Loss Candy :: Suckerpunch’d

FINAL SCORE
5-4 Penguins in a shootout.

TIDBITS
:: What a hell of a hockey game this was. First it was a shit show, as Jimmy Howard gave up some cheapies and the Wings were down 4-0. Four unanswered goals in an electric building, and perfect hockey from Joey MacDonald, allowed the Wings to climb back in it. It’s a total shame that this game had to end with a shootout, because that’s classic hockey for 65 minutes.

:: Aside from the James Neal shootout winner, Joey MacDonald hasn’t allowed a goal in his last 91 minutes in the Red Wings net. That’s saying something.

:: Because Versus wouldn’t shut up about it… here’s some Sucker Punch hotness:

Emily Browning, your lead
Oscar Isaac, who plays Blue Jones

Mar 21 :: We’re on a mission from God

"We gotta go visit The Penguin"

WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
Red Wings and Penguins, Monday night at 7:30pm Eastern. It’s not your classic Wings/Pens game, since they’ll be without Crosby and Malkin; and the Wings are without Franzen and Datsyuk.

NOW WHERE WERE WE?
This is the second time they’ve played — the first was a 4-1 loss on January 18.

BEST NAME NOMINEE
Zbynek Michalek.

THEIR LAST GAMES
:: Detroit can’t beat the Predators, falling 3-1 on Saturday.
:: Pittsburgh lost 5-2 to the Rangers yesterday. Matt “Shocker” Cooke did something stupid.

EXPECTED LINEUP
By special request, the TPL Glossary is ready to jailsex your eyes.
Cleary — Zetterberg — Bertuzzi
Filppula — Modano — Abdelkader
Eaves — Helm — Miller
Draper — Holmstrom

Lidstrom — Ericsson
Kronwall — Stuart
Kindl — Rafalski
Salei

Howard
MacDonald

OUT
Jiri Hudler [H2N2 flu]
Chris Osgood [groin asploded]
Johan Franzen [connecticazoink]
Pavel Datsyuk [lower body]

The TPL Name Game “Three Stars”
Disch: Jiri “One Unused Prophylactic…One Soiled” Hudler
Petrella: Jiri “How Much For The Little Girls?” Hudler
Hollis: Jiri “Your Women. I Want to Buy Your Women. The Little Girl. Your Daughters. Sell Them to Me. Sell Me Your Children” Hudler
Jesus, do we think alike or what?
*Now it’s up to you! Think up your best names and throw them in the comments — the best one will be shared for all to enjoy on the TPL Facebook Page. The best of the best will be pitted against one another at season’s end, and the winner takes home a TPL Shirt of their choice.*

TIDBITS
:: The Wings are without Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen for some reason… even though it was Brian Rafalski and Patrick Eaves who have looked like they were shot with .44s the last couple games.
:: Detroit will dress seven defensemen and eleven forwards since they can’t call anyone up because Chris Osgood came off of IR only to decide he can’t dress as a backup yet.
:: Pittsburgh will be without Matt Cooke after his Street Fighter haduken to Ryan McDonaugh’s head.
:: PREDICTION — Red Wings 4, Penguins 2. The Penguins aren’t their usual selves, though still very good.

WHAT WE LEARNED AGAINST THE PREDATORS
Reallllly hoping they don’t sew up the 7 seed.

Nyquist a finalist for the Hobey Baker — Again.

Quick hit this afternoon: Red Wings prospect and University of Maine forward Gustav Nyquist was named as one of the ten finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award for the second year in a row. The award is given to the top NCAA men’s hockey player.

As a sophomore, Nyquist lost the trophy to Wisconsin’s Blake Geoffrion. This year, he’s in great company as the following players were also named finalists: Cam Atkinson (Boston College, Columbus Blue Jackets), Justin Schultz (Wisconsin, Anaheim Ducks), Carter Camper (Miami), Andy Miele (Miami), Jack Connolly (Minnesota-Duluth), Matt Frattin (North Dakota, Toronto Maple Leafs), Chase Polacek (RPI), Paul Thompson (New Hampshire), and Paul Zanette (Niagara).

Nyquist has a busy few weeks ahead of him. Maine’s season may have come to an end, but he’ll be wrestling with the decision to play his senior year or turn pro and join the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2011-12. It’s the Wings preference that he take the next step toward becoming a Red Wing.

Photo Credit: University of Maine

Bertuzzi Kuzzi

***UPDATE***
No less than 700,000 people have already asked where they can get one of these. The man behind the genius told me to have you all e-mail him if you’re interested. Like I mentioned, he doesn’t have a store or anything, but he does have some lying around. Coordinate with him and see if you can pry one (or ten) from his hands: alvinbrant @ yahoo . com

A few weeks ago, we received an e-mail from one of our intelligent, handsome readers in South Carolina. Alvin said that he had a few of these little guys made to keep his beverages “nice and cold,” and he (correctly) thought that we might like to have a few for our Tuzz Collection. He was kind enough to send us four — one of each of us here at TPL — and we wanted to share the awesomesauce with you.

He doesn’t have a storefront or anything (YET), but he may have a handful left if there’s interest. I’ll tell you one thing — they came in handy at H2H2. All four of us had our Kuzzis and they were put to good use at Hockeytown Cafe and Joe Louis, which I’m sure Alvin will love to hear. If you ask us, it’s the perfect compliment to the Shirtuzzi.

Welcome to the Drew Miller and Joey MacDonald Show

FINAL SCORE
2-0 Red Wings.

TIDBITS
:: A hearty congratulations to Coach Mike Babcock, who just got his 300th win behind the Red Wings bench. He did it in fewer than six seasons. That’s nasty.

:: Drew Miller continues to prove that he doesn’t like being a healthy scratch. He’s been scratched five times since 2/26, including back to back games leading up to this one. In the four instances in which he has been reinserted into the lineup, he’s found the back of the net four times (in three games).  Tonight, he had the game winner a whopping 33 seconds after the puck was dropped.

:: Kris Draper was your healthy scratch tonight, which was a little bit surprising considering he was perfect from the faceoff circle last night. It’s going to be tricky taking anyone out of the lineup to get him back in, though, as Patrick Eaves looked solid in his return and Drew Miller has some sort of Anti Ville Leino serum.

:: I wonder what’s going on with Johan Franzen. He doesn’t look so good lately, and I’m forced to wonder if he’s laboring. It’s not that difficult to imagine that Game #70, a guy like the Mule is a little banged up, but just isn’t himself. As long as he’s the Playoff Horsekicker we all know he can be, I don’t care if he fans on the rest of the shots he takes in the regular season.

:: On the other end of that spectrum is Valtteri Filppula. He looks incredible, and scored for the second night in a row.

:: The hero on the night is Joey MacDonald, who stopped all 37 shots he faced for his second career shutout. He didn’t reign in all of the shots in a way that you’d like your goaltender to, but he looked more than solid in the crease and

:: Brian Rafalski and Pavel Datsyuk each left the game with injuries (isn’t it swell playing bottom-feeding hillbilly assholes?), but there’s no word on the severity. Rafalski looked like he twisted a knee on his way down after an awkward collision in only his second game back after missing eight with back spasms. Datsyuk took a hit from Rick Nash and walked straight down to the room. Here’s hoping for good news.

Photo Credit: Jay LaPrete, AP

Mar 17 :: In Nomine Patri, Et Fili, Et Spiritus Sancti

WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
The Red Wings spend St. Patrick’s Day in Ohio, taking on the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second half of back-to-back games. Thursday, 7pm Eastern.

NOW WHERE WERE WE?
Mercifully, this is the sixth and final time these two teams will meet. The most recent game was February 4th, a 3-0 loss. My bad.

BEST NAME NOMINEE
Rusty Klesla was traded, meaning there’s a slot open. The obvious choice is Grant Clitsome.

THEIR LAST GAMES
:: Detroit took a 3-2 win from the Capitals last night.
:: Columbus lost 3-2, in a shootout, to Boston on Tuesday.

EXPECTED LINEUP
By special request, the TPL Glossary is ready to jailsex your eyes.
Franzen — Datsyuk — Holmstrom
Cleary — Zetterberg — Bertuzzi
Filppula — Modano — Abdelkader
Eaves — Helm — Miller

Lidstrom — Ericsson
Kronwall — Stuart
Kindl — Rafalski

MacDonald
Howard

Holy Shit, There are Scratches?!
Kris Draper [rotation]
Ruslan Salei [baby daddy bidness]
Jiri Hudler [H2N2 flu]
Chris Osgood [groin asploded]

The TPL Name Game “Three Stars”
Disch: Nicklas “I’m Sweatin’ My Ass Off Draggin’ Your Fuckin’ Rope Around. Must Weight Thirty Pounds” Lidstrom
Petrella: Jimmy “Well That Certainly Illustrates the Diversity of the Word” Howard
Hollis: Kris “We Haven’t Really Got a System of Deciding Who, Roc. It’s, Uh…” Draper
*Now it’s up to you! Think up your best names and throw them in the comments — the best one will be shared for all to enjoy on the TPL Facebook Page. The best of the best will be pitted against one another at season’s end, and the winner takes home a TPL Shirt of their choice.*

TIDBITS
:: Patrick Eaves returns to the lineup tonight after missing 10 games.
:: Jiri Hudler is a scratch, thanks to the flu. Eaves will likely take his spot.
:: Drew Miller will return to the lineup, per Coach Babcock, after being scratched for the last two. There’s no indication which other forward will be scratched in his favor, but the rotation would have you believe it’d be Kris Draper — BUT! — he was 100% from the faceoff circle last night, which is likely the reason he’s been playing more than a game at a time. Interesting decision pending.
:: Joey MacDonald starts this game, which likely means that Chris Osgood was to start. If the Wings find a way to lose, I’m absolutely blaming Osgood.
:: PREDICTION — 5-2 Red Wings. Too hot.

WHAT WE LEARNED AGAINST THE CAPITALS
Wait, Alex Ovechkin has a good shot? Who could have known that?

BOOM! Headshot. Gamewinner

Y DIS NO LEGAL?! HAHAS.

FINAL SCORE
3-2 Wings. Nailed it.

TIDBITS
:: Over six minutes to start the game without a whistle. We’re going to have some old time hockey, friends. It was all Detroit early, but Washington showed why they’re near the top of their conference as well. Lots of talent on that team, but the Wings were just a little bit better this night.

:: About 12 minutes in, Henrik Zetterberg had a goal on his stick and fired it wide. It was one of those “oh son of a bitch” moments because he’s been on a bit of a dry spell in the goal scoring department. However, before getting off of the ice, he made good, converting a slapper from Brian “Welcome Back” Rafalski and Todd Bertuzzi. The euphoria would last approximately zero seconds as John Carlson knots it at one with a seeing-eye-puck through a crowd. The Wings took a lead into the intermission however, as Flip redirects a Brian “Say, Isn’t That The Guy You Wanted Traded” Rafalski pass into the cage for a 2-1 goal.

:: Alexander Ovechkin’s goal in the second period, which tied things back up, was filthy. Brad Stuart’s only mistake was not having his stick be a nuisance, but Ovechkin’s the best there is with a wrist shot, and he wired one through Stuart’s legs and over Howard’s shoulder before anyone had any idea he was going to shoot. If there’s anyone out there that can stop that from happening, they haven’t been born yet.

:: The Red Wings would have the last laugh, however, as Henrik Zetterberg banked a pretty sweet backhand off of Neuvirth’s face and into the net. Assists came from Pavel Datsyuk and Brian “Well, Wouldn’t Ya Know It” Rafalski. In fact, Rafalski led all players in his return with three points and +2. Welcome back. Now if there was only some way to get Jonathan Ericsson out of the way…

:: Speaking of the D, the pairings didn’t last very long, did they? Nicklas Lidstrom started the game with Jonathan Ericsson. It wasn’t long before Lidstrom and Stuart were together and the juggling would continue. Methinks Coach Babcock isn’t thrilled with how things look back there.

NUMBERS
:: Johan Franzen was a -2 in the win. Ouch.
:: Jiri Hudler was the low icetime man for the Wings, logging 8:40. Modano played just over 10, followed by Holmstrom (13:05), Draper (13:48), and — wait for it — Franzen (13:49).
:: Henrik Zetterberg and Alexander Ovechkin each had seven shots on goal — tied for the most in the game. Zetterberg is 6th in the league in shots (275), Ovechkin first (332).
:: In what HAS to be a record this season, every Red Wing that took a faceoff tonight was 50% or better. Draper was 6/6, Zetterberg 7/11, Filppula 9/15, Datsyuk 8/14, Modano 1/2, Helm 3/6, and Cleary 1/2.

AP Photo

Mar 16 :: He who has the most is he who won the match

WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
We’ve got a nice little hockey game this evening between two very dynamic clubs. While 70% of this past weekend’s attendees are stricken with some sort of H2N2 flu, and the remaining 30% are still hungover, we’ll be treated to a nifty display of hockey excellence as the Red Wings host the high-flying Washington Capitals at 7:30pm. We’ve made some great friends with some excellent Caps blogs, so be sure to check in on Puck Buddys and On Frozen Blog from time to time.

NOW WHERE WERE WE?
Seeing as how the Caps are in the L’East, we don’t get to see them much. This is the only matchup of 2010-11, but we were graced with them twice last season, with the home team winning each game. The more recent game was January 19, 2010 —  a 3-2 loss with Chris Osgood – who bitched his whole way into the game –  in net, which bore this classic TPL debate.

BEST NAME NOMINEE
In a team full of incredible names (Eric Fehr, Boyd Gordon, Braden Holtby, DJ King, Brooks Laich), I’m forced to go with the guy that sounds like he came from a Michael Crichton novel: Jason Chimera.

THEIR LAST GAMES
:: Detroit beat St. Louis 5-3 on Saturday, as everyone was saying their H2H2 goodbyes.
:: Washington played last night, dropping a 4-2 winner on Montreal.

EXPECTED LINEUP
By special request, the TPL Glossary is ready to jailsex your eyes.
Franzen — Datsyuk — Holmstrom
Cleary — Zetterberg — Bertuzzi
Filppula — Modano — Abdelkader
Hudler — Helm — Draper

Lidstrom — Ericsson
Kronwall — Stuart
Kindl — Rafalski

Howard
MacDonald
Osgood

Holy Shit, There are Scratches?!
Drew Miller [rotation]
Patrick Eaves [personal day]
Ruslan Salei [baby daddy time]

The TPL Name Game “Three Stars”
Note: TPL doesn’t like to repeat nickname themes — aside from Whitney Houston, which ABSOLUTELY works when the Red Wings need a big win. But one of the best ones we’ve ever had needs a repeat today, as we mourn the loss of a legendary musician.
Disch: Jiri “Pimpin’, Chillin’ with Bitches Drinkin’ Silver Satin” Hudler
Petrella: Jonathan “Times are Different Now, But You Still Get Stuck, I’m Not a Kid No More, I Just Don’t Give a Fuck” Ericsson
Hollis: Nicklas “I Want You to Understand That I Can Never Be Beat” Lidstrom
*Now it’s up to you! Think up your best names and throw them in the comments — the best one will be shared for all to enjoy on the TPL Facebook Page. The best of the best will be pitted against one another at season’s end, and the winner takes home a TPL Shirt of their choice.*

TIDBITS
:: Brian Rafalski returns to the lineup after missing eight games, and he’ll be a welcome addition to the blue line.
:: Jakub Kindl remains in the lineup since Ruslan Salei is in California to be with his overdue wife, as they’re expecting their third daughter.
:: Jonathan Ericsson on the top pair with Nick Lidstrom? Let’s see where this goes.
:: Patrick Eaves has been cleared to play but will not make his return tonight. Might be inserted into the lineup for tomorrow’s game against Columbus. Presumably both Kris Draper and Drew Miller will become scratches when everyone’s at full strength.
:: Speaking of which, this is the second game in a row that Drew Miller is scratched. Interesting…
:: Chris Osgood will be manning the clip board after 27 games on the shelf following groin surgery. Welcome back. Don’t fuck it up.
:: SCRATCH THAT… we weren’t even published yet and Chris Osgood reported some “soreness” and Joey MacDonald was recalled.
:: PREDICTION — Wings 3, Capitals 2. I like both of these teams, but am hopeful that the Wings are riding a bit of a high following two emotional wins against non-playoff teams, and that they use their matchup against a quality Capitals team to turn on the jets.

WHAT WE LEARNED AGAINST THE BLUES
Darren Helm may have found some hands.

Pictures are Worth a Thousand (Cuss) Words

I wanted to get these up before I depart for the H2H2 festivities tomorrow. A few more macro-style drawings for when you need to cuss at one of our players, much like the one I made for Hudler:

Maybe you should be wearing your glasses.
We aren't going to forgive you just because you're pretty.

And an alternate version:

For when he's done something REALLY stupid.
No kittens for you!

I find it entertaining that I’m posting this one after all the Tuzzilove on here the past two days. Don’t get me wrong, Bert’s grown on me the past season, and I love having him on the Wings. However, he still does some stupid shit sometimes and I’m still going to yell at him for it.

If you have any suggestions for players who regularly make you scream “DUDE WHAT ARE YOU DOOOOING?!” and you’d like to see them captioned with something similar, I’d be willing to give them a shot.

Detroit News: Think Twice Before Hating the ‘Tuzz

Just a quick hitter this morning, as Team TPL is in the midst of packing up the bags and getting ready to head to Motown for H2H2.

First, let me say that if you didn’t read Disch’s piece on Todd Bertuzzi yesterday, do yourself a favor and get on it. I couldn’t agree more with the sentiment in the piece, which should come as no surprise to any of you given my Protuzzi stance since Day 1.

Once you’ve finished, do yourself another favor and hurry over to the Detroit News and check out the special piece they have about Bertuzzi’s interaction with a young man who suffers from cerebral palsy. It’s quite touching and shows a side of the ‘Tuzz that many of us have hoped existed ever since #44 showed up in Detroit. I’m not saying it justifies what happened with Steve Moore or anything like that. All I’m saying is that all those assclowns who boo Bertuzzi for no other reason than their own ignorance need to take a second, shut the hell up and get some perspective when it comes to Todd Bertuzzi, the person.

Enjoy: For one young man in Canada, Wings’ Todd Bertuzzi is the best