Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Expect Little Love From The Mainstreamers

Updated 0839 CST:  Spector picks Wings in 6. See below

I’m not going to come down too hard on the mainstreamers on this one.  Heck, if I even attempted to be objective—which, you know, I have no intention of experimenting with—I’d be tempted too.  The Wing injury situation, recent playoff history, Hasek’s brittle body and even more brittle psyche?

I’ve never seen a 1 seed considered an underdog, but by the time Thursday night rolls around it’s going to seem that way.  We start, however, with at least one for the good guys.

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Pre-Playoff Activity

Your opposing bloggers are listed to the port side.  You’ll find the regulars there: Battle of Alberta, Red Mile, Double D, Five Hole Fanatics and Flames Blog.

Your Wing bloggers are, as always, in the section titled, “Head to Hockeytown.”  And while their counterparts in Calgary have been asleep at the switch, clearly very satisfied at just getting in, the Wing blogs are ramping it up.

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Ramping Up On Red Mile

You may recall the decidedly Sailor-like antics on Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue last year?  Well, prepare yourselves to read of Calgary’s Red Mile.  Here’s the first of, I’m sure, many mentions.

The impending repeat of Red Mile antics has some businesses on the southwest strip bracing for good times and others groaning at the very prospect.

Fiasco Gelato manager Adrian Juch had mixed feelings about upcoming hockey fever.

“I’m not a supporter of the Red Mile,” he said.

“It’s kind of messy and vulgar.”

Still it is good for business, sometimes scoring a 50% hike in business on a game night.

Police Inps. Kirk McCallum said cops are ready to revisit the Red Mile with plans to be revealed this week.


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And The Easter Bunny Brings You…

...Calgary.  Not real sure why the Easter Bunny has never gotten the pub Santa has.  Kind of a JV holiday icon if you ask me.  And I’ll tell you this, with presents like that, he’s not exactly skyrocketing in my book. 

Whatever happened to the days of first-round opponents like Phoenix, St. Louis or Anaheim back when “mighty” meant less than that?

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Holland: Zetterberg Good For Game 1

Update 1315: Bertuzzi not in the lineup.  Mike Babcock said baseline tests after collision were “ok, but not great.”  Like Zetterberg, he’ll play Game 1.

Ken Holland, on today’s FSN pre-game, said Hank Zetterberg may not be 100 percent; but he’ll be in there for Game 1.

Against who (whom)?  Tonite Calgary plays their friends from Edmonton while Bubba visits the Dive.  Hopefully, the Oil return the favor and Bubba continues their choke job, setting up an 8-spot matchup tomorrow in Denver.

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Yzerman Rescues Wings Again

It wasn’t his most famous achievement as a Wing.  All his teeth were in and Jon Casey wasn’t involved.  It didn’t precede a failed Statue of Liberty and this time his accomplishment was painless.

In other words, Steve Yzerman earned his money as a hockey exec yesterday.  Was his influence as significant as the mainstreamers are claiming regarding keeping Datsyuk in the fold?  Probably not.  But when the Wings needed a credible voice to convince us that this deal is a good one, they trotted out The Captain.  And he scored again.

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It’s Not About Motivation

One more Datsukian thought before I head to The State That Can't Win The Central for a long weekend. Khan(!) makes a comment halfway through his blog post regarding the signing that I must have glossed over earlier.

I don't buy the notion that by not signing him you make him more motivated for the playoffs. He's an extremely motivated player and his lack of playoff success has nothing to do with his desire.
I, and I think I can speak for you, have never thought for a second that Datsyuk's playoff disappointments have been due to a lack of motivation. I have no doubt the kid's plenty motivated to succeed. The question is not whether he wants to, but whether he's got the mental makeup to get it done. It's not effort, it's attitude and it's responding under pressure. And there, my friends, lies the rub. Does Datsyuk have what it takes to thrive under the playoff spotlight? It's not motivation, Ansar. None of us are saying that. It's sack and whether 7 million per year buys you some or not.

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Datsyuk: Too Much, Too Soon?

Update 1310 EST:  Wow.  TSN, Khan(!) and Detroit radio all reporting the deal is worth between 6 and 7 mil for 6 or 7 years.  An astronomical, risky investment.

Khan(!)

It was important for the organization to get this taken care before the playoffs and avoid a potential distraction. And it was vital to get this talented player locked up to a long-term deal before he hit the free-agent market on July 1.

Now, Datsyuk will be under heavy pressure to deliver in the playoffs, which have been a struggle for him. He has gone 26 games without a goal in the playoffs, dating back to Game 7 of the 2002 Western Conference finals.

Update 1203 EST: Ted Kulfan reports the deal is for five years. 

I’m real curious as to your opinions of today’s Datsyuk signing.  No figures have been released yet, obviously.  I’m guessing at 6mil/per.

And now we can start with the second-guessing.

 

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Datsyuk To Remain In Hockeytown

Both Detroit sports talk stations are reporting Pavel Datsyuk has re-signed with the Wings. 1pm press conference has been scheduled. Poor Brett. Nice try. On a lighter note….Bubba's sad. No, not because they have to postpone the Central banner raising hoedown....again. They knew that was coming. Something more earth shattering to the 18,000 cousins who frequent the Gay on a kind-of-regular basis. That's right. The baby-poop colored sweaters will soon be as rare as a Tennessee public school diploma.

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Pavel The Pessimist?

On the heels of Khan(!)‘s report this morning that Pavel Datsyuk is close to re-signing with the Wings comes this little ditty from the Russian online Gazeta.ru.

Team Russia GM Alexei Nemchinov told that Datsyuk and Markov called him and asked him to reserve for them a couple of empty spots in the roster for the World Championship in Moscow.

“If Detroit will lose in the first round, we would like to participate in WC.”

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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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