I was shocked into numbness in 2003. I nearly cried when Zelinas scored that OT goal at Calgary in 2004. I momentarily decided to stop following hockey after the Hemsky double-salvo in 2006...what was the point.
This time, I am looking forward to the season opener with great anticipation.
Something changed. Maybe this is finally Babcock's team. Maybe the presence of greats from the 1990s greatness such as Shanny and Stevie, despite Stevie's outstanding leadership, made the team feel more invincible than they actually were, prevented them from forging a new identity. Maybe it's guys like Cleary stepping up, I don't know...
But this is the hardest-working Red Wings team in a while. This team would not quit. This team would not give up. CAN ANYONE IMAGINE A DAVE LEWIS TEAM HAVING THIS THIRD PERIOD???
Can anyone imagine a Dave Lewis-coached Datsyuk or Zetterberg backchecking like crazy? How many time did an opposition player look down just to see the puck disappear from his stick, just lifted up by Pasha?
There are still problems. Hasek's puck-handling ability is so bad Anaheim WANTED him to play it! Blatant giveaways at our own blueline and other egregious errors in exiting the zone are unacceptable. I don't want perfect exits but if you screw up, it can't lead to a great 2-on-1 scoring chance every time. We need to get bigger, as usual. We need to get Bert his skating legs back. Etc. Etc.
But the things that were lacking in previous years are here: HEART and GRIT! And they can do a lot.
This 3rd period was magnificent, especially given the starting scoreline. Of course, a part of me wants to say why the previous 2 periods weren't like that, but I'm sure it has something to do with the Franzen/Lilja gift-wrapped loss on Sunday...
GO WINGS! 2008 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS!
vadimMember Since 01 Jul 2003
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Avs in 16
19 Feb 2008 - 16:50