Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Hockeytown Post Mortem

The bigger they are the harder they fall, and apparently no one has fallen harder than the hockey fans of Detroit, the mood in Hockeytown USA is a glum one this first day after the end of the season. The reviews are coming in and the consensus seems to be that this collection of Wings will scatter; an era of Kings supplanted by the toil of the proletariat workers with a Flaming C on their chest.

Share in the angst with Mitch Albom, who has composed a wonderful examination of all things Red and White. Michael Rosenberg examines a team caught between eras, faded stars and struggling rookies neither able to bring glory back to Detroit this year. ESPN’s website features a story from George Johnson who from his perch in Calgary offered up his summation of the Red Wing era.

Bob Wojnowski bemoans the injuries, examines the disappointment in the dressing room and suggests that changes are coming, a dynasty has died and reconstruction is on the agenda. Joe Conklin reviews the way the Red Wing season ended, declaring an end to the successful run of a team that picked up the torch from the other failing franchises in the Motor City.

The bytes flow fast as the Red Wing fan bites a lip, the agony of defeat never more pronounced than with this disappointment of an early exit once again. In one of the few American cities where hockey really matters, they wear their hearts on their sleeves. They understand hockey in Detroit, they can see how their team lost and why. It doesn’t make the loss any easier to take. But at least they value what they had and more importantly what they’ve lost.

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