Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

And The Easter Bunny Brings You…

...Calgary.  Not real sure why the Easter Bunny has never gotten the pub Santa has.  Kind of a JV holiday icon if you ask me.  And I’ll tell you this, with presents like that, he’s not exactly skyrocketing in my book. 

Whatever happened to the days of first-round opponents like Phoenix, St. Louis or Anaheim back when “mighty” meant less than that?

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Holland: Zetterberg Good For Game 1

Update 1315: Bertuzzi not in the lineup.  Mike Babcock said baseline tests after collision were “ok, but not great.”  Like Zetterberg, he’ll play Game 1.

Ken Holland, on today’s FSN pre-game, said Hank Zetterberg may not be 100 percent; but he’ll be in there for Game 1.

Against who (whom)?  Tonite Calgary plays their friends from Edmonton while Bubba visits the Dive.  Hopefully, the Oil return the favor and Bubba continues their choke job, setting up an 8-spot matchup tomorrow in Denver.

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Yzerman Rescues Wings Again

It wasn’t his most famous achievement as a Wing.  All his teeth were in and Jon Casey wasn’t involved.  It didn’t precede a failed Statue of Liberty and this time his accomplishment was painless.

In other words, Steve Yzerman earned his money as a hockey exec yesterday.  Was his influence as significant as the mainstreamers are claiming regarding keeping Datsyuk in the fold?  Probably not.  But when the Wings needed a credible voice to convince us that this deal is a good one, they trotted out The Captain.  And he scored again.

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It’s Not About Motivation

One more Datsukian thought before I head to The State That Can't Win The Central for a long weekend. Khan(!) makes a comment halfway through his blog post regarding the signing that I must have glossed over earlier.

I don't buy the notion that by not signing him you make him more motivated for the playoffs. He's an extremely motivated player and his lack of playoff success has nothing to do with his desire.
I, and I think I can speak for you, have never thought for a second that Datsyuk's playoff disappointments have been due to a lack of motivation. I have no doubt the kid's plenty motivated to succeed. The question is not whether he wants to, but whether he's got the mental makeup to get it done. It's not effort, it's attitude and it's responding under pressure. And there, my friends, lies the rub. Does Datsyuk have what it takes to thrive under the playoff spotlight? It's not motivation, Ansar. None of us are saying that. It's sack and whether 7 million per year buys you some or not.

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Datsyuk: Too Much, Too Soon?

Update 1310 EST:  Wow.  TSN, Khan(!) and Detroit radio all reporting the deal is worth between 6 and 7 mil for 6 or 7 years.  An astronomical, risky investment.


It was important for the organization to get this taken care before the playoffs and avoid a potential distraction. And it was vital to get this talented player locked up to a long-term deal before he hit the free-agent market on July 1.

Now, Datsyuk will be under heavy pressure to deliver in the playoffs, which have been a struggle for him. He has gone 26 games without a goal in the playoffs, dating back to Game 7 of the 2002 Western Conference finals.

Update 1203 EST: Ted Kulfan reports the deal is for five years. 

I’m real curious as to your opinions of today’s Datsyuk signing.  No figures have been released yet, obviously.  I’m guessing at 6mil/per.

And now we can start with the second-guessing.


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Datsyuk To Remain In Hockeytown

Both Detroit sports talk stations are reporting Pavel Datsyuk has re-signed with the Wings. 1pm press conference has been scheduled. Poor Brett. Nice try. On a lighter noteā€¦.Bubba's sad. No, not because they have to postpone the Central banner raising hoedown....again. They knew that was coming. Something more earth shattering to the 18,000 cousins who frequent the Gay on a kind-of-regular basis. That's right. The baby-poop colored sweaters will soon be as rare as a Tennessee public school diploma.

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Pavel The Pessimist?

On the heels of Khan(!)‘s report this morning that Pavel Datsyuk is close to re-signing with the Wings comes this little ditty from the Russian online Gazeta.ru.

Team Russia GM Alexei Nemchinov told that Datsyuk and Markov called him and asked him to reserve for them a couple of empty spots in the roster for the World Championship in Moscow.

“If Detroit will lose in the first round, we would like to participate in WC.”

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And The Hits Just Keep On Comin’

Updated 2225 EST: Khan(!) is on the spot.

Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi suffered a strained neck during a first-period collision with goaltender Chris Osgood Thursday in Chicago. Bertuzzi finished the period but did not return after the first intermission and won't finish the game. Bertuzzi was back-checking against Denis Arkhipov when he ran over Osgood, right after Nikita Alexeev fired in a shot from the face-off circle to open the scoring at 5:03 of the first period. Osgood was shaken-up but remained in the game.
And in case there might be a few of you not disturbingly reminded of the end of the '02-'03 regular season, let me help you out. Going into the last game of the year, tied with Dallas for the conference lead. Each with 109 points. Finale against? Yep. Chicago. Wings lose in OT, 4-3. Dallas wins their game. Now...had Detroit won that game after not squandering 2-0, then 3-2, leads? A conference title by virtue of the first tie breaker (more wins, they would have had 49 to Dallas' 46) and a matchup with Edmonton in the first round. Instead of that pleasant, quick 4-gamer against Uncle Mike and his French pal JSG. So, should the Wings lose tonite and the conference or division titles come down to Saturday? Nifty, eh?

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What?...Us Worry?

Hell no we're not. Because it's not in our genes. We're not bred that way, you and me. When back specialists fly in to treat our young future Captain, we go all fetal. When our brittle, chicken-wired groin of a wack job three-time savior is held out for the last two games against a team that hates us (yeah, narrow that number down right?), we give strict orders to the family not to speak until all is confirmed as well. So, what should we worry about, and what should we look at as pure caution on the parts of Those Who Need To Win More Than Most (Uncles Ken and Mike)? Hasek: he's out tonite and most likely Saturday. Why? No one really knows. Oh, well, Babcock does. But it's April and he's got jokes. St. James Blog

Babcock at first laughed and joked (presumably) Hasek was out because, "he's got a huge groin pull and might not play again" - a reference to the fact Hasek hasn't finished his previous two NHL seasons because of groin injuries.
Yeah. Real funny motherfu... ...anyway, he's probably fine. Bertuzzi: healthy and ready to impale anything remotely Provincial. Lidstrom: less than healthy, but most likely resting out of a sense of paranoia not seen since The Stallion discovered Mick had been carrying him in Rocky III (minute 22). Nah, it's not in our nature. We're a calm group of fans, by nature. Things like the Summer of Ken, the Decision, Punches in the Face, suicidal goalies, goalie controversies, insane goalies and goalies in general have no effect on us. So with two games left in the most meaningless regular season in the history of meaningless regular seasons, we're taking this rash of injuries in stride. Aren't we?

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Your Thursday Dose Of Cheli

Chris Chelios just finished up on Detroit’s WDFN and we’ve got the entire interview for you.  Today’s is even a bit more newsworthy than usual as Cheli discusses what Bertuzzi/Calder have meant to the Wings, says Lidstrom is fine and get ready for this…apparently a specialist is being flown in to examine the back of one Hank Zetterberg.

Listen here.  As always, a big thanks to WDFN for the first-listen rights to their weekly Chelios interview.

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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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