The Red Wings Are Golfing In May

The Detroit Red Wings bowed out of the NHL playoffs after losing game five of their series with San Jose.  Each game they lost, they lost by just one goal.  Now the Wings are faced with an even harder task – playing golf in May.

The Red Wings have been the most successful team in the league these past ten-plus years.  No one can doubt that.  With all of their extended playoff runs comes a grinding fatigue that most other players don’t experience.  Instead of getting nearly five months off between seasons the Red Wings usually get three because of their deep pushes into the playoffs.  After so many years of that pace, time catches up to you, especially the older players on the team.  This year, they finally came up against their own brick wall, a wall they created themselves thanks to their own success.

Some of the players won’t know what to do with themselves without having competitive hockey to play in May.  Nicholas Lidstrom has made the post season in each of his nineteen seasons with the team.  I can see him staring blindly into outer space this May, not knowing what to do with himself.  Tomas Holmstrom will have to ask his own kids to whack him in the back of the legs with wooden sticks since goaltenders around the league will be out of sight this May.  Pavel Datsyuk will have to play street hockey with a tin can in his driveway instead of making others look ridiculous while he undresses them with his skill and sneakiness.  Pavel plays golf but NEVER in May!

For me personally, I’m trying to figure out what I’ll be doing in May this year.  Having no hockey game to watch every other night, not having my fingernails chewed down to nothing, and not having to stay up late when the Wings play on the west coast will be an adjustment.  I suppose I can start rooting for my local team, the Boston Bruins, but that just doesn’t seem like the normal thing to do in May.  Suddenly the NHL Playoffs have taken on a drastically different meaning and I don’t know how to manage it.

I don’t golf.

Maybe I can concentrate on yard work, or pick up and play one of my guitars more often, or learn a new language.  Maybe I could teach myself a new trade with all of this extra time on my hands.  I could repaint the entire house, repaint every house on my street or even repaint the entire town of Maynard with all of this free time.

But I will not golf.

Springtime and Red Wings playoff hockey are a tradition for Kim and I.  We have our own traditions for each game, we always have high expectations and we take our fair share of sarcasm from the local Boston fans.  But the right of Spring, the rebirth of life and warmth has always, for us, included the Red Wings and the promise and potential of another Stanley Cup venture.  Now we face May and June with a large hole in our lives and like all other Wings fans, we must now spackle that hole with something constructive.

The one upside to all of this Springtime folly is all Red Wings who golf, and all Wings fans who golf, should see a marked improvement in their game.  Handicaps will be lowered, scores should shrink, and in that, we should find solace.  But for those of us who don’t golf, we can find some extra time to do whatever to improve our lives, our homes and the world we live in.  After all, we’ve been neglecting this planet every May and almost every June for over a decade now, and the world needs us.  The world needs the best hockey fans to chip in finally and help make this place a better place to live.

But I won’t golf.

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