30 November 2009

A Very Scrappy Christmas


Stars @ Wings tonight.

So, since your Scrappy Octopi were tripping off quaaludes, tryptophan and bourbon, we were too lazy to write a recap for Saturday night's game. First things first:

1. Woo! We won!

2. Homer broke the scoring drought with the first goal of the game.

3. Fucking Todd Bertuzzi! He done went and won us a shootout. That old so-and-so...

4. What in the hell is this universe coming to?



5. And, most importantly, why doesn't Bert still rock this hair? (Dibs for-ev-a.)

***

Wings take on the Dallas Stars at home tonight. Let's hope this meeting goes better than the last.

***

I hope everyone's holiday weekend was spectacular. Mine was ok. I know I am quite possibly the only Wings fan who also cares about U.Va. football (whatever, I went there), but since The Scrappy Octopus is a promoter of all things ridiculous, I have to share this. My Hoos went 3-9 this year, colossally losing the most important game of the season to the fucking horrible team from Blacksburg on Saturday (I'm still crying; I should be used to it, but I'm not, so shut up). Anyway, as predicted (and hoped for, by fans such as myself), coach Al Groh was fired yesterday.

Anyway, at his press conference announcing his getting canned, Groh reads a poem called "The Guy in the Glass." He then goes on to add his own coda:
"When I visited the guy in the glass, I saw that he's a guy of commitment, of integrity, of dependability and accountability. He's loyal. His spirit is indomitable. And he is caring and loving. I'm sure I will always call the guy in the glass a friend."

Can you imagine how you would feel if that was your school's head coach, reciting some bullshit like that following his abysmal performance over the last nine years? If that wouldn't make you want to fly, head first, into a gas oven, I'm not sure you're really a true fan.

***

GO WINGS.

28 November 2009

About last night

Watching that game sucked. And no, I don't want to talk about it.

Let's hope things turn around in St. Louis tonight. A few brief notes (I guess I do want to talk about it):

1. Ozzie played fine, but playing in front of this team, Ozzie needs to be super-human playoff Ozzie. And thats unfortunate.

2. Ville Leino does nothing well. At all. Unless you count not skating fast a skill. If so, sign me up.

3. Sure, you can get 40 shots on goal, but if 35 of them are harmless, does it really matter?

Bleh. Here come the Blues. Let's turn it around tonight, eh?

27 November 2009

Did that first period really just happen?

Did the Flames just score 30 seconds into the game, while Zetterberg, Leino, Lidstrom, and Rafalski were all just standing by, leaving half the net unguarded and essentially screening Ozzie from viewing the play?

Did Homer really just get a penalty for "retaliating" against bullshit from Giordano? The entire audience at Joe Louis Arena saw what happened, as evidenced from the booing. The Scrappy Octopi certainly saw what happened, as evidenced by the fact that we both screamed obscenties and/or barfed blood.

Did Brad Stuart's power play goal really just get disallowed because Dan Cleary was "preventing the goaltender from moving inside the crease" because the fucking heel of his left skate was inside the crease? The fucking left heel?! Did that really just fucking happen? I mean, I'm pretty sure that the laws of physics aren't suspended to the point at which Kiprusoff cannot move to his left if Cleary is standing directly in front of him. I feel like I'm huffing fucking paint here. Since when are we calling this rule into practice for screening in front of the goaltender? I'm at a fucking loss.

Did the referee, standing directly behind the fucking net, really not just call a penatly on Kiprusoff for slashing the back of Homer's calf, causing him to fall down? Again, the entire chorus of spectators saw this go down. We saw it go down on TV. What is happening?!

Did Pavel Datsyuk just inadvertedly redirect the puck into our own net?

Is Todd Bertuzzi trying to set a record for how many times one can go offsides during one period of play? Thanks a mil for breaking up that great rush midway through the first, Bert.

I will give 15 years off my life for the following to happen:

1. The Wings have to get back in this game. They simply have to. This is insanity. They had some decent chances during the power plays, but what happened during the first is just some crazy bullshit. They cannot let this prevent them from coming out swinging in the 2nd.

2. Sometime very soon, can Babcock please break up the abysmal 2nd power play unit of Cleary/Leino/Bertuzzi?! How is this a good idea? Dan Cleary, I get it. He's gritty, and he's the replacement Homer for screening. But Todd Bertuzzi and Ville Leino out there with him at the same time? Leino has the speed of an Amazonian three-toed sloth, and Bert just does absolutely nothing on the power play; the most he's ever going to do is be the 3rd best person on the team for doing what Homer does and Cleary kinda does, which is be the boss at disturbance in the crease. Leino and Bert have no business being on the ice together; the only time this should be allowed is if the Wings win a grueling game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Then they can come out and celebrate together. I'll be ok with that. I'm not even comfortable with them coming out on the ice at the same time to congratulate the goalie after an ordinary win. It's just too much of a recipe for disaster. This unit needs speed and playmakers. Put another one of the youngsters out there and sit Leino and Bert. Jesus Christ, replace everyone with Helm/Draper/anybody young not named Ville Leino. Just give someone else another chance. I'm sick of seeing these three fumblefuck around out there on the power play; every time Datsyuk and Zetterberg vacate the ice, I give up all hope that something's going to get done, unless it comes from the blueline. Speaking of the blueline, why in the fuck is Derek Meech on the 2nd unit?!

Anybody game for taking some double shots?

26 November 2009

I effing hate Ville Leino.

You know why?

(A) Because everybody expected greatness out of him. And he's been anything but. I've given him compliments on this blog for the rare moments of talent that he shows. But more often than not, he attempts these cute little moves that result in nothing. NOTHING. I was actually glad last night when he passed the puck to Zetterberg during his breakaway because even if you gave that motherfucker a backhoe, Leino wouldn't be able to bury anything.

(B) He's a defensive liability. He can't hold on to the puck worth a good god damn. If an opponent so much as bumps him, it results in a turnover. As a Detroit fan, this is far from good enough. Our players are expected to be strong on both ends of the ice. Which brings me to...

(C) He is not a two-way player. At all. Except last night when he did such a great job covering Nik Antropov. Brian's recap of last night's shitshow does a great job listing suggestions for Leino other than "Calder nominee", which at this point, just sounds like a cruel joke we've made on ourselves.

(D) Remember how psyched we were at the beginning of the season? This guy had so much determination; he threatened to jump ship to Europe if he got assigned to Grand Rapids this year. We were sure that he was one of the main characters who would step up to provide offensive power this season. Ha.

I don't care that I'm probably in the vast minority with this one. I know a lot of people hate Bertuzzi; I'm actually ambivalent toward him. It's maddening how many turnovers Bert allows, but he's also capable of making beautiful and timely defensive plays, which is more than most people, including me, expected from him. Leino doesn't even do that. Most of the time, he's just invisible on the ice. He's this year's Tomas Kopecky; perhaps he's a little more naturally gifted than Kopecky, but it very rarely amounts to anything significant on the ice, so what difference does it actually make?

In order to extricate himself from my shit list, he needs to produce. Now. He has played in 22 games, but has only produced five points. By comparison, Valtteri Filppula, who only played half that number of games before his injury, has six points. Jesus Christ, even Brett Lebda has four points. Bert has nine points. Fucking Todd Bertuzzi! I'm going to stop writing this before my head explodes. Hope you all are enjoying your holiday. For Black Friday, I'm buying myself a fifth of Jack to gear down for the pair of games this weekend.

Atlanta residents vaguely aware they have a hockey team; Wings lose 2-0

I'm going to attempt to put a slight cap on the Thrashers game tonight. Games like this are completely maddening. Wings nation, as a whole, has a tendency to become....excitable. We expect greatness, and rightfully so. Our team has had a great deal of success over the past two decades, so when something goes wrong sometimes we....freak out. Sometimes I would certainly include myself in that group. Tonight, I'm not freaked out. Its early in the season and we're racked with injuries. There is still plenty of time. All those things having been said.....

Tonight's game was frustrating as shit. Games like tonight make you wonder. All I'm saying is it seems like we've come upon a lot of hot goaltenders lately. Are they all truly hot; or is this team, as currently comprised, simply not as good as we're used to? Food for thought.

Some random thoughts on tonight's game:

1. Good game by Jimmy. I like this kid, though he seems like a complete goober.

2. Phrases I'm sick of hearing and now make me want to run over a bus load of babies (babies are perpetually on my shit list anyway): snake-bit, Todd Bertuzzi, just cant seem to catch a break, Ville Leino, and hot goaltender.

3. Seriously, fuck Todd Bertuzzi and Ville Leino. Tonight, neither did anything particularly well and in the case of Bert, when he had the semi-breakaway late in the third and face planted for no fucking reason, I kinda wanted to throw myself through a plate glass window; not really for any other reason than its just difficult to watch him sometimes (yes, I've also praised him here as well; I'll turn coat that quickly).

4. Conversely, people who did NOT play like horses' asses are as follows:

Everyone not named Ville Leino or Todd Bertuzzi. Seriously, Leino for Calder? How about Leino to Grand Rapids? Leino for deportation? Just a few ideas.

Special mention to Zetterberg, Helm, Datsyuk, Lidstrom; hell, just about everybody else.

5. Drew Miller - Scrappy little guy. I like having him around.

6. Seriously though, for all the junk I've talked thus far it really wasn't a bad game. 40 shots on goal and a lot of good scoring chances. It certainly could've been a lot worse of a game.

That's all I got. Happy Thanksgiving all. Calgary on Friday. Yippie!

25 November 2009

Thrashers @ Wings tonight.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all. I apologize to all three of The Scrappy Octopus's loyal readers for the sporadic posting over the past week or so; as Brian noted, I've been feeling under the weather (NOT dysentery, however, thank you very much--it was actually cholera, contracted somewhere between Independence and Chimney Rock; I didn't stand a chance in the wagon). So, this week, it's been no work for me, lounging about in my PJs with my awesome dog Lucy, enriching my brain with the likes of The Maury Show and conspiracy-theory bullshit on ID. (Have you WATCHED that channel?! The mind reels...) I emerged from my lair to write the piece of Georges Laraque the other day because I was too pissed to give lie detector results and paternity testing the full attention they deserve, but other than that, I've been taking it easy.

Speaking of Laraque, he's suspended for five games. Big fucking deal. I wish the NHL would institute a rule for people guilty of dirty hits to be suspended for the duration of time that their victims are sidelined due to injury. Or, I wish Brad May would just kick his ass. Whatever's easier.

So, I'm not going to talk about Monday's game against Nashville, not really because it sucked, but mostly because I didn't get to see it because Versus sucks ass, and I'm even more pissed because I didn't get to see Darren McCarty do his thing. It's kind of a silent protest. It's supposed to accomplish...something. I read about it once. Trust me; it'll work.

So, tonight, the Wings take on the Atlanta Thrashers. First things first: Can somebody please tell me what in the fuck their logo means?



It's almost Sphinx-like in its enigmatic nature, not to mention the fact that the head looks like it belongs to a creature different from the one to which it is attached. It's as if Michaelangelo masterfully drew the head of an eagle...and ran out of creativity and talent, and instead, crafted the rest of the body using a melty turd.

I've never met an Atlanta Thrashers fan. Since I'm assuming none of you have met any, either (because I'm pretty sure there are only, like, 40 total), I present you this. Gear down:



I most enjoy the song--not sure what it is, but I like to think of it as a love child of an "If They Mated" featuring the Oak Ridge Boys and Ricky Skaggs.

And because it's Thanksgiving, I'm going to be generous and give you a bonus:



I'm not sure what to be more impressed by: The fact that this guy cares that much about the outcome of the Thrashers game, or the fact that the following was posted in the comments section on YouTube:
PLEASE DON'T READ THIS. You will get kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However, if you don't post this comment to at least 3 videos, you will die within 2 days. Copy and paste this, to be saved
Oh, no, oh, no, oh, no. I don't want to perish within the next two days! My festive dealer promised me a twofer on dime bags for Black Friday. (Just kidding, of course. I just wanted to make a lame joke. This blog and its writers are on the straight edge. Well, except for Brian. But that's only because he's attracted to the repetitious vowels in quaaludes.)

Have a marvelous Thanksgiving! Go Wings.

23 November 2009

Memo to the NHL: Suspend Laraque immediately.

And I don't want to hear anybody's bullcrap about how Georges Laraque "accidentally" stuck his knee in Kronwall's path. Honestly, I would rather hear my boyfriend admit that he cheated on me by "accidentally" having somebody fall on his dick. That statement is less ridiculous than the former.

There is no instance when a hockey player should stick his knee out, aligning it with another hockey player's knee. No decent or legal check or hit results from doing that. End. Of. Story.

Per Puck Daddy, a quote from the gentleman in question:

There were four refs on the ice and they didn't call anything," Laraque said. "If they called a match penalty it would be different. There was no intent. There was no reason why I would try to go and hurt him. It was a pure accident, that's why they called it tripping, so I'm not worried at all.

There was no "intent". I love it. You know, I kind of have that same thing, when I walk down the street, and I just stick my leg out and trip up fellow passers-by. It's an uncontrollable spasm; I can't help it.

Oh, and I'm certainly "worried". Officially joining other Wings' bloggers on this one: I'm not sure the universe can handle the horribleness of Brett Lebda and Derek Meech on the same line. Taking it a step further, I'm pissed at Jonathan Ericsson's performance as of late, so the thought of Meech being paired with him makes me want to grab a wire coat hanger and abort myself.

Getting back to the issue at hand, though, I wonder if there's anything else out there that can help us shed some light onto the situation at hand. If only Georges Laraque had his own website. Wait, what's this? Holy shit, Georges Laraque has his own website!
To describe myself, well I have to say you will rarely see me anywhere without a big smile on my face. I love to laugh, makes jokes, I’m actually quite the prankster and as annoying as it gets sometimes on people, I like to entertain. When I'm somewhere in a big group, you know that I'm there! lol!
Like, OMFG. He sounds, like, such an awesome guy! Maybe we should totally hang out! I wonder if he also enjoys long, romantic walks on the beach? I am, like, totally the prankster in my group of friends, too! One time, I totally saran-wrapped my BFF's toilet seat at a sleepover. Hehehe! She was SO mad, she was like, OMFG, you biatch! (SWF, 23 YO, BRO hair, BLU eyes...call me, lova).
What I do on the ice is definitely not the type of person I am off the ice, I hate violence.
Yay! Because I was really worried that he might try to go all Tonya Harding on me in the bedroom, and while I'm not exactly a prude, I'm certainly not down for any out of control S&M, B&D, BDSM, CBT, D/s, or TT. ROFLMAOCOPTER.
Another thing about me is that I'm brutally honest. I always say something the way it is. I'm never afraid to speak my mind. You would say that in real life, it could be a good thing at times, but when you're a professional athlete, it’s not always a good thing in the eyes of many people, but I don't care. I don't like the cliché answer and don’t always say what's politically correct. I think the fans have the right to hear the truth and the way you feel at all times and over the years, many people know that about me and you can earn a lot of respect that way.
Ever noticed that people who call themselves "brutally honest" are usually total assholes? Think about it. Anyone I've ever heard of in my entire life who says, "I'm brutally honest" usually means they're about to say something shitty--or will say something shitty in the near future--and don't want their relationship with the recipient of the shitty comment to suffer any damage because, alas, they forewarned said person that they're brutally honest, and that's the way it is. It's like that bullshit T-shirt slogan or bumper sticker that skankbags tote that says, "I'm a bitch and proud of it." (I hope you're picturing a person with trailer blonde hair, glittery eyeshadow, and a baby tee at least 5 times too small because that's what I'm working with over here.) Yeah. You might be a bitch and proud of it, but guess what. Everyone fucking hates you. They just pretend to be nice because they're afraid of suffering the wrath, i.e., getting eaten.
I believe in God and pray regularly, I try everyday to be a good Christian and try to help as many people as I can.
Hmm. Well, if you get suspended, maybe you just didn't pray hard enough because God definitely always takes your side, right? Oops. Oh, and proclaiming yourself a "good Christian" when you have a history of being a dickface in the public realm does nothing to negate your dickface history; it just makes you look like more of a dickface.
I would actually recommend three movies for you to watch (down below) that have made a big change in my life. I truly believe that if you watch them it will help your life goals and dreams! And always remember, live your life to the fullest, we only live once!

Movies
:
- Pay it Forward
- The Secret
- Deepak Chopra
- 7 Laws of Success
That's actually two movies, one book, and one crazy writer. How can we expect Laraque to understand the rules on the ice when he can't even master counting or differentiating between living persons and inanimate objects? Asshole.

22 November 2009

Canadiens surrender; lose 3-2 in shoot out

Thank you to the Montreal Canadians for essentially handing us the game in the first period with SIX POWER PLAYS. That was completely insane; though the Wings certainly did their best to make the game more interesting. Tonights short recap:

1. Jimbaroo certainly played an adequate game in goal with only one borderline questionable goal. Well played sir.

2. Did anyone else out there have a sense of impending doom when that game went to overtime? Speaking of overtime/shootouts, wowie wow wow in regards to Mr. Zetterberg and Mr. Datsyuk.

3. Georges Laraque. Hmmmmm. How do I put this delicately.....I'm not going to say I hope you contract herpes. Actually, I DO hope you contract herpes. What an asshat. I think I speak for just about everyone when I say that didn't look like a short term injury, and I'm quite afraid to read the news tomorrow. I'm even more afraid of my hockey fandom life involving more Derek Meech. Someone hold me. There might have been retribution on Laraque if Brad May were still alive.

4. I'd certainly like to thank the Canadians for taking six penalties in the first. Much appreciated guys.

5. Nice win tonight. I'm glad the guys didn't this one slip away.

And since I have nothing left to say, I leave you with this "fight" from noted wuss Danny Briere. Does it not seriously look like they aren't fighting but rather hardcore making out?

20 November 2009

Wings contract cat scratch fever; lose 2-1

That subject is an homage to the Scrappy Octopus; I know she would've wanted it that way. She isn't so scrappy tonight; more like the "sick/drowsy/drugged up/dysentery ridden" Octopus tonight, so once again, the B team is here.

Tonight's game recap is tough. I had this post planned out in my head all throughout the first two periods, so lets start there. At no point did I ever once feel the game was in jeopardy. The Wings came out of the gate dominating the game in a most absurd manner; when I saw the kitty cats had two shots at the end of one I was surprised; I swore I only counted one. Through the second period, I was going to add to the post that the cute little kittens from Florida were the worst team I'd ever seen and demand to start a letter writing campaign to have then contracted. Then, a funny little thing happened....

The Wings, as they are liable to do from time to time, eased the foot off the gas, gave up a goal, went to OT.....and then a loss.

What can you say about that really? This is a meaningless game in November; however, you'd hate to see this continue later, and I think we all worry about that a little.

In an effort to be slightly less wordy, a few random observations:

1. Pavel Datsyuk played well tonight. I'm sorry I doubted you. Except I'm not, because you were invisible the other day.

2.Clemmensen played a great game. He also has a sweet helmet.

3. The Big Rig kinda looked like maybe he had a flat or something. Seeing him this season is so very different from watching him in the playoffs last year. I hope he figures it out. Maybe he needs a tune-up? Can someone direct that man to the nearest Pep Boys?

4. One of my favorite scapegoats, Brett Lebda, was adequate tonight. This may seem bad, however, generally I would rate him somewhere between "complete dumpster fire" and "man, someone needs to take him out behind the woodshed". So this is complementary. A game not spent pining for Derek Meech is almost as good as a victory. Almost.

5. The good folks over at Nightmare on Helm Street made a great point in their preview today; stating that they could name maybe 4 Florida Panthers (number not exact; I'm too lazy for fact-checking). Prior to tonight's game, I could've named:

Tomas Vokoun
Scott Clemmensen
Stephen Weiss
Nathan Hoton
That Olesz guy
The guy that got killed by Brad Richards

My knowledge base did not expand much. Corey Stillman is still alive, so that's good. And their coach has a sort of creepy molester vibe. Whatever.

Canadiens tomorrow night. Go Wings.

18 November 2009

Stars shoot down Wings 3-1

The Scrappy Octopus is feeling under the weather tonight so her not so better half will be taking the reigns for tonight’s game recap. I promise to try to keep the dick jokes, swearing, toilet humor, and general inappropriateness at a high enough level that maybe you won‘t notice a difference. A guy can dream. What a game to recap…

Oh, there will be one thing on Wings fans minds tonight I’m sure, but lets talk about the game itself before we get to officiating. In order:

1. This game was sort of a huge turd all around wasn’t it? The Wings were outplayed tonight. Both goalies faced 32 shots tonight, however, Alex Auld wasn’t really challenged that much. It kind of felt like Dallas dominated play for the most part and had more scoring chances. Which leads me to…

2. JIMMY! Great game by Jimmy in the loss. Lots of key saves to keep the Wings in the game during the times where the team looked relatively uninterested (which is to say the majority of the game). The Wings had a chance to win tonight thanks to Jimmy.

3. Henrik Zetterberg - what can you say? He played a great game. The Wings future captain was once again the best player on the ice. No one can touch this cat right now. Conversely…

4. Pavel Datsyuk looked like he couldn’t have given less of a shit throughout the first two and a half periods of this game. 16:27 in ice time tonight and I couldn’t tell you one fucking thing he did tonight aside from fair well in the face-off circle. That’s certainly SOMETHING, but it doesn’t really seem like enough does it?

5. Jonathan Ericsson can eat a dick.

6. Seriously, is it legally possible to file a restraining order to keep that dick hole 100 yards from frozen surfaces until he figures it out? I speak harshly, but I don’t actually hate him. I just don’t have to like him right now.

And now on to officiating….

I’m notoriously absent minded, so perhaps I’m forgetting a game somewhere, but that was one of the worst overall officiated games I can remember seeing. I can’t say that for the most part it wasn’t officiated evenly, because it was. The hooking call on Rafalski was borderline ridiculous; May’s “slash” on Auld WAS ridiculous. Daley’s goaltender interference, Auld’s delay of game, Homer’s hooking….all absurd. Drunk Mickey Redmond referred to the officiating this evening as “a circus”, and for once that drunken bastard said something lucid. For all of the bad officiating I cannot seem to wrap my mind around May’s no-goal. In the playoffs last year we ALL remember Brad Watson’s intended whistle. You can argue all you like about “intended whistles” and such (and I will in a second), but the rule, as written, was interpreted correctly then. Ok. Gotcha. Tonight though? What is happening there? I’m trying to picture how the conversation went while analyzing this and every time I do it makes brain goo seep out of my ears. Why? Because my brain literally melts when I try to imagine things that fucking stupid. If I, on my 15 inch (size approximated, but its small), can plainly see that the GOD DAMN PUCK IS SITTING IN THE FUCKING NET, maybe it oughta be a goal.

Ok, I grant you that there is a rule regarding intended whistles (which is stupid on its face, being that we are in the day in age with TV’s and VIDEO and SOUND that can be rewound and what not. Fancy!). I once again refer to drunk Mickey when he said the save was never made! The puck went straight into the net after it was shot, barely glancing off the goaltenders pad. So, unless you INTENDED to blow the whistle before he shot the puck, that’s a goal and that call was ridiculous.

Enough about officiating. It would’ve been interesting to see the rest of the game play out. Again, we got outplayed, so its not like we deserved to win the game; and the call disallowed the tying goal, not a go-ahead goal. You could argue that if we’re tied the defense doesn’t pinch up as much, which doesn’t leave the Big Rig stranded to take a dumb penalty, which eliminates the power play……

What if’s. I guess it could’ve been summed up with one word:

Whatever. We got outplayed and lost the game. Tomorrow the Scrappy Octopus returns to its regularly scheduled (and higher quality) programming. Appreciate you folks stopping by.

Stars @ Wings tonight, 7:30 p.m.

The Dallas Stars come to the Joe tonight for the first time this season. The team leader in points is Brad Richards, who has 20 points, including 14 assists, the same as our team leader in assists, Henrik Zetterberg. James Neal leads Dallas in goals with 11; our Homer has 9 for the season.

I feel insufficient today because I don't have any real feelings of anything toward the Dallas Stars. They're a team in the Western Conference, and I hope we beat them. I guess I could talk about Steve Ott being annoying, but I don't feel like it. Meh. Here, watch this, just for fun:



***

It was a daunting task to find a sufficient video of Dallas Stars dancing fan debauchery. I think this video was worth the hunt, and it's a perfect tie-in to the impending holiday season looming ahead of us.

Without further adieu, I give you Dancing Santa with Dallas Stars Ice Girls:

Chicago fans (of any sport) are the worst people in the world.

The Scrappy Octopus's own part-time investigative journalist/full-time door-to-door electric fence salesperson Brian unearthed this little ditty from Deadspin. I think you guys are really going to enjoy this. You may have even heard this one before.

So, a Steelers fan walks into a bar. The bar happens to be in Chicago. It also happens to be a day when the Steelers are playing the Bears. The Steelers lose the game, good-hearted trash-talking ensues, and then a Bears fan ends up sending the Steelers fan a "peace offering"--a drink laced with toxic grain alcohol. And the Pittsburgh fan has nothing to show for his troubles because he's blind.

Not long after taking the drink, Heddinger passed out and was rushed to a nearby hospital, his heart stopping four times. At first, doctors thought he had too much to drink, but realized there was more to it.

"They thought it was antifreeze or something like that …because it was so strong," said Heddinger.

Heddidger's family even flew to Chicago because they thought he was going to die. He says his vision has still not returned and he may have suffered permanent brain damage. According to the report, doctors now say he might have been poisoned by "toxic grain alcohol"...
See, I would have suspected something a little more creative from these cats, maybe a "foie gras"-topped hot dog (and by "foie gras", I mean rat poison).

17 November 2009

Slow Day Hijinks (Disgusting).

I just ralphed all over my desk.

Catching up on the 1,000+ items my oh-so-demanding Google Reader expects me to read, I came across this gem, courtesy of Puck Daddy: Claude Lemieux is one of three finalists for Canada's Battle of the Blades. (Go there and watch the video of him dancing AND singing. I dare you. I'm not defiling this sacred blog by embedding it, though.)

That just makes me want to do a triple salchow right into an abyss of steaming lava.

I wonder if he gets a 10 for intentionally boarding his lovely partner.

15 November 2009

Wings pluck Ducks, 7-4.

So, here's the scoring summary from last night's extravaganza:

1st period:
1. Dan Cleary (DET)
2. Brian Rafalski (DET)

2nd period
3. Corey Perry (ANA)

3rd period
4. Bobby Ryan (ANA)
5. Pavel Datsyuk (DET)
6. Joffrey Lupul (ANA)
7. Henrik Zetterberg (DET)
8. Ryan Getzlaf (ANA)
9. Henrik Zetterberg (DET)
10. Darren Helm (DET)
11. Henrik Zetterberg (DET)

The fact that the Ducks tied the game on three separate occasions just about killed me. I don't know why it surprised me because it's what these two teams do when they meet up. But still. It was one of those best-ever-kind of games because the Wings maintained pressure and persevered, and the rollercoaster ride was just a part of the journey of getting there.

It was kinda like going to the doctor because you're feeling sorta weird, and you're worried that you might be knocked up, so you do a pee test, and the doc comes back and says, "Good news! You're not pregnant!" And being the awesome person you are, you start doing the requisite ceremonial fist pumps and high-fiving the nursing staff, and then the doctor sheepishly says, "You do, however, have syphilis." Yiiiiikes.

Yeah, kinda like that. Only more awesome because Detroit won, and virtually VD-free, at that.

***

So, the big news is obviously that Henrik Zetterberg earned himself a hat trick last night, marking also the first Detroit hat trick of this still relatively new season. He owned this game. I mean, seriously. Bought the copyrights to it and everything.



In related news, Jonathan Ericsson is the proud owner of the second-worst thing I saw all night, passing the puck from behind the net to Ryan Getzlaf, who swiftly sent it to Corey Perry, who scored the Ducks' first goal. It was a great play...if you're a Ducks' fan.

One thing of absolutely no consequence (other than providing sunshine to my soul), how adorable is it to see Tomas Holmstrom laugh in the faces of Ducks' players who head straight for him between whistles? Yeah, I know, it's nothing new; Homer is a wanted man in every city (cue Styx's "Renegade"). But last night, the camera caught him at just the right time/angle, and he was straight up laughing in some person's face. God, I love this guy. After he retires, I'll pay him $5 a day to hang out with me every day.

I'm happy to see that the Ducks still have the same shiteous attitude problem. I especially enjoyed Erik Christensen smashing his stick on the ice after one of the Wings' early goals, as well as Getzlaf slinging his water bottle aside when he was sent to the sin bin for dry humping cross-checking Zetterberg toward the end of the first period. (I know Getzy is probably as mesmerized as we all are by the power of Hank's magical whiskers, but seriously, if you want to see if he'll caress your face with them, at least ask before attacking. Manners, anyone?)

But anyway, thanks, Anaheim, for still being that team that's so easy to hate. You make my job as an arrogant Detroit fan that much easier when I can bask in the smug superiority of rooting for a team that makes asshats like you lose your shit after being down only 2-0 at the end of the first period.

***

Oh, and if anyone's curious as to what the worst thing I saw all night was, did anyone else catch the end of the Pittsburgh/Boston game? We turned it on with approximately five minutes left in the third period. The Bruins had just tied the game with a power play goal at 4-4; then, the Bruins scored with 2:30 left in the third period to take the lead, 5-4. The Pens pulled Brent Johnson with over 1:30 to go. The two teams struggled to gain control of the puck, and for all but, oh, say, 2 seconds of the empty net situation, they were battling along the boards in Pittsburgh's end, right beside the empty net. Finally, the Pens break away with the puck and manage to put it in the net--with 0.4 left in the game. Four-tenths of a fucking second. Seriously.

But wait, that's still not the worst part. In overtime, Pittsburgh controlled the puck for most of the play. The puck sailed from center ice to Tim Thomas, who, for some reason, went behind the net to play the puck, but didn't clear it up the boards. The puck went right to Jordan Staal, who passed it to Pascal Dupuis, who sent it right into what was essentially an unguarded net. Pens win in OT. And Bruins fans everywhere fall on the sword. Horrible.

13 November 2009

Holy shit, the quacks are coming to town.

I fucking hate the Anaheim Ducks. They'll always be behind (1a) the Chicago Blackhawks and (1b) the Pittsburgh Penguins, but in no way should they feel left out of the fray. They suck at life.









My dickweed ex-boyfriend sent me a Myspace message last year during the playoffs saying there was "no way the Wings would beat Chris Pronger the Donger" and company. Really, I have no idea what that means other than a reaffirmation of my belief that only assplugs root for this team. And rhyme a person's last name with a vernacular term for genitalia, unless the intent is to be disparaging, although that obviously wasn't the case in this example, as I'm sure said dickweed in question had a mouthful of little Prongers when he typed it. Story checks out, in any event.


Ryan Getzlaf: "Frat" Douche.


Scott Niedermayer: "Father Time/The Dad from Family Ties" Douche.


Todd Marchant: "No Eyebrows" Douche.


James Wisniewski: "Mark McGrath Called, He Wants His Circa-1997 Hairstyle Back, Ass" Douche. (P.S. I hope Homer makes you cry again.)


Mike Brown: "Oops, Sorry About That Roofie-Tini" Douche.


Ryan Carter: "I'm Really Happy Mike Brown Gave Me His Recipe for Roofie-Tinis" Douche.


The only good thing about the Anaheim Ducks is this fan:



You know how I feel about dancing fans.

Go Wings.

Wings harpoon Canucks, 3-1.

If your mascot is named Finn the Whale, you deserve the verb "harpoon".

Somehow, the Wings managed this win, despite getting completely outshot and outworked for much of the game. Jimmy Howard played extremely well for the second night in a row (although he had much more work to do in last night's game than in Columbus); he even earned himself his first career assist on Niklas Kronwall's empty-netter. I wish I could find a video of Henrik Zetterberg's GWG; it was one of my favorite goals thus far this season.

Tomas Holmstrom scored the first goal of the game. He's still leading the team in season goals. My heart is smiling.

Tomorrow night, the Wings take on the Anaheim Ducks for the first time this season. This is the third team in my top tier of hatred. Expect something fun tomorrow pre-game.

***

So, now I want to take a minute to get all sentimental with you guys. I've been doing this blogging thing for almost two months now. I started it as a way to stop irritating non-hockey fans in my life with my endless blather for 3/4 of the year (and if you're interested in the whole long story of my hockey fandom, you can read it here). Still, I wasn't sure anyone would actually want to read the sometimes inane, often irreverent, almost always inappropriate prattling that I put out there. Ever since my bestest showed me how to check the stats on Google Reader to see how many subscribers a particular blog has, I've been neurotically checking it to see if people are ready my stuff. And you are! This little, scrappy blog, created by a person who's not from Michigan but still loves the Red Wings more than life itself, has real, actual readers. (Or maybe just cyborgs who enjoy reading this nonsense. But whatever. Onward and upward.) So, thanks, people. It hits me right here.

Now, Jesus H. Christ. Because this site is not called the SAPPY Octopus, and in celebration of this impromptu Reader Appreciation Day, how about some free sketchy punch, hookers, and BJs*? Really. It's on The Scrappy Octopus's tab.

Oh, and for the ladies--I wouldn't dream of leaving you out of this one. Levi Johnston's Playgirl shoot reportedly involves a hockey stick. More details as they emerge, and, of course, complimentary copies of the issue for everyone once it's published. What? That doesn't do it for you? OK. Well, we've still got this guy. You're welcome.

*As in Columbus Blue Jackets. They want to hang out. Wait, what? You thought I meant...? GASP. I'm appalled at you people, really. Sickos.

12 November 2009

Basking in the afterglow; Canucks @ the Joe tonight.

Yep. Still happy. Still gloating. Still feeling fantastic. We're entitled to that, you know, after the rollercoaster that has been the opening six weeks of the 2009-10 season. Who would have thought that the end of the game would have left me with the same three words as the Toronto game, only with opposite emotion: Fuck. Me. Sideways.

I shall rate my happiness thusly: Happier than a pig in shit. Happier than a fat kid spying cake (simile courtesy of 50 Cent. I know, I know. Most horrible.). Happier than Ken Hitchcock at an all-you-can-eat KFC/Taco Bell/Entenmann's buffet. (Oh, shit. Where are my manners? Happy 1,000th game, by the way. Shithead.)

So, the afterglow doesn't last for long, particularly not today, as the Canucks venture into the Joe for the teams' second meeting this season. Kyle at Babcock's Death Stare made an excellent point in his recap of last night's game in saying that the down side to the Wings' huge victory last night is that they no longer have any excuses; they proved that depth, talent and drive are still present on the Wings' squad, so now they have to live up to the success we all know they're capable of achieving.

I'm going to let you guys in on a little secret: I'm sort of a spy. I mean, I enjoy espionage, particularly when it comes to rival teams. So, I totally got my hands on some top-secret footage of the Canucks' secret weapon on the ice. With Vancouver being so injury-plagued this season, they have a little something they may unleash on the ice against us tonight. Behold:



Yep. That just happened. My apologies for the egregious misspellings, but who can resist the funny that's inherently present in a retarded-looking, clothed whale skating around haphazardly with a T-shirt gun? Not this girl.

Also, if you want to be on the lookout for Fin, you should probably keep tabs on Mason Raymond's vehicle, as I heard through the grapevine that they like to travel together:



It's a great day when I get to make yet another Mason Raymond/hillbilly joke.

11 November 2009

Wings pass on the BJs.

What? At least I didn't incorporate the verb "swallowed". Just know that I thought about it.

Wings win in Columbus, 9-1.

Not a typo.

NINE to one.

Seven players on the Wings' squad accounted for the nine goals, including two apiece for Niklas Kronwall and Justin Abdelkader. The first six Wings' goals were scored by players earning their third goal each of the season. So this must be what it's like, watching teams play in the Matrix.

Dan Cleary, Pavel Datsyuk, Kris Draper, and Niklas Kronwall each scored in the first half of the first period, raising the score 4-0 before the first intermission.

Todd Bertuzzi and Ville Leino scored in the second period, and Niklas Kronwall's second goal and both of Justin Abdelkader's came in the third.

Keeping track of the awesomeness?

--Myriad goals, spread out throughout the entire 60 minutes of play, rather than a flurry of goals early or a weak sauce attempt to catch up at the end? Check.

--Consistent play by top players? Check. Few glaring defensive breakdowns, and fabulous play by Datsyuk and Zetterberg, especially.

--Did the Wings' depth show tonight? Check. Is the sky blue? Leino looked better than he has since before he was benched; his razzle-dazzle before shooting the puck upstairs is reminiscent of the best plays we've seen him achieve in the past. Bertuzzi sent one to the back of the net. Cleary continued his scoring success. Kronwall proved his offensive prowess with being one shy of a hat trick tonight.

--Did the Wings keep it together? Yes. Again, consistent scoring throughout all three periods and no excessive or stupid penalties. Not counting Brad May's fighting major, none of the Wings made it to the sin bin until the end of the second period.

--How about special teams? The Wings managed two penalty kills successfully, with no power play goals against. Conversely, the Wings' power play accomplished two goals (both by Kronwall).

Sweet.

Holy crap, I'm in love. (Wings @ BJs tonight.)

Sorry, Aaron Downey. I never thought I'd end our imaginary relationship this way, via blog post, but I have to move on immediately.

I've found a better prospect. If you guys don't ever read this blog again after today, I'll understand, but please, do yourself the favor of going here to watch this, single-handedly the most amazing Columbus Blue Jackets fan in the history of the cosmos. I'm unbelievably perturbed that embedded has been disabled, but I promise, it's 20 seconds of your life that you will not wish you had back. Just know that I have already called dibs on this new love of my life.

***

So, yes, the Wings take on the Blue Jackets/BJs/Blowjays tonight in Columbus. I have no solid beef with this team, except that they're in the Central Division, their coach is Ken Hitchcock, Antoine Vermette plays for them, their logo makes me suspect they stole it from the dumpster outside Disney's PR office, and they're in the state of Ohio. Hmm. Maybe I should rephrase. I have no use for this team other than Rick Nash. But at least I don't hate them.

***

The Jackets are currently 6th(!) in the Western Conference and 2nd in the Central Division, with 20 points. The Wings are in 11th place overall and 3rd place in conference, but are only three points behind at 17. Eh. Howard's starting in goal, Williams is out for approximately 8 weeks, and I'm not sure what to expect out of this game, but I'm honestly ok with that. Having no expectations is better sometimes. What I hope for is the same thing for every game, that the Wings leap out of the gate at full speed, put points on the board early, and maintain pressure for 60 minutes of play. Is that so much to ask?

In order to get pumped up for the game, I'm going to take a little stroll down memory lane and relive some of the Blue Jackets' magic over the past six months or so. Care to join me?

***
I don't think Detroit would do anything in drag racing, because they would never pass the Christmas tree test. They would be red-lighted (for a false start) every time because their wingers cheat. So we're going to cheat just like they are. (On) the power-play goal they scored, their winger went in (early); good for him. We're going to do the same thing. It'll be interesting to see who gets kicked out (of the faceoff circle) first. --the illustrious Ken Hitchcock during last year's playoffs
I don't want to just stay in the (playoff) mix. I want to go and chase Detroit (atop the Central Division). I'm tired of watching Detroit in first place. I'd like to chase them. I mean, somewhere along the line, somebody's got to make them bleed, and it might as well be us. --the illustrious Ken Hitchcock prior to the start of the current season

You know, at this point, it isn't even about what happens on the ice. Because let's be honest, if Ken Hitchcock promises to chase anything and is threatening violence, we should all get the fuck out of the way, because nobody wants to get between a man and his donuts. It's just asking for pain.



***

He just used me like pony. He was on top of me. I don't like being the pony. I want to be on top. --the incomparable Pavel Datsyuk on Antoine Vermette's piggyback antics during last year's playoffs
Here's to you, Antoine Vermette, you rascal, you:



***

The puck drops tonight at 7 p.m. Anticipate magic and mayhem, as I'm sure the H-cock has gotten his squad riled up for the organizations' first meetup since the Wings swept them last spring. Oh, and a note about the tags--despite what happens in the standings this year, I'm never changing it from "St. Lounashbus bullshit" because that's just how I roll. They will always be one gigantic clusterfuck in my mind's eye.

Latent hypocrisy due to the current standings be damned. This blog has no qualms regarding its sanctimonious behavior and takes full responsibility for its asshat projections. I guess that answers any lingering questions about the potential of a Saintly Octopus. Ha!

09 November 2009

The Captain and the Hall of Fame

Tonight, Steve Yzerman will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame (or, more informally, we will collectively "celebrate the Stevie", in the immortal words of one Pavel Datsyuk). The longest-serving captain in all of North American sports will be recognized among the finest in the history of the hockey world.

The broadcast begins at 7 p.m. on the NHL Network.

Simply the best:



08 November 2009

I got nothing (remix).

The Wings lose to the Maple Leafs, 5-1. Fuck. Me. Sideways.

1. At least it wasn't a shutout.

2. At least Dan Cleary got goal #100.

3. You know how I was trying to be all cute in the last post, saying how entertaining it is to come up with verbs describing how the Wings destroy their opponents? Well, I had an awesome one ready for last night's game. And now I'm not going to get to use it because this is the only time the Wings play the Leafs all season. Boo. Me = overeager asshat.

4. Last night's plethora of games may have been the weirdest yet. Not only did the Leafs unexpectedly give the Wings the business, but the Pens got shut out by the Sharks, and the Ovie-less Caps scored 5(!) goals in the 3rd period against Florida to win, 7-4. Also, approximately 5,437 people got injured last night, including, but not limited to, Pittsburgh's Kris Letaint Letang, Carolina's Cam Ward, Toronto's Mike Komisarek, and our very own Jason Williams (broken fibula). At this point, Kris Newbury and/or Jeremy Williams get called up? Maybe Ken Holland stages a Snatch-inspired rendezvous to steal Jiri Hudler back by trapping him in a burlap sack in the middle of the night and returning him from Moscow? (Homer could reprise the role of Brad Pitt's Mickey. I mean, really: Have you heard him speak?)

Maybe this is the universe's way of paying it forward for my being such an asshole. Maybe I shouldn't have laughed as hard as I did while watching Tomas Kopecky (the self-appointed next Tomas Holmstrom) get the puck literally taken away from him by Craig Anderson's stick during Friday night's shootout. Maybe it's a sign from the universe, telling me that delighting in other people's misery and abject failure shouldn't be my favorite pastime. Perhaps I should revoke and renounce the scrappy nature of this blog. At this point, I'll do anything--almost anything, barring getting my face eaten--to ensure the Wings' success. What do you think: The Saintly Octopus?

06 November 2009

Wings sink Sharks in shootout, 2-1.

I've been blogging for a little over a month now, and one of the most fun parts of these recaps is to devise a new subject/verb combo to describe what happened. "Sinking" Sharks just makes me happy. And yes, I am a hopeless nerd.

***

So, holy shit, how awesome was it that Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg suddenly remembered how to deke during a shootout?! I've said on this blog that I love shootouts, as long as they don't involve the Wings. The Twins' work, combined with Ozzie's prowess in goal, could make me reconsider.

Speaking of Zetterberg, how about that super-sneaky move to slide the puck in, tying the game during regulation? Nice work, Z.

Darren Helm also stood out for me, having two huge breakaways. I'm 99% sure this kid could give Usain Bolt a run for his money (no pun intended).

***

And now, on to some more happy news. I know my loyal readers, being the conscientious people you are, have been losing sleep over this one for the past week or so. Rest assured, kiddies. Nobody's going to jail:
Police in Idaho's capital won't pursue charges against a junior hockey team whose members held a strip shootout at a city-owned rink two weeks ago.

Boise Police spokeswoman Lynn Hightower told the Idaho Statesman that officers concluded a 17-year-old member of the Idaho Junior Steelheads who mooned a teammate didn't intentionally violate the city's decency laws.

The Idaho Junior Steelheads had already been forbidden from using Idaho Ice World for four days, and the player who dropped his drawers briefly also served a 3-game suspension.

Huge collective sigh of relief: Breathe in, breathe out.

On the other hand: What the fuck is going on in Boise? Sure, these kids are off the hook, but let me tell you, mooning your pals is just the first step on a very slippery slope to a life of dereliction and debauchery. Just go talk to your math teacher, Kyle Dennis, the one who got caught getting slaphappy with his dong in Costco--in BOISE. Exposing himself to his classmates was just a gateway act in the long line of lasciviousness. Sigh.

***

And now, because it's Friday, and the sun is shining, and because the Avs can go suck a big one, I present you the following, courtesy of James Mirtle's From the Rink:

There was not a single person in sections 330 and 334 a few minutes into the game tonight. Not one. I think a couple souls showed up a while later and sat there, but that was…it.

You definitely did not dissuade critics who say Denver is just a bandwagon hockey town tonight, folks. The announced attendance was definitely not the actual number in the building either. I’d say the real number was about 8,500, maybe a bit less actually.

— Adrian Dater, All Things Avs

And to that, I say:



Yeah. That's what I'm talking about. Fuckers.

05 November 2009

If you're not first, you're last.

Ah, the immortal words of Ricky Bobby. They could be used to describe the San Jose Sharks. Except not really. Because they have been first. Last year, they won the President's Trophy, leading the League with 117 points. Alas, they were eliminated in the first round of playoffs by the Anaheim Ducks (bleh).

I don't really like the Sharks. To be honest with you, the only real reason I dislike them is because they perpetually underachieve. They give Detroit a run for their money in winning the Western Conference, and then they disappear during the playoffs. It's irritating that they demand to be taken seriously...but only until April. Probably not the best reason to dislike a team, but that's just how I roll.



(Oh, and anybody who assigns "deep Pacific teal" as a team color is undoubtedly demented.)

So, yes, the Sharks circle (surround? attack? stalk? what the fuck else do sharks do?) the Joe tonight, looking for a back-to-back win after their victory in Columbus last night. Last night was also their sixth win a row. The Wings are looking for their third straight win, and Chris Osgood will be starting in goal tonight (after his 50th career shutout on Tuesday...god, am I horrible at not writing recaps for games I didn't get to watch).

I'm really sad right now that I won't be in Detroit tonight. Maybe I would have been lucky and gotten to see this in person:



Amazingly, I think I found this woman's house on YouTube. Too early to think about Christmas? Nah. If this doesn't get you pumped for the holiday season, then you're a godless heathen, and I don't like you:



***

Completely superfluous and unrelated, but I have to do it. Saw this on Deadspin, the mother of all things fabulous, and I couldn't resist.



My new heroes, hands down. Happy belated Halloween, boys and girls. I would give 20 cents anything for you guys to enjoy this as much as I do.

03 November 2009

Best. Thing. Ever.

I give you proof that hockey fans are, collectively, the best at everything ever (even if they are from Pittsburgh), including, but not limited to, ingenious methods of self-pleasure and the willingness to share said ingenuity with the world at large. Behold (from Texts From Last Night):
(412): i paused nhl 10 while i jerked off and it was like a crowd was cheering me on
Apparently, hockey fans don't acknowledge stage fright, either. Score one for the good guys!

Bring on the BRUINS (a.k.a. BEARS)

Today has already been a suckfest of epic proportions. My CAR wouldn't start this morning, so I had to get it towed. From my home. How lame is that? At least it didn't break down on the side of the road, but come on. Now, just crossing my fingers that something horrendous isn't wrong with it...

A Wings' victory tonight would feel oh-so-good, borderline inappropriately so. Unfortunately, we won't be able to watch it, as we're DirecTV subscribers, and Versus/Comcast/DirecTV can all eat shit.

Now, with my prerequisite shitfit out of the way...

Bring on THESE guys:



No, no, no. Wait. Awwww, aren't they cute? Shit. No, not those guys! What am I saying? THESE guys:



There are some interesting parallels between the Wings and the B's, the leader of the Eastern Conference heading into last year's playoffs. The Bruins are also off to an iffy start; they are currently fourth in the Northeast division, with 13 points (the same number as Detroit, incidentally).

The Bruins' away record thusfar is 2-2-1; the Wings' home record is 3-1-1.

One distinction between the two teams is the power play. The Wings' PP is 22.2%, while the Bruins have been far less successful, coming in at 12.2%. Still, the Wings' PP is not to be taken for granted; it's one of the few things I found glaringly bad during Saturday's game in Calgary. It'll be interesting to see how these teams match up to one another in this respect.

(On a complete and total side note, how sad does it make you to realize that the Wings have had 42 goals scored against them so far? Anaheim has also had 42 GA; Dallas and Los Angeles each have had 45 GA; and Edmonton and Columbus have had 46 GA each. By contrast, freakin' Phoenix has had a measly 30 GA. Bleh.)

Also worth noting, per Ansar Khan, Doug Janik has been recalled from Grand Rapids and will play for Brian Rafalski, who is out with the flu. Sigh. The only thing I have to say about this is that I'm not sure if the universe can handle Janik, Brett Lebda, and Derek Meech all at once. And no, for once, it's not because the level of sheer awesomeness will make the earth implode.

In any event, I hope those lucky fans who get to watch the game have fun; I'll try to catch the highlights and look at the stats and throw something on here either tonight or tomorrow.

No matter what happens, though, let's hope it doesn't come to this:

01 November 2009

Wings extinguish Flames; off-day suck-o-tash

The Wings doused the Flames last night in Calgary, with a final score of 3-1.

The Scrappy Octopi are split on our feelings during the game itself; Brian felt exuberantly confident that the Wings would win and at no point during the game did he question what the final outcome would be, while I, adopting a horrible veil of pessimism, remained nervous until Kirk Maltby rang a beautiful empty-netter between the pipes during the final minute of play.

Either way, how great did it feel that the Wings ended this horrendous, odd, complicated road trip on a positive note? Let's hope the momentum follows them back to the Motor City for their next game on home ice against Boston on Tuesday.

The atmosphere during most of the game was eerily tranquil, a stark contrast from the utter chaos of the Vancouver and Edmonton games. This proved to be a good thing for the Wings--the team only took two minor penalties, and the Flames' sole goal did not occur during either of their two power plays, allowing the Wings' PK to escape us fans' wrath for another day.

Henrik Zetterberg skated more fluidly and consistently than at any other point during this young season. Chris Osgood's break seemed to do him some good; however, he didn't face the most daunting of shots from the Flames, in terms of both quantity or quality (the Flames' total shots on goal = 21).

Also worth noting is Brad Stuart, who I felt also had his best game of the season thus far. He scored his first goal of the season and managed to keep himself in position when it counted, checking hard against Calgary, due to, I suppose, him finally removing his head from his sphincter before taking the ice. Good for him. If he keeps this up, he'll find himself permanently off my shit list.

Darren Helm had a HUGE breakaway in the second period due to his lightning-fast speed, reminiscent of his performance during last year's playoffs, and although he couldn't make the shot due to Jay Bouwmeester's interference slashing, it's great to see this guy do what he does best. More, please.

My main criticism of the Wings' performance last night is the power play showed signs of shittiness, a la last year, which is too bad, considering the signs of improvement it has shown of late. The Wings looked disorganized during much of the four power play chances they had last night. It's hard to understand how the Wings' power play can be so wildly inconsistent from game to game.

***

On a miscellaneous note, I hope everybody had a happy Halloween; I actually meant to post that on Halloween, but alas, the Scrappy Octopus was charged with ensuring that her six-year-old nephew Megatron had a fantabulous night. The collective Scrappy Octopi participated sparsely in Halloween festivities: I donned my standard cat ears and whiskers for like the millionth year in a row (me = abjectly, miserably, fucking lazy when it comes to Halloween), while Brian, far surpassing me in awesomeness, adorned himself in his Winter Classic jersey. Touche.

***

Now on to the above-referenced suck-o-tash: George Malik had this, and you may want to take a deep breath and/or a handful of quaaludes before proceeding. In said story, everybody's favorite hemorrhoid, Mike Milbury, claims the following (hit of ether, please):
October 30, CBC Sports: Please don't wax poetic about Hull and Howe and Shore. Today's players are bigger, stronger, faster, better conditioned, better coached and with better equipment. The players of the 50s couldn't keep up. And there’s so many of them that you don't need to consult the standings to name a bunch of them. Kopitar in LA. Bobby Ryan in Anaheim. Duchene and O'Reilly in Colorado. Toews and Kane in Chicago. Stamkos in Tampa. Kovalchuk in Atlanta. Gaborik in New York. Parise in New Jersey. Crosby and Malkin and Fleury in Pittsburgh. And on and on.

But it is in Washington where the new generation’s poster boy resides. Hey, Alex Semin, Nick Backstrom and Mike Green are all stars in their own right, but the lightning rod is Alex Ovechkin.

The attraction? He is the next Mr. Hockey, the newly-defined Mr. Hockey. The computerized, twittered, facebooked, instantly gratified and accessible Mr. Hockey.

That just happened.

Look, I would be remiss--and totally full of shit--to try to downplay the kind of superstar that Alexander Ovechkin already is, not to mention the capacity of his star power to grow as his accomplishments continue to increase.

But I hate, hate, HATE this need that our culture feels to try to (A) hastingly proclaim the next big thing, the next prodigy, the next legend, combined with (B) the uber-annoying effort to rewrite history in a lameass attempt to substantiate the predictions and proclamations we've prematurely projected in an attempt to convey our genius in being the first to spot the next legend of our time.

Ovie has accomplished much in his young career, to be sure. He puts forth tremendous, sometimes seemingly un-human effort, game after game, and his ice work is beautiful and awe-inspiring. His capacity is the kind of once-in-a-lifetime talent that forces hockey fans of all teams to pause and take notice because we all love the game, and above all else, Ovie exudes unfettered passion on the ice, reminding us of why we fell in love with hockey in the first place.

Conversely...

...when a full-tilt dumbass like Mike Milbury thinks he can anoint Gordie Howe's long-deserved and long-acknowledged title onto the world's current superstar, two simple thoughts immediately enter my mind: (A) Who in the fuck does he think he is? and (B) Kiss my ass.

Mr. Howe lives and breathes hockey. Not only is his professional career the longest-spanning of any other hockey player in the history of the League, his work off the ice, along with his late wife, has helped so many young people explore their dreams.

I understand that Mr. Milbury, despite being middle-aged, may not have the appreciation for Mr. Howe that we die-hard Wings' fans have. I, for one, am 23 years old, so I never had the opportunity to watch Howe play during his prime.

But just because something is in the supposedly far-away past does not negate its importance or its significance. Mr. Howe was also a once-in-a-lifetime player, stacking up records that no one even dreamed could be touched until the arrival of Wayne Gretzky.

Perhaps equally as important as his athletic accomplishments is his very un-celebrity demeanor. Howe is classy. He is unassuming. He exemplifies quiet grace. Countless times, I have watched documentaries on the NHL Network about Gretzky, which, ultimately, show Gretzky surpassing Howe's record for career goals, and Mr. Howe graciously appearing with him at a press conference and praising Gretzky's accomplishments while understating his own.

The Red Wings organization's aura of unpretentious, quiet accomplishment begins and ends with Gordie Howe; the ego-free stars who have emerged in the time since Howe's departure have all followed in his footsteps, maintaining unassuming dignity despite the Wings' dynastic run over much of the past two decades.

I suppose it's because the stock footage of Howe's talent exists solely on black-and-white reels that Mike Milbury doesn't understand why the generations since Howe's heyday haven't snatched the title of Mr. Hockey away from him and capriciously offered it to any handful of newcomers who have shown extraordinary promise.

Because we know better. And anybody with more than two functioning braincells knows better.

Those of us who understand this can add this latest goodie from Mike Milbury into the fat stack of ridiculousness that comprises the Milbury experience, including, but not limited to, being too much of a dolt to manage Charlie Wang's faltering Long Island enterprise, being best known during his playing career for assaulting a fan with the fan's own footwear, and making my ears bleed with his mindless blather each and every time I'm forced to watch a hockey broadcast on NBC.

Mr. Howe will always be Mr. Hockey. End. Of. Story. Perhaps it would do Milbury some good to lay off the peyote before coming to work.