Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Genius! No…Idiot

ESPN’s Scott Burnside has proclaimed your Detroit Red Wings the eventual winner of the Western Conference. Well, he actually says they’ll finish first in the West.  Interpret that as you wish.  Of course, this adds to the growing list of hockey “experts” predicting big things out of Hockeytown. 

Odd, though, considering I just read a geek-filled usenet alt .net, .com thing the other day where a duck torturer claimed “no one’s picking the Wings to finish anywhere near the top of their conference.”

GM Ken Holland once again proved he’s one of the best in the business by signing longtime Devil Brian Rafalski moments after Mathieu Schneider bolted to Anaheim.

Only a very stupid person would disagree with Burnside’s assessment of Holland.

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Winning Is The Only Option

I’ve entered us into a fantasy hockey league.  I say “us” because, like so many other things, it takes a village to win…or at least that’s how I feel.  Here’s the deal.  We’re all going to manage the team. Any one of you who wants to help out, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and I’ll forward on the username/password, etc. 

Yes, this will take some coordination and maybe we’ll come up with a daily schedule of managers for each night.  Whatever.  We’re all going to do this and we’re going to win. 

Oh, and Bruce MacLeod agrees with me.  It’s Hockeytown or the Mother Country for Grigorenko.

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Wednesday Night Digging

Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star is another reporter, like Bruce MacLeod, I find myself delinquently forgetting about.  And that’s too bad because he’s another anti-digger.

By putting Datsyuk and Zetterberg back at their preferred centre positions, Babcock has solved one problem for his team and created some headaches for the opposition.
In Zetterberg, Babcock has got the so-called second-line centre he needed to replace the departed Robert Lang creating some challenging match-up problems for the Wings’ opponents.
Teams now have to pick their poison on whom to match-up their checking line against.

Waddell disappoints me a bit in another story posted tonite.  He claims Igor Grigorenko could very well be headed to Grand Rapids (not gonna happen), then provides a variety of quotes from Uncle Mike that don’t require a whole lot of reading between the lines.  He’ll be starting the season in Detroit.

“I know he wants to be here. We sure like the skill level that he has. Can he get a pace and a tempo to his game so he can help us, only time will tell.”

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Grigs The Griff? Not Gonna Happen

Through five games Igor Grigorenko has 4 shots on goal and 1 point.  Based on our expectations, realistic or otherwise, his performance to this point has been nothing short of a significant disappointment.  If pre-season ended today, he would not make the team...if results were the sole qualifier.

Igor Grigorenko is in danger of not making the Detroit Red Wings. His skating is not really up to snuff and there is a real possibility that he will be sent to Grand Rapids.

Sure that’s a real possibility, but it’s not happening. 

Prediction:  Still transfixed by his potential, the Wings are going to keep him around.  He stays in Detroit and the Wings give him an extended tryout, maybe a month or two.  If he can’t prove himself in that amount of time, he’s gone. Gone to Russia, or traded.  Igor Grigorenko won’t see the ice in Grand Rapids.

 

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Previewing The Wings Part 2

Defending the republic can be hard work. Hard, stressful work that I sometimes interrupt to entertain you bastards with my prose and seemingly endless wealth of hockey knowledge.  Consequently, I tend to find amusement in things that other people don’t, well, get.  Oh, I’m not talking about the simple stuff like Transvestite Dive Fans or Dive Fans Who Rip The Heads off Defenseless Duckies.  Don’t get me wrong…those situations do make me laugh. 

But I’m going to give you some insight you haven’t had before.  And this is some sophisticated, high-brow stuff. If you’re drunk, you may want to stop reading now because this may just fly right over your heads.  Today, on the phone, taking down an email address:

Me: “What’s your address?”
Caller: “somethingsomething at cox dot net.”
Me: “Ok…is that C-O-X”?

That made me laugh for frigging hours.

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Opportunity Lost

I can only find one reference to it, and it’s far from definitive.

Tonight could have marked the return of former Wing Brendan Shanahan to Joe Louis Arena, but no such drama.

Shanahan was in the lineup Monday when the Rangers played the New York Islanders in Long Island.

Like many NHL teams, the Rangers prefer not to play veterans on consecutive nights in the exhibition season.

Just come out and say it Ted.  Shanahan’s not playing.  He doesn’t say so because he doesn’t know, and he doesn’t know because he didn’t ask.  Ted Kulfan assumes Brendan Shanahan’s not playing, and that assumption is probably correct.  But I guarantee he didn’t make the phone call to find out, because if he had he would have written this:  Brendan Shanahan won’t be in the lineup for the Rangers tonight. 

 

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2007 Wing Preview:  Stand by for 11

I had this season preview nearly finished about thirty minutes ago, then I started thinking about that Dive fan ripping that duck’s head off.  Did it bother some of us?  Of course it did.  No one wants to see a ducky treated like that in public, even though it happens half a million times each day by allegedly sober people in whatever places they breed ducks so that Dive fans can eat said duck with their cold white wine between periods. 

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Miss The Playoffs? Punish the Poultry

I can’t recall a time when the Wings didn’t make the playoffs, so it’s kind of hard for me to comprehend what I read today—courtesy of A2Y reader W2J2.  Apparently, the lone Dive fan remaining in Denver has gone off the frigging deep end.  So distraught by his garbage team’s inability to reach the postseason, he’s gone after the Cup winners in true bitter Dive fan fashion.

A Denver man who witnesses say ripped the head off a tame duck that lived in a pond in a hotel lobby is under arrest in St. Paul.

A police officer said that Scott Clark, a guest at the Embassy Suites hotel, cornered the duck early Saturday, ripped its head off and turned to onlookers and said: “I’m hungry. I’m gonna eat it.”

“He was allegedly drunk,” St. Paul police Sgt. John Wuorinen said.

Disturbing.

 

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Hudler Gets His Chance

Ted Kulfan believes it and, therefore, so should you.  According to the former Digger Captain, Jiri Hudler’s earned himself a job.

He’ll open the season on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Mikael Samuelsson, a line suited for Hudler’s offensive skills.

The Wings are curious what Hudler could do with more ice time.

“He’s got to shoot the puck,” coach Mike Babcock said. “He’s got to show that he can play in the top six.”

 

 

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Stealing The Work of Others

Seems like a good day to visit other hockey blogs, steal their best stuff and grudgingly attribute it to them rather than take credit for it myself.  First, Center Ice Online has fifteen days to get it together before a few of us have to decide whether to drop the equivalent of fifteen twelve-packs of Rolling Rock on their product.  After last night, it’s hard to justify it.  Several crashes, intermittent audio, frozen pictures and a couple tantrums.  For the second time in as many attempts, I stopped trying mid-way through the second.  I’d rather not watch than deal with the frustration.  If the glitches aren’t straightened out by 9 October (when the free preview is supposed to end), I’d suggest they extend it until they’re sure what they’re offering is worth the investment.

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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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