could stick to what you know and write about hockey and hockey only.

The citizens of Detroit, and those of us who have fallen in love with the city and it's sports teams from a long distance, see shots at Detroit every day. And while it's easy for me to shrug off and the pride of my friends from Detroit is strong enough to shrug it off, it feels tiresome, unoriginal and beaten to death. And you also excelled by probably going further than any writer I have seen in painting the city as black as possible.


I haven't heard back from him yet. Maybe he just went to bed, who knows? If I hear more from him I will edit this article and include all further correspondence.

If you want to email him you can do so at robert.tychkowski@sunmedia.ca

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Norwegian hockey store


Some recent Twitter discussion made me think of something. This story is irrelevant and weird, but still worth telling. It's about a guy named Petter Bruflat who runs a hockey store in Oslo and I felt like telling you guys.

Back when I was a kid and started playing hockey there was really only one hockey store in Oslo. Sure, sports stores had some skates and hockey stuff, but if you wanted a good selection, you had to go to a guy named Kurt. He was a nice guy and had a store near where I live now. Just by the arena of the team I hate the most, Vålerenga. Then, he moved a few kilometers and a guy named Petter Bruflat took over his store. They had some healthy competetion for a while until Kurt's store went bankrupt. He then moved to another store, but I dunno if he's in buisness anymore. Anyway, this lead to Petter being the main man when it came to hockey equipment in Oslo for a while. Nowadays there are one or two competing stores. One might even be better and I know Petter sold a couple of years after he moved his store a block down the road to become an equipment manager for a team. Anyway, my story is about the time when his store was the only one that mattered in Oslo.

Petter was a nice guy. He loved to talk. He loved to talk so much people called him Petter "Prate" which means Petter "Talk". He'd been equipment manager for a team or two in the Elite League before he opened the store, so he had a vast knowledge of everything related to equipment. And everything about hockey in Norway really. He talked to every customer and shared info with every customer. He'd help you find the stuff you needed and then tell random news and anecdotes from the Norwegian hockey world before pumping you, or rather your dad, for information about how you were doing, how your team was doing etc etc. I swear, he knew every fucking team around Oslo. He new every age group on that team, how good they were, which players were good, everything. And he'd talk a hole in your head about it.

Hockey stuff is expensive. We all know that. But Petter would give special discounts to everyone he knew. Which was probably 98% of his customer base. And if the equipment arrived later than promised (which it usually did), you'd get even more of a discount. So he usually ended up selling stuff for just about the same price he bought it for. He worked 10-6 all day and I'm not sure he ever made a dime off his store. I think he went in minus at times, even at best. But he kept on working. Alone, sometimes with unpaid help from young hockey players who liked to hang out there and help out. They'd maybe get a stick or a discount on something in return if they helped him enough.

In the 9th grade, when we are 14-15, every student has to have a week of work practice. You basically work unpaid at some place for a week. Me and a guy I went to school with who played for my rival team both worked for him. It was awesome. He was nice to us, let us do our thing and treated us to burgers and Coca Cola every day. He even let us answer the phone (which he sometimes disconnected cause it annoyed him) and even sometimes help customers. When he went out we manned the store alone. If someone needed some tape or some small thing we didn't know the price of we were just told to make up a price. We'd also spend much time every day putting together sports bets and watching the 1994 99 All Stars vs. Norway All Stars game.

Our first job each morning was to make the store tidy. It was a small store and way too much stuff in it. It'd be a mess. We'd maybe spend two hours tidying up and organizing. And later we might for instance have to organize and cathegorize skates. The next morning it'd be as messy (imagine Hiroshima in a hockey store) and we'd have to go to work again. He'd just drop stuff when he didn't need it so equipment was floating all over. In the afternoons we'd play floorball IN the store. It was an awesome week. At the end I got a discount on a helmet, a Tac stick and a discount so I got a TPS Response for 80 bucks (they usually cost 250 back then). It was also pretty fun when our teacher came to look for us. She was kind of a MILF, but stuck up and me and her kinda hated each other's guts. She was very, very proper. He was very, very messy and forgetful. And what did we find out? They'd been a couple when they were young and saw each other as "the one that got away".

So, here you had an eccentric, nice, talkative guy who spend 6 days a week working hard and having fun in a hockey store he never made money on. How could he do that? Why did he do that? The answer is. He was stinking filthy rich. His parents owned a lot of shit. His brother went to Yale and Harvard. Petter himself was a ship broker, but decided it was boring. So he started a hockey store that he made no money on, and got his cash off a REALLY successful party tent business that rents party tents to the biggest events in Oslo. But that he did in his spare time. I don't know where I'm going with this story and what the point is, but I guess I just wanted to tell the story of a man here in hockey-dead Norway, who could have had an easy, relaxing life, but chose instead to work all day at a hockey store he made no money on cause he loved the game and stories about the game so much and who still does the same, just from a position as equiment manager (can't remember which team).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Game 13:

First period:
- The Wings started with pressure and it paid off early. Modano stole a puck, brought it to Rafa, who intentionally shot it wide. On the other side of the net was Cleary, who could just tip it in.
- The first period was terribly sloppy. Both teams played with speed, but there were more mistakes than good plays.
- The Wings struggled to connect with more than one pass at a time and got every damn play broken up. And they went offside time after time.
- The Wings got a PP off a scary situation. Stempniak crosshecked Salei so he fell onto Howard. Howard looked heard. Pray to God that he isn't.
- Towards the end of the period Hudler had a shift where he first fucked up a good attack and then failed to clear the zone twice on easy plays. He is really proving to everyone that he doesn't deserve the ice time.
- The PP looked really bad in the first, like it has lately. They just seem unable to set up and get shots to the net. The only one looking good on the PP in the first was Rafa.
- Towards the end of the first the Wings went offside. Somehow the faceoff ended up outside their blueline and not the Phoenix one. Weird. From their they went offside again. Yes, that was sloppy, but it was not intentional offside. However the faceoff ended up in the Wings zone. The Wings decided to ice it (though it went via a Jets stick and should not have been icing). On the ensuing faceoff Hanzal won it, the defenseman shot it off the backboard and Hanzal beat Pasha to it and scored. As you see this goal was the result of sloppy play and referees being clueless.
- Another goal in the last minute. This HAS to stop!
- Modano called Eddie O about Detroit. WHAT. THE. FUCK?

Second period:
- The first started with 7-8 minutes where they got nothing going. The Coyotes were all over them and the Wings looked tired. They lost every puck battle and failed to connect on passes.
- When they finally seemed to get it going a bit Stuart got caught behind the offensive goal, Pavel covered nicely for him, but no one covered anyone on a broken play and the Jets scored.
- Through a 4-on-4 and a PP that was kinda bad, but picked up at the end the Wings slowly crawled back.
- Towards the end of the period the Wings had the play. They still had a lot of bad passes, but they won the battles and got pucks to the net.
- Babbles had some wild lines towards the end of the period. Everyone were playing with everyone.

Third period:
- The Wings started the third like they were on a mission. They attacked and attacked and created some chances, but never got the really big ones. This lead to me complaining that they needed better shots.
- Ten seconds after I said that, Nick blasts a cannon from the point to tie the game.
- The Wings PK in the third was awesome. I don't even think they got a shot on net.
- The Wings controlled most of the third, but the Coyotes had a couple of dangerous chances.
- We've seen a lot of Z-Dats-Cleary in 3rd periods this year and I love it. They had some DOMINANT shifts tonight.

Overtime
- I was looking for Z to show himself after being invisible lately and on a shift with Cleary, they drew a penalty, got the cycle going on the delayed call and Z managed to tip Salei's shot-pass into the net. Red Wings WIN!

Play of the game
Rafa's shot off the endboards to Cleary. So good to see Rafa back doing his thing.

Player of the game
Daniel Cleary. Holy shit is he having a good time on the ice right now.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pregame 13: Hit BizNasty

The Wings are hosting the Coyotes tonight and they need to do better than the last time. Remember how they gave that game away in a terrible fashion? Well Ozzie isn't in goal tonight, but still, these Coyotes are always good against the Wings and we've gotta play them hard. The Wings are coming off a tough roadtrip and they tend to suck in their first home game after that. And they did look tired two days ago. But let's hope for something better tonight.

Rafa is back in and that is huge. Miller and Kindl are scratches. E and Hudler should be scratches, but they're not.

Keys to the game
- Stop with the sloppy defensive mistakes we've seen on and off this season.
- The first two lines need to get going again offensively.
- Pummel Bryzgalov with shots. (Also Kronwall BizNasty).

10 things you didn't know about the Coyotes
1. Taylor Pyatt's nickname is Pyzee. What?
2. Pyatt's favourite band is Coldplay and if he could meet one person, dead or alive, it'd be Elvis. Me and Pyatt will never ever be friends.
3. Kurt Sauer's brother Kent was drafted by Nashville in 98, while another brother named Craig played 4 seasons in the NFL for the Falcons and Vikings.
4. Lee Stempniak's favourite book is The Alchemist, by Paolo Coelho, also known as the overrated, mediocre book, that made white, pretentious women (and a few men) go apeshit in their romanticism and struggle to properly pronounce Coelho.
5. Kyle Turris loves Steve Yzerman, Jack Jonhson and pierogies.
6. Scottie Upshall wants to be on Entourage and loves TMZ.com. Wow, douche alert.
7. He also loves Pearl Jam. For the three of you who didn't already know: I despise Pearl Jam.
8. The most played song on Ray Whitney's iPod is "Oh Lord, It's hard to be humble"
9. Wojtek Wolski's name is pronounced VOY-teck VOHL-skee according to the media guide. It's kinda fun to say with a heavy Polish accent.
10. Keith Yandle loves the Red Sox.
BONUS:
11. Hockey in Phoenix is a joke and they should move back to Winnipeg NOW!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Game 12: Tired Wings

First period
- The Wings early power play had one really good chance for the second unit, but otherwise the whole power play was awful. Didn't even manage to set up anything really.
- The following penalty on Kronwall was technically correct, but really, really cheap. Kronner should be too smart to do that in the new NHL, but still...
- Professional baseball player Keith Ballard had a five second interference/crosscheck session behing the net shortly after, and it went uncalled. Weird.
- The first was mostly a positional struggle. Not many big chances. The Wings had control of the first part, but got sloppy towards the end and let the Canucks take over.
- The goal, another one in the last minute, was mainly E's fault. First of all he went into the offensive zone, was to weak to take a hit, so he dumped it, but didn't get it deep. Datsyuk covered him and took his guy on the return, but sadly E failed to follow up and was last back. His guy got to be alone in front of the net and scored.
- Hockey Night in Canada for me tonight. Jim Houghson has a special way of talking and I know a few people hate him, but he was the voice of my youth's EA sports NHL games, so I love him.

Second period
- The Wings did not look ready to go at the beginning of the second, but got it going quick when Abs got it in, threw the puck at the net. The rebound went off Cleary's hip and in.
- Right after that Homer set up Kronner, who shot wide, but scored on his rebound off the boards.
- The next shift the second line got caught in their own zone on a long shift and Mikael Fuckwad Samuelsson (yes, that is his legal name) scored on an insane deflection.
- The Wings had the play for much of the period, but it was played pretty tightly and evenly.
- The Wings had two straight PPs, but got nothing on them. Credit a lack of shooting and very agressive Canucks PK. The kills made for some Canucks mojo towards the end.
- Hudler cannot buy a goal. When he got a huge chance, he rung it off the crossbar.
- On their two PPs before the Wings gave up some dumb chances. On their third, towards the end it went wrong when Datsyuk got too cute on the blue line. Malhotra got a breakaway and scored.
- After that the PP seemed like it had urgency for the first time and E scored on a great slapper with Buckets screening.

Third Period
- Very early in the period Kronwalla walked in and roofed one to give the Wings the lead.
- Of course we let the Canucks take over after that and pretty soon they got one back when no one bothered to cover Hansen in fron of the net.
- Much of the period after that was really sloppy back and forth with the Wings being the sloppiest. They gave the game to the Canucks in this period.
- The Canucks then got two power plays and scored on both. On one a screened shot went in. On the second E missed his assignment.
- Hudler and Ericsson are fucking useless.
- Taking a lazy penalty when you're down 2 with less than 10 to go is stupid as fuck Homer.
- The Wings were tired and sloppy and kept giving Canucks chances. The Canucks were good, but the Wings could have won it if they didn't get tired and give it away. Tough road trip, tired team, shit game.
- There is no question that Hudler is the one that should be in the press box. PERMANENTLY.
- I haven't seen stats, but the Wings seemed to lose EVERY FUCKING FACEOFF!


Play of the game
Kronner's second goal. Great shot.

Player of the game
Kronwall has turned it around lately and today he was excellent.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pregame 12: Slapping Sammy


Wouldn't it be totally fricking ridiculously awesome to come away from the Western Canada road trip with 6 out of 6 points? That would really cap off a great start to the season for the Wings. And with Rafa coming back it could put us on a big roll. Of course, today's opponent isn't Calgary or Edmonton. It's a Canucks team that has won five straight games. That's more games in a row than times I've overheard the couple above having sex today (4). So this will be a whole different ballgame. But while the wins against the Flames and Oilers were small, they were dominant. The Wings controlled the games and I never really feared for a loss. And remember, Jimmah doesn't lose in regulation. Ever. So if the guys go out with an effort like the ones they've shown lately and get to Luongo early, then we should win this. Actually, if we play at a top level we should beat every team, cause that's how good this team is.

Keys to the game
- Continue to play dominant puck possession hockey.
- The third line has carried the load for two games, need to see the first two lines score.
- Avoid taking dumb penalties.

Ten things you didn't know about the Canucks
1. They were the subject of the funniest exchange between the FSD announcers of the entire last season. Or maybe you knew that? If you know what I'm talking about, tell me in the comments!
2. In high school Keith Ballard was a fullback and linebacker in football and a great golf player. Which is surprising. I'd have guessed baseball player.
3. Kevin Bieksa has a bachelor in finance. He also idolized Stevie as a kid. Hmm, I might like this guy.
4. Alexandre Burrows is a crying douche. Oh, you knew that? Okay, he's an asshole who likes to talk shit about Detroit. You knew that too? Well, he was recently inducted into the Canadian Ball Hockey Hall of Fame. THAT you didn't know!
5. Darcy Hordichuk works out with Chuck Lidell. Chuck Lidell scares me. If I met Chuck Lidell I would totally lie and pretend to not think that UFC and WWE and all that crap is total bullshit.
6. Rick Rypien's cousin was MVP of Super Bowl XXVI.
7. The Sedin brothers own four racing horses. On a related note, I'm scared of horses, but think their meat (no, not that meat, PERVS) makes for great sausages.
8. The Canucks are launching a Ring of Honor as part of their 40th anniversary, but Pavel Bure has not yet been announced as one of the inductees. He hasn't had his number retired either. This makes me sad.
9. Until I fell for the Wings in 94-95 I was a Canucks fan.
10. The reason for this was that my dad bought me one of these monstrosities while in Canada.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

NHL's best uniforms ever

Doug from the Detroit Transplant and I have done another co-op post, yet again on the topic of jerseys. This time we ranked the best ones through NHL history and you can see the result here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

One year

Wow, it's been a year. One year ago I sat really bored at uni and decided that I was gonna start a blog. A lot has happened since then. I've gotten a ton of new friends, been introduced to Twitter. Gotten (a couple of) regular readers, been on podcasts, you name it. I just became part of my first series of co-op posts with another blog. I've learnt so much about hockey and gotten so many new perspectives from everyone else and from doing this. So I wanna thank all of you for making this a really fun experience. I hereby retire from blogging.

*Now, minimize this post. Wait five minutes. Come back. Continue reading*

I hereby un-retire from blogging. Happy blogday to me, this blog and my readers! Thank you again to every reader and every twitter follower. Here's to many more years of Fight Night silliness! Cheers!

Pregame 10: Insert bad joke about firefighting here

Quick thoughts
Jimmah and E are back in, Janik is back in GR and Ozzie is hurt. Huds remains a healthy scratch for today. I have faith in Jimmah, but the question is how E will fare. Hopefully better than he's done the last year or so, but I have no big hopes for that. Mike Modano needs to step up the gas today if he doesn't wanna get scratched next.

We all know the Flames are gonna play the Wings hard, but we also all know we can win this if we play our best. So the guys need to go out and go at the inconcistent Flames hard and make it another one of their bad games.

Keys to the game
- Manage 60 concistently good minutes.
- Third line needs to step up.
- Get a lot of shots on Kipprusoff.

10 things you didn't know about the Flames
1. Their media guide has no "personal"-section for each player, so it's limited what I can find here.
2. So this section will not be in today.