And part of the traditions of celebrating Festivus is the “Airing of Grievances”–a declaration of how you’ve been disappointed by those in your life the past year. We may be only 30+ games into the season, but I’ve still got enough grievances to share…
Chris Osgood: You really let me down, Chris. I’ve been in your corner for a long time, defending your ability to actually be a number one goaltender, and then you go out for your first start in like, 40 games, and can’t even save the marshmallow-soft goals from 50 feet out. I know that’s typical for you, but you swore up and down during the summer that this season wouldn’t be like the last one, and that you’d be mentally ready this time around. Well sorry, Chris, but I didn’t see it in Sweden, and I haven’t seen it recently either, when Jimmy has been pushing you to improve your game. I thought after losing last season you would come out on fire, ready to prove your critics wrong once and for all, and it’s sorely disappointing to see otherwise.
Ville Leino: When Kenny went out and picked you up for pretty much nothing, we all crowed about how we got the Finnish Elite League MVP, laughing that we weren’t going to end up like the Dallas Stars, winners of the Fabian Brunnstrom sweepstakes, who has since failed spectacularly to live up to expectations. You were being lauded for your offensive capabilities, and in your first NHL game you scored on that beautiful spin-around backhand. I thought that you were well-suited to pick up some of the slack in terms of scoring. Last year you threatened to return for Finland if you didn’t get a spot with the big club, so when you did, I assumed that meant you were ready to roll. But you’ve clearly proven me wrong with your inability to finish, refusal to skate hard, and utter indifferent attitude.
Brett Lebda: You are not a forward, Brett, you are a defenseman. Please stop moving up with the offense on the rush.
Brad May: At the beginning of the season it was a novelty to have a pugilist back on the team, and you fought like 5 times in your first 5 games. But now it’s just getting silly, with the most glaring example being that of the “fight” with Kry Barch of the Dallas Stars. You’re supposed to “keep the flies off,” but I have to say that I haven’t seen much of that recently.
Kirk Maltby: Same goes with you, Malts. Sometimes you look like a real NHLer again, like at the start of the season when you scored a shorty, had some chances, and got a few points. Now you’re back to floating around and occasionally blocking lanes and shots. You’ve given Detroit a lot, and they’ve given back by keeping you on the roster. But you are slowly being replaced by Justin Abdelkader. Please don’t overstay your welcome.
Todd Bertuzzi: You know, Todd, I honestly can’t find too much fault with you right now. You’ve backchecked, and hustled, and now you’re finding chemistry with Pavel to regain that scoring touch. So I just have one grievance with you, and that’s to please, for the love of all that is holy, stop with the spin-o-rama. I understand that you scored with it earlier this year, but I know, deep down, you were just as surprised as I was to see that puck actually go in the net and not sailing wide. But why don’t you just put that move away for a while–you don’t want to become Brian Campbell.
Jonathan Ericsson: It’s not entirely your fault, kid. Part of it was the inevitable letdown from a strong playoff performance by a rookie defenseman to figuring out the grind of the regular season. But I was disappointed to see very little to none of the confidence and poise you exhibited in the post-season.
Pavel Datsyuk: Yeah, Pavel, you. Until recently you simply haven’t looked like yourself out there. I didn’t see the usual Pavel Datsyuk that we’ve been privilege to the last several years. Where were the Datsyukian Dekes and the dangle dangle? I’ll be honest, I was getting very close to being frustrated with you. I know, I know, notoriously slow starter, you had some problems finding a good stick, Bertuzzi couldn’t finish on an open net, whatever. I’m glad you seem to be getting things going now, there was a time when I was Not Very Happy with you.
Well, those are my grievances for the year so far. Feel free to share yours in the comments.
The Red Wings also share some of their grievances with each other at the Freep, which are honestly pretty hilarious.
What about the “Feats of Strength”? Well, news has arrived that Rafalski may not play due to the flu, so for the Red Wings, their feat will be trying to beat a largely complete Blackhawks club, with an insanely depleted roster.
As for the rest of us? Well, our feat of strength will likely have to do with how long you can deal with abdominal pain from the dry heaves as you cling to the toilet bowl all afternoon.