Thursday, April 30, 2009
Ready for another tug on the ball hair? Apparently Cleary didn't practice because of the flu (apparently not the swine flu, they asked. And trust me in my profession this whole swine flu thing is full force, it's fricken nuts.) Rafalski was also given the day off? Correct me if I'm wrong here but isn't it a bit strange to give a player the day off before the start of a redemption, ball busting series like this one? I just hope he's ok.....
Lilja also skated a bit with the team at practice, but apparently still hasn't improved. So yes, essentially more bad news.
Ok so Thursday sucks right now and I'm on edge. Can you blame me? It all starts tomorrow. Others are stocking up on hand sanitizer and water, and I replenishing my vodka and tequila stock pile....If the Wings play like they did during the regular season on Friday....I will be in a drink induced comma until at least Sunday...
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
So while waiting for the Wings to play their first game against the Ducks I became bored....and I began to remember the hurt and anguish from 2007 and the pure hatred I hold deep in my heart for many of the Dick's stars........and while none of what I am about to say will be as harsh as the insults hurled through my high school years (I was never as good as the other girls)........at least it will make me feel better right?
There are some things about the Ducks, and some of their players which stir up a feeling that I can only imagine would be similar to being locked in a dark room with only continuous reruns of the show Roseanne and the new Pussy Cat Dolls CD playing over and over and over again, throw in Rosanne Barr occasionally parading around in person, in a string bikini for good measure to complete the picture. Thinking of this scenario elicits confusion and utter disgust, just like the Ducks. I really don't get them. As a Wings fan I'll always hate them. They could be a team focusing on their skill and winning games by simply playing hockey. But instead they fall back on their all around neanderthal antics and focus on cheap shots, stupid penalties, and general thuggery. It seems like every game turns into a scene from the Gang's of New York with Pronger and his fucking gap toothed smile claiming it is simply "law of physics" to knock someones head off with his elbows from the depths of hell.
And don't get me started on Ryan Getzlaf. Great player can't deny that. And I'm sure a really nice guy. But just like Mike Green he seems as though he may be the prototypical frat boy wannabe. That's right I said wannabe. Because if he weren't a hockey player, let's just say the ladies would not be banging down his door or anything else for that matter. He seems exactly like the guy you see hanging around your local college bar, he balds at the age of 19, grows a fucked up circa 1970s douche bag love patch to compensate and then uses pick up lines like this classic "God broke the mold when he made you." Something about this kid just bugs the hell out of me. He seems to want to be a blend of Avery's fashion sense, Ovie's skill (cough* not going to happen), and Mike Green's 20 something self centered misogynistic persona. Maybe we could throw him and Green in a room together where they can plan their next hair style, tribal tattoo, and health clinic tests.....Honestly, for someone so clearly concerned with his appearance, he may want to wear his helmet during warm ups, interviews, and well all extra curricular activities. My utter dislike for this King of Tools will make it even more enjoyable to watch Zetterberg and Lidstrom shut him down. Ahhh Getzlaf, take note of Crosby and Malkin last year, watch how Zetterberg made them his bitches over and over...and this year, ask Nash how it felt going pointless the first two games....oh yeah, bend over pull the pants down and get ready to experience Zetterberg and Lidstrom in the playoffs...I promise it won't feel very good.
Speaking of nasty feelings, this brings me to the shit stain in the bottom of the toilet, the cum rag under the bed, and the all around king of the douche bags Chris Pronger. Now over the years there have been a 'few' players I have said I hate...and while I dislike those players and their usual ass hole antics, I save my deep burning unflinching hate for the likes of Patrick Roy, Claude Lemieux, and yes Chris Pronger. There have always been dirty players in the league but something about Prongers passe attitude regarding his cheap shots has always chapped my ass. That and the fact that evolution does not seem to be complete in that one....a chromosome and a few brain cells certainly seem to be missing.... Here's what Homer had to say about this ball sack:
"I don't think he's a guy who wants to get hit out there. He protects himself pretty good with his stick a lot. He likes to do cheap shots a lot, too.'' '
Really Homer, I think that's a bit of an understatement....a lot, how about all the time. I think he has an ass hole quota at the beginning of the game and either his skate, elbow, or stick will be used to achieve it. This is why I cannot wait for Datsyuk, Helm, Homer and Franzen to expose Pronger for the utter joke he is. Helm and Datsyuk will show everyone that when Pronger can't catch someone and elbow their fucking head off, his defensive game is pretty much non existent. Homer and Franzen, well try to push them out of Hiller's face, try to get them into a fight....not going to happen. But thanks, the Wings will take the power plays from the penalties you are sure to get in the process.
Congratulations Ducks, you beat the perennial choke artists. You beat a few players without the heart or drive to make it to the next round....now you face the Wings, and this will be different.
Let's see how Jonas handles the ass of Homer and the relentless net crashing of the tank that is Dan Cleary. It's going to be different this round. But it's alright, keep bringing on the hate like this from anaheimducks.com:
This isn't exactly responsible Ducks staffer language, but I'll say it: I hate the Red Wings. I hate their confusing team name and winged tire logo. I hate the fact they call their city "Hockeytown." I hate their rickety old arena. I hate that stupid
It's ok we hate the Ducks too. The difference is, the Wings have the skill to win with without low ball and back alley thuggery.
It's sure to be quite a series.....one more day.....and yes I realize this post was incredibly petty and bitchy. I will be back to myself once the Wings are done with the Ducks and are able to remove the skate from their throat. I will then continue to try and avoid this behavior to a certain degree...but when it's a team like the Ducks, it's gloves off, all hands on deck....just imagine if Colorado was still a relevant team....
This years Hart Finalists, (according to Ansar Khan and his actual scoop) are listed below:
Yep that's right Pavel Freaking Datsyuk has been nominated for the Lady Bing, the Selke, and now the Hart. Ovechkin will win the Hart, the push has been for Richards to take home the Selke, and Dangle Dangle seems to be the favorite for the Lady Bing...in my humble opinion, he should sweep all categories...well if you look at the actual verbage for each award he should....but I don't think that means much anymore...Green will win the Norris so enough said about that.
And the NHL has officially released the Wings/Ducks schedule:
Friday, May 1 at Detroit, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 3 at Detroit, 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday, May 5 at Anaheim, 10:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 7 at Anaheim, 10:30 p.m.
*Sunday, May 10 at Detroit, 5:00 p.m.
*Tuesday, May 12 at Anaheim, TBD
*Thursday, May 14 at Detroit, TBD
Feel the cold chill that just rushed by? Friday's only two days away....are you ready?
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
His skill level doesn't scare me because quite frankly he doesn't have any, but his elbows scare me. I think they're the vortex of evil.
And all that really needs to be shown or said....
Oh what the hell, I'll just say it, Fuck Chris Pronger.
Should be an interesting series.
I said Mason and Nash scared me due to their skill level and the strange ability they had to bend the Wings over in the regular season. Well Pronger and Niedermayer scare me too, because quite frankly I enjoy seeing all the Wings with their heads firmly attached to their necks. And despite that douche bags assertion that it's "law of physics." The Dicks (sorry miss type but it works so I'm keeping it) are a dirty nasty bunch....and not in a fun way.
The anxiety and the stress were there in the first round. I felt it creeping up and settling in the pit of my stomach...but after game 2...after the ridiculous performance by the man in net, the stress subsided a bit, oh it was there, but not as strong. Well this series, not only will I be consistently worried about the all around dumb ass that is Pronger and his legion of goons, but they're also a pretty skilled team.
"We are not an eighth seed," said defenseman Ryan Whitney. "Everyone in here knows that, and now everyone else sees it too."
Exactly. I just hope the Wings come back healthy and rested and ready for the Ducks. The complacency from game 4 can't come back. Just use the Sharks as an example. If Lidstrom and Zetterberg can work their crazy Swedish magic and shut down the Getzlaf line, and if Dangle Dangle can make Pronger look the fool he is, theoretically the Wings should be fine...skill wise, it's not a question who should win, is it?
But I see two potential issues. The first being the head hunting, thug wannabe antics of the Duck's blue line. After the league used Brashear as an 'example' one would assume that type of behavior won't be tolerated. But this is the Wings and the Ducks in the playoffs and Bitchman has been notoriously quiet on this front. The other potential road block walks hand and hand with Pronger's one remaining brain cell....if the Ducks play Dick hockey, then there will be some injuries....we now just have to hope and stress they won't be too severe and I honestly don't even want to speculate about Osgood at this point....not sure my stomach can take it.
The good news, we know the Wings have a switch and can use it if they want. The really good news, despite Anaheim repeatedly punching their much more skilled oponent, San Jose in the man hood, and the fact that they'll do the same to the Wings, Detroit has players like Lidstrom and Dangle Dangle. Players with heart, who know what it takes to win...as opposed to I don't know, Joe Thornton...
And as the Chief points out we have a set of young players ready to prove themselves and ready to make Pronger cry and rock back and fourth like the giant bitch that he is.
Chrissy Pronger? Let me introduce you to Darren Helm. The fastest bastard on the ice and he’s going to hit you like a frigging miniature sledgehammer. Again and again Sasquatch. He’s not going to knock you out but he’s going to whittle you down one little brain cell at a time.
Helm lead the team in hits last series and if Pronger takes exception, good luck catching that speedy little bastard...and as Hitchock and the BJs learned the hard way, Detroit isn't intimated by physical play, they don't back down. In fact they thrive and step it up. Just ask Umberger about Stuart, ask anyone about Detroit's own 6'5'' Swedish beast.
The Wings can compete, I just hope they're ready. I absolutely love watching big stupid men hang their heads in shame, and cry. The Wings did it to Columbus, now it's time to do it to my western neighbors...
As Cleary said:
"I love this time of year," Cleary said. "I love watching and seeing how much people want it. "Seeing the arenas and the fans, it's just a different level in every which way. It's the excitement and how much is on the line. It's not easy closing out a team. You really are taking away their biggest dream. I love the competitive part of it."
Now if they are all ready to crush dreams the same way Cleary is...it should be a fun series, despite watching it curled up in a pathetic and embarrassing ball.
It's the Wings first true challenge of the post season, and it's time for the redemption.
Are you ready? Go Wings!
Monday, April 27, 2009
According to Ansar Khan: Zetterberg has the flu and didn't practice on Monday. Luckily they have a couple days off....I just hope it didn't spread to anyone else.
"We shouldn't give Hank any days off,'' coach Mike Babcock said. "You give him a day off and he gets sick sometimes.''
And, yep you guessed it, Draper once again practiced and said he feels great....just waiting for 'clearance' from the doctors.
Well Matt from On the Wings, yes someone with actual legitimacy, had this to say about the Draper situation.
My guess is it’ll take a loss to get him back in the lineup, no matter when he’s cleared. It doesn’t seem likely they’ll mess with a winning combination, even if Draper could help out big time in the faceoff department.
I think I need to come up with some really cool name for this top secret situation....something like Operation Find Ginger Beard or something...I don't know it's Monday give me some time to think about it....but I will say this whole situation is becoming stranger with each passing day. The typical conspiracy theorists have been there from the beginning saying this is Babcock's way of benching him, but common sense says they need Draper for the faceoffs (just look at the Columbus series) and I do believe Maltby would be more likely to be benched in favor of Helm and Draper....And yet as Matt points out, do you want to mess with a winning combination and put someone cold into the line up???? I Don't know...I still think Helm would be fine on the wing and would much rather bench Maltby. I guess time will tell.
Line of the day comes courtesy of George over at Snapshots:
The Red Wings don't out-hit you or out-intimidate you--they out-compete you, and rob you of your will to do the same.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
But I guess this has allowed me to catch up on some of the other games since then....Well the Rangers choked....yet again. Lundquist was pulled..yet again. Different day same story with them. Today was the Rangers game seven, and I think it's safe to say they Washington should advance. Dammit. Would have loved to see Ovechkin and his butt buddy Mike Green knocked out in the first round. For some reason whenever I say or type Green's name I feel like singing "Mike Jones" hmmmm
Anaheim also choked on their own expectations on Saturday allowing the series to go on to a game 6. Tisk Tisk. They really need to close this series out on Monday before Marleau and Thornton pull their heads out and find the remaining missing portions of their game. I can only imagine seeing the Sharks knocked out of the first round would feel like Christmas morning.
The Wings had a much deserved day off on Friday with a Saturday practice. The good news from Saturday, Osgood made it through the entire practice. Always a good sign. Now if he can turn into super human, dream crushing form....the Wings should be call set.
Snapshots with this quote:
Chris Osgood had a bit of a hip twinge in Game 4, but is also out at practice, which is clearly a good sign. He could easily have taken the day off, since the Wings won't resume playing until late next week, probably Thursday.
I talked to Osgood after practice, and he said he "felt fine." Now, players are hesitant this time of year, of course, to divulge anything so much as a hangnail, but to reiterate: Osgood could very easily have gotten Saturday off. The fact he went through the whole practice speaks volumes.
And apparently Cleary can practice for now, but will need to rest between game days. Hopefully this continues to work for him like it did in the first series.
Because of the long layoff, forward Dan Cleary practiced Saturday. Once they get back into playing games every other day, though, Cleary said there's a good chance he won't skate on the non-game days because of a "lower-body" injury.
And how could you possibly have a weekend round up with out the bitch fit, temper tantrum, and all around hypocritical act of 2009....my favorite part is he just benched Avery for not keeping his cool....I'd be scared to see him completely lose his shit.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
If there was ever a time to use the phrase 'scared the crap' out of me, now would be it. The utter definition of a nail bitter. Who would have ever thought that a series up 3-0 would be this difficult to finish? I knew it would be a tough game, but not so bad that the Wings would blow a 2 goal lead TWICE! It was unbelievable.
Myself and many others have talked to death the point that the Wings flipped on a switch. Well as quickly as it went on apparently it only took a day and a half to turn it off. I was petrified to see the 'regular season' Wings on the ice tonight. Slopping defensive plays, not covering the slots, and their gap coverage was well....non existent. Seriously they completely reverted back. The fact that they became so complacent and comfortable is astonishing.
I am sure today there will be much debate on the state of Chris Osgood, and the 5 goals that went in. The first three goals were a direct result of poor defensive coverage....or maybe I should just ask what coverage? The other two Ozzie could have had. And that brings up the debate of the injury. Is he injured? I think so. You could absolutely tell he was favoring his left leg and had serious issues moving side to side, let alone trying to get up. I think this injury was occupying his thoughts during the first two periods; he just seemed off. As far as what that injury is and whether it occurred in game three or tonight, we won't know any time soon. I will say that his teammates owe him a drink after this one. I would speculate that he received a shot after the second, regained his concentration, and came up big when necessary in the third. With the series completed, I'm just hoping the time off will allow his injury to heal. They need that Ken Holland special creation in net for the rest of the playoffs.
Here are some of my other random and hopefully coherent thoughts on the game:
Dorsett was going after Ericsson during most of the first period. Definitely trying to get the rookie off his game. Ok so not being a guy (yes, too damn bad I'm making a generalization) I don't have that all encompassing 'guymemory' where I can pull random sports facts, figures, and events out of my head at any given time. But I do remember when Ericsson was first pulled up this season, he allowed the physical play of another team to completely get him off his game and out of position allowing a goal. Not tonight. He stepped up and conversed with Dorsett and was ready to mix it up if necessary. But he never lost his poise. Another great game from Ericsson. But for some reason seeing him and Dorsett just made me laugh. The 6'5'' beast is intimidated by nothing....well except maybe for his suspect playoff 'beard.'
Once again the Wings scored within the first few minutes of the first period....too bad they were too busy debating who would be a better second round opponent, and who had the worst and creepiest playoff beard, when they should have been focused on finishing the damn game.
Nash had a better game offensively tonight, but other than that he lost his composure and seemed focused on trying to prove his all around bad assness (oh yes this is now a word). But instead he seemed like a wannabe Commodore. Between the whining to the officials, and his dangerous cross check on Rafalski leading to a Wings PP and goal, he seemed lost and certainly not the leader of a club. Although I will say it was entertaining to watch him try to prove how 'tough' he really was.
Homer, Franzen, and Hossa (with his two goals), had great games. They embodied the work ethic and grit necessary to win in the playoffs. Mule with the clutch goal with 45 seconds left and Homer simply doing what he always does better than anyone else.
Helm is faster than the neighborhood whore. He's non stop, hitting, blocking shots, getting to lose pucks first. Another great game. The points aren't there for him, and he was a minus two, but his energy always allows him to be an impact player.
Apparently the double fish fillet sandwich that occupies the space where Hitchcock's brain should be, has finally started to function and he used his last change to get Nash out at more opportune times....worked out much better that way.
Hossa's first goal was just a ridiculous effort. It was as if he looked around and said "fuck, their back to playing like shit again," and decided to just take matters into his own hands.
In the third period Babcock realized Maltby and Kopecky are useless and really shortened his bench.....when will Draper be back?
I had previously said I thought the BJ fans represented their team and city well....and I am sure most did. But those who threw crap onto the ice after the game....wow let me just say class act...maybe they were just Philly or Colorado transplants so overall douchelike behavior is just ingrained in their psyche...I don't know. Or maybe they're related to Scott Hartnell or Claude Lemiux so not acting like a complete dumbass is out of the question for them....I can't be certain. Also Columbus can bitch all they want but the right call was made. Horrible timing, but the right call. My guess is after they were allowed to play with two sticks, they figured what the hell, let's just try 6 men on the ice. Might as well make it fair. Sorry Bitchman wasn't there tonight BJs and you played the puck when the other guy was like 6 feet from the bench. I am sure they will be screaming and complaining about the "controversy" until next season, well Chimera anyway. Just by looking at the tv you would think the ref bitch slapped his grandma or something. Either way an inexperienced team became overzealous in a playoff situation....they'll learn.
The Bjs never actually had a lead in the entire series. Wow. They lost their playoff virginity to the experienced upperclassman in the most crude way...
All I can say is a horrible game, but somehow they managed to come out with the win. A sweep and the first defending Stanley Cup championship team to make it past round one in 6 years. Congratulations.
Now it's time to put this game behind them and remember they can never ever let up. When they're down and out, give them one last kick to the balls. Trust me, you'll enjoy it. They're asking for it, finish them off. I just hope it's a good learning experience and that we never have to watch a two goal lead lost twice again. Wings fans are resilient, but that was tough.
It's time for them to relax and rest. Get Ozzie back in peak shape and ready for Round 2.
More later when time allows.
Obviously, I fully believe Nick deserves over both of them, but I have a feeling he’s not going to get it this year because there’s such an obvious “Lidstrom fatigue” timing out unfortunatley with “Green hysteria.”
Green is a like an offense-only forward that has a “D” next to his name on the roster and spends time near the blueline when his team is cycling. I’d love to know his history, because it’s like some coach ran out of defensemen and cast lots for fillers, with Green getting the short straw.
At least Ericsson actually became a legitimate defenseman after changing over from forward. Green should give up the pretense.
I could handle Chara because he actually plays the position in a manner approaching the job requirements.
Apparently Hitchcock is becoming very frustrated with his teams inability to score and has once again shifted his lines. The most noticeable change is Huselius dropping down to the third line.
From George Malik:
I think the bigger issue here would be using the last change. Despite having it on Tuesday he hardly used it to his advantage. Nash still played the vast majority of his shifts against Zetterbergs line. I understand the BJ coach attempting to use this as motivation for his star player to elevate his game...but it's not working. Nash is still young and learning. That added pressure may not have the same effect as it would on a seasoned veteran. My guess, Hitchcock will be taking advantage of the last change much more tonight.
As everyone knows, the nominees for the Norris were announced today. And as expected it's Chara, Green, and of course Lidstrom. St James had this quote from Nash regarding Lidstroms play:
He's just so good positionally - he doesn't get out of position very often," Nash said. "He's proven over the years with all the Stanley Cups you don't need to play too physical - he rides out his checks, he makes sure he slows you down, he stays in position. "I laugh at the critics that say he doesn't play physical."
True. But there is no way Lidstrom will win the Norris. The media apparently finds consistently outstanding and superior defensive play to be boring...go figure? I'll say it again, Green had a great offensive year, but watching him in the playoffs shows he still has a lot to work on in his defensive game. He's still really young at 23 and it will come with time. Sloppy outlet passes and lack of proper defensive positioning have been plaguing him for awhile. But apparently the people are ready for someone new and flashier...maybe they just enjoy his frat boy tribal tattoos and faux hawk....
Matt from On the Wings has his game day update as well, with a call for more Octopus wielding.
Finally, George Malik posts a few articles about Brad Stuart. Nice read.
"He's a very quiet guy," teammate Jonathan Ericsson said. "He never raises his voice or anything. But on the ice, he's tough and mean. It's got to come out somewhere."
I think Hossa sums it up best:
It's one of the toughest things to close a series," winger Marian Hossa said. "Obviously, no one wants to be swept. They're going to be ready for us and we have to make sure that we come out strong like we have."
Game three certainly wasn't their best effort of the series. They were lucky that Ozzie played some great hockey in the third period or things could be looking very different right now. We can only hope they put that apathetic boredom behind them from Game three and come out ready to make some young BJs cry tonight all the way home. Harsh, but necessary. I'd rather they just finish the series and get some much needed rest.
Hitchcock had this to say about his teams troubles and completely losing their cool in game 3:
"The playoffs are for veteran players," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "They're not for young players. I think you see young players do uncharacteristic things this time of year because the collision between stress and pressure really affects them."
Hmmmm funny. I would say that our young guys, Ericsson and Helm, seem to be playing with the poise of veterans. A controlled and productive effort from them on every shift....And honestly, Commodore has also been around long enough to stop acting like an utter Donkey Dick, or a 'playground bully' and get his job done. Maybe Babcock was right about him.....
Ready for some more excuses? From Nash:
"They've always got two guys on me, playing me pretty hard," Nash said. "They've been shutting down the lines I've been on. They play such a good defensive game. They all come back to the puck. They finish every single check."
Sorry Nash. As an elite player and your teams captain...it's your responsibility to fight through that and still be productive. Please see Yzerman, Lidstrom, Zetterberg, and Datsyuk for examples.
Today I revisited Allan Muir's playoff predictions. Yes perhaps it's petty to bring this up after the fact, with the Wings playing well but here's what he had to say:
Contrary to the beliefs of Detroit's fans, it's not a matter of flipping a switch now that the games count. Full commitment to the cause will determine the Wings' success. That work ethic was clearly lacking as the season wound down. They enter the playoffs having dropped seven of their final 10. Looking-ahead syndrome? Maybe.
Apparently there is a switch. And they have been playing Red Wing hockey since the start of the playoffs. The question now is, will they keep it on long enough to close out the series tonight? Once again they're going to have to patiently wait for the energy from the crowd and from the BJs to calm down, and exploit their mistakes when it does. They absolutely must play a full 60 minutes and support Ozzie in front of the net. And the 5 foot 10 beast that is occupying the Wings goal, needs to reappear tonight. I'm anxious. I want the series to be done tonight, allowing me a few days where I can easily keep solid food down.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Cleary also took the day off again to rest his friendly fire injury before tomorrows game.
Can't wait for Draper to come back...with hopefully a Maltby scratch...imagine having those four lines....
Below are the lines they practiced with: not surprising, nothing changed.
Franzen-Zetterberg-Draper (subbing for Cleary)
On a side note, it's nice the Wings brought up Pearce so he could practice and be around the team.
I had said how critical it would be for the Wings to get the first goal. With the energy from the crowd and the initial energy from Columbus, a BJ opening goal was not an option for the Wings. Luckily Hossa and Homer had similar thoughts, and made sure this wasn't even an issue. 1 minute and 7 seconds in, Homer shoots the puck, Mason allows a big rebound, Hossa hit's the cross bar and Homer's hard work pays off as he capitalizes on Hossa's rebound to score the Wings first goal....I think it was a punch to the gut for the Columbus fans....and sorry, but it made me smile.
For the rest of the first period the BJs had a lot of energy but it seemed like they were skating around without a great deal of discipline or consistently. They controlled the puck fairly well in the neutral zone and certainly had some scoring chances but it seemed like they were forcing it. They were feeding off the energy but it caused them to press to much. To the Wings credit, they sat back and patiently waited and simply played their game. Which was refreshing and relieving since I was almost expecting the opposite after this regular season....
With about 30 seconds left in the first period, the Mule takes a shot on net and Dan Cleary was in perfect position to capitalize. Disclaimer: True I did call out Cleary as having some 'off' games this season, but the switch seems to be fully flipped on. Ok with that out of the way, Cleary battles hard in front of the net, and some how despite the cross checks turns around and scores the Wings second goal. He really is having a great series. I just hope he stays healthy. If Holland could spend some time in his lab and create a bubble suit that will immediately cover Cleary when Kronwall or Samuelsson are within 10 feet of him, I would feel much better.
So Bitchman of course was at the game. Blah Blah. Unfortunately with Center Ice we got the Columbus feed so we experienced the Bitchman spin zone after the first period, and all of you lucky bastards back in Michigan with the Mickey feed, enjoyed Gary's nonsense after the second. Even if I overlook all the crap he pulls in the league, something about that man still makes me feel incredibly uncomfortable. Anyway, I happened to call my sister during the second intermission when Gary was having his special interview with Ken and Mickey. I have a feeling that due to Mickey's love for all things old time hockey, Bitchman is probably not his favorite person. I can just imagine him complaining to Ken about having to interview this cocksucker. So when he asked the NHLs own evil spawn about the inconsistency of penalties, and Gary disagreed with Mickey and assured him Wings fans love the new NHL and the "consistency" of hooking calls, I half expected Mickey to stand up, punch him, and say "this is how we handle things in old time hockey bitch." While Ken Daniels wets his pants and rocks back and forth. Could you ask for a better present?
During this game, I have to say it was great to see both Zetterberg and Ozzie really anticipating and reading plays well. Zetterberg is back in 2008 playoff form and, yes he did get two goals, but his play on the pk and on Nash were the truly unbelievable parts of his game. During the PK he seemed to be consistently a step ahead of the Columbus players, breaking up plays before they had the chance to execute. Ozzie was once again stellar on the power play with his ability to anticipate line changes and hit Hudler for a breakaway chance.
I know this seems kinda bitchy and just unnecessary complaining at this point, but as an announcer isn't your job to research the teams and at least be able to properly pronounce their names?? Apparently the Wings now have someone named Frensen and another player named Johan Ericsson who somehow took a penalty. Babcock may want to complain about that one since I'm not sure someone not on the roster can take a penalty....call me crazy, but this was the third game of the series the kinks should be out.
You cannot possibly have a game recap without talking about this hit. Stuart apparently is the new 2008 Kronwall. Stuart's game has really been great this series, from stopping a breakaway in one the first two games, to working out the positioning and timing issues he's had all season, to battling hard in the corners, and now the culmination of his physical game. I think this is the definition of making someone your bitch...
I had previously mentioned my dislike for Commodore. Perhaps I can equate him this series to back acne or an inflamed herpes sore....I don't know, something gross. Anywho, tonight he tries to hit Cleary (what the hell Cleary did to everyone I will never know) Commodore misses, ends up in the Detroit bench spread out on Hossa like an airport park stripper. And I might add Hossa moves away fully repulsed as if he can see the crabs jumping around. Yes watching Commordore make an ass of himself would normally be the best part....but not tonight. By getting himself out of position, then going in for the hit on Franzen behind the net, he leaves Zetterberg wide open for the third goal...yeah I could watch this a few times.
Once again Filppula's line has been playing great...or maybe I should say Hudler and Filppula have been playing great. Samulesson still seems a bit out of place out there, especially on the point during the PP. But I should probably just not complain right now. So I'll just say Filppula and Happy seem to be playing their best hockey all season. The chemistry and creativity between the two is at an all time high and a great deal of the success the Wings have had so far this season rests with them.
I haven't talked a great deal about him, but damn Helm just brings an energy to the 4th line that we haven't had all season. He hits, and skates, and as I suspected Columbus and their 'defensive' style are not sure what to do with him. While Helm obviously is never a defensive liability, he seems to have picked up that aspect of his game in Grand Rapids this year, and it paid off today. The kid is just so fast it's ridiculous.
One thought.....I'm well aware that the media in all their infinite wisdom have become bored, with the text book, unbeatable style of Lidstrom. So they have decided to take the Norris away and hand it to Green. While Green is a great player, watching him in the playoffs, I would probably rather have him as a winger than on the blue line. Give me Lidstrom any day, any time. He has shown why he is the absolute best during this series. He completely shut Nash down in what seems like an effortless way with his overall positioning and timely stickchecks. Apparently consistently being the best and doing all the right things both defensively and offensively equals a boring story.....well to all those willing to take the Norris from Lidstrom, Wings fans are happy to take boring any day, and I think you would be hard pressed to find a team that wouldn't. So from me to you, suck it. That's abouts as PG as I can be at this point.
Quickly I'd just like to add that Hossa has been an absolute beast during these playoffs and I am just waiting with a knowing smile for him to have one of his amazing offensive streaks. And the count down begins....
I have once again drug this on for quite some time, which may explain why my readership consists of my sister and my dad. They're family so they feel obligated. So let me finish this up by saying the first two periods demonstrated a dominate effort by the Wings. Similar to what we saw in the first two games. When the third came around, they began to revert back to the dreaded 'regular season Wings.' That's right they began making poor choices with the puck and simply sat back waiting for the game to finish. At the end of the third it was essentially target practice and to Osgood's credit (and Stuart on one play) he held them off as long as he could....but unfortunately Umberger was able to score with just under 4 minutes left. It would have been nice to see Ozzie get two shut outs in a row. That and I'm sorry but it would have been nice to see Columbus deflated even a bit more. But if someone had to score, I guess I'll take Umberger since he got rocked by Stuart earlier.
The good news for the Wings and their fans, after the goal, it seemed to shake the Wings out of their boredom, the switch was pushed up again and they dominated the play which culminated with Zetterberg getting his second goal of the night on an open net. 3 down and 1 more to go.....can they do it on Thursday? Will Ozzie come back in top form once again, will the Boredom subside long enough to finish the series. Only time will tell. Until then Enjoy the Win.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Anyway, I am not sure I should be laughing at this so hard, but honestly how could you not?? As always, The Triple Deke entertains.
Still need another laugh, or at least some mindless entertainment? Find out which celebrity Ozzie looks like here.
Hmmmm interesting comparison....not sure I see it....two more hours....
Rookie center Derick Brassard has been cleared for contact by doctors, Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said. Hitchcock said he wasn't planning to play Brassard tonight for Game 3.
He might get a shot on Thursday.
He's been practicing for awhile so he's not out of shape and could certainly be an asset to the BJs offense. He's easily a Calder favorite (yes that's two for Columbus this year) and with Vermette, Williams and Nash all in the line up together, we could see quite a different team and more creative lines. I am sure all this excitement has caused Hitchcock to run to the nearest McDonalds and gorge himself on fries, shakes, and hamburgers. How else would you expect him to celebrate....
“They’ve been a great hockey team all season long, and as a group here, we knew it was going to be tough,” former Wings forward Jason Williams said. “We’ve dug ourselves a little hole here, but we’re still positive and bringing the games home here, hopefully we can get that first goal. As a group, we’re really concentrating on getting that first goal, make them play from behind. Positionally, we’ve got to be better. In the first two games they’ve kind of walked through us pretty easy.”
As much as they want that first goal, it will be even more important for the Wings to make sure they don't get it. Imagine the crowd's reaction if that happened?? I can't stress how important it will be for Detroit to take the Columbus fans out of the mix.....score the first goal, and slowly deflate them from there...harsh but necessary.
Hate to say it.......but I may be most scared for this game....
"We all know down there, it's going to be a completely different game. They'll have the crowd and the whole city behind them. We're going to have to match them right from the start."Niklas Kronwall said
Despite Columbus being down 2 games to 0 in this series, it is still a monumental moment for their fans....It's their first playoff game and they'll be ready.
Brian from the BJs blog Carry the Flag had this to say about the atmosphere when he went to the Joe...
- The history. All you have to do is look in the rafters and see all the banners from over the years. It's impressive. Then there are the retired numbers for Howe, Sawchuk, Yzerman and others.
- It's all about the hockey. Starting with the "hockey, hockey, hockey" chant before the game, everybody knows why they are there. No silly contests during intermission, burrito drops (sorry Chipotle) or any of the other "stuff" that goes on at most other arenas - including NWA. During intermission, the Zambonis come out, the video board shows highlights and that's it! The focus is purely on hockey. Probably not great for the casual fan but I found it refreshing.
- The fire after a goal. When Detroit scores, large jets of fire shoot out of the top of the scoreboard. You can literally feel the heat. I'm still partial to the Cannon but that fire is pretty cool also.
- I'm sure I could go on but you get the idea. I encourage any hockey fan to take a trip up to the Joe, especially for a playoff game. Blue Jackets fans? We need to BRING IT on Tuesday and Thursday at home. The Detroit fans really stepped up, we need to do the same and help our team Carry the Flag! Let's Go Jackets!!
The Columbus golden boy is already calling for the Fans to bring their A game:
"We have to gain momentum from being at home," Columbus captain Rick Nash said. "I hope this building's rocking."
Do you think they'll disappoint him? Of course not.
From Ansar Khan:
It doesn't matter as much whether it's Zetterberg, Datsyuk or Filppula matched up against Nash's line (with Kristian Huselius and Manny Malhotra), more importantly, Babcock wants Lidstrom on the ice as often as possible against him. And it is easier to make defensive changes on the fly.
"When you got two or three (lines) you don't mind matching up, it's not as big a deal," Babcock said. "When you're ahead, you always get what you want. When you're behind you never get what you want. That's why catch-up hockey is losing hockey. You got to be in the driver's seat."
I guess he didn't hear about Vermette's promotion yesterday.....either way the matchups should be interesting tonight and Nash will be even more of a factor with the crowd, and the occasional absence of Lidstrom....but I think the other guys should be ready. At least I hope so. The BJs put all their eggs in one basket, now the Wings need to exploit it.
If the Wings provide the same passion effort and performance they did on Saturday, it should be a great game. Every goal scored will silence the Columbus crowd even more, strip them of their excitement, and bring on the gut wrenching feeling of defeat that we seasoned Wings fans have experienced multiple times before. But if they become apathetic and overly confident, if they decide to sit back and take it easy, feeling they are assured a third victory, then bring on the alcohol, vomit, and cold sweats for us.
I'm just hoping for a defeated and quite crowd in Columbus today....and hoping the Wings can deliver it.
Monday, April 20, 2009
According to Puck-Rakers Vermette will center a line with Rick Nash and Kristian Huselius. Interesting given the previous comments and explanations made by the BJ coach. Keep your head up on Tuesday Dangle Dangle.
Also on Puck-Rakers today, apparently the shining example of all that is stupid and evil, Gary Bitchman will be in attendance at Tuesday's game. I'm not sure if this is normal protocol or not, since I hardly pay attention to the activities of the pointless and worthless, but I wonder if any good can actually come from it.
Finally, the girls from Hockeytown Static always seem to find entertaining articles and videos. They found this special little piece profiling the diet of Rick Nash. I understand things may be a bit depressing for BJ fans right now, but isn't there something else they could write about?
But in all honesty, if this is really the food diary then he is creepily detailed and narcotic about what he consumes...
6:30 p.m. -- Roasted citrus chicken, cooked carrots mixed with butter and fine bread crumbs; romaine lettuce salad with walnuts, whole-wheat rolls, plain yogurt mixed with strawberries and peaches for dessert
Ahhh in depth hard hitting reporting at its best!
"I can practice and take warm-ups, I'm just trying to be a part of it,'' Draper said. "When the puck drops, those guys are going to go out and take care of business. They're playing great right now.''
"Just trying to get as much rest as I can and get ready for tomorrow,'' Cleary said. "It'll be all right. It's not a big deal.''
Here are the lines from practice:
Franzen-Zetterberg-Draper (for Cleary)
Based on the lines alone it's pretty clear they have every intention of playing Cleary on Tuesday or I'm sure there would have been some greater shuffling. If the Wings play the way they have been for the remainder of the series, they may chose to keep Draper out a little longer for some rest. I wouldn't necessarily be surprised. When he's healthy it would be great to see Maltby scratched and Kopecky and Helm on Drapers wings. That could be a pretty dynamic line.
His injury is still quite a mystery and I haven't read a great deal of speculation as to what could be the problem. Just hoping for the best.
Line of the day comes from the Chief:
"All anyone knows is that something’s wrong with Kris Draper’s upper body. Is that like a Joe Thornton or Patrick Marleau injury? No, as far as we’ve heard, it’s not a heart issue."
Just the perfect amount of bitchy....love it.
"He has never played against Datsyuk, it was a real eye-opener for Antoine. You can show them on tape, but until you experience playing Datsyuk, (Henrik) Zetterberg, (Valtteri) Filppula head-to-head you don't really know what you're up against."
Call me crazy but I don't think many people are ready to play against Dangle Dangle, and yet they still don't attempt to turn the game into soft core porn...
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Let me start out by saying that everyone came to the game today in top form. As scared as I was for what schizophrenic Wings team I would see, that fear could not have been more unnecessary. Even Larry Murphy seemed to be off his mood elevators and ready for the playoffs.
And that Ken Holland experiment in net from Thursday night, well apparently he was so pleased with his creation that he brought him back. Again I hate to say too much in fear that he will leave, but the man in net had a great night again. My dad actually txt me saying that "Ozzie was seeing beach balls all night." And at first that scared the crap out of me as I had previously stated this season that I was sure my 2 year old niece could hit a beach ball by him....yeah sorry about that. But apparently he was so on during his 4-0 shut out, that the puck looked as harmless as a beach ball. Great game by Ozzie. And have we heard the crowd chant his name so loud and so much before?? Playoff win number 61 for him.
I'd also like to ask is there anyone who takes more of a beating throughout a game than Holmstrom? Not just all the cross checking and punches in front of the Columbus net, but also in the corners and in front of his own net. The mans an absolute machine and non stop. Dats should be nominated for the Selke and the Hart, Lidstrom for the Norris, and if there were an award for constantly getting the crap beat out of you.....would anyone other than Homer even be nominated?
Speaking of a machine, Hossa had a great game. Watching him all season we saw how strong he was....but with the playoffs here he's taken it to another level. At one point he was driving down to the Columbus net, one hand on his stick controlling the puck, while his other hand was pushing three Columbus players off of him. It's like he was Brett Michaels and a pack of retired cougar hookers were frantically chasing him, but he didn't seem to notice. During games like this it makes me sad to think he may not be with the Wings next year.....
There has been a lot of talk from a number of people, including myself, about Zetterberg's off year. Well like the anomaly in net, he's put the regular season behind him and is back in form during the first couple games of the playoffs. Not only did he have a beautiful goal (after Mule distracted 2 BJ players away) but he was strong on the puck all night, fighting in the corners, and had a great defensive game against Nash's line.
The Wings also brought their physical game again. It is absolutely shocking to me that people still call Detroit a soft team...and that other teams still think they can push them around. Obviously Dangle Dangle brought out his physical side (much more on that later), but so did everyone else. Kopecky had 3 big hits I can remember by the end of the second. And Helm, was not only a speedy little bastard causing the BJs some issues, but he also started throwing his body around. I hope they find a way to keep him in the lineup when Draper is back *cough Maltby*
Ok so on to the first goal. After his less than impressive first game performance, Rafalski came out and scored the Wings opening, and game winning goal. While a nice shot, it would not have happened without the Wings favorite Swedish ass standing firmly in front of Mason. I cannot even stress how important it is to have a player like Homer when you have such a big goalie like mason.
In fact, Homer's ass played a part in Dangle Dangle's goal. After the beast that is Marian Hossa fakes a shot and passes to a surprisingly open Datsyuk, Homer was once again firmly planted in front of Mason. By the third period Mason's composure was beginning to deteriorate and he took a few punches to Homer.....which is bad for Homer but great for the Wings....It means they are really getting to him.
I think it's also important to point out the play of Ericsson and Filppula. So this is Ericsson's first taste at the Stanley Cup playoffs right? That's what everyone keeps saying but his composure and confidence is that of a seasoned veteran....He jumps in the play when necessary, can stick handle, and is really improving his overall positioning. It will be great to get to watch him develop all next season. Filppula is also making his third line a continuous threat. He's doing all the necessary things, stealing the puck in the neutral zone, backchecking and playing hard in the corners. Happy and Fil have really developed a chemistry which is evident with Hudler's two playoff goals.
Ok this recap has become incredibly long...and if for some strange reason, you're still reading...sorry. I'll move on to the more serious aspects of the game.
What the hell was Voracek thinking by grabbing two sticks. I thought Mickey was going to head down to the ice and take care of Voracek himself. I understand the BJs felt desperate during the game, but after bitching about the Wings cheating...doesn't this seem a bit more hypocritical? Two sticks covering two separate lanes seems like more of an advantage than the Wings "jumping in on the face off." My other favorite part of this incident, was the minor bitch fight between Ken and Larry regarding the interpretation of the rules. You know you have turned into a couple of middle school girls when Mickey becomes the voice of reason. I don't know, I think Voracek should have known better....although Hitchcock may ask Bitchman if they can use this tactic against the Wings for the next few games just to make things even. It's the playoffs nothing would surprise me at this point.
In addition to the two stick attempt, you could also tell they were becoming frustrated. Chimera had a dirty hit on Kronwall in the third...and we're just lucky he was ok. Commodore seemed to be the worst offender and his repeated punches to Homer after the whistle earned him a 10 minute game misconduct. Wait Don Cherry, I thought only Europeans hit with their gloves on??? I'm confused. Commodore is the definition of a donkey dick.
And finally, the only thing that really should have been posted in this game recap, the Datsyuk/Vermette incident. That's right. Dats plays hard, fights for a lose puck in front of Mason, and apparently according to Vermette this is an offense equal to punching a puppy or sleeping with his sister and never calling.....because he decided to ride him to the ice like a jail house bitch. That's right, he bent him over and hopped on top without even buying poor little Dats a drink....and the best part about this, is the quote from Dangle Dangle. This may be the greatest thing ever uttered by a hockey player...
“He just used me like pony,” Datsyuk said. “He was on top of me. I don’t like being the pony. I want to be on top.”
I certainly appreciate the PG reference, but I think he used him more like a hooker from the Bunny Ranch.....Vermette has now become my enemy number one.
Overall, it was a great effort from the Wings. They came out and put together a full 60 minute effort. Not something we have been able to say often. I just hope they continue on this pace. When they go to Columbus, the crowd will be a factor and the BJs will be looking to redeem themselves. Hitchcock will have more line changes and calls to the league for help. Today I will watch the Ducks Sharks game feeling good about the Wings. Not quite sure how they got to this place, how they can play like this after everyone insisted there is no such thing as a playoff switch. This team seems to never stop amazing me. We're lucky to be fans.