Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Losses Make Me Ramble

Yesterday afternoon I said "sanity prevailed" when Mike Babcock announced Dominik Hasek as his starter. "Osgood's not ready!", I bellowed here yesterday morning. "You must start Hasek in this pivotal Central Division matchup!" "For all that's holy in this magical holiday season...ensure Osgood's rash is healed before you throw him to the wolves of Nationwide." And sanity did prevail. Just before Hasek gave up 3 on nine shots.

Crap.  Sarah commented below that when Hasek’s in net, it’s insanity that prevails.  She’s right.  He’s touched, imbalanced, loopy…insane.  And we accept it.  He leads the league in PIM (14) and we have no problem with that.  With Hasek, it’s taking the occasional bad with the typically very good.  It’s accepting the shattered stick, the tacked-on two minutes, the forays outside the trapezoid, the juggling acts with the puck, the rare gaping 5-hole.  We accept all of that because of the possibility of brilliance in May and June.

And so we shake our heads at first periods like last night.  We don’t wring our hands and worry because we look at the three goals (two softies and a defensive lapse by the league’s, arguably, best defensive forward in Kris Draper) and know those types are rare this year.

A few notes of interest.

*  Sergei Fedorov looked energized, didn’t he?  Just as I do every time we face him, I’ll say this:  I miss him in a Wing uniform. He should have won the Conn Smythe in ‘97.  He’s still a top-tier player and I’d take him back on the Wings in a heartbeat.

*  Rick Nash kills us.  Kills us.  10 goals and 16 points in 18 career games against the Wings.

*  Mikael Samuelsson was scratched last night.  The same Samuelsson who had been on one of his patented hot streaks. Why? A sore groin.  So that’s why Matt Ellis was recalled?  He played 4:55 last night, which probably would have been considerably more had the Wings not fallen so far behind so early.  Samuelsson is listed as “day to day”, so if he returns Wednesday I guess we’ve seen the last of Ellis for a good while. Too bad. 

Hear anything about latest groin problem prior to the game, from anyone?  No. Who’s fault is that?  Tough one.  My first instinct, as you know, is to blame the deep diggers.  But, if the team’s not saying anything…well, I expect a lot from the DD’s, but not ESP.  Khan(!) throws a jab at Mike Babcock in his blog.

Coach Mike Babcock apparently felt this wasn’t worth mentioning after the morning skate, but he did go on and on about how the NHL needs to be promoted better.

That little bit of bile from Khan(!)?  Not the first time.  Read his weblog from yesterday afternoon, then the entry from Saturday. 

Dec. 16th

The Wings have activated goaltender Chris Osgood and coach Mike Babcock said after Saturday’s 2-1 victory in New Jersey that there’s a good chance Osgood will start Monday in Columbus.

A little harmless paraphrasing on Khan(!)‘s part.  Kulfan did the same thing, so did JV DD Sipple.

Dec. 18th

Dominik Hasek will start in goal tonight against Columbus, as coach Mike Babcock had a change of heart after saying two days ago that there’s a good chance Chris Osgood will start.

Backtracking?  Sure.  Babcock said enough Saturday to lead the DD’s to believe strongly enough that he intended to start Osgood last night, then he reversed himself and left the writers to their own devices to explain their interpretation of his comments.

First time our boy Ansar’s taken to the weblog to throw a sarcastic barb at the coach?  Nope.

Dec. 7th

Defenseman Derek Meech will make his NHL debut tonight paired with Nicklas Lidstrom. At least that’s what coach Mike Babcock said after the morning skate. Of course, Babcock also said last Friday that Tomas Kopecky would play on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and get more ice time in the game at Minnesota. And that lasted all of one shift.

Expect that relationship to sour even more if Babcock continues to needlessly antagonize the DD’s through misinformation or just a lack of it.  Kulfan, St. James, Sipple?  Oh, they’ll blissfully ignore it and take whatever the Wings give them in terms of info.  But Khan(!)? He’s got a bit of a temper.  We like that.  You can keep your captaincy for now Ansar.

*  So I watched an old episode of The West Wing last night and found this little nugget of info to be entertaining.  At the end of the Civil War, Connecticut stole an original version of the Declaration of Independence from North Carolina.  I guess NC finally returned the favor more than a hundred years later, eh?

*  What’s worse than losing in Columbus just weeks after Michigan lost in that same sewer of a city?  Losing to the Blue Jackets only to have one of your closest friends call you and harangue you after each BJ goal.  Wouldn’t be so bad if he wasn’t a frigging turncoat traitor who used to be a live-and-die-with-the-Wings kind of guy…until he moved to Columbus.  Rat bastard. 

*  Finally, I expect each of you to hit the theaters tomorrow and see “Rocky Balboa.”  As you all know, Rocky is an A2Y staple.  Perhaps tomorrow, in honor of this immediate classic’s debut in theaters, we’ll have ourselves a Rocky reference-fest.


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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