Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

It’s Almost Full

Update 2157:  Faithful readers of A2Y know that there is only one available option when the Wings are down 1-0 after 1 in an elimination game.  That’s right, a block of pleasing cheddar. 

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I’ve taken that step and I fully intend to eat the entire thing by the ten minute mark of the second.  I expect a positive second because of that personal sacrifice.

Update 1916:  According to Boy Wonder John Niyo, it’s looking bleak for Bert.

But I’d call him doubtful for Game 6 at this point, based on his body language, among other things. He spent 15 minutes in the training room and conferred with team doctors and trainer Piet Van Zant after practice, then left the arena without speaking to the media.

Oh good God.  If you’re looking to board, you must hurry. I can’t say that strongly enough.  The Stress Train is full and I can’t guarantee you a spot.

Keys to victory tonite: I have no idea.  Bertuzzi’s apparently a game-time deal and Uncle Mike can’t form a sentence worth reading.

It’s basically can a guy go, can a guy not go.

Thanks Mike.

But, look below…that bad boy is filling up and if you’re not on it’s your own damn fault.

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Niyo: Lidstrom’s “C"hance Comes Tonite

I’m liking the kid John Niyo at the News.  I like stuff like this:  “There is no handbook. No instructional video. Not even one of those bracelets with the inscription “W.W.S.D.”

What Would Stevie Do?”

I like it because it’s what we’re all thinking today.  What’s Nick going to do?  This is a little more dire than ‘97 against a Blues team that was, well, not really that good.  It’s a little different than a visit to Sergei in the trainer’s room.  And no matter how hard he tries, he can’t fake a wrecked knee. 

I’ll let young John tell you the rest.

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Burnside: Zetterberg On The Verge Of “League Best” Consideration

I’d like to apologize up front for interrupting the self-pity train many Wing fans have decided to step in front of.  I guaranteed a Game 7 last night didn’t I?  Isn’t that enough?  What else can I do for the naysayers, the pessimists who commented with “it was a great run but now it’s over and I’m sad but not so sad that I won’t watch the Pistons what time do they start anyway?”

I don’t know. I just don’t. 

Hey. Scott Burnside says Hank’s the man. 

Zetterberg, 26, has quietly become one of those players around whom you could build not only an offense, but a winner.


“He would be a guy to build around, he makes others better. That is a rare trait that gives a team glue,” one Western Conference scout told ESPN.com this week. “His Red Wings pedigree is going to stick with him no matter where he plays later. So, he goes up high on the list [of top players].”

More

 

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Babcock Presser: If Bert Can’t Go, Hudler’s In

Mike Babcock faced the NHL media today. One of the issues was the status of Todd Bertuzzi.

Q.  What’s the status of Todd Bertuzzi?
 
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  He’s got spasms, I don’t know how you describe it.  He’s got something wrong with his back.  He couldn’t - he played until I think about partway through the third last night, if I’m not mistaken.  About ten minutes left and then he couldn’t go.  So he was feeling a little better here this morning.  Piet chose to keep him out, but I think he’ll be ready tomorrow.

 
Q.  If he can’t, will you go with Hudler?
 
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  Yes.

Read more for the entire transcript.

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He’s Woozy Again

Updated 1755 EST: More on Bertuzzi from Helene St. James.

General manager Ken Holland said Monday Bertuzzi is injured, and that there’ll be more information available this afternoon.

Bertuzzi had just seemed to turn the corner in Game 4, finally getting his legs going after a season that saw him miss five months recovering from back surgery and then another week recovering from a concussion/whiplash. He has, ever since Game 3 of the Ducks series, been on a line with Robert Lang and Dan Cleary. Bertuzzi scored back-to-back goals in Games 3 and 4.

 

 

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Oh…So It’s Over?

Look, I know gut reactions after an OT loss…especially a loss like today’s…are going to be pretty extreme.  And I can tell you that this particular defeat was tougher for me to handle than any I can remember. 

But I also know this:  this team is not going to lay down.  These Red Wings, unlike the team we expected to lose last year’s Game 6 in Edmonton, are not going to go quietly in Southern California; of all places.

In fact, I’ll say right now there will be a Game 7 in Hockeytown.  And Game 6 is not going to be close…statistically.

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Train Delay: Now Boarding

1818 EST:  Ahhh…Andreas.  Man.

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1747 EST: Just watched the Franzen attempted clear several times.  Hard to tell for sure, it’s obscured, but it sure looks like that puck cleared the zone.  Real tough to tell though.

1735 EST:  Bertuzzi has played one normal and one short shift in the third.  Could be due to the nature of the third, and the Wings obvious defensive emphasis.  Draper on the PP now instead of Bertuzzi.

1542 EST: For Paul who’s on a plane somewhere.  Teams look fairly even, although Ducks are cycling and grinding better. As Kukla pointed out in a comment below, the Getzlaf line is dangerous, mainly due to the defensive deficiencies of R. Lang and his mates.  Wings seems to be picking up steam with 5+ minutes left.

1515 EST and the Stress Train was delayed by NBC execs.  Here now. Board if you must.  Warm beer on the house.

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Ray Emery Is a Lying Liar

The Ottawa goaltender says that if the Wings move on to face his Sens, he won’t be pondering the personal matchup he’ll have with our Miracle of Insanity.

...if the Senators happen to meet the Detroit Red Wings and former Ottawa teammate Dominik Hasek, he said it won’t be a big deal.

“You know, if it happens, if we play Detroit, I don’t think it’s a goalie-on-goalie thing,” Emery said.

“I think it’s a full team series, and that’s how I’ll look at it.

“I’ll just prepare for what shooters they have and what plays they have, different things like that, but I’m not worried about the other goalie.”

He’d better give it at least a little thought, because goaltending is just one of the reasons either WC Finalist will be favored over Ottawa.

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If You Don’t Understand Sasquatchese, Then You’re Really Dumb

I thought I had met my match when Mike Babcock started opening his mouth earlier this year.  It was refreshing and challenging.  He would talk, but we were never quite sure exactly what he was saying.  Around Christmas time I’d gather the family around the Commodore 64, warm up some nog, put on some Burl Ives holiday classics and read Babblecock to the kids. 

But now…Sasquatch won’t shut the hell up and it keeps getting better.  I just found this little nugget and it makes me feel warm.

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Yzerman Responds

You didn’t read it here, but someone out there thinks the retirement of Steve Yzerman actually helped the Wings.  You know I’m referencing the recent article by ESPN’s Scott Burnside in which he says the absence of Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan changed the tone for the better in the Wing room.  Do I agree with that assessment?  Mum’s the word…for now.

John Niyo, though, reports this morning that Yzerman commented to the CBC last night.

“I think the team’s a better team without a broken-down, 41-year-old Steve Yzerman, no question,” Yzerman told CBC’s Scott Oake and Kelly Hrudey . “That’s why I retired. I didn’t feel I could help this team anymore.

“But to think that my presence was a hindrance or a negative in the locker room, I would say that’s completely inaccurate or ridiculous.”

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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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