Thursday, April 15, 2010

Well, Wasn't That Special?

And by "special" I mean "a gigantic shit storm of shit and assholery." The Wings managed to blow two leads and let the Desert Dogs stomp all over them like a bunch of stiletto-wearing dominatrixes (dominatrixi?) at an Asian massage conference and bondage party. I don't know about you, but it made me throw up a little. Shane Doan made me throw up a lot.

Maybe this is what I get for not giving a rat's ass about a hockey team forced to play in the middle of the fucking desert, but until last night I had no idea that the Phoenix Coyotes were the illegitimate demon-child spawned when the Anaheim Ducks assraped the Philadelphia Flyers in the shadows of the Ben Franklin Bridge. To say the little fucks played dirty uses one of my favorite words in an entirely unfortunate manner. But even worse than the dirty play of the Dogs was the absolute incompetence of the reffing staff. The blind dog down the block from my house saw a Phoenix stick open up Nick Lidstrom's lip, but the official who was being paid to watch the play around the puck at the Perfect Human's feet apparently missed it. Right. Whatever. Wings fans are paranoid conspiracy theorists who should know better than to expect a fair call at a hockey game, especially one graced with the presence of our noble commissioner, Ms. Gary.ass Bettman. We ought to realize that in order to win in the playoffs, we don't need to just beat our opponent, we need to beat the officials as well. So be it. We've done it before, and we can do it again.

What we can't do again is let ourselves be intimidated by a team that refuses to play the clean game we were obviously dumb enough to expect. The Wings had a perfectly good 1st Period, not outstanding mind you, but perfectly adequate to come away with a win. Unfortunately, the longer the game went on and the harder and more physical the Dogs played, the more cautious and less energetic we became until by the third period, it was like watching a team of my dead grandmothers dumping and chasing the puck in the offensive zone, when they could even manage to make it that far down the ice. I refuse to accept that from a team with the talent of the Detroit Red Wings. We can do better; we MUST do better.

There's no secret to what it will take to wrest this series away from Phoenix. We need to play like the Red Wings. We need to be fast, tenacious, strong, and skilled. We need to play with heart and commitment and stop being afraid that we'll get hurt badly enough to hold us back in the later rounds, because unless we stop backing off and letting the other team control us, we're not going to make it to the later rounds. Worry about tomorrow tomorrow. When you're on the ice, you worry about that shift and nothing else and you make sure you've left everything you have out there when you hit the bench. Understand?

Fine, enough said.

The Free Press reports that Jason Williams is out for Friday and Justin Abdelkader is in. Good. I'm a fan of this decision. Williams may have a better point shot than Abdelkader, but I saw way too many times last night when JWill stood back on the ice instead of pushing forward. Or backward, or sideways, or any fricking way at all. I'm rather have a young, hungry, physical player out there than a skilled player who doesn't look bothered to give his all on every shift.

And this here is my last request: I would greatly appreciate it if the special teams could start looking more like "special" refers to their specific and highly developed skills sets and less like it refers to the fact that they ride the short bus to practice every day. I wasn't all that surprised to see a lack of capitalization on the power play, since that's been a problem that plagued us all season, but the playoffs are NOT the appropriate time for the penalty kill to fall apart like a house of cards in a tornado zone. Pick it up, gentlemen. I expect better from you.

We all do.

So please, take 60 minutes on Friday evening and make me eat each and every word in this post. I'll make sure I have plenty of booze available to wash them down.

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