Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Time To Change The Narrative

I can't believe I wrote that.  "Changing the narrative" is one of the worst, elitist, BS phrases in the history of our esteemed language.  But I'm using it, because it fits.

And here's why...

I think a lot of people would be happy to see us miss the playoffs, so we've got to go out there and play with the same sense of urgency when we get to Calgary.

That's James Tiberius Howard, via Helene St. James.

Since the Ingalls sisters took their feel-good story to Walnut Grove, this blog has been--almost exclusively--a bitching, bitter, blast at Kenny Holland.  I take nothing back.  It's been a legitimate disappointment.  But I'm admitting today that I could have gone in different directions many times and taken the easy road.  

Howard's quote struck a chord with me this morning and it reminded me of what we used to be here: a fawning, biased ode to the greatest franchise in hockey.

Look at that quote.  That's Howard speaking on behalf of this team and he's telling us all that they acknowledge the pure fact that there are legions of hockey "fans" whose season, and lives, would be a success if Detroit missed the playoffs.  It's nothing we didn't know but, man, I dig that it's out there. I dig that Howard and his pals are actually aware of it and even using it as a means of motivation.  

I've scoffed at Holland (and, of course, his advisors) when it became apparent that just getting in was good enough, that extending this streak would suffice.  What I've ignored is how remarkable it really is.  21 straight seasons we've begun the playoffs with real hope of a Cup.  No one, not a single fan of any franchise, can say that.  We can.  

I'm exhausted with the angst.  I miss the optimism, the swagger.  I've set it aside because my brain isn't big enough to compartmentalize like that.  I couldn't consistently wail away at Tick Tock, then switch gears to remind all the haters just how awesome this organ-I-zation has been, and will be.  I chose the easy, obvious road and I'm tired of it.

The Wings have six games left.  All of them winnable. Calgary. Vancouver. LA, Nashville, Phoenix and Dallas.  Holland's unspoken goal of just getting in is so very reachable.  It's time to, even temporarily, set aside what ails us and concentrate on what could be.  The only truly dangerous seed is the 8th.  And even that, even playing the invincible Hawks with their faux fans and ridiculous child of a leading scorer, doesn't equal automatic sadness...because the Wings have played them tough, despite losing.  

The "ifs" are so huge.  If Franzen...if Filppula...if Datsyuk and Zetterberg (and Kronwall) aren't completely spent.  If Howard can steal this or that. If the young defense...if Babcock's genius.  If we stay healthy.  If Bertuzzi. If, by god, Helm.  

If the playoffs started today, we'd get Chicago.  Imagine the tone of this place if the Wings were to steal game 1 or 2 in that stupid building with that ridiculous song.  What if the Wings get ten points out of a possible twelve and slip into 7th, or even 6th?  Do any of you really believe Detroit couldn't take down Anaheim or Vancouver in the first round?  

We have an entire summer to light the torches.  If the Wings don't get in, if the streak stops, we can start anew with our bellows and bitterness toward Tick Tock, the guy we used to love so blindly.  

But not yet.  It's time to bathe in the stress the next two weeks promises us.  22's an amazing number, a remarkable feat.  Reaching it would crush so many.  It's time to remind ourselves, just like the Donger did above, just how great it will be to throw in the faces of so many that excellence in Detroit is the norm.  

Just get in, bitches.  I do like this team.  It's just taken a year to remember that. 

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com