Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Ready To Hurl?  Zetterberg Out

Back spasms, according to Anti-digger Bruce MacLeod.

The biggest news from Saturday’s morning skate is that Henrik Zetterberg won’t play tonight because of back spasms. With Tomas Holmstrom back in Detroit with a bone bruise in his right knee, Mark Hartigan has been called up to give the Red Wings 12 forwards. Hartigan wasn’t at the morning skate.
Zetterberg will rest his back over the Christmas break and see how he feels on the other side.

“I’m not too worried,” said Zetterberg. “There’s been a lot of games played. I feel a little bad today. Hopefully, I get three days off, I’ll feel a little better after Christmas. Of course I want to play tonight, but if you think, be a little smart, you get a few days off and hopefully it won’t get worse. ... Today was the first time it was bad enough to not go out there. We decided not to play. It’s been pretty good lately. Overall for the year, it’s been good and bad days, but overall it’s been good.”

 

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Where’d That Big Lead Go?

Before your eyes glaze over and you stop reading halfway through this post, get to the bottom for details on an epic A2Y Event.

Wasn’t it just yesterday that the Wings were cruising along with a sizable lead in the Division That Gary Built?  Those were the days, eh?  Well, after Thursday’s loss to the martyr and the little Blues, the Central lead has dwindled to a worrisome 17 points.

Yes, that’s sarcasm.  Revel in it.  Here’s something.  Worried about the Blues?  I’d guess that answer is no. But if you are, take note of this number:  42.  It’s an amazing number and I’ll tell you why.

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It’s Christmas…and It’s Ok To Hate

Updated 2024:  Ted Kulfan, former Deep Digging Captain, reports that Chris Chelios did not take the news he’d be staying home tonite well.

“What do you want me to say? I’m happy about it?” said Chelios, who definitely was not happy with the news.

Derek Meech will take Chelios’ spot in the lineup. This is the third time this season that coach Mike Babcock has sat Chelios, 45, for the second of back-to-back games.

“I could play him, but I’ve said from day one, and we’ve had this same conversation all the time, I told him the first half of the year this is going to happen,” Babcock said. “We’re going to need him at the end of the year. He doesn’t like it, but that’s life.”

Sometimes, when I’m kicking the bejesus out of Dive fans, just drilling them day after day because it makes me smile?  Well, sometimes, I get sad because Bitter Blues fans think I’ve forgotten them.

That’s not true.  It’s not true at all.  It’s just that, well, the little Blues have never defeated the Wings in a playoff series so it’s kind of a debate ender, you know?

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More Perspective

Thousands of servicemembers from both our countries will spend this Christmas in hospital rooms.  If you have the chance to meet any of them, you’ll be struck by their pride in service and pride in country.  And by their toughness.

How tough are they?

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Feeling “Dis’d”?  Have No Fear.  LB Tonite

Updated 1939: Gramps is looking for a graphic genius.  An artist who can complement his stable of A2Y expatriots. 

Updated 1922: Game can be seen on the Yahoo feed.

Oh…yes.  That’s it. Finally, after several hours of reading posts about oak syrup, I allowed myself a break to peruse some brilliance.

NY Times/Slapshots

Detroiters have been calling for more respect, even though their team has not capitalized on its regular-season efforts by winning the Cup in the last four seasons. That’s like me, as a college freshman, asking my math professor for respect and extra credit as a consistently great quiz-taker and a superior contributor to classroom discussions after having failed the final. No props for you.

Ummm…yeah.  Wing fans are consistently playing the “disrespect” card.  Live blog starts here.  Usual backdoor link at NHL.TV, the one we are forced to use when games are aired on NHL Network, doesn’t appear to be working yet.  If anyone has another means to watch, please let me know.

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Wednesday Digging

The Detroit News claims Pavel Datsyuk is the best player in the NHL.  Well, they ask the question, “Is he the best player in the NHL”?. 

Then in true Digger fashion, they try to answer it using quotes dredged up from weeks, even months, ago. 

David Goricki

“I remember when I was with St. Louis,” Osgood said. “It was a nightmare. We were worried about (Brett) Hull and Shanny (Brendan Shanahan), and this little Russian guy kept splitting the ‘D’ and going around (Chris) Pronger and putting it through my legs. We were like, ‘Who is this kid?’ We didn’t really know him. It’s definitely great to be on his side now.”

 

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Fully Recovered….Live Blog Tonite

Pepe Lopez cannot keep me down.  Wings/Caps live blog here.  I’d point you to the Caps blogs, but there are 273 of them. Unbelievable.  See them all here at Japers’ Rink blog roll.

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See? It’s Not Just Wing Fans

Caps coach Bruce Budreau today, on the difference between Detroit and…elsewhere.

Capitals’ Insider

“It’s hockey history,” he said. “It’s not like Carolina and Florida and everything else. There’s a lot of hockey history here. It’s Hockeytown. It’s a good feeling.”

Hmmm…wonder what AQ will have to say about that.

 

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Comparing Bourque and Lidstrom

There are more than a few blogs with content so superior to ours that I get embarrassed and sad when I read them. So generally, I just avoid them altogether.  Greatest Hockey Legends is one.  Joe Pelletier has decided to compare Nick Lidstrom and Ray Bourque and I’m sure you’ll be pleased with the result.  Dive fans who believe Bourque played his entire 1.23 year career in Denver are rejoicing.

Another pretty telling stat for me is post season All Star awards. In 19 of his 22 seasons Bourque was either on the first or second team, including in each of his first 15 NHL seasons. Lidstrom has “only” been honoured 8 times in 15 complete seasons, with more sure to follow. But it took him 7 years before his first all star nod.

It is the only statistical anomaly between these two great defenders. A case could even be made to suggest Bourque faced stiffer competition for All Star honours. As such, I conclude Ray Bourque’s legacy ranks him ahead of the still growing legacy of Niklas Lidstrom. But only for the time being.

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Shutting Down AO

When Alexander Ovechkin leaves Joe Louis Arena this evening without a point he shouldn’t fret.  Because it’s almost

Christmas

the holiday season?  No.  Because Pepe Lopez Tequila is sold in the greater DC area?  A good reason, but not what I’m talking about here.

AO, after the Wings shut him down tonite, should feel snuggly and warm in the knowledge that he’s not alone.

Superstars don’t fare well against Nick Lidstrom’s Wings.

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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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