Dec. 21st :: God. I hate that whale.

The bigger they are, the harder they dive.

WHEN AND WHERE?
Oh god, someone left me the keys to the pregame. Let’s do this and hope I don’t light anything on fire while everyone else is away.

Red Wings vs. Canuckles, 10:00 PM Eastern. Game is on FSD, and TSN for you north of the border.

WHERE WERE WE?
:: Detroit grabbed a 3-2 win in Edmonton.
:: The Canucks stomped on the Wild, 4-0, on Monday.
:: This is the second time we’re seeing the Canucks this season. We beat them at home 2-0 on October 13th, which was the 3rd game of our 5 game winning streak at the beginning of the season.

BEST NAME NOMINEE
I’m giving it to Steven Pinizzotto. That word would be a backbreaker if it was allowed in Words With Friends.

‘MEMBA ME?
Todd Bertuzzi used to play for the Canucks, which I’m sure we’re all aware of by now.

OH, HI AGAIN
Now that Samuelsson has been traded to the Panthers (ah-hahahaha), there are no former Wings on the Canucks.

THE LINEUP (Assumed since St. James reported no changes)
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:  Time Crisisin’
STEVIE: Mike “A million dollars? Randolph let’s free him!” Commodore
HOLLIS:  Postgamin’
DISCH: Horsecoppin’

5 HOLE
:: After a scrambly pair of periods from the Wings, they managed to pull off a win thanks to a shot by Miller. They’ve travelled halfway across Canada (gosh, Canada is big), and hopefully they’re rested enough and Babcock has been intimidating enough that they’ll be neater in tonight’s game.
:: Both teams have similar records right now. Wings are 21-10-1, Canucks are 20-11-2. Both teams have a two win streak going, and the Canucks are only one point and two spots behind the Wings in the west.

::Everyone is considering this game a test, not only the fans, but Howard and the rest of the team as well. With such similar stats, and a team that can be nigh dangerous with puck possession, it should be an intense game, and potentially a fun one if the referees decide to actually do their damn job.
:: The third and fourth lines have been producing, which is great. Our second line also put up a goal last game, and I’d really like to see one of the guys on the first line pot one or two or four this game.

INSPIRATION

Free Willy Trailer

Wing vs. Wing 2012 Calendar

The reason I’ve been M.I.A. (other than finals week stuff) is because I’m putting together a calendar for 2012! The theme is Wing vs. Wing, and each month features our favorite Wings players battling each other. Ever wonder who would win a staring contest? Who is better with the ladies? You’ll find out in this calendar.

I’m taking preorders right here at my Big Cartel store, ending tomorrow. Go get it!

Here’s a TPL exclusive sneak peek at one of the months:

Wings Lose to Blues, Cranky Doodle Postgame

I’ve been awake since 5 am and I have a bruise twice the size of a puck on my thigh. This postgame is going to be bitchy.

Final Score: 3-2 Blues  (Hello Mr. Petrella!)

Important Things

  • The first period was goalless, with two penalties for each team. Our power play didn’t look great here. The Blues cluttered up the blue line and the Wings had trouble entering.
  • Stuart makes a monster of a save, batting the puck off the goal line, bailing out Jimmy and the rest of the team. This isn’t the first time Stuart has done this, and I’m wondering if we can play him as our backup instead of Conklin.

  • The second period continues the penalties and starts the scoring. After Backes goes to the box for trying to eject Holmstrom out of the rink, Franzen scores a goal by getting right up against Elliott and shooting the puck up and over his shoulder.

  • The next penalty is taken by Kindl, and Steen scores immediately from a pass from Arnott winning the faceoff. Both Helm and Stuart get tied up with Backes, leaving an open lane for Steen to put it in through the five hole.
  • Shortly after that, Berglund rifles one in the top corner. Ericsson backs off on Berglund to sort of cover Perron (who was already being chased closely by Emmerton…) allowing Berglund a clear lane right to Howard.
  • In the third, Kronwall is called for a delay of game, and Backes scores when he slips out from behind the Shitbox. The pass came from Oshie who was able to waltz down towards the goal while Stuart tried to chase him down.
  • Abdelkader is sent to the box as Elliott wins the Golden Globe. If it wasn’t for the Southern-Belle-With-the-Vapors hand fling, he might have been in the running for the Oscar.

  • Howard goes ragemode on Perron, causing a large scrum. Perron (surprisingly) goes to the box, and with some renewed intensity from witnessing Angry Jimmy, the Wings score one more goal thanks to Cleary and Hudler. Intensity didn’t drop after that goal, but unfortunately, it was too little too late, and we couldn’t put another past the drama queen.

Less Important Things

  • I had forgotten about how much I hate that stupid goalie name chant. Thanks for reminding me of that, St. Louis.
  • Frankly, we let the Blues play their run-over-roughshod game, and I think it got to us. We took a couple of retaliating penalties (Franzen, I’m looking at you), and the Wings got worn down in the third.
  • Helm was awesome on the penalty kill, with the Blues second goal being the one exception. He buzzed around, blocking shots and killing time with the puck in the Blues zone. Conner also had a good moment or two on the PK.

Horsecop

This one is difficult. I want to give it to Helm, for good PK work, but then I’ll be called for favoritism. I initially wanted to give it Stuart for the first period save, but he negated that. And then I thought about Franzen, but his retaliating slash pissed me off. So I’m going to give it to Danny Cleary who was creating all sorts of trouble around the net tonight and just generally playing really hard.

Shitbox

Surprise! It’s Riggy! He managed to take two penalties, one by standing there like an idiot with his stick jammed in Sobotka’s armpit. He muddled his coverage on the last two goals. Pretty simple choice for me.

Coming Up Next

Coyotes at the JLA on Thursday. Petrella’s got that one. Woowoo.

Loss Candy

For the ladies, Jon Hamm

For the dudes, Mila Kunis

I’m sure that we’ve used them for loss candy before, but guess how many fucks I give about that? Hint: less than half.

Wings Ground Lightning: Doodle Postgame Edition

We’re doing something a little different tonight, since the artsy one has the reins. This is my first time writing a postgame and I’m banging it out before my own game tonight, so bear with me.

SCORE: 4-2 Wings (Hi, Mr. Petrella!)

First period:

  • Call it woman’s intuition, but I could feel that Datsyuk goal coming as soon as the puck popped free to center ice. The puck skittered around awkwardly while what seems like every single player touched it, and then Datsyuk got a moment of clear ice and whipped it in.  I’d like to thank Downie for releasing stupidly early and not playing defense.
  • Um… Ericsson scored a goal?! Filppula fed an excellent pass to center ice, continuing his point streak, and Riggy managed to drop into the slot at an appropriate time. While we were all still reeling from from the Shitbox actually doing something right, he went and had one of his typical giveaways shortly afterwards.
  • For the majority of this period, the Wings had the momentum stemming from that early goal, and ended with a power play.
  • Second period:

  • Suddenly the Wings took their foot off the gas, losing all that momentum that they had built up, despite starting with the remainder of a power play. And then Bertuzzi takes a stupid penalty by mouthing off to the ref, which is incredibly annoying in the light of his assist on the Datsyuk goal in the first.
  • After Bertuzzi’s shitty penalty, reality seeped back in even further with Ericsson heading to the box. Helm and Cleary have a good shorthanded chance, but moments later Martin St. Louis rips it from the center slot. Miller fails to keep up, making himself look like he’s the older one, with the slower pace and the greyer hair.
  • And then the Lightning get a Budd Lynch special, when someone (Bertuzzi I believe?) lets Stamkos trickle into his Stamkos spot and he rips one past Jimmy to tie it up.
  • Third period:

    • After a scrambly start, Datsyuk draws a penalty by being squirrelly, and lo and behold, Holmstrom scores a goal! The goal, although not a deflection comes from Homer’s usual M.O. of hovering around the net, and then jams the puck past Roloson. I didn’t see the replay initially, but he does, in fact, go in off a deflection from Homer, just from the side of the net, instead of in front like he usually does.
    • The fourth goal for the Wings comes from my personal favorite, Darren Helm, rifling it past Rolo after settling a bouncy pass from Kindl.
    • The afterglow from Helm doesn’t last long, because shortly afterwards, on a shorthanded chance by Gilroy, Howard makes a monster of a save. Everyone fires up Twitter to ask again about Howard’s absence on the All-Star ballot.

    Since I’m at a loss at what else to say, I’m going to let you nominate your Horsecop and Riggy Shitbox of the game in the comments.

    Gradient of Failure: November 29th

    Click to enlarge. Last week’s gradient is here.

    Notes:

    • Filppula has moved up. His play in the past two games has been great, and is probably the most impressive forward we have right now (vying with Franzen and Datsyuk for that spot).
    • Emmerton is making little mistakes and not making up for them with anything good. I feel like he’s playing solidly on the penalty kill at least, but he has to start worrying about his roster spot now that Mursak is close to returning.
    • Bertuzzi is sneakily gliding down the Gradient, staring at us from 2.5 with those dead eyes…
    • Jimmy has a White hat again.
    • Voting table behind the cut.

    Continue reading “Gradient of Failure: November 29th”

    Gradient of Failure” November 22nd

    Click to enlarge. Last week’s gradient is here.

    Notes:

    • Again, only Petrella and my votes are in at the moment, check back later to see if either of the other guys input their votes. Updated with Hollis’s scores at 2:30 pm EST.
    • Thursday’s game against the Sharks doesn’t have much weight on the votes, since as it was a very sour, horrible game for me and I’m pretending it never happened.
    • Datsyuk and Zetterberg have improved dramatically. Funny what some goals and assists will do for you on here.
    • Filppula’s fat head is blocking Cleary at the 2.5 spot. In fact, we have a distinct clusters around 2 to 3.5. They all played solidly in the past two games. The surprise there is Brad Stuart, who zoomed back from a failure level of 6 (and before that 7.3), to 3.5. Hollis mentioned on the last TP:60 that he seems to play well on the west coast, probably because of the proximity to his family.
    • Bertuzzi has also made a huge jump away from failure. Since he’s been back from his short-term sinus illness, he’s played with a lot of grit and energy.
    • If you notice the table below (fancy!), you can see Petrella voted Ericsson as an 11, which means he’s technically a 10.5. I don’t go over the axes, so he’s hugging the 10 pretty tightly.
    • Brendan Smith is playing pretty well for learning on the job, but the key words there is learning. He’s definitely improving the longer he plays, and has flashes where he looks like a solid NHL defenseman, but he’s also making a lot of flubs and the second Ducks goal was partially because he blew coverage. That’s why he got a 5.

    Follow behind the cut to see the voting table.

    Continue reading “Gradient of Failure” November 22nd”

    Gradient of Failure: November 16th

    Click to enlarge. Here’s last week’s gradient.

    Notes:

    • Petrella and I are the only votes here, and his votes did not reflect last night’s game. Hollis got his scores in this morning,  so I’ve updated the gradient at 6:45 ET to reflect that.
    • Zetterberg and Datsyuk have crept farther up the Failure axis. They are not playing at a level expected of them,  especially Datsyuk. I’ve watched him try and carry the puck through two or three players, and lose it. We’re not totally sure what’s going on with them, but they aren’t playing well.
    • Franzen also moved up. He might have had a scoring streak, including a hat trick, but he played like ass last night. He was responsible for the egregious turnover that led to the Blues scoring their second goal.
    • Fuck you Jonathan Ericsson.
    • Commodore played a meager 6 minutes, and took a terrible penalty. Failure it is.

    The Gradient of Failure, November 12th

    CLICK to enlarge. Here’s the last gradient.

    Notes:

    • We have a very distinct cluster of players right around 2. Those guys have been playing their ass off and it shows.
    • Lidstrom is back to near perfect. Where he belongs.
    • Other than Zetterberg’s goal in the Ducks game, we don’t feel as if Datsyuk and Zetterberg are quite where they need to be. Zetterberg looks tired, and Datsyuk isn’t quite as magical as we expect. He’s lost the puck a number of times recently, and has spend a couple of minutes in the box.
    • We’ve backed off a bit on Conklin since he hasn’t played in a while. However, he’ll have to go out and impress us whenever he plays next to get out of the 9-10 range.
    • Oh, look at where Johnny Ericsson is.
    • We went a little easier on Commodore this week, since he just celebrated his birthday.

    EDIT: Updated to reflect Disch’s votes.