Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Who Wants To Be Ken Holland?

from Chris Nichols of Nichols On Hockey,

Sabres GM Tim Murray was on Buffalo’s WGR 550 on Wednesday morning.

On how he has a dream job and if he’s having fun listening to trades:

“No. It’s no fun. I would love to be... who? I would love to be Kenny Holland. 23, 22 years making the playoffs. Not having GMs call you about available players because there’s nobody available. And the only trade you have to make, each and every year around the deadline, is to add a veteran guy to play on your third line or whatever that you feel could put you over the top, and that may be a second round pick. If it’s a second line player, maybe a first round pick. And you know you don’t even mind giving up a first round pick because you have that type of team. That would be fun, to me.

continue for more on the Sabres...

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Refreshed

The mid season break is over, and, here's hoping that the Wings come out flying. The second half of the season should prove interesting with many Teams in the East nipping at our heels.

The Wings are going through growing pains, but, the Team seems to be gelling more often than not. Climbing outta holes dug in the first period, or, blowing leads is still causing angst among the 19, and although the Wings have emerged victorious in a few games, it is a bad habit that has to be broken.

Yes, some of these come from behind wins are going to build character, but, so will a good "start to finish" type of game.

I'm looking forward to a refreshed, ready to go for sixty minutes every night,  Detroit Red Wings Hockey Team.

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Preview And Notes- Detroit Red Wings vs. Florida Panthers

via Brian Hedger at NHL.com,

Season series: Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo earned wins in the first two games against the Detroit Red Wings, making 67 saves on 72 shots for a .930 save percentage. Center Pavel Datsyuk has a goal and two assists to lead the Red Wings.

Red Wings team scope: Detroit went into the break on a high note after winning five straight games. The Red Wings are 10-3-0 since losing six straight games in December, which has vaulted them back into the race for the Atlantic Division lead despite goalie Jimmy Howard's torn groin. Veteran backup Jonas Gustavsson is still recovering from a separated shoulder, so the starting role currently belongs to Petr Mrazek. The 22-year old has responded well; he's started all five games since Howard got hurt and is 4-0-0. Howard skated for about 20 minutes at practice Monday and hopes to return in the original 3-4 week timeline. Forward Tomas Jurco (back) practiced, but is questionable. Forward Johan Franzen (upper body) didn't practice and is out. Defenseman Jakub Kindl (elbow) may come off injured reserve, but isn't likely to play over rookie Xavier Ouellet.

Panthers team scope: Florida stumbled into the break winless in the past four games. The Panthers earned one of eight possible points in that span, which helped widen the gap between themselves and the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.. The Panthers (50 points) are seven points back of the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins, the East's current wild-card holders. Defense and Luongo's goaltending are keeping their odds of making the postseason alive at this point. Florida's 107 goals ranks 25th in the League, but the Panthers are in the top half of the NHL (13th) in goals allowed (122). Coach Gerard Gallant said Monday that injured forward Shawn Thornton (groin) is getting close to returning, but probably won't play against Detroit.

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So Far So Good

This is our last game before the All Star break, and, I'm sure the Wings are looking forward to a little R&R. I have to say, so far so good. The kids are doing a great job most nights, and, Z is a very good leader along with his Magical counterpart.

We're still right there in the mix of things, and, getting better as the season goes on, matching the halfway point criteria set by Scotty, or, was it KH, as the indicator of our probability of making the playoffs.

Barring any more major injuries, (SWM) I'm feeling kinda good aboot the remainder of the regular season.

Let's get er' done.

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What If Parise And Suter Signed With Detroit

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

... what if the Red Wings would have been able to get both Suter and Parise to sign in Detroit? Would the past two seasons have played out differently for the Red Wings and where would they be now?

One this is for sure: Moving forward, they would have been stuck with a couple of big contracts that wouldn't have expired until Parise is 40 and Suter is 39.

As it is today, the Red Wings are in good shape as they pursue a 24th straight playoff berth. They're two points out of first place in the Eastern Conference and are sixth in the overall standings ­ - five points behind first-place Anaheim - after winning their last four.

And Minnesota?

Well, the Wild aren't doing quite as well. Minnesota is last in the Central Division and 12th in the Western Conference, six points behind eighth-place Calgary. The top eight teams make the playoffs.

Parise is having a solid season with 17 goals and 34 points in 38 games while Suter has a minus-10 rating and 23 points in 41 games.

more

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Preview And Notes- Detroit Red Wings/Minnesota Wild

via Dan Myers at NHL.com,

Season series: The Minnesota Wild and Detroit Red Wings each won on home ice last season. The Red Wings won 4-3 at Joe Louis Arena on Mar. 23. Detroit forward Gustav Nyquist had three goals in the two games. The Wild are 4-3-0 in their past seven games in Detroit.

Wild team scope: Minnesota will be playing the second half of back-to-back games following a 3-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets Monday in St. Paul. Forward Mikael Granlund, who has missed the past 10 games following wrist surgery, and goaltender Darcy Kuemper, who has missed six games with a lower-body injury could return to the lineup. "(Granlund) is a guy that's a huge part of our lineup and a huge part of our team, and certainly we've missed him," coach Mike Yeo said after the game. Kuemper was activated from injured reserve on Monday, but with three healthy goaltenders, was scratched from the lineup. Yeo did not rule out the possibility of Kuemper starting in goal on Tuesday.

Red Wings team scope: Detroit has won four games in a row and six of its past seven following a 6-4 win against the Buffalo Sabres Sunday. With Jimmy Howard (groin) out indefinitely, 22-year old Petr Mrazek has taken the reigns in goal and won four of his past five starts, including each game of a back-to-back set over the weekend. "It's like being on the mound in baseball," coach Mike Babcock told the Red Wings website. "When they give you run support, it's way easier to be great. … I thought the guys got off to a good start and then he was big and square." The Red Wings have scored 17 goals during their winning streak, led by Henrik Zetterberg, who had a hat trick against the Sabres and leads Detroit with 41 points this season.

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Deliver

As Mickey would say," Holy Jumpin!" You know we are riding high today, what, with the win last night against a solid WC Team and five goals scored. Now, we play the waiting game to see if tonight's tilt will be mailed in as we are sadly used to, or, do the Wings show up and actually do the job set before them, deliver, and take down Buffalo.

With both Teams heading into a back to back, (Buffalo lost last night, the Wings won last night) we are facing a DOUBLE TRAP game.

Uncle Mike's Gold Medal game plan is working right now, so tonight we shall see if the boys can set the TRAP again, and deliver on time.

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Preview And Notes- Buffalo Sabres/Detroit Red Wings

After tonight's game, the Buffalo Sabres will not play until Tuesday, January 27th.  A nice, extended All-Star break!

Also note the game is an 8:00pm ET start and is on NBCSN.

via NHL.com,

Season series: The Detroit Red Wings are 2-0-1 against the Buffalo Sabres, including a 3-1 win at First Niagara Center on Tuesday. Tomas Tatar (four goals), Pavel Datsyuk (one goal, three assists) and Gustav Nyquist (one goal, three assists) each have four points against the Sabres this season.

Sabres team scope: The losses keep piling up for Buffalo; it suffered its 10th straight defeat in regulation with a 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday. Zemgus Girgensons scored twice for Buffalo, which had a decent response after a 7-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. "The effort was there and obviously some of the things that happened when you have a couple young defensemen, that's going to happen occasionally," coach Ted Nolan said. "But at least the effort was way better."

Red Wings team scope: Detroit will also be playing its second game in as many nights; the Red Wings earned a 5-2 victory against the Nashville Predators at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday. Tatar scored twice and had an assist to lead Detroit to its third straight win. Tatar reached the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his career; he had 19 goals in 73 games last season. "I'm not really thinking about it right now, but obviously I'm happy I did it and hopefully I'll keep scoring and help the team pick up wins," Tatar said. "Right now I don't realize it. I took it as just another game and we won and that's the big thing right now." Petr Mrazek, filling in for injured starter Jimmy Howard (groin) made 34 saves Saturday, and coach Mike Babcock said he'll play against Buffalo.

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TRAP

The Wings are home again coming off a road trip where we have won four out of six games. Not to shabby I'd say. We are in a Division with all Teams keeping up the pace and continue to nip at our heels, so every single point matters.

Nashville is in the house tonight, coming in riding high on a five game winning streak, and managing to win without their #1 starter, Pekka Rinne. Also, they played last night, but that means nothing unless the Wings show up full force.

This is a TRAP and if the Wings think for one split second that The Preds will be tired or worn down they are mistaken. In the past that often meant trouble with the Wings taking Teams for granted, not putting in a full sixty minutes, a TRAP.

Once again it's up to Uncle Mike to have his Gold Medal plan ready, and make sure the Team executes said plan to a WIN.

Tonight, the Wings must set the TRAP.

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Nashville Predators/Detroit Red Wings Preview And Notes

via John Manasso at NHL.com,

Season series: The Nashville Predators swept two games against the Detroit Red Wings last season. Predators forward Colin Wilson had two goals and one assist, center Mike Fisher had one goal and two assists, and goalie Marek Mazanec won each game. Red Wings left wing Henrik Zetterberg and defenseman Niklas Kronwall each had two assists.

Predators team scope: Forward James Neal, who missed five games with a lower-body injury, has four points in two games since returning to the lineup, including two goals in a 4-3 win against the Washington Capitals on Friday. Nashville has won five in a row. Wilson had a four-game point streak end Friday. Forward Eric Nystrom, on injured reserve because of an upper-body injury, participated in the morning skate Friday and is getting close to returning. In his past 21 games, center Mike Ribeiro has 21 points (17 assists), including eight assists in his past seven games. Defenseman Seth Jones scored his second goal in his past six games Friday. Mazanec, who was recalled from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League on Thursday because No. 1 goalie Pekka Rinne is injured, has not played in the NHL since Jan. 12, 2014.

Red Wings team scope: With goalies Jimmy Howard (groin) and Jonas Gustavsson (shoulder) injured, Petr Mrazek has started the past four games (3-1-0) for Detroit. Mrazek did not allow more than two goals in any of those games. The Red Wings have won four of their past five, and they have lost three times in regulation in their past 11 games (7-3-1). Zetterberg, who has been held without a point the past three games, needs two points to tie Norm Ullman for seventh in Red Wings history. Detroit's power play has been streaky. It is 1-for-10 over the past three games, but was 4-for-8 in the previous two. Penalty-killing has not been a strength lately for the Red Wings, who have allowed at least one power-play goal in four of the past six games (five overall). Center Pavel Datsyuk has three goals and six assists in his past 11 games. Forward Tomas Tatar has scored a goal in each of his past two games and has a three-game point streak. Detroit has won 31 of 44 games all-time against Nashville at Joe Louis Arena.

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com

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