*The last time we saw Kate in this space, it was following defeat. Tonight, she returns under far better circumstances.
I feel genuinely bad for people who don’t own Joe Cocker vinyl. They’ll never know the supreme liberation, the gorgeous sense of satisfaction I feel tonight as “Feelin’ Alright” rings grainy across the living room. There is something about Cocker’s conviction, the strength in his voice when he talks about the good times and bad. It brings the good times to a whole different level. One minute it’s a post-work cocktail. A minute later, after someone throws on Joe Cocker, it’s a party. Don’t ask me why it happens.
That guy in this picture? He’s got Joe Cocker vinyl. Maybe he didn’t own it before he met Kate Upton. Maybe he did and that’s the whole reason she’s hanging all over him like a Blue Jacket on the back of a net-charging Danny Cleary. Rest assured, though, that man knows jubilation. He knows how to take it to that dial on the amp that only exists in Spinal Tap movies and Cocker b-sides.
There was a moment about 30 minutes ago where I didn’t feel good about tonight’s win. The skeptic in me looks at our standing compared to Columbus’. It dissects the first two periods where Joey Mac was sweating 1,000 times harder than he should have against a team whose most notable achievement was drafting one player…ever…well. It starts freaking out about Quincey’s groin…one of those injuries that seems to never go away…wondering if we’re going to be stuck with Jug Danik come playoff time. It gets impossibly frustrated by the Hudler-blueline positioning on the PP that seems guaranteed to cost us 5 more shorties by the end of the regular season.
…but when you have Joe Cocker on in the background, and possibly some Jameson in the tumbler next to you, the memories start to reshape themselves. I start recalling a Kronwall break to the net and the resulting goal. I remember some stand-up play by Joey MacDonald. I harken back to a sick-nasty “DO ME HANK” caliber tally that somehow found its way behind Curtis Sanford.
Was tonight pretty? No. It was ugly as hell. It was about 50 minutes of pain followed by 10 minutes of blissful disbelief. It was shorthanded opportunities against us, loose plays in our own zone that a better team would have cashed in and an oddly lackadaisical middle period that you pray you never have to see again.
Still, we did what we had to do. We couldn’t have gotten out of that building with any more than two points tonight. We were on a slide, and even if it was against the worst team on the planet…from the entire last decade…it was a win. We got tallies from the guys you count on in the spring in Hank and Mulo. We got goals from the guys you THINK you can trust, but never put your weight down on in Kronner and Flip. We even got a Sak Attack late-game notch.
If we lose this game, it’s a long three days before we get to reclaim some dignity against the Wild. With a win, we’re right back in the thick of things for the Western lead.
Hoesecop of the Game
I know this sounds ridiculous, but I’m going to go rogue here and give horsecop of the game to Rick Nash. Think about what that guys pat few weeks have looked like. No idea where his future is. He gets good news that the Rangers are interested then that falls through. Guy still came out tonight and laid down as respectable a game as one is allowed to have while a member of the BJs. I’m not saying I’m taking pity on some guy who makes millions of dollars each year. What I am saying is that in any other sport, that star athlete who didn’t get what he wanted would have been pouting like a little bitch. Nash saddled up and went back to work. I hope he gets whatever he wants this offseaon…somewhere nice and cool off in the Eastern Conference.
Riggy Shitbox of the Game
This designation goes straight to one Brett Lebda. Again, another non-Wing, but let me explain. How pissed must Lebda be right now? The guy rolls out of Detroit thinking he’ll finally get the loot he deserves. Before that happens, he has an up and down (mostly down) stint in Detroit that I best remember for being the reason Kyle Quincey after being the single biggest reason that Kyle Quincey had to go. Lebda, like prodigal son, goes off to find his riches and ultimately comes back to the Midwest begging for work. Except now he’s been exiled to Central Ohio. Quincey, meanwhile, pulls his business together and ends up back in a red sweater to take the slot Lebda vacated. …and then he got hurt, but whatever. If I’m Lebda, I’m feeling like a gigantic ass right now looking over at the position I once had and trying to figure out how life went so wrong.
PS: 5-2 Wings…what up, Mr. Petrella!