25 May 2010

TSO's 20 tips to Steve for great success as GM

So, Steve Yzerman is the new GM in Tampa.

As I witnessed a bit on Twitter today there was some, um, mixed reactions. It's a bit sad, sure, but I think in the end we're all in the same boat - it stinks to see him go, but we're happy. We support him. Best wishes, Stevie. We celebrate you.

Along the line of being supportive, we here at TSO would like to offer up Steve some tips on winning favor with the city of Tampa. As you may know, Tampa is a big time retirement city chocked full of retirees. So, Steve, here are TSO's tips to win the favor of Tampa fans and endear yourself to the fanbase (items with an '*' are courtesy of Nat):

1. Make the stadium smell like mothballs.

2. Opening night puck drop done by Matlock.

3. Opening night national anthem courtesy of Angela Lansbury*.

4. All games start at 8 p.m. to accommodate Wheel of Fortune and the early bird special at Denny's.*

5. More specialized team logo merchandise. More specifically, team logo catheters and Hoverounds! (Catheters given away at Fan Appreciation Night.)

6. Move all team-sanctioned activities to local American Legion*

7. Tweak the Toast of Hockeytown concept to "Bingo with the Bolts!"*

8. Make the stadium more accessible to fans by somehow making sure people don't have to walk 15 miles to the stadium. Barefoot. In the snow. Uphill both ways.

9. Christmas charity donations to needy tots involve bundles of Susan B. Anthony dollars and horehound lozenges*

10. New specials in the concession stand involve tapioca, Geritol, and free Polident samples*

11. Intermission entertainment will be live feed of Larry King

12. Ice Girls in old school throwback poodle skirts*

13. Season ticket purchase now includes complimentary burial plot and team logo-embossed casket (logo headstone extra)*

14. Offer free clinics in name pronounciation so they can not refer to Russian players as "Reds" or "them commie bastards"

15. Revamp 3rd jersey to be old school actual sweaters, crocheted by the Red Hat Society*

16. Charity food drives will now accept only self-canned food

17. Give octogenarian Lightning fans a renewed sense of purpose and self-worth by bringing in Chris Chelios to be Steve's right hand man*

18. Rig the Jumbotron to include the Weatherbug application because you need to be aware of post game weather. You know, so you can know whether to ride your Rascal with the top down or not*

19. Onsite orthopedic hip surgeon. This speaks for itself.

20. Turn down that damn music, you hippie sound guy!

So, there you have it. We know Steve knows hockey, so hopefully these tips can provide him some direction in the things he may not know as much about.

Best of luck, Steve!

06 May 2010

Let's make sure this is adequately bloated.

I'm pretty sure somewhere Dany Heatly just demanded a trade.

So the Wings have staved off elimination for another day, winning tonight fuck you-1. A statement game that San Jose didn't seem to care about. And why should they? They are up 3-1. The Wings have to win three in a row, an extremely tough task against this San Jose team. Who knows if they can pull it off, but it was nice to watch the effort tonight. It's good when you can see your team move up and down the ice with ease and know that they can pretty much do whatever they want on the ice. We've not seen that Wings team often enough through the playoffs; I'm glad it happened tonight.

Since we've received some feedback stating this site doesn't provide much in the way of game analysis (and we at the Scrappy Octopus take all complaints seriously), allow us to provide our take on the game:

The Sharks shit the bed. Oh, and Joe Thornton acted a fool. Great leadership, guy.

So there you have it. It's simple when you break it down scientifically. Now, the Wings still have a huge hole to climb out of. It's going to be hard. McLellan is an amazing coach. Marleau, Thornton, Pavelski, Blake...it's a talented group. All the right role players. It's going to be a tough road. Tonight, however, the Wings started the first step in that process - they won tonight.

Three more guys. Oh, and Nat wanted me to quote her on something: "Abdelkader's fight was very Downey-like". Her words, not mine (though I feel her on that one). I'm pretty sure if Abby's right would've connected, it would've killed a guy.

Go Wings. Let's get this done.

05 May 2010

"I don't want to talk about it."

So said Homer in his FSD interview during the first intermission, specifically in reference to the garbage goal we coughed up to San Jose in, literally, the last seconds of the first period, after playing a commandingly strong game at both ends of the ice.

And that's how I've felt during this entire series.

Because how can we really talk about it?

Take yesterday's game. Yeah, we killed off all six penalties, had a chance at a penalty shot, scored four goals (one of which was overturned), all of which were scored by our typical postseason rockstars, and managed to show up in the faceoff circle. So, what the fuck happened?

Various people during my workday ask me how the Wings are doing during playoff runs. Smart move by them, as it's really all I'm capable of discussing during the spring months. My new-ish coworker is a complete and total sweetheart (yeah, yeah, my polar opposite--the joke pretty much makes itself); she has absolutely no interest in hockey, but she always makes a point to ask me how the games go.

In order to express my angst, I've sketched a little interpretive ditty of each conversation thus far following each game in Round 2:

And then...

And, in anticipation of talking to her tomorrow:

And yeah, for those of you who don't already Facebookstalk me, I am actually a purple troll with unkempt pencil hair.

I have no words to describe adequately and completely how I'm feeling right now. Angry? Of course. Frustrated? You bet. Nervous? Sure.

Despite the Wings' lack of cohesive play at various times throughout the season, I was in no way, shape or form mentally prepared to watch them give up the goals they gave up last night. I'm further in no way, shape or form prepared to deal with being down 3-0 in the series against a team that I've lambasted as a disappearing act the likes of which are incomparable unless Marian Hossa's present. It's such a scary set of numbers, isn't it? What does this even feel like? How is it that the Sharks have capitalized on every single instance of the proverbial "letting our feet off the gas" in this series? This is the composition of TSO's current existential funk.

It's amazing how far a 3-0 series deficit and a white-hot team like the Sharks can foster hatred in the heart of someone who already hates plenty as it is. Do I have any real reason to hate San Jose? Not especially. There's no equivalent of cockface extraordinaires Matt Cooke or Georges Laraque or Chris Pronger on the team to whom I can easily point and jeer, "Yeah, look at all those assholes at the HP Pavilion, cheering for that motherfucking prick." Speaking of the HP Pavilion, it's amazing how much the denizens of Silicon Valley show up for that team. Aside from the superlame shark jaw motion they do to rile up the team (because what's more invigorating than seeing someone munch his/her entire arms in your general vicinity? A whole bunch of nothing, that's what.) and the superlamer Styx-esque sound effects they play after announcing the names of goal-scorers, I have to tip my hat to a city that gets behind its team. Furthermore, the team as a whole has refused to get shaken up, even when down 3-1 for much of yesterday's game. And for fuck's sake, the laser-haired Todd McLellan is a former Babcockian acolyte. There's so much NOT to hate about this team...

...but I do, anyway, for the time being. Sorry if you disagree, kids, but perhaps you're stronger people than I. Right now, there's little more I hate than San Jose. Major-league genocide? Yeah, that's probably worse than the Sharks. People who cram their religious views down other people's throats? Yeah, they suck at life a tad bit more, as well. Uninvited rimjobs? Welllllll...that might be pushing it.

For crunch time during the last series, I put on my Pollyanna hat and professed my staying in my proverbial seat until the final seconds of Game 7. Obviously, the same is true for all of us in this situation, except instead of knowing that our team's fate will be determined in 60 +/- minutes from the first puck drop, in our only good-case scenario, we have four sets of 60 +/- minutes to endure. For residents of Hockeytown at Large, it means an awful lot of nail-biting, whiskey-guzzling, nipple-clamping, tears, and cheers until time runs out in Game 7. Hopefully, there are more cheers than tears.

P.S. One final thought on last night's game: I would have bet Patrick Marleau's eyebrows against him scoring the game-winning goal last night. One of the fine details that chaps my ass the most about this series is the fact that Marleau and Thornton have each scored game-winners against us after being mostly invisible for the duration of the postseason. Fuck me sideways.