Abel to Yzerman
Courtesy of the guys at WDFN, here’s your weekly adventure with Chris Chelios. Today…Sasquatch and what he’s got coming to him somewhere down the road, the brilliance of Nick Lidstrom and the necessity for the league to address hits to the head over the summer.
Heading out to dinner as part of a “team building” endeavor. Love that stuff. Since I won’t be around for the next two hours or so, I’m declaring the Stress Train officially open for business.
Another long day. I’m officially declaring the Stress Train off limits until, oh, let’s go with 2045. This should be a day of anticipation, not dread. Think optimistically and how positive a 3-1 lead in Detroit would be for you and your families.
Am I “predicting” victory tonite? Well, I’m not coming right out and saying it because we’ve all seen situations where teams lose their best players and rally around his absence. So, no, I’m not guaranteeing a Wing victory. I’m sticking with the same prediction I’ve had for this and every series so far: Detroit in 6.
I do, however, have a fun little game for us to pass the time. As entertaining as “Name That Idiot”? Maybe not. But still nifty.
Mine? I’ve already given you that. I’m now officially on record as stating I’d hoped he wouldn’t be suspended because I believe that in his imbalanced state of mind he’s of more benefit to the Wings on the ice (and in the box) then in street clothes. But, I wasn’t listened to…again. So, I’ll just say this: it was a dirty hit by a dirty player. I didn’t expect a suspension because I didn’t think the league would have the guts to dole one out to a marquee player. They did and here’s hoping the Wings take advantage of it.
Plenty more reaction from the bloggers, so let’s get to it.
Anaheim Ducks defenceman Chris Pronger has been suspended for one game by the National Hockey League. Pronger received the suspension after Detroit forward Tomas Holmstrom was drilled into the boards Tuesday night in the Red Wings' 5-0 victory in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final. Holmstrom was cut after getting hit into the glass by Pronger and Anaheim forward Rob Niedermayer on the play in question.
Jacques Demers may want to forward the text of his most recent article to the producers of Hockey Night In Canada, not that they have a shred of influence over what Don Cherry spews when the mic is open. But it’s worth a shot.
Holmstrom gets hit. His face is full of blood, but he gets up, gets 13 stitches, returns to the game and gets an assist on the fifth goal. That is the best thing that could ever happen to the Red Wings. If Holmstrom can pay the price and come back, that tells you a little something about the mindset of the Red Wings. It was an unbelievable mark of courage and his teammates will follow suit. Anyone who says that European players aren’t tough and will back down ought to watch Holmstrom play hockey.
Phil Esposito, blogging for the National Post, writes today that the same vets who many had written off as too old are leading the charge.
You can’t believe how much the Detroit Red Wings have impressed me this playoff series. Come on, they’ve impressed you too, haven’t they?
It’s veteran leadership from the coach and GM all the way down to the goaltending, where even the back-up is a Stanley Cup champion. Why did we forget all of that? With 10 players with over 100 games of playoff experience, you can look at it two ways: They know what they’re doing, or they’re too old to do what they want to do. Obviously, it’s the first of the two options that is paying off.
Ok, ok. No, he didn’t say that. But, if you read between the lines he’s kind of saying it. Ok…not even that. But Scott Burnside is at least giving credit where it’s due.
With Game 4 set for Thursday evening in Anaheim, the Red Wings suddenly have emerged as a team not solely reliant on special teams for success, as a team capable of adjusting and turning flaws into success. Such a dramatic turn of affairs was the direct result of Babcock’s bold lineup moves.
“We knew we were going to do that before the series started. We’ve kind of been prepared for that all playoff. If what we were doing wasn’t going to work, we were prepared, kind of scripted what we thought would work,” Babcock said.
I honestly don’t care if LG suspends Pronger. In fact, I hope he doesn’t. I don’t want to read the alibis and I don’t want to hear the complaints from the Poultry. I want Pronger in there Thursday night; spinning and sputtering and seething.
And I’m betting Babcock isn’t too concerned about it either (if he was he wouldn’t have let Homer play the third. He would have kept him in the room to give the NHL more to think about when they decide whether or not to suspend Pronger today). The way the Wings played last night? Let him play. Let ‘em all play and let’s watch the chips fall.
I haven’t seen it. As some of you know, I listened to the game in my garage in a state close to what David Allan Coe would describe as “half-drunk and hollow eyed,” so I won’t say too much more about Pronger’s dirty—but par for the Pronger course—hit on Tomas Holmstrom.
The Diggers are chiming in though, and at least one believes Sasquatch will be press-box bound for Game 4.
There isn’t much question, I think, that Chris Pronger should be suspended a game or two for his reckless hit on Tomas Holmstrom in Tuesday’s 5-0 Detroit victory.
We’ll see what happens, but I suspect the Wings, already up 2-1 in the series, are looking at least at playing Game 4 Thursday without having to worry about Pronger.
I would be shocked if Bettman has the sack to do what St. James suggests. As I said, I haven’t seen the hit yet…but if there’s any way possible LG can find a way not to actually make the tough decision, he’ll do it. He’s in a sticky wicket though isn’t he? If the hit was dirty, as dirty as most are suggesting, someone’s gotta sit. The easy solution would be to suspend Niedermayer, but his impact on the play was less than Sasquatch’s.
That would appear to be the case according to Helene St. James’ game story this morning.
The Wings are, by the way, close to getting one Swede stronger. Niklas Kronwall, the big-hitting defenseman who broke a bone in his back March 30, is to skate Saturday for the first time. If the Wings can win this series, Kronwall may return for the Stanley Cup finals.
I’ll have a full recap later in the day.
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