During the 2010 playoffs, I compared the Flyers to Seabiscuit and the Blackhawks to War Admiral. I pointed out that both famous race horses had something in common: close genetic ties to Man O’ War, the daddy of daddies in race horse pedigrees. That he mostly passed his best traits through his daughters dilutes the metaphor somewhat, but you get the idea.
If I had to pick a race horse to compare the Red Wings to, it would be Man O’ War. Hands down, Detroit is the capital of a hockey empire. They really know what they are doing, they identify and cultivate talent like nobody else, their victories have a low casualty rate. There is no way in the world I can resent them, no matter how their fans behave. The team deserves it’s vaunted reputation.
When I first saw the Red Wings on the ice at the Tank, I was overwhelmed by the aura of royalty. I felt a strange impulse to bow my head, even find my way to ice level and prostrate myself on the ground. Bizarre, ridiculous, faithless whore of an impulse. I slapped myself and moved on.
Craven impulses aside, I think it would be a little boring to be a Red Wings fan. I might be dumbfounded by the sight of them but I’m not going to run all over kingdom come to see them. I guess it’s a distinct lack of blue blood in my veins. I prefer the roller coaster ride that is being a Sharks fan and, though the going has been somewhat smoother lately, a Flyers fan.
So, the Sharks lost, but they scored three times, with a lot of hands tied behind their backs. It was rough going but they hung in there and I don’t feel like I watched the team get eviscerated. Not at all. They were able to give special attention to Datsyuk and Franzen and Zetterberg. That’s a lot of particular targets to keep and eye on but I think they did a fair job. Some players just can’t be completely contained.
Besides, it was the Red Wings: the mostly healthy, happy, rejuvenated Red Wings. If ever there was an excuse to not win, that’s a good one.
It would have been insulting for the Wings to ease up on the Sharks. Of course they had to take advantage of every misstep. That is the honorable thing to do. Even so, Holmstrom cemented my positive impression of him by going to the box twice. Gesture noted.
McLellan, as he did in the playoffs, opted to juggle the lines a lot. It was interesting. I was a little nervous about having three recent arrivals on the ice at the same time but no calamity ensued. Also, I wonder why he doesn’t do that more against other teams. I wonder how much the Sharks mind being shuffled like cards. If it works, why not do it more?
It is late. I may have no other thoughts about this game except that I could thank PG & E for making it possible. I shouldn’t have to- it’s their job to not allow power failures. So I won’t thank them, I’ll just be grateful I was able to be there.
Just checked my Twitter feed backlog and found this:
Now I really wonder why the Tank can’t show today’s hockey news instead of yesterday’s at games. I mean that is priceless. Yay Gags!