Abel to Yzerman
Aaron Downey will beat the hell out of you, but apparently can’t hit Keith Tkachuk in the ass with a puck from four feet away. Brent Sopel can blast a puck by the best goalies in the league, but his efforts in TC showed us he’ll just as likely give it away quicker than Bubba’s sister at a family reunion. Igor Grigorenko has all sorts of talent and “hockey sense” but can’t skate for twenty seconds without pulling out the puffer.
And so it looks like Uncles Kenny and Mikey have to make a few decisions based on potential and who’s going to hurt the team the least.
0957: been on the phone for 11 minutes trying to determine whether they’ll offer Center Ice. Have spoken with 1 live person who I couldn’t understand and dealt with 17 recorded operators. None were helpful. I swore at them.
0959: On the phone with Ms. Wynn. 13th time I’ve given my phone number. “NHL…that would be hockey?. Bear with me one second please.”
1000: Tom from the Verizon Fios Solutions center doesn’t know what “the NHL” is, but he’s tracking it. Good on ya Tom.
1002: Now on the phone with Skip (really). He “doesn’t know if they’ll be offering it.”
Look. I’m not going to lie to you. I got very little sleep last night because I’m so excited about the democratic blood that is pumping through the veins of our little sarcastic home. You’ve voted early, in some cases often, and obviously with sober forethought. For that, I applaud you. Just over twelve hours remain in the competition to replace “Fire On Ice: John Hahn’s Latest Bit of Evidence That He Points At You and Laughs While He Sips Wine Coolers In The Executive Box At The Joe”.
Polls close at 2100.
Updated 1355 EST: MacLeod also reports the first wave of roster cuts will be made today. Should have details soon.
Yesterday it was Datsyuk’s brilliance. Today, Bruce MacLeod tells us from TC that Jiri Hudler was turning heads.
Jiri Hudler was flying. He made smart plays and outskated opponents on the backcheck. Grigorenko was better, but not outstanding.
Valtteri Filppula didn’t practice with his group, Sunday, but said that his ailment was minor and that he’d likely be back on the ice tomorrow. No specifics on his injury.
Browsing the Detroit News this morning….insert your own line here…and I realized A2Y’s photographer of choice David Guralnick’s been on fire in TC. If you haven’t been following the DetNews Wing blog, he’s been posting photos there since the big boys opened camp last week.
Those are the words of anti-Digger Bruce MacLeod in his blogged recap of the second scrimmage from TC. He also notes that Hasek and Sopel looked very good.
It was hard to notice Igor Grigorenko, who skated with Mark Hartigan and Aaron Downey. Grigorenko even missed the net on his shootout, going with a deke, but tapping the puck wide.
There is, apparently, no valid reason to use the word “if” when referring to Dallas Drake’s chances of making the team. Naturally, intelligent readers like yourselves knew that the minute he signed.
Your boy Khan(!), already with a contract in hand to write Drake’s memoirs, has found himself a new BFF.
Drake’s experience as the captain in St. Louis will help. Babcock loves his competitiveness.
“Dallas Drake flat-out loves hockey,’’ Babcock said. “And playing for us, he’ll be re-energized and be a huge part of our team, from a leadership standpoint, from a physical standpoint and from just being an all-around good guy.’‘
We’re going to close the polls Monday at 2100. The contest that has fascinated Wing nation for a week, the “replace Fire on Ice with a marketing and pr campaign not designed by 16-year old girls wasted on Boone’s Farm” competition, is nearly over and it’s so close that it’s hard for me to type because I’m so nervous.
Your choices are listed below and the standings are beneath them. I believe, thanks to the subtle reminders of our readers, that they are correct. But—and I know you will anyway—check my math if you must. According to my calculations, there’s a three-way tie at the top. Remember: how you vote is critical to the collective happiness of us all. You’re going to have to look at this thing all year long. Vote in the comment section of this post.
Now there’s a blue line pairing that is going to hand out punishment like candy at Christmas. Dave Waddell reported today that Nick Lidstrom has been preparing himself for the inevitable: a new defensive partner.
Lidstrom is expected to be paired with Detroit’s plumb off-season signing Brian Rafalski. Having done it so often, Lidstrom expects the transition to be quick and smooth.
“It doesn’t take that long,” Lidstrom said. “He’s a skilled defenceman.
“You get a read on how he’s moving out there. How he’s thinking the game.
“How he’s reacting in different situations. It doesn’t take that long to get to know your partner.”
Lidstrom also expects to be paired with Rafalski on the Wings’ first power-play unit.The left-handed shooting Swede will no longer have to dance along the blue line so much to improve his shooting angle from the middle of the ice.
The anti-Digger is back in rare form. Minutes after the first scrimmage of camp, Bruce MacLeod has an update.
Dallas Drake had a good first day on the job, scoring a goal and assisting on two other in Team C’s 3-1 win over Team B in a scrimmage, Friday. The Red Wings are starting training camp with their projected regular-season lines intact, meaning that Drake skating on left win with Tomas Kopecky at center and Kirk Maltby on the right side.
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