Anyways, we’ve hated #22 since the 03-04 season when a few hicks down in Nashville had their first coherent thought in months, saying “’Tootoo’ kinda sounds like choochoo. Let’s blow train whistles when he’s on the ice!” A brilliant plan from the same meth-addicted folk* who can’t stop giving Taylor Swift awards for being terrible at relationships. Of course didn’t help that the fourth-line forward was a master pest on the ice and would absolutely run our defensemen nearly every game. But mostly we hated him because of those idiot whistles.
Now when Kenny signed Jordin this summer, I was perplexed. First, we already had a million fourth-line forwards it seemed like. We needed defensemen and top two line guys. Plus, I hated his stupid American Idol loser dating guts from his Nashville years. But I did remember the absolutely ridiculous hits he’s thrown over the years against us and knew that our 4th line was 1000% too soft with Emmerton/Miller on it. So I was mixed, but couldn’t see myself rooting for him.
The Manitoba kid started it off well, saying everything someone should be saying who comes from Nashville to the Wings. He respected the Winged Wheel and that softened me up a little.
Hit the jump for most on my growing respect for one of the Newest Wings:
The next step was during the first game of the season. I had never seen a Detroit team play so terrible and lackadaisical as that in my lifetime as a fan. But I noticed, even in the 3rd period down 6-0, that Tootoo was not only still playing with energy, he was bouncing off the boards trying to hit everything in sight at speeds that only Dallas Drake could appreciate. Not bad.
And since then, Tootoo’s continued to impress. He’s been more than willing to fight and actually isn’t that bad at it for being a little fella. But mostly he’s brought that energy to the fourth line that is absolutely necessary to win in the NHL.
You see, the 4th line isn’t there to score. Sure it’s nice to get one or two from them here and there. But if you need your fourth line to score, you’re doing something wrong up front. No, the 4th line needs to be there to bring energy to the game and be incredible tough to play against. Other teams have to have that little fear that their on the ice and trying to bash their face in. Remember the Grind-Line? Of course you do. They could skate, could score a little, and brought that energy that made them an absolute pest to other teams.
I don’t hate Miller, nor Emmerton or Mursak (I don’t love them either.) They all are likely more talented offensively than Tootoo. But they don’t have that chaos energy that the fourth line needs, they are simply slightly sub-par NHL’ers, a worse version of having our second line out there. Tootoo has been perfect for that role and has earned my respect. Heck, the only pictures out there of him on Detroit are of him hitting people or fighting.
Welcome to Detroit bud. LGRW.
(* - Not referring to all Preds fans. Only those who used to bring whistles to the game. And those who are on meth.)