Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Retirement of Perfection

Last night, we got the news we'd feared. There was going to be a press conference today at 11am, and as was written on NHL.com, "Participants at the press conference will include Red Wings Executive Vice President & General Manager Ken Holland and Lidstrom..."

The speculation started immediately, with sources within the front office being cited that the announcement would be that Nicklas Lidstrom was going to be announcing his retirement. To say I was shocked is an understatement. To say I was saddened is to speak of such obviousness that it borders on stupidity. In my years of being a Detroit Red Wings fan, I have never known the team to be without #5.

Nick, before you go, can you go down a high five line
through the entire state of Michigan? Please? AP Photo
This blog's name is a celebration of the fact that the Wings took a good look at this young Swedish defenseman and saw a winner. And it wasn't until the 3rd round of the draft that he was finally selected. I don't know if they saw the man Nicklas Lidstrom would become by the age 42, but they saw someone they knew they wanted to be a part of their team. I have no problem believing Lidstrom has exceeded all expectations and then some. He is an inspiration to everyone. Let's list off some of his accomplishments. It doesn't need to be done. We all know how great of a player he is. But let's take a moment to absorb again just how much this man has meant to Detroit, to hockey and to the universe.

  • World Championship Gold Medal: 1991
  • 4 Stanley Cups: 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008: He was the first European born captain to win it
  • 12 NHL All Star Nominations
  • 10 NHL First All-Star Team Nominations
  • 7 Norris Trophies: including one at age 41 years, 57 days (oldest ever), and he was the first European born player to win it
  • Conn Smythe Winner: first European born player to win it
  • Olympic Gold Medal: 2006
  • Most regular seasons games played with only one team: 1,564
  • Oldest player to ever record his first hat trick at 40 years old

Source

And that's just SOME of his achievements. That's not even his team awards. That's not even mentioning that he did all of that with a quiet determination and the utmost of sportsmanship, of gamemanship. He managed to stave off injuries, he managed to shut down some of the best goal scorers in the history of the game, he picked up the role of being the captain of one of the greatest sports franchises ever. He did so after that franchise lost one of the greatest captains in sports history. He never missed a beat. He did it with quiet professionalism; he tried to be the perfect human being, the perfect defenseman, the perfect leader. And he did it all with humility, honor and dignity. Find me one person who honestly can say something negative about Nicklas Lidstrom's character.

This man makes other human beings look like wastes of space, and I'm sure he would look any body in the eye and tell them what value they bring to this world and the people around them. And he would be telling the truth when he said it. And you'd believe him. Yes you would.

When I played hockey, my final season of JV hockey, I was moved from forward to defense. During that transition, I needed to find a player whose style I could emulate. I watched Nicklas Lidstrom, and I tried to be him. I tried to always be in the right place, I tried to keep my stick in the passing lanes, I tried to always poke check, block a shot, or pinch off against the boards. I didn't go for the big hit. I always tried to keep my composure. The entire season, I only received 2 penalty minutes. I played on the PK, I played on the PP. I tried to do everything and be the perfect defenseman.

Obviously, I was far and away from being Lidstrom, but I know I was better for my team because of my endeavors to be like him.

It hasn't fully sunk in yet. As I said to the Detroit Free Press on Twitter, I will continue to cling to false hope as long as there is an absence of any other kind. And I'm sure once I hear the announcement, I'm sure once it finally hits, I will cry. I cried when Oh Captain, My Captain Steve Yzerman retired. I will cry. We may never see another Nicklas Lidstrom in my life time. He has meant everything.

There are two things that do make me particularly sad about his retirement. First, that the decision is made, and there's nothing anyone can do about it. We could amass the entire collection of Red Wings fans outside the Joe Louis Arena today, and it wouldn't change the outcome. Secondly, that there will be no Nicklas Lidstrom at the Winter Classic next year. Sure, he may play in the Alumni Game - and I sincerely hope that if he does retire, he will play in the alumni game - but no Nicklas Lidstrom for the actual classic? That's just not right. But I have been making an argument that sometimes we have to think about what is best for the player instead of the team, and maybe this is what is best for Nicklas Lidstrom.

So no anger. No fear. We will survive and persevere. It doesn't matter that Sports Center couldn't even be bothered to mention his retirement this morning. It doesn't matter that we may not know what is going to happen on our blue line. That's irrelevant. What matters is the thanks we owe Nicky Lidstrom.

Thank you Nick, for being so good for so long. Thank you Nick, for staying with this team for 20 years. Thank you Nick, for your contributions to 4 Stanley Cups, 20 years of playoffs, and a 23 game home win streak. Thank you for scoring from center ice to start the rally


Thank you for being a model and an inspiration for me and so many young hockey players around the world. Thank you for being as perfect a human can hope to be. Just...thank you.

Photo Source

Wherever the Red Wings play until the end of time, I expect to see #5 hanging alongside those amazing names pictured above. It's the least we can do. 

Nicklas Lidstrom, drafted 53rd overall in the 3rd round of the 1989 NHL draft. Retired on May 31st, 2012. The greatest defenseman to ever play the game. We love you, Nick.

Let's Go Red Wings.

Monday, May 21, 2012

How to Know If Your Players Checked Out Early

The IIHF Hockey World Championship Tournament has finally concluded. I caught bits and pieces of games, and did my best to follow my Red Wings. There's always something about international hockey that feels like I'm watching a completely different sport to me. I don't know if it's that I don't recognize all the names, or if it's the bigger ice surface. I think what it really is, is that despite it being 2012 and the Cold War having been over for 20 years now, watching international hockey on television looks like I'm watching old reels of the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics.

A lot of North American hockey fans who are watching the Worlds because their team took an early exit from the playoffs (or never even got there) are feeling the sting from watching their players excel in the tournament. Valterri Filppulla, Johan Franzen, Henrik Zetterberg, and Pavel Datsyuk all had lackluster performances in terms of goals and points against Nashville. Filppula: 0 goals, 2 assists, Franzen: 1 goal (scored off his ass), 0 assists, Zetterberg: 2 goals, 1 assist, and Datsyuk: 1 goal, 2 assists in 5 games against Nashville.

Their Worlds statistics? Filppula: 4 goals, 6 assists in 10 games (10th most points), Franzen: 4 goals, 5 assists in 7 games (13th), Zetterberg: 3 goals, 12 assists in 8 games (3rd) and Datsyuk: 3 goals, 4 assists in 10 games and a Gold Medal.

Even in the World Championship, American goaltender Jimmy Howard has to make short handed saves.
Some have alleged that NHL stars may have duffed their play, especially if they were facing daunting odds, in order to hasten their exit so they could flee to their IIHF teams and possibly win glory at the World's Tournament. I've scoured the records of interviews, press conferences, Tweets and previously unpublished comments that may indicate certain players' focus was not on their performance in the NHL, but instead on the World's Tournament. These quotes are completely, 100% true and accurate, although I did clean up the wording for players for whom English is a second language.

  • John Tavares: "I'm really looking forward to playing hockey this May."
  • Evgeni Malkin: "You know what really makes playing right now special? Knowing that I'm going to have a high quality goaltender behind me."
  • Max Pacioretty: "I think my team will benefit greatly from the fact I'm not drinking my meals through a straw right now"
  • Henrik Zetterberg: "A great part of hockey this time of year is how much players respect each other so you don't have to worry about cheap shots and stuff happening after the game ends"
  • Jordan Eberle: Tweeted: "Fans should enjoy this team. We don't rely only on young goal scorers. We've got a great mix of young talent and veterans"
  • Ryan Getzlaf: "I want to squash the rumors right now that I skipped practice yesterday because I'm a pompous, self absorbed player. I missed practice because I was up late checking out European flight prices. But I learned my lesson. Next time I'm using Kayak.com"
  • Johan Franzen: Told local media it was odd to experience a post season where he suffered a horrible injury to his face. 
  • Cam Ward: "I have this tradition where I like to take my goal scorers out of a congratulatory drink. It'll be nice to start that back up again soon"
  • Valterri Filppula: "The team needs me to score goals and put up points, and I'm fully prepared to do that for them"
  • Alex Goligoski: "Once again, I have to be the one American guy on the team who nobody believes is an American because of my last name. I'm from Grand Rapids, people!"
  • Niklas Kronwall "It'll be nice when the media and fans react with shock and surprise when I destroy some hapless forward on the blue line again" 
  • Pavel Datsyuk: Confused a lot of reporters with his broken English when he explained he was looking forward to playing with Gino Malkin. Most dismissed it as an esoteric Russian pronunciation of "Gustav Nyquist" 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hit(s) Analysis: Hanzal and Doan

We have an opportunity here to explain to hockey fans around the world what is and isn't acceptable when it comes to hits along the boards. I think it's a particularly unique opportunity because both hits were committed by two players of the same team, in two different periods of the same game. In last night's Western Conference final game between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Los Angeles Kings, an incident occu...wait a damned minute here. Son of a bitch I went into Brendan Shanahan mode!

In the 2nd period, Shane Doan checked Trevor Lewis into the boards, seemingly from behind. Lewis was hurt on the play, with blood coming from his nose after the hit. Doan was assessed a 5 minute game misconduct penalty for boarding. The following period, Martin Hanzal checked Dustin Brown into the boards, again seemingly from behind. Brown was hurt on the play, laying on the ice after the hit. Both players returned to the game, so until they start showing concussion symptoms, it would appear neither play suffered serious injury.

It was announced today on NHL.com that Martin Hanzal will be facing a disciplinary hearing for his hit, and Shane Doan would not. Having watched the footage of both hits, I think Hanzal deserves supplemental discipline and Doan does not. And this is coming from someone who thinks that Shane Doan is a jerkass player approaching Pronger like levels. Okay, I apologize for that remark. I shouldn't say things I don't mean, and much like calling a woman the C-word, you never want to compare someone to Chris Pronger unless you really truly mean it and they really truly deserve it.

If you watch the two hits, the point of impact may be the same - one player checks another player in the back - and the location on the ice where the hit occurred is mostly the same - along/into the boards (although different area of the ice), there are some very important differences between the two hits that cause them to be drastically different. Before we look at the hits I want to say this too: I bash the refs a lot for bad calls. It helps me vent and because I believe that holding people accountable for their mistakes can help them to become better at what they do and avoid future mistakes. However, the 5 minute game misconduct penalties to both Doan and Hanzal were completely, 100% correct. Regardless of what the league does, and whether they get it right or wrong, the refs made the calls on the ice right. Let's go to the tape:



 The Doan Hit: First off, I should note that Doan has been suspended before. He got a 3 game suspension for elbowing Jamie Benn in the head. He got a 3 game suspension for hitting Dan Sexton in the head. Plus he was fined once for boarding - the same penalty he was kicked out for last night. 

But watch the hit on Lewis. At the 43-44 second mark on the video I embedded, you can clearly see Doan coming in to hit Lewis, and you can clearly see Lewis is facing Doan with his back to the boards. 1 second later in the video, the hit begins. So literally over the span of 1-2 seconds, Doan commits to and delivers the hit. And in that same time span, Lewis turns his back to Doan, bending over to play the puck, and placing himself in a very dangerous and vulnerable position. At the speed the NHL is played at, with the all the extra intensity of the playoffs, it's hard to imagine that Doan could have completely avoided the hit in the 1-2 seconds that Lewis changed his body position.

You could argue that Doan should have pulled up a bit anyways, because even face to face that hit could have been dangerous. And maybe Doan had time to pull up a bit anyway. But I would argue that Shane Doan couldn't have completely avoided that hit, and minimizing the outcome would have been very difficult. If Doan receives supplementary discipline, I think anything more than 1 game would be excessive. Maybe his disciplinary history earns him more, but really, I think the league should leave it as the ruling on the ice.

The Hanzal Calamity: Just like with Doan, let's talk historical factors. To my knowledge and my Google search, Martin Hanzal has never been fined or suspended in the course of his NHL career.

When you watch the video, this one doesn't really need a ton of discussion. These are the types of hits the the NHL is trying to get rid of. Even those this isn't an icing play, these are the types of hits that are causing the NHL to move towards a hybrid icing rule. It's why coughing on a player who goes to touch an icing can get you a trip to the penalty box.

There are any number of ways that Hanzal can make a play here that doesn't result in a player getting hurt and him getting kicked out of the game. All it requires is some discipline and self control. He just has to pull up a bit and not go so fast. Let Brown brace himself for a hit he's probably assuming is coming. Instead of hitting Brown at all, Hanzal could simply try to make a play on the puck. He doesn't have to do what he did, and he had every opportunity to avoid it. It was just stupid.

In fact, let's compare this to a near identical play that we Wings fans know about: Henrik Zetterberg's game misconduct


The difference between Zetterberg's hit and Hanzal's hit are #1: Zetterberg was not going nearly as fast as Hanzal was #2: Zetterberg wasn't trying to send anyone's face through the glass #3: The other player on the Zetterberg hit lost his footing and crashed harshly into the boards. Zetterberg had little, if anything, to do with the "hit".

The Zetterberg hit and the Doan hit are what I would call "Hockey Plays Gone Awry". They are attempts by players to make normal, legitimate hockey plays and other factors cause things to go awry and bad things happen. Sometimes, when things happen in real time, they look worse than they are, and you have to try to keep players within the appropriate bounds of behaviors. Which is why I was frustrated, but understanding, of Zetterberg's misconduct penalty. I understand and agree with Doan and Hanzal being kicked out. But Hanzal was a reckless and dangerous play, so he needs to be sat. I would expect a 2-3 game suspension for Hanzal. I know it's the playoffs, and anything more than a 1 game suspension can be seen as ridiculous on anyone who isn't Raffi Torres. Maybe a 1-2 prediction would be better considering Hanzal's clean record. 

Fuck it. 1-3 game prediction. 

So fans and players alike, take heed. Yes, it is easy for you try to make a clean play and have things get out of control and end poorly. And yes, when that happens, you may be held accountable for it. But it is infinitely better than skating around recklessly without a care for player safety. 

And you know what, as someone who is still angry about Shanahan not suspending Shea Weber, I also believe people do not give Shanahan enough credit. Take the three hits I've highlighted in this post, and you can very clearly see how three very similar hits are also very, very different as soon as you look at the fine points. It isn't simply a matter of "Guy A checked Guy B from behind into the boards", and if you cannot or are simply unwilling to consider those details, then don't comment. Don't rage when Shanahan does or doesn't suspend someone simply because you don't understand the differences.

Save your rage for when he monstrously screws up. Like he did with Weber. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Why the NHL Needs to Restructure

Historians are often times discouraged from going on fantastical "what-if" quests. We're told it's best not to wander down that path, because it's full of speculation that we can't really ever confirm. What happened is what happened. So don't think about what would have happened if Hitler had won the Battle of the Bulge, or if Kennedy had never been assassinated, would we have gone into Vietnam. However, watching these playoffs has reinvigorated in me a train of thought that has plagued me for the past few years.

The Detroit Red Wings (and other Western Conference teams) are screwed over by the NHL's current structure because of the intense travel requirements foisted upon them come playoff time.

To argue this point, I will be conducting a thought experiment, wherein the Detroit Red Wings are not eliminated from the playoffs by Nashville. Instead, they will win all of their playoff series in 6 games. All other series happen as they actually did. The purpose of this is to demonstrate what teams in the West have to go through to reach the Stanley Cup Finals.

So, the Red Wings beat the Predators in 6 games. Los Angeles beats Vancouver and goes on to play St. Louis. Phoenix beats Chicago and plays Detroit instead of Nashville. Los Angeles sweeps the Blues, and Detroit defeats Phoenix in 6 games (and Gary Bettman and Shane Doan die a little bit more inside). Conference finals is Los Angeles against Detroit, and Detroit finds a way to win once again, and heads to the Stanley Cup Finals.

What I'm about to show you is the total respective travel distances and time zone changes each team had to endure in order to reach the Stanley Cup Finals.

v Nashville: 1 hour 45 minutes flight time from Detroit to Nashville with 470 miles distance and no time zone changes. 4 one way trips (or two round trips) are made during a 6 game series. 7 hours of flight time and 1,880 miles covered.

v Phoenix: 4 hours flight time from Detroit to Phoenix and 1,690 miles distance with 3 time zone changes. 4 one way trips (or two round trips) are made during a 6 game series. 16 hours of flight time and 7,520 miles (equal to flying from New York City to Los Angeles and back to New York City) covered with 4 time zone changes from Eastern to Pacific time (or vice versa)

v Los Angeles: 4 hours 30 minutes flight time from Detroit to Los Angeles and 1,984 miles distance with 3 time zone changes. 4 one way trips (or two round trips) are made during a 6 game series. 18 hours of flight time and 7,936 miles covered with 4 time zone changes from Eastern to Pacific time (or vice versa).

Total Distance Covered: 17,336 miles or roughly the distance from Detroit, Michigan to Athens, Greece
Total Flight Time: 41 hours or 1 day, 17 hours
Time Zone Changes: The Red Wings would travel from the Eastern to Pacific time zone or vice versa 8 times

After the break, I do the same thing for the Rangers, the Capitals* and the Devils.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Off-Season Musings #1

My decision to start this blog came at sort of an awkward time. We were coming down the home stretch of the regular season, playoffs started and then ended way too soon. Athletes and sports fans are all superstitious to one degree or another. While I'm not especially so, even when I played, I can't help but sit here and wonder: Did my starting this hockey blog jinx the Red Wings? I mean, I started blogging and they started back sliding. Up until now, nobody has put two and two together, and I'd appreciate it if it stayed that way.

So what's there to do, what's there to follow, what's there to talk about now that the Red Wings are done? Well, free agency signings and trades are still months away. We have to wait for all the guns to fall quiet before any of that can become a reality. I've already talked about the types of players I'd like to see come in and we all know the names that are being thrown around. There's international hockey going on with the World Championship Hockey tournie going on. But I find myself not excited by it, and I think it's for the same reason I can't get excited about college sports: I have no connection to the teams. And I can already hear it: "But what about the U.S. team!? You can't support your country's team, you terrorist!?"

Of course I support my country's team in international competitions; but I just don't feel the need to be all "America! Fuck yeah!" about it. Maybe it's because my favorite sport is one where the U.S. has traditionally not been a powerhouse; so it's taught me to be humble about our chances. Believe me, I know the U.S. can produce world class players. I also know that Russia, Finland, Sweden, Canada, Norway, the Czech Republic, the Ukraine, and many others can too. But I love the Red Wings, I love Lidstrom and Zetterberg and Datsyuk and I have a hard time wishing them failure so the U.S can be successful. We have two guys I could give a g'damn about: Howard and Abdelkader. I'd rather root for them to all be victorious together than pit them against each other. It's why I was happy Pav and Jimmy were both on Team Chara - I didn't have to split my allegiances.

I did read something about the tournament that did make me rage. This is from an article on NHL.com. "Valtteri Filppula scored two third-period goals in just over two minutes to seal Finland's 5-2 victory against Switzerland Tuesday..." The hell, man!? You were blanked for goals in 5 games against Nashville, only two assists and a -3 plus/minus rating. In three games for Finland you put up a couple of goals and a +2 rating? And don't sit here and tell me it's because you were playing along side great players. You skated with Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen's boss. And you all were lighting it up. If it's a language barrier thing, I get the feeling that Hank would learn Finnish to help you out. Did you run out of hair gel or eyeliner late in the season? Help us to help you, Val.

J.J. from Kansas over at WIM wrote a beautiful eulogy for the Predators as they were quickly given the business by the Coyotes. A lot of people have, in blogs and on Twitter, made hay about the fact that the Predators use a song by known child pornography fan Gary Glitter to celebrate goals. I would like to respectfully disagree with you guys. You can appreciate certain things that people have produced without endorsing their entire philosophy.What you guys seem to be forgetting is that song, "Rock and Roll Part 2" was played everywhere for years at sporting events. I'm willing to bet you can find footage of it being played at the Joe. Yes, after his 1999 conviction a lot of places stopped using his song; but plenty of places still do, and those places don't endorse pedophilia and child pornography by playing it.



I'm not trying to say or imply that Barry Trotz is a communist.
I'm simply pointing out he looks like Mikhail Gorbechev
And that makes me giggle.
What they are endorsing is crappy, gimmicky, 40 year old glam rock. It's like how the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Union Russia absolutely adored Levi Jeans and American rock music. <allegory>A sad, decrepit, fledgling system that was way over-hyped and eventually collapsed in on its self because it could no longer afford its massive costs, while presided over by a bald headed bulldog looking guy.</allegory> It was way into popular culture that the rest of the world had shed its self of years ago.

So Nashville is desperately trying to catch up to the rest of the sports world. Their stadium, team and fans desperately grasp at any traditions or staples used by more established teams, and in the process they throw live cat fish onto the ice, boo opposing players for not getting hurt, and celebrate to songs by pedophiles. It doesn't make them pedophiles, or mean they endorse child porn. It just makes them a sad and laughable franchise.

Final Thoughts After the Break

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Truthiness: The Radulov and Kostitzyn Suspensions

The hockey world was shocked, SHOCKED, to find out that the Nashville Predators suspended Russian and Belarusian super-stars Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitzyn for "violating team rules".  Nobody on the team could be coaxed into explaining what exactly it is that the two had done to receive such a punishment. I mean, you're down 2 games to 0 against the Phoenix Coyotes, who might not even be a team next year, and you're going to suspend the two guys you brought in to score goals for you in the playoffs? Seems like a risky venture, but that's just without knowing the details.

People may not know this, but come playoff time, a lot of teams ask their players to live together in order to better monitor behavior and strengthen bonds, and Nashville is no exception. After the Weber incident, I sent a  former Watergate break-in veteran G. Gordon Liddy (lookalike) down to Nashville to bug their team house to see if I could catch some juicy inside tidbits about what the team had to say about the hit. Maybe discover they had a New Orleans-esqe bounty system or something. Up until now, the audio and video recording systems in place had yielded little. However, I had paid my spy for 7 games ahead of time, and so he kept tracking Nashville anyways, even out to Arizona, and that's where he hit pay dirt. Below is a transcript, of what happened that fateful night that Radulov and Kostitzyn came home late. Italicized text are notations made by my spy.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Location: An undisclosed mansion in the greater Scotsdale, Arizona area. It is approximately 4:30am local time. It's dark inside and out of the house. Except for the lonely howl of a single coyote, it's quiet. 
(That could have just been Shane Doan trying to attract other teams to sign him in the off season)


Suddenly, the silence and darkness are simultaneously broken. At the end of the street, a lone car turns towards the Nashville Predator Team House, it's high beams piercing the pre-morning sky, the faint sound of TaTu playing over the hum of the engine.(Interesting. Whoever is in the vehicle is infatuated by Russian psuedo-bisexual techno music performers who haven't been relevant for 10 years)


The car stops in front of the house, and from the back seat climbs Nashville Predator forwards Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitzyn (Oh, well that explains the TaTu music)  The two, obviously intoxicated to some degree, quietly creep up to the doorway as the car drives off. 


The two giggle and shush each other as Radulov fumbles with the keys to the house, trying in vain to put the key into the keyhole. It isn't until Kostitzyn sets him up, giving him a completely clear and unobstructed view of the empty keyhole that Radulov is finally able to get the key in. 


(At this point I switched to internal cameras and microphones)
Slowly, the door creeps open. The two slip inside and quietly shut the door behind them and lock it. The two stop momentarily in the darkness to take off their shoes and attempt to quietly tip toe across the hardwood floors.


Suddenly, the lights snap on. We are all temporarily blinded by the unexpected brightness, but then I can begin to make out two figures standing in the hallway. As my eyes adjust, I can clearly see it is Nashville General Manager David Poile and Head Coach Barry Trotz. (Why is Barry Trotz wearing a fluffy robe and bunny slippers?)


Radulov, who has once again caught himself in the right place at the wrong time, immediately launches into a defensive rant in broken English:


Radulov: "What de fuck dis!? I'm onside! I deed nutting wrong! Andrei pushed me in!"
Trotz: "Whoa whoa whoa! Slow down! First off, Alex, you don't even know what onsides is. Second, we're not even playing a game right now, so just shut up!"
Kostitzyn: (muttering) "Thanks for selling me out, asshole"
Poile: "Hey hey. Guys there's no need to raise voices here. Let's just talk about this, okay? Now... (pause) ...I would just like to know if either of you two have any idea what time it is?"
(voice hollers from up the stairs)
Unknown Voice: "IT'S TIME FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO GET SOME ICE TIME!"
Kostitzyn: "Shut up, Jordan! You don't even have any friends!"
Trotz: "Jordan you get your ass back in bed RIGHT NOW MISTER!"
(I checked another video feed to confirm that it is, in fact, Jordan Tootoo sitting at the top of the stairs, giggling like an imp)


Poile: "Barry, Andrei now that is not helping. Listen to me. It is 4:30 in the morning. And we have to be up early tomorrow, we have to get moving, get our stuff all packed up to head back to Nashville..."
Trotz: "Meanwhile you two little bastards are out doing god knows what when you're supposed to be in bed! Where the hell where you two anyhow?!"
Poile: "Barry, we talked about the yelling and how it doesn't he-"
Trotz: "NO! I'm the head coach around here! These guys do what I tell 'em to do! Now answer me! WHERE. WERE. YOU. TWO?!" 
(You can see Radulov and Kostitzyn fidgeting uncomfortably. Also Jordan Tootoo is still at the top of the stairs, trying to keep his snickers from being heard) 
Kostitzyn: "We were....out"
Poile: "Out where, Andrei. And don't lie to me because I will know..."
Kostitzyn: "Uh...y'know out...with some friends. We uh... went to see a mov-"
Radulov: (interrupts) "Andrei, what is American word for 'hooker' ?" 

(Trotz and Poile stand there wide eyed and mouths gaped open. Kostitzyn pushes his face into his palm) 

Radulov: "What ees problem?"
Kostitzyn: "'Hooker' Alex...the American word for 'hooker' is HOOKER YOU STUPID MOTHER FU-"
Poile: "ANDREI! LANGUAGE!"
Trotz: "Well that's great. That's JUST great. We drop back to back games on the road, we're getting ready to head back to Nashville to turn this thing around, and you two knuckleheads think now is just a GREAT time to go out, hitting up those damned clubs, with their damned hippity-hop music, picking up loose women and doing GOD ONLY KNOWS WHAT, and then think you can just STROLL BACK INTO THIS HOUSE AT THIS UNGODLY HOUR! Well I have HAD IT with you two!"


(Radulov and Kostitzyn stand there, heads bent down and shoulders slunk in shame)


Poile: "Barry, let's...let's not do anything hasty, okay? We're all a little...upset right now. So let's...let's just go to bed and we'll talk about this in the morning."
Trotz: (points finger) "You two are suspended until your General Manager and I can figure out exactly how deal with the two of you."
Radulov: (indignant) "You can't do that! You're not even my real coach!"
Trotz: "Oh no, mister!? I will call The Oilers! You want me to do that? Have your sorry asses hauled off to Edmonton!?"
Radulov and Kostityzn: "...no, sir" 
Tootoo: "Hot damn! Now I might finally get some ice time!"
Trotz: "I said to get your ass back in bed, Captain Healthy Scratch! NOW!"
(Jordan goes scampering back to his room, erratically blowing one of those stupid wooden train whistles as he goes)
Trotz: "To bed with the both of you, too"
Poile: "I am very disappointed in you both. We'll talk more in the morning."

(Trotz and Poile climb the stairs. The faint sound of Jordan Tootoo being slapped can be heard, then doors closing. The two forwards were left standing in the hall. Then Shea Weber emerged from a bedroom on that floor and walks into the kitchen down the hall from Radulov and Kostitzyn. The two walk into the kitchen and sit at the table. Weber is getting his beard a midnight snack)

Weber: "Heard Coach and GM tear you guys a new one. Was pretty stupid on your guys' part. Hope it was worth it."
Radulov: "Oh man, the beetches were"
(Radulov is cut short by a glare from Kostitzyn)
Kostitzyn: "I'm just going to keep my head down, keep my mouth shut, and let this thing play out"
Weber: "That's probably a good idea. You just better hope we don't win without you guys. Lose 2 games, go out partying and get caught? Then your team wins without you? You two would look so incredibly stupid if that happened"
(Ryan Suter's voice chimes in from nearby)
 Suter: "I just think the coach and GM have to make the tough decisions, and if rules are broken, I think we all have to expect to be held to the same standards. I know if it was me, I would expect that. All that is really left is for us as a team to make the improvements we need to make, adapt to new challenges, and play our game. If we do that, I think we can be successful"
Kostitzyn: "Wow, that sounded way more like what a captain would say; full of leadership and prof-" 

(Kostitzyn's head is slammed off a nearby sliding glass door by Weber, who nonchalantly walks off to his room. He stops and turns to Radulov and smiles as he makes mocking hip thrusting motions with his hands and hips. Radulov laughs)

Radulov: "Ho ho! 'ees funny because you make light of a serious situation in a completely unprofessional manner that makes you look like douchebag! Oh-hoooooooooooo...."