Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Thursday Odds and Ends

Carol Alt used to be a super model.  Now she’s an ex-super model whose primary job these days is to serve as spokeswoman for oft mis-understood Alexi Yashin.  Clearly, it’s a job she’s taking very seriously, giving significant thought to each idiotic statement she makes.  Example?

Windsor Star

“I think he needs to go where people understood him and where he’s looked at like a god,” Alt said. “He wants to come back (to the NHL), but I just think he needs to clear his head.”

Yes. An excellent point.  Clear the head by finding the one spot on earth where people don’t think you’re the most overrated head case hockey has ever seen.  I’m sure consistent adulation will do wonders for him.

The Canuck Genome Project will be previewing each team in the NHL the next few weeks.  The Wings are up first.

Aside from possible injury problems, which can affect anyone, but would appear to be especially acute for a team as old as this one, their prospects for the coming season are disgustingly excellent. With the body blows that Nashville has taken, Detroit essentially has a cakewalk to the Central Division crown. St. Louis should be improved, but I would be surprised if they give Detroit anything more than a mild challenge for the division title.

Yes, the Blues are improved.  Nifty.  Improved to the point that they may come within 20 points of the Wings in Gary’s Central.  Dwayne Klessel prodigy Chris DeGroat, in true Klessel fashion, goes way out on a limb and predicts grand success for the little Blues and hockey’s most bitter fan base.  Or another year of sucking in the league’s worst division. 

I believe that the Blues will in fact make the playoffs.  Hell, I think that with a little luck they could be in the division race.  But they may not make the playoffs.

You’ve taught him well Dwayne. 

Oh, alright…in all fairness DeGroat’s entire post is better than the few sentences I pulled out of it.  It takes an optimistic, but realistic, view of the Blues’ chances this year.  I happen to agree with him when he mentions the age of Kariya, Weight, Tkachuk and Rucinsky.  No matter the management, coaching staff or draft success that franchise has…as long as they keep stocking their roster with aging vets on the downside of their careers, they have no chance of overtaking the Wings. 

But while they won’t compete for the Bettman Division crown (hmmm….I kinda like that.  Look for it again), you can’t deny that the Wings have found head-to-head matchups with the Blues to be a challenge, and that will probably continue.  Hatred of Detroit is ingrained in that franchise, probably more than any other.  The results usually mean tight games.  In the eight games Gary graced us with last year, the Wings outscored St. Louis 21-16 but won only three times in regulation, and losing three in OT or by shootout. 

It’s disturbingly possible that only one team from the Bettman could reach the postseason, and it’s not going to be the Blues.  Second place with 85 points isn’t out of the question though.

The Emperor’s taking your questions over at the Kukla flagship for the next few days.  Found this exchange interesting.

Hey Paul, I’m a Wings fan much like you, and I’m curious what you would make the roster if you were Mike Babcock? There’s a roster spot up for grabs, and the players fighting for the last spot in the 12th position are different players in Drake, Hudler and Kopecky. What would you put together for lines?

Posted by Eric from North Dakota

PK: Eric, Don’t forget Grigorenko, who just may surprise some people. Also, Maltby may be fighting for some playing time this year too.  I can see a battle brewing for the 11th and 12th spot, with players fighting for a playing position.

The eleventh and twelfth spots will be the story of the pre-season.  Hudler, Kopecky, Grigorenko, Drake…all fighting for two or even one spot. 

Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Cleary, Filpulla, Holmstrom, Draper, Franzen: all guaranteed spots.

Maltby: considering his recent deal and lingering abilities, still pretty close to a lock.

Now it gets a little tougher.  Kopecky:  he’s an Uncle Mike golden child.  Babcock seems to really like this kid so I think he’s in there.

Hudler: exactly the opposite.  Babcock would trade him in a split second if the Wunderkind can swing it.  Same with Sam.

Drake: He’ll be given a chance, no matter how he performs in pre-season.  If he’s proven by Christmas that he has nothing left, he’ll be history.  But he’ll start out with Detroit.

Grigorenko: the wild card.  The Wings would love for him to storm troop into TC and turn every head in the joint.  If that happens, look for trades, outright releases, waivers, anything to make room for him.  Sturdy, tough, a scorer.  But we all know the injury history.  If that kid makes the team, he’s Calder material.

I’m considering providing you a daily Peklund update.  It seems like a good idea but I may be too lazy to keep up with it. I make no guarantees.  For now…an instant classic.

Right now I am sitting on my fake dog named “Harold Ballard” and asking him for piggy back rides. I still have a cold and am vomiting in the toilet. I woke up in the middle of the night and realized I forgot to tell all of you something last night…The Detroit Red Wings have $5 million in Cap space they would like to spend and they are leaning towards spending it on Hockey Buzz subscriptions. P1

I can no longer read Peklund’s site at work.  I saw that piggy back line yesterday and laughed so hard they called the paramedics. 

Oh, and hey.  Apparently I’ve offended a few of our transvestite readers with my consistent references to Darren Garcia, the troubled Dive fan and male prostitute arrested in Denver a while back.  Let me state publicly that it is not the intent of A2Y or Kukla’s Inc. to single out any demographic for ridicule.  We value the opinions and sensitivities of all readers, whether they’re cross-dressing freak shows in Dive jerseys or not.  For the transvestite supporters who have been commenting in outrage over my continuing references to you and your friends, please continue to share your opinions with us.  They’re certainly valued.  Thanks.





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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