Hours after the Wings had returned from Pittsburgh, having just hoisted the organization’s fourth Cup since 1997, I found myself clamoring for a glimpse and a touch of sports’ finest trophy at a local pub.
While taking my own intermission from the joyous pandemonium, Happy Hudler had snuck in the back door wearing a 20’s era gangster cap, and that impish grin that we in Hockeytown have become accustomed to.
Having simply said, “hey Huds”, and offering my hand in a high-five, Hudler responded with an unexpected bear hug, and then proceeded to jump on the table for a dance with Lord Stanley’s chalice.
During that fine spring, Hudler lived up to his moniker, “happy”. Since then, he has not.
A move to the KHL is poisonous for a player, I believe.
The pace is not half as frantic as it is in North America, and that sluggishness clearly infected Huds when scrutinizing his play last season. However, after the first two skirmishes of this young campaign, it seems that happy days are here again.
Shirking a summer of workouts with fitness fanatic Chris Chelios, the diminutive Hudler opted to train with the hulking monsters (I mean that in that in the best way possible) of the UFC. Daniel Briere made a similar training decision several seasons ago, with terrific results.
I disagree with the premise that body language is wholly trustworthy. But, Hudler’s body is clearly feeling stronger, and as a result, his mind is as well.
I’ve said before, that I’d like to see Hudler play with Datsyuk. This was the case against Ottawa, but not against Colorado.
Now, since the great and daring experimenter Scotty Bowman injected his philosophy into Detroit’s veins, each subsequent Red Wings coach has been fond of constant line juggling, so we should expect Hudler to share ice time with 13 red again. Happy is off to a fine start; burying his chances and setting up others. This must continue. Go Wings.