Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Uncle Mike?  Enough With The Shenanigans

Mike Babcock has taken the most dynamic hockey player ever invented and shackled him.  Pavel Datsyuk, who digs Russia and probably almost stayed there when Gary wouldn't let him play here, is likely pricing dachas as we speak.  I'm no Tolstoy, or even a Krupa, but I can tell you that "dacha" is Russian for, "a place I can go and laugh like child instead of try to swallow my own tongue every time I see 11 and 8 on either side of me, men who skate like fat eggs with hands like ugly shovels made of a mixture of wool and oatmeal."

Mike? 

What the fuch are you doing, exactly?

This is not a team that is going to spread scoring over four lines.  It's just not.  But if it was?  How do you reconcile putting, literally, the two most offensively challenged players on either side of Pavel Datsyuk. Got it. We got it. We know you're trying to "light a fire" under...Cleary, I guess? He's fire-less, Mike. Seriously.  He's not going to get any better.  And Abdelkader? Jesus, man.  He's a mucker and we all know it.  He's the very definition of a fringe 3rd, easy 4th liner.  Tatar, Anderrson (one r or 2? I just don't know)...even Tootoo has better hands. Honestly, 22 impressed me yesterday.  He's looking very offensively comfortable.  

Why NOT play Datsyuk with Tatar. Holy hell that kid looks good.  He's a frigging whistling teapot every shift.  Put him with Datsyuk? It's too easy, it would seem.  Yes, it would seem...which is what has all of us scratching our heads.  He (Uncle Mike) has got to have a plan, a reason for this.  He must, right? 

Datsyuk had a goal and an assist on 17 Feb against Walnut Grove and the Ingalls sisters.  Prior to that he'd scored in his four previous games. He was as hot as any player in the NHL and the Wings were playing, largely .500 hockey...as they are now.  Since then, starting the 19th? 1 goal his last 7 games.  0 points at all his last 3.

Frankly, I don't give two shits if anyone feels I'm attacking Babcock. And if you attack my pharmacist's opinion in the comments, I'll attack you right back but hide behind self-deprecating sarcasm and childish short answers instead of engaging in any form of intelligent give-and-take. That's just how I roll.  

I am attacking him.  Point blank. This is stupid and, yes, it's wasteful.  

I'm guessing Abdelkader and Cleary play harder-edged games than Tatar and Andersson, better forecheckers and such.  That's why the young kids who actually, you know, score played 93 seconds in the third period.  Honestly, Babcock had to be thinking that in a close, low-scoring, important game like yesterday's?  The safer play was having two veteran grinders out there who have been in pressure situations before.

Veterans who've been through playoff wars, won Cups, lost Cups, don't make mistakes in high-temp situations, right?  Right Nick, Big E?

Just checking.

For the record, those were two bad breaks. Bottom line. I've been happy with Kronwall and really happy with Ericsson.  I'm not happy with Mike Babcock.

This was a two-game experiment that should have ended long ago.  Is it as stupid as putting, say, Johan Franzen on the penalty kill?  Ha, ha. LOLzzz.  Not THAT fuching stupid, but close.

Put Pavel Datsyuk back on a line where he can contribute.  You look like a dumbass, Mike.

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Comments

Twig's avatar

i agree with everything you said.

Posted by Twig from Houston, TX on 03/04/13 at 11:37 AM ET

gowings's avatar

Is there a possibility that KH is trying to package something for Flip and Abd? Giving more ice time to Abd to raise his value? Don’t have anything for Cleary ......I’m trying! There’s got to be a reason behind this. I don’t agree with this either, but Babs wants to win…so either he is being told to do this…or something we are not seeing. I mean…we all see the obvious, but there’s got to be something more than just “loyalty” to Cleary and putting Abd with Pav….there has to be…..

Posted by gowings from MTL on 03/04/13 at 11:44 AM ET

dougie's avatar

I am drinking all of your Koolaid, Chief.

Hell, he needs to do something with that line, even if it’s wrong.

Uncle Mike needs to be kissing Pavel’s chittlins. Tongue and all.

Posted by dougie on 03/04/13 at 11:44 AM ET

Avatar

Is there a possibility that KH is trying to package something for Flip and Abd?

God I hope so.

Posted by Garth on 03/04/13 at 11:47 AM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

Don’t have anything for Cleary ......I’m trying!

Cleary on a fourth line with Tootoo and Miller would be interesting.  That has potential for offense and is a great grit line.  On a second (or even a first-line like he’s been one game), even with Datsyuk? Ridiculous.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 03/04/13 at 11:49 AM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

You look like a dumbass, Mike.

At this point dumbass is a compliment. Babcock is wasting the purest talent in the history of Hockey. On a Team that has been mediocre at best this season, Babbles has the man,that, despite his surroundings, is THE BEST PLAYER IN HOCKEY! EVER!

He is making it easier for Datsyuk to make up his mind aboot going back to Mother Russia. Every. Single. Shift.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

 

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 03/04/13 at 11:53 AM ET

Sneetch's avatar

Giving Abby and Cleary more playing time sure doesn’t increase their stock. They stink. Even if they did trade one or both, the return would be minimum at best. So frustrating that Babs keeps that 2nd line together.

Posted by Sneetch on 03/04/13 at 11:57 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Actually, I would’ve brought up Nike and played him along side Dangles.  His teammates in Maine couldn’t stop gushing about his presence with the puck and the ability to get to the right spot on the ice and finish.  He just knows.

[sigh]

Dangles has always thought two or three moves ahead of everyone else on the ice.  He needs that level of awareness on his wings.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 03/04/13 at 12:01 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Maybe it’s a fight with Hank.  Maybe Hank has been suggesting subtly that Dats could have some help, and Uncle Mike just won’t let himself be manipulated by a man with a way better beard.

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/04/13 at 12:04 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

I’ve been saying it for weeks, this line is just dumb. There’s no way in this world Babcock can justify it either.
Franzen should be bought out at the end of the year with one of the amnesty buy-outs… he’s absolute waste of oxygen. Thinking Franzen is going to play with any intensity for more than part of a shift is like thinking this year is Flips break out year.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 03/04/13 at 12:09 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Even if we get all of our forwards back…,

Fils/Zata/Brunner
Mules-less/Dangles/Serial Killer

...doesn’t make me feel much better.

“Mules-less.”  Damn, that’s brilliant, Kate.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 03/04/13 at 12:14 PM ET

cigar_nurse's avatar

19 plus for the opine MasterChief.

This goes totally against the “we give the best performers the most ice time ” .
93 seconds in the 3rd period for the the best line that kept the puck in the attacking zone the longest. I would love to be a fly on the wall of a meeting of all the coaches after a game like this and hear the rationalization of why certain moves were made. How the hell are these kids going to learn to play in these tight game situations if yyou don’t give them a chance. Especiallly in a regulat season game. Pavs needs some new linemates with hands and brains to get into opportune areas in order for Pavs to play to his full potential.

Posted by cigar_nurse from Greenville South Cakalakee on 03/04/13 at 12:24 PM ET

Zqto's avatar

I’m trying hard to not curse the coach on my beloved wings, but you make such inspirational points, its hard

I was always behind Bowman, even when he somehow, in a really high trip, got the idea of putting fedorov on defense… But I can’t understand the point here. WHY? Why are we seeing this second line?

I CANNOT UNDERSTAND!!!

Its above my intellect. Not many things are, usually… At least when I try to understand them!
So, Babs is either a freaking genius or we are $@”

Posted by Zqto on 03/04/13 at 12:25 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

You look like a dumbass, Mike.

Amen, preacher-man.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 03/04/13 at 12:33 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Well I will say this… Cleary has been better with Datsyuk (who wouldn’t).  At the very least it channels away some of Cleary’s suck, not as well as the bench would of course.

But since this team loves to let the old guys linger two or three years than they should, we’d better get used to this arrangement.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/04/13 at 12:53 PM ET

detroitredwings's avatar

Datsyuk will never publicly complain about his coach’s decision, he’ll fulfill his contract obligations, pack his bags, and leave. And that will be it. And Babcock is making sure of it.

Posted by detroitredwings on 03/04/13 at 01:27 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Datsyuk will never publicly complain about his coach’s decision, he’ll fulfill his contract obligations, pack his bags, and leave. And that will be it. And Babcock is making sure of it.

Posted by detroitredwings on 03/04/13 at 12:27 PM ET

Seems that way, doesn’t it?

I’m no pharmacist , but, we can replace Babcock. We will never replace Datsyuk.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 03/04/13 at 01:49 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

We all know that Uncle Mike put the time he spent around Scottie to good use. He studied him. He picked his brain. Hell, he maybe even spooned him to pick up a few things by osmosis.

But from my bed here at the Holiday Inn, it appears Uncle Mike also picked up Scottie’s weaknesses too. Namely, his absolute disdain for young players. Scottie never trusted them and so neither does Uncle Mike. Scottie would rather have an aging, lost-a-few-steps vet with one skate already in retirement on the ice near the end a tight game than a fresh legged twenty-something player.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 03/04/13 at 01:50 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Datsyuk will never publicly complain about his coach’s decision

Nobody should complain publicly about these things, but I’d not hesitate to sit down in Babcocks office and ask questions. If Pavel doesn’t, I’d think the Captain ought to.
If they are in the business of winning as Babcock always spouts off, I’d like to hear his rationaliztions for line combos.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 03/04/13 at 01:51 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Scottie would rather have an aging, lost-a-few-steps vet with one skate already in retirement on the ice near the end a tight game than a fresh legged twenty-something player.

The old clutch n grab NHL made that easier to do and be successful… don’t overlook the talent that we had in the form of aged vets then versus now. An aging Hull, Larionov or Robitaille etc are light years better than a broken down Cleary or Sammy.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 03/04/13 at 01:54 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Datsyuk will never publicly complain about his coach’s decision, he’ll fulfill his contract obligations, pack his bags, and leave. And that will be it. And Babcock is making sure of it.
Posted by detroitredwings on 03/04/13 at 12:27 PM ET

Not just Babcock, but the Organ-I-zation. Z is already locked in long term. Z and Pavs were the A’s last season, so given Pavs contract situation, I would have picked him to succeed TPH as Captain.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 03/04/13 at 01:55 PM ET

Joe Z.'s avatar

This is a joke of a season, with all those injuries it’s a freakshow on ice. I guess Pavel being burned out with 8 and 11 on his line is just part of the show.

Posted by Joe Z. from Austria on 03/04/13 at 01:59 PM ET

Avatar

Seems that way, doesn’t it?

Based on what, exactly?

Posted by Garth on 03/04/13 at 01:59 PM ET

detroitredwings's avatar

I would have picked him to succeed TPH as Captain.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from Warm and sunny SoCal on 03/04/13 at 12:55 PM ET

No, Pavel had repeatedly stated, that he is not interested in being a team captain. Something he decided long time ago in tender age.

I’m no pharmacist , but, we can replace Babcock. We will never replace Datsyuk.

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 03/04/13 at 12:49 PM ET

Yep, there are plenty of stubborn guys in suits with the same rhetoric game after game after game. And, his assistants are not sticking with him either. The ones who CAN coach that is.

Posted by detroitredwings on 03/04/13 at 02:10 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

“Mules-less.”  Damn, that’s brilliant, Kate.
Posted by SYF from Hutt Funkins on 03/04/13 at 11:14 AM ET

It is brilliant, but ITDeuce was right. It is an insult to hard working mules to call Franzen “Mule.” He is Ass.

Franzen loafs around out there on the ice like he’s wearing ass-less chaps.

 

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 03/04/13 at 02:16 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Babcock is shell shocked about the lack of talent on the team, and actually having to coach this season.  So he has fallen back on his methods in Anaheim of putting together 4 grind lines and praying they can muck out 1-0 wins.  It only worked in Anaheim once, and that was because Giguere was making 50+ stops a night, you know, before he got a giant contract and passed on into mediocrity.  I remember at that time he thought Sami Pahlsson walked on water, and kept forcing him up to the 2nd line center position, where he put up all of 20pts or something like that for an entire season.

This is what I feared he would do when he was hired so many moons ago, and I guess I should just be thankful that it took this long for the bad habits to re-surface.

Posted by Hootinani on 03/04/13 at 02:21 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Seems that way, doesn’t it?

Based on what, exactly?

Posted by Garth on 03/04/13 at 12:59 PM ET

Nothing.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 03/04/13 at 02:33 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

I was the biggest voice in the room that suggested 21-13-63. But im just a guy who can only voice his opinion in a blog. Its all I can do as a frustrated fan who loves his team. It IS the reason I criticize them so. I dont dislike Babcock, but I am disappointed. I’m a fan of his and have been since he came here to coach. But he does need to recognize the identity of this team. And that is in fact a transitional, young, eager and determined bunch. Any of us appreciate the veterans and the leadership they brought the team over the years.

This team being in 8th currently, is fighting for points every night. The finding of this teams “identity” is an ongoing process every night. So I do have to ask the coach this question: “why wont you try a few line changes?” No harm could come from trying, and   it might even produce some success. Give me 2 games of 21-13-63 or 63-13-21, however you need it to be. If it doesnt work, you tried. But please stop the experiment of #8 being a first line player. He never has been, he never was, and he isnt that type of player. He is a grinder and a checker. He is suited to #3 and #4 line duties of going out and getting under the skin of the other team. He finishes his checks and lets folks know he’s on the ice. He did this when we won the cup and he did it very, very well. As for Cleary, the guy works hard, I dont argue with this. But to make it plain, he has lost a step or two. Injuries have claimed that from him. You just dont put two players on the same line as #13 that arent on the same page in terms of abilities. Pavel needs someone to pass to. Have you watched how Tatar moves in the slot depending on what side the puck is on? Brunner does it to, they are giving the man with the puck a chance to make a play. Thats puck support if I’ve ever seen it in my life. You move to the open areas or try to make a play. And these guys have that ability. For god’s sakes use #63 and his size to become a “Homer jr.” in front of the net too. Mold him into that player. Big strong power forwards should be used just like their label says they are: BIG, STRONG, POWER.

We are gonna have a logjam as the injured players comeback, we know this for sure. The question next is who gets healthy scratched from here on out, who gets sent down(hope not) and who moves on(trades)?

This team has something brewing, but we need people in the right spot(s) or nothing much will come of it.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 03/04/13 at 02:34 PM ET

Avatar

So I do have to ask the coach this question: “why wont you try a few line changes?” No harm could come from trying

The weirdest part is that’s exactly what he did with the defense and it seemed to work.  Now that he’s happy with the defense, why NOT try it with the forwards.  The first line is doing all right and I wouldn’t touch the fourth line, but why not play around with the rest?

Posted by Garth on 03/04/13 at 02:59 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

Frankly, I don’t give two shits if anyone feels I’m attacking Babcock.
  [——————]
I am attacking him.  Point blank. This is stupid and, yes, it’s wasteful.

Welcome to the club…
You are only six years too late.

And everyone is wondering why Top players are now turning down offers from Detroit.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 03/04/13 at 04:14 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

And everyone is wondering why Top players are now turning down offers from Detroit.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 03/04/13 at 03:14 PM ET

Not everyone. There are a few of us around here that have expressed our opinions regarding Babcock, but, I do concede the fact that you are the first to have made clear your feelings toward him. Aboot six years ago.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 03/04/13 at 04:53 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

A f’in men.  I been thinking this for the past month.  I don’t want Babs gone or anything though.  I can’t say amazing enough times to show how much I agree with this.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 03/04/13 at 05:02 PM ET

dougie's avatar

Welcome to the club…
You are only six years too late.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 03/04/13 at 03:14 PM ET

The sweetest 4 words in the English language are “I told you so”.

Posted by dougie on 03/04/13 at 06:16 PM ET

Avatar

IMO the reason Babcock doesn’t play other guys with Datsyuk, specifically Tatar, is that Tatar isn’t playing NHL defense right now.  When he’s out there against Douchey McThirdliner and Scrublick von Dimeadozen, that’s not a big deal. 

When he’s out there against someone, you know, good… it is.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Cleary’s done and I think Abby’s a never-been with an absurd contract, but they’re both decent defensive players still.  Tatar… nah.  Andersson… nah.  Not yet.  I wouldn’t trust them out there against top opponents yet either.

As soon as (or if) Fil, Bert, Helm and Sammy come back this is a moot point anyway.  In the meantime Babcock is trying to sneak by and squeeze one more barely-mediocre year out of Cleary while Abby gets the kind of top 6 look I sort of thought everyone was complaining about other kids never getting.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 03/04/13 at 07:10 PM ET

Avatar

Tatar isn’t playing NHL defense right now.

Better, I guess, to have him not playing NHL defense in a bottom six role than playing with the best two-way player in the game.

The Wings’ defense are playing as well as they have all year, why not try to put up a second top-six line that might actually score some goals and make use of Datsyuk’s playmaking ability by having at least one winger who knows in which direction to shoot the puck if he wants to score.

I sort of thought everyone was complaining about other kids never getting.

Operative word being other.

Abdelkader is a fourth liner.  Not even a borderline third liner.  He’s a fourth liner and to play him instead of someone who is at least projected to have SOME kind of upside is ridiculous.

Posted by Garth on 03/04/13 at 08:57 PM ET

Yzersyuk's avatar

Ive been saying this since I saw the line. When I heard that 8 and 11 were playing with 13 I thought it must be a joke. Thanks for this post confirming that I’m not actually crazy. We have the best play maker in the game, lets put him with 2 decent forecheckers who are on the low end in finishing ability….....WHA!!???

Posted by Yzersyuk on 03/04/13 at 10:37 PM ET

Yzersyuk's avatar

The crazy thing is almost anyone on the team would be a better fit in my mind. Drew Miller- provides a good defensive upside and has a shot superior to both abby and clears. Patrick Eaves- Is a heart player just like Danny Cleary with a good forecheck as well and(he used too have) a knack for being in good places on the ice. Jordin Tootoo- provides more grit than either cleary or gator and can stick up for dats like neither of them can, all the while having a nice offensive upsideh. Tomas Tartar- A young sniper with great hands and some nice wheels, nuff said.

The sad thing is that before this I loved both Cleary and Abdelkader, but with each passing game I am starting to resent them more and more. What is going on?

Posted by Yzersyuk on 03/04/13 at 10:57 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

I have been a stubborn supporter of both Uncle Mike and Tick Tock up until now. Abusing/wasting Pav’s talent like this is criminal.

Agree with everything you said, Master Chief.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 03/05/13 at 09:56 AM ET

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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