Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

The Twenty-Cent Opera And Not-So-Secret Biases

Jonathan Toews is a broken little boy.  The past couple of days he has gone to bed muttering to hiimself, when not biting his pillow, and waking up needing to change his sheets.  He is haunted by his personal boogeyman, Henrik Zetterberg, whose defensive coverage of Toews has been so suffocating, the lack of oxygen affecting "Tazer's" brain and emotional stability so badly, that he finally snapped.

As time expired in Detroit’s win, Jonathan Toews took the faceoff and immediately began to cross check Henrik Zetterberg. Again and again as the seconds ticked down, he went after Zetterberg who was trying to actually play defense.

As expected, the Red Wings weren’t too happy. Zetterberg went right after Toews, Bertuzzi got a couple of requisite shots in and then Jimmy Howard stepped in and did his part.

 

You see what I did there?  I just lied to you in a quote, something only a faux journalist would do.  Ask Pinkie in Minnesota.

My point, and my faux journalism training tells me I better make one soon, is that Toews is not the first whiny bitch Craptain that Hank has gotten in the head of.  He posititvely relishes taking weak, petulent kids and making them cry into their pillows while Li'l Gary tries to comfort them with a massage and some hot cocoa.  And while the kids cry to Gary, Hank gets to recount every suffocating detail during pillow talk with Emma, while she feeds him smoked herring and allows her finger to gently glide along his beard afterwards.

 

Every night they laugh while the Chickenhawks cry themselves to sleep.  But Coach Quenneville is not sleeping at all.  Our Uncle Mike has made sure of it.

The pharmacists here at A2Y, myself included, have said some very bad things about our coach this season while the playoffs looked out of reach.  We said playing Homekeys with Dangles made no sense, that keeping the kids in the lineup to turn over the puck again and again in our zone was madness.  Ian White grew mould in the pressbox while Smith, Quincey, and Kindl gave us ulcers with their play on the ice.

Babcock was right and we were wrong, no doubt about that now.  That is why he got his degree in sports psychology from McGill and I got my pharmaceutical degree from an ad found in the back of Swank magazine.

While we've ridden Smith these playoffs like a rented mule, our Uncle Mike has done the opposite.  With kind words and pats on the back he is making Smith a better player and person without forcing him to wear his underwear on his head in public, like our Command Master Chief once had to do.

via Kulfan:

"You're always trying to redeem yourself," Smith said.

Actually, Smith went over the video with coach Mike Babcock and the pair didn't think Smith's Game 1 performance was as bad as others believed.

The fact Babcock was entirely in his corner helped Smith considerably.

"That made me feel real good. Coach will tell you how it is if you don't play very well, he'll tell you," Smith said. "We both kind went over things and we didn't think all the criticism I got wasn't as bad as people were saying.

"If I did play a much worse game, he would have told me and would have been honest and you guys (in the media) all know from how he talks to the media. It showed a lot of confidence and that he will stand up against somebody and show what he believes in, and that helps a young guy like myself."

While Smith was learning from his mistakes and getting better last game, Uncle Mike turned his attention to Coach Quenneville and making him his bitch in Chicago's own barn, rolling lines to matchup and completely suffocate the Hawks.  Toews was/is going mental, Hossa was invisible, and Twenty-Cent was kept on the perimeter of the play looking in on the action like a shy 12 year-old boy at his first school dance.

And speaking of awkward little boys, Greg Wyshynski and his boy-bitch Sean at the Search Engine! are positively apoplectic with rage over the Wings' victory.  As pointed out by Primis at the end of the last LB, their coverage of Game 2 was a Pulitzer-worthy example of faux journalism at its finest.  Normally copyright rules prevent me from quoting an entire article, but I must make the exception here as Greg's analysis was so comprehensive and thorough, I feel anything less would fail to honour the bias-free coverage over at Yahoo!:

The Red Wings captain assisted on goals by Brendan Smith and Valtteri Filppula, while frustrating Jonathan Toews all game, in Detroit’s 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. The series is tied 1-1.

I'm humbled.  Clearly we were wrong, Greg.  You do not hate the Wings and your coverage of them is nothing but fair and balanced like a Roger Ailes produced newscast.  I am so happy when I look in my inbox and find feedback on my writing from such an esteemed and thorough journalist like yourself.  I mull over every bit of advice while drinking Darjeeling tea and sitting on my meditation cushion... Om mani padme hum, motherfucher.

Speaking of secret biases, if you think the officiating in our series was atrocious so far (just ask Toews) you should take a gander at the Pen(i)s/Senator game last night.  The refs went full-retard in that game and everybody knows you never go full-retard.  The whistles were "put away" and they were "allowed to play" including allowing Matt Cooke to slash an Ottawa D-man in the face while he was playing the puck and Tyler Kennedy sandwiching two cross-checks to the back between a pair of two-handed slashes to another Ottawa player without penalties during the third period with the Senators trailing 1-0.  Welcome to Bettman's NHL.

The Chickenhawks have been crying about the calls so expect Li'l Gary's refs to listen.  Expect a handful of decapitations tonight on the Wings without penalties being called.  It's just Fissix and you should be used to it by now.  But also expect Uncle Mike to give Quenneville fits with his line combinations and head-to-head matchups tonight with the last line change in hand.  While Quenneville has one more playoff victory than Uncle Mike in his career, there will be parity between them at the end of the game tonight, guaranteed.  Of course when you look at their respective trophy cabinets, and the fact Q has never beaten Babcock in a playoff series, any discussion of parity is quickly forgotten.

11 to 12, bitches.

Toews... don't be scared, homie.

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Comments

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PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

just watched a video of the Cooke slash on Karlsson and holy shit.  I don’t know what’s worse - the idea that they just didn’t SEE it, or that they DID…and didn’t make a call.

I keep asking, not that I ever expect an answer, but…is this the NHL that Little Gary and his minions want the nation to see?

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/20/13 at 10:35 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

here’s the Cooke slash on Karlsson, btw…

http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/05/19/video-penguins-cooke-gets-away-with-a-high-stick/

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/20/13 at 10:35 AM ET

MarkK's avatar

Masterfully done, Bartender.

Posted by MarkK from Maryland on 05/20/13 at 10:38 AM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

The bar is open early today.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 05/20/13 at 10:38 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

It’s just Fissix and you should be used to it by now.

Any mention of Fissix/Fizzix/Fissicks/Fizzicks is golden.

Oh, and yeah, the Cooke slash on Karlsson… can’t believe Cooke isn’t getting a call from the league office on that one.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 05/20/13 at 10:55 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

can’t believe Cooke isn’t getting a call from the league office on that one.

he did and it probably went something like this… “don’t worry, Cookie, we didn’t see a think *winkwinknudgenudge*”

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/20/13 at 10:59 AM ET

YYZerman's avatar

Oh, and yeah, the Cooke slash on Karlsson… can’t believe Cooke isn’t getting a call from the league office on that one.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 05/20/13 at 11:55 AM ET

Even better was latter in the game Karlsson slashed at Cookes stick and broke his own on the ice. Cookes stick was fine but they still called Karlsson for a slash.

Posted by YYZerman from Detroit, Michigan on 05/20/13 at 11:01 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

well that makes sense.  they keep telling us that a slash that breaks a stick is an “automatic” call like shooting the puck over the defensive zone glass.

but a slash to the face?  nah, nothing automatic about that.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/20/13 at 11:12 AM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

We said playing Homekeys with Dangles made no sense

VooX, you are re-writing history. Wings fans everywhere, not just the 91, questioned Uncle Mike’s sanity for playing 8-13-11. Putting Pavel between two third line grinders was ludicrous. Putting 8 into 96’s old slot is genius. 8-13-40, 8-13-93, hell even 8-13-24, are awesome. 8-13-11, not so much.

While Smith was learning from his mistakes and getting better last game 

Did you watch the same game? Smith was awful. Problem is, Uncle Mike caught White in bed with Mrs. Babs, so there is zero chance White will ever crack the lineup again. So we’re stuck with Smith because of The Savior’s broken thumb.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 05/20/13 at 11:21 AM ET

YYZerman's avatar

well that makes sense.  they keep telling us that a slash that breaks a stick is an “automatic” call like shooting the puck over the defensive zone glass.

but a slash to the face?  nah, nothing automatic about that.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/20/13 at 12:12 PM ET

Maybe I didn’t explain it good enough. Karlsson slashed, missed Cookes stick and his own stick on the ice. Karlsson’s blade broke from him hitting the ice with it and then they called him for a slash. Cookes sitck was just fine.

Posted by YYZerman from Detroit, Michigan on 05/20/13 at 11:24 AM ET

Alan's avatar

Did you watch the same game? Smith was awful.

This is also Smith’s first real look at the NHL. He’s a good kid, but he does make a lot of mistakes. It’s a work in progress, and I’d rather see Smith than White. Smith has gotten a little better through every game he’s played.

Dude is no Lidstrom or Sturart, and I think a lot of us tend to forget that.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 05/20/13 at 11:27 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

Excellent.  I hope Toews has nightmares after tonight.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 05/20/13 at 11:29 AM ET

cementslinger's avatar

” The refs went full-retard in that game and everybody knows you never go full-retard. “

That is some Aristotle $hit right there. Pure pharmaceutical. Thanks Chief, I needed that.

Posted by cementslinger from Midland MI on 05/20/13 at 11:36 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

Cookes sitck was just fine.

I read it right the first time.  tHE nhl IS JUST BEING CONSISTENT1111 yOU SHOULD really CUT THEM SOME slack1111

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/20/13 at 11:37 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

Did you watch the same game? Smith was awful.

he had no giveaways and scored a goal.  wtf more do you want from the kid?!

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/20/13 at 11:37 AM ET

cementslinger's avatar

Oh, my bad VooX. That was so Chief-like, nay, Chief-esque, that I just assumed.

Posted by cementslinger from Midland MI on 05/20/13 at 11:39 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 05/20/13 at 11:53 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

he had no giveaways and scored a goal.  wtf more do you want from the kid?!
Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/20/13 at 12:37 PM ET

First period was atrocious, but after scoring the goal, he settled down and played with confidence, and didnt look too bad.

just watched a video of the Cooke slash on Karlsson and holy shit.  I don’t know what’s worse - the idea that they just didn’t SEE it, or that they DID…and didn’t make a call.
I keep asking, not that I ever expect an answer, but…is this the NHL that Little Gary and his minions want the nation to see?
Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/20/13 at 11:35 AM ET

He damn near sheered the man’s foot off at the ankle, on purpose, and didn’t even recieve as much as a sideways glance from the league.  Did you think an itty bitty poke in chops was gonna garner a reaction?

Posted by Hootinani on 05/20/13 at 11:55 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Is it just me, or is Hank’s woman missing a nipple?

Posted by Hootinani on 05/20/13 at 11:57 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

Posted by YYZerman from Detroit, Michigan on 05/20/13 at 12:01 PM ET

The thing that made that slashing call particularly bad was that right off the start of the game, Karlsson was carrying the puck off a faceoff headed to goal, and had his stick slashed out of his hands—no call. Either call both, or don’t call either. I don’t believe that the first one wasn’t seen. If it wasn’t seen, then the refs in that game were even worse than it seemed, because if a ref should be doing one thing, it should be WATCHING THE PUCK.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 05/20/13 at 12:14 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Did you watch the same game? Smith was awful.
he had no giveaways and scored a goal.  wtf more do you want from the kid?!
Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/20/13 at 12:37 PM ET

The GVA stat is a joke. Do you really think the each team only turned it over 5 times in the last game? For the particular record keeper on Saturday, GVA was likely limited to getting one’s pocket picked and did not include bad passes. If you want to play the stats game, in a 4-1 game, in which he scored a goal, Smith had a +/- of 0.

Smith has had every opportunity to improve this season. I just don’t see it. He has some nice skills, but it appears the game is still just a little too fast for him; he seems to take just a little too long in his decisions with the puck, and he is still making ill-timed pinches that lead to goals. On the other hand, DeKeyser comes in, plays one month and has already grown beyond Smith. Will Smith ever be more than a journeyman third pair d-man? I’m not a pharmacist but I don’t see how. I know it takes a long time to develop as a D-man, just look at E52.

White obviously did something to get into the Chateau de BowWow with Uncle Mike. White does not have the offensive skills of Smith, but I think he is a better stay at home D-man.

And did you forget this?

nice to see Smith behind the play as the puck goes in.  sheesh.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/18/13 at 01:34 PM ET

You were not alone…

Whats Babs excuse for Smitty on that one?

Posted by Hootinani on 05/18/13 at 01:34 PM ET

Oh Smith… why do you keep making dumb mistakes?

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 05/18/13 at 01:34 PM ET

I’m sorry… Smith needs to take a seat one of these games.

Posted by SandysWingingit on 05/18/13 at 01:34 PM ET

That just might be the best thing for him now.  Like Uncle Mike sitting the Dom for Ozzie.

Posted by SYF from the Flood on 05/18/13 at 01:36 PM ET

 

 

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 05/20/13 at 12:14 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

I hate quoting a wall of text, but there’s this bit on Grantland on the Spurs, check and see if it reminds you of anything:

This is a shirt I ordered from someone on eBay during the 2005 playoffs. It turned out the shirt was two sizes too big — don’t buy things on eBay — but I wore it proudly anyway. At that point in time, hating the Spurs was a way to bond with other basketball fans suffering at the foot of their ruthless, fun-killing basketball empire. Shortly after my purchase, the Spurs won the 2005 title, because of course they did. They’d been dominant and inescapable for years by that point. This is why everyone hated the Spurs. Because they were just that good, and that boring, and that efficient, and not going anywhere. And … little did we know. Eight years later, THEY’RE STILL DOING THIS.

The nicest thing I can say about the Spurs is that they’ve been driving me crazy for a solid decade now. Eight years after Robert Horry killed the Pistons in that 2005 Finals, almost 15 years after that first title … they’re still suffocating the rest of the NBA. And yes, definitely: The Grizz will bounce back, and the West finals should be a war.

But here’s where we are right now: After the Warriors made them look old and overwhelmed at home in San Antonio, the Spurs spent the next four games grinding that offensive juggernaut into dust, completely shutting down the best shooting backcourt on earth, AND winning two games in Oakland, probably the most insane environment we had in these playoffs. Then, with 80 percent of the NBA picking a Grizzlies team that’d won eight of nine games and just ruined Kevin Durant’s life, the Spurs come out and make Memphis miserable for four quarters, making the rest of us rethink everything.

Think about the last 10 days of the Spurs, think about the last 10 years of the Spurs. Every year we gawk at this team, how they’re still this good, but it only gets more incredible as we go. I still hate them — hate them hate them hate them, and I can’t totally explain why. But you have to admire them, and when they’re gone, I think we might even miss them.

(Just kidding.)

(They’ll never be gone.)

(Tim Duncan will play till he’s 60 and Manu will be hitting backbreaking 3s from a wheelchair and Gregg Popovich will be terrifying sideline reporters until the end of time.)

(Go Spurs Go!)

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 05/20/13 at 12:14 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 05/20/13 at 12:53 PM ET

It that real or shopped. I guess it doesn’t matter, it’s funny as hell.

How is the studying for the second half of your bar exam going?

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 05/20/13 at 12:19 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

It that real or shopped. I guess it doesn’t matter, it’s funny as hell.

It’s on Deadspin, probably real.

How is the studying for the second half of your bar exam going?

A pain in the ass and making me miss playoff games. Gotta work hard to make sure it’s the last time I take it.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 05/20/13 at 12:20 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

I remember it very well, CaptainD.  I have been on the “get Smith off the ice bandwagon” for a while.  but I’m also capable of pointing out when he has a much better game.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/20/13 at 12:30 PM ET

SYF's avatar

OMG, Master Chief.  That was as fuching glorious as the best pair of tits ever.

We all agreed as well that this team with this many youngsters (forcibly, admittedly) in the lineup was unprecedented and sooner than expected, but also unexpectedly fun because we have no expectations for them.  We are happy for them to have made it this far.

Let’s just play, says Uncle Mike.  Indeed.

LGRW.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 05/20/13 at 12:43 PM ET

SYF's avatar

CaptD., with the Wings, I don’t mind eating crow because they’ve done some amazing things this year and grown right before our eyes.  Proving us fans wrong is a heady tonic and I like it.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 05/20/13 at 12:45 PM ET

RhymeTimeWingsDings's avatar

Hopefully Berts in the lineup.  Ill always wonder what he said to Getzlaughed.  Don’t forget the hawks hav an ass face of their own named Dan Carcillo (sp?).  Who in my opinion is one skate slice of a tendon away from being Matt Cooke.

Posted by RhymeTimeWingsDings on 05/20/13 at 12:47 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Proving us fans wrong is a heady tonic and I like it.

Posted by SYF from the Flood on 05/20/13 at 01:45 PM ET

It’s the best medicine. And I love the way Babbles stands behind Smitty. I haven’t been on the bench Smith bandwagon, and I’m not going to be.

Remember, ya’ll hated the E-52 signing too.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 05/20/13 at 12:54 PM ET

SYF's avatar

And I love the way Babbles stands behind Smitty.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 05/20/13 at 01:54 PM ET

Aye, Sistah.  Unlike a certain buffoon for a coach in NYR.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 05/20/13 at 12:55 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

The officials had a chip on their shoulders against Karlsson after he got called for diving. Cooke could have poured sugar in his gas tank on the ice and the officials would have not even noticed a buick on the blue line.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 05/20/13 at 12:57 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Unlike a certain buffoon for a coach in NYR.

Posted by SYF from the Flood on 05/20/13 at 01:55 PM ET

Ain’t it the truth. He is such a little pipsqueak. Me no likey Torts.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 05/20/13 at 12:58 PM ET

Avatar

Smith has had every opportunity to improve this season. I just don’t see it…Will Smith ever be more than a journeyman third pair d-man? I’m not a pharmacist but I don’t see how.

Good point.  Time to give up on him since he’s already played a little more than one half of one NHL season and didn’t vastly improve in the 34 games he played this season over the 14 he played last season.

Posted by Garth on 05/20/13 at 01:08 PM ET

calquake's avatar

I got my pharmaceutical degree from an ad found in the back of Swank magazine.

That’s where I found and bought my first pair of “x-ray specs”.  I’m willing to bet your degree was aboot as useful as my specs were.

Nice blog post Voox.

Posted by calquake on 05/20/13 at 01:11 PM ET

TKShreve's avatar

Gotta give Z all the props in the world. A few years ago I questioned his future abilities and his back issues. Honestly, I thought he was not going to ever be the same effective player he was during our 08 run to the cup.

Boy…. was I wrong.

This guy has found the will to compete. Not only has he been there offensively for us, but his defensive capabilities have not floundered one bit. He’s made a terrific captain and an all world face for our team. I would say the pinnacle “foot-in-mouth” point I have to admit to myself is this:

Z was given a very lucrative contract. Not unlike other players on this team, and in the NHL. Some players continued on. Some players depreciated. Some fell by the wayside - See: DiPietro. Z has not only elevated his gamesmanship, but he has acquired new skills. He has honed old ones, and can still run with the wildest dawgs in the league. Toews, the NHL’s new wet dream has had his diapers full of Z and I’m loving every minute of it.

Where I once was a Pasha-pony, I now can say I have equally as much respect and admiration for 40’s efforts on the ice.

How’s it go?

“I like this team”

Posted by TKShreve from East Uptown on 05/20/13 at 01:24 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

Where I once was a Pasha-pony, I now can say I have equally as much respect and admiration for 40’s efforts on the ice.

I think a valid comparison can be made of Larionov-to-Datsyuk and Yzerman-to-Zetterberg.  and that’s some high praise right there.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/20/13 at 01:29 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I totally did not realize VooX wrote that and not the Chief until someone else pointed it out.

That’s a compliment.

Tonight…. *sigh*... can’t believe I’m saying this…. might not be a bad time to stick Tootoo in.  Why?  To f*ck with Quenneville because I’m pretty sure he’s going to sit Carcillo.  And there’s not much more that would work in the Wings’ favor than Carcillo playing.  So why not answer tonight by dressing Tootoo and remind Quenneville he doesn’t control anything?  It’ll make it all the more hilarious when Carcillo is back on the ice taking terrible penalties in Games 4 and 5.

11 to 12, bitches.

We’ve been thinking that, but… not wanting to open whore mouth.  Believe me, I’m sure many of us are keeping count though.  I’m almost scared of where this all goes if we could take out CHI… the clock then gets quite real.

Posted by Primis on 05/20/13 at 01:37 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Larionov-to-Datsyuk and Yzerman-to-Zetterberg.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/20/13 at 02:29 PM ET

Are you insinuating that Datsyuk is the next Professor?  wink

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 05/20/13 at 01:38 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

holy crap

I remember the one where Pavel did this to the TV guy, but to do it to Chris Chelios?!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3DyW7DLv6s

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/20/13 at 01:43 PM ET

WestWing's avatar

can’t believe Cooke isn’t getting a call from the league office on that one.

Which league would that be?  The League of Nations?  The League of women voters perhaps?  The League of Gentlemen?  The Justice League?  Any or all of which are more likely to discipline a Penguin’s player at this time of year than the sick-ass joke of a league known as the NHL.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 05/20/13 at 01:55 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