By Sean Gallagher
Those of you who are familiar with our paper (yes, webwizards, this blog is different from virtually every other one that you and I waste our days with in that we have an actual printed paper despite the fact that the medium is dying the same slow, painful death we've seen with scripted TV sitcoms based on a group of precocious children. Where have you gone, "Diff'rent Strokes!") will know that when you see the above title, there's probably gonna be some curse words involved.
You also probably know that you're probably gonna see some arguments that are more subjective than objective. Not a ton of stats to back up my arguments. But you know what, I'm here to channel your thoughts. And right about know, my thoughts are trending towards "Fuck Stats."
And for those of you who are web-only fans and you're all, "Hey, Brad Lee is the Online Editor, how can you write a letter from the editor?" Well, Skippy, we're a little sloppy with rules around here in case you hadn't noticed. Fuck Stats and Fuck Rules.
Speaking of all that, Fuck Detroit. Not much feels better to me right about now, and I don't even care that Detroit probably deserved to win Game 5 and carry around the Cup while all their bandwagon fans pissed their panties and chanted Yzerman's name for no apparent reason while Sidney Crosby was busy shaving off the worst playoff beard in recorded history.
And still you want to know why we continue to say Fuck Detroit? Ask any Blues fan why they hate Detroit and you'll get one of two answers: 1) their fans are fucking idiots or 2) their fans are fucking bandwagon idiots.
It's tough to figure out which kind of Detroit fan you're dealing with, but here's your handy-dandy guide to picking out which version is currently annoying you:
Step One: ask it, "how long have you been a Red Wings fan?"
If the answer is later than 1997, they are a fucking bandwagon idiot. Any answer from before 1997 leads you to Step Two.
Step Two: ask it, "Really? Other than Steve Yzerman, who was your favorite player on the team?"
It will come up with no correct answer, solidifying the fact that you are faced with a fucking idiot Red Wings fan.
And here's the other thing: fucking idiot Red Wing fans keep showing up here to post in our comments about a few topics. Actually, using the word 'few' is giving them too much credit. They have two basic themes: you are all bitter and you are just jealous.
Look, retards, we have an open door policy around this joint, so most of the time we let your poorly thought-out, poorly constructed, easily ignored, ridiculously redundant comments through in the vein of, "let's let opposing viewpoints be heard!"
But you know what, out of work, non Wings tickets-buying, bitter when you're winning fucktards? No more. I've had my fill of your comments because they are not original, they are not funny and they are not timely.
Do I have your attention, Dickbags? The piece about Aaron Downey being a pussy was written TWO MONTHS AGO! LET IT GO. You're on the verge of a Stanley Cup. Enjoy that. Leave us alone. We don't care about you and we'll never care enough about your team to bookmark your team's derivative bloggers at any point, much less when our team is good and yours is not.
Hell, I guarantee the content co-opters at Abel to Yzerman were about to link this article under the heading "Bitter Blues Fans" again right up until they just read that last half-sentance. Thanks but no thanks, you Kukla hangers-on. Keep your unoriginal commenters over in your own unoriginal domain.
Meanwhile, you all can keep focusing on us and simultaneously pretending that you couldn't care less about our team as a rival, but that'd be playing right back into us, wouldn't it? If we're not your rivals, then why do you care what we think about you? Are you busy combing the Nashville Predator blogs too, just to ensure that their Saturn plant workers aren't getting over on you and your GM asses? I bet you're not, but if you are, well, that's even sadder.
Go fuck yourself, Detroit. We hate your team, but only because we hate you, the fans, somewhere around 100 times more.
Oh, and Dallas Drake? You're dead to me, you traitor.
On to a less angry topic. The draft is coming up in a few days (or so I keep hearing) and I've never been happier to have a guy completely dedicated to tracking these young boys as they enter hockey adulthood than I am to have our Game Time Prospect Department.
In the position I hold with this organization, people always want to know who I think we should draft. My typical answer? I have no fucking idea. You want to know? Check our website or email our prospect guy. I just can't get into it like Brian (and several of our readers) can. I'm too busy during the season worrying about why the powerplay isn't working (start with a right-handed PP quarterback to play the point other than Erik Johnson who isn't a forward, add a crease warrior to pick up garbage and and go from there) or why Dutchie Stempniak isn't scoring (um, I called that during the pre-season last year. I love the Dutch Man, but he's a 20-goal scorer folks, and when he loses top PP shooter from the circle time to Paul Kariya he's gonna have a hard time improving that) or why Eric Brewer isn't playing better (look at his stats, people. The guy scores less than .5 points per game over the above-average season. He has never been an offense-first guy).
And so I'm as uniformed about the average County goof who has nothing better to do than write the P-D about why the Blues aren't better when it comes to prospects.
But this I know: the Blues are on the right track. The management has the right attitude and have bought into the 'build from within' playbook that has been presented to them. They are, I hear, drafting well. The days of trading three good youngsters and pick for a pending UFA who has never done well in the playoffs (Keith Tkachuk, I am looking in your general direction).
But they'll need help. Someone (or someones) in the pipeline or on the roster need to break out bigger than their scouting report. One of these young phenoms we've been hearing about has to blow away his draft position and become a star. The coaching staff needs to be nimble and flexible to deal with a younger generation of player in conjunction with a newer set of NHL rules. Veterans will need to play better than they're finishing out a contract.
But more than all of that? The biggest problem of all will have to be erased: the Blues have grown accustomed to being a blue-collar, hard-workin, bunch of over-achievers. You know what that means? It means no one expects to win it all.
And fuck all that. Because expecting to surprise some other team is expecting to lose.
Until Dave Checetts and his crew, John Davidson and his 52 assistant general mangers, Andy Murray and his 17 assistants (none of whom can apparently develop a powerplay) and the 87 veterans of 'good character' get the stink of "work hard and hope for the best" blown the fuck out of 14th & Brett Hull Way and replaced with the white collar, "we are better than you and we know we're winners," scent (which is probably similar to some sort of AXE body spray), all the preparation, building and sweet video montages aren't going to get this team anywhere near a bunch of blue convertables driving slowly down Market Street.
-Sean "I hate anyone who's not us" Gallagher