Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Long Week…You’ve Persevered Without Me

Aloha.  This week has sucked. Well, it’s been busy…that doesn’t mean it sucked.  I mean…nevermind.

Sorry for the lack of posts and big thanks to Okie for picking up the slack.  We’ve got a big pre-playoff week ahead of us and we should all be fully stressed no later than next Friday I’m thinking.  In the meantime, I caught this over at Malik’s and agree completely.

“We don’t worry about our playoff matchup.”

Instead, Babcock said, the Wings “hope for distance.” By that he means the shortest distance traveled in the playoffs is always the best route. So, playing Anaheim or Edmonton in the first round wouldn’t be as beneficial as playing St. Louis or Nashville.

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GDT - Game #75: Red Wings host Islanders (7:30)

The race for Best in the West appears to be a sprint to the finish, and it could become important if the Wings eventually play the Sharks in the WCF.  The Sharks, as good as their record indicates, do not enjoy swimming outside their home tank.  At home, SJS own an obscene record of 30-3-4; however their road record is a more mortal-like 18-12-7.  SJS have lost their games in hand against DET as they are coming off an OTL at CHI on Wed., and a 2-3 L against NSH last night.  DET and SJS each have 107 pts, but DET now sit atop the WC by virtue of their win total.

DET begin a four game homestand tonight against the NYI, and will play 6 of their remaining 8 games at the JLA; where they are 26-5-4 overall and 10-1-2 since February. Mule is en fuego; he has four goals and eight assists and is riding a six-game point streak, DET are winners of five of those games.  Hank’s next goal will give DET four players with 30 for the first time since 2001-02.

DET are attempting history tonight, trying to join BOS (1970-74) and MTL (1975-79) as the only teams with 50 wins in four straight seasons. Mike Babcock would become the first coach with four consecutive 50-win campaigns since Scotty Bowman did it while with the Canadiens in 1979.

NYI have given up 16 goals during a three-game slide, and are perilously close to their worst finish since their 52 point total in 2000-01.  The Isles are 8-26-3 on the road.


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Looking Forward

Ok. I’m gonna get myself in some hot water.  There’s a real strong possibility women readers and male Dive fans are going to be upset.  The women will take offense at my generalizations and the male Dive fans will take offense that I’m lumping them in with the women where they belong.

Ahh, well. Can’t please everybody.

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12 Years Later

0321 on a school day and I’m seriously contemplating waking up my six-year old to show her what happened a dozen years ago tonite.

Oh, the Dive fan likes to point out that we’re “living in the past” when we continuously point to this game, that fight, that bit of redemption, that other fight and then that goal.  We like to reply that the impact of March 26th, 1997 is still very much being felt up and down the organ-I-zation.

In fact, we might even say that the momentum generated by that single regular season game still courses through the veins of the Wing franchise, that it is the lifeblood of a dynasty that is very much alive today.  Since the night Igor Larionov decided he’d go ahead and punch Peter Forsberg in the face, the Wings have made a habit of winning Stanley Cups.

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Homer’s In, So’s Chelios, Maybe Even Osgood…No, None Of Them, Or Maybe All

This is your live blog. I don’t feel like doing a song. I don’t feel like a ditty.  I’ve been wondering a few things today and they’ve got me grumpy.  I’m wondering how the dirtiest team outside of Anaheim suffers one single penalty last night. And not because they didn’t try.  I’m wondering how Mike Freaking Keenan got to those refs with a comment that I considered blown way, way out of proportion.

I guess not.

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GDT - Game #74: Red Wings at Oilers (9:30)

The Red Wings had their four-game winning streak snapped with a 5-3 loss on Monday at Calgary, which kept them one point behind the Sharks for first place in the West. In a little over 25 minutes of ice time, Osgood managed to allow 3 “SOFT” goals on 14 shots (0.785%), and DET found themselves with almost zero chance at the win.  The Wings, to their credit, battled back and made a contest of it (although I have no firsthand knowledge having turned off the game at the 4-1 mark).  Conklin, who is slated to start tonight, made 11 saves on 12 shots, Mule and Hudler scored to pull the Wings to a 4-3 score.  Conroy potted the E/N goal to seal the game.  Conklin, a former Oiler,  is 2-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA against Edmonton this season, and made 21 saves in a 4-0 victory on Nov. 17.

The Oilers had their three-game winning streak snapped in a 3-0 loss at Minnesota on Sunday to conclude a three-game road trip.  Dwayne Roloson made 33 saves, but has allowed seven goals in his last two contests. He is 26-18-9 with a 2.75 GAA in 2008-09 - but 0-2-0 with an 8.01 GAA against Detroit. EDM currently sit 7th in the Conference, 3 pts behind 6th place CBJ, and 2 pts ahead of NSH.  The Oil are 4-2-4 in their last ten games.

Ridiculous workload today, updates later this afternoon.

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Standin’ On The Corner At Midnight?  We’ll Still Have About Ten Minutes Left

And that’s thanks to you Gary, you little elf. 

Hey.  This comment hit close to home.  I felt like, well, I felt like I could have written it myself.

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GDT - Game #73: Red Wings at Flames (9:30)

Calgary tonight and Edmonton tomorrow night to end the Wings 3 game road trip.  The Wings are coming off a solid, 6-3 performance Friday night in Atlanta.  Babcock was pretty happy after the game, except for this comment about the Wings surrendering the 3rd G/A :  “I thought Ozzie had played so good, you owe him to take care of the puck better than that.”  Speaking of Ozzie, since giving up seven goals in a March 7 loss to Columbus, he has allowed only seven in four straight wins.  DET will try to recapture the 1 position in the W.C. tonight after SJS took over the position with their win over COL yesterday.

CGY have their own issues of late.  In losing five of their last seven, the Flames have seen their Northwest Division lead over Canucks cut to three points. CGY blew a one-goal lead in Friday night’s 3-2 loss to visiting STL, allowing the Blues to score twice in the third period.  Starting all but five games this season, Miikka Kiprusoff could be running on fumes, he has a 3.95 GAA in nine March starts. In his last 6 starts against DET, he is 2-3-0 with a 3.67 GAA.

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Something Cooking In Hossa Camp?

We’ve all seen how contract negotiations go in Tick Tock’s world.  The order of things has become almost standard by now.  A little chatter…followed by a period of silence…then a few surprise quotes from an agent or the player himself…a few hints dropped to an eager Digger.  Then all of a sudden a Wing press conference is called and the next thing you know old Jed’s a millionaire in red and white for 8 years at 6.5 mil/per.

And here we go.  Hossa’s talking and he’s not being too subtle about it.

St. James

“To be able to stay as a Red Wing, I am prepared to take less money, but a fair deal, so both sides are happy. That’s what I’m looking for. I know if I go somewhere else, I could have more, but I’m willing to take less to stay here. Hopefully things work out.”

“I could be somewhere else, you know, but I came here because I like everything and I want to be a part of it,” Hossa said. “And that’s why I want to still be a Red Wing and stay here.”

Dave Dye’s got a little on it too and expands the discussion a bit.

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Heads Up To Our Denver Readers:  Don’t Read The Post Today

Terri Frei’s got a good look (good…as in good for Wing fans) at the performance of six teams who could have been considered the league’s “elite” prior to the lockout, with a special emphasis on one team that has maintained that label.

Frei points out that the Wings notched a league-best 446 points the four seasons prior to Gary’s Legacy, and 455 in the four seasons since, also first in the NHL.

The Red Wings, as often has been noted, have been brilliant in making the transition, making tough decisions on buyouts or allowing proven players to leave while retaining a young and talented core and reaping the benefits of many years of astute scouting and drafting, especially of European talent.

 

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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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