Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's Time to Play Some Hockey...

I ended up missing most of the game last night. From what little I saw, I’m pretty convinced that I’m better off for it. I tuned in just in time to see the Wings’ goal in the first period that tied it up at one. I was excited, and glad that I had made dinner plans somewhere where I could still catch the game. By the time I got picked up to go eat, the Wings were down by 2. By the time we made it to the restaurant, they were down by 4. The greeter at Friday’s sat us at a table where we couldn’t see the TVs in the bar. Normally I would’ve complained about this, but I think he secretly knew that it was in my best interest. Despite the fact that this paragraph has been completely pointless, writing it has made me feel better.

Some folks have been trying to draw positives from the game, but much like Kyle over at BDS, I don’t want to hear it. As far as I’m concerned, there were no good things. If we follow that line of reasoning and bend over backwards to pay compliments, we’ll also find ourselves celebrating spectacular accomplishments like:
  • The Wings only took one penalty in the second period! What discipline!
  • There were four whole Wings who didn’t have a negative +/- rating for the game! Four!
  • Ozzie had one of the best performances by a goalie who gave up five goals that I’ve seen in years! What an effort!
  • Jimmy Howard didn’t give up a single powerplay goal! Our backup worries are over!
  • The game was on Versus, so nobody saw their pathetic performance anyway! Thank you, DirecTV!
Forget it. I don’t want to hear any of it. It’s five games into the season now, and it’s about time the Wings showed up to play. After the first two games, we all told ourselves that it was just the hoopla surrounding the Swedes’ glorious return to their homeland. We ignored the lackluster start of the Chicago game because they pulled it out in the end. We celebrated the win over Washington despite the fact that there were still some big problems. Now we’re looking at a miserable 6-2 loss that has Wings fans jumping right back on the stress train.

We’re all used to their usual mid-winter phase where they phone in two or three weeks worth of play. We forgave them for sleeping through most of the games last year because they were able to find ways to win when they woke up in the third period. It’s far too early in the season for their winter doldrums, and so far their offense doesn’t seem able to stage the dramatic comebacks we saw last year. For all their off-season talk about being motivated and angry after losing Game 7 on home ice, this team sure hasn’t looked the part. They’re not losing games because they’re trying to do too much or because they’re over-skating. They’re losing games because they’re not trying at all. It’s frustrating. And it’s disheartening. And I know in my head that I’m overreacting. But it’s halfway through October now, and the Wings need to get their collective act together. It’s time to play some hockey.

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