Apr. 13 :: GAME ON!

Yeah, I know. But this Phoenix is hotter.

WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?!
And so it begins… the real season. After 82 games played, 47 wins, 261 goals, and 263 man-games lost to injury, it’s all erased — none of it matters once you’re in the post-season. There are sixteen teams and all of them are 0-0. All of them have the chance to do something special. All of them think they can win sixteen games.

It’s time for our Red Wings to flip the switch and wake up on time for every game from now until the parade. Late starts won’t be tolerated in the playoffs, and the Coyotes are going to come to play after being bounced last season by the Winged Wheelers. Game 1, tonight at 7. Be there.

TODAY’S SCHEDULE
10:30am :: Red Wings practice
11:30am :: Coyotes practice
7:00pm :: GAME 1 at Joe Louis Arena, Tampa Bay vs. Pittsburgh
7:30pm :: Rangers vs. Washington
10:00pm :: Chicago vs. Vancouver
10:30pm :: Nashville vs. Anaheim

WATCH IT (EVEN THOUGH IT’S ON AT THE SAME TIME AS MY NEW TLC SERIES)
Versus, CBC, and Fox Sports Detroit will all carry the game, depending on your geography.

NOW, WHERE WERE WE?
October 16th @ Phoenix :: Red Wings OTW 2-1 :: Jimmy Howard :: Datsyuk (3), Kronwall (2)
October 28th @ Detroit :: Coyotes win 4-2 :: Chris Osgood :: Franzen (6), Holmstrom (2)
November 8th @ Detroit :: Red Wings OTW 3-2 :: Jimmy Howard :: Cleary (4), Zetterberg (4), Lidstrom (2)
March 5th @ Phoenix :: Coyotes SOW 5-4 :: Jimmy Howard :: Franzen (27), Filppula (13), Helm (9), Miller (7)

ISN’T THIS FAMILIAR?
The Wings played the Coyotes in the first round last season, as well. It was a seven-game series that ended with the 5th seed Wings moving on to face the San Jose Sharks in Round 2.
Game 1 :: Coyotes 3-2
Game 2 :: Red Wings 7-4
Game 3 :: Coyotes 4-2
Game 4 :: Red Wings 3-0
Game 5 :: Red Wings 4-1
Game 6 :: Coyotes 5-2
Game 7 :: Red Wings 6-1

OH, HI AGAIN
Former Red Wing Ray Whitney now plays in Phoenix. The Wizard played 67 games for Motown in 2003-04 before moving onto the Hurricanes, where he would win a Stanley Cup. This is his first season in Phoenix. Also, Recent Hobey Baker winner and Coyote signee Andy Miele is a Michigan native, hailing from Grosse Point Woods.

MEMBA ME?!
Dan Cleary played 68 games in Phoenix, also in 2003-04 (weird). There’s a trade I’d make again.

BEST NAME NOMINEE
Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Hyphens always win.

SAY WHAT?

ON THE TWITTERZ
Red Wing Black Ace Brendan Smith :: @bssmith7
Coyote Fighter/Scratch Paul Bissonnette :: @BizNasty2point0
Coyote Defenseman/BNN Oliver Ekman-Larsson :: @hockeyolli (take that, Jokinen)
Coyote Forward/Mustache Afficionado Ryan Hollweg :: @TheStache15
Coyote Forward/Draft Pick Kyle Turris :: @kyleturris
Coyote Forward Brett MacLean :: @macattack_39
Coyote Forward/Mini Me Andy Miele :: @Andy_Miele

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

Lidstrom — Stuart
Ericsson — Rafalski
Salei — Kronwall

Howard
MacDonald

SCRATCHES
Chris Osgood [groin]
Henrik Zetterberg [left knee]
Mike Modano [healthy]
Jakub Kindl [healthy]
ACES: Thomas McCollum, Jordan Pearce, Travis Ehrhardt, Doug Janik, Brian Lashoff, Derek Meech, Logan Pyett, Brendan Smith, Joakim Andersson, Cory Emmerton, Ilari Filppula, Jan Mursak, Francis Pare, Brent Raedeke, Tomas Tatar

The TPL Name Game “Three Stars”
In honor of the twentieth straight playoff appearance, the Red Wings have become The Usual Suspects.
Disch: Jonathan “A Man Can Convince Anyone He’s Somebody Else, But Never Himself” Ericsson
Petrella: Jiri “Is That the One About the Hooker with the Dysentery” Hudler
Hollis: Jiri “Man, I Had a Finger Up My Asshole Tonight” Hudler
BONUS: Jimmy “Hand Me The Keys, You Fucking Cocksucker!” Howard
*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.*

TPL PREDICTS…
Disch: Red Wings in 6. Three Homer goals, another one waved off. Two Bertuzzi goals. One 1-goal performance from Howard. Three timeouts used by Babs. Zero points for Modano.
Petrella: Red Wings in 6. Paul Bissonnette plays when the Coyotes fall behind in the series.
Hollis: Red Wings in 6. Johan Franzen with the series winner.

TIDBITS
:: Agruable team MVP Henrik Zetterberg will not be available to start this series, but everyone’s hopeful that he’ll be in the lineup in a few days. In last season’s first round matchup, Z scored six goals, including a hat trick in game 2’s curb stomping.
:: Niklas Kronwall missed the final five games of the season, but is expected to play tonight. Thus begins the “Who’s #6” Debate as Ruslan Salei and Jakub Kindl were (inexplicably) thrust into a battle for the last spot on the blueline. If Kronwall can’t go, after all, they’ll both be in… but the six backliners will be a gametime decision, it looks like.
:: Jimmy Howard is going into his second post-season a bit more confident than last year, he says. That’s excellent news, and it’s clear to everyone he’s the man. Chris Osgood, who has been practicing, is the #3 guy, as Coach Babcock gave Joey MacDonald the back-up job, at least for this series.
:: Worth repeating: head over to Winging it in Motown to enter their playoff tournament, donate a few bucks to the Humane Society of Michigan, and you’ll have a chance to enter some awesome prizes from your favorite Wings blogs.

SEASON RETROSPECTACUS :: RED WINGS LEADERS
Games Played :: Nicklas Lidstrom & Darren Helm (82)
Goals :: Johan Franzen (28)
Assists :: Henrik Zetterberg (56)
Points :: Henrik Zetterberg (80)
+/- :: Justin Abdelkader (+15)
Points Per Game :: Pavel Datsyuk (1.05)
Penalty Minutes :: Jonathan Shockersson (87)
Power Play Goals :: Johan Franzen, Henrik Zetterberg, & Tomas Holmstrom (10)
Shorthanded Goals :: Darren Helm (2)
Game-Winning Goals :: Dan Cleary (8)
Shots Taken :: Henrik Zetterberg (306)
Shooting Percentage :: Pavel Datsyuk (16.8%)
Average Time on Ice :: Nicklas Lidstrom (23:28)
Faceoffs Taken :: Henrik Zetterberg (984)
Faceoff Percentage :: Kris Draper (56.6%)

GET UP, EVERYBODY’S GONNA MOVE THEIR FEET

3 thoughts on “Apr. 13 :: GAME ON!”

  1. The Detroit “These men would never break, never lie down, never bend over for anybody. Anybody” Red Wings
    Todd “I’m the guy that’s gonna get ya” Bertuzzi
    Tomas “I’m not speaking English, am I?” Holmstrom
    Jonathan “After that, my guess is you’ll never hear from him again” Ericsson
    Nicklas “There’s nothing that can’t be done” Lidstrom

  2. I’ll never forget my first Wings game. It was game 5 of the SCF in 2009. As the puck was about to drop they blasted Kiss’ Detroit Rock City at the Joe. I had goosebumps, and chills, as the entire Joe was singing along with the song for dozens of seconds after the music had stopped. It was one of the most memorable moments of my life and that image, smell, and sound of a playoff atmosphere will forever be burned into my soul. I sat by myself in that game, section 204a, but I was surrounded by the best company I couldn’t of imagined, Detroit Red Wings fans. This is why we watch hockey. This is playoff hockey.

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