Wednesday, April 23, 2008
NHL Round 2: Detroit Red Wings vs. Colorado Avalanche
I cant even begin to describe how excited I am for this series. The Detroit Red Wings were the first sports team I ever HATED. The Browns, the Cowboys and the Oilers(especially them) were all extremely disliked, but none ever reached the level of the Red Wings. There was NOTHING redeeming about this team, at all. I hated Scotty Bowman, Steve Yzerman and Sergei Fedorov, but I reserved a special kind of hatred for Vladimir Konstantinov and Darren McCarty. I remember being so angry with the whole team and Konstantinov in particular that, for the only time in my life, I asked God to strike him down. And after the '97 Stanley Cup Playoffs, God did just that, when Konstantinov and the Red Wings team masseuse were involved in a limousine accident while returning home from a party. The wreck ended Konstantinovs career and scared the living shit out of me. Ever since then, when I wish great bodily harm on an athlete, I specify that it happen on the field/court/ice. As for Darren McCarty, I stuck to making a t-shirt that said simply "I HATE Darren McCarty". As I and my next door neighbor were the only hockey fans in the state, I felt more public displays of my hatred would be pointless.
A lot of my hatred stemmed from the fact that I was a HUGE Claude Lemieux fan, who, of course, sparked all the animosity with a semi-questionable hit on Kris Draper while he happened to be near the bench breaking Drapers jaw and nose as a result. Now this started the bad blood, but Detroit took it to a new level the next year by jumping Lemieux and Peter Forsberg, sparking the greatest on-ice brawl in modern hockey history. Watch below:
Now, a lot of people called Lemieux a pussy for "turtling" during this fight. But if you watch, McCarty first sucker-punches Lemieux, then holds him down. Any rational person after that will say, "alright, he surprised me on this one, but Ill get him back". Click here to see what true turtling is, courtesy of the same Darren McCarty. Mr. Lemieux did get his revenge the next year in a fight that started as soon as the puck left the referees hand for the opening face off.
A few months later, tensions exploded again when the Red Wings, in their typical style, decided to be classy and double team some guys to try and take them out. This is also the fight where Patrick Roy beats the crap out of Chris Osgood before Osgood cant take it anymore and pulls Roy down. Don't mind the goals in this one, everyone loses a game or two.
So, whats the lesson to be learned from all of this? Well, the Red Wings re-acquired McCarty this year, and the Avalanche got Forsberg and Adam Foote back. So, I'm expecting something to happen. Grade A douchebaggery from McCarty is to be expected and I would almost be disappointed if he doesn't cheap shot someone or go for their knees. That being said, I hope someone pummels him 'til his face is no longer recognizable.
As for the actual hockey part of this series, I have to say its gonna be a good matchup. The Avs aren't scared of Osgood and have proven that they can score on him in the past. From what I saw in the first round, the Avs young'ns have the hustle to compete for pucks and allow our older playmakers to do the things that need to get done. Scrappy forwards like Andrew Brunette and power guys like Ryan Smyth will allow the Avs to get plenty of opportunities in front of the net. Though Paul Stasny only got 1 point in the first round, the kid was all over the place and putting the puck where it needs to be to get scoring chances, I expect him to blossom in this high-intensity series. Colorado has enough firepower to keep Detroits backline busy for 7 games. The only real Achilles heel is the age of some of our more reliable guys. Knowing Detroit, Forsberg will get lots of (illegal) attention and they will try to wear down Adam Foote. If the old soldiers can hang on without any major injuries, I expect this team to really gel and kick some ass.
As for the Red Wings, well, fuck them they suck. GO AVS!!!
Colorado wins in 7