Caption Mondays: Sara Neuie wins this week with a last-minute entry.
Rig: Hey Pav! There's something wrong with your pants!
Pav: Huh? *looks down* I see nothing wrong.
Rig: But your pants- they're gaping open. Your thigh shows when you stretch like that.
Pav: Huh? They're what?
Rig: You have a giant hole in your pants, Pav!
Pav: *looks again and looks up at Rig more confused than before* Huh?
Rig: Ugh, I'll just tell Hank...
Trivia Tuesdays: Crater got this week's answer, with Ryan chiming in with some additional info.
This week's question: Who holds the Wings' record for points-per-game in a single season? What year did he set the record?
The Answer: Steve Yzerman scored 155 points in 80 games for a 1.94 points-per-game average in the 1988-89 season. That's...a lot.
Free curly fries tomorrow! The Hobo's treating us all to lunch. I know having a hobo buy your food might seem a bit backwards, but just go with it. There are free curly fries.
I'd like to take partial credit for the curly fry accomplishment because when I was getting ready to ski today, I reached into the inner pocket of my coat where I sometimes stash hidden treasures and forget about them (hey there, bluetooth headset that was missing for eight months), and I pulled out the curly fries coozy I got at the Big Chill. It was fate.
Hey, Jiri Hudler. Guess what happens when you start shooting the puck.
I went skiing tonight, so I only got to watch the second period live. It just so happened that we went into the lodge as the puck was being dropped at the start of the second and we hung out at the bar until the next intermission. Some are convinced that this was more than a coincidence, but I assure you that it was just a happy accident. I managed to catch the third period on the late-night replay because, you guessed it, someone messed with my DVR recording again.
I figured the Wings were sunk when they had their little three-goal implosion during the second. It was pleasantly surprising to head back out on the slopes with a tie game in Dallas.
I get score updates texted to my phone, and my goal horn alert kept going off inside my jacket while we were out skiing. I couldn't read the texts because I would've had to take my gloves off and unzip my whole jacket to get to the phone. It was killer because we didn't know which team was scoring all of the goals. I finally caved and checked the texts and we had a nice little celebration at the top of the mountainhill.
I really enjoy it when the Wings score seven goals. It's a lot of fun.
Hero: Patrick Eaves
Hobo is feeding the masses tomorrow. Also, probably playing some ping pong to celebrate.
Villain: Steve Ott
I still hate him.
This has nothing to do with hockey, but if you ever find yourself on a ski slope, queue up the Top Gun Anthem before you take a nice, long run. It will be epic. I promise.
First of all: congrats to the old man on win #400 tonight. You kids stay off his lawn now, you hear?
This game was a tale of two Ozzies. The second goal he gave up in the first period was incredibly typical of his play for the last two seasons. Then, he somehow found another gear and played like a crazy man for the rest of the game, looking like he did back in the '09 playoffs.
I loved the celebration after the game. I especially loved the fact that Draper was the first one out to congratulate the old man.
As those of you in the twitter crowd know, Jenn Ho caught Ozzie drinking a Pepsi during practice on the first day of training camp this fall. I don't think it's a coincidence that he played like that in the Pepsi Center.
So that Jiri Hudler guy scored a goal. I'm not sure what's up with that.
During an interview, he referred to Tomas Holmstrom as a “Swedish Terminator.” I loved it. I loved it a lot.
How about the powerplay tonight? It was absolutely lethal.
Did the Wings even touch the puck during the second period? It's been a while since I've seen them get worked over like that. Ozzie absolutely stole the game for them during that stretch. He was especially spectacular during the 5-on-3 kill.
Toward the end of the game, the Wings fans in attendance got a couple of, “Ozzie! Ozzie!” chants going. I want to track each and every one of them down and hug them. Way to represent Hockeytown.
That late-game tying goal was oh-so-reminiscent of the game against Dallas. I was crushed. I was sure the Wings were going to blow it for Ozzie. Luckily, the Wings got a powerplay late in OT and were able to salvage the victory for him.
I'm not normally one to talk to my TV and try to vicariously coach the players (the playoffs being the obvious and understandable exception, of course), but this game had me mumbling things about shooting lanes and making shots count during OT.
Jan Mursak wasn't terribly noticeable, which is good for a rookie making his NHL debut. The one thing (other than the penalty he took) that stood out was when he hustled back to negate a break for the Avs. It was a small play, but it stood out in my mind.
How many times over the course of your Wings fandom has there been an odd-man rush against the Wings that's caused you to panic until that glorious moment when you realize that Nick Lidstrom is the man back? As soon as you see TPH back there, it seems like the odds are suddenly stacked in the Wings' favor, despite being outnumbered on the rush. Please don't ever leave us, Nick.
Hero: Chris Osgood
The old man stole the show tonight. It would've been good form to make him the hero on the night of his 400th win as a congratulatory measure, but this honor (Oh look, I've gone and developed an exaggerated sense of self-importance.) was earned, not given out of a sense of decorum. I want to see more of this edition of Ozzie.
Villain: Matt Duchene
He opened the scoring for the Avs in the first period, and then almost ruined the game by tying it up late in the third.
Even the most die hard of Ozzie haters has to feel good for the guy tonight. It's been a long time coming.
I didn't get to watch the first ten minutes of the game thanks to yet another round of DVR problems, but the rest of the game looked fantastic. The Wings haven't played like that much lately.
Both of their first period goals were banked in off of the goalie. That's got to be frustrating for the Wild.
It was nice to see Draper get his first goal of the season. I've always liked the guy.
Homer scored another classic Homer goal. It was actually kind of an impressive feat that he was able to get his stick on the puck at all.
When I was watching the late-night game replay, they showed the team leaving the ice during the second intermission. As Dan Cleary walked toward the camera, I wanted to try to warn him to dodge that slapshot later on in the game. I'm going to chalk that up to it being almost 3 am.
Seriously though, losing the team's leading scorer (at the time of his injury) and its leading goal scorer in the same week is killer. It's especially bad with all of the games packed so closely together now. I just hope Cleary can regain the scoring form he had when he comes back from the injury.
Kindl didn't do anything terribly noticeable in his first game back. That's always a good thing for a rookie defenseman.
Hero: Henrik Zetterberg
I think this is the third game in a row that he's been up here. (I suppose I could go check...) He's absolutely stepped up in Datsyuk's absence. Without Dan Cleary in the lineup, he's going to have to be even better.
Villain: Eric Nystrom
He was trying to challenge Brad Stuart to a stupid fight during the second period in an attempt to change the tide of the game. Luckily, Stuey didn't take the bait.
Alright, who got a time machine for Christmas and sent us back to last December with the injury plague? Not cool, sunshine, not cool.
Here's your belated weekly wrap-up. I hope everyone's holidays were fantastic.
Caption Mondays: Sara Neuie wins this week by making sense of the chaos going on on the Wings' bench during the stoppage in play.
Homer: For sure! I totally catch Nick belting out Dancing Queen when I was, eh, at his house last night! He was, eh, dancings too.
Stuart: For real? Dude, that's worse than when Kronner stopped by while I was watching Finding Nemo... What? It's a good movie!
Ericsson: You really think it will work?
McCrimmon: I'm telling you, just be yourself and the other kids out there will love you. And bringing in homemade Swedish meatballs never hurt anybody...
Rafalski: This score concerns me. Not as much as the humanitarian crisis in the Sudan, but still pretty troubling. *sigh* I wonder what my wife made for dinner?
Trivia Tuesdays:Clark's on a roll. He won this week again.
This week's question: What was the last season in which a Red Wing led the NHL in scoring? Who was it?
The Answer: Gordie Howe led the league in points in the 1962-63 season. He had 38 goals and 48 assists in 70 games.
I was planning on going to the Joe tonight with student rush tickets, but when we got there, we discovered that it was already sold out. We ended up at a freezing cold bar in Greektown instead.
Pav's been the Wings' best player this season, and losing him for a month is killer. Luckily, I was at Astoria when I got the bad news, so delicious baked goods were within reach. What had begun as a victory celebration at the bakery turned into the ever-so-rare celebratory/eat-your-feelings pastry excursion. Thank god for carrot cake.
I already miss Pav...the most.
We were quite amused (after it was over, of course) by the play when Jimmy Howard was way out of the net and Rig was left to play goalie. It was terrifying at the time, but we got a good laugh out of it.
Except for that one play with Rig as a goalie, the beginning of the game was all Wings.
Look, it's a Homerfly!
You know what's awesome about being a Red Wings fan? Sitting back after an exciting overtime victory and picking apart all of the things your team did poorly during the game.
Our reaction to Fil's goal went something along the lines of, “Wait, he shot the puck? Are you sure that was Flippy?”
Dan Cleary continues to amaze everyone.
Luongo should've made the save on Z's overtime goal. I would've been pretty upset with Jimmy if that shot had gone in at the other end of the ice.
Hero: Henrik Zetterberg
Two goals on the night are usually enough to earn a guy hero status.
Villain: Mikael Samuelsson
He's on my list now for sure. As if tripping Pav when he broke his hand/wrist wasn't enough, Sammy had to go and add a goal later.
Fil, Mule, and Hudler all need to do more to make up for missing Pav for the next few weeks. Zetterberg needs to be as dominant as he was tonight for the rest of his fellow Eurotwin's absence.
Note: This has evidently been sitting as a draft since Sunday night. I figured I might as well post it instead of wasting the effort I put into it (not that I really worked that hard at it). I thought about deleting the bullet about how bad the Wings are at overtime, but I decided to let it stay.
I thought things were going well when Pav and Eaves got the Wings off to a fast start. Getting going on time is always an issue with these early games, but the Wings seemed to find their legs early on. Unfortunately, as the first period wore on, Dallas woke up and pushed the Wings back on their heels.
It's always nice to see the Wings get a Budd Lynch goal since they give up so many of them.
The “Ozzie! Ozzie!” chant from the fans at the end was a sure-fire jinx. The crowd did the same thing at the end of Game 5 of the '08 Finals. I'm glad I wasn't watching the game live, because I would've been cringing.
I hate overtime. Why are the Wings so bad at it? At least it didn't go to a shootout.
Ozzie deserved better from the team in front of him after they campaigned to get him the start at home for 400. I hope they give him a better shot next time he gets a start.
Hero: Patrick Eaves
He should be acknowledged for his two-game scoring streak. And his love of ping pong.
Villain: Loui Eriksson
Way to ruin Ozzie's fun.
It would've been really nice for the old man to get 400 in front of the home crowd. Here's hoping he gets another chance.
Ozzie's got a shot at his 400th win this afternoon. In addition to that, this is a battle for the top of the Western Conference. The Stars can tie the Wings with two points tonight. Here's hoping the Wings show up to play some real hockey.
It's easy to get caught up in the ridiculousness of the Wings not getting a single powerplay tonight (and yes, it was ridiculous), but to do so would overlook the fact that the really didn't look all that good.
Chris Chelios was honored before the game. The Blackhawks fans thanked the Chicago-native for spending the best years of his career in their uniform by booing him. All because he was traded to Detroit and found a home in a more successful and better-run organization. I'd be willing to bet that at least 95% of the fans there last night had no idea about any of his achievements while on the Hawks or why they were booing the man.Mickey Redmond was especially offended by the fans' behavior. He went on more than one rant about their lack of class.
I'd really like to adopt Mick as my unofficial grandpa. Both of mine are long gone, so I'm kind of in the market for a new one. I really think he'd liven up Christmas dinner. He and my dad could prop their feet up by the fire and sip ginger ales while swapping stories about the good old days when men were men and hockey players used wooden sticks. Then we could play a family game of Cranium and he could say, “Bingo Bango!” every time his team successfully completed a challenge. After the kiddies went to bed, we could switch to euchre, and he'd say, “Look out!” every time we were close to euchring our opposition. Then Larry Murphy would inexplicably come down the chimney and leave a tray of dollar hot dogs under the tree. Admit it: you'd want to be a part of a Mickey Redmond Christmas.
Pavel Datsyuk continued his streak of 18,492 consecutive games in which he did something that made me laugh out loud because of how absurdly good he is.
I'm glad that the majority of the Wings' fanbase exists to cheer on and support the Wings, not for the sole purpose of hating another team.
Hero: Patrick Eaves
He got the Wings' only goal tonight. It seemed to give the Wings new life for a while and get them back into the game.
Villain: Tomas Kopecky
Oh, so now you want to act like you know how to play hockey?
I certainly hope the Wings put on a better show on Sunday when Ozzie's going for his 400th win. He deserves that.
Caption Mondays: Dan in Wyo tapped into Larry Murphy's favorite night of the year for this week's answer.
*sad face* I want a dollar hot dog...
Trivia Tuesdays:Clark got the answer again this week, although he was one win off on the home victories record. He's really giving Andy a run for his money.
This week's question: Everyone knows that the Wings hold the record for number of victories in a single season with 62 in 1995-96. However, they also hold the single-season records for home victories and road victories. Those two records were set in different years. How many home victories did they have in their record-setting year, and what year was it? How many road victories did they have the year they set that record, and what year was it?
The Answer: The Wings are tied with the Flyers for the record for most home victories in a season. Each team had 36 home wins. The Flyers accomplished this in the 1975-76 season, and the Wings in the 1995-96 season. Ten years later, Detroit set the road victories record with 31 in the 2005-06 season.
In honor of Nick Lidstrom's first career hat trick, I made this “storybook” chronicling Wings' fans love of free curly fries and his achievement. The man turned three frozen, rubber disks into curly fries to feed the masses. That's quite a feat.
I headed down to the Joe with the lovely Sara Neuie for tonight's game. I think it's safe to say that we had a good time.
We knew it was going to be a good night when we were walking on the concourse and came across a beer vendor who was singing Christmas carols, but replacing every syllable with the word 'beer.” I don't even like beer and it made my day. I spent my whole drive home singing beer songs along with my CD player. Seriously. Give it a whirl.
I don't know who DJed tonight, but they should be banned from the building. It was the worst collection of “music” I've ever heard played there. I suspect it was our DJ friend from the Town Pump up there playing his stupid techno music. Seriously, a little rock here and there wouldn't have killed anybody. Techno “Jingle Bells” made me want to stab my ear drums. When they finally played a Bon Jovi song in the third period, I threw my arms up in the air and
So that Nick Lidstrom guy...he's pretty good, eh? We were pulling for curly fries as soon as he scored his second goal. I was surprised to find out that that was his first career hat trick. It just seems like after all these years, he would've had one already. As far as I can recall, this was the first hat trick I've ever seen in person. It was perfect. The Perfect Hat Trick.
I can promise you that yelling, “Curly Fries!” in the stands at the Joe was way more fun than yelling, “Junior Roast Beef Sandwich!” would've been. No contest.
I'm going to map out every Arby's in a 20-mile radius and visit each one for my free Perfect Curly Fries tomorrow.
Helm and Kronwall are the only two Wings who recorded a point tonight who aren't on one of my fantasy teams. It was a pretty lucrative night.
It was Dollar Pretzel Night at the Joe. I don't know if I've mentioned it on here before, but I'm a big fan of carbs.
I managed to complete the rare concession stand + bathroom trip in a single intermission. Anyone who frequents the Joe knows how impressive that is.
We loved Kronwall's little kick after he scored his goal. We're pretty sure he learned it while drinking Captain and Kesler dancing at karate practice (no, that's not supposed to make sense to anyone but Neuie). I think the Kronner Kick should be part of all future goal celebrations.
Henrik Zetterberg had four assists. That's...a lot.
Datsyuk made most of the crowd at the Joe laugh in astonishment at least twice tonight. Watching him play hockey is just pure fun.
The Wings' penalty kill looked fantastic during their first kill. The Blues were barely able to enter the zone at all.
You know who else looked good tonight despite not really factoring in on the scoresheet? Todd Bertuzzi.
Hero: Nick Lidstrom
This one's pretty obvious. He sent all of Hockeytown into a frenzy by buying us all lunch tomorrow. Thanks, Nick.
Villain: David Backes
He tried to destroy poor Homer along the boards. At least the Wings made the Blues pay on the ensuing powerplay.
Going to Astoria for a victory celebration is more fun than going to Astoria to eat your feelings after a loss.
I couldn't have asked for a better Saturday. I began the day in Ann Arbor for the Big Chill, and finished it at the casino for a Wings viewing party. Both of my teams won big, and I had a great time. Here are some quick notes from the Big Chill:
I knew the day was going to be great when my car's shuffle started playing Bob Seger's “Mainstreet” just as I turned onto Ann Arbor's Main Street. Technically, the song's written about a place on Ann Street, but I was close enough.
The atmosphere in Ann Arbor was incredible leading up to the game. I've never tailgated before a hockey game before, so that was a new experience. I had a good time, even though I was surrounded by Spartan fans.
We were ecstatic to discover the Arby's curly fries mascot at the fan fest before the game.
I'd already seen the ice when I was there earlier in the week, but I'd only been on the field that night. Walking into the stadium through the stands was a whole different experience. Over the years, I've gotten used to the spectacle that is the Big House on game days, and seeing the stadium full had kind of become routine. Seeing the rink laid out in front of me in the middle of the field was a completely different experience, though. It was kind of surreal.
Liz and I had great seats (well, spots to stand, really—nobody sits). We were in the seventh row at the faceoff dot in the Spartans' end.
I really, really, really love fireworks. I don't know why, but I suspect it has something to do with Disney. I also love hockey and the Big House. Combining all three in one epic event was pretty awesome. The fireworks at the end weren't necessarily spectacular, but seeing them launched from the new towers over the stadium with the lights dimmed was very cool. Here's a short video I took of part of the show.
I looked like an idiot during the second intermission because there was only one other person near me dancing along to the Blues Brothers. I was across the stadium from the student section, so I shot a quick video of the beginning of the dance. It's not very long, because I wanted to put the camera down and join in.
I was, of course, standing on the bleachers as I danced, and it wasn't until halfway through the song that I realized the guy behind me had taken a seat and, well, you figure it out.
I've seen other flyovers before, but the stealth bomber before the game was really neat to see. It seemed more like a glider than a jet.
I got a close-up shot of Mickey Redmond and his hat. I had no idea what it said at the time, but I remarked to Liz that it looked like he was a Russian submarine captain. It wasn't until I got home that I could read that it said “Redmondov.” This has sparked so many questions. Why? Why does that exist? Please tell me that there was an explanation somewhere in the broadcast that I missed.
After the fourth goal, Liz was just hoping for an MSU goal so that she could celebrate with her “Go Green/Go White” mittens. I was hoping for another UofM goal so that my “Go Blue” mittens could be used to their full effect for the “more goals” cheer when number five was announced. I got my wish. She didn't get hers.
The only thing that could've made the day better is snow. I was really hoping for some, but I'll have to settle for the short flurry that we saw during the skate last week.
I loved that the student section got the wave going. The Big House is the only place in which I approve of the wave, and the slow wave holds a special place in my heart.
The announced attendance was over 113,000 people, but Guinness is only certifying 85,000 people. I'm not sure how you lose almost 30,000 people, but I guess they make the rules. The Big House didn't look full to capacity, but it was pretty darn close. I call shenanigans.
The NHL would be insane not to bite on the chance to try to one-up the event with a Winter Classic there. Which, actually, is a pretty good reason for not getting your hopes up about it happening.
The last thirty seconds on the PK were incredibly stressful. I wanted Michigan to hold onto the shutout so badly. Little things like that make me like hockey even more. What other sport gets your heart pumping like that in the dying seconds of a blowout? There's always something on the line.
Everything was perfect, from the weather to the score to the enormity of the event. I'll never forget it.
Everyone knows that the Wings hold the record for number of victories in a single season with 62 in 1995-96. However, they also hold the single-season records for home victories and road victories. Those two records were set in different years. How many home victories did they have in their record-setting year, and what year was it? How many road victories did they have the year they set that record, and what year was it?
My little sister and I braved the weather to head down to the Joe tonight (Huge thanks to Petrella and Sara) to watch that disaster. After risking life and limb venturing out onto the roads, we would've appreciated it if the Wings had at least scored a goal.
I didn't realize that the game was on Versus until after I got home. Driving down to the Joe was worth it just so I didn't have to sit through their telecast.
This third-period picture of Salei pretty much sums up the game.
I'm currently riding an 0-2 streak at the Joe. The Wings have been outscored 10-2 in those two games. This makes me sad.
I noticed Jiri Hudler doing decent things a few times tonight. Interestingly, he and Dan Cleary were the only two Wings who didn't have negative +/- ratings in the game.
This was one of those games that just kills me. The Wings had 51 shots on Quick and not a single one of them went in the net. Every season, the Wings have one or two games that play out just like that and it still frustrates me to no end.
Going into the third, it was nice feeling like the Wings had a legitimate chance to tie the game up. Last season, I would've written the game off as a sure loss at that poing. What a difference a year makes.
The building was half empty tonight thanks to the weather. It was the sparsest crowd I've ever seen there, pre-season included. While it's always nice to see the Joe full, I have to admit that I enjoyed the short lines for bathrooms and concessions. Think about this: we had time to hit the bathroom, take a whole lap of the building, visit the concession stand, and make it back to our seats for the start of the next period. Those of you who are familiar with the Joe know that that should be physically impossible.
Villain: Jonathan Quick
There's nothing worse than seeing your team get shut out in their own building.
There was not nearly enough butter on the popcorn we bought during the second intermission. It just added another layer of fail to the game. At least the donut we got from Timmy's was good.
PS. I wish post #FIVE-HUNDRED would've been about something happier. I can't believe I made it this far.
The Wings got off to quite a start with two goals before most people were even in their seats. I don't have much for this one because I spent most of the game daydreaming about the epicness I'd just witnessed at the Big Chill (more on that later).
The game was another one of those Eurotwins nights that I love so much.
Ericsson got into what was allegedly a fight, but really just looked like a hugging contest.
We watched the game at the viewing party at Motor City Casino. I was particularly fond of the free pizza. They also had trivia contests, giveaways, and games. One of those games was an Xbox set up with NHL '11. People were playing this while the game was on. Why? You can play video games at home. No need to drag yourself to a casino in Detroit.
My favorite part about Datsyuk's goal was how nonchalant he was about it. When he took the pass from Zetterberg in the corner, he looked like he said, “Eh, I guess I'll score now.”
Hero: Chris Osgood
He played stellar last night. I was really hoping he'd pull off the shutout so I could say that neither one of my teams surrendered a goal all day, but it wasn't meant to be.
Villain: Patrick Elias
He scored early in the third period to get the Devils on the board and give me a reason to boo for the first time that day.
The game was the perfect cap to a perfect day. I couldn't have asked for a better day of hockey.
I'd say that each team won one period tonight, and split another. The difference was that the Wings won their period bigger. The first was kind of a draw, then the Wings took over in the second, only to fall asleep during the third.
I never, ever, ever want to hear that stupid “Ole” soccer chant in Joe Louis Arena again. Ever.
I loved that the Wings' d-men were all over the offense tonight. Lidstrom's buzzer-beater on the 5-on-3 was just brilliant.
Ken and Mickey's reaction to that goal was priceless.
I was at work and we had the game on the TVs. I don't think anything got done during that 5-on-3. I'm pretty sure everyone was just standing around watching.
Pavel Datsyuk's goal was just beautiful. He got a nice set-up from Rig and finished it with a gorgeous shot. After the game, he was asked to describe the goal and he said, “I just shoot.”
The penalty differential between the Wings and Canadiens was kind of surprising. I kept waiting for the evening out calls to come in the third period, but they never did. You don't usually see that kind of disparity unless you're playing Anaheim.
Hero: Jimmy Howard
Those saves he made late in the third period when the rest of the Wings were fading were nothing short of spectacular.
Villains: Habs fans
“Ole, Ole?” Not in our building.
I've already moved onto the Big Chill. Tomorrow's going to be insane.
Caption Mondays: This week's winner is a very dear friend of mine, Nidhilicious.
But my lips hurt real bad!
Trivia Tuesdays:Clark and Andy sorted out the mess I made this week. I failed to specify whether or not to count overtime losses in my question (I wasn't intending to). Somewhere, my School of Ed professors are banging their heads against hard objects.
This week's question: Against which team do the Wings have the fewest regular season losses?
The Answer: The Wings have the fewest regular season losses against the Panthers. Florida has only beaten them twice in regulation. However, the Panthers have beaten the Wings twice in overtime. If you add the overtime losses to the regulation losses, they're in a tie with the Thrashers, who have beaten the Wings four times in regulation.
The Wings looked terrible tonight. They looked like they slept through the entire first period.
Fittingly, during his first intermission interview, TAWD looked like he was about to doze off at any moment. It pretty much summed up the Wings' play.
If Ozzie had given up that third goal, the internet would've collapsed from the massive outpouring of hatred and criticism. I'm not blaming Jimmy for the loss, but it was a terrible goal to give up at that point in the game.
Pav's shorthanded goal was quite nice. I figured that four-minute PK would be a turning point in the game since failure to kill it would've put them down by three goals and a successful kill would've given them some momentum. When the Wings ended up scoring on it, it seemed like they had a good chance to get back in the game.
Martin Erat looked ridiculous after he got high-sticked. Yes, he got hit with the stick, and yes, he got cut, but good lord, I thought he'd lost an eye the way he was flopping around on the ice. Think about how Mike Modano reacted to having a tendon severed and a nerve damaged in his wrist. Now imagine if that had happened to Erat.
The lights at the Joe flickered momentarily during the third period. I'm sure it inspired a plethora of witty “they're so poor in Detroit...” jokes from other fans. Almost immediately afterward, the Preds scored.
Way to toy with my emotions, Wings. I'd pretty much written the game off when they were down by two late, but then they went and scored with an empty net. It made the last minute of the game exciting, at least.
Hero: Pavel Datsyuk
Go ahead and tell me that he and Zetterberg aren't the top two-way forwards in the league. Go ahead.
Villain: Martin Erat
Every time the Wings play the Predators, I like that man a little bit less. And I don't mean in the “oh, I hate playing Rick Nash because he's so good against the wings” sense.
Hey, boys, wakey-wakey. It's not February yet. It's too early to slip into the mid-season funk.
I was lucky enough to win some passes to a private skate at the Big House tonight (Thanks, Olympia Entertainment. That's the only connection this post has to the Red Wings, so feel free to move along if you're not interested in college hockey.). I made the trek to Ann Arbor with Liz to check out the set-up for the Big Chill. It was amazing. I was already excited for the game on Saturday, but after being there and seeing the set up, I absolutely cannot wait. It's going to be epic in every way imaginable. Seeing the ice surface right smack in the middle of the Big House is surreal. I can't even imagine what it's going to look like when the stadium is full on Saturday.
I got to skate on the ice for about 45 minutes, which is one of the cooler things I've gotten to do. I hadn't skated in over a year, so it was nice to put my skates on and get back out there. There weren't very many people at the skate, so the ice was free and clear and I had a good time. I shot a couple of videos as I was skating, and I have to say that it's pretty impressive that I didn't fall while taking them.
Another highlight was the free Tim Horton's donunts and hot chocolate. I was in the process of determining how many cups of hot chocolate it would be socially acceptable to take on my way out, but they packed it up and I didn't get one for the road. You can see in this picture here how excited I was about the Timbit I was eating:
It was a gorgeous night out there and it even snowed for a few minutes. The word “picturesque” comes to mind. It was very cold, and there was a strong wind coming out of the north. If you're heading out to the game, dress warmly, especially if you find yourself with tickets in the nosebleeds. It gets ridiculously cold up there even when it's not December. I personally plan on showing up looking like I stepped out of “A Christmas Story” based on my experience tonight. Luckily, with over 110,000 people in the Big House, there should be plenty of body heat to go around during the game. I suggest getting to know your seat neighbors. I can pretty much promise that I won't be tweeting from the game because it just isn't worth it to take my gloves off to use my phone.
One of the more surreal aspects of the whole thing was seeing a zamboni drive through the end zone. I've got a thing about zambonis (not that kind of thing), so this fascinated me. I mean, there was a zamboni driving around the field at the Big House. It's not that this was unexpected since there's a hockey rink there at the moment, but...there was a zamboni driving around the field at the Big House. That's not something you see every day.
After the skate, the club teams from UofM and MSU took the ice for a scrimmage. We stuck around for warmups to take some pictures, but didn't stay for the game. I was personally a fan of the Wolverines' goalie who was wearing a ski hat over his helmet. It doesn't take much to become my favorite random, non-Wings goalie (Hi, Jordan Pearce) apparently.
Long story short: if you're a hockey fan in Michigan and you're not jacked for this game, there's something wrong with you. This is going to be epic. GO BLUE.
I got a last minute invite to the game, so I headed down to the Joe straight from work. Unfortunately, I was wearing a shade of blue that was dangerously close to the Sharks' colors. Fortunately, I was also wearing an ugly, old man cardigan that covered most of it.
Tonight was the quietest I've ever seen the Joe. Even during the first when things were going smoothly, it was quiet.
During warmups, someone set their pop on the boards. Jiri Hudler noticed and shot the puck at it, knocking it off and spilling it all over. That was about the only good thing he did all night.
Poor Budd Lynch must be coming down with a cold. His voice sounded awful, and kept getting worse as the game went on. He barely made it through the post-game announcements. Someone really should've gotten the man a cough drop. Feel better, Budd.
San Jose's powerplay in the first period looked like it was moving in slow motion.
I was pretty optimistic after the first period. The Wings looked pretty good and looked like they were getting ready to cruise to a win. Apparently they thought so too, as they proceeded to fall asleep.
The Sharks' goals eight seconds apart just killed everything. What little crowd energy there was was gone, and even though the Wings were only down by one, it didn't seem like there was anything going.
Why was there a dude in a Rangers jersey sitting behind the Wings' bench?
I'm not sure if this ended up on the broadcast, but at one point, Homer took a pass at center ice right in front of the penalty boxes, and promptly fell flat on his back. The puck was scooped up by a Shark and returned to the Wings' zone. This is the conversation that ensued: “Was that Homer?” “Of course it was Homer. Who else would it be?”
There was a trivia question posted on the big screen in which Sid Abel's name was spelled wrong. It's not like his last name is displayed prominently somewhere in the building that could be used for a spelling reference or anything.
Hudler just isn't working. He makes me angry nearly every time he's on the ice and contributes nothing postive.
Zetterberg was an impressive -4 on the night. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that he hasn't had many games like that in his career.
Stop being a baby when you get hit. Just because someone nailed you doesn't mean you need to fight them. Try keeping your head up next time.
Hero: Mike Babcock
“Cute-fest.” I love it. It reminds me of how I like to say, “Awww, you're so cute,” in a baby talk voice to my dad. He usually snarls and says, “There's nothing cute about me,” and tries to do something macho like pretend to be Rocky.
Villain: Dany Heatley
As this debacle was going down, I thought to myself, “well, at least Heatley's on my fantasy team.” Of course, then I realized that since I went to the game straight from work, I hadn't had a chance to set my lineup and Heatley was benched. Thanks for nothing.
Bert winked and did a finger gun at some guys standing near us during warmups. There's no word on whether or not they made it home alive.
Draper and Ozzie both came back from injuries tonight. Ozzie played well. Draper didn't get much playing time, so it's hard to pass judgment.
The Kings have yet to give up a powerplay goal while at home. That's crazy considering that we're more than a quarter way through the season. I was hoping that the Wings would be able to end that streak, but they sadly did not.
Ozzie got called for a trapezoid penalty. We can all pretty much agree that this is one of the stupidest things the NHL has ever come up with, right? If we're going to restrain the goalies, at least add some humor to the game by using a shock collar or chain.
Another road game, another LGRW chant by the Wings faithful in attendance.
Brad Stuart drilled someone late in the first period. Later on in the game, he knocked Davis Drewiske down. He followed that up with a little nod at Drewiske as he was down on the ice. I love the swagger.
Ericsson started the scoring with a goal late in the first. I didn't see the puck go in the net at first because I was focused on Zetterberg who looked like he was going to slam into the endboards. Datsyuk picked up the assist on the play while Homer was causing his usual mayhem in front of the net.
Rig looked dangerous in the offensive zone all night. He had several good chances after scoring his goal. It was definitely one of his better nights.
Justin Williams tried to stickhandle past Datsyuk at one point and ended up just looking silly. Homer finished the play by coming in and knocking him down. It amused me.
I was still settling onto the couch for the second period when LA tied up the score.
Luckily, Bertuzzi put the Wings back in the lead shortly afterward. Ken Daniels yelled, “Snipe!” when he scored. Personally, when I hear the word “snipe” associated with Bertuzzi, I assume it involves a rifle and ghillie suit. After the game, someone asked him about his snipe, and Bert responded by asking for a lawyer.
The Wings started out with a strong first period, but gradually faded as the game wore on. You could tell that they were feeling the effects of playing back-to-back games. They looked a little more lively during overtime, but the Kings ended up winning on a goal that came off of a Lidstrom turnover.
Any team that doesn't have two syllables in its name should ban its fans from doing the, “Let's go, ______!” chant. It just sounds stupid.
After the game, the Kings' mascot rode an ATV out to center ice and pretended to be having a seizure. This was after the Kings celebrated their OT goal in the same fashion that teams usually use for Stanley Cup clinching goals. It's still December, sunshines.
Hero: Jonathan Ericsson
He had the Wings' first goal, but more importantly, he looked good tonight. I kept noticing him for positive reasons, instead of after mistakes. I wish he could play like that consistently.
Villain: Anze Kopitar
He got the Kings' goal in OT to seal the win.
I'll take 5 out of 6 points on a roadtrip all season long.
I didn't get to watch this one live thanks to work, but thanks to the modern miracle of DVR technology (and the fact that I instructed my little sister to guard my scheduled recording with her life), I still got to see the Wings shut out the Ducks by a score of 4-0 for the second time this season. This game wasn't nearly as much fun as the first 4-0 win, but I'll take what I can get.
Stop wearing your ugly third jerseys when you play the Wings! Even better: stop making ugly third jerseys in general. Ugliness aside, it's a smart business decision—if you're using them as a pull for extra attendance, don't waste them on a night when the Wings would've already drawn in extra fans for you anyway. Wear them when you play the Coyotes. Or just burn them. One or the other.
The Wings got off to a pretty good start with Johan Franzen's goal less than two minutes into the game. They had the Ducks on their heels for most of the first period after that.
Oh, Helm...you and your lack of finish. One of these days you're going to get some hands.
The second period was much slower for the Wings. Anaheim took over late in the first after their powerplays and carried that momentum over to the next period. The Wings weathered the storm, though, thanks to Jimmy Howard and managed to add to their lead.
We picked on Homer a little bit during this week's episode of TP:60. I like to think that inspired him to score his goal tonight. I'm sure he's a regular listener.
Congrats to Henrik Zetterberg for picking up his 500th career point. It's fitting that the assist came on a Circus line goal.
Hey, Corey Perry: you lose at life. (And hockey.)
Were there any Ducks fans in the building tonight? The cheering was ridiculously loud after the Wings scored. That's got to be pretty embarrassing for the Ducks fans who were in attendance, although probably to a lesser degree than actually being a fan of a team that employs Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.
Dan Cleary just keeps on rolling. I love it. I also loved his candidness during his second intermission interview.
I was amused by the play near the end of the game where Zetterberg lost his stick and made a kick pass to center the puck. It would've been sweet if Cleary had scored on it.
Filppula's goal with less than a minute left made me laugh. I loved the scoreboard symmetry to the season opener.
Hero: Jimmy Howard
It's really hard to not get the top honors when you pitch a shutout. He looked sharp tonight and more than earned his breather tomorrow.
Villain: Corey Perry
Anaheim would instantly become 8000% more likeable if he no longer played for them.
When the Wings play the Ducks, I find myself inordinately distracted by Hiller's helmet. A large part of me wants to hate it, but there's also a part of me that thinks it's exceedingly awesome. I guess I'm still on the fence about it.
Caption Mondays: I'm declaring this week's caption contest a tie because I make the rules and I can do whatever I want. Don't like it? Get your own blog.
From Sara Neuie:
Eaves: Don't look at BizvNasty, don't look at Biz Nasty, don't look at Biz...
Homer: What's with all the homeless people holding rolls of toilet paper?
Tuzzi: I dunno, but something smells kinda funny... and what's with that girl staring at Biz Nasty? Something's not right there...
Biz Nasty: haha, soup's almost ready, BOOM!
Eaves (familiar with Biz's twitter account): Ew, ew, ew, ew, EW!
And from JennHo:
Eaves "What IS she DOING?"
Bert "Don't know but I don't hate it"
Homer "Fer Sure"
Biz "She'll be with me in the pressbox tonight boys. BOOM"
This week's question: Which team have the Wings gone the longest since last facing in the playoffs?
The Answer: The Wings haven't played the New York Rangers since 1950 when the two teams faced off in the Finals. The Wings won the series 4-3 with Pete Babando scoring the Cup-winning goal on home ice in double overtime in Game Seven. Interestingly enough, the Wings had five home games that series and New York didn't really have any. The two road games for the Wings were played in Toronto because the circus had taken over Madison Square Gardens. This was also the year that Ted Lindsay began the time-honored tradition of skating the Cup around.