TP:60 – Episode #9

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.

Fresh (and hot!) off of a triumphant run to glory with #operationcurlyfries, TP:60 continues to bring the heat this week. Hollis, Petrella and Disch are joined by Casey Richey from Winging It In Motown and Matt Saler from On the Wings in welcoming Grand Rapids Griffins “rookie” Ilari Filppula to the show. Ilari talks about his transition to the American game, how he sees his game developing and what his expectations within the organization are. The older Flip also breaks down who would win in an arm-wrestling match between him and Valtteri, what movie he defaults to during a day on the couch and (of course) which Disney princess is the one for him.

Following the chat with Larry Flip, the gang breaks down the Red Wings blue line, while also trying to figure out when Chris Osgood will get win #400. Per usual, the “Who would you rather?” sweepstakes brings the show home, although with a slight twist this week.

What happened to Michigan State and Jr. Roast Beef? They went down. Just like 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.

Ilari Filppula Photo Courtesy of Mark Newman

Red Wings lose to Jonathan Quick

FINAL SCORE (Hi Dad!)
Red Wings 0, Jonathan Quings 5

Sometimes, you’re just at the mercy of an opposing player. Tonight, it was Jonathan Quick. He flat out owned the Red Wings — despite the Wings’ extremely lopsided shot total. Once it was apparent that he wasn’t going to allow anything, the Wings basically gave up — allowing the floodgates (formerly Chris Osgood’s nickname) to open. Stinker.

I didn’t recognize Charlie Hunnam’s name, but he looked familiar so I looked him up. He’s the dude from Green Street Hooligans. A vastly underrated film — check it out sometime. Anyway, go ahead and thank @vikbash for this little bit of man-candy (m’andy?):

I had this post ready to go during the third, when it became out of reach (five goal deficit). But since @jmayDET had a special request for Loss Candy, I had to come back in and oblige. Congratulations on winning the calendar and Christmas ornament, boss. Enjoy your other gift: Scarlet Johansson — who’s not my type, but it takes all kinds. Also, I’m certainly not angry at her sweater.

Dec. 13 :: In a world of van chases… we’re your snow fortress

Inception came out on BluRay and DVD last week. Go get it.

WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
Wings and Kings, 7:30pm Wednesday. They’ll fight the snow and non-Lions NFL traffic to make it happen.

WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?
Buried in this article, allegedly about Datsyuk and Zetterberg, Ansar Khan relays an interesting quote from Mike Babcock, wherein he says Jiri Hudler needs to earn his way out of the healthy scratch rotation, which is now four men deep (Miller, Eaves, Draper, Scuttlebutt). It’d be easy to argue that Miller and Eaves have already played their way out of that rotation, but they’re still mentioned as part of it, likely because of their contracts in comparison to bigger money guys like Hudler.

NOW WHERE WERE WE?
Just last Saturday, the Wings dropped an overtime decision to the Kings, but Brad Stuart was throwing weight like whoa. The game began an unimpressive three-game skid, but the Wings look to have righted the ship.

OH, HI AGAIN / MEMBA ME?! / BEST NAME NOMINEE
The aforementioned Stewie is the only player on either roster to have spent time on the other. And Jonathan Quick is a killer name. 

THEIR LAST GAMES
:: Detroit thoroughly dismantled the Devils, 4-1, on Saturday night.
:: Los Angeles lost to Minnesota in overtime, 3-2, also on Saturday night.

EXPECTED LINEUP
By special request, the TPL Glossary is ready to jailsex your eyes:
Zetterberg — Datsyuk — Homer
Thunderchief — Flip — Mulo
Buckets — Gator — Scuttles
Miller — Helm — Eaves

Lidstrom — Stuart
Rafalski — Ericsson
Kronwall — Ruslan “One Horse Open” Salei (h/t @vtucherov)

Tiberius
Osgood

Scratches
Jakub “Like a Work Placement?” Kindl [in Grand Rapids]
Kris “Not Exactly” Draper

Injuries
Mike “I Think I’ll Sit This One Out on This Level, Boys” Modano [wrist]

Honorable Mentions
Todd “I’d Hate to See You Outta Control” Bertuzzi
Todd “Paradox” Bertuzzi
Todd “It’s Not Strictly Speaking… Legal” Bertuzzi
Jiri “You Mustn’t Be Afraid to Dream a Little Bigger, Darling” Hudler
*If there are any that you think I missed, throw them in the comments — the best one will be shared for all to enjoy on the TPL Facebook Page*

THE FIVE HOLE
1. After Chris Osgood earned his 399th career win, Jimmy Howard returns to the net to face the Kings. Along with Patrick Eaves (in for Kris Draper), only slight roster tweaks have been made since the overtime loss to the Kings last weekend.
2. I’m feelin’ curly tonight
3. Let me plant this idea in your subconscious: Darren Helm scores on a breakaway. Tonight. He saw the robot devil drawing from @stevieroxelle and he’s none too pleased. I bet.
4. Jiri Hudler comes back in… and that will make some people angry. I’m certain it will come up tomorrow, when we’re taping the new TP:60, but I feel like that conversation has jumped the shark, and everyone’s made up their minds about him at this point. No matter which side of the fence you’re on, we can all agree that he needs to do something, like three weeks ago, to get going. It’s getting old, Scuttles.
5. Seriously. Watch Inception.

WHAT WE LEARNED AGAINST THE DEVILS
We, too, can score goals in the opening minute.

KING WE COVET (JJ Special)
Anyone that answers “Ryan Smyth” is an asshole. And I know everyone would love to lean toward Jack Johnson because of his Ann Arbor ties, but I feel like he’s a penis. I’m going to go off the board and pick Wayne Simmonds.

WUT?

Dec. 11 :: These Things Are Always Touching Me… In Places!

Another gem from @stevieroxelle

WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
Our beloved Red Wings are forced to endure a few hours in New Jersey, playing the Devils at 7pm Eastern. Many, many showers will be needed to get the funk of America’s landfill out of their skin.

WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?
Detroit plays their fourth game of the week (and sixth in 8 days). They had a very nice win last night against Montreal, but they started to look a little tired toward the end of the contest. Back-to-back game. Beware.

NOW WHERE WERE WE?
The last matchup between these two squads was over a year ago, December 5th. The Wings dropped the shootout (SURPRISE!) for a final score of 4-3. Chris Osgood lost that contest (SURPRISE AGAIN!) — his fourth loss in a row during an awful season. Goals were scored by Tomas Holmstrom, Kris Draper, and Patrick Eaves. The Wings were without Brian Rafalski (back), Andreas Lilja (difficulties recovering from getting the shit kicked out of him), Johan Franzen (knee), Valtteri Filppula (wrist), Jason Williams (broken leg, chronic vanillitis), Niklas Kronwall (your knee ain’t supposed to bend that way, playa)

OH, HI AGAIN
Nobody on the Devils roster used to be a Red Wing, but there are there Michiganders: Brian Rolston (Flint), Andy Greene (Trenton), and the currently injured Matt Taormina (Warren).

MEMBA ME?!
Brian Rafalski played 643 combined regular season and playoff games with the New Jersey Devils. Also, Drew Miller was born in Jersey. Sorry for all of those horrible things I’ve said (and will continue to say) about your homestate, SNP.

BEST NAME NOMINEE
It might be captain Jamie Langenbrunner.

THEIR LAST GAMES
:: Detroit defeated Montreal, 4-2, last night.
:: New Jersey also played last night, losing 3-2 to Ottawa. They think they were hosed on a call that would have tied the game in the third — no dice.

EXPECTED LINEUP
Editor’s Note: I wasn’t able to see an actual lineup before heading out for the day. The following is my best guess…
Zetterberg — Datsyuk — Culo
Thunderchief — Flip — Mulo
Buckets — Gator — Scuttles
Draper — Helm — Miller

Lidstrom — Stuart
Rafalski — Ericsson
Cirque — Kronwall

Osgood
Tiberius

Scratches
Jakub “My Ridiculous Circuitous Plan is One Quarter Complete” Kindl [in Grand Rapids]
Patrick “What a Surprise. For You. Finding Me in the Refrigerator” Eaves

Injuries
Mike “You’ll Be Lucky if You Can Master a Belt Buckle” Modano [wrist]

Honorable Mentions
Todd “As Lousy as it is Brilliant” Bertuzzi
Jiri “Definitely Probably Not” Hudler
Darren “They’re Very Good Hands” Helm
Jonathan “How Delightfully Ironic” Ericsson
Chris “You Hit a Sour Note About 200 Years Back” Osgood
Aaron “You Can’t Just Have Your Characters Announce How They’re Feeling! That Makes Me Angry!” Downey
*If there are any that you think I missed, throw them in the comments — the best one will be shared for all to enjoy on the TPL Facebook Page*

THE FIVE HOLE
1. Chris Osgood takes the crease during the second half of a back-to-back, and immediately after traveling. It will be his second game since returning from injury (the first was an overtime loss to LA last Saturday).
2. I’m in love with this defense. I said a few games back that the only defenseman that hadn’t impressed me yet was Niklas Kronwall, and when he flicked that nasty wrist shot in the Canadiens game, it was official: I was impressed. The six haven’t always impressed AT THE SAME TIME, but the way these guys are playing… they’re love-worthy.
3. Speaking of the defense, they accounted for quite a bit of the offense last night. It’d be spectacular if guys like Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, and — really? — Todd Bertuzzi could pick up the pace a bit tonight and spread the scoring out a tad.
4. Martin Brodeur returned to the Devils net last night, and he’ll very likely play the second half of the back-to-back, too. Sure, he’s not what he used to be, but he’s a dandy. We’re facing another tough goaltender tonight.
5. How awesome would it be if we had our first hat trick tonight, immediately following the big announcement at The Big House?

WHAT WE LEARNED AGAINST THE CANADIENS
Original Six matchups are fun. Who knew…

DEVIL WE COVET (JJ Special)
Easiest one of the entire league: Zach Parise.

WUT?

Mission: Accomplished

Courtesy of our OCF Campaign Manager, @captnorris of The Winged Wheel

Congratulations, Red Wings Nation — you got ’em back!

The Production Line would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to Underground Printing, MSN, Fox Sports Detroit, Dana Wakiji, Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski, Hunter PR, Doner Advertising, The Sporting News’ Sean Gentille, Sports Illustrated, and — of course — Arby’s Restaurant Group.

In addition, this absolutely would not have happened without all of the Retweets, #OperationCurlyFries hashtagging, blog posts, and tens of thousands of votes from all over the world. Thank you to everyone that made this happen!

Over the last few weeks, we’ve said everything that needs to be said. No more words. GO GET YOUR CURLY, FRIED GOODNESS!

—-

THE HISTORY OF OPERATION: CURLY FRIES

Bingo, Curly Fries!
British Submarines and Curly Fries
Sports Illustrated, with a Side of #operationcurlyfries
Operation: Curly Fries Update!
Go get your fries, Hockeytown
I had a dream
#OperationCurlyFries has a new campaign manager
Operation: Curly Fries Goes Global
TPL on Fox Sports Detroit

Enjoy the drive back to Quebec, Habs fans!

Hey, Tomas -- nice mustache. How's your TOTALLY INJURED hip/knee, by the way? OLEEEEEE OLE OLE OLEEEEEE! (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

FINAL SCORE (Hi Dad!)
Red Wings 4-2.

FIVE OBSERVATIONS OF A FORMER HOCKEY PLAYER
1. Don’t let the final score fool you, this game was just about the best goaltending duel in recent memory. Carey Price is the real deal. That kid is damn good, and it makes me a little bit ill thinking he’s booed in Montreal on the regular. He’s the only reason it wasn’t 14-0 in the first period. The first Canadiens goal left a bit to be desired of the eventual first star Jimmy Howard — it was one of those instances that if Tiberius had any sort of rebound control, it wouldn’t have been 1-0 Bad Guys. He MORE than made up for that one, with some unreal saves in the third period. He had to be the best player in the game in the final frame, as the Wings were outshot 20-3. Not a good omen heading into the second half of a back-to-back.

2. The Canadiens were all  but guaranteed to take a lead into the dressing room after twenty minutes. And then Josh Gorges stepped in. I don’t know what the hell he was doing dicking around behind the net kind of eating the clock. But he got snatched, and bing-bang-boom Nicklas Lidstrom pots it with 1.2 seconds left. Tie game. Thanks for the gift, Gorges.

3. Maybe I’m getting carried away with excitement, so tell me if I’m way off base…but was Niklas Kronwall’s wrister the nicest shot by a Red Wing all season? That thing was nastypants. It was the best shot of the year. At least until…

4. GODDAMN, PAVEL DATSYUK! That backhand was Filthy McFilthertons.

5. This was arguably the most entertaining regular season game in YEARS. What an awesome atmosphere at the Joe — despite being very loud with cheers when the Habs scored. It felt every bit like a playoff game, and I sincerely felt like these two teams hated each other just to hate each other… because so many decades of Red Wing and Canadien teams did the same. Just wonderful hockey. There’s gotta be a way to ensure that matchups like this happen more than once every year and a half. Even if it means — GASP! — dropping one of the games against the goddamn Blue Jackets.

SPOTTED: EMOdano

If you’ve been a reader of TPL since way back when, you surely recall posts calling for sightings of Mantuzzi — and Shetuzzi. Brave patriots far and wide commented on those two stories, letting us know where they’d spotted the vile beasts in their day-to-day lives, and everyone was appreciative.

Well, thanks to our good friend @MrNorrisTrophy from Winging it in Motown, we have physical proof of the existence of another frightening character. It’s a man-child that was introduced to you by our very own Christopher J. F. C. Hollis. “Sad Mike” was around the team last week, infecting them with his boohoohoos and subtle wrist bandages. Now we have a photograph, and we turn to you to help us piece together where he’s been since that visit to the locker room.

Take a look at the photo below — and join us in the comments to let us know where you’ve seen him and what he was doing…

Bonus points for anyone that can get this photo up in their local Hot Topic.

TPL on Fox Sports Detroit

Well, we wish the game would have been better… but it was a milestone night for The Production Line. The video above (captured and uploaded by our good friend Tyler of The Triple Deke) features Fox Sport Detroit’s John Keating talking about Operation: Curly Fries (for the first time, referring to it as such) and mentions TPL. We are now (local television sports broadcast) famous(ish)!

Only two more days to vote — head on over to Fox Sports’ site and vote Curly Fries!

Loss Candy: Minka & Jed — Not Just for Redneck Weddings Anymore!

FINAL SCORE (Hi Dad!)
3-2 Predators

FIVE OBSERVATIONS OF A FORMER HOCKEY PLAYER
1. The story of this one will be lazy, flat-footed defensemen doing very little to prevent goals from being scored. Regardless of who you blame for the first goal (and TPL is a house divided on the issue), there were two capable defenseman (okay, ONE capable defenseman and one allegedly-emerging defenseman) on the ice standing still. Rafalski chose to switch assignments, and Ericsson absolutely took an extra second or two (like JJ claims he needed last season) to decide what to do. What he did was nothing. Not a nice goal, folks.

2. The second goal went in off of Jonathan Ericsson’s arm. It’s annoying, but it happens. No one’s more frustrated about that than he is, I assure you. I’m far less “meh” about that one as the first one, given #52’s efforts.

3. Ten years ago, the goal Pavel Datsyuk scored would be shown from five different angles on SportsCenter. I remember the first time I saw Wayne Gretzky do it and it was huge news. It won’t be big news tonight for whatever reason — either it’s because Pavel Datsyuk does crazier stuff on the regular, or because almost every player in the league has the kind of hand-eye coordination needed to pull something like that off. Pretty nonetheless — excellent hands from a man famous for his excellent hands. Beautiful.

4. Jimmy Howard was DRENCHED in Weak Sauce following that third Nashville goal. If that’s Chris Osgood in net, I would have lit the television on fire, so it’s only fair that I call him out in this space. Horrid effort, horrid positioning, horrid timing: the Wings were buzzing — you could argue it was all Detroit for five minutes prior — and then PFFFFFFTTTT the air is shot out of the balloon because Jimmy Howard can’t be bothered. Awful.

5. It was an exciting last few minutes of regulation, as Johan Franzen scores what should have been the game tying goal giving the Wings an opportunity to tie it with two minutes to play. Alas, they didn’t, which further proves you can’t win a hockey game in the final three minutes — no matter how superior your club is to your opponent. The gap ain’t that big. Nashville earned that win from the opening faceoff and the Red Wings earned that loss.

Minka Kelly -- Suggestion courtesy of our good friend Norm
Jed Hill -- Submission courtesy of @BizCassty. A Google Image search of "Jed Hill" leads me to believe he's some sort of softcore porn star.

Dec. 8 :: Oh, the Hammock District

Today's theme inspired by a conversation with @sullyosis and @saraneuie following an ill-received reference on TP:60

WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
The Wings and Predators, 7:30pm Humpday, Joe Louis Arena.

WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?
Detroit’s on a mini-slide, having lost two games in a row (though, one did include the charity point). They’ll be looking to get back on track playing a team that has historically played the Wings tough, but currently find themselves in last place in the division.

NOW WHERE WERE WE?
This is the second matchup between the Central Division teams: the first came on October 30th, where the Wings were 5-2 winners on a strong game between the pipes from Chris Osgood (his last before tweaking his groin) and goals from Homer, Eaves, Stuart, and a pair from Dangles.

OH, HI AGAIN
There are no former Red Wings in Nashville, but David Legwand is as close as you’ll get.

MEMBA ME?!
With Greg Johnson retired, the Wings don’t have any former Preds in their lineup, either. Shockingly, no one the roster is from Nashville — OR EVEN THE WHOLE HOCKEY-CRAZY STATE OF TENNESSEE!

BEST NAME NOMINEE
Last year, Francis BOOYAH! won this category, so we’re going to switch it up a bit. There are a lot of neat names on this roster (Marcel “Get to the Point” Goc, Cody “Sounds Like Franzen” Franson), but the winner has to come from the duo in the net: either Pekke Rinne or Anders Lindback.

THEIR LAST GAMES
:: Detroit had a rough go on Monday night, losing 5-2 to San Jose.
:: Nashville lost, in overtime, to the Thrashers on Monday, 3-2.

EXPECTED LINEUP
Kris Draper comes back in, but it is not Jiri Hudler who sits — it’s Drew Miller’s turn on the two-man rotation. Draper joins Helm and Eaves on the fourth line, and look for him to play slightly more than the 5 minutes he posted late last week. Jakub Kindl was sent to Grand Rapids on a conditioning stint after being scratched for thirteen straight (this would have been fourteen) games. He’s in the lineup tonight against the Milwaukee Admirals — oddly enough, the Predators farm team.
Zetterberg — Datsyuk — Culo
Thunderchief — Flip — Mulo
Buckets — Gator — Scuttles
Draper — Helm — Eaves

Lidstrom — Stuart
Rafalski — Ericsson
Cirque — Kronwall

Tiberius
Osgood

Scratches
Jakub “I Fell Off the Jungle Gym and When I Woke Up I Was in Here” Kindl
Drew “Ever See a Guy Say Goodbye to a Shoe?” Miller

Injuries
Mike “Let ‘Em Go, Stay Here With Me, We’ll Go Bowling” Modano [wrist]

Honorable Mentions
Todd “On Your Way Out, If You Want to Kill Someone, It’d Help Me a Lot” Bertuzzi
Todd “Did You Notice How People Weren’t Shoving or Knocking Each Other Down?” Bertuzzi
Jiri “Seems to Me Someone’s Gotta Case of the S’pose’das” Hudler
Chris “HOORAY! EVERYONE’S A WINNER!” Osgood
Jimmy “Nobody Ever Says France” Howard
Jonathan “So Long, Stinktown!” Ericsson
Justin “I Tackled a Loafer at Work Today” Abdelkader
Valtteri “You’re a Northern Reticulated Chipmunk Yes You Are” Filppula
Dan “I Moved Here From Canada and They Think I’m Slow, Eh” Cleary
Nicklas “The Tale of One City” Lidstrom
Henrik “For Me AND My Life Partner” Zetterberg
Niklas “We Don’t Have Bums in Our Town” Kronwall
Brad “And if We Did, They Wouldn’t Rush” Stuart
Ruslan “They’d Be Allowed to Go at Their Own Pace” Salei
Pavel “The Hammock Hut. That’s on Third” Datsyuk
Brian “Hammocks R Us. That’s on Third, Too” Rafalski
Tomas “Put-Your-Butt-There. That’s on Third” Holmstrom
Johan “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” Franzen
Marian “Can’t a Man Walk Down the Street Without Being Offered a Job?!” Hossa
Mrs. Ryan “We Have Friends and Family and Library Cards!” Martin
*If there are any that you think I missed, throw them in the comments — the best one will be shared for all to enjoy on the TPL Facebook Page*

THE FIVE HOLE
1. Not one of Jimmy Howard’s better outings on Monday. Look for that to be rectified early.
2. It was discussed on the latest episode of TP:60 that the only defensemen that has yet to impress anyone is Niklas Kronwall. Granted, the level at which Jonathan Ericsson needs to play to “impress” is significantly lower than that of Kronwall, but the point remains. He’s the only man of the six that hasn’t made us say “hot damn” yet.
3. Jiri Hudler will remain a question mark until one of two things happens: A) he brings it, lighting the scoring fire deep inside his belly, or B) he’s benched in favor of players who are actually contributing to the team. He simply has to be running out of opportunities to prove that he’s not a one-goal scorer who is last on the team with a -7 rating.
4. Dan Cleary has gone two games without a goal. In any other year, that wouldn’t be odd.
5. Only three days remain to vote and ensure that Operation: Curly Fries is a success. Friday will be the last day that votes are tabulated before a winner is announced during The Big Chill at The Big House. Our very own Chris Hollis will be in attendance, likely giving interviews and dancing around in his underwear after it’s revealed that we’ve defeated the evil beefies.

WHAT WE LEARNED AGAINST THE SHARKS
Stop it! Stop it! Warren! Melvin! Gary! Dot! Gordie!

PREDATOR WE COVET (JJ Special)
This will come as no surprise to anyone that’s read this site for a year. I’m basically in love with Joel Ward. That guy’s awesome.

WUT?