CAN I KICK IT?
The Wings start their first West Coast roadie in San Jose tonight at 10:30pm Eastern. There’s very little to like about the Sharks — it’s a team full of assholes and divers, but they’ve had our number for several years now. Hate Week continues in California.
BONITA APPLEBAUM, YOU GOT IT GOIN’ ON
Hollis took Torrey Mitchell last time, but I’m going to give you another option here. As much as I despise the idea of complimenting any of these idiots, it’s hard to ignore how awesome the name “Frazer McLaren” is. I’m fairly certain he was a racecar-driving boxer in a movie about WW2 I saw once.
:: Detroit dropped a stinker to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday by the score of 2-1.
:: St. Joe’s hasn’t played since last Saturday, a game they lost to the Coyotes 3-0. Wut?
:: This is the second matchup of the season for the Wings and Sharks. They played on October 28th, a 4-2 loss for the Red Wings. Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom scored for the good guys, and Jimmy Howard lost for the first time this season.
PEOPLE’S INSTINCTIVE TRAVELS AND THE PATHS OF RHYTHM
Nobody on the Sharks bench played in Detroit — but the guy behind the bench used to be behind the Wings’ bench. Head Coach/Competitive Eater Todd McLellan was once an assistant in Detroit… back when the Wings’ special teams weren’t horrible. Both Ian White and Brad Stuart used to be Sharks — the former as early as this past Spring, the latter as a teenager.
LITTLE HISTORY LESSON
Two years ago today, Brendan Shanahan hung up his skates.
Justin “For Real?” Abdelkader :: Pavel Datsyuk :: Johan Franzen
Valtteri Filppula :: Henrik Zetterberg :: Dan Cleary
Fabian Brunnstrom :: Darren Helm :: Jiri Hudler
Drew Miller :: Cory Emmerton :: Tomas Holmstrom
Nicklas Lidstrom :: Johnny Shitbox
Brendan Smith :: Niklas Kronwall
Jakub Kindl :: Brad Stuart
I LEFT MY WALLET IN EL SEGUNDO
Jan Mursak [left ankle]
Todd Bertuzzi [inner ear]
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: Jiri “Come and Spread Your Arms if You Really Need a Hug” Hudler
HOLLIS: Jonathan “Description of a Fool” Ericsson
DISCH: still rural Illinoising it up
STEVIE: Todd “Get a Good Lawyer So Problems Won’t Pile” Bertuzzi
CHECK THE RHIME
:: Having served the final of his five-game suspension for a pre-season hit on Ben Smith, rookie defenseman Brendan Smith is allegedly going to make his regular season debut tonight. Yesterday, Coach Babcock wouldn’t confirm the report, but Smith himself spoke as if he was told he’d be in. We were supposed to have Smith on today’s episode of TP:60, but obviously he was a bit busy at the moment — we had to postpone, and that’s why there’s no Pipeline segment on the show.
:: St. Louis Blue Chris Stewart was suspended three games for his dangerous hit from behind on Niklas Kronwall in Tuesday’s game. Kronwall was removed from the game until he could be cleared to return, which he did and didn’t appear much worse for wear. Dodged a bullet there, it was a scary sight.
:: Jimmy Howard starts for the tenth straight game. The last time he played ten or more regular season games in a row was last November into December, a span of 14 games. Does it say more about Howard’s excellent All-Star-worthy play, or Ty Conklin’s messy bed?
:: Something brought up by Chief on the podcast: where’s Dan Cleary? While that can certainly be asked specifically about #11, it’s also a symptom of a bigger problem — where are the gritty, dirty goals that guys like Dan Cleary have made a living scoring? It’s been far too long since the Wings crashed the creased and earned a big one — whether it’s at the hand of Cleary himself, or Eaves, Miller, Holmstrom, Franzen, you name ’em…
:: The Red Wings are on pace for 97 points — which would be the fewest they earned since 1998-99, but by no means a “horrible” season. They’d likely qualify for the playoffs and then all bets are off. But another win or loss streak of five-plus games could swing the whole season. It sounds ridiculous, because it’s November, but it’s rare that a team can come from way back in the pack around the holidays to make the post-season.