Abel to Yzerman
by IwoCPO on 11/03/11 at 05:21 PM ET
Hate’s a strong term to use there, but it works. Mike Commodore’s taking the ice tonite, his first time as a Wing. He may have reason to hate Calgary, and that would be nice. But I’m not looking for a guy who hates his fellow man.
For once in the last three weeks, I’d like to see a Red Wing who absolutely despises the idea of losing.
That, to me, is what’s been lacking. Not talent, or execution. Not effective coaching or competent officiating. What’s been glaringly missing from this team this year (and maybe the last three playoff years) is a team who collectively finds the idea of defeat so revolting that it is the single driving force in their lives.
I know what the groundswell is. I know it and I can’t disagree. Comfortable acceptance of mediocrity, if that’s what this is, has to be laid at the doorstep of the head coach. If this is a team that is going through the motions, then Uncle Mike is on dangerously thin ice. And it’s a problem that benching the Midget Pimp won’t solve. It’s bigger than waiving/trading/incarcerating Todd Bertuzzi, despite the outcry to do so.
Somebody or something has got to piss this team off. Uncle Mike used to be able to. Scott Bowman did, too. But somewhere, the anger went away. It used to seem like the Wings used to thrive on winning despite the obstacles this bullshit league has placed in front of “us”. The schedule, the refs, the conference alignment, etc. Now, and “now” means the last three years, it’s just accepted. Suspending our two best players for missing your childish All-Star game but letting your little golden fantasy child do the same with no recrimination? Excellent call, Gary. Bully for you, bitch. Multiple 5-3s that determine a playoff series? Okaaaay. Twenty minutes of layoff between the end of the WCF and the Stanley Cup Finals? Okaaay…we’re alright with that. An anti-Homer agenda that is so pronounced that it’s now accepted across the league and laughed at because it’s so obvious? We understand. We’re Detroit so we’ll just take it. Thank you.
It used to seem, and one of you guys pointed this out in the comments yesterday, that Mike Babcock lived on the edge of belligerence. Every time he’d open his mouth there was a chance that he’d lose it, that the frustration would just overcome him and he’d say, “Fu** it and fu** this league. Fu** these double standards and absolutely fu** the fact that Detroit is penalized for…being Detroit.” Of course he never did, but man it seemed like he was constantly on the verge.
Now? It appears that he’s resigned himself to the facts. And that’s not good. Get angry again, Mike. And stay that way. Does the team still hate to play for you? Because they used to, and that made them unified in their anger. It worked.
You know who’s angry at the world? You know who’s winning to prove people wrong? You know who refuses to take the ass violations sitting down, so to speak? Yep.
The Frigging Lions. Holy Hell. For the first time ever, or at least in the last twenty five years…the Wings can look to the Lions and say, “we need to be more like them.”
Getting screwed by the officials? Go see the commissioner. Naturally, our dwarf of a Czar would never entertain such a visit. But Christ…hey Homer? You see what Suh just did? He made his complaints public and he took them to the man, who was forced to acknowledge the novelty of it and now guess who the officials will find it a tad bit harder to flag? Yep. #90.
Nobody’s angry. Except us, of course. You know what? Screw the fines. Seriously. Screw them. Get in front of a microphone after Minnesota’s awarded six, seven, eight or whatever straight power plays. Gather the diggers around and say, “Did you see that? We deal with it every…single…night. And it’s horseshit.”
Apathy is disgusting and it’s what we’re dealing with when we watch this team. And don’t just blame Uncle Mike.
Nick Lidstrom’s a fine Captain. And he deserves that capital C, unlike a few others across the league. He’s an effective leader. But does he inspire? Does he drive this team to hate losing? Why not? And before you’re so quick to agree with me, consider how much you’d hate losing if you’d already won 7 Norris Trophies, a Gold Medal and 4 Stanley Cups. Consider how much losing would affect you if you were pulling in 7 million/year.
I like Nick. I dig him and he’s the best defenseman to ever play this game. But, man, we don’t need a calm, accepting, quiet captain right now. The Wings need a kick in the ass and a reminder that the Cup belongs in Detroit. Joy is just around the corner, just down Woodward.
But it’s not going to be given to them. It’s to be had only if they’re angry enough to take what’s theirs.
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org