That game was a thriller, but Chicago still gives me headaches. I was getting whiplash watching the puck move so fast with all the turnovers and honestly think that the western conference finals are going to end with someone sustaining a serious injury of some sort. It almost happened in Game One with that Burish neck-slice scare. This series is getting really scrappy.
And with scrappiness comes penalties. Horrible, unnecessary, stupid penalties from the whistles of Dennis LaRue and Greg Devorski. I hate Dennis LaRue. Every time I see a tiny man skate onto the ice wearing a striped jersey with a number 14 on the back, my stomach drops because I know I’m about to sit through at least sixty minutes of ridiculousness. I hate it. There are some refs in this league I give second chances to, allow occasional mistakes from, try to forgive a little even if I can’t forget (because we’re all human) – but Dennis LaRue is not one of those refs. I want to get him alone in an elevator so I can kick him in the shins more than I do Jarome Iginla.
On a less bitter note…that game was, in my opinion, Chris Osgood’s best performance in this year’s playoffs, and… probably all year. He was consistent and pretty much the main reason why the Red Wings came out with a win. Justin Abdelkader had a pretty solid night, too. He made some plays that showed he is ready to play in this league. I’m a little worried about who we’ll have to drop to get him and Darren Helm in Detroit next year (even though I’m guessing that ready or not, Abdelkader’s spending some quality time in Grand Rapids again), but that’s Ken Holland’s problem – not mine.
Game three is Friday in Chicago. I want to be excited, because it’s the playoffs, and Wings are up two games to none, but I find it really hard to get excited about watching a hockey game in an arena full of Blackhawks fans.
I saw one today, at 1:30 in the morning, outside of the MGM Grand parking garage, still in his jersey, staring out despondently at the passing traffic. If I hadn’t been sure my friend, who was driving, would backhand me for making a scene, I would have reached over, laid on the horn, leaned out my window, and yelled something about his team having cooties.