Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Bubba Wants My Cheddar

I've decided the BJ's can no longer be OUR NEW RIVAL. I tried. For three weeks I tried. I worked up the hate, rallied the troops, lit the torches. But despite my best efforts, I just can't do it. I can no longer hate the BJ. But Bubba? Bubba offers something you can't deny. Bubba brings us players we hate: Steve Sullivan, Little Paulie Kariya, Tomas Vokoun. And he also brings an intangible that, as a blogger, I just can't avoid: the opportunity to tastelessly rip their fan base. But more than that, Bubba's good. Bubba's a threat to our happiness. Bubba wants to steal my cheddar cheese. He wants to take the whole block of it. I don't like people who try to take my Central cheese. In fact, and this may surprise you, but it harkens a Rocky III quote from the greatest Stallion opponent ever, Mr. Clubber Lang. "I pity the fool who tries to take what I got." Clubber Lang said that. Mike Babcock? Well, he's just a liar. George Sipple/Detroit Free Press

"We know we play Nashville, don't get me wrong," Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "But I don't think we concern ourselves with the standings. We concern ourselves with our team. Not their team."
You don't concern yourselves with the standings? Well, you'd damn well better buddy. Because that 4 spot looks bad. The 5 spot looks worse. The only spot we want is the 2 or the 1. So in rides Bubba high atop his donkey, swigging his shine, taunting you. He's looking right at you in that baby-poop colored sombrero. Bubba says the cheese is his, that he's waited long enough. Bubba says he not be big on the whole Phonics thing, but he's better than you. And Vokoun just irritates me. Pauk Kuharsky/Daily Tennessean
"They are right behind us, obviously a good offensive team and now good defensively too, so it's going to be a good test for us," Vokoun said. " … It's strange, you would think by now we would have played them more times. It's going to be a battle to the end I think."
Yeah. I think. Let me reiterate (that means repeat, Bubba) something: we can't have the 4. We can't have the 5. The 4 or the 5 means San Jose and San Jose means despair. The 2? Today the 2 means AlanaH's Canucks and the very idea of that makes me giddy (happy, Bubba). So, I've jettisoned the idea of the "hate the BJ" campaign. It was fun. It may return as early as this weekend. But today, at the beginning of the six-gamer that will decide the Central and absolutely determine our playoff fate? Gotta hate Bubba.

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Current Events

Yeah, yeah, yeah...I've been delinquent. But I have excuses. In the last five days I've been back in Bubba territory, Diveland and finally into the Canes backyard...all last week. And, no, I didn't see any hockey. I'll be back with regular posting tomorrow around mid-day. In the meantime, a little reaction from yours truly on a couple of deep diggers who did a little writing over the weekend. First, stand by for Helene St. James. Not since Khan(!)'s "deal for Luongo" manifesto of last Spring has a deep digger gone out on a limb and actually graced us with an opinion. Well, here we go.

Barring any disastrous injuries, by the Feb. 27 deadline the Wings will have more than enough cap room to acquire the roughly $2 million that'd be left on Forsberg's contract. It has been a frustrating season for him because of all the problems with finding a boot to fit his surgically repaired right ankle, but at long last he appears to have rebounded. When he plays, he is still one of the top five forwards in the game, and better than any forward on Detroit's team. If he doesn't have any setbacks over the coming month, he'd be an amazing acquisition.
Ahhhh....I welcome your thoughts. Me? A healthy Forsberg? A 3/4 Forsberg? Ok, but not if it means giving up the Pavel Datsyuk we've seen the last two weeks. Delma may have just bought himself one more playoff to prove himself. Has he ever played better? If I had to choose today, which I don't, I'd say bring Floppa to town, but only if it means we don't give up much in return. If it's a salary dump for Philly and we can afford it, do it. But give up nothing of value. I see Hank has been added to the all-star roster. Nifty. Hasek's been snubbed? Even better. One less game, one less chance for injury. Nonetheless, the decision to leave him off was ridiculous.
“I’m a little disappointed,” Hasek said in between lifting weights in the Red Wings' dressing room. “I thought I was going to be there.” Hasek owns a league-leading 2.03 goals-against average. Kiprusoff's average, meanwhile, is 2.32. Hasek is 23-7-3, while Kiprusoff was 21-14-3 heading into his game against Edmonton Saturday. Both goaltenders have five shutouts.
Not much today. Back tomorrow with much more. Thanks for your continued patronage and patience. Signed/Management

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For The Record

Errors, errors everywhere. I feel like the Tiger pitching staff. Thanks to Matt for pointing out that my public castration of Brett Lebda yesterday was unwarranted. Lebda wasn't on the ice for the Wolski goal--that was Franzen with the assist. Thanks, too, to Left Wing Lock for reminding me our young friend Ozzie was also a key component of The Rivalry. On to some Thursday deep digging.

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There’s No Place Like Denver, No Place Like Denver

You know, blowing out the Dive in Denver isn't as fun. If the Wings are going to win there, and there's no reason to think otherwise since they've done nothing but win in Denver since '03, it's much more fun to watch the "announced 18,007" collapse back in their seats after a tight one. Admittedly, considering the post I made yesterday, which some in the Rocky Mountain time zone considered in poor taste (note to Av bloggers: sarcasm does NOT equal anger. When I write angry, it's rarely about Denver because we don't lose to Denver), I was feeling a little pressure.

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Only 4 Left

Sobbing Dique apologist Terri Frei writes this morning that only a handful of players remain from The Rivalry, and just one from the Dive.

Yzerman's retirement also means the Red Wings have only four players - Tomas Holmstrom, Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby and Nick Lidstrom - remaining from the most heated period of the rivalry, 1995-98. That's three more than the Avalanche has. "I'm the only guy left from those years," Sakic said. "I will tell you it's fun playing Detroit. They have a great hockey team and we're always going to have some pretty good hockey games."
More from Terri....also check out the latest offer from the Kukla Empire of Blogs.

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Wing Fans: Stop and Read

It's a rare day that you can say the organ-I-zation has embarrassed itself and, by extension, you. Head to KK Hockey and read this.

On Tuesday, Jan. 2, Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch celebrated the storied, magnificent career of his long-time All-Star captain and center Steve Yzerman by retiring his jersey number 19, hanging it high into the rafters of Joe Louis Arena. But as Ilitch celebrated the career of Yzerman with a spectacular ceremony, he simultaneously and purposefully desecrated the career of one of the Detroit’s earliest and true hockey heroes – right wing Larry Aurie.
Mike Ilitch has done a lot of good for the city, the team and the fan base. But it's time to swallow some pride and correct this issue.

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Whoa…Now That’s Cool

I believe I mentioned a little bitterness from A2Y toward Behind the Jersey, the day after the 19 ceremony? Yeahhhummmm......triple it.

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For Dive Fans: A Refresher

First of all, my condolences to the fans of Buckeye nation.  Watching your team get pasted last night after enduring 51 days of endless fawning must have been difficult.  I ached for you last night Buckeye fans. Truly.

For about 20 seconds.  The rest of the time I pointed and laughed.

On to hockey.  And I’m a hypocrite, as if you didn’t know that already.

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How Many Points For A Moral Victory?

The west coast trifecta is complete, thankfully. The Wings have now lost three in a row, and covered all the bases. A butt-kicking, an embarrassing loss to a hugely inferior team and, finally, outplaying a better team only to fall just short. Now that we have those out of the way, Wing fans can concentrate on looking forward to Tuesday...which we'll get to in a moment. Deep Digger captain Ansar Khan(!) guaranteed us Pavel Datsyuk would sit this one out, obviously a result of his nasty habit of taking Mike Babcock at his word. Nope. Datsyuk was in there and looking as good as I've seen him all year. Press box bound? Now here's where it gets interesting. Jason Williams. If there's anyone identified on this team as a project of Babcock's, it's Williams. Yet, upon the return of Delma Huddle--rather than scratch Hudler or Langfeld--Babcock decided it was statement time.

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Injury Woes Continue: Schneider Hurt

Mathieu Schneider will miss the rest of tonite's game in Anaheim with a "lower body injury." The injury must have happened early as he played only 3:07 of the first.

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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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