Abel to Yzerman
He was a little too tall and he was most definitely wasted. He could have used a few pounds back then, but he's made up for it in beer weight since the Wings grabbed him in the spring of '97.
For two years in Toronto, Larry Murphy wasted away in a puddle of his own mediocre feces. He was jeered because Leaf fans had forgotten by then what a winner looked like. 151 regular season games played in front of the worst fair-weather fans in hockey history. 6 playoff games is what he tallied for Toronto, two of them wins.
Then, with the snap of a finger and a flash of Ilitch cash, he was headed to South Detroit, where the winners live.
Over the course of the next two playoff years, Larry Murphy played 42 games, winning 32 of them, along with two Cups. He drank beer during press conferences, fed Nick Lidstrom slick little bullets along the blue line and watched as he poured them into net after net.
With both Columbus and Toronto losing tonight in regulation, the Wings lost no ground in the playoff race.
Columbus remains the first wild card team in the Eastern Conference while Detroit is in the second wild card spot.
Columbus and Detroit have played the same number of games and now have two games in-hand on Toronto.
You can check out this screenshot, just add one more game played for Columubs and Toronto and a regulation loss for each team.
Washington did not play tonight.
Toronto is in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh plays in Columbus.
Bobrovsky will not dress for the Blue Jackets, he has yet to recover from the flu.
Saturday, the Wings will play the Leafs in Toronto, Boston plays in Washington in an afternoon game and Columbus is in Carolina.
Look here, game starts at 7:00pm ET just in case you did not know.
Howard vs. Price is the key tonight. Jimmy has to be on top of his game.
Defense needs to tighten up and get the puck out of the defensive zone.
Babcock said today the opposition has the puck 66% of the time so all the Wings do is check.
*Note the 7pm start time due to this game being part of a TSN double-header
According to SportsClubStats, if Detroit wins in regulation or OT tonight, their playoff chances increase by 9.7%. If they win in the shootout their chances improve by 8.7%.
If Detroit would suffer a loss in regulation, their playoff chances decrease by 14.2%. A loss in OT or shootout, their odds decrease by 2.4%.
After all games Wednesday night...
Detroit is the only team playing tonight in the group above.
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
Some will say that the contact exerted by Smith was minimal and insufficient to knock the net off the moorings without some responsibility placed on Atkinson. The replay shows that Atkinson's momentum and forward progress was altered significantly and he accelerated from his initial stop inside the top of the crease after the contact by Smith was initiated and completed. It is also evident that Atkinson attempted to push back and stop following the contact by Smith with a second, separate spray of snow from his skate blade.
Referee Chris Rooney made an excellent, quick decision when he correctly applied rule 63.6 to award the goal to Atkinson following the actions of Smith that "accidentally" caused the goal post to be displaced prior to the puck crossing the goal line.
If you want to watch/review the goal, see below...
from the Detroit Free Press,
The "Bloody Wednesday" game, as it has been called, was certainly the wildest game I was ever involved in. When the buzzer sounded to end that contest, the two teams had combined for 18 fighting majors.
My memorable first-period encounter with Lemieux almost didn't happen because Colorado defenseman Adam Foote grabbed me just as all hell was starting to break loose. He was strong as an old bear, and he had a tight grip on me. But Brendan Shanahan came over and gave Foote a double-arm chop.
That broke me free from Foote. It was like letting a dog off the leash.
I took a direct path toward Lemieux. It was written, and said, that Lemieux never saw me coming. But that's untrue. I can tell you that I looked him directly in the eyes before I hit him. I wanted him to know my anger. I didn't sucker punch him, as some have written. I cold-cocked him.
For those of you watching the game on NBCSN it will be Dave Strader and Brian Engblom calling the action.
With that out of the way, tonight's game is actually bigger for the Blue Jackets than it is for the Wings.
But, it is also a huge game for the Wings and hopefully they remember the last time they played Columbus.
The Wings will have to match the intensity of the Blue Jackets and be good on the power play and penalty kill.
Columbus has been awful on the pp lately so the Wings must frustrate them again tonight.
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