Delayed Loss Candy

Following a “meh” loss to the Wild that I watched on DVR super late — I thought it was time for another timely edition of Loss Candy to up Red Wings Nation’s spirits.

First up, for anyone that likes insanely beautiful women:

Eva Longoria Parker found out that her soon-to-be-ex-husband and notable French pansy Tony Parker was caught cheating with a former teammate’s significantly less hot soon-to-be-ex-wife. Oh, basketball players… you really know how to shoot downhill, don’t you?

I work with a bunch of nerds, and they were all too excited to focus this past week because apparently a new Harry Potter film was released and they — evidently — de-aged twenty years upon the news. Nevertheless, I present whoever-the-fuck this young man is:

But you know who WAS kind of cute from the HP movies? That chick that played Hermione. I wonder what happened to her...

Nov. 17 :: Where We’re Going… We Don’t Need Roads

WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
Wings and Blues. 7:30pm. Wednesday.

WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?
Detroit has won three games in a row, 6 of their last 7, and 9 of their last 11. St. Louis is a bit of a losing streak, dropping four in a row (allowing 22 goals in the process), but their 21 points are just a pair behind the Central-leading Red Wings.

NOW WHERE WERE WE?
The last match-up between these two squads was the final game before H2H last season. The Wings were 4-2 winners on goals from Zetterberg, Bertuzzi, and a pair from Flapjack.

OH, HI AGAIN
Former Red Wings goaltender Ty Conklin now mans the crease for the Notes when Jaroslav Halak shits the bed. Conklin’s most recent appearance was in the 5-3 loss to the Coyotes on Saturday.

MEMBA ME?!
Current Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood had a stint in St. Louis, playing 76 games over two seasons. He won 35 of them.

BEST NAME NOMINEE
Newcomer Nicholas Drazenovic is the clear winner in this category this time around. And he’s just from British Columbia — not, like, Uzbekistan. Drazenovic was sent packing yesterday, so I’ll have to check the TPLBNN By-Laws to see if he’s eligible. Runner-up is Nikita Nikitin. A Vice Best Name Nominee, if you will.

THEIR LAST GAMES
:: The Wings dropped Colorado 3-1 on Saturday. Detroit beating the Avalanche? Just like HISTORY.
:: The Blues lost to the very same Avs, 6-3 on Monday. St. Louis maintaining their eternal mediocrity? Just like HISTORY.

EXPECTED LINEUP
Homer — Datsyuk — Middle Reliever [SEE BELOW FOR NEW CASEY AWESOMESAUCE]
Scuttles — Flip — Mulo
Thunderchief — Modano — Cleary
Abdelkader — Danger — Miller

Lidstrom — Stuart
Shitbox — Rafalski
Potter — Cirque

Tiberius
Joey Mac

Scratches
Patrick “Gimme Milk. Chocolate.” Eaves
Jakub “Take That, You  Mutated Son of a Bitch!” Kindl

Injuries
Kris “What Do Kids Do in the 50’s?” Draper [groin]
Chris “Is There a Problem With Earth’s Gravitational Pull?” Osgood [groin]

Honorable Mentions
Todd “HELLO! Anybody Home?!” Bertuzzi
Todd “You’re Going to See Some Serious Shit” Bertuzzi
Todd “We All Make Mistakes in Life, Children” Bertuzzi
Jonathan “I’m Your Density. I Mean Destiny” Ericsson
Darren “Let’s See if You Bastards Can Do 90” Helm
Darren “Flux Capacitor…Fluxxing” Helm
Jiri “He’s a Very Strange Young Man” Hudler
Andreas “I’ve Never Seen Purple Underwear Before” Lilja
Ville “Make Like a Tree and Get Outta Here” Leino

THE FIVE HOLE
1. Halak and the Blues might be on a bit of a losing streak, but that’s still a good hockey club, and it’ll be a good opportunity to measure the Wings against another division contender. I’m sure they’ll be angry and hope to get back on the winning path, with a big victory against the almighty Red Wings. Stay tuned for a barn burner.
2. Can the third line keep up the pace? As we said — nay, admitted — on the most recent episode of TP:60, Todd Bertuzzi looks awesome and Dan Cleary is the hottest man in the NHL right now.
3. At the same time, we’re hoping for a little more action from the top line guys. Pavel Datsyuk has cooled off just a little bit in the scoring department, but continues to make great plays. There’s very little concern about those guys getting their points, but they’ll be expected to produce chances in a game against a decent club with a good goaltender. I’ve got my Curly Fries shirt on today… just sayin’…
4. Is today the day that Shitbox does something to remind us why he’s the Shitbox? Because he’s looked good, too…
5. Jiri Hudler is the wild card for the night. He could either be riding the confidence wave, and continue to look good — or he feels like he’s contributed enough to stay out of the doghouse for a few days and takes the night off. With a player like him, it’s hard to predict, and I’m certainly hoping for the former.

WHAT WE LEARNED AGAINST THE AVALANCHE
Scuttles likes to bite — and shoot pucks off of — backs.

WUT?

TP:60 – Episode #5

Don’t forget, you can keep up-to-date on all of the latest TP:60 happenings – including previews for upcoming shows – at the TP:60 Home Page. Miss an episode? Just want more TP:60 awesomeness? TheTP:60 Archive has you covered.

Two more games and two more wins for the Red Wings, and the TP:60 crew couldn’t be more excited. Petrella and Disch are both back in the saddle this week and join Hollis in welcoming Ellen from Big Red Machine and Jeff Hancock from Brendan Smithsonian Institution to the show. The gang tackles all things Dan Cleary, Todd Bertuzzi and Jiri Hudler, as well as sharing insight into how the Wings should handle the “odd-man out” situation on a nightly basis. The group also shares their thoughts on the Colin Campbell controversy, how Kris Draper fits into the Wings’ plans moving forward and what snacks are a must when it’s date night at the movie theater (as it was for Disch last night.) Of course, it can’t be an episode of TP:60 without having Ellen and Jeff address the Willa/Duff debate that’s been going on the entire season, and the answers don’t disappoint.

Just like Robert Tychkowski, it’s goin’ down on TP:60.

As always, send your questions, comments and feedback to contact@theproductionline.us. Looking to subscribe to the show? iTunes has you covered.

Win Candy, Courtesy of the MacRosties

Following a fairly dominant 3-1 victory by the Red Wings over the Avalanche, I present the following Win Candy for your enjoyment — suggestions made by Mr. and Mrs. MacRostie, @Flapjack_McZap and @jennyquarx. If you’d like to make some suggestions for future Win and Loss Candies, shoot us an e-mail and we’ll throw them in the queue.

First, for the ladies:

Sam Worthington, photo by Max Doyle/Headpress

And for those that like the womenz:

Italian rocker Cristina Scabbia, who I'd never heard of until Zach sent me this photo

Enjoy the rest of your weekend

Nov. 13 :: She Touched My Meat And Blamed It On Jeans

I couldn't decide between Billy Oceans quotes or commonly misheard lyrics... so I used both for the title.

WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
The Red Wings and Avalanche meet for the second time this season, Saturday 7pm.

WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?
Since October 30th, the Wings are 5-1. After tonight’s game, the Wings get a few days off to recharge the batteries.

NOW WHERE WERE WE?
On October 12th, the Avs beat the Wings 5-4 in a shootout.

OH, HI AGAIN / MEMBA ME?! / BNN
Kyle Quincey / Ruslan Salei /Jonas Holos.

THEIR LAST GAMES
:: Detroit mugged and murdered the Oilers on Thursday, by a score of Chalk Outline to Riding Gretzky’s Memory From Last Place.
:: Colorado defeated the Blue Jackets 5-1 last night.

EXPECTED LINEUP
Zetterberg — Datsyuk — Homer
Scuttles — Filppula — Mulo
Bertuzzi — Modano — Cleary
Abdelkader — Danger — Eaves

Lidstrom — Stuart
Shitbox — Rafalski
Kronwall — Cirque du Salei

Tiberius
Joey Mac

Scratches
Drew “Like A Virgin, Touched For the Thirty-First Time” Miller
Jakub “My Pony Plays the Mamba” Kindl

Injuries
Kris “The Algebra Has a Devil Set Aside For Me” Draper [groin]
Chris “Might As Well Face It, You’re A Dick Dick With Glove” Osgood [groin]

Honorable Mentions
Todd “Dirty Deeds Done To Sheep” Bertuzzi [Osgood and this one courtesy of @ScrappyOctopus]
Justin “Got My First Real Sex Dream, Bought It at the Five and Dime” Abdelkader
Johan “Got His Hand in Invisible Duck Shit” Franzen
Jiri “Doesn’t Matter If We’re Naked Or Not” Hudler
Pavel “You Can Hold Til You Relieve It” Datsyuk
Jonathan “I Thought My Ma Sat On You” Ericsson
Brett “Revved Up Like a Douche” Lebda
Andreas “See That Girl, Watch Her Scream” Lilja
Mikael “Hit Me With Your Pet Shark” Samuelsson
Marian “Excuse Me While I Kiss This Guy” Hossa
Kyle “Shamu, The Mysterious Whale” Wellwood
Kyle “You Made the Rice, I Made the Gravy. But it Just May Be Some Tuna Fish You’re Looking For” Wellwood

THE FIVE HOLE
1. Tiberius is off to a very strong start, doing his best to squash the Sophomore Slump fears. He’s 14th in the league in save percentage, 11th in goals against average, and 5th in wins.
2. I’d love to see the defense begin to get involved in the offense. Not to say that they’re slacking, but with the forwards firing how they are — imaging adding a constant scoring threat from the blueline.
3. Johan Franzen got his 100th goal in the last game, and maybe that’s just the thing he needs to get rolling. I’d love to see a point-per-game from the man more than capable of it.
4. Todd Bertuzzi is third in the NHL in +/-. You heard me.
5. Win this one for my good buddy Clay, who’s in attendance tonight.

WHAT WE LEARNED AGAINST THE OILERS
You know who should probably keep running his mouth instead of letting his team do the talking?

Does 6-2 Count as a Whomping?

FINAL SCORE (Hi Dad!)
Red Wings 6, Oilers 2.

ANALYSIS FROM A FORMER HOCKEY PLAYER
The first goal was a thing of beauty — a great pass made by Jiri Hudler from behind the net to a completely unchecked Valtteri Filppula. It looked an awful lot like a power play since Scuttles was given all the time in the world to find an open man (and the men on the ice were given all the time in the world to make themselves open). Jordan Eberle took a year and a half to decide that it was his man playing keepaway with the puck and by the time he made a move, Flip dropped into the slot (behind two Oilers defensemen staring at Scuttles for some reason) and the puck was on fluttered just off the ice, onto the right blade, and into the net. That’s miscommunication and immaturity from a young hockey player and a young hockey team.

That said, I’m kind of surprised there aren’t more people talking about how goddamn good Jordan Eberle is. That kid is the real deal. He may not have looked like a standout in everyone’s eyes during this contest, but he is going to be a player. The little things he can do in the offensive zone are amazing — and I assume they’re only going to get better. I promise you in a few years, we’ll be looking at him and saying “22nd overall? Jesus Christ…” God, that Draft was good…

One thing to note about the second Wings goal is this: did you notice a difference between the Red Wings reaction on this goal (or the first, for that matter) and the goal that Taylor Hall scored in Edmonton this past weekend? While Hall — and not to say that it’s not okay — pumped his fist and got all giddy, the Red Wings went along like it was business as usual. Do you know why it looked like that? Because it was business as usual. The Red Wings offense, when it’s working and confident, is a well-oiled machine that just needs the right pieces in place to make magic happen. Tomas Holmstrom’s stick is unreal and no offense to the intermission video man of the hour (and my favorite player of all time) Dino Ciccarelli, but Homer’s the best there ever was from that spot. Two whacks at a puck before Nikolai Khabibulin can even identify where the puck is? That’s gangsta.

Edmonton’s timeout was going to be a game-decider. Either the Oilers regrouped and composed themselves… or they let the wheels continue to fall off. The first couple of shifts after that timeout were telling, and those are the kinds of decisions and moments that will either haunt Tom Renney or help prove he’s a genius. And then…

Uh oh! Another Red Wings goal. Terrible timing for the Oilers to allow a third goal. I was preparing to launch into some “this is what happens when you mess with chemistry”-esque tirade, but that line looked pretty good. When Todd Bertuzzi, who played a very solid game in that slot, is the one who is out of sync, things are okay. Mike Modano and Dan Cleary know each other already and there’s something there. I’m not sure Todd Bertuzzi fits on that line in the long-term, especially since he clicks so well with Franzen and Filppula, but he played well with the other two guys — albeit looking like the “new guy” on the line.

Bert continued to impress in the opening minutes of the second period, making a great keep-in play and an even better pass to Dan Cleary, who has NO BUSINESS scoring from there. That one’s on Khabibulin, whose head is completely fried by this point. In related news, I have Khabibulin playing in my Red Wings Blogger Fantasy Hockey League and Dan Cleary benched. Just sayin’.

Real quick — I adore that the fourth line always gets the first shift after a goal (for either team) — assuming they weren’t on the ice for it. That’s the right move. You don’t need another goal immediately, though you could certainly get one from those guys. What you need is to continue pressing the issue that “THIS IS MY HOUSE” and there aren’t better guys on the roster to remind you of that than Darren Helm, Drew Miller, Justin Abdelkader and/or Patrick Eaves. If you thought you could take a minute and compose your thoughts after a goal against, you were wrong. Enjoy this forecheck!

100 times out of 100, I’d rather have a two minute power play than a penalty shot. And weak sauce like Mike Modano’s attempt is why. When you have tools like the Red Wings offense, I’d rather chip away at the clock and potentially tally one than get one kick at the can and then go back to five-on-five. How about a hybrid system where if the penalty shot is unsuccessful, then you get the power play? Or a football-style “decline the penalty shot” kind of thing? I’m talking out of my ass, just ignore me. If only there was some way to prove my “two minutes and a goal is better than four seconds and one chance” theory…

OH WAIT. On the first Red Wings power play of the night, the Wings ate 1:48 of the second period and scored their fifth of the night. Johan Franzen got a stick on a bouncing puck at the front of the net — a puck that zero Oilers could corral for some goddamn reason — and made it his 100th career goal. At this point, the Oilers are done. You could tell in their body language that they had no interest in playing anymore.

The Wings must have seen what I saw, because they came out extremely flat and over-confident. This lead to a lazy penalty… which led to a lazy penalty kill… featuring lazy defense… allowing for a quasi-easy goal for the Oilers. The shutout was lost, but the Wings woke up a bit and realized that while Edmonton isn’t going to compete for the Cup, they’re still an NHL team that has a lot of talent.

Not hockey-related, but related to my real job: the thank you’s that the American Red Wings did to the troops (while very classy, touching, and deserved) are exactly why you’re instructed not to stare into the camera. I’m sure they were reading from a teleprompter, which is often directly in front of the lens, but it’s creepy. Next time you watch the news or see another type of interview, notice how they look just off of the camera (i.e. to it’s left or right). That’s because it’s a scientific fact that someone staring through a camera and into your soul scares the living shit out of people. Particularly when they’re reading because they’re generally wider-eyed than usual to make sure they don’t skip a word or grammar prompt.

My Shirtuzzi is 1-0. How’s yours?

Photo Credit: Dave Sandford/Getty Images

Nov. 11 :: Trapped in the Closet

Not pictures: underage girls being urinated on.

WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
The Wings take on the Oilers once again — this time at the Joe. Puck drops at 7:30 Eastern.

WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?
The big story heading into the game is that the lines have been shuffled once again in an effort to get everyone clicking. More on that below…

NOW WHERE WERE WE?
These two squads just met on the Wings’ Western Canada road trip. It was a 3-1 winner for the good guys and we got goals from — WOULDN’T YA KNOW IT! — third liners Dan Cleary and Justin Abdelkader — and Valtteri Filppula.

THEIR LAST GAMES
:: Detroit needed overtime to beat Phoenix, 3-2, on Monday.
:: Edmonton got curb-stomped on Tuesday, falling 7-1 to the Hurricanes.

EXPECTED LINEUP
Zetterberg — Datsyuk — Homer
Hudler — Filppula — Mulo
Bertuzzi — Modano — Cleary
Abdelkader — Danger — Miller

Lidstrom — Stuart
Rafalski — Shitbox
Kronwall — Cirque

Tiberius
Joey & Cheese

Scratches [nickname theme courtesy of @TheScrappyOctopus]
Patrick “Shh Shh Quiet, Hurry Up and Get in the Closet” Eaves
Jakub “Don’t Make a Sound or Some Shit is Going Down” Kindl

Injuries
Kris “7:00 in the Morning and the Rays from the Sun Wakes Me” Draper [groin]
Chris “I’m Stretchin’ and Yawnin'” Osgood [groin]

Honorable Mentions
Todd “Just How I’m Gonna Get My Crazy Ass Up Out This House” Bertuzzi
Ville “We On The Fifth Floor” Leino
Brett “So Good That He Deserves an Oscar” Lebda

THE FIVE HOLE
1. Let’s see where these new line combinations go. Todd Bertuzzi’s been playing very well, but — as the folks talked about on TP:60 — something’s gotta get Jiri Hudler going. Since I wasn’t able to be on, I wasn’t able to drop my “you can take the man out of the trailer park, but you can’t take the trailer park out of the man” analogy for good ol’ Scuttles. He’s not a fourth line guy, and no matter how hard you try to make him one, it won’t work. Is he a top six guy? Maybe not on this squad, but that’s certainly his game. He’s not clicking on the third line, where it’s — more or less — defense first, so let’s see what happens when he’s given a LEGIT shot to score some goals. If he comes through with one, we’ll know where he “belongs,” not where he “deserves to be.”
2. I missed the last game, but from what I hear Riggy has been playing pretty well. I thought so in the few games I did see after his return, and — like Hudler — he’s being given every opportunity to prove he belongs on this team, being paired with Brian Rafalski
3. Chris Osgood’s almost ready to return which is, somehow, good. Jimmy Howard’s been getting run a little bit and I’m sure this span of four games in a week would have been nice to have Chris Osgood to spell the starter.
4. How will Nikolai Khabibulin bounce back after letting in 48 goals in the first six minutes of the last game? If I’m behind the bench, I’m telling everyone to shoot the HELL out of the puck. Put 300 shots on the board, more than a few are going to squeak by — even though he played the Wings REALLY well last week.
5. Congratulations to Ryan King, who won our first Facebook contest. He and a guest will be in attendance for tonight’s festivities, sitting in Petrella Daiquiri Seats.

WHAT WE LEARNED AGAINST THE COYOTES.
Take some shots, Rusty.

The Tychkowski Situation

As many of you have seen and read over the last few hours, the Edmonton Sun’s Robert Tychkowski took a few shots at the city of Detroit in his pregame post last night (all credit to Triple Deke Tyler):

“Welcome to Detroit, where the forecast, as always, is muggy, with a chance of murder.

When you’re trying to breathe a little life back into your year, this is not the place to visit. And not just because they use more white chalk at crime scenes than they ever did in the schools.”

Predictably, this word bomb from a guy who probably thinks Edmonton is a bright, shining star in the global city standings stirred up the emotions of a proud Wings fan base, this fan included. It’s never fun hearing people knock the city that we all love and it does cause the fires to burn a bit each time someone drops “guns,” “murder,” or “killing” into a story about Detroit and the Red Wings and the first inclination is always to step up and go to bat for our fair city. It’s a pride thing and I believe in it just as much as all of you do. We all know Tychkowski is taking the easy road here by playing up the city’s reputation as dangerous and deadly, and we all recognize that his efforts are journalism at their crappiest. It’s not the first time some asshat writer has played this card, nor will it be the last.

That said, I have a plea for all of you fans out there who feel “disrespected,” “attacked,” or “insulted” based on Tych’s column:

Please. Calm. Down.

Remember back many moons ago when the common response to a poorly written piece of journalism was to write a strongly worded letter to someone or some thing? Please, exercise that practice in this situation. Send an e-mail to Tych and tell him what a piece of garbage his story was. Send an e-mail to the editorial staff at the Sun and let them know that you think this hack of a journalist is just that: a hack. But for the love of God, stop martyring yourself, the city and everything else attached to the Red Wings organization for the sake of some farcical “justice” that you think is owed to you and the rest of the fan base.

In short: Get over it.

Why this approach you ask? Well, let’s see. Maybe it’s because my Twitter feed is full of tweets trying to rally a revolution together to turn Tych into an official Enemy of the State. Or maybe it’s the multiple mails I’ve received asking me to send a mail to the Detroit Red Wings to implore them that they remove this guy’s press pass for tonight’s game. Both are definite factors in the writing of this post, but I think the biggest single catalyst for my soon-to-be very unpopular opinion is the fact that every time someone says something negative about the city of Detroit or the Red Wings, the only way everyone feels satisfied is if a digital uprising takes place in an attempt to regain some sort of honor for Detroit.

I get it. It’s hard to stand by and watch someone say something stupid and hurtful about something that we all care about very deeply. But these “DEFEND AT ALL COSTS” reactions need to take a step back into the realm of reality at some point, otherwise the monikers of “sensitive” and “thin-skinned” will only continue to be used when describing the city and the fan base. Case and point: Someone asked me the other day about how I feel every time Ryan Lambert slams Red Wings fans for being sensitive and “whiny”. Do I like it? No. Does he have a point? Sometimes. When it comes to Detroit, his game is based solely on exploiting the insecurities of Wings fans, and there is none bigger than slamming the city itself and calling it’s defenders names. Whatever. If that draws readers, then good for him. He’s just playing the game. But to start an uprising every time someone says something that stings or isn’t fair only serves to strengthen his position and put bullets into the proverbial chamber; the same one that holds the “Wings are too old”  and the “If you aren’t a murderous city, why is there a show on ABC dedicated to Detroit homicide?” bullets.

Look, it’s not easy to tune these things out and I’m not asking you to. If you were offended by Tych’s piece or if it wronged you in some way, then write an e-mail to him and his editors and step away from the computer. There’s no need to take to the e-streets and demand e-justice. Stiffen that upper lip, straighten up that spine and realize that Tych is probably worse off having to sit in the press box with his peers tonight than he would be if he was banned from the arena, which would solve nothing except provoking a slam job story on Detroit and the Red Wings.

It’s a great thing to be proud, but it’s time to put the pitchforks and torches away.

Who Wants to See a Hockey Game?

We’re constantly being reminded how awesome our friends and fans are — and we’re always looking for ways to say thank you.

The Production Line has a pair of tickets to tonight’s game against the Oilers to give away. I know it’s short notice, but if you’re in the Metro Detroit area and want to check out the game from seats that Hollis has dubbed “Petrella Daiquiri Seats,” be the first to head over to the TPL Facebook Page and answer the question posed regarding the latest episode of TP:60.

Two seats in Section 106 (right at the blue line), Row 14 could be all yours. The tickets will be delivered electronically, via e-mail, in PDF form. Just print the attachment that arrives and take them to the gate. Obviously, to be eligible for the prize, you’ve got to be able to get to tonight’s game, which — sadly — means our out-of-town folks can’t take advantage (trust me, all three of us are bummed we can’t use them…). In addition, you must be a “fan” of the Facebook page. Bonus points if you’re wearing a Shirtuzzi to the game… just sayin’…

TP:60 – Episode #4

Don’t forget, you can keep up-to-date on all of the latest TP:60 happenings – including previews for upcoming shows – at the TP:60 Home Page. Miss an episode? Just want more TP:60 awesomeness? The TP:60 Archive has you covered.

The Wings are back from their trip out West and heading into a long homestand, which means there’s plenty to talk about on TP:60 this week. While Petrella continues to grind it out in the Big Easy, Hollis and Disch hold down the fort alongside Casey Richey of Winging It In Motown and Natalie from The Scrappy Octopus. Topics for the evening include the continued emergence of Justin Abdelkader, playing catch-up with our good friend Brett Lebda and breaking down the potential fan fallout if the Wings were to head out to suburbia and play at The Palace of Auburn Hills for a year while their new arena is being built in downtown Detroit.

Even when things are looking up, it’s still goin’ down on TP:60.

As always, send your questions, comments and feedback to contact@theproductionline.us. Looking to subscribe to the show? iTunes has you covered.