Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Looking For Gospel?  I Got Your Gospel

Ready. Set. Vomit.  Because here we go.  Let it fly and watch it stick. Swirl it, spew it, fling it, aim it. 

I’ve already written the Live Blog. It’s sitting there until 5pm EST.  I’m going to give you three hours to attack it before the puck drops in Little Gary’s experimental hockey city. The city that Dwayne Klessel claims he saved.  The city where Terry Crisp is actually considered smart.  At 8pm, 20 thousand people in the state of Tennessee will care about hockey…the ones standing and blowing things inside that arena. The rest of the state couldn’t care less.

They’re a feel-good story for 28 other cities, besides theirs. Every hockey “fan” in North America other than you, me, our kick-ass state and about 5 million transplants, wants the Wings to lose this series almost as much as they want their team to win their own. 

And that’s because Dynasties are despised. Not the idea of them, but the teams themselves.

When St. Louis loses their series to San Jose, those *#$%@& bitter peckerwoods will literally feel better about themselves with the help of a Pall Mall and a Wing loss.  If the Wings lose to Bubba and the Blues lose, they’ll convince themselves the postseason was a success. Don’t stop there.  Every other city feels the same way because they all wish they had what we’ve got.  And that’s fact.

I don’t like this matchup. I haven’t from the start. I stand by my statement made a day before the regular season finale: the Wings would decimate this team if it were a second round matchup.  Simply because the very existence of that series would have meant the Wings got their game together in Round 1.

We don’t know if their game’s together. We have no idea and that’s a strange feeling for all of us. So many ifs…and if answered the right way, this series goes the way baby Jesus intended.

Ifs surround scoring, special teams, goaltending, size, toughness, injuries to Helm.  Ifs are all we get when we talk about Franzen. Holy shit, that’s a big if.  If we can beat Rinne. If Zetterberg stays hot. If the third and fourth lines regain their touch.  If they can win on the road. 

Here’s the thing: every one of those ifs can be answered positively. They had been when they were healthy, when they were owning the Joe, when every “expert” knew no other team in hockey could compete over 7 games.  And that was just two months ago.

I’ll give you a taste of tonite’s LB:  “If the Wings play the Wing way the Wings win and that’s law.”

Try and deny that. 

The Nashville Predators have always had to look up to the Detroit Red Wings. Back when the Preds joined the NHL, the Wings were coming off two consecutive Stanley Cup championships, and have added two more since then. Every year, they’ve finished ahead of the Predators in the standings, and knocked them out of the playoffs in 2004 and 2008. The Red Wings have, for 20 years now, gone into every season with championship aspirations, while the Preds have slowly lifted themselves up by their bootstraps, playing the “Little Engine That Could” role to defy convention and achieve results above and beyond their relatively meager resources.

That’s Dirk Hoag.  He’s the high-handed, mature blogger over at On The Forecheck. It’s from his series preview.  Dirk used to be a Wing fan. He’s from Michigan. Then he moved to Nashville and decided the Wings weren’t for him anymore.  Ha. We love guys like that. Now he hates the Wings (and us here at A2Y…check out the sidebar) as much as he loves his little Predators. 

We know, Dirk. We know this is the year Nashville makes the bad man stop. Well, you’d better.  You’d better, Bubba. Because twenty years of being a little bitch is a tough rut to climb out of. You don’t get too many chances.

If they get it together. If the switch gets thrown. If they’re as hungry as Uncle Mike says they are, then Nashville’s done just like they’ve been for years.  If the Wings play the way they can, Bubba’s back to swapping tongues with whichever cousin’s closest.  If the Wings don’t play well, they’re done too.  That’s just the way it is.

Healthy is what they are. Healthy with a good coach and a troublesome power play.  Healthy with a mental block about playing on the road. But healthy is the key. 

Helm back tonite? I say yes. If he’s been “flying”, he’s back.  And that’s good. 

You want a prediction? Sure you do. As if it matters.  I got a prediction for you: Wings in 5.  The switch gets turned on.  All it takes is one road win and then momentum takes over.

Suck on that Bubba. Suck on it Dirk. Suck on it ESPN and all the soothsayers.  19 people want this team to win and everyone else can suck it and that’s nothing short of a goddamn decree.

Do it Wings.  16 to 12.

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Comments

Ducksworth's avatar

LGRW!

Posted by Ducksworth from Brownstown, MI on 04/11/12 at 02:40 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

16 to 12.  16 to 12.  LGRW!

By the way, what the hell happened to the side bar anyway?

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/11/12 at 02:53 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

I’ll give you a taste of tonite’s LB:  “If the Wings play the Wing way the Wings win and that’s law.”
Try and deny that.

OK, here goes

The Wings Way, circa 2010-2012

* Don’t show up on time.

* Give up two goals early.

* Give up a shorthanded goal.

*Start to play the Wings Way, circa 1997-2008, 6 and half minutes into the third period.

* Tell reporters after the game that it was a solid effort, but that they have to cut down on the mistakes and work on their special teams.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 04/11/12 at 02:53 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Sorry, to be so Eeyore. I’ve never felt this bad heading into the Playoffs. Even before the injuries, the home winning streak was masking so many issues. It’s hard to be optomistic about this team.

L.G.R.W. BEAT BUBBA!

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 04/11/12 at 02:58 PM ET

Rumbear's avatar

Wings in 6.

I don’t like guys named Dirk. What sidebar?  Is that the kids room off the back of the Hasek?

Dirka, Dirka…...

LGRW!!!!! (5)

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, hanging with Dan Cleary.... on 04/11/12 at 03:00 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

16 to 12 in ‘12 ...

L.G.R.W.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 04/11/12 at 03:03 PM ET

dougie's avatar

I got a prediction for you: Wings in 5.

Oh no you dint.

My prediction is that I will be hammered by 6PM.

Posted by dougie on 04/11/12 at 03:09 PM ET

Avatar

The Chief is on, the playoffs are here.

(and the captcha? “43greater”)

Posted by Herm from the office on 04/11/12 at 03:12 PM ET

Avatar

Wings in 5???

Dude, I shall worship you and build a monument to your name….I think you are crazy, but hey, maybe you see something I don’t…I hope you are right…I really and truly hope you are 100% right…..I will be the first one to write back apologizing for my lack of faith….let us hope it’s just me doubting


Go WINGS

Posted by Nat from MTL on 04/11/12 at 03:15 PM ET

MarkK's avatar

(and the captcha? “43greater”)

Sometimes I wonder if Paul writes these things, individualizing them just for us.

LGRW. 16 t 12.

All aboard.

Posted by MarkK from Maryland on 04/11/12 at 03:30 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Friggin’ “Ifs” and the accompanying angst.  I just want that steely resolve The Captain exhibited every single game in the playoffs that he wants it more than the next guy.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 04/11/12 at 03:37 PM ET

EpeeBill's avatar

L.G.R.W.

It’s time to remind the NHL who runs this Bartertown.

Posted by EpeeBill on 04/11/12 at 03:51 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Chief is geared up for primo RSV.

Welcome aboard.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 04/11/12 at 03:56 PM ET

red_wings_49's avatar

LGRW!!!!

Posted by red_wings_49 from Mad Heights, MI on 04/11/12 at 04:00 PM ET

Yzersyuk's avatar

I am ready to roll and so i know the wings are too. Lets move down the checklist

1. Complete annual pre-playoff purge of sleep by staying up for twenty-four hours before the first Wings playoff game: CHECK
Sleep is for the weak

2. Choose and wear annual playoff jersey for at least 8 hours before the game starts: CHECK
Its the Lizard King this year.

3. Find and equip traditional lucky socks: CHECK
The socks NEVER come off during a game!

4. Make fun of Patrick Roy inside my head for at least a few minutes: CHECK
No explanation needed.

5. Call my mother to make sure she is wearing her Darren McCarty jersey: NO CHECK
I’ll get to it mom, jesus.

6. Trim beard for last time: CHECK

7. Break beer bottles while banging my head against a wall and listening to Chelsea Dager by The Fratellis: CHECK
Its a song you hate, trust me.

8. Ensure supply of alcohol: CHECK
This one’s important.

9. Make sure all needed preparations are in place for variable mid-game and after game rituals: CHECK


LETS GO RED WINGS

Posted by Yzersyuk on 04/11/12 at 04:00 PM ET

Yzersyuk's avatar

Goddamnit it just started to rain here which changes half of that list. Oh well its for the greater good of red wings victory.

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

Primis's avatar

No rituals here.

Unless you count spending the day wondering if the Wings are going to bother showing up at all as “ritual”.  While everyone else is excited, I’m dreading and expecting the worst.

Eeyoring?  Yes.  Also realistic.  This DET team has a lot to prove to us and unfortunately wearing the sweater only means so much, you have to put the effort into it as well to be and play like a champion.  We can root for the sweater and the logo, but the logo can’t win the games.

I want to see that effort.

Posted by Primis on 04/11/12 at 04:40 PM ET

Avatar

19 people want this team to win and everyone else can suck it and that’s nothing short of a goddamn decree.

Tears to the eyes, Chief, tears to the eyes

Posted by Red Winger from work on 04/11/12 at 04:54 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Suck on that Bubba. Suck on it Dirk. Suck on it ESPN and all the soothsayers.  19 people want this team to win and everyone else can suck it and that’s nothing short of a goddamn decree.

Do it Wings.  16 to 12.

Atta boy Master Chief. Keep the 19 in good spirits all day log.

You can’t spell Red Wings without Win. Bitches.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 04/11/12 at 06:12 PM ET

slimelord's avatar

My body is ready. LGRW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by slimelord on 04/11/12 at 06:32 PM ET

edillac's avatar

I believe,
wow, havent said that in years smile

Posted by edillac from isolation on 04/11/12 at 06:33 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

Dirk used to be a Wing fan. He’s from Michigan. Then he moved to Nashville and decided the Wings weren’t for him anymore.  Ha. We love guys like that. Now he hates the Wings (and us here at A2Y…check out the sidebar) as much as he loves his little Predators.

This paragraph is precisely why I couldn’t be a Nashville fan and why I call this Hockey Hell. I remember back before the Predators even existed when they had all the “Name the Team” and “Season Ticket Drive” parties at the arena here. There was 90% Red Wings fans at these events. My dad actually got us a pair of full-season season tickets for the first two seasons the Predators were in existence. The first few Detroit/Nashville games? 75/25 Wings fans. Then, slowly but surely, I started to hear the term “Pred Wing”. This is a fan that either cheered for the Wings and then decided to change to cheering for Nashville or roots for Detroit except for when they play Nashville. To that, I called “bullshit”. There is no such thing as a Pred Wing. If you changed alliances just because of the city you live in, you were NEVER a Wings fan. With all the technology today, there’s no reason to change sports alliances. If it weren’t for the Wings fans in this area, there would be no team here and all these “fans” know it, but won’t admit it. You can tell they’re trying to be just like Detroit by ripping off certain things from the Wings. Throwing catfish?  Calling Nashville “Smashville” or “Hockeytonk” (UGH!)? All the chants from Section 303 I used to hear at Yost as a kid watching the Wolverines kick CCHA ass. This city has such an inferiority complex when it comes to its hockey team that it’s sad. They hate us, but want to be us so bad.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 04/11/12 at 07:07 PM ET

SYF's avatar

This city has such an inferiority complex when it comes to its hockey team that it’s sad. They hate us, but want to be us so bad.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from COLUMBIA, TENNESSEE on 04/11/12 at 05:07 PM ET

Awesome, brother.  Keepin’ the faith.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 04/11/12 at 07:14 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

Awesome, brother.  Keepin’ the faith.

As die-hard as I’ve been as a Wings fan my entire life, the longer I live in this shitburgh, the MORE die-hard I become.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 04/11/12 at 07:19 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