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Live blog: Red Wings vs. Bruins, Game 5

The Red Wings return to Boston facing elimination in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference playoff series Saturday against the Bruins. Bostons leads the best-of-seven series, 3-1. Puck drops at 3 p.m. Follow all of the action here with updates throughout the game by Geoff Robinson of The Detroit News.

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Birmingham – As the light faded on the Dream Cruise Saturday night, Woodward reminded me of one of those rivers you see in nature films.
The wide avenue proves irresistible for thirsty predators that swim the tributary waiting for an innocent impala to wander unsuspectedly into their path. You know. Impalas.
There it is in the middle of your picture. A common, 2006-era Chevy Impala. Surrounded by a pack of snarling, hungry beasts: Two Camaros, a Mustang, an Acura NSX, a Firebird.
Poor thing. Has it any idea what it has stumbled into? I wonder what happened to that Impala . . .

Royal Oak – Scratch the paint of some cars in the Cruise and the history runs deeper than mere modifications.
Phil O’Reilly’s 1947 Ford Super Deluxe roadster is a looker with its bright red paint, white ragtop, modified 302 V8, and dramatic white scallops running back from the chrome grille. But turn back the pages of history and the ’47 Ford is reminder of a nation – and a Detroit – that was transformed by war.
“The 1946-1948 models were the first cars that Ford produced coming out of World War II,” says Reilly, who now lives in Pinckney. “Ford had ceased auto production during the war to make airplanes and other vehicles to fight Nazi Germany.”
Reilly was just 10 years old in 1946 when his car was built. His father had just moved to Michigan from Youngstown, Ohio where he too had been consumed by the war effort by manufacturing steel for military use.
Bill grew up to be a successful, 37-year veteran of Ford’s powertrain development division. He has amassed an impressive car collection, including a 1923 Ford Model T, a ’56 Porsche Speedster, a ’64 Cobra, a 2004 308 Ferrari, and a 2006 Ford GT.
But that ’47 Ford. It’s a reminder of the fires this country has endured to enjoy a Saturday on Woodward.

Just a few observations gleaned while driving 3 mph on M-1 during the Woodward Dream Cruise.
I wonder how many of those orange signs are going to be stolen? The ones that tell drivers to drive only classic cruisers in the right two lanes. They have to be collectors items, right?
Or the sign reading “Do not block driveway” on a barricade that was blocking the driveway.
Or the guy who stopped his diamond blue Plymouth Valiant in the right lane of northbound Woodward (completely blocking traffic) as he sprinted to a port-a-potty on the berm in front of the Shrine of the Little Flower Elementary School. Hey, when you gotta go, you gotta go!
magicbagI don’t know if they simply grew weary of the war or just finally accepted their fate, but the marquee on the Magic Bag (on Woodward, just north of Nine Mile) didn’t contain snarky messages about what a pain in the asphalt the WDC is for them.
That’s the first time that’s happened in years.
Worst parking spot. Three cars were parked on the shoulder of northbound Woodward on the incline from the I-696 overpass. I thought maybe they were broken down, but they all seemed to know each other, their hoods and trunks were open for inspection and they were sipping cold ones while sitting in folding chairs.

Optimized-mustanghistoryBrian and Lisa Sams and their daughter Brianna, 3, traveled to Mustang Alley in Ferndale to show off a very special car. On the outside it may not look like much, but their Mustang served as a Florida State Police patrol car from June 1989 to February 1993 and was driven by the first female state trooper of the year.
“We got it from a guy who got it from the auction,” said Brian Sams, of Darlington, Md. “Originally, we bought it to race, but when we found out it had a lot of police history, we decided to keep it as was.”
The Sams’ Mustang was among 1,160 parked at Mustang Alley on East Nine between Woodward and the train tracks.

There are quite a few rare vehicles cruising Woodward today, but Ithica resident Joe Barden probably has the rarest of them all … a 1923 Meteor hearse.
And it’s all original equipment, including the incredibly beautiful and exquisitely hand-carved wooden body.hearse1
Barden is the fourth generation director of the Barden Funeral Home, established in 1902 with Joe’s son set to take over as generation No. 5.
“There are only three 1923 Meteor hearses and the other two are in a museum and not likely to see the light of day,” Barden said. “I have family photos that show that this  hearse is exactly the same as the one my great grandfather bought so many years ago.”
Barden has a friend who specializes in finding and restoring antique hearses, the kind put into storage and then are just sort of forgotten about.
“My friend found this one in a barn down in Texas,” Barden said. “He snapped it up because he knew I was interested in this kind thing. It wasn’t running so he had to restore it, which took about 10 years.”
The reason it took so long is because it was important to keep the hearse as original as possible.
“Back when these machines were made, they painted everything except the tires,” Barden said. “When I got it, it was covered with silver paint. We stripped the paint and found that beautiful original woodword. The wood is a combination of cherry, maple, oak and walnut.”
The hearse was built in Piqua, Ohio, and the list price back in 1923 was about $1,800.
“I would imagine it’s worth considerably more than that now,” Barden said. “This is the third time I’ve driven it in the Dream Cruise. Just one complete circuit because I don’t want to wear it out. Ithica is about 30 miles north of Lansing, so I trailer it here.”
And it’s possible to drive this, the hearse of your dreams.
Barden rents the hearse out for $750 to car buffs, woodworkers or as a gift for someone’s granddad.
“Of course they have to learn how to drive it first,” Barden said. “It starts with a crank; it’s a stick shift and the throttle is on the steering column.”
And yes, Barden has used it for the occasional funeral.
“As long as the funeral is local because I don’t want to drive it too far,” he said. “Think of it as the last cruise you’ll ever take.”

 

Optimized-raffle1A man from Sterling Heights won the one-of-a-kind convertible version of the 50th anniversary Mustang being auctioned off by Ford Motor Co. in Mustang Alley in Ferndale.

Each raffle ticket cost $20 and around 30,000 were sold, helping Ford raise nearly $600,000 for multiple sclerosis research.

“No matter who wins this tonight, we’re all winners because of what we’ve given to this cause,” said Dave Pericak, chief engineer for the Mustang.

Barbara Williams loves the Mustang. photo(3)

“It’s one of my favorite cars,” the Comanche, Texas, resident said. “My husband when we met had a 1965 Mustang.”

Williams checked out Mustang Alley on Dream Cruise Saturday with her daughter, Doe Williams, and her 9-month old granddaughter, Fable, both of Lafayette, La. She and her husband picked them up along the way to Detroit.

“It’s the first time we’ve had the whole family here,” said Doe. “It’s been a lot of fun. We all have different favorites so were trying to fit them all in.”

Many of the 40,000-plus classic cars expected to cruise Woodward look scary good. But one car in Pontiac was flat-out terrifying.
Around the corner from Erabus, once the world’s largest haunted house, organizers had a quite a creepy cruiser made out to look like the head of a screaming man with his hair on fire.Optimized-erebus1
“That would be a little bit nerve-racking seeing that coming down the road at you,” said June Hadley, who drove down to Pontiac from Flint.
With eyes popping of of his head and seats inside of his open mouth, the car caused the same affect on many Dream Cruise spectators.
“If they wanted to commit murder that would be one way to do it. I mean look at those eyes,” said Mike Hinkle of Rochester Hills, noting the installed headlamps.
The car also frightened Kimberly Cutcher of Gibsonburg, Ohio.
“If you saw those lights coming at you in the dark…” she said. “I say ‘Noooo!’ I would be like Fred Sanford, ‘I’m coming to join you, honey.'”
But Erabus, one of the top haunts in the country, specializes in scares. The four-story haunted house, which opened its doors in 2000, held the title of world’s longest walk-through haunted attraction from 2005 to 2009 in the Guiness Book of World Records.
Even still, after seeing some one taking the car for a spin around the Loop, Cutcher said she needed to get a picture before heading home.
“I’ve been trying to catch it on Woodward and I said ‘where’d it go,’ and around here and I said ‘There it is there it is it’s the car.”

Two wheels or four wheels?

That’s the decision Mary Lou and Gary Cochran have had to answer every night this week before cruising. The married motor heads own a classic Pontiac GTO and two jaw-dropping Harley motorcycles. Decision, decisions.

This day, they chose the Harleys. You thought the Dream Cruise was just about celebrating muscle cars? Let’s hear it for muscle bikes.Optimized-Hog_GaryC

“Forget GM, Ford and Chrysler,” says Gary as he straddled his ’73 Harley shovel-head. “There is only one company that can get owners to tattoo their name on their bodies.”

Amen, brother.

The Cochrans and their fellow hogs (have you ever seen just one?) cruise Birmingham in bikes so spotless you could eat your dinner off of them.

Mary Lou’s ride is a 2009 Crossbones soft-tail complete with leather saddle bags and skull and crossbones tattooed on the gas tank. So these hogs only have two-cylinders? Rev them and they sound like they could peel paint off an oil drum.

The bikers are as sensitive about bike brands as muscle car owners are about cars. A quick primer from Gary for four-wheelers like yours truly:
“Ducati is the Ferrari of motorcycles; Harleys are American muscle; and you meet the nicest people on a Honda.”Optimized-Hog_MaryLousC

Xavier Young knew when he saw the 1938 Plymouth Coupe being towed down Woodward at the Dream Cruise last year that he wanted the car.

So he made a deal on the spot and traded the car he had with him, a 1970 Nova, for the junky classic in gray primer paint.Optimized-death2

A year later, and the gray is gone, replaced by “the Red Pearl,” a pirate motif and three gravestones to honor his deceased parents and sister.

“I’ve been going the last 20 years and I’ve been here in this same spot,” the 66-year-old Oak Park resident said as he and his family sat along Woodward near 9 1/2 mile. “As long as I can breathe, I’ll be here.”

Scott White was one of the unlucky Warren homeowners whose basement flooded after Monday’s epic storms. But he didn’t let that stop him from coming out to cruise with his wife, Wilma, and their 1957 Chevrolet Belair.
“I came out every night except Monday and Tuesday,” he said. “I’ve been here since 7 a.m.”
White got the car 21 years ago and he and his son, Eric, worked on the car together. Eric is in the Coast Guard so he didn’t make it back for the cruise, but other family members came out with the couple.
“It’s clean, free fun,” said Wilma White.
Added Scott White: “It’s not as much about the cars as it is seeing the people and spending time together.”

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When Tony Brandys served in the Army in Vietnam, he’d always wanted to come home and buy a Pontiac GTO.

“The GTO, in my opinion, was a Vietnam veteran’s car because we all wanted those when we came home,” he said.

About 10 years ago, Brandys, 67, of Chicago, had that dream fulfilled when he bought a 1966 Pontiac GTO in California.Optimized-gto2

Brandys has been coming to the Woodward Dream Cruise ever year since, but this time, he made it his mission to turn his muscle car into a tribute for veterans and those who never made it home from the war.

The ’66 GTO matches the model year that Brandys was drafted. It was decorated with a stuffed Tiger wearing army fatigues on the roof, several war paintings inside, statuettes of Vietnam memorials and a model helicopter of those that he rode in during military convoys resting on his tri-power engine.

“It’s been the dream come true,” said Brandys, who wore his old dog tags and a shirt that read: “You will never be forgotten.”

“I chose today to make this trip especially with my partner with them for all those who couldn’t be here who are on that wall. It’s really special for me to do something for the guys who never had a chance like I did.”

Brandys had several families come up to him with children wanting to pose inside with the tiger, but there was also fellow Vietnam veteran who greeted him to which to replied:

“Welcome home, brother.”

The lovely Detroit Pride Cheerleaders can normally be found around the Lions’ stadium on game days, lending their talents to Cheli’s Chili Bar and other venues. But Saturday, they brought their curves to compliment the curvy sheet metal on Woodward Avenue.Optimized-Cheerleaders_Cruise

At 13 Mile, they headline the WDTW-FM (106.7) (the station that “rocks Detroit”) display while handing out their own rockin’ swimsuit calendar. The 106.7 venue is amply endowed with Challengers, Camaro’s, and Pontiac GTOs – and the girls confirmed they get weak in the knees for American muscle. A topless V8 really gets their pom-poms shaking.

A quick poll of their favorites:

Jen – A yellow 1974 Dodge Charger
Alyssa – L’il Red Express Chrysler pickup hot rod with dual semi-pipes and a 360-cid V8
Bianca – ’56 Chevy Bel Air
Alisha – 1970 Dodge Challenger
Jessica – Any Olds Cutlass
Liz – 1970 Plymouth Road Runner
Bri – Any Dodge Charger will do

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Jen picked this Charger.

These gals know their stuff. Detroit pride, indeed.

This will change the Dream Cruise. Forever.

Line lock – a fully automated burnout mode – will come standard on the Ford 2015 Mustang GT. That’s right, Burnouts for Dummies. No more fussing with the brake pedal. No more fears the rear end will slew you into your neighbor.

Now you can effortlessly spin your tires to dust while creating plumes of smoke the size of western wildfires (as Mustang Chief Engineer Dave Pericak demonstrated to Mustang faithful at Ford’s proving grounds this week).

Motorheads, explains Car & Driver, “once used a solenoid-actuated valve plumbed into the vehicle’s hydraulic braking system. (Such) line-locks kept full brake pressure on the front wheels while leaving the rears free to spin.”

Ford’s new electronic line-lock system delivers the same result with an electronic stability-control hydraulic unit to keep the front wheels pinned down while the rears smoke away. It’s part of the new ‘Stang’s Track Apps suite—which includes launch control and an acceleration timer.

Ford says the “electronic line-lock for 2015 Mustang GT is intended for use only on racetracks.” Sure. Tell that to the Cruisers.

Royal Oak – We’re corrupting the Italians one by one.

First Sergio Marchionne decides to build a Maserati SUV on the Jeep Grand Cherokee platform, now Fiat North America Manufacturing Chief Mauro Pino is driving a 1960 Chrysler Imperial in the Cruise.

The car-honking, back-slapping, cigar-chomping Pino has camped for the day in front of Roseland Park Cemetery on Woodward – complete with tent, grille, and a love for American iron. What else does he want after the Imperial? A Ferrari? An Alfa?

“A good cigar and a Dodge Challenger Hellcat,” he says with a big grin.

Super Mauro came over with Marchionne in 2010 to run the jeep Toledo plant , then quickly rose to head of manufacturing for the continent. His home country – wee land of the 1.0 liter-powered shoeboxes – might be horrified to find him cruising Woodward this week with a Hemi V8 under the hood and two big white, fuzzy dice dangling from the mirror.

It’s Pino’s fourth year at the Cruise and I swear he’s already got a Yankee drawl.

 

Susan Rinke at Cruisin' the D on Saturday.

Susan Rinke at Cruisin’ the D on Saturday.

“We don’t just like cars, we love them. They’re in our blood.”

When a member of Detroit’s oldest dealership family says it, then it must be true.

Susan Rinke, whose family opened Detroit’s first GM dealership in 1917, traveled to Palmer Park for the first annual “Crusin’ the D,” a four-day event meant to enhance the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Rinke, 60, brought her gold 1977 Lincoln Continental Mark V to the park for fun, but to also show her support for the resurgence of the city she loves so much.

“I was born in Detroit,” said Rinke, who has nicknamed her land yacht “Das Boat.”

“There’s so much going on here. Detroit is going to make it back.”

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Gregory Reed

Crusin’ the D is the brainchild of Gregory Reed, chairman of the Detroit Entertainment Commission.

“This is our first year, but I’ve been working on it for 10 years,” said Reed, an entertainment attorney.

“We want to make this a tourist destination on both the national and international level. It can become an additional attraction for the Woodward Dream Cruise; an event which will help enhance this area of Detroit and Palmer Park itself.”

The vibe at the Crusin’ the D is different than the WDC. More relaxed, laid back and well, soulful. Cool jazz is in the air along with the aroma of food grilling on barbecues mere feet away from the Palmer Park pond ringed with weeping willows.

There’s no charge to park and the memories are free.

Some Dream Cruisers don’t mind a little rain. For others, the thought of a single drop is enough to keep them indoors with their cars safely tucked away in the garage.

If you fall into the latter category, you may want to head out to Woodward now.

Sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-to-high 70s could give way this afternoon to scattered showers and a thunderstorm or two, according to Dan Thompson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service White Lake Township station.

“We’ll have just a slight chance of thunderstorms in the evening after 5 p.m.,” said Thompson. “There’s a little bit better chance of rain overnight, about a 40 percent chance.”

The rain should be done by the time folks wake up Sunday morning, he said. Next week will begin a pattern of unsettled weather, although there shouldn’t be any big rain like the deluge that flooded freeways and homes last Monday. Temperatures will hover around the upper 70s for the beginning of the week and increase to the low 80s later in the week, bringing thunderstorms as well, said Thompson.

How far would you come to see the Woodward Dream Cruise? Six thousand miles?
That’s how far Yonathan Golomt and Tom Alpa – two 14-year-olds from Israel – traveled to see their first Cruise. Well, OK, they didn’t just come for the Cruise. The pair are staying in Oakland County with the Schellenberg family after attending Camp Tomahawk (boy scouts) this summer on a foreign exchange program.Optimized-Israel_kids

But sitting in their first Corvette convertible may have been their trip highlight. After ogling my stunning, yellow and black Detroit News-badged Stingray in Birmingham, they finally screwed up the courage to try it on. It fit them like a glove. Who knows, maybe they’ll open up a Chevy dealership in Tel Aviv when they go back.

“A very cool car,” said Tom before turning his head back to a Woodward teeming with muscle cars. He’d never seen anything like that before either.

Optimized-Bfast_LittleDaddysBirmingham — GOOD MORNING, BIRMINGHAAAAAAM!

Here’s to you, Robin Williams, the funniest comic I ever saw and star of “Good Morning, Vietnam” among other classics. And here’s to you, cruisers, as you hit the road in your classics early Saturday. I rattled some windows with the Detroit News Corvette V8 as I headed over Long Lake to the Cruise at 8 a.m.

The temperature was just 54 degrees. No problem. Come warm your hands by the Vette’s four smokin’ pipes. Filled up my Detroit News Corvette C7 V8 at the corner Mobil, then filled myself up with a fresh OJ at Little Daddy’s next door. I shoulda had a V8.Optimized-OldsRockets_Club

It was 8:30 a.m. and Woodward was already abuzz with classics. At Long Lake and Woodward, Oldsmobiles streamed into the Charter One bank parking lot to join their fellow Motor City Rockets – Metro Detroit’s oldest Oldsmobile club (MotorCityRockets.com).

We have a nice relationship with Charter One,” said Rocket member Jill Woodward of Howell. “We give money to their Parkinson’s charity and they let us use their lot.”
It’s one of the much under-appreciated aspects of the Cruise. A lot of money is raised for charities up and down the Woodward strip. Woodward and her Olds mates were setting up at 6:45 a.m. this morning and anticipate 40 Oldsmobile by noon – some coming from as far away as Windsor.

I parked my Stingray next to Doug Width’s ’54 Olds 98 Starfire – GM classics past and future. His car looks as fresh as if it had just rolled off the assembly line 60 years ago. It’s morning in America and the sun is shining brightest on Woodward Avenue.

fridaynightBerkley — Given the dodgy (no offense to our friends at Dodge) weather forecast for this afternoon, last-night’s spectacular, clear, 70-degree nigh was a must to attend.
I spent the night at the charity Champagne Cruise in Berkley, a major fundraiser to help Forgotten Harvest feed the area’s poor, but one couldn’t help but feel for the middle class homes directly in back of Woodward as well.
Down Catalpa and Coolidge and Harvard and Cambridge and every block I saw north of 11 Mile, virtually every home had stacks of mattresses and furniture and sofas in their front lawn –- the flotsam of the week’s floods.
One can only hope that the celebration of cars and horsepower just blocks away on Woodward gives these residents temporary respite from their troubles.

Optimized-hearseIt’s easy to spot Kentucky resident Steve Fisk at this year’s Woodward Dream Cruise.
He’s the guy driving the shaking, flaking “Whatinthehellisthat?” That’s the reaction most people have when they encount Fisk’s ride of choice: a 22 1/2 foot long, extremely rusty 1951 Buick Flxible hearse/limousine.
“I found it about a mile back in a farmer’s field on a bunch of rocks on a gully about five years ago,” said Fisk, who works as a trim carpenter.
“As soon as I saw it I knew I had to have it. Paid $750.”
The engine was beyond any kind of repair so Fisk installed a four-cylinder engine, new tires and that was about all she wrote to get the black beauty/beast back on the road.
“A lot of people are amazed that we drive it everywhere,” said Fisk, 52. “I’ve been accused of trailering it but I don’t. I even have a sticker on the back window that says: ‘Trailer? We don’t need no stinkin trailer!'”
Fisk, along with four of his friends, have rented four rooms in a motel on Woodward, just steps away from the cruise.
“I remember seeing the cruise reported on TV years ago and told my girlfriend we were going to go to it and she just laughed,” Fisk said. “But here we are for 19 straight years.”

She’s your beauty and you’ve put a lot of cash and sweat equity into her, which all culminates in the Woodward Dream Cruise. You know the car looks great but you’re the pilot, what does it look like to spectators? Optimized-_DC16887
That’s where Ed Lane of Lane Photography comes in. Lane offers a WDC week service where he’ll take digital photos of your pride and joy as she struts her stuff on M-1 (we’re talking cars here, not girlfriends and wives).
“We’ll arrange to go where they’ll be at and capture them as they drive by,” said Lane, whose photo studio is on west 9 Mile, just a few doors from Woodward
“Or we can do it later in the week if they don’t want to interrupt their cruising.”
Lane only does digital photography, no video.
Cruisers can select their photo from a number of digital images at a cost of about $20 per photo.
Lane can be reached at (586) 405 7471.

Kevin Sherwood and his 2003 Toyota Celica GT were among the early standouts at the Woodward Dream Cruise. The 52-year-old Royal Oaker was a crowd favorite at the Cruise in Shoes run ahead of the official start of the Cruise, but it was his love of the patriotic crusader that really turned heads. Runners posed with Sherwood and his car “Flying Colors” after the race.

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There’s some rumbling and revving along Woodward Avenue early Saturday as the 20th annual Dream Cruise has car junkies and classic car owners mingling under a sunrise peeking its way behind cloudy skies.

Greg Chaudoin of Rochester was at 12 Mile Road and Woodward in Royal Oak to get a glimpse of cars from yesteryear. His choice for seating was … a bit unusual.

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Margie Olds and daughter Rebecca Olds also were at Woodward Dream Cruise at 12 Mile, and they were dressed for the occasion.

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The car scene is just revving up but there have been several eye-catchers rolling down the Avenue. Here are a few beauties:

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For many Dream Cruise fans, the best time for cruising is the night before, and the best place to see some cars is along 12 Mile in Berkley. The city’s classic car parade between Coolidge and Greenfield was a hit with the crowds along the route.

berkley mayor
Berkley Mayor Phil O’Dwyer led the way.

berkley_kids

People young and old were delighted by the display.

berkley_elvis

Elvis is alive and well and driving a Crestline.

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Here’s an example of a cruiser and the police working together. This 1966 Dodge Coronet 500 was getting quite a few cheers, and then it suddenly sputtered and died in the middle of the parade route.

berkley_bump

But no worries! A nice officer was there to give them a little push.

berkley_oldtimey

“It’s nostalgia for people my age,” said John Heggie, who lives down the street from the parade route in Berkley. “It’s nice to see quality because it’s something you don’t see much of now.”

–Laurén Abdel-Razzaq

If the turnout on Friday evening is any indication, then Saturday’s Dream Cruise is going to be another monster.

By 7:30 p.m. Friday northbound Woodward was a parking lot from just north of Interstate 696 all the way to Maple Road. Tens of thousands of cruisers and cruiser wannabes jammed M-1 under perfect driving conditions.

The epicenter of it all was from 13 Mile to 14 Mile, especially at Duggan’s (and the Shell service station almost directly across Woodward) where it was wall to wall spectators and whitewall to whitewall classic cars.

Spectators lining Woodward showed serious intent, erecting canopies and digging into well stocked coolers within arms reach of their lawn chairs. It didn’t matter if the coolers contained beer, near beer or root beer, the idea was just to have a good time.

The only moment of panic was in front of one business when the sprinkling system sprang to life, sending spectators scrambling. There’s no telling if it was an accident or deliberate, but almost everyone thought it was funny (well, everyone who was safe and dry.)

 

Cruise week has begun and fans of classics, vintage cars and hot rods are lining up along Woodward Avenue to catch a glimpse of some beauties.

U.S. Rep. Gary Peters hung out in Birmingham Wednesday with some folks from the Historic Vehicle Association and the finest automotive specimens the non-profit could offer.

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Jarome Iginla scored on an empty net, and in the end, the Wings just didn’t have enough fire-power to compete with top-seeded Boston.

With 3:04 left to play and trailing by a goal, Detroit was given a penalty for too many men on the ice, all but ending their chances at netting a game-tying goal.

Shots today actually ended even at 33, but a lot of those Wings shots never had a chance of getting past Tuukka Rask.

A lot of veteran Wings should be hailed for playing through injuries in this series, but there were quite a few healthy players who just didn’t show up against Boston.

If key players get healthy, and the young guns learn from this playoff experience, this team should be much better than an 8-seed next season.

Thanks for following along with my blog. Stay tuned for more postgame coverage from The Detroit News writers.

Daniel Alfredsson was called for tripping, and the Wings did a nice job of holding Boston down during the power play. With 33 seconds remaining on the man-advantage, Patrice Bergeron was called for hooking. After the initial 4-on-4, the Wings were afforded a chance at their own power play.

Nothing came of the Wings’ advantage. Franzen had a soft chance in front of goal, but Tuukka Rask was solid in making the stop.

It’s going to take a complete 360 on the Wings part to get back into this game. They haven’t shown any sign in this series that they are capable of scoring two goals in the final nine minutes of this game.

The strange nature at the end of the second period carried over to the beginning of the third period, but the Wings couldn’t take advantage of a power play chance. Tomas Tatar had a decent look at goal in front of Tuukka Rask, but he couldn’t get his shot above the pad of the Boston goalie.

The teams went 4-on-4 for 40 seconds when the period began, and Boston was supposed to have a power play for 1:07. The Wings passed the puck back and forth for a while to waste some time on the Brendan Smith penalty, putting the teams 4-on-4 again for 37 seconds, and giving the Wings a penalty for 1:23.

16:39 left to play in the third period.

Zdeno Chara was the benefactor of a messy ending to the second period, and the Bruins will take a 2-1 lead into the third period.

Danny DeKeyser was called for holding the stick with 3:12 to play in the second period, but the Wings were able to fight off a heavy Boston attack. With 10 seconds left on that power play, Loui Eriksson was called for goalie interference and the Wings had an extra man on the ice for about 30 seconds before Johan Franzen was called for holding. About 10 seconds later, Brendan Smith was called for cross checking, and the team’s were 4-on-3 for about 10 seconds before Chara’s goal. The third period will start 4-on-4 for 40 seconds before a short Boston power play.

What a killer for the Wings. They had a chance to end the period on the power play, but their undisciplined actions may very well be there undoing in Game 5.

Pavel Datsyuk scored 12 seconds into a power play, and the Wings are right back in the game.

Milan Lucic was called for high-sticking, and the Wings went on their second power play of the night with just under six minutes to play in the second period. Datsyuk picked up a rebound off of a blue line shot and put in past Tuukka Rask with ease.

5:19 left to play in the second period, and it’s 1-1 in Boston.

After the Bruins made a mistake and turned the puck over in their own zone, Daniel Alfredsson had a point blank shot on a centering pass from Johan Franzen, but the Wings’ forward was stuffed by Tuukka Rask.

It was nice to see Boston make the kind of mistake that has plagued the Wings all series, but it doesn’t bode well for Detroit that they misfired on their best chance of the night.

Still 1-0 Boston with 7:38 remaining in the second period.

Boston has come out of the locker room intent on extending its lead early in the second period, but so far, the Wings haven’t let them break through.

The bad news is that the Wings are doing nothing positive with the puck right now. The defense has been pushing the Wings forwards to the outside, and Detroit can’t continue to let the Bruins dictate the pace of play.

It’s still 1-0 Boston with 15:29 left to play in the second period.

David Krejci was called for tripping Brendan Smith behind the Boston net, and the Wings were given a chance to draw even with the man-advantage as the first period came to an end.

Detroit wasn’t able to get any real threat going, and the Bruins are now just two periods away from moving on to the second round.

Giving up that early goal was a killer for this team’s spirit. It was absolutely the worst thing that could have happened. They’re going to have to find a way to match the Bruins’ energy in the second period. If they don’t, the third period could just be a formality.

Shots are 12-8 in favor of Boston.

The Wings haven’t been able to sustain any type of offensive attack. They have just three shots on goal, and they are letting the Bruins push them around with their physical play.

The box score says the Wings have six shots on goal, but none of those shots were very good chances. The Wings are playing OK on the back end, but when you’re trailing by a goal in a do-or-die game, you need to start picking it up on offense.

5:47 remains in the first period.

It’s do-or-die time for the Wings today in Boston. Game 4 was probably the team’s most complete performance of the series, but they fell in overtime, and now they have to pick up the pieces and find a way to play with the same energy they did on Thursday night.

Henrik Zetterberg provided a big emotional boost, Niklas Kronwall had a great, and Pavel Datsyuk has played well for most of the series, but this team is still not getting production from the young players that keyed the run to the playoffs. Gustav Nyquist has pulled a disappearing act, and if he doesn’t show up soon, we won’t see the Wings until next season.

Jonas Gustavsson will get the start in goal again today. A report surfaced that Jimmy Howard may have a concussion, but the Wings insist he it’s just the flu. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter as far as Gustavsson is concerned. He’ll need to make some big saves today to give his team a chance to win. In return, I’m sure the goalie would appreciate the Wings finally cutting down on turnovers in their own zone.

It won’t be easy, but the Wings are definitely capable of extending this series. They have to play with urgency on the offensive end, and avoid the careless mistakes in their own zone that have plagued them through the first four games.

Dougie Hamilton threw the puck towards the net, it went off Jarome Iginla’s stick, and then it went off of Danny DeKeyser’s leg and into the net, giving Boston a 3-1 series lead over the Wings.

It was all Bruins in overtime. They outshot the Wings 10-3 in the extra frame.

It’s hard to know where the Wings go from here. They played great hockey in the first two periods, but it still wasn’t enough. They’re going to have to come together and find a way to play well in Boston on Saturday.

Boston is pushing for a goal, but this time around, it’s not because the Wings are making silly mistakes. Both teams are skating extremely hard, and neither wants to give an inch to the other.

Credit Jonas Gustavsson. The Wings’ goalie has made quite a few big saves tonight, but his team is probably going to need a few more. He’s been out of position a few times, but good fortune has been on his side. Let’s hope that’s a good omen for Detroit.

Boston has a 9-2 shot advantage in the extra frame. There’s 9:54 remaining.

After a Boston goal to open the third period, both teams shut the other out for the last 18 minutes and they’re heading into overtime at Joe Louis Arena with the game tied, 2-2.

It was all Boston for the first 15 minutes of the third period, but the Wings started to get aggressive as overtime approached.

It appears the Wings may be a little gassed, but they’ve still got a chance to pull this one out. They need to control the puck and use their speed to get that crucial goal that can even this series up at two games apiece.

Shots are 34-28 in favor of the Wings.

Brad Marchand missed a wide open net. And when I say he missed a wide open net, I mean he missed a WIDE open net.

The Bruins had their third goal of the night when Jonas Gustavsson came way out the net to play the puck. Marchand took a pass and found himself all alone when he, for some reason, took a big rip of the puck from three feet away and completely missed the goal.

At this moment, it’s still all Bruins in the third period. Game is tied, 2-2, with 8:46 to play.

Hold onto your hats. The third period should be an excellent one as the Wings and Bruins are going hard at each other and skating with purpose.

The Wings started off the second period a bit sloppy, but they eventually reverted back to the team we saw in the first period during a crucial stretch in the second, using their speed to cause problems for the Bruins.

Boston isn’t going anywhere, though. They outshot the Wings in the second period (12-8), and they know they can put a stranglehold on this series if they can get out of Joe Louis Arena with a win.

Overall, shots are 22-17 in favor of Detroit.

Gregory Campbell was called for boarding, and the Wings almost had a power play goal as Tomas Tatar cleaned up a Gustav Nyquist shot in front of what looked like a gaping hole to the left of Tuukka Rask. But Rask up up to task, making a phenomenal glove save from his knees.

Good power play for the Wings. Even though they didn’t score, they put four shots on goal. The power play provided almost no threat in the first three games, but this team is definitely playing with purpose tonight.

4:46 remains in the second period with the Wings up 2-1.

Boston got a little closer after a Torey Krug goal from the blue line with just seconds remaining in a Todd Bertuzzi penalty, and the Wings lead 2-1 with 9:46 left to play in the second period.

Kevan Miller was called for roughing, and the Wings, who had just begun to pick up the pace after Pavel Datsyuk’s goal, looked like they were going to go on the power play.

That penalty was offset just 13 seconds later by an interference call on Bertuzzi. Amazingly, the ensuing 13 second power play after the 4-on-4 led to a goal.

Pavel Datsyuk was the benefactor of a heady play from Niklas Kronwall, and the Wings lead 2-0 in the second period of Game 4.

Kronwall picked the puck out of the air and gently passed the puck to Datsyuk, who had a wide open net to scoot the puck into.

Before the goal, Boston was buzzing around Jonas Gustavsson, and the Wings goalie has had to save his defense a couple of times tonight. While Detroit has looked much better in the offensive zone, they continue to turn the puck over in their own zone and allow the Bruins chances that are eventually going to be capitalized on.

The goal came with 15:33 remaining in the second period.

Brendan Smith was called for tripping on his brother, Reilly Smith, and the Bruins went on a two-minute power play with 2:32 left to play in the first period. Boston never really got it going with the man-advantage and the Wings will take their one-goal lead into the locker room.

The Wings came out firing tonight, and the way they are playing right now is a breath of fresh air for fans all across Detroit.

The puck has been in the Boston zone for the majority of the first period, although a few miscues on the defensive end provided the Bruins with some very good chances.

That said, it’s still just a one-goal game, and Boston is very much in it. The Wings need to come out of intermission ready to attack. If they can keep this pace up all night, they’ll be able to even this series up at two games apiece.

Shots are 14-5 in favor of Detroit.

Things are clean and crisp for the Wings in the early going. They’ve even had a couple nice looks at net. If Jonas Gustavsson is going to stand a chance tonight, the Wings are going to have to spend some time in the Boston zone. They can’t play on their heels all night like they did for long stretches in Games 2 and 3.

They’re scoreless at the Joe with 13:39 to play in the first period.

Henrik Zetterberg is in the lineup tonight, but the Wings are going to need a lot more than the return of their captain if they want to even this series up at two games apiece.

Zetterberg should provide a big emotional boost to the team, but he will be playing in a limited capacity and won’t be able to carry much of the load.

Gustav Nyquist has been invisible through the first three games of this series, and the Wings desperately need him to show up tonight. They don’t necessarily need a goal from their rising star, but they need him to be creative with the puck and help the offense get things going. The Bruins have dominated the last two games, and while the Wings say all the right things to the media, they have yet to figure out a way to produce a solid offensive attack. Todd Bertuzzi is also back tonight, a move that signifies the Wings’ need for a physical presence on the ice.

On defense, this team has to stop turning the puck over in their own zone. The carelessness with the puck is what’s led to the majority of Boston’s chances.

 

The Tigers had some miscues in the field — a ball lost in the sun, a fumbled double-play ball and an errant throw — but found answers at the plate when needed to overcome the White Sox at Comerica Park.

After giving up a grand slam to lose Wednesday night, the Tigers turned things around for a  7-4 victory on Thursday afternoon.

Miguel Cabrera had three RBI and Rajai Davis had two, including a home run — his second of the season — to lead the Tigers.

Starting pitchter Max Scherzer pitched six innings and tied a season-best 10 strikeouts. He is the second pitcher in Tigers history with at least seven strikeouts in each of his five starts. Of his 110 pitches against the White Sox, 72 were strikes. Scherzer got the win, his second of the season, and Joe Nathan the save.

After the White Sox pulled within, 5-4, with a two-run eighth inning, the Tigers matched that output. Catcher Bryan Holaday, whose errant throw to second in the eighth led to the White Sox’ fourth run, scored Austin Jackson with a single. Two batters later, Davis hit a deep double that scored Nick Castellanos to restore the Tigers’ three-run lead.

 

 

Just as the White Sox closed the gap, the Tigers expanded it again.

The Tigers lead, 7-4, heading into the ninth thanks to some strong eighth-inning hitting.

After Miguel Cabrera gave the Tigers a 5-2 lead after his single scored two runs in the seventh, the White Sox answered and pulled within a run.

The White Sox scored two runs in the eigth inning. Adam Dunn, who hit a home run in the second inning, scored on Alexei Ramirez’ single to right. Dayan Viciedo moved to second.

On a throwing error by Tigers’ catcher Bryan Holaday, Viciedo scored to pull the White Sox within one run, 5-4. Joba Chamberlain got out of the inning after striking out Tyler Flowers.

But in the eighth, the Tigers added two runs. Holaday made amends for his errant throw with a single to score Austin Jackson. Rajai Davis then hit a double to score Nick Castellanos, to rebuild a three-run lead.

Joe Nathan will pitch to start the ninth inning for the Tigers.

 

 

Miguel Cabrera hit a two-out single up the middle to score two runs as the Tigers’ lead swelled in the bottom of the seventh.

Cabrera, who singled in a run in the third inning to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead, faced Daniel Webb, who replaced Maikel Cleto with bases loaded. Celto started the inning after replacing starter Jose Quintana. The Tigers lead the White Sox, 5-2, after seven innings.

The Tigers were robbed of a scoring opportunity on Rajai Davis’ hit when Alexei Ramirez made a great run-saving stop. He got up slowly favoring his left shoulder, but he remained in the game. Davis set up the bases-loaded situation for Cabrera.

Joba Chamberlain is pitching in the eighth for the Tigers.

Max Scherzer matched his season-best 10 strikeouts before being replaced by Al Alburquerque in the seventh inning against the White Sox.

Scherzer left with a 3-2 lead after throwing 110 pitches, including 72 strikes. He gave up seven hits, including a home run in the second inning to Adam Dunn.

He becomes the second pitcher in Tigers history with at least seven strikes in each of his first five starts. Scherzer also threw 10 strikeouts against the Padres on April 13.

The White Sox pulled within a run in the sixth inning when Dayan Viciedo, on third with a triple, scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Alexei Ramirez.

 

Rajai Davis has expanded the lead for the Tigers with a two-out home run in the fifth inning.

The Tigers have a 3-1 advantage over the White Sox at Comerica Park after Davis, facing a full count, took Jose Quintana to left field for the home run. It was Davis’ second of the season.

Meanwhile, Max Scherzer is closing in on his high strikeout total of the season, but can the right-hander get there?

Scherzer, who has one win in four starts, has thrown 96 pitches through five innings.

He has nine strikeouts, one shy of his season-best 10 against the Padres on April 13. He entered the game with 34 strikeouts this season, a team-best. Of his 96 pitches, 61 have been strikes.

 

Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer continues to roll with seven strikeouts through four innings with a 2-1 lead over the White Sox.

Scherzer has thrown 74 pitches, 48 for strikes. His only flaw, a second-inning home run to Adam Dunn.

In each of his previous four starts, Scherzer has had seven or strikeouts. He’s had a high of 10 this season. He entered the game with 34 strikeouts this season and now has 41.

The Tigers are maintaining their lead, which they took in the third inning with Miguel Cabrera singled in Ian Kinsler, who had advanced to second on a wild pitch.

 

Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer has four strikeouts through three innings, and the Tigers have added a run to take the lead against the White Sox at Comerica Park.

Miguel Cabrera singled to right with two outs in the third inning to drive in Ian Kinsler for a 2-1 lead. Kinsler, who had singled up the middle, reached second base on a wild pitch by left-hander Jose Quintana.

As for Scherzer, who has only one win in four starts, he now has 38 strikeouts through 30 innings this season.

He has allowed three hits in this game, including a home run to Adam Dunn in the second inning to give the White Sox a brief lead.  But the Tigers tied the game in the second when Nick Castellanos’ single to short center drove in Austin Jackson. Jackson had tripled on a 2-2 count.

The Tigers are trying to bounce back from a disappointing loss Wednesday night. They held a 4-2 lead in the seventh before allowing a grand slam that gave the White Sox a 6-4 advantage they maintained for the victory.

The Tigers have pulled to a 1-1 tie against the White Sox after two innings at Comerica Park.

After back-to-back deep flies to right, Austin Jackson, on a 2-2 pitch, hit a triple to right center with White Sox Dayan Viciedo unable to make the play and giving chase.

Nick Castellanos scored Jackson on a single to short center to tie the game.

The White Sox scored in the second on Adam Dunn’s home run off Max Scherzer.

It didn’t last long for the Tigers.

After enjoying only their second 1-2-3 inning of the season in the first against the White Sox at Comerica Park, Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the second inning.

Adam Dunn, on a 1-1 pitch, homered off Max Scherzer with no outs. It’s the only hit Scherzer has allowed so far.

Scherzer entered the game with only one win in four starts.

 

 

No manager ever wants time to second-guess decision-making.

That’s a luxury for media talking heads and fans.

Tigers first-year manager Brad Ausmus, by virtue of an afternoon start, didn’t have to spend much time ruminating after Wednesday night’s critical pitching decision – which he later defended — that cost them in a late-inning loss to the White Sox.

The Tigers will try to rebound this afternoon against Chicago at Comerica Park.

Ausmus allowed left-hander Ian Krol to remain in the game in the seventh inning Wednesday night with the Tigers leading, 4-2, to face right-handed hitter Marcus Semien. On a 3-1 pitch, Semien launched a grand slam for a 6-4 lead, which the Sox maintained for the victory.

“I didn’t think about making a switch there,” Ausmus said later of his pitching decision.

Drew Smyly started for the Tigers and allowed two runs on six hits while striking out seven over six innings.

Against the White Sox today, Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer will try to boost his numbers. Scherzer has won only one of four starts this season. He does, however, have 34 strikeouts through 27 innings.

It will be Scherzer’s first start since appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week. The magazine headline reads: “Mad Max’s $144 million bet.”

Forget about bets – what about the Sports Illustrated cover jinx?

 

The Bruins jumped all over the Wings in the first period, and that was enough to put the home team on their heels and win Game 3 with a 3-0 victory.

Boston has regained the home-ice advantage by taking a 2-1 series lead, and the Wings are going to have to find some answers for their sloppy play between now and Thursday.

The Wings have been turning the puck over at an alarming rate, and they have just two goals through three games. While the odds are not in their favor, they still have a chance to make a series out of this if they can find themselves in Game 4.

The Bruins outshot the Wings 33-23 on the night.

The Bruins have started to control the pace of play for the last couple of minutes after seeming content to let the Wings spend a lot of time in their zone for most of the third period. It seems Boston figured out that the best way to put this game away was to not just sit on their heels. It doesn’t take very long to score two goals.

The Bruins still lead 2-0 with 5:50 left to play.

The Wings are getting closer, but they are running out of time. The time they are spending in the Bruins zone has gone way up, but they aren’t taking advantage of prime position as they continue to fumble away the puck.

It’s going to take something special for the Wings to even get on the board tonight, let alone tie this thing up. Gustav Nyquist has disappeared in this series, and some of the veterans on this team just aren’t on the same page as their younger teammates.

It’s 2-0 Boston 10:03 left to play. The Wings are going on the power play after the Bruins were called for delay of game.

A 5-on-3 couldn’t get it done, and when the teams were at full-strength, the Wings didn’t show any signs that they were ready to turn Game 3 around. The shots they are getting on goal are not anything that Boston goalie Tuuka Rask would consider very threatening.

The second period provided the Wings a big chance to get back into the game, but the Bruins are still up 2-0 after 40 minutes.

I hate to beat a dead horse, but the Wings continue to turn the puck over in their own zone, and the only time they showed even a hint of energy was when they were on the power play. If they can’t turn this thing around in the third period, Boston will regain home-ice advantage.

Shots are 23-16 in favor of the Bruins.

Detroit had a golden opportunity with two extra men on the ice for 35 seconds, but they got just one shot on goal during that half-minute and weren’t able to turn the next 1:25 with the man-advantage into anything.

The Wings went on their first power play of Game 3 with 10:17 to play in the second period after Brad Marchand was called for holding the stick of Danny DeKeyser. With 35 second left on the power play, the Bruins were called for having too many men on the ice to give the Wings a 5-on-3.

The best chance to get back into this game may have just passed the Wings by.

Boston is still up 2-0 with 6:22 left in the second period.

Less than a minute after killing off a power play, Brendan Smith was called for tripping and Boston was back on the power play. The Wings played decent defense this time around, and they were able to kill off the penalty, but this trend is starting to get disturbing. The Wings have no chance of establishing any kind of rhythm if they can’t stay out of the penalty box.

Still 2-0 Boston with 11:44 to play in the second period. Shots are now 19-6.

This game is picking up where it left off at the end of the first period. Tomas Tatar was called for holding and the Wings put the Bruins back on the power play. Luckily for the home team, they were able to kill the penalty.

Tatar was called for holding in the offensive zone, something that will drive Mike Babcock crazy. It seems this team just can’t stop shooting itself in the foot right now.

It’s still 2-0 and shots are 14-4 in favor of Boston with 15:30 left to play in the second period.

Coming back to Joe Louis Arena hasn’t helped the Wings at all. They trail 2-0 after the first period, and a building that was on fire during the pregame was left silent at the end of the first 20 minutes.

Detroit continues to turn the puck over and make careless mistakes. They have no pace or plan on offense, and Jimmy Howard is basically a man on an island.

Mike Babcock is a great coach, but he has his work cut out for him during the intermission. This young team needs to find the will to get back into this game.

Shots are 11-4 in favor of Boston.

The teams went 4-on-4 with 16:26 to play in the first period after a scuffle broke out between Justin Abdelkader and Jordan Caron.

The two got into it after Pavel Datsyuk turned the puck over in his own zone and Dougie Hamilton fired a shot that came off the post behind Jimmy Howard.

Nothing came of the 4-on-4 and the teams are now back at full strength.

Joe Louis arena was on fire as the puck dropped between the Wings and Bruins, but the home team is still turning the puck over and putting Howard in a tough position.

The message from head coach Mike Babcock to his team is pretty simple: Get back to playing your game and stay away from the physical stuff.

The Bruins drew the Wings into a wrestling match in Game 2, and to no one’s surprise, that style led to a Boston victory. There were seven roughing penalties dished out in the game, and four of those went to the Wings, who need to get back to using their speed to cause problems for the Bruins the way they did in Game 1.

Coming back to Joe Louis Arena should provide a boost. The Wings need to come out firing and keep the crowd engaged early on. Tonight may not be a do-or-die situation, but it almost feels like a must-win for Detroit.

Note: Daniel Alfredsson is out of tonight’s game with a back injury. Babcock says Alfredsson has been trying to play through the pain, which might explain why the veteran forward’s presence hasn’t been felt in the first two games. Joakim Andersson will be inserted into the lineup in Alfredsson’s place.

It just wasn’t the Wings’ day today as they fell to Boston 4-1 and are now even at a game apiece in their best-of-seven series with the Bruins.

This game was a lot more chippy than Game 1 as Boston wanted no part of a two-game hole heading back to Detroit. The Wings are going to have to do a better job of not letting the rough play of the Bruins get into their heads and throw them off their game.

The good news is the Wings did what they had to do during their trip to Boston. They stole a game and now have home-ice advantage heading back to Joe Louis Arena.

Shots were 35-29 in favor of the Wings, but a lot of those shots came in garbage time.

Right after falling flat on their third straight power play, the Wings picked up a goal when a shot bounced off of Luke Glendening’s glove. The play went under review, but it was decided that it was not an intentional punch with his hand.

Kevan Miller was called for cross-checking and the Wings were back on the power play with 9:05 remaining in the second period. They did nothing with the man-advantage for the third time tonight.

On their first power play they had zero shots, just one on the second and none again this third time around.

It’s 2-1 Bruins with 6:39 left to play in the second period.

Loui Eriksson was called for hooking and the Wings got a second chance at a power play, but once again they weren’t able to make anything happen.

The Wings are having trouble getting anything real threatening on net, making life on Tuukka Rask very easy. They’re also starting to fall into the trap of getting chippy with the Bruins, and that could cost them their focus.

It’s still 2-0 Boston with 12:42 left in the second period.

Three penalties have the Wings in a 2-0 hole heading into the first intermission.

Somehow, someway, this team is going to have to find a way to slow down the Boston attack and get the puck out of its own zone. Without Jimmy Howard in net, the score could be much worse.

The Wings are still in OK shape. They just need to clear the puck, control the puck and start going to work in the Boston zone.

Shots are 18-10 in favor of the Bruins. Howard faced just 25 shots in all of Game 1.

With 1:12 left in the period, a scuffle a broke out and penalties were called on Tomas Tatar and Danny DeKeyser for the Wings, while Brad Marchand and Gregory Campbell were penalized for the Bruins.

Jimmy Howard did his best to fight off a brutal attack, but the Wings were unable to clear the puck and the Bruins scored on a scramble in front of the net to take a 2-0 lead.

Jakub Kindl was called for interference and the Bruins went on the power play right after scoring the opening goal.

With 23 seconds left on the power play, Danny DeKeyser was called for slashing and Boston got a 5-on-3 advantage. The Bruins’ goal came just after the two-man advantage was over.

The Wings are going to have to find the rhythm they started this game with. If they keep committing penalties, it’s going to be a long day for the Detroiters.

Shawn Thornton was called for holding and the Wings went on the power play just 1:32 into the game, but they were unable to score.

With 11 seconds remaining on the power play, Tomas Tatar was called for hooking on Zdeno Chara. Boston didn’t get much going and the teams are back at even strength with 14:40 remaining in the first period.

The Wings are forcing the action into the Boston zone. While they didn’t score, they seem to have the same energy they played with in Game 1.

Pavel Datsyuk provided the heroics in Game 1, while Jimmy Howard kept Boston from lighting the lamp, but now it’s time for the rest of the team to come together and put the top-seeded Bruins in a two-game hole that will be tough to climb out of.

It was a spectacular performance for the Wings in Game 1 against the team that is favored to lift the cup this year, but they’ll have to clean up some of their mistakes if they want to head back to Joe Louis Arena with a tight grip on this series.

The Wings were sloppy with the puck in front of their own net in Game 1. They played solid defense for the most part, but when it came to clearing the puck, they struggled. If they can clean up the garbage today in front of their own net, they can win again.

Look for Boston to try and get into the heads of the Wings early on. Detroit committed just one penalty in Game 1, and that definitely limited the Bruins attack. There’s going to be some extracurricular activity after the whistle as Boston will try to draw the young Wings into little scuffles to throw them off their game. Stay the course, keep it clean and clear the puck. If the Wings do these things, they’ll head back to JLA up 2-0 in this series.

Silly us, to be worried about Pavel Datsyuk. We should have known better. The magic man, just nine games back from injury, fired a shot with 3:01 to play to give the Wings the lead and a 1-0 victory over the heavily favored Bruins. After making a great play for the puck at center ice, Datsyuk skated in on two defenders and sent a wrister past Tuukka Rask.

It was a huge win for the Wings. Boston is a very good team, but the speed of the Wings gave them problems all night long. In the end, it was the veteran Datsyuk who made the play to get his team the win on the road.

Jimmy Howard played great, too. The Wings goalie made some excellent saves in the third period to keep the game scoreless.

Shots finished 25-24 in favor of the Bruins.

The Wings’ sloppy play in their zone is going to cost them this game if they can’t clean it up in front of Jimmy Howard.

The teams are still scoreless with 8:11 left to play in the third period, but Boston seems to be the ones closing in on a goal. There hasn’t been any huge chances to speak of, but that’s mostly because the Bruins have fumbled away those would-be chances that were gift wrapped by the Wings’ sloppy puck handling.

Brad Marchand took advantage of a Wings turnover in their own zone and skated in all alone on Jimmy Howard, but the Wings’ goalie made a nice save to keep the home team off the board.

Tuukka Rask then gave up two juicy rebounds when the Wings fired shots on goal, but the Detroiters couldn’t put one in the back of the net.

The teams are still scoreless with 16:36 left in the third period.

The second power play of the night produced nothing for the Wings and the teams are heading to the second intermission without a goal between them.

The Wings were the better team in the period. Although the were outshot by the Bruins, the Wings were the ones controlling the puck and feeding it towards net.

On the night, shots are even at 16 apiece.

Hopefully the Wings continue to be aggressive in the third period, but they’re going to have to clean up the sloppy handling of the puck in their own zone.

Brendan Smith found Pavel Datsyuk wide open in the slot, but the veteran missed the net on what was the Wings’ best chance to score so far in Game 1.

Tough break for the Wings, but they’re eventually going to get one in if they keep playing this aggressive style. The Bruins are having a tough time handling the Detroit speed. While they are outhitting the Wings, speed and smart play are evening the playing field.

The game is still scoreless with 10:46 to play in the second period. Shots are 14-12 in favor of the Wings.

The Wings squandered a chance to get out in front in Game 1 with a power play late in the first period, and things are scoreless in Boston after 20 minutes.

The power play provided no chances for the Wings, but they are doing a nice job of holding their own against the NHL’s best regular season team. As long as the Wings can stay out of a physical game and use their speed to counter the Bruins’ size, they should be in this game to the very end.

The Wings outshot Boston 11-9 in the first period.

It’s been a back and forth affair, and the Wings have been sloppy at time with the puck in their own zone, but they are very much hanging in there with the top-seeded Bruins.

As far as chances go, no real good ones over the last few minutes.

The Wings have to do a better job of forcing the action down the ice. Boston has asserted itself last in the first period.

The game is still scoreless with 4:43 left to play in the first period.

Shots are 9-8 in favor of the Wings.

The Wings have done a nice job getting the puck deep in the Bruins zone and making Tuukka Rask hold his own in the first period. The Boston goalie is giving up quite a few rebounds early on, and that could bode well for the Wings going forward.

Danny DeKeyser jumped in front of an Brad Marchand shot to prevent what could have been a stick-side goal for the Bruins winger.

The game is still scoreless with 10:18 left to play in the first period.

The Wings are outshooting the Bruins 7-5.

The Red Wings got into the playoffs on the back of their young guns, and the reward is a trip to Boston to face off against a Bruins team that won the Presidents’ Trophy for the NHL’s best regular season record.

The Wings took three out of four from Boston this year, so they know they are capable of beating the Bruins.  They’ll have to use their speed to create chances and try to counter a Bruins team that makes very few mistakes and features one of the best top lines in the league (David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla).

It’s hard to know what the Wings will get from their young players, let alone oft-injured Pavel Datsyuk in this series. It’s possible Henrik Zetterberg could return at some point, but who knows what kind of game-shape he’ll be in if he does. It’s the first trek for this franchise through the Eastern Conference, and the task in front of them is monumental. But as everyone in today’s NHL says, once you get into the playoffs, anything can happen.

Among the changes at Comerica Park this year is a refreshed Pepsi Porch.

The right field seating area has expanded to include a new bar, The New Amsterdam 416. It includes outdoor furniture with a fire along the back and flat screen TVs.

Denise Zieja, 52, welcomed the changes.

“I think it’s cool,” she said. “They really needed to revamp the area.”

The Sterling Heights native has had season tickets for 15 years, and hasn’t cared much for the Pepsi Porch area since the ballpark opened. She was lounging on a brown padded chair right before the first pitch Monday, and said the section will likely see more fans because of the renovations.

“There was nothing here before,” she said. “It’s a lot better now. It brings people together and gives them a meeting place.”

Mark Braekevelt stood and surveyed the new area as fans talked and drank before the game started. He’s a project director with Ideal Contracting, which made the upgrades to the ballpark, and he said it was nice to see the finished product.

“I’m glad to be here with a beer instead of a hard hat,” he said.

Brakevelt said the two-month project was “difficult and fun” but he likes the outcome.

“It looks like it’s well-received,” he said. “The fire at the bar will be a hit during night games.”

Forget peanuts and Cracker Jack;  poutine and slaw dogs are all the rage at today’s ball game.

The Tigers unveiled a number of new food items this season, and one of the most popular Monday was the poutine dog, a hot dog topped with fries, brown gravy and cheese curds.

Rich Brown, 33, came to the game, in part, to try the new item.

“I think it’s awesome that they’re expanding the menu,” the Coldwater native said. “It’s better than I expected.”

Kim McKenzie wasn’t as impressed.

“It’s interesting,” she said as she bit into the poutine dog for the first time. “But I probably wouldn’t get it again.

McKenzie, 40, said she’s been to a handful of Opening Day games, and always gets a Chicago dog. Just not this time.

 

Say hello to the bad guy.

Redford Township resident Dustin Novack, 31, flew his father Danny Novack in from Witchita, Kan., for the Opening Day game against the Royal. But he didn’t expect him to garner as much attention as he did.

Danny Novack wore a gold crown, purple cape and held a Royals pennant as he posed in front of the large tiger at the main entrance of Comerica Park, which drew boos from the Detroit faithful.

“He does what he wants,” Dustin Novack said laughing.

“They call me the joker,” Danny Novack added.

Dustin said he goes to Opening Day every year, because the people, like his dad, make it special every year.

“It’s like Christmas, my birthday and New Year’s all rolled into one.

Danny Novack wasn’t alone in dressing up. One Tigers fan dressed up as Abe Lincoln and another like the Easter Bunny.

Abefb

Rachel Manning of Novi, and her friend, Tarrah Evans, of Royal Oak, said they were the victims of a parking scam but didn’t let that ruin their Opening Day fun.

“We pulled in here at about 9 a.m. and were told it was $200 to park here,” said Manning, who parked at Clifford and Henry with a large group in a motor coach from Vintage House banquet center in Fraser. “We paid the lady and then the cops came by and told us no one owns this lot, but she was gone.”

Manning, after rubbing her recent cornhole score in a friend’s face added “It’s OK though, she probably needed the money more than I did.”

Despite Comerica Park’s new metal detectors, lines were virtually nonexistent around 11 a.m. in front of the ballpark.

Fans started entering around 10:30 a.m. and those who got in line early didn’t mind the new security measure.

“I’m OK with it,” said Bryan Collison, 27. “Pretty much anywhere you go now you have to use these.”

The detectors are part of a league-wide mandate to install extra security in ballparks by 2015.

Larry Dewey, 58, wasn’t worried about longer lines, either.

“Safety first,” the Rochester Hills native said.

Dewey has been to more than 30 Opening Day games and said this change wasn’t that big of a deal.

“Once everyone gets used to it, it will be just like any other game,” he said.

Friends Kelly Clark, Kim Spangler and father/son duo Craig Spangler Jr. and Sr. arrived a few minutes early, around 10 a.m., just in case lines took longer.

The elder Spangler was impressed with the detectors’ efficiency, at least early on.

“Wait and see what people are saying an hour from now,” he said.

Plain-clothed Detroit police officers are giving out open carry tickets to Tigers’ fans caught drinking alcohol on the street.

“We just started, but we’ll be giving out a lot of these today,” Officer Jay Zawislak said.

beerThe fine runs $100-$500 depending on your record, Zawislak said as he and a fellow officer wrote tickets for a group of baseball fans at Montcalm and Clifford. While those drinkers were asked to pour out their beer on the sidewalk, just a few feet away tailgaters drank from red plastic cups without incident.

Zawislak said the people he’s ticketed so far have been understanding: “They say, ‘We know the law, we just wanted to see if we could get away with it.'”

Many tailgaters were content with their prime parking spots, but about 50 baseball fans lined up to try to get last-minute tickets to see the Tigers take on the Royals.

At the front of the line were Tigers fans Scott McNiel and Ron Meryn, who came to Comerica at about 6:50 a.m. from Fenton.

“We’ve done this many years,” McNeil said. “It’s been a tradition for the last six years.”

However, the time when the box office opens varies each year, keeping fans guessing on when they would know how many were available.

The two were followed a few minutes after by Eastpointe resident Kim Willis, who tried to pass the time by studying computer coding for a class at Macomb Community College.

“It’s fun waiting in line and socializing with everyone,” said Willis, who hoped to get tickets for herself and two friends.

Willis and others withstood temperatures near 29 degrees.

“It’s not as bad as last year when it was windy,” Willis said.

Willis said she hopes it will be like last year when she was able to snag tickets near the right field foul line.

But when tickets are at a premium on a day like Opening Day, “no seat is a bad seat,” said McNeil.

“Peanuts and Cracker Jacks! Shouldn’t go to the game without peanuts” shouts Pam Tucci, of Allen Park, selling snacks to baseball fans at Park and Montcalm. Tucci, who has been an indie vendor on Opening Day for 15 years says sales started slow but  will pick up closer to the game.

“I’ve got peanuts for $2, they’re $4.50 inside.”

Opening Day brings its fair share of sideshows.
Fans dressed as tigers or wore wacky face paint, but that might have been trumped by one of the more recent mainstays: a Tigers-themed limousine.
The 1987 Lincoln Town Car was the brainchild of Entrepreneurial Express owner Patrick Mifsud, who had his employees customize the car over a two-week period during the playoffs last year.
“We wanted to be a little different and support the team and support Detroit,” Mifsud said.
The limo was equipped with a tiger-striped paint job, Tigers decals and an inflatable tiger on the roof.
“It took a lot of shopping at sports stores,” said Ryan Rodriguez, the driver for Opening Day, who blasted “Eye of the Tiger” through loud speakers on the car. “We tried to tell the history of the Tigers. The response has been outrageous.”
Also trying to tell the history of the team was Stanley Maul, 67, of Allen Park, a self-described “autograph hound,” who brought his 5-foot bat bearing the autographs of three Tigers World Series teams 1968, 1984 and 2012.
“I brought a big bat for Cabrera to get big hits,” Maul said.
He has been downtown for Opening Day 55 straight years, but never attended an Opening Day. He said outside is enough excitement on its own.
“I just come for the hoopla and party,” Maul said. “You see all kinds of different people here.”

Stanley Maul, 67, of Allen Park, a self-described "autograph hound," brought his 5-foot bat bearing the autographs of three Tigers World Series teams 1968, 1984 and 2012. (David Coates / The Detroit News)

Stanley Maul, 67, of Allen Park, a self-described “autograph hound,” brought his 5-foot bat bearing the autographs of three Tigers World Series teams 1968, 1984 and 2012. (David Coates / The Detroit News)

The smell of charcoal was in the air early Monday morning as tailgaters poured into lots near Comerica Park as early as 6 a.m.
Despite early morning lows below freezing, coolers were filled with ice and beverages and rabid Tigers fans brought heaters to keep warm.
Marc McClintock and Kris Lange, of Sterling Heights, were among several dozen who lined up at 6 a.m. to get a parking spot overlooking the outfield wall for themselves and 25 to 50 guests.
“We used to go to Opening Day all the time, but after our third year (tailgating), we found it’s more fun out here,” McClintock said.
The back of their SUV had a widescreen TV, and they could see the jumbotron in the outfield.
“You get the noise of the game and then you can check out what happened,” Lange said.
Steve Beno and Phil Budzzette had friends and family coming from as far as Chicago for their sixth straight tailgate.
“I’ve been to a Chicago Opening Day a couple times, and I have to say there’s nothing like a Detroit Opening Day. I think it should be a holiday.”
Budzzette added: “Everyone should have the day off.”
The two came prepared with mini grills to make breakfast and custom corn hole boards that were printed like vintage World Series tickets.

Comerica Park is known for its statues of ferocious felines standing atop the outside walls of the exterior of the ball park.
But for Opening Day, Tigers fans noticed a new, more comical set of figurines were outside the west entrance on Witherell Street: six life-size bobbleheads of Detroit sports stars.
The roughly 5-foot-tall bobbleheads are in the likeness of Tigers Max Scherzer and Torii Hunter; Red Wings Pavel Datsyuk and Jimmy Howard; and Pistons Josh Smith and Andre Drummond.
Sorry, Lions.
Fans Mike Underwood and Bill Meinert, who arrived at 6:30 a.m., took pictures in front of them.
“I like the bobbleheads,” Underwood said. “They are really life-like.”
How much attention to detail, you ask? Down to the different color eyes of Scherzer.
But Meinert said Torii Hunter was his favorite.
“It’s the look on his face,” he said about the grinning Hunter.

bobble

No talking camel had to ask ESPN’s Mike Greenberg or Mike Golic  what day it was. Or Tigers fans for that matter.
“It’s Opening Day!” shouted an exuberant Greenberg to the applause of some 50-plus Tigers fans donning orange beads and foam Tiger paws at Ford Field for the pair’s live “Mike & Mike” show.
That group included Lou Early, of Plymouth, who is a frequent listener and Tigers fan.
“It’s a big deal,” Early said. “I listen to these guys every morning. I figured it was a good opportunity to watch the show and take a few pictures of the field before the game.”
Early said the return of baseball will help ease the pain of having both Michigan and Michigan State losing on Sunday in the Elite Eight.
“It really helps,” he said.
Greenberg and Golic also had Lions head coach Jim Caldwell, who showed his enthusiasm for the Tigers season opener.
“We know it’s going to be a great day with Opening Day for the Tigers,” he said.
Meanwhile, maintenance crews were on the field and in the seats prepping for thousands expected to attend the game.
The lights were already shining on the new Kentucky bluegrass imported from Colorado last week and the Tigers statues outside the stadium were aglow as fans started to trickle into the area.

It was a wild affair down the stretch, but Kentucky pulled out a 75-72 victory thanks to a last-second 3-pointer from Aaron Harrison.

Kentucky stretched its lead to five on two occasions, but Glenn Robinson III answered with two huge 3-pointers from the far corner to cut the lead to two. Michigan forced the Wildcats into a shot clock violation with 59 seconds remaining and called a timeout to set up a play. After a few missed shot attempts, the Wolverines fought for the ball and forced Julius Randle to tip the ball in his own basket.

With the game tied and 31 seconds remaining, Kentucky had the last shot. Michigan had a foul to give and decided to give it with 10 seconds left. Harrison stepped back and drilled a 3-pointer in Caris LeVert’s face to give the Wildcats the lead with 2.3 seconds left on the clock. Nik Stauskas missed a half court heave after a timeout and Kentucky is heading to the Final Four.

Stauskas led the Wolverines with 24 points, and Julius Randle scored 16 and grabbed 11 rebounds to pace the Wildcats.

The Wildcats stretched the lead to seven, but Glenn Robinson III knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner when the Wolverines needed it most. Jordan Morgan then got a put back layup that sent him to the line where he knocked down the free throw to cut the Kentucky lead to one.

Aaron Harrison promptly answered with his own 3-pointer before Morgan was able to get it back to two with a dunk.

Julius Randle is playing like a monster and the Kentucky is asserting itself down the stretch as the Wolverines try to find a way to win this game.

Randle has 16 points and 11 rebounds to lead Kentucky.

Wildcats lead 65-63 with 3:38 remaining.

Caris LeVert stuffed Julius Randle for a jump ball call that allowed Kentucky to retain possession. LeVert followed that up by drawing another jump ball and getting possession back for his team. After a timeout, LeVert then found Jon Horford for an easy slam to push the Wolverine lead to four.

LeVert had just two first half points, but has scored seven in the second half and made two huge defensive plays for his team.

Michigan leads 55-53 with 9:14 left to play.

Caris LeVert tied the game with a 3-pointer, but James Young answered with one of his own. Nik Stauskas knocked down two free throws and the Wolverines continue to hang around against a Wildcats team that is hitting on all cylinders.

Glenn Robinson III dunked one home on the fast break to give Michigan a 53-51 lead with 12:25 left to play.

Kentucky is out-rebounding Michigan 27-18. The Wildcats have 14 offensive boards.

Kentucky got an offensive board and Julius Randle slammed it home to give the Wildcats their first lead of the game. Caris LeVert tied the game with a floater, but Kentucky got the lead back with a bucket on the low post from Dakari Johnson.

Michigan continues to struggle guarding the Wildcats in the paint and Julius Randle has two early second half buckets as he begins to assert himself. Jordan Morgan picked up his third foul 30 seconds into the half.

A couple big jumpers pulled the Wolverines closer after Kentucky jumped out to a six-point lead.

Wildcats lead 47-44 with 15:03 remaining in the first half.

The Wolverines keep hearing that they can’t handle teams that are supremely talented down low, but they were fired up from the start of this one and were able to build up a 10-point lead before a 15-5 Kentucky run tied the game at 37 heading into the half.

Nik Stauskas has been the man for Michigan so far. The sophomore has a game-high 18 points.

James Young and Marcus Lee, not Julius Randle, have been the best players on the floor for the Wildcats with 10 points each. Randle has six.

The Maize and Blue are doing a great job of getting to the rim. Sure, they’ve knocked down a few threes (3-for-8), but they’ve also put their heads down and drove the lane.

The second half should be a good one as the Wolverines have showed they are in this for the long haul. They’ll have to do a better job against Kentucky down low as the Wildcats have thrived mostly thanks to dunks and second-chance points.

Nik Stauskas has two 3-pointers and the Wolverines got out to an early nine-point lead before a James Young layup got Kentucky back within five. Four early turnovers have cost Kentucky the ability to put together solid possessions.

This young Michigan team has shown a tendency to get fired up when the national media thinks they don’t have a chance to win. They are showing that fire in the early going.

Wolverines lead 14-8 with 12:56 remaining in the first half.

The Wolverines are on the brink of back-to-back Final Fours for the first time since the days of the Fab Five, and all they have to do to get there is beat a Kentucky team that starts five freshmen. It’s funny how things work out, isn’t it?

The Wildcats were the number one team in every pre-season poll before their inexperience started to show through and they became just another decent team heading into the tournament. Fact is, though, Kentucky has found itself and is going to be an extremely tough match up for Michigan. Julius Randle is a monster on the inside, and Jordan Morgan is going to have to repeat his defensive performance against Tennessee if the Wolverines can even hope to contain him. When Randle catches the ball in the paint, it opens up shots on the perimeter for his talented teammates, particularly Metro Detroit native James Young. Michigan is going to have to guard the entire half-court for a full 40 minutes.

The 3-pointer has been the Wolverines’ best friend through three tournament games. They have been on fire from behind the arc, and that hot shooting has drawn defenders out of the paint and opened up drives to the basket. Michigan will have to hit its shots and continue to get to the hole if they want to get back to the Final Four.

This should be a close match up, and the Wolverines are more than capable of winning. It’s going to come down to execution and playing smart.

The Wolverines have advanced to the Elite 8 for the second straight season after a nail-biting 73-71 victory over Tennessee. Michigan got up by as much as 15 in the second half, but they made their fans sweat as the Volunteers cut the lead to one with 10 seconds left to play.

Up three, Glenn Robinson III threw the ball into the middle of the court where players from both teams dove to recover it. Tennessee ended up with the ball and Jordan McCrae scored. Michigan then turned the ball over again when Caris LeVert fumbled away an inbounds pass. The Volunteers had the ball with 9.6 seconds left to play down just a point when Jarnell Stokes ran over Jordan Morgan for the charge. Tennessee then deflected the next two Michigan inbounds passes to run three seconds off of the clock that read six seconds at the start of the possession. Nik Stauskas knocked down two free throws to seal the deal as Tennessee missed on a last-second heave.

Michigan played great defense in the first half, but Tennessee did whatever they wanted on offense for the final ten minutes of the game. They were sparked by McCrae, who scored a game-high 24 points.

The Wolverines won because of the way they played in the first 30 minutes. They didn’t finish well, but in the tournament, it’s survive and advance.

Morgan stepped up big, playing solid defense all game and drawing a charge when his team needed it most. He scored a team-high 15 points. Stauskas scored 14 and Glenn Robinson III scored 13.

Derrick Walton Jr. hit a big 3-pointer after the Volunteers cut the Wolverines’ lead to six and Tennessee missed a golden opportunity to get it back to seven when Darius Thompson missed a layup from point-blank range. The teams exchanged baskets after that, but that’s not going to get it done for the Volunteers as they try to come back.

Michigan is struggling on offense, but they are doing just enough to hang on as the game winds down. They lead 67-60 with 3:53 left to play.

Jordan Morgan had two buckets and two monster blocks to open the second half, but Tennessee continues to hang around.

Morgan’s play has been a huge boost for his team so far in this game (11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks). The senior is showing the world he doesn’t want his career to end quite yet.

Michigan leads 54-41 with 14:25 left to play.

Glenn Robinson knocked down his first 3-pointer of the night and is 5-for-7 from the floor with 13 points.

The Wolverines put their foot on the gas in the latter part of the first half and they lead the Volunteers 45-34 at halftime in Indianapolis.

3-point shooting is what got Michigan going (7-for-9 ), but now they’re using the respect they’ve earned from outside to get into the lane and finish at the basket.

A lot of people thought the Wolverines would struggle guarding the Volunteers in the paint, but Jordan Morgan has done a nice job holding his own against Vols star Jarnell Stokes (four points).

Tennessee gives up just 61 points per game on the season, but they have provided very little resistance to an extremely hot Michigan offense. That said, the game is still very much alive for the Volunteers. The Wolverines are going to have to continue to put out the kind of effort they displayed in the first half if they want to move on to the Elite 8.

Caris LeVert has 10 points to lead Michigan, while Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III have eight apiece.

Josh Richardson has a game-high 13 points on 6-for-8 shooting for Tennessee.

Nik Stauskas threw the ball off the backboard to himself and found Derrick Walton Jr. in the corner where the freshman was fouled shooting a 3-pointer. Walton hit all three free throws and Michigan is starting to look like the more comfortable team. They have gotten contributions from everybody on the offensive end, and Jordan Morgan continues to hold his own down against a formidable Tennessee front line.

Michigan leads 34-25 with 5:15 remaining in the first half.

The Wolverines are shooting well, but so are the Volunteers. Neither team is showing nerves on the offensive end of the floor, and Michigan is 6-for-9 from the floor, while Tennessee is 7-for-10. All five Wolverines starters have scored.

Michigan has forced Vols forward Jeronne Maymon to the bench with two early fouls.

This game is shaping up to be very entertaining. The Wolverines lead 18-16 with 11:42 remaining in the first half.

Mitch McGary is on the court warming up with his teammates for the first time since December, but the team insists he will not get any playing time tonight in its Sweet 16 match up with the Volunteers. The Wolverines’ pre-season All-American is eligible to play because he is listed in the official score book for tonight.

Not really sure what this means. The team could just be trying to get him ready for Sunday should they advance past Tennessee tonight.

The wait is over for Wolverine basketball fans as the team is ready to do battle against a tough Volunteers squad with a berth in the Elite 8 on the line.

Tennessee isn’t a highly-ranked team, but the Wolverines won’t be fooled by the 11-seed next to their opponents name.

The Volunteers have some big boys, and they’re one of the hottest teams in the country. Michigan will try to shoot its way back into the Elite 8, but if they don’t hit the boards and put up at least respectable rebounding numbers against the Vols, they’re going to find themselves in trouble.

Nik Stauskas and company are going to need to hit some tough jumpers if they want to score against a stingy Tennessee defense that limits opponents to just 61 points per game.

The Wolverines will also have to figure out how to stop Jordan McRae and Jarnell Stokes, two big-time scorers for the Vols.

Last year’s run through March means that Michigan has the edge in experience. If they stay poised and play together, they’ll find themselves one step closer to a return trip to the Final Four.

Caris LeVert knocked down a 3-pointer with 2:40 left to play to push the Wolverines’ lead to 11 and end Texas’ comeback bid.

Michigan is moving on to the Sweet 16 after a convincing 79-65 victory.

Jordan Morgan played a great game, scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Nik Stauskas had a team-high 16 points and eight assists, and Glenn Robinson III and LeVert scored 14 each for the maize and blue. It was truly a team effort as Michigan used a big first half to get out in front by as many as 18 points and didn’t allow a Longhorns second-half push to phase them down the stretch. Texas never got closer than eight points and the Wolverines made the big plays when they were needed most.

Texas dominated on the boards, especially in the second half. Rebounding was a big Longhorns advantage coming into the match up and they used their size to hang around with the Wolverines. On the night, Texas out-rebounded Michigan 41-30.

Isaiah Taylor led the way for the Longhorns with 22 points.

Spike Albrecht hit a 3-pointer to push the Michigan lead back to 12 before two Texas free throws brought it back to ten.

The Wolverines weren’t exactly smooth on offense after that, but they grabbed three offensive rebounds on one possession and finished it off with a Jordan Morgan dunk.

Texas answered with a dunk of its own, but at this point, trading buckets doesn’t help the Longhorns’ cause.

Michigan leads 68-58 with 3:52 left to play.

The Longhorns cut the Wolverines’ lead to single-digits for the first time since early in the first half with a 13-3 run over a six-minute span, but two Glenn Robinson III free throws put Michigan back up by 11.

The Wolverines seem to have lost a little bit of their edge. Texas’ advantage entering the game was on the boards, but Michigan held its own until the second half. The Longhorns are out-rebounding the Wolverines 34-24.

The Michigan lead is back in single-digits at 58-50 with 8:27 left to play.

The Wolverines have controlled the game, but the Longhorns are starting to get to the rim and score some easy buckets.

Isaiah Taylor has a game-high 16 points for Texas.

Michigan needs to avoid losing its concentration. They need to hit some shots and avoid silly turnovers. If they don’t, the Longhorns could make things interesting down the stretch.

The Wolverines are up 53-43 with 11:55 left in the game.

The Wolverines have picked up right where they left off against Texas, scoring easily even as the Longhorns switched to a 2-3 zone defense.

Derrick Walton Jr. knocked down his first 3-pointer of the night and Nik Stauskas found Jordan Morgan for an easy dunk to stretch the lead back to 16. Javan Felix knocked down his second 3-pointer of the night to cut the Michigan lead back down to 13, but Walton Jr. came right back down the floor and hit another from beyond the arc.

The Wolverines lead 51-35 with 17:12 left to play.

The Wolverines are in the zone. They’ve knocked down eight of 15 3-point attempts and lead the Longhorns 43-30 at the half.

Overall, Michigan is shooting 53% from the field. Texas is 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, but they’re going to have to hit quite a few more if they want to get back into this game.

There were a few worries coming into the game that Michigan would have trouble handling Texas’ size down low, but they’ve negated the Longhorns’ inside game by taking advantage of their own size in the backcourt. The Wolverines have been able to get off just about any shot they want, and that has opened up the lane as Texas tries to close out on the shooters.

The lead should be bigger than 13, but Texas was able to score the only four points of the final minute.

Caris LeVert has 11 points to lead the way for the Wolverines. Nik Stauskas has nine and Jordan Morgan has eight.

Isaiah Taylor has 12 points to pace Texas, which doesn’t have another player with more than five.

Nik Stauskas is starting to play like the Big Ten player of the year and the rest of the team is following his lead. The Wolverines look a lot more comfortable on the offensive end than they did against Wofford on Thursday night.

Stauskas has nine points. He’s 3-for-5 from the field, and 3-for-4 from beyond the arc. Texas players look a little gassed as this game is being played at a frantic pace. Michigan is leading 21-10 with 10:35 to play in the first half.

The shots are starting to fall for the Wolverines, who were missing some open shots early but seem to have settled in. They’ve taken eight 3-pointers already and made four.

Michigan went on a 10-0 run after the game was tied at six. Texas finally ended that run, but the Wolverines lead 16-10 with 11:25 left in the first half.

Michigan is 6-for-13 from the field, and Texas is 5-for-15.

The Wolverines and Longhorns have tipped off. Nik Stauskas opened the scoring with a 3-pointer from the top of the key, but Texas answered with two straight baskets. Texas seems like they want to get the ball inside, while Michigan is definitely trying to get its looks from outside.

The game is tied 6-6 with 15:03 remaining in the first half. Both Michigan buckets have been Stauskas 3-pointers.

The Wolverines are prepared to do battle with the Texas Longhorns tonight in the third round of the NCAA Tournament, and if they want to advance to the Sweet 16 for a second consecutive season, they’re going to have to play to their strengths.

Nik Stauskas, Caris LeVert and Glenn Robinson III are match up nightmares for a small Texas back court.  The trio of long wing players should be able to shoot over the Longhorns’ guards and knock down jumpers with regularity.

Where Michigan could get into trouble, though, is if they don’t commit to rebounding the ball on the defensive end. Texas isn’t a very good shooting team, but they have size and can create opportunities for second-chance points by creating havoc on the offensive boards.

It should be a good match up, but if the Wolverines are on their game, they should find themselves dancing into next weekend.

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It wasn’t pretty, and a performance like that won’t earn them anymore tournament victories, but Michigan was able to beat Wofford 57-40 thanks to a terrible shooting night from the Terriers.

Michigan’s shooting percentage wasn’t bad (48%), but anyone who watched the game knows they just weren’t themselves tonight, especially in the second half. The Wolverines scored just 23 second half points and couldn’t put away a team who missed it’s first 15 attempts from beyond the arc. The Terriers were within single digits with as little as eight minutes left to play.

Nik Stauskas led the way with 15 points, but didn’t touch the ball nearly enough. Glenn Robinson III finished with 14 and Jordan Morgan had 10.

The Wolverines will need a much better effort on Saturday when the take on the winner of tonight’s Texas and Arizona State match up.

Caris LeVert knocked down a 3-pointer and Michigan has finally put a comfortable distance between themselves and Wofford. The Wolverines haven’t been able to buy a bucket from the outside in the second half, but they’ve stayed tough through adversity.

Michigan has just 16 second half points, but amazingly still leads 53-37 with 3:13 remaining because Wofford is putting on a dismal shooting performance (33%).

Wofford finally hit a 3-pointer on their 15th attempt and cut the Michigan lead to seven with 9:24 remaining. Jordan Morgan came down the floor and scored on a 3-point play the old fashioned way.

The Wolverines need to wake up and get their heads in the game. Maybe the fact that their lead was finally cut to single digits will be just the wake up call they need.

Michigan leads 43-33 with 7:57 left to play.

The Wolverines have yet to bury a Wofford team that hasn’t made a single 3-pointer. Michigan has turned the ball over ten times and continued to play sloppy against a team they should be dominating. Wofford went on an 8-0 run over the course of two and half minutes before a Jon Horford dunk pushed the Wolverine lead back to double digits.

Michigan leads 40-30 with 10:11 remaining, and has scored just six points in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

Wofford has continued to struggle shooting from the outside, but Michigan has yet to make them pay.

The Terriers are 0-for-11 from behind the arc, and didn’t score for the first four minutes of the second half. The Wolverines aren’t off to a great start themselves. Their lead was at 17 following a Nik Stauskas 3-pointer to open the second half, but they have continued to play undisciplined and sloppy basketball.

Michigan leads 38-26 with 13:24 remaining.

The Wolverines weren’t themselves for the first few minutes of the game, but they have settled in and lead 34-20 heading into the half.

Michigan has been playing very fast, and the only thing that has kept them from a bigger lead is self-inflicted turnovers from playing just a little too fast. They turned the ball over eight times in the first half. It shouldn’t be a problem, though. The Terriers were unable to take advantage of some early momentum, and the Wolverines spent the last 12 minutes of the half building their lead.

It’s important that the Wolverines know how crucial it is that they play smart basketball in the second half. The momentum from playing a complete second half can go a long way in determining how you come out of the gates against your next opponent.

Glenn Robinson III leads the way with 11 points, while Nik Stauskas made all three shots he took in the first half to finish with nine points.

Michigan is shooting 64% from the floor.

Wofford’s fast start by scoring the first four points may be the highlight of the game for the Terriers. The Wolverines continue to get to the basket and play solid defense. Michigan will still need to settle down a bit. They are playing very fast and getting ahead of themselves at times, causing turnovers that are easily avoidable.

Nik Stauskas needs the ball in his hands. The game looks easy for him right now. Caris LeVert has done the majority of the ball-handling so far, but Stauskas needs to put his foot down and take over this game before the end of the half. He has seven points on 3-for-3 shooting.

Michigan leads 25-14 with 3:49 remaining in the first half.

The Wolverines have started to impose their will on Wofford. They are getting any shot they want. They are drawing fouls, and they are playing at a pace they are comfortable with.

Everyone is getting in on the act so far. Seven Michigan players have scored, and Nik Stauskas is the only Wolverine with more than a single field goal. He has five points.

Michigan leads 20-10 with 7:18 remaining in the first half.

Last year at this time, not many people expected Michigan to make a run at the Final Four. Heck, not many expected them to beat a very good VCU team in the round of 32. But this year, thing’s are different.

Nik Stauskas and Caris LeVert have gone from role players on that 2013 team to prime-time performers for this year’s squad. Stauskas, the Big Ten Player of the Year, needs to assert himself in this tournament and do it early. He and LeVert, along with lone senior Jordan Morgan, need to instill a focus on this team from the start. The Wolverines can’t afford to overlook Wofford, the champions of the Southern Conference, who have only lost twice since mid-January.

It’s expected that Michigan will advance today, but they can’t just show up and expect to cruise to victory. 15-seeds have beaten 2-seeds before. In fact, it happened last March (Remember Florida Gulf Coast?). If the Wolverines want to make another run at a national title, they’ll need to start by putting their best foot forward today and handling their business.

The Broncos came back from a 17-point halftime deficit to defeat Akron in the MAC semifinal in overtime.

Well, can the Broncos come back from a 23-point deficit with 7:58 left against Syracuse?

The Broncos have been outrebounded by a 30-17 margin, giving up 10 offensive rebounds, and have made just 3-of-13 three-pointers, resulting in a 61-38 Syracuse lead.

The Broncos are still finding it tough to score inside against Syracuse’s athletic and tall frontline.

WMU sophomore forward Connar Tava had an inside shot slapped away by Syracuse 6-10 senior Baye Moussa Keita and Jerami Grant scored inside at the other end for a 56-32 lead.

WMU senior guard David Brown did connect on his second three-pointer to cut the deficit to 56-35 with 11:06 left.

 

Syracuse continues to play at a high level early in the second half, holding a 50-28 lead over the Broncos.

Sophomore guard Trevor Cooney made a four-point play (three-pointer and free throw) to give Syracuse a 46-26 lead and Jerami Grant followed with a dunk over Shayne Whittington for the 22-point cushion.

It was Cooney’s fourth three-pointer of the game and Grant’s fourth dunk.

 

Syracuse has dominated the Broncos in the first half, taking a 40-21 lead.

The Broncos have turned the ball over 11 times against Syracuse’s 2-3 zone and have made just 2-of-8 three-pointers.

Syracuse sophomore Trevor Cooney has 12 points, making 3-of-7 threes after making just 7-of-32 long-range shots in his previous four games.

The Orange have a 2-to-1 advantage in rebounding (16-9) and 6-8 senior C.J. Fair has given them second and third chance opportunities with three offensive rebounds.

Syracuse has built a 18-point lead (31-13) with just under four minutes left in the half.

The Broncos continue to have problems with Syracuse’s 2-3 zone, turning the ball over with 11. To make matters worse, senior guard David Brown is just 1-of-5 from three-point range.

Syracuse is shooting 50 percent from the field and is also getting second and third chance opportunities, holding an 11-7 advantage on the glass, including five offensive rebounds.

It’s more and more of the same for the Broncos with 7:33 left in the first half, railing Syracuse 21-11.

WMU has eight turnovers against Syracuse’s 2-3 zone and 6-8 sophomore Jerami Grant is destroying the Broncos inside with three slam dunks.

Syracuse sophomore Trevor Cooney has made a pair of three-pointers and he will be at the line for three free throws when the game resumes after getting fouled by Austin Richie.

The Broncos have made three of their last five shots, but they have to take better care of the ball if they want to cut into the Orange’s lead.

David Brown finally connected on his fourth three-pointer and the Broncos have pulled within 17-9 with 10:38 left in the first half.

Syracuse jumped out to a 17-4 lead in the first eight minutes with Jerami Grant having his way inside and Trevor Cooney shooting his way out of a slump from the perimeter.

Cooney, who made just 7-of-32 long-range shots in his previous four games, has already made two threes.

The Broncos have taken the floor at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo to face No. 11 Syracuse with a sea of Orange in the crowd.

WMU can only hope to duplicate the excitement from the thrilling finish of the first game when Vee Sanford made a driving lay-up in the final seconds for the difference in Dayton’s 60-59 upset win over Ohio State.

The Broncos have the ability to pull off an upset of their own with three-point shooters, including senior David Brown who scored 32 in the MAC championship game win over Toledo.

With the Red Wings and Maple Leafs tied with 45 points entering the game, it was only fitting the teams played even at 2 through regulation play and then a five-minute overtime before being decided with a shootout.

Tyler Bozak and Joffrey Lupul scored for the Leafs in the shootout and Pavel Datsyuk for the Red Wings.

The teams traded ends at the midway point – 2:30 left – in overtime and the Wings’ Henrik Zetterberg was set to go 1-on-1 against a Maple Leafs’ defenseman when the whistle was blown to make the move.

Jonathan Bernier had 41 saves for the Leafs and Jimmy Howard, 24 for the Red Wings.

The Red Wings failed to score a power play goal with their five chances.

The Maple Leafs pulled even at 1 when James Van Riemsdyk scored off a rebound from just right of the crease with 36.5 seconds left in the second period.

Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard made a great save on VanRiemsdyk on point blank shots with 2:37 left in the period and then just seconds before he scored.

The Red Wings failed to score on two power play chances in the period. They are 0-for-4 with the extra man for the game.

The Red Wings own a 27-18 advantage in shots.

 

Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard made the save of the game when he got a skate on Nazem Kadri’s shot from in front with 16 minutes left in the second period.

The game is scoreless with 9:32 left in the period with the Red Wings holding a 2-to-1 advantage in shots on goals (20-10).

Gregg Krupa breaks down the first period off the Winter Classic in the video analysis above.

The Red Wings and Maple Leafs played to a scoreless first period in front of a packed Big House in the Winter Classic.

Looking in the stands, it’s a sea of red and blue in the favor of the Red Wings by a 60/40 margin.

The Red Wings held a 13-5 advantage in shots, but failed to click on their two power play chances. The Maple Leafs had once chance with the extra man.

The Winter Classic is still scoreless with 5:47 remaining in the opening period.

Each team failed to score on a power play with the Red Wings getting one after Joffrey Lupul cross-checked Patrick Eaves on the side of the head.

Eaves had to be helped to the locker room after the hit.

The Red Wings had an excellent scoring chance on the power play when Pavel Datsyuk flipped a pass from the right corner right in front to Daniel Cleary who had his shot stopped by Jonathan Bernier.

The Winter Classic is underway from the Big House and former Michigan player Luke Glendening was out on the ice for the Red Wings, winning the opening face-off.

Glendening, who centers the line of Daniel Cleary and Patrick Eaves, then quickly made his presence known with a big hit on Jay McClement 30 seconds into the game.

This is the fifth outdoor game for Glendening, including three with the Wolverines, and one two nights again at Comerica Park as a member of the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins.

The game is scoreless early in the first period with Jimmy Howard in goal for the Red Wings and Jonathan Bernier for the Leafs.

A band played while the Red Wings and Maple Leafs took the Big House ice for warm-ups with fireworks going off in the background.

It’s the Winter Classic like no other with 105,000 fans expected to fill the stands.

The opening face-off is minutes away.

It’s a magical setting at the Big House with the snow falling down and the Winter Classic less than an hour away from getting underway.

The Red Wings and Maple Leafs – two Original Six teams – will certainly be making lifetime memories for an expected crowd of 105,000.

The teams each have 45 points, tied for fourth place in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference.

Former Michigan player Luke Glendening will be playing for the Red Wings. It will be his fifth outdoor game, three while playing for the Wolverines and his fourth coming Monday night at Comerica Park where he scored a pair of goals for the Grand Rapids Griffins in their AHL loss to the Toronto Marlies.

Michigan State is going to the Rose Bowl.

For the first time since the 1987 season, the Spartans will play in Pasadena, advancing with a 34-24 victory over Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday day.

The opened the game scoring 17 unanswered points and  scored 17 unanswered points late in the second half to beat Ohio State, which had won 24 straight entering this game.

Jeremy Langford scored on a 26-yard touchdown run with 2:16 left in the game at Lucas Oil Stadium, that had an Ohio State home-game feel with about 70 percent of the 66,002 wearing scarlet and grey.

Michigan State’s defense came up big the final three Ohio State possessions, forcing a three-and-out,  then Denicos Allen stopped OSU quarterback Braxton Miller on fourth down, and with 1:13 left in the game, Miller threw incomplete on fourth down with MSU’s Kurtis Drummond on the coverage.

Ohio State gained 25 yards in the fourth quarter.

Ohio State entered this game ranked No. 2 in the BCS and riding a 24-game winning streak. Michigan State entered the game No. 10 in the BCS.

 

Michigan State opened the game scoring 17 unanswered points and has now scored 17 unanswered points late in the second half to expand its lead over Ohio State, 34-24, in the Big Ten championship game.

Jeremy Langford scored on a 26-yard touchdown run with 2:16 left in the game at Lucas Oil Stadium, that has had an Ohio State home-game feel with about 70 percent of the 66,002 wearing scarlet and grey.

Michigan State’s defense has come up big the last two Ohio State possessions, forcing a three-and-out and then Denicos Allen stopped OSU quarterback Braxton Miller on fourth down.

Ohio State entered this game ranked No. 2 in the BCS and riding a 24-game winning streak. Michigan State is No. 10 in the BCS and a win tonight sends the Spartans to the Rose Bowl as the Big Ten’s champion and automatic qualifier.

 

Michigan State leads Ohio State, 27-24, in the Big Ten championship game, and the Spartans’ defense has come up big.

The Spartans, who allowed 24 unanswered points after taking a 17-0 lead, has relied on its defense late in the fourth quarter.

Michigan State stuffed Ohio State on fourth down to turn the ball over on downs with 5:41 left in the game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Ohio State had gone three-and-out its previous drive.

Ohio State, which has 362 total yards, has gained only 13 yards in the fourth quarter.

Michigan State regained the lead on a nine-yard pass from Connor Cook to Josiah Price on a 90-yard, eight-play drive.

The Buckeyes entered this game ranked No. 2 in the BCS standings and on a 24-game winning streak. Michigan State will earn the Big Ten’s automatic berth in the Rose Bowl with a win tonight.

 

Michigan State leads Ohio State, 27-24, in the Big Ten championship game, but the Buckeyes have gotten great field position on a deflected punt.

Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier got a hand on Mike Sadler’s punt, which traveled 19 yards, giving the Buckeyes the ball at the MSU 47-yard line with 7:36 left in the game.

The Spartans took the lead on a 90-yard drive that culminated with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Connor Cook before 66,002 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Ohio State then went three-and-out.

 

Michigan State isn’t going away.

After giving up 24 unanswered points, Michigan State has scored on consecutive series, on a field goal and a touchdown that highlighted a 90-yard drive, to regain the lead over Ohio State, 27-24. There’s 11:41 left in the Big Ten championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Josiah Price was all alone and caught a nine-yard pass from Connor Cook for the touchdown.

During the eight play drive that took 3;12, Macgarrett Kings Jr. had a 48-yard reception from Cook, but an illegal block against Michigan State cost the Spartans’ 10 yards. Still, MSU had first down at the Ohio State 40-yard line.

Michigan State scored on its previous drive on a 44-yard field goal by Michael Geiger.

 

Michigan State is heading into the fourth quarter of the Big Ten championship game trailing by four points.

The Spartans had built a 17-0 lead, but Ohio State scored 24 unanswered points to take the lead. Michigan State added a 44-yard field goal by Michael Geiger, his second of the game, just before the end of the third quarter to pull within, 24-20.

Michigan State gained only 67 yards of offense in the third quarter. The Spartans have 264 total yards, including 201 passing. Jeremy Langford has 16 carries for 63 yards rushing.

Ohio State has 349 total yards, including 248 rushing. Quarterback Braxton Miller has 15 carries for 124 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Carlos Hyde has 16 carries for 111 yards.

 

Michigan State, which held a 17-0 lead, now trails Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game.

Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller ran for a six-yard touchdown with 5:36 left to give the Buckeyes a 24-17 lead with 5:36 left in the third quarter. OSU has scored 24 unanswered points.

The Buckeyes drove 44 yards on five plays.

Miller now has 124 yards rushing (averaging 8.3 yards a carry) and two touchdowns. Ohio State tailback Carlos Hyde has 93 yards.

 

Michigan State turned the ball over on an interception, but Ohio State was unable to convert.

Connor Cook was intercepted by C.J. Barnett to end the Spartans’ first possession of the second half, giving OSU the ball at the Spartans’ 48-yard line. But the MSU secondary made two big plays to stop Ohio State and maintain a 17-17 tie in the third quarter.

OSU quarterback Braxton Miller made two throws in the end zone, the first broken up by MSU safety Kurtis Drummond and the second by cornerback Darqueze Dennard to force the punt.

Michigan State has 19 yard of offense so far in the second half.

 

Ohio State has scored 17 unanswered points to tie Michigan State, 17-17, in the Big Ten championship game, and the Spartans’ first drive of the second half has ended with a turnover.

MSU quarterback Connor Cook, on third and three, was intercepted by OSU’s C.J. Barnett.

Ohio State is starting its second possession of the second half at the Michigan State 48-yard line.

The Buckeyes have found an offensive rhythm after a sluggish first-quarter start. Quarterback Braxton Miller now has 106 yards rushing, the third player to gain more than 100 yards rushing against the Spartans. MSU entered this game at Lucas Oil Stadium with the nation’s top-ranked defense.

MSU has the top-ranked rush defense and had been allowing an average 64.8 yards rushing.

 

Ohio State has not wasted any time and tied the game with Michigan State in the opening minutes of the second half of the Big Ten championship game.

The Buckeyes have scored 17 unanswered points to tie the game, 17-17, at Lucas Oil Stadium.

OSU quarterback Braxton Miller scored on an eight-yard run with 12:21 left in the third quarter. OSU drove 75 yards on seven plays.

Ohio State now has 268 total yards after being held to 28 yards in the first quarter.

Miller has 106 rushing yards.

Michigan State has not scored since 9:01 left in the second quarter.

 

Michigan State built a 17-point lead, but Ohio State has carved its way back.

The Spartans lead, 17-10, at halftime of the Big Ten championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Ohio State scored 10 unanswered points to close out the half, including a 28-yard field goal by Drew Basil with no time left.

Ohio State’s final scoring drive was set up when quarterback Braxton Miller completed a 36-yard pass to tight end Jeff Heuerman to the MSU 11-yard line with four seconds left. The Buckeyes had gotten the ball back after a quick MSU three-and-out, then drove 53 yards on seven plays.

Michigan State built a 17-0 lead with a field goal to open the scoring then touchdown passes from Connor Cook on back-to-back drives. The Spartans built a 10-0 lead when Cook hit Keith Mumphery for a 72-yard touchdown and then expanded the lead to 17-0 on a 33-yard touchdown pass to Tony Lippett.

The Buckeyes, ranked sixth nationally in total offense, were held to 28 yards in the first quarter.  But by halftime, they had 198 yards, including 111 rushing. Miller accounted for 74 yards on 10 carries.

Cook is 11-of-17 for 182 yards.

 

Michigan State’s defense can’t completely contain Ohio State’s highly rated offense, but so far the Spartans have slowed the Buckeyes.

Michigan State leads, 17-7, as halftime nears in the Big Ten title game.

But the Spartans are not moving as well offensively as they did the first quarter and a half. They have just gone three-and-out and given Ohio State the ball at the Buckeyes’ 36-yard line.

Michigan State has 197 yards, while Ohio State has overcome a slow start in the first quarter and now has 145 yards, including 94 rushing.  OSU quarterback Braxton Miller has 65 yards rushing.

 

Michigan State’s 17-0 lead was short-lived.

Ohio State, unable to get its offense clicking the first quarter and a half of the Big Ten championship game, finally found some magic from quarterback Braxton Miller.

Miller had a spectacular 48-yard run on a broken play to set up the Buckeyes’  first score of the game. Ohio State drove 84 yards on five plays and scored on a 20-yard pass from Miller to Corey Brown.

Michigan State leads, 17-7, but the Ohio State score has ignited the large OSU crowd at Lucas Oil Stadium.

 

Ohio State entered the Big Ten championship game with all the steam and all the hype.

After all, the Buckeyes are riding a 24-game winning streak and have one of the nation’s most prolific offense.

But Michigan State’s defense has held the Buckeyes to 36 total yards, while the Spartans’ offense — the wild card entering this game — has been steady and productive.

The Spartans have a 17-0 lead with 9:01 left in the first half after Tony Lippett scored on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Connor Cook. Jeremy Langford had a terrific blitz pickup to give Cook time for the throw.

Cook is 10-of-13 for 165 yards and has two touchdown passes, including a 72-yard pass to Keith Mumphery early in the second quarter.

 

Ohio State entered the Big Ten championship game against Michigan State averaging 530.5 yards a game, sixth best in the nation.

So far, with 11:13 left in the first half, Ohio State has gained 36 yards against the Spartans’ top-ranked defense.

The Buckeyes, held without a score in the first quarter for the first time this season, have been able to find any rhythm against the Spartans. OSU quarterback Braxton Miller recovered his own fumble to force fourth and 22 on the Buckeyes’ last drive.

Michigan State has 122 yards and, like Michigan a week ago, has gone to the air to attack the OSU defense. The Spartans have 106 passing yards.

Ohio State is riding a 24-game winning streak. Both teams are unbeaten in Big Ten play this season.

Michigan State has built a 10-0 lead over Ohio State early in the second quarter of the Big Ten championship game.

Keith Mumphery went 72 yards on a reception from quarterback Connor Cook for a touchdown.  Ohio State’s Corey Brown was beaten on the play.

Ohio State, which has one of the most prolific offenses in the nation, was held without a score in the first quarter for the first time all season. The Buckeyes had only 28 yards against Michigan State’s top-rated defense, and had three critical penalties.

The Buckeyes were called for two pass interference penalties during Michigan State’s first series. Both penalties came on third down. Michigan State also converted on fourth down in that drive and settled for a 40-yard field goal.

The Spartans have 115 yards. Cook is 7-0f-10 for 106 yards.

 

Michigan State has a 3-0 lead against Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game.

The Buckeyes, who lead the Big Ten in total offense, has mustered 28 yards against Michigan State’s defense, ranked No. 1 nationally.

Ohio State has three penalties, including two pass interference calls that helped keep alive MSU’s first drive that resulted in a 40-yard field goal. The Buckeyes also got called for interference on a punt return.

Michigan State has five first downs and 43 yards.

Michigan State has taken a 3-0 lead over Ohio State in the opening minutes of the Big Ten championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Michael Geiger made a 40-yard field goal with 8:31 left in the first quarter to culminate the opening drive of the game. The drive took 6:29.

The Spartans drove 47 yards in 14 plays and benefited from two key Ohio State pass interference penalties on third down. Quarterback Connor Cook also made a big 10-yard completion on third and 11 and then ran two yards to convert on fourth down to the Ohio State 31-yard line.

Cook was 4-of-7 for 23 yards during the drive.

 

This game is about strength versus strength.

It might, in the end, be about which weakness is better and the difference, but the storyline of the Ohio State-Michigan State Big Ten championship game is pretty obvious.

OhioState is ranked No. 2 in the BCS, has a 24-game winning streak and boasts a prolific offense that’s difficult to slow. MichiganState is ranked No. 10 in the BCS and has led the nation in total defense for 12 straight weeks.

Both teams are undefeated in conference play.

The Buckeyes lead the Big Ten in scoring (48.2 points a game) and in total yards, averaging 530.5 yards a game, ranked fifth nationally. The Spartans lead the country in total defense, yielding an average 237.7 yards, rushing defense (64.8 yards) and pass efficiency defense.

Quarterback Braxton Miller runs the show for OhioState, along with tailback Carlos Hyde. Miller and Hyde essentially give the Buckeyes two running backs. Hyde has rushed for 1,290 yards and 14 touchdowns in nine games and Miller leads the Big Ten in total offense, averaging 295.0 yards.

MichiganState hasn’t faced a quarterback-tailback tandem like Miller and Hyde this season, and OhioState hasn’t faced a defense as ferocious as the Spartans.

“It’s going to be a physical, hard, tough game,” OSU coach Urban Meyer said. “We’ll find out if the Buckeyes are a tough team.”

But the underlying storyline is MichiganState’s offense, led by Connor Cook, and OhioState’s defense, which gave up 603 yards and 41 points against Michigan a week ago. Will MichiganState be able to produce enough offense to overwhelm an OSU defense that has taken plenty of hits all season?

A win more than likely puts OhioState in the national championship game. A win would send MichiganState to the Rose Bowl, but there’s a sense even a close loss would send the Spartans to Pasadena.

What MichiganState has that Ohio State does not is experience in the Big Ten title game. MSU was in the inaugural game two years ago against Wisconsin.

“My feeling when we saw the stadium was, ‘OK, we’ve been there,'” MSU coach Mark Dantonio said. “It wasn’t, ‘Wow, here we are, what are we doing here?'” We’ve been here, we need to take the next step here.  There’s been a focus all week. We have to play a different football team with different problems, different things we have to deal with. But I do think having been here before, our players understand a little bit about the environment here.

“We’ve always been loose and confident, but we’ve always been about business too. We’re not out here to make friends.”

Dantonio wants to win this game, but he wants his players to take even more than that from this championship game against OhioState.

“It’s a life moment,” Dantonio said. “What I try and give to our team is, this is an opportunity , you need to nail it, but this is an opportunity you should remember for the rest of your life win or lose. Certainly, we want to win the football game. No question about that. We’ve prepared very hard. But win or lose, you will remember that because of the magnitude of the game.”

 

 

 

The city’s largest union signaled its intent to appeal Detroit’s eligibility for Chapter 9 bankruptcy relief.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees filed the notice of appeal minutes after U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes said Detroit was eligible for Chapter 9 relief.

AFSCME lawyer Sharon Levine said the union wants to take the appeal to the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, the first step in a path many expect will lead to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Detroit is eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy relief, a judge ruled Tuesday, a move that threatens retiree pensions and other assets of the city.

“It is eligible but it also has an opportunity for a fresh start,” U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes said.

Calling Detroit a once proud and prosperous city, Rhodes issued his order following a 90-minute speech that summarized the city’s woes and long slide into bankruptcy.

“The city does not have enough money to care for its residents, let alone pay its debts,” Rhodes said. “Municipalities cannot print money.”

Rhodes expressed concern about the impact his ruling will have on retirees.

“I implore with all urgency those who implement the social safety net, the governor, city, civic and business leaders to focus greater attention on the real need that will arise because of the city’s bankruptcy,” Rhodes said.

The ruling is expected to be appealed immediately by creditors.  Rhodes asked them to file notice quickly.

“We think this is a huge loss for the people of Detroit,” AFSCME lawyer Sharon Levine said afterward, vowing an appeal.

The union, the city’s largest, has asked for permission to appeal directly to the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. That could be the first stop in a path many experts believe will lead to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Rhodes issued his ruling after concluding vested retiree pensions can be cut in bankruptcy court, and are no different than any other contract.

Any pension cuts would be outlined in a plan of adjustment that the city will file by March 1.

The judge also faulted the city for failing to negotiate in good faith with creditors. But he concluded negotiations were impracticable.

Detroit should have filed bankruptcy years ago and it was a foregone conclusion that the city was headed for a Chapter 9 filing, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes said.

That does not, however, mean the city’s bankruptcy petition was not filed in good faith, he said.

“Was it a foregone conclusion? Of course it was,” Rhodes said.

The city probably should have filed years earlier, he added.

It was impracticable for Detroit to negotiate with 100,000 creditors before deciding to file bankruptcy July 18, the city’s bankruptcy judge said Tuesday.

That is a key element Detroit needed to satisfy in order to be eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes, however, said Detroit failed to hold good-faith negotiations with creditors ahead of the filing. He said a June 14 restructuring proposal shared with creditors was vague and follow-up meetings with creditors were presentational and not real negotiations.

Selling assets, such as masterpieces at the Detroit Institute of Arts, does not make sense for an insolvent city and does not address long-term financial and structural problems, the city’s bankruptcy judge said today.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes referenced the DIA collection while justifying his decision that Detroit is insolvent.

“When the expenses of an enterprise exceed its revenue, a one-time infusion of cash, whether from an asset sale or borrowing, only delays inevitable financial failure unless the enterprise reduces expenses or enhances income,” Rhodes said.

In his quickest analysis today, Detroit’s bankruptcy judge said the city is insolvent, a key requirement of Chapter 9 bankruptcy law.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes said there was overwhelming evidence that the city was unable to pay debts before filing bankruptcy July 18. He also pointed to Police Chief James Craig’s testimony about woeful city services and deplorable conditions inside police precincts, the high crime rate and absence of leadership.

Creditors suffered several blows early Tuesday when Detroit’s bankruptcy judge shot down objections aimed at kicking the city out of court.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes overruled several challenges, including one arguing the state emergency manager law was unconstitutional.

He also overruled objections that the city’s bankruptcy petition should have included a condition shielding vested retiree pensions from possible cuts.

 

Vested retiree pensions are not entitled to extraordinary protections and are identical to contracts, which can be impaired in bankruptcy court, a judge said Tuesday.

“It has long been understood that bankruptcy law entails the impairment of contracts,” U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes says.

Rhodes made the comment before announcing whether Detroit is eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection.

The judge said objectors’ arguments “does not demonstrate that pensions are entitled to any” additional protection like other contracts.

When the state constitution was updated in the 1960s, he said drafters could have shielded pensions from bankruptcy “but did not.”

Drafters also could have insisted the state guarantee vested retiree pensions.

Rhodes added some caution.

“This court will not lightly or casually exercise power…to impair pensions,” #Detroit bankruptcy judge says.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes tried heading off a common complaint from residents and bankruptcy lawyers before ruling whether Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy relief.

“The popularity of the decision to appoint an emergency manager is not a matter of eligibility,” Rhodes said.

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder in March and his powers trump the elected mayor and city council.

Rhodes has spent more than 35 minutes recounting decades of financial and economic problems that preceded Detroit’s bankruptcy filing July 18.

He also signaled his ruling would touch on the sanctity of public retiree pensions.

“Resolving the issue now will likely expedite the resolution of this bankruptcy case,” Rhodes said.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes will rule momentarily whether Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy relief and will justify his decision in a roughly 140-page memo.

Rhodes opened the 10 a.m. hearing recapping Detroit’s decades-long decline.

“To reverse this decline and attract new residents and revitalize and reinvigorate, #Detroit needs help,” Rhodes told lawyers today.

He recapped city’s decision to stop paying some creditors.

“If the city had not not deferred payments, it would have run out of cash by June 30, 2013,” Rhodes said. “Let me repeat that.”

He did.

skyline river

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes took the bench at 10 a.m. and is expected to rule momentarily whether Detroit is eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection.

Rhodes has said he will rule from the bench and issue a written decision soon after. His decision will cap a nine-day trial that ended last month and could set the stage for Detroit to file a plan to slash more than $18 billion in debt.

 

1203bkProtest2U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes is expected to cover four bases when he announces at 10 a.m. whether Detroit is eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection.

In order to qualify for bankruptcy, Detroit must prove it is insolvent, bargained with creditors in good faith, had proper authorization to file for relief and wants to reduce its debts.

Retiree groups, pension funds and labor unions fought over each requirement during a nine-day trial that ended last month.

Rhodes will announce his ruling from the bench and issue a written opinion soon after.

It is unclear whether the judge will address the constitutionality of the state’s emergency manager law. Objectors argue the law is unconstitutional and, therefore, Gov. Rick Snyder was not empowered to authorize the city’s July 18 bankruptcy petition.

Also unclear: whether the judge will address whether the state constitution protects vested public-employee pensions in bankruptcy court.

David Sole pickets in front of federal court before today's ruling on Detroit's  eligibility for bankruptcy. David Coates/The Detroit News

David Sole pickets in front of federal court before today’s ruling on Detroit’s eligibility for bankruptcy. David Coates/The Detroit News

By 9 a.m., more than a dozen protesters began to gather outside of the federal court house in downtown Detroit to await news of whether Detroit is eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy relief. One man, David Sole, carried a sign while wearing a T-shirt that read: “Hands off my pension. Make the banks pay!”

Also among those demonstrating were organizers from Moratorium Now, a group that has been fighting the state’s emergency manager law and Detroit”s historic bankruptcy filing.

Abayomi Azikiwe, 56, a Moratorium Now organizer, said the bankruptcy filing had nothing to do with government leaders’ interest in the betterment of the city, but rather in appeasing banks, whose predatory lending practices were big contributors to the city’s financial crisis.

The bankruptcy, Azikiwe said, is “setting a dangerous precedent on all employees in Michigan.”

By 9:30 a.m., the crowd swelled to at least 50.

There were no signs of protestors outside federal court downtown early Tuesday two hours before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes announces whether Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy protection.

But there were plenty of reporters.

Six satellite TV trucks were parked along Lafayette outside federal court and a pack of reporters waited for glimpses of lawyers involved in the case. There also is a white tailgating-style tent offering protecting the media from expected rain and snow.

Protesters seen outside the federal courthouse in late October. (Daniel Mears/ The Detroit News)

Protesters seen outside the federal courthouse in late October. (Daniel Mears/ The Detroit News)

Federal court officials are bracing for a crush of reporters, lawyers, jurors, bankruptcy attorneys — and 60 schoolkids on a tour — Tuesday when U.S. District Judge Steven Rhodes announces whether Detroit is eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy relief.

As many as 100 reporters from newspapers, radio, websites and TV networks in New York, including reporters from Brazilian and Japanese news outlets, are expected to cover the ruling, which could have implications on the nation’s municipal bond market and sanctity of public retiree pensions.

The 10 a.m. hearing is coinciding with a busy day at the bustling courthouse and the crowds could pose challenges for bankruptcy lawyers and others who are flying in from across the country to hear a key decision in the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

There likely will be a logjam getting into the courthouse and delays for attendees going through security checkpoints. About 200 prospective jurors are due to arrive at 8:15 and fight for space in line with 100 lawyers attending an 8 a.m. special Federal Bar Association meeting.

The 60 schoolkids are scheduled for a tour of the 1930s-era courthouse. The tour was set one month ago, a court spokesman said.

Rhodes gave eight days advance notice of the bench ruling, relieving all parties from having to monitor the federal court website around the clock for a published eligibility decision.

“It was nice that we didn’t have to be glued to our computer on Thanksgiving, but it’s making much more of a spectacle out of this,” said Ryan Plecha, attorney for two city retiree associations.

Michigan has made good on an Ohio State turnover and tied the game, 35-35, with just more than five minutes left in the game.

Ohio State’s productive tailback Carlos Hyde, had just gone over the 200-yard rushing mark when he fumbled at the Ohio State 41-yard line. Thomas Gordon forced the fumble and Desmond Morgan recovered for Michigan.

The Wolverines used 14 plays and had critical moments throughout the drive.

Quarterback Devin Gardner ran 14 yards to convert on the first third-down opportunity of the drive. On the next third down chance, Gardner found Jeremy Gallon for a 16-yard pass. Michigan went for it on fourth and two at the 4-yard line, and Gardner gained three yards for the first down.

Three plays later, Gardner found freshman tight end Jake Butt for a two-yard touchdown with 5:01 left.

 

Michigan has not made a habit of converting on third down late in the season.

But on third and seven, quarterback Devin Gardner, looking athletic as he avoided the rush, found Drew Dileo in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown pass with 11:15 left in the game.

Ohio State leads 35-28 after outscoring Michigan, 14-0, in the third quarter.

Michigan drove 83 yards on 11 plays for that score.

Ohio State entered the game allowing an average 333.4 yards of offense, but the Wolverines have 478 yards after a big first half that included 303 yards of offense.  The bulk of Michigan’s yards have come in the passing game with 339 yards.

The Buckeyes have 447 yards, including 314 rushing.

Ohio State’s lead has expanded to 35-21 after Braxton Miller’s 22-yard pass to tight end Jeff Heurman.

The game was tied, 21-21, at halftime, but the Buckeyes have scored twice in this quarter. The Buckeyes got the ball on a fumble by Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner and converted on that miscue.

Then Ohio State got the ball on downs at its 14-yard line after Michigan failed to convert on fourth down and two. Kicker Matt Wile, filling in for injured starter Brendan Gibbons, out for the game with injury, went out to attempt a 31-yard field goal, but Michigan coach Brady Hoke called time out.

The Wolverines opted to try to convert the fourth down but failed when Gardner, under pressure, threw incomplete to Drew Dileo.

 

Ohio State has taken its first lead of the game, converting a Michigan turnover early in the second half.

Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner fumbled, and five plays later, Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller scored on a three-yard run to give Ohio State the 28-21 lead.

Ohio State got a big-play boost during the drive from tailback Carlos Hyde, who ran 33 yards to the Michigan 3-yard line.

This one has been a shoot-out in the first half at Michigan Stadium.

Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller scored on a 21-yard run with just more than minute left in the second quarter to tie the game, 21-21.  He made Frank Clark and Willie Henry miss on the tackle. The Buckeyes drove 91 yards on seven plays for the secore.

The Buckeyes have 308 yards of offense, while Michigan has 303.

Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner is 11-of-14 for 238 yards and one touchdown to Jeremy Gallon. Gallon has been a big target for Gardner and has five catches for 137 yards, including a long reception of 84 yards.

Ohio State has rushed for 197 yards with tailback Carlos Hyde gaining 115 and Miller 82.

This has been a physical first half that included a fight and three ejections — OSU’s Dontre Wilson and Marcus Hall, who left the field not so nicely saluting the crowd as he exited, and Michigan’s Royce Jenkins-Stone.

 

This game is getting feisty.

Three players have been ejected for a fight after a kickoff in the second quarter after Michigan’s score. Gone are Ohio State’s Dontre Wilson and Marcus Hall, who left Michigan Stadium by flipping off the crowd. Michigan’s Royce Jenkins-Stone also was ejected.

Michigan leads 21-14, relying on its passing attack to take the lead early in the second quarter.

The Wolverines, which entered the game averaging 234 yards a game passing, now have 215 yards. Receiver Jeremy Gallon as 124 of those yards on four catches, including the 17-yarder he just caught for the touchdown.

Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner is 8-of-9 passing.

Blake Countess has intercepted OSU quarterback Braxton Miller who threw deep on third and 17.

Michigan’s offense scored on drives of 99 yards and 70 yards for touchdowns to take a 14-7 lead over Ohio State in the first quarter at Michigan Stadium. But Ohio State answered right back.

Fitz Toussaint has scored on a four-yard run to give the Wolverines their second score of the game and the lead. But Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller has scored on a 53-yard touchdown run with 55 seconds left in the first quarter to tie the game, 14-14.

Michigan, which has struggled in recent weeks to move the ball, now has 169 yards, including 149 passing. Quarterback Devin Gardner is 5-of-6 for 149 yards, and receiver Jeremy Gallon has three catches for 107 yards.

Ohio State, which boasts one of the nation’s most prolific offenses, has 184 total yards.

 

Michigan and Ohio State have relied on big pass plays to tie the game, 7-7, in the first quarter of the annual rivalry game.

Ohio State scored on a 53-yard pass from Braxton Miller to Devin Smith for the tying score. Smith outran Michigan’s defensive back Josh Furman on the pass.

The Buckeyes now have 109 yards of total offense, while Michigan has 99. The Wolverines scored on their first possession of the game on a 1-yard run by quarterback Devin Gardner, but the key play was an 84-yard pass from Gardner to Jeremy Gallon.

The Buckeyes, ranked No. 3 nationally and riding a 23-game winning streak, has won eight of the last nine games against Michigan.

Michigan has taken a 7-0 lead over Ohio State in Michigan Stadium.

Quarterback Devin Gardner has scored on a one-yard run with 9:24 left in the first quarter. Michigan drove 99 yards on five plays, only the sixth time in Michigan history the Wolverines have scored on a 99-yard drive.

The key play was an 84-yard pass from Gardner to Jeremy Gallon to the 2-yard line. Gallon now has 1,202 yards, second in Michigan history in single-season receiving yards.

 

 Michigan has not been given much of a chance nationally to beat Ohio State today in the 110th meeting between the two rivals.

OhioState is ranked No. 3, on a 23-game winning streak and boasts a prolific offense that is averaging 530.9 yards a game, seventh best in the country. Michigan is 7-4 and has lost four of its last six games.

The Buckeyes have won eight of the last nine meetings in the rivalry.

This will be the final regular-season game for both teams, but OhioState, the Leaders Division winner, will face MichiganState, the Legends winner, next Saturday for the Big Ten title game.

Michigan players all week said they were not motivated by the possibility of snapping the OSU winning streak and running the Buckeyes’ season. They said this week, this game is about the Wolverines and finding a way to finish.

They will do that at home at Michigan Stadium, which about a half-hour before kickoff has a lot of scarlet and grey in the stands to root on Ohio Stadium. It has been the feeling here for the last few weeks that OSU fans will have a strong presence in the Big House, and that seems to be the case.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said this week he understood the expectations for OhioState fans purchasing a number of tickets for today’s game. The proximity of Columbus to Ann Arbor and the Buckeyes’ winning streak have created considerable interest in this game.

“We should expect to see more scarlet than we may otherwise see because of the dynamics of this game,” Brandon told The News. “I wouldn’t read too much in that. I still think it will be heavy duty maize and blue.”

Michigan is a heavy underdog heading into this game, but should the Wolverines lose, Brandon said coach Brady Hoke will not be in danger of losing job security.

“It’s not like we’re not competitive,” Brandon said. “It’s been a perfect storm of not playing well on offense and having close games that we couldn’t get over the hump, and that’s happening in a season when both of our major rivals (Michigan State and Ohio State) are having great seasons. I get that. We have four losses, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to turn everything upside down and give up on people and leadership.”

There is one personnel change for Michigan today. Kicker Brendan Gibbons suffered an undisclosed injury in practice today and will not play.

 

Michigan tried to make it two in a row on the road but after building a two-touchdown lead in the first half, the Wolverines could get nothing done offensively in the second half.

Iowa scored 17 points in the second half to beat Michigan, 24-21, in frigid conditions at Kinnick Stadium.

Michigan is 7-4, 3-4 Big Ten and Iowa improves to 7-4, 4-3.

Michigan had 113 yards in the first half but gained only 10 yards in the third quarter and 35 in the fourth.

Devin Gardner was 13-of-28 for 98 yards and two touchdowns.

Michigan returns to Michigan Stadium on Saturday for its final regular-season game against Ohio State.

Iowa’s Mark Weisman bullied his way on a nine-yard touchdown run to tie the game.

Michigan and Iowa are 21-21 with 12 minutes left in the game.

The Wolverines entered the second half with a 21-7 lead, but Iowa struck quickly to pull within a touchdown and just added the Weisman touchdown to draw even.

Michigan lost 10 yards in the third quarter.

Michigan has relied plenty on its defense in the first half, but its offense put together a nice drive toward the end of the first half to give the Wolverines a 21-7 lead over Iowa in chilly conditions at Kinnick Stadium.

Michigan had two first-half intereptions, and both led to touchdowns.

Brennen Beyer had a first-quarter interception he returned for a touchdown for the Wolverines’ first score. Blake Countess got his fifth interception of the season, giving Michigan the ball at the Iowa 28-yard line. Michigan went 28 yards in seven plays and tight end A.J. Williams caught a two-yard pass from Devin Gardner.

The U-M defense has made several stops in this game, including in the first quarter when Iowa went for it on fourth down and five when Cam Gordon tipped Jake Rudock’s pass. Jibreel Black had tipped the pass on the play before.

Michigan scored for the third time just before the end of the first half when Gardner directed a 10-play, 47-yard drive. Michigan made two, third-down conversions — which had become a bit of a rarity for the Wolverines — enroute to the score.

Gardner, looking more comfortable this drive, completed a nine-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Gallon.

 

Michigan has taken advantage from another standout defensive play and now leads, 14-7 at Iowa.

Blake Countess earned his fifth interception of the season with Iowa in third down and nine, giving Michigan the ball at the Iowa 28-yard line.

Michigan drove 28 yards in seven plays, including what has become a rarity — a third-down conversion. The Wolverines were 0-for-3 in third downs in the first quarter, making in five quarters in regulation without a conversion, but this time, Michigan made good.

On third down and four, quarterback Devin Gardner looked for an open receiver, then took off running to his left for eight yards.

Tight end A.J. Williams scored on a two-yard pass from Gardner.

Michigan’s first score came from its defense when Brennen Beyer intercepted Jake Rudock and returned it seven yards for the touchdown. In the first quarter, Michigan had 19 total yards to Iowa’s 117. Michigan’s defense stopped Iowa on a fourth-down attempt.

Iowa took advantage of ideal field position and has tied the game, 7-7 against Michigan in frigid conditions at Kinnick Stadium.

A 19-yard punt into the wind by Michigan’s Matt Wile gave Iowa the ball at the Michigan 45-yard line.

The Hawkeyes drove the distance in seven plays and scored on a five-yard pass from Jake Rudock to tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz with 3:39 left in the first quarter.

On Michigan’s previous offensive series, the Wolverines continued to struggle, going backwards on consecutive plays to force the punt.

Michigan started its fifth different offensive line combination in this game with Erik Magnuson moving from right guard to left guard, and Kyle Kalis returning to the lineup at right guard.

 

Iowa’s first series began and ended quickly.

And not exactly the way the Hawkeyes’ had anticipated, as Brennen Beyer intercepted Jake Rudock and returned it seven yards for the touchdown. Michigan leads 7-0 with 13:19 in the first quarter.

Jake Ryan was hitting Rudock when he was attempting the throw.

Fitz Toussaint started at tailback for Michigan. But running back Thomas Rawls was taken off the field after the opening kickoff with an apparent injury to his right leg.

 The conditions are bitterly cold and windy at Kinnick Stadium, and that certainly will be a factor in Michigan’s game at Iowa today.

When the teams took the field for early pre-game warm-ups, it was minus-1 degree with the wind chill factored in. The kickers spent a good deal of time practicing into the 22 mph-wind.

Michigan is 7-3, 3-3 Big Ten and looking to win a second straight after picking up a victory in triple overtime at Northwestern last week. Iowa is 6-4, 3-3 and coming off a bye.

Michigan coach Brady Hoke said Friday night on his post-practice video on MGoBlue.com that the “freshmen” running backs will start today. The means Derrick Green, who started at Northwestern, likely will get the start again. De’Veon Smith, a freshman, also got carries last week at Northwestern.

Green got the start a week ago because senior Fitz Toussaint was on the sideline but did not play after a concussion limited him in practice. Toussaint is on the dress list for Iowa.

With Green and Smith, the Wolverines were able to snap consecutive games of negative rushing yards.

Iowa has a tough front seven and hasn’t allowed a first-quarter touchdown in eight of 10 games. The Hawkeyes are tied for No. 10 nationally for fewest red-zone touchdowns allowed.

They also are third in total defense in the Big Ten, yielding an average 319.2 yards a game, and in scoring defense (26.6 points). They also have allowed only four rushing touchdowns this season.

There were no surprises on Michigan’s travel roster.

 

Michigan’s defense came up big in the third overtime to stuff Northwestern and give the Wolverines a much-needed boost with a 27-19 victory at Ryan Field.

It was a wild finish for the Wolverines, who forced overtime on a clutch 44-yard field goal by Brendan Gibbons with no time left.

“You practice that hurry-up field goal all the time,” Michigan coach Brady Hoke told the Big Ten Network after the game. “That was one heck of a football play by them.”

The Wolverines opened the third overtime with a touchdown run by quarterback Devin Gardner, who then ran for the two-point conversion giving Michigan a 27-19 lead.

Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian, on the Wildcats’ third-overtime drive, took a 14-yard loss on a sack by Jibreel Black. On the next play, Michigan’s Thomas Gordon nearly had an interception on third down. Siemian was then intercepted by Gordon on fourth down in the end zone to end the game.

The Wolverines entered the game on a two-game losing streak, having been credited for minus-69 yards rushing and 14 sacks combined. They also were 1-2 on the road.

All week the Michigan players talked about finishing the season strong, reaching 10 wins, which would mean winning the final four games, including the bowl.

Northwestern entered the game winless through its previous five Big Ten games. The Wildcats famously lost its last game – they had a bye before Michigan – on a Hail Mary by Nebraska..

Michigan and Northwestern have exchanged field goals in the second overtime and remained tied, 19-19.

Northwestern scored first in the second overtime, and Michigan could have won with a touchdown.

Devin Gardner’s pass to Jeremy Gallon in the back middle of the end zone went off Gallon’s fingertips.

Brendan Gibbons made his fourth field goal of the game for the Wolverines, this time from 29 yards.

 

 

Michigan hurried its field goal team onto the field with the seconds ticking down on fourth down and Brendan Gibbons made a remarkable 44-yard kick after, perhaps, a more remarkable hold by Drew Dileo.

Dileo ran onto the field and slid into position to hold for Gibbons with no time left.

Michigan made two critical fourth-down conversions during that drive to stay alive.

Michigan and Northwestern are tied, 9-9, and headed to overtime.

Michigan had a chance to tie the game, but opted to go for it on fourth down deep in Northwestern territory.

But quarterback Devin Gardner was hit hard for no gain by Chi Chi Ariguzo and turned the ball over on downs with about five minutes left in the game.

Michigan has had two scoring opportunities in the fourth quarter and failed both times.

Northwestern continues to lead, 9-6, with just more than three minutes left.

 

Michigan was given phenomenal field position off a shanked Northwestern punt in the fourth quarter, but the Wolverines have settled for a field goal.

The Wolverines’ defense had pinned Northwestern at its 3-yard line and the shanked punt gave Michigan the ball at the 10-yard line.

But in four plays, Michigan was credited with minus-1 yard.

The Wolverines trail, 9-6, with 11:45 left after Brendan Gibbons’ 28-yard field goal.

Michigan is trying to break a two-game losing streak and move to .500 on the road this season.

 

Michigan’s defense came up with a big stop in the waning seconds of the first half, holding Northwestern to a field goal to end the half.

Northwestern leads, 6-3, on this gloomy, rainy, windy Saturday afternoon at Ryan Field.

Michigan’s only score came on a 25-yard field goal by Brendan Gibbons.

Northwestern scored on field goals of 40 and 22 yards by Jeff Budzien.

The Wildcats had reached the Michigan 4-yard line, but on third down after each team took a timeout, Michigan’s Frank Clark stopped quarterback Kain Colter for a loss of a yard.  That forced the field goal.

Michigan had 120 offensive yards in the first half, and the good news for the Wolverines is they have positive rushing yards. They were credited with minus-69 yards the last two games but have 40 rushing yards so far.

Interestingly, although coach Brady Hoke this week said lead back Fitz Toussaint is “the guy” for the Wolverines, he hasn’t had a touch in this game.  Toussaint is in uniform and on the sideline.

The carries have gone to freshmen Derrick Green and De’Veon Smith — Green has averaged 3.9 yards a carry for his seven carries, and Smith has averaged 4.3 on his three carries.  Justice Hayes also has been in the game and had a four-yard reception.

Devin Gardner, who took a combined 14 sacks the last two games, has been sacked once.

But the Michigan offense remains troubled. The Wolverines are 0-of-5 on third down.

The Michigan defense has stopped Northwestern in critical spots. In the first quarter, the Wildcats drove to the Michigan 23-yard line but settled for a field goal.

 

Michigan and Northwestern are tied, 3-3, after the first quarter at Ryan Field.

Michigan is trying to snap a two-game losing streak while trying to get to .500 on the road this season.

Brendan Gibbons made a 25-yard field goal for the Wolverines, and Jeff Budzien made a 40-yarder for the Wildcats.

The Wolverines, who had -69 yards rushing the last two games, had 46 yards on 12 carries in the first quarter against Northwestern. Lead back Fitz Toussaint is on the sideline but has not yet played. Freshmen Derrick Green and De’Veon Smith have carried the rushing load.

Green had six carries for 24 yards and Smith had three carries for 13.

Michigan’s defense contained Northwestern during its opening drive of the second quarter, but Michigan just missed wide right on a 51-yard attempt by Matt Wile.

 

Michigan wasn’t able to stop Northwestern on fourth down, but the defense did enough to force the Wildcats to kick a field goal.

Jeff Budzien made a 40-yard field goal with the wind to tied the game, 3-3, with 2:47 left in the first quarter on a windy, grey day at Ryan Field.

Michigan scored on its opening drive, a field goal by Brendan Gibbons. The Wolverines relied on freshmen tailbacks Derrick Green and De’Veon Smith to handle the carries in that drive.

The Wolverines are hoping to stop a two-game losing streak. They are 1-2 on the road this season.

 

Michigan debuted somewhat of a new look in the running game in its opening series at Northwestern.

Freshmen Derrick Green and De’Veon Smith combined for six carries in a 12-play drive that ended with a 25-yard field goal by Brendan Gibbons to give Michigan a 3-0 lead.

Lead tailback Fitz Toussaint is on the sideline but did not run the ball the first series.

Green had four carries for 12 yards, while Smith had two carries for 12.

Michigan opened the drive with big pass plays to Jeremy Gallon and Devin Funchess.

 

 

Michigan fans, you are not alone in your displeasure with the offense and the play-calling.

Desmond Howard, an ESPN GameDay analyst and former Wolverine and Heisman Trophy winner, said that while the youth of the Wolverines should be acknowledged, at this stage of the season, it is time to out-coach opponents.

He pointed his criticism at Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges.

“We understand the glaring issues you have, but when you’re the third-highest paid coordinator in the country, you’re paid to figure it out, and you’re paid to figure it out against teams like the Northwesterns, even against a Nebraska, who they lost to last week,” Howard said Saturday morning on GameDay.

“They have the talent. I think (quarterback Devin) Gardner is a talented quarterback if you give him time. I don’t think anyone can man up Devin Funchess, the tight end/wide receiver, or (receiver) Jeremy Gallon. And Fitz Toussaint is an excellent runnig back, but the coordinators, (Greg) Mattison, Borges and (head coach Brady) Hoke, at some point, you have to start out-scheming people because this (losing) has to end.”

Howard was asked if he believes Borges, the nation’s third-highest paid offensive coordinator, should be replaced.

“I didn’t say he needs to be replaced, I said he needs to start figuring out, start out-scheming his opponent to justify his check,” Howard said.

Michigan has lost three of its last four games, including the last two.

The Wolverines, 1-2 on the road this season, play at Northwestern today. The Wildcats are winless in the Big Ten.

“We know what’s wrong with Michigan — it’s obvious, they’re one of the youngest teams in the country, there’s no doubt about That, and they can not block up front in the middle from the guard to guard area,” Howard said. “But with that being said, at some point, you have to out-coach your opponent, you have to out-scheme your opponent.”

Detroit’s bankruptcy judge said Friday he would rule later whether the city is eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy relief.

A decision is not likely for days from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes, who set a Wednesday deadline for additional briefings from lawyers representing the city, unions, retirees and pension funds.

Rhodes listened to nine days of testimony and arguments during a trial involving the biggest municipal bankruptcy case in U.S. history. The case is being closely watched around the country for its possible implications on the municipal bond market and other struggling cities.

Detroit’s legal team Friday argued the city is eligible for Chapter 9 relief and should be spared the chaos of coping with $18 billion in debt outside bankruptcy court.

Objectors, including unions, pension funds and retiree groups, spent hours delivering closing arguments and labeled the bankruptcy filing unconstitutional because it would slash pensions. They also argued the July 18 bankruptcy was not properly authorized and came after Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr failed to negotiate concessions in good faith.

Updates have ended

View our archived coverage of Detroit bankruptcy case goes nuclear -- literally.

Birmingham – As the light faded on the Dream Cruise Saturday night, Woodward reminded me of one of those rivers you see in nature films.
The wide avenue proves irresistible for thirsty predators that swim the tributary waiting for an innocent impala to wander unsuspectedly into their path. You know. Impalas.
There it is in the middle of your picture. A common, 2006-era Chevy Impala. Surrounded by a pack of snarling, hungry beasts: Two Camaros, a Mustang, an Acura NSX, a Firebird.
Poor thing. Has it any idea what it has stumbled into? I wonder what happened to that Impala . . .

Royal Oak – Scratch the paint of some cars in the Cruise and the history runs deeper than mere modifications.
Phil O’Reilly’s 1947 Ford Super Deluxe roadster is a looker with its bright red paint, white ragtop, modified 302 V8, and dramatic white scallops running back from the chrome grille. But turn back the pages of history and the ’47 Ford is reminder of a nation – and a Detroit – that was transformed by war.
“The 1946-1948 models were the first cars that Ford produced coming out of World War II,” says Reilly, who now lives in Pinckney. “Ford had ceased auto production during the war to make airplanes and other vehicles to fight Nazi Germany.”
Reilly was just 10 years old in 1946 when his car was built. His father had just moved to Michigan from Youngstown, Ohio where he too had been consumed by the war effort by manufacturing steel for military use.
Bill grew up to be a successful, 37-year veteran of Ford’s powertrain development division. He has amassed an impressive car collection, including a 1923 Ford Model T, a ’56 Porsche Speedster, a ’64 Cobra, a 2004 308 Ferrari, and a 2006 Ford GT.
But that ’47 Ford. It’s a reminder of the fires this country has endured to enjoy a Saturday on Woodward.

Just a few observations gleaned while driving 3 mph on M-1 during the Woodward Dream Cruise.
I wonder how many of those orange signs are going to be stolen? The ones that tell drivers to drive only classic cruisers in the right two lanes. They have to be collectors items, right?
Or the sign reading “Do not block driveway” on a barricade that was blocking the driveway.
Or the guy who stopped his diamond blue Plymouth Valiant in the right lane of northbound Woodward (completely blocking traffic) as he sprinted to a port-a-potty on the berm in front of the Shrine of the Little Flower Elementary School. Hey, when you gotta go, you gotta go!
magicbagI don’t know if they simply grew weary of the war or just finally accepted their fate, but the marquee on the Magic Bag (on Woodward, just north of Nine Mile) didn’t contain snarky messages about what a pain in the asphalt the WDC is for them.
That’s the first time that’s happened in years.
Worst parking spot. Three cars were parked on the shoulder of northbound Woodward on the incline from the I-696 overpass. I thought maybe they were broken down, but they all seemed to know each other, their hoods and trunks were open for inspection and they were sipping cold ones while sitting in folding chairs.

Optimized-mustanghistoryBrian and Lisa Sams and their daughter Brianna, 3, traveled to Mustang Alley in Ferndale to show off a very special car. On the outside it may not look like much, but their Mustang served as a Florida State Police patrol car from June 1989 to February 1993 and was driven by the first female state trooper of the year.
“We got it from a guy who got it from the auction,” said Brian Sams, of Darlington, Md. “Originally, we bought it to race, but when we found out it had a lot of police history, we decided to keep it as was.”
The Sams’ Mustang was among 1,160 parked at Mustang Alley on East Nine between Woodward and the train tracks.

There are quite a few rare vehicles cruising Woodward today, but Ithica resident Joe Barden probably has the rarest of them all … a 1923 Meteor hearse.
And it’s all original equipment, including the incredibly beautiful and exquisitely hand-carved wooden body.hearse1
Barden is the fourth generation director of the Barden Funeral Home, established in 1902 with Joe’s son set to take over as generation No. 5.
“There are only three 1923 Meteor hearses and the other two are in a museum and not likely to see the light of day,” Barden said. “I have family photos that show that this  hearse is exactly the same as the one my great grandfather bought so many years ago.”
Barden has a friend who specializes in finding and restoring antique hearses, the kind put into storage and then are just sort of forgotten about.
“My friend found this one in a barn down in Texas,” Barden said. “He snapped it up because he knew I was interested in this kind thing. It wasn’t running so he had to restore it, which took about 10 years.”
The reason it took so long is because it was important to keep the hearse as original as possible.
“Back when these machines were made, they painted everything except the tires,” Barden said. “When I got it, it was covered with silver paint. We stripped the paint and found that beautiful original woodword. The wood is a combination of cherry, maple, oak and walnut.”
The hearse was built in Piqua, Ohio, and the list price back in 1923 was about $1,800.
“I would imagine it’s worth considerably more than that now,” Barden said. “This is the third time I’ve driven it in the Dream Cruise. Just one complete circuit because I don’t want to wear it out. Ithica is about 30 miles north of Lansing, so I trailer it here.”
And it’s possible to drive this, the hearse of your dreams.
Barden rents the hearse out for $750 to car buffs, woodworkers or as a gift for someone’s granddad.
“Of course they have to learn how to drive it first,” Barden said. “It starts with a crank; it’s a stick shift and the throttle is on the steering column.”
And yes, Barden has used it for the occasional funeral.
“As long as the funeral is local because I don’t want to drive it too far,” he said. “Think of it as the last cruise you’ll ever take.”

 

Optimized-raffle1A man from Sterling Heights won the one-of-a-kind convertible version of the 50th anniversary Mustang being auctioned off by Ford Motor Co. in Mustang Alley in Ferndale.

Each raffle ticket cost $20 and around 30,000 were sold, helping Ford raise nearly $600,000 for multiple sclerosis research.

“No matter who wins this tonight, we’re all winners because of what we’ve given to this cause,” said Dave Pericak, chief engineer for the Mustang.

Barbara Williams loves the Mustang. photo(3)

“It’s one of my favorite cars,” the Comanche, Texas, resident said. “My husband when we met had a 1965 Mustang.”

Williams checked out Mustang Alley on Dream Cruise Saturday with her daughter, Doe Williams, and her 9-month old granddaughter, Fable, both of Lafayette, La. She and her husband picked them up along the way to Detroit.

“It’s the first time we’ve had the whole family here,” said Doe. “It’s been a lot of fun. We all have different favorites so were trying to fit them all in.”

Many of the 40,000-plus classic cars expected to cruise Woodward look scary good. But one car in Pontiac was flat-out terrifying.
Around the corner from Erabus, once the world’s largest haunted house, organizers had a quite a creepy cruiser made out to look like the head of a screaming man with his hair on fire.Optimized-erebus1
“That would be a little bit nerve-racking seeing that coming down the road at you,” said June Hadley, who drove down to Pontiac from Flint.
With eyes popping of of his head and seats inside of his open mouth, the car caused the same affect on many Dream Cruise spectators.
“If they wanted to commit murder that would be one way to do it. I mean look at those eyes,” said Mike Hinkle of Rochester Hills, noting the installed headlamps.
The car also frightened Kimberly Cutcher of Gibsonburg, Ohio.
“If you saw those lights coming at you in the dark…” she said. “I say ‘Noooo!’ I would be like Fred Sanford, ‘I’m coming to join you, honey.'”
But Erabus, one of the top haunts in the country, specializes in scares. The four-story haunted house, which opened its doors in 2000, held the title of world’s longest walk-through haunted attraction from 2005 to 2009 in the Guiness Book of World Records.
Even still, after seeing some one taking the car for a spin around the Loop, Cutcher said she needed to get a picture before heading home.
“I’ve been trying to catch it on Woodward and I said ‘where’d it go,’ and around here and I said ‘There it is there it is it’s the car.”

Two wheels or four wheels?

That’s the decision Mary Lou and Gary Cochran have had to answer every night this week before cruising. The married motor heads own a classic Pontiac GTO and two jaw-dropping Harley motorcycles. Decision, decisions.

This day, they chose the Harleys. You thought the Dream Cruise was just about celebrating muscle cars? Let’s hear it for muscle bikes.Optimized-Hog_GaryC

“Forget GM, Ford and Chrysler,” says Gary as he straddled his ’73 Harley shovel-head. “There is only one company that can get owners to tattoo their name on their bodies.”

Amen, brother.

The Cochrans and their fellow hogs (have you ever seen just one?) cruise Birmingham in bikes so spotless you could eat your dinner off of them.

Mary Lou’s ride is a 2009 Crossbones soft-tail complete with leather saddle bags and skull and crossbones tattooed on the gas tank. So these hogs only have two-cylinders? Rev them and they sound like they could peel paint off an oil drum.

The bikers are as sensitive about bike brands as muscle car owners are about cars. A quick primer from Gary for four-wheelers like yours truly:
“Ducati is the Ferrari of motorcycles; Harleys are American muscle; and you meet the nicest people on a Honda.”Optimized-Hog_MaryLousC

Xavier Young knew when he saw the 1938 Plymouth Coupe being towed down Woodward at the Dream Cruise last year that he wanted the car.

So he made a deal on the spot and traded the car he had with him, a 1970 Nova, for the junky classic in gray primer paint.Optimized-death2

A year later, and the gray is gone, replaced by “the Red Pearl,” a pirate motif and three gravestones to honor his deceased parents and sister.

“I’ve been going the last 20 years and I’ve been here in this same spot,” the 66-year-old Oak Park resident said as he and his family sat along Woodward near 9 1/2 mile. “As long as I can breathe, I’ll be here.”

Scott White was one of the unlucky Warren homeowners whose basement flooded after Monday’s epic storms. But he didn’t let that stop him from coming out to cruise with his wife, Wilma, and their 1957 Chevrolet Belair.
“I came out every night except Monday and Tuesday,” he said. “I’ve been here since 7 a.m.”
White got the car 21 years ago and he and his son, Eric, worked on the car together. Eric is in the Coast Guard so he didn’t make it back for the cruise, but other family members came out with the couple.
“It’s clean, free fun,” said Wilma White.
Added Scott White: “It’s not as much about the cars as it is seeing the people and spending time together.”

Optimized-photo

When Tony Brandys served in the Army in Vietnam, he’d always wanted to come home and buy a Pontiac GTO.

“The GTO, in my opinion, was a Vietnam veteran’s car because we all wanted those when we came home,” he said.

About 10 years ago, Brandys, 67, of Chicago, had that dream fulfilled when he bought a 1966 Pontiac GTO in California.Optimized-gto2

Brandys has been coming to the Woodward Dream Cruise ever year since, but this time, he made it his mission to turn his muscle car into a tribute for veterans and those who never made it home from the war.

The ’66 GTO matches the model year that Brandys was drafted. It was decorated with a stuffed Tiger wearing army fatigues on the roof, several war paintings inside, statuettes of Vietnam memorials and a model helicopter of those that he rode in during military convoys resting on his tri-power engine.

“It’s been the dream come true,” said Brandys, who wore his old dog tags and a shirt that read: “You will never be forgotten.”

“I chose today to make this trip especially with my partner with them for all those who couldn’t be here who are on that wall. It’s really special for me to do something for the guys who never had a chance like I did.”

Brandys had several families come up to him with children wanting to pose inside with the tiger, but there was also fellow Vietnam veteran who greeted him to which to replied:

“Welcome home, brother.”

The lovely Detroit Pride Cheerleaders can normally be found around the Lions’ stadium on game days, lending their talents to Cheli’s Chili Bar and other venues. But Saturday, they brought their curves to compliment the curvy sheet metal on Woodward Avenue.Optimized-Cheerleaders_Cruise

At 13 Mile, they headline the WDTW-FM (106.7) (the station that “rocks Detroit”) display while handing out their own rockin’ swimsuit calendar. The 106.7 venue is amply endowed with Challengers, Camaro’s, and Pontiac GTOs – and the girls confirmed they get weak in the knees for American muscle. A topless V8 really gets their pom-poms shaking.

A quick poll of their favorites:

Jen – A yellow 1974 Dodge Charger
Alyssa – L’il Red Express Chrysler pickup hot rod with dual semi-pipes and a 360-cid V8
Bianca – ’56 Chevy Bel Air
Alisha – 1970 Dodge Challenger
Jessica – Any Olds Cutlass
Liz – 1970 Plymouth Road Runner
Bri – Any Dodge Charger will do

Optimized-Jen_Charger

Jen picked this Charger.

These gals know their stuff. Detroit pride, indeed.

This will change the Dream Cruise. Forever.

Line lock – a fully automated burnout mode – will come standard on the Ford 2015 Mustang GT. That’s right, Burnouts for Dummies. No more fussing with the brake pedal. No more fears the rear end will slew you into your neighbor.

Now you can effortlessly spin your tires to dust while creating plumes of smoke the size of western wildfires (as Mustang Chief Engineer Dave Pericak demonstrated to Mustang faithful at Ford’s proving grounds this week).

Motorheads, explains Car & Driver, “once used a solenoid-actuated valve plumbed into the vehicle’s hydraulic braking system. (Such) line-locks kept full brake pressure on the front wheels while leaving the rears free to spin.”

Ford’s new electronic line-lock system delivers the same result with an electronic stability-control hydraulic unit to keep the front wheels pinned down while the rears smoke away. It’s part of the new ‘Stang’s Track Apps suite—which includes launch control and an acceleration timer.

Ford says the “electronic line-lock for 2015 Mustang GT is intended for use only on racetracks.” Sure. Tell that to the Cruisers.

Royal Oak – We’re corrupting the Italians one by one.

First Sergio Marchionne decides to build a Maserati SUV on the Jeep Grand Cherokee platform, now Fiat North America Manufacturing Chief Mauro Pino is driving a 1960 Chrysler Imperial in the Cruise.

The car-honking, back-slapping, cigar-chomping Pino ha