Caitlin has a sad confession to make.
At the beginning of the season, I was looking at Loui Eriksson, aka Swedish Fish (Mach I), to kind of step it up and become the player we had all hoped he would be. By now, my love for Eriksson is gone. It’s not that I detest Eriksson; it’s just that I wish he could hang on to a puck and look like he cares. And you know, convince me that I was not wrong to bestow the almighty Swedish Fish moniker upon him, because let’s face it – Swedish Fish are food of the gods.
Instead, Antti Miettinen, one of our many Finns who I was fairly ambivalent toward, has now earned my forever lasting love for some strange reason that I can’t pinpoint. It’s like, one day, I woke up and said, “Miettinen, I really like you. And I’m not going to stop.”
Did I drink some bad Stoli along the way?
The Finns in general are a mystery to me. Their language hurts my brain in so many ways. (Is it possible to have that many vowels in one word? I mean, really). Their noted obsession with saunas really perplexes me; if you think I’m joking, think about a country with five million people that has two million saunas. That’s a lot of saunas, people, and a lot of time spent in saunas. Also, Finland has given us Jere Lehtinen, who is totally awesome but frightens me about as much as Russian frightens me, because he’s that hardcore. (I seriously have lots of love for Russian, but he’s hardcore scary, let’s face it).
Miettinen’s name closely resembles the English word “mittens”, leading many Stars fans to adopt this nickname for him. Usually, Untypical Girls are heard uttering the word mittens in connection with these other words:
“Oh my god.”
“No, bad, stop, FAIL!”
I must confess that the two words of random Finnish that I actually know are “vaara” and “kana”. Vaara means danger. Kana means chicken. This means that I cannot communicate reasonably with any person who remotely speaks Finnish, except to warn them in broken Finnish of either a dangerous chicken, or chicken danger. Or perhaps, danger danger chicken, just to mix it up a bit. You know. Either way, I’m speaking Finnish, but I’m really not – I’d really just be scaring random residents of Helsinki into looking for mutated zombie chickens or poisoned chicken dishes – watch out for that salmonella!
Anyways, somehow, I guess I randomly imagine that if I yell it in Finnish, Mittens will turn it around somehow. And thus, vaara, Mittens, vaara was born.
And amazingly, Mittens has turned it around. Against Chicago, Mittens was getting in some good hits and keeping the puck, while Eriksson looked like he was falling apart. As my irrational Mittens love fest has grown, I have begged this man for some reason to justify this total admiration. With the Chicago game, he finally gave me some reasons.
He’s looking better, and when Cat called me today to inform me of a Stars player being sent down to Iowa, my first irrational thought was, “Not MITTENS!”, even though I know full well it would be either Eriksson or Lundqvist. (It was Lundy. SAD.)
I can tell you where it started – preseason, second period. I was sitting in some awesome comp seats, watching the game, when we took a stupid break in play. They aired “Sixty Seconds with Antti Miettinen”. He was so adorable! So sweet! Seemed like such a nice guy. Two hours later, I was damning him. Damning him for making me like him so much, yet watching him not play well made me so sad. I’m spoiled. I’m used to Russian, what can I say?
I believe I had a conversation with Cat about shifty-eyed Finns and how they are not to be trusted because they get me to like them when they haven’t proven anything yet.
Well, congratulations, Mittens; you’ve finally arrived. Untypical Girl Caitlin kinda really <3s you, and doesn’t care that anyone else knows it, no matter what they say! Because you, my Finnish friend, are kinda really awesome. I saw a picture of you where you looked vaguely ninja-esque at the Blackhawks game, raising your stick to take a shot, and something popped into my head, unbidden, that now will forever be connected to you in my mind. I’m sorry, Mittens.
You will now always be the Finnja to me.