28 February 2010

I bought $15 worth of lottery tickets yesterday.

No shit.

Yesterday was the best/oddest day I can remember in a LONG time.

Brian and I began our afternoon by traveling about various malls and stores in our area, searching for a Team USA jersey. We're headed to BWW today to watch the game (and pouring one out for Team America is quintessentially American, yes?).

We didn't really have high expectations for our quest. As I've written before, our area of the world has only started paying attention to hockey with the advent of the Pens' success, little girls' (and boys') crushes on Sid the Kid, and people having wet dreams imagining themselves capable of Ovechkian feats on the ice.

So, what did we find?

1. A Team Russia Ovechkin jersey
2. A Team Canada Crosby jersey
3. A Team USA Orpik T-shirt

Now, I will fully concur with the guys over at TPL that Orpik, as one of a handful of "relative enemies" (isn't that terminology oh-so-appropriate?), has worked his ass off and deserves our admiration.

But going so far as to wear a T-shirt with his name on it? Sorry, no dice. I have many levels of hatred, and while Orpik doesn't incur the full-tilt wrath that others receive, I'd still rather wear a shirt composed of bat barf and possum pubes. That's just how I roll.

Defeated, we had run out of places to look in and around our shopping nucleus until it dawned on Brian: We should check out this souvenir store in Breezewood, Pennsylvania.

Now, let me tell you a little bit about Breezewood, PA. It's about a half hour from where we live, and it's the point at which Interstate 70 merges with the Pennsylvania Turnpike. There is absolutely nothing there, no legitimate center of town or neighborhoods; it's nestled in the Southern Alleghenies, surrounded, most likely, by moonshiners and people who don't wait for deer season to show a 10-point buck who's boss. But because Breezewood is at a much-traveled crossroads, it looks like this:

And there, in that very picture, right behind the McDonald's sign, you see the place that will forever be known in TSO circles as The Greatest Store In The History Of Mankind.

We'd visited said store before when we were in the area; it's a hell of a place to go if you're a sports fan. You can definitely get your fill of Steelers' paraphernalia: drop $20, walk out with a mug that has the greatest hits of your local dialect, which consist of 50,000 different ways to drop "Yinz" and "nyeeeeat" into everyday conversation; a T-shirt with Big Ben's face enclosed in a heart; and a hat with long, flowing curls attached so you, too, can be Polamalu-gorgeous. The only things I haven't seen there that disappointed me a little are actual steel curtains, but I'm quite certain if you asked the owners about them, they'd probably pull some out of their basement or out of their own bathroom or something. In addition to Steelers' gear, they have various throwback jerseys from practically every NFL team ever over the last 40 years or so.

In recent times, they, too, have gotten into the spirit of the Pens' victory by building an extensive collection of merchandise, including an old-school Lemieux jersey and purses made to look like Crosby's and Fleury's jerseys. They even had a lineup of bobbleheads of each person from last year's roster holding the Stanley Cup. I thought about how awesome it would be to see this for the Wings and became intensely, almost violently, jealous.

We were about to leave disappointed and empty-handed because they had no Team USA merchandise whatsoever when Brian left me to go in another room of the store. He came back a few minutes later and said, "I have to see you right now." Confused, I offered, "I'm...here?" to which he replied, "No, you need to come with me right now."

Back in the other room, which, it turns out, is the clearance room, were a couple of authentic Red Wings jerseys. For a disgustingly low fraction of the price typically attached to them. And these were the real deal, too. We combed them over to look for any defects or anything weird, like a missing "T" in Hank's name or some sloppy stitching. Nothing.

Turns out, according to the co-owner, that they had ordered a shipment of Wings' jerseys in anticipation of the Stanley Cup Finals last year, to appease Michiganders who had passed through and commented that they'd like to see some Wings' gear. These represented the remnants of the supply, which hadn't sold as well as they'd initially anticipated, so now they're just anxious to get rid of them.

To ballpark how lucky we felt at being the ones to find them, let me say this: To find these jerseys, at that price, in an area that barely acknowledges hockey exists, particularly outside of the white-hot Penguins, was just astoundingly lucky. We felt like Jonathan Rhys Meyers at the end of Match Point. What are the odds?

With that, we raided every Sheetz in the tri-state area to procure lottery tickets. You don't just pass up a day like that without going for broke, right? Go big or go the fuck home.

FYI: If anybody happens to be traveling through Breezewood, there is a size 50 Lidstrom jersey waiting with your name on it. Check it out.

Canada - America's Hat. Fuck Canada, today only!

usThe patriotism runs deep today at the Octopus, and we could not be happier to be watching the gold medal game today while getting shit housed at the local bar (TSO readers - we hope you can be counted on for bail-related issues).

Today's game is going to be intense. As Petrella noted on his lovely post regarding the game, you notice that the general theme so far in this game is how America doesn't really have a chance; Canada is going to roll, etc. Yes, Canada has found another gear, but we did beat them. In this tournament. Last week. It did happen, promise.

Team Canada is better in just about every way on paper. They're deeper, more star power, more aged veterans, better coaching (have you ever heard the words "Man, Ron Wilson just outcoached".....used in a sentence?), better just about everything. Team USA, however, is the epitome of scrappy. They're young and hungry. They play well together, and, gasp, Ron Wilson has been a good leader for this team. (During one game broadcast, Roenick stated Wilson was "perfect for a short tournament." Being that it's JR I immediately ignored it because he is a jackass. I guess he was right.) Rafalski has been great, I've developed a new appreciation for Brooks Orpik (which will last for about another day, at which point I will return to hoping he catches herpes). Jack Johnson has been sitting, waiting, wishing for this forever (ha!). There have been many, many surprises in this tournament, but for me personally, the biggest one is how incredibly likable this team is. I remember Nagano, when the USA men's team trashed their rooms at the Olympics. Disappointing finish, and certainly not a likeable team, highlighted by such jackasses as Bill Guerin and Jeremy Roenick (and seriously, is any team which houses Guy Herbert going anywhere?).

Look, TSO has been, and always will be, American. I'll support America in any international athletic endeavour. This game feels a bit more special. The potential to beat the Canadians on their own soil. Canada, the country who acts as if Olympic gold in hockey is their birthright. An arrogance I feel is maddening. I wish nothing but the best for Babs and Stevie. I will feel bad if they lose, as they may not make it out of GM Place alive. But this game, this time.......USA! USA!!!!!

And now, two housekeeping items.

1. If Team USA wins this game, you can expect a TSO Brian dance number. It will happen. I already have it drunkenly choreographed....IN MY MIND.

2. A little something to get you pumped for the game. There is no better way. Skip ahead to the 1:39 mark:

25 February 2010

Hijinks on a random Thursday.

You know what blows goats?

Waking up on a Tuesday and excitedly thinking to yourself: "Yay, it's already Wednesday!" About ten seconds later comes the cold realization that it's not, in fact, already Wednesday, but just another shitass Tuesday.

Repeat the same for Wednesday...and again for Thursday.

It's been a looooooong week.

So, what better to do than to have another impromptu Reader Appreciation Day?

I had one once before, in my haste to thank the three new people who visited my blog and didn't live in the same ZIP code as me (back in those days, I'm pretty sure Brian didn't even read every post). For said Reader Appreciation Day, I promised various things, involving sexual innuendos and hallucinogens, to anybody who would listen.

Now I feel like we all just kinda deserve a little something to get us through this week. Fuck it, Sweden lost to the most horrible Slovaks last night, and Canada triumphed over the Russians, which makes me sad in my heart because I wanted Datsyuk to do well, but alas, it just wasn't in the cards.

So, here goes. I also promised this before, but promptly forgot, and thereby, failed to deliver. So, here goes. Levi Johnston and his, er, hockey stick:

(There's more out there that's NSFW, but I don't feel like posting it on here. Of course, you know we're the polar opposite of prudes, but I really don't want Levi's manass on the site. If you want to reward yourself with it, feel free to click here or here.)

Also, one more thing before you X out of this window and never return: Courtesy of my bestest, please click this to discover why an octopus is better than your mom. Your life will never be the same.

And finally, just because:

24 February 2010

Warrant Wednesday.

Per loyal TSO BFF Dena, we present you the following Wednesday question. Dena, I hope you approve of the song choice; the epiphany happened to me today while I was munching down on a yummy Filet-o-Fish (yep, Brian, I sure was singing the song to myself).

What superstitious and/or lucky game rituals do you have to ensure a Wings' victory?

Several of us were discussing this in the comments when Dena suggested we hash it out on here, so here goes.

Compared to the feats of several of our scrappy readers, I'm super lame; the only real in-person lucky article of clothing I've worn to the Joe two out of three times I've been, thus far, are a lucky pair of socks, which happen to be covered in shamrocks. I tried wearing a lucky pair of underwear, but we lost the second time I wore them--and, incidentally, I was NOT wearing the socks--so I guess those will just have to remain lucky in non-athletic endeavors.

That being said, I do have various superstitions regarding the process for watching a game at Buffalo Wild Wings. If it's boneless Thursday (boneless WINGS, sickos, sheesh), I'll order eight medium-hot Wings with ranch dressing. I have to order this every time if it's a Thursday. Also, I have to drink Blue Moon in succession until the end of the second intermission, at which point I order a Molson Canadian to enjoy during the third period. I get really nervous if our server doesn't come back in time for me to have this beer by the beginning of the third.

Further, I will not wear Brian's Yzerman jersey to BWW unless the team is in a secure position. It has nothing to do with the jersey itself; Brian has worn it plenty of times during games and with great success. He even wore it the first time we were at the Joe, which resulted in a bombardment of the Wild. But I wore it on those consecutive Saturdays last year when the Wings lost to the Predators, and then the Blue Jackets, 8-0 and 8-2, respectively. I've worn it out once since, and it resulted in a Wings' victory over the aforesaid BJs in Game 4 of the first round last year...but I remember rationalizing that it was ok to wear it because even if we lost, we'd still won three games already. So now I'm convinced that this jersey is, in fact, to be employed only in clutch situations; that's when I can harness the true power of its awesomeness.

Finally, I had a couple of rubber bracelets (you know, the sex kind) that had 2008 Stanley Cup champions on them, and I wore the red and white ones ALL THE TIME, including to a wedding. I never took them off. In fact, I proclaimed I would take them off only when the Wings won the Cup again, which, obviously they did not in 2009. Well, on New Year's Eve, I reevaluated the state of affairs this season and took a long look at the state of the bracelets. The writing had pretty much worn off, and the white one was actually looking kinda grody; because I'd never taken it off, it even had hair dye on it. So not cool. So, I made the painful decision to remove them...and the Wings won that night against Colorado. (Also, it's not for nothing that that was the night my bonercrush Ville scored his final goal scored for the Wings.)

Alas, I do still miss them, but part of loving something is letting it go, right?

And yeah, to answer the obvious subsequent question: This blog is being written by somebody who is, in fact, just a hand.

23 February 2010

Hijinks on an average Tuesday.

While dicking around the interwebs today, I realized we hadn't written a post in almost a week, so I shit my pants. Even for our self-proclaimed grade-A laziness, this is unacceptable. What kind of a sham is this site, anyway?

It got me to thinking. I'm too late to the party to write about Team USA's triumph over those dirty Canadians (although for awesome takes on said game, you should probably click here, here, and here).

I have absolutely nothing new to say about the Red Wings at large, mostly because I'm afraid any projections, whether optimistic or threatening, may jinx the team upon the return of NHL play.

It's not Wednesday, either, so I can't unleash one of our weekly questions on you. (Speaking of which, if any of you have any questions you'd like us to hash out on here, feel free to email them to us at TheScrappyOctopus@gmail.com, along with your wildest dreams and deepest, darkest secrets. You will get credit for your original thoughts, and if your dreams are wild enough and your secrets debauched enough, you may get an email response directly from Brian, who will, invariably, be typing pantslessly.)

So, what to do, what to do? Then, it hit me like a ton of scrotum-shaped bricks: Let's get back to basics by doing what we do best, shamelessly mocking others. Then I started pondering all the things I hate, and a couple of hours later, I remembered an old standby: the Scarlet Caps fan club. (You know, the Capitals-sponsored thingy in which we chicks are supposed to get our rocks off gazing at seductive pics of the roster, then we're supposed to enlighten our delicate minds with the intricacies of hockey terminology.)

Continuing my neurotic conversation with myself, I then wondered if I was being narrow-minded. After all, what kind of person am I if I can't be supportive of my sistren? I mean, what kind of hockey fan am I, anyway? How about you? Not sure? Well, grab your pencils and paper (even the fellas out there), and let's find out:

What kind of hockey fan am I?
...the tell-tale quiz

1. When I say icing, you think:

A. "What a cute name for a hockey term!"
B. "I'm going to cut that bitch who's staring at me right now."
C. "Oooh, Icing! I love that store in the mall. Wait, you thought I meant cake frosting? Oh, god, no; that would take me forever to purge."

2. The term five-hole conjures this thought:

A. "But...I don't get it. The goalie doesn't have five holes, does he?"
B. "No, seriously, I'm going to fucking cut that bitch who's staring at me right now."
C. "Five-hole? [Giggle.] OMG, that totally reminds me: Did I ever tell you about that time I got really wasted at a frat party?"

3. You're getting ready to go to a hockey game. Even though you're a casual fan, you peruse your wardrobe thoroughly for the perfect outfit:

A. You accidentally show up boasting the opposing team's dominant color. What, you're supposed to wear a certain color to support a specific team?
B. You can't remember what you wore, specifically, but it was guaranteed comfortable enough in case you had to throw down during intermission.
C. You approach the game the way you approach getting dressed each day of your life: mirroring your style icon, Mariah Carey. She really has a good eye for fashion appropriateness.

4. Your favorite player earns an assist on a goal. Your reaction:

A. "Oh, I didn't see him helping! He's such a cute little helper, though."
B. "Oh, shit, that bitch just heard me talking shit about her."
C. "Why are you not looking at me right now?"

5. You witness your first hat trick in person. How fun! Your thoughts:

A. "I'll only be able to remember this if I think of a magician with a rabbit in his hat."
B. "I can't believe I just got my face beaten in by some bitches."
C. "Hats? Yuck. I'd rather be drenched in stale ball sweat than wear one."

Now, calculate your totals...

Mostly As
Congratulations, you are...

Mostly Bs
Congratulations, you are...

(H/T to Rob, Snooki's biggest fan.)

Mostly Cs
Congratulations, you are...

Couldn't find any answers that suit you? Congratulations, my friend, you are...

TSO-approved! Go ahead--print this out, and wear it as a badge of pride. (Non-transferable. Do not pin this on unworthy peers.)

17 February 2010

Walk It Out Wednesday.

Today's question it brought to you by my cohort, Ballin' B:

Which current non-Red Wing forward would you love to see wearing the Winged Wheel?

Purely hypothetical. No salary cap issues attached because that makes it less fun. The only stipulation is that your selection has never played in Detroit, but really, if you want to choose someone who's played here before, go ahead. Just like Hockeytown itself, TSO has no limits. Or morals. But that's another issue.

My choices:

First choice: Jarome Iginla. I've always loved him. He's a consistently strong player, capable of fantastic offensive tricks, but at the same time, he's not afraid to drop the gloves and scrap a little. He's a solid leader and an all-around class act. Last night, after scoring a hat trick against Team Norway, he spent most of his NBC interview praising his linemate Sid the Kid. Sure, I vomited a little bit in my mouth, but what else do you expect from this guy? Humility all the way. Also, he has the longest name ever known to mankind: Jarome Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis Iginla. I especially love that there's a "Junior" thrown in there, just for good measure.

Runners-up: Nicklas Backstrom, who's just scary talented (and Brian has a great big freakin' mancrush on him--I suspect the flowing golden locks), Zach Parise, who has amazing puck-handling skills and speed, and Rick Nash, who brings a lot of the same qualities to the table as Iginla. I feel it goes without saying that I would have no problem if the Great #8 rocked our red, too.

Runner-up/player who's been here before: Mike Knuble. He's had a stellar year with Washington, notching 42 points so far, and he's not afraid to scrap, either. Can we kidnap him? Also, if we could get Jiri Hudler back for $5/game and a chicken farm so he can cluck in a group setting, that would be fantastic.

Players I'd rather NOT see in the Winged Wheel: Marian Gaborik, only because I don't want Al Sobotka and his colleagues to have to clean up his limbs from the ice. Also applicable here are all the usual suspects.

And now, because it's Wednesday and we really have no (new) reasons to be pissed off at the world, let's dance:

16 February 2010

Leftover Valentine's candy.

UPDATE: Now including poems submitted by some of our fabulous readers via comments.

Happy belated Valentine's Day, scrappy readers. We were going to let this fun-filled, jailsexed romp of a holiday go unscathed by our demented minds until one of our espionage-specializing affiliates unearthed a treasure chest from the Wings' locker room. Turns out they hired a consultant to assist them with their Valentine's Day endeavors, but not a terribly creative one: He/she just helped them write poems to their respective beloveds by revising the cliched "Roses are red..." ditty.

Far be it for us to withhold such amazing insight into the minds of our boys.

Some of them are just sweet:

Henrik Zetterberg:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I can't wait to come home,
Where it's just us two. (Whammy!)

Kirk Maltby:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
While we've been together for years,
My love only grew.

Kris Draper:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
For you there is nothing
That I wouldn't do.

Brad Stuart:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I will love you
My whole life through.

Others are well-meaning, albeit a little unorthodox:

Nicklas Lidstrom:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Let's make love like cyborgs,
The way we always do.

Todd Bertuzzi:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I wish I knew another word
That rhymes with blue.

Darren Helm:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
How did you catch me,
Considering how quickly I flew?

Niklas Kronwall:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
My fans will all be KRONWALLED
To show them my love is true.

And some are just, well, awesome:

Pavel Datsyuk:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I trust my eyes to Dr. Rahmani,
You should, too.

Johan Franzen:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Why don't we get drunk
And screw?

Tomas Holmstrom (a bit of a copycat, but with his unique twist):
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
For sure, why don't we get drunk
And screw?

Jason Williams:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Hey, while you're up,
Can you grab me a Mountain Dew?

Valtteri Filppula:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
You're nice and all,
But you'll never mess up my 'do.

Jonathan Ericsson:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Until I saw myself in the mirror,
Never thought anyone was as pretty as you.

Chris Osgood:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
My goaltending situation sucks,
So how about a brew?

Jimmy Howard:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
My goaltending situation rocks,
So how about a brew?

Ville Leino (found crumpled up in the corner):
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
To get past my stalker vibe,
Enclosed please find glue.

Interestingly, there was another one from Todd Bertuzzi:

Todd Bertuzzi:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
The day you crossed me, Michael Petrella,
Is the day you'll soon come to rue.


Response from Michael Petrella to Todd Bertuzzi
Roses are red,
Violence is blue.
Steve Moore's neck is sore,
I bet your soul is, too.


Submitted by Nurse Nitz

For the Big Rig:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
You know we can always count on
A costly turnover from you

For Abby:
Roses are Red,
Violets are blue,
I miss that big butt of yours
Landing hits on a player or two

For some of the awesome fans on here:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Watch out for Dena, Johan,
She wants baby mules with you.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Jailsexed, frolicking, and She-Tuzzi
Wings fans, how I love you.


From saraneuie to Johan Franzen:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Dena and I want to spoil rotten
Those small mules for you.


Submitted by Andy:

Roses are red,
violets are blue,
my stare can kill puppies
and it will kill you too

Roses are red,
violets are blue,
and in Soviet Russia
Mule rides you

Roses are red,
violets are blue,
I'm so god damn proud
of my red white and blue
(Tollefsen, not funny, but had to be said)

Roses are red,
violets are blue,
I get paid to watch hockey
So I still own you


More from saraneuie:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
In Soviet Russia
Dr. Rahmani trusts you


More from Nurse Nitz:

Canadians are white & red,
Americans are red, white & blue,
Brian Rafalski can score goals,
Who freakin' knew??

For both Ryan Miller & Ryan Kesler:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
The Americans won the big game,
Ryan, the kudos go to you!

For 20-cent:

Rose are red,
Violets are blue,
That cheap cabby-punching Kane,
I really hate rooting for you.

For Homer, regarding the totally FAIL effort by Finland vs. Sweden last night:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Watching from his lazy-boy at home,
Homer's handmade Viking darts hit you.


And a few more from yours truly:

To Pavel Datsyuk:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Your puck-handling's so amazing,
Does your stick contain glue?

Also to Pavel Datsyuk:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
If you ever snag the Hart,
My heart will turn to goo.

To Brett Lebda:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Does it make you feel shitty
To know you make me boo?

To Tomas Holmstrom:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
You inspire me to make animal sounds
So here I go: "Moo."

(That's just because I think Homer and I could have kid-like fun together. Oh, how I love him.)

To Niklas Kronwall:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Are you aware that many TSO readers
Want to take you in a loo?

To Patrick Eaves:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
How crazy your eyebrows are
You haven't a clue.

(I love Eaves, but come on. He has some CA-RAZY eyebrows.)

To Jiri Hudler:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Your clucking belongs
In mine and Homer's zoo.

(I STILL miss Huds.)

To fans everywhere:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Red Wings fans are the greatest,
Our mad love is most true.

To anyone who hates Wings fans:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Hockeytown haters beware:
To you I'll fling poo.

15 February 2010

Welcome back to Homer & the Mule.

Once again, our fabulous readers @saraneuie and @nursenitz have plied us with collages of Homer's and Franzen's first games back at the Joe after the 1,000-year road trip. Alas, like the elusive butterfly he is, Homer exacerbated the knee injury during Saturday's game, and it looks as though the Mule will play for him in the Olympics after all. Egg on your face much, Sweden?

Poor Homer, though. That's gotta be beyond disappointing for him. (Anybody want to speculate on what Homer's favorite form of exercising his demons is? I'm guessing it probably has something to do with eating cats or perhaps steel wool granules while donning a Moses-style headpiece and screaming into the night wind.)

On a brighter note, here are some visual snacks for your enjoyment. I'm pretty sure the Homer one is going up in my place of employment. Sara titled the one for #93 "Franzen and His Mustache." I gotta say, I'm digging the mustache, but then again, I like Franzen's red playoff beard. It makes him look like even more of a badass.

11 February 2010

A night of effort, heebie-jeebies, and frustration.

So as you saw tonight, the Wings lost to the Sharks...

...fuck a bunch. The Wings played a great game overall tonight. A ton of effort, all kinds of chances, and they just couldn't get it done. Tonight's game was maddening. This might have been one of the better efforts all season, and it wasn't to be. This is all at the expense of our sanity. I don't get it. I know they played a good game tonight. Why, however, is it always the Wings who have a ton of chances but just cant get it done? Why can't these guys light the lamp? So, so many open chances. Whatever. I guess it doesn't really matter. Some of my highlights from the game...

1. Franzen looks like a ginger possessed. For all those who wondered what state he'd come back in, he's told us - super bad ass. That's the state.

2. I'm pretty sure Darren Helm has not had a bad game yet.

3. Jimmy certainly saved our ass countless times. I have no idea how he can do the things he does.

4. It's good to have a top line back.

5. Bleh. They really have to start getting some WINS on the board, right? Great effort, great chances, but came up short. I'm too sleepy for this.

6. I'm prone to overreaction, but shootouts. What's up with that? How are we THAT bad at 'em?

Is it Olympic time yet?

10 February 2010

"Recap" & Waylon Wednesday.

So, there was a game last night. Against the St. Louis Blues. No, we didn't watch it. Versus + dial-up internet at home = no dice for such games. But here's what we learned from monitoring the game summary and reading other people's recaps:

1. We earned a point last night because the game went to OT, and, eventually, a shootout. Commence celebrations in the form of nipple clamping and bukkake sandwiches.

2. According to The Triple Deke and The Production Line, Johan Franzen rocked a sweet mustache. And in addition to feeling distraught over missing the Mule's first game back since his 1,247-year-long stint on IR (no, seriously, doesn't it feel like it's been that long?), we're equally disturbed we missed out on that, as well. After all, TSO is your one-stop shop for all things mustache rides and dirty Sanchezes, which are a form of mustache, if you think about it. (Go ahead and think about it. You know you want to.)

3. Further according to TPL (in a guest post written by Chris Hollis of Motown Wings and The Obstructed View fame), Henrik Zetterberg should not be allowed in a shootout ever again. Not seeing the game last night, I can't judge his effort; however, he has not had a particularly strong year when it comes to shootouts. Ballin' B and I talked about this yesterday while we awaited the results of the riveting game summary during the shootout (refreshes every 30 seconds for your convenience). The last time I saw, his shootout success rate hovered somewhere in the early 30% range. Far be it for me to question seriously Babcock's judgment in selecting his shooters (oh, puh-leeze, like anybody takes this site seriously, anyway), but it does get frustrating to watch the same players fail to convert time and time again (ahem, Dan Cleary, during all the injuries, way back about 3+ weeks ago). Then again, how shitty would it be if Babcock replaced his star players with under-the-radar guys and still came up short? Six in one hand, half a dozen in the other. Shootouts suck; I have no problem watching other teams participate in them, but when it comes to the Wings, my heart sinks every time the OT clock winds down.

4. Jimmy Howard stopped 42 of 45 shots on goal last night, including the 5:00 of OT. Twenty of those shots were in the first period. The mind fucking reels.

5. Kris Draper's persistence as of late paid off last night in the form of scoring the first goal of the game.

Questions I have for people who caught the game:

1. How the fuck did Todd Bertuzzi manage to commit a penalty only 0:28 into the game? Did somebody urinate on his skates? Threaten to force him into a glass-bottom boat scenario? Taunt him with accusations of his mom smelling like cheese?

2. Brad May got into a fight. How did that work out?

And that's all I really want to know. No, seriously. We're going to adopt the motto of the drag queen/transvestite in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: "Two tears in a bucket, motherfuck it." The Wings take on the Sharks on Thursday. Go big or go...home? How does that work if they're already at home? I guess it's go big or leave home, in that case? Whatev. Our satellite is still jacked up (SNOWPOCALYPSE!--no, really, we now have 4+ feet of snow and counting...I'm 99% sure I'm going to build an igloo and live in it for free or else charge someone for all my construction labor), so you may get another fantastic recap like this one or one of our oh-so-awesome real recaps when we watch it and still have nothing productive to say. Gear down!


Let's get to the point with our Wednesday question. This one's been asked all over the blogosphere, plus we delved into it the other week in our Wednesday comments, but it's hard not to bring it up formally since we're only two days away from the Opening Ceremony:

Which men's ice hockey team do you hope wins Olympic gold?

This is a toughie for me; I've been all over the place with my loyalties. Obviously, I'm an American and would be proud of my home country for winning the gold, despite Patrick Kane's craterfaced presence on the team. (No, seriously, there are no cab rides involved in ferrying the players about Vancouver, right? Just checking. Don't embarrass the stars and stripes, assfuck, or you'll have a lot to answer for 'round these parts.) We've got Rafalski on the roster, plus players TSO likes in the form of Ryan Miller, Tim Thomas, Jonathan Quick, and Jack Johnson. On the other hand, we also have Brooks Orpik, who annoys us only because he plays for Pittsburgh, and Ryan Whitney, who plays for the Ducks and has a girl's last name. I'll be happy enough if Team USA nabs the gold, but I won't be surprised if they don't because the competition is stiff.

Like many of you, the only thing I care about regarding Team Canada is Stevie Y and Babcock. Other than that, the team at large makes me ralph. Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf (who may return from his injury for some of the games), Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Corey Perry, and Dany Heatley? Words fail me. How are Canadians dealing with this level of code red douchiness? I know Olympic gold is more important to our neighbors to the north than sex, air, or water but...blehhhhhhhh.

Team Sweden is stacked with winners, never mind the controversial snub of one Johan Franzen. Despite the annoying Sedins' presence on the roster, it's damn near impossible to find any reason to dislike the blue-and-yellow rascals, considering how many Wings made the cut. The only thing is...they've already won the gold.

Other than being inherently biased toward Team USA, I'm rooting for Team Russia. Their roster is stacked with fantastic NHL-ers: Our own Pavel Datsyuk, plus Ovie, Semin, Kovalchuk, SNB, Nabokov, and Bryzgalov. The only downer is that Russian gold means Malkin and Gonchar benefit, which is a bonafide tragedy, but really, I would love to see Pasha with a gold medal.

In any event, there's obviously a lot to root for--and against--each particular "powerhouse" team. Any of the aforesaid four countries taking home top honors will bring some sort of happiness, as well as a teeny, tiny iota of strife, to our lives. One thing I think we can all agree on is hoping that Team Slovakia is a wash; Marian Hossa, Marian Gaborik, and Tomas Kopecky with a gold medal in their hands? I'd rather watch somebody sign my own death certificate.

And now, a little mood music...because nothing gets me fired up for Team America (fuck, yeah!) quite like Waylon:

06 February 2010

Neither one of us wants to be the first to say goodbye.

According to Twitterverse, Ville Leino has been traded to the Flyers in exchange for a 2011 fifth-round draft pick and Ole(!)-Kristian Tollefsen, who hails from Norway (hi, Andy) and according to Helene St. James, will be placed on waivers and subsequently shipped to Grand Rapids if he clears (kudos to @jennbikegirl for the Freep link). The official, necessary reason for the trade is that the Wings were in a must-act situation due to a lack of cap space upon Johan Franzen's imminent return to action; however, Ken Holland also offered up this tidbit of a quote:
"When we signed him, we had high hopes for him,” general manager Ken Holland said. “He played well for us in Detroit last year and with all the offense we lost last summer, we thought this was a great opportunity for him. For whatever reason, it just didn’t work out, and other players grabbed the reins while we had injuries."
Personally, I can't help but suspect that Leino's unabashed hitting on Dan Bylsma last week had something to do with the move. I mean, just because you're benched and you're bored, you can't walk around the opposing teams' locker room with your pickle hanging out, seeking pubescent-looking hotties to violate, Villster. Take that one as a lesson for the road.

Now, who wants to join TSO in a collective belly laugh picturing Leino fumblefucking around for the bruiser-y and blustery Flyers? Hi-lar-ious.

Eh, whatever. He's out of our hair now, and for fuck's sake, he's not even in our conference now. Best wishes, Villster, former love of my loins for about five minutes while I was being regretfully facetious, and thanks for the memories, mostly of you looking serial killer-grade psychotic:

Sayonara, fuckface. (Nice purple clown tee, though, jackass.)

The Leino-less Wings take on the Kings in L.A. today at 4 p.m. EST. I wonder if any of our California peeps are going to game. Hope it's a good one. These are one of a handful of our playoff-seeking nemeses, so once again, it goes without saying. TCOB, Red Wings.

We're going to try to catch the game; our satellite has been wonky all morning due to the metric shit ton of snow we've accumulated. I was just whining to Dena that we can't even drive on our main road, so if y'all don't hear from us within the next 36 hours or so, you may want to call the law to make sure we're ok.

Now, one last time for the road. Goodbye, Toby FlendersonVille Leino. It's been real:

03 February 2010

So long, H-Cock.

Since I'm pretty sure Ken Hitchcock has no direct ties to the disaster in Haiti, I'm going to go ahead and do the following:


Later, sucka.

Whitesnake Wednesday.

Another day. Another nut-bustin' day in which you learn one of the best players on your team is out...again, due to a tweak. No, seriously, I really did think that verb only applied to a specific act that may or may not occur during sexual congress. Not trying to be the moral police, but really, "tweaking" has no place on the ice.

Thanks to Petrella, via George Malik, we now know that Kronner's "tweaked" ankle makes him doubtful for tonight's game in Anaheim. Fuck a bunch.

So, on we go. What else can we do? Well, we could answer Wednesday's question (kudos to Brian for coming up with this one):

Who's your favorite "under the radar"* Wing (past or present) and why?

*We're defining "under the radar" pretty loosely here; you don't have to resort between choosing between Ville Leino or Mikael Samuelsson. Under the radar in this case means the player can have (or have had) success with the team, but he's not one of those players whose jerseys you see gajillions of at the Joe, nor is he one at whom all the ladies throw their unmentionables. In other words, your favorite non-superstar.

My answer's easy. Click here, here, or even here if you're not sure. I know it may be a stretch to call the guy leading the team in goals "under the radar," but I've never seen anyone wear a Homer jersey in person, nor do you hear anybody chattering about how hot he is, so that fits my definition, at least.

What about you guys?

Welcome back, Homer.

Wings drown Sharks, 4-2. (Regulation. Bitches.)

Christ on a stick, thankyouthankyouthankyou for giving us two points in regulation tonight. Mandatory keyboard explody type celebration time: sdofdofndofodsufowehofsfnds.

Super duper quick thoughts before calling it a night:

1. Welcome back, #96. Homer played like a man possessed tonight. Time and again, I've praised him on here for always working hard, and tonight, he displayed as much hustle and grit as ever. He notched an assist on each of the first two Wings' goals scored, and by the end of the game, he'd put six shots on goal.

2. When Kronner couldn't stay on his skates during one of the Sharks' power plays during the first period, I thought, "Fuck. Not again." Turned out it was just a broken blade on one of his skates. Then, for start of the third period, he didn't return to the bench; Derek Meech took his place on the power play. Late in the third period, FSD reported that Kronwall had a "slight tweak, nothing serious." After the game, Babcock indicated that he "tweaked his ankle." Hmm. I don't believe "tweak" is a serious medical offense, so we'll keep hoping for the best until we hear otherwise, right?

3. Speaking of Meech, he actually played a decent game; on the aforesaid power play, he scored a goal, and he elevated his defensive play throughout the game (particularly noticeable after he scored that goal). Way to finally play as if you give a shit about earning a permanent spot on the team, cochise.

4. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg both had stellar efforts tonight. Zetterberg scored the Wings' second goal tonight on a power play, and feeling my heart soar while watching Homer reunited with the Eurotwins was a feeling I shant soon forget.

5. Speaking of Pasha, my jaw is still scraping the ground due to the fact that I witnessed Joe Thornton strip him of the puck during a Datsyukian playbook rush. I believe the universe attempted to negate this by later having Nabokov cough up a juicy rebound to Datsyuk, but still...

6. How about Brian Rafalski's defensive play along the boards during the final 60 seconds? Holy Jesus...

7. San Jose is really just too ridiculously good at faceoffs.

8. I like seeing Dan Cleary and Valtteri Filppula play together, and I didn't mind seeing Homer on the second line tonight, either, as much as I love the Flying Circus. I thought these three did a great job maintaining pressure and creating chances.

9. Patrick Eaves's goal was magnificent--I love when our guys are in the right position to catch the other team with the pants around their ankles, which is exactly what happened with San Jose here. Also worth noting is Kris Draper (who earned an assist on Eaves's goal) and Darren Helm, who also both had tremendous efforts tonight. Valtteri Filppula also showed up to rock and roll, earning himself two assists.

10. Joe Thornton is a dickhole for crashing into Jimmy late in the third. But thanks for negating that stressful 6-on-4 sitch, Joe. You just gotta hate it when that happens.

This was the most consistent effort the Wings have put forth recently. They were a little sluggish to start the game, but warmed up to a fever pitch during the final eight minutes of the first period. They were a little uneven at the beginning of the second period, but left all that soon behind after Cleary scored the first of four unanswered Wings' goals. The third period was all around outstanding for Detroit.

We owe ourselves a tiny sigh of relief that the game didn't go into overtime; Nashville earned a point tonight against Phoenix (who won in the 11,403th round of a shootout), Dallas beat Minnesota, Colorado beat Columbus, and Los Angeles topped the Rangers. The standings are so ridiculously tight right now--every little bit counts. The Wings now have 64 points (tied with the Preds). Tomorrow night, we play the delightfully disgusting Anaheim Ducks, who are not far behind us with 59 icky points. We don't need to be reminded of how crucial another regulation win tomorrow is. Let's go, Wings.

02 February 2010

Wings @ Sharks tonight.

If you needed any incentive to stay up tonight to catch the game, here goes:

1. The triumphant return of Homer(!!!), for sure this time. (And just how appropriate is it that he returns on Groundhog Day?)

2. This is probably going to happen (seriously, so kickass):

Per the norm, there are all kinds of reasons to be slightly annoyed with the San Jose Sharks. They're currently first place in the Western Conference. Patrick Marleau (him?) is tied with Sidney Crosby for most goals scored league-wide at 37 each. Joe Thornton is fourth in the league in points (68). Evgeni Nabokov is third in the league in save percentage, GAA, and wins. None of this should be truly surprising since San Jose often sits atop or very near to the top of the Western Conference.

When we here at TSO look at teams beforehand, usually we say something earth-shatteringly deep like, "Oh, a win tonight would really help us gain momentum at the beginning of this road trip," or "Wow, at this point in the season, beating a top team like the Sharks on their home ice would feel better than sex," or "Let's go ahead and solidify our place at the bottom of the pack that's still good enough to go to the playoffs with a win."

Bleh. Obviously, all those things are still true (except the sex part...I reserve that reaction for Wings' wins against teams I actually make an effort to loathe), but the Wings' loss against the Pens this weekend left a bitter taste in my mouth. The offensive effort was there--but only during the final twenty minutes of the game. In fact, I'd worked on one of our live blog recaps during the game, only to give it up during the second intermission because I was completely disgusted with the team's performance against Shittsburgh, and I just couldn't find the words. (Instead, we went out for Mexican food and margaritas after the game. I poured one out for all equally distraught TSO readers. WIN!)

The Wings can't afford to do that against tough opponents, including tonight (despite having a good track record against San Jose--the last game against them, on January 9th, resulted in a 4-1 win for us). It's common sense: When you allow offensive powerhouses to hang out in your own zone for the better part of 40 minutes and pepper your goaltender with 40+ shots by the end of the game, at least one of them is bound to make its way into the net, even if it's a result of a shitty bounce or rebound that Howard has no chance to stop. With the Wings' lack of offensive production leading to losses being decided by one- or two-point games, it's certainly a recipe for disaster.

So what's it going to be tonight? The Wings have to come out, guns blazing, to defeat San Jose, and then they have to keep on trucking until sixty minutes have elapsed. If I see another half-hearted effort for any major portion of the game, whether it's an attempt to come from behind to score (no, not the shocker) or letting their foot off the gas after building a one- or two-goal lead, I'll be dead by sunup.

01 February 2010

Jesus frowns upon your SPORT.

Who knew?

For our everlasting souls' sakes, it sure is a fantastic thing we have the good folks at Westboro Baptist Church to give us the 411 on God's hate list.

Best known for picketing the funerals of anybody they deem to be ruining our country (read: they even picketed Jerry Falwell's funeral, in addition to protesting the motley crew including, but not limited to, U.S. Holocaust Museum, Lady Gaga, the Academy Awards, the entire nation of Italy, Twitter, and the funerals of fallen soldiers), they've really outdone themselves this time.

Yesterday, they took to the Stars/Coyotes game to really stick it to those godless heathens on the ice and in the stands:

God H8s Ur hockey! Valor Pl. & Olive St. WBC will picket your stupid, cold (you will truly pray for these days of being in the cold hockey games when you burn in hell for eternity) violent, time-wasting hockey game - your SPORT. You know there will be only a few more of these entertainment events before God lets Obama simply destroy this nation. God does not have anything good to say about your sport(s).

Whoa, somebody just overdosed on H8rade. (Ziiiiiiiiiiiing!)

Yikes, apparently they're anti-Sunbelt, too:

God Hates DOOMED america, God Hates Arizona, God Hates Florida. You are all going to hell, and there is nothing to do but hear the words, hate the words, get mad at the words - - then get more words.

In yo' face, Bettman!

My thoughts are muddled. After all, for all the things I could possibly be sent to hell for...

Also, I guess I have to throw this away now. Thanks a lot, WBC:

At least now we know why hell is spelled h-e-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS.