Saturday’s with Sully – Fighting the Unfightable Fight

It happens all the time. As a Red Wings fan, I’ve watched my team enter a fight they knew they couldn’t win. The league against them:  suspending players for resting injuries, beginning a Stanley Cup Final with games on back to back nights, beginning our season with games on back to back nights (one against the goons), foregoing suspension on our opponents when they directly violate NHL rules because they suddenly want to take it “case by case,” it’s never going to end and we have to swallow our pride every time we enter a fight in which the league wants to send a message to us, make an example out of us, and we know it.

So tonight we play the much hated Ducks, and although I can’t LB over at A2Y for the game, I did manage to do like the guy from Psych does in the DirecTV commercials and set my DVR to record the game from my phone, all the way from way up north in the Mountains. It is lovely here, far removed from the Arizona most of you know, the mutant infested, post-apocalyptic hell that sees people cooking roadkill on the hot blacktop tarmac instead of entering the ice cold confines of Arena. 4,000,000+ Flame Deluge survivors, 6,700+ who have gotten over their phobia of ice and confined space.

But that’s the happiest I can be today, at least until we beat the Ducks. I’m looking forward to this game like I’m looking forward to the drive home back to the irradiated front. This team, this game, has nothing to gain, and only superstars to lose. Kicking their a$$ feels good when we’re in the playoffs, it feels good when we are rivals, but after watching the 0-3 start by Anaheim and them getting outscored 52-6 (might be confusing that with numbers from College Gameday in the background) in that span, I think the rivalry is done. Old rivalries do die, just ask any Detroit fan how he feels about the Colorado Rockies. Or did they switch to the Avalanches? Whatever, see the point is that we don’t care.

Anaheim? Same story. Don’t give a sh*t about that team and as far as their dirty cheap shot artists are concerned I’d like to avoid them and their goons at any and all times. Chief thinks Perry has to stand up for himself and fight Dirty Bert. I think that makes sense, which is exactly why Perry won’t do it. Honour? Psssh, good luck explaining that to Corey Perry, Bill. He’s more likely to redeem himself by going after Zetterberg or Hudler this time.

This is a man and a team we’re talking about that has no problem injuring our best players to make the pain of losing less. We’re talking about a team I fear to the point of wanting to double shift our third and fourth liners every time we have a 3 goal lead in the third.

If I can give you some perspective on how much I hate this team, I’d like to take you back to 2007 and quickly revisit the strife of that year’s WCF. My roommate I had just gotten into hockey that season, so he was learning the ways of the stressful NHL Playoffs. Taught him the rules, showed him the ropes. He claimed he liked the Ducks as a kid, thanks to Walt Disney, so he cheered them on as they elbowed their way through to a series win thanks in part to dirty play and the worst luck we could possibly have.

After the series I officially ignored my roommate, gave him the silent treatment, and conspired and plotted to kill him as I slept and pondered the likelihood I could throw a pipebomb through the hole in my wall I’d punched out when we dropped 2 straight to Calgary. I also ripped the door off the wall that same night so I could have just tossed it out from there. Lots of anger that post-season. My final point is this, that when he invited me to a concert for one of our favourite rock bands in Killswitch, I told him “I had plans.” I lied because I still couldn’t stand the sight of him, 3 weeks after the series. Nothing had cooled, nothing had seethed into any semblance of forgiveness or being over that few set of games, it was all too much and I couldn’t stand to be around it.

So yeah, I have some anger and hate issues with Anaheim. I’d rather not play them but if I must, I’d like to beat them into re-structuring their entire system.