Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It Begins Today

And it's finally here. Game one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I'm as giddy as a school girl who just talked to her first big crush. The playoffs are always so exciting. But I'm not sure what it is about this year, that makes it feel even more thrilling. Maybe it's finally being so close to the action with the Wings being in town. Maybe it's finally going to my first playoff game. Perhaps it's the 2 month long push the Wings went on to achieve their 19th straight playoff appearance. But chances are, each year the playoffs feel like this, you just forget until the second season, or real season begins.

I started writing a pregame but wasn't sure really where to begin or where to take it. There are many incredibly talented Wings bloggers out there who will do a far better job than I could have. Instead I wanted to focus a bit on quotes from the Wings players themselves as well as clips that show the history and legacy of this Original 6 Franchise.

There has been a lot of smack talk from the new found Coyotes fans and media. Calling Detroit fans douche bags or demanding that Michigan transplants abandon our team to jump on the latest trend. Well just as I refuse to wear leggings I refuse to cheer for the Coyotes.

Below are a few clips from one of my favorite books "What it Means to be a Red Wing." This is why Wings fans remain Red Wings fans for life.

"Every time I put on the Red Wings jersey and see the wheel and the wing, I know I'm ready to go. It goes right through you. It's a great honor to be a Red Wing." - Tomas Holmstrom

"Being a Detroit Red Wing is being a part of a franchise with a long storied history. The winged wheel- putting that on is special when you think about all the players who played in it and the tradition. The one thing I love about the Red Wings is they stay true to their path, especially in terms of their uniform. You feel the history of being an Original Six team. That's an honor. There are two types of teams in the National Hockey League- there's an Original Six team and there's not. You either get to experience it or you don't. The Red Wings had that great uniform, and I always like pulling on the sweater."- A surprisingly coherent Larry Murphy

"My first season we were playing in Los Angeles and we were winning 3-2, but I made a bad play and they scored to send it to overtime. In overtime, I tried to pass to Igor, and Ziggy Palffy stole the puck and scored to win the game. I had just given up two goals! I was so mad on the bus. I wanted someone to tell me it was a bad play and I can't play like that, but no one told me anything. Igor was sitting next to me and I asked him, 'Why isn't anyone telling me how bad I was?' He told me to forget about it and think about tomorrows game; that was what the other guys were doing. It was hard to change my mindset from Russia, where I would always think about what happened in the previous game until the next game started. Igor taught me how to move on; that in the NHL, you learn from your past mistakes, but you leave them behind you."- Pavel Datsyuk

The experience this team and these players have gained not only from their multiple playoff runs but also what was passed down from the greats before them is invaluable. It's a proud tradition Datsyuk, Lidstrom, Zetterberg, and others have been and will continue to pass down to the young guys on the team. This is the experience people discuss when the playoffs roll around. This can be a difference maker.

"It wasn't until the next year, when we played Anaheim, that I really understood what the playoffs were all about and what it meant to play for the Stanley Cup."- Pavel Datsyuk

Phoenix is going to be a tough team. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Detroit will face a hot goalie and a young group of guys with nothing to lose and everything to gain. Every playoff cliche that scares the shit out of me is rolled up into the this Phoenix team. But the playoffs are a unique experience that can't be understood by a team until they get there.

"Being a Detroit Red Wing is about being around the organization and all the players who play here. It's about getting the chance to meet all the great Red Wings legends, like when Ted Lindsay and Mr. Hockey come down to the rink. To be able to tell my children and grandchildren one day that I was a part of that tradition is unbelievable."- Henrik Zetterberg

"Being a Red Wing is a great honor. To be a part of the tradition of this organization, looking up at the rafters at Joe Louis Arena, and then meeting Ted Lindsay and Gordie Howe is so gratifying. It's such a classy organization. I love playing at Joe Louis Arena. I think it's the best rink to play at in the league. I like the ice; I like the fans, even though if we're not playing well we're going to hear it. But when the fans are on you're side, they're the greatest fans in the NHL. They are a lot of fun to play in front of."- Nicklas Lidstrom

It's almost here, game one. The 19th year.


  1. Fantastic way to set the stage for tonight. I've been re-reading my copy of What It Means to be a Red Wing as well. Good stuff. Just reflecting on the Red Wings history and tradition is better than any game preview right now. We know both teams are going to bring it. Once the series moves past the initial emotional outburst experience will take over and carry the day.

    I'll be watching the game on television. I'm hoping to see lots of red tonight :)

    Let's Go Red Wings!

  2. Wow, I love all those quotes. Our players are fantastic human beings.

  3. Holy hell, Jess. That gets me in the thick of things just like A2Y. We're ready.