Christy’s take: the view from Hockeytown

09May07

(Mike’s note: Before the second round began, Christy from Behind the Jersey and I entered into a friendly wager. If the Wings won, she gets to post on my blog and vice versa if the Sharks won. Thankfully, my original half-joking proposal of me writing and recording a song about the Wings never came through. Christy’s a good sport and was nice enough not to gloat about the Sharks’ awful meltdown. Instead, she sent me the following bit to post. Enjoy!)

I’m from Hockeytown. I grew up watching the red and white with my dad. When the playoffs came around, my whole family would gather around the TV and cheer on the Wings. As a ten year old, I remember watching Steve Yzerman lift the Stanley Cup for the first time. And for the first time in 42 years for the Detroit franchise. I remember sitting at Belle Tire watching the news report about the horrific limo accident that put “Vlad the Impaler” in a wheelchair. I remember watching Yzerman hand the Cup to Vlad the following postseason after the team believed. I remember hearing about the signings of Dominik Hasek, Brett Hull, and Luc Robitaille during the summer of 2001 and just knowing that this was the year we’d bring the Cup back to Hockeytown. We did.

Until this postseason, the Wings had failed to make it past the second round of the playoffs. Combine that with the NHL lockout and Detroit fans have been jumping off the bandwagon and hopping aboard the Tigers’ and Pistons’ bandwagons. It’s been a rollercoaster ride over the past few years as we’ve seen the rise of players like Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg while we’ve lost greats like Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan.

Media pundits said we were still too old. We were not physical enough. We didn’t have the grit to succeed. Fellow bloggers didn’t believe the Wings could pull it off. The early playoff exits were too recent and they didn’t believe they could overcome those postseason failures. To be honest, I doubted myself. Yes, I correctly predicted the Wings would defeat Calgary and San Jose, but in my heart I wondered if this would be the year we’d finally conquer our demons. And we did.

We may have the oldest goaltender and the oldest defenseman in the league, but we’re wise. We don’t freak out and lose our game plan. We may be smaller than other teams, but we have bigger hearts. We may have a depleted blue line, but our captain has risen to the occasion and even played goaltender.

I know heading into the Western Conference finals, the Wings will play the underdog role again. That’s okay with me. I know my Wings are up to the challenge. It’s going to be a fantastic series and I hope the Wings can give a reason for Hockeytown to believe.

(Mike’s note part 2: As a thanks to Christy for not humiliating me any more than the Sharks already did, I pulled this video of the 2002 Stanley Cup ceremony for her. I hope this we won’t see something similar in a few weeks.)

(Mike’s note part 3: Hell, why not a second video? Trying out the new NewsRoom video service with highlights/lowlights of Game 6)

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