Each year, Thanksgiving is the time to sit back, watch your football team embarrass itself, shove absurd amounts of food in your face, and pass out in your own drool. It really is a beautiful holiday. It's also the time of year where the Greatest Minds in Hockey take a look at their team and feel that they can give it an accurate assessment.
This year, there's plenty to be thankful for.
After having played fewer games than any other team in the West, we sit atop the conference in standings. We have a league best Win % and we seem to be doing just friggin' dandy. While there's a long season ahead of us, a great start is always helpful. As I'm sure we all recall from the Year of Aurie, it's no fun looking up the standings. It's a helluva lot better sitting at the apex, looking down, swatting away any pesky would-be contenders. We're used to that. We're good at that.
But our team's record isn't the only thing to be thankful about this holiday season. So lets take a second to present to you:
The Winged Wheel's List of Shit to be Fucking Thankful For, Damnit.
Put that on a Hallmark card. Here we go.
- Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond
Now, don't bother trying to make any argument that absolutely anyone who has ever said words into a televised program's microphone is any better than these two gods among men. It's science. From Ken's excited shouts and compelling play-by-play, to Mick's hilarious-crazy-drunk-grandpa-esque color commentary, I wouldn't rather listen to any other pair describing the greatest team play the greatest sport on the planet.
- Being Proven Wrong All The Damn Time
This year, Bertuzzi signs a contract. Fuck that! He's a liability! He passes to nobody! He takes lazy penalties and scores inconsistently! He can't play defense and the Joe is way too close to the DMC's maternity ward to employ a guy who eats babies!
Turns out, I don't know shit about fuck. And I'm way OK with that. The fact that Bert, admittedly, is playing real good 2-way hockey and seems to be earning his paycheck does two things. 1) It makes me look like a moron, and 2) it gets me half-mast. I'll be the first to admit that my ability to comprehend things is generally laughable. I'm more than willing to throw my dignity to the wolves in the interest of a team that's clicking on all lines. Bert, I'll keep wishing you off the team while you keep making a fool of me. That'll be just fine.
- Hometown Discounts.
- Budd Lynch and the Joe
There's just something about walking into the Joe and having it slap you in the face with old-time hockey. The concourses are littered with Red Wings statutes, portraits, and memorabilia. The seats are arranged for one purpose - to watch hockey. The banners in the rafters - and there are banners - all pay homage to the great history of this team. There's no friggin' inflatable mascots running around making balloon animals for those uninterested in paying attention to the product on the ice. There's no gimmicky laser-light shows celebrating every regular season game like it's game 7 of the cup finals. The seats are filled with knowledgeable fans who cheer their asses off, giving the place one hell of an atmostphere. It's just pure hockey.
And you know, theres part of the Joe that is often overlooked. There's something about Budd Lynch's voice over the loudspeakers that just shouts hockey. It's no douchey guy shouting everything in some annoying shrill. Tell me this: Is there any sweeter sound in the history of sounds than Budd saying "One minute remaining in the third peroid" while the Wings are protecting a lead? We've got a 93-year-old gem in Budd. Just another reason why the Wings are the greatest franchise in sports.
The Hawks happen to be sitting 4 points behind us right now. Oh yeah, and we have 5 games in hand. They're currently rocking a .500 record, and Marian Hossa just went down for 2-3 weeks. In other words, 1/4 of their NHL forwards will not be taking the ice for a while. Sure, last year the Wings weren't in dramatically better position than the Hawks are now. But recall, last year our team was knucklefucked up and down with injuries. The Hawks?
They just have a shitty roster.
As the season goes on, the injuries will occur. It happens across the league. It's just a fact of the game. As that happens with the Hawks, their amazing lack of depth will catch up with them and they'll do even worse.
And that, my friends, is something to be thankful for.
Wings have the Sharks tonight for the first time since playing a whole series on the PK. Unfortunately, Nabokov's in Mother Russia so we don't get to pick on him. Make this one hurt them. Light that shit up.
Lets. Go. Red. Wings.