Mark Fistric is not my official new favorite player. So stop picking on the poor kid!
Sure, I might have entertained that thought. I might have discussed with certain friends, such as Pookie, Schnookie, Myra, Katebits, and Heather B. that he was maybe a frontrunner. And my sisters, maybe. And possibly my mailman. But I never said he was my favorite!
[Do you think they’re buying it?]
Deciding on a favorite player is kind of like househunting. You make your list of what you like and what you don’t like (your must haves and your must not haves), you study the pros and cons of various houses, you kind of like this house or that house because it has lots of pros, but in the end a house picks you.
You find yourself sitting on the couch a month or two after moving in, wondering what exactly it was that compelled you to buy it. And still glad you did.
That’s how this favorite player thing is going. Brad Richards and Brenden Morrow and James Neal and Loui Eriksson and Niklas Grossman and many others all have huge stacks of pros, but I keep coming back to Mark Fistric.
I think it might date back to that one seemingly minor play when he first came up, where he picked up the puck in the corner, then calmly stepped out of the way of a forechecker coming at him at 40 miles an hour, causing said forechecker to SLAM into the wall right next to him. Then he skated away with the puck as if he didn’t notice the guy.
Early on, he had no qualms about pushing superstars down when they were bothering Turco and he still calmly yanks people off his teammates when needed. He’s a big defensive defenseman, who is an underrated skater and puckhandler. He has an old-school hip check, he can poke check with his stick, and when somebody gets by him, he can catch them. I’m not sure what else you’d want in a d-man.
Up until last season I didn’t have to worry about this kind of thing, then Philippe Boucher was traded. Then I figured I’d need to eventually pick a favorite Star, but I’d still have Bouche around to be my favorite in the League. But he retired and left me all alone.
Fistric impressed me when he was here last season, but he kept being sent down. In the 07-08 playoffs, he had a great run, then he must have had more of a sophomore slump than the other two kids (although I didn’t agree) so the coaches kept sending him back and forth. I was already leaning toward him last season, but I didn’t want to jinx him until he was sure to be staying up in the NHL.
Now that he’s doing so well and the coaches seem to really like him, I was starting to let down my jinx guard and was almost ready to decide. Then, as if on cue, the poor kid gets high-sticked in the mouth in one game, high-sticked TWICE in the next game and now he’s out with a concussion.
So I’m not saying who my new favorite player is.