Abel to Yzerman
via Evan Sporer of NHL.com,
Season series: The New York Rangers defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 in overtime at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 5. Rick Nash had a power-play goal, and Matt Hunwick had two assists. Derick Brassard scored the game-winner for New York.
Rangers team scope: The Rangers expect to have defenseman Dan Boyle back Saturday after he missed the past two games with flu-like symptoms. John Moore filled in for Boyle and is expected to be a healthy scratch. The Rangers will be without forward Tanner Glass, who has missed the past three games with the mumps but practiced Friday. New York is 4-2-0 in its past six games, with its power play scoring in the past four and converting at 21.7 percent in those six games. The Rangers have not played since losing 6-3 at home Monday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Cam Talbot is expected to start in goal on Saturday, according to the Rangers website.
Red Wings team scope: Detroit is coming off a 5-2 victory against the Dallas Stars on Thursday. Saturday will be the finale of a four-game homestand for Detroit. "Huge for us get a good balance of scoring," forward Stephen Weiss told the Detroit Free Press on Thursday. Weiss has four goals and five assists in six games after returning from injury. "Thirty teams would love to take that,” he said. “Power play got another one. All four lines were good. We did a real good job [Thursday] getting back where we want to be." Detroit is 2-1-0 on its homestand and 7-2-0 in its past nine games. Including a loss to the Rangers on Nov. 5, In the past 14 games Detroit's power play is 19 for 58 (32.8 percent), with power-play goals in 12 of those games; the Red Wings have at least two power-play goals in a game seven times. Weiss missed practice Friday to attend a funeral but is expected to play Saturday.
That aboot sums up the prevailing attitude around here today. Too many times this season and for the past few seasons we all go through the same thought process. What is going on in Detroit? Why can't the Wings manage to put together a sixty minute effort? It's not too much to ask? Is it?
We haven't seen a true winning streak in at least two years, and after losing to Florida the other night, as we stood on the precipice of a bona fide, the Wings dashed our hopes yet again.
Now, we are starting over. Tonight's game is like taking four steps back, to what should/could/better be the new beginning of a bona fide streak. Once again stringing together one win at a time, until we reach the magic number five. The rest will fall into place if we can reach the five wins in a row mark.
But first, we have to play the Stars. Do not underestimate them. This is not a cake walk.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
The Detroit Red Wings had an off day Wednesday, as their coach thought it would leave players with sharper faculties.
The Wings seek the start of a new winning streak when they host the Dallas Stars tonight. They'll have to do so without top-six forward and power play net-front presence Justin Abdelkader, who remains sidelined by a shoulder injury suffered during Sunday's game.
General manager Ken Holland told the Free Press on Wednesday that Abdelkader "is doubtful for the weekend. We'll see how he feels Saturday morning for final decision. Realistically, we're hoping he's ready to play some time next week."
The Wings host the New York Rangers on Saturday and play at Carolina on Sunday.
continue for a bit more...
from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
There were signs the last few weeks.
Goals were being scored in bunches, but the Red Wings were allowing quite a few, too.
"The thing I don't like about what's gone on lately is we're giving up too many goals," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said in the midst of that stretch. "I don't mind if we score goals, but I'm not interested in giving them up."
Tuesday's 4-3 loss to Florida was an example of Babcock's words.
I'm starting off with an SWM. Anything can be used against me in the hockey-no-jink-karma-sphere.
The Wings have now put together a string of four consecutive wins. We're going for five wins in a row, which I consider to be the beginning of a bona fide streak. This is a typical TRAP game, in which we usually play down to the level of an opponent who then in turn, beats us.
Time to change the trend. Do not underestimate Florida. Not for one single shift.
Tonight will be the start of something real good if we can complete the "Drive Fo Five."
via Benjamin Zweiman of NHL.com,
PANTHERS (9-7-6) at RED WINGS (14-5-5)
TV: FS-F, FS-D+
Season series: The Florida Panthers won three of five games against the Detroit Red Wings in 2013-14, twice on the road, including a 5-4 shootout win Jan. 26. Pavel Datsyuk led Detroit with four points in three games. Panthers forward Sean Bergenheim scored four of his 16 goals last season against the Red Wings.
Panthers team scope: Florida lost 2-1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday after two straight victories by goalie Al Montoya, who made 21 saves against the Blue Jackets. Montoya has played well in place of injured No. 1 goalie Roberto Luongo, who left the Panthers' 1-0 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Nov. 26 because of an upper-body injury. Montoya made 22 saves in relief of Luongo and 22 more in a 3-2 win against the Ottawa Senators last Friday. The 2004 first-round pick is 2-2-1 with a 2.00 goals-against average and .923 save percentage in seven games. Luongo may return for the game Tuesday, but he's struggled against Detroit with an 11-13-6 record, 2.88 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in 30 games. The Panthers will look to avenge Monday's loss to Columbus in a rematch Thursday at BB&T Arena.
The win against the Devils gave us three WINS in a row. I know, I know, it was an ugh, shootout win. It wasn't pretty, but, there were two points gained, it boosted morale among the 19, and, confidence on the bench.
Vancouver is in town today and we are facing the dreaded matinee game.
Stringing three wins together has been no small task for our Wings this season. To win one more would be stringing four. Looking ahead, the task at hand is putting together a bona fide winning streak. To me, that is at least five wins in a row. (SWM)
I know I'm getting greedy here, one game at a time and all, but, this winning thing feels great and I want more. So do all of you.
from Brendan Savage of Mlive,
The Red Wings have quietly crept up in the NHL's overall standings and are at a point where they could make a run at first place overall in the next couple of weeks.
Perhaps. But there's no denying the possibility exists since the Red Wings are three points from being part of the logjam atop the overall standings, they're riding a bit of a hot streak and have a home-heavy schedule until Christmas.
The Red Wings are in the midst of a stretch that has them playing 12 of 15 at Joe Louis Arena and they'll play four straight at home beginning today vs. Vancouver.
from Daniel Fung of VancouverCanucks.com,
The pundits probably won't be predicting another blowout win today but they ought to figure the Canucks will have a good chance of snapping their two-game losing streak versus Detroit after dropping both games they played against them last season. Only one Canuck – Daniel Sedin – managed to score in the season series against the Red Wings.
The Red Wings may have an aging veteran core but they're a team that can still hurt you on the scoreboard. Detroit, riding a season-high three-game win streak after overcoming a 4-1 deficit on Friday to knock off New Jersey 5-4 in a shootout, are among the top scoring teams in the league and they've been enjoying an offence by committee with seven players having recorded five-or-more goals and nine players with double-digit point totals. It should make for an intriguing match-up, then, with Red Wings' high-powered offence going up against the stingy Miller, who is coming off back-to-back shutouts and has not allowed a goal in 152:05 of consecutive playing time. Jimmy Howard is expected to get the start for Detroit.
Not much to add here. The Devil is the last twenty minutes of any game the Wings have played. All. Season. Long.
The details are to play the entire game. That happens to include the final twenty minutes.
No falling back. No more playing to protect the lead. No more playing for the loser point.
Keep it simple.
Simplicity=Skate. To. Throat.
Corey Masisak of NHL.com lists Detroit 10th in this week's Power Rankings...
GIVE THANKS: Mike Babcock is doing a masterful job of putting his skilled young players in situations to succeed. He's leaning on the fourth line to eat up a lot of the defensive-zone faceoffs (they're not the only team trying to emulate what has been a staple in Chicago) and the kids are turning offensive-zone faceoffs into great possession numbers.
WISH LIST: Does anyone know if the Red Wings have been looking for another defenseman? Yeah, they're still looking, though Xavier Ouellet has not looked out of place in limited duty. If this team adds a high-level defenseman, Detroit could win the East.
MUST READ: The defensive shell sounds like a great idea, but it really isn't, writes garik16 for Hockey-Graphs. The Red Wings are a good example of a team that doesn't sit back much. Detroit is allowing 46.89 shot attempts per 60 minutes at even strength, and when the Red Wings are leading by two-plus goals that figure only rises to 50.0, the second-lowest in the League in that situation.
NHL.com preview of tonight's game...
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