With about three hours till faceoff, the anxiety is starting to set in. The traditional game-day questions are running through my head: Which Wings team will show up to play? Will they even bother showing up for the first period? Will Ozzie continue to play up to his level? How many times will seeing Sidney Crosby's face make me puke?
On top of that, Datsyuk's been ruled out for tonight, and presumably tomorrow. I say 'presumably' because if his foot hasn't improved enough to play in a week and a half, I presume that one more night isn't going to help a whole lot. (I also choose to assume that the foot is combined with some other non-specified injury that's been nagging him for most of the playoffs.) Even at 75%, the Wings need Datsyuk. I don't care if he hasn't been scoring. The Wings need him to shut down Crosby and Malkin. Without him in the lineup, I don't like the look of the series. It's not that the other forwards aren't strong defensively. It's just that nobody does it like Dangle Dangle. Few things are more beautiful than watching him backcheck, strip the puck from an opposing player, turn up ice and create a scoring chance for the Wings. I laugh and clap every time. It never gets old. I'm like a five-year-old.
A friend at work says that he secretly hopes that Game 1 will go to three or four overtimes just to show Bettman and the league how stupid they are. I'd be all for this if I enjoyed OT in the playoffs. Unfortunately, as much as I'd like to make a fool out of Gary Bettman (as if he needs any help), I'd rather it didn't come at the expense of my physical well-being.