Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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End of an era for the Red Wings

George Foster - June 1st, 2009
End of an era for the Red Wings
George Foster 6/1/09

End of an era for the Red Wings

What do we have to do in order to get respect around here? The Detroit Red Wings have now played in 6 of the last 15 Stanley Cup Finals, a virtual dynasty in the modern era of hockey.
Yet, outside the good state of Michigan, the Red Wings are a decided underdog to the Pittsburgh Penguins in these Finals. Why? Because in a league dominated by celebrated players with matinee idol looks in their early 20’s, Detroit is old school, literally.
For starters, 36 year-old Chris Osgood has played goalie for what seems like an eternity. Ossie tended the nets in Detroit’s first Stanley Cup Final of this era when he was a lad in his early 20s. Supporting Osgood, at 39, Nicklas Lidstrom may still be the best defenseman in the league and captains the Wings.
Detroit’s regular lineup includes a host of grizzled veterans such Kris Draper, the team’s best face-off performer and a ripe 38 years old. Brian Rafalski at 35 is the Wing’s second best defenseman. Ten players 30 and older make up the core of Detroit’s best players – certainly the oldest squad in the league.
Quickly now - who is the oldest Red Wings player of all-time? The answer is current defenseman Chris Chelios, of course. Chelios is an amazing 47 years old, the second oldest player of all time in the National Hockey League (NHL) and still feisty.
If you guessed Gordie Howe as the oldest Wing, you are so wrong. It is true that Howe was the Methuselah of the professional hockey, still productive at 52, the oldest player ever to lace up a pair of skates in the NHL. Howe left the Red Wings earlier in his career at 42, though, making Chelios technically the oldest Wings player ever.
The upstart Penguins have been on a roll since the end of the regular season and have probably played the best hockey of any team in the NHL since then. Pittsburgh comes into the Finals with arguably the two most talented and hyped players in the sport. Sidney Crosby at 21 and Evgeni Malkin at 22 are considered cinch hockey Hall-of-Famers and play on a rising team.
Of course, Pittsburgh is the same team that gave the Red Wings fits in last year’s Finals before succumbing to the greybeards of Detroit. This season the Red Wings are a year older and dinged up physically. Key performers Pavel Datsyuk, Jonathan Ericksson, Lidstrom, and Draper have all missed the last several playoff games.
The Penguins should be licking their chops to take on the short-handed Red Wings, right? Not so fast. Sidney Crosby (know as “Cindy Crybaby” in some circles) and Evgeni “Stop-Talkin’” Malkin have a lot to prove. Both disappeared at times during last years’ Finals in a losing cause against the Red Wings.
Malkin’s excuse for his subpar play last year was that he was tired from all of the season’s practices and playoff games. Poor baby… does he really think no one else had to deal with fatigue in a hockey playoff schedule that extends well into June? Buck up man, you are only 22 years old. You should be able to skate all day, every day.
On the other hand, you will hear no excuses from Motown. The Red Wings may be old, undersized, injured, and physically tired, but what sets them apart is their mental toughness. The Detroit hockey team plays its best with their backs to the wall - when they are expected to lose. In Game Four at Chicago, with their injured, inactive list at its peak, the Wings played their best game of the playoffs, beating the Black Hawks 6-1.
Say good-bye now because many of the current Red Wings players that we have grown to admire will be gone by next season. A combination of advanced ages and salary cap considerations will force Red Wings management to cut loose the core group of players that have served this team well since the mid-1990s. Such stalwarts as Osgood, Draper, Kirk Maltby, and even Lidstrom may never wear the red wheel on their jerseys again. Stars Marian Hossa and Chelios could also being playing their last games for Detroit in this series.
We are getting ahead of ourselves, though. As we go to press before the start of the finals, it is time for a fearless prediction. Before this chapter is completely closed on the Red Wings, get ready to anoint Detroit as the NHL champs one more time.
In these finals, expect the Red Wings to lose the first two games at home and be given up for dead. By winning the next four, a resilient Detroit squad will again prevail over the Penguins in six games.
Though this season marks the end of a Red Wings era, it will be a memorable Stanley Cup victory for Detroit hockey fans.

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