Jan. 23 :: You Are Part Of A League of Morons

Ken Hitchcock's reaction to the team dinner menu tonight...

WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
At the behest of Disch, we continue our theme of Brad Pitt inspired pregames this week. “Burn After Reading” gets us set for the fifth of six matchups between the Wings and Blues. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a postgame wrap-up too! (Sorry about Saturday folks.) The NBC Sports Network is your home for coverage tonight.

WHERE WERE WE?
:: Detroit scratched out a 3-2 shootout win over the BJ’s in Detroit on Saturday.
:: The Blues dropped the Sabres on Saturday, 4-2.
:: In the four previous meetings, the home team has won each time. The most recent tilt saw the Wings take a 3-0 decision on New Year’s Eve in Detroit, with Johan Franzen, Justin Abdelkader and Jiri Hudler scoring for the good guys and Jim Howard pitching the shutout.

BEST NAME NOMINEE
B.J. Crombeen. Duh.

‘MEMBA ME?
No former Wings on the Blues.

OH, HI AGAIN
According to THE CHART, Ty Conklin is the only former member of the Blues on the Wings roster.

THE LINEUP
Franzen-Datsyuk-Bertuzzi
Filppula-Zetterberg-Hudler
Miller-Helm-Cleary
Emmerton-Abdelkader-Holmstrom

Lidstrom-White
Kronwall-Ericsson
Commodore-Stuart

Howard (starting)
Conklin

SCRATCHES
Kindl
Mursak
Eaves (face)

The TPL Name Game “Three Stars”
Just like last season, submit your nickname suggestions (follow the theme!), and we’ll use our Facebook page to allow people to vote for the best… the winner gets a free TPL t-shirt!
PETRELLA: Dr. “Looks Like His Optometrist Has A Sense Of Humor” Rahmani
STEVIE: Studyin’
HOLLIS:  Jiri “He Could Be One Of These Guys That Cruises the Internet” Hudler
DISCH: Jiri “We’ve Been Over, And Over, And Over This, First You Say You Can’t Commit, And Then…” Hudler

5 HOLE
:: It’s been noted over and over again, but the Central Division is a total clusterfuck right now. Four teams over 60 points…and Columbus. The Wings and Blues are in an absolute dogfight for the top spot right now, with Chicago and Nashville lurking back like Ryan Kesler in a postgame interview. A Wings win in regulation tonight puts them squarely in the lead of the division, despite having played one more game than St. Louis. A loss, and the Wings fall a point back of the Blues with St. Louis still holding that game-in-hand advantage. OT or shootout? Well,…forget it. Too many numbers. We’ll shoot first and ask questions later.
:: On top of being an incredibly important game for division positioning, the Wings have that whole 16 game winning streak at the Joe on the line again. I’ll be honest: If there’s a game where it’s likely to come to an end, it’s tonight. That pains me to say, but honesty is a virtue. So are superstitions. *Knocks on wood, throws salt over the shoulder, spins three times.*
:: Who’s been effective for Detroit this year against the Blues? Try Jiri Hudler. Scuttles has 2 goals and 3 points against the Notes in four matchups, as well as a +2 rating. Kronwall and Datsyuk also have 3 points against St. Louis, so look for them to be active.
:: For the Blues, it’s been the Jaroslav Halak show. Dude is 11-0-3 over his last 14 starts and has pitched three doughnuts in his last five games. Respect, because that’s just filthy.
:: It’s also worth noting that Alex Pietrangelo is cruising along on a nine game point streak. He’ll get the more reserved “Somebody cover this guy” for tonight’s game.

Jan. 21 :: You’re the All-Singing, All-Dancing Crap of the World

The only person that likes James Wisniewski...

WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
This is the third matchup of six against the BJ’s this year. Puck drops tonight at 7:00 PM JLT (Joe Louis Time). FS-D has the coverage.

WHERE WERE WE?
:: Detroit scratched out a 3-2 shootout win over the Coyotes in Phoenix on Thursday.
:: The BJ’s got left dry in a 3-0 blanking by the Predators on Thursday.
:: As mentioned, this is the third time these two divisional foes have tangled this season, with the other two coming in October. Detroit took the first matchup at the Joe by a score of 5-2 on October 21st, before dropping a 4-1 decision in Columbus four nights later.

BEST NAME NOMINEE
While I would normally be all about Fedor Tyutin, I’m going with the curveball today and taking Maksim Mayorov.

‘MEMBA ME?
The sheer joy I take in typing the following words knows no bounds: Brett Lebda.

OH, HI AGAIN
According to THE CHART, Ty Conklin and Mike Commodore left the sinking ship and joined the good guys.

THE LINEUP
Franzen-Datsyuk-Bertuzzi
Filppula-Zetterberg-Hudler
Miller-Helm-Cleary
Emmerton-Abdelkader-Holmstrom

Lidstrom-White
Kronwall-Ericsson
Commodore-Stuart

Howard (starting)
Conklin

SCRATCHES
Kindl
Mursak
Eaves (face)

The TPL Name Game “Three Stars”
Just like last season, submit your nickname suggestions (follow the theme!), and we’ll use our Facebook page to allow people to vote for the best… the winner gets a free TPL t-shirt!
PETRELLA: Bian “Is Tyler My Bad Dream, Or Am I Tyler’s?” Burke
STEVIE: Patrick “Motherfucker! You Hit Me In the Ear!” Eaves
HOLLIS:  Mike “Why Do Guys Like You and I Know What a Duvet Is? Is it Essential to our Survival, in the Hunter-Gatherer Sense of the Word?” Commodore
DISCH: Derek “I Am Jack’s Inflamed Sense of Rejection” Meech

5 HOLE
:: I love streaks as much as the next guy – especially ones that involve the Red Wings winning – but the FSD crew has a nasty habit of beating these things into your head so that you never can forget them. I’ll make this quick then, before I’m off to knock on wood and grab my lucky rabbit foot: Wings looking for 16 wins in a row at home tonight.
:: Todd Richards sucks. Brett Lebda will not dress and play tonight for the BJ’s. I wonder how much ol’ Lebda had to slip the coach to keep him out of the lineup.
:: I know the guy is injured, but man, I can’t stop thinking about the fact that James Wisniewski is a total douche that signed away the prime of his career to the worst  team in the game. I’ll never forget his comments about Detroit not paying “market value” for free agents, so watching Columbus suck and Wiz sit on the sidelines still makes me giggle deep down inside.
:: I had a whole post written in my head about Todd Bertuzzi’s recent awesomeness, but I just never got around to putting fingers to keys. At any rate, Bert has been stellar in the shootout of late, and has 4 goals and 2 assists in his last four games. The numbers aren’t off  the charts, but his game and his presence up on the top line have been a big factor in the Wings’ success of late.
:: And now it’s time for the obligatory”Somebody Cover Rick Nash” plea that I make every time the Wings play the BJ’s. Ready? Here goes: SOMEBODY COVER RICK NASH! Nash has four goals in his last nine games (not awesome), but has found a way to pour in 23 goals against the Wings over his career, which is tied for the most against ANY opponent. Ken Holland, I’m begging you: Find a way to pry this guy from Scott Howson’s kung-fu grip.

Rally ‘Round the Conk: Wings Win 3-2 in the Shootout

FINAL SCORE (Hi Mr. P!)
3-2 Wings in the Skills Competition

THE RUNDOWN
Both teams coming off of a game the night before. Wings started slow and got down early, but took control and got the two points in the end.

BULLETS OF IMPORTANCE

  • If last night was the way to start a game, tonight sure as hell wasn’t. Yes, Tomas Holmstrom ripped home a gimme slapshot from ten feet out to give the Wings the lead, but five shots during the opening stanza didn’t really light the world on fire.
  • Not much Conklin could do on the first goal, but man, where was Lidstrom’s patented stickwork to help a brother out on the second goal? Puck drops neatly to Loui Erikkson, and he’s able to outduel The Captain with a broken stick? I’m guessing Lidstrom owed Loui payment on a bet from over the summer or something.
  • After a little puck luck on the Happy Hudler goal, the Wings picked up the pace for the rest of the second period and looked pretty darn good. A solid forecheck generated some scoring chances, but a lack of traffic in front gave Bachman a much easier time seeing shots and limiting rebounds.
  • The third period was more of the same for the Wings. Pressing the play, but not alot of traffic early. As the period wore on, the Wings started generating some pretty good chances, but tip your hat to Richard Bachman. Dude blended solid saves with a little bit of luck and both teams wound up with a point.
  • The Stars controlled most of the extra session and seemed to get the better chances, but took a late penalty on a terrible turnover giving the Wings a power play for 17 seconds. It wouldn’t matter, as Steve Ott won the faceoff and the Wings couldn’t muster a shot.
  • Weird shootout. Datsyuk and Erikkson hit posts, Hudler pulls out the old drag, Bertuzzi with a piss poor effort and Ty Conklin blanks the side. We’ll take it.
  • With the win, the Wings moved to 61 points and sole possession of first place in the West. Of course, that could change by the time I hit “publish”, but let’s enjoy it while it lasts.

BULLETS OF LESS IMPORTANCE
I was talking to my boss (Dallas fan) during the game, and he gave me an interesting idea for a new TPL game: Lamest Ads on the Boards. Keith votes for Purina Dog Chow on the St. Louis boards. I’m inclined to agree. The bar is set. Let’s see if we can find something worse.

“HORSECOP” OF THE GAME
Give me Jan Mursak. Loved the hustle on Holmstrom’s goal and hope that The ‘Sak can keep bringing that kind of intensity as he finds his way back into the lineup. Runner up to Jiri Hudler for the carbon copy of Zetterberg’s shootout winner from the other night.

THE RIGGY “SHITBOX” OF THE GAME
Brad Stuart/Mike Commodore. On a night where everyone played pretty darn well (after the first period), Stuart and Commie had a miscommunication on a line change and cost the Wings a “too many men” penalty. Fortunately, Dallas would take their own penalty 16 seconds later, so no real harm. Still, hate seeing those mental lapses.

WHAT’S NEXT
The Wings head to the desert to battle the Yotes on Thursday night.

Dec. 30 :: Wipe Them Out, All of Them

Jar Jar Binks: More Irritating than Chicago?

WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
First of six matchups against those clowns from Chicago this year. First “episode” of Star Wars pregame themes. We’re hoping that starting with Episode 1 (the shittiest one) doesn’t translate to a shitty performance on the ice tonight for the Wings.

Red Wings and Hawks, 8:30 PM Eastern. FSD has you covered.

WHERE WERE WE?
:: Detroit rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Blues on Tuesday, 3-2.
:: The Hawks got blanked at home on Wednesday by the Kings, 2-0. You may remember this as the game where Drew Doughty got a little “fresh” with Jarret Stoll.
:: As we mentioned, this is the first of six matchups between the biggest rivals in the Central Division. The Hawks took the season series 4-2 last year, but it was the Wings who had the last laugh, beating the Hawks 4-3 in Chicago on the final day of the season last year. Tomas Holmstrom, Pavel Datsyuk (sans glove), Drew Miller and Danny Cleary tallied for the Wings, while Jimmah outlasted Corey Crawford for the win.

BEST NAME NOMINEE
They all suck, so go with the name that sounds the most like a STD: Sami Lepisto.

‘MEMBA ME?
Marian Hossa. Yes, we all remember him.

OH, HI AGAIN
Dan Cleary had a cup of coffee with the Hawks back in the late 90’s.

THE LINEUP
Johan Franzen :: Dangles Datsyuk :: Todd Bertuzzi
Val Filppula :: Hank Zetterberg :: Scuttles Hudler
Danny Cleary :: Justin Abdelkader :: Goose Nyquist
Salt n’ Peppa Miller :: Cory Emmerton :: Joakim Andersson

Nicklas Lidstrom :: Ian White
Brad Stuart :: Niklas Kronwall
Mike Commodore :: Riggy Shitbox

Tiberius Howard
Ty Conkblock

SCRATCHES
Eaves [face]
Holmstrom [groin]
Helm [groin]
Conner [hand]
Mursak [conditioning in GR]
Kindl

The TPL Name Game “Three Stars”
Just like last season, submit your nickname suggestions (follow the theme!), and we’ll use our Facebook page to allow people to vote for the best… the winner gets a free TPL t-shirt!
PETRELLA: Brett “You Were Banished Because You Were Clumsy?” Lebda
STEVIE: Jonathan “Why Do I Get the Feeling We Picked Up Another Pathetic Life Form?” Ericsson
HOLLIS: Nicklas “It Is Possible He Was Conceived By the Mid-Chlorians” Lidstrom
DISCH: Back in 2012

5 HOLE
:: In case you didn’t already get the picture, it’s the first of six meetings between the Wings and Hawks this year. Everybody and their mother has pointed out the fact that it’s taken longer than usual to get to the first matchup, but I like it. Both teams have had a few months to gel and work out the kinks, so we should get a good idea of how well both squads stack up against each other in a tightly contested Central Division.
:: Speaking of the Central Division, don’t forget that these two teams could be on top of the heap competing for the very last Central Division regular season title by the time April rolls around. A lot could happen between now and then, but two points for the Wings tonight would bring them within a point of the division lead, with a game still in hand on Chicago.
:: With Homer and Helm both on the shelf nursing injured groins, Joakim Andersson is back in the lineup for his second consecutive game and will be joined by our good pal Goose Nyquist. Should be a good test for the young kids in an atmosphere that is unforgiving and downright tough to play in.
:: “The Carbomb” Dan Carcillo is back in the lineup tonight for Chicago. Expect the forecheck to be relentless and the hitting in droves, especially when he’s on the ice.
:: The Wings insist that they are “ready” for Chicago and the United Center tonight, but does that mean they are “prepared”? The Wings said the same thing about the Vancouver matchup earlier this month, yet their play didn’t show it. It’s a frustrating trend for these Wings, always promising that they are ready to take a crucial regular season matchup seriously, and then coming out looking like they just ate three plates of leftover Christmas ham. Fingers crossed for some urgency early, otherwise this thing could get ugly in a hurry.
:: BONUS! DRINKING GAME! Take a drink every time the crowd chants “Detroit Sucks.” Take another drink every time Jonny Rigbox touches the puck. You’ll need it.

Editor’s Note: Postgame may or may not happen tonight as I have plans immediately following the game. We thank you for your understanding, and should the result require loss candy, I’ll be sure to get something extra special up this weekend. Hopefully, it won’t and we can all go get drunk and enjoy a win tonight. Go Wings.

The Top Shelf: Back to Work

The Kids Table at the TPL Holiday Feast

How does this thing work again???:: After gorging ourselves on the finest food and consuming all of the best top shelf adult beverage offerings, we’ve finally pried ourselves off the leather and cherry-wood couches and are ready to get back to work here at TPL. Apologies for the lack of posting around the St. Louis win earlier this week, but all of us were still in the midst of our long winter’s nap. That said, a big thanks goes out to @stevieroxelle for holding down the fort and kicking ass while Petrella, Disch and myself were busying ourselves with all of the fun and excitement that comes with this time of year. Don’t worry: there will be plenty more of Stevie in the future, so turn those frowns upside down.

The Sak Attack:: With the Wings getting a rare day off, the big news out of our friends at the MSM was the return of Jan Mursak to the Grand Rapids Griffins for a conditioning stint now that his broken ankle has healed. From Khan(!):

Mursak said Tuesday that he expected to play tonight in Lake Erie. He has been out since Sept. 25 with a broken left ankle.

He anticipated playing between 4-6 games with the Griffins but could be brought back to Detroit sooner if the Red Wings have another injury and need him.

While it’s good to see Mursak getting himself in shape to make the jump back up to the Wings, the timing of his return will eventually force some lineup shuffling from Ken Holland and Mike Babcock. While Patrick Eaves remains sidelined with a fractured jaw, Chris Conner – impressive in his time with the Wings – is likely to return to the lineup in early January, and Tomas Holmstrom should work his way back into the rotation before long as well. This, of course, assumes there are no additional injuries, but one would assume that Holland and Co. would look to get Mursak in the lineup at the expense of Conner and then rotate guys in the Leino Lounge. At any rate, good to hear that #39 is on his way back and we can only hope he’ll be ready to get down to business when his number is called.

Take Care Champ:: Sad news yesterday as the Wings lost a legend and a leader (B1G pun intended) as four-time Stanley Cup Champion player/coach Johnny Wilson passed away. From the official release:

The Detroit Red Wings mourn the loss of former player and coach Johnny Wilson who passed away this morning at the age of 82 following an extended battle with lung disease.   Wilson skated in 379 games over six seasons for the Red Wings, and was a member of four Stanley Cup championship teams as a player forDetroit (1950, ’52, ’54 and ’55).  Johnny registered 79 goals, 100 assists and 179 points in 379 regular-season games for Detroit. In 50 post-season games with the Wings,Wilson tallied 11 goals and nine assists for 20 points.

A native of Kincardine, Ontario, Wilson served as the Red Wings Head Coach for 145 games in 1971-73 and 1972-73 (67-56-22).  He also served behind the bench with Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Colorado of the NHL and Cleveland, Michigan and Baltimore of the WHA.

One of the best things about being a fan of the Wings is the appreciation the entire organization has for their history and heritage, and it’s great to see them acknowledge the success of a man who is often overlooked in the history books. Godspeed Johnny Wilson. Smile warmly upon the Wings.

Fire Up the Rumor Mill:: Nope, not Eklund. This time it’s ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, who says the Wings are in the mix to pursue the up-and-down Ales Hemsky from the Edmonton Oilers:

Another club that could come calling on Hemsky is Detroit. The Red Wings have cap space and will be an aggressive team come the trade deadline. They’ll look at all kinds of options but I believe Hemsky will be among the names on their shopping list.

While LeBrun is just getting the train rolling on this one, our good buddy George Malik has been all over this and isn’t sure that Hemsky is the ideal target for the Wings:

I’m not so sure that the Wings are interested in another finesse player, but that’s just me.

If you’re one for predictions, even from a legitimate journalist, Matheson doesn’t believe that Nicklas Lidstrom has a chance in hell of winning the Norris Trophy this year, either, so take that with some salt, and I will say this about Matheson and Wings-related rumors, lest you have visions of a top-ten scorer for a seventh-round draft pick dancing in your head: when Matheson was really “on” regarding the Wings and free agents or re-signings, it involved Ken Holland’s dealings with Edmonton-based agent Rich Winter.

Guess which agent happens to represent #83? We might be talking about a case of a familiar source dangling suitable destinations for his client in front of a hockey writer willing to indulge the agent’s GM-baiting for an easy story’s worth of salaciousness.

While I tend to agree with George on this one in that Hemsky isn’t exactly what the Wings need, his case is an interesting one in that Detroit runs the risk of losing a Cory Emmerton or Jan Mursak trying to pass them through waivers once the roster is fully healthy, and Ken Holland may decide it makes more sense to get something in the short term by trading for a rental player like Hemsky and then filling the void next season with the young talent steadily climbing up the ladder in Grand Rapids. One thing is for sure: the Wings have money to spend, but where they choose to spend it is anyone’s guess. With rumors circulating that bigger trades will happen well before the deadline this year, one would think that the stage is set for the Wings will do some soul-searching and potentially walk away with a new player, but with Kenny you just never know.

And Finally…:: Joakim Andersson heads into uncharted waters in Detroit hockey history. Remember Danny Dekeyser? He’s all the rage right now. @commie22 has usurped Jakub Kindl’s role. Can it last? Finland dropped the US at the World Junior Championship. I hope my professional colleagues are out celebrating.

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Just Like They “Drew” It Up: Wings Win 3-2

He lost a bet to Murph...

FINAL SCORE (Hi Mr. P!)
3-2 Red Wings

THE RUNDOWN
It sure as hell wasn’t pretty, which makes the ending even more fitting. The Captain unleashes a blast, Miller re-directs it and Dan Cleary winds up on his ass on the ice. That’s the kind of Red Wings hockey I like to see. I’m willing to look past the slow, sluggish play in the first two periods and realize that the Wings gutted out a tough road win against a team looking to avoid a four game skid, which is most definitely not something to sneeze at. Perhaps more refreshing, though, was to see the Wings really buy in to the coaching system, even when their legs weren’t answering the bell. They stayed patient and trusted the game the coaches called for, and it paid off late in the third with Salt n’ Peppa’s crippling changeup from Lidstrom’s stick. I mentioned it before the game, but playing in Edmonton gets me on edge. Tonight was no different, which is why I’m happy to see the guys get on the bus and take their pair of points straight out of Edmonton.

It’s late, so we’ll eschew the bullets and get right to the good stuff.

HORSECOP OF THE GAME
Drew Miller. He’s been kryptonite to the Oil so far this year, scoring the game winner in each of the first two meetings. Really loving his play and his work ethic right now, and homeboy is earning every dollar the Wings are paying him. Awesome stuff.

RIGGY SHITBOX OF THE GAME
The Rig. Gets caught pinching to spring that hippie Ryan Jones on the first goal, and then takes a penalty that leads to a power play goal for Edmonton right before the end of the second. Just an all around waste of space tonight (SURPRISE!).

Dec. 19 :: You Look for Oil?

Tacos In Edmonton: Bad Idea

WHEN AND WHERE?
Oh hey there. Nice to see you again. You may remember me as one of the folks who writes things around here. How are things? Good? Excellent. Let’s get to it.

Red Wings and Oil, 9:30 PM Eastern. FSD has you covered.

WHERE WERE WE?
:: Detroit crushed the Kings on Saturday, 8-2.
:: The Oil lost 3-2 to the Sharks on Saturday, and have lost eight of their last ten.
:: This is the second of four meetings between these two Western Conference foes, with Detroit posting the 3-0 shutout in Motown on November 11th. Drew Miller, Niklas Kronwall and Valtteri Filppula were your goal scorers.

BEST NAME NOMINEE
Magnus Paajarvi took home the crown in the first meeting this season, so we’ll give it to Petrella’s evil twin, Lennart Petrell this time around.

‘MEMBA ME?
No former Wings on the Oil.

OH, HI AGAIN
Ty Conklin and Dan Cleary have both spent time with Edmonton. So has Chris Minard, but, whatever.

THE LINEUP (Assumed)
Franzen :: Datsyuk :: Bertuzzi
Filppula :: Zetterberg :: Hudler
Cleary :: Helm :: Abdelkader
Miller :: Emmerton :: Holmstrom

Nicklas Lidstrom :: Ian White
Brad Stuart :: Niklas Kronwall
Jakub Kindl :: Riggy Shitbox

Tiberius Howard
Ty Conkblock

SCRATCHES
Eaves [face]
Conner [hand]
Mursak [left ankle]
Commodore [commode’ing]

The TPL Name Game “Three Stars”
Just like last season, submit your nickname suggestions (follow the theme!), and we’ll use our Facebook page to allow people to vote for the best… the winner gets a free TPL t-shirt!
PETRELLA: Mike “I Have A Competition In Me. I Want No One Else to Succeed. I Hate Most People” Babcock
STEVIE: Illari “You’re Not the Chosen Brother” Filppula
HOLLIS: Pavel “That Was One Goddamn Helluva Show” Datsyuk
DISCH: Fabian “I’d Like You to Tell Me That You Are, and Have Been, A False Prophet” Brunnstrom

5 HOLE
:: It’s the first trip up to Edmonton this year for the Wings, which is a place that always gives me the heebie-jeebies. I don’t know what it is, but playing in Edmonton and Calgary always makes me uneasy. Chalk it up to playoff matchups over the last ten years, but there’s something about playing in the cold loneliness of Canada that makes me tie my shoes a little tighter. That said, the Wings have run off seven straight against Edmonton, so perhaps I’m just getting worked up over nothing.
:: Remember when Edmonton was the toast of the Western Conference last month? Yea, not so much anymore. They’re now tied with the Dive for last place in the Northwest Division and have sagged all the way to 12th in the conference.
:: What up Todd Bertuzzi? Five game point streak and an assist in four straight. After a sluggish start, it’s nice to see Bert get it cranked up a bit.
:: JIMMAH goes for his 20th win of the season between the pipes tonight. Get some.
:: Match-up trouble tonight? Jordan Eberle. Five goals and five assists in his last 10 games. Somebody cover him.
:: BONUS: BRAD WATSON ALERT! Our old friend in stripes is on the ice tonight. (No, I’ll never get over my infatuation with his screw-up against Anaheim in the playoffs.)

Dec. 6 :: Running On Ice

All about soul....and a brick

IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT
After seven games of gloriousness, the Wings came back down to Earth with a loss to the Dive on Sunday. They’ll look to get back to the river that is running to the promised land tonight in St. Louis. 7:30 PM at whatever the current name of St. Louis’ dumpy barn is. VERSUS (!) has the game.

SHE’S ALWAYS A WOMAN TO ME
BJ Crombeen again for the same reasons Disch laid out.

Also, does anyone else think Petrella should create a chart that tracks how many times a single player has won BNN? He has a chart for everything else on this site. Seriously. I get e-mails reminding me that I haven’t written anything good in 278 days. I don’t think I’m on my way to breaking that streak tonight.

I digress…

THINGS ARE OK WITH ME THESE DAYS
:: The blind squirrel that is the Colorado Avalanche found a nut and beat the Wings 4-2 on Sunday.
:: The Hawks beat the Blues 5-2 on Sunday as well. Sadly, the Asteroid failed to connect with the Scottrade Center.
:: It was the Blues prevailing over the Wings on Nov. 15th by a score of 2-1. Drew Miller had the Wings’ only tally on the evening, while Chris Stewart found his way to the locker room after checking Niklas Kronwall from behind.

SON CAN YOU PLAY ME A MEMORY
No former Wings on the Blues.

MAN, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE
Ty Conklin is the only former member of the Blues on the Wings.

LOOKIN’ FOR SOMETHIN’
Johan Franzen :: Pavel Datsyuk :: The ‘Tuzz
Dan Cleary :: Henrik Zetterberg :: Jiri Hudler
Chris Conner :: Danger Helm :: Justin Abdelkader
Salt N Pepper Miller :: Cory Emmerton :: Tommy Holmbanger

Nicklas Lidstrom :: Ian White
Johnny Shitbox :: Niklas Kronwall
Jakub Kindl :: Brad Stuart

Tiberius Howard
Ty Conkblock

IT SEEMS I ONLY FELT THE THORNS
Jan Mursak [left ankle]
Patrick Eaves [face]
Valtteri Filppula [ankle laceration]
Mike Commodore

The TPL Name Game “Three Stars” Just like last season, submit your nickname suggestions (follow the theme!), and we’ll use our Facebook page to allow people to vote for the best… the winner gets a free TPL t-shirt!
PETRELLA: Todd “Carelessly Cut You and Laugh While You’re Bleedin'” Bertuzzi
DISCH: Jonathan “Man, What Are You Doing Here?” Ericsson
HOLLIS: Jonathan “There Are No Words to Say” Ericsson
STEVIE: Jonathan “Is That All You Get For Your Money?” Ericsson

EVERYBODY’S TALKIN’ BOUT THE NEW SOUND
:: After taking a pretty gnarly cut against Colorado, Valtteri Filppula is scratched tonight. He’s “okay,” but was relying on a skate modification to not rub against the cut (which is just above his ankle). He practiced this morning, but couldn’t be pain-free, even with a skate that was customized for him. As a result, Cory Emmerton is back in the lineup.
:: Following a sluggish start, Pavel Datsyuk has quietly picked up the pace to the tune of five points over the last three games, which is definitely more like the Pavel we are used to seeing.
:: The Jimmah is back between the pipes tonight after getting a breather on Sunday. He was red hot before getting a night off, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can get back on the ice and keep the machine going. Despite a reasonable outing from Conklin, it’ll be good to see Mr. Howard manning the fort again.
:: After blowing the doors off the barn in Ken Hitchcock’s first 11 games, the Blues have come back down to Earth a bit, although their fans would have you believe they’re the team to beat on the road to the Stanley Cup. Two losses in a row for St. Louis should give them plenty of spark tonight.
:: Mike Babcock says he wants to the Wings to be more physical against the Blues, especially after their last meeting where St. Louis pushed the Wings around the ice all night without an ounce of  retribution. Color me skeptical that we’ll see a bruising, forechecking Wings squad tonight.
:: Despite tonight’s tilt being broadcast on VERSUS, it sounds like FSD will still be around to deliver on your Larry Murphy needs. He’ll be paired with Matt Shepard in the booth, which is a serious downgrade from Sunday’s Dave Strader throwback.

MUSICAL INSPIRATION (In honor of Wings DJ T. Campbell…)

Nov. 30 :: Baby Now I Got the Flow

WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN
First of all, I haven’t done one of these in like two weeks, so you know it’s going to be rough. Things that don’t help: I’m stuck in San Jose for the week and have to go to a Sharks game on Thursday.

Wings v. Bolts. Stevie Y is back in the house, which spawned today’s theme of  “Return of the Mack.” 7:30. JLA. Not going? No worries. VERSUS has you covered tonight.

BEST NAME NOMINEE
Bruno Gervais sounds like a pornstar. Winner, Aisle 1.

NOW WHERE WERE WE?
:: Barry Trotz and Co. got worked 4-1 on Saturday by the Winged Wheel.
:: The Wild dropped the Lightning 3-1 on Monday.
:: The Wings clowned the Lightning in their last meeting, a 6-2 drubbing in Tampa on February 17th of last year. Pavel Datsyuk scored a pair, Danny Cleary had a goal and two assists, and Niklas Kronwall, Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm rounded out the scoring effort.

MEMBA ME?
No former Wings on the Bolts. (I think.) Somewhere, Mattias Ritola cries softly into his pillow.

OH, HI AGAIN
Nobody registers as having played on the Wings. That said, I’m waiting for Petrella to bust through the wall like the Kool-Aid guy and tell me how wrong I am.

(Ed. Note: Fail. Thx @detroithockey96.) Drew Miller. Duh.

MORE FAIL! Petrella tells me that Doug Janik also played for the Lightning, to the tune of 136 games. See kids, this is what happens when you drink beer and try to write a pre-game. Or, it turns into a Disch type post. You prefer the latter.

BOOM
Johan Franzen :: Pavel Datsyuk :: The ‘Tuzz
Valtteri Filppula :: Henrik Zetterberg :: Jiri Hudler
Dan Cleary :: Danger Helm :: Fabian Brunnstrom
Salt N Pepper Miller :: Justin Abdelkader :: Tommy Holmbanger

Nicklas Lidstrom :: Ian White
Johnny Shitbox :: Niklas Kronwall
Jakub Kindl :: Brad Stuart

Tiberius Howard
Ty Conkblock

BABY WHEN YOU BROKE MY HEART
Jan Mursak [left ankle]
Patrick Eaves [face]
Cory Emmerton
Mike Commodore

The TPL Name Game “Three Stars”
Just like last season, submit your nickname suggestions (follow the theme!), and we’ll use our Facebook page to allow people to vote for the best… the winner gets a free TPL t-shirt!
PETRELLA: Uwe “YOU LIED TO ME” Krupp
DISCH: Pavel “Watch My Flow” Datsyuk
HOLLIS: Fabian “Here I Am Once Again” Brunnstrom
STEVIE: Jiri “All the Nasty Things You’ve Done” Hudler

THOUGHTS FROM THE BOTTOM OF (MULTIPLE) PINTS
:: Of course, this is Stevie Y’s return to the Joe, which means we are in for an evening full of classic Yzerman highlights and Ken Daniels gushing over The Captain after every commercial break. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, mind you. I’ve just never seen FSD cover something like this without cramming it down your throat every five seconds. Deep down, though, I’m secretly hoping John Keating sneaks into the GM’s box and interviews Yzerman instead of a Wings player at the first intermission.
:: Sidenote: I wrote most of this last night over a couple of beers and some room service. Pass or Fail: Sweet Potato Waffle Fries. Leave your thoughts in the comments.
:: The Lightning haven’t won in Detroit since 1994. Let that sink in. Can’t remember what 1994 was like? Well, here’s a few notable things that happened that year to help jog your memory:

  • Nancy Kerrigan got clubbed in the leg via Tonya Harding and Co. (Hey, that happened in Detroit!)
  • Schindler’s List won Best Picture at Academy Awards. Whoopi Goldberg hosted the event.
  • The NFL announced that the Jacksonville Jaguars would become the league’s 30th franchise.
  • O.J. Simpson didn’t do it (according to the court.)
  • The New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup.
  • In their win over the Red Wings on January 12th, the Lightning got goals from Shawn Chambers, Chris Joseph, Denis Savard and John Tucker.
  • In the same game, Steve Yzerman had an assist and went -1.

MUSICAL INSPIRATION