Good Luck, Stevie Y

Nearly 27 years (to the day) after joining the Red Wings, he’s waving goodbye. The best leader in the history of sports saw an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

Steve Yzerman – the first draft pick made by then-new owners Mike and Marian Ilitch – will be announced as the new general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning this afternoon.

Following his success with Team Canada in the Olympics and – well – everywhere else before that, there’s little doubt that Yzerman can succeed in Tampa. It may not be quick, and they’re still embroiled in a messy ownership debacle, courtesy of Saw guy and hardly-was NHLer. But, rest assured, like he always did on terrible Red Wings teams, Steve Yzerman will find a way to make the most of it.

Every last one of us should be thankful for his time with the organization and wish him nothing but the best of luck. He’s made no secret about the fact that he wanted to run a team, and he wasn’t going to get his chance in Detroit — not soon, anyway. Ken Holland is the best there ever was, and Jim Nill is no slouch either. An embarrassment of riches in Detroit gets a tiny bit lighter today, but we can all look to the Lightning as an extension of the Red Wings now because there’s nothing that means more to the team, its fans, and the city as Steve Yzerman has since June 8, 1983.

Good luck, Captain. If ever there was a reason to root for another team – particularly one in the other conference – this is it. From now until he moves on, if the Red Wings can’t win the Cup every year, I want it to be Tampa Bay.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

Season Tickets for 2010-11

Howdy, Red Wings fans. Do you want season tickets for next year? Of course you do. We all do. One of TPL’s best friends – and H2H hero – Ryan Michaels shot me an e-mail asking me to let it be known (from the mountaintop as it were) that season tickets and group packages are available. Everything I’m hearing makes it sound like the Wings will continue to play in Joe Louis for at least next season, so rest easy, friends.

If you’re interested in getting yourself season tickets, partial season’s, group seats, or have any other ticket needs, feel free to get in touch with Ryan. His info follows:

Ryan Michaels
313.396.7504
ryan.michaels@hockeytown.com

Detroit Red Wings Free Agent Extravaganza!

WHO THE HELL IS THAT GUY?!

**UPDATE: Yup. I already forgot Scuttles.**

It’s been a busy twenty-four hours for TPL. And no, I don’t mean (just) those cryptic Tweets from the site’s new Twitter account, as exciting as those are. Or the booking of flights and hotels for L.A. since I received confirmation yesterday that my application for media credentials has been accepted and I’ll be covering the Entry Draft for you fine folks (speaking of which, send me your questions for Taylor and Tyler — so far all I’ve got is “So, Tyler, wouldn’t it suck being a Maple Leaf?”).

But there’s been plenty of free agent news in the Red Wings world. We lost one, we locked one up, and there’s plenty of innuendo flying around for the rest.

Mattias Ritola was re-signed to an interesting deal. It’s a three-year pact, the first of which is two-way (meaning that if he clears waivers heading down to the AHL, he won’t need to clear re-entry waivers to come up) before becoming one-way. The cap hit over the length of the deal is an affordable $516,667. Will he clear waivers after training camp (should he fail to make the team outright)? We might find out, but having him locked up proves two things: 1) the Wings are committed to making it work somewhere down the line as he’s guaranteed a one-way deal starting in ’11-12 and 2) Ritola’s willing to at least accept another year of the American Hockey League instead of bolting for Eurodollars (also known as Euros).

Which brings us to Daniel Larsson. The Griffins starting goaltender – who was a restricted free agent – has bolted for Sweden, signing a two-year deal with HV-71 (the same team that Stefan Liv came from and returned to), meaning he won’t be back with the Wings organization next season. It’s a little discouraging because all accounts of his progress from training camp to minor league hockey showed that he had promise, but it’s clear (now that Jimmy Howard has come into his own) that with Thomas McCollum on the radar, Larsson must have been the odd man out. It also means that the Wings will need to shop for a goaltender – unless they’re comfortable with a tandem of second year pros on the farm: McCollum and former Notre Dame goaltender Jordan Pearce.

Back to the big club, there are a dozen NHL free agents to deal with. A blurb about each will follow, ordered in likelihood of return.

Darren Helm [C, $599k] will be back. Obviously, it’s not official in the “pen has been put to paper” sense, but despite his somewhat invisible playoff run, he’s got that Red Wing for Life feel, a Paul Bunyan hard-worker in a blue collar town kinda guy. I think he can be convinced that his price point isn’t drastically higher than the $600,000 he didn’t quite make this past season, especially given his role as a grinder and/or fourth line checking forward. If I had to put a price prediction on it, I’d say three years, $2.4M for a cap hit of $800,000. It’s a 33% raise, which is very reasonable for a player of his hierarchical stature.
LIKELIHOOD OF RETURN: 100%

Justin Abdelkader [C, $850k] is this year’s Darren Helm. Good enough to be on the roster all season, but forced to toil in Grand Rapids because of roster or cap space. When the playoffs came ’round, and the restrictions were loosened, he found himself immediately inserted into the lineup – and he quickly made his presence made, hitting everything in site and losing key faceoffs. Wait, ignore that last bit. Gator’s $850,000 salary was off-set by the fact that he didn’t really make that figure while playing in the AHL. It’s not unusual for players to sign deals with lower NHL salaries when they know for sure that the’ll make every penny of it – Jimmy Howard signed a lower money deal when he knew it was one-way, and thus guaranteed, and I bet Abdelkader does something similar – or at least stays at the same level. For sake of argument, I’ll guess that he signs three or four years, for $800,000 per.
LIKELIHOOD OF RETURN: 98%


Tomas Holmstrom [RW, $2.25M] will never play for another NHL team. This much I know for sure. He’s routinely taken far less than market value to remain a Red Wing, and I’d bet you dollars to donuts that he takes a paycut from his current $2.25M salary to continue shoving his ass in goaltenders’ faces for Motown. Yes, he’s aging. Yes, his body takes incredible abuse. Yes, he was one of the guys that has been put on Retirement Watch. But he’s still the best in the business at what he does. And while his two-and-a-quarter paycheck may seem like a vast overpayment, keep in mind that when he was signed, he was still in the prime of his career. Now he’s in one-year territory thanks to the 35+ rule (salary dedicated to players over 35 years of age will count against the cap no matter what happens – injury, demotion, etc). If he comes in over $1.75M, I’ll be shocked.
LIKELIHOOD OF RETURN: 90%


Nicklas Lidstrom [D, $7.45M] is obviously the story of the summer. I never had any doubt he’d return for another kick at the can, but the fact that he’s thinking about it a little bit is cause for hesitation. Not concern so much, because I feel like the captain knows this year was kind of weird and it isn’t the way he’d like to go out. But, only he knows what his body and heart are telling him, and if it’s time to move on, move back, or move out – then every last one of us should drop to our knees and thank him for his service over the last two decades. Much of the Wings’ summer rests on his decision, so knowing his fate before July 1st would be ideal — and to hear Helene St. James tell it, we’ll have a decision long before that. I’d do a goddamn backflip if he signed in the $5M range, but I think it’s more likely to assume he won’t take less than Rafalski’s $6M deal.
LIKELIHOOD OF RETURN: 85%

Todd Bertuzzi [RW, $1.5M]. Son of a bitch. Look, we all know how I feel about the guy (and about this is going to go down because the universe will find a way to make it so). I know the popular stance is to say that he plays hard both ways, find a niche, and was strong against the boards, but I just don’t see it in him. Well, wait, I take that back. I see it – because it’s true – it just doesn’t outweigh the negatives I see in every single shift he takes. He’s the worst skater on the team (a team that, by the way, includes Tomas Holmstrom), he isn’t physical for a man as imposing as he is, and he routinely makes dumbass passes and plays. All of that said, he has certainly clicked with Zetterberg and Filppula, as the trio made the most dominant Wings line in the playoffs. That chemistry alone is worth throwing dollars his way – and Holland has made it clear that he intends to re-sign Shetuzzi. Which is fine for TPL, because whenever he scores or does something completely retarded, we reap the benefits. Looking at another year and $1.5M, folks.
LIKELIHOOD OF RETURN: 80%


Patrick Eaves [LW, $500k] presents a different problem. He was making seven figures before being bought out last summer, and – riding the payout you receive from such a thing – signed for the league minimum to play in Detroit. He immediately found a place: he’s a great fit on the team, in the locker room, and everywhere in between. When he dropped the gloves on NBC one Sunday afternoon, I fully expected a contract extension to be waiting for him in his stall. But, alas, Ken Holland has more foresight and patience than I do, and we find ourselves heading into free agency reaaaaally hoping he wasn’t using the league minimum deal as a good faith tryout. Is he worth more than than the $850,000 I think he’ll sign for? Probably, but this is the Red Wings and to be a part of the greatest organization in hockey, you have to make sacrifices. It’s easy for me to say, but if my choice was 850k and the Red Wings or a million and the Thrashers, it’s a no-brainer.
LIKELIHOOD OF RETURN: 70%

Drew Miller [LW, $525k], all of a sudden, finds himself in a bit of a murky situation. Not that I don’t want him back, because he had a career year and is clearly a Red Wings kind of player. The problem is roster space. If things need to be mixed up, it might come at the expense of a waiver acquisition that was brought in to plug holes. Plug those holes he did, and he did it admirably, and there’s absolutely no question he deserves to be signed to a deal. It’s a matter of numbers (roster slots, not money), but in the end, I feel like he’s on the track to being re-signed, though it might be later into free agency after everyone else’s numbers come in. I bet he gets a Lebda-like deal, in the $650,000 range.
LIKELIHOOD OF RETURN: 50%


Kirk Maltby [LW, $883k]. I love him. I wish he could retire a Red Wing. But, both sides have hinted that he may have played his final game in Detroit – as the team is set to move on and spend the money elsewhere, and Malts has said he’s interested in continuing his on-ice career. It’d be painful to see him in another uniform, but that’s the man’s right as a hockey player. He’s played his heart out for this organization and he deserves to continue playing if that’s what he wishes – and his body will allow him. Of course, there’s the chance that his shoulder or any number of other joints tell him he’s had enough, he retires, and remains a member of the organization: as a scout, or a personnel guy, or something… There’s even a third option — he’s re-signed, at $650,000ish, and plays the role of 13th forward.
LIKELIHOOD OF RETURN: 25%

Andreas Lilja [D, $1.25M] is a guy that I thought was all-but-signed for next season. His chemistry with Jonathan Ericsson (and the calming influence he became) was valuable to the team, and even though Jakub Kindl has to be on the big squad next year, it’s no secret the Red Wings like to have too many defensemen instead of too few. Then, a curveball. Even Lilja, who writes a player blog, has said that it’ll take some magic to make it work. He’ll have to take a paycut on his (already reasonable) 1.25M and be okay with sitting some nights — and that’s a lot to ask of a guy that could get a modest raise and more playing time elsewhere. Is the writing on the wall for Lilja – who made a triumphant return after a year on IR? It might be.
LIKELIHOOD OF RETURN: 15%

Brett Lebda [D, $650k] is dunzo. That’s all there is to it. I’m willing to be that Ken Holland has no intention of even calling his agent. Enjoy watching Lebda join the rush and forget to play defense in Buffalo or something.
LIKELIHOOD OF RETURN: 1%

Jason Williams [C, $1.5M] last act as a Detroit Red Wing will be bombing a shot fourteen feet over the net, leading directly to a San Jose Sharks rush where he fails to backcheck properly and watches the game-winning goal in overtime of Game 3 of the Second Round. Ritola went into the lineup, Williams came out. And that’s where he’ll stay. He’ll find a home somewhere, but it won’t be Detroit.
LIKELIHOOD OF RETURN: 0.1%

Here’s my thing with Derek Meech [D, $483k]. I believe he’ll be re-signed BUT that’s not to say that he’ll be a Red Wing. He’s a restricted free agent, which means that the Wings have the right to match any offer he receives (or take draft pick compensation, should his new contract meet certain benchmarks). It’s always been the Wings way to qualify all of their RFAs and see what happens. If they intend on keeping them, they’ll make sure they’re signed. If they aren’t sure of their place on the team, guess what? Trade chip. Meech will come in very cheap, has never made a stink about rarely playing, is capable of dropping in at forward, etc. He’s a valuable player in that respect, so someone might bite on the trade offer.

All said, with the signings listed above – we’ve got a roster that looks a little something like this:
:: Howard, Osgood
:: Lidstrom, Rafalski, Kronwall, Stuart, Ericsson, Kindl
:: Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen, Filppula, Cleary, Holmstrom, Hudler
:: Bertuzzi, Draper, Eaves, Abdelkader, Helm, Ritola, Miller
That’s 22 players and about $56.47M dedicated to them. That leaves one roster spot (likely to be used on a defenseman) and — depending on how much the cap fluctuates — half a million dollars-ish to spend. Those figures all change if Ritola can’t crack the roster. 
THE OTHERS
Like Larsson, restricted free agent (and resident Norwegian) Ole-Kristian Tollefsen will be saying goodbye to the organization, as he’s signed in Europe. He was the additional chip in the Ville Leino deal, meaning the only return for PLAYOFF SUPERSTAR Leino will be a fifth round pick. 
It’s been made clear that Brad May is out as a Red Wing — and potentially as a hockey player. Seemed like a great man and a wonderful teammate, but as far as his on-ice value to this squad goes, it’s pretty low. He’s an enforcer (that doesn’t enforce) and scores the occasional goal (that won’t count). Add to the fact that he’s made it known that he’s yearning for family time, it’s probably time to hang them up. 

Johan “Enigma” Ryno’s deal is up this summer, as well, and it’ll be interesting to see what’s done about that. He was close to making the squad a few seasons ago, bolted for Sweden, came back, bolted again… the Wings obviously like him, but the feeling might not be mutual. I’m excited (because I’m a nerd) to see where this goes.

Doug Janik got into some games with the Wings this year, and was a valuable Griffin the rest of it, so I’m sure there’s interest in keeping him, but I doubt Janik wants to toil in the AHL if he can get a better deal elsewhere.

There are five additional restricted free agents and we’ll know more as the summer comes, but like I said above, they’ll probably all be qualified and have their ticket punched for Grand Rapids: Riley Armstrong, Evan McGrath, Ryan Oulahen, Jeremy Williams, and Sergei Kolosov – who is probably the one guy on this list that has a potential future on the Red Wings.

Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

The Good Old Hockey Show, TAKE 2!

The fine men at The Good Old Hockey Show (actually) invited me back to chat about the playoffs, Nick Lidstrom’s future, free agents, Todd “Still a Fucking Red Wing,” Bertuzzi and the prospect of the Wings playing at the Palace (gag) of Auburn Hills (GAG).

Once again, they were great hosts, it was awesome hockey talk, and I was honored to be their guest. For a direct link to the interview, click this link and listen to me ramble on and on about God knows what.

While you’re at it, follow the show on Twitter, as well as it’s host Jeff Hancock.

Scuttles Saga becomes Nick Narrative

It’s been a few days since the Red Wings season came crashing down, so we’re all sobering up a little bit. If it’s any consolation (and yes, yes it is), the Penguins lost last night. Mellon Arena was set to be demolished later in the summer, unless rioting Montreal Canadien fans get to it first…

Anyway, much has been made about our own little midget returning to the winged wheel for next season. Be honest, we were all expecting a long, drawn-out saga, filled with ‘will he won’t he’ and KHL presidents blabbering about God knows what. But, unceremoniously, it was revealed that Jiri Hudler will be returning to play for the Detroit Red Wings after his Russian team folded and amid rumors that he hasn’t seen a dime from his massive $5M tax-free “paycheck.” Obviously, $2.8M in the hand is more than five million theoretical dollars and freezing your nuts off.

Instead, it looks like the back and forth summer story is going to be about Nicklas Lidstrom. He’s an unrestricted free agent that’s just turned forty and while much has been made about his declining play, he’s still one of the best on the planet – hands down. He’s made no secret about the fact that he’d like to return to Sweden, and the same is said of Mrs. Lidstrom, but almost everyone seems to agree that he’ll be a Red Wing once again — and that he’ll take a pay cut to do it. Jamie Samuelsson tosses a little bit of water on that fire, saying that while Lidstrom’s likely aware that his “financial value has dropped,” he also knows that he’s the team’s most valuable player.

I don’t doubt for a second that Lidstrom will return next season. In the interest of fiscal responsibility, I hope he takes a salary somewhere around 5ish million. I’d do a backflip if he comes in under that figure, but considering the $7.45M salary he’s been making — is asking a man to take a 33% pay cut a bit dramatic? I know that if you asked me to, I’d kick you in the shins.

But there will be people out there who claim that he’s “made enough money” and “shouldn’t be greedy.” I never take it as athletes being greedy — they have a (relatively) short career and have to get all the dollars they can before their bodies are used up.

We’ll have a lot more about the salary cap situation as it unfolds, but a figure to wrap your brain around right now is 12.3. The Red Wings have about 12.3 million dollars in cap space, and have 8 spots to fill. The following is a list of UFAs and RFAs (that are likely to play on the Wings this upcoming season and their 09-10 salaries), so make of it what you will. We’ll address each hole later in the summer, so this isn’t a list of who NEEDS to be re-signed…simply a list of those that aren’t for next season.

–UNRESTRICTED–
Nicklas Lidstrom (7.45)
Tomas Holmstrom (2.25)
Todd Bertuzzi (1.5)
Jason Williams (1.5)
Andreas Lilja (1.25)
Kirk Maltby (833k)
Brett Lebda (650k)

–RESTRICTED–
Justin Abdelkader (850k) — my bad, thanks for the catch Misopogon
Darren Helm (599k)
Drew Miller (525k)
Mattias Ritola (512k)
Patrick Eaves (500k)
Derek Meech (483k)

Photo Credit: Christian Peterson, Getty Images

Here we come

Tonight, the Red Wings play the biggest game of the season. Or at least since Thursday. Following a heartbreaking overtime loss in front of a home crowd in Game 3, the Wings found themselves in a situation that is rarely overcome, a 0-3 series deficit. Somehow, people tried convincing Red Wings fans it’ll be okay because once-Red Sok (I don’t really know the singular of “Sox”) Johnny Damon is now a Tiger. Not quite sure how that is relevant, but you’ve gotta hang your hat on something I guess.
Wednesday morning, I received a text message from my buddy Wade, who is a life-long Capitals fan. It said, more or less, if there’s any team that can climb out of that hole, it’s the Red Wings – and if there’s any team that can choke from that mountain, it’s the Sharks. 
Enter Johan Franzen.
Despite having 11 points in 10 games, Mulo was having a quiet offensive post-season by his standards. We’ve grown used to seeing him score at will, but he’d missed much of the season with a knee injury and the team as a whole has played exceedingly underwhelming hockey for whole chunks of the year. 
Franzen scored five goals in Game 4. I don’t care that the first was credited to Todd Bertuzzi (who, I assure you, had no idea he had done anything positive), that was a Mule goal.  His six points was the main contribution to a Phoenix-Coyotes-in-Game-Seven-like ass-whomping of the Sharks. The photo at the top of the post is of Johan Franzen’s front lawn — clearly fans felt like he needed a few more hats. 
All of a sudden…attitudes are shifting. I’ve got hope.
If the Wings can play like they did in Game 4, there isn’t a team in the league that can stop them. I’m pretty sure the Sharks aren’t defeated mentally after one loss, but if the Wings can steal one in The Tank tonight… who knows what could happen? What I do know is that the Sharks want no part of a Game 6 at Joe Louis. 
Coming back into that environment down only 3-2 in the series feels a hell of a lot better than being down 3-0. Long story short, win Game 5 and absolutely anything can happen.
I read something last week that has stuck with me. You can’t win four games in one night – you can only win one. The Red Wings are certainly capable of winning four individual games in a row. The Sharks are capable of losing four in a row. The series won’t be won or lost tonight — it will end when the Wings decide it’s over: either by continuing to play like they did on Thursday or by mailing in another performance in any of the next three games. Frankly, neither should surprise us tonight. They’ve been unable to string together multiple games of that caliber, but — like Wade said — if anyone can, it’s our Red Wings.
Game 5. Here we come. 

Well Lebda wasn’t the answer.

Pictured above: the act the Sharks have perfected. 

FINAL SCORE (Hi Dad!)
4-3 Sharks, in overtime. Series is 3-0 Sharks.


TPL’S TAKE
Oh nice, there’s Sara in a tinfoil hat during the FSD pre-game video. Attagirl! Congratulations on making a very cool idea come to life and executing a very neat team-building thing. Forget all the haters who didn’t understand the satire/humor of it, and give yourself a hand.

Something I mentioned on Twitter, but will use more pleasant language here: either the Red Wings became the hardest hitting team on the entire planet in the span of one week…or the the San Jose Sharks are the biggest batch of cupcakes that’s ever been allowed to call themselves men. Christ almighty, flopping all over the goddamn place like they just got run over by a tank.

Amidst the clear physical intimidation taking place by Detroit, the Wings occasionally scored gaols. Sometimes they counted – other times they didn’t, and I dare you to attempt to explain to me why. If there was one thing I could change about the NHL, legitimately, it would be the clusterfuck that is the hierarchy or protocol or whatever you want to call it for reviewing things. Nothing like pulling an E-brake during a high energy moment in a high energy building. Twice. On the same goddamn play. One call went one way — the other another. There is officially nothing even remotely sane-minded about the league and its judgment. There needs to be a clear organization of authority, and I don’t believe for a minute anyone has any idea what the hell is going on when a headset goes on one of the idiots in stripes.

Speaking of which, let’s chat officiating shall we? Much has been said – and rightfully so – about how the Wings have been routinely jobbed in this series, but the calls that are being made against the Sharks are just laughable. I think that penalty shot call overtakes the Dany Heatley “goaltender interference” call from the other night. Yes, the Wings are receiving the brunt of weak calls, but the more egregious ones are going against the Sharks. If anything, that does more to prove the point of blatant one-sidedness, making desperate calls to even up the score, as it were. There isn’t anyone on Earth that can tell me that Heatley call the other night was legit, or anything other than a “wait, this looks bad, let’s have one go the other way” penalty.

Back to Game 3: there’s absolutely no way that a Sharks player covered the puck with his glove in the crease. He definitely nudged it under Nabokov’s pad, which – for the record – is 10,000% legal in the NHL. It would have been great if Henrik Zetterberg scored on his shot (HA! Yeah, I know…), but part of me is glad he didn’t because the all-of-a-sudden-insufferable Sharks fans wouldn’t shut up about it until at least May 20th, when they forget they have a hockey team. Z actually made a nifty move before going to his old-standby backhand, but Nabokov absolutely robbed a sure-goal. Beautiful save, real close to the goal line. Give credit where it’s due. Hell of a save.

Homer’s re-direct counted, Dan Cleary added a second marker, and things looked pretty comfy for the first time in the series. But, not content to head into the locker room after one period riding a shutout in front of the home crowd, Jimmy (he’s back to Jimmy now) Howard kicks each and every one of us in the nuts (or equally painful/humiliating lady parts) with 1.8 seconds left. At least that way he couldn’t allow another one (or two) in the next 90 seconds, AMIRIGHT?! I’ll be here all week.

Zetterberg netted one that counted a few minutes into the second, which was huge because it proved to the bench and the fans watching that the late goal in the first didn’t affect them mentally. Which is big, because a lot of times it’s easy to dwell on such a poorly-timed goal for 17 minutes while the big machine lays a film of water on the ice.

OH NO DON’T HURT MY BABY! is what I immediately thought when I saw Darren Helm take a puck up high and hit the deck. Because he’s made of man, he got up – on his own – a few seconds later, stole Chuck Norris’ wife, and went about his business of being so completely and totally awesome that the pants of all 19,000 in attendance became simultaneously tighter. Yeah, even the women. I’m not really sure how it all works down there, so go with it.

In the final frame, the ice began to tilt toward TPL Mom and Sara, with the Sharks maintaining control for stretches, making it very scary to behold. Joe Thornton (wait, really?) scored for the second game in a row, narrowing the gap. Tiberius would make a handful of excellent saves that made you think “hmmm….I should remember that one for the recap because when the Wings win, it might be important.”

And thennnnnn…

With 6:43 left in the third, known goal scoring machine Logan “Juicy” Couture scored from behind the goal line. A very weak effort from Howard, one-upping the Henrik Zetterberg deflection off of a Shark defender earlier in the game. Feel free to call me a wishy washy asshole, but I just don’t feel like we’ve seen Calder-caliber Howard in the post-season. I’m not blaming him for losses or claiming Osgood would be a better option (FALSE), but I’m not super confident with Howard right now. I’m up for debate, for sure, just a feeling Jimmah gives me in my bellah.

A few minutes later, Nabokov goes all Greg Louganis on us and flippity flops all over the place. Yeah, he was out of the crease, but I mean… how would you react if you got shot in the chest by a shotgun? Wait, you say he wasn’t? Hm… suspect reaction then. When I get into the office, I’m going to start filling out the Screen Actors Guild paperwork for him. No way homeboy should live any longer with the SAG Card. There are a lot of perks to those things for actors with his unique skill set.

Hey, ya know what won’t be taxing on my tummy at all? Overtime.

Shockingly, the NHL didn’t step in and demand that the intermission be only two minutes (instead of the full-length one you’re supposed to get in the playoffs) in an effort to keep the Sharks momentum rolling. It didn’t matter, 7 minutes into the extra frame the Sharks made it 3-0 in the series.

Since it’ll be brought up everywhere, the Wings got two power plays (one of which was seven seconds long) to the Sharks six.

All that’s left to do is sit back and enjoy the game on Thursday.

I have a feeling Malik want you to know where he stands


The newest episode of The Obstructed View is up and ready to jailhump your ears. Episode 17 (WE’RE GETTING OLD, BOYS AND GIRLS) is live and joining host/millionaire matchmaker Chris Hollis are George Malik of Snapshots, Jessie from Bingo Bango, and yours truly.

Get your fill of playoff talk, referee eye exams, nearly hitting Western Canadians on Arizona roads, flashmobs, shit-hole alma maters, and maybe — just maybe — a lengthy soul-spilling by our very favorite George. Truth be told, it’s completely and totally refreshing to hear him say things that we all are thinking and wish we could articulate properly. From now on, I’m calling Malik if I get stuck writing for work.

Books! Podcasts. Check ’em out.