Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

You Are Ken Holland, Do You Want Dion Phaneuf?

via James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail,

The issue is not only the coach. The issue is the Leafs built their team around Kessel, Phaneuf and not much else because they were the impact players that former GM Brian Burke was able to get without going through the draft or free agency, routes he deemed too slow or too costly.

They were available because they had flaws; unsurprisingly, they still have them.

And you can blame those who have ignored that for too long for part of the Leafs’ downfall.

The tough part is how president Brendan Shanahan should go about fixing this roster. You can’t give away talent for nothing in this league, and freeing up cap space without anything to spend it on hardly makes sense unless it’s a total teardown, something he said last spring he wasn’t interested in.

Even so, getting younger makes sense, as does adding prospects that will mature with players such as Nazem Kadri and Morgan Rielly.

It’ll take some boldness from the brass to start selling now, but it’ll be long overdue.

Phaneuf will turn 30 on April 10th and his AAV is $7M thru the 2020-21 season.

He shoots left but has played the right side at times during his career.

If a trade is made, you would have to think Toronto would have to keep some of his salary, I don't see any team trading for that contract.

With that in mind, do you want him and who would you trade?

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On The Road

It's a new Year, and as the Wings left 2014 on a positive note, they will start 2015 on the road. A very late start tonight against a pretty decent Vancouver Team is not the easiest way to begin, but, earlier starts against lesser Teams have been tough this season.

Maybe being on the road will help this group develop into a better, more cohesive winning unit. Being on the road means, more time spent together as a Team, no family distractions, no home ice pressure, male bonding, blah, blah, blah, blah.

That's the hope. Well that, and fixing the elusive consistency factor.

2015, here come the Detroit Red Wings!

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Detroit Red Wings/Vancouver Canucks Preview And Notes

via Daniel Fung of VancouverCanucks.com, The Canucks point of view...

The Canucks have played just once so far in the New Year but it's safe to say that game will go down as one of the most disappointing, albeit deserving, losses they suffer all year. Despite holding a 2-1 lead heading into the dying minutes of regulation, Vancouver surrendered a pair of goals just 21 seconds apart to fall 3-2 to the Kings in a game where they were badly outshot and outplayed. The loss snapped a streak of four straight games where they Canucks had earned at least a point. Vancouver will look to rebound from that defeat tonight when they continue their five-game home standing hosting the Red Wings, a team that has been one of the beasts of the East all season long and are coming in on a bit of a roll lately.

Detroit is beginning a season-high six-game road trip tonight and are looking to build on a run that seen them win three of their last four games albeit all three of those wins, including their 3-1 victory over the Devils on New Year's Eve, have come against Eastern Conference teams that currently sit outside the playoff picture. This is the Red Wings’ first venture out to the Pacific Time Zone this season and, remarkably, only the second time they will play outside the Eastern Time Zone. Their first was a 4-3 win back on November 20 in Winnipeg. As far as lineup changes for the Canucks go, look for Zack Kassian to make his long-awaited return. Kassian was cleared to return on Thursday but Coach Willie Desjardins opted to keep him out and go with the lineup that had won the game prior in San Jose. Linden Vey is expected to be the odd-man out. Kevin Bieksa sat out practice yesterday but is expected to play tonight. In the unlikely event he can't go, look for Bobby Sanguinetti to make his Canucks debut.

Keys To The Game

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Get It Right

We have been at this juncture many times over the past few seasons. Riding high and heady one night, only to be crushed the next. Once again the Wings have been embarrassed, and in doing so, they have embarrassed their fans. As the powers that be try to figure out how to get it right, we still continue to show up for every single game.

Tonight we face the Devils at the Joe, and, although they are rife with their own problems, this is the kind of Team we need to have our way with.

To end the year on a positive note, a two point regulation win is in order. It is not a tall order, it is a simple request. Get it right!

My thanks to Paul for his continued support. I am not a writer or a blogger. I am just a fan with an opinion. My thanks to each and every one of you for staying aboard and keeping A2Y up and running. A special thank you to CMC William Houlihan for this marvelous place. We really miss your azz, Chief!

Win or lose, the Detroit Red Wings are darn lucky to have 19 Fans like us.

Happy New Year!

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A New Year And Game Notes

Well we made it through another year here at Abel to Yzerman and although we all miss IwoCPO we continue to carry on.

Personally I want to thank all of you for your comments, suggestions and input and a big time thank you to Kate for taking over the live blogs.

Looking forward to 2015, we all want to see the Wings pick up their play and I am sure many are looking at to Ken Holland to improve the team.

Will it happen?  Who knows but the trade talk should pick up soon.

Now a question for you.  We all know the possible players the Wings have been interested in so what one of those players would you want?  Be reasonable in your trade proposals and stay away from the type of trade we know just can't happen.

Have a great time tonight, be safe and remember to pass the keys to the car if need be.

Below are the game notes for tonight.

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Sting the B’s

I am still dizzy after watching Nyquist (NyQuill)  literally skate circles around Ottawa the other night, but, that was then, so I will file it in the WIN column and be done with it.

Tonight's opponent, the storied Boston Bruins, is going to be a rivalry in the future IMO.
The Bees or B's as they are known, are a built for the Playoffs, tough, big team. During the regular season we have had success against them. In the Playoffs they embarrassed us.

We are going for another two points tonight in their building, and, maybe the road has lessened the pressure on the Wings just a bit. The many errors that happened the other night cannot be repeated against this Bruins Team because they WILL make us pay.

We have to hang tough, and show Boston that we will not be pushed around. Scoring often against their best player, Rask, is the only way to sting the B's.

I'm all in.

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Boston Bruins/Detroit Red Wings Preview And Notes

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings have won two games in row, both when trailing after the second period.

That's the first time they've done that since Jan. 7-8, 2011, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"We won," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "That's what the league's about, try to find ways each and every night."

They'll take points any way they can get them, but they'll look to start on time Monday against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.

Here are five things to watch this week:

1. First visit to Boston

Few could have expected the Red Wings would have eight more points at this stage of the season than the Bruins, last season's Presidents' Trophy winners who defeated Detroit in the first round of the playoffs.

The Bruins have gone 5-7-3 since their 13-8-0 start.

The teams split two games at Joe Louis Arena one week into the season - the Red Wings won 2-1 on Oct. 9 and the Bruins prevailed 3-2 in a shootout on Oct. 15.


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from Patrick Comia of Too Many Men on the Site,

In today’s NHL, most teams are built on that philosophy: team.

Throughout the play last night, there were three other Detroit Red Wings players on the ice with Nyqvist. As the play developed, the players moved along with the puck, trying to get into the best, possible position to help. And there were a times where Nyqvist could have passed to an open man.

However, he elected not to. In the end, Nyquist managed to allude the Senators defense and shoot past Anderson.

What if that went wrong? What if the defense managed to take the puck off his stick? What if, after all that skating around, the puck was blocked by Anderson? Those are questions that will be left as those: questions. However, if Nyquist did not score that goal after all that developed, would he be thought of as a selfish player who should have given up the puck to his teammates for an opportunity?

a bit more...

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Keep ‘er Going

Like most of us I have been feeling pretty good aboot the win which pulled us out of our tailspin. It did make Christmas much merrier for The 19.

Tonight we face an angry Ottawa Team that just fired their Coach. We will face them in their building. They have been known for some goonery, and the Wings HAVE to be prepared to answer the bell, so to speak.

We still don't know if a Kronner is in but Howie and Weiss will be in the line-up.

A most pleasant surprise, Weiss seems to be a huge difference maker when he is healthy, and, we now have the "hustle of Franzen"(Mickey said it).

So, in honor of my favorite broadcaster,  one Mickey Redmond, I would love to see, "a few Ottawa jock straps, hangin' off the clock."

We need to "Keep 'er Going."

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Detroit Red Wings/Ottawa Senators Preview And Notes

via Brian Hunter of NHL.com,


Season series: Stephen Weiss scored twice and the Detroit Red Wings edged the Ottawa Senators 4-3 in the most recent game between the teams. Craig Anderson made 31 saves to give the Senators a win in the previous game at Canadian Tire Centre.

Red Wings team scope: The expectation earlier this week was that goaltender Jimmy Howard would be ready to return for Detroit after leaving the Dec. 19 game against the New York Islanders with a lower-body injury and missing the next two games. The Red Wings hope to continue the momentum established in their final game before the holiday break, a 6-3 win against the Buffalo Sabres that snapped an 0-2-4 skid in which they scored six goals total. Weiss opened the scoring against the Sabres with a power-play goal. Weiss, who was returning from injury, left in the third period after a hit to the jaw, but passed concussion protocol and is expected to play Saturday. Defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who sustained an upper-body injury in the second period, is questionable.

Senators team scope: Forward Erik Condra was the only Ottawa player to have any luck on a recent two-game road trip in which the Senators were outscored 6-2 in losing to the Montreal Canadiens and Washington Capitals. Condra scored shorthanded against the Canadiens and picked up his third goal of the season against the Capitals. The Senators are 3-3-1 since Dave Cameron took over as coach. This will be their third home game with Cameron behind the bench. They come out of the break trailing the Capitals by six points for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. One oddity to this point has been Ottawa's .368 points percentage when it scores first, the lowest in the League. However, the Senators have a .467 points percentage when giving up the first goal, tied for fourth-best.

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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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