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Abel to Yzerman

Quick Recap- Wings/Panthers

Without a doubt, Detroit's best game of the year and it pays off with a 4-3 OT win over the Florida Panthers.

Feel free to express you thoughts.

Goals and Detroit team stats can be viewed below.

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Seven Straight

If you're reading this, you are a die hard Wings Fan, and, thank you for showing up. Even when we think we're prepared for a rocky season, there is just no way any of us saw this coming.

Seven straight losses.

Losing just plain sucks!

It's a Live Blog! 

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Video- The Game Plan For Tonight

2 1/2 minutes of Jeff Blashill.



added 5:36pm, Below, Dana Wakiji of DetroitRedWings.com with the game notes.

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Discussing Blashill And Bylsma

Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press answered some fan mail, this question regarding the coaching staff.

The back-to-back lopsided losses at Boston and Montreal were ugly, but let’s be realistic: this has been a team that’s had to field as many as four rookie defensemen, one of whom (Libor Sulak, since sent to Grand Rapids) had never played on the smaller North American ice sheet until last month. The team does not have an elite defenseman nor superstar scorers. My sense is management and ownership isn’t about to fire Blashill so long as the team looks competitive — asses how they play in a game more so than the result. Take the Tampa Bay game — the Wings lost but played well against an extremely talented opponent.

When Dan Bylsma was signed this past summer to a three-year contract, the optics made it look like he’s the successor if Blashill is fired. But I don’t sense that’s coming unless things really fall apart. Bear in mind, too, the ownership and management recognize how hard it’s been to start the season with as many as five veteran defensemen injured. The loss of Mike Green — arguably the team’s best defenseman last season — has been especially mitigating. 

more topics like Rasmussen and Yzerman's future...

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Video- Before The Puck Drops Tonight

via the Wings' YouTube page,

Hear from Cholowski, Athanasiou, Ericsson, Rasmussen, and Blashill before their game against the Panthers in Florida.


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Real Wins Actually Needed

from Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press,

Everyone knows this is a rebuild. Sure. But this is looking bad even for that. Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi have been the only bright spots among the young players who are supposed to be developing.

That’s on coach Jeff Blashill. In fact, it’s all on him. Yes, there have been injuries. Yes, the Wings put up good efforts in Southern California. Yes, they outplayed a sleepwalking Tampa Bay Lightning team — and still managed to lose.

But at some point, and maybe sooner rather than later, moral victories stop counting. The Wings need actual victories.

Their body language was bad while getting their Chiclets kicked in by the Habs and Bruins. The effort was much better in Tampa. But if you watched the dressing room interviews Thursday night, you could see the vacant, desperate look in players’ eyes, searching for something that wasn’t there. Possibly hope.

The popular notion is Blashill is safe in the final year of his contract. But his seat is suddenly warm and it could grow a lot hotter fast. If the Wings lose to the Panthers, they’re virtually guaranteed to go winless in their first 10 games, which would tie their franchise record (0-7-3) of 1975-76.

That would be a bad look. 


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Focus On The Short Term

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Jimmy Howard has been through many good times, many victories and many playoff successes with the Red Wings.

But he’s never gone through something like what the Wings are going through — opening the regular season with seven straight losses.

After Thursday’s difficult 3-1 loss in Tampa, Howard was near his locker stall sorting his equipment and answering questions about the latest defeat.

“It’s not fun,” said Howard of the losing streak. “That’s for sure. We know we have to just keep moving along.”

Around him players shuffled along in a quiet locker room that seemed shocked more than anything.

The losing streak, which has snuck up on some people around the league, is approaching records the Wings would rather not be associated with.


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Notes On The Detroit Red Wings

from Dana Wakiji of the Wings' website,

It appears that the Red Wings will get another veteran defenseman back for Saturday night's game in Florida.

Jonathan Ericsson has not played this season due to an upper-body injury but is likely to draw into the lineup against the Panthers.

"We're hoping that he's ready to play," Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "We'll see how he is. He's going to do a little extra battling after practice. As long as all goes well than he would go in."

Ericsson has been practicing with the team for some time now so his conditioning is still there but it will be an adjustment.

"Everything is not going to be 100 percent right away, I can't expect that," Ericsson said. "It's hard to practice conditioning for game situations. It's always different. I can skate however much, then you come out in the game and you're still exhausted after the first shift. It's a totally different thing. But I've prepared myself and they prepared (me) as good as they could."...

After sitting out the game in Montreal, Rasmussen returned to the lineup against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"I thought Ras played better last night than he had previous," Blashill said. "I thought it was a much better game against a real good team. My plan is to keep him in the lineup and play him again tomorrow night and hopefully he takes another step in the right direction. If at some point he doesn't then we'll go back to the drawing board and try to help him keep getting better."

more on each of the above topics plus other notes...

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What The Wings Need

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

What the Wings need is a franchise player. A new-age Yzerman. Hughes could be that player, and whether it’s by intent or accident, Detroit is positioning itself to get him. If they can, their stay on the bottom rungs of the NHL standings could be brief.

Right now, that’s the course the Wings appear to be on. They’re among the worst offensive and defensive teams in the league. That doesn’t, however, mean they’ve suddenly become a bad organization. In fact, it may mean they’re finally doing what needs to be done to get back to the top. Teams, of course, always resist doing this. Vancouver did, until the Sedins quit. Chicago and Los Angeles are doing it now.

But just as Toronto was ahead of Vancouver three years ago in terms of developing a top echelon team even when the Canucks had the more competitive club, Detroit is ahead of L.A. now despite the fact the Kings should have the better record this season with more established players in the lineup....

So it will be interesting to see what happens to the Detroit lineup this season. There are still quality veterans left to strip off the roster and use to acquire futures. Darren Helm. Justin Abdelkader. Niklas Kronwall. Do they go? It’s going to take a few more years for a messy cap situation to really clear up but that timing works for the likely target of when this team gets competitive again.


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The Wings Practiced In Sunrise Today

No news came out of practice but we do have this...


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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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