Kukla's Korner

The Best Player In The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

But if a player is to be judged the best in a time when there is no clear-cut megastar, he probably has to excel at the most difficult position. That would mean he's a defenceman. And the best defenceman? The two guys in Anaheim, Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer are certainly on the list. Young Matthew Carle in San Jose is opening a lot of eyes in the hockey world and the even younger Dion Phaneuf in Calgary is a phenomenal talent. But in this corner, the vote for the best player in the world at the moment would go to Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings.
more

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Lidstrom Still Under The Radar

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Corleone just posted a link to Al Strachan's column this morning. In it, Strachan offers his opinion that Nick Lidstrom is the best player in the game.

There is nothing that Lidstrom cannot do, but he does his job so effectively, so completely and so efficiently that he doesn't garner the attention that accrues to some of his colleagues.
As Strachan points out, Lidstrom is on pace to end the season with an obscene +82. I'm on record as saying I believed Henrik Zetterberg should have been named captain following The Captain's departure. I liked the idea of starting anew, a young face and style. But, it's hard to argue with the choice Holland and Babcock made in Nick. And that decision was made in the hopes (as always) of one or two more runs with a dwindling core, while simultaneously preparing a young team for success. Had someone asked me who I thought the best player in the NHL was? Well, I doubt I would have said Lidstrom. Would you? C'mon. You would have said Ovechkin, Thornton maybe. A few of you would even have said Pheneuf, Kovalchuk or Niedermayer. Under the radar, even ours.

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Khan(!): Implosion Seems Unlikely

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

There's a reason Ansar Khan(!) is the Captain of the Deep Diggers. You may recall that the Detroit News' Ted Kulfan used to hold that title. Seasoned, professional, straight-laced and certainly credible...at least as far as the organ-I-zation is concerned. But Khan(!)...well, he's a little closer to our style. From time to time our boy moves a little outside the edge of the envelope and strays toward our kind of innuendo and sarcasm. Today's one of those days. MLive

If the Detroit Red Wings are in decline, if they're fed up with their hard-headed coach and are on the verge of imploding, they have a strange way of showing it.
Aha...nice. Familiar with the "imploding" reference? No? Here you go.

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Torres Hit Still Being Felt

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Despite the grumblings from some far corners of Wing message boards, Rafi Torres' hit on Jason Williams Wednesday was clean. Brutal, but clean. Williams had the puck...well, it had just left his stick. Torres kept his feet. Williams' head was down. Torres drilled him. Every reaction from every Wing (players, coaches, execs) testified to that. But, man it looked like it hurt. Danny Markov, well known for dishing out similar exhibitions of violence, said that the hitter is often as affected as the hittee. Detroit News/Ted Kulfan

"You want to hit people, you want a good hit, but you want to see the guy get up," Markov said. "When something like that happens, the guy falls and there's a lot of blood on the ice, nobody is moving, everyone is scared. "Nobody in the league wants to hit anyone on purpose, to injury guys. It's a physical game."

Continue Reading »

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And In Rode Bubba

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

What a coincidence. The first full day A2Y is back in operation and who should come a callin? Ahhh, yes. Little Brother Bubba. The headline in the Daily Tennessean this morning? "Predators Have Strong Disdain For Detroit." Nice alliteration, Arlo. But, see, 90 percent of your audience has no idea what it means. It's ok. It's going to be ok. I'm sorry for teasing. As strongly worded as that headline may be, the story does nothing to back it up. I expected to read a quote from Steve Sullivan, mush-mouthedly making grand claims that the Central belonged to Bubba. Nah, this is as strong as it gets. Daily Tennessean/Jessica Hopp

"They are a good team, and no matter what they do in the offseason they are good," Vasicek said. "They have showed that in the last 10 years."

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: central, chelios, hasek

Clement: Leadership Voids In Detroit

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Bill Clement's spent about as much time as I, or Andy Strickland for that matter, have in the last year. But that's not stopping him from saying a lack of leadership may be the Wings' downfall this year. MSNBC

I like many of the components of Detroit's team, but when it comes to crunch time there is no longer a Steve Yzerman, a Brendan Shanahan or a Brett Hull to count on. So while I like a lot of the Red Wings' pieces, there are some definite voids to be filled leadership-wise.
Despite that line, it's actually a pretty complimentary article. Read more.

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  Tags: shanahan, yzerman

Fischer: “Williams was lucky.”

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

George Sipple writes in the Free Press Wing blog today that Jiri Fischer was relieved to hear that Jason Williams' injuries were less serious than they first appeared. Detroit Free Press/G. Sipple

"He's a lucky guy. That situation could have been so, so much more dramatic than it fortunately turned out to be." Told that some of his teammates said Williams’ injury brought back memories of Fischer’s seizure, Fischer was able to joke about his own tragedy, saying: “Well, I was out that day.” Fischer said Wednesday night was the first he had ever witnessed a player being taken off the ice on a stretcher and taken by ambulance to a hospital. “I saw Jason today and that sure made me feel a lot better,” Fischer said.
The Wings did take the step to place Williams on the IR today, though...recalling Brad Norton from Grand Rapids. MLive/Khan(!)
Williams is doing fine but will miss at least the next two games. He spent the night in the hospital but was released and came to Joe Louis Arena briefly on Thursday to pick up his car.
Bright side? Norton's back just in time for Bubba. Wouldn't mind seeing him rattle some cages Friday night.

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  Tags: fischer

The Chief Is Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Bill, IwoCPO or The Chief, whatever you wish to call him is back! We are still doing a bit of tweaking, so look for some additional features to be added very soon. I welcome Abel to Yzerman with open arms and want to let you know, Bill has his own unique style, which makes his blog a must read, even for non-Wings fans. Please make sure to stop by and wish him well- or some of you may wish he just goes to.... More on KK plans for the future tomorrow.

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And So It Begins

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

After a two-month layoff, which we guardedly refer to as "the absence," Abel to Yzerman has returned. If you're reading this you're obviously aware of our new location and A2Y's new Godfather, Paul of Kukla's fame. And by way of showing thanks, Paul has the honor of being the first addition to the A2Y Glossary. From henceforth....Corleone'. Speaking of the glossary, you'll find a link to it on the left sidebar soon. Still working on it. What else is new? Well, the style is different as you can see. Your Wing bloggers can be found in the "Head to Hockeytown" section, along with the links to the Deep Diggers. I've also added Gloveside.net as another great source of Wing news and opinion. Below that are links to notable bloggers from around North America. Bloggers: if I've missed you, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or leave a comment. Unfortunately the guys who hosted A2Y are being Roy-like and it's a frigging negotiation to get my files.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: fellow+bloggers

Canucks “D” Hurting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick will miss the next four to six weeks because of a hairline fracture in his left foot. Sami Salo (knee sprain) and Willie Mitchell (post-concussion symptoms) are also sidelined, leaving Vancouver with a young, inexperienced defense for its game Thursday night against Anaheim.

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