OK, OK: So, the whole Stockholm thing was a bust. The game yesterday was super depressing. It's so frustrating to watch your team come out so strong in a game and completely dominate, only to blow a lead, two days in a row, to an inferior team. Bleh.
To get it out of our system, I'm going to go ahead and whine about the things that pissed me off. Then, I'm going to make a list of all the things to which we are looking forward and greatly anticipating, both in hockey and in this blog:
First, the whining:
1. Mr. Jimmy Howard. No, I'm not ready to give up on him yet. The guy's got skills. He has the ability to make quick saves, and he seems to have the intuitive sense to withstand pressure from opponents (see Jordan Staal's penalty shot in last Sunday's preseason game).
But the third and fourth goals he gave up yesterday were inexcusable, especially the latter, since he had absolutely no idea what was happening on the ice. I don't know what this is, but I don't like it at all. Because I still want to give this guy a chance and because I don't want to have a nervous breakdown, I'm going to choose to believe he had an off night and that said two goals against are not indicative of the season to come.
I just might have to make sure I have a bottle of Jack nearby at all times whenever he starts this season.
2. Valterri Filppula. I've been waiting all summer to see more from him than what he's shown since the beginning of the preseason. Everyone's anticipating a breakout year for him. Start having one.
3. Can we please have a streak of games in which we are not trying to convert, during the last minute of play, from a 1- or 2-goal deficit? Please, please, please, please, PLEASE? For my own sanity, please. I wasn't ready to relive this during the preseason, and I hate starting off the regular season this way. Watching yesterday's last-minute 6-on-4 left a bad taste in my mouth. Sure, it's awesome to watch your team pull off a win in situations like these, but it's way, way, worse than a normal loss when you watch your team scramble from behind to try to pull off a win and wind up short. Our team is so much better than that. I'm sick of watching what inevitably feels like the last few minutes of Game 7 over and over and over.
4. It really fucking blows to lose twice in a row to St. Lounashbus, the clusterfuck that will be duking it out to be the bottom-rung 8th seed in the West.
Now, here are some things that made me happy yesterday:
1. Ville Leino. He had another good game yesterday. I like that each of the young'ns bring something different and unique to the roster: Darren Helm has that amazing speed and lack of any awareness of the state of his own physical well-being when he single-handedly DESTROYS opponents on the ice; Jonathan Ericsson is like 12'10" and is quick-thinking and strong and provides an offensive presence from the blueline; Justin Abdelkader is crazy-athletic and also has a big, physical presence. Leino has pizazz. I loved watching him skate around opposing players yesterday; when he brings his A-game, he has an almost-Datsyukian flourish that allows him to get by others, helping him hang on to the puck, and therefore, not piss me off.
2. Speaking of whom, Pavel Datsyuk. I could watch this guy skate laps around an empty rink. I just love watching him do what he does. He's my most favorite.
3. Nicklas Lidstrom. What can you really say about him that hasn't been already said? He's the best at his job. There's a reason he's won a gajillion Norris Trophies, and it's on display every single game. When people start ragging on the Wings for being over the hill, they need to tune in to a game (because obviously, they don't watch if they spew bile like that) and watch this guy at work.
4. HOMER SCORED A GOOOOOOOOAL!!!!!! Homer is my 2nd favorite on the team, now that Aaron Downey is no longer with us. I heart this guy. He has the worst job on the best team, he's the best in the league at said job, and he also gets no respect because he's the ripe old age of 36. Eat it, naysayers. This guy rocks my socks. And he will eat your soul if you step to his game.
And finally, as promised, a list of things to anticipate:
1. Eighty games lie ahead. Dropping the first two, in the grand scheme of things, is no biggie. Speaking of future games...
2. The Wings' real home opener is this Thursday against Chicago. I fucking hate the Blackhawks. A lot. I'm so excited. I just wish that assplug Marian Hossa was going to be in attendance. But that's OK; I'm still looking forward to this game with all my heart.
3. Also re: the Hawks, you can look forward to a post detailing all the ways in which this team sucks at life and provokes my ire upon the mere mention of its name. Who doesn't get pumped for a game by pure, unadulterated hatred?
4. OK, I can't help myself. Let's have a little preview of hating on the Hawks:
Ahhhh, that's nice.
Lord Stanley is ours for the taking. Let's do this thing.