Abel to Yzerman
A hectic day for me so this post is not as detailed as I would like, but it's better than a blank space...
via David Alter of TorontoMapleLeafs.com,
The Maple Leafs get set to take on the Detroit Red Wings for the third time this season. Here are the Leafs three keys to a win against a Wings team that has been tough for them to beat.
Tough Test For The Power-Play
After going three straight games without a power-play goal, the Leafs finally broke through in that department on Thursday night. Detroit sports the second best power-play in the NHL at 89.6% just .1 back of first place Chicago. Winning the special teams department and scoring goals in high quantities is key.
Top Line Danger
Detroit’s number one offensive unit has been all kinds of trouble for the Maple Leafs. Henrik Zetterberg has an overtime winning goal and four assists against Toronto this season. He has 15 points in 11 career games against the Leafs. Gustav Nyquist and Johan Franzen both have six points in six career games against Toronto. If any of these three players is allowed room to work down low against the Leafs, it will be a long night.
Possession and Faceoffs
The Maple Leafs were able to limit the danger of Steven Stamkos limiting his opportunities to get the puck. Tyler Bozak led the way by winning 22 of 30 faceoffs on Thursday night. Detroit is third in the league in faceoffs. The Leafs aren’t too far away, sitting in 7th. Winning key faceoffs against the likes of Henrik Zetterberg could the difference between a win and a loss.
Like many of you I was happy with the win Tuesday, but I will remain skeptical. The highs and lows we get from following this Team are enough to send some of us to the bin, and, at this point all I want is for the Wings to win two in a row, since I am having a hard time remembering the last time that happened.
We are still hovering around the middle of the pack, but that is not good enough.
We fans deserve two wins in a row. We fans demand two wins in a row.
Points, points, points. We need two more of them. Tonight.
Two plus two is on my mind.
Chris McCosky of the Detroit News with a look at Justin Abdelkader,
"He keeps getting better," coach Mike Babcock said. "We had four net-front presences on five goals, which is important playing against that goalie. With Bobrovsky, you have to find a way to get inside. You try to do that every night; some nights you get there and some nights you don't. Good for Abby."
It mostly takes a lot of will and courage to be a strong net-front player, but Babcock said Abdelkader is starting to learn the art of it, as well.
"You learn over time," he said. "But the reality is, you've got to want to go there. You're not scoring unless you go there. Look at the goals every night in the league, that's just the reality."
from Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun,
They’ve learned that checking the other guys into submission can actually be fun.
They’ve used solid goaltending to nurse one-goal leads all the way home and come back from as much as a three-goal deficit to salvage a point.
Through 20 games, there’s a fair bit to like about this year’s edition of the Winnipeg Jets.
Perhaps at the top of that list is how the Jets have avoided smacking their mitts on that big, red button the moment things go haywire.
There's a saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." But something is broken on this Team, and it is called consistency, and it has been an ongoing problem for some time. How we are managing to stay somewhere in the middle of the pack is puzzling, considering how we are hot one night, ice cold the next. This type of play is unacceptable to many Wing's Fans.
We deserve better. We demand better.
I'm going to hope that tonight we can get the BJ, instead of the usual sucking the Wings have been doing. Uncle Mike has said that he is to blame for not being ready, prepared. I say it's a two way street. He isn't on the ice missing passes and letting goals in. He does draw up the game plan however, so if the plan isn't panning, then change the plan.
Consistency. Fix it!
We are ranking all of the current NHL head coaches. We asked a panel of experts to rank each coach on a scale of 0 to 10 based on how they predict he will perform this season.
Brian Hedger at NHL.com has a preview of tonight's game.
Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch with a preview too,
The Blue Jackets have lost 118 man games to injury through 17 games, without question the defining statistic of their season.
Only five players have played all 17 games, and one of them — the Jackets’ leading scorer — might miss a game against the Detroit Red Wings tonight.
Center Ryan Johansen is “banged up,” Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said, and did not practice yesterday. Johansen is questionable to play in Nationwide Arena.
“We’ll see how he feels (this morning),” Richards said. “He’s got a little bit more (than soreness). We’ll know more (today).”
Team notes are below...
Montreal (13-4-1) is at the Joe tonight and they are smoking hot having won five in a row. When a Team is winning it makes them even harder to beat.
The Wings (8-3-5) know that there is no time for back patting. Friday's win was almost a full sixty minute effort. Howard was spectacular, and I was very impressed with Glennie and the grinders.
So, more of the same from the Wings tonight, and a FULL sixty minutes of effort from every single player.
Trap Game or not, confidence is high, and, I expect carry over from Friday to push the Wings into two in a row.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Johan Franzen rattled off a litany of goals before the season: Come to play every game, be strong mentally, be focused, use his size to get to the net, contribute offensively and get off to a good start.
So far, he can put a check next to each entry.
The Detroit Red Wings forward has five goals and 11 points in 10 games. He has scored a goal in three consecutive games and will take a five-game points streak into Sunday's game against the Montreal Canadiens at Joe Louis Arena (7 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit).
"It took him a little bit to get back, but obviously Mule had his legs going," coach Mike Babcock said following Friday's 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. "That's what he's got to do for us. When his legs get going he's an ultra-effective player. When he's standing around watching he's just like the rest of us, not quite as good.
"It takes you time when you've been injured, especially a leg injury."
Mike Boone of Hockey Inside/Out with a few notes on tonight's game in a post about the job Montreal GM Marc Bergevin has done and a recap on Montreal's win last night,
If so, or maybe you just want 18 minutes of highlights from Wings/Hawks last night.
That aboot sums it up. I'm no pharmacist, but if we do not start winning, instead of just hanging around for the embarrassing loser point, then, what is the point?
The Wings have fallen to sixth in the Atlantic. I am aware of how tight the standings are, but it is not going to get any easier.
The Cawks are coming to the Joe tonight, and I am hoping that we will interfere with any chance they have of winning. Subtlety or otherwise.
That's it. I got nothing.
NHL.com previews tonight's game which starts just after 7:30pm ET on FSD.
Below are notes on both teams...
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: firstname.lastname@example.org