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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

They deserved to lose...

#1 Vs #8. On paper, that #1 seed is the best and should have no problem winning. But, of course, that's just on paper. The real world variables make the paper useless. And, so it happens. My predictions came true... only not for my team. For the 3rd year in a row, my beloved Red Wings bowed out early when they had all the right stuff to take it all the way. But, of course, they didn't have all the right stuff. If they had, they would have won. Their goal tending was below sub-par. The forwards who were supposed to score the big goals "suddenly" came up empty. It's an all too familiar tale for us Red Wings fans. However, as I mentioned earlier, this year is a lot tougher to swallow for a number of reasons. In the past 2 playoff losses, the opposing teams' goalies were absolutely phenomenal. I mean, super human. Not so this time. We were facing a very beatable goalie. He looked that way in last night's critical game 6. The Wings were leading 2-0, and we had their team and especially the goalie on the ropes. He was really shaky. The chances for total domination and a game 7 were there. But, then our goalie got in the way and screwed that up. Scoring 4 3rd period goals, the other team came back to win 4-3. Now, they will go on, and another team will easily exploit their weaknesses. Why? Because the remaining teams' goalies, even though on lower seeded teams, are much better than ours. Bottom line in sports is this:
It doesn't matter how well you perform in the regular season. You can have the best record in the league. If you can't step it up and perform in the post-season, you aint gonna last long.

More than this, the toughest pill to swallow is that this pathetic exit may have been the last game for one of the most honorable men in all of sports history. The city of Detroit and the Detroit Red Wings team owes it to the Captain, Steve Yzerman, to have him go out on top. In this day and age of sports, selflessness is not a word you would use to describe 99.9% of the professional athletes out there. If you looked up the words courage, selflessness, honor, leader, and team player up in the dictionary, this man's picture would define every one. Where else and who else in sports would you ever hear of a player deferring money to get a star player because you know it would be the best for the team? In sports where a players sits out with a bruised thumb, where else would you hear of a player chugging it out in utter and horrific agony on a completely destroyed knee in order to lead his team to victory in the only way he knows how: BY EXAMPLE. In a day and age in sports of utter selfishness, where the most important thing an athlete considers is individual play and stats in order to garner that big contract, where else would you hear of a player who voluntary gives up his role as the star in order to play a supporting role, because he knows it's more important for the team to win than for him to be center stage all the time.

It simply doesn't happen anymore. This man is one of a kind, and the type of player that all fans wished more like him existed. This at a time when parents are utterly petrified that their children are looking up to sports stars, as their role models, that have no values system outside of their own value. When they care nothing but the bottom dollar that they can milk out of a team instead of what they can do to help the team win. Where they're seeing their children worshipping a player like Letrell Sprewell, Steve Yzerman is a breath of fresh air. He is the ultimate character to want to emulate. He is the type of player that has virtues within him that we all wish we can be. He is the type of guy parents wish their kids emulated and desired to be. For those of us in Detroit area and other Wings, we are extremely lucky to have wittnessed a man like this pass through our lives and come into our lives. We are extremely lucky to have grown up watching him and watched him grow up with us; from the scraggly kid of 18 to the epitome of leadership at the tender age of almost 41. I truly believe there will never be another player like him. A player that has given more that 20 years to the same team. A player that has been the Captain for the same team since he was 21. Where else do you see that happen in sports?

If he turns in his skates tomorrow, this first round exit in the eyes of what should have been an easy victory will be an incomplete chapter in which to close his book, and that makes this loss all the sadder. Of course, if the rebuilding I believe will happen does occur, he may very well see that the team will not get another chance at the cup for a while. Whether he wants to slug out for another rebuilding process remains to be seen. But, I do know this. As long as this man believes he has something to give to the team, he'll give everything in him to give it. If there were more people like him on this planet, the world would be a much better world to live in. Thank you very everything you've given to us, Stevie. We can never repay you.


At 11:51 AM, Blogger Greg said...

I'm real sorry, OC. But hey, you've still got the surprise of the year so far--in my mind, the Detroit Tigers who're just 1.5 games out of firtst place behind my very own White Sox. And I'll probably have the same ill feeling in my stomach when the Bulls lose to Miami as I did when Macabbi lost to CSKA. Yzerman is certainly a class act. You're right. In this day and age he's one of a kind, a trully special individual and a kind of hero for Detroit fans, I'd suppose.

Hope the Wings have a better post-season next time around, Greg.

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Thanks greg. Coming from Chi-town, I'm sure you've watched Stevie play a lot if you were a Blackhawks fan. The rivalry goes back a lot farther than both of us. Remember the days of Probert? Those were the best. I'm glad that there's at least one person out there willing to sympathize with me on this. All I've gotten so far is, "well hockey isn't really a sport, so it doesn't matter". Thanks for caring.

At 7:35 PM, Blogger Hoods said...

Nostalgia kicking in - makes me miss those high-school hockey watching days. Gotta love our Stevie.

At 8:02 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

You know, their March 26th, 1997 brawl with the Avs is, for me and many other Wings fans, a "where were you..." moment. I miss them too.

At 8:03 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Ok, I see who you are now. Remember game 4 after the Wings swept the Caps? We went driving around in my huge van? I miss those Wings. I want them back.

At 11:39 PM, Blogger Greg said...

Yeah, sure I remember them Probi days. He later switched alliance and came over to us if I'm not mistaken.(I left 5 years ago and don't remmeber too much)

And Olah: I've got to care for you as a grieving fan because soon I'll be one myself ala early exit from the playoffs by the Bulls:)

At 11:05 AM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Don't give up hope, Greg. The Bulls can still turn it around. Have faith, brother.

Yes, you are right. Proby got traded to the 'Hawks in the early 90s. But, he didn't play very much as he got into a lot of legal problems. Many of which he is still having today, especially with alcohol and substance abuse. Sad story.

At 1:19 AM, Blogger shlemazl said...

Hey, I supported Detroit as well (as Leafs didn't get into the playoffs...) Guess it wasn't our year...


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