Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Want A Cup Of Joe?

Updated at 0141 15 Feb Carrier Standard Time: Herm asked in the comments below if I have a comment regarding a certain player I won’t type the name of who currently resides and plays in a certain pisspot of a town south of the border.  No comment now. No comment tomorrow or ever until providence delivers that big horse to our door.  I’ve jinxed so much for so long.  No. I won’t say it.  But, please, Tick Tock…just this once. Get Dombrowski on the phone if you have to. There. That’s all I’m gonna say about Rick Nash.

Win or lose tonite against the Original Bubba, one thing can’t be disputed: no Red Wing team has ever been as dominant at Joe Louis Arena as this team is right now, or has been this season.  Back when the 19 was just a gleam in the eyes of sinister bastards like RWBill and the elusive Gramps, the Joe was a house of sin.  Poor pathetic little sisters like St. Louis and Denver, Nashville and San Jose (remember when they couldn’t win a damn thing in our Manger?) feared the Joe because they knew they’d leave soiled and violated. 

The last few years saw a change in that, though.  In dark corners of The Hasek we talked amongst ourselves and whispered the bad things. We wondered about motivation and grit and, ugh, leadership…as if we know a damn thing about what it takes to lead a hockey team. Oh, don’t get all redolent on me.  We all talked about it, and I probably spewed that garbage more than most. We wondered about The Swede and our Uncle Mike.  The last two years the Wings won more than they lost at home but big frigging deal.  Plenty of teams win more than they lose at home.

But the Wings haven’t dominated at the Joe like baby Jesus promised us they would.  Last year Detroit won 21 games at home. An interesting number considering what they’ll try to accomplish tonite…in February.  Think about that. Detroit goes for their 21st straight victory with two months left in the regular season. The streak itself would equal the number of games they won at home last year: period.  ‘09/10? 25 wins.  23 already this year.  27 home wins the year before that.  A number this year’s team should surpass no later than early, early March. 

Something’s going on with this team, this year. Krupa, with his vocabulary, noticed it yesterday and wrote about it in between sonnets and Latin classes.  In yet another article that has me warily wondering if maybe he can’t be coined the new Anti-Digger, Krupa tells us this might be Detroit deciding getting booed in their own barn is just not the Wing way.

But the will to please their fans, or, at least not to hear their displeasure, merely underlined an imperative realization. To play deeper into the playoffs, the Red Wings had to correct their problems at home.

There it is.  Oh, dealing with the boos sucks I suppose.  Although when the drive home takes you to million dollar mansions I kinda think the displeasure of the fan base is softened a bit.  No, Krupa nailed it when he told us the real reason:  if glory is to rest where we know it belongs, then winning at home is the only sure-fired recipe.  Home ice advantage. Not just in Round 1 or 2.  But 3 and then, by God, 4.  You want San Jose again?  Nifty. I’d like that too.  But I want them at the Joe when it matters the most.  Bow down to Gordie before you take that ice for Game 7, Joe.  Bow, bitch.

Streak or no streak.  Home ice all the way through is the ultimate goal.  8 wins at home in the postseason and we’re talking a real strong parade possibility.  10 and you can pack your coolers for a long, blissful day in downtown Hockeytown around 10 June.  Home ice is what we need and it’s the decree that rules all others.

Here’s a few other ditties, just to show you I pay attention:

Hank Zetterberg can go scoreless every game though mid-April. I don’t care.  He can float and he can coast.  Back check if he feels like it.  Shoot twice a game, all from 20 feet out. I don’t care.  I don’t care as long as Playoff Hank shows up when he’s supposed to.  I think he’s earned that.  I think he’s earned that benefit of the doubt.  I know what February does to us. I get it.  We stress, no matter what. Best record in the league. Greatest display of home dominance in hockey history.  Best team defense we’ve seen in three years.  Best goaltending we’ve seen since 2002 and probably even before that. But we’ll bitch because it’s all we know to do in February. The playoffs are too far away and too much can go wrong.  We were born to stress and stress we shall.  But until Henrik Zetterberg proves to me that he doesn’t have what it takes to lead this team when it matters the most, I’m inclined to cut him some slack.

Tick Tock Kenny Holland is not going to deal for a backup goaltender. Not now. Not in two weeks and, get this, not in two years.  Joey MacDonald’s your backup goalie for the long-term future.  If 15 million’s the number Holland has to spend at the deadline (and I saw that somewhere but have no link or any idea if it’s accurate. I may have dreamt it) not a cent is going toward a goaltender.  He needs a sniper and he knows it.  I’m still thinking it’s Selanne. 

Finally, compared to special teams performance the identity of our backup goalie is a frigging speck in the milky way that it is the brain of one Michael Ophelius Babcock.  If that power play doesn’t get going and I mean going at a clip that sends sick chills down the spines of potential playoff enemies, nothing’s gonna matter anyway.  I don’t care what Boston did last year with their garbage power play.  The Wings are built to make dirty teams pay dearly.  Guys are gonna get run and the man-games lost are gonna be disgusting come May if power play goals don’t start becoming the norm instead of the exception.

It’s a Live Blog, bitches. And we’re running it way early so Primis and JJ can start anew.  You know the kids get scared when mom and dad are fighting.

21’s a nice number but flip that fucher around so we can let the puppies loose on Woodward.

 

 

 

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Comments

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monkey's avatar

Haha well half of it was sarcasm, so bring it on! RWBill can take the other side too.

Ha, ok.  I didn’t like the “hack” comment.  I don’t think the guy is a genius, but he’s not so bad as to be considered a hack.

I’ve often considered him sort of an everyman’s intellectual, if that makes any sense.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 02/16/12 at 10:51 AM ET

monkey's avatar

OMG, and why are we so stunned.  ESPN is such a bunch of fuching pathetic cocksuckers about an individual achievement versus a TEAM achievement.  Way to promote the individual over the team in a team game, ESPN.  sETTING tHEM sTANDARDS rEAL hIGH.

They know what generates ratings the same way the turds upstairs at the various leagues knows what sells jerseys.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 02/16/12 at 10:55 AM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Khan(!) says Travis Moen might be a good fit on the 4 line.

I’m curious though, if Holland does land Nash or Moen, or whoever, where do they fit?

Here are the forward lines from the last game - remember Buckets was out:

Franzen-Datsyuk-Bertuzzi
Filppula-Zetterberg-Hudler
Miller-Helm-Abdelkader
Holmstrom-Emmerton-Mursak

I’ll argue that the 3 line has been DET’s best line the past couple of games.  I wouldn’t touch that line.

If you add a Top 6, by default (at least in my mind) that winger drops to the 4 line.  Homer-Buckets-and????  - - is that the plan?

Or is Holland just looking for a 4th liner? 

Then where is Eaves?

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 02/16/12 at 11:51 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Mika Koivuniemi is also a Metro Detroit resident and a Red Wings fan.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/16/12 at 11:57 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Okie, I keep wondering also where an additional forward fits in.  Who should sit?  I can’t figure that one out.

And Tick Tock will never give away top young current players, top prospects and a first round draft pick for Nash.  That is not Tick Tock’s style.

I read somewhere that Selanne said he’s not interested in coming to Detroit.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 02/16/12 at 12:13 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Mika Koivuniemi is also a Metro Detroit resident and a Red Wings fan.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/16/12 at 08:57 AM ET

Well of course he is.  Aren’t Detroit, Jackson, and Kalamazoo something like the three bowling capitals of the world or something?  At least it’s Bowling and not Cornhole…

My bad on the Mika.  I thought it was Mikko or Miko.

Okie, I keep wondering also where an additional forward fits in.  Who should sit?  I can’t figure that one out.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Michigan, but now in Florida on 02/16/12 at 09:13 AM ET

I think the idea of a forward is all a smokescreen to get a d-man (which is our actual biggest need).

Posted by Primis on 02/16/12 at 12:24 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

I think the idea of a forward is all a smokescreen to get a d-man (which is our actual biggest need).

Shudder to think TPH hangs them up after this year, then there is Disco Stu’s situation.  Getting a top 4 D may be the best play.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 02/16/12 at 12:31 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

I’m curious though, if Holland does land Nash or Moen, or whoever, where do they fit?

You’ve gotta figure any significant deal we make will include a low end rostered player. Be prepared to lose Emmerton or Mursak, or even Eaves, Miller or Abby in a deal. If one of them isnt included, we likely lose them off waivers anywyay. Kindl has the most trade value, so wouldn’t be surprised to see him involved either, but I think that would only be for a deal with someone like Bobby Ryan who’s got some contract time left and not just a rental. Of course in that case you’ve eaten into precious Defensive depth for playoffs, so we’d likely see a Dman coming our way in a trade too.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 02/16/12 at 12:47 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

I don’t know if the Franchise is urgently seeking out any need.  While long term vision has always been the primary fundamental, being in this great a position to compete for The Cup, this late in Lidstrom’s career, may push them to make moves they may not in other years. 

Isn’t the CBA coming to an end?  Who knows what will happen next?  NHL, Inc., may scheme yet more ways to ensure that Detroit be punished.  I am sure Mr. I has a strong desire to make a run at it while we have the chance.

Holland may indeed move some young forwards, as much as I like them and their prospective growth, Eaves is highly regarded and if he gets healthy and in game condition will knock out Emmerton, who has great hockey sense and presence, or Mursak, the most promising young forward in camp, and don’t forget bulletman, hardworking fast skater Conner, or Connor (sic.), and we have the former Hobey Baker nominee in the system, in typical Wings tradition will be groomed until overripe.

But if we could add a proven 25 or 30 goal scorer at the NHL level they would do it under the right circumstances even at a cost of losing 2 of those forwards, or draft picks.

In the absence of Eaves, Miller has paired with Abdelkader and Helm to be a very effective combination, a nuisance line to play against that can score timely goals, and used on the PK.

Obviously if no one else makes additions we are quite competitive, and the chemistry and work ethic will keep us competitive even against those teams that make big deals, which often do not pan out anyway.

Holland and The Franchise are 6 months ahead of us on this, needs and opportunities for the trade deadline have been established and constantly reevaluated and updated since September.  It could be a stay at home defenseman, something few fans think of as a need, but Dman get banged up in the playoffs. They may make a move that seems totally underwhelming to fans and critics.  Ian White?

Backup to backup goaltender?  Solved last July with no fanfare.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 02/16/12 at 12:54 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

They may make a move that seems totally underwhelming to fans and critics.  Ian White?

Backup to backup goaltender?  Solved last July with no fanfare.

Posted by RWBill from the Land of 12 in 12. on 02/16/12 at 09:54 AM ET

I mean Ian White as an example of a pick up that was underwhelming and turned out great, not that he may be moved.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 02/16/12 at 12:59 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Any trade that loses us either of Abdelkader or Miller is a bad trade.  Not too keen on losing Emmerton either now that I’ve seen him do just about anything asked.

Posted by Primis on 02/16/12 at 01:02 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Be prepared to lose Emmerton or Mursak, or even Eaves, Miller or Abby in a deal.
Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 02/16/12 at 09:47 AM ET

Yes, we may lose someone we’ve watched throw themselves in front of pucks for the team for several years and we’ve grown fond of.  I think any of those except Abdelkader could go, not only because of trade value but to make roster room and a vacancy on a forward line. 

I believe Babs likes the chemistry and work ethic of the team, so if a forward is brought in that disrupts the line up he’d better be a really proven commodity with skills that those guys don’t have.

If this is the most consistently hard working team he’s ever coached he won’t want to change that chemistry unless he knows the guy is willing to work his butt off and add something that the current group lacks.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 02/16/12 at 01:13 PM ET

Sullyosis's avatar

I read somewhere that Selanne said he’s not interested in coming to Detroit.
Posted by MsRedWinger from Michigan, but now in Florida on 02/16/12 at 09:13 AM ET

Something written by a B. Boudreau, esq.

Posted by Sullyosis from A hateful lair in Post Apocalyptic US (or Arizona) on 02/16/12 at 01:16 PM ET

WestWing's avatar

Way to promote the individual over the team in a team game, ESPN.

Wait a minute.  You’re saying the NBA is a team game?  Interesting.  First I’ve heard of this.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 02/16/12 at 02:26 PM ET

pgoody's avatar

I really hope we pull Chicago in the first round

Posted by pgoody on 02/16/12 at 02:46 PM ET

42jeff's avatar

really hope we pull Chicago in the first round
Posted by pgoody on 02/16/12 at 11:46 AM ET

Who says they make it to the first round the way they’ve been playing?

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 02/16/12 at 03:49 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Wait a minute.  You’re saying the NBA is a team game?  Interesting.  First I’ve heard of this.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 02/16/12 at 11:26 AM ET

[checks replay]

Yeah, you’re right.  I only see one player.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 02/16/12 at 04:07 PM ET

Rumbear's avatar

Nash to Detroit?  I will shatter my own dreams here, never happen as long as there is still a salary cap.

2 words…Tick Tock.

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, doing the prospect shuffle.... on 02/16/12 at 04:23 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Can’t believe I missed this:

They know what generates ratings the same way the turds upstairs at the various leagues knows what sells jerseys.

Posted by monkey from here to Timbuktu on 02/16/12 at 07:55 AM ET

Heh.  I wished I had a screen print of ESPN’s SC and PTI showing the upcoming topics displaying nothing but Lin Lin Lin Lin Lin and more Lin Lin Lin Lin Lin like they’re desperate to save the NBA’s flailing ratings.

And yes, the NBA’s PR dept.‘s a sad sack of liars.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 02/16/12 at 04:33 PM ET

Rumbear's avatar

.......NBA’s flailing ratings.

Did Lew Alcindor retire?

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, doing the prospect shuffle.... on 02/16/12 at 05:38 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Detroit Zoo From the 80s.

I saw that link to the Highland Electronics Superstore ad and I got all kerflempt.  Then I saw that Detroit Zoo Ad youbube video.

I remember every word.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 02/16/12 at 05:51 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Was Bill Bonds wearing A Piece here? ( not carrying a piece, wearing)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zX4i8URloFs&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 02/16/12 at 06:13 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Back when the 19 was just a gleam in the eyes of sinister bastards like RWBill and the elusive Gramps

At that point I didn’t conceive of any way for The 19 to come together, MC alleges more vision than I actually had, stuck in the stinking miasma of ignorant, childish web postings of mlive. 

I am grateful for the initiative, visions, and neverending hard work of The Emporor Paul and Master Chief IWOCPO, without who w2j2 and I would still be suffering the idiocy of mlive, or just given up on the idea of instantaneous worldwide discussion of our favorite hobby, next to stalking Karen.

Hail to Paul and Bill!  And Thank You Bitches, one and all!

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 02/16/12 at 06:26 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Some of you will get your wish to see an improved team without Zetterberg.

Red Wings’ Henrik Zetterberg (lower-body injury) out for Friday; Tomas Tatar recalled from Grand Rapids
Published: Thursday, February 16, 2012, 12:35 PM   Updated: Thursday, February 16, 2012, 1:32 PM

My God, Tatar another promising forward in the system that could be trade bait.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 02/16/12 at 07:11 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Red Wings trade talk: Gritty Travis Moen would provide size, abrasiveness to fourth line
Published: Thursday, February 16, 2012, 8:00 AM

42 games, 16 points. PK specialist.

My first reaction is “What would we be gaining over what we already have?”

Maybe PK needs work, this guy is bigger size, 6-2 215.  Not much offensive skill, career one point every 4 or 5 games.

Give up a 2d line forward or 2d round draft pick for what is probably no appreciable improvement over existing rostered personnel?  I don’t get this, unless his size and defensive abilities have been observed to be really good, that I wouldn’t know.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 02/16/12 at 07:23 PM ET

Sullyosis's avatar

Posted by RWBill from the Land of 12 in 12. on 02/16/12 at 04:23 PM ET

If the [Team Moen plays for Now] doesn’t make the playoffs maybe we give up a draft pick and something with little value…i.e. we don’t need to give up anything really given our cap space, maybe just something to help [Travis Moen’s Current Team] build in the future.

Posted by Sullyosis from A hateful lair in Post Apocalyptic US (or Arizona) on 02/16/12 at 07:35 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

My God, Tatar another promising forward in the system that could be trade bait.

Posted by RWBill from the Land of 12 in 12. on 02/16/12 at 04:11 PM ET

If that’s the case, then move him up to play on Datsyuk’s wing and make Franzen the center between Filppula and Hudler.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/16/12 at 07:35 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Or… Ansar Khan could say that he’s got Tatar filling in on the fourth line while Abdelkader moves up from line #3.  I would guess that Holmstrom would take Abby’s place with Helm and Miller.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/16/12 at 07:49 PM ET

Sullyosis's avatar

Does anybody here watch any other teams play hockey in the NHL?

And if so, can you answer this question for me:

Are our 3rd/4th lines the best in the NHL? Or near the best?

Posted by Sullyosis from A hateful lair in Post Apocalyptic US (or Arizona) on 02/16/12 at 08:27 PM ET

Primis's avatar

If that’s the case, then move him up to play on Datsyuk’s wing and make Franzen the center between Filppula and Hudler.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/16/12 at 04:35 PM ET

Oh come now, why would we give a youngster with scoring touch a chance to succeed when they can be wasting away on a misfit 4th checking line instead?

Posted by Primis on 02/16/12 at 08:29 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Are our 3rd/4th lines the best in the NHL? Or near the best?

Posted by Sullyosis from A hateful lair in Post Apocalyptic US (or Arizona) on 02/16/12 at 05:27 PM ET

Boston has some pretty good forward depth, as does Vancouver. I trust our depth over anybody in a seven-gamer.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/16/12 at 08:41 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Now that the celebration over breaking the record is over, can we get back to carping about what a lousy team this is and disecting every minutiae of their play?

Remember Scottie’s old metrict that the PP rank and the PK rank should be ten or less to insure playoff success? Well, three teams are in the top ten of both PP and PK, though only two meet Scottie’s metric:


__________PP_______PK_______Total
.
VAN_______#1_______#6_______7
.
PIT_______#6_______#3_______9
.
NYI______#5_______#9_______14
.
DET_____#14______#20_______34


End of stats. I’ll quit channeling that db TPSH now.

The team is challenging for that POS trophy nobody wants to touch, which is actually a tad significant this year due to the disparity between their home and road play. JMac is doing a stellar job filling in for the deserved Vezina winner.  Only the special teams really suck. Basically, there is no hole in the lineup that needs filling to achieve a long playoff run.

That’s why I’ve been saying for a while that if KH goes after anything before the deadline, it will be defense. I’ve caught a lot of flak over saying Stuie is out of here after this season, because no matter how much he loves it here professionally, it doesn’t change the fact that his wife is embroiled in a custody battle with her ex and she can’t move out of Cali. I also think TPH will be around for the Winter Classic, but he’ll be playing in the alumni game.

If there is a top 4 d-man to be had before the deadline with out terribly overpaying, that’s who KH is going after. Otherwise, he will hang on to the cash and use it for UFA signings in the off season to shore up the loss of half of his top 4 defense.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 02/16/12 at 08:46 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from Warm and sunny SoCal on 02/16/12 at 05:46 PM ET

I agree with the Scotty math on the special teams…..
But I do have to say your last 2 paragraphs were written by your inner Eeyore (with a spoonful of reality mixed in).

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 02/16/12 at 08:50 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Niklas Grossman to Philly for a 2nd and 3rd rounder.

First shots fired?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/16/12 at 08:51 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Babs today, with some uncharacteristic clarity:

“We’ve had great teams. That’s a great thing about being a Red Wings fan, year after year you get to come to the games and watch these teams and it’s machine-like. Any way you want to look at it, we just flat out win.”

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 02/16/12 at 08:55 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

But I do have to say your last 2 paragraphs were written by your inner Eeyore (with a spoonful of reality mixed in).
Posted by MOWingsfan19 on 02/16/12 at 05:50 PM ET

Hey, I resemble that remark.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 02/16/12 at 09:00 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Cawks awarded a penalty shot against the Rangers for nothing. Alleged hand on puck in crease.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 02/16/12 at 10:13 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Shudder to think TPH hangs them up after this year, then there is Disco Stu’s situation.  Getting a top 4 D may be the best play.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 02/16/12 at 09:31 AM ET

Which is why a deal for Selanne seems to make the most sense. Rent him for a playoff run, cut him loose in June, then use what money is left over in the summer to land a top-4 D-man.


Of course, I say this totally ignorant of what the Wings cap situation will look like after certain FAs are signed this summer.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 02/16/12 at 10:29 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Oh boy, The Mentalist.

Glad enough have posted here this evening to cover up my tracks.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 02/17/12 at 01:43 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Lists every day any transactions gone down.  San Jose already pulled something off, and Philly.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/transactions/

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 02/17/12 at 01:56 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