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Abel to Yzerman

A Lot of People Don’t Like the Road…

... but the Red Wings didn't seem to mind it too terribly, winning three out of four games on their Western Canadia trip. Not too shabby, right?

Normally I'd agree with myself here; unfortunately, they got thoroughly trounced by a questionable - yet unsurprisingly highly motivated - Winnipeg Jets club to end the trip on a sour note. Now the Wings are back home for the next four, and will play a couple of strong teams in the "Steve Yzerman presents 'The Tampa Bay Lightning' " and the Washington "Which Ovechkin Will Show Up Tonight?" Capitals.

Oh, and the Atlanta Winnipeg Jets again.

But one game at a time, one game at a time. Tonight's foes are (or "foe is?" Stupid English...) the Dallas Stars, helmed by new GM, and former "Lobe of the Braintrust," Jim Nill. Here's a conundrum for you - a riddle, if you will: What would Jim Nill do with the current Wings roster? Would Daniel Cleary taking up valuable roster (and cap) space? Would Mikael Samuelsson be available to crank countless slappers into the midsections of NHL goalies from terrible angles, then be a healthy scratch for five games in a row? Would Jordin Tootoo have been waived, deported to Canada, and then subsequently returned due to that country's refusal to accept him (or maybe he just cleared waivers, I'm not really clear on that part)?

Hey Toots, since you'll (unfortunately) be in the press box, drop on by and join the fun here in the "Abel to Yzerman" wing of The Emperor's manor - it is a Live Blog, after all.

Bitches.

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Avatar

Opponents CONTINUE to score late in periods.  At a certain point, when that continues, that’s the coaching staff’s fault for not addressing and correcting it.

Or, you know, one of the other five thousand different things that could have caused it.

and the third Jimmy did just about every thing possible to…

I know, I know.  Rest, darling.  Noone will make you believe Howard isn’t awesome if you choose not to.  You and George and both huddle together for warmth against the cold, cold reality of Howard being a middle-tier NHL goalie this season.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/08/13 at 12:55 AM ET

calquake's avatar

I know, I know.  Rest, darling.  Noone will make you believe Howard isn’t awesome if you choose not to.  You and George and both huddle together for warmth against the cold, cold reality of Howard being a middle-tier NHL goalie this season.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/07/13 at 11:55 PM ET

Again, Jimmy isn’t the #1 problem on this team this season.

Posted by calquake on 11/08/13 at 01:34 AM ET

Avatar

Again, Jimmy isn’t the #1 problem on this team this season.

You’re trying to refute a statement nobody has made.  I mean, it works… I totally agree with you there, I just don’t know exactly how you think what you just said links to what you were apparently trying to respond to.

What I am saying is that for 5.3 mil a year Howard has to be better, and that previously uttered complaints about the team in front of him are silly when a big part of the reason the team in front of him has holes is his very own salary.

Last night’s game was especially glaring, but the same general theme has been looming in the background this year, unnoticed by a whole boatload of people.  Sometimes, purposefully unnoticed.

Detroit’s paying 5.3 mil for a goalie who’s just good enough to ‘heroically’ lose because he has to be protected more and doesn’t quite have the level of play to make up for defensive lapses in front of him?  Wonderful.

Among a few other things that need to improve, Howard has to elevate his game.  The other things are largely aspects of a team being re-constructed so roles have to solidify, players have to gel, etc.  Howard shouldn’t have to wait on that to play better.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/08/13 at 06:58 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

a big part of the reason the team in front of him has holes is his very own salary.

blaming anything that happens on the ice on salaries is absurd.  say they pay Howard $1 million less per season…what kind of player is that going to get them?

Howard shouldn’t have to wait on that to play better.

and somehow the players in front of him have something to wait for and can’t just play better?  I mean, it’s as simple as that right, just play better….so why can’t they all do it and never lose a game?

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 11/08/13 at 08:50 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

roles have to solidify, players have to gel

do you really not realize that this affects, and includes, the goalie as well?  goalies have to be “in sync” with their defensive players in front of them.  goalies are part of the gel.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 11/08/13 at 08:54 AM ET

Primis's avatar

You guys really should learn to use the Ignore feature.

Then you’re not subjected to persistent stupidity.  Doesn’t matter how much time stupidity posts, they all show up the same:  “You have chosen to ignore comments from this member.

Posted by Primis on 11/08/13 at 10:53 AM ET

Bill from GR's avatar

I’m a Griffin season ticket holder and watched Jimmy “develop” for four seasons.  We always knew he was going to make the spectacular save, but either give up a crème puff or a biggie when the team or the D needed him to bail them out.  It was that general lack of consistency that drove me nuts.

And I don’t think that has improved in Detroit.  Ask yourself, how confident are you if a game goes to a shootout?  How confident are you when a neutral ice turnover leads to an opposition breakaway?  How confident are you in the last 90 seconds of any period?

And that’s my point.  Which Jimmy will it be?  The unorthodox, scrambling to get back to the net Jimmy, the giving up the short side post Jimmy or the Jimmy on top of the crease gobbling up every shot coming his way?  At times, his positioning and posture look un-natural, especially compared to other goalies.  I don’t see any goalie with their back to center ice as often as him.  He seems to overplay the puck at times and take himself out of position for follow-ups.  I notice him sprawled on the ice and flopping instead of trying to get up and get back in the play.

But what we didn’t see so much in GR that I do see now, is his tendency to give up late goals.  In the last two games alone, four of his eight goals against (Wow, 8 GAA) were in the last 70 seconds of the period.  Those are absolute KILLERS, on the ice, in the locker room and in the psyche of his teammates.

He currently sits 40th in the league in GAA and save %.  FOR-TI-ETH.  I don’t care if the D is young and making mistakes, or the wingers are late to cover, Jimmy is the last line of defense and NEEDS to be the last line of defense.  Right now, sometimes he is and sometimes he isn’t, and we never know which one he will be.

Oh, and it makes me feel less confident when his playoff numbers drop off compared to regular season.  I know I’ll get a bunch of grief for this post, but I don’t believe he is more than a middle of the road NHL goalie and is overpaid at 5.3 per.  Just my take.

Posted by Bill from GR on 11/08/13 at 11:08 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

I think part of what is going on here, Bill, is hallucination.

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131106/SPORTS0103/311060118/1128/sports0103/Red-Wings-defensemen-turn-attention-transition-game

While goals against remain about the same since Nicklas Lisdstrom, Brad Stuart and Brian Rafalski left the blue line in the past few years

so it’s not the defensemen’s fault.  it’s not Howard’s fault either.  because according to the stats (and DetNews) the GAA hasn’t changed.

what has changed is the Wings’ ability to overcome that GAA through scoring, which used to start from the blue line.

THAT is where this team needs improvement, in the transition game.

part of that is…

“I think there’s no edge to sorting things out when you don’t turn the puck over and it’s easy,” he said. “I think when you turn the puck over and it’s a festival, and no one knows who’s got who, that’s a ‘sort-out’ problem.

“But the one thing would prevent them both. So let’s not turn it over.”

you turn it over in your own zone and it ends up in your net.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 11/08/13 at 11:14 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

oh, and I’m not sure if all the naysayers have noticed, but it’s early in the season and the Wings are at the top of the Eastern Conference, so….maybe expectations are a little too high, approaching unrealistic?

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 11/08/13 at 11:19 AM ET

Bill from GR's avatar

oh, and I’m not sure if all the naysayers have noticed, but it’s early in the season and the Wings are at the top of the Eastern Conference, so….maybe expectations are a little too high, approaching unrealistic?

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 11/08/13 at 10:19 AM ET

That is probably more to the truth than anything.  I always expect an 82-0 season. Maybe a little unrealistic, but I’m a Wing fan.  And I completely agree with you regarding the transition game.  I’m not really blaming Howard, or the D, or the lack of offense.  I’m just saying that I’ve never felt confident in Jimmy like I did with Dom or even Ozzie.

In fact, I kind of feel the same about Jimmy as I did when Cujo was backstopping for the Wings.  I still support and cheer on our goalies, I just don’t have a higher level of confidence.

And a lot of this is, the goalie position gets way too much blame and way too much credit.  But, if you don’t like that, then don’t be a goalie (or a quarterback) in Detroit.

Posted by Bill from GR on 11/08/13 at 11:33 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

I’d put my confidence in Howard about on par with Osgood…solid, reliable, but gonna let in some softies while at the same time make some spectacular saves.

personally, I’ve always felt like Howard is more of a playoff goalie.  he seems to step it up. 

I also wonder how much of the team’s current issues are related to the completely different season they’re acclimating to.  it has to affect you to go from flights and hotels and cities you’re used to, to a completely different schedule, different cities, different hotels, different restaurants, different locker rooms, etc etc etc

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 11/08/13 at 12:04 PM ET

Bill from GR's avatar

You’re right, there has to be something to the change in travel, Paul.

But, man, we gotta figure out what’s going on at home, right now.  I hate to see these 2-0 leads go away so often.

Posted by Bill from GR on 11/08/13 at 12:11 PM ET

Primis's avatar

oh, and I’m not sure if all the naysayers have noticed, but it’s early in the season and the Wings are at the top of the Eastern Conference, so….maybe expectations are a little too high, approaching unrealistic?

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 11/08/13 at 10:19 AM ET

I don’t think this is true.

DET’s record and position is a bit deceiving right now.  The only games they’ve LOOKED good in were against Philly and Colorado.  They often seem to stumble into a point or two.  DET is getting beat at home, a lot.

And their GA (45) are still greater than their GF (43).  For perspective, only FLA and BUF have worse goal ratios in their division.

All indicators are that they can’t keep this up, at some point the points will stop coming.  That’s a *huge* problem, if this is what the team actually is.

Posted by Primis on 11/08/13 at 12:59 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

that’s a fair point, Primis.  let’s just hope that some of what is going on is adjusting to the EC.  that is the hinge on which my doubts swivel grin

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 11/08/13 at 02:39 PM ET

Primis's avatar

that’s a fair point, Primis.  let’s just hope that some of what is going on is adjusting to the EC.  that is the hinge on which my doubts swivel grin

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 11/08/13 at 01:39 PM ET

Doubtful since the Wings seem to be playing nobody but Western teams so far.  It’s like we never left…

Posted by Primis on 11/08/13 at 04:51 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

oh, and I’m not sure if all the naysayers have noticed, but it’s early in the season and the Wings are at the top of the Eastern Conference, so….maybe expectations are a little too high, approaching unrealistic?

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 11/08/13 at 10:19 AM ET

Detroit’s in third, having played the third-most games in the conference. 17 games in, that’s significant, in that those team with a game or two at hand could easily leap-frog them the next 4-5 days, as they catch up game-wise.

 

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 11/08/13 at 06:08 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

“We need someone to play with (Daniel Alfredsson).’’—Mike Babcock

Do the name Ruby Begonia ring a bell? No? How about Gustav Nyquist?

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 11/08/13 at 08:41 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Do the name Ruby Begonia ring a bell?

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 11/08/13 at 07:41 PM ET

Uh, yes. I guess we are old timers, RWBill.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 11/09/13 at 02:26 PM ET

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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