I just want to say I put a lot of time and effort into this. So I hope it's read in its entirety and the message is made clear:
Steve, I honestly don't know what to say about what you informed me of. If I did, so be it. I am not apologizing for anything because as part of this blog, I am asked to give my opinion in these parts.
Bottom line is this: Anytime our teams do battle, from time to time, we're going to have different opinions. I felt one way about last night. You felt another. That's part of life. It's only natural when there's a rivalry which seems a lot bigger between the respective clubs' fans than the actual teams.
Sometimes, it goes too far. I witnessed some idiotic stuff at an Islander-Ranger game at MSG a few weeks ago in which some drunken Ranger fans started in with an Isles fan because he had the audacity to wear a DiPietro jersey. I got right in the middle and broke it up before security came. I think sometimes people forget that it's only a game. Not something to fight over. Unfortunately, sometimes a few too many get in the way of what should be a fun time.
You gave an example of Detroit shutting out Montreal 2-0 the other night. I will agree that the Red Wings are a very sound defensive hockey club who use their left wing lock to neutralize opponents. But a big part of that has to do with who plays defense on their club. They boast one of the best defensemen to lace'em up in Nicklas Lidstrom. Year after year, the guy continues to dominate. It's no different this season. They also still have Mathieu Schneider and the ageless Chris Chelios, who continues to defy logic. There's a reason why they only permit around 22 shots-per-game and it starts with that blueline. Oh. And the goalie who I realize is despised also does a good job and has proven he's not washed up as many including myself believed.
It's worth noting that I watched that classic Original Six rivalry game. Up a goal, the Red Wings didn't sit back. Instead, they continued to attack and registered 14 shots in the third period. One of them beat David Aebischer thanks to a sharp angle goal from Pavel Datsyuk.
In response to being called crazy about the league loving your team, so be it. It doesn't explain how the Devils got away with at least a couple of infractions last night. If you think for a second that their reputation doesn't help in terms of what calls are made, you're way off. The few good posters over there can admit that and basically did about two months ago. It's not going to change my silence. There's a lot more important things going on.
My final thoughts have to do with someone I am happy to say I am still friendly with today. I just think it was very nice of them to message me before about the situation. They didn't have to but they made it their business to. I wish it could be like that in terms of this hockey rivalry. That it shouldn't be taken personally when I say something that's not well received or vice versa. I don't believe that should ever get in the way of friendships made.
I can only wish the very best for some of the quality people I became acquainted with. If we ever met at a game, I would treat you with proper respect. If anyone is interested, they're welcome to visit me in Section 411 for the final Devil game and talk. Our hatred of each other's teams never should get in the way of a good time.
Enjoy your day.