Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Bettman: “We’re Placing a Team In Cancun!”

No, not Gary Bettman.  Those are the words of Sally Bettman, Gary’s twin sister…a big Hamiltonian woman who was one of the 3,223 Canadians I met in Mexico.  She told me, and I agreed, that the entire nation had decided to vacation in Cancun.  She also told me, and I definitely agreed, that every drink at an all-inclusive resort is watered down to Bud Light level.

But that wasn’t the strange part.  Wanna know what was?  Of course you do.

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Stress Train? What Stress Train?

Oh…like you didn’t know I’m kind of a reactionary.  Yeah, I’m still stressed about the Zetterberg back issue.  On the eve prior to a Cancun vacation, I kept my family awake discussing scenarios that would lessen the blow if Hank were to miss extended periods of time. Is the family happy with me?  Oh no. Decidedly no.  But are they more aware, better equipped to discuss certain items of importance to me while we’re all on vacation? Oh yes.

Hey.  Happy about last night.  Of course you are.  It’s always fun to beat the Poultry, especially in their coop.  I’m glad you’re happy. It warms me.

But…

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Who The Hell Is Running This League?

Updated 23 Jan to include quote from Niedermayer

The NHL is a laughingstock in the US and too many of us continue to throw up our hands and wonder why.  A lockout that accomplished nothing, other than alienating millions who needed a reason not to watch hockey.  A TV contract (renewed for three years today) with a network half the US doesn’t receive, a network that actually employs the likes of Brian Engblom and Keith Jones as their “experts”, not to mention Joe Beninati (spelling? Don’t care) as its primary play-by-play voice—a guy who’s a joke even in his hometown. 

Shootouts that have become a farce, parlor tricks for the idiotic.  A pathetic schedule, Dominique Wilkens judging all-star shootout competitions, hockey in Miami and Nashville and a second-string Cleveland Brown quarterback with more time in tv ads than Sidney Crosby.

All that evidence of absolute ineptitude at the top and now this…

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Stress Train Tickets Officially On Sale Today

Chris Osgood’s starting the All Star game.  Just as I predicted he would way back in September.  Ok, no I didn’t.  But I did predict Mike Babcock would open his mouth to the media yesterday and end up sounding like a Latin teacher on crack.

St. James

“I’m pretty sure it’s my call,” Babcock said. “And I’m not leaning—I know.”

I’m leaning toward something else and here’s what I know:  Sundin, Hossa, Fors-flopping-berg?  If they were off the table a month ago, they’re on it today. 

‘Cuz, you know…Hank’s back’s a-hurtin’ and the stress train is at the station, two months early.

 

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Blake On Chelios

Remember the comments official Wing spokesman Chris Chelios made regarding Rob Blake last week?  Well, Blake has responded….kinda.

Inside the Kings

Last week, Red Wings defender Chris Chelios said this of Rob Blake in an interview on a Detroit radio station: “He’s in a situation there where there’s just no end at the light of the tunnel and he’s lost his drive right now. I’ve been there. I talked to him last time we played him, and he would love to come here.”

Blake’s response: “I don’t know if that’s exactly what was said, so I’ll leave it at that.”

Blake said he wasn’t upset at all with Chelios for making the comments. When I asked if there’s any truth to him losing his drive, he gave a long ``Well ...,’’ then said he was still trying and he didn’t know any more he can say about that.

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Back Again: Zetterberg In Pain

This can’t be good. 

St. James

Bad news from this morning’s skate at the Toyota Center in El Segundo, California: Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg didn’t practice because his back is acting up again.

Zetterberg, the team’s leading scorer with 28 goals and 61 points, and a plus-20 rating, in 44 games, missed five games in late December because of back spasms, and his back problems cost him the last 19 games of the regular season last year.

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Sunday Digging: Shark Insanity and Zetterberg

Interesting.  Four months ago, if you’d told me our first round opponent could be any of the following six, I’d have been mass producing stress train tickets at a discount price:  San Jose, Vancouver, Minnesota, Dallas, Denver, Calgary. 

Now?  Only one team presents an opportunity for pain, in my opinion.  And if the Wings can somehow beat Luongo, they’ll fall too.  I’m thinking the first round brings with it a team that wouldn’t be there if the playoffs started today: Phoenix.

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Hasek In Net

Ah…the dynamic is shifting.  Uncle Mike has decided to betray his public claim of alternating Osgood and Hasek.

Khan(!)

“I’m still kind of alternating, I just went with Dom because I like the way he played the other night (vs. Vancouver),’’ Babcock said. “In my mindset before the game, I said to myself if he plays good he’s going again. ... In my mind right now, I’m thinking Ozzie in L.A., Ozzie the first game back after the break (Jan. 30 vs. Phoenix). In saying that, it’s always day-to-day.’‘

Can’t argue with that.  Hasek stole the game against Vancouver and there should be no reason not to start him with a day’s rest in between.

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Back In Business: Wojo and Iwo

It’s pretty damn hard for me to sit here and criticize our Wing-dumb Detroit columnists when I haven’t written anything more substantive than a few lines per game on our now bad-luck Wing chats.

But I will anyway.  Bob Wojnowski’s writing about the Wings, so you know football season (at least in Michigan) is over.  What does he have to say? You’ve read it by now, but we’ll re-hash because that’s how we roll here at A2Y.

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Blogger Burnout? Yeah…A Little

Work? New Zealand?  Domestic Pressures?  Sure. All realistic. 

But honestly…not really.  Here’s what I don’t know:  I have no idea who’s healthy tonite, who the starting goalie is, what Darren McCarty’s status is, whether Hank Zetterberg is going to rest during the all star break, or whether Mike Babcock has uttered a complete sentence in the last five days.

I’m back..I think.  After not reading about the Wings, or even thinking of them since our last live blog/chat, I think I’m back in form.  Blogger’s malaise. Blogger burnout. Whatever.
Live blog/chat here.

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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

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