Abel to Yzerman
It’s been nearly two years since we came up with the blog title, “Abel to Yzerman.” For most of you, the significance of that has been pretty clear. “Abel” refers to Wing legend Sid Abel. “Yzerman” is our tribute to a little-known role player who somehow eeked his way onto the Detroit roster for 23 consecutive seasons.
Why do I bring that up?
A2Y reader BobTheZee mentioned this morning that he was hoping to see more about Grigorenko’s “debut” last night. I agreed, and here you go.
“He was great out there,” McGrath said. “He can move the puck and he gave me a lot of open chances. He’s smart out there and he and Jan Mursak are two of the best European players I have ever played with.”
Added Mursak, who was a standout himself: “It is hard to tell how good (Grigorenko) is after only one game. But I liked playing with him and (McGrath). I think we will better next game.”
As part of the site’s re-design, I canvassed the 9 A2Y regulars. I emailed each one claiming I was the widow of a deposed Liberian dictator and that I had millions to place in their bank accounts for safe keeping until I could retrieve it. Naturally, each regular responded quickly with their account information. I plan to embezzle twenty dollars from each and send the money directly to Dwayne Klessel so that I can have access to only the hottest rumors.
I also listened to them when they said they wanted more info on Wing prospects, that fans in Hockeytown are hungry for news from TC. Actually, I haven’t canvassed anyone, no one’s said a word to me about more news on the prospects and that number is really 8, not 9.
Regardless, the kids hit Center I.C.E last night.
Sitting at the dinner table tonite, and yes—there will be hockey involved in this post, our Kindergartner decides to tell a story, a nifty little diddy about a racoon who missed his mommy when he went off to racoon kindergarten. Apparently, according to daughter number 3 who says she “wants to be a Navy Chief” when she grows up, mommy racoon kissed the palm of racoon jr. every morning before he headed off to school, thereby leaving her love in his hand for the rest of the day.
“She put her love in his hand,” our young Chief told us. “No…,” she amended, “she
in his hand.”
I saw it coming and cringed. I looked five seconds into the future and resigned myself to the inevitable, and wasn’t disappointed.
“Really honey,” said my wife. “Daddy does that quite a bit too.”
So…let’s talk hockey.
Just when you think life without hockey had become all too comfortable for Deep Digger Captain Ansar Khan(!), he staggers in from nowhere to fill our heads with brilliance. Apparently convinced the in-depth scouting reports he wrote two days after the Anaheim series aren’t quite enough to merit a consistent paycheck, MLive’s Wing beat writer is back with a vengeance.
His blog from last night is rife with nuggets of insight like this: “It’s really different,’’ Rafalski said Thursday and this:”“I got to start practicing face-offs,’’ Kopecky said; and finally, this: “It was unfortunate,’’ Drake said.
With a few exceptions (Smith, Andersson, Emmerton and Pyett), the future of Wing hockey has descended on TC. Bruce MacLeod’s first report from the prospect tourney features an outlook from the league’s most valuable assistant GM.
“The biggest part of it is we get to judge the kids against their own level,” said Nill. “Before, we’d have a training camp and the Kindls, Rynos, Ritolas would have to play against Nick Lidstrom, Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan. First of all, they’re going to be in total awe of these guys, so they’re nervous. They’re probably not as strong as the veterans. They can’t really show what they can do. If a guy’s a big hitter, he’s not going to run into Nick Lidstrom. He’s just not going to do it in training camp. There’s too much respect.”
Ken Holland just wrapped up an NHL media conference call, during which he answered the standard “how long can Lidstrom play?” question, a few on Kronwall, one on Grigorenko, another regarding Bubba and a gut wrencher on the shaft job in May.
You know, for us obviously we look back. We lost two key guys on defense: Nick Kronvall late in the regular season. In the middle of the San Jose series we lost Mathieu Schneider. We felt had either one of those two guys been healthy maybe we could have had a different outcome.
I’m sure there are a few misguided souls out there who actually believed that (a) Brendan Shanahan would actually, eventually, return to the Wings or (2) Detroit would retire his jersey in homage to his 8 full seasons in Hockeytown.
No on both counts.
Well, you’d better just stand by for hockey. How do I know it’s close? Because former Deep Digger Captain Teddy Kulfan has checked in from his long summer’s hiatus and graced us with a few quotes from The Swede.
“It was a great experience for our younger guys going deep into the playoffs (last season) and playing when it really matters,” Lidstrom said. “They’ll build on that and get better.”
Nothing too deep in Kulfan’s Wing Notebook, but you know we don’t like to place too much pressure on our brittle beat writers. Just let them work their way back into form.
The LONGEST SUMMER IN HISTORY is ending. Really. Unfortunately it’s ending at the same time as the UM football season, a fact that had fetal implications for me yesterday for about an hour. Michigan football’s a recipe for sadness even if you weren’t already aware that a tough Hemlock High School team has a chance against them if they feature a scrambling quarterback.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org