As kids (and maybe some adults, I'm not trying to crush any dreams here) eagerly await the gifts provided by a jolly fat guy in a red and white suit, I thought of another group of guys in red and white that could make my Christmas especially joyous.
From Dec. 14 to Dec. 25, I will mimic the pattern of the 12 Days of Christmas song by asking for one thing on the first day, two things on the next day, and so on until Christmas.
But, as this is the season of giving, I'd love for all of you to give me your thoughts on what you'd like from the Red Wings for Christmas, so please, post away!
My third day gift is simple:
Three Solid Periods of Hockey Every Game
Simple, yet deceptively difficult to bestow.
In addition to the ever-growing list of injuries, part of the Red Wings' problem this season has been a habitual lack of consistent effort.
"Getting started on time," as coach Mike Babcock often puts it, has been a problem for Detroit.
They've allowed six goals in the first minute of a game this season and often haven't "woken up" until the third period, when it is typically too late to matter.
When they have won, it's been as the result of turning in a solid 60-minute effort.
To those that would say, "Well, no kidding, you always have to do that to win," this isn't the "no-brainer" it appears to be.
Last season, Detroit could often sleepwalk (or is that, sleepskate) through the first half of the game and then bury the opposition in goals.
That isn't going to happen this season.
This season, Detroit needs to make each and every period of hockey count if they plan on winning the game.
Come on boys, three periods of solid effort each game, that's all I ask.
...two defensemen scoring, and a dominating performance from Pavel Datsyuk!