WHY DID YOU BRING ME TO A GAY STEEL MILL?
My boys travel into the town I now call home to take on the least rapey of all Steeltown sports clubs. I live less than 7 miles from the old Igloo (which is being slowly dismantled each day) and the new arena, The Anvil CONSOL Energy Center. The puck drops at 7pm Eastern and the game can be seen on Fox Sports Detroit and something called “Root.”
I’ve only lived here for a few months, and it’s been good to me. I sincerely enjoy it and coaching high school hockey, and folks are batshit insane for their sports teams. And by sports teams, I mean Steelers. They probably don’t know there’s a Penguins game tonight, but they’ll totally care when football is over. It’s a pretty neat town with some kick-ass geography, but no one can drive worth a damn and you’re forced to endure crap like this at the grocery store:
NO REFUNDS! FORCE MAJEURE! READ THE BACK OF YOUR TICKET
:: Detroit put a hurting on Winnipeg, 7-1, on Saturday. Haha you skank.
:: Pittsburgh beat the Islanders, 6-3, on Saturday.
:: The Wings and Pens have played a billion times in the last few seasons. The most recent was March 21st last season, a 5-4 shootout loss in Detroit. Jimmy Howard started, but was pulled in favor of Joey MacDonald when it was 4-0 Pens. The Wings were without Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen, Jiri Hudler, and Chris Osgood. They were without Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Good Guy Goals were scored by Cleary, Zetterberg, Filppula, and Mike Modano — who scored his second-to-last goal in the NHL.
COME ON, CANTALOUPE!
As you may recall, we have a little bit of a contest going. Whoever correctly guesses the first Red Wing to pot one will have the opportunity to join us on this week’s TP:60. I won’t be watching live (I’ll be behind the bench for a game, too), so I won’t be able to congratulate the lucky winner in real time. Feel free to check out the post and keep tabs at home!
THEY RUINED ALL OF OUR BEST NAMES LIKE BRUCE AND LANCE AND JULIAN
The Penguins’ entrant into the Best Name contest is one Zbynek Michalek, who spent last season in Phoenix. It’s a pretty fair bet that when you have four consonants in a row, you’re going to get this nomination — even when one is “sometimes y.”
HI-C AND FLUFFERNUTTERS!
Three players in the Red Wings system spent some time in Pittsburgh. Backup goaltender/toilet unclogger Ty Conklin spent 07-08 with the Pens. Diminutive winger Chris Conner bounced back and forth between Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre between 2009 and 2011. Currently concussed Griffin Chris Minard played 35 games for the Penguins.
ONLY TWO TYPES OF GUYS WERE HAWAIIAN SHIRTS: BIG FAT PARTY ANIMALS AND GAY GUYS
I’M WILLI VANILLI THE PENGUIN, I SHAKE UNTIL I’M BLUE. MY HEAD IS SHOT AND MY FEET ARE OLD, HA-HE-ACHOO! Backup goaltender Brent Johnson is from my hometown of Farmington. He’s Sid Abel’s grandson and was drafted 27 picks before the Red Wings selected a Seattle Thunderbirds center named “Tyler Perry.” No, I’m serious. No word on whether or not TBS has offered the hockey player eleventy majillion dollars to make horrible, HORRIBLE, ethnic comedies.
TRAGICALLY LUDICROUS. LUDICROUSLY TRAGIC. LIKE WHEN A CLOWN DIES
After only eight games played since being injured just after New Years, Sidney Crosby has shut it down again. In the immediate Red Wings-related world, that’s good news — but in the greater scheme of things, it’s horrible, horrible news. I know it’s not kosher to admire the young man, but that kid is fantastic — not only personally as a hockey player, but he’s great for the game and missing more time is bad news for everyone. We wish him a speedy recovery in hopes that he can be 100% Crosby in no time.
J&R WHISKEY LIQUOR LADS
Todd Bertuzzi :: Pavel Datsyuk :: Johan Franzen
Jiri Hudler :: Valtteri Filppula :: Henrik Zetterberg
Dan Cleary :: Darren Helm :: Chris Conner
Tomas Holmstrom :: Justin Abdelkader :: Drew Miller
Nicklas Lidstrom :: Ian White
Jonathan Ericsson :: Niklas Kronwall
Jakub Kindl :: Brad Stuart
Jan Mursak [left ankle – two weeks]
Patrick Eaves [jaw – over a month]
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: Jonathan “HOT STUFF COMIN’ THROUGH!” Ericsson
DISCH: Jiri “You’ll Thank Me On Your Wedding Night” Hudler
STEVIE: Jiri “Ahhh, That’ll Make Your Bull Run” Hudler
STAND STILL THERE’S A SPARK IN YOUR HAIR!
:: Jimmy Howard is on tap to start his fourth straight game (and 21st of the last 22 Red Wings games). He leads the NHL in wins (17) and will face off against #2 in wins, Marc-Andre Fleury. Tiberius has only allowed 44 goals all season, which is the same number allowed by Henrik Lunqvist (three fewer games), Roberto Luongo (six fewer games), and Martin Broduer (EIGHT fewer games).
:: In the 7-1 drubbing of the Jets, only four players failed to get a point: Tomas Holmstrom, Jakub Kindl, Justin Abdelkader, and — WAIT FOR IT — Johnny Shitbox. He did manage to be a +3, but that’s a bullshit stat that only matters if you’re actively involved in things, and the only thing Ericsson’s ever involved in is passing poorly and taking ill-timed penalties. Look for more of the same tonight against a vastly superior Penguins team (compared to the Jets, that is. It’s still the Eastern Conference, which — we’ve learned several times — is straight-up booty).
:: Jiri Hudler has four goals in the last three games. Flip has seven in nine games, including goals in two straight. Bertuzzi also has goals in back-to-back games. The longest goalless droughts among forwards (in the lineup) are Justin Abdelkader (10 games), Pavel Datsyuk (4 games), and Dan Cleary (3 games). Every other forward on the roster — including Chris Conner and the rest of the fourth line — has scored in the last three games.
:: Speaking of Chris Conner, he’ll have a chance to face some old foes tonight. He’s looked really strong in his five games in Detroit (which is more than Smith , Nyquist , and MacDonald  played — combined — during their call-ups; one more than Mike Commodore has played; and the same number Fabian Brunnstrom has played). He’s quick, he’s gritty (as much as he can be weighing as much as Ikea furniture), and he’s not afraid to get to the dirty areas of the ice. I’m a big fan of the little guy, but I’m not sure he’ll be around when Jan Mursak and Patrick Eaves are healthy enough to rejoin the lineup.
:: From the “Fun With Numbers” Department: Johan Franzen is the NHL’s co-leader in game-winning goals (5). Pittsburgh’s top GWG scorer is Pascal Dupuis with 3 (possibly aided by his spicy mustard, I’ll get back to you).
Valtteri “Ultrasuede is a miracle. This is just good timing” Filppula
Tomas “Butt out, Buttinsky” Holmstrom
Jonathan “Just for that, you don’t get any cactus candy” Ericsson
Jiri “I couldn’t agree more, happy as a clam” Hudler
Todd “I kinda want a cigarette” Bertuzzi
Mike “That’s Cruel, Have a Teensy Piece” Babcock