Abel to Yzerman
by VooX on 05/23/13 at 04:10 PM ET
Uncle Mike is not to be trifled with. Ask Joel Quenneville. I'd send you to Bruce Boudreau but he is still eating his feelings and can't speak between bites of ice-cream covered corndogs. While Babcock continues to strike fear into his opponents, it was not always that way.
At least that's what George tells us:
During the second intermission of a playoff game in 2002, Holland recalled Babcock telling him he wanted to be the next coach of the Red Wings.
"I don't hire interns,'' Holland said he told Babcock. "The next year, he knocked us out of the playoffs."
If you aren't aware of the political machinations of a corporation, "I don't hire interns." is the equivalent to "Shut your whore mouth." around here, and I can dig it.
In that moment of absolute heartbreak Uncle Mike realized something that has stuck with him since. The sweet baby Jesus does not let you join the greatest sports Organ-I-zation in the world without being worthy. Only by showing the competitive fire necessary for the relentless and continuous drive to win the Cup every season does one become a Red Wing, much less lead them.
More Uncle Mike, via George:
"When you put on our sweater, there's an obligation to Mr. Howe and Mr. Lindsay and the people that came before you to compete like a Red Wing."
There is a different standard in Hockeytown. A higher standard filled with hookers, puppies, and firetrucks with a metric tonne of banners hanging from the rafters. Speaking of rafters, news out of Denver is that the Dive have just retired Seth Jones' number in anticipation of his being drafted this summer.
Here at A2Y we also have interns. Fresh and bubbly coeds wearing halter-tops and skirts that are mere rumours fill our corridors ensuring that the Chief's belly gets rubbed and that all mail from Gary Bettman or Mario Lemieux gets screened for anthrax. They stick around brimming with optimism for the future, an optimism crushed as soon as they realize the only promotions around here get you from belly-rubber to grape-feeder. So the coeds leave broken and disappointed despairing that this world is nothing but a cruel joke. Sometimes we run into them again and leave them a dollar tip (either on the table or in their g-string depending upon where we find them) but usually we just replace them with the next eager halter-top willing to work for leftover cheddar cheese and warm PBR.
Sometimes an intern stands out. When we say "Shut your whore mouth," they say, "After you, bitch." Those are the ones that have the most potential. Like our Uncle Mike. He gets stomped on and decided to fight back to seek his revenge and prove his worth.
Instead of letting doubt and despair creep into his head and cause his mental unraveling, Uncle Mike worked harder. He studied films and developed game plans never forgetting how Holland put him in his place. Babcock used that competitive fire to make us very sad in 2003 after only four games. Today our Uncle Mike harnesses that same competitive spirit with the Wings never allowing his team a moment of respite. The skate belongs stomping on the throat. Anything less is failure. Ask Bobby Lang or Ian White.
No other sports Organ-I-zation sets the bar so high. Whether or not they are expected to contend for the Cup, like this season, the Wings are expected to cry tears of blood, like The Captain did, in order to sustain The Dynasty and the 19. The same intensity is lacking elsewhere in the NHL. No other teams are as battle-hardened as the Wings from the top down.
Certainly not Twenty-Cent, who is still haunted by his mother and cannot focus on the job at hand. Nevermind Toes who Zetterman has made his bitch, nor Quenneville who is seeking counselling for being abused by Babcock the past two games.
The Chickenhawks have never experienced this adversity and it shows. They are falling apart, their fans abandoning the bandwagon, and even Li'l Gary's refs haven't been able to help them out of the hole they've dug themselves. In Chicago they are blaming their goaltender, their coach, their Craptain, and their Hossa for their shortcomings. Nobody, especially the NBC crew, wants to admit that while the Wings are not as talented (nor is Datsyuk) as the Hawks, that the Wings are still the better team. Teams win Cups, individual talents do not.
Of course that may just be a matter of perspective and the adorable eight-pounder knows we certainly have our own around here. At Second City Hockey they give every game the full TheLinkGoesHere treatment with charts and Corsi and stuff that only a pharmacist would understand. Which is why I am having a tough time understanding their stats.
According to Corsi, Zetterman was a -15 while Toes was a +17 last game. A clearly dominant performance by Toes... until you watch the game and know that while Toes may be a +17, he cries like a +10 year-old when faced with adversity. Just like he is about to face tonight, again, with Zetterman giving more lessons in how to shut down a little boy in a man's game.
So forget the stats, forget the standings, all that matters is this game. It's 10 to 12, bitches, and the Stress Train is rolling all night long.
Let's Go Red Wings. Burn. This. Conference. Down.
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org