Christmas Wish List Revisited

Below is the Christmas list I wrote up at Thanksgiving.  Now that the wonderful holiday is upon us, I’m going to check the list and see if I’ve gotten what I wanted…

All I want for Christmas:

  1. I want Ville Leino to purchase a nice cottage in northern michigan and retire there.  He obviously does not want to put out the effort Detroit fans expect form their players, and this way he’d be able to tell all the people up-north about his glory days playing for our beloved hockey team.  Maybe in 20-25 years an age group will come along that will marvel at the fact that he once wore the winged-wheel, failing to realize that he was a complete disappointment the entire time he did.  Little would they know, he only played for us because of gary’s salary cap and the obnoxious amount of injuries we’ve sustained.  I’m done with Ville…yes, I’m writing him off.  I hear Charlevoix is nice this time of year…
      E-ville has been a bit better of late, but when guys start coming back from injury I would still prefer the likes of Eaves, Miller, Abdelkader et. al. to Leino being in the lineup.  He’s just too slow and isn’t quite “bringing it” every game.
  2. I want Todd Bertuzzi to join Ville.  Reference everything I wrote above and apply it to Bert.
      So, yeah, um.  He kinda showed up a bit.  I’m still not gonna start a love fest, but Bert can stay for now.  He can sleep on the couch while we work this out.
  3. I want Johan Franzen to stop thinking that he’s going to make it back for the olympic games.  This scares the thanksgiving stuffing out of me.  So he wants to skate in a month, then play in a couple games with the Wings, followed by a grueling 2-week single-elimination tournament.  Coming off ACL surgery, somehow this doesn’t seem like a spectacular idea to me.  The last thing the Wings need is Franzen to re-injure anything or even be hurting heading into March.  This is all considering that we may, unfortunately, be battling in the playoff race come that time of year.  We need the Mule back strong and healthy.
      It appears that Franzen will not be back for the Olympics, and we’ll know very shortly if he is even named to the roster.  Please Mr. Naslund, I’m begging you, do not put the Mule out there in February.  We need him healthy for the amazing March and April we’ll need to have.
  4. I want better Special Teams.  Namely I want better Penalty-Killing.  We’re the Red Wings, and we have “great” defensive depth and a good core of penalty-killers.  Yet somehow we can’t actually stop other teams from scoring…it baffles me.
      Well, the penalty kill is certainly better. To the tune of 14th in the league better, when we were near the bottom.  At one point we were 36 of 37.  Those numbers were unheard of last year.  Malik has a great write-up from a week ago on it.
  5. I want Ken Holland to go back in time and sign Vinny Prospal to play wing rather than Bert or Williams.  Oh hindsight…
      Still kinda wishing, although Vinny has cooled off a bit.  I still think he would fit better alongside Datsyuk than Bert, and he is the same price.
  6. I want Georges Laraque to never play another NHL game.  It’s painful to watch this man play hockey, and no fan should ever have to pay to see it.  End this.  Immediately.  (I’m looking at you Bob Gainey.)
      Still a wish, dangit.  As I watched the completely inept power-play the past few games against the Blackhawks, I kept wishing we had Nik Jr. back there quarterbacking the 2nd unit.  Merry Christmas Georges Laraque, you still have a job.
  7. I want Ryan Getzlaf.  What!? I’m allowed to dream alright.  It’s Christmastime, maybe a surprise is awaiting me…
      Nope. No trades either. I did get a Drew Miller Bobby Orr style goal though!
  8. I want the Red Wings to sign Darren Helm for life so that I can feel confident purchasing a #43 jersey soon.
      I’m still waiting.  The more and more I watch this kid though, you gotta think he’s the kinda player that could develop into a #2 pivot one day for the Wings if he could get his shot/finishing skills up to par.  He’s so fast that he makes more plays and chances out of nothing than any other player on the ice.  Detroit loves him.  The fans can’t get enough of watching a player like Darren.  I have an inkling he’ll be around for quite a while.
  9. I want the Red Wings to have a 4-game winning streak at any point this season.
      Check. They did in fact win 4 straight from the 11th to the 17th of this month.  They beat the Ducks, Preds, Coyotes and Lightning respectively.  Not the highest caliber of opposition, but considering our lineup, quite an accomplishment.  Bert scored OT winners in the first two against the Ducks and Preds as well.  I’m still wondering if I’m in a bad hockey Twilight Zone episode.
  10. Finally, I want to wake up and have this nightmare be over.  I’m ready for April and for us to be a top-4 seed.  I don’t enjoy watching games like the last two.  I’m sick of hearing about different players “trying” and “working hard.”  This is the Red Wings.  To quote our favorite muppet Yoda: “Do or do not, there is no try.”  That is a mantra the Wings need to pick up and run with.  The Red Wings win.  Period.  If they aren’t then things need to get changed.  I’m tired, and I’m not enjoying the fact that we’re not even in the top 8 in the conference right now.  I’m not completely freaking out, but this is taxing as a Wings fan and I’d simply like to be reminded at Christmastime that my hockey team is still one of the premiere franchises in the league.  Let’s start with tonight.
      Well, we’re still not in the top 8.  My views have lessened a bit though.  We’re still a top team when healthy.  We’ve just gotta find a way to make a great stretch run, and then anything can happen.  Hopefully we’ll get Chicago in the 1st round and wreck their hopes of a Cup right away.  That is my new “wish”.

So there it is.  I got some of the things I wanted.  It’s Christmastime, so I feel ok about everything right now.  We even get the Blue Jackets to help our ills.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and a Merry Christmas.

BONUS: Check out all the hockey players in the following.  The song is by Igor Larionov’s daughters, and they got quite a few Red Wings and other players to help out…


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