Monday, January 7, 2013

I think I need some time to figure out how I feel.

     Something just happened, something I expected to happen, but didn’t know when it would… I just experienced my first giddy excitement about NHL Hockey in what seems like an eternity. All day yesterday, as my Twitter feed exploded with Hockey reporters, players, fans and bloggers expressing their relief, joy, excitement and anticipation, I couldn’t feel anything. I woke up to news that the NHL and PA had reached a tentative agreement, training camps would be starting in the next few days, and we could expect to be watching glorious Red Wings Hockey as soon as a short week away. It was as if the lockout clouds parted, the glory of NHL Hockey shone down and the Hockey fans began to sing the Hallelujah chorus. If you listened to the most recent episode of the Dollar Hot Dog Power Hour, you may remember that I said I expected to have Hockey soon but that I was conflicted about it.

      Before I go on any further, I have a confession to make. I’m an addict, a Hockey addict. I like, love, and need Hockey. I need Hockey like Hudler needs Vodka and Hookers, like Datsyuk needs to dangle, like every Howard needs a Stuart (oh god Stuart's gone, noooo.... I miss you already Brad) like Babcock needs to death stare and like Red Wings fans need to never, ever, ever EVER use a whistle for Jordin Tootoo… Ever… I was anticipating feeling conflictingly excited  when news of a CBA agreement broke, I expected to have a wave of relief, excitement and bittersweet joy wash over me; but I was instead met with nothing. The fact that I felt nothing made me kind of sad and angry. I think part of my delayed feelings are because I'm still suspicious. We've been toyed with enough through this whole fluster cuck and the full blown addict in me probably won't be awakened until I'm glued to my TV soaking in the glory of watching my beloved Red Wings in action. I suspect that on that day I will look and sound like a crazy person, my elation from having Hockey will be at war with my anger and hurt about the whole stupid lockout. 

It may sound something like this: 
"Oh man I've missed you guys, Woo Hockey! 
"You *&%#$^ NHL robbed me of 3 1/2 months of this, you rat bastards!"
"Oh Datsyuk you beautiful dangle machine you!"
"I should have been watching this since October"
"Oh god I've missed this, it's wonderful and magical and orgasmic"
"But it's only a half season because the NHL and PA couldn't get their shit together and act like adults and now we have a mess of a season and the Cup will be tainted for whoever wins it and it just doesn't feel right"
"I love you!"
"I hate you!"
Alternate between screams of joy and cursing in anguish and rage.

I fully expect that anyone who were to spy on me while I'm watching may think I've lost my mind and might call the funny farm... It's going to be an emotionally tumultuous time and I"m trying to prepare myself as much as I can now, but also know full well that it'll still Kronwall me and I'll probably be a mess.

As today progresses though and I start to allow myself to anticipate seeing the Wings play again, and as Josh tweets me pictures of Bertuzzi jumping over the boards, and I see quotes from players like Abdelkader saying things like (It Feels Great!) I've found myself getting a little more excited. By the time I'm done writing this post, for better or for worse, I'll probably be just about giddy with anticipation.

     I sort of feel like it's somehow a dirty thing to be excited already because it appears that I'm not angry, pissed and feeling used and abused as a result of the stupid, unnecessary lockout. It feels like I should keep myself from getting too excited on moral grounds. I've already said numerous time though that I can't stay away. Given the opportunity to watch my Wings, I'll be right there watching and cheering. After some serious consideration, I've decided that I'm going to allow and even encourage myself to let the anger go. Will me being angry affect the NHl at all? Not really. I'm not going to be spending any money on NHL stuff or supporting them financially in any way, but the only person my anger would really affect is me. I don't want it to taint my enjoyment of the game and team I love. I want to watch my Wings with unadulterated joy, excitement and elation. I won't know for sure how this will play out until it's really real and I'm watching the Wings. Until then I plan to proceed with cautious optimism.

In the meantime, I've started thinking about the things I'm excited about with Hockey most likely coming back (I won't say it's back definitively until NHL teams actually play a game).

What am I excited about? In no particular order:

Seeing what Jonas Gustavsson will become in Detroit. 
When we first signed him I was a little surprised, but then I got excited. It you look at his stats alone, you may be confused as to why I'd be excited about his signing.


   He has an average .898 Sv% and 3.03 GAA, but given that he put up these numbers and performed as well as he did while playing in Toronto; while having the his coaches try to completely remold his style and kill the very things that made his appeal to them in the first place... *deep breathe* Monster has a lot of talent and skill, and put into the Detroit system and given top notch goalie coaches (Bedard and Osgood) who will work with him to use his natural style and talent and mold him to play the Red Wings style and I wait with eager anticipation to see what he he can grow to become.

Zetterberg and Brunner making sweet Hockey love.
     Trying to find positives from the lockout is worse than pulling teeth. It's not only difficult, but the angry biter part of me doesn't want to. However, the chemistry and success that Zetterberg and Brunner have had while playing together in Switzerland gives me funny tingly feelings inside. When we signed Brunner, Babcock made a comment about him already being a top 6 player. I don't know if this was in sincerity, or to cause people to think, or maybe up the competition level for current roster players. Regarldess of the intent behind his comments, he may have been right. Granted there's a big difference between European and NHL Hockey, and there will be adjustments and things he still needs to learn and perfect and bla bla bla. Damien Brunner has been playing with, learning from and developing beautiful chemistry with Henrik Zetterberg. Is there any way that can be a bad thing? I'm looking forward to seeing how Brunner plays in the NHL style and what he and Z can do together on the ice.

     I don't think this needs any explanation at all. Datsyuk embodies the purity of Hockey, the love of the game, the skill and magic that feels so good it makes wearing pants uncomfortable. I can't wait to watch Datsyuk in the Winged Wheel again.

     I know we haven't seen many recently, but I still get that excited anticipation when he lines someone up for a hit. I miss that anticipation and excitement.. So... much...

Nyquist and Smith
     I'm not as much excited about Smith being full time in the NHL as I am apprehensive and uncertain. I think the kid has a lot of talent and potential and we certainly need help on D. I'm hoping that his rookie mistakes will be limited, he'll have a better attitude and work his ass off to earn his spot and stay there. Nyquist? Nyquist I'm excited about. We have a sort of log jam in the forward department, but I still hold out hope that the Goose will be loose and it will be glorious and beautiful and I can't wait.

Patrick Eaves recovering and playing Hockey again.
     I'm always on the lookout for news of Eaves progress and anticipated recovery, but it seems like every time I get news, it goes like this: Eaves is doing better but still suffering from dizziness, headaches and other post concussion symptoms and is not ready to play. On November 26, 2011 Eaves was hit in the head by a Roman Josi (a Predators player, yeah you thought I'd forogten it was a Preds player didn't you?) shot. It's been an nightmare for poor Eaves even since. I was hoping for some good news, but today am hearing that he's still having issues and isn't ready to play yet. This makes me extremely sad and I wish there was something I could do to help. I haven't given up on him and I'll keep hoping for good news, and when Eaves finally does return, you can bet your sweet Datsyuk Dangles I'll be celebrating.

Hockey discussions!
     I don't like to leave things on a sad note, so I've left this happy topic for last (but certainly not least). I look forward to getting to talk Hockey on Twitter and WiiM, I look forward to the crazy fun we have in game threads, I look forward to agonizing who I'll pick for my player of the game predictions, I look forward all the Hockey talk, discussions, arguments, and trolling that will take place. I've greatly missed the comradery, game threads, morning skates, CSSI, game recaps and so much more. I look forward to logging in to my Winging it in Motown account and seeing posts with new Red Wings news, and reading the comments and laughing, getting angry and maybe throwing things occasionally.

 What about you? How do you feel now that Hockey is being dangled in front of us?


  1. I look forward to unleashing my first banhammer at WIIM.

    1. Also, my Captcha when I made that last comment? 44.

    2. Beware the banhammer!And 44 is a good sign. :)