Shore It Up, Detroit

Steven J. WardContributor IFebruary 25, 2009

Hockey-Town U.S.A.

Is there not sufficient pressure on the players, coaches and stick-boys here simply being part of this history? Is it possible to maintain your focus while at every turn another championship banner waves or the ghosts of retired players sweep by you as if standing still?

This is part and parcel of the Red Wing mystic and the ones fortunate enough to participate here realize it with the first lacing of their skates. 'Tis obvious to those keen enough as they tune in, the pride gathers the players in its gust and fills their heart and soul; now all they have to do is perform day in day out, year in year out until their sweaters are hung near the other greats, Howe, Lindsey, and Stevie Y!

Growing up a Celtic fan just south of Boston, I listened night after night as our beloved Johnny Most squealed about the magic of the Leprechauns in their grand assists; In "The Joe" there are plenty of whirling dervish-like entities to reach out and bend a puck around an unsuspecting goalies sure glove hand.

Well, time has run past and we can no longer trust such transient help and it seems prudent to make certain we offer the strongest force against our foe.

March 4 2009, 3 p.m. EST will pass as the final grains of sand drain out from the top-heavy hour glass and the curtains are strung closed to bidders and beggars alike in the NHL.

If by then a deal isn't struck between two or more teams concerning the services of a quality player then a non-deal has occurred. The question is, is it time for the Red Wings to seek an addition to their extremely capable ranks?

Let us examine the possibilities: Is the head and neck of, say, Henrik Zetterberg or Pavel Datsyuk worth saving? Does Nicki Lidstrom really need his back or knees to be fruitful on ice?

And what of the goalkeepers? They are certainly capable of stopping pucks with humanity, perhaps collective of 1,000 pounds draped abound! Nay, let us trust the wispy ones who take refuge in the rafters because I don't believe a ghost suffers from old age.

Think again! Last year the Wings captured their prize because they worked hard and stayed relatively healthy but do not lose sight of how viscous these guys get run at and without recompense.

The winds like a mid-winter clipper gather from the frigid Alberta plains and sweep upon the NHL with the ferocity of a Milan Lucic driving recklessly, (Taz-like) end to end.

With a heart the size of all Canada, he and several choice others, Shane Doan, Colton Orr, or Cam Janssens await an opportunity to join a team and guard against the defiant liberties taken upon those whom should be allowed to achieve their natural stardom without fear of becoming another arena advertisement.

It is imperative the Wings acquire toughness as they were able to do last year at the trade deadline when signing Brad Stuart, who was able, somewhat, to fill the tremendous void left when Jiri Fischer tragically retired.

The tremendous strength of the Western Conference is omni-present and the East promises a severe test as the likes of the Bruins and the Washington Capitals, who feature the all-universe player Alex Ovechkin!

Forecast: Soon the season ends, a deluge of roster moves will have taken place, and a few new and excited players will have the chance to share in a Stanley Cup final while perhaps even being on the winning side.

I would hate for the entire National Hockey League to get hopeful, especially if the Red Wings land that one much needed player, but be my guest; the ghosts of many years' disappointment circles nigh.