I finally get a decent amount of time to devote to the blog again (now that I’ve finished my first six months at the yob), and my back goes kablooie again.
I spend 2 days flat on my back and another 2 weeks trying to stretch and traction it back into shape with the help of meds, and the ‘Canes make the playoffs.
The ‘Canes make the playoffs, and I finally have a decent amount of time to devote to the blog again.
And we’re facing the Devils again. What a coincidence among coincidences.
I’m not very happy that the ‘Canes decided to lay down on the job in front of Michael Leighton on the last day of the season. I caught bits and pieces of the game while I was at work, and wasn’t really thrilled with what I was hearing.
I will give Paul Maurice due props for the work he and his staff have done with the team so far. Make no mistake, I miss Peter Laviolette and I will never speak ill of him (unlike, say, the Great Leader)–but he should have been allowed to leave after the 2006-2007 season. Coaches like Lavi and my favourite Spicy Italian, John Tortorella, who coach very aggressive and unadaptable styles of play, have a very short half-life unless everything goes just right all the time. The minute things go wrong, the rate of decay begins to speed up until you have what amounts to gold turning into lead.
Chairman Mo, on the other hand, has surprised me by showing that he’s learned to adapt to what he has to hand. I still see fragments of the defensive shell that drove me barking mad during his first go-round, but this time it’s actually doing something that I never thought I would see.
That said; for me to eat any crow when it comes to Paul Maurice as Hurricanes coach, the crow’s going to have to be served in the bowl of the Stanley Cup after a Game 6 win. And if it’s delicately seasoned with the bitter tears of Red Wings fans, so much the better.
Which brings me to my next topic as we head into the playoffs: Hate vs. Respect. For this, I will bring out Crown’s Exhibit A: The Detroit Red Wings.
As anyone alive knows, I hate the Red Wings and have for almost 30 years. I hated them when the Norris family was running the team into the ground. I hated them when they went from asstacular to decent. I hated them when they won their last 4 Cups. I’ve always just flat never liked them.
But I respected them. I respected them when they were shitty, because of their history. I respected them when they started getting decent, because they were trying. And I respect them now, because they’re an example of what happens when you formulate a plan and stick with it. They’re an example of great scouting (take a look at when Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk were taken in their drafts–not even Lou Lamoriello could pull off something like that). They’re an example of astute management. And they’re an example of outstanding development and coaching.
Do I wish my team was the Red Wings? If you mean, “do I wish that my team would actually try to emulate a team growth model that works” (hint to ‘Canes manglement: that means “knock off the penny-ante bulldada and invest in some actual scouting and development”), then the answer is yes. If you mean, “do I wish that the fanbase was loaded with the hockey equivalent of Wal-Mart UNC fans”, then the answer is of course oh hell no. I’d like to not be embarrassed by my fellow fans, thanks.
(aside: What do a State fan and a UNC fan have in common? Neither of them went to UNC. *rimshot*)
Thank you, I’ll be here all playoffs. Pass the mead.