Friday, July 2, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Part One...

The Good
  • Let’s start with the obvious. Herm 2 Hockeytown was one of the coolest things I’ve ever been a part of. The extent to which the Red Wings community reaches amazes me. Not only did we bring Herm here to watch a game, but we also raised over $5,000 for Children’s Hospital. Hanging out at Hockeytown, singing Happy Birthday to Jimmy Howard, the tin foil hats, post-gaming at the Town Pump, and visiting Greektown in the middle of the night were just some of the highlights of the night. When I first started blogging, I swore I’d never meet anyone off of the internet. Boy am I glad I broke that promise. There are some truly great people out there in Red Wings Nation.
  • One of the best legacies of H2H was the creation of the #redwingscommune a little while later. None of that would have happened without the real life connections we made that weekend. We had Commune gatherings all over the Metro area during the playoffs, and I really think we helped each other survive. We ended up with a whole array of lingo like donut goalies, Drunk Lebda, and Homerbait and there’s nobody I would rather have been with at the end of Game Five.
  • At one of our Commune gatherings, we came up with an idea to have a Tin Foil Flashmob at the Joe. Originally, we wanted to rally people to wrap the building with tin foil, but decided that that idea was impractical. Somehow, it evolved into a plan to recruit dancers while passing out tin foil hats outside of the Joe. It was an absolutely absurd idea, but we had a blast. It was crazy and miles away from anything I ever imagined myself doing, but I loved being a part of it.
  • Jimmy Howard was a revelation this season. I don’t think many people expected him to perform the way he did. I figured he was a temporary solution until one of the younger goalies was ready for the NHL. He looked awful during the beginning of the season. He managed to turn things around, though, and took over the starter’s job. He was nothing short of brilliant on several occasions. Here’s hoping he can keep it up next season.
  • The Olympics were phenomenal. I could’ve done with a different ending, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t glued to my TV for the majority of the tournament.
  • The fact that Andreas Lilja was able to come back after almost a year on IR was great. I really thought his career was over and that Mickey Redmond was crazy when he started talking about Lils being close to coming back during one of the broadcasts. He provided a much-needed steady influence on the third pairing.
  • Game Seven in the first round and Game Four in the second round were amazingly fun. Watching Game Seven at Kukla’s with the commune was a blast, and the Mule’s rampage in Game Four was one for the ages. They were definitely the highlights of the playoffs.
  • Brendan Shanahan joining Twitter was one of the best events of the season. That guy makes my life. I expected him to just twitter boring things, but he’s been nothing short of entertaining.
  • The Versus announcers once again created another fun new word for us. I’m a big fan of “danglelicious” and feel like a bit of a failure because I don’t use it more often. I’m going to work on that over the summer.
  • Another Versus highlight was the addition of Darren McCarty as an intermission commentator. He looked pretty nervous at first, but seems to have settled into the job. It’s nice to have someone on there to make their intermission reports tolerable. If you didn’t already love him, the time they called him a homer and he said that he had four reasons to be a homer surely melted your heart.
  • Watching Jimmy Howard go after Sidney Crosby was one of the highlights of the regular season. It even inspired Henrik Zetterberg to deliver one of my favorite quotes of the year: “I saw Jimmy coming in with his glove and Crosby wasn’t there anymore.” Perfect.
  • The post-Olympic run that the Wings went on was a blast. We’d been waiting all season for the real Wings to show up, and this stretch catapulted them into the 5th playoff seed. It was the only real display of Red Wing hockey that we got to see all season.
  • The NHL’s History Will Be Made commercials were fabulous. Some of the ones toward the end were a little ridiculous, but the initial concept was brilliant. The Datsyuk/Zetterberg one was my personal favorite, though I might be slightly biased in that regard. Other than the fact that it featured my two favorite current players, I liked the fact that it required a little bit of hockey knowledge to understand the “What if” question.
  • The speechless commercial that debuted during the Finals was pretty awesome, too.
  • Johan Franzen didn’t quite live up to his mouthguard-snatching from last season, but I was a big fan of his diving pantomime during a game against Chicago.
On a personal note:
  • Getting to know you crazy sunshines online and in real life made this season one of the most memorable ever, despite the frustration it induced. It truly was fantastic.
  • Meeting Steve Yzerman in November was obviously one of my personal highlights. I still can’t really believe that actually happened.
  • My friend getting her foot stuck in one of the seats at the Joe was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. She’s still a little bit bitter about the lack of help that she received from me and the fact that I wrote about it and mentioned the incident on TOV.
  • I also managed to make it to more games this season than ever before. This included not one, but two playoff games. Sitting down by the glass with Sara and TPL Mom against San Jose was incredible.
  • At one of those games, I got the opportunity to go out on the ice to participate in the turkey bowling game during intermission. I was an incredible failure at it, but my team still managed to win. We got free tickets to another game and got to keep our turkeys. This resulted in my little brother wandering around the Joe carrying a frozen turkey for the next two periods. The pictures we have are priceless.

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