31 March 2010

Doing the Grownup.

Wow, this is the first Wednesday that's come along where we haven't been completely inebriated (see: St. Patrick's Day) or completely limp-dick useless (see: H2H week).

So, here it is, Wednesday, and we actually have two questions for you today. First things first:

Which former Red Wing would you give a solid 5 years off your life to return to the team?

Without a doubt, I choose Aaron Fucking Downey.

Ever since I started this site, I wanted to do a tribute to Downey, and after bonding with Chris from NOHS at H2H about our mutual love for the guy, I decided now's as good a time as any to do it.

Downey is one of the most ridiculously entertaining fighters ever. Look at the way he just straight up wails on his opponents. I dare you to start watching clips of his fights and be able to turn away any time within the next two hours. In fact, I'm only posting two of them here:

Also, he is obviously the best ever at conversating for a few:

Finally, did we mention he's a phenomenal dancer?

I miss Aaron's scrapiness on the team; he was one of those old-school players who stand up for their teammates when they're victims of questionable hits. Can you imagine what he would have done to Laraque that time that bastard took out Kronner? And, you know, he actually won fights, even ones that weren't premeditated. (I'm looking at you, Brad May.) I was devastated when the Wings didn't resign him. I'm always looking forward to the day when he comes back. I know, I, for one, will gladly pitch in $10/day to make this happen.

And now, to commemorate the very real fire that burns in my heart for Downey (seriously, Aaron, if you're reading this, hit us up at TheScrappyOctopus@gmail.com to discuss dancing with some real pros), here's a long-distance dedication:


I'm of one mind about this game:

Two points is nice.

Doesn't matter the way they came tonight. All told, a great performance from the boys tonight. They played hard for MOST of the game, which is better than earlier in the season when it was only like a period they showed up for, or worse, the whole game. What is it that makes the Oilers get geared up for the Wings? Do they do meth and eat babies to get jacked up? I'm picturing Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers putting on his mask and head-butting Devan Dubnyk until he's unconscious. Maybe some metal playing in the background. I don't know. Fuck if I understand this Oilers team. (Quick sidebar - I'm going to try my hardest to boost the swear/ridiculous count for this post today due to the Twitter controversy. wish me luck!)

So anyway, back to tonight's game:

1. Am I the only one out there who doesn't have much to complain about tonight's game? Defense looked good, save for the brief collapse, great. Sure, that won't win playoff games, but with the streak they've been on, aren't you entitled to one lapse here and there?

2. Jimmy looked....human tonight. And that's ok, too, as he's carried this team of grown-ass men most of the season. Maybe he gets a rest soon? Maybe we see Ozzie in one of the weekend games? Or maybe one of Jimmy's limbs fly off due to exhaustion. I have no idea. Babcock is the smart one.

3. One of the stories on ESPN's NHL page - "Wings blow four goal lead", with no mention of the fact that they actually won the game. That's curious.

4. Jeff Deslauriers doesn't look like a bad goalie. I wonder what he'd be like on a good team? Of course, his Air Jordan impression on the 4th goal....ewwww.

5. And since I have nothing else to add for tonight's game, a brief touch on today's Twitter #fuckyeahH2H controversy.......

My advice to anyone in life about anything - Know what you like, and if you don't like something, you're not required to read it. If I decide to use the term I just invented, fuckshitasswipehole, in a sentence, I do so knowing it might not be for everyone. Those who aren't cool with that.....awesome! Maybe this isn't for you, and that's ok. If you asked me, I'd probably not recommend you read anything I write or even listen to me in a conversation. Ever. All these things are ok. The problem, however, comes when someone tries to suggest that H2H doesn't mean anything or in some way is now irrevocably ruined forever due to the fact that someone used the tag #H2Hfuckyeah, or whatever the hell started it. ZOMFG I CANNOT BELIEVE SOMEONE EVER DARED TO SWEAR! OH SOMEONE PLEASE SAVE MY EYES/EARS/DELICATE SENSIBILITIES FROM THINGS I'M NOT LEGALLY REQUIRED TO READ. THIS WILL VIOLATE EVERY CHARITABLE ACT THAT'S EVER HAPPENED.

Even thinking about it in retrospect is slightly absurd to me. And maybe it wasn't even a huge deal, and MAYBE I'm even trying to pad this post as I'm too tired to write a recap that's worth a shit. But sometimes, stuff is ridiculous and needs to be mentioned as such.

That having been said: Wings, don't give your fans heart failure like you did tonight. The hot streak is still alive!

30 March 2010

...The Kind You Clean Up With a Mop & Bucket

So, in light of today's Twitter feeding frenzy about the merits of dropping hard F's and whatnot onto the internets (man, what a fucking buzzkill), TSO has decided to renovate the site. Sorry if you kids turn into a bunch of sad pandas, but no more visions of glued-up dickholes, no more references of fuckwads/assfucks/sumbitches/SNBs/taint problems, no more gratuitous hyperlinks to TPL and all their jailsexing, and definitely no more shitting the bed--anyone's bed. They say that every good time comes to an end, so here it is.

To give you a little sneak peek into what the new and improved (and squeaky clean!) TSO looks like, I present you the following hypothetical game recap of the Nashville experience on Saturday:

Title: Holy Christopher and Gee-Willikers, That One Sure Was Close!

Some of the #H2H (#fudgeyeah) kids gathered at the Town _____, a non-offensive place for adults where I had a couple of Shirley Temples to watch the Red Wings take on the Predators. It was a completely nonthreatening environment in which the harshest thing said was "Someone is about to go #Eaves himself," which I think is just a silly term meant to mean somebody is about to grow a really sweet set of eyebrows.

Anyway, the first 60 +/- minutes of the game were pretty _____ lame. I think I heard Serven exclaim something about how games like that are just so motherhubbarding flusterating because you never know what to expect! LOLZ!

The overtime and shootout were pretty _____ nerve-wracking! I just wanted to tell _____ Rinne to go to h-e-double hockey sticks. During the first few rounds of the shootout, Datsyuk was a _____ . Williams was a _____ . Zetterberg was a _____. Finally, Bert scored because he's a total _____, but the Preds answered with their goal. When Kronwall finally scored the game-winning shootout goal, I felt like taking off my _____ and _____ it up with my _____.

Oh, _____ on a _____ . It's no _____ use, is it, _____ers? A Scrappy Octopus without swearing is just like a _____ _____ without a _____ to _____on. In fact, this is the first time in my entire _____ life I can say I know what _____up _____hole must feel like. Without the ability to _____ up a _____ , I really feel like some mother_____ er took my _____ _____, _____ ly ripped it out of its _____ place, and _____slapped it to _____oblivion. A _____ hockey fan without the _____ ability to say _____, _____hole, _____er, _____happy, _____-me-sideways is like a _____ _____ around a bunch of _____ hot _____tutes at the _____ kegger of the year. _____ useless, man.

_____ a bunch of that _____ing _____.

And now, please skip ahead to 0:42, _____ers:

29 March 2010

H2H: 2 Legit 2 Quit

How many ways can one summarize the weekend at large? Awesome, excellent, fantabulous, gnarly, amazeballs, bombass, #FUCKYEAH.

The Scrappy Octopi are back in wild, wonderful West Virginia, where it's warm enough to wear the dress I had foolishly packed to Detroit (with rainboots, no less--if you didn't get a chance to realize how cool I am over the weekend, now you know), and we are missing the living hell out of Michigan and all you fabulous people.

Our thoughts on the weekend as a whole:

--Seeing Herm get to experience all of the fabulous things the H2H crew had planned for him was an indescribably fantastic experience. I can't imagine the high you're feeling, Herm. We didn't get to meet him until the pregame party on Friday, but we did get a glimpse of him while we were entering Old Shillelagh late on Thursday night. He was leaving, and we didn't quite realize it was him until we stopped the The Triple Deke boys, whom we vaguely recognized from all the internet stalkings we perform on the daily. Anyway, seeing Herm that first time, in passing, was that feeling I always imagined myself having as a 12-year-old standing on a rope line to meet A.J. from the Backstreet Boys. Fucking awesome, man. (Alternately, it could be how Brian would feel at any given point in time upon meeting Gerard Butler. Yuuuuum!)

--The H2H "War Room" deserves all the accolades they've been receiving all over the place, and then some: Jen, Hollis, Serven, Petrella, and Ellen all worked their asses off to ensure that Herm--and all of us--had the time of our lives and to get those moneys for the Children's DMC. Many thanks all around to everybody instrumental in the nuts (giggle) and bolts of the H2H operation.

--Everything you've ever read about Dena and I being soulmates? Absolutely, positively true. Times a bajillion. The reason Kronner scored the game-winning shootout goal on Saturday? He felt the power of her Swedish flag underwear burning through the airwaves. For the record, we were never even properly introduced; Petrella simply brought her over to where I was at the H2H pregame and she did the universal signal for Hey-You-Soulmate-Person, and I instantly fell in love.

--Sara/saraneuie and Amanda/Nurse Nitz are two of the most kickass fans--and kickass people--ever. TSO feels complete after seeing the ladies' "More Shoot" and "Dangle Dangle" homemade T-shirts in person. For the record, Sara's birthday was yesterday, so if anybody missed out on it, you can hop over to her site and send her lots of good wishes, preferably in the form of one Johan Franzen being UPS-ed to her residence. I'm sure she'll give you the shipping details if you hit her up.

--Petrella wearing the SHIRTUZZI was everything I could have hoped for and more. Also, it's worth noting that the moment I met Rob (who, judging by his recent travels, either hasn't been to his home in 74 years or is an actual hobo) and his brother John was the moment TSO was presented with our fabulous TPL-autographed photo of Casey's She-Tuzzi creation. Time. Stood. Still. TSO's only regret is that we didn't get to hang out with the Discher boys more, but alas, they were off to their next destination before we knew it, like elusive butterflies who managed to slip out of our nets. (TSO is currently embroiled in a dispute with one half of TPL for the right to dib the other half of TPL. We'll let you know how this settles on the flip side.)

--Brian and I are proud to be card-carrying members of the I Heart TPL Mom Club. (TPL Mom, we'll be sending you those adoption papers later in the week to sign and have notarized. Yeah, it'll make Brian and me some sort of weird quasi-relation, but we'll work out those kinks later.)

--As a Wahoo, I never knew I could muster up enough emotion and chutzpah to say I heart a Hokie until I met Casey and his equally awesome roommate Shawn. I'm telling you, this is how international relations should work. Can you imagine? Oh, there's a new round of Irish car bombs going off in Belfast? Fuck, put them in a room with some hockey and Boddington's and let them bond. Works every time.

--Tyler and Brent from the TTD are every bit as hilarious in person as their site and videos have you suggest. I was a tad bit disappointed that they didn't sport the awesome sweaters/turtlenecks they wore in their clips, but that's neither here nor there. It was excellent hanging out with the two of them at the Town Pump; thanks for letting me terrorize your table intermittently throughout the night.

--Speaking of terrorizing, when we finally moved to our real seats at the Joe, we found ourselves seated next to Chris of NOHS fame, and we're fairly certain Brian pushed the boundaries of legal harassment of Chris regarding goaltending as it relates to Josh Harding. We met (Animal) Drew after the game, too, and we can confirm that these guys are the real deal: nice as hell and completely gracious when dealing with their rabid fans' enthusiasm.

--We had the pleasure of hanging out with Kris for both games and the aftermath, and we had a blast--Kris and her friend Gaby sat on the other side of us when we committed to our actual seats. In fact, I'm not sure if you all know this or not, but Kris is actually a ninja--I discovered her stealth-ful abilities first-hand this weekend. I'm pretty sure this translates into her being able to slip into the locker room undetected. I'm just saying...

--MauvaisGardien and silvrbuttrfly, awesome ladies who I'm pleased to have gotten to know better during Friday's festivities, especially since it meant downing a shot that made me feel minty clean afterwards! (No, but seriously, you CAN'T drive back to Toledo, now, right?)

--Speaking of shots, downing a shot of Jameson with jennyquarx was everything I could have hoped for and more.

--Voox wins the award for snazziest hat at H2H, hands down.

--There were some folks we got to meet whom we didn't get to spend quite as much time with, but the pleasure was all ours nonetheless: Jessie of Bingo Bango, Greg/captnorris5 of The Winged Wheel, Twitter buddy Norm (who loooves traversing the Ohio Turnpike just as much as we do!), Sara (who we discovered has impeccable taste in dresses), members of the 19 Andrew from Ann Arbor (whose Datsyuk-autographed stick we plotted to steal, to no avail), Lo, jennemyofthesk8, and Baroque97, among so many others.

It was truly a blast. Petrella said it best in his recap over at TPL that "H2H2" has a high bar to cross for besting this past weekend. Let TSO join the chorus of voices out there who have already expressed the sheer joy associated with finding yourself surrounded by people who "get it": the sheer obsession we have with this hockey team we all love more than life itself. Fans of other teams? Eat your fucking hearts out. Red Wings Nation rocks, balls out.

And now, we'll simply look forward to that playoff party in the D, already being pimped by Serven & Company on the Twitterverse.

Thanks to everybody for the best weekend in the history of weekends. Period.

24 March 2010

Hockeytown in 24.

Much has been said about H2H on this blog, but little sums up the awesomeness we're feeling knowing that in T minus 24 hours, we'll be on the road and Detroit-bound for the greatest experience a fan can have. This is our last full day on the job before embarking on our 8-hour trek, and to be honest, our mental capacities are about as useful as a limp dick on prom night. Let's just say we're looking forward to the following:

--meeting Herm, who just Tweeted that he's leaving for the airport soon, which means that Herm to Hockeytown is that much closer to becoming Herm in Hockeytown

--hanging out with the most amazing bloggers, commenters, and Tweeps ever

--going to our fourth game at the Joe under such awesomely fun circumstances

--basking in the awesomeness that will come with Petrella sporting the T-shirt of his dreams, commemorating the special bond he has with #44. (A special shoutout to Hollis for enlisting us in this particular bit of debauchery.)

--hanging out with Sara and Nurse Nitz, the fabulous ladies who make the most awesome English/Swedegian T-shirts and collages ever for the Mule, Pasha, and pretty much everyone else.

--playing this song at volume 11 and running, arms outstretched, to my presumed soulmate, Dena. Later, I suspect we'll later be watching Dena get kindly escorted into the back of a cop car for offering--a little too literally--to be Kronner's jockstrap. (Dena, because you're not on Facebook, which means we can't stalk one another, I'll be the girl in the Homer jersey over by the bar, putting out the vibe.)

--pouring one out for our bud Krononymous when we pass by Cleveland on the interstate. (No, really, this WILL happen.)

--exchanging all kinds of U.Va./Tech jokes with Casey, our favorite Hokie

--goading Brian into performing one of his awesome dance numbers, including, but not limited to, pseudo-cartwheels, lethargic gun-waving motions, riverdancing, the mamushka, the robot, the worm...anything goes at H2H. (Seriously, I'll probably need some help convincing him to do this, so I highly expect all persons reading this to help me coax and goad.)


--waking up with the best, most well-earned hangover ever on Saturday morning afternoon.

TSO wants to extend its appreciation to all the people who worked their asses off to make this possible. And by "appreciation," we not only mean "thank you," but also, you have a virtual coupon for one grinding lapdance from Brian, to be redeemed at a time and place of your choosing.

Happy H2H, everyone!

22 March 2010

Jimmy's facial to Sid? Icing on a sweet cake.

Would everyone out there agree that this was the single best game the Wings have played this season? I know the snap judgment in society dictates that everything that just happened is the biggest, best thing of all time, but tonight's game was a total and complete effort. 60 minutes of badass, we're the Detroit Red Wings and we're going to dick punch you until we're bored, and then we're going to give you the old Cleveland Steamer for shits and giggles (you may be asking "Who would provide the steamer?" I'm glad you asked. Brett Lebda. You can just tell by looking at him. Doesn't make him a bad person, just different).

My thoughts on tonight's game:

1. Nice game by, oh, everyone. I literally have nothing to complain about. Even in victories I can usually find something to nitpick. Not tonight.

2. Jimmy should've had the shutout. Damned weirdass bounce in front. Oh well. He'll have to settle for a win against the asshat Penguins. Good consolation prize.

3. I know he didn't have two goals tonight, but Datsyuk was just amazing on the ice tonight. During one of the power plays, he was kind of a one-man power play out there with chance after chance. He created, he took control of the game, and onwed that shit tonight. Good on him.

4. Derek Meech had a good game in limited ice time. Did you read that correctly Pens? DEREK MEECH looked serviceable against you tonight. As a forward. The position he does NOT play on the regular.

5. This was the first Vs. broadcast we've seen this season due to the petty, childish Direct TV/Comcast feud (for the record - TSO was extremely pro Direct TV, as Comcast is the devil). Pens vs. Wings, you would expect, oh, I dunno, an NBC style broadcast......didn't happen. No excessive fawning over the Pens. The Red Wings got mentioned, so that was nice. But Doc and Edzo were.....good. Which makes me appreciate how shitty NBC's coverage of hockey is. I mean, for me, I didn't have much to compare it to. Vs was blacked out all season and I've never had it before. Local Fox Sports and Comcast sports channels do a good job. But kudos to Vs. It was also nice to NOT see Pierre McGuire or Milbury.

6. Good game Wings. Jimmy, Z, Pav, everyone.

On a totally separate note, H2H is fast around the corner. Since this might be the last time I post before then (unless that crafty Nat talks me into another game recap!), I just wanted to express how exciting this is. I mainly thought of all this tonight because I just reserved our car for the trip (full size baby because TSO is stylin'). Charity, hockey, and a chance to hang with the best blog community in the world.......amazing. I mean, folks chipped in, and now we're shipping up a guy from Brazil to see a Wings game! AND we raised a bunch of money for charity. AND Michael Petrella is going to wear a fabulous Bert tribute shirt. Life is good. Can't wait to meet everyone!

17 March 2010

You mean to tell me it's a Wednesday and it's acceptable to drink and write?

(Puh-leeze. Like we're deterred from drinking and writing any other day.)

Happy St. Patrick's Day, heathens! May the road rise up to meet you, at least enough to catch your vomit so it doesn't splatter all over your shoes.

Anybody got any good plans for the day's festivities? If you're still looking for something to do, you're totally welcome to come to our haunt tonight. As a matter of fact, I've drawn up a little invitation:

So, what we have on the agenda is me presenting a shamrock to Homer, who's totally attending our shenanigans, then the three of us (plus you) are going to get drunk off some Jameson, then we're going to steal a Guinness truck, then we're going to get rich from selling the Guinness we don't drink (and we're totally cashing it in for golden medallions, hence the image of Ballin' B doing a pot-o-gold dance), and then we're going to wrap it up by eating some Irish stew and drinking some leftover Guinness.

Anyway, the Wings are off until Friday after winning thrice. (Love that word--doesn't it just sound dirty, like thrust? Thrice thrust? Thrust thrice? I promise I was going somewhere with that.)

I was typing something to my pal saraneuie the other day, and I was talking about H2H, and I typed, "...next week at H2H", and I got giddily excited. Next week, y'all! If we're excited, imagine how Herm feels.

So, it got me to thinking: So many of us are descending upon Hockeytown from all over the place--perhaps not as exotic and faraway of a place as Brazil, but it's fascinating nonetheless to think of how spread out the community of Wings-based friends is.

So, in honor of all the special places we individually hail from, as well as all the togetherness and other warm and fuzzy feelings we'll be experiencing at H2H, I present you with today's question demand:

Tell us something awesome about your hometown and/or current locale.

Brian and I hail from a very small town, the population of which is 653, according to the 2000 Census. Neither of us have ever lived within the town limits, but for the record, the county proper has a grand total of four stoplights.

Our town is known for being the country's first spa; George Washington and various other colonial VIPs used to chillax in the constantly 74-degree mineral waters that still draw visitors from the DC area. I guess you could say that to our Founding Fathers, this area was the Champagne Room for ballers only.

We also have a WWII-era movie theater with one screen, typically showing new-ish releases about eight weeks after they first hit normal theaters, a mom-and-pop gas station where high schoolers exchange bullshit and blowjays, a coffeeshop where most of the coffee flavors taste like pee, a bar out in the sticks with a built-in Patsy Cline museum, one newspaper serving the entire county that's only published on Wednesdays (current headline: "Sheriff & commission clash over staff duties"), and a tiny church on just about every mile-long stretch of highway in the countryside.

But the thing that makes our town unique from other small towns in our region is that we have a castle.

It was built sometime in the 1800s by a rich old dude who'd married a young hottie, and of course, he wanted to impress her. In true dramatic fashion, he constructed the castle on a ridge high atop the town, so from the castle's turret she could look directly down upon the town park and see the outlying areas of the town at large. The wife lives on in legend as the host of the grandest and most debauched parties (and no, for the record, TSO does not trace its lineage back to her, although it would be kickass).

What about you guys? What's the deal with where you live? What puts your location on the map?

And one more time, happy St. Patrick's Day:

13 March 2010

Back in the saddle!

Thanks to a Wings' victory tonight in overtime over Buffalo, we're sitting pretty in the eighth seed, until at least tomorrow night, when current nemeses Nashville and Calgary take to the ice in their respective games.

TSO is comfortable yet slightly underwhelmed at the Wings' effort tonight. They came out for the first period, guns blazing, rattling two goals off early in the period, thanks to magic courtesy of Datsyuk and Eaves, and maintained a fast and urgent tempo until the first intermission.

The beginning of the second period left much to be desired, and though the Wings picked up the pace slightly in the second half of the period, not a whole hell of a lot occurred between then and the overtime winner by Rafalski.

A couple of quick thoughts:

1. Brian was extremely pissed at Zetterberg for failing to hustle to negate the icing called against Detroit late in the third period. I have a sinking feeling that had the outcome of the game been different, I'd probably be sleeping in the flood zone outside tonight.

2. Patrick Eaves is on fire as of late. For the most part, he played an amazing game; however, when he stuttered over and lost the puck that was right at his feet in front of Jimmy, I really considered hopping on NHL.com and purchasing a #17 jersey...and lighting it on fire. Because we weren't playing a team with the greatest offensive prowess, nothing resulted of Eaves's blunder, so all is forgiven over here at TSO. Now that we've gotten it out of our system, we'll just remember his awesomeness.

3. Pavel played a great game. We're still giddily and hopelessly in love with the top line.

And how's about one for celebrating our return to a playoff seed? Never hurts, right?

11 March 2010

Can we please face Josh Harding for all games hereafter?

So this is what 60 minutes of Red Wings hockey feels like.

Detroit defeats Minnesota 5-1 and sure helped people betting online.

Henrik Zetterberg played like a man possessed tonight. TSO particularly enjoyed Babcock's pairing of Eaves with Hank, which resulted in that fabulous goal by Z. Wow. Either Henrik heard the cries of all the Detroit faithful accusing him of selling out by selling short, or Emma began passing on sexual congress with him. Take your pick. Whatever it was, more, please. (Our apologies to the Wings whose amorous endeavors fail as a result of their fans' selfish requests.)

How about the Mule? Franzen earned himself two goals tonight, and how awesome was it when the camera caught him on the bench right after he scored the second one? I swear to Christ, homeboy looked like he was about to straight up eat somebody. (Kings of Leon: You know that I conSUMED someBODAAAYYY...) And to be honest with you, I then did a five-second mental rundown of all the horrible things I've done lately, just to make sure I hadn't double-crossed Johan by hooking up with his significant other or relieving myself in his water bottle. My conscience is now at ease.

And what about that Miller/Filppula shorthanded rush, which resulted in a goal by Drew himself? Brilliant moves by both men. Not only was it awesome for scoring purposes, but it also proved that Miller can be just as adorable knocking a goal into the net off his own person as he is doing anything else. When Buffalo comes to town on Saturday night, not only will there be some good ol' sibling rivalry on the ice, but it'll be an adorable-off competition of epic magnitude between the two brothers, kinda like stumbling upon the Gerber baby playing peek-a-boo with the terrier group from the Westminster Kennel Club in a Dutch tulip garden while butterflies, bumblebees, and bubbles float through the air on a sunny day with just the right number of clouds in the turquoise sky to remind you of fluffy cotton candy. Siiiiigh.

We can't leave out Darren Helm from this one, either. How many times has he stepped into the crease at juuuuust the right fraction of a second to prevent a puck from sliding across the line? Genius, my friend. Jimmy had a good night, as well; he looked stronger tonight than he did two nights ago, stepping up to provide several clutch saves.

Anyone (Krononymous? Dena?) want to speculate on the over/under of the odds that our bud Marty Havlat sharted big time when he heard the thunder that could ONLY be the sound of KRONWALLING?

How sad is the state of Minnesota's power play? I'm not even sure I have the words to describe it. But, at gunpoint, I could make an attempt:

On an unrelated note, anybody else watching the game on the NHL Network catch that commercial about the journey of sperm through the conception process? Because, yeah, the one thing I was missing from that whole birds-and-the-bees convo my mom had with me back in the day was a militia of people dressed in riot gear to imitate the archnemeses of the little one-eyed snakes on their trek to sperminize the ova. Can you imagine what sex ed class in 7th grade would have been like if we could have reenacted that? Classic. So, uh, yeah, I'll probably tape it or something, if you want to come over and watch it with me.

Last but certainly not least, how's about dear Homer's efforts tonight? Mickey was right: Striking from that distance on the ice is definitely a rarity for #96. As Homer's gal Friday, I'm going to interpret his actions tonight as a preemptive measure to annex additional office space, so I'll be working the phones bright and early tomorrow morning to make sure we get all our building permits in order to comply with the zoning codes.

10 March 2010

It's Wednesday.

We don't have one of our normal questions today.

Why? (Shit, does that count?)

Because today is the day immediately following last night's shitshow. My brain is fried. I can't think straight. I don't want to talk about actual hockey, even something as gratuitous as our typical Wednesday questions.

But we have to do something today. We can't just sit around and wallow in our own misery and hopelessness.

While talking to our bud Petrella earlier, he suggested going in a completely un-hockey-related route. He then proceeded to propose a question of two movies I've never seen before (subsequently, he no longer believes me when I state that I hail from Planet Awesome). My neurons wouldn't even allow me to come up with two other films worth discussing. Crap.

So, here's what we're going to do:

Describe your ideal dinner party of five guests, real or fictional, and elaborate on why you chose each guest.

Fun times, right?

My dinner table would look something like this:

Around the table there, clockwise from the left, we have Andy Botwin, Charlie Kelly, Andy Bernard, yours truly, George Oscar Bluth (G.O.B.), and Tomas Holmstrom. (Please note that--myself excluded--there is only one nonfictional character at my table.)

A. Andy Botwin

I recently started getting into Weeds. I'm almost done with the second season, and seriously--this guy took his 12-year-old uncool nephew to a happy ending "massage parlor" when said nephew complained about no one wanting to give him an HJ in school. Class act, all the way. More relatives should take a proactive role in this regard. His tagline should be: "Uncles: Preventing Loserdom in Adolescents Since 2005."

Oh, and did I mention he gave the single greatest speech on self-pleasure since, well, ever?

B. Charlie Kelly

I'm a little hesitant to invite the best character from It's Always Sunny over to a dinner party since the show makes it clear that he almost always smells like poo. But really, how could I omit the guy who brought us the fine art of "going American all over everyone's ass"?

Also, let's not forget that time Charlie and Mac were working in a mailroom and Charlie had a straight-up meltdown. Anybody else working in the professional world ever feel like pulling one of those? Oh, say, every single fucking day? Teach us your ways, Mr. Kelly.

C. Andy Bernard

Everyone's favorite sycophant, the "Nard-Dog." Another example of someone who had a meltdown at work, only he sprung back with great success. I choose Mr. Bernard, though, because he is by far my favorite character of The Office, dressing like a U.Va. undergrad and always dropping insights on his peers like the following:

D. G.O.B.

Oh, where do I even begin with this zany Bluth brother? He may not be the brother I have a real, actual crush on (hi, Jason Bateman), but I can't imagine the most well-known character of Arrested Development being played by anyone other than Will Arnett. Anyone ever experienced the feeling of immense disappointment upon discovering that your probable soulmate is a fictional character? It's not for nothing that I've long since adopted "I've made a huge mistake" as my personal anthem.

E. Tomas Holmstrom

Enough said, really. For the record, I am inviting the semi-fictional version of Homer that we've all crafted here at TSO: you know, the one with the Viking swords, and the crazy caveman relationship with his wife, and the night-howling...wait, why are we still pretending this is fictional?

(Whoever made that video, you are now my new best friend.)

09 March 2010

You're fucking out!

...As in out of the playoffs! For now, anyway. I would rather have been dropping a hard Kenny Powers line after a win, but I think it fits tonight. Fair warning - I think Nat and I both were irrationally angry after this game.

So tonight's game was absurd. Maybe I'm a completely crazy fan, but this loss made me mad. You are battling for a playoff spot. A spot in the playoffs that the team you're playing can take from you by beating you. In this scenario, you are leading the game 2-1 at the start of the third...get outshot 15-4 in the last period and lose 4-2. That, to me, is a big sack o' horseshit. Where was the effort? I believe it was the good folks at Helm Street today who stated that this Wings team can be the best team in the league for about 20 minutes, and it's a pretty true statement. The second period? Amazing. Third period? Oy vey. My timely observations, with a few questions sprinkled in:

1. I'd love to hear someone who actually plays hockey on this (Chris from NOHS, Petrella, I'm looking at you, and probably others I'm forgetting ) - Was Jimmy kind of suspect tonight? He looked out of position a lot early, seemed to fight the puck a lot and have rebound issues. Maybe I'm crazy. Though I'm saying this, I don't think you can really blame him for the goals tonight....and this isn't pro-Ozzie-he-should-be-playing-right-now crazy talk. He shouldn't. Jimmy is our goaltender, for better or worse, and I think for the better. Jimmy just seemed shaky tonight.

2. I know it was mentioned a lot at the end of the telecast, but Hank, um, doesn't really look good. I mean, the guy is a warrior, so I don't judge. I think any of us would rather see a half strength Hank instead of, oh, I don't know, Jeremy Williams. But it is what it is.

3. Pav, Homer, and Franzen - Domination. Franzen looks great.

4. If only the Wings were in the East...

5. I can't even count for you the amount of swearing I edited out of this. This game was sad. It just makes you think - how can this team have a third period like this? NOW? At this point in the season?

I know I'm not even coherent right now so I turn it over to you the readers. Talk me, Brian, off my over-reactory ledge.

08 March 2010

A welcome-back to Lilja, and oh, yeah--how about that game yesterday?

If hockey fans are the best, then Red Wings fans are the most awesomest times infinity.

Our pal saraneuie, owner of her own photo blog, has generously agreed to continue sending her welcome-back montages to us to post on here. A million thanks, Sara, and without further adieu, I present you with a collage of Andreas Lilja's first game back at the Joe:

Even still, seeing him back in the Winged Wheel feels too good to be true, like I'm imagining it.


And yeah, how about that game yesterday against our nemeses? Felt pretty fucking good to win 5-4 at the United Center, didn't it?

My favorite part, other than Datsyuk's amazing breakaway goal and the fantabulous Franzen interpretation of a diving motion (LOVE how Chicago brings out the best in terms of the Mule's antics), was how the Hawks didn't really seem to get that the game was over at the final buzzer.

Because I'm pretty 'hood, I had to think long and hard about what gangsta song I would use to describe how I felt following yesterday's victory. I think I've chosen a solid one:

05 March 2010

The Kitchen Sink

So, just a little while ago, I was tooling around on Twitter, dazzling my followers with ever-deep insights ("Sometimes, when I write 'Nat' too quickly, it looks like 'Nut.' This makes me happy.") while counting down the minutes until I'm reunited with my distant lova/BFF and we can catch up the way we always do (updating each other on numbers of surprise rimjobs attempted on our persons and debating the merits of boning in a car that also includes children's booster seats) when Drew from Nightmare on Helm Street requested that I post something for his perusal today. Never one to turn down a friendly request from a fellow blogger, here goes: The Kitchen Sink.

That's what we're hereby proclaiming the final 19 games, the homestretch, the jumbo-loaded, four-cheese burrito, if you will. Because that is precisely what the Wings are going to have to throw at their opponents, night after night, to make this playoff thing happen.

Now, before you wonder if TSO is doubting the ability of the Wings to finish the race to the postseason, let us present you with the newly minted TSO creed:

The Newly Minted TSO Creed

1. We believe the Wings have all the pieces necessary not only to make the playoffs, but also to generate a strong playoff run, right through to the very end.

2. We believe Pavel Datsyuk is straight up country-pissed after Russia's disappointing Olympic run, not to mention frustrated with the Wings' current situation (have you ever seen him straight up punch a guy in the face before?!), and he will use "more shoot" to exact vengeance over the next 19.

3. We believe Nicklas Lidstrom is far too perfect to miss out on any postseason.

4. We believe Henrik Zetterberg was put on this earth not simply to make little girls (and boys--hi, Brian) lust after his silky whiskers, but to wreak playoff havoc by dry-humping the opposition's top forwards all over the ice.

5. We believe in Mike Babcock. Period.

6. We believe in the unmatched power of the Mule.

7. We believe the universe doesn't want to exist in a universe in which there's no postseason redux of the Darren Helm kill .

8. We believe that if there is a God, he/she doesn't want to witness the debacle that would inevitably occur if #96 is irked: Homer getting his hands on authentic Viking artillery and destroying the shit out of his mortal enemies.

9. We believe in dancing with Lord Stanley in June. Period.

So, that's it. That's our game plan. We're just going to repeat this to ourselves at every juncture along the next several weeks and wait for the best. Got anything you'd like to add? I intentionally stopped at #9 for obvious reasons, but add away at the bottom of the post till we get to another benchmark number, and we'll tack on a codicil to the creed.

And now--because The Kitchen Sink applies not just to the Wings but also to TSO--we're pulling out all the stops, mixing some old favorites with some new jointz. Let's go, Wings:

04 March 2010

Ready for a neuie perspective?

One of our most favorite friends, saraneuie, has started her very own blog. We've been fortunate over the past couple of months to have her grace our blog with photos taken at the Joe by her and her cousin, Nurse Nitz. The title of the blog just might be the most kickass name yet: A Neuie Perspective. Check it out asap!

03 March 2010

At least we got rid of Andy Delmore right? A game recap.

As we all saw tonight, the game was absolute shit. The Wings, a team SUPPOSEDLY wanting to make the playoffs, came out and laid down in front of the Canucks. Bam. Loss. This kind of shit can’t happen this late in the season in this spot. It just can’t.

If you read Babcock’s post game comments I think it summarizes well how things went. That having been said, I’d like to present you with Brian’s “You were terrible at hockey tonight and I REALLY wish you’d given a shit, therefore I‘d like to take a shit on your head” list. Similar to a shit list, but less clich├ęd.

1. Niklas Kronwall. I know you folks love him, and I do as well….but what the fuck tonight, sir?

2. TSN’s announcers. Since the game was on NHL Network we were officially banned from the FSD feed, and TSN’s announcers suck my shit. I hate how they refer to Henrik and Daniel Sedin as “Henrik” or “Daniel”. They have last names, fuck-o. I know it would be difficult to tell apart if you did that, but INCLUDE the first name. It's not that hard.

3. Gary Bettman. Permanent inclusion on any biggest villian/needs to be on the business end of my runs list.

4. Jonathan Ericsson. Has he played hockey before?

5. Todd Bertuzzi. I’ll turn coat this quick - I’m not extremely con-Tuzzi. But he could not have been a bigger sack of useless out there. If he had tried to just do something simple, like...be a table tonight...he would’ve found a way to fuck that up, too. I’m convinced he should not be paid more than $12.75 an hour. For anything.

Having mentioned what a fuckwad Bert was tonight, and the trade deadline having just passed, I’d like to present my SECOND LIST-- things I would take in return in a trade for Todd Bertuzzi:

1. Any draft pick
2. 8 hockey sticks
3. Subway coupons
4. Pulled pork BBQ sandwich
5. Postage to mail him wherever he gets sent
6. Mange
7. Scabies
8. George W. Bush
9. Tim Cheveldae
10. A copy of Mariah Carey’s movie Glitter

The list could go on. A quick note of clarification about the pulled pork BBQ sandwich--it doesn’t even have to be a good one. A microwave one is fine. We’re desperate.

Humpty Dance Hump Day.

BULLETIN ALERT NUMBER ONE: If you're attending the Herm 2 Hockeytown pregame party at Hockeytown Cafe and haven't paid Jen, do so NOW. You have until this Friday, March 5th, unless you simply want us to pour one out for you in your absence.

BULLETIN ALERT NUMBER TWO: If you haven't seen this already, hop on over to The Production Line, where our pals have encouraged us all to open our wallets one more time to give to the kiddies. Go ahead and pledge $2 per goal for a game or two--or pledge to pay up if your favorite player succeeds. Or, come up with a complicated combination of both and drive Petrella crazy like someone who will not be mentioned did. I'm...ashamed...

A change of pace, eh? We're well on our way to exhausting the alliterative "W", so why not give hump day a try? (That's what we said.)

Today's question:

Which in-person hockey experience has the most meaning for you, and why?

This can be a game you attended, a game you played, or, if you've never been to a live hockey game, it can be your hopes and dreams for your first in-person experience (and we hope it'll be when you join us for some H2H magic).

I didn't have to think long about my answer. I've been to three games at the Joe, and while each was a special experience, I have to choose my very first hockey game as the memory that means the most to me.

It was February 16, 2007, a Friday night, during my first, epic trip to visit Brian in Omaha. I did not follow hockey at the time, nor did I know much about it beyond what I saw in passing during the Olympics. Brian, meanwhile, had been a fan since childhood, so while we were planning my first trip out there, he tentatively mentioned catching a University of Nebraska at Omaha game. I say "tentatively" because Brian had made a tremendously sweet effort to plan things that would be special for me, as it was my first time visiting Nebraska, and he wanted to make sure I enjoyed everything on our agenda.

My thought process for deciding whether I wanted to go was simple:

1. Do I get to act a fool via cheering?
2. Subsequently, do you embarrass easily?

Number two was necessary because we were still in the wee days of our relationship, and we didn't have a breadth of in-person experience with one another (read: we'd been on exactly two dates and a handful of group outings before he moved to another time zone).

Needless to say, I opted to go to the game.

The UNO Mavericks took on the Ohio State Buckeyes that night. The first thing that comes to mind when I remember this night is falling in love with the game on the spot. The raucous, electric atmosphere that accompanies most college sports was palpable, only imagine taking an enthusiastic Saturday afternoon at a college football stadium (say, 'Hoos v. the motherfucking Hokies, and I sure am looking at you, Mr. Norris Trophy) and multiplying it by a hundred because the fans are so much closer to the action and to one another. The excitement of what was happening on the ice, combined with the crowd's energy, the mix of gracefulness and aggressiveness, and the sheer beauty of seeing a goal scored: How could I resist falling in love with hockey?

Furthermore, I discovered that night that hockey fans are awesome. During the second intermission, I made friends with the gentlemen sitting to my left; recognizing my hillfolk twang as not exactly being Nebraskan, they asked where I was from, to which I replied, "West Virginia." They then proceeded to tell me about the time thirty years ago when they went to "Reston, Virginia," a suburb of DC, for job training and how their training hadn't allowed enough time for them to tour the capital itself. Normally, the failure of my conversation companions to recognize the Dub-Vee as its own state irreversibly shrivels a portion of my soul; this time, however, I recognized something important about my hockey brethren: They will talk to anyone about anything. Why? Because we instantly recognize one another as kickass human beings, simply from the preliminary knowledge that we prioritize our life as follows:

1. Sex
2. Hockey
3. Food
4. Interpersonal relationships
5. Kids
6. Gainful employment
7. Sanitary awareness of one's own person

And you know, it really works out well: For example, if a hockey game is on, but you've missed dinner, you tough it out until intermission. If a hockey game is on and you realize you haven't showered in four days, tough shit. Go big or go the fuck home. If your children don't understand the value of getting the fuck out of the way of the TV during overtime, guess who's going to stay at Grandma's for a week or ten? That's right: Unless it's hot, rabid sex which warrants DVR-ing the game for later viewing, nothing gets between hockey fans and the game.

Bottom line: That game changed my life. It started the course that brought me to this point, presenting you with blather and sharing the Red Wings love. Not to mention it brought the relationship between the other half of TSO and myself to another dimension--since my conversion, we enjoy the sport together, as fans. (Obviously, we're not encouraging the merging of all hobbies/interests with those of your significant other; the After-School Special Department of TSO encourages us to remind you to maintain your own identity for the duration of all romantic endeavors. For fuck's sake, do you really think I make myself suffer through Ballin' B's horrible audio compilation of the Shins' greatest hits?)