Abel to Yzerman
by IwoCPO on 05/07/07 at 11:37 AM ET
I’m betting none of you (with the exception of George Malik) can tell me from what American icon I stole that title. Please re-read that last line…I said “icon”, not “idol.” It’s important that you know that.
But it’s more important to me that my wishes are granted. And for all that is wholesome and pure, for all that basks in warm sunshine on a May day, for all the happiness of children and the health of puppies…please let this wish be granted.
Please spare me the pain of a Game 7.
I’m low maintenance, you know? I rarely make requests that require much effort. Just some beer, really. But today I’m ramping it up. I’m asking that whoever makes the decisions, whoever controls providence and life’s direction…just do me this one favor.
Make Wednesday just another hump day. Don’t make it A Day That Epitomizes Why The Playoffs Suck.
Oh, I know…it doesn’t take just a snap of the fingers. It can’t be that simple. A few other people have to at least appear to make the effort so that it’s not quite so obvious. You know, the favor you’re granting me. And, yes, I know who those people are. I’m going to tell you. And I’m going to tell you right now.
First: I have a friend from high school (no, not the NoCal Shark fan) who likes to antagonize me via email. He claims he “stopped watching hockey” after the lockout. He says “the game’s changed.” He likes to see himself portrayed as a traditionalist. But more than that, he likes to piss me off. He’s a liar, of course. He’s watched every game. But he needs to stop with the elitist act and climb aboard the wagon (no, not THAT wagon) with the rest of us. He needs to focus his emotions, not on the joy my stress brings him, but on the success of the team he grew up with. Because, if it goes to Game 7….well, if it does, I’m blaming him.
Secondly: Todd Bertuzzi, Dan Cleary, Valteri Filpulla. Kris Draper, Kyle Calder, Kirk Maltby or Jiri Hudler. Mikael Samuellson or, jesus, Robert Lang. If there is any hope at all of my wish being granted, I’m going to need two goals out of that group. Any combination. I don’t care. 2 goals. Because those Sharks, those bastard greedy uncompromising heathens…well, they’re going to be making a unified effort tonite. To do what, you ask? This: to shut down the line that has caused them anguish. Teal elbows and fists and knees and hips are going to attack Hank and Pavel and Homer with fury and abandon. They’ll use curse words and wooden sticks. McClarens and Rivets and Cheechoos and Thorntons. Wave after wave of anger. Because Ronnie Wilson won’t let our top line be the difference. Re-phrase: he’ll try his stupid-ass-goatee’d best to ensure it isn’t. Which may not matter one bit. But if it does, the wish may very well be contingent upon scoring from other sources.
Thirdly: The captain (no capital C yet…just can’t do it yet) has to be aware of the pain a Game 7 will cause us all. He must focused on extinguishing any possibility of that pain. For us…for me, really…he must turn that focus toward the Evil Menace that is Joe Thornton. The captain cannot tire or falter or fail. Despite their best efforts to clone him, the Sharks have only one Thornton. And just as they will try to impose their will on our innocent first line, the Wings must see success through a lens of Thornton failure. There must be a story written tomorrow that points to another Thornton playoff loss. Do I wish to see him cry fake tears at a press conference like Tracy McGrady? No. But he must fail. And our captain must ensure that.
Fourth: Brett Lebda. Does it make me feel dirty to pin my hope, my golden ray of hope, on a Domer? Yes. But I’m looking past that and asking you this: take the needle. Embrace the needle. Ride the pain killer and play as if your ankle was created by a team of NASA scientists after a space-shuttle-like skid. Play as if Oscar Goldman was your mentor. Play as if Lindsay Wagner were waiting for you at the end of the tunnel…bionic nympho that she is. Because Brett? We can handle one Griffin on the blue line. But two? No.
And Fifth: My god Dom you crazy, Czech miracle of insanity. I know you’ve played very well. We know you haven’t allowed more than two goals this entire series. We know you’ve done your part. We read about your anger after a soft goal; and we bask in the warmth of that anger. We do. But we may need more tonite if this wish has legs. We may need you to, yes, steal us a game. Happiness has no place in your heart today Dom. Blacken your heart early. Ice it down and think mean Eastern European thoughts. Don’t wait for a softie to let that anger wash over you. Today you must take on the persona of Kaiser Schozie (oh, please…do you really think I was gonna look THAT up?). Not tonite, Dom. Today. Start angry.
It is but a simple wish. So tiny in the grand scheme of things. Do I hope for world peace? No, I like employment. Do I hope for an earth that remains vibrant and healthy for centuries to come? Yes, for I enjoy the bounty that comes with barley and hops and cheddar cheese. But is that more important than winning a Game 6 in San Jose?
Oh no. Not even close.
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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: email@example.com