Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Let the Feathers Fly

Once again, we tangle with our avian nemeses. They have orange extremities, we have wheels. They are peaceful denizens of the sea, we are soulless mechanized cyborgs with no brains or heart, just wings and wheel, steel and fury. I suppose they may have us beat in a naval battle, but then again, we've got octopi.

Umm... sorry, I stroked out for a second there. Anyway, I was rooting for the Ducks to finish the Sharks off as soon as it became apparent that the usual playoff-Ducks had shown up, and the usual playoff-Sharks had too (sorry McClellan. Babcock you ain't. Or I guess maybe you are. Same start.) Why was I rooting for the Ducks? Well...

I am downright giddy to see Johnny Ericsson punch Chris Pronger's ugly fucking face in. Holy shit am I excited that the Wings have a guy who can match sasquatch inch-for-inch (not that that stopped Danny Cleary). And he's not just big, he's willing. I was saddened, no, crestfallen, to see the linesmen break up JMFE's nascent fight with whatever BJ that was in Game 4.

And Cory Perry? God I hate Cory Perry. Ohhh man do I hate him. I am literally shaking with anger as I type this. We need someone to cave his face in too. Ericsson can't handle all the fighting duties. How about... Kopecky? No, seriously. He can throw down.

Or maybe.... maybe the best way for the Wings to get revenge for 46.7 is not to literally beat down the Ducks, to take them on at what is admittedly their best facet, but rather, to totally fucking school them. Your top line is Ryan-Getzlaf-Perry? Seriously? And Niedermayer? What a punk. I get sick whenever he's compared to Lidstrom. Offense, yes. But defensively not in Nick's league. Remember Wally skating around Scotty like he was a fucking pylon? Yeah me too.

Yeah, I think that would be a lot more satisfying. Let Pronger scream in unintelligible gibberish, unable to form cogent sentences, while the Hossa blows past him. Let him wail mindlessly as Holmstrom asses in another goal while he sits in the box for some dumbassed act of aggression. Let Niedermayer frown in confusion while the Wings skate circles around him.

Forget circles. The Wings are gonna skate squares around him. Who can skate in a square? Pavel Datsyuk can. I saw it. In a dream. He did it. Backwards, blindfolded. Mike Babcock was wearing a cowboy hat and giggling with mirth in the background.

Um, anyway. Wings in 6.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

All I Have To Say Is

...alright, that's not all I have to say.

  • Ericsson didn't do anything outrageous, but another all around, level-headed performance from the rook. A real shame the linesmen had to prevent him from pummeling that BJ. I'm excited beyond all belief for this kid.
  • Lidstrom deserves the Norris. End of motherfucking story.
  • ESPN says Datsyuk only played 16 minutes. Did I miss something? Tell me it'll all be alright, Pavel...
  • Speaking of Dats, I'm waiting for him to blow up. It's gonna happen. And it's going to be truly thrilling when it does. Of course, he didn't do much offensively in the Pens series last year, sticking mostly to defensive dominance and unexpected beat-downs. But I think he's a got a dangle or two in his pocket he has yet to deploy.
  • Too bad about those BJs. They deserve a good hockey team in Columbus. They'll be back if Mason isn't a flash-in-the-pan.

Bring on the motherfucking poultry.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Draper's Scare-Quote Injury Unscare-Quote

The Macomb Daily, via Snapshots, had this to say about Drapes on Saturday:
Kris Draper (upper-body injury) continued skating with the team Friday, but won't be available for Game 2 tonight. He returns to the doctor Monday for another checkup."

The frustrating thing on my part is I can practice, go out and take warm-ups, but I'm not in the situation to go out there and play right now," Draper said. "I guess that's the best way to say it.

"It's a weird thing," Draper added. "It's not easy to sit here and talk about it and keep everyone in the dark, but that's the nature of the situation. It's just best for me to do that."
The thing this reminds me of that no one has mentioned is the Franzen thing last year. Unexplained injury keeps Mule off the ice for an absurdly long time, leading to everyone from fans to Mike Babcock getting all antsy about where he was. Of course, I'm not getting too antsy, not with the way Helmer's playing, but there is some antsiness. I think. Somewhere.... We have to wonder what Drapes could possibly have that's keeping him out. Given that he's actually practicing, a potentially life-threatening bruise on his brain is unlikely. But something's up here.

Of course, some are intimating that this is actually just Babcock keeping Drapes out with some lame excuse. The quote above doesn't really make one think that, but George Malik is using scare-quotes around the term upper-body injury. Drapes doesn't strike me as the kind of guy Babcock is anxious to get on the bench, but then again Chelios was a regular all of last season and then got the bench in the playoffs. So who knows.

This reminds me of something. One time I was playing NHL '99 or something -- it was like the first day I had gotten it -- and Kris Draper went down with an injury. The virtual trainers came out and walked the virtual Draper to the bench. Then a little text box came up and said: "Kris Draper - Lacerated Scrotum".

Ohhhh man. Just typing that makes me feel... deeply sad inside.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Not Dead

Yes, I know, I suck, I suck so hard. I should be shot.

What's that? You didn't notice I hadn't posted for months? Ahh, yes, well. Fair enough.

I've said it all before: my time has become extremely scant. Only catching 1 of every 2 or 3... or 4 games is not enough for me to go off of. I spout a lot of uninformed nonsense on this thing -- it would be nice if I at least saw the games.

That being said I'm going to try to get things back into gear for the playoffs. If I can't find the time to watch the Wings during the playoffs, I may as well pack it in, eh? Here are a few thoughts:

- Datsyuk: MVP and Selke. Nick: Norris. No question.

- Ericsson: Next year's Calder. Unless Leino beats him to it. Are they even still eligible?

- Goaltending: I am still regretting the Ty Conklin acquisition. The team is clearly committed to Osgood as the starter; if that's what you're going to do, why not get Howard NHL ready? You're never really going to know if he's gonna turn out until you drop him in the NHL and see what happens. Yes, Conklin was good insurance against an injury and if Ozzie goes down or breaks down in the playoffs Conklin is as good a backup as you'll find in the NHL. But next year Howard is out of options and has to make the team. If Osgood's off-year wasn't really an off-year, but instead the beginning of a decline? We can only imagaine Osgood will be the same or worse next year. And that means we'll be worse off than if we had gone with Howard this year. We're just delaying and making things worse on ourselves. Ugh. Hopefully, of course, Osgood will rebound next year, but whether he does or not the Wings need to get Howard in 30 games at least. If he flames out, no biggie, Larsson and McCollum are grade-A prospects.

- Cap: I have not updated my salary cap chart in a while. I have no idea what Hossa would have to take at this point to stay, and what the ramifications would be. But I do know I've read/heard people saying things like "the Wings might be able to keep Hossa and Hudler", which makes my head hurt. In the end, I just decide not to think about it, and trust/thank Kenny for his magical, magical cap-powers.

- Youngins: Similar to what I said about Howard: if Ericsson, Leino, and Helm are not all on the team next year I may flip out. I love Kenny and I love the "keep them in the minors until they're ready, then keep them in the minors a little while longer, and then keep them in the minors some more" strategy, but at some point you risk the continuity of your team when you stunt players' development by leaving them in a league they've more than adjusted to in lieu of players who are not giving you what the kids could be giving you.

- BJs: Wings in 5. I only say 5 becasue predicting sweeps never works. Mason scares me, but Columbus is going to be so glad just to have made it, the Wings will overpower them. You could not ask for two more polar opposites in terms of playoff experience.