Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Finishing Them Off

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Wings have won two games in a row for the first time in six weeks, on the strength of closing out opponents in the third period. That was a facet they lacked as recently as this month. Being able to do what the Wings did in their last two third periods - rallying from a one-goal deficit against Anaheim by scoring three goals and padding a one-goal lead at Minnesota with two goals – is especially encouraging for a young team.

“I think a lot of times with young players, it’s a process to learn how to play with the lead,” coach Jeff Blashill said Thursday. “It’s a process to learn how to win tight games. It’s a process to understand how to manage your game, how to manage risk-reward, because that’s what it comes down to lots of times. So it’s 100 percent a process.

“The other part of it that’s a learned thing is working through the months of January and February, when the schedule gets long and you don’t see tons of light at the end of the tunnel. It’s easy to play on opening night. It’s harder to be at your best through these parts of the year, and yet the guys that are at their best every night are the ones that are the elite players, and the teams that are at their best every night are the ones that are the elite teams.”


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Direct Talk With Niklas Kronwall

from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

In media scrums, he is every bit as direct — although, obviously, less violent — as when he "Kronwalls" opponents on the ice.

His views, frankly stated, acknowledge truth.

In tough times, when losing, when mistakes have been made, when the Red Wings stumble and are humbled, Kronwall attests to the facts.

He has identified reality for the Wings, for many seasons. It is a source of his leadership.

And, the role is integral to rebuilding.

So, what about the club this season?

“I think it’s a mix,” he said....

If approached by Ken Holland in the coming weeks about a deal with value to the franchise, Kronwall said he would feel duty bound to at least listen.

A modified no-trade clause allows him some control.

He expressed surprise and said he had not heard about a couple of reports that the Maple Leafs are interested in him, hoping to augment their lagging defensive corps with a veteran playoff performer

much more

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The Wings Are Practicing Before Flying To Calgary



added 11:45am, Khan has the pp units below.

Continue Reading »

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“It’s Starting To Piece Together”

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

“We’ve got what I call a bus driver,” general manager Ken Holland told USA TODAY Sports. “Jonathan Toews drives the bus in Chicago. Patrice Bergeron drives the bus in Boston. Dylan Larkin drives the bus in Detroit. Those guys are hard to find. He’s not Connor McDavid or Austin Matthews, but he is a bus driver.”...

“What do we respect about Toews and Bergeron? They come to play every day,” Holland said. “Now I have a young player who every day is pushing and pushing to be better.”...

Tyler Bertuzzi, 24, (13 goals and 25 points) is another player who could score 20 on a Red Wings team averaging 2.79 goals per game.

"He’s a junkyard dog. He’s not the prettiest guy going,” Holland said. “But he has great hockey sense, and hands. The feet are getting better.”

Trade speculation has Detroit trading Gustav Nyqvist, Thomas Vanek, Nicklas Kronwall and goalie Jimmy Howard before this season’s trade deadline.

But with the Red Wings' rebuilding plan on schedule, Holland would like to re-sign Howard, 34, who has improved and tightened up his game as he's gotten older.

They have contracts coming off the books this summer, including more than $17 million to four players.  More than $12 million could be available in 2020 when the contracts of Mike Green, Trevor Daley and Jonathan Ericsson end. 

“It’s starting to piece together,” Holland said.

more plus a look at other teams in a rebuild of some sort...

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The Plan For Filip Hronek

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Blashill wants to get young defenseman Filip Hronek in the lineup during this upcoming western Canada road trip.

He wants Hronek to play, not sit.

“My expectation is Fil will play on the trip,” said Blashill, who made Hronek a healthy scratch Tuesday in the Red Wings’ victory over Anaheim.

With Danny DeKeyser returning to the lineup Tuesday after missing 20 games after a wrist injury, and none of the remaining five defensemen playing poorly enough to warrant being bumped out, the young Hronek drew the short straw to sit.

Hronek hadn’t been error-free during this most recent stretch of games, but the 21-year-old was also playing with increasing confidence, appeared to be getting incrementally better, and earning points in four of the last five games.

“He’ll be on the trip with us for sure,” said Blashill, effectively squashing the belief Hronek would be sent back to Grand Rapids before next weekend’s NHL All-Star break. “He’s played certainly good enough for him to give me tons of confidence that if I put him in, he can help us win.”

read on

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Gregg Krupa’s Comment On Niklas Kronwall

Your thoughts, do you consider Kronwall retired after this season?


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Working The Phones Soon

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings wrapped up five days of organizational meetings Monday in Florida, where many areas were covered from amateur to professional ranks.

The most pressing topic: What to do by the Feb. 25 trade deadline.

The Red Wings, 13 points out of the final playoff spot, will be sellers. To what extent remains to be seen. They have some pending unrestricted free agents that would draw interest, namely Gustav Nyquist and Jimmy Howard.

The Red Wings, according to someone with knowledge of the situation, have set a high asking price for each player – a first-round pick. They don’t expect to get that for either.

That’s why they will try to re-sign Howard and Nyquist.

Nothing is on the front burner, but general manager Ken Holland should begin working the phones in earnest during the team’s nine-day hiatus (the All-Star break and their bye week), which follows the upcoming three-game Western Canada trip.


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Videos- Wrapping Up A Win Over The Anaheim Ducks

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

There was sneaking suspicion this game was going to go like this.

The Anaheim Ducks had lost 11 consecutive games, so, they weren't exactly on a wave of momentum.

And, maybe as expected, Detroit put Anaheim in position to finally steal a victory until a big third period carried the Red Wings to a 3-1 victory Tuesday at Little Caesars Arena.

Goals from Anthony Mantha, Gustav Nyquist and Darren Helm, plus 23 saves from goaltender Jimmy Howard, gave the Wings their second consecutive victory and first back-to-back wins since Nov. 28 and Dec. 1 against St. Louis and Boston.

“In the last month we’ve played good hockey, but at the end of the day this league is about results,” said veteran forward Thomas Vanek, who spoke up after two periods in the Wings’ locker room. “That was the only message. We haven’t played our best, it’s 1-0 (the Wings trailing), so let’s go out and grab those points.

“It’s nice when you don’t play your best you want to get results; that’s what the league is all about.”


Below, all kinds of videos including extended game highlights.

Continue Reading »

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Quick Recap- Wings/Ducks

On a scale from 1-10, the first two periods gets a 2.

The third was much better.

The Ducks looked bad, real bad.

Final score Detroit 3 Anaheim 1.

Goals and stats below.

Continue Reading »

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Make It Two

19 fans are expecting a TRAP, and at the same time, hoping for the Wings team that played in Minnesota to show up tonight and make it two W's in a row.

It's a Live Blog!

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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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