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Abel to Yzerman

Espo: Wings Have Earned Respect

Phil Esposito, blogging for the National Post, writes today that the same vets who many had written off as too old are leading the charge. 

You can’t believe how much the Detroit Red Wings have impressed me this playoff series. Come on, they’ve impressed you too, haven’t they?

It’s veteran leadership from the coach and GM all the way down to the goaltending, where even the back-up is a Stanley Cup champion. Why did we forget all of that? With 10 players with over 100 games of playoff experience, you can look at it two ways: They know what they’re doing, or they’re too old to do what they want to do. Obviously, it’s the first of the two options that is paying off.


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Burnside: Babcock Better Than Bowman Ever Was

Ok, ok.  No, he didn’t say that.  But, if you read between the lines he’s kind of saying it.  Ok…not even that.  But Scott Burnside is at least giving credit where it’s due. 

With Game 4 set for Thursday evening in Anaheim, the Red Wings suddenly have emerged as a team not solely reliant on special teams for success, as a team capable of adjusting and turning flaws into success. Such a dramatic turn of affairs was the direct result of Babcock’s bold lineup moves.

“We knew we were going to do that before the series started. We’ve kind of been prepared for that all playoff. If what we were doing wasn’t going to work, we were prepared, kind of scripted what we thought would work,” Babcock said.



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Sasquatch? Let Him Play

I honestly don’t care if LG suspends Pronger.  In fact, I hope he doesn’t.  I don’t want to read the alibis and I don’t want to hear the complaints from the Poultry.  I want Pronger in there Thursday night; spinning and sputtering and seething. 

And I’m betting Babcock isn’t too concerned about it either (if he was he wouldn’t have let Homer play the third. He would have kept him in the room to give the NHL more to think about when they decide whether or not to suspend Pronger today).  The way the Wings played last night?  Let him play.  Let ‘em all play and let’s watch the chips fall.

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What To Do With Sasquatch

I haven’t seen it.  As some of you know, I listened to the game in my garage in a state close to what David Allan Coe would describe as “half-drunk and hollow eyed,” so I won’t say too much more about Pronger’s dirty—but par for the Pronger course—hit on Tomas Holmstrom.

The Diggers are chiming in though, and at least one believes Sasquatch will be press-box bound for Game 4.

There isn’t much question, I think, that Chris Pronger should be suspended a game or two for his reckless hit on Tomas Holmstrom in Tuesday’s 5-0 Detroit victory.

We’ll see what happens, but I suspect the Wings, already up 2-1 in the series, are looking at least at playing Game 4 Thursday without having to worry about Pronger.

I would be shocked if Bettman has the sack to do what St. James suggests.  As I said, I haven’t seen the hit yet…but if there’s any way possible LG can find a way not to actually make the tough decision, he’ll do it.  He’s in a sticky wicket though isn’t he?  If the hit was dirty, as dirty as most are suggesting, someone’s gotta sit.  The easy solution would be to suspend Niedermayer, but his impact on the play was less than Sasquatch’s.

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Kronwall Back If Wings Reach Finals?

That would appear to be the case according to Helene St. James’ game story this morning.

The Wings are, by the way, close to getting one Swede stronger. Niklas Kronwall, the big-hitting defenseman who broke a bone in his back March 30, is to skate Saturday for the first time. If the Wings can win this series, Kronwall may return for the Stanley Cup finals.

I’ll have a full recap later in the day.


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The Real Chris Pronger

One year after we predicted it Chris Pronger has completely lost it.  After two games of being turned inside out by Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Cleary, Pronger is showing his true colors tonite with multiple penalties, several tantrums and at least one intent to injure….so far.

Brent Severyn is the Duck radio color guy. After the hit on Homer he advocated that the Ducks “bring out the barbed wire,” and “make a statement.”

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Garage Bound For Game 3

So, the IwoCPO family’s all moved in and happy. Children are tucked away and content.

One problem: after a day of intense negotiations, cable will not be installed until tomorrow. I’m listening to the game via Sirius in a garage full of boxes.

The train is fired up and chugging, as am I. This wil be an open post all game long for those who would like to contribute.

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Waiting For 3

They’re cleaning up the Stress Train after Sunday’s OT.  Fortunately, or unfortunately, the fourth period Sunday night didn’t last long so there isn’t much to do. Should be ready to board by 1800 or so.  As you wait, here are a few tidbits to keep you occupied.

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Be Yourself Bert

Todd Bertuzzi is sounding downright social these days. The Canadian Press ran a nice little featurette on our boy yesterday, and it made me feel all warm. I brought the kids in, gathered them around the computer and pointed to the bearded Bertuzzi. I said, "Kids...that's a nice man. He speaks nicely. He plays nicely. He doesn't hurt people and he most definitely wouldn't place a shaft of composite across your back if you wore a jersey with a ducky on it." That made my children happy.

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Size Matters; Kopecky (Not Hudler) Replaces Calder

In the end, when Uncle Mike made the final call, it came down to size and potential for violence.  Kyle Calder’s ineffectiveness forced his hand (he didn’t play since mid-way second period in Game 2) but even after he made the decision to sit him, he had another dilemma.  Hudler or Kopecky?

And he made the right move. Going into Anaheim, against a team that thrives on confrontation, an oompa-loompa wasn’t going to do the trick.  A healthy Kopecky might.

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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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