(Ed. Note: As the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue, we're bound to lose some friends along the journey. We've asked for these losers, gone but not forgotten, to be eulogized by the people who knew the teams best: The bloggers and fans who hate them the most. Here is Tampa Bay Lightning blogger Cassie McClellan of Raw Charge, fondly recalling the 2014-15 Detroit Red Wings. Again, this was not written by us. Also: This is a roast and you will be offended by it, so don't take it so seriously.)
By Cassie McClellan
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to join this man and this woman...in the bonds…of…. Wait. No, that’s not right. Wrong speech. So sorry about that.
Dearest friends, enemies, and frenemies. We have gathered here today to mourn the loss of one of our own – the highly regarded Detroit Red Wings. Some may say that they were taken from us far too soon, but it was simply their time.
Just as one day, once again, it’ll be time for Steven Stamkos to start scoring in playoffs. But that time is not now – or, at least, not today. So, you know, it really was just time for the Red Wings to go. Obviously. I mean, how can you lose a series to a team that has Stamkos in a playoff scoring slump, right? With the horror of a lowly defenseman getting the game winning goal?
In Game 7, no less?
Such was the birthday gift the Red Wings bestowed upon their head coach, Mike Babcock, in what might be his last game with Detroit. Or not. Or maybe so. Perhaps-ish? I guess that depends entirely you’re your current state of mind and what publication or member of the media you happen to be reading or listening to at the moment.
Even still, sometimes the student outstrips the master, and so it was with the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Master Jedi – I mean, general manager, Steve Yzerman. Who, quite frankly, wasn’t talked about nearly enough in this series.
I mean, did you know that he was once the captain of the Red Wings? And for like 20 years or something. Isn’t that crazy? Who knew, right?
Despite their untimely demise, the Red Wings will live on. In World Championships, for instance. And in trades at the draft. And in free agent signings come July 1. They will never wholly disappear, for they - like all other NHL teams – will be once again reborn with training camps in the fall. Much to the dismay of St. Louis Blues, Chicago Blackhawks, and some older Colorado Avalanche fans everywhere.
They will also continue to live on throughout the postseason, as the national hockey media as well as Tampa media will refer to this series for the remaining time the Lightning stay afloat in the playoffs. Constant referrals to hits and goals throughout the first round will be made countless times by everyone, until they’re beyond meaningless. This will ensure that the Red Wings fans will suffer to their ultimate limit, as is the way of the NHL.
Once all of the injuries have been released, and Wings fans have consoled themselves with the fact that they and officiating finally did them in, the second round will start. And the Lightning will be prominently talked about due to their upcoming series with the Montreal Canadiens. Because, Montreal, of course.
So, really, Detroit fans may be okay sooner rather than later after all, since everyone will be talking about Carey Price and Montreal while doing their absolute best to ignore that the Tampa Bay Lightning exist, as is per so many media outlets’ standard protocol.
Still, the shining light that is their 23-year-old starting goalie, Petr Mrazek, will guide them through the darkness of the offseason. At least until Babcock has sorted out all of the offers from NHL teams looking for a new head coach and decided on his new destination. Mrazek will give the Wings fans hope of a new era in Detroit hockey, one where there’s sunshine and unicorns and rainbows and Yzerman comes back home and takes over Ken Holland’s position when he finally retires. I’m sure Scotty Bowman will welcome Holland into the Lightning press box in the future.
So let us all take a moment and bow our heads, as some try to stifle our laughter, and respect all of that the Original Six history – which, again, who knew about that, right? The Detroit Red Wings are no more in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and some of our brackets have been busted due to this fact. But, really, probably not very many.
(Ed. Note: For those waiting on the Islanders/Nassau, unfortunately our writer had to deal with an emergency on the home front so she couldn’t turn it around. It shall be forthcoming.)