Monthly Archives: January 2013

Recent Playoff Success: Yes, we’ve had it!

So I was doing a usual round of late night heckling of a friend who sadly cheers for the Avs. I told him to remember his team had just “six playoff wins in the past six years”. I quickly pulled up the Wings number to compare. I was shocked to add up the numbers to 54. That’s nine per season, or by average, a trip to the Western Conference Finals every year.

I quickly began looking at a list of our rivals, mostly in our division. If nothing else interesting. Sure it is a abstract and arguably meaningless stretch of time. But I think if you listen to talk radio, or water cooler talk about the Wings, it would be tough to imagine the Wings far and away the leaders (next closest team I found was the Penguins with 43).

Anyways here’s a list. If nothing else, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, smile. It’s great to be a Wings fan. And when you have a Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Helm down the middle, you’re going to be in most games you play.

Central Division & Other Rivals Playoff Victories Since 2007

  • Red Wings 54
  • Penguins 43
  • Canucks 33
  • Sharks 32
  • Blackhawks 30
  • Predators 16
  • Coyotes 12
  • Avalanche 6
  • Blues 4
  • Blue Jackets 0
  • Maple Leafs 0
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Holm is Where the Heart is

When Nick Lidstrom announced his retirement last Spring, many people assumed his partner in crime would soon follow. Anyone who watched Lidstrom’s NHL 36 knows that he and Tomas Holmstrom are besties. The fellow Swedes had their game day tradition of eating at Andiamo and would even drive to the airport together when the Wings would travel. Plus, with Nick no longer around, who would translate Holmer’s Swenglish?

Every goalie in the league knows Holmstrom’s ass all too well. He was best known for his screening ability–partly because it led to many goals for the Wings, and partly because it resulted in many being taken away. How many exactly? No idea. But a lot.

He was also incredible at deflecting and stuffing pucks into the net to finish the job.

Besides for his famous work in the crease, he had plenty of other beauties. He scored 243 goals and had 287 assists in his 1,026 games with the Detroit Red Wings and won four Stanley Cups.

So long, Tomas. Salut. Hockeytown is already missing you, your broken English, and most definitely your ass. Much love.

Fresh Faces: Jordin Tootoo

This edition of Fresh Faces will look at Jordin Tootoo (#22), a 29-year-old right winger and Manitoba native. After playing four seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL), Tootoo was selected by the Nashville Predators in the 4th round of the 2001 NHL draft.  He played there for 8 of the last 9 seasons (played for the Preds’ AHL affiliate Milwaukee Admirals during the 2004-2005 lockout).  Jordin won a gold medal as the captain of Canada’s under-18 team at the 2000 Four Nations tournament, and helped Team Canada win silver at the 2003 IIHF World U-20 Hockey Championship. Of Inuit and Ukrainian descent, he is both the first Inuk player and the first player to grow up in Nunavut to participate in an NHL game (Nunatsiaq News).

While only 5’9, Tootoo is best known for his physical play and being more than willing to drop the gloves.  He has recorded two Gordie Howe hat tricks during his career—my fav!!! Even though he draws a lot of penalties (725 PIM in 486 regular season NHL games), the Red Wings will greatly benefit from having a guy like him on the roster. Check out some of his fights from last season…but not before you mute the sound. Nice montage, weak song choice.

“His gloves dropped faster than panties on prom night!” –My mom

There is a softer side of Jordin that tends to be overlooked due to his badass persona—he is an active community member and avid philanthropist. He established the Team Tootoo fund, which helps support nonprofit organizations that address suicide awareness and prevention, as well as nonprofits supporting children and teens in need. He established the fund in 2011, after receiving treatment for alcohol addiction through the NHL/NHLPA’s Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program.

Welcome to Hockeytown, Jordin… we’re very happy to have you. Be prepared for some changes—most Wings fans eat, breathe, bleed Red Wings hockey. And when the crowd at the Joe cheers, we’re actually cheering for YOU, the players…not because they showed Carrie Underwood on the jumbotron.

Make sure to follow Jordin on Twitter: @JTootoo22, @TeamTootooFund
and Instagram: kudluk22

hockeydb.com, hockeyfights.com, cfmt.org

Ten Things The NHL Can Do To Win Back Its Fans

Damage control time. Here’s ten ways Gary and the boys can win back the fans

  1. Free Game Center Live – We’ve heard a few different reporters claim that giving away NHL Center Ice would be a nice give back to fans. Not going to happen. As detailed here, the NHL does not own the channel exclusively.  And it would require cooperation among all cable and satellite companies. Not gonna happen in ten days. BUT, the NHL could give away the premium version of their Game Center Live app. This would allow fans access to live video, radio, highlights etc. 
  2. Apologize – Bettman and Fehr need to apologize. Not just to the fans. To the employees, the bar owners, the vendors. Everyone. This was too long without pay for too little progress. It’s unacceptable  and both need to publicly apologize.
  3. Hockey Backgrounds at the Helm – Both NHL and NHLPA need to start grooming leadership successors. This lockout was frustrating as the main parties involved have never played a game of hockey in their lives. Both groups need to make sure they have strong leadership with hockey backgrounds moving forward. Former wing Brendan Shannahan seems a likely candidate to fit the mold.
  4. NHL Network Upgrade – How could the NHL Network not put a few suits in a studio to break the end of the lockout? It’s unacceptable. Put some real programming on there, get some non-infomercial advertisements and let’s go. I’m embarrassed to watch that channel when company is over. There’s plenty of bloggers and wannabe sportscasters that need some tape. Pay them peanuts and make some TV.
  5. Social Media – Any messaging should be announcing giveaways, incentives or “thank you” to the fans. Everything else you post is just going to be ripped apart. Look at any post in the last four months for proof
  6. Don’t Write Something Stupid On The Blue Line – It was nice first go around. Now it would be insulting. Please don’t remind us that this happens regularly.
  7. Better National Broadcast Team in the States – NBC’s crew, and I’ll just come right out and say it, Pierre McGuire, seem to be universally disliked by the fans. I respect Doc and Eddie O, but we’ve had the same crew since 2006. Let’s try something new. There’s plenty of talent out there.
  8. Allow Players To Continue To Play For Country – We deserve it. The world deserves to be able to watch it. Continue to grow your game internationally. Improve the likelihood of players to participate in the World Championships. Or improve coverage for fans of teams not in the playoffs.
  9. Consistency On Suspensions and Fines – I thought last year, Brendan Shannahan’s use of video to explain suspensions was tremendous. However, to fine Shea Weber a few grand and suspend Raffi Torres 25 games is inexcusable. We need more consistency.  I get that lots of factors go into these decisions  I thought the Dept. of Player Safety had a terrible postseason. In the words of Mr. Cherry “Smarten Up!”
  10. Deport One Of The Following  – Bettman, Fehr, Pitbull, Ice Cube, the guy who books Pitbull and Ice Cube’s advertising gigs.
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