Festivus, Detroit Red Wings Edition


Dec 12, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock reacts against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a long season so far for the Detroit Red Wings and their fans. It’s been a roller coaster ride of mostly drops. So many drops, in fact, that most fans probably think this is an underground ride.

But today is December 23, and if you are a Seinfeld fan, you know that today is Festivus. In case you need a refresher:

One of the traditions of Festivus is the “Airing of Grievances,” where everyone lets out their problems and issues with their loved ones in a very public and loud manner. The Detroit Free Press enjoys asking Red Wings players what their grievances are and a few years back, I drew a comic about Bertuzzi airing his own grievances.

So here, in no particular order, is my contribution to the Airing of Grievances, Red Wings Edition.

1. Everyone stop being injured

We get it. Minor injuries happen during the course of the season. But six of our nine top forwards and our starting goaltender? What is wrong with all of you?!

Nov 21, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings center

Darren Helm

(43) skates with the puck in the second period against the Carolina Hurricanes at Joe Louis Arena. Detroit won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

2. To Darren Helm: Stop toying with our hearts!

Look, either be injured or STAY UNINJURED AND PLAY HOCKEY!!! We suffered enough waiting for him to potentially come back from his lengthy injury, only to fall to a groin injury before even returning. And then he came back and was awesome. And then he fell to a shoulder injury.

Someone buy this kid some good luck charms and change his luck. Seriously.

3. Stop complaining about defense

I get it. We don’t have Nicklas Lidstrom. Or Brad Stuart. Or Brian Rafalski. No one likes Kyle Quincey (not now, not before, not ever. In fact, don’t even mention his name.). Brendan Smith is the worst. Haven’t we heard this all…oh, I don’t know, all the time for the past few years?

Our defense is decent. It’s not the best; it’s not great; but it’s also not terrible. When you’re used to Lidstrom on the blue line, adjusting to his absence will take some time. But guys…there comes a time when the complaining gets to be too much.

4. Stop saying there’s a goalie controversy

Sports in Detroit take their rage out on the quarterback and the goaltender. Starting a “controversy” for Red Wings goaltender takes a lot more than having the backup playing well and the starter struggling. Remember when we had Dominik Hasek, Manny Legace, and Curtis Joseph all vying for the starting position? That’s a controversy and that sucked. Jonas Gustavsson finally playing well while Jimmy Howard struggles a little and falls to injury? Why should you complain? We have a backup that can actually cover for Howard rather than just relying on Howard the whole season.

5. Mikael Samuelsson, no one likes you

Okay, Sammy. We understand that you’re frustrated that you’re constantly a healthy scratch. But no one likes you anyway, so your complaining just makes us want to get rid of you more. No offense (well… maybe offense from some people, but I’m too nice of a person to outright say it).

Dec 17, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings center

Pavel Datsyuk

(13) during the game against the Anaheim Ducks at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

6. 24/7, give us more Pavel Datsyuk

Everyone is complaining that this series of 24/7 on HBO is extremely boring compared to previous editions. Heck, I haven’t even watched the first two episodes yet and I’m anticipating being relatively bored. But that’s what happens when half your team is injured.

So give us more Pavel Datsyuk. The man shies away from cameras, yes, but he’s so darn funny. Example: Back in 2010, a friend of mine went to the Toast of Hockeytown and when we got his picture with Datsyuk, the flash didn’t go off and my friend apologized for having to take another picture. “Maybe you should pay electric bill,” Datsyuk told him.

Hilarious. 24/7 needs more of that.

7. Daniel Alfredsson, stop looking like Doctor Eggman from Sonic the Hedgehog

Okay, I noticed this one in Saturday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs when he went in the shootout and they showed a closeup of him. He’s got a very red face, super blue eyes, and crazy wild reddish hair.

Seriously, he looks like Doctor Eggman.

8. Everyone’s sick of Dan Cleary

He brought this one upon himself during the off-season when he wasn’t signed for the longest time, was theoretically going to the Philadelphia Flyers, and then ended up signing here for another year, making everyone complain that guys like Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist (though the hilarious Church of Nyquist was created) wouldn’t get their shot (though thanks to injuries, they have).

Cleary found a home here and it’s always hard to let go of a guy like that. But there are so many young players that need their chance, and Cleary’s standing in their way. Plus, most fans are sure he’s just a zombie at this point, or secretly a sixty-seven-year-old man because he constantly has groin issues or knee problems that sideline him.

9. Cory Emmerton, stop having nice eyebrows

Seriously. Seriously. I mean, they’re better than a girl’s eyebrows. Seriously. Look. Look! I have no coherent thoughts about this, except to stop it.

Nov 24, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Detroit Red Wings left wing

Drew Miller

(20) against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

10. Stop giving Drew Miller mentions only because the Red Wings are playing the Buffalo Sabres

Drew Miller is great. Everyone likes him. Yes, we know that his brother is goaltender Ryan Miller. Yes, it is entertaining to hope that Drew scores on Ryan. But there’s more to Miller than when we play Buffalo (who is terrible). Give him some airtime when we’re not playing the Sabres.

11. Season ticket holders who don’t show up

Look, if you’re not going to use your tickets, why don’t you give them to us less fortunate people who don’t have the money to have tickets to every game? Let them go to good use!

12. Give us curly fries!

If you’re not in the metro Detroit area, then you don’t know that when a Red Wings player scores a hat trick in a game, we can take the box score into Arby’s the next day and get free curly fries. Hat tricks don’t happen often, but when they do, everyone is so hungry, they can eat at Arby’s.

And the taste is glorious.

So I suppose I’m complaining that I have not had a valid reason to go to Arby’s yet this season. And I would like free curly fries, please, Red Wings. Someone get on that whole scoring thing.

Do you have your own grievances? Yell them loud and proud in the comments section. Festivus only comes once a year!