Everything Else

This isn’t even fun anymore.

Ever since I was a child, I longed for the day when the Detroit Red Wings would be a flaming shit heap sliding into that river that is also a flaming shit heap and could leave us the hell alone forever. It took close to 20 goddamn years, and for them to flee to the inferior conference at the time so they could hold onto their precious, meaningless playoff streak for two more years like some nine-year-old who still has a fucking binky, but it happened. Ever since their move to the Eastern Conference so their eight fans who actually live in Detroit and not here wouldn’t have to stay up past lights out at West Shoreline, they have been irrelevant. Their GM has been shown to be perhaps the luckiest fraud on the face of the Earth. No one wants to go to their shiny new arena that their supposed “hero” bilked them out of hundreds of millions of dollars they didn’t have to build and then not go to. They’re actively awful, and everyone knows it. They’ve become what they derided us for being for so long. The rebuild will go forever because they’ll never fire Ken Holland and he just keeps smiling that diluted, in-0ver-his-head grin at the press and everyone assumes everything is fine. It’s not. This team sucks and will for a very long time.

But now…we’ve all moved on. With Henrik Zetterberg likely to never play again, this might be the worst team in the league. They could seriously give the Senators a run for their money. Good God, Thomas Vanek is going to be on the top line, and Thomas Vanek stopped being able to move three years ago. They might get the #1 pick…no, scratch that, the NHL WILL rig it to give them the #1 pick to gift wrap them Jack Hughes because Bettman still thinks he needs the Red Wings for the league to be successful. And then Holland will trade it for the negotiating rights to Max Pacioretty two weeks before he hits the market. This is beyond taking candy from a baby. This is beating your toddler at Madden 142-0 and then punting him out the window without feeling one way or the other about it.

Let’s go through this and see if we still feel.

Goalies: Somehow, Jimmy Howard is still here, despite being in trade rumors since he was in the 3rd grade (the height of his education, like 75% of the players in the league). This is also the last year of that contract that made no sense, but don’t you worry, Ol’ Six-Gun Holland will extend him for $7 million a year until 2048 if he has a good October. Just you fucking watch. Howard was pretty putrid last year, only putting up a .910 and a .916 at evens, but he was playing behind nothing. Or at least that’s what you’d think except the Wings were middle of the pack when it came to attempts and chances against. Jimmy Howard is just there. He’s a billboard on the expressway. You use him to identify where you are as long as you’re going somewhere else hurriedly. Like that Magikist one by the Fullerton entrance on the Kennedy for decades.

Anyway, he’s going to be backed up by Jonathan Bernier, whom Holland signed for three years for some reason. Perhaps he sees him taking the starting role when Howard’s deal is up next year and can serve out the remaining years of this rebuild that’s only working in Holland’s head. I have no idea. But you don’t sign Jonathan Bernier for more than one year. It’s the “Mr. Pussy”  corollary from season 1 of Sex And The City. You don’t date Mr. Pussy. You take him for as long as you need service and then you release him back into the world. Fuck, why do I even know this? This is Jamie Benn‘s favorite reference we’ve ever made.

Defense: Jesus H. Christ, do not look too closely at this half-assed Boccioni of death. This team is still trying to make Danny DeKeyser happen. IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. They re-signed Mike Green out of pity, I guess. Niklas Kronwall is here to tell you about the onion on his belt. Trevor Daley. My lord people, Trevor Daly in the top four, possibly top pairing. Trevor Daley only exists for people who huff paint to yell at Mark Lazerus. What is this? I don’t even know what this is supposed to be. They don’t have one fucking kid who can crack this lineup? Oh right, there’s a Chelios descendant here who I assume they signed before he went to jail for beating up some college kid in a bar fight he most definitely started because the kid was reading at the bar. This is some rebuild, Ken.

Forwards: More public transit puke. Dylan Larkin slides up to take the #1 center role. Hey did you know he’s from the area and went to Michigan? I bet you didn’t because it’s not like they tell you that every eight seconds!  He’s a child of Datsyuk! He probably hates gay people too! Gustav Nyquist is riding shotgun to score 20-25 goals that absolutely could not matter less. They shipped off Tomas Tatar but I’m assuming he’s still somehow here because we had to hear about how he’d revolutionize the sport for 12 years in the minors before he came up to the Wings to do a whole lot of not much. Hey, same for Tomas Jurco, come to think of it! There’s still a fucking Bertuzzi here. They’ve already drafted his sperm sample. I guess I’m supposed to think Anthony Mantha is a thing, I don’t. Andreas Athanasiou (I can’t wait another day….), or Andreas Anathasiou because I assure you it doesn’t make a difference, moves to center after the Wings tried to fuck him over with his contract last year. He’s really fast…and that’s it. Someone should have told them they didn’t need another Darren Helm because the old one is still here (now with detachable hips!). Evgeny Svechnikov is going to be on the top line by Halloween, and if he isn’t it’s only because the Wings are still trying to make everyone think they “overcook” their prospects when in fact all their prospects just sucked. Seriously, there are maybe two 20-goal scorers here. This team might not score 200 goals this year.

Outlook: Horrid. Their only hope is that they’re so terrible they finally fire Holland and find a GM worth a shit, except no NHL team ever does that they just hire some red-faced jackwagon who picked his head up off the hotel bar at the Stanley Cup Final long enough to say yes. They’ll make big noise about luring Yzerman back home, he’ll take one look at that roster and pipeline and laugh so hard he’ll tear an abductor. They should make Holland and Ottawa’s Dorion slug it out for Hughes. Or better yet, rig the pick to the Hawks after McDonough threatens Bettman with something. This team is going to suck out loud, to the point where you won’t even enjoy it. Even hearing their name will cause a giant, “UGGGHHH!” Wait for the excuses to why their arena dedicated to pizza that tastes like despair is 1/4 full for both the Pistons and Wings.

Khalil Mack is going to Scorpion overrated fraud Matthew Stafford and then chuck his giant moon-face into Comerica Park between the two broadcasters who are so miserable watching the Tigers they’re fighting each other. How Detroit is that?

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Buffalo Sabres

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Everything Else

You’d think a guy who won a Cup in his first toe-dip into the NHL would get a little more pub than Matt Murray does. But when you play behind the best player on the planet, perhaps the most gifted player in the league, the one who is always connected to hot dogs, and the blinding good looks of Kris Letang, you’re going to be behind the eight-ball when it comes to attention. We’re guessing Matt Murray is probably fine with that.

In some ways that’s a shame, because Murray has been one of the league’s best goalies, even though he’s not played as much as others due to injuries. He’s also had the constant buzz about whether Marc-Andre Fleury would get dealt or not, and you wonder if the Stars or Jets aren’t kicking themselves about that one now. Still, that hasn’t stopped Murray much.

Everything Else

Box Score
Event Summary
War on Ice

Well that looks a bit more familiar. While some of the components of the roster are odd fits in their given lineup spots at best or not NHL players at worst, the Hawks were at least able to do something that they weren’t able to last year, and that’s beat Michael Hutchinson in regulation, who gave the Jets what they needed last year with a 3-0-1 record against the Hawks.

Everything Else

Box Score

Event Summary

War On Ice

Natural Stat Trick

Two nights after getting pretty outplayed by one of the worst teams the West has to offer but having Crawford and the second line keep them afloat enough to pick it off in overtime, the Hawks tried the trick again but this time it was Darling who got to keep their putrid effort afloat long enough for a point. But this time they couldn’t grab the extra point in the carnival ride, as Johnny Gaudreau toyed with them for a minute before hornswoggling Seabrook for the winner.

The Hawks can make sure Crow and Darling get the most comfortable chairs on the plane to Vancouver tonight, and get the nicest suites when they stop in Vegas after the game. Because they’re the only two reasons they have three points they almost certainly don’t deserve all of. There’s no way to sugarcoat that in two games against the 25th and 28th ranked possession teams in the NHL, the Hawks have a 43% share. They’ve basically been clocked by the two Alberta teams who probably won’t sniff the playoffs (though don’t rule anything out in that mess of a division). And they can’t claim injuries as a problem.

Everything Else

Box Score

Event Summary

War On Ice

Natural Stat Trick

Well you know this story by heart if you’ve followed the Hawks this season. The second line does most of the work to either get the Hawks one or two points, Corey Crawford holds them in when they were seriously under pressure, the penalty kill gets all the kills required, and then the Hawks goof a goal in overtime to get both points (and 3-on-3 every goal is basically a goof, that’s not a knock). The variable this time was getting one miraculous save from Crawford in OT, and the Hawks got an even-strength goal from the third line, which isn’t the first of the year but man does it feel like it.

Still, while gaining the two points when you don’t play well is a positive sign for a team we’re all sure is going to figure out its problems at some point, being severely clocked at times by the Oilers without McJesus is not going to have people printing up t-shirts.

Let’s do it.

Everything Else

evil empire at edmonton_eskimos20logo

Game Time: 8:30Pm
TV/Radio: CSN, SportsNet 1, WGN-AM 720
Lost’n For Auston: Copper & Blue, Oilers Nation

No matter how hard they try to convince themselves, their fans, and the rest of the league, the Edmonton Oilers just can’t seem to stop tripping over their own collective dick. As of last night with John Torotrella’s Columbus Blue Jackets defeating the Blues on home ice, the Oilers are once again dead last in the NHL, and now welcome in the Blackhawks to Rexall as they begin their annual November road trip.

Everything Else

For what feels like the first time this season, things have died down a bit with the Hawks news-wise. No injuries, no roster decisions, no turmoil-inducing losses, and just heading off on a roadtrip. Probably also helps calm things down now that the Bears are at least somewhat interesting, shifting attention (even if they’re not actually good). With two weeks on the road, a couple things to look for and watch.

-First, while no one on the main beat ever wants to say it, we haven’t shied from pointing out that some of the Hawks even-strength woes are a result of Jonathan Toews’s “struggles.” The Hawks are still a negative team overall at 5-on-5, which is a weird thing to say about them even at this point in the season. And then you realize the Hawks’ power play has been bailing them out at time and you nearly pass out.

Everything Else

250px-Ozymandias vs. old_school_blue_l

PUCK DROP: 7pm

TV/RADIO: WGN For both

THOSE WHO CAN’T WRITE FOR THOSE WHO CAN’T READ: St. Louis Gametime

Blues Stats

Blues War On Ice

When you’re a team that is still trying to settle at least half the roster, and you have two returning d-men who have been out at least a month, you’d probably prefer a softer landing than traipsing down across Big Muddy into the gaping maw of the hellscape that is West East St. Louis. But you don’t get to raise objections once the schedule comes out (unless you’re Detroit), so that’s the task ahead of the Hawks tonight.

Everything Else

Box Score

Event Summary

War On Ice

Natural Stat Trick

Remember when Paula Abdul was like the center of all your middle school fantasies, which basically amounted to holding a girl’s hand? Ah, the innocence…

Oh right, hockey. It would appear the Hawks are going to try things in reverse this season, if I’m going to make wild conclusions after 11 games because we’ve got nothing else to do. Usually their sloppy, barely bothered effort on the 2nd of a back-to-back on the road comes in February or March. While the Wild did enough to let the Hawks back into this one, the Hawks did more to cost themselves the contest.

It’s rare you see the Hawks so sloppy at both blue lines tonight. So many shifts saw them failing to get the puck out when given the chance and having to cycle back and defend. How many times did they nearly get caught on a change because of misplays at the offensive blue line? Four, five? Maybe more? They just aren’t the most cohesive of units right now.

Zucker’s opener was a result of misplays from a couple Hawks on the boards. Ryan Carter scored off a rush when Kane didn’t quite know what to do when covering for TVR at the point and got caught. The last two goals sprang from Hawks d-men getting caught too far outside, leaving a lane through the middle that either ended in a goal (Spurgeon) or a scramble that did (Niederreiter). It will not make for a happy Q.

To it.

Everything Else

Metallica Ride The Lightning vs. 250px-Ozymandias

PUCK DROP: 7:30pm Central

TV/RADIO: WGN For both, NHLN-US, Sportsnet

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Raw Charge

Lightning Stats

Lightning War On Ice

Always ace scheduling from the NHL when they take their Stanley Cup Final rematch and stick it on a Saturday in October. One of the handful of games the casual fan outside the two markets might notice, and it’s on at the worst possible time. The NHL: 99 years with a thumb up their own ass.

Anyway, the Hawks will get a decent look at what they can do against a premier team in the league without their biggest weapon in Duncan Keith. The Panthers have a decent set of speed and skill on all four lines, but they would be the JV to the Lightning’s varsity squad that roll in tonight.