Although most hockey pundits have already predicted the outcome of the playoff matchup between the Red Wings and Blackhawks, there’s one maven of the frozen pond who hasn’t checked in with their “prophecy.”
That’s because I had to make the arduous task of traveling to his mountaintop retreat to seek his prognostication.
After many days of climbing and climbing and climbing, exhaustion and delirium overwhelmed my mind and body.
Dazed and confused, I thought I’d never reach my destination. Then suddenly a voice called out, “Hey, Regner, is that you?”
Standing before me, surrounded by his trip of goats, was the soothsayer of the hockey world, the Great Arturo. He knew why I was there.
We exchanged pleasantries and then, without warning, the Great Arturo fell into a trance-like state.
“Welcome, my minions of the Red and White,” he said. “I, the Great Arturo, the soothsayer of the hockey world, after much contemplation on my mountaintop retreat, predict that the Detroit Red Wings will not advance past the Western Conference semifinals of the Stanley Cup playoffs … Chicago in five games.”
“Five games? Are you crazy?” I bellowed.
“No, just smart,” the Great Arturo replied. “The difference will be Patrick Kane. Whenever the Wings make a push, it will be Kane that pushes back.”
“What about coaching, the penalty kill, the power play, Pavel, Z, Jimmy in net, the kids coming of age?” I protested.
“You can break it down any way you want, but the Blackhawks are the best team in the NHL,” the Great Arturo said. “They were built after the Detroit model. They are the Red Wings of today’s NHL. If there is one team that Chicago will never look past, it’s the Red Wings.
“It’s the Pistons and Bulls all over again. Once the Bulls learned how to beat the Bad Boys, they dominated the league.”
There really wasn’t much to say after that exchange. The Great Arturo offered me a meal of feta cheese and kale. I was too disappointed in his revelations to eat. It was time for me to get back to the real world.
As I began my descent down the mountain, the Great Arturo called out to me.
“Hey, Regner, the Wings will be back a lot sooner than anybody thinks,” the old seer declared. “Tell my minions to keep the faith.”
“Yeah, sure,” I thought to myself.
Sometimes you don’t like what you hear because you know deep down that it’s right – even when it comes from an elderly hermit who spends his days herding goats.