28 March 2011

Rough Stuff: As opposed to just lying there and taking it

I'll say it right now, some 6 hours before the puck drops against the Racists.
  • E and Abby better be ready to drop 'em.
As the season progresses, we're seeing more and more cheap shots and marginal plays. Left and right, teams fighting to earn a playoff spot or secure a better seed are giving it their all against the Wings. That is to say, they're all acting like they've gotten pep talks from Marc Crawford (too soon?).

Hell, in just the last week or so, we've see two obviously illegal hits on the Best Defenseman in Hockey. David Legwand took a late, high hit on Captain Norris early in the Preds game.  Matt Niskanen, away from the puck, shoved The Perfect Human in the numbers, sending him head first into the boards. (Luckily for the league, the shitclowns from Versus were calling the game, so all they had to say about it was how far Lids bounced off the "active boards" at JLA). If there's one player in the league that you don't hit like that - it's Lidstrom. Yet, we've seen two different opponents do just that very recently.

And that's not counting all the other bullshit that's occurred throughout these recent games. Maxime "Rapes Babies" Talbot, punching Draper in the face while he was in a vulnerable position and unable to defend himself not once but mother fucking twice, anyone? Kennedy's stick just so happening to swing up and butt-end Abdelkader in the face in a post-whistle scrum? Homer's back receiving more blows than Bill Clinton with a duffel bag full of benjamins in a Tijuana titty bar?

Fuck that.

I'm not usually a complete mouthbreathing goon, chanting for fights at every single game. I'm all about showcasing the skills on ice and I totally get Babcock's aversion to sending his guys to the box for 5 minutes rather than taking a blow or two and going all Belle Tire over everyone's asses. But this just happens to be the exact reason why the phrase "there's a time and a place" was invented.

When it comes right down to it, there's a reason why Hockey is the only major team sport that allows its players to step aside and exchange blows to the face. It's a fast-paced, hard-checking game with action all over the ice and a relatively small staff of officials in charge of enforcing the rules of the game. Sometimes, a bit of enforcement needs to fall into the hands of the players themselves. When teams take liberties and the officials dole out the appropriate punishments, its appropriate to send a message. A five fingered message that you aren't going to just lie there and take it like an escort in Jiri Hudler's hotel room.

During the Leafs game on Saturday, I was thoroughly elated that Abby chose to drop the gloves and show Darryl Boyce it's not OK to take a run at one of our veteran defensemen with your knee out, away from the puck. It was a marginal play that didn't draw a penalty, so Abby did what scrappy guys should do: fuck shit up. The fight may have been a draw, but the message was there.

  • We may take less fighting majors than any other team in the league, but that doesn't mean your half-assed cellar-dwelling "team" full of goons and AHL fourth-liners gets to take liberties just because you're trying to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, a feat that should be easier than making Phil Kessel cry. 
So why am I writing a post, bitching and moaning in run-on sentence after run-on sentence?

  • Because it's the first time I've seen that happen by a skater in the Winged Wheel in far too damn long.
That's a message that should have been given the other week against Nashville. It's certainly one that should have been delivered against Ray"Shut the fuck up you piss-ant hypocrite"Shero and Mario "Clearly Crosby's mentor, you whiny little bitch" Lemieux's Penguins. If not when Talbot decided to lay on top of Draper and punch him in the face (um, whistle? No? That's OK now? Oh, good) then certainly when Niskanen drove Lids into the boards from behind. It's a job that should fall to Jonny E, or Abby, two of our bigger role-players that can handle those kinds of things.

Hell, in the case of Niskanen, what the hell was holding those shitbirds back? This was the same guy that got his ass kicked by Sidney Fucking Rosby. Jiri Hudler should have been able to jump him and beat him to a pulp with one hand still duct taped to a Chechen brothel's bedpost.

Rather, we got a whole lotta nothing. Rather than sending the message of "look, we'd much rather beat you with skills, but if we have to, we're totally ok with beating you with a nasty forearm shiver," we decided to send the message of "eh, what the fuck ever. We're in the playoffs. We'll care tomorrow." All that tends to do is encourage douchey play. And, as it certainly recently seems to be the case, if the refs aren't going to do their damn jobs and blow whistles when whistles should be blown - then you can't send that kind of encouragement.

So what the fuck does this have to do with tonight? Well, much more so than Toronto, more so than Nashville, and I'll even argue more so than the Pens, the Bandwagon are rivals. While we in Hockeytown haven't really given a shit about the mismanaged dipshits down 94 in about two decades, we've been beating up on them pretty hard through that time. To wit, they're really not big fans of us. That's likely to up the scrap factor in tonights game.

Further adding fuel to the fire? Chicago is in 8th right now. A meager two points out of 10th. The Flash in the Pans are teetering on the edge of falling into post-season oblivion. After playing in 3 consecutive Cup Finals, Marian Hossa is about to be forced to spend his time caddying for Tomas Kopecky. Rather than having commentators and newsfolk alike excuse and chuckle at the youthful jubilance of a should-be-felon chugging cheap beer and publicly making a fucking ass of himself, we'll simply have to let Patrick Kane's alcoholism be between him, his lawyer, the guy he pays to bribe victims to drop charges, and God. Marty Turco is on the edge of not playing another game of hockey this year, or missing the playoffs and not playing another game of hockey this year.And what will be the deciding factor?
  • Well, one could argue the 6 points up for grabs in matches against their dominant, dynastic, rivals from Detroit would make a pretty big difference.
So, knowing the Hawks - they're going to want these points. And knowing the Hawks, they're not exactly about to start going about it with a whole bunch of honor and dignity. Similar to the Leafs, the Preds, and the injured Pens - we're playing a team fighting for the playoffs that's full of half-talented should-be-AHLers. As we've seen - that's a recipe for bullshit. I hope that I'm wrong, but I sure won't be surprised if Chicago's Forgotten Team decides to take a few runs at some guys who are a bit banged up at the end of a long season. Detroit injuries are just too valuable to a Chicago team they'll face two more times after tonight, and possibly in the first round of the post-season.

So, Abby... E... time to make like the Hansen brothers.
  • Foil up, bitches.
Let's get 2 more tonight. Fuck the Bandwagon. Go Wings.

16 March 2011

H2H2: 14,000 reasons why Wings fans are better than everyone else

There are just some things you can't argue with. Things supported by science, logic, and reason. Things that have been demonstrated true so often that they must be considered undisputed law. Gravity, death, nobody showing up to a Phoenix Coyotes game. Add one more to that list.
  • Wings fans are the best damn human beings on the face of the planet earth. 
This weekend, like many of you, I had the honor and privilege to join a couple hundred die-hard citizens of Hockeytown to help raise some cash for some sick kids, watch our team skate in its storied home arena, and engage in general debauchery and silliness. Mission: Accomplished.

This event, like last year was and next year most assuredly will be, was one helluva time. Getting to meet new friends that you've already known for some time makes for a badass experience. I won't attempt to list all of the outstanding MFers I had the opportunity to meet, re-meet, and catch-up with here because, well, there was cold Molson on tap and I'd invariably miss far too many of you. However, J-Rock and I enjoyed every second of it - from walking in the door at Hockeytown Cafe to stumbling back to Chateau du Herm just a couple of hours before I needed to board a bus, and you lovely bitches and bitchettes had everything to do with it. 

More importantly, however, this wasn't just some get-together of childish juveniles with a strong collective affinity for the Red Wings and alcohol. Nay. Any fan-base can simply get together and make bad decisions without leaving their stamp on anything more than a bar tab. But that's really not how we roll.

Nope, this adventure was about a bit more than ourselves. Citizens of Hockeytown across the globe banded together for a higher purpose - the kids. I cannot begin to explain how proud I am of our fanbase for raising over $14,000 for the Children's Hospital of Michigan. Luckily, I don't really have to, as I know you all feel the same damn way. What began as a halfassed band of over-enthusiastic Detroit transplants and die-hards pitching in to make something cool happen turned into a repeating event wherein 5 figures were scratched together in some admittedly difficult times to help those who really need it. Fuck. Yeah.

As I mentioned several run-on sentences ago, this just proves a long-known law of the universe: Wings fans are simply better. It's just the way things are. And, just as any good law of the universe, it comes with several seemingly-unrelated but scientifically-accurate and absolutely indisputable corollaries.  Which leads us to:

The Winged Wheel's List of Indisputable Shit About Wings Fans
  • As as group, we've got a higher average IQ than the average number of times the NHL on NBC mentions Thid Rosby in a game in which he's not playing (i.e., hundreds upon hundreds)
  • Most religious tomes have been misinterpreted over the years and were originally written to sing our praises. 
  • Our ranks include thousands of nobel laureates, 90% of all gold-medal olympians, and every US President ever elected, except for Harding.  
  • We have, like, so many gosh darn facebook friends.
  • Wings fans were the most substantial contributing factor to the end of the cold war. After several decades of strife, we finally decided we'd had enough, and we willed the collapse of the Soviet Union. With our minds. 
  • We are all excellent cross-stitchers.
  • You know those speed pass things you get to jump the lines at Cedar Point or Disney World or whatever? Yeah, we each get one of those for the pearly gates.
  • Unlike some teams' fans who wait until the weather gets warm to put on sweaters featuring super-racist caricatures, we know what icing is and don't boo blatant offsides. A second corollary to this rule can be summarized as follows: Fuck Chicago.
  • All attendance statistics are adjusted to make it fair to other teams, because we actually count as twice the value of normal human beings.
  • Stonehenge? Yeah, that was us.
  • In case of an emergency, our tears can be used to cure debilitating illnesses and broken bones. Unfortunately, we only tear up when shown clips of The Captain giving Vladdy the cup in 98, or watching #19's retirement ceremony.
Remember... this is science. No arguments.

A special stick tap needs to go out to some people who were particularly instrumental in the success of this event. Jenn MacRostie (@jennyquarx), Ellen (@inhyung), the fellas from TPL - Petrella (@mpetrella), Hollis (@chollis), and Disch (@512Disch), Casey Richey (@MrNorrisTrophy), Ms. B (@Baroque), The Chief at A2Y and I'm sure many others that I've just personally slighted. Try not to hold it against me. Seriously, you people (YOU PEOPLE?!) are amazing and did one fucking helluva job. If only I had the time or inclination to photoshop you into an above ground pool of fake tits like last year. You'll have to use your imagination this time. 

Wings face off against the red-hot Caps tonight. Unfortunately the Wizzard isn't quite ready to go, and Joey Mac has been called up. I can't help but think Ozzie owes the Griffins some favors or something, and is simply trying to spare them Joey's goaltending by citing continued soreness. Either way, time to string together a hot streak before April in the D kicks off. Taking down a team on a streak is a good way to show that's about to happen.

Oh, and if you missed it because of the H2H2 festivities, be sure to check out the new poorly done Winged Wheel song for the Commissioner.

Go Wings and let the countdown to H2H3 begin.

09 March 2011

Puck You: A Song for the Commissioner

Dear society: giving me time off from my responsibilities does not lead to any sort of productive contribution to mankind. Clearly, it only results in garbage like this.

I imagine if you happen to be reading this, you are likely among the ranks of the hockey die hards. Those who live and die with their team. Those who put far too great an emotional stake in a game played by people you don't know. Those who obsess to the point where it makes Gary Busey and Charlie Sheen look like a couple of smart fellas with good heads on their shoulders.

Well, if you're anything like me and you fit in that category, I'm pretty sure I know exactly where you stand on how the league is run. It's a pretty universally accepted truth that anyone who enjoys hockey, hates its commissioner. Two lockouts, expansion into areas where the game is forced to slowly suffocate, horrendous marketing limited to shoving a single player down our collective throats, the most inconsistent bass-ackwards, shit-kicking, knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing group of dickwads calling the shots... it all really adds up to a significant hatred of the little weasel who's overpaid to the tune of $7.2m dollars.

So what do we do? Write angry letters? Attend rallys? Picket games? Stage hunger strikes and lie down in front of moving tanks?

Fuck it. That seems like a whole thing.

I guess I'll just write a song instead.

All thanks to Cee Lo for the super idea. All apologies to everyone who has a vested interest in music not being destructed by talentless assholes with way too much time on their hands.

Hey, the Jiri Hudler Song seemed to work - he's turned his season right around. (I take 100% full credit for that. I refuse to believe it has anything to do with dedicated hard work, talented line-mates, and outstanding coaching). Maybe this little ditty will do the trick and we'll find ourselves with a new Commissioner in no time.

Oh, by the way, NHL - I'd be more than happy to interview for the position, and it just so happens that my salary demands are just under $7.2million.

Lyrics below. MP3 Version to come. See you bitches at H2H2.

Puck You - A Song for the Commissioner

You've been driving down the fun in the sport I love, and I'm like
Puck You.
I guess three early Pens first rounders just wasn't enough, and I'm like
Puck you, and Puck them too.
You keep messing with hockey, you little lawn jockey
Go eat some shit
So in my tin foil hat, I'll just leave it at that, with a
Puck you.

Well I guess you, don't know what a mess you
Have made of this friggin game.
Need someone to feed you, someone to dress you,
Even someone to help spell your name.
'Cuz you're so stoo-ooo-pid man I can't believe you
Are still getting paychecks.
Wish your dad practiced safe sex.
Ooo-ooo-oooh, just wanna be rid of you.
You can run and tell your boyfriend.

You've been driving down the fun in the sport I love, and I'm like
Puck You.
I guess seven southern teams just wasn't enough, and I'm like
Puck you, and Puck them too.
You keep messing with hockey, you little lawn jockey
Go eat some shit
So in my tin foil hat, I'll just leave it at that, with a
Puck you.

Now I know ya, had to borrow,
Beg and steal and lie and cheat.
To keep the C'yotes, in Arizona,
A place where water doesn't even freeze.
What kind of foo-oo-ool does stupid shit like you,
Get 'em out of the desert.
Make it seven, it can't hurt.
Ooo-ooo-oooh, I got some news for you
Literally everyone hates your ass right now.

You've been driving down the fun in the sport I love, and I'm like
Puck You.
I guess a bunch of bankrupt teams just wasn't enough, and I'm like
Puck you, and Puck them too.
You keep messing with hockey, you little lawn jockey
Go eat some shit
So in my tin foil hat, I'll just leave it at that, with a
Puck you.

Now Gary, Gary, Gary, Gary why you wanna hurt me so bad
What we ever do to deserve you making us so sad.
So we say (Insert well justified booing here)
Puck you!

You've been driving down the fun in the sport I love, and I'm like
Puck You.
I guess only one lockout just wasn't enough, and I'm like
Puck you, and Puck that too.
You keep messing with hockey, you little lawn jockey
Go eat some shit
So in my tin foil hat, I'll just leave it at that, with a
Puck you.
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