Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

‘tis The Season To Second Guess In Ottawa

I really have no patience for fans or journalists who make a habit of second-guessing NHL general managers. It saddens me when wannabe execs view personnel moves from opinionated perches and point fingers months after...oh, the hypocrisy. Even at my most sarcastic I can't continue that sentence. The point? It's this: in Ottawa today, hours before Dominik Hasek faces his former team, the media is a wonderin' where they'd be had they not signed Martin Gerber. Don Brennan/Ottawa Sun

They could have and should have accepted a trade offer from San Jose that would have seen them with Vesa Toskala rather than Gerber, for sure, but they simply could not have gone into this campaign with Hasek as their goalie. The players couldn't have faith in him finishing the job this time, nor could the fans. But on a mid-December evening, when they are struggling and he is soaring, it is easy to fall into the trap of imagining 'what if' the Dominator was still in Ottawa colours.

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Is This A Test?

I swear, there are some days I think the Wings release certain bits of info just to see how far I'll go. It would appear that Chris Osgood's broken left wrist has healed nicely. But another ailment is going to keep him out at least another week. Helene St. James/Wing Blog

Osgood got his cast removed over the weekend only to find rash had developed; he’ll be out another week. “I wasn’t catching them that great just because of the cast,” Osgood said. “I figure like a week now. I’ll be ready maybe the last game of the road trip, but when we come back, for sure.”
It's late in the day. I'm tired. I shouldn't....oh alright. Yes, puck bunnies from Novi to Marquette are in a panic. The "Osgood Rash Watch" has begun. St. James also reports, rather than recommending various creams, that Franzen and Kronwall will both miss tomorrow night's game against Ottawa but should return Thursday for Bondra's Hawks.

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No Pacifier For Us

So sad. For those of you hoping to see Martin Gerber face the Wings tomorrow night...mainly so you could remind me how I sobbed when Ken Holland didn't sign/acquire him over the summer...not gonna happen. Via the Ottawa Sun,

DETROIT - Ray Emery will be back in goal tomorrow night as the Ottawa Senators play the Red Wings in Detroit. Emery came on in relief of Martin Gerber after Gerber allowed the first four goals in 6-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday night. However, the Senators will be without captain Daniel Alfredsson. He skated today but is still bothered by a sore right hip.

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A Fond Memory To Start Your Week

Awww, now this was a fun read. Gather the kids round the Commodore 64, throw on some Christmas music before school, sit back and enjoy this little nugget.

“Going in to the series, I don’t think we would have said, ‘Oh, absolutely, we can pull off an upset.’ We had so much respect for Detroit.”
An Edmonton player from last year, recalling the days prior to the Punch In The Face? Nope.

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Monday With Your Deep Diggers

Dan Cleary is thecond on the team with ten goalth, but may be middle of the pack in termth of tooth-count. George Thipple/Detroit Free Preth

"I'm having a hard time speaking," said Cleary, whose two front teeth were knocked out in a game recently. He hasn't gone to the dentist yet, and he's having trouble with words that contain the letter S. After netting a goal and an assist to extend his current point streak to five games in Saturday's 5-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, Cleary joked that he wasn't in a hurry to set up a dental appointment. "I might keep 'em out now," Cleary said.

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Deal Or No Deal? Pavel’s Costly Mistake

Bruce Garrioch talks at length this morning about Pavel Datsyuk's strategic error in not signing for big bucks when he had the chance.

While indications are the Wings offered him a deal that would have paid him more than $5 million a season to make him a centrepiece of the organization, Datsyuk thumbed his nose at it. The word is Datsyuk is seeking between $6 million and $7 million a year on a new contract, so Holland decided to call off any further talks until after the season.
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Note to JD: Shut Up

I guess when the team you inherited is showing signs of traditional suckage and underachievement, it's time to pull out all the stops and point the finger at anyone but yourself. Yes, JD, it was you who signed Weight, Guerin, McKee and Legace. It was you who should have known the pulse of the salaray cap'd NHL, but went ahead with your old boy reclamation project. So, if Mike Ilitch's temper flares after seeing yet another Wing take a freight train to the head, then it's his right to do whatever the hell he wants to. If that means finding a ref and having a chat, than so be it. If he even did that.

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So I Guess The Power Play’s OK Now?

I told you it would come around. No I didn't. In fact, I whined like a little girl, as usual. It's not hypocrisy, you know. If I were a columnist and I'd written the Wings off due to their ineffective power play after the first quarter of the year, I'd be apologizing right now. But, see...I'm not a columnist. I'm a fan who happens to express my opinions, sorrows, mood swings, etc in blog format. And today, after last night, I can tell you the power play is solved. It's, perhaps, the most potent power play ever assembled. It's the key to our inevitable Cup parade and by the season's end it will be clicking at a 35.0 percent success rate. See? Mood swings. It's all about mood swings.

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Peca’s a Hasek Fan

Game recap from last night to follow soon. For now, Dominik Hasek has an admirer in Michael Peca. Via the Toronto Sun,

"When you think of what you want in a teammate, Dom exemplifies it," Peca said. "Someone who works hard, all he wants to do to win. He is probably the guy who worked the hardest." At 41 and the oldest player in the NHL after teammate Chris Chelios, Hasek's work ethic has not waned.
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Larry Wigge: Cleary Getting His Due

Via NHL.com,

"It’s been a long time. I’m so excited to finally be showing people what I thought I could do after I was a first-round draft choice (by Chicago in 1997)," Cleary said, still shaking his head in amazement at what has happened to him this season. "It’s funny, because I look in the mirror and see the same guy. A big part of my success since I came to Detroit is how you feel when you put this Red Wings jersey on and walk into this room and see such high-end talent."
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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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