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It always comes back to hockey

Tuesday, 04.07.2009 / 10:32 AM / Columns

By Paul Kukla - NHL.com Correspondent

Had a TV viewing predicament last night -- Wings-Sabres at 7 p.m., Detroit Tigers-Toronto Blue Jays (Opening night) and the Michigan State Spartans on at 9 p.m. taking on the North Carolina Tar Heels for the men's NCAA Basketball Championship.

Thinking it could be a great night for the state of Michigan, I had visions of a 3-0 night. Boy was I wrong!

I had the split screen activated to watch both the hockey and baseball games. But after the first inning, the Tigers were down 4-0. Enough of that, back to the full-screen version of hockey for me.

The basketball game rolled around and I switched back to split screen. The tip-off was around 9:22 p.m. and by the time Hockey Central was on VERSUS, after the Wings' victory over Buffalo, I was in full screen mode again. The MSU Spartans were down by double digits and they had the look of "just happy to be there."

So, I watched the conclusion of Hockey Central then switched to the Flames-Kings game on Center Ice.

What was once thought to be a great night of sports for Michigan backers turned into thanking the Wings for what they are, a team their fans can turn to when a victory is needed. The Wings have been our hope for over 15 years and have turned those hopes into Stanley Cup four times in the last 11 hockey seasons.

That last statement made me realize how lucky we really are. As close as a team can be called a dynasty without really being one, the Wings do have that chance to acquire the dynasty tag if they win the Cup this season. Five in twelve in my mind certainly qualifies them for the dynasty talk, but we all know all it is right now is just talk.

The MSU Spartans gained the attention of the media while marching to the NCAA Championship Game and many felt a victory by the Spartans would have given the Detroit and the State a much needed boost. You see, economic times are very bad in Michigan right now and people need a little relief to get their minds off of all the problems they are facing.

My suggestion, turn to the Wings starting in mid-April. If any team can give a state a much needed shot of confidence, it is the Detroit Red Wings. The players may not realize how much fans will be watching them, but I am sure the Wings are the best chance to give us that much needed and sought after warm, fuzzy feeling, the one you get after winning another Cup.

There will be challenges, highs and lows and everything in-between, but my state has suffered enough. It is time the Wings get us out of our doldrums and deliver one more Cup. That is all we ask for -- until next season.

***

As always, your comments, suggestions and rants are welcome. Email me at pk@kuklaskorner.com to start the process.


Quote of the Day

We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that he's going to get the most out of this group. With the addition of the two assistants, a bit of a different dynamic, we're very comfortable that this is a quality coaching staff that's going to maximize the potential of this team.

— Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on head coach Randy Carlyle and his staff