It’s never too late to write a review of 2011. Well, I suppose it would be weird if I wrote this in 2018, but January 2 doesn’t seem bad. In this post, I’ll recap some things that were significant to the Red Wings and this blog. It’s not all happy, but it all happened.
First Post: A recap of the Red Wings’ loss to the Islanders. Even without that post, I knew that Detroit had struggled against the Islanders since the lockout. For this reason, realignment scared me. Thankfully, due to the four division setup, the Wings will end up with less travel and avoid having to play the powerhouse that is the Islanders more than twice a year.
Playoffs: The series against the Coyotes was fun. Mostly because Shane Doan cried. Then the series against the Sharks happened. I don’t know about you, but I still think the better team was on the losing end of that game 7. Obviously I’m biased, but once the bounces evened up, the momentum shifted into our favor. Too little, too late, but I was proud to be a Red Wings fan that whole series. You all got me fired up for every game. I don’t know if the Red Wings read any of the blogs out there, but if they do, I have no doubt that our defiance contributed to theirs.
Offseason: When Rafalski retired, I felt that the team would be better the next year. Not that Rafalski didn’t make our team better. He did. Just not $6 million a year better. Ken Holland used that money wisely and we now have a team that plays better defensively while still scoring goals. Osgood and Draper also moved on. I think they made the right decision to call it a career. Draper’s departure paved the way for younger forwards to show us what they can do. Osgood retirement hurts a little more, though. I still have faith in Conks, but I’d have even more in Osgood. Still, when Osgood moved on, it was like Howard lost his Obi-Wan and had to grow up really quick. Does that make Conklin, Yoda?
Draft Picks: If you follow the Red Wings official Facebook page, you will learn, from the comments, that Howard sucks, we need to bring back Hull, Holland is the worst GM in hockey and Ericsson will save us all when Lidstrom retires in the year 3218. When Holland traded our first round pick for a couple in the second round, that Facebook page was up in arms. Little did those silly people know we’d end up with Tomas Jurco and Xavier Oullet. Why pick Jurco 24th when you can take him 35th and also get a defenseman? Brilliant.
Additions to the Blog: This is awkward since I’m talking about myself here, but we also have Jordan and Josh now, so I’ll focus on them. Jordan does a great job with the stats and that’s good because some of you need those numbers. I hate researching stats to prove my point. I like using pictures and video to express my views. Josh helped by bringing his photoshop skills to the movie posters. Photoshop is frustrating to me. In my head I can picture hilarious images that I want to share with you all, but when I try to put it together, it’s loaded with fail.
Tragedy: The summer of 2011 was full of sadness. I was happy for Michigan native Tim Thomas winning the Stanley Cup, but after that, sadness. Accidental overdoses, suspected suicides and the saddest day of all for Red Wings fans, the day we lost Lokomotiv. Modern media has improved the way we get our news, but the rush to break the story first has led to a lot of misinformation. One of the big mistakes that day was multiple sources claiming that Salei and/or Liv had not been on the plane. As a fan, the realization that that was untrue was hard, but I can’t imagine what it must have done to family and friends.
Best of 2011
Best Hit: Kronwall on Clowe. This wasn’t his best hit, but it had the best story behind it. After destroying Heatley, Kronwall was called out by Clowe. I’d like to think that the following conversation took place during a faceoff prior to Kronwall’s hit on Clowe:
Clowe: Hey, punk. I bet you wouldn’t hit a real man like me.
Kronwall: Actually I was planning on hitting you next.
Kronwall: Yeah, probably the next time someone passes the puck to you.
Clowe: Why do you have to be so mean? Please don’t hit me.
Kronwall: I’m going to.
Clowe: Please don’t…
Kronwall: Okay, okay, I won’t hit you.
Clowe: Phew! Thanks, Kronner! You’re the best!
Best Goal: It was a shootout, and any “Best Goal” that doesn’t feature Pavel is just wrong, but what can I say? I like Bert’s shootout goals.
Biggest Save: Howard makes a big save every night, it seems. But this one stands out to me, so here it is.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for you. Liked it or hated it, 2011 is history. What do you remember from 2011? Also, what was your favorite goal, hit and save?