OPINION: Detroit Red Wings 23rd Playoffs

First and foremost, congratulations to the Detroit Red Wings for making their 23rd Playoffs. Their impressive 23 year streak has not been broken and this was the year it looked as if it were going to be broken. With a litany of injuries to the seasoned members of the team, the not so season members of the team and without the superstars of the team like that of Zetterberg and Datsyuk for a lot of the season, it seemed the 23rd year might be elusive, but the boys in red and white rallied and are playoff bound.

As a Detroit Red Wings Fan, I am excited to see the team make the playoffs. There’s nothing better than seeing your team battle game after game for the prized Stanley Cup. It can bring a range of emotions from happiness to sadness and tears of joy and tears of bittersweet loss. As a Red Wings fan, as much as I am excited, a part of my hockey loving heart holds skepticism.

A lot of skepticism.

I honestly feel if we made it out of the first round against the Boston Bruins, it will be nothing short of a miracle. Yes other Red Wings fans can argue with me that when we played Boston during the season we won 3 of 4 games, but the Bruins are kind of like a fine wine…as the season has progressed they have gotten better. Even when they’re bad, they’re still good. They just win more than they lose. To date Boston has won 54, lost 18, and lost 9 in OT/Shoot Out. To date Detroit has won 38, lost 28, and lost 15 in OT/Shoot Out.

Boston is a gritty and hard playing team. Detroit’s young line, aka “Kid Line” doesn’t have the same grind as Boston does. I applause Detroit’s “Kid-Line,” because I feel without them they would not be in the Playoffs. There is no doubt that players like Gustav Nyquist, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar, Luke Glendening, Tomas Jurco, and the rest of the Grand Rapids Griffins call ups have been vital if not key to the Red Wings turn around in my opinion. (Noteworthy: the “Kid-Line” is roughly the same age as the Red Wings’ 23 year streak.) I’d like to say I have faith in the young ones to carry the team through the post season but their shoulders alone cannot carry the burden. The season members of the team need to step up and do what they do best and I don’t feel like they have. If seasoned members of the team regain that fire in their belly and the “Kid-Line” remains tenacious and daring, then just maybe as a Detroit Red Wings fan, I’ll see them lift the Stanley Cup.

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My Thoughts on the Ryan Callahan – Martin St. Louis Trade

God, I love these moments in trade periods during the NHL seasons…there is nothing more exciting than seeing what your favorite team(s) move or don’t move.

The one that actually made me say “Holy shit” out loud to co-workers was the New York Rangers trading Ryan Callahan to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Martin St. Louis.

There were rumors that Callahan might be traded but he was also playing well for the team so those rumors were more than likely to be a post-season trade (or so the professional hockey writers, announcers, etc felt). As for St. Louis, it wasn’t a secret he wanted to be traded especially after being initially snubbed by his GM Steve Yzerman to play for Team Canada during the 2014 Olympics.

Callahan – possibility.
St. Louis – it was coming, just where he would land, no one knew.

I would have never guessed these two teams would have traded captains. I would not have even guessed that St. Louis would want to play for the Rangers, but I’m no expert, just a fan who listens/reads the trades and such as it pertains to my favorite teams or players that I like.

As a Rangers fan, I am happy to see Martin St. Louis were the Blueshirt. Callahan was a good player and a solid player, but I always felt he kind of played like former NYR captain, Chris Drury. Lackadaisical. Sometimes Callahan’s “A” game was on and sometimes it was as if he was anywhere other than on the ice. I never felt Callahan was always focused on the game. Again, that’s my opinion.

Even though I am a Rangers fan, I know Martin St. Louis and his game. You kind of have to be half assed hockey fan to not know St. Louis and his passion for the game. When I see St. Louis on the ice, you as a spectator, fan, or player know he’s on the ice. There is no doubt his presence is there and you know where his head is at: IN THE GAME.

I sent a text to my fellow Rangers friend, JEO* and he replied “Eh. I didn’t want such an old player.”

First, I balked and thought, well, goddamn that’s my age. I’m not old! The difference is that Martin St. Louis is a 38-year-old hockey specimen that is freaking amazing this year. Is he the perfect human like Niklas Lidstrom is know for? No, but he’s damn near close.

*not his real name