Evil Gretzky


Hello again everyone. It's been a while. With the playoffs going on, and the Evil Empire... I mean Detroit Red Wings doing so well, I've been reminiscing about the old days.



The Detroit success is once again bringing me back to my early years as a hockey fan. These aren't really very good memories. That's because I was a St. Louis Blues fan. I still am but now I am more of a fan of the league than just one team. Regardless, here is what I have been thinking about.


I hope Detroit beats Dallas. I don't really like either team as a Blues fan but I despise Detroit as a St. Louis native. So why do I want them to win? I want them to win because I want to see them lose in the spotlight. 


Now don't get me wrong Detroit fans. You have a spectacular team and you should be proud. This would just help me exercise some demons. Here is why... 


Stanley Cup Playoffs, 1996.


The St. Louis Blues are in a double overtime affair with their biggest rivals (other than the Blackhawks when they're actually good), the Detroit Red Wings. The score is 0-0 and the 2nd overtime has just begun and the Red Wings are regrouping behind their net to start the rush. An errand pass is casually intercepted by the "Great One" or at least should have been. Instead, the "Not So Great One" mishandles this gimmy and turns the puck back over. He slowly skates back to his own zone while watching the puckhandler, Stevie Yzerman launch a slapper at journeyman Jon Casey. The rest is history. Thanks Wayne! 


Wayne Gretzky singled handedly ruined the Blues that season. I loved him too but you can see the lack of effort on this...




Was he betting on the game? (Maybe his wife was. Ooops!)


The Red Wings went on to lose to the Colorado Avalanche that season so that took a little bit of the sting off. Still, I frequently see the image of that puck flying over the right shoulder of Casey in my mind. It is always in slow motion like this...




If I wasn't a Blues fan, it was really one of the coolest moments in playoff hockey history. Still, it sucked at the time.


The Blues went on to lose Gretzky as quickly as they got him and they also lost to the Red Wings in the '97 and '98 playoffs as well. The Red Wings have owned the Central Division since it was created. You can see why they are so despised by St. Louisans and many other fans.  


Anyway, my point is, as a Blues fan, I'd like to see Detroit lose this way to Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the gang (aka my bandwagon team). I would like the beginning of a new era, a new NHL dynasty to begin on Detroit's watch. I'd also like to see the two best teams in the NHL duke it out regardless and this would be it. 


This also makes me realize that perhaps it was best that Detroit didn't make any big trades like the competition did this season. Seems to have worked for them so far at least. They don't give up the future (Hudler) and they don't have to worry about the Gretzky scenario.


So those are my thoughts. Enjoy the rest of the playoffs. It could be great... as long as the "Great One" isn't there.


Poor Jon Casey.



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