Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stanley Cup Finals Deja Vu

Wow. Absolutely. Amazing. Kopecky, Lilja, Draper, Lidstrom, Datsyuk....and then Ericsson, all out, I began to wonder who decided to gift wrap the series for the Hawks. Seriously, please tell me another team that could play through those injuries. Pittsburgh.....take away JUST Crosby or Malkin and they are in serious trouble. The Wings, somehow they over came the loss of Lidstrom and Datsyuk, two of the best players in the league, twice. This is the epitome of a championship team.

When I finally made it home from work I quickly turned on the TV and logged onto the A2Y live blog. And what was I immediately hit with, the news that Ericsson was out. Panic set in, sweat, nausea, self was all there. Apparently Ericsson had appendicitis and was having that removed. What a freak thing to happen...and while Lidstrom was out. I had spent all day convincing myself that the Wings could win one more game without Datsyuk and Lidstrom...but now Jonny Ericsson...well I wasn't prepared for that shit.

Yeah, and my nerves are still attempting to settle the fuck down after watching Chelios play 10 minutes. If I never have to see him on the ice again......well I'm sure you understand.

Due to the intensity of the game and my location of watching it while sitting next to my puppy while she hid underneath her usual playoff spot, the coffee table, my notes may be a little sketchy, but here we go.

The Wings once again (so yes holy shit two games in a row) came out very strong. 21 shots in the first period should sum it up. They seemed to want to push hard on the forecheck in the first utilizing the philosophy that the best defense is a good offense?? You could get the sense that they really wanted to close the thing out in the first period. It was impossible, with the injuries, to keep this pace up all game, but they certainly did try. They all deserve nothing but credit.

But despite the 21 shots in the first Huet was standing on his head and was determined to erase his previous shitty performance from the minds of Chicago fans everywhere. He was great and Detroit just couldn't break through. I'm not sure they could score on Hollywood Blvd last night.

Hossa had an amazing game. He didn't score but he set up so many opportunities. You could just feel how bad he wanted that one. But it wasn't just his offensive prowless this game. With Datsyuk, Lidstrom, Draper, and Ericsson all out, he really excelled on the defensive side. His backchecking and penalty kills were essential to the Wings win.

And you can't really have a conversation about penalty kills without mentioning Helm holding onto the puck, forechecking, and essentially killing 2o seconds of the PK on his own. Oh and did I mention, he almost fucking scored. After that he ducks to miss a check and the Joe goes crazy. Some people love flowers in the spring, birds singing...blah blah me, this is a thing of beauty.

I think it is also safe to say that Ozzie stole his second game of the playoffs. Without him, there is absolutely no way the Wings would have won. None. I'll even say it was one of his best playoff performances. I'm not even going to go into the Ozzie HOF/Elite goalie debate. To me, to Wings fans, and to his teammates, there is no question.

Zetterberg once again had a great game both defensively and offensively. He certainly showed his leadership.

Minus Chelios who I am in far too good of a mood to talk about, the Wings defense came through. Again. They all played huge minutes and were obviously tired, but it didn't show. Rafalski in particular picked up a lot of minutes and still played strong despite the fact that the Hawks were using him as target practice.

I would also say that Lebda played well. Particularly after Ozzie made a huge save, but the puck was still lose, Lebda swept it out of the crease. Could have been a game changer.

Cleary's goal was a beautiful deflection from a Lebda shot. I think it's important to point out that Filppula started that play by holding the puck in. He really has stepped up his play and filled in for Datsyuk. While no one can be Dangle Dangle, Filppula has come into his own.

At one point Stuart left the ice and I wasn't sure if he was hurt or had an equipment issue. Then Hossa appeared to hurt himself...I guess he had ice on his knee after the game. I seriously began to wonder what the hell was going on. How did they possibly deserve this. Did Bitchman work some voodoo magic or travel to a far land to curse the Wings? Who knows, I think there was probably something. But luckily they both came back and were able to finish the game. I just hope the two whole days off will be enough time for all the injured players to recover. (please notice that was dripping in sarcasm)

Normally when the Wings go into OT the terror and panic sets in. But this time I honestly didn't feel it. They had to win game 5. With the effort they put in to overcome all the injuries, all the bull shit, and on the night they broke the PK curse, it really wasn't a question. They were finishing this bitch at home during game 5.

Yeah and apparently Helm thought the same thing. It was amazing to see him get the game winner. Out of everyone, Helm or Hossa seemed like the two to score.

Congratulations to the Wings. A spectacular effort by a special team. Certainly showed why this series was a boys vs. men scenario. Experience, hard work, and great leadership. Despite Gary attempting to ass rape the Wings, fans, and league as a whole by starting the finals SO soon, and having 3 games in 4 nights, I hope the Wings can get healthy. Please Dastyuk and Lidstrom. Pretty please. Although I'll be honest, this shit doesn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. We'll see? Ummmm no no. I can't handle the anticipation for 2 days.

Sigh. So breathe Wings fans. Relax for half a day. And then begin to focus on the fact that there is a rematch about to take place on Saturday night. I know, I know casual hockey fans may be confused but the Wings did in fact win the Cup last year, despite what commercials and commentators may suggest. And now that they have it, they've shown they want to keep it. All the injuries and bull shit calls throughout the playoffs could have been an excuse for the Wings to lie down and have a nice long summer. But these Champions aren't the Ducks after their Stanley Cup win. No they smell victory and they want to keep their Cup. They want to cement their dynasty. Ozzie wants his place in history.

Crosby and his bitch babies are ready. They're perhaps cockier than last year. Their beards while still frightening women and children are in fact "thicker." They think their desire for revenge is greater than the Wings desire to keep the Cup. But that right there still proves their immaturity. Still proves they haven't won anything yet. Because when a player has that satisfaction of winning, that pure joy of hoisting the Cup with their families, they're not going to easily give it up.

I've only recently lived in Phoenix and it is a place populated by disgusting bugs and animals. So last night, after the Wings won, I went out to the garage to take out the trash. Suddenly a tiny little scorpion ran out at me. So I stepped on it. I smashed it in the ground. And even when I knew it was done, I still stepped on it. Just to make sure. Yeah, it would be great if the Wings could do the same. Smash the Penguins once again, just to make sure their egos and spirit are fully broken.

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