12/31 :: Avs Lang Syne (CLEVER!)

No shit, they have a damn yeti for a mascot. What is this, college football?
WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
The Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche meet for the third time this year. This time, on New Years Eve, it’s Disco Night at the Joe. Every year growing up, I looked forward to the New Years Eve game because it meant eating pizza, sitting on the floor, and staying up late. I plan on doing the same this year.
WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?
1. Coming off of a heartbreaking 1-0 overtime loss to the Blue Jackets, how will the Red Wings respond for their final (thank God) game of the calendar year?
2. Jimmy Howard starts the final game of the ’00s, making it four in a row for the first time since Chris Osgood had the flu.
3. Mattias Ritola remains with the team, and he ain’t up to fill space. He has to take advantage of his time and prove he’s better than Ville Leino.
NOW WHERE WERE WE?
The Wings and Avs last played on October 24th. The Avalanche won 3-1 that night, with Jimmy Howard in net, and the Wings fell to 3-4-2. So far this season, the Avs are 2-0 against the Red Wings.
WHAT’S HAPPENED SINCE THEN
Everyone’s been hurt. Todd Bertuzzi has made me look like a dumbass. Many of the Olympic teams have been named. Todd Bertuzzi and I became penpals. Santa came.
OH, HI AGAIN 
Kyle Quincey finds himself in Denver, and he’s a pretty good player in between fits of tears about not getting a Cup ring he didn’t earn.

MEMBA ME?! 
There are no former Avalanche players on the Red Wings. In theory, the hate runs too deep for everyone besides Kyle Quincey.

BEST NAME NOMINEE
THEIR LAST GAMES
–Detroit lost to Columbus, 1-0 in overtime, on Monday
–Colorado beat Ottawa, 4-3, on Wednesday

RECORDS
–Detroit Red Wings :: 19-14-6 (3rd in Central, 10th in West) :: 12-7-2 at home.
–Colorado Avalanche :: 23-12-6 (1st in Northwest, 3rd in West) :: 12-7-4 on the road.
AVALANCHE YOU SHOULD KNOW
Matt Duchesne :: Milan Hejduk :: Paul Stastny :: Marek Svatos :: Wojtek Wolski :: Karakoram :: Adam Foote :: John-Michael Liles :: Craig Anderson

EXPECTED LINEUP
Patrick Eaves cannot, in fact, go tonight, as he’s suffering from the flu. Ville Leino comes in, and will play on the fourth line, bumping Maltby up to the threes. Ritola is on the second line.

Bertuzzi — Datsyuk — Holmstrom

Ritola — Filppula — Miller
Draper — Helm — Maltby
May — Abdelkader — Leino
Lidstrom — Rafalski
Lebda — Stuart
Meech — Janik
Howard (starts)
Osgood
Injuries
Andreas “The Swedish Headache” Lilja
Johan “The Swedish Leg” Franzen
Jason “The Canadian Also-Ran” Williams
Niklas “The Swedish Olympian” Kronwall
Dan “The Canadian Near Miss” Cleary
Jonathan “The Swedish Boomstick” Ericsson
Henrik “The Swedish Meat Market” Zetterberg
Patrick “The Canadian Flu Symptom” Eaves
QUICK THOUGHTS
1. Finish this damn year on a high note, please.
2. I didn’t get to watch the last game, so I’m looking forward to seeing Ritola, particularly in a second-line-type role. Should showcase him pretty extensively.
3. Jimmy Howard needs to build off of that just-as-good-as-a-shutout performance and keep it up. He’s why things aren’t horrible at the moment. I assume that Team USA has been SELECTED, but not informed, so I don’t think another shutout would sway Brian Burke, but it would certainly earn some points with the fans who are already turning him into a folk hero.
4. Cleary, Ericsson, and Zetterberg are right around the corner. Only a few games of “patch the leak” games left, so winning some of them would be huge bonuses in my eyes. It also means, however, that there is a limited time for Pavel Datsyuk, Tomas Holmstrom, and Valtteri Filppula to step up to take over the bulk of the scoring, like they should be. Flip gets a pass since he’s just back himself, and Homer keeps doing what Homer does. I guess the moral of the story is “Score, Pavel Datsyuk, Score.”
5. Anyone want to take bets on a Brad May vs. Anyone fight? It won’t be like the mid- to late-90s in terms of sheer hatred, but a nice scrap might remind us of the good ol’ days when we kicked the ever-loving shit out of the Avalanche every chance we got.

WHAT WE LEARNED vs. the Blue Jackets
Great goaltending outings don’t equal wins when you can’t score goals
AV WE COVET (JJ Special)
Raise your hand if you’re happy with Derek Meech instead of Kyle Quincey right now. You’re a damn liar. I’m also a big fan of TJ Galiardi and that Polish fellow who wears number 8.

152 thoughts on “12/31 :: Avs Lang Syne (CLEVER!)”

  1. In one of my NHL10 Be a Pro seasons, EA Ken Holland traded prospects for that Polish fellow who wears number 8. I gotta admit, I was not unhappy when that happened.

    Of course, that was the same EA Ken Holland that traded me to Calgary right as I had earned a spot wth the big club, then later traded away Franzen and Cleary… I guess the moral of the story is that EA sports GMs are crack addicts.

  2. Remember it was Dater who had the story about Quincey and the ring. He is wrong so frequently that I honestly don't know how much of that story to believe. Just saying.

  3. @JJ — Who were you traded for? That could determine who won this whole JJ-to-Calgary thing. Also, the yeti DOES kind of look like Garcia, but not MUCH furrier.

    @Jenn — Dater's an idiot, but I'm not sure he would make up entire quotes from a player and his agent. Although… yeah, you're right. It was like the last episode of Roseanne, Dater just typed it up.

    @Casey — thanks for the head's up. It's fixed and I feel retarded for using Ctrl-V.

  4. I'm pretty sure it was me and a second-round pick for Rene Bourque and a 3nd-rounder. With the Flames, we swept the Wings out of the WCF and went on to beat Franzen and the Rangers (who gave up Drury and a third-string goalie for him) in the finals. I broke Mark Staal's jaw in game one and won the Calder and the Conn Smythe.

    Playing against the Wings was the most conflicted I'd been in a video game since I let Yoshi run off a cliff so I could grap a 1-up mushroom in Super Mario World.

  5. Babcock is putting Leino in on the 4th line. I talk about what the staff should have done on my blog, which is bench him still, either call another forward up, or a D-man and play Meech at forward. Send a REAL message.

  6. The agent is a totally different case. Look at Allan Walsh's Twitter – oh wait, he deleted all those.

    But Dater leaps to conclusions from incomplete facts all the time. (Being in Colorado, I see a ton of this.) He is totally capable of attributing the agent's quotes to Quincey without any basis for it. For whatever it's worth, Quincey did deny it when asked, which either means that Dater screwed him or that he is a gutless wuss in addition to a whiner.

  7. BOOM! You're officially my Colorado go-to. I've never liked Dater, and it's nice to hear it from someone MUCH closer to him (geographically) than I am.

    Is he a laughing stock in those parts or do they applaud his writing?

  8. I wouldn't say Dater is a laughing stock at all. A lot of people do read his blog and comment on it, and some of the Avs bloggers tweet back and forth with him a lot. Not sure people around here think he's the greatest thing ever or anything.

    I will be missing the game tonight – I do have to wonder what kinds of Twitter fights he will start after seeing what has happened recently.

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