Abel to Yzerman
Quite a bit to choose from this morning as all the Deep Diggers seem to be active and chipper. Helene St. James spoke with Chris Chelios recently, who naturally said he considers his age a "black cloud hanging over my head" and that he hates the idea that his 44 years is the first thing people think of. Kirk Maltby said opposing fans do all they can to remind him. Helene St. James/Free Press
"It seems to happen a little more in the Canadian cities. I think it's just because of the way he plays against some of the teams that we've seen a lot of over the years; it seems there are always signs about his age and how old he is and whatnot. I think it motivates him a little bit in the overall scheme of things, to keep prolonging things. I think he gets a chuckle out of it. When he sees a new sign, he kind of applauds the guy or girl that did it."Speaking of Canadian fans and signs, this is my favorite picture from last year.
Joining the Wings suddenly expanding list of injured players? Tomas Holmstrom. Hasek due to play more than expected, as well. MLive/Khan(!)
Niklas Kronwall (groin), Tomas Holmstrom (groin) and Chris Osgood (hand) didn’t practice Monday in Vancouver and, according to Mike Babcock, won’t dress Tuesday against the Canucks. Babcock said none of the injuries is significant and expects all three to be ready for Friday’s game in Calgary. Forward Josh Langfeld, recalled from Grand Rapids, will make his Wings debut Tuesday. Babcock said Dominik Hasek, who’ll aim for his third consecutive shutout Tuesday, might play more games than planned because he’s not getting much work in his starts (averaging 20 shots against).
Yeah, I got spun up when I saw it too. The NHL has created, seemingly out of the blue, a leadership award and named it after Mark Messier who, according to their public release, "many believe to be the greatest captain in hockey history." I'm not one of the many. And neither are you, if you're reading this here. But, whether he is or isn't may not be the question. The more interesting issue could very well be just where the heck this award came from. According to the release, one leadership award will be given monthly and another yearly. Keep that "yearly" item in mind.
You know by now that the idea of writing about the NHL at large scares me. So I leave that to Grampa Pinhead. Opinionated, often cranky and certainly willing to debate should you choose to take that step, I'll bring you his viewpoints whenever he sees fit to provide them to me. ------- Tonight Buffalo (14-1-1) at Carolina (9-6-3) Montreal (8-4-3) at Ottawa (6-9-1) San Jose (13-5-0) at Los Angeles (5-10-4) and I get Philadelphia (3-11-2) at Pittsburgh (7-6-2) In spite of all their efforts and improvements, VS (OLN) continues to suck. No wonder I am having a little problem getting into hockey this year.
Josh Langfeld has been recalled by the Wings as the team waits out Jason Williams' recovery. Also, according to Helene St. James' Wing blog, Niklas Kronwall has been ruled out of tomorrow's game at Vancouver; along with, surprise, Chris Osgood.
Langfeld will replace Tomas Holmstrom, who is sidelined by a groin injury. Holmstrom, Chris Osgood (hand) and Niklas Kronwall (groin) didn’t practice Monday, and coach Mike Babcock said the three would not play Tuesday. Babcock said none of the injuries are serious.Ummm, Kronwall's injury "wasn't serious" after the Nashville game. Three days later, he's still nursing the groin, and it's still not serious. Considering our boy's injury history, it sounds mildly serious to me. And check this out. Just before Patrick Roy headed to the land of happiness and light in '95, guess who almost nabbed him? Pierre LeBrun/CP
Former Detroit coach Scotty Bowman confirmed the Wings were contacted by then-Montreal GM Rejean Houle. "Yes, he called us, I was handling trades at the time for Detroit," said Bowman, in town Monday for the Hall of Fame festivities. "But we had just got (goalie) Mike Vernon a year or two before from Calgary. I didn't think I could make a trade with them. But I figured maybe I could get the price up. We didn't do it. They moved him pretty quick. "I knew he'd be going somewhere but I was just hoping it wouldn't be Colorado."Finally, according to NBC's Eric McErlain there are lessons to be learned from Darren McCarty's troubles.
The story of a veteran player like McCarty, who won three Stanley Cups in Detroit and is now closer to the end of his career than the beginning, ought to serve as a cautionary tale. Fortunately, there is help, and it can be found on the campus of Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. It's there that you'll find the Professional Athlete Transition Institute (PATI), the home of a cooperative venture between the NHL, NHLPA and the NHL Alumni -- Life After Hockey.Noble effort on the part of the league, but man...c'mon. You're making millions. Hire a financial advisor.
Oh...well, this is interesting. I was so excited about Hasek's recognition as one of the coveted Three Stars of the Week, that I missed this little tidbit. The NHL will now name a Leader of the Month. Cool. And they're naming the award after, according to the league press release, the man "many consider to be the greatest captain in hockey history." Excellent. The Yzerman Award for Leadership. Woops. Not quite.
The six-time Stanley Cup winner wore the C for Edmonton and the New York Rangers to become the only player in history to captain two teams to an NHL championship. He is also a former captain of the Vancouver Canucks. Messier will be at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday to present the first winner with the award.I'm curious how much weight the league gave Messier's glorious years in Vancouver and his second run in New York (when he allowed the lockerroom to become a haven for malcontents and underachievers) when they decided to name this award after him. Update 1653 CST: Not surprisingly, this has caused a little chatter on the Wings message boards. Relevant threads are below. Let's Go Wings Red Wing Central
We told you over the weekend that Dominik Hasek isn't worthy enough to appear on the NHL's All Star ballot this year. But, and this must sit well with the HQ, he's been named one the league's three Stars of The Week. NHL.com via Kukla's
Hasek recorded a shutout in each of his two appearances as the Red Wings (11-4-1) extended their winning streak to eight games and moved into first place in the Central Division. Hasek made 16 saves in a 3-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers Nov. 8 and turned aside 21 shots in a 3-0 victory over Nashville Nov. 10, snapping the Predators' streak of points in 10 consecutive games (9-0-1). The consecutive shutouts increased Hasek's season total to three, tied for the League lead with New Jersey's Martin Brodeur, and career total to 71, tied for 11th on the all-time list with former Red Wing and Hockey Hall of Fame member Harry Lumley.We all know who the 3rd star really belongs to (the entire team, as the defense has been the backbone behind Hasek's consecutive shutouts and the 8-game winning streak), but it's a nice bit or irony that Hasek is honored just days after being left off the ballot. Slava Kozlov took the first star (also not on the all-star ballot), Mikkia Kiprusoff the second.
I, like you, don't give much credence to the various power rankings you can find out there. But I, like you, do search them out every week to see where the "pundits" believe the Wings fall out. ESPN's hasn't been updated since last Monday, so I'd expect a refresh sometime today. And it should be interesting to see if they live up to their word. Here's what they had to say last week when the Wings ended up 11th on their highly scientific poll.
Before you start bombarding us with e-mails ("How can the Wings not be in the Top 10, you loser!?"), look at Detroit's wins since our last offering: Calgary, Chicago, Columbus. And those wins came despite going 1-for-19 on the PP. Let's see how the Wings do against Edmonton and Nashville before we talk Top 10.I'd guess, just out on a limb here, that it'll be okay to "talk Top 10" now.
Q.9 – If you had to pick two teams to be in the Stanley Cup finals right now, which two teams would they be? Johnny: Buffalo and…er…ahem….Detroit. Brennan: I’m hoping the Sabres represent the Eastern Conference, I think they deserve it. If by some horrible awful twist of fate, the Wings don’t wind up in the rink for the West, then I’d love to see the Wild in there.
Oh, you're feeling conflicted today. You're torn between being a Wing fan and a hockey fan. For me, it harkens back memories of last spring after The Punch In The Face when Grampa Pinhead used to pose that question to me, to all of us. Gramps, as you may recall, was referring to whether or not the hockey loyalists among us would continue to watch the playoffs after another first-round heartbreak. But, you're suffering similar inner turmoil today. Do you celebrate Patrick Roy's career and acknowledge his rightful entrance in the hockey's Hall of Fame?
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: email@example.com