Today I will root for the Red Wings like I never have before. That's probably because I never have done that in my entire life. Let me explain and tell you why you should do it too.
The Nashville Predators play at Detroit tonight in a game that could decide what the Blues have to play for during their last home game of the regular season Friday night. If the Predators lose in regulation to the Red Wings, one single win would clinch a playoff birth for the Blues. It's too good an opportunity to pass up.
This Blues team has fought for more than two months straight to be in this position. Back in February and early March, the playoffs seemed like a pipe dream. Then in the last few weeks with the Blues knocking on the door and the race coming down to about five teams for two spots, they kept themselves in the hunt. The Oilers and Wild have fallen off leaving the Blues, Predators and Ducks angling for seventh and eighth place in the conference. Two points from St. Louis and one regulation loss from Nashville and the race is over.
How sweet would it be to see a win on home ice propel the rebuilt Blues to the postseason? The Drinkscotch Center would shake the memories of the Old Barn on Oakland alive. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world at 7:30 p.m. Friday night. Thinking about it gives me goose bumps. So the best way to set up that scenario is a Wings win tonight.
Now I've read comments from folks during the last couple weeks while the Blues had to rely on other teams to beat their competition about how some people can't possibly consider rooting for Chicago or Detroit. Some have said, "I'm rooting for Nashville to lose, not the Wings to win." Masters of semantics, if you're following the game tonight and Detroit scores to take an early lead, you will therefore celebrate a Red Wings goal, correct? A Detroit goal will make you happy, not drive you to drink - the normal effect. I think that's rooting for a team to win no matter how you phrase it, so embrace the Dark Side for just one evening.
Tonight, I will put away my hatred and disgust. I will box up my dislike for the Winged Wheel. I will get my game face on and let out a hearty, "Let's Go Red Wings!"
Wow, that doesn't sound right. Holy crap this is going to be harder than I thought, but totally worth it...as long as Detroit doesn't screw this up. If the Preds win then we'll see how fast I can delete this post and never acknowledge it again.
Who's with me? Sound off in the comments and look for a related Project Mayhem announcement later today.
(Disclaimer: I will never be able to root for Tomas Holmstrom or Kris Draper. There are some lines I just can't cross.)