Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Yes it's heart breaking and stomach turning for us to see Stevie Y move on. Sure I have a lump in my throat larger than during the live birth video I witnessed last night with my sister in law at her birthing and breathing class. And yes we all question why the hockey gods are continuing to fuck with us. In what world do we lose Steve Yzerman to Tampa Bay and still have to endure Pierre McGuire broadcasts. Is there more mercy?
But at the same time, we all knew it was coming. Did we expect it this soon, of course not. But Yzerman has made no secret of his wish to move on and run his own team. The opportunity was not yet available in Detroit, so all we can do is wish him the best on his new adventure. But hey, what's saying that his path will never lead him back to the Red Wings?
Steve Yzerman set the standard of a what a leader ought to be. He taught Wings fans and hundreds of other kids, what an athlete should be. What sportsmanship, dedication, and self sacrifice was. Lessons and legacies no amount of writing will ever do justice.
This could be a tough off season for Wings faithful. No Conference Final. No Stanley Cup Final. Yzerman is moving on and there is still a distinct possibility that Lidstrom will choose to retire. But rest assured. The Captain has left us a future we can be proud of. I remember last season while we all watched and waited for Holland to re-sign Zetterberg. We wanted confirmation and a promise that the future captain would be locked up long term. And you may remember, Zetterberg stated that he finally made his decision after speaking with who else, but Steve Yzerman. After Yzerman reminded him what a special team Detroit was and how rare and unique it is to play for the same team your entire career. Yzerman helped ensured a future of hard work, determination, and class for the Red Wings organization.
So while Stevie Y is leaving the comfy confines of the only hockey family he has known, he has left us many gifts and promises of hope. We have his past, the present, and he's helped to ensure the Wings and their fans will be strong in the future.
What more can any of us say, but thank you Steve Yzerman. Thank you and best of luck. The Wings and their fans could not be prouder or more lucky to call you The Captain.
Monday, May 17, 2010
And if the emotional toll from Lidstrom Gate wasn't enough, I also had the distinct pleasure of watching Chicago beat San Jose. Jesus Christ you fucking idiotic Sharks. Pull your dicks out of your mouths and beat Chicago. For fucks sake I have NEVER wanted a team that eliminated the Wings to make it to the Finals so badly. I cannot even begin to fathom the possibility of Chicago making it to the finals. Because mark my words, the team from the West is going to win this bitch. No questions asked. Done. And I cannot spend an entire season listening to how baby brother is the new King of the central division and how they "dethroned" the "Dead Things." I can't. So San Jose needs to do something right. That waste of space, piece of shit, whinny Joe Thornton needs to act like a fucking leader and crush Chicago. Because I'm not ready to see 20 cent lift Lord Stanley's Cup.
Anywho, Moving on from my rant regarding Chicago and back to Lidstrom Gate. I know most people in the organization and outside think he's coming back. And I hope they're right. My gut is telling me he's not coming back but that could just be indigestion. So instead of speculating, I'm going to once again turn to something solid and realistic, AOL Horoscopes.
Below is his horoscope for today. Let's see if it gives us any insight into his decision making process:
Pleasure calls today as your key planet Venus is over-stimulated by opulent Jupiter, luring you to accept the second helping of dessert, even if you are already full. The idea of luxuriating in delight could turn your need for satisfaction into gluttony or greed. Think about how much is actually enough, for even if you are happily enjoying yourself, overdoing it could create difficulties sooner than you realize.
My Take: Well after having read that nonsense a few times to try and put some sort of hockey spin on it, here's what I came up with. He's enjoying his off time off to a great degree (yeah not good for us) although the stars are trying to warn him that perhaps retirement and lounging around is not what he should be doing yet. He could be creating issues for himself with too much relaxation. The stars are clearly saying he should play hockey for another 2 years. At a discounted rate of course.
Yeah, that was a stretch, but it's all I got. I hate the off season.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
The seasons over but as Red Wings fans we have so much to be proud of and so much to look forward to. As Mike Babcock said, they still did better than 22 other teams. And in a transition year, that's pretty damn good.
I'll be posting more this summer. But I just wanted to say a quick thanks to anyone who managed to stop by my blog this season. I award you an honorary gold star for your attempts to decipher my ramblings.
And I'll end with this, while my gut tells me he will retire, Nick Lidstrom, please stay at least one more year. Pretty please.
Friday, May 7, 2010
But as we know, it was only one win and the Wings need to keep taking it game by game. Keep the intensity level up. But before we look ahead, below are a few random thoughts about the game to relish in. (Let me apologize in advance as this recap will be a bit more shoddy than normal. I watched the game at a bar with a friend, FYI this beautiful bar has Center Ice, so my "focus" was often interrupted by both the other patrons as well as the alcohol I was consuming.)
- I was all sorts of nervous when the game began. Despite the fact that AOL Horoscopes gave me the best collective set of predictions, I had a weird uncomfortable pit in my stomach. So when Karen Newman was singing the National Anthem, all I could think of was, damn, I hope I have more to write about tomorrow than the obscene size of her belt buckle. No really, its bothered me for awhile. I swear to baby Jesus, each game, her tacky rhinestone cowboy belt buckles get bigger. I know I am alienating any men that read this blog, but for fucks sake woman, it's not 1985, and I promise, no matter what anyone says, acid wash jeans are never coming back.
- Alrighty, moving along. The sharks had a few good opportunities at the beginning of the first but after that it was all Red Wings. They were so on that even when Ericsson decided to pinch yet again, causing ANOTHER 2 on 1 situation, it was defended beautifully. But really, I thought he would have learned his lesson after the OT clusterfuck he caused on Tuesday. Will nothing get through this kids head?
- And then the Mule showed up. I was looking at the live blog over at A2Y and there was mention of Uncle Mike giving Franzen more than a Babcockian stare and adding a little dash of benching to get some sort of point across. I didn't notice, but those observant bitches over there catch everything. And if Uncle Mike tore Franzen a new one, thank you. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. It clearly worked. Because soon after he assisted (was the result of) the Bertuzzi goal and since he decided that just wasn't enough, he proceeded to score 4 more goals.
- Yeah Babcock clearly needs to screw with Franzen's head more often. I think he's already started the process. Last night the only significant comment he made regarding Mule's game was something along the lines of, "It would have been nice to have in Game 1."
- The other goals of the game were scored by Bertuzzi, Rafalski, and Filppula. So Clearly the new line of Bert, Z, and Mule seems to be clicking, if you want to get all technical and shit.
- Unfortunately it wasn't a shut out for James. The Sharks managed to score on a 5 on 3, but at that point, it had as much of an effect as pissing in the ocean. Clearly the Sharks seem dependent on the 5 on 3 to score goals this series. Which come on, that's like a parent standing up and cheering for kicking their 5 year olds ass in Boggle.
- If the Wings can win Game 5 and force the Sharks to a Game 6, I am dedicated to creating an entire game recap just using Mickey and John Keating quotes. No really. While watching the game at a bar is entertaining, I missed hearing Mickey and Ken. And I hate that I missed Keating talking to Bertuzzi about his muscular thighs. Somewhere Andres Lilja wis breathing a massive sigh of relief.
- Darren Helm is a bad ass. Normally that would be enough said, but his play last night warrants a greater mention. He just consistently works hard, no matter what. On a pp the Wings were up 6-1 and he was still diving for pucks. While killing penalties he had a few short handed chances. If the kid was able to sell his soul for goals, he would have had a few last night. A Wing for life.
- And Justin Abdelkader. Well that kid really has a special ability to piss people off. Can't wait to see him full time with the Wings next year. He just keeps getting better and better.
- Joe Thornton is a douche bag. I've never liked the guy and after the "leadership" he displayed last night, I wash my hands of that big moron. Seriously, I'd rather take a 3 day old half eaten tuna fish sandwich on the team then Thornton. He went after Homers head, Zetterbergs head, and even Nick Lidstrom. Who goes after Nick Lidstrom?? I'll tell you who, a gonorrhea infected vagina like Thornton does. Many of the Sharks decided to act like the Ducks or the Flames in the third and I just don't understand that. The Wings have been spanked many times, and I'm proud to say I've never seen them goon it up.
- And this leads to my next point, Thornton calling out the Wings for diving. Wow Joe. That's quite a claim after the shit your teams been pulling. Besides, I thought it was moving your feet and not diving...hmmmm
- While at the bar my friend decided to leave me on my own to hit on some blonde at the bar. Normally I wouldn't give a shit, but she was wearing a Thornton San Jose shirt, so yeah .... But while he was off Shark hunting I met some very cool Wings fans in Phoenix and just wanted to point out how awesome this fan base is. Great people with great hockey knowledge.
- The only negative from last nights game was the Stuart injury. Of course Babbles said he would play, and I just hope that's the truth. The last thing this poor old heart needs is to watch Ericsson play a massive amount of minutes.
Great game over all by this team. They came out strong and put forth a solid 60 minute effort. I strongly believe that San Jose underestimated the Wings. That they forgot their first 3 victories were by small margins and assumed they'd wrap this bitch up in 4. The Wings had other ideas.
San Jose won't lie down so easily on Saturday and the Wings MUST bring this level of intensity again, if they hope to play another day.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
I don't want to talk about Tuesday and I don't care if that's wrong, lame, or lazy. I just don't want to and I can be stubborn as hell, so I won't. I'm not pissed off at the Wings, I'm a little disappointed, but I love this team too much to bitch and moan about anyone not named Ericsson and Williams. (But seriously, after Game 3, those two can go and fuck themselves with a curling iron.)
Today's game 4, and we all have to accept the possibility that tonight could be the last Wings game of the season. Yes they could come back and win it all...but a loss is a possibility and it makes me sad. Damn I hate being a realist. So all I will say, I hope to baby Jesus, Buddha, God and all the others that tonight is not Nick Lidstroms last game. That this season is not his last season. The end. I can't bring myself to say anything more about that topic, corporate America tends to look down on people crying and convulsing at work.
I'm not mentally prepared to do a pregame, so I'm going to revert back to something I promised I had stopped. Out of pure time constraints, aka laziness, I ended the horoscope feature after the Game 2 loss. But today it's back. Previously I had cherry picked the good horoscopes, the ones that made me feel warm and fuzzy about a Detroit win. Not today. Today I'm looking at just "the best players" as Babcock would say and we're taking it as is. Even if that means up the butt. So here we go.
Player: Pavel Datsyuk
Horoscope: You may not be happy about a complex situation in your immediate environment, but there's no apparent way for you to avoid it. Still, you aren't eager to talk about your feelings because you fear that your words will be taken the wrong way. Don't say anything that could complicate things even further; your silence won't make the problem go away, but at least it won't make it any worse.
My Take: Well I think we all know what the fucking problem is. Being down 3-0 to the Sharks doesn't send rainbows out any of our asses. But talking about the situation isn't going to solve it. Obviously the AOL stars let us know we have a pissed off, unhappy Dangle Dangle on our hands. And I hope he can find a way to rectify the situation.
Player: Johan Franzen
Horoscope: It's natural for you to strive for excellence, even if only to avoid harsh judgments from others. But you have more than approval now riding on your success. There may be financial considerations at play, motivating you to demonstrate your considerable skills. However, you could become inhibited if you take yourself too seriously today, so aim high and trust that your best effort will be appreciated.
My Take: It's been rough for Johan Franzen throughout both series. I'm the first to admit I've bitched about him and even created a milk carton campaign to find Playoff Mule of the past. But in reality, considering the injury he's had to deal with, we can't complain. I'm sure he feels the immense pressure, but if he can mentally over come that and just play his best (probably 80% right now) we should begin to see some positive results. I like this one.
Player: Henrik Zetterberg
Horoscope: You may be proud of your social networking skills, yet you still might feel like an outsider today. You want to be accepted by others, yet you choose to do things that demonstrate your independence rather than thinking with a group mentality. Don't be afraid to dance to the beat of your own drum. However, consider the consequences of your non-conformist activities before you undermine the progress you have already made.
My Take: Alright this one is really going to have to be stretched to make it apply. First ignore the social networking section. For some reason I just don't see Zetterberg with a blog ala the Swedish Meatball. So I'm going to take it this direction; "Z" needs to break through the shackles and expectations and simply play his game. Follow his instincts, his "own drum" and lead the Wings onto a victory. Beat the Sharks with those fucking brooms they're waving around. See, we can manipulate anything.
Player: Nick Lidstrom
Horoscope: Although you may be required to respond to a stressful situation at work, you also need to carve out some personal time for yourself. Your motivation for a bit of peace and quiet now is not for relaxation; instead, you want to think about what's coming up for you in the future. Unfortunately, with your current job-related pressures, you'll need to schedule a mini-retreat away from it all. Fortunately, even an hour or so should be enough to reconnect with your dreams.
My Take: The stars are seriously fucking with us, right? Prepare yourselves, I'm about to revert to a high school girl, but OMG this is spot on boys and girls. Spot freaking on. Holy crap does he have pressure at work. And holy crap does he have a lot to think about regarding his future.(shudder) Apparently he needs to take that hour, focus, re fall in love with the game of hockey, and most of all remember the little boy from back in Sweden playing on an outdoor ice rink. If he does that, he'll realize he doesn't want this season to end, and he sure as hell doesn't want this to be the last year he plays for the Red Wings. No really, he'll figure that out because my fragile nerves can't take any other scenario. If we've learned anything about Lidstrom over the past 19 or so years, aside from the fact that he is the perfect human, it's that he responds to pressure packed situations. This horoscope brightens my day.
Alright, after that bizarro Lidstrom horoscope, I'm spent. I've got nothing more than LGRW.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
And because karma is a sneaky bitch with a long long memory. And I'm guessing she doesn't like diving.
And I have a feeling that Karma may use one particularly pissed off Swede to extract her revenge.And finally, the future Captain usually plays his best when challenged. Give him Pavelski. Shut him down. It's been a slow start to the series for Zetterberg and this assignment may give him a boost. But even if Babcock keeps his previous matchups, I still expect to see a significant improvement from "Z." Because that's what real leaders do. They step up when necessary.
Game 3 boys and girls, it's do or die. A pressure packed situation. Exactly the kind of environment this group thrives on. Here we go....
Monday, May 3, 2010
Last night I was hoping Mike Babcock would throw a chair on the ice and then smash it over Watson's head ala the WWE. In some ways, I half expected McLellan to join. (He could not have been happy about what took place for his team either, albeit to a lesser degree.) I then hoped every player would line up for their post game pressers and say, yes we still need to fix a number of things to win, but the officiating had a direct impact on the results of that game. Follow that with Mike Babcock scratching his nose with his middle finger and calling out Nabokov for being a giant infected limp dick that flops over to the side with the slightest touch or wrong look. (And as a sidenote: Jimmy, Wings fans don't want you to learn ANYTHING from this goalie. Technique, choke habits, and certainly not the tendency to dive. There's no place for that shit when you wear the Winged Wheel. Stepping off soap box...)
But of course they didn't. And in the light of the morning, after emotions have some what subsided, I am so thankful this team chose to act in a professional and classy manor. Sure they would have been justified in their complaints. And sure the unprofessional behavior would have fit in very nicely with both the Sharks lack of self respect and the refs lack of professional integrity, but it would have done more harm than good.
McCosky's article this morning points out a very valid, albeit disappointing fact. McLellan has out played/ out coached Babcock in one very important area, gamesmanship. And honestly, we should all tip our hats. When I first read Babcock's quote about Western Canada and their distaste for diving, I thought perhaps he was merely venting. But after 5 seconds, it was clear it was both a dig at the refs, the league, and a hope that it would prevent such behavior from happening in the future. Todd came back and instead praised the refs and essentially fained astonishment that anyone would question their integrity and knowledge. Golf claps and finger snaps Todd. Your manipulation and political maneuvering would be appreciated at any major corporation. Soon to be college grads with a business major, take note and buy an industrial size bottle of Listerine. This type of ass kissing is appreciated and often helpful in your success. Yes they don't teach this shit in college. But Todd understands it and it's two games to none for the Sharks.
Now the Officiating was a serious issue and so were the dives, but that doesn't remove all fault from the Wings.
1. Faceoffs. Seriously, since when did it become such a challenge to win a fucking faceoff? Clearly I have been far too spoiled in the past because it was never something I thought of. But 38%, even on the road, is an appalling number.
2. Puck possession. And this can go hand in hand with our allusive friend Faceoff Wins. The Wings need to begin playing their game, holding onto the puck, and perhaps the refs will have less opportunities to call penalties. Crazy idea.
3. Johan Franzen. I thought for sure after receiving 9 stitches he'd be fired up for this game. But the only thing fiery about Franzen was his beard.
4. Niklas Kronwall. What the fuck is going on with him. I noticed him twice. Once for an open ice hit on Babcock's Western Canadian poker partner, and again when he took a penalty leading to a five on three. Aside from that, I have chosen to block out his giveaways and defensive brain farts. Watching Kronwall play this year has made me dread Lidstrom's retirement even more. And I didn't think that was possible....
5. Patrick Eaves and special teams. If the game is going to be called the way it was, both teams sure as hell better work on their special teams. And for the Wings, I hope Eaves can get back into the line up soon. They could use him on the PK....and Williams is essentially worthless 5 on 5 for that matter.
6. Henrik Zetterberg. I understand he has been playing well defensively, but the team needs him to both contribute offensively and improve on faceoffs.
Essentially they need to find a way to compensate for both the Sharks play and for the way the game will be called. They need to be cautious about every hit, every move of their stick, but still find a way to win.
It's a quick turn around with Game 3 starting on Tuesday and I hope the Wings come prepared, refocused, and determined to turn this series around. Both Game 3 and Game 4 are must wins. Losing either is not an option at this point.