Nov. 1 :: We’ve Got Pie!

Before we get into the pregame, there’s some leftover business from the weekend that needs to be taken care of…

Great. Now that your Halloween themed loss candy is out of the way, let’s get down to business…

WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN
It’s another go ’round with the guys from Minnesota. 7:30 pm Eastern. Joe Louis Arena.

NOW, WHERE WERE WE
Not sure we really need to re-hash how well the last few games have gone for the Wings, so we’ll just say this: they have a 5-4-0 record and 10 points. Minnesota sits with a record of 4-3-3 and 11 points. Yes, more points than Detroit.

BEST NAME NOMINEE
Cal Clusterfuck, er, Clutterbuck and Clayton Stoner in a scoreless tie.

THEIR LAST GAMES
:: Detroit – Next… (Wings lose 1-0 to Wild. Fourth loss in a row in case you forgot.)
:: Minnesota – Read above.
:: Last time these two teams met…Seriously Petrella? Your format for this pregame is doing nothing but driving me spiraling into a dark, dark hole of bolivian. How many ways can we fucking say that WE LOST TO MINNESOTA BY A SCORE OF 1-0 ON SATURDAY?!?!?! THERE??? ARE YOU HAPPY???

MEMBA ME?
No former Wings on the Wild.

OH, HI AGAIN
No former Wild on the Wings.

HITTING THE GRIDIRON
Henrik Zetterberg :: Pavel Datsyuk :: Tomas Holmstrom
Goose Nyquist :: Johan Franzen :: Todd Thunderchief
Patrick Eaves :: Valtteri Filppula :: Buckets Cleary
Darren Helm :: Justin Abdelkader :: Salt N Pepper Miller

Nicklas Lidstrom :: Ian White
Brad Stuart :: Johnny Shitbox
Jakub Kindl :: Niklas “Dollar Billz” Kaboom

Jimmy Howard
Ty Conkblock

RIDING PINE
Jan Mursak [left ankle]
Mike and The Commodores [knee]
Jiri Hudler
Cory Emmerton

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: VACATION, YO
DISCH: Jonathan “Dauber” Ericsson
HOLLIS: Jonathan “You Think I Didn’t Respect You, But the Truth Is I Didn’t Even Think Of You” Ericsson
STEVIE:  Niklas “I Just Saw Ten Guys That Got Bigger Feet Than You” Kronwall

QUICKLY…
:: The big news (obviously) is that rookie Gustav Nyquist will be making his first NHL start tonight, and Mike Babcock is throwing the kid right into the fire. He’ll play on the SECOND LINE with The Mule and Big Bert, as well as get time on the second power play unit. You think the Red Wings aren’t desperate for some goals? Holy hell.
:: With Nyquist making the start, the honeymoon with Jiri Hudler is officially over. He hasn’t registered a shot on goal in FOUR games and his status on the Gradient of Failure is assured to take a tumble. At this rate, we’ll be firing up the trade discussion by tomorrow night.
:: I’m not sure whether Mike Babcock is trying to channel the ghosts of yesteryear, but he’s moved Tomas Holmstrom back up to the top line with Hank and Pavel. Holmstrom has played well early in the season, but still not sure I’m on board with this move. I’d prefer he split up the twins, but hey, what the hell do I know anyways? The safe bet is that Holmstrom nets two tonight as the Wings try and blow out the light bulbs on the scoreboard.
:: The chop shop continues all the way to the defense, where Stuart and the RigBox will join forces tonight and look to avoid officially being the worst defensive pairing on this team. Neither have been overly impressive on their own this season, so here’s hoping two wrongs makes a big right when they get together. Moneybagz Kronwall gets paired with Jakub Kindl in what should be a pretty entertaining pairing.
:: It’s the start of a six game homestand tonight, and a look at the schedule shows this as a critical period for the Wings to get this thing back on the rails. All of their upcoming games look winnable, and while you should never put too much stock in early season standings, 10 points and 12th in the West is never fun to look at.

WTyF? Yes, there’s Loss Candy

Yeah, it was sort of like that.

The Final (Hi Dad!)
4-1 Blue Jackets.

The Skinny
So this could have gone one of two ways: 1) a repeat of 96 hours ago, where the Red Wings had their way with their half-retarded neighbors to the south, firmly entrenched in the living hell that is Ohio. Or 2) the Blue Jackets finally found a set of testicles, played like they were interested in winning something this season, and combining that new-found feeling of self-worth with the shitstorm that is Ty Conklin.

Spoiler alert: it was the latter.

The story is going to be — and rightfully so — Ty’s goaltending. For the second game in a row, he had no idea where the puck was and where the rebound was heading. Although, around period #4 of this version of Conklin, even he had to know that most of those rebounds were heading toward twine. I hate to pick on the man, especially when he saved the Wings’ bacon a few seasons ago, and started this season with a shutout. But the last six periods have seen his GAA jump from 0.00 to 3.37. Like Brett Lebda’s -3 game in a game his team won 9-3 a year ago, that kind of individual statistical anomaly takes sincere effort and suckitude.

Bullets of Importance

  • 21 seconds. That’s all it took for the Columbus Blue Jackets to remember what they saw in the game film from the Wings’ Saturday game against Washington: Ty Conklin couldn’t catch a cold on a trans-Atlantic flight full of sniffly Frenchmen. That RJ Umburger goal was followed by Ryan Johansen’s first NHL goal… which was followed by John Moore’s first NHL goal. If I learned anything through the first 30 minutes of this one, it was that tonight should have been my NHL debut. May have had a chance to net one.
  • Darren Helm would (briefly) even the score when he hustled (as he is wont to do) and converted a broken, behind-the-net jambalaya of a hockey play into a grinder’s goal. Steve Mason was hurt at some point during the play (which, if you were paying close attention, actually featured the Helm line coming onto the ice twice before a whistle blew), and would go off for repairs. In came Allen York, making his NHL debut, but unlike all of his little friends, he DID NOT score on Ty Conklin in the 2:33 of relief he played before Mason was able to return.
  • Fairly poor game all around tonight. The Wings couldn’t convert on their power play opportunities (again) — including a 6-on-4 late in the game where they allowed a goal. Their penalty kill allowed a goal (again) — bad news that becomes worse when you hear that the Wings took 7 penalties (the Jackets took three). They were badly out-shot in the first period (14-6). They lost 55% of the faceoffs. They had half as many blocked shots, a third as many takeaways, and 35% fewer hits than their opponents.

Bullets of Less Importance

  • Wisniewski with an “A.” And why not? This was his first game for the Blue Jackets, and the only thing he’s contributed to hockey in Ohio is that about 9% of his annual salary has already been forfeited because of his massive 8-game suspension. Stay classy, Columbus!
  • Linesman Brad Kovachik took a shot directly to the back during the third period. You’d think with all this “quality skater” nonsense you hear about the guys who “do a great job 99% of the time,” they’d be able to, you know, get the fuck out of the way of a shot from the point — a thing that happens approximately 700 times a night in each and every NHL game. Glad to see he was alright, but please don’t shove that bullshit down my throat anymore — they’re failed hockey people who act tough to compensate for their tiny wieners.

The Disch Approved “Horsecop” of the Game
Darren Helm converted hard work into a goal. He was also one of the only Red Wings to finish the game +1. A rare bright spot in a dark cave of a night.

The Riggy “Shitbox” of the Game
Who do you think it is? If it wasn’t for the posts, and the general incompetence of the Columbus Blue Jackets, the game would have been a 7-1 repeat of Saturday night.

What’s Next?
Friday against San Jose. Hollis is all over the pre-game.

Loss Candy
MTV’s teen drama Skins may have only lasted nine minutes, but something tells me they asked Sofia Black D’Elia to stick around the office a little longer than that:

Her castmate, Mitch Hewer, posing as a Red Wings fan on Tuesday night.

Conklin photo credit: Ann Heisenfelt, AP

You Can’t Win Them All (Well, the Caps Still Could…)

"Scoring goals? No, I only smile for Tattoos and Family and Tattoos that say 'family'."

Final (Hi Mr. P!)
Caps 7, Red Wings 1

Thoughts
For a team that talked all week about “wanting to get back to playing”, the Wings sure didn’t look that interested in participating in Saturday’s heavyweight tilt against the Capitals for the first 30 minutes. The Embarrassment that it is Mike Green and his Edmund Dantes goatee scored two goals, Cory Emmerton gifted another one, and that was all the Capitals would need to take the title belt in this battle of undefeated teams. Frankly, neither team looked all that impressive for large chunks of the game, but the difference was in execution. The Caps capitalized when they had chances, the Wings didn’t. Instead of burying turnovers in the back of the net, Detroit buried shots in Tomas Vokoun’s stomach (granted, he did have some exceptional saves.) And when the Wings needed a big save (or 6) Ty Conklin didn’t answer the bell, letting in a few “dandies” that triggered the mechanism that automatically makes us here at TPL post this:

Caught ourselves just in time. Wait, no we didn’t. Shit.

Look: It’s one game. It happened on the back end of two games in a row. It happened with Fabian Brunnstrom and Patrick Eaves knocking off some rust. It’s not the last time it will happen this year. It just sucks that the Wings laid an egg in the first big game of the season on a national stage. Thems the breaks.

BULLETS!

Bullets of Importance

  • Niklas Kronwall became the 11th Red Wing to score a goal this season, coming on a beautiful 5-on-3 power play. Despite a slow night tonight, the Wings are still clicking along and spreading the offensive wealth.
  • After really cranking it up last night, the power play took a step back tonight, going 1 for 4. While 25% is still pretty good, it’s still tough to watch a 5-on-3 fail to connect while the Wings set up fancy sets and find the perfect shot.
  • Conklin was NOT GOOD. OK, now that we’ve established that, neither was his support. Conklin gave up a few that were pretty freaking ugly, but Kronwall and Stuart were terribly out of position on the first goal, Emmerton gifted the second, Kronwall got caught pinching on the fifth and Riggy Shitbox forgot about the slot on the sixth. After five games with a defense that looked outstanding, expectations have now plummeted back down to Earth.
  • Hats off to Tomas Vokoun. Dude looks like he’s on a mission from God to win at all costs and he sure as hell played like it tonight. Some seriously spectacular saves.

Bullets of Less Importance

  • Mike Green is a tool.
  • I blame Doug from Puck Buddys for this loss. He predicted a Red Wings win knowing full well that he was just clowning us into a false sense of security. Sneaky mother fucker right there. In that case, the Caps are going to win 27-1 when they come visit in March, Doug. Boom.
  • HAPPY 1,500th GAME NICKLAS LIDSTROM!

The Disch Approved “Horsecop” of the Game
Niklas Kronwall backs into this one since he’s the only Wing who scored a goal.

The Riggy “Shitbox” of the Game
Maybe Ty Conklin used up all his talents bagging groceries during the week off. After tonight, he might have a career in it sooner than thought.

Loss Candy

If anything can break the Russian Machine, our money is on Irina Shayk.

This is Sean Biloski. I have no idea why he is important. Other than his good looks.

What’s Next?
Tuesday in Columbus. Petrella has your pregame.

About Last Night: Quick Thoughts from 3-2 Loss

Hockey is back, and although it’s only preseason hockey, that’s as good of a reason as any to dust off the cynicism and overanalyze the hell out of the 3-2 Wings loss to the Penguins last night. OK, I’m not ACTUALLY going to overanalyze anything because – as we mentioned – this was just a preseason game, but I’m sure there are some out there who feel that this many words about a meaningless split-squad game is way too much analysis considering the circumstances. Your patience will be rewarded.

Bullets:

  • Do we even need to say anything about Pavel Datsyuk? Dude looked like he was in mid-season form one game into the preseason. The big key will be keeping #13/#24 healthy this year, and should that happen, it’s safe to assume that he’ll be Datsyukian Dekeing his way to one of the best seasons of his career. Fingers crossed.
  • Somebody needs to tell Jimmah that the short-side is part of the net, because he apparently forgot all about it over the summer. Two of his three goals against came on that side of the net, with the first one being particularly worrisome. Again, it’s only the preseason, but Howard was less than spectacular last night.
  • Kronwall looks like he hasn’t missed a step from the end of last season, and that is a giant +1 for this team. He was composed, pinched responsibly and found his way on to the score sheet. Frankly, it will be interesting to see what happens with him this season. He’s stepped up his game to the point that he brings consistency and spark to the lineup, but is that only because he’s in a contract year? If so, do Ken Holland and Co. hold off on an extension and encourage Kronwall to play for his money this year, or do they bag this thing up early and hope that a vote of confidence keeps #55 on his current trajectory? If it’s me, I’m holding off until 1/3 of the way into the season before I start unloading the armored truck. As previously mentioned, Kronwall has been consistent of late, but can he keep it up over the course of time?
  • Fabian Brunnstrom. Not really sure what to make of the kid, other than it really looked like he was trying too hard last night. You can’t really fault him for trying to make an impression, but unfortunately that impression doesn’t really jive with what the Wings are trying to do. He tried to be fancy, which OK, but then would get knocked off the puck too easily and seemingly give up on plays. His backcheck was worrisome, but his potential is obvious. The jury is still out on this one, but early returns suggest an AHL stint is in the cards if Fabian wants to stick in the organization.
  • On the other side of the spectrum is our old buddy, The ‘Sak. Jan Mursak looked excellent last night, doing the small things that eventually pay off with a full time roster spot, and I couldn’t be happier. If utilizing his speed and size mean we get to say “The ‘Sak” all season long, sign me up.
  • Brendan Smith looked pretty good, but it’s obvious he’s still a little green when it comes to the NHL game. He’ll get there.
  • As for Mike Commodore, well, he looked pretty “meh” to me. Played physical, but didn’t really stand out, which can be a good or bad thing depending on who you ask. I know Petrella has some additional thoughts on Commodore, which – God willing – you will all get to enjoy as much as I did this morning.
  • Cory Emmerton is venturing into Mattias Ritola territory. This is not good.
  • Jiri Hudler scored a goal. I know that folks are hoping this means he’s primed for a great season, but not this guy. I see Hudler goals as increased trade value. Nothing more.
  • Tatar has some work to do, but still gets the heart pumping. The line he was on with The ‘Sak and Chris Conner had plenty of jump, which was nice to see.

The Wings are back at it tonight in London, Ontario, where they will lock horns with the Philadelphia Flyers. Quickly, a few things to watch for:

  • Nicklas Lidstrom. Enough said.
  • Todd Bertuzzi makes his return to competition after Dany Heatley’s helmet concussed him in Game 7 last year. Let’s hope he didn’t forget how to backcheck.
  • The THREE MILLION DOLLAR MISTAKE I MEAN MAN gets to tout his shit tonight. $10 says Ian White outplays him.
  • Jurco. Enjoy it while you can before the kid goes back to juniors.
  • Gustav Nyquist. Babcock has a hard-on for this kid, and it sounds like it may be for good reason. Here’s hoping he delivers.
  • The Conk-Block is between the pipes. Feel good if he looks better than Howard did last night. Worry if he looks like he did last year in St. Louis.

Finally…

LOSS CANDY (!!!)


Poppy Montgomery wants you to feel better.

And since we all love Swedes, here’s Alexander Skarsgård.

Game photo courtesy of The Associated Press

Loss Candy :: Whitney Has Forsaken Us

This guy likes scoring in the Joe...

FINAL
Sharks 4, Red Wings 3 (OT)

Sharks lead the series 3-0.

Thoughts?
It’s obviously just not meant to be. The Wings had another lead in the third period, squandered it and wind up losing in OT. Say what you want about it. Blame Ericsson. Blame Howard. Blame Babcock. Blame the special teams. It doesn’t really matter because this team just doesn’t know how to close out important games when it counts. I know I’m not the only one who feels like the Phoenix series was years ago, but let’s not forget how bad the Wings struggled to close out games in that series either. They’ve struggled all season, and it’s gotten no better during the postseason. San Jose, on the other hand, has the poise, ability and confidence to fight back and do the little things the right way, and that’s why they are all packed and climbing on the bus for the Western Conference Finals. I know, there’s always a chance. The Wings could pull off one of the greatest comebacks of all time and do what Philadelphia did last year. Are you buying it though?

There were flashes of brilliance tonight for sure. Darren Helm was outstanding all night long, save for the missed pickup on Dan Boyle for the tying goal. Jimmy Howard continued to play well, although many will say not as well as he’s played up to this point in the series. Pavel Datsyuk continues to show why he’s one of the elite in this league and Patrick Eaves continues to be one of the most underrated players on this team. But for all of the bright spots, there are flaws that run deep and problems that just don’t seem to be getting better. Ruslan Salei has all but played himself off the team, and one hopes that he might not even be on the ice in Game 4. Same goes for Jonathan Ericsson. If this guy is back next year, it’s because he’s got dirt on someone in the Wings front office. Brad Stuart was pretty much abysmal tonight, and it was painfully apparent that Johan Franzen needs to be shut down for the rest of this season. A guy that “loves” the playoffs this much doesn’t go missing if something isn’t really bothering him on the injury front. When it’s all said and done, this Red Wings team will likely get the dreaded “underachievers” label, which holds water on some level. The simple fact is that they just can’t find a way to get it done against a good San Jose team, and two years in a row means that this is no fluke.

The Wings played their best game of the series tonight. It just wasn’t enough. Sometimes, it’s just not meant to be.

Loss Candy
Now that the Whitney Charm is broken, it’s time to retire her broke ass once and for all. It’s nothing but heartbreak tonight in Detroit, and no candy will fix that. Stare the ugly truth in the face, take a deep breath, and let’s move on. We’ve got a long day and a half of crappy Babcock quotes and false hope to get through. No sugar coating it from TPL tonight.

And why not Bobby Brown while we are at it…

Loss Candy :: They Said It

We feel the same way, Jimmy...

Final (Hi Mr. P)

Blackhawks 4 Red Wings 2

Thougths

Who better to tell you how this one went than the involved parties. I know I’m sure as hell not wasting my time recapping another piss poor effort from this team…

Babcock:

“We got down 3-0 or 4-0, and I don’t know if we ever got playing,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We scored a couple of goals, but I don’t think, obviously, the level of urgency was there. We weren’t good enough. That’s all there is to it.”

Lidstrom:

“They were a lot more desperate than we were, especially in the first period,” said Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom. “They came out with a better push and they pushed us back.”

Cleary:

“It’s pretty tough,” said Detroit forward Danny Cleary. “We haven’t played well at home. We haven’t played well for a while here consistently. We’ve got to find a way.”

Aaaand Babcock to wrap it up:

“We’ve got one more game to get ourselves ready,” Babcock said. “We’ve got to get our brain in gear and get playing. The good thing about the playoffs is it’s only long for two teams. The rest can be done in a hurry. The sense of urgency we have to have and the change in mindset we have to have is very apparent just from watching this game tonight.”
Blah, blah, fucking blah. Those quotes have been repeated umpteen times since the beginning of February and all it’s done is make it very apparent the Wings think they can just flip a switch in a few days and make the magic happen at will. Newsflash: That mentality will do nothing but sink the Wings ship much sooner than anyone hopes or expects. But, hey, no need to panic, right?
Loss Candy
In honor of the tropical destinations the Red Wings are likely to find themselves at in May if their play keeps up, it’s a tropical themed loss candy tonight.
Originally from Oahu and now residing in Las Vegas (Brett Lebda just peed himself), the Wings will have plenty of opportunity to see Taylor Makakoa.
And while the boys are swimming and relaxing in Hawaii, the ladies of the Red Wings can check out Jason Momoa and his sweet dreads.

Jimmy photo courtesy of David Guralnick/Detroit News

Loss Candy :: Everybody Coming Up Short

Final (Hi Mr. P)

Canes 3 Wings 0

Thoughts

Before we go any further here, let me offer the sincerest of apologies for not getting a pre-game post up today. While we thoroughly enjoy entertaining all of you before and after every Wings game, there’s always some times when real life has to intervene, and that unfortunately was what happened today. Since I was slated to handle the pre-game, I’ll take the heat and blame.

That said, I’m glad I didn’t waste my time on this game. While the intensity was there, so were the careless mistakes that the Wings must get rid of before the playoffs start. Otherwise, it’ll be a very short postseason.

At any rate, the big news in obviously the Zetterberg injury, so allow me to just cut to the chase and provide you all with something to help take your mind off of his ankle while we wait for more news…

Loss Candy

Yes, the theme today is “milk.” We all know it does a body good and the Wings need any infusion of good they can get right now, especially when it comes to having a healthy team.

Skinner goal photo courtesy of  Chris Seward/Raleigh News & Observer

Loss Candy :: We’ve Got Some Work to Do

Used to look good. Now looks like shit. Sound familiar?

Final (Hi Mr. P)

Blues 10 Wings 3

Thoughts

What is there really to say other than the Red Wings just don’t get it. They don’t come to play when the games still count. They don’t look like a team that’s capable of winning a Stanley Cup, let alone a single playoff series. They just don’t look good. Nobody came to play tonight and the result was a humiliating ass kicking that left fans everywhere shaking their heads and an already mentally shaky fourth string goaltender huddled in the corner of the locker room shaking uncontrollably and pleading for the safe confines of Van Andel and Grand Rapids. The best decision of  the night was some combination of Joey MacDonald and Mike Babcock deciding to spare the kid any further humiliation by sticking the newly-returned-to-Earth Joey Mac back in net for the third period. Second best decision of the night? FSD cancelling the Babcock interview after the second period.

Before I lose my shit, I will say this: This was a trap game from the outset whether it looked like it on paper or not. The Wings – comfortably in the playoffs – are looking to stay healthy, while the newly eliminated Blues are banged up and playing a group of younger guys who would love nothing more than to roll into Detroit, make a name for themselves, and lay the lumber on one of the league’s “premiere” teams. One would think Mike Babcock would have seen this one coming from a mile away and would have game-planned for such circumstances or at least tried to make his team aware of what was potentially around the corner. Instead, the Wings got double digits hung on them and looked like unconcerned jackasses the entire time. Fitting, then, that the Wings ran a promotion for playoff tickets at the end of the game with the tagline “Don’t Miss A Moment.” Hell yea, who would want to miss a moment of the shit the Wings put out on the ice and dared call “hockey” tonight??? Buy now, or you might miss a game where they give up 11 goals!

Who knows where this team goes from here. Most of us are wishfully thinking that they will rebound and get their assess in gear to finish out the season, but reality is a cruel mistress and it wouldn’t surprise me to see this group of “professionals” limp their sorry sacks into the playoffs as a 3 or 4 seed at this point. It’s a complete and total embarrassment to see a team play so lethargically, and the bleeding may not stop when Pavel Datsyuk gets back into the lineup. Up and down the roster, the effort just isn’t there (save for Darren Helm, apparently.) If I’m Mike Babcock, I’m sitting Ericsson’s sorry ass in favor of Salei and Kindl the rest of the way out (more from Petrella on this later), and Kris Draper doesn’t sit another game the rest of the regular season. Still, there’s no guarantee that any set of adjustments will spark guys like Valtteri Filppula and Johan Franzen into a meaningful contribution, which is a sad shame indeed.

Five games to go and no one can save the Wings from themselves but themselves. Awesome, eh?

Time to get to work, boys.

Loss Candy

DOUBLE Loss Candy! :: The Pain is Only Temporary

FINAL (Hi Mr. P!)

Hawks 3 Wings 2 (OT)

Thoughts

  • I’ll hold off on the Bertuzzi hit until later, as I think we’ve finally hit the situation that so many of us have been secretly worrying about ever since the hit on Steve Moore. I’ll preface the forthcoming article with this: From where this blogger sits, it was a dirty hit. Folks will argue intent, but intent doesn’t hold water in today’s NHL. Whether meant or not, elbow/shoulder contacted head, and if we as a fan base are going to pass judgment on the rest of the league’s offenders, then we have to hold our own team to the same standard.
  • The legend of Brad Watson continues to grow in Detroit, with questionable calls pockmarking the road all night long. Was it his fault the Wings lost? Probably not. Just like we said in the pre-game, this team just doesn’t seem to have the killer instinct that marks a championship team, and one can only hope that it will make itself evident when the playoffs finally roll around. Sure, the hooking call on Zetterberg pretty much put the nail in the coffin tonight, but this Wings team has a bad habit of cutting these games way too close and it’s time that they start making their own luck through skill and execution.
  • For all the doubt that has existed around Joey Mac this year, is it that crazy to think that maybe he becomes the backup to Jimmy Howard next season? I’m sure Chris Osgood has other thoughts, but the Oz is more distraction than anything at this point, and one begins to wonder if his head is really in a place where he can successfully accommodate an 82 game season anymore. Don’t take this as hate, but Joey Mac’s effort has been pretty much outstanding over the last month and the guy is winning me over. Is he my first choice for the backup role next year? Absolutely not. But he’s not the worst option while the Wings wait for McCollum to get his game to the NHL standard.

Enough talk. Let’s get to the loss candy, which is a double feature tonight since @Detroit4LyfeRob asked so nicely.

First, some ladies to help ease the pain of the gentlemen:

Josie Maran gets this party started, and boy that rock sure looks like its enjoying the festivities.

Next up is the lovely Jessica Lowndes, who knows how to look comfortable even on the hardest of stairs.

Now, let’s take care of our lovely female readership…

Looking…dapper…it’s Marco Dapper. Is that a Zetter-onesie he’s got on?

Finally, Tyler Batchel contemplates Jonathan Ericsson’s game…or lack thereof.

MacDonald and Toews courtesy of David Guralnick  and The Detroit News