Monday, November 2, 2009

October Memoir...

Well it’s been quite the rocky month for us Wings fans. This has been by far the most stressful start to the season that I’ve ever lived through. The Wings currently sit at 19th in the league with a grand total of 13 points from 12 games. On the plus side, this is the first time they’ve topped the .500 mark this season, so happy dances for that. I’m still waiting for this season to become fun.

The Wings have had a number of issues throughout the season. They appear, at least in my ever-hopeful mind, to be slowly working through some of them. It’s seemed, so far, that every time they get one problem fixed, another one crops up. If there’s a problem a hockey team can experience, you can bet that the Wings have run into it during this still-young season. Defensive breakdowns, injuries, offensive slumps, injuries, poor goaltending, injuries, lack of chemistry, special teams failures, injuries, lack of effort, and, of course, injuries. If Brad May getting high sticked in the eye by his own teammate while sitting on the bench doesn’t exemplify the way the Wings’ season has gone so far, I don’t know what does. If there had somehow been a defensive zone turnover involved in the play, it would really have summed things up nicely.

I had such high hopes at the start of this season. I really did believe all that stuff I wrote over the summer about the Wings coming out breathing fire and dead set on avenging their loss. Imagine my surprise when they sleepwalked through the Sweden games and came home 0-2. Unfortunately, things didn’t exactly pick up upon their return home. Since I didn’t see the reportedly solid Calgary game, I can count on one hand the number of really solid periods of hockey that I’ve seen the Wings play thus far. Granted, my standards for what I consider to be “solid” are a little higher than the majority of NHL fans, but I’ve been spoiled and I go into every game expecting perfection.

Things have picked up somewhat over the last week or so. Despite the excessive amounts of goals allowed during the Vancouver and Edmonton games, the Wings at least showed a little bit of fire on those nights as they battled back from early deficits. Now the next step will be figuring out how to score the first goal… By my count, they’ve only done this in three games: October 3rd against St. Louis, the 17th against Colorado, and the 24th against Colorado. All three of those games turned out to be losses (one in a shootout), so I think this is the point where I’m supposed to comment on their ability to hold onto a lead or something. I feel like I’ve already done that numerous times, though, so I’m going to move on now.

Despite my excessively critical (and sometimes borderline angry) posts over the course of the last month, I still have high hopes for this team. I really get the sense that they’re getting ready to turn the corner and that come April, we’ll all be looking back and chuckling at the Great October Panic of 2009 (well, maybe not chuckling, but at least not ripping our hair out).

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