Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Khan Says It All

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

A win would help the Red Wings in several ways. It would relieve some pressure following a 3-7-1 stretch that has raised concerns about their goaltending. It would prevent Ottawa and Boston, clubs that are five points behind them in the Atlantic Division, from creeping closer. And it would be a much-needed boost of confidence against the highest-scoring team in the NHL.

more on today's game...

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Preview And Notes- Detroit Red Wings vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Puck drops just after 2:00pm ET today....

via Brian Hunter of NHL.com,


Season series: The Tampa Bay Lightning are trying to complete a four-game season sweep of the Detroit Red Wings. Ryan Callahan had the only goal of the shootout the last time they met at Joe Louis Arena. Steven Stamkos has four goals to lead all scorers. Ben Bishop has a 1.62 goals-against average and .937 save percentage in three starts.

Lightning team scope: Forward Brenden Morrow, who didn't play in a 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday because of an upper-body injury, practiced Friday in a regular jersey. Morrow said he was feeling better and might be able to play, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The Lightning worked on their power play, using forward Brian Boyle in front of the net on the first unit with Stamkos, Valtteri Filppula, Alex Killorn and Anton Stralman. Boyle scored his 15th goal of the season against the Predators. Despite leading the NHL in offense at 3.23 goals per game, the Lightning had the 19th-ranked power play entering games Friday at 18.1 percent. The Lightning are on the verge of clinching a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a second straight season.

Red Wings team scope: This is the finale of a four-game road trip for Detroit, which has given up 11 goals in losing consecutive games to the Arizona Coyotes and San Jose Sharks, teams outside of the playoffs in the Western Conference. Forward Riley Sheahan, who is seventh on the Red Wings in scoring with 34 points, is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Goalie Petr Mrazek, who relieved Jimmy Howard after the first period of the 6-4 loss Thursday to the Sharks, will start, according to MLive.com. Forward Pavel Datsyuk skated with Tomas Tatar and Darren Helm during line rushes Friday, but coach Mike Babcock wasn't sure if Datsyuk would play. He has missed the past five games with a lower-body injury.

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Mike Babcock Talk

via Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

- "We had 'D' that didn't box out and wasn't ready to go from the start."

"We'll come in here tomorrow, and we'll get it fixed.

"The outcome is: We can't keep it out of our net. So, until we get that fixed, nothing else. We're going to get that fixed tomorrow.

"You guys have a good night."

- "I agree with you," Babcock said when it was asserted Howard looked uneasy. "It's one of those things.

"Obviously, it didn't go the way he wanted.

"He's a proud guy. We gave him the opportunity to bounce back. He didn't do that."

- I didn't like the second goal that went in on him," Babcock said of a goal by Logan Couture that went under Mrazek's blocker arm, next to his ribs, and in.

"They can't chicken wing it. Couture's shot is a great shot. That can't happen to you."

- "We're going to get regrouped tomorrow, and I guarantee we'll be back and ready to go."

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Get It Together

As the Wings pursue a playoff berth, the 19 are questioning everything that is going wrong with the Team as we see it. Starting behind the bench (Babcock), and working it's way around behind Howard.

As I see it, the Coach had better start to take care of business instead of offering up empty platitudes and self help books.

I think I can say that we are tired of excuses. Excuses are for losers.

This is a direct hit at Babcock. Get it together. It's your bench, your game plan, your orders.

Do your job.

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Happy March 26th!

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Preview And Notes- Detroit Red Wings vs. San Jose Sharks

via Jon Lane of NHL.com,


Season series: Luke Glendening's goal with 1:15 remaining in regulation gave the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 win against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center four weeks ago. Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard made 20 saves for his fourth victory in 14 career games against the Sharks.

Sharks team scope: San Jose began a seven-game road trip four points out of the second wild card spot into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. The Sharks arrive in Detroit 1-3-0 on the trip, trailing the Winnipeg Jets by 10 points for the second wild card with nine games left and in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in 11 seasons. "We're finding out about players," coach Todd McLellan told the San Jose Mercury News after practice Wednesday. "They're going to expose their character level in the next nine games. How important is it individually and collectively to maintain a very high standard?" Goalie Antti Niemi allowed four goals in a 5-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Monday and has a 3.39 goals-against average in his past five games, four of them losses. Forward Joe Pavelski has five goals and nine points in his past 10 games against the Red Wings.

Red Wings team scope: Defenseman Niklas Kronwall (lower body) is day-to-day, and forward Pavel Datsyuk (lower body) might play against the Sharks. "We'll see how [Kronwall] feels [Thursday]. I think there's a chance he could play tomorrow night, but we have to see how he feels," general manager Ken Holland told the Detroit Free Press. "... He felt some tenderness, and we decided, going into last night's game with 10 games to go, the last thing we need to do is do something to aggravate it for an extended period of time." Holland added, "We'll see how [Datsyuk] feels after the morning skate tomorrow. But Pav's close." Forward Erik Cole (upper body) will miss the next three games.The Red Wings' scheduled practice Wednesday was cancelled after a 5-4 overtime loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena. Detroit (90 points) is 3-6-1 in its past 10 games, hasn't won consecutive games since a three-game winning streak from Feb. 28-March 4, and is trying to hold off the Senators (85) for third place in the Atlantic Division. "Every point you can get down the stretch is important," forward Henrik Zetterberg told the Red Wings website. "We're going to have a day off here [Wednesday] and come back refreshed on Thursday."

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The Numbers Tell The Story

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Howard, since returning from a four-week absence due to a groin injury, is 6-5-3, with a 3.00 goals-against average and .898 save percentage. Before the injury suffered on Jan. 10 he was 15-7-7, with a 2.11 GAA and .920 save percentage, which earned him a selection for the All-Star Game....

Nyquist has three goals and eight assists in 22 games.

Tatar has two goals and seven assists in 16 games, just six shots in his past five games.

Sheahan has three goals and six assists in 20 games.

Jurco has gone 39 games without a goal, during which time he has nine assists.


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“This Is A Save He’s Got To Make”

That's ex-NHL player Tyson Nash, the color analyst for FoxSports Arizona on the OT goal by Arizona.

Yes Howard did not make the save in OT but what can you do.

We all know Howard needs to make saves to keep his team in the game and lately his performance has been average at best.

The most popular athlete in Detroit is the backup goaltender or backup quarterback for the Lions.

Mrazek has had some good solid games but he also has had some stinkers too.

There is no doubt in my mind Jimmy Howard has to start showing some consistency or else the Wings are in trouble.

Mrazek is not yet the answer and I believe Mike Babcock feels the same way.

You can watch ot OT goal below, Coyotes broadcast.

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Too Close For Comfort

There is no way to proceed from here on out, other than playing all in to WIN. Win em' all I say.

Playing it safe causes injury and losses.(duh!)  At this point in the season, neither the Wings, nor any other Team for that matter, have clinched a playoff spot.

Whether you're in first place or fourth place, it's so close in the standings, too close for comfort.

Win em' all!

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Preview And Notes- Detroit Red Wings vs. Arizona Coyotes

via Sean McCullen of NHL.com,

Season series: Tomas Tatar had a goal and two assists to help the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes on Feb. 7 at Gila River Arena.

Coyotes team scope: Phoenix recalled forward Jordan Szwarz from Portland of the American Hockey League on Monday and sent down center Justin Hodgman, who was minus-1 with one shot on goal in 12:10 in a 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday after being called up Friday. Szwarz, 23, has 21 points (12 assists) and 58 penalty minutes in 42 games with Portland. Arizona plays at the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday and Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday to conclude its three-game trip. Goalie Mike Smith made 41 saves but Arizona lost 3-1 to the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday. It was the Coyotes' eighth straight loss (0-7-1), seven of which came on home ice. They have scored a total of 25 goals and won twice in their past 20 games. Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored his career-high 20th goal, the most on Arizona and among NHL defensemen.

Red Wings team scope: Detroit likely will be without center Pavel Datsyuk (lower-body injury) for a fourth straight game. Datsyuk skated at practice at Joe Louis Arena on Monday, but said there is only a small chance he will play. "Feeling better," Datsyuk said, according to the Detroit Free Press. "But not like 100 percent. We're looking at the bigger picture." The Red Wings have lost four of their past six games and are four points ahead of the Ottawa Senators for third place in the Atlantic Division. Forward Justin Abdelkader scored in overtime to give Detroit a 2-1 win against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday. It was his 20th goal, doubling his previous career high (2012-13, 2013-14). Forward Erik Cole has three goals in the past five games after being held without one his first five with the Red Wings following a trade from the Dallas Stars on March 1.

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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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