31 March 2010

Blame Game Update: 8 Spot be damned, I want the Central.

Six games left. Two points remain until Babs reaches his goal and is officially off the Winged Wheel hook. Two points remain until we meet the projected number of points required for a playoff berth. Meh, we've got 12 points left... let's go for broke bitches.

I knew Larry Aurie loved us at least a little bit. That Stuart goal sure seemed like it was off a high-stick to me, but we finally got a bit of good luck from the Hockey Gods and a call went our way. Not only that, but the goal won us the game. Last night, the Wings took their sixth straight win. This isn't really all that out of the ordinary for the Red Wings... usually. But this has been a bizarre-ass season. It's been one of those seasons where it became clear that in order to even make the playoffs, the Wings would have to go well over .500 for the remainder of the season. Not usually such a terrifying prospect, but we were all pretty damn frightened that it wouldn't happen. Well...
  • Fuck .500.
Over the last 10 games, the Wings have taken 19 out of 20 points. .950 works for me. And hell, it's got me thinking. And hoping. And praying to Bear Jesus and Winnie Cooper. 

Watching the Blackhawks start to stutter makes me hope for what many, myself included, considered impossible about a third into this season: That the Detroit Red Wings will capture yet another Division Title.
Ok... it would be tough. Way tough. We currently sit 6 points behind the Hawks, who have a game in hand. There are only a few scenarios in which we can take back what is rightfully ours. To help, I've put together the following chart that shows the possibilities:

The last scenario on the chart is the only way in which we could enter a winnable tie with the chickenhawks. If we run the table, and they don't manage to win another game, but win 6 in overtime, we'll have the same number of points and same number of wins. That would bring us to the second tiebreaker, which comes down to the results of games between the two teams. Over the five games that we've endured these cheapshotting children so far, the Wings have earned 5 points to the Hawks' 6. Further, our sixth and final game against Chicago is the last game of the season. If the tiebreaker scenario turns out, we'd have to win in regulation to capture back our title. A win in OT would send us to the third tiebreaker, which we'd likely lose (unless we score a shitload of goals and let in very few between now and then). 

Quick sidenote: Wow. That was way more research and thought than I've ever put into one of these posts. Apparently the Wings' recent success means I'm not so dead inside. I'm allowing myself to start to cross my fingers for more than just the 8 spot. 

Yeah. I know. It's ambitious. Super ambitious. Pretty unlikely. Well, a little over a month ago, so was just making the playoffs. We're looking at a pissed off Red Wings team. A team that is sick to fucking death of being called too old, too depleted. The rest of the league took their liberties with this team for most of the season. We were laughed at, mocked. They pointed and declared that Goliath was dead. All the little Davids rejoiced, skipping and laughing, holding hands and frolicking in the meadows. Well, turns out this story is a bit different from the traditional tale of David and Goliath.

In the Bible, David hurls a rock at Goliath and kills him. Super. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, right? Well that's not how it works here. In this story, David hurled his little rocks. But at just about that time, Goliath tore his fucking ACL, dislocated his shoulder, busted his knee in the wrong-ass direction, got a severe concussion, and broke his leg in half. Goliath fell, and David rejoiced, taking credit for Goliath's troubles. 

Then Goliath went to the DMC.

It's hard for a giant to rehab. Especially with so many injuries. But hey, he had a whole team working on him and soon enough, he was good as new. Better, some would say, because he was pissed. Pissed off that David was out celebrating, rejoicing at the new age that had began. Goliath wasn't ready for his reign to be over, so he dragged his ass out of his hospital bed, broke the damn walls down, and went gunning for David.

See, in the Bible, David is the victor. He defeats Goliath and goes on to reign as King. In this story? David gets his ass kicked. He gets put back in his damn place, as a plaything for Goliath to fuck with when he gets bored. In this story, Goliath runs the dynasty.

And this fucking dynasty ain't over yet.

30 March 2010

H2H Distilled: Then aged, bottled, shipped, and consumed by some crazy fanatics and a dude from Brazil.

Ok. So I lacked the ability in the previous post here to string together the right sequence of words to recap the amazingness that was Herm to Hockeytown. Guess what? I still do. It was just too epic. However, I'd be remiss to fail to at least point you folks in the direction of those much more talented than yours truly, who have managed to put together some great recaps. In that light, click the following links for your reading pleasure:
  • "Herm to Hockeytown: The Aftermath" at A2Y
  • Petrella's recap at The Production Line 
I was going to put together links of all the fantastic reviews out there, but it turns out two things stand in my way: 1) Petrella beat me to it; and 2) I'm lazy as shit. So go to the second link there and go through all of recaps. Seriously, everyone did a great job summing everything up.

As for me, I'm going to have to resort to bullet points. First, some of the amazing highlights:
  • One of the coolest games I've ever been at. Seriously. Even though it was more or less a beat-down against a team with little to no hope of making the playoffs, and as far as importance is concerned, it can't hold a candle to Western Conference or Stanley Cup Finals games, - this game was amazing. Purely and simply, it was made so because of the mass of people of which I was a part. Everyone was a rabid fan. Everyone got the strange inside references to Larry Aurie and obscure Babcock quotes. Everyone was ballistic from the beginning to the end of the game, regardless the score.
  • Singing Happy Birthday to Super Jimmah - awesome. Doing it three times - wicked awesome.
  • Mingling has never been so easy. I'm not much of a mingler, myself. Turns out, I lack much of the tact and social prowess to interact effectively with strangers. Who knew? Apparently, "sup, fuckers?" doesn't usually work as an icebreaker. Well... not at H2H. The entire process was pretty interesting, especially pre-nametag. Conversations would start with "Hey, I'm so-and-so" and would eventually turn to, "so, what's your Wings name." Immediately, you felt like you knew the person for an eternity and the conversation possibilities were blown wide the hell open.
  • All the badass people I got to meet and put faces with names. I'd attempt to list them all here, but there was cold Molson on the tap, so I'm pretty damn sure that there's little chance I'd cover everyone. To everyone I had the pleasure of interacting with - a hearty stick tap to you. It was quite the pleasure.
  • I won a signed jersey! I'm pretty sure that's all that karma built up from everything I touched turning to hell in Vegas. Definitely a nice touch.
Of course, it wouldn't be The Winged Wheel if I didn't bitch about something. Therefore, the regrets:
  • That I couldn't spend more time with the professional badasses in attendance. I wasn't able to get into the D until Friday afternoon, just before the Hockeytown Cafe pre-game. Then, I had to take off right after the game. From the other recaps, it seems that I missed some outstanding partying. Never again.
  • That I didn't get to meet absolutely everyone. Hell, Herm was busy enough throughout the whole time I was there, I didn't get to exchange much more than a pat on the back and a passing "good to have you here, Herm."
  • That I didn't convert a thousand dollars into singles, stand on a table in the middle of Hockeytown Cafe, and make it rain for the Children. Ok, maybe that was a good thing. Probably hard to justify that as an education related expense.
Overall, it as a hell of a time and it was for a great cause. In addition to the cash raised to bring Herm all the way from Brazil, the Greatest Fans in the Universe raised over $5,000 for the Children's Hospital.

Not. Too. Shabby.

Oh. One last thing. A core group of superhumans came together to truly make this happen. And for that... I think they deserve a nice refreshing swim.

Serven, Ellen, Jen, Hollis, Patrella (shirtuzzi and all), and of course, Herm - Enjoy the Swim in the Above Ground Pool of Glory. You've earned it.

28 March 2010

Blame Game Update: Inspirational title goes here.

Can you feel the excitement? Babs can. He's peeking over the top of that glorious above ground pool of glory, and he can basically smell the prizes. Two more wins for the projected number, but fuck that. 5 more wins for another 100+ point season.

Oh. So I'm supposed to write a post now? I'm supposed to some how sum up the last two games, one of which involved an epic convergence of some of the most amazing hockey fans to ever roam the planet? 
  • How the fuck do you expect me to do that?
Needless to say, Herm to Hockeytown was amazing. I only regret that I didn't get to spend much more time there, or that I didn't get to meet literally everyone. However, those I met in person turn out to be just as much of badasses in person as they are online. I'm already counting down the days until we get to do this again. Hell, I've got to think annual just isn't enough.
  • Anyone else up for a 19 Roller Hockey tournament / multi-keg extravaganza this summer? 
Seems like a necessity to me.

Anyway, I'd post recaps, but many out there will do a much better job. I'll likely include a post with links at some point for those who are interested. But I'm not entirely sure that I have the ability to sum up something so epic using basic English. I'd need to start inventing words like "trumblefuck" or "shitschrum," and that seems like way too much effort.

As far as hockey goes? Fuck. Yes. You know, Friday I was a bit concerned. It was the 13 year anniversary of The Brawl. It was the date of the convergence of the 19 upon Hockeytown. It was Super Jimmah's birthday.
  • Seemed like the kind of game that the Red Wings tend to fuck up.
But fuck up they did not. I missed the first two goals waiting in the world's longest beer line, which was a bit of a disappointment. Until the Wings made me forget entirely about them by scoring 4 more. Then last night, I got in just in time to watch an epic shootout where Super Jimmah lived up to his name, stopping puck after puck. After last night's win, the wings are 8-1-1 in they're last ten. They've got a 5 game win streak going, and they are by far the hottest team in the league. Despite a shitshow of injuries (fuck you, Larry Aurie), and a clusterfuck of a season, the Wings currently sit in 6th. That's one hell of an improvement from whatever garbage we were looking at before the Olympic break.

Currently, Sportsclubstats.com has us at 99.7% chance to make the playoffs. Now, I'm not about to start the nasty, patchy irish fuckup of a playoff beard just yet, nor am I about to do 4 double-pitts-to-chesties in celebration. It's still a little early for that - 2009 Tigers, anyone? No, I'll save the double-pitts-to-chesties for when we clinch.

But damnit, it feels good to not be in constant panic mode.

25 March 2010

History Beckons: The greatest Wings game of all time

When it comes to Wings games, it's easy for me to narrow down my absolute favorite.

04 June 2008 - The Wings scrape by in a tight 3-2 win on away ice to win their first post-lockout Cup.
  • Nope.
07 June 1997 - The Wings win their 8th Stanley Cup, ending a 42 year drought. Stevie Y, The Captain, finally lifts Lord Stanley's Chalice for the first time.
  • Close, but not quite.
My all-time favorite game - perhaps the game that changed my status from "fan" to "fanatic motherfucker" - took place on 26 March 1997. It is known simply as "The Brawl."

There are a lot of "The"s involved in "The Brawl." The Red Wings v. The Avalanche, at the heart of The Rivalry. It was the first game that The Turtle was in the lineup since The Incident.

Any Wings fan knows about this game. For me, it's the first time I became convinced that my team was going to win the Stanley Cup and absolutely nothing would stand in their way. Hell, I'm still convinced that this game provided that extra spark that lead to back to back championships. Who knows, maybe it didn't have the same effect on the players. But for the fans... it's still a galvanizing event in Red Wings history.

So why write a recap of a game that happened 13 years ago? Well, why did Homer write The Iliad? Why did Tolkien write The Lord of the Ringe? Why did Minna Unchi write Everybody Poops?

No. Not peyote. The shit is simply inspirational.

To truly understand this game, the events of another date are essential: 29 May 1996. The Date of The Incident, Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. On that date, claude "less than human" lemieux  took the cheapshot of all cheapshots (capitalization intentional; dude doesn't deserve the respect that a proper noun denotes). All Wings fans remember the day clod came remember the day clod came from behind on a puck-less Draper and slammed his face into the barrier between the bench and the ice. Draper's face was shattered, requiring surgery and his jaw to be wired shut for months. nce that day, lemieux has expressed little regret for his gutless actions. Whether he admits it or not, however, there is one thing he surely regrets:
  • He picked the wrong fucking guy to cream.
To be sure, the Wings would have been infuriated with the turtle regardless of who he decided to hurt. But he took a cheapshot on a guy who just happened to be best friends with the greatest teammate of all time: Darren Motherfucking McCarty. I'm guessing if clod had the gray matter to crank out a book, one of the life lessons he might pass down would include the following:
  • Don't ever cheapshot a guy who's best man at his wedding is absolutely anything like Darren McCarty.
See, Mac was the teams enforcer, and good lord few could enforce like Mac. Dude had fists of hammers and the tenacity of a rabid wolverine. The key point: he's not a guy you fuck with.

Mac also happened to be the guy that stood by Drapes's side, helping him through his assuredly painful recovery. He carried around the pliers, just in case the wires holding his jaw shut needed to be cut to prevent him from choking on his own food or vomit. He watched, while his best friend suffered. He watched, and he waited.

Fast forward to 26 March 1997. The Wings faced the hated Av's at home. They'd faced them three other times since the incident, but each time the turtle didn't take the ice. The 26th was different. Finally, lemieux was in the lineup. Finally, he'd pay.

The game started a little chippy. Valeri Kamenski put the Av's up 1-0 3:29 into the game. Jamie Pushor and Brent Seveyrn dropped the gloves for a mostly unremarkable fight early on. Maltby and Corbet exchanged a few punches in the middle of a scrum that the refs broke up quickly. Things were tense, and the atmosphere was certainly different from just any other regular home game.

Then, out of nowhere, the two most unlikely candidates to start a line brawl got tangled up at the boards. The Professor, Igor Larionov, and Doctor Glass-Bones, Peter Forsberg, started into it with a bit of a wrestling match. Forsberg delivered an extra punch to Larionov's head after a hit, to which Igor returned the favor. Soon the two were tangled up and wrestled to the ice. The refs skated over to break up the melee and the skaters on the ice started to pair off.

Near center ice, close to the Red Wing bench, a scrum. Players shoved and grabbed as the linesman futilely attempted to separate them and maintain order on the ice. One grabbed a hold of McCarty, separating him from the altercation. Skating close by, however, not paired up with an opponent, was the turtle himself. He inched closer, and it became clear that Mac saw him out of the corner of his eye. He had to be aware public enemy #1 was on the ice, and he had to know that he was about to uphold his promise to his best friend. "Don't worry. I'll take care of it."

And take care of it he did. Quickly, he broke lose from the grasp of the referee, turned, and caught lemiuex with a powerful right hook to the side of the head.

That was about it for lemiuex.

Now, throughout the course of history, men have attempted to predict the future. They've studied the past, analyzed the present, and took wild shots in the dark to what the future may hold. However, in this particular case, it's not that surprising what happened next. Because when - throughout the course of a career - a player acts like a bitch, and that same player plays like a bitch, well... it's pretty likely that when he's decked in the side of the head by one of the scrappiest motherfuckers in the league:
  • He's going to turtle like a bitch.
the turtle hit the ice, tucked his head between his arms, and prayed for mercy. His prayers would go unanswered. D Mac threw his gloves in the air as he descended to the ice, ready to avenge his teammate. Ready to show that as long as #25 skates in the Winged Wheel, it's not a wise decision to take liberties. Ready to make history.

Mac grabbed the turtle and dragged him from his head-in-the-sand position. He tore off clods helmet and lifted his head to get the shot he needed. He pulled the trigger. With the enemy's head in his right hand, he delivered two crushing lefts. Like wrecking balls, he drove his fists into lemieux's face, taking from it payment for prior indiscretion. Mac stood, and dragged clod in full turtle position toward the Red Wing bench. He took him to essentially the same spot that 301 days earlier his victim had been the aggressor. He dragged him to the boards, right in front of his teammate. The same teammate that he had helped recover. The same teammate that was so gutlessly driven into the dashers. He took him to the boards and right in front of Kris Draper, he delivered his final blows. He drove his knee into the bitch and made certain that he regretted those gutless actions for which he had yet to answer.

As if that were not enough.

The night was filled with excitement. From what in my book ranks as the greatest goalie fight of all time in Vernon v. Roy to Mac's game winning goal in overtime, this was - by far - the greatest Wings game of all time.

As we celebrate the anniversary of this hallowed game, I can't help but miss that aspect of the Wings. The scrappiness. Hell, perhaps that why I was so excited when Jimmah bitchslapped Rosby right in the head. Or why I was super behind Brad May in the beginning of the season when he was clearly willing to scrap. Mac is one of my favorite players of all time. Dude could score goals (Game 4 later that year anyone?) and was the ultimate teammate. He'd drop the gloves at a moment's notice, and honestly, I think this team could use a bit more of that. In that spirit:

At least in spirit. Add him to the FS-D broadcast. Sit him down next to Ken Kal. Do what you've gotta do, but the more Mac spirit that's infused into this team, the better.

Oh yeah... and because of 26 March 1997... put 25 up there with 1, 7, 9, 10, 12, and 19.

You know... right after #6... we don't need any more of Aurie's Revenge.

24 March 2010

Blame Game Update: Crow tastes so damn good.

Four wins left for Babs after the show tonight. Good to see the Wings rise to take revenge for Stockholm and put a nail in the coffin containing St. Louis's playoff hopes.

If you would have told me at the beginning of this season that Jimmy Howard would have 30 wins this season, I would have literally kicked you in the genitals. At the time I was convinced that there was no way he'd make it as an NHL goaltender. I was convinced that he'd be on waivers by December, and that if anything, he'd be the downfall of the team.
  • WRONG.
Instead of winning in spite of James, the Wings are currently hanging on to a playoff spot precisely because of him. As you are all certainly aware, I am an Ozzie supporter through and through. I've defended him throughout the season, and still think that he's vastly unappreciated by the masses. That being said, Jimmah right now... he's our guy. He's improved before our very eyes; fixing his angles, controlling his rebounds, shutting... fuckers... down.

So, in the spirit of eating crow, I present to you, Super Jimmah:

As you can tell, dude's won me over. He's improved, he's been consistent, and he bitchslapped Crosby in the face. He's a team guy, and if Ozzie's gonna pass the torch... well, it might as well be Jimmah.

That's not to say I'm not still a bit skeptical. I still hold that I had every right to be skeptical of James early in the season. But after 30 NHL victories, I'm ready to accept him.

Don't let me down James. Don't Steve Mason on me.

Blame Game Update: Oh! There you are, Red Wings. We've missed you.

Well, lets get this part over with. The OT loss last Friday gives Bab's half an arm. Kind of sad, but if you need some cheering up:

Five points. That's 2 and a half rungs up the ladder. Babs is sitting pretty with 10 games left, and 5 games required to meet the goal of 95 points. Here's hoping our countdown is done well before the last game of the season.

Well, well, well. Look at this. I go away to Vegas for a few... um... Ok, I'm not actually sure how long I was there. We'll call it an extended blur. During this blur, the Wings played three times. Out of the 6 points available, they took 5. Not too shabby.

In that light, I'd like to make an offer to Mr. I. Clearly, it is good luck for me to be in Vegas. I am willing to take one for the team and ensure our future success. I will move to Vegas for the betterment of the team. All I ask is for a villa at the Bellagio and a $1500 per diem. You're welcome.

But enough about that. Finally, we've got the Wings we've missed for so long. The Wings that win more often than they lose. The Wings that score goals and step up big defensively. The Wings that bitchslap Crosby right in the face.

I missed a decent amount of hockey, so I can't really comment on individual performances. JRock really picked up the slack while I was gone (cough*writeadamnpostfucker*cough) but now that things are back to normal, and I'm back to having things to blow off, so the posts should come more frequently.

Blues tonight. It's the Hockey Eve to H2H on Friday. More to come soon, but for now...
  • Fuck yeah, Wings.

18 March 2010

Blame Game Update: Just in time, a hearty about face.

He's getting closer. Can you start to smell the glory? Oh, and those tits are probably starting to get a little rank. Nobody's cleaned that pool in a while.

Well look at this. In the last 10 games, the Wings are 7-2-1. That, my dear friends, is currently the best streak in the NHL. Not. Too. Shabby.

It's been a while since we've seen a Wings team that can win on a consistent basis. But we're currently riding a 3 game winning streak - something that we haven't done since December. We're currently winning more often than we're losing - something that we haven't done since the 2008-2009 season. We're currently calmly collecting the names of each individual on the opponent's team, writing them down, making copies in triplicate, filing them away in a secure location, and then stomping the shit out of each and every one of them - something that hasn't been done since before we started asking "What the hell happened to my Red Wings."

There's another big game coming up Friday. How do I know it's a big game? Well, I use a very complex formula. You can try this at home if you like. First, you'll need three sharpened #2 pencils, some pipe cleaners, one gallon of gerain alcohol, a beaker, a live rat, and the knowledge that:
  • There all fucking big games.
Now, drink all of the grain alcohol and throw the rest of that shit off your roof. The fact is, every game from here on out is basically a must-win. Hell, the rest of the fucking league doesn't seem to want to do their jobs and beat Calgary and Nashville, so we're going to have to do it for them.

The game tomorrow is against a year-long cellar dweller. This is a team that is, and has been, sub-par. They've been plagued with injuries - the only team who's been hit harder than the Wings. Hell, they're a solid 11 points behind the 29th spot in the league.
  • Doesn't fucking matter.
It's games like these - the should wins - that often give us trouble.  If there's one issue that plagues the Wings more than any other, its that when they've got the enemy down, they have a tough time putting their skates on their throats, and stomping down hard. Think of all of the blown leads - where we SHOULD have won the game, but dropped the ball in the third. Think of all of the times where the Wings SHOULD have been able to bring their A game - hall of fame induction weekend, anyone? Think of all the times the Wings have let inferior opponents bend them over and Pulp Fiction them to death. Hey guys:
  • Lets not make tomorrow one of those times.
Heck, if not for your shot at a 19 year playoff streak, do it to keep Dana from looking stupid. Ok, ok. I know, a hockey game can only do so much. You aren't brain surgeons.

Finally, my apologies for the infrequency of posts lately. It's my spring break so I haven't had the opportunity to be forced to sit in a room and ignore the important things being said that will have a dramatic impact on my future. Further, I regret to inform you that it will not be getting much better anytime soon, as I'll be spending the weekend in the beautiful Clark County Detention Center. Yep, I'm off to a den of sin where various chemical and psychological dependencies are not only tolerated, but they're factored right into the GDP. Off to the adult Chuck E. Cheese, where playing in the ball pit has a whole different meaning. Off to the place where there is no such thing as a "bad decision" or "immature act."

Vegas, baby. Vegas.

Hopefully between now and the time I get back, J-Rock can pick up some of the slack. Hell, maybe jail has Wi-Fi and I'll have the good fortune of being able to upload some beautiful blame game update pictures. Hopefully by then, Babs will be two-rungs up that ladder to glory, inching ever closer to destiny.

Make it happen boys, the dynasty is on the line.

15 March 2010

Blame Game Update: Hm, where have we seen this before?

A decisive win over the Wild, followed by an OT beating of the Sabers moves Babs up two rungs toward the Above Ground Pool of glory since the last update.

First, a hearty mea culpa for the lack of updates after the last couple of games. I've been otherwise occupied, and I'm sure it was just pure torture to not have the critical updates that The Winged Wheel provides. Where else are you going to get the up-to-date progress of cartoon Babcock ascending to glory? NOWHERE! FUCKING NOWHERE SO DON'T YOU EVER LEAVE!


Well, now that I've gotten my chemical imbalance out of the way, on to hockey. The Wings have taken down their last two opponents. They currently sit in the 8 spot - one point in the playoffs. Ahead of Calgary. Playing Clagary. Trying to get our first three game win streak since December... wait...
  • ...the fuck?
I missed the last two games due to other commitments. Lucky for me, nothing's changed. Again, we're playing the Flames to decide who is chasing who. Last time, I went on some rant about the statement that would be made based on the outcome of the game. This time, I'm not sure that I can handle it. Because if the Wings decide to make the statement that a win is just too much work... ugh. Not thinking about it.

Tonight, it's time for redemption. Time to step up big and assert ourselves as the Western Conference Powerhouse that we are. Time to smack some bitches around. Get it done fellas.

14 March 2010

Hot Damn. 3-2.

Nothin' like making 2 goals in a little over 3 minutes then scaring the fuck out of me until 30 seconds into the OT eh? Damn, awesome game. As much as it sucks being in a position to miss the playoffs for the first time in 19 years, it is really really really fun to sit on the edge of my seat like I'm watching a playoff game... EVERY game. Sure, I think I might have a coronary after every Jimmy Howard rebound... but at least I feel like I won the lottery after every Wings goal.

Want an idea of how bad it is after every Wings loss? Here's what I started to write after we lost to Calgary to slip into 9th spot, entitled: SHIT (yep, the other S word)...

  • SHIT indeed. SHIT on the hopes of holding onto that last playoff spot. SHIT on catching up with Nashville tonight. SHIT on thinking this team would try for 60 minutes. SHIT on me for getting my hopes up after Pavel top-shelved that back hander. Hook me up with some ex-lax because I've got plenty of shit to bitch about.
After I took a breather and realized that the rest of the post would have been a bad combination of swearing and well, more swearing I decided to call it quits on that post. To be honest, that is what has happened to the majority of my posts and is why you don't see me on this blog very often. Every time I sit down to write I find myself in that awkward position that almost every other Wings fan is in. I just want to yell and scream and we all do enough of that on our own without reading about it.

Anyhoo... Mini recap: Finally we see as close to a 60+ minute effort as there has been by the Wings this year. Only downside is some softies from Howard (especially that first goal). But hell, a win is a win and we're back in a powerful position being able to defend a playoff spot.

Capt'n Norris is out for a day or two, so until then just picture Babs climbing that ladder to his glorious seat upon an above ground pool of glory (mmmm fake boobies and trophies!)

P.S. Boys and Girls. Move your clocks ahead 1 hour tonight @2am.

11 March 2010

Dear Contributing Journalists to the Detroit Sports Media: You are stupid people.

It's been fashionable recently to rag on Detroit's beat writers. Hell, there's certainly enough ammunition out there. The fact is, we really don't have many great journalists assigned to follow our team. The hard questions too often go unasked. The pertinent information often goes unpublished. Whatever. I usually try not to become too enraged with this sad fact. I obsess enough, and if the Freep or DetNews can't quite match that tenacity, it's completely understandable.

But then they get away from the reports, and start talking opinion.

Lets be honest here, if you want to read opinion on the Wings, the Freep is not the place to go. There are far too many talented Wings bloggers out there. Also, there's some maniac who doesn't watch his language and photoshops images of fake tits that's kind of fun to read as long as you don't have any moral standards. And when the Freep or the News decides that opinion is the right way to go, I no longer decide that it isn't worth calling the bastards out. Because it's clear: not only are these people lousy journalists, they're stupid too.

Time for the prove-up.
Maybe it was just too hard to sustain their level of excellence. Remember, the Wings went deep into the playoffs the last three years. They played more games than most teams, and those extra games were the most physically taxing and draining games anybody played. This year, because of the Olympic break, the schedule was condensed.

Maybe Datsyuk and Zetterberg are just worn out. They both denied it; it sounds like an excuse. Oh, Datsyuk admitted that "we've played a lot of games -- you can feel it" and called the schedule "kind of not fair." But I don't think he really meant unfair; I think he meant it is not ideal. He pointed out that it's the same for everybody.
Link - Via Rosenberg at Freep
Nice.  That's Michael "who?" Rosenberg in a piece he titled "The myseterious struggles of Datsyuk and Zetterberg." Granted: Z's been struggling. Most have been speculating that he's a bit hurt in one way or the other, because it's clear he has not been the presence in the offensive zone that he usually is. He's still mega-strong defensively, but he's not hitting the score sheet like we need. Also granted: Earlier this season, Datsyuk was struggling offensively. Hell, we at the Winged Wheel are no strangers to calling Pasha out. For some reason he decided he'd hug the perimeter. Now that the Mule's back, he's dangling into the slot and shooting much more.

In fact, in the last three games, Dats has four points. Three of which are goals. In the last 5 games? 7 points. In the last 8? 10. In case you aren't following... over the last month of Hockey, Datsyuk is playing at over a point per game pace.
  • Yeah, NOW seems like a good time to write an article about Datsyuk's struggles.
Therein lies my main issue with Rosenberg's article: Timing. Going over his archived articles, there doesn't appear to be a word about Dat's struggles... when he was struggling. Seems Mike decided to tune in, look at the season statistics, pull out his super-computer to crunch the numbers, and found that - SURPRISE!- Datsyuk is having an off year. Then, admiral asshole sat down at his ol' timey typewriter and bang out a breaking article that would just shock Wings fans across the globe. Unfortunately for him, anybody who has actually watched one of the last 10 games, knows that Datsyuk is far from struggling. He's finally carrying the team like he needed to all year.

Moving on. I'll only provide a few clips from this gem of an article:
2. Saturday vs. Sabres: Drew Miller's older brother, Ryan, is a pretty good goaltender. Loss.
3. Monday at Flames: The Wings won there earlier in the season. Win.
6. March 22 vs. Penguins: It's the grudge match. Win.
7. March 24 vs. Blues: The Wings have had problems with the Blues this year. Win.
13. April 4 at Flyers: The Flyers are another good home team, they have that friendly Chris Pronger guy, and it's the second of a back-to-back. Loss.
16. April 11 at Blackhawks: The Blackhawks are tied with the Capitals for most home wins. Loss (unless they rest Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, etc.). 
Link - Wajiki at DetNews
Oh Dana. Dana, Dana, Dana. You truly are... something else. How you get paid to write this shit is beyond me. Actually, the bigger question, is what the hell is your editor doing that is keeping him or her from reading your drivel, removing it from the interwebs immediately, and assigning you to the mail room. Hollis at MotownWings wrote a great piece about this article here. Check it out, but be sure to do so nowhere near a loaded pistol, rope, bottle of pills, or methamphetamine. It's not exactly a pick-me-upper, but it's honest, insightful, and clever.

Unlike Dana's "work."

Dana's "analysis" actually makes The Winged Wheel's "Ladder to the Above Ground Pool of Glory" look downright scientific. She lists the opponents remaining, and assigns her determination of whether or not the Wings will win based on... um... well I'm guessing the results of powerful hallucinogens. Yep, we'll beat the Flames because we've done it before... but beating the Blackhawks at home? UNHEARD OF!
  • Wait... you mean we just did that? A whole two games ago?
Oh dear, I feel silly. Or, how about March 24, against the Blues. What striking analysis: "The Wings have had trouble against the Blues this year." The only logical conclusion, "Win." Oh.

Mind: Officially blown.

The sad, and honest truth: if the Wings play like they did against Nashville two games ago, or like they did during the second period against Chicago, we're officially Cup contenders. If they play like they did against the Flames?
  • There's no way in hell we'll win enough to make it.
The trouble here is that in the hierarchy of people writing about the Red Wings, it should not be the fanboy bloggers who live and die by the team who are calling it like it is. That, Dana, is your job. If you want to write an article about how the Wings are playing predominantly at home, with a handful of games against teams near the bottom of the standings? Fine. If you want to write an honest article, that says that currently it's more likely than not that the Wings will miss the damn playoffs? Even better. That's journalism. Maybe it won't get as many hits, but it's objective reality.

Leave the blind homerism to us. We can handle it. Plus, we can say "fuck." That always lightens up a good read.

10 March 2010

Blame Game Update: Well, I guess that answers that.

5 and a half losses left until doomsday. 16 games remain.

Figures doesn't it? The Wings put together a couple of strong performances. The guys who get paid to score: scored. The lines were clicking, and the Wings were somehow managing to control the play. We were finally looking at the possibility of winning three in a row. The playoffs were in our sight. Hell, we were one point away from the 7 spot! Excitement, hope, faith, and good spirits were returning to the Hockeytown faithful.
  • Yeah, well fuck us right?
I wrote yesterday about how last night's game would send a statement one way or the other. The Wings will either rise to the occasion, and make a fiery push for the playoffs - maybe even a seed higher than 7 or 8 - or they'd rest on their heels, and suck it right the hell up, telling everyone they really don't give a shit. Well... I should have figured - we got the latter.

I can't comment too much about the game itself. Pathetically, I only managed to catch the first two periods in such a way to afford me to critique what happened. During those periods, the Wings were OK. Not great, but not terrible. They kept themselves in it, and if they could just turn it on for the third they could pull away with it. Yeah not so much. Rather than go from OK to great, they apparently decided to go from OK to suck. 

From what I could catch out of the corner of my eye at the bar (important Euchre tournament), the Wings decided they didn't want to control the play any longer. They sat back and took it. Not surprisingly, they lost.

The part that really gets me, the part that really makes me upset, is that the Wings didn't just lose a game last night. They lost an opportunity. They lost the opportunity to solidify themselves in a playoff spot. They lost the opportunity to pull away a bit from a team that was chasing them, and stay within one of the team they were chasing. They lost the opportunity to grab a team by the collar, slap it in the mouth, and yell "NO! MY PLAYOFF SPOT! BAD! BAD TEAM!" 

After that loss, we're realistically hoping for an 8th seed, and maybe a last minute squeak into the 7th at best. As the Blame Game illustrates, if our mega-scientific calculations are correct we can only afford to lose 5 and half more games. That's pretty scary. Especially if the team that showed up last night keeps playing. 

This is the home stretch, gentlemen. This is the part of the season where you all shake whatever the fuck funk you have going on off, sack up, and play some damn hockey. The part where you have to play EVERY night. It's basically the playoffs bitches. Except that if you lose, its not just kind of a bummer. It's the end of an 18 year reign. The NHL will no longer be property of the Detroit Red Wings, to be toyed with at our will. So rise above. Do what needs to be done.

Make it happen.

09 March 2010

The 'S' Word: No, not the one used gratuitously on this blog

There's been lots of talk about "Statement Games" recently. Most specifically, many considered the game on Sunday to be one of those games in which the Wings could make a statement. This has occurred throughout the season, about every time the Wings take on one of the league leaders. Games against the Sharks and Hawks specifically are touted as games in which the Wings may make the statement that they are still the team to fear in the West.

Well, that may be. However, tonight, a game against a team currently sitting in the 9 spot, is the game where a true statement may be made. Sure, handling a game against one of the current powerhouses may send a statement that we can hang with anyone, regardless of the turmoils we suffer throughout the season.
  • But tonight is different.
Tonight we face off against Calgary. This is a team currently sitting in the 9th Playoff spot, one point behind Detroit. A team that has struggled throughout the season, even without Larry Aurie reaching from out of the sky to bitch-slap their entire roster.  A team that lost Vesa Toskala hot-potato.
  • A team that needs every point they can get.
I submit to you, dear readers, that this is the game where the Wings must make a statement. This game that follows two Wings' victories against major opponents. The Chicago game was a "statement game" in that a win would send a message to the league that Detroit hasn't gone anywhere yet. However, had we lost, there wouldn't be much of a statement attached. Well, other than the "I like the way we played, the pucks just didn't bounce our way tonight" standard fare from the post-game.

Tonight? Tonight's game will send a statement, no matter the outcome.

For a loss:
  • Hi. Nice to meet you. We're the 2009-2010 Red Wings. I know, you probably don't recognize us. For the last 18 years or so we sported a different look. You probably have a hard time seeing that it's us without the fire coming from our eyes, or the smoke from our ears. We also used to rock a bunch of bling. Oh, what a silly phase. We were so into all of those accessories. President's Trophies, Campbell Trophies, division banners - and who could forget those silly 35 pound silver chalices? No longer, friends. We are a kinder, more gentle Red Wings. We want to be your friend. Having trouble making the playoffs? Here, take our seat. No, really, it's no inconvenience. We've been riding this train for the last 18 years. What's one more? We would have won tonight. We would have rose to the occasion, and shown everyone in the league that we're here to stay. But good Bear Jesus, that would have been a lot of work. And gee, we're tired. Plus, honestly, we just don't care that much. Have fun guys, we're off to Carl's Golfland to suit up for the real season.

On the other hand, for a win:
  • Oh. I'm sorry. You thought we were going to miss the playoffs? You got all excited to see the NHL's reigning dynasty crumble at the hands of the Visigoths? Yeah. I just made a "fall of Rome" reference.  What the hell are you going to do about it? Shut down the league for a year to find a way to get me to stop? Been there. Done that. How'd that work out for ya? So slow down there professor. We aren't going anywhere just yet. Yeah... it's been a while since we've had three victories in a row. Though, it's also been a while since Grand Rapids had a functional team, because they were all wearing Red and White. So just relax. You can cancel your foxtrot lessons, you aren't dancing on the grave of this dynasty anytime soon.

    We might be from Detroit, but we're about to go all Toyota on this league...

    ...Wait for it...

    ...Wait for it...

    There's. No. Fucking. Stopping us.
Yeah, I know. It's a little much. A win or loss tonight does not determine, at least mathematically, whether the Wings make it to the playoffs. Too many variables exist to really make it dispositive of whether we could contend for a twelfth. But all hyperbole aside, the Wings have the choice tonight to drop to the 9th spot, or potentially take the 7th. A choice between chasing the last playoff seed in the conference, or stringing together some strong performances and putting 5 and 6 in our sights. It's up to them to make that choice.

Well, perhaps "with a little help from my friends":

Oh man. An ancient Rome joke AND a Joe Cocker/Late-80's-Early-90's television show joke in one post!? You're welcome.

Our Lady of Wonder, pray for us.

08 March 2010

Blame Game Update: You Get Awesome Pizza and a Functional Economy, Hockey is Ours

Cheapshots and dives be damned, Babs is moving on up

About a year and a half ago, I made the move from Hockeytown, U.S.A. to Wait-Explain-Icing-To-Me-Again, America (named after an ancient native tribe, I think). At the time, I was basking in the glory of the Wings' 11th Stanley Cup and looking forward to (read: not looking forward to at all) my first semester of law school. I'll be honest, the fact that the city to which I was moving happened to contain a fellow class of 1926 team that the Wings play a half-dozen times a year helped with the transition. I figured although I may be a few hundred miles away from home, at least I'd be in a Hockey City.
  • Wrong.
Yeah, yeah. I get it. Wirtz Sr. was a dick. He ran the team into the ground and made it tough to love the Blackhawks. I don't care. This is still a team that, as far as I can tell, has a fan base that is confident that the only way to support a team is to chant "Detroit Sucks" blindly at the ice, ignoring the fact that they've been Detroit's bitches for well over a decade. At the time that I first made the move, I didn't mind the Hawks. I looked at them as a fellow Original 6 team with a long and storied history. That's changed. Honestly, Pittsburgh might actually be the only team in the league that I dislike more than the Hawks. Why? Oh, I'll tell you why.
  • Ever notice that it seems that every single time we play these douchebags, someone gets injured? I wonder why that is... Maybe because every Central Division game means so much that each is a hard-fought battle, where players give 110%? Well, considering the most recent victim of Aurie's Revenge is Todd Bertuzzi... I think we can rule out the whole "giving 110% thing." I think I'm going to go with the vast number of intent-to-injure cheapshots. Seems reasonable.
  • Related, but was I the only one who noticed all of the liberties taken against the mule? My theory is that Chicago knows that there's a high probability, Bear-Jesus willing, that we'll be squaring off for a rematch of the 2009 Western Conference Finals. Also, considering the sieves they have for netminders and the fact that they signed Marian Hossa, they're probably aware of the high probability that the results will be the same. So why not take this opportunity to knock the team down a few pegs with injuries? Certainly has hurt us thus far...
  • Bandwagoners. I dislike bandwagoners. I'd like to use a claw-hammer to silence each and every one of them. Granted, I understand it. Your team sucked for years and you had an owner that wanted to you hate the team. That changes, and it becomes easy to be a fan again. Fine. But that doesn't mean it annoys me any less, nor does it mean that I'm not going to mock you incessantly for it. 
  • Further, if you insist on hopping on that bandwagon, sack up and learn the game. There are few arenas across the league that boo clear offside calls like the "fans" at the United Center. Another example: recall Ladd's hat-trick yesterday. Home ice. For any Chicago fans who stumble around here, a Hat-Trick occurs when one of your players earns you the opportunity to sing that stupid "Dadada dadada dadada dadada" song while doing your best to not spill your mixed drink on your button down three times in one game. After Ladd's 'trick, the scholars at NBC panned across the fans, celebrating. Did you notice what I did? Hats. Fucking hats, on people's heads. People who were clearly happy that they were now within one goal from tying the game. These hats were not in the air. They were not soaring toward the ice. They weren't even in hands. They were on fucking clueless heads. Underneath? Not an ounce of knowledge about the game they were so happy to be at.
  • Even the bandwagoners are few and far between. And the majority of them don't give a shit. Case in point: 2009 playoffs. Every playoff game, I threw on the Wings shirt, jersey, and hat, jumped on my bike, and rode a couple of miles through a busy street to the Tin Lizzie to catch the game. All playoffs. Not once did I catch even a bit of slack. Not a single person managed to even shouted "douchebag" my way, and I get about three or four of those in any given day in just street clothes. I'm not saying that in order to be good fans you have to be mean to people who root for other teams. But at least a good natured "Go Hawks" or even the tried (and tried, and tried, and tried, and tried) and true (ok... maybe just tried) "Detroit Sucks" would go a long way to proving that you gave a shit. 
  • Those fuckers took Scotty Bowman. NOT COOL.
Chicago, you do many things well. Pizza: You win. Functional economy: Check. Getting wasted and going to baseball games: Neato.

  • Why don't you just leave that to us.
5-4 Wings. It was close. Too close. My Wings Ulcer grew three sizes and the strain on my heart knocked a good two years off of my life. But in the end, the good guys won. HUGE game Tuesday. One point out of the 7 spot, playing the team chasing us in the 9 spot. Now is not the time to play the 09-10 game. Now's the time to get Babs up that fucking ladder to glory.

Get. It. Done.

06 March 2010

Blame Game Updade: You Should Probably Just Stick with Super-Fast Left Turns

Mickey and Ken last night showed a graphic before the game began, describing what the Wings need to do to make the playoffs for the 19th consecutive season. They uses percentages, statistical projections, and hard data. Fuck that. I'm all about the ladder toward the above ground pool of glory.

Great game against one of Gary's teams. I have to admit though - and I suspect that I am not alone - I started to get worried there in the third when the lead was cut to two. It's such a ridiculous year, it's clear that no lead is safe. But the Wings pulled it off and sealed the deal to cut the gap to the 7 spot to three points. Another bright point:
That goal was just SILLY. If you missed it - go look it up. It's 2010 and you have the internet. What? You just expect me to post it here for your convenience? Bear-Jesus, alimighty. Fine.

Ok. I'm glad I posted that. That was just way too awesome. I'm sorry I was so harsh with you. The "GIMME MINE!" goal last night was one of Pasha's best. And Helm's shortie? I'll take more of that any day. I'm just happy that the Wings held on to make these goals count.

Chicago tomorrow. I don't know if it's living here, or if its the fact that these little bandwagon bitches are finally playing well, but I hate the Hawks more and more every day. Lets get that beautiful man up that ladder, bitches.

04 March 2010

You Don't Hate Kids Do You: DO YOU????

Damnit Thid, hand it over, Damnit! We're going to melt that medal of yours down and give it sick kids! Damnit!

It's been a while since I posted about one of the reasons why it is absolutely clear that Red Wings fans are far superior to fans of any other team. As you may recall, a mass of great people have come together for a common goal. The Herm to Hockeytown extravaganza, due to take place on 26 March, is a gathering of Wings fans from all over. More importantly, it is a culmination of the efforts of many fans and bloggers to bring Herm from Red Wings Brazil to his first ever live Wings game. If you're unfamiliar, and want to learn more, check out this old post from way back in 2009. I know, it's pretty dated. I had to convert the old archives from BetaMax to Laserdisk, to CD-ROM just to link it. Hard to imagine how people lived back then.

Anyway. In addition to bringing Herm to the Motor City (fuck alliteration), the H2H initiative is also raising as much cash as possible for the Red Wings Wish Club with proceeds going to the Children's Hospital of Michigan. Which brings us to The Production Line's latest push and call to action. A couple of games ago, just after the Olympic break, TPL decided that for every goal that the Wings score between now and the game on the 26th, they will donate $2 to the fund. Almost immediately, several other blogs and readers jumped on board with all kinds of crazy-ass scenarios for which they would donate money. Well, in the spirit of procrastination, I'd like to finally toss my hat in the ring. On behalf of The Winged Wheel, I'll be donating the following:
  • For every time I get to move Babs up his ladder to glory, I'll throw in. In the spirit of Captain Norris himself, that's $5 for a win. For an OT loss, we'll go with Darren McCarty * 0.1. ($2.50)
  • Additionally, as a bonus donation, I'll throw in $2.20 for every time friggin' Brett Lebda is a scratch. Hear me Babs? If you don't hate sick kids you'll scratch him every game from here out. PLUS, if he's somehow permanently removed from the roster, via waivers, a freak meteor shower, blunt force trauma to the head, etc., I'll make it a full $22.00
Overall, it's not much. But hey, I'm a brokeass. What's your excuse? If you want to throw in, any amount, be sure to let Patrella and the guys at The Production Line know by emailing them at so they can keep a running tally of how much their call to action is accumulating. Hell, let me know as well, and I'll engage in some sort of public flattery on the voids of the interwebs. CC me at [email protected]

Unless of course, you're a terrible person. Wait. Scratch that. I'm guessing if you regularly read this blog, you are more than O.K. with being a terrible person.

Bear Jesus commands it. Make it happen.

03 March 2010

Blame Game Update: Got that out of your systems? Good.

First thing's first:

Babs gets an arm added for the loss. He's still got that awkward half-torso from the OT loss 4 games and an eternity ago. 6.5 losses left. 19 games. No much wiggle room.

After the last game, I almost felt bad about this little project. Babs had just won Gold and the team seemed to be coming together. Then I realized that Babs has yet to use a hatchet on Ericsson's skull.

Other than the fact that we really cant afford many (read: any) more of those kinds of games, I've only got a few remarks:
  • Howard sucked. He sucked HARD. Ozzie wasn't perfect, but he was a marked improvement. It'll be interesting to see who Babs rolls with Friday.
  • Does anyone else think it's ironic that Val-Fil is Finnish, considering that's really not something that he's good at. ...Wait for it.
  • Fuuuuuuuuuuck Bertuzzi. Fuuuuuuuuuck Bertuzzi. Fuck Bertuzi, fuck bertuzzi, fuck berrrr-tuziiii! (You know, like Hallelujah...)
  • Fuck you Winnie Cooper.
Wait wait, I didn't mean it Winnie... You know how I get after a Wings shitshow. Ugh.

The 2010 Trade Deadline: Otherwise Referred to as Vesa Toskala Hot-Potato

Well that was anti-climactic.

30 Trades overall. Zero of them very interesting. For a full list of trades, check out TSN's Tradecent[er] (Page title edited, converted from metric).

Overall, the biggest changes came for the Caps and Team Bettman. Washington added Walker, Belanger, and Corvo to their ranks without loosing much. The Hamilton Coyotes swapped Mueller for Wolski and picked up Morris, Picard, and our old friend Matthieu Schneider. 

Whoopee, indeed.

As for the Wings, the deadline featured only a minor swap that, Bear-Jesus willing, will only affect the Griffins. Remember Kris Newberry? No? I don't blame you. He was that guy that managed to get two penalties and a goal in a matter of three minutes earlier this season at the peak of Larry Aurie's march to the sea (ha, Civil War jokes). Well, Newberry no longer has anything to do with us as we've traded him for Jordan Owens.

You mean you haven't heard of Jordan Owens? Where the hell have you been?

Yeah, not that exciting. Most seem to agree that he'll simply spend time with the Griffins, and we wont be seeing him in a Winged Wheel anytime too soon.  So it turns out the Wings really weren't big movers and shakers this time 'round. Kenny had said as much going into it, and he made good on his word. I have to admit though, I really had my hopes up that Brett "it would be totally worth it to sneak a shovel into the locker room to beat you with" Lebda would have a new team as of tonight. You know you want a player to go when you get excited at the prospect of trading him for someone even the Toronto Maple Leafs didn't think was good.

It should be mentioned, though, that Deadline Day wasn't all bad. First, it was amusing to watch teams toss Vesa Toskala around like a live grenade about to go off at any second. Second, the fellas over at The Production Line made the day rather exciting with an epic live blog featuring numerous inappropriate references and lots of embarrassingly suppressed laughter, as most of us were blowing off something important. I for one literally made the inside of my mouth bleed to keep from laughing too loud in the middle of a thrilling class. A hearty "Thanks, Bitches" to Petrella, Hollis, and Discher for making an otherwise miserably boring deadline day offensive, inappropriate, and hillarious. If you want to check out the shenanigans, all of the immaturity is preserved in perpetuity here. On second thought... never mind.

One truly great thing came from the chat. In discussing actresses who we found appealing as adolescents, the great Winnie Cooper from the Wonder Years came to light. For obvious reasons detailed below, I'd like to introduce what I plan on being a new feature here at the Winged Wheel. In the spirit our sincere attempts to become the most blasphemous blog on the internet (eat that, scientology.org) I'd like to add a new entity to which us fans may direct our sincere petitions for relief. Introducing Our Lady of Wonder: Winnie Cooper
It is to Our Lady of Wonder that I direct our benediction for tonight's game:
[Cue intro to Joe Cocker's version of "Little Help from my Friends"] Hail Winnie, full of, um, talent; Bear Jesus is with thee. Please lead our team to glory tonight against the Canucks. See if you can possibly ensure that Roberto Luongo is still massively hungover from the Olympics. Protect our Wings against any harm that may befall them, except of course for Brett Lebda. You can tell Larry Aurie to have his way with him. We ask this in the name of Bear Jesus, the Liquor Christ, and The Captain, Amen.
 We're in the 8 spot. Let's keep it. Game on.

01 March 2010

The Blame Game Update: Moving on up.

2.5 out of the 15 wins we needed when we started this little game. We're moving on up and I'm diggin it. Lets get a nice streak going here.

Also, holy shit was Franzen good tonight. More to come later.

We're Baaaaack: The Internet is No Longer a Wholesome Safe Place for Children

Well folks, the Olympic break is over and so is our little unplanned hiatus here at The Winged Wheel. I know we left you hopeless over the last couple of weeks. I mean, where else are you going to go to read the word "fuck" tossed indiscriminately about with opinions and analysis sure to be proven wrong at the earliest possible moment? That right there is a unique mission statement.

I suppose I should begin by providing some insightful analysis of these storied Olympic games. I guess if I were to sum the entirety of the drama, excitement, and hullabaloo of the world's greatest athletes coming together to engage in a competition of blood, sweat, and tears for eternal glory on an unprecedented world stage, I would do so thusly:
  • Fuck Sidney Rosby in his shiny purple ass.
And hell, while we're at it? Toss in NBC as an organization as well. I'm really not sure why I'm surprised that this organizations analysis of hockey is as perrenially piss-poor as it is. You'd think after all of this time I'd learn that NBC doesn't know hockey from an inflatable set of testes on a pogo-stick (weird analogy, right?). After a fairly pedestrian performance by Thid the Kid throughout the olympic games, it took just one over-time goal for NBC to remind us all why they're acronym stands for "No, really... it's absolutely fucking amazing that our shitty Broadcasts keep getting us Contracts." (No really, Wikipedia it). It no longer became the story of how the heavily favored Canadians were able to squeak past the Slovakians and then almost lose to the super-underdogs for the second time, but rather, about how Rosby himself carried the team to Olympic gold. The headlines all read, "Crosby wins Gold" as though he didn't have a team of superstars around him, outperforming him on a nightly basis.

Look, I don't mean to diminish the accomplishments of the Canadians here. They took Olympic Gold, and that's huge. They deserved it, and played hard for it. Don't confuse my frustration with bitterness that the US lost. The fact remains that silver is already a huge upset for the young Americans. Also, I'll never care that much about the outcome of Olympic hockey. As much as I would have enjoyed Olympic Gold for the USA, you just cannot develop the type of fanaticism over the course of six games that years of watching 82-game regular seasons and numerous post-seasons yields. Honestly, the Olympics Committe could grant NAMBLA the opportunity to field a team, and if they drafted all Red Wings, I would be OK rooting against Team U.S.A.

That being said, the part that frustrates me is not that Canada won, or that the US lost. Rather, it's that the stories around the games have become so Rosby-cenrtic that it has taken away from the allure of the last two weeks for me. These games featured some of the best hockey I've seen in a long, long time. We got to see the world's best goaltenders duel throughout the tournament, some of the most ridiculously high-powered offense, and fuck, Ziggy Palffy is still alive! All of that makes for some real compelling hockey. Now, NBC - and hockey media in general - have done everything in their power to ruin it.

Again, not sure why I'm surprised. It's what they do.


One more thing: Is anyone else a bit unnerved by the fact that NBC yanked all of the video of the Georgian Luger's death from the interwebs, seemingly out of respect for the dead, only to show it another thirty-thousand times during the opening ceremonies? That whole "respect" thing is bullshit. Bob Costas's bloodlust is a direct result of the fact that NBC knew that they're ratings would be much higher if their network was the only place you could see the gruesome crash. Good on ya NBC, keep chasing that almighty dollar.

Av's tonight. We'll prepare with a short benediction to Larry Aurie:
Almighty Larry, we ask that you use your holy and revered #6 to protect our Wings and guide them to victory. We've learned our lesson and would really appreciate it if you'd leave our roster intact so we can get Coach Babs up that ladder and into that glorious pool of fake tits and Jack Adams trophies. Who knows, maybe he'll share. We ask this in the name of Bear Jesus, the Liquor Christ, and The Captain, Steve Yzerman.
Amen, bitches. Game on.
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