Instead of celebrating the eight wins remaining until the Detroit Red Wings hoisted Lord Stanley's cup again, the sight of our chalkboard as we came down to the kitchen was a kick in the shins and a reminder that we sometimes have to give other teams a chance.
OnlySon has a difficult time with this. In his short 18 years he has seen our family's team win the Stanley Cup four times. That leads to a certain amount of expectation. We try to console him, but he doesn't want to hear about those poor Toronto Maple Leaf fans who wouldn't know what the cup looks like if it wasn't housed in their city's Hockey Hall of Fame. And he certainly doesn't want to hear again about how back in the day we remained loyal to our team when everyone referred to them as the Dead Wings.
His own hockey career began with an air of expectation. In his first year of Rep hockey his team won All Ontario. Just like his favourite Wings players had done ten months earlier, OnlySon and his teammates celebrated their win with some bubbly (apple juice) in the dressing room. Such excitement! Such memories! Everyone could feel the streak beginning. A short while later we had to break the news that we were moving to another city. He was devastated, and mostly because he wanted to grow up playing with a bee on his jersey. I tried to put the move into terms that an eight year old hockey nut could understand. He was being traded. And although no jersey will ever look as awesome as that first one, a hawk can be pretty impressive too. Wouldn't you know it? His first year in a new city, and with a new team, and the Hawks were League Champions. Mr. Fun often tells us that hockey is a funny game.
One of the gifts that Mr. Fun received this past Christmas was this book:
Simpson, Rob. The Winged Wheel: a half-century of the Detroit Red Wings in photographs. John Wiley & Sons: Mississauga, Canada, 2012. (hardcover)
As the title indicates, it is a history of the Detroit Red Wings in photographs. Lots of beautiful black and white, and colour photographs. Unlike a typical coffee table book, which this book could be disguised as, a lot of text is included. It would make a great read for a non or reluctant reader (not that Mr. Fun fits into this category. He is actually quite an avid reader). You probably know that guy who loves sports, but who wouldn't normally pick up a book with a lot of writing in it. This is the book for that guy. There is at least a half-page photo on each spread; many of the spreads have full page photos. Quotes and stats are also in abundance. There are chapters devoted to the Scorers, the Bench Bosses, the Blueliners, and the Enforcers. Of course, this guy gets his own chapter - yeah Stevie Y!
And so do these guys - the Russian Five
How can you tell we're real fans? We even have the Russian Five ( Fetisov, Konstantinov, Larionov, Federov, and Koslov) in a set of matryoshka dolls. You can get a set too at the Izmailovsky Market in Moscow.
For now we'll thank all the players for an exciting short season. We'll keep rolling with the Winged Wheel and the hope that next year brings better things.