Abel to Yzerman
by IwoCPO on 04/11/12 at 02:34 PM ET
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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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: firstname.lastname@example.org