The 2009-2010 NHL season is underway as I have the Red Wings home opener on the tube as I write this. Weren't we just finishing last year's NHL Finals two weeks ago?
At any rate or length of season, it certainly is nice to have the one Detroit sports team back that you can be sure will be competitive, if not down right dominating.
I think Red Wings fan needs a sense of closure as well, a chance to move on and close the wound left by Pittsburgh and their league-appointed golden boy. Had we been swept quickly, it might not have hurt so bad. Instead, it was a grad-down, slug-fest that went all seven games. Fully emotionally involved with pride on the line. Red Wings fans, as well as many around the league, have had some ill-will toward Mr. Crosby before the start of last year's finals. During the playoffs, we learned it wasn't just fans. The NHL players overwhelmingly voted Crosby as the biggest complainer in the league.
During the decisive game 7, Crosby went out with a major injury. While his team went on to win the game 2-1, Sydney re-joined his team on the ice to celebrate a Stanley Cup win, disgracing the sacred Joe Louis Arena ice. While the Red Wings lined up to shake hands, and the Wings fans obliging Pittsburgh's effort and accomplishment with clapping, instead of booing, Crosby seemingly forgot about the handshake. The sacred, gentlemanly gesture under taken by players at the end of a series in the NHL. With the whole Red Wings team and coaches waiting at center ice, Sydney went on celebrating. A move which will never be forgotten by Wings players and fans.
The wound had salt rubbed into it when we all witnessed the "chosen one" lifting the Stanley Cup. He remembered to do that much.
Now, I am not sure about you, but I can never in my wildest dreams imagine Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lidstrom, Mark Messier, Joe Sakic, or any other team captain worth his own weight pulling such a stunt. As the Red Wings players retreated to their locker room to allow Pittsburgh their glory, they turned their cheek and took the high road. Kris Draper reminded us all of the code of behavior expected amongst players in hockey in his post-game comments on the issue.
Mr. Crosby might want to heed the words of Mr. Draper. Karma can come in many forms, and we shall see if Sydney has his in the pipeline.
On other notes, there is now an organ and organist at the Joe Louis Arena! I, for one, approve of the addition!
Until next time, keep your head up and stick on the ice kids!