Sunday, December 13, 2009

Confessions of a Red Wings Fan...

The Wings’ current injury situation has become downright farcical. In light of the epidemic, I can only assume that we, the citizens of Hockeytown, have done some things to offend the Hockey Gods. Somebody out there spent the summer punching babies and it’s about time we got to the bottom of that. We need to take this opportunity to confess our sins so that we can atone for them and return to those days of sunshine and joy when the Hockey Gods smiled fondly down upon us from the rafters of the Joe. I'm coming clean about some things I've done that may have invoked their ire, and I'm joined by some other Wings fans in the hopes that we can appease the Hockey Gods.

Now I know the last couple of games since I started working on this post have been alright and the Wings seem to have escaped injury, but there have still been a couple of close calls (Rafalski and Helm took pucks to the face and Lebda looked like he might've been hurt for a while.) and I'm not willing to take any more chances.

So here goes nothing:

I, Kris, tormented my puppy during the playoffs by doing things like strapping a stuffed Al the Octopus onto her back (Look how defeated she looks here...poor Penny Lane.), putting red and white pompoms in her collar, dressing her up in a Shanny baseball-style jersey, and trying to train her to bark when the Wings scored. I may also at one point taken away all of her toys except her squeaky penguin chew toy so that she would be forced to gnaw on that one during the Finals. There was literally nobody happier to see the playoffs end than my dog.

I also admit to making fun of Valtteri Filppula’s hair. All the time. I’m truly sorry.

Over the summer, I clicked on a shortened link on Twitter and accidentally ended up on a puck bunny website. I sincerely apologize for this horrendous mistake and promise that it will never happen again.

At Hockeyfest, we sat on the bench and jumped over the boards like we were doing a line change. I’m pretty sure that this upset the natural order of things and was simply unacceptable. The fact that my sister can’t even skate and was pretending to take a shift at the Joe had to be deeply upsetting to the Hockey Gods. I’m so sorry for encouraging this type of behavior.

@RedWingsQueen19 chimed in with this confession:
I confess that I had so much hate towards Todd Bertuzzi and wished he was never aquired. I regret it, he proved me wrong so far
@jennbikegirl admitted to wishing injury on Brett Lebda:
My confession: when I heard about Raffy's back, my 1st thought was, why not Lebda? Basically wishing injury on him = bad!
Michael Petrella from The Production Line, however, had the most significant confessions to make. I think after reading his first story, all of the “intent to blow” nonsense will make sense:
I played hockey for a long time: I started skating as soon as I could stand up, and played competitive hockey all the way through college. I like to think of myself as a good sportsman, albeit one with a filthy mouth that never stopped running. Two stories stand out as examples of things I may have done to anger the Hockey Gods -- perhaps bad enough to create this rash of injuries to the team I love so dearly.

During a game I was playing in high school, I ended up on my butt, right along the goal line as a goal was scored against my team. It was so obviously a goal, and I figured everyone knew, that I reached in with my hand and angrily threw the puck back toward center ice in anticipation of another faceoff. But, it was must have been LaRue officiating because the ref skated over, waving emphatically "NO GOAL! NO GOAL! NO GOAL!" In my head, I'm thinking "really?" because I threw the puck only after I figured it was so apparent that everyone in the building saw it. Evidently, only I had seen it, and I didn't say a word. What I did amounts to no less than cheating, and I'm sure the Gods have had it in for me ever since. (P.S. the goal wouldn't have mattered as we lost by a good margin anyway...)

While in college, I was much more of a role-player, in the Kirk Maltby-mold, so I didn't get a ton of ice-time at that level, but cherished the few minutes I received every night. During the last weekend of the season (of my Junior year), we were playing in Wisconsin. We played back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday nights, as is pretty common in collegiate hockey. On Friday night, a senior who had played his heart out for our team for four years was injured by a fairly dirty hit. The kid got two minutes, but with a pretty severe knee injury, my teammate was going to miss his final game of collegiate hockey. I'll never forget his face - he was so upset because he never missed a team function, and now he was going to have to watch the last game of his college career from the press box. The following night, I spent every second of my ice-time aimed at retribution. I was offside more in that game than the rest of my collegiate career combined, because I didn't pay attention to the puck, only #21 in black. At one point, I even broke a stick on the back of his knee. As the final horn went, I took another three or four steps and tried my best to put him through the glass. He was about eight inches taller than me, so I ended up on the ice. I'll never forget what happened next because, even though these two stories aren't indicative of the kind of player I was or man I am, it taught me an important lesson. He took off his glove, and extending his hand to me, helping me back up. He said to me, "I know what you were trying to do, and I would have done the same. You played me hard, good game." Even though my teammate was the one on crutches, I couldn't have felt any worse.

I played hockey at some level for nearly twenty years, and it's fair to say that these two examples are the only ones I'm not proud of. And I'm just superstitious enough to think that the Hockey Gods noticed...
So there you have it, Hockey Gods. We’re all very sorry for the many things that we have done to offend you. We take full responsibility for our actions and hope that you can forgive us. Now can we please get back to our regularly scheduled programming of dominating performances and an elite roster? And, if it’s not too much trouble, could you throw some puck luck our way? We sure could use it.



  1. Unfortunately, I don't think there's any apologising that will make up for this:

    It makes me want to cry and laugh at the same time :(

  2. Poor puppy.

    Our pets put up with so many indignities. :)

  3. I fell asleep while watching the Wings' last loss to St. Louis. I know I was in the wrong and I hope the Hockey Gods can forgive my sins.

  4. I moved from Hockeytown to Nashville... I can only hope the Hockey Gods realize this was out of career needs and was in no way intended to offend them or switch my allegiances... :-(

  5. I confess to creating this after game 5 last year and refusing to admit for most of the summer that the champagne candles might have been tempting fate just a little bit and promise not to further provoke the Hockey Gods in the future.

  6. Or, you know, this:
    I suck at this linking business

  7. Michael's story was awesome, but I think I actually caused the intent to blow rule by hacking away at goalies in Norwegian junior hockey for years.

  8. Your dog is just too cute, especially the expression on her face in the octopus picture. Great post, Kris.

  9. Michael has asked me to confess my sins better so:
    - I admit to be hacking away at goalies all my hockey career.
    - I admit to randomly punching big defenders trying to clear the crease, to get them to fight me.
    - I admit to stealing candy from the candy closet as a kid.
    - I admit that once, a long time ago, we kinda were systematically mean to this one chick without realizing it.
    - I admit to having evil thoughts now and then
    - I admit to having wished injury upon Jordin Tootoo and the entire Pens and Hawks teams.

    Please forgive me hockey gods

  10. Also, I want to point out that during the first podcast, Casey at WIM predicted NO INJURIES THIS WEEK. Clearly, this made the Hockey Gods shake their fist and go "ohhh yeeeaahh?"

  11. Yeah, Casey should really take responsibility.

    I just remembered that I would also like to confess to swearing way to much in my blog.

  12. Great story Michael. As a WI kid, I feel bad for you and your teammate but glad that #21 stayed classy.

    I confess to getting into an argument with my grandma (a Pens fan) after the SCF. Surely arguing with your grandma about hockey is an affront to the Hockey Gods. I have sworn to make amends every day since then.

  13. I believe what Casey did is called Tempting Fate. Here's what Toby Ziegler has to say about that:

    I also just remembered that column Drew Sharp wrote during the WCF that said that the Wings were going to win for sure...right before Datsyuk went down with his injury. Let's blame him too.

  14. I think we are all to sure of ourselves. Heres what I mean
    the last game of the season last year we played the Islanders, then the worst in the league, I thought there was no way they could beat us, and we lost. During the finals last year...well we all thought that was in the bag. Time and time again we play teams that we should be able to beat and we don't. I think that we, as fans, need to realize that Detroit needs to play and that we cannot just have wins handed to us (although we do deserve a break after all the goals taken away from us, and this is not the first season that its happened. Remember the play-offs last year? Yeah, so do I.) we need to remember that other teams want to beat us and they are doing everything they can. I know that Im guilty of thinking that we deserve wins and I thought that we deserved the cup last year. I think the hockey gods are pissed that we are all so cocky. I would also like to confess to picking a back up team this year, I picked the Hawks because I still love Hossa. But I would retract that if it would change our fate.

  15. I would like to confess that I..umm.. have sung about Satan. But it was with humour. And really great shame. And I didn't write the lyrics. I swear God! I have no sympathy for the devil/Satan/satanists. No more injuries now. PLEASE!