June 15, 2009

The Last One

Stanley Cup Finals, Game 7
Penguins 2-1 Red Wings

Hello again.

Over two days later and the shock hasn't faded all that much. There's still a tiny part of me that thinks the NHL's zany schedule will reveal that there is still a Game 8 to play in Kosovo or something.

I'm guessing that the "moving on" process won't really start until after Free Agency begins and we start to focus in on next season. During the last two days it's been good having a lot of stuff to do, but during any down time I've had, I've only been thinking about Kronner hitting the crossbar and Lidstrom being one healthy nut away from jumping on that lose puck a little quicker. I know I can't be the only one out there who spent at least some of the weekend thinking about another man's balls.

But let's curb the nut talk for a second though. Game 7, like it or not, was the biggest game of the year, and that puddle of piss that I left on the blog Friday night isn't going to be our only acknowledgement of it. It gets the colored scoreboard treatment at the top of the post just like all of the other games. And here's some thoughts ...

  • I'm pleasantly shocked that Brad Stuart isn't being completely cremated by Wings fans everywhere. Granted I've been a little shy about venturing too far into the Internet the last two days, but from what I've seen, nobody is calling for his head. I thought I'd turn on the computer and see every other comment or post devoted to how Stuart lost us the game and how he should be strapped to a rocket and sent to Jupiter. I'm glad this isn't the case. Now, this may be confusing if you were one of the people who watched the game with me, seeing as how I all but vowed to burn his house down and eat his children -- but while I was a little .... annoyed .... with his blunders in Game 7, they didn't cost us the game. The Pens only put two goals past Ozzie, and if Kris Draper and Jonathan Ericsson were the Wings' only goal scorers over the last two games, then they didn't deserve to win the Cup.
  • It was a sickening feeling through most of the first two periods when the Wings were about as out-of-sync as they've ever been. They never got over that turnover bug that caused so many miscues in the defensive end. The combination of the Pens' forecheck and the Wings' neglect to support the D men at times was fatal, and essentially gave the rest of the league a blue print on how to nullify the Wings' transition game. Not that that's an easy thing to execute, of course.
  • For all of the reasons that anyone wanted the Wings to win this series, I wanted it so we could (hopefully) see Ozzie win the Conn Smythe in front of the home crowd. The roar from hearing his name announced would've been legendary. Hudler would've skipped his bizzare clucking routine and probably would've started making out with him.
  • Nobody needs surgery, which is good news. But still, the much anticipated injury report was extermely interesting. Raf had a herniated disk, unveiling the mystery as to why he missed time during the Anaheim series. Draper had torn neck cartilage (I can't remember if we wrote it or not, but after we went to Game 1 against the Ducks and saw Drapes take the pregame skate with a turtleneck, we speculated to each other that he had some neck issue, and not a concussion like some people thought.) Cleary played with a "significant" groin injury that would've shelved him during the regular season, and Pav had a charley horse to go with his foot injury. I also read that Z was playing at about 70%. As of right now I have yet to see anything about Hossa, which is a surprise to me.
  • There are certain images -- good and bad -- as a Detroit sports fan that will stick with me forever: Sheed leaving Robert Horry open in Game 5 of the 2005 NBA Finals; Maggs' effortless follow-through on his homer that sent the Tigers to the World Series; Z fending off Crosby at the side of the net on "The Kill"; and a few others. After this series, there's a new one to add to my brain's photo album: Niklas Kronwall.

Just look at that. 100% devastation.
Nothing else has to be said.

  • I don't know what to think of Marian Hossa right now. I don't want to commit one way or another just yet, because there has to be a logical explanation for what happened to him. I want to know how a guy who doesn't appear in any post-postseason injury reports could suddenly lose his ability to drive through the neutral zone like a train and get a shot anytime he wanted one. There was almost none of that over the last month. Seriously -- how the fuck? How in the living fuck does this happen? Was it nerves? You can't honestly blame a lack of desire, right? He made an entire city hate him and risked his financial future by turning down gobs of money for a one year contract, and the reward for that was right in front of him. There has to be some sort of explanation for this. It's driving me insane.
  • The Wings' tendency this game was not to drive to the net, but instead peel off to the corner and gaze back at the slot and ignore any possible rebounds. Fleury was spectacular, but the Wings helped him out by not making him uncomfortable in the slightest.
  • The handshake line: I honestly care about it that much. To quote Datsyuk, I feel nothing right now. I feel empty. To conjure up any amount of disgust over a fucking post-series handshake would be a significant reach. Maybe the whole thing was a little rushed, maybe Crosby wasn't in a hurry to go through the line, and maybe I don't really give a shit.
  • Wings fans booing Crosby's injury: I'm making an assumption here, so it's going to come off as rather dick-ish: You couldn't convince me in a million years that if the same thing happened to Hossa at Mellon Arena that the fans wouldn't cheer their asses off. Not in a million years. I'm not justifying it, but I find the discussion of the "classlessness" of it all to be a little tiresome.


I'm extremely proud of this team. I started this paragraph about 10 different ways, but that's all I keep coming back to. I don't know what else to add to it. I'm just amazed at how they played through all the injuries and picked each other up when they needed to. That's what's great about hockey players -- they just play through everything without making excuses. It's not just a Red Wings thing. I can't comprehend how they do it, but every year they do it, and it never stops being amazing.


Rosser said...

I wonder after Friday what is the general expectation of people for the next season...or is it too early to think about it?


Anonymous said...

I totally agree about the Hossa thing. I have pondered it for awhile. The only explanation that comes to my pea-brain is that maybe the Russian mafia is blackmailing him. Hey, it makes as much sense as any other theory I've heard.

The Red Wings are the class act of the NHL. Go Wings.


Chris said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Triple Deke Staff said...

@ Rosser: I know I speak for Brent when I say that next season feels light years away. I'm still aimlessly walking around in a fog wondering how they could've looked so sloppy for most of that game. I think for the first time in a long time, the Detroit Red Wings looked nervous. My only thought on next season is that, regardless of how talented the team looks on paper, think of how physically demanding the Stanley Cup Playoffs are over the course of ONE season -- and then try picture the Wings making it back to the Finals, which would mean four straight playoff runs that went at least three rounds. That's a tall order no matter how good your team is.

@ Tram: I can't believe I left out the possibility of blackmail. It's so obvious. And It's even more obvious that Mario Lemieux has photos of Hossa making out with one of Tyler Kennedy's already-licked sticks.

@ Chris: You're on man. When the tour of our book "10 ways that Bob Rouse saved the NHL" makes it through GR, you'll hear from us.

- Tyler

RT said...

So this is the first hockey related thing that I've emotionally been able to read since black friday. Can we start a recovery group for this or something?

hockeychic said...

I am proud of this team too. Having to get piled on at work today is not exactly fun but at least I can remind the Avs fans here just where their team was in the playoffs this year.

Sigh, it really doesn't provide that much comfort though.

cmk said...

Anyone who has gone through childbirth and living with a colicky baby for MONTHS, knows that no amount of WILL or DESIRE can make up for pure exhaustion. And I think that was a big part of the problem. The mental mistakes that one makes when being so tired are ENORMOUS--I know. And I can't even imagine getting out of bed while suffering the injuries they had--not to mention the 'normal' bumps and bruises that come with playing the game--much less doing what they do. Believe me, while in childbirth, I wanted to do nothing more than rip my husband's face off, but couldn't do anything more than whimper!

It was a good year and I can't wait for next--can't come soon enough for me.

Bella said...

I agree with absolutely everything in this post, even with the obsessing about Lidas' testicle this weekend. (But not in a puck bunny-ish way). Thanks for making me laugh all season long; you guys are awesome.

Go Wings!

patleb940 said...

I totally share your pain. It would have been so cool to see Ozzy win the Conn Smythe! Well, at least we're gonna be competitive for a few more years to come with all the long term contratcts...

Anonymous said...

Lets see... Excuses Excuses Excuses. Can Detroit possibly whine about anything else. Let me guess, every player was playing with a torn MCL like gonchar has since the Capitals series. An MCL that sounds quite important.. Was this Detroin injury report thought up so they would have something to blame the loss on? Every team that goes through the playoffs gets beat up, thats just how hockey works and thats what makes playoffs playoffs. It seperates the teams who want it from the teams who dont quite want it bad enough. And signing zetterberg and franzen to those long term deals, especially the zetterberg one was absolutely retarded. The people for the wings who make that decission must be the same ones who run GM up there. Or should i say ran.. So from the city of champions to the city of detroit also known as... The City of whinners, The City of Unemployment, and The City formerly known as the motor city, All i have to say is At least the third world countries have some red tshirts instead of black ones so its not as hot for them in the sun. And i would also like to point out that in that journey song, the lyrics are about getting the hell out of Detroit. It real funny when ya'll sing it. But we the city of champions leave you with this.... No jobs, No cars, No cup

Osrt said...

There was bound to be a classless comment. Oh well.

Thanks for the great year of laughs, posts, and pictures of Brent tickling my ass at the Joe. That was great, we should do that again.

We were right about Draper's neck, as was Malik, after watching him take warmups. Must have been scary to think that he could have choked at any moment.

Anyways, good luck staying STD-free at State Tyler, and I'll see you around in the off-season bitches.