Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Hey Duff…You Made The List

This is neat.  We're being patronized. Again. By a Detroit journalist. Again.  Bob Duff, in full-on and typical crawl up Mike Babcock's ass and stay there so he'll talk to you again Wednesday mode, says Dan Cleary and Justin Abdelkader had more to do with Kronwall's goal last night than, say, Tim Horton did. (See Kate's comment below...neither player had jack squat to do with that goal).

Dan Cleary situated himself on the doorstep of Colorado Avalanche goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere. A few feet away, Justin Abdlekader tussled with a Colorado defender, taking away even more of Giguere’s vision so that when Detroit Red Wings defenceman Niklas Kronwall blasted a shot from the point, Giguere never saw it.

The puck bounced off the back boards, hit Giguere’s right leg and bounded into the net for the winning goal in Detroit’s 2-1 victory Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena.

The Hockeytown faithful, which generally gears down from smug to panic in one shift, is growling.

You're smug and you panic from shift to shift.

Ok. That's accurate.  But this?

Get Abdelakder and Cleary off Pavel Datsyuk’s wings, they whine. Move Tomas Tatar on to that unit and get Gustav Nyquist to Detroit stat, they scream.

All of which falls on deaf ears among the Detroit braintrust, and with good reason.

You're whining. Your points, the ones splashed here and on multiple blogs, article comments and even talk radio when certain stations feel the Wings are worthy to discuss, are not valid because you're simply fans and therefore you--and we can now add Bob Duff to the list of condescending Detroit journalists ("I don't care what fans think"--Drew Sharp)--know absolutely nothing.

In my opinion we've got Wojo and Niyo left.  And the Anti-Digger. We need you back Bruce MacLeod.  

What's the value in that, the smug, panicked, "whining" remarks? I'm curious.  If there has been one fan-based "analysis" with merit the last several years, it's this one.  Datsyuk's production has been eliminated since this "line" was formed. The Wings can't score more than two goals per game.  Abdelkader and Cleary are muckers and Babcock has turned Datsyuk into the same.  It's obvious.  And we're supposed to believe, like Duff allegedly does, that they're "getting better."

Please.  He, like every other digger, is pandering to the organ-I-zation because you don't irritate Mike Babcock. He reads everything.  You coddle and stroke him (shut up).  Read Duff's lead again then think back to the criticism levied against Babcock right here the last two days. Coincidental, I'm sure.  We love our Uncle Mike. We do. Almost all of us, anyway. But when he screws up, he's not immune. Unless you're a Detroit beat writer and then it's hands off, right Bob? Is that a John Hahn edict or is it just the natural order of things in Babcock's world?

The Lions? Fair game. Rip away.  The Pistons? Nobody gives a shit.  Jim Leyland? Oh hell yes...have at him, right?

Why not Mike Babcock? This move is sound, Bob? Really?  

I'm just whining, right?  Whatever.  I'm smug and panicked.  The Stress Train is rocking, as always.

It's a stupid line combination. And it's wasteful.  And any digger who defends it is a pawn. 

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Comments

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Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Pavel Datsyuk does not belong on “The Grind Line”. He is an elite #1 liner being wasted and fuched over by Babcock.The way I see it Giguere scored the goal and Kronners had the assist. That was pure luck, that goal,and we all know it.  As far as Duff the “duff kisser” goes, he knows nothing.

In my extended time on this planet, I have forgotten more things aboot hockey than this hack will ever know.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 03/06/13 at 08:40 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I like that Babcock gave Tatar two shifts with Datsyuk as if to say “see?” and then moved the lines back to where they were.

As though letting Tatar and Datsyuk practice together wouldn’t have made a difference.

Also, Justin Abdelkader was blocking exactly zero percent of Giguere’s vision on the Kronwall goal.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/06/13 at 08:44 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

I don’t think they should bring up Nyquist this year. Let him dominate the AHL and bring him up with a guaranteed top six spot as his to lose next year.

I like having one of Cleary or Home Keys on Pav’s wing, because you need that guy that will forecheck, retrieve pucks, and take punishment in front of goal. But why not do Pav/Tatar/Cleary? Passer, shooter, mucker, a formula as old as time itself.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 03/06/13 at 08:49 AM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

But why not do Pav/Tatar/Cleary? Passer, shooter, mucker, a formula as old as time itself.

Exactly.
One of Tots 2 shifts had a great chance for the kid too, granted he stickhandled himself right out of it… but give the kid a chance not 1:30 of ice time on Pav’s wing.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 03/06/13 at 08:55 AM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Someone with more time than I have can check this, but I don’t think it is coincidence, DET cannot score - - and how long has the dead-weight line been together?

COL 2-1
CHI 1-2
SJS 2-1
LAK 1-2

We need you back Bruce MacLeod

There can be only One!

Lemmings, all of them.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 03/06/13 at 08:56 AM ET

monkey's avatar

Andersson-Datsyuk-Tatar

or

Eaves-Datsyuk-Tootoo

Posted by monkey from Praha, Česká republika on 03/06/13 at 09:02 AM ET

Avatar

and how long has the dead-weight line been together?

Exactly.  Defense has been addressed (I believe it’s 8 goals against in the last six games) so now turn your attention to getting someone to puck pucks in the nets.

Posted by Garth on 03/06/13 at 09:02 AM ET

monkey's avatar

In my extended time on this planet, I have forgotten more things aboot hockey than this hack will ever know.

60 decades is not something to be trifled with.

Posted by monkey from Praha, Česká republika on 03/06/13 at 09:03 AM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Sure, they could go for it right now, recall Nyquist, trade a first-round pick and top prospect Calle Jarnkrok to Calgary for Jarome Iginla, but that would that truly be prudent?

To reiterate what I said in the Malik link to this story, and add a little more…

No one on earth is suggesting that the Wings trade a first-round pick and Jarnkrok for Iginla. Where is Duff getting this from? I have never heard a single person suggest this.

People are just wondering why—when we have a guy who is leading the AHL in scoring and a guy on our team right now who is outplaying most of the veterans—why Justin F*cking Abdelkader and Dan F*cking Cleary are playing with Pavel Datsyuk.

It’s really not that crazy of a question to ask, and the fact that Babcock and the press is getting so agitated about it suggests a crisis of faith on their end, not the fans.

This situation reminds me a lot of Leyland going apesh*t over people questioning (rightly) some of his ridiculously insane lineups he used last year while the Tigers were underperforming. The point being, if he had so much faith in what he was doing, he wouldn’t be so upset over people questioning him. The reason Babcock and his acolytes are in full-on defense mode over this isn’t because they’re sure they’re right, but because of the simple fact that IT ISN’T WORKING.

It’s not any more complicated than that. This crap about Iginla, or mortgaging the future, and any other flight of fancy is a smoke screen and a strawman.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 03/06/13 at 09:22 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Like JJ, I thought that giving Tatar Sauce two short shifts with Pav was a cheap shot at us. Unfortunately, if that’s the case, then Uncle Mike will never, ever put him back there ‘cuz that would be like admitting that mere fans like us actually know what we are seeing.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 03/06/13 at 09:24 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Someone with more time than I have can check this, but I don’t think it is coincidence, DET cannot score - - and how long has the dead-weight line been together?

The 4-3 Nashville OTL was that line’s first together.

That’s 2.75 G/G during that stretch and 2.00 GA/G

Except the Vancouver game is an outlier that drops the G/G down to 2.0 and the GA/G to 1.87 when eliminated.

And even without the outlier, the Wings are 4-2-2 in that stretch… or if you want to eliminate the bullshit, they’re 4-4.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/06/13 at 09:38 AM ET

DetroitHockey's avatar

I don’t think they should bring up Nyquist this year. Let him dominate the AHL and bring him up with a guaranteed top six spot as his to lose next year.

Given the players the Wings already have under contract for next season, I don’t see how you can assume that Nyquist is guaranteed a spot next year.

Posted by DetroitHockey on 03/06/13 at 09:44 AM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Uncle Mike will never, ever put him back there ‘cuz that would be like admitting that mere fans like us actually know what we are seeing.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 03/06/13 at 09:24 AM ET

That concerns me, too. Babcock definitely has a little Leyland in him. Don’t get me wrong, I think they are both two of the best coaches in their respective sports, but goddamn are they ornery when it comes to sh*t like this.

We’ll know we’re in trouble when Babcock starts saying stuff like “I put Abby out there on the power play because I thought he might run into one,” that classic Raburn/Inge/Boesch justification.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 03/06/13 at 09:45 AM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

It’s really not that crazy of a question to ask, and the fact that Babcock and the press is getting so agitated about it suggests a crisis of faith on their end, not the fans.

Babcock is a man full of pride. So much so that he thinks he can never be wrong. There is an old saying….something about Pride and Falling.

His decision to keep Datsyuk with these two grinders is an insult to Pavel and the fans. It is not working and Babcock does not want to admit he is wrong. There are other players on the roster, that at the very least, should be skating or trying out with Datsyuk. It can’t hurt. Something’s gotta give.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 03/06/13 at 09:50 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

We’ll know we’re in trouble when Babcock starts saying stuff like “I put Abby out there on the power play because I thought he might run into one,” that classic Raburn/Inge/Boesch justification.
Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 03/06/13 at 09:45 AM ET

That just made me throw up in my mouth a little sick

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 03/06/13 at 09:51 AM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/06/13 at 09:38 AM ET

Thanks JJ.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 03/06/13 at 09:55 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Raburn/Inge/Boesch justification.

Don’t malign Leyland that way.  The situations are very different, and so are the men.  Leyland is loyal, and protective, to his guys because he has much less roster flexibility than Babcock and needs those guys to produce.  But Leyland also is a strong advocate of playing his young talent if he thinks they are ready.  He’s demonstrated that again and again.  Babcock, and the Wings in general, have grown too risk averse on youth and Babcock is not the kind of players coach Leyland is.

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/06/13 at 10:23 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The shitty thing is that there’s a way for Duff to make this point without being a dickhole about it. 8 Games is just too fuching far for Abdelkader to have zero goals on Datsyuk’s wing, but if you want to say that it’s Mikey being patient with it, then go ahead. I disagree with that, but I don’t think people who think that are dickholes.

But come the fuch on, Duffer. Detroit escaped in their own building with a 2-1 win over the 19th-best defense in the league because their goalie stood on his head. The Datsyuk line is one of two which held their heads above water.

But you don’t watch Pavel fuching Datsyuk hold his head above water and say “alles gut”.  Pavel Datsyuk walks on water, so if he’s just holding his head above it, the poor guy is as close to drowning as he’s going to get.

The mere idea that Detroit barely held on for a 2-1 victory over shitty Colorado and that means the braintrust is working is such flawed bullshit. The other wins in that six-game span Duffer wants to go on about? Great, we beat up on a terrible-ass Nashville squad and squeaked out against a struggling Sharks’ offense. Vancouver was a nice win… against a team at the end of a four-game road trip and playing their third time in four days.

Shit is not working right and while I’m happy to take the points for last night’s game, that’s an any-port-in-a-storm victory more than it’s confirmation that Mike Babcock is above reproach.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/06/13 at 10:43 AM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/06/13 at 10:43 AM ET

Homerun material.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 03/06/13 at 11:05 AM ET

socalwingnut's avatar

I for one am happy that they have been getting points in the standings, but they have been getting a TON of puck luck lately. Deflections off defensemen, boards, goalies, and errant sticks seem to be going their way more often than not lately. The defense has most certainly tightened up, but it seems like the offense sure has changed as well. Putting Datsyuk with Cleary is understandable, but that is with the caveat that the other winger can score.  Abdelkader has no business being any higher than the 3rd line and I am baffled as to why Babs is so stubbornly sticking with him. I am also wondering about Renney’s place in this drama. There must be some disagreement from the other coaches and I would think that Renney, with his NHL head coaching experience, would be able to get through.

Posted by socalwingnut on 03/06/13 at 11:08 AM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

But you don’t watch Pavel fuching Datsyuk hold his head above water and say “alles gut”.  Pavel Datsyuk walks on water, so if he’s just holding his head above it, the poor guy is as close to drowning as he’s going to get.

A-freaking-men.

8 games is more than enough sample.  Much better than 2 shifts, eh?

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 03/06/13 at 11:14 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

Given the players the Wings already have under contract for next season, I don’t see how you can assume that Nyquist is guaranteed a spot next year.

Posted by DetroitHockey on 03/06/13 at 09:44 AM ET

You’re putting words in my mouth. All I did was express that my choice, if I were to wake up as KH or MB in the offseason, would be to give Nyquist a top six spot going into camp. I’m not assuming anything, just saying it’s what I’d like to see happen.

And to be proactive, if you’re next question is, how would I make that spot for Nyquist, my answer is, there are only three forwards under contract next year as of this moment that are clear top six forwards (Pav, Z, and Franzen).

Don’t malign Leyland that way.  The situations are very different, and so are the men.  Leyland is loyal, and protective, to his guys because he has much less roster flexibility than Babcock and needs those guys to produce.  But Leyland also is a strong advocate of playing his young talent if he thinks they are ready.  He’s demonstrated that again and again.  Babcock, and the Wings in general, have grown too risk averse on youth and Babcock is not the kind of players coach Leyland is.

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/06/13 at 10:23 AM ET

I know this isn’t a baseball blog, but I can’t let this one go.

First of all, how does Leyland have less roster flexibility than Babcock?

On any given day, Leyland has to account for 8 starters at the positions, and 1 starter on the mound. He has a 25 man roster to work with, so his starters—generally at least 7 of which will play the entire game, take up far less than half of the slots he has to work with on his bench and in his bullpen.

Babcock has a smaller roster—23 guys. And due to the active nature of hockey vs. the passive nature of baseball, he doesn’t have the flexibility of leaning on only 12 or 13 of his players for most games. Rather, he has no choice but to maximize the usage of the players on his roster—and more specifically, in his lineup—because the physical demands of any given hockey game are more sustained and fatiguing than that of any given baseball game (starting pitchers and goalies excluded from the comparison for obvious reasons).

Leyland can more easily hide 3 or 4 of his worst bullpen guys, his backup catcher, and 2 or 3 of his other bench position players if they’re that bad. He also has the ability, due to the discrete nature of baseball, to more easily pick and choose his matchups. He can platoon two mediocre outfielders to magically create the production of one average MLB outfielder. He can make a change in who’s on the field or up to bat at almost any point in time in any game, he doesn’t have to change on the fly to get one line out there in the matchup he wants.

Long story short, Babcock needs his depth to produce, as well. They might not play every day, but when they do play, they are constantly active, so they need the bench to be active, good, and ready. When was the last time a team won a Cup, or even had a good regular season success, without at least three good lines and five solid D? I don’t want to minimize the fact that Leyland needs his bench players to be ready because of the length of the baseball season. That is absolutely true. But I think it’s pretty clear that in hockey, there is no more roster flexibility, and no less of a need for your depth players to be good and ready to step up in the event of injury, back-to-backs, etc.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 03/06/13 at 11:49 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Wings official site is saying that the Wings had the day off today, but God was practicing in full gear.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 03/06/13 at 11:58 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

So… if and when Helmer gets back, does this free up somebody for promotion to Pav’s line?  Eaves maybe?  Or is Pav going to have to wait for the excitement that is Filppula to return.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 03/06/13 at 12:40 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 03/06/13 at 12:40 PM ET

I think it’s safe to say that someone will be promoted to Pav’s line and then Abdelkader will push someone who is better than him out of the lineup.

Posted by Garth on 03/06/13 at 12:49 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

So the Wings are 4-2-2, 10/16 possible points, an average extended season long, you know all 2 months of it, that would put us into the playoff group.

And let’s throw out that one game that “screws with my theory”.

And let’s discount that the GA has dropped off the table compared to the seive defense we had, acknowledging that while Jimmy has played out f his gourd a couple of times we also held Chicago to1 goal in 65 minutes.

While I read criticisms of Leyland all summer long about his line ups, and sometimes join in, the only important fact is this, two consecutive Division championships.  I totaled this up this winter but forget exactly, but down the stretch the last 2 Septembers the Tigers are about +16 over the White Sox and +12 over the Indians.  Is it because the Tigers are NOT worn out, NOT burned out?  Whatever, Leyland has significantly outmanaged his peers.

It’s clear, at least between our own ears, that we know wayyyyyyyyy more than people who have been doing this as amateurs and professionals for several decades while we’ve raised families and perused box scores, because, dammit, it is box scores that tell the story.  We can look behind their beady little eyes and instantly impune their motivation.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 03/06/13 at 01:19 PM ET

Rumbear's avatar

Well olde Duff has got the 19 whipped into high dungeon here.  I sense that pulling Tater up for a few shifts was Uncle Mike flipping the bird, collectively.  Duff is just poking the fire.

Posted by Garth on 03/06/13 at 12:49 PM ET

What he said. Yannow it is coming.

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, with 3 fingers of rum & a cigar.. on 03/06/13 at 01:27 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

Abdelkader and Cleary are muckers and Babcock has turned Datsyuk into the same.  It’s obvious.  And we’re supposed to believe, like Duff allegedly does, that they’re “getting better.”

sorry, but this is nonsense.  I guess I’m the only one who noticed that line holding the puck in the Colorado zone their ENTIRE SHIFT.  getting multiple scoring opportunities from Cleary and Abdelkader grinding the puck down low and then getting it to a wide open Datsyuk.

they need to score more.  I concede that.  but give it some time as the way they control the puck is well beyond any other line on the team.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 03/06/13 at 01:27 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

There is not a single person on this planet who is employed for pay that is not second guessed by somebody. The more high profile the gig, the more second guessing that comes with the territory. I’m self emloyed and I get second guessed.

I agree that Hockey isn’t all stats and box scores, but that doesn’t mean that stats and box scores are irrelevant.

Statistically speaking, Pavs’ point production has fallen off dramatically since his demotion to being sandwhiched between Wasteful and Stupid. Every single NHL fan, coach, gm, and player will agree that Pavs is one of the five best players in the NHL. Demotion to a checking line is no way to treat one of the five best players in the world. Particularly when said player is nearing the end of his contract and is rumored to be considering leaving the NHL. Ergo, Babs, at least when it comes to playing Pavs with W&S, is an idiot. I never liked Babs and thought he was a bad hire based on what I saw of him in Anaheim. Dude is STUBBORN, and not in a good way.

If Scotty had experimented and put a player of Pavs’ caliber between W&S, he certainly would have pulled the plug on the experiment after a few shifts or maybe a game. Scotty would never have kept it going 8 games. Babs is just stubborn to the point of absurdity.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 03/06/13 at 01:41 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

If Scotty had experimented and put a player of Pavs’ caliber between W&S, he certainly would have pulled the plug on the experiment after a few shifts or maybe a game. Scotty would never have kept it going 8 games. Babs is just stubborn to the point of absurdity.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from Warm and sunny SoCal on 03/06/13 at 01:41 PM ET

You are right Captain, and, he even wrote a book about it. “Leave No Doubt”, Babcock would rather go down in flames than have to admit his way is not the only way.

When I watch Datsyuk play lately, it’s as if he has no joy in what he is doing. Maybe that’s the hardest thing to take in regards to this absurd experiment.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 03/06/13 at 02:08 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

sorry, but this is nonsense.  I guess I’m the only one who noticed that line holding the puck in the Colorado zone their ENTIRE SHIFT.  getting multiple scoring opportunities from Cleary and Abdelkader grinding the puck down low and then getting it to a wide open Datsyuk.

Which shift?  I think they had 18 together?

Do you mean the first shift where Colorado got the first attempt of the game off from 13 feet out and that line answered with a 40-foot snapshot 20 seconds later?

By what metric do you say the way they control the puck is beyond any other line on the team? The widely accepted corsi metric doesn’t agree with you there.  If the amount of attempts you put on net compared to your opposition is a good metric for “the way you control the puck” (and it is), then Datsyuk’s line with Abdelkader and Cleary were the very worst on the entire team for their attempt on net rates.

Zetterberg played a minute less than Datsyuk at even strength and managed to watch his team control the puck toward the Colorado net two more times while Colorado controlled it toward Jimmy Howard two fewer times.

And let’s face it, this is exactly what we’re talking about. This isn’t Datsyuk’s doing. If Pavel had Brunner and Franzen, we’d be talking about how unfair it is that Z has to get straddled with the Corpse of Danny Cleary and Justin Anchorkader.

Yeah, they’re getting chances because you’re always going to get chances when you’ve got Pavel Datsyuk out there. I think what many of us are saying is that the number and quality of not only the chances but also of the chances actually being finished might possibly rise if one of those two wingers were replaced with a different person.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/06/13 at 02:24 PM ET

Avatar

but give it some time as the way they control the puck is well beyond any other line on the team.

How much time is “some time”?

Abdelkader hasn’t had a goal since being on the line, and he’s on pace for TWO points this year.  Emmerton is the only other forward on the team who hasn’t scored points in that time, and six of those players are on the third or fourth lines, NOT playing with Datsyuk and NOT playing as many minutes as Abdelkader.

This is the second line, they should be scoring, not “grinding the puck down low”.

And Pavel’s got, I believe, 3 even strength points since being put on that line.  How is that acceptable to anyone?

When I watch Datsyuk play lately, it’s as if he has no joy in what he is doing.

How could he have any joy as he makes beautiful plays and puts the puck right on the stick of Abdelkader only for Abdelkader to completely *#$%@& up golden opportunity after golden opportunity?

Posted by Garth on 03/06/13 at 02:33 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

Yeah, they’re getting chances because you’re always going to get chances when you’ve got Pavel Datsyuk out there.

thank you for admitting the line is getting chances.  all three of them are getting chances.  were Cleary and Abdelkader getting chances before they had Pavel on their line?  sometimes using a great player to make two other players better (and get them chances) IS a good thing.

it also spreads out the other team’s defense, putting Pavel more often against non-top-pair defenders…and opening up room for the other lines to get chances too.

the only real problem I see at this point is the same problem the entire Wings team seems to have been having for a few years now - great chances with no goals.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 03/06/13 at 02:49 PM ET

Avatar

thank you for admitting the line is getting chances.

No.  The line isn’t getting chances.  Datsyuk is creating chances.  Cleary has converted a few and Abdelkader is apparently getting paid by the 14 other Western Conference teams to purposely miss on the can’t-miss chances.

the only real problem I see at this point is the same problem the entire Wings team seems to have been having for a few years now - great chances with no goals.

Except that this year there are clearly superior options to the waste of space that’s playing with Datsyuk and Cleary.

Posted by Garth on 03/06/13 at 03:27 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

so there weren’t superior line combination options the last few years where they’ve had problems finishing as a team?  please.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 03/06/13 at 03:46 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

No.  The line isn’t getting chances.  Datsyuk is creating chances.

oh, I see.  so his linemates have nothing to do with it, then…so why does it matter who he’s paired with?

think, man.

I guess there is no value to grinding the puck down low like Cleary and Abby do, giving Datsyuk time and space to work his magic.

make sure you tell that to Draper and Maltby next time you see them.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 03/06/13 at 03:48 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

thank you for admitting the line is getting chances.

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess you either didn’t read or didn’t bother with the part that says they’re getting fewer chances than every other line the Red Wings iced against Colorado.

were Cleary and Abdelkader getting chances before they had Pavel on their line?

Insomuch as there isn’t a player in the league who has been in 20 games and hasn’t gotten chances.

sometimes using a great player to make two other players better (and get them chances) IS a good thing.

You’re right. It would be great if they used Pavel Datsyuk to make Dan Cleary and Tomas Tatar better!

it also spreads out the other team’s defense, putting Pavel more often against non-top-pair defenders…and opening up room for the other lines to get chances too.

Scotty Bowman used to have a line that did that too. Their whole purpose was to just shut down the opposition’s scorers so other players could get more-favorable matchups.  I believe he called it “The Grind Line”, but my memory is a bit hazy on that.

Yes, thanks to Pavel Datsyuk for grinding it out against tough competition so other lines could have it so good. That’s certainly exactly what I would want the league’s most-creative player doing.

so there weren’t superior line combination options the last few years where they’ve had problems finishing as a team?  please.

Do you have a lick of evidence to support that the Red Wings’ problem has essentially been “bad luck” for the last few years?  Their team shooting % has just about hovered at average for the last five years except for 09-10 when they were the 2nd-best in the whole league at getting shots through.  Did you just set your expectations based on that and now it seems the Wings are hounded by a problem that’s the bane of 29 other teams as well?

I mean… is your point here that the Red Wings should just wait and eventually those years worth of bad luck will all sort itself out and Justin Abdelkader will suddenly get hot?  Come on. At some point, the guy’s career shooting % of 4.8 is just going to be who he is as a player.

oh, I see.  so his linemates have nothing to do with it, then…so why does it matter who he’s paired with?

Because better linemates finish more chances.

I guess there is no value to grinding the puck down low like Cleary and Abby do, giving Datsyuk time and space to work his magic.

There’s always value in grinders… I just don’t want Datsyuk playing as a grinder.

Keep the faith, man.  I’ll keep the evidence.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/06/13 at 04:27 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

yeah, Pavel is grinding it out.

that’s why he had so many brilliant chances.

do you think a line with Draper, Maltby, and Fedorov would have been effective?

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 03/06/13 at 04:36 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

Datsyuk is not playing AS a grinder, he is playing WITH grinders.

doesn’t matter, it’s all moot once we get some people back from injury and Babbles has more options.  feel free to support the “all your eggs in one basket” line setup, but I don’t.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 03/06/13 at 04:37 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

that’s why he had so many brilliant chances.

Fewer by total and rate than Zetterberg.

Fewer by rate (same by total) than Andersson.

Fewer by rate than Emmerton.

Either Pavel Datsyuk is the worst center the Red Wings used against Colorado or there’s SOMETHING ELSE DRAGGING DOWN HIS RATE OF HIGH-QUALITY SCORING CHANCES.

do you think a line with Draper, Maltby, and Fedorov would have been effective?

Do you think a line with Draper, Shanahan, and Fedorov would have been MORE effective?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/06/13 at 04:44 PM ET

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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