28 April 2010

I cannot write intelligently about this right now

Round one - Fin.

Up next, San Jose. Sirs, you don't want this. You really don't, I promise. A Red Wings team playing like they did tonight....You don't want that. You really want to play Pavel Datsyuk when he's in "Fuck you, I'm Pavel Datsyuk" mode? You want playoff Hank? You want '70 Goals' Heatly trying to break Jimmy? You want to deal with a slightly competent Todd Bertuzzi?

The answer to all those questions, of course, if no. The Sharks can't like this tonight.

Wings nation gets to go to bed happy tonight. A great game in every way. Max effort from, oh, everyone. Even the worst players for us on the ice tonight were only above average instead of 'I just jizzed in my pants' amazing. Bryzgalov was great tonight in facing 50 shots and it wasnt nearly enough.

Fuck yes. Go Wings! I can't even begin to write something intelligible about this game yet. Thursday can't get here soon enough.

27 April 2010

Game Sev--Can I actually type the rest?

Last night I had the weirdest dream: I was the co-proprietor of a Red Wings blog, only I hadn't written a thing for it in nearly two weeks. I awoke in a cold sweat, my heart racing, my hair matted to my face, and I began forlornly crying out to the night winds.

Somewhere, I like to imagine, mine and Homer's night howls crossed paths.

This is what happens when your life--specifically, all the things that serve as buzzkills to your life--plants itself in the way of your more awesome pastimes.

And here we are, friends, at an all-or-nothing crossroads: the brink of the detested Game 7. How did we get to this point? More to the point, how is it that the Wings--a team barreling through the home stretch of the regular season like a pubescent boy with a fuck pass to the girls' locker room--have managed to find themselves pushed to the brink by a team that, for all its grit and grind and gusto, has not been insolvable for the Wings when the Wings pack their A-game?

In short, I have no fucking idea.

I watched the games just like the rest of you. I saw the Wings lose Game 1 in a close rout. I cheered during Game 2 when Hank sent curly fries and wet dreams to all from the high desert. I watched the Wings play a lackluster game last Sunday and again come up short, only to tie up the series once more with Jimmy's first career playoff shutout in Game 4. And on Friday, my drunk ass celebrated the Wings taking the lead in the series for the first time yet with grab-assing and drowning my hoorays in Jameson.

And then Game 6 happened. The Wings had a chance to close out the series at home. And they didn't. With a few short exceptions, there was little to no sustained pressure or coherence in the Wings' play, short of the first few minutes of the first period.

The few short exceptions:

1. Pavel Datsyuk, the ultimate playmaker, was responsible for the Wings' first goal due to his amazing vision on the ice. Fucking spectacular.

2. Henrik Zetterberg had one decent chance when he battled along the boards behind the net and plowed to the front with the puck.

3. Patrick Eaves played briefly like he remembered how awesome he was during the regular season for a couple of shifts during the Wings' various penalty kills during the second period.

4. Justin Abdelkader has played this entire series like a kid who belongs in the big house, and for that, we love him all the more than we already did.

But all in all, it wasn't enough. We can easily pick out goats from Sunday's game: Brad Stuart, despite scoring on the beautiful pass from Datsyuk, committed irreversible mistakes. Furthermore, I believe I caught Johan Franzen's face on a milk carton recently. And our penalty kill on Sunday? About as successful as karmic justice laying the proverbial smackdown on Marian Hossa. And didn't you just fucking know that the streak would be broken as soon as NBC flashed the graphic at the bottom stating we'd killed 19 consecutive penalties in the series?

So, what do we do now to bide our time until go-time tonight? This is the point in the post where I typically lighten the tone with a mindless video or a list of facetious tenets about our experience as Wings fans. But it just doesn't feel right.

I know I'm far from alone when I say that I'm not ready for a Game 7. I'm especially not ready for a first-round Game 7 in a series in which we've watched our team alternately play balls to the wall, then like a bag of ass. I lay awake until almost 3 a.m. last night, the nauseated knot in my stomach growing from a tangerine to a pomelo. (Impressed? Don't be. I don't know what the fuck that even means.)

The boys at The Triple Deke made one of the most honest and succinct points about the way many of us (my hand's raised here, too) initially react with our team's backs against the wall:
Go back and read some interviews or watch some video on some of these guys' reactions to getting knocked out of the playoffs and tell me it was because of "heart." Did Stuart fuck away a turnover because he doesn't care, or because of bad decision making? I think I'll take the latter....All too often I'm seeing trash comments that those same people dog on other team's bandwagon fans for, and it's embarrassing. I can be as pessimistic as the next guy, but dammit I don't act like I'm better than the fucking team.
Reading that post was the verbal equivalent of taking a deep breath/Quaalude/choose your own panacea. I tend to prepare myself for the worst-case scenario in order not to be disappointed--or wrong--in the face of said worst-case scenario. But after reading TTD's calling-out of babycrying, I had to ask myself: If we give up believing in our team before Game 7 even begins, what does that say about our fandom? Tonight, we'll gather our lucky charms (in this case, I'm pulling out the #19) and gear down for a great night of hockey. I refuse to leave my seat and exit the (proverbial) arena until the clock has run out, whatever the result may be. Otherwise, what the fuck is the point?

Let's go, Wings.

20 April 2010

Finally, a complete game

Tonights game was an actual playoff like effort for the Wings, so that was nice to see. You're not going to get a great deal of insight tonight, as it was a pretty stellar effort by everyone involved. Helm flew around and played like playoff Helm does. Zetterberg played like playoff Hank. Pav had more shoot. Jimmy looked great. Kronwall didn't drink before the game and looked good (prior to the game, I thought the best we could hope for was "not a total abortion", as he's been for the rest of the series; which sucks to say because I love Kronner). The biggest disappointment was that Drew Miller did not pound the shit out of Vernon Fiddler when he had the chance. So instead of intense post game recap action, I will give you a run down of the ridiculous shit Natalie and I do during the game:

1. Watched Jeopardy during the first intermission. I ran the MLB category; she outsmarted me in everything else (as per usual).

2. We also tuned into a bit of the Ottawa/Pittsburgh tilt; as we had a vauge interest in that series for reasons only we comprehend. Anyway, Alfredsson pots a beautiful one timer goal where a super acrobatic Fluery ALMOST made the save. My comment:

"You know who also would NOT have made that save? Regular season "I don't grasp lateral movement" Ozzie"

A good time was had by all.

3. We got irationally mad at Mickey for babbling on like a drunkard about the Filpula non-goal. Natalie was especially impressed with the crowd chanting "bullshit" though; as we're both big fans of rythmic swearing.

4. I've now taken to yelling "DOUGHY!!!!!" everytime Jimmy makes a save; or even chanting it when he's on a roll. Thanks for the image guys from The Triple Deke and Serven. But seriously, wow. Whatever works. I love Jimmy. Its nice to have a goaltended you KNOW can steal a big game when you need him to. Jimmy is intense, he loves what he does, loves Detroit.....my next jersey? Probably Jimmy. I really do love the kid. So yelling "DOUGHY!!!!!" I mean in a totally endearing way. Just wanted to get that heard before the jury.

A great, great game tonight Wings. Congratulations on your shutout Jimmy. Lets all do this again Friday.

15 April 2010

Its the god damn playoffs....

....play like it. Not fucking good enough tonight sirs.

This was, however, the perfect cap for an unadulterated dumpster fire of an afternoon. So thanks Wings for putting forth little effort after period number one. Thanks for making the Phoenix power play look like the 80's style Oilers.

But seriously - not good enough. By most everyone (everyone not named Nick, Hank, Pav, or Homer). Biggest slack ass of the night award:

Johan Franzen

Seriously guy, I love you, but I think you set our ginger movement back about 50 years tonight (I began to wonder if gingers in fact do NOT have souls). You could not have possibly played like any bigger of a wuss tonight. Crash the net you bullish mule fuck. YOUR GOOD AT THAT.

Too much to talk about here. I'm sure Nat will put forth something more intelligible tomorrow.

13 April 2010

Stop! It's the mothafuckin playoffs.


Holy fuck.

It's finally here. All those months of agony and ecstasy, pleasure and pain, boners and buzzkills--and now we get to do it all over again.

It's a great day to be a hockey fan.

More specifically, it's a great day to be a Red Wings fan. My favorite Red Wings hat is perched atop my desk for all to see. (I triple-dog-dare a horrible Pens' fan to stroll in here and say a word--one. fucking. word.) Jerseys will be worn on casual sex Fridays. Red will be worn on every other game day during the workweek. Brian will be holding down the Winged Wheel in Atlantic City this Friday, sporting his jersey and always-awesome red stubbly pre-beard.

We're pulling out the big guns for the postseason, and we hope you'll join us. That's right: Get out your talismans, voodoo dolls, nipple-clamps and electro-powered boxsprings and come along for the ride.

First things first: Following the Olympic break, we instituted a creed here to get us in the zone for the final stretch of the regular season. Now, with a few tweaks and additions, we present you the following:

The Even More Newly Minted TSO Creed: Uber-Special Playoff Edition

1. We believe in the power of the 19th consecutive year the Wings have made the playoffs.

2. We believe Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Valtteri Filppula, and Tomas Holmstrom are on a white-hot roll and are just warming up, for sure.

3. We believe in the power of Jimmy Howard, rookie extraordinaire, to stop pucks with his aura. (Do the pucks even touch him?!)

4. We believe it's now Dan Cleary's lot in life to make Brian James look like a complete jackass. (It's working!)

5. We still believe in Mike Babcock. Period.

6. We believe in the unmatched awesomeness of our blueline, as well as our forwards who own both ends of the ice. (If someone's reading this who doesn't believe in that, I will fucking KRONWALL your ass.)

7. We believe in Patrick Eaves notching a Gordie Howe hat trick at some point during the Wings' playoff run. (And, since shootouts are a no-go, there will be no #Eavesing of oneself, only of others, which is not only tolerated but wholeheartedly encouraged.)

8. We still believe in the kill.

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

Game 1 versus the Phoenix Coyotes is tonight. Moments like right now are when I most wish I had a DeLorean. Why? So I could travel back to nine months ago, before I knew that the Coyotes would even stay in Phoenix, let alone make the playoffs, and place some huge bets. It's as surprising as my realization last weekend, approximately 20 years late, that I rock at batting left-handed. (Don't laugh. I had a painful childhood. My therapist tells me it's ok to say that in the face of adversity.)

The playoffs are such a magical time of the year. In addition to watching the Wings do their thing, there are so many other fascinating matchups to track. Home crowds ablaze in team colors, players trash-talking the opposition. Lots of #FuckYeah to go around. That brings me to our Wednesday question this week:

Which non-Wings quarterfinal pairing (either Conference) most interests/excites/titillates you?

I'm sure that Brian's answer will be Pittsburgh/Ottawa because of how much he loooves Ottawa. [Insert eye roll, for the sarcastically-challenged.]

Other than the Wings, I'm most looking forward to watching the Chicago/Nashville series. Division rivals who both play exciting, tight hockey; however, both teams still have their textbook "What ifs?" hanging over their heads. Will the Hawks' offensive power be too much for the Preds? Or will Rinne stand tall and give Chicago a run for their money? The Preds are one of those teams that come on strong against tough opponents and scare the shit outta me every time the Wings play them. That being said, you know whose side we'll be on. (Sorry, K of C.)

What say the rest of you? Who are you looking forward to watching?

Finally, per the usual, some standbys to get us really, really pumped:

07 April 2010

The one where Dan Cleary gives a big "fuck you, jackass!" to me

So i'm officially convinced Dan Cleary reads this blog. In my last post, I made some.....radical claims about one Mr. Dan Cleary. Specifically, I stated over the past few games, he had been outplayed at forward by Derek Meech. It was an admittedly poorly fleshed out point, as I don't feel I conveyed a key point - I don't hate Dan Cleary. I dig the things he does. He's a grinder, and he has alot of heart. He plays hurt and does the dirty work. I stick by the core of my thought that over a period of, oh, two games, Meech outplayed him. Cleary hasn't had a great season at all....

That havinbg been said - I am left with no choice but to think that he reads this, and I made him angry, therefore he set out on a quest to make me look like a complete jackass. And he's succeeded. And I couldn't be happier.

Since I wrote the blasphemous words about Dan, he's been on a serious heater. He at times looked like he was shot out of a cannon during the Philly game, and he scored a good goal tonight. He's looked great. So Dan, if you read this - I apologize. I shouldn't have doubted you. And to Wings fans - you're welcome. I take all responsibility for him playing well. I'm not saying its all me, but yes, I made this happen. ME. Or maybe Cleary is just good. Whatever.

Thoughts on tonights game:

1. Don't you feel for Steve Mason and Rick Nash? I mean, Mason has found his game again. Nash plays a good game. All of it wasted in Columbus. Demand a trade or something guys. Columbus is a shit hole anyway.

2. I think Nat may have shit herself just a bit when Eaves got in a fight. A pretty bad ass moment if you ask me. We need someone like that.

3. So i'm sure some of you are in the same boat as we are between periods - We sometimes skip the intermission show. I feel like Mickey York is yelling at me, nothing exciting normally happens.....so we watch something else during intermission. I'm ninja like stealthy with the remote too; always back in time for the start of the next period. Anyway, tonight I switched over to the History Channel (or something like it) and they had a show called "Life After People". I had seen the special before, but not the actual series. Tonights episode - what happens to bodies after everyones dead? Interesting topic. So I tuned in....and it was NOTHING like the description. Old dudes talking about eating 10,000 year old mastodon meat. Apparently in the 30's they found some at one of the poles. And they ate it. Surprisingly, they said it didn't taste good. I can't imagine why. At the time, it was insanely bizarre that this actually happened....

4. I could be a total crazy person, but I swear I saw TPL Mom when they showed a late view of the crown. Can anyone confirm this? I'm probably crazy.

5. An up and down effort tonight, but Flip, Hank, Z, Homer, and Mule all had great nights. Our best players are playing like it....look out world. As Drew has stated very well at NOHS - I find it hard to believe anyone wants to face the Wings in the first round. You'd be crazy to want that.

6. Underrated athletic feat - The Bell Tire mascot tire thing, in the new Belle Tire commercial....he has some mad ups. You know, at the end, when he hops from the floor to the stack of tires. In proportion to the size of the mascot, thats high up for him, and he leaps up WITH ROOM TO SPARE. Maybe the New Jersey Nets should give that kid a tryout....

7. Murph seems especially drunk tonight. I love Murph, he's a great announcer, and he seems like a nice guy.....but watching him slur over "assertive" and "solvent" tonight - wow.

8. The playoffs are oh so close. I, for one, can't wait. Go Wings. Oh, and a parting video, because I can (and its hilarious to me; for the first minute or so anyway):

06 April 2010

Holy shit, Homer!

Per Khan (and an extra-special high-five to saraneuie for the link), TSO's most favorite, Tomas Holmstrom, is the Wings' nominee for the Masterton Trophy, which is officially the League's award for most "sportsmanship, leadership and perseverance", or, as we like to say around these parts, being the biggest fucking boss that we've seen thus far.

Homer, man of so many poetic words, summarized his elation at learning of his nomination thusly:
"Oh, I'm honored,'' Holmstrom said.
This isn't your first trip to town. You know exactly how TSO feels about Homer. We jumped up and down for joy when Homer scored career goal #200 in December. We made him a get-well card and promised to pour out some MD 20/20 upon learning of his injury. I changed all the fucking pictures on this site to Homer's while he was sidelined. I got arrested but never indicted for that time I got stuck in Homer's cul-de-sac in the middle of the night with a flashlight, a crowbar, and a Jultomten costume. Bottom line: Homer rocks our socks.

With that in mind, I present you the following:

TSO's Open Letter to the Powers-That-Be Behind the Scenes

To Whom It May Concern:

It has recently been brought to the attention of The Scrappy Octopus that the scrappiest motherfucker ever, Tomas Holmstrom, is eligible to be named as a finalist for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

We understand that in order to keep up appearances, you still have to announce three finalists--you know, in an effort to coddle egos and create a pseudo-element of surprise. We fully expect that come June, the award will be Homer's.

In the interim, please ponder the following reasons why TSO believes it is in your best interests to hand the award over to #96:

1. First, the obvious: the location of Homer's office. Do you know what it's like to go to work every day in the absolute direst of environments? Probably not. Your office is most likely located in a cushy canopy of daffodils and rainbows. Imagine going to work every day on a train ride to hell with fire-roasted seats and the sound of Rosie O'Donnell's laughter playing on a continuous loop on the loudspeaker, forcing you to pray for the train to reach its destination, only when the train opens its doors, you find this waiting for you:

And sometimes, you get this instead:

And on really shitty days, you might come across this:

Yeah. Them apples fucking suck ass, don't they?

2. Homer's primary task is to plant his derriere in the faces of opposing goaltenders in the hopes of screening them from seeing shots or positioning himself for a quick deflection into the back of the net. To put this into perspective, imagine giving a grinding lapdance to this guy:

Kinda looks like the type who may or may not get a boner from the delightful combination of solitude, strychnine, and scrotum surface area.

3. Homer started off this year in a blaze of glory. Remember that time, not so far in the distant past, when he led the team in goals? For Christ's sake, he notched an assist on each of the three Wings' goals scored in the outing against Nashville this past Saturday. He has arguably been the most consistent player in terms of production on the team during this rollercoaster-shitfest of a year, despite being sidelined on two separate occasions due to injuries.

4. Homer's always doing work. Always. He works his ass off along the boards. He is one of the least polished skaters on the team, but how many games do we all watch him lumbering down the ice at Homer-mach-five to attempt to negate an untimely icing call or to outwrangle some asshole for control of the puck? The correct answer is every fucking game. If that's not perseverance, then fuck me sideways.

The bottom line is that in terms of surpassing expectations and in maintaining his work ethic and production in spite of adversarial circumstances this season, Homer's done it all. Somewhere deep down, you've gotta believe that his determination served as an inspiration to his teammates along the way, particularly as the Wings struggled with so many injuries this season.

So, in short, give him the fucking trophy. You don't really want to deal with a pair of scrappy octopi in Jultomten costumes at your door, do you?

We trust that you'll make the appropriate decision.

Very respectfully yours, for sure,
The Scrappy Octopus

01 April 2010


A little Jay and Silent Bob shout out in the title. Your welcome. Grant Clitsome. I'm sorry, but at every age, that name should be funny. Maybe I just never grew up; and i'm ok with that.

So about tonight's game:

1. Jimmy! Other than his, um, errant pass, leading to the first goal, our boy Jimmy was great tonight. At tons of points, this kid saved our fuckin' bacon. Haven't we sort of become accustomed to this?

2. Why did Jimmy have to save our bacon? Beacuse of sloppy play early. Periods of the game were dominated by the Wings at both ends of the ice, however, several horrible sloppy turnovers and general shite led to several good chances. Thank god it was Columbus and not someone, you know, good.

3. JIMMY!!!

4. Man, Steve Mason got the shit knocked out of him several times didn't he? Good game by him. Thank god for us he plays for Columbus. Other than Mike "rollin' in dough" Commodore, I dare you to name two other defensemen for this team.

5. Bert's "Goal" - that wasn't actually a goal right? Thoughts from everyone on this one? To me - not a goal. I'm with Murph on that one. Odd that i'm siding with the drunk guy. Did you see Bert talking to Murph during the video review? I'm dying to know what thats about. What would they talk about? Did Bert compliment Murph's sweet tie tonight? Was it a mini-intervention for Murph? Were they discussing Bert's lack of teeth? My curiousity gets the best of me.

6. When is Jimmy getting a rest? Since he had the Olympic break off, does he even need a rest? TSO PREDICTION - Sunday vs Philly, we see the return of Oz.

7. When Val got ran into the boards late in the game.....wern't you a little disappointed no one went after Methot? What the fuck is a Methot anyway? I mean, it was kind of a maybe bordering on shitty hit. This would never be allowed to happen if Todd Bertuzzi were still alive.

8. Every line is clicking right now. Isn't that a great feeling? The top two lines? Amazing. Bottom two? Doing what they do well. Which leads me to....

9. CONTROVERSIAL STATEMENT ALERT! I'd REALLY like some of our hockey playing readers opinion on this. I know your out there. I've never been the biggest fan of Dan Cleary. Nice guy, generally a pretty hard worker. A grinder. He does the dirty work. I get his value. To me, the things he does, I think others do them better. Doesn't make him a bad guy, he just is what he is. To me, thats a third or fourth liner; and by that I mean fourth liner. But he's generally rocking on the second line. I hope when he comes back Babs doesn't break up that current line. Anyway, to the controversial statement......

Hasn't Meech looked better at forward these past few games than Cleary was before he got hurt?

Just my observation. Meech is very serviceable at forward, which makes you wonder why he just doesn't convert. Anyway, to me, he's played better of late. He takes care of the puck, has some speed and a shot. He grinds in corners and hits. Maybe he isnt quite as strong, but to me, things are humming with him there in a way that they may not necessarily when Cleary's there skating into the zone, peeling off to the wing, and turning the puck over. I dunno. Its one guys take. Thoughts from the hockey playing contingent out there? I know Cleary would NEVER sit in lieu of Meech when he comes back, and maybe thats correct. I just know what i've thought over the past few games.....

Overall, not a lot to complain about. The Wings pain train keeps on a truckin. #fuckyeah!