Sunday, May 31, 2009

Deja Vu.....again?

Wow....once again, far from the Wings best effort, and yet they were able to get it done. The scary thing is.....the Pens threw everything they had at Detroit, and the Wings were exhausted. Which I'm sure you were absolutely shocked to find out considering all the injuries, the tough opponents and then back to back games.

It was a bit crazy at my house while watching the game today, so per the usual this recap is sporadic, but here we go.

During the first half of the first period the Wings played really well. They developed a strong forecheck and everyone was playing responsibly defensively. Their transition game through the neutral zone was impeccable and Pittsburgh didn't have an answer for it. I think for about 30 seconds my heart beat was close to normal....

But then they fell back into their normal pattern of complacency. Now never having played sports higher than a high school varsity team, I have absolutely no idea what goes through a professional athletes head. But since the days of Scotty the Wings have fallen back into a defensive shell whenever they are dominating or have a strong lead, so I have to assume it's some sort of mental thing not easily over come. And while I have no business judging due to my lack of knowledge, it still is frustrating as a fan.

At this point I expect both Versus and NBC to cream their panties over Crosby, Malkin, and apparently Bitchman at least 6 times during a game. Sometimes the love fest goes to such an extreme that I am convinced I am watching foreplay from a soft core porn. I've accepted this. I'm over it. But is it too much to ask them to analyze the game. Not only between periods but during the game as well. In the first period, Ozzie makes a great save and the Wings are able to clear the zone. They don't even consider mentioning what a difficult save it was being that he had lost his stick. I wonder, do they just like they hearing their own voices or are they just that oblivious. But perhaps my favorite part of the broadcast was when McGuire (who someone pointed out that he may or may not resemble a dildo) Asks"Do you both agree that this series doesn't start until one team loses at home?" and then nothing. Crickets. Yeah Milbury and Pang didn't bite. They didn't want to take the bait and look like complete asses....they'll leave that to the resident well....self satisfaction tool....

Helm was wonderful again. It's interesting watching him play. He seems to conserve his energy and use it at just the right moments. While he still created offensive chances, I would say tonight he was most effective backchecking and covering Malkin a few times.

I would say by the second period you could tell there was some frustration from Malkin and Crosby....not to mention possible fatigue for the two super stars. I still think the schedule of 3 games in 4 nights still benefits the Pens from an exhaustion stand point, but it will be interesting to see how Bitch Baby and Malkin handle their fatigue.

Last season Zetterberg made Crosby and essentially the Penguins his bitch. We all saw it, loved it, and looked forward to it happening again this year. In fact I knew Zetterberg would do it again. What I did not expect was for the Griffins to bend the Penguins over and make them cry for their mommy's. I mean seriously the fucking Griffins have shown up.

Abdelkader....second goal in the playoffs on consecutive nights. Yahoo Sports named him their third star and they didn't even have his picture to post. Last night he had to wear Mule's warm up jacket. Cliche but true, Detroit's depth has been unbelievable and has been a difference maker during these playoff runs. Of all the players who would have expected Abdelkader to get the first two insurance goals of the playoffs?

Speaking of Griffins, Ericsson had a beautiful goal from the point with Helm screening MAF. Helm is a freak of nature. He does it all. And like a coked up Draper he keeps going and going and going. I hope that kid stays a Wing for life. I would never get sick of watching him play.

Zetterberg once again had an amazing game. Unbelievable. He shut down Crosby or Malkin or really whoever was out on the ice. One play stands out in my mind in particular. During a 2 on 1, Zetterberg backchecks like hell and comes and strips the Pen of the puck....on his own. It was a thing of beauty and amazing to watch. I think he thrives on this shit. He absolutely loves it. And I truly believe that you have to enjoy it, and love what you're doing to win. Just ask Crosby.

And that brings us to Malkin's bitchfit. It was ridiculous. Zetterberg is so far in his head he now knows his deepest darkest secrets including the fact that Malkin once walked in on Crosby with the commissioner. Hey don't shoot the messenger I'm just sharing...I appreciate that Malkin showed more emotion and actually had a reaction unlike Bitch babies robotic smug state, but the way he came at Zetterberg was unacceptable. It was worse than the Semin bitch slapping fight of 2009. He swung with his gloves on but most dangerously with his stick in his hand. So not only could he not drop his gloves, but he decided he needed whack Zetterberg with his stick as well....clearly he is following the example of his fearFUL leader. I will say I'm proud of Zetterberg for standing up for himself and not backing down. I've read in a few places that Malkin was "sending a message." I disagree. I believe he let his frustration get the best of him. So now not only does he need to over come that road block, but Zetterberg will be even more motivated next game. Yep he thrives on this shit.

And can I just say that Max Talbot is an absolute piece of dog shit. Slashing Ozzie in the stomach like that after the play....classless. I honestly thought that Pittsburg was supposed to have learned their lessons and were supposed to be a better and mature team....umm yeah you ass whole bunch of wet nasty dog're starting to resemble the Ducks and that's not a compliment.

It's interesting that tonight the Penguins went down to 6 defensemen and supposedly had 4 lines. Interesting predicament for Pittsburgh. If they have 7 defensemen than Detroit's 4th line plays less and have less of an impact. But if you do have 6 guys on the blue line and try to go with 4 lines, you're giving Babcock the chance to roll his 4 lines more....hmm damned if you do damned if you don't.

Osgood was amazing again. He had a little help from his current buddies the cross bar and the posts. But again, he had a great game and made his own luck. He bailed his teammates out many times. There is nothing more I can say about Osgood. His play speaks for itself. And if you never gave him credit before, you're not going to start now. So suck it. Great job by Ozzie.

Overall Detroit did not play well. They certainly did not play up to their standards. On the other hand Pittsburgh played really well. They once again developed a strong forecheck and pushed Detroit hard. It was a nerve racking game to watch. But overall the good thing is the Wings can play better, and they will. I expected them to struggle tonight from physical fatigue. But their will and drive pulled them through. The day off will be huge for them.

Yes Detroit is up 2-0. But this thing is FAR from over. A ton of hockey to play. You saw from the frustration at the end of the game that Pittsburgh isn't going to give up. Game three will be their greatest challenge yet. Detroit absolutely no questions asked, must split in Pittsburgh. But they have to be ready, and they have to be on the top of their game.

It would be nice to have Dangle back....but I honestly don't think we will see him until next year. And yes, I know we won so I shouldn't end this post with a comment that will surely cause you to individually pluck out your ball hair, but it's a concern. The Wings are going to need to improve their game vastly to continue to make up for his absence.

Enjoy the win, but remember, there is still a long road ahead. Filled with officials looking to "even things up," a bitch baby Pens captain, and apparently a dirty team.

A Recap and A Preview in One

Thanks to Commissioner Bitchman's revolutionary idea for back to back games, I will try to combine the recap and the preview all in one. Yeah I'm so excited about that too. Game one certainly wasn't the Wings best effort. However oddly enough they seemed to catch on to the battle cry from their coaches, fans, and media and came out strong in the first....unfortunately the second period was frightening and the third was only marginally better.

Due to the highly emotional state I was in while watching the game, here are just a few of my random and sporadic thoughts. And thanks in advance for trying to understand what the hell I'm talking about.

Thanks NBC for not disappointing me and for allowing me to make a little cash. I took bets with the friends I was watching the game with about who would give the first interview. I was shocked, and I mean shocked to learn I was correct by guessing Crosby. I did however lose out on one. I half expected them to photoshop a picture of Crosby carrying the cup and either type 2008 champion of 2009 champion underneath. At this point it's all semantics and doesn't really matter. They want him as the new Stanley Cup winner.

The first period was one of the best first periods I have seen from the Wings in a long time. They seemed to control the puck and had some good offensive opportunities. The defense played well, but they did seem to be giving away the puck far too much. With a team like Pittsburgh that needs to stop yesterday.

During the second period the Wings were greatly outplayed and were essentially, once again, saved by Ozzie. He made some huge saves and kept them in the game. Everyone and their mother has been writing how the Wings are lucky....hmmmmm interesting whenever another team has been lucky it has been spun as working for your luck, or making your own luck. But for the Wings not so much. Well I'll say it, Franzen made a great play when the puck came off the boards at the end of the second and had a beautiful backhand goal. Now if Crosby and Malkin would of made this play, you can be damn sure it would have been hailed as a creative thing of beauty. Something only the savior of the NHL could accomplish. So really everyone else can suck it.

About as surprising as Crosby still living with Mario, the Pens started a bunch of after the whistle shit. And equalling unsurprising the Wings didn't bite. That's fine little girls, even if the Wings continue to not get any power plays from this, they know your still as frustrated as hell and will enjoy getting into your heads.

Hossa seemed to be taking a lot of shit from his old teammates. Apparently Orpik is butt sore over the fact that Hossa for once wanted to choice his own destiny and pick the team he would play for. So he took a run at him during the first which certainly shook Hossa up. My heart literally stopped until I saw him on the ice again. Now, I'm just going to say....if Kronwall had made that hit.....

Speaking of which, Crosby made a beautiful play shortly after....well beautiful to Gary and the legions of uneducated bandwagon Pittsburgh fans. He gave Zetterberg a nice elbow to the head....hmmmm now flip that and reverse it....I don't think a Wing could touch the anointed one in such a way. But whatever, I suppose this is now a great "defensive" play by Bitch Baby.

Well as you know the Wings scored first on a "lucky" bounce and the Pens tied it up on what I hope will be an uncharacteristic bad play by Ozzie. The game was tied 1-1 due to two lapses by the goalies. Although luckily for Detroit fans, when Osgood lets in a softy his rage becomes 10 times greater and is 10 times more effective than a pissed off Homer.

Sidenote: is it too much to ask for NBC to analyze the game during the intermissions....apparently so. After the first we learned what magical ingredients and all the love that Malkin's mom puts in his soup. I suspected that after the second we would be privileged to learn which diapers and aloe vera wipes Gary uses on his bitch baby.

Alright, back to the game. During the second period Malkin trips Kronwall at the Pens blue line, excuse me scratch that, he makes a beautiful defensive play and gets a breakaway. Apparently the leagues superstars now get away with blatant elbows and trips....luckily for the Wings Ozzie was still steaming about his softy goal and stoned Malkin on the breakway....still 2-1.

I think it's interesting to note here that the Pens were throwing everything they had at the Wings. Everything. And Detroit with a far less than perfect Ericsson, Lidstrom, and no Dangle or Draper still kept up with them. Although I hate to say it, but I think there will be a number of make up calls against the know for all of the lucky bounces...and for this:

Apparently Zetterberg jumped on Ozzie and while the puck was on Ozzie's back he touched it with his hand. I didn't actually see him touch it with his hand, but I'll believe everyone. Now I'll say this, even if Zetterberg hadn't done that, the play should have been called dead. No one knew where the puck was. The whistle would have been blown in that had been MAF. But not to worry Pittsburgh fans...Gary has already been on the phone with both his Bitch Baby and the officials. The Wings will now have to beat the Pens and the refs tonight, I can feel it. I just hope this favoritism begins to irritate the hockey gods.

Ville Leino had one of his strongest games of the playoffs. And not just because he did all of the work to set up Michigan States' own Abdlekader for the insurance goal. But because he finally started to make some defensive plays. It will be nice to see him continue with this.

Helm was once again Darren Freaking Helm, both on the PK and with 8 hits in 17 minutes of ice time. Although honestly I began to wonder more when he was not on the ice. He seemed to be everywhere. Everyone knows how fast he is, but I think they are underestimating how strong he is on the puck. This kid is pumped and just having fun and playing great.

Perhaps one of the most shocking occurrences came when Homer took a blatant elbow to the head and nothing was called. No, no that's not the crazy part, the strange aspect is NBC called that out as a penalty, and THEY were surprised when it wasn't called. Alright this morning I am stocking up on water and canned goods since the world must be coming to an end.

I think Zetterberg has already fully irritated our hockey savior. Uh oh Hank you're not going to be making any friends in the hockey world...After Crosby played video games and had a warm glass of milk with Mario, he hit speed dial 1 and had a conversation with Gary.

I think last night it is interesting to note that Detroit's 4th line was competitive with Pittsburgh's 2nd line. Over a 7 game series that may not bode well for the Pens.

At the end of the game Crosby let his frustration fully show. Apparently Maltby was "talking" too much for his liking after the game, so Bitch Baby slashed him while he was in the line to congratulate Ozzie. Wow, classy move by a classy captain. Way to lead your team you little bitch. But now I'm fully confused. The media and the Penguins have been telling me all week how they changed, they're experienced and ready to deal with the riggers of the Stanley Cup Finals...well maybe everyone but Crosby.

This leads me to my final point. Crosby while perhaps better offensively this year (although Malkin is the one who gives me nightmares not Bitch Baby) he still hasn't grown up. I said before his overall attitude and lack of respect for his peers was obnoxious, classless, and anything but the appropriate behavior of the anointed champion. Well apparently that hasn't changed. During the press conference, he bitched about Zetterberg and lucky bounces while failing to give credit to the job done by the Wings. I would be embarrassed if I saw a Detroit player act in the same manner.....

Oh and was it not funny seeing Abdelkader wearing Mule's warm up jacket during the presser....

Well not sure if you are aware, but apparently there is another game tonight.
I haven't heard anything about Dangle Dangle, but my suspicion is he will be out. In fact I fully suspect to see Draper in before the great Dangle. Damn.
Detroit last night was able to pull one out without key components of their team. Tonight, they will need to better. Much better. After the Zetterberg puck incident you can expect a lot of make up calls. Detroit will be playing against two skilled opponents.
It will also be important for them to deal with the Penguins forecheck. That seemed to be an area of concern last night.....but if they stop coughing the puck up so much (20 giveaways) I am sure that will help a great deal.
Last night the Wings won 71% of the faceoffs and in what was essentially a close game, that was a key to their success.
One last point, they need to continue to support one another defensively and backcheck like hell. Not only will it keep Pittsburgh off the score sheet, but it's clear that it will annoy the fuck out of them.
Tonight is a must win. Going to Pittsburgh tied 1-1 is not an option. They need that cushion until all their key players are back and able to contribute.
Yeah, and to everyone who continues to say the Wings are just lucky. You don't get to the Stanley Cup Finals due to luck. So if I had one, you could suck it.
Oh and please enjoy the song below. Just take out Kyle's mom and insert Sidney Crosby. Enjoy.

Friday, May 29, 2009

What more is there to say?

Many people have already counted the Red Wings out. They did so before the playoffs started and they continued through each and every series. It was always something, perhaps questioning whether Ozzie would be able to compete, then wondering whether the Wings could skate with the physical and punishing Ducks, and finally could they keep up with the young, talented, and driven Hawks? And each time, the Wings answered their critics. They found a way to win. They fought hard during each game, each shift. On their course to the finals every opponent demanded something different of them. They maintained their puck possession, defensively dominate style, but they adapted, they worked to succeed. Because above everything else, the Wings are champions. Each and every person in that locker room is a champion, a competitor. Every. One.

Let the media and the Penguin's fans continue to discuss the offensive dominance of Malkin and Crosby. Let them praise Fleury and Bylsma. Let them salivate over the Pens desire for revenge and retribution. None of it matters. None of it. Because this team, our team, they know how to compete. They know how to win championships, and they'll do it again. Tell me Ozzie, Lidstrom, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen, Helm, and Hossa want to watch Crosby carry the cup. Their cup. I don't care if that sounds pompous or righteous. This is their year. They know what will be demanded and as those before them have done in the past, they will rise and step up to the challenge.

There is really nothing more that I can say. This will be an epic series. And while all the die hard Red Wings fans will be nervous, look back and read these words from The Captain, Steve Yzerman. Rest assured, he passed along the legacy.

"Being a Detroit Red Wing to me is being a part of an organization that has a history that goes way back. Some of the greatest players in the National Hockey League have played for the Red Wings. For me, I feel like I have a responsibility of getting or keeping the organization at a level that players like Gordie Howe, Terry Sawchuk, Alex Delvecchio, Ted Lindsay, and Sid Abel brought it to. Being a Red Wing is having an obligation to play and conduct yourself in the same manner and with the same expectations that those players had. The level of play and level of professionalism should always meet that of the Red Wings greats that came before you.

If you don't have a love and passion for the sport that you play then you won't be successful in the long haul. Money isn't the motivator in sports; you have to have the will to win and a drive to be the best. You have to want to be good, to want to win. You have to have the pride in yourself, the pride in your team to succeed.

As you read these Red Wings player's stories, you'll find that regardless of their era, or their success or failure on the ice, we all share the common bond of not only a love and passion for hockey, but the commitment to uphold the tradition of a team-our team-the Detroit Red Wings"

-Steve Yzerman, from What It Means To Be A Red Wing

Please tell me you can find one player on the Red Wings who does not know the responsibility they have to themselves and most importantly to their team. They want this. Do not underestimate their commitment, skill, drive, and desire to get it. Those aspects are key components of a Red Wing and each and every player has it. This is their year, their time to cement their dynasty. Our Red Wings, they will fight and push and sacrifice to make it happen.

It's their tradition, their team, they are the Detroit Red Wings.

A Lidstrom AND Datsyuk Sighting

The Chief via Bruce MacLeod's twit or tweet (which sounds gross, but I think this is the first time I've understood the purpose of Twitter) Is reporting that BOTH Lidstrom and Datsyuk are skating at practice.

Holland already said he expects Lidstrom to be back for game one on Saturday. Now, because I'm so cool and everything, yeah scratch that perhaps I've just been one incredibly lucky biatch, I have an inside source who will occasionally give me some Red Wings related information. This person has been right in the past, specifically on the time frame and terms of the Mule's contract as well as the day he would sign etc. etc. Well today we had a chance to catch up and I learned what Lidstrom's injury really was....and you know what it makes sense. I'm not going to say what specifically was wrong because clearly the Wing's organization doesn't want anyone to know....I'll just say it makes sense he would be back today. Yeah more when the playoffs are done.

And as for Datsyuk, I am still holding out a beacon of hope for a game one return, but a Sunday showing is probably more likely.

Alright the nerves have officially set in. Not sure I'm ready.

UPDATE: From Bruce of course,

Here's what the Wings are working out of today ...

Cleary-Filppula-Hossa (Datsyuk working in)
Leino-Abdelkader-Maltby (Draper working in)



Here's what jumps out ... Lidstrom is working out of a spot that says he's definitely playing in Game 1 of the SCF. Datsyuk is just subbing on a line. Babcock is prepping the team for a game without Pavel.On the blue line, Lilja is partnered with Lebda. Two things might be going on. First, Lilja might be back in the lineup with Chelios out. Second, and I think this might be more reasonable, Lilja is a place-holder for Ericsson, who might return from appendicitis surgery.

Interesting. The Chief also updated that Datsyuk isn't skating or moving much. Damn. I think I was more willing to believe he could be back than a high school boy is excited to score on prom night. I also don't think Lilja is in game shape but is more of a place holder. But deep down, I think the Wings will be without Ericsson and Datsyuk for game one. And anyway I attempt to spin that, it still comes out negative. Wow, a special gift for Gary and Sidney. I honestly think I will develop an ulcer if I am forced to watch Chelios play one more game...

Oh why the hell not

Just a few quick thoughts on some of the Penguins players. While I don't have hate in my heart for them as I would for lets say the Ducks or Claude......I'm still not necessarily fond of the Penguins. And I'm sure after the Finals this year....hate or a strong dislike may develop. I'm sure subconsciously it has something to do with the fact that the league creams their panties over them all throughout the season, and Sidney Crosby is the subject of grown men's wet dreams. So while my annoyance for some of the Pens may not be fully justified I figured what the hell I've never claimed to be logical or reasonable so at this point in the season why start now.

Sidney Crosby

Now honestly, there is no denying Crosby's talent. You're obviously fucking retarded if you attempt to discount his hockey abilities. And he really is an exciting and dynamic player to watch. So in all honesty I've tried not hate him, but both he and the league make that nearly impossible. Last year his bitching, whining, and all around pussy behavior made me despise him. I'm not sure I have seen such a catty attitude outside of an all girls high school. His assurance that Zetterberg essentially making him his prison bitch during last years 5 on 3 wasn't anything special solidified him in my cum bucket category. Don't ask how you travel from bucket to rag, it's a scientific process I perfected while evaluating the Ducks. So last year to me, Crosby was kinda like the new guy in prison. The little whinny bitch who gets passed around until he learns what it's all about. This year he wanted to prove his toughness, so after his ass fisting of another guy he's probably moved up the food chain a bit but not much....I guess that sort of kinky shit works for some people...... And this year, he had a few nasty comments to make regarding Datsyuk and Lidstrom choosing to sit out of Bitchman's dog and pony show due to injuries. Really Sidney? You still want to be that immature, dirty infected queef. I tried to blame the league for your over promotion and for nearly convincing casual hockey observers you won the cup. But now I'm absolutely positive that just as much as Gary jacks off to you every night, you have your head, or fist just as far up his ass. Sad, just sad. Still no respect for your peers. Not sure he ever had a shot at not being the leagues little pussy pawn. I think it was just in the cards for Sid the Kid. He's got that shit eating, douche bag, self righteous, pedobeard, entitled look about him. I have a feeling he was the little kid the other ones would tease and pick on until he peed his nothings really changed.

Evgeni Malkin

Really have nothing against Malkin. Another great talent and fun player to watch. However I still find it rather amusing that he curled up and disappeared during last years finals....but all I can say, Wings, please keep him in check this year. For Fucks sake please keep him off the score sheet as much as possible. And not just because that will be a key to the series. But because I'm not sure I can continue to watch his parents dry hump in a huge arena. I'm all for parents cheering on their kids. And Jesus, I went to Michigan State and saw way too many drunken displays of raunchy sexuality in public places that I'm not shocked by much....but something about watching his parents, just felt dirty, who knows.

Tyler Kennedy

Yeah that's an unfortunate look he's got going on. Good thing for him he plays hockey. Imagine if he had a boring office job like the rest of us......I'm guessing he'd be that fucked up psycho coworker who clips his toenails in the office and then eats the clippings while staring at pictures of his cats. I don't know the kid seems weird. At least he'll always have his stick to love and comfort him during the long lonely summer after the Wings once again beat the Pens.....well the stick or Crosby's fist....either way

Marc Andre Fleury

Sorry but this is still fucking hilarious. Wonder if they will forgo the carpet this year. Apparently, while not in net, he has the coordination of a fat guy on a tiny bike.

Well just like a nasty case of herpes, the Pens are back. And just like before the Wings will have to pop, scratch, and burn them away. Should be an epic series and if the Wings can get some of their tops players back, should be a hell of a game on Saturday.

And be honest. If your not a Pens fan, and even if you hate the Wings with a burning passion, do you really want to watch Sidney carry the cup 112,356 times next season. At least if the Wings win, we have proof that won't happen. Just something to consider....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jump in with both feet

Quite a day to have to really buckle down at work. I feel like I missed so much. So here we go.

The series hasn't even started and already the Wings are counted out. That's alright I'll take it. I think they will perform just fine as the underdogs. I had a hard time finding an article from the media where they weren't wetting their panties over the Penguins. Is this a rematch of last year? I guess technically yes it is. But it certainly isn't the same. The Penguins have a very different, stronger roster, and much more experience as well. Yes, the whole discussion on experience can be cliche, but after watching the Chicago series, I think we saw it's validity.

And yet despite their strengths, and the roll that both Crosby and Malkin are on, it's important to point out the level of competition they faced. It would be polite to say that Washington and Carolina were a bit sparse in the defensive department. I'm still convinced that Mike Green being nominated for the Norris Trophy is some sick fucked up joke that completely backfired. Make him a winger and then perhaps we could talk about his "greatness." Until then I'd rather have Lidstrom taking care of Crosby and Malkin. Carolina, as I said it before, essentially consisted of Ward and Staal. And both seemed to disappear in the Conference Finals. I'm not discounting the Penguins, there is no denying they are a great team, and like EVERY other team the Wings have faced, they scare the shit out of me. But the Finals are going to be incredibly different than what they have experienced so far.

Malkin said they know Detroit and aren't scared because essentially their the same team as before. I disagree. Yes, now Hossa is a part of the team, but there are other players they're ignoring. Darren Helm has come into his own this playoff run. Yes he's fast, he checks, and apparently he's a beast on the PK, but he also provides much needed energy and offensive opportunities after a long season and long playoff run. Ericsson has stepped up and played like a seasoned veteran. He had a rough Chicago series (and by rough I mean not up to his usually high standards) but now that we know his health situation, perhaps that can be explained. Filppula has filled in admirably for Datsyuk, but even before he had developed great chemistry with Hudler and Samuelsson. Often times they were the best line on the ice. And Lebda last night was a great surprise. When needed he stepped up. Sure many of the players are the same, but there are new guys and they have all developed and improved. I think overall Pittsburgh and the media are underestimating Detroit's will and desire to keep what's theirs. If Detroit can get healthy I think this series will certainly be fun to watch.

Which brings me to this. Holland said today that Lidstrom should be good to go on Saturday. Damn, I hope he's right. I honestly cannot handle sitting and watching Chelios play 10 minutes again. Because seriously ever time he touches the puck, something bad happens. EVERY TIME. If that happens again I will honestly contemplate stabbing out my eyes with a dull object. Sigh. Anyway Holland also said that Datsyuk and Ericsson will be a game day decision. As everyone knows earlier this year Lilja had his appendix removed on Wednesday and played on the 6'5'' power Swede may make it back. I'm working on my karma to do my part, don't worry. Now onto some good news about Datsyuk. Dave, who apparently somehow stumbled upon this blog, sent myself and other bloggers the following email:

Hey all! I'm a big fan of each and everyone of your blogs (TTD, A2Y, OtW & BingoBango) and you're really the only source of reading I do based on hockey. Anyways, I'll get to the point of this email and not only is it a cool experience for me but it's some good news I heard along the way. I work at Outback Steakhouse in Canton, MI. The ex-girlfriend, who is still a good friend of mine, also works at the Canton location. Mandy, my ex, is dating the owner of the Novi location where her sister also works.

So, on to the point. I just get a call from Mandy (again, my ex, for those of you who can't keep up) and she is sitting at Novi Outbacks bar. Oddly enough, she is calling me to tell me that just a few feet away is Pavel Datsyuk and her sister is waiting on him. So of course the first thing I want is an autograph. So I can clearly hear them talking back and forth, they got some pictures to with Pav. After it finally sets in I immediately have her ask Pav when he'll be back.

He says his foot is getting better and hopefully it'll be Saturday but chances are he will be back Sunday without fail.

Obviously you all might find this either bullshit or just some heresay which I totally agree. Maybe it was Pavel just being a typical cliche hockey player.
To me, it was the best news I could hear! Nowing Lids and Ericcson will be back Saturday and now having Pav back by Sunday at the latest has just brought my spirits right back up.
With a fully healthy team, the Pens are going down.
Soon as I get the pictures I'll try and send them over so you guys know I'm not just B.S.'ing ya


-Dave Bida

Well not that my opinion matters, but I believe you Dave. I was hoping he would be back for Game 1. But deep down I knew I was just setting myself up for heartache and disappointment. Deep down I knew my one attempt at positive thinking would be tossed back at me and smack me ridiculously hard right in the stomach causing me to either vomit or spend hours trying to catch my breath. Now if Datsyuk isn't playing some fucked up joke on everyone, I will be looking forward to seeing him on Sunday. However next time I'm visiting my family in Novi, I may just have to eat at Outback. Thanks for sending this along Dave. Nice scoop....I think you and your friends got more information than the media. I'm rather jealous.

Ok so I usually read other fans blogs during the regular season and even more so during the playoffs. However before I really jumped into the Penguin's blogs, I heard everyone talking about the shit that was spewed over at thepensblog. Apparently they find it humorous to joke about life altering, career ending, family tragedies. Now here at Bango I say a lot of carp. I make stupid crude jokes laced with sexual references and language which would make a grown man blush. But there is a line, and they easily jumped over it. I don't want to talk about it or give my take because it's too offensive and raises my blood pressure far too much. I'll just say it is beyond classless, it instead shows their utter disregard for humanity and more specifically Konstantinov's family. Disgusting. And you know what I think the Penguin organization would agree. Head over to WTF Holland where Kyle has a great take. Well done Kyle and far kinder than I could ever hope to be.

More updates tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stanley Cup Finals Deja Vu

Wow. Absolutely. Amazing. Kopecky, Lilja, Draper, Lidstrom, Datsyuk....and then Ericsson, all out, I began to wonder who decided to gift wrap the series for the Hawks. Seriously, please tell me another team that could play through those injuries. Pittsburgh.....take away JUST Crosby or Malkin and they are in serious trouble. The Wings, somehow they over came the loss of Lidstrom and Datsyuk, two of the best players in the league, twice. This is the epitome of a championship team.

When I finally made it home from work I quickly turned on the TV and logged onto the A2Y live blog. And what was I immediately hit with, the news that Ericsson was out. Panic set in, sweat, nausea, self was all there. Apparently Ericsson had appendicitis and was having that removed. What a freak thing to happen...and while Lidstrom was out. I had spent all day convincing myself that the Wings could win one more game without Datsyuk and Lidstrom...but now Jonny Ericsson...well I wasn't prepared for that shit.

Yeah, and my nerves are still attempting to settle the fuck down after watching Chelios play 10 minutes. If I never have to see him on the ice again......well I'm sure you understand.

Due to the intensity of the game and my location of watching it while sitting next to my puppy while she hid underneath her usual playoff spot, the coffee table, my notes may be a little sketchy, but here we go.

The Wings once again (so yes holy shit two games in a row) came out very strong. 21 shots in the first period should sum it up. They seemed to want to push hard on the forecheck in the first utilizing the philosophy that the best defense is a good offense?? You could get the sense that they really wanted to close the thing out in the first period. It was impossible, with the injuries, to keep this pace up all game, but they certainly did try. They all deserve nothing but credit.

But despite the 21 shots in the first Huet was standing on his head and was determined to erase his previous shitty performance from the minds of Chicago fans everywhere. He was great and Detroit just couldn't break through. I'm not sure they could score on Hollywood Blvd last night.

Hossa had an amazing game. He didn't score but he set up so many opportunities. You could just feel how bad he wanted that one. But it wasn't just his offensive prowless this game. With Datsyuk, Lidstrom, Draper, and Ericsson all out, he really excelled on the defensive side. His backchecking and penalty kills were essential to the Wings win.

And you can't really have a conversation about penalty kills without mentioning Helm holding onto the puck, forechecking, and essentially killing 2o seconds of the PK on his own. Oh and did I mention, he almost fucking scored. After that he ducks to miss a check and the Joe goes crazy. Some people love flowers in the spring, birds singing...blah blah me, this is a thing of beauty.

I think it is also safe to say that Ozzie stole his second game of the playoffs. Without him, there is absolutely no way the Wings would have won. None. I'll even say it was one of his best playoff performances. I'm not even going to go into the Ozzie HOF/Elite goalie debate. To me, to Wings fans, and to his teammates, there is no question.

Zetterberg once again had a great game both defensively and offensively. He certainly showed his leadership.

Minus Chelios who I am in far too good of a mood to talk about, the Wings defense came through. Again. They all played huge minutes and were obviously tired, but it didn't show. Rafalski in particular picked up a lot of minutes and still played strong despite the fact that the Hawks were using him as target practice.

I would also say that Lebda played well. Particularly after Ozzie made a huge save, but the puck was still lose, Lebda swept it out of the crease. Could have been a game changer.

Cleary's goal was a beautiful deflection from a Lebda shot. I think it's important to point out that Filppula started that play by holding the puck in. He really has stepped up his play and filled in for Datsyuk. While no one can be Dangle Dangle, Filppula has come into his own.

At one point Stuart left the ice and I wasn't sure if he was hurt or had an equipment issue. Then Hossa appeared to hurt himself...I guess he had ice on his knee after the game. I seriously began to wonder what the hell was going on. How did they possibly deserve this. Did Bitchman work some voodoo magic or travel to a far land to curse the Wings? Who knows, I think there was probably something. But luckily they both came back and were able to finish the game. I just hope the two whole days off will be enough time for all the injured players to recover. (please notice that was dripping in sarcasm)

Normally when the Wings go into OT the terror and panic sets in. But this time I honestly didn't feel it. They had to win game 5. With the effort they put in to overcome all the injuries, all the bull shit, and on the night they broke the PK curse, it really wasn't a question. They were finishing this bitch at home during game 5.

Yeah and apparently Helm thought the same thing. It was amazing to see him get the game winner. Out of everyone, Helm or Hossa seemed like the two to score.

Congratulations to the Wings. A spectacular effort by a special team. Certainly showed why this series was a boys vs. men scenario. Experience, hard work, and great leadership. Despite Gary attempting to ass rape the Wings, fans, and league as a whole by starting the finals SO soon, and having 3 games in 4 nights, I hope the Wings can get healthy. Please Dastyuk and Lidstrom. Pretty please. Although I'll be honest, this shit doesn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. We'll see? Ummmm no no. I can't handle the anticipation for 2 days.

Sigh. So breathe Wings fans. Relax for half a day. And then begin to focus on the fact that there is a rematch about to take place on Saturday night. I know, I know casual hockey fans may be confused but the Wings did in fact win the Cup last year, despite what commercials and commentators may suggest. And now that they have it, they've shown they want to keep it. All the injuries and bull shit calls throughout the playoffs could have been an excuse for the Wings to lie down and have a nice long summer. But these Champions aren't the Ducks after their Stanley Cup win. No they smell victory and they want to keep their Cup. They want to cement their dynasty. Ozzie wants his place in history.

Crosby and his bitch babies are ready. They're perhaps cockier than last year. Their beards while still frightening women and children are in fact "thicker." They think their desire for revenge is greater than the Wings desire to keep the Cup. But that right there still proves their immaturity. Still proves they haven't won anything yet. Because when a player has that satisfaction of winning, that pure joy of hoisting the Cup with their families, they're not going to easily give it up.

I've only recently lived in Phoenix and it is a place populated by disgusting bugs and animals. So last night, after the Wings won, I went out to the garage to take out the trash. Suddenly a tiny little scorpion ran out at me. So I stepped on it. I smashed it in the ground. And even when I knew it was done, I still stepped on it. Just to make sure. Yeah, it would be great if the Wings could do the same. Smash the Penguins once again, just to make sure their egos and spirit are fully broken.

Update on Lidstrom and Datsyuk

I don't know why I keep doing this shit to myself. I think I'm a masochist. Seriously. Out loud I act like a bad ass and say "oh Lidstrom and Datsyuk will probably be out for Game 5, no big deal, they'll work it out." But secretly, deep down the little girl inside is hoping and thinking they'll be could they not be? Well fuck. They're out. MacLeod has the update below:

Coach Mike Babcock just said that neither Nicklas Lidstrom (lower body) or Pavel Datsyuk (foot) will be in the lineup for tonight's Game 5 of the Western Conference final."I think they're both getting closer," said Babcock. "I'd like to think they'll play the next time we play. I thought that today though."

That means the Wings will likely use the same lineup as in Game 4 with Chris Chelios and Justin Abdelkader dressed.

Yes I'm well aware the Wings can win without two of the top players in the league, but it doesn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. But thank God they have Chelios to eat up 4 minutes of ice time...seriously, soooo lucky. Alright I'm being unnecessarily bitchy. Since they can't seem to break the streak of shaky penalty killing, can they stop their propensity of losing during clinching game 5's? Pretty pretty please?

Who knows....maybe this will be extra motivation for Detroit to come out strong and put in a 60 minute effort. Without Datsyuk and Lidstrom to rely may just be the extra kick in the ass...

Could it be?

There has been a lot of talk and some not so subtle hints about a possible Stanley Cup rematch. Especially now that Pittsburgh has officially exposed Carolina for the team of misfits they are...Boston, did you watch closely? The Penguins had a wonderful time crushing the Canes and prominently displaying to everyone that they are merely a one trick, streaky Staal pony, with their only true defense being Cam Ward. Yes I know Malkin and Crosby have been on an offensive tear...and Fleury was huge when necessary, but I still think it was a very easy win, really like beating your little brother at something, cute, fun, still satisfying, but certainly not difficult....especially when you compare it to what any of the Western Conference teams have gone through.

With that being said, the Wings have a chance to make this epic rematch happen. Tonight's game 5. Babcock said he doesn't believe in momentum transferring from one game to another. And unfortunately with the Wings he's probably right....we never know which version we'll be watching or who will be healthy enough to play. But for the young, embarrassed Hawks, they can talk about getting past the public ass raping they experienced on Sunday, but you know it is still in the back of their minds, poking at them and reminding them, they just aren't good enough. If the Wings can come out strong, score first, forecheck hard, that seed of doubt already there, should fester like some disgusting venereal disease and really bring them down. Well that is if the Wings decide to come out flying instead of playing like a steaming pile of butt nuggets....We all know they have a history of squandering, yes I said squandering suck it, game fives. That and the Hawks will be hungry, desperate and ready to prove themselves. The fourth win is always the hardest, the Wings can't relax.

Today I will be anxiously waiting to see if Datsyuk and Lidstrom will be available to play. It's kind of like Christmas morning, when you still thought Santa was would wait and wait and think maybe this year will be the year he will bring me my pony...and you'd get up, have a great Christmas but of course no pony. I'm afraid we'll be experiencing that today folks. We could see a great game, but I think Babcock was just fucking with us when he said Lidstrom and Datsyuk may be ready...I wouldn't count on it. Can the Wings pull it together one more time without the Captain and Dangle Dangle, finish toying with these young little bastards and move on to the business at hand. I certainly hope so. I hope they stop being a perpetual hockey dick tease, occasionally showing us their greatness, then next pulling back and playing down to their opponents level. Tonight it will be important for them to crush the Hawks. Break their spirit, hold nothing back. Last game, the little guys said they felt like the Wings laughed at them. Tonight, no question. I want to hear cackling, laughter, and all out joy at the anguish of the Hawks. Franzen already made Kane his bitch, and he sure as hell just took it's time for the rest of them.

Tonight's the Wings opportunity to move on to their final rest stop before their path to a dynasty hits the final stretch. Finish them off, take them seriously enough to have a decisive win, and hopefully move on to Crosby and his pack of little bitches. Last year Crosby was a cocky little fucker, not sure if that's because his mouth was constantly full of Bitchman's peen, but he had no respect for his opponents. This year, I haven't heard as much of his little girl whining since he was ridiculed for ass fisting another player. Maybe if the Wings get a chance to play him in the finals, an opportunity to once again embarrass him and prove he's not only the leagues bitch but also the Wings....that will change. Ha the thought makes me smile and giggle like a little school girl.

The Wings are at home, after an emotional 6-1 victory. Yeah losing, not an option. Make it happen.

Finally from Dan Cleary:

"I don't feel we're robotic. We have a boatload of fun, but when it comes to game mode, there's a certain switch. It does take time to learn, but now we all know the discipline it takes to win, whether it's taking a punch in the face after the whistle, or ignoring when someone's trying to goad you into something. You're never bigger than the team."

Flip the switch, keep it on, and crush the Hawks. I don't know but I would enjoy seeing some children cry and stare out in space in utter disbelief....kind of like last year. Ahhhh memories.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday, but it feels like Monday

If you have read this blog more than once, it's pretty obvious that I am not necessarily an overtly positive girl with sunshine shooting from me and giant halo over my head...but I also wouldn't say I am super pessimistic. So this morning, I woke up after having a dream where both Datsyuk and Lidstrom were skating at practice. I imagined them laughing about missing game 4 and assuring the Hockeytown faithful that they would be 110% available for game 5. I don't know somewhere in my fucked up psyche I imagined them skipping along the ice, leaping through the air, while simultaneously giving Bitchman the middle finger and causing Quennville to go into stress induced convulsions...I don't it was bizarre, don't fucking judge me though. Don't you's the playoffs and I'm sure you have all been off your game lately.

But anyway, back to my point, not sure who I pissed off, but my dream was quickly crushed when I found out both Datsyuk and Lidstrom were unavailable for practice. Matt at On the Wings has all the stories compiled into one place. I know it was stupid to think they would be able to practice...but call me a dreamer during the playoffs. There is still a slight chance they'll be ready for Wednesday and just took today off for further precautions. In fact some how Datsyuk shoved his swollen foot in his skate long enough to be on the ice for about 15 minutes. But who knows, maybe he has no intention of playing tomorrow and just wanted to fuck with Chicago's already "fragile" emotions.

After first hearing this development I began to think, hey, if they can rest up for a bit, maybe it would be better to let them fully heal. But then I read this over at KK. Nice point Babcock....dammit....

The other thing I’d say to you, it’s way easier to replace quality players in the short?term than it is in the long?term, because everyone can lift their level for a period of time. But, you know, how you gonna play like Nik every night? I haven’t seen anybody play like Nik every night, except Nik.

Lidstrom's irreplaceable and barring another melt down of the ages from Chicago, they will be putting up a much stronger fight. I have faith in the Wings, and they can do it without their top guys...but my nerves, stomach lining, and liver would really be happy if both, or even one, were able to play....I'm just saying.

And finally, Franzen apparently ripped out Kane's binky because he couldn't resist.

Amazing. Do you get the feeling that he was the same kid who would sit on others during recess fart on them, and then steal their lunches....just because he could? Yeah, that or he was a repeat recipient of swirlies and wedgies and decided he would like to take out his past regression on the little bitches from Chicago....either scenario...I fully support.

Monday, May 25, 2009

An Emotional Rollercoaster

That's the best way to describe this past weekend of hockey. On my long ass car ride to Disney I followed along on the live blog and felt like poking my eye out with a pencil. I begged my niece for one of her crayons but I think she was skeptical of my motivation and denied me. I was depressed. down 3-0, Dasyuk was out, Draper was out, and Kronwall had been given a game misconduct for what Versus and CBC apparently found to be a perfectly clean hit. Yeah, that alone made me react spastically enough for a 2 year old to ask why I was "weird." And then somehow this amazing, driven, championship team, fought back through all the adversity and bullshit and tied it up, just to lose in over time during some freak stick breaking...or something...anyway, that's the best I could figure out from reading and watching Sportscenter that night.

Everything has already been said, about the hit and about the game. What a shitty way to end a car ride and a long day. I felt deflated and I'm pretty sure my fiance's family thought I was completely crazy for letting the game affect my attitude....although my little niece did ask if I was so sad because of the Red Wings...I think I have a future fan on my hands.

But after the low of Friday, came Sunday. Thank baby Jesus the game was on NBC and I had a few options of bars to watch it....because for some reason the Indy 500 was on the big screen at the ESPN Zone and the Wings game was forced to some small TV in a corner. But I guess I should expect that by now. So when I finally settled down, with a drink I was immediately bitch slapped in the face. Not only were Datsyuk and Draper out, but Lidstrom, Fucking Mr. Norris himself, was also out. What the hell...his first missed playoff game, ever, I wasn't prepared for that shit. I felt like one of the many toddlers I saw running around the park, sad, scared, pissed, frustrated, and perhaps a little poopy, but with no words to explain exactly what was going on. I'm sure I let out some grunts, swear words, and general confused bitching in a state of terror. I'll be honest, I didn't feel very good about Sunday's game.

Chicago was essentially handed the game in a gift box with a giant bow. I envisioned Gary giggling like a little school girl. Running, skipping, jumping around with a cherry lollipop and rainbows and unicorns occasionally shooting out of his ass. I mean could you imagine his excitement? I'm sure it was better than the Crosby picture he "occasionally" jacks off to.

It was all there, Norris out, Draper out, Datsyuk out, "revenge" for the Kronwall hit was pure motivation, the momentum from a hard fought OT win, and of course a home crowd screaming Detroit Sucks. I mean seriously, if you can't fucking win with all of that going on...then you truly are a disgrace to the NHL, and you owe every fan in Chicago a heart felt apology, just pathetic.

And just as sad as Chicago was, Detroit showed that they are the consummate professionals. Somehow they dug deep and put together one of their most complete 60 minute performances all season. Without their leader, Zetterberg stepped up and reconfirmed why he is the next captain in waiting. The defense really took their game to another level. And although Kronwall had a disappointing regular season, during the playoffs he has been great, and his composure on Sunday was amazing. I'm sure he isn't used to be booed every time he touches the puck. I know I shouldn't be but I was absolutely surprised with their ability to compartmentalize and come up big when necessary. Hossa and Filppula stepped up when needed.

I will say watching Chicago have a complete and utter melt down was incredibly entertaining. From Quenneville nearly popping neck veins on the bench, to Versteeg becoming intimately acquainted with the penalty box, it really was a comedy of errors. We all knew this team was immature, but you think Scotty or Babcock would have put up with that display of childish behavior if they were the coach...yeah not a chance. The ref wouldn't need to be handing out any game misconducts because their ass would be on the bench. During my time at Disney this weekend I saw many exploding diapers, temper tantrums, and non stop screaming and crying....but nothing compared to the bitch fit Chicago displayed on national was epic.

Due to my lack of computer access this weekend, everything about Friday and Sunday's games has already been written. I've read it on my blackberry which is now in need of quite a I'll just finish this post with a few other thoughts.

The Chief has the classic youtube clip of Mule ripping out Kane's mouth guard and throwing it to the ice. Honestly how perfect was it for him to take little Patrick's binky, or pacy, or boppy away during his temper tantrum....and Cleary's laughter, priceless. Well that and Kane then quickly backing down like a little bitch. Loved it.

After the win on Sunday, I was rocking my Dangle Dangle shirt and doing the family thing in the park when in line, I ran into another Wings fan. She had a pink Red Wings tshirt on. (yeah should have known just from that) So she looks at my tshirt, giggles, and screams Go Wings! So I start talking to her. Ask her about Lidstrom being out, what she thought about the game, you know yada yada, small talk. She stared at me blankly, smiled, and screeched, "oh my God I love Zetterberg. He looks just like Jared Leto." And then I glared, realizing I have just tried to converse with one subset of female fans I cannot stand, the puck bunny. Trust me, you don't even want to know what her response was when I asked her if she knew who Steve Yzerman was. It was disgusting, and I don't care if it's wrong, but as a woman I was embarrassed. So I was quickly moved away from the offending girl by my fiance, before I gave the Disney police any reason to escort me from the park. Why am I sharing this story? It's good to be back in time for Wednesday's game, with computer access and the ability to watch the game puck bunny free.

I'll have much more tomorrow. Until then, Happy Memorial Day, and thanks to all the brave men and women who served our country.

Friday, May 22, 2009

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Good bye

UPDATE: Bruce MacLeod has the update on Datsyuk:

My guess is Datsyuk won't be in the lineup tonight. They might be waiting on something, but his equipment wasn't set out in the visitors locker room after the morning skate.

If I had balls, I imagine this is what they would feel like if there were kicked, stepped on, and then plucked clean. Yep gross, but a shitty way to start the afternoon. Must be pretty serious if he's not the question is, how long is he out?

Sigh. I will be taking off and leaving this afternoon, for the Happiest Place On Earth, or as I like to call it, my own personal hell. Oh that's right, for this wonderful long Memorial Day weekend, I am being drug to Disneyland. Surrounded in a sea of screaming, crying, and poopy diapers. And that's just the adults. The worst part, I will be in the car on the long 6 hour drive, missing the game tonight. I know, I know, it's ok to feel sympathy. At least I'll have my Blackberry and will be able to keep up on the Live Blog at A2Y. Well until I lose my signal, and then my hysterical inconsolable reaction may frighten my fiance's family even more. Now here's a question, since the games on Versus and won't be available in the hotels, and the only bar within walking distance is an ESPN Zone, will they have the game on Sunday?? Hmmmm I hope so, I'm sure at that point, I'll be needing a drink and if they don't carry Versus, I may be sending a strongly worded letter to Bitchman. Or picking a needless unnecessary fight with those around me because that's what adults do when they really want to throw themselves on the ground kicking and screaming.

Now I don't have an ego, so I know my absence will only cause my sister and a couple friends to miss out on my depraved hockey views. So if I'm not able to update this weekend, sorry guys. I'm sure I'll be texting you from the fetal position in the backseat of a car anyway.

Alright, now that I have fully wallowed in self pity, on to a few quick pre game thoughts.

I'm still scared absolutely shitless that Datsyuk won't be able to play. It may be irrational, but that's how I roll. He has been far to valuable defensively, as well as distracting the Hawks top players, that he is essentially irreplaceable. Here's what Babcock said:

"At this time of year there's lots of players that don't skate," Babcock said. "He got hit with a shot last game in the foot. I don't think we're hiding anything there. Something [similar] happened to [Jonathan] Ericsson last series and he was able to find a way to play. They had to freeze him up to get him going. So we'll see what happens here. The good thing about it is that coaches don't make those decisions, doctors do."

Personally, from seeing Datsyuk's dedication and commitment over the years, I think if there is anyway he can play, he will. Just hope the Doctor's will clear him, because we know due to Babcock's "anti American" sentiments he will definitely be in the line up. Damn, Roenick really is a little cocksucking whinny bitch.

It's obviously safe to say that the United Center is going to be crazy tonight. The first 10 minutes will be absolutely crucial, even more so than in the Columbus series. It will be key for Detroit to come out strong and crush the hopes of the Hawks fans. And that means women and children as well...sorry no sympathy in hockey. I would personally love to see tears, anguish, and general despair. Oh and that lovely chant "Detroit Sucks," my sister pointed out that it actually rhymes with or sounds like "Stanley Cups." Just a thought as I never really understood the concept of heckling another team outside of booing, when you should be cheering for your team. But whatever, to each his own. I just hope with the extra day off this week, the Wings will be able to dominate in the first period for the first time this series.

Ummm also, tonight would be a great time to break their 11 game streak of allowing at least one power play goal. I'm just saying....

Patrick Kane has been held pointless in the first two games, and they must try to ensure this continues to happen. It will be great to see his frustration start to affect his overall play. However, if Datsyuk is in fact out tonight, chances are Toews and Kane will once again be reunited in some sort of acne ridden superhero duo. Zetterberg and Lidstrom will certainly have their hands full.

Speaking of matchups, Quenneville has the last change, and if Toews and Kane are in fact together, the other defensive pairings will need to play extremely well. The rookie wall Ericsson has recently hit, I hope he's able to knock it fucking down with his 6' 5'' frame tonight. He's played with Ledba for the last few games now and they should have their rhythm and communication back.

Alright if Datsyuk is in fact out tonight (don't worry I'm still doing all of my pregame habits and superstitions for extra luck) Filppula will be moved to center his line. Too bad really, Filppula, Hudler, and Samuelsson have had some great chemistry this series. I have secretly wondered if Helm could handle being on the second line a bit, especially if Toews and Kane are together. This could certainly be an interesting game, and by interesting, I mean really fucking stressful. Maybe it's a good thing I won't be watching....

I guess tonight we will find out if Ozzie will continue to be the horrible, bottom of the barrel, anything but elite goaltender who stole last game for the Wings? Damn I hope so. Will Samuelsson's shot still have the ridiculous accuracy of a cougar hunting her prey at a Scottsdale bar or will we need to warn our Canadian neighbors to be on the look out for possible wayward pucks? Will Dan Cleary continue to compete with Franzen for biggest playoff surprise? Will Maltby be rusty after a few days off, or will he be able to keep up with fast young Hawks? Will Helm still be a Hawk hunting speedy little bastard who brings a smile to Red Wing fans everywhere? And the biggest question, gulp, will Dangle Dangle play?

So sad I'm missing this game. Just hope the Wings come out with a strong forecheck and continue to push and push the Hawks. They need a split in Chicago.....pretty please.

Alright, weak pregame post, but with work, trying to get ready for the trip...blah, and the general black cloud of funk I'm under due to missing the game, my mind is not all there.

Go Wings!