I feel a complete sense of relief tonight like I finally slept well or had a swig of water on a hot day. Last night's game, may have been anti-climactic but a relief none the less. The product on the ice surprised me. Forgetting the turnovers and the too many passes and even forgetting the win. Not to oversell it but after last nights game I honestly felt that the world made a little more sense. If I were writing this blog for TV Guide, it would have been a cheers instead of a jeers from me.
Have you ever seen the Chippendale's Dance-Off sketch on Saturday Night Live? In the sketch (guest host) Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley play Adrian and Barney. Two men auditioning to be Chippendale's dancers. As the music begins its clear, even before they dance, that these are 2 very different men and 2 very different dancers. Adrian (Swayze; mulletted but chiseled) and Barney (Farley, coked up and self-deprecating) are the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs respectively.
Wilson proved himself to me last night. Not only honoring the Wings and his Uncle, who was one of the guys behind Mr. Hockey and the other guy carrying the banner last night, but for honoring winning itself.
What better way to show our new, young, team, finally free of that apathetic stink of entitlement, what winning, real winning looks like. I don't even care if Wilson made them all sit and watch Clockwork Orange-style. Zetterberg, Lidstrom and Gordie Howie? To those of you concerned that Luke Schenn shouldn't be on the big club don't you think that's exactly what we want him exposed to?
A few HS/HS 'atta boys to mention of course. First and foremost to our future Captain, Luke Schenn, who in his 17+ big boy minutes never looked out of place once and never warranted a Cory Cross sphincter clench (other-wise-known-as Aki-Ass). Another 'atta-boy to Dominic Moore who hustled like a guy having fun playing hockey. Another 'atta boy to Jonas Frogren, not just for his assist but for making me mentally compare him to Robert Svehla after his hit in the first. Another 'atta boy for Tlusty for looking like he knows where to place himself to create chances. And even though Greener is right that the Grabovski line is 33% too Euro, they looked determined to me and made our 1st line look bored and sluggish (Is it just me or does Poni seem out of place on the team?) Another 'atta boy to Kubina for looking like the leader of this team. And to Kulemin for not only stealing that pass and going in alone, but for having, what my people call the cajones to score, a real beauty, in his first NHL game.
'Atta frigin boy.
I know this will sound insane and perhaps a tad premature considering this is game 1 - but I don't think I have ever been as proud to be a fan of this team as I was last night. I hope that sounds sincere because it is. We may lose every game from here on out - but I enjoyed watching hockey last night and I haven't felt that for a long time. I don't even mind losing with these players. They played like instead of looking for a finish line, they were concentrating on their 30 seconds. And when determination usurps ego, as it did in last night's game, you're gonna win.
Great goaltending as per the usual with Toskala also helps tremendously.
I'm not quite sure what the exact opposite of an HS/HS 'atta-boy is: perhaps a knee to the groin or pink eye. Whatever it is, I offer it to the powers that be at the NHL for Def Leppard. I mean really? Def Leppard. Are you sure? I won't even get into the lead singer taking our most treasured possesion, the holy grail, Lord Stanley's cup and placing it upside down on that specially made Def Leppard podium, I won't even get into the drummer with the one arm or that Phil Collins is in this band. It's Def Leppard.
You know how I knew the NHL was gay? Cos they booked Def Leppard for their big opening night. One last 'atta boy to Gary Bettman for having his finger on the pulse of the nation. I heard he's trying to get Stryper for the Heritage Game.