Master Blaster run Bartertown. This we know. But thanks to a Sports Illustrated article in December that stole Detroit's Burger King crown and handed it to St. Paul, Minnesota, the question of who really run "Hockeytown, USA" is a little hazier. The Red Wings and Wild went to overtime last night. Two teams enter, one team leaves! Break a deal, face the Winged Wheel! Who would control both the Western Conference and Tina Turner's pig shit?
That would be the Wings. Dan Cleary got a little lucky and beat Niklas Backstrom with 1:20 remaining in the third and then assisted on Brett Lebda's overtime goal for the 3-2 win in Prince's home state (I can smell the pancakes now). But if this were a Presidential primary, Minnesota would get the delegates, outplaying Detroit for two periods while Dominik Hasek kept the Octopussies in the game.
No one's catching Detroit — they're going to have more points than some of the Pistons by the end of the season — but a President's Trophy has promised them equal parts of jack and squat in the playoffs. The Wings' Postseason Scared Shitless List, in ascending order: The No. 8 seed, as a goalie like Bryzgalov can go Arturs Irbe on that ass; The Wild, who were missing some key players last night and still took it to Detroit for 40 minutes; and the Ducks, who snapped a six-game losing streak after getting Selanne back last night against the Islanders and will be a fully armed and operational battle station when Sammy Pahlsson arrives.
I still think there's a chance the Cup could end up in Hockeytown, USA this season. Depending on where you believe that is. I'm pretty sure it's not in Newark. At least that's what Melrose was screaming when I lifted his money clip the other night.
Strange Things Are Afoot in C-Bus. Last night's Capitals/Blue Jackets game ranked fairly high on my weird-shit-o-meter. Pascal Leclaire suffered a bruised neck and will miss at least the next two games after colliding with a Cap and a Jacket. Rick Nash scored a short-handed goal on a 5-on-3 kill. Ovechkin scored the game-winner in OT, 4-3, to continue to lead the NHL in scoring; more impressively, he leads the all-important James Mirtle MVP voting. But the most bizarre moment of the game was on Nash's second goal, when referee Bill McCreary set a perfect pick on defenseman Shaone Morrisonn at the top of the offensive zone. It almost looked like a premeditated tackle; I half-expected to see him patting Sha-Mo down for an assassin's gun while someone in the stands yelled out, "Hey ... it's Enrico Palazzo!"
Toronto Snarky Depression Update. Florida prison-raped the Leafs last night, 8-0, in Toronto. And by prison raped, I mean anally violated a frightened submissive with a broken spirit as the inmates banged on their cell doors in encouragement. At least the Panthers finally got to hear the sound of a sellout crowd cheering for them. Here's what the self-loathing Leafs media and fans are saying after this embarrassment:
"For the love of God, for pity's sake, somebody shoot this team. Put it down, out if its misery. And if Mats Sundin isn't saying today, where do I sign, or un-sign, then he's a sadomasochist, perhaps a fool." - Rosie Dimanno of the Toronto Star, who also referred to Florida as the "Pussy Panthers."
"One interesting note was that it was the 82nd game of Leafs defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo's NHL career. That is the length of one regular season, but because of injuries, Colaiacovo, 25, is in his fifth NHL season." - Globe & Mail
"With scouts from 14 NHL clubs watching, the Leafs did not play for their coach. And remember, this was against a Panthers team that had just two more points than Toronto, and dressed people such as David Brine, Tanner Glass and Kamil Kreps. Most households could not name them." - Toronto Sun
"I think the players should boo the fans for showing up." - ItsGameTime, TMLFans.ca.
* Another quarterfinal in the KB best hockey hit of all-time tournament. It's Dion Phaneuf on Denis Hamel vs. a hit that I have to confess I had never seen before: Pavel Bure shredding Shane Churla like he was Kournikova's panties (or Candice Cameron's ... don't tell Valeri). [Orland Kurtenblog]
* All hail George Parros and His Mustache of Doom. [The FanHouse]
* You're thrilled that your team beats the Hurricanes, but you aren't allowed to leave the arena because of a tornado. Welcome to Mooseport... [Some Local News Station]
* Finally, some great youth hockey fight commentary from what I'm sure is a wonderful mom who just happens to sound like Susie Essman: