ATLANTA THRASHERS @ DETROIT RED WINGS
7:30 -- Joe Louis Arena
Thrashers: 10-7-3 (23 pts), 12th in East | Wings: 11-7-4 (26 pts), 10th in West
Thrashers blog of choice: Bird Watchers Anonymous
Perhaps this is too broad of an observation, and perhaps it is in fact wrong, but it seems to me that the Red Wings have stayed relatively safe from the Injury Bug over the years compared to everyone else. There was the '07 postseason, but that debacle can be blamed more on an errand turd goal, because I'm petty. Other than that, just about every other playoff exit can be attributed to the Wings simply being out-played. Or out-Giguere'd. Or out-Roloson'd.
Then came Shea Weber.
February 28, 2009. Andreas Lilja is miraculously having a very un-Lilja-like year on a loaded Wings squad whose only problem is defense. The thought of us liking Lilja is still beyond comprehension. If I were in a coma from 2008 to 2025 and you tried explaining this concept to me, I would give you the dismissive jerking motion and go back to watching "2019: The NHL's Final Season" on the History Channel.
So, Lilja and Weber get tangled up in the corner. Without a bonafide heavyweight, Lilja has commendably taken up the role of enforcer/tough guy for this Wings team. A fight ensues, and as you are well aware, it didn't end well. If only this game had taken place one day later in the mysterious twilight zone of Leap Year, it would have all been a bad, bad dream. (Still looking into how "leap years" work. Will have to get back to you on that.)
Never in your wildest dreams did you think that this would set off a chain of injury-filled events like we've seen during this calendar year. I'll show you what I mean.
I have uncovered a secret plot from the Hockey Gods, which was mistakenly left at a Denny's by my house about a month ago. It was table #13; Steve Chiasson got the Meat Lover's Scramble and in the hoopla of trying to leave exactly 15% for the waitress, he dropped something. Thank goodness this didn't fall into the feeble hands of a Dater or Eklund, or else you might not take this as seriously as you should. I've pieced everything together with the best of my ability.
Shea Weber was born on August 14, 1985. The woman that he came out of, or "his mother" if you prefer, is named Tracy. A simple Google image search of Tracy+Weber yielded among other things this picture.
Thanks to The Triple Deke's Genetics Analysis division, we were able to determine that the woman in the middle -- next to what is probably Corey Feldman -- is Tracy Weber. Details within the picture reveal that she was a part of a ruthless gang of black market drug merchants who specialized in dealing Diprivan, a hypnotic drug used for sedation. Not only has Shea Weber withheld his mother's secret his entire life, he himself is no stranger to the drug, as you can see here:
(From left to right: Alfonso Ribiero, Weber, some guy, Patrick Kane)
Weber's reputation has grown with each year that he's been in the NHL. Now known as one of the West's more prolific blue liners, he is noted for having a booming slap shot that ranks up there with the league's best. But as I have found out, his on-ice implementation of Dirprivan is actually just making everyone and everything else around him seem slower by comparison. Outside of an NHL rink, Weber cannot summon a slap shot that would penetrate a pane of glass. His self-conscious nature has led him to performance dehancers (shut up, it's a word), which he utilizes on his enemies to comparatively enhance his own worth. Exhibit 'A': back to the Lilja fight. We have highlighted a small vile of the drug which Weber had converted to gaseous form the night before.
You might argue that it appears to be a clump of Lilja's jersey that Weber is holding. I would argue that you are a naive fuck.
Weber handily won the fight, but in the process he poisoned Lilja and potentially ruined a career. Lilja hasn't seen the ice since due to post concussion syndromes. But is that all? Was that the end of Weber's destructive plot? Of course not.
As we have read, Lilja hasn't strayed too far away from the Wings' locker room during his recovery. He likes to be "one of the guys" and be around them as much as he can. Unbeknownst to the big oaf is the biological warfare that he has inadvertently contributed to. Without proper detoxification he has been emitting the gaseous poison in the form of evaporated sweat since early March. For eight months now he has slowly been weakening his teammates and making them susceptible to injury. Think back to the playoffs:
Kris Draper: torn neck cartilage .... Brian Rafalski: herniated disc .... Pavel Datsyuk: charley horse, foot injury .... Henrik Zetterberg: wrist injury .... Dan Cleary: severe groin pull .... Marian Hossa: reconstructive vaginal surgery .... Nick Lidstrom: Patrick Sharp likes balls ....
It has no doubt carried into this season as Franzen, Osgood, Maltby, Filppula, Helm, Eaves, Williams, Datsyuk, and now Kronwall have missed time due to injury or illness, and it's only November. It's only going to get worse. From what I can tell, the sequential ordering of the injuries will snipe each individual player once a week for the next few months until we are left with only one.
And his name, of course, is Todd Bertuzzi. Many of us have wondered aloud how an organization that has made so many shrewd and successful decisions over the last 20 years could succumb to putting this waste of talent in a system that thrives on hard work and team defense. Well it is clear to me that it isn't their fault. No way could they accept this. Make no mistake that Bertuzzi came to a Detroit straight from a saucer pod flown by the ghost of Bill Barilko.
Shea Weber was put in place to hatch this crazy plan by the unforgiving Hockey Gods after we bought too many championships and blamed Bettman for everything. And now we will be left with nothing but Bertuzzi's toothless smile and a tee time come April.
Lord help us all.