Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Nobody Likes A Delicate Genius

As a Red Wings fan there is a lot to be happy about.  There is also a lot to get pissed off about.

The happiness comes from the Red Wings, the best Organ-I-zation in sports, and their fans.  The two greatest forces in hockey.  The anger comes from everything outside of that.

As the first post since the Wings were eliminated, you might expect some sad reflection and wondering on what could have been.  Maybe on any blog other than A2Y that would happen.  Over here, cocky arrogance is never replaced with quiet melancholy.  It’s not in our DNA to get all emo and pout.  Real Red Wings fans remain optimistic.

There will be those who cast doubts on the future of the team.  The lips on their mouths flapping in the wind like the wizard sleeves they are to anyone who will listen.  You can almost hear the Delicate Genius’ wizard sleeves slapping together when he writes this:

In Hockeytown, when the team wins, it feels like destiny, and when it loses, destiny took a breather, sure to be back next year, ready for a kiss, right?
Well, at the risk of having my head taken off, don’t be so sure.

Sure, Mitch.  We’ll listen to what you have to say.  You’ve been so good to Red Wings fans writing the semi-annual article in between feeling up old ladies you meet on your book tour.  Of course, this blog was created as an opposing force to the moronic drivel Red Wings writers like the Delicate Genius offer us.  So why stop now?

 

There is a reason real Red Wings fans hate the Delicate Genius.  He is the definition of a bandwagon journalist.  A hack who draws a salary to comment on something he knows nothing about, and cares even less for.

But ignorance doesn’t stop the Delicate Genius.  Tell us, Mitch, why the sudden negativity?

I had a unique chance to watch this second round from afar—for the first time in years—and minus the coating of our hometown optimism, I have to say this:
They were beaten.
And it could easily happen again.

Give me a fauxing break, Mitchell, I can read between the

lines

sentences you wrote.  You watched this second round from afar?  Bullshit.  You were too busy on tour selling the saccharine drivel you pass off for books to mindless Oprah housewife-zombies to watch any playoff hockey this season.  As we know, Versus is carried in very few US cities, and exactly none of the retirement centres and schools on your book tour.

Real Red Wings fans deserve so much more than you.  We deserve more than the Deep Diggers too.  We deserve journalists who understand how well this team really did this season.  Despite the early playoff exit, Wings fans should be proud.

Looking back to January, the playoffs seemed like a remote possibility.  We kept the faith and it was rewarded.  Not only did we make the playoffs, but we ended up in 5th position when many other teams would have gone fetal after being molested by Jobu all season.  We overcame incredible odds but ultimately lost to the 2nd place team in the NHL during the regular season, San Jose.  There is no shame in that.  It’s not like we lost at home to the 19th place team in game 7 to end our chances of another Stanley Cup.  That would be pathetic.

The future is bright in Hockeytown.  Every player on the team buys into our system.  Every player is committed to winning.  Every season.  We have the best management, scouting, and cap management in the NHL.  In Tick-Tock we trust.

Not the Delicate Genius, however.  More drivel from his wizard sleeve:

And remember, the Wings’ recent success has coincided with years of the Sharks’ underachieving. If San Jose finally has figured it out—along with coming teams like Chicago and defending champion Pittsburgh—that’s not good for Detroit’s chances.

STFU, Mitch, you have no idea what you are talking about.  The Western Conference should be renamed after Mike Ilitch.  After all, it was his leadership at the helm of the Red Wings which led to our style of management and play.  No other team has shaped their competitors like the Red Wings have.  Ever.

The reason the Western Conference dominated the Eastern Conference for the past decade is because of the Red Wings.  The Wings forced the entire conference to learn how to play defence in order to have a shot at beating us.  There is a reason they say to get the Cup you have to go through Detroit.

While other teams may emulate us, they are always a little behind.  The Wings style continues to evolve and adapt to the changing game.  We will be a front-runner again next season as we chase Cup #12.  We will be a front-runner the season after that.  And after that.

So spare the fair-weather journalism for those who don’t understand hockey.  Hockeytown is too smart not to believe that the legend of the Red Wings Dynasty will continue to be written.  Never bet against the Red Wings.  Real Wings fans know better than that, and so should you, Mitch.  We don’t deserve, or care for, bandwagon journalism.  Save it for a more appropriate audience.  Like Pens fans.

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Comments

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SYF's avatar

I think RWBill should be hired onto Tick Tock’s statistical analyses team.  That’s amazing work and research.  Imagine that:  an A2Y insider in the greatest organ-I-zation in the world.

The Freep seriously needs new writers.  Period.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 05/13/10 at 04:06 PM ET

Twig in Houston's avatar

I think RWBill should be hired onto Tick Tock’s statistical analyses team.  That’s amazing work and research.  Imagine that:  an A2Y insider in the greatest organ-I-zation in the world.

what is RWBill is tick tock…

Posted by Twig in Houston from Houston, TX on 05/13/10 at 04:10 PM ET

SYF's avatar

what is RWBill is tick tock…

Posted by Twig in Houston on 05/13/10 at 02:10 PM ET

OMG…

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 05/13/10 at 04:13 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Bill Simmons twitter:

@sportsguy33 Hey @dameshek - you might lose this Penguins game, but at least you still have Ben Roethlisberger.

@sportsguy33 The Game 7 loss infuriated Lemeiux - he just took the bunk bed out of Crosby’s room and grounded him from texting for 2 weeks.

Posted by RWBill from The bar on The Hasek.


Bill, figure out a way to include a formula to those charts that incorporates things like Giveaways/TOI ratio and you’ll get a far better picture of “value”.

Posted by Primis on 05/13/10 at 04:32 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Yeah, but what about their Corsi?

*ducks flying tomatoes*

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/13/10 at 04:54 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

I’d just like to say that Rumbear’s new avatar asolutely ROCKS the flooking heezy.  Gaze upon his works, ye mighty, and despair.

That is all.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 05/13/10 at 04:55 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

As much as I love all the info, RWBill, you need to stop giving it away for free. You could be the Billy Beane of hockey. If you start doing all of this analysis on Major Junior and the Swedish Elitserien, then some NHL owner that hates the cap is going to pay you a lot of money.

I could be Michael Lewis and write a book about it, call it “Moneypuck, adapting to life in Lil’ Gary’s communist NHL.” If 10% of all hockey fans in the US buy one, I might sell a few hundred.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 05/13/10 at 04:57 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

And some good ideas here, but you guys may want to duck as Osrt hasn’t weighed in yet, and his awesomeness of late might take your heads off.

Time to get my Sixth Stage of Mourning on.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 05/13/10 at 04:58 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

As much as I love all the info, RWBill, you need to stop giving it away for free.

Yeah, think of it, Bill—you could be like Eklund, except not a brazenly lying sack of crap with the morals of a weasel on speed.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 05/13/10 at 05:00 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

And some good ideas here, but you guys may want to duck as Osrt hasn’t weighed in yet, and his awesomeness of late might take your heads off.

All set on this end…

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 05/13/10 at 05:08 PM ET

VooX's avatar

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 05/13/10 at 02:55 PM ET

Much like my own avatar and a couple of others here, it comes from Shoalzie on HFBoards who made them for last year’s playoff run.  The man does good work.

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 05/13/10 at 05:10 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Much like my own avatar and a couple of others here, it comes from Shoalzie on HFBoards who made them for last year’s playoff run.  The man does good work.
Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 05/13/10 at 03:10 PM

We need to induce shoalzie into joining the 19.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 05/13/10 at 05:21 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

Much like my own avatar and a couple of others here, it comes from Shoalzie on HFBoards who made them for last year’s playoff run.

Figured, and he does damn good work.  But if he’s not going to hang with us, I can’t name-check him.  Besides, I’m pretty sure if used the line “I am Shoalzie, king of kings,” Shelley would roll over in his grave (and I’m not talking about Jody Shelley).

Cap’n D, you don’t by any chance have something stronger than a bunk bed to hide in?  A root cellar, maybe?  Just remember to take the laptop with you.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 05/13/10 at 05:26 PM ET

pgoody's avatar

Montreal fans… doing the 19 proud…

Posted by pgoody on 05/13/10 at 05:27 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Cap’n D, you don’t by any chance have something stronger than a bunk bed to hide in?  A root cellar, maybe?  Just remember to take the laptop with you.
Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 05/13/10 at 03:26 PM

Do you think this will do?

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 05/13/10 at 05:34 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

Stevie says thanks but no thanks.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 05/13/10 at 06:49 PM ET

Gumby's avatar

I’m amazed how Mitch can gain so much insight from watching the game on T.V.  I can count on one hand how many games he’s been spotted at (and that would be after two fingers and a thumb were amputated)......but he can get a phone interview.

Posted by Gumby from the city with more ruins than Rome on 05/13/10 at 07:22 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Dennis is that Pointe du Hoc?

Looks like it, from playing Call of Duty 2 smile

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 05/13/10 at 07:24 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Dennis is that Pointe du Hoc?
Looks like it, from playing Call of Duty 2
Posted by RWBill from The bar on The Hasek

Indeed it is, according to the page I “borrowed” it from.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 05/13/10 at 07:26 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

RWBill, your points per game vs. salary chart brings Kenny’s skill as a GM into specific relief. The upper left quad of that chart should hold over-paid, under-achieving players, but it is noticably empty.
Imagine any of Sather’s Ranger teams over the past ten years. That quad would be full.
Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from Warm and sunny SoCal on 05/13/10 at 01:15 PM ET

That’s an excellent observation that had gone over my head, as many things do.

Malkin and Rosby would be upper left quadrant if one charted their Montreal series.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 05/13/10 at 07:29 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 05/13/10 at 04:49 PM ET

The Tampa Tribune reported yesterday that current TSN analyst Pierre McGuire is among the other contenders up for the job.

 

AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 05/13/10 at 07:32 PM ET

monkey's avatar

Besides, I’m pretty sure if used the line “I am Shoalzie, king of kings,” Shelley would roll over in his grave (and I’m not talking about Jody Shelley).

I am Bertuzzi, King of Kings
Look upon my penalty minutes, ye mighty, and despair

*commence rolling*

Posted by monkey from Finland on 05/13/10 at 07:45 PM ET

monkey's avatar

Actually I believe it should be “My name is” rather than “I am”.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 05/13/10 at 07:46 PM ET

monkey's avatar

Montreal fans… doing the 19 proud…

Once again, we get to laugh at our enemies even in defeat.  Only rank amateurs celebrate thusly after a second round victory.

Then again, hockey riots are a tradition in Montreal.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 05/13/10 at 07:48 PM ET

FranzensMouthguard's avatar

I’m on a boat to put in bay right now for my bachelor party, 5 beers in, love you bitches!

Posted by FranzensMouthguard from Chicago, IL on 05/13/10 at 07:50 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

I’m on a boat to put in bay right now for my bachelor party, 5 beers in, love you bitches!
Posted by FranzensMouthguard from Chicago, IL on 05/13/10 at 05:50 PM

Have fun and no Natalie Wood impressions.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 05/13/10 at 08:04 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

The ice is gone but Thank You! HockeyTown from the team.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 05/13/10 at 08:34 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 05/13/10 at 04:49 PM ET

Please-oh-please give that job to the DC.
After them hiring the Mullet for a 20 game stint, that would be perfect.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 05/13/10 at 09:07 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

The Tampa Tribune reported yesterday that current TSN analyst Pierre McGuire is among the other contenders up for the job.

*praying*

oh dear lord, I don’t ask for much.  I asked for a Cup this year, but you didn’t give us that.  please, please, I beg of you…make sure Tampa selects Pierre McGuire.  it is not possible to BUY that kind of entertainment.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/13/10 at 09:09 PM ET

Twig in Houston's avatar

i’m pretty ignorant when it comes to hockey operations. does the GM hire the coach too? the DC could hire the entire VS crew! then we would really have comedy gold on our hands.

Posted by Twig in Houston from Houston, TX on 05/13/10 at 09:19 PM ET

WingsFanInBeanLand's avatar

With DC running things in TB, the team would be renamed the Tampa Bay Crosbys, everyone would wear #87, and they would be required to wear powered paragliding fans so their breakaways can be “wind aided”.

Please TB. Make it happen.

Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from where free agents no longer dare. on 05/13/10 at 09:47 PM ET

stayouttamalibu's avatar

So if anyone wants a good read, the eulogy for the Pens at Puck Daddy is pretty entertaining.  One of my favorite line from it:

“But the fact of the matter is that Crosby deserves praise—unlike last June, Sid the Kid was at least able to withstand the rigors of a Game 7, play the entire game and shake his opponents’ hands after the game. That kind of leadership is rare.”

Posted by stayouttamalibu from California on 05/13/10 at 09:55 PM ET

monkey's avatar

Fun Igloo fact: The only time the Stanley Cup was ever presented in the building, it was to the 2007-08 Detroit Red Wings.

Most of the eulogies suck, and this one was no different, but that’s a good line.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 05/13/10 at 10:42 PM ET

monkey's avatar

Please TB. Make it happen.

Mike Milbury will be the coach.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 05/13/10 at 10:43 PM ET

monkey's avatar

osted by RWBill from The bar on The Hasek. v00x! Hurry up Bitch! on 05/13/10 at 12:25 PM ET

Don’t forget PIM and +/-, bitch.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 05/13/10 at 11:06 PM ET

cephalopod's avatar

The ice is gone but Thank You! HockeyTown from the team.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 05/13/10 at 06:34 PM ET

That “Thank You Hockeytown” video was great…although I admittedly am a sucker for that particular Skynyrd song.

I wonder if the video producer had the “19” in mind:  “Tuesday’s Gone”, “[Stress]Train roll on”....too much of a coincidence.

Posted by cephalopod from Chicago...nope, still not over it. on 05/14/10 at 12:36 AM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

I wonder if the video producer had the “19” in mind:  “Tuesday’s Gone”, “[Stress]Train roll on”....too much of a coincidence.

Posted by cephalopod from Chicago…nope, still not over it. on 05/13/10 at 10:36 PM ET

I thought the same thing ...

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 05/14/10 at 12:40 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

PIM is a meaningless number as it is not an indicator of a player’s contribution to the team.  Other than Datsyuk who can steal the puck without touching the other pkayer, the accurate observation is that if a player hasn’t chalked up a healthy number of PIMs he isn’t playing hard enough and probably doesn’t have his teammates’ back in the trenches, that responsibility then having to fall on a teammate not afraid to jump into a scrum knowing a penalty will be coming.  Anyone who has watched the Wings can tell you that compared against ice time, Holmstrom gets a large number of PIMs, as do Franzen, Draper and Bertuzzi and Kronwall.  So what, PIM is neither a positive nor a negative indicator and penalties have their place, so a chart of PIMs would show nothing.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 05/14/10 at 01:08 AM ET

Squiboda's avatar

Mitch wrote a column about how the team should be dismantled after their 2001 playoff loss.  That’s pretty much all you need to know about Mitch’s Red Wings knowledge.

Posted by Squiboda from Port Huron, MI on 05/14/10 at 01:13 AM ET

Osrt's avatar

Question:  Given that the Wings play Russian style puck control hockey, what genius in Russia developed this puck control style for the old Soviet Red Army team?

Posted by w2j2

Marx-Lenin and the “dictatorship of the proletariat” thesis. JK

Victor Tikhonov. The man was an abusive totalitarian fuch but he knew how to build effective hockey teams. However, the Soviet system took in kids when they were 6-8 years old and built them to be professional athletes, in whatever sport. It’s no accident that Federov, Mogilny, and Bure all could have been professional soccer players if they wanted, especially Sergei, but thankfully they chose hockey. Anyway, they were trained with a high emphasis on skating, especially agility and puck handling skills. Those were the foundations for the ridiculous passing and explosive speed everyone seemed to bring.

The Wings don’t have the luxury of “building” their players from childhood but they certainly have adopted the look for high skill and ice awareness motto. When they get in the organization, we literally ask them to build themselves up, “get bigger and stronger,” so that they can bring their skills to bear against grownassmen trying to kill them.

Anyway, great soccer teams have been playing “ball possession” since the dawn of the game; the rules and scale of the game seem to imply this approach. Given the intermarriage between soccer and hockey in the Soviet system, it’s not a stretch to think that Tikhonov took those principles over to hockey.

And some good ideas here, but you guys may want to duck as Osrt hasn’t weighed in yet, and his awesomeness of late might take your heads off.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor

Thanks for the praise. I like to think I know what I’m talking about, especially when typing with one hand.

I think you guys are right on most counts, especially the sky puck/ Murphy dump. Here are my thoughts.

Defeat by forecheck: It’s true that an aggressive forecheck, especially with speedy, hard hitting guys, is effective against us. But that’s because we try to make plays with the puck. All our D can chip the puck out safely or drive it around the boards as they’ve been doing since they were kids, but their job is to get the puck on the stick of their forwards and in trying to do that they sometimes lose it. I agree that Babbles needs to let them play a simpler game if he sees a particular team’s forecheck working against us. The ideal, of course, is that our decision making and passing is quick enough to trap their two forwards in our zone.

The puck always moves faster than you can.

I disagree that our forecheck “begins at center ice.” One of two things might be happening. 1) Guys are getting it in deep and then just making the opposition choose a side of the ice rather than come up the middle, thus beginning the funnel system or 2) They’re trying to give the opponent time so that our own guys can get changed. Think of it this way: If I’m forechecking and just try to go take a guy’s head off, he’s going to dump it to his partner and the moment is over. Or I could come in and “wave my stick around,” attack at an angle that makes him choose a particular safe play and my team knows where the puck is going and my forecheck partner can get there. At worst, I’ve taken away a big chuck of the ice and we begin funneling guys into Kronner’s shoulder.

I’d love to see our guys hit more but we are simply not built, from the ground up, for that kind of play day-in-day-out. Dats could be leveling people all season like he does in the playoffs. But he knows he’ll be mushy and useless by the season’s end, so why do it. 

Finally, I think it’s best to remember that this season was an aberration with all the injuries. We never really got to play our style or our tempo (speed is one of our best weapons) so I don’t buy that other teams have “caught up to us” or “have figured us out” or anything like that. Teams have known what we were going to do for a long fuching time because it’s their job to know. With video scouting and all the other tools out there, every team knows every other team really well. So what?

“Ok son, see that, Datsyuk made that guy look like a fool. Don’t let that happen ok? And see how Zetterberg out-willed that guy? Yea, don’t puss out like that.”

Look at Montreal using the freaking trap. Everyone knows what’s going to happen but they can’t do shite about it. The only thing Crosby was right about were his comments about Cammeleri: they were all looking for the guy and trying to contain him but he was “just executing really well.”

The Sharks and Hawks are close because they’ve taken our personnel, players and coaches both, and have consistently tried to build around our style. They not only “imitated” our style of play but our style of management, from drafting onwards. And finally, after years of futility or playoff blue balls, they’re having success. In the Sharks’ case it is also because Jimmy Devellano told Doug Wilson to keep faith and make small tweaks…Just Like The Wings Did.

No try. Only do.

I have to stop writing these lengthy posts. I miss my crackwhores…

Posted by Osrt on 05/14/10 at 02:39 AM 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