This just gets more and more fun as it goes on. Stay tuned for the Ugly coming up soon. Why do I like this part better than the good? Do you really have to ask? Let's face it, it's a lot more fun to make snarky comments and mock things than to praise them. I'm not sure what that says about my personality, but I can assure you, it's nothing good.
--I'll start with the obvious: Game 7. This one needs no explanation. It's going to take a while to get over that one.
--In a related note: Max Talbot. I passed a street named Talbot yesterday, and I shuddered. I twitch when I hear someone say the name Max. At one point a few months ago, I was checking out at Target and my total was $34.70. I had to add a candy bar just so that number wouldn't show up on my credit card bill. Seriously. I think metro-Detroit area psychiatrists are going to be overwhelmed by an epidemic of Max-Talbot-induced neurotic disorders. And yet, I can't find it within myself to hate the man. That's incredibly strange considering how feisty I generally am, but it's probably a symptom of my recently acquired psychiatric disorder. At least I'll have good company when they finally throw me in the loony bin with all of the other die hard Wings fans.
--The penalty kill. All season long, this was an absolute disaster. And the worst part was that no matter how many hours I spent attempting to find a rational explanation for why it was so bad, I never quite found an answer. With their great defensive corps, combined with the top two-way forwards in the league, there's no reason the Wings' PK shouldn't have been number one in the league.
--The spectacular disappearance of the Wings vaunted secondary scoring during the Finals. I was betting on the Wings walking away with the Cup because I figured the stars would cancel each other out, making it a battle of the third and fourth lines. It turns out that I was pretty much right. The problem was that Pittsburgh's depth guys managed to get the job done when it mattered most whereas the Wings' didn't accomplish a whole lot. Part of me hopes that they all spend their summers wallowing in misery like I am.
--I keep waiting for a day when a player, disturbed by Pierre McGuire's lack of respect for personal space, finally cross checks him right out of his little "cubicle" between the benches and into the stands, where drunken fans will proceed to polish his head and spill nacho cheese all over him. Seriously. Has he never been introduced to the concept of a "bubble?" Watching his interviews made me shudder for the sake of the players involved.
--The NHL's officiating continued to decline in quality. I've already ranted about it in several different posts, so I'm not going to waste my time again. It's almost disgraceful at times. Suffice it to say that the NHL is the laughing-stock of professional sports leagues.
--On the subject of officiating, the failure to call Pittsburgh's too many men on the ice penalty still blows my mind. We'll never know for sure if it had a significant impact on the game or not, but my God. You'd like to think that the NHL would make sure its referees could count at least up to double digits before they were hired. And if it's true that instead of calling the penalty, they warned the Penguins to get their extra guy off of the ice, well, now we're opening doors to paths that I don't even want to think about.
--There's this guy named Cabbie who does interviews with the players. I have no idea how he got this job, but it makes me sad when I think about the number of really bright people I know who are unemployed. Even if you ignore the Terminator effects he used to spice up this interview with Nick Lidstrom, watching him grope the Swede toward the end did damage to my psyche that will never be quite undone. I would pay good money to know what was going on in Lidstrom's head at that moment.
--On the subject of Lidstrom, the quasi-suspensions he and Pavel Datsyuk received for not attending the All Star game were an absolute joke. Especially in light of the number of "automatic" suspensions that were overturned by the league during the playoffs. It's not that sitting out a game in the middle of the regular season was all that serious. If anything, it was probably good for them to get an extra couple of days to recuperate. It was the principle of the matter, and when people wonder why there are so many conspiracy theorists amongst the Wings' fan base, they need look no further than things like that.
--Then there was the loss of Mrs. Hockey. It was a sad day for everyone in the hockey community, and especially those of us in Hockeytown. Obviously I didn't know her, but I can't help but think that we would've gotten along. I've always liked trailblazers like her, and especially women who weren't content to just stay home and cook and care for the kids.
--Pavel Datsyuk's Dr. Rahmani ad. I love Datsyuk. I really do. But every time this ad came on, I couldn't help but laugh at the poor man. Please, Pav, next year, find something better to shill for.
--That 7-6 loss to the Penguins during the regular season. This remains one of the most spectacular third period collapses I've ever seen. Thinking about it still makes me a little bit angry.
On a more personal note:
--There is literally no one happier that the playoffs are over than my poor puppy. All through the playoffs, I seemed to come up with new and more humiliating ways to torment her. Due to my boredom as I waited out the break between the first and second rounds, one night I decided it would be a good idea to give her a haircut. Let's just say that there's a reason I'm not a dog groomer. At another point, my brother dug out his Al the octopus stuffed animal with velcro tentacles and strapped it around her back so we could take pictures. After attending a game during the third round, we brought our red and white pom poms home and stuck them in her collar, again to take pictures. During the Finals, I dressed her in my old Shanny baseball-style jersey and spent half an hour trying to convince her to chew on her squeaky penguin toy. I don't think I've ever seen anything as pathetic as when she curled up on the floor in miserable defeat because the jersey kept tripping her. All this was on top of us trying to train her to bark when the Wings scored. The poor puppy did not deserve any of this.
--One of the games I went to this season was a loss to Colorado. I know the rivalry's dead and all, but I came into my own as a Wings fan during the heat of the Wings-Avs rivalry, and a little part of me will always carry that with me. There's a reason I have a framed picture of Darren McCarty beating Claude Lemieux to a bloody pulp.
--Then there was the fact that I gave away work shifts (aka turned down money) in order to watch playoff games. Not that I would've been mentally functioning if I'd been working, but the teeny tiny rational part of my brain keeps reminding me how stupid that was.
--Being at the Hockeytown Cafe, again in the City Theater, for yet another potentially Cup-clinching loss. I don't think I'm ever going to go there for a playoff game again. Especially not in the Finals.
Part One: The Good
Part Three: The Ugly