Abel to Yzerman
John Forslund files a practice report from the JLA.
from Keith Gave of FoxSports Detroit,
If your coach has lost faith in your very expensive No. 1 goalie, it makes it that much more difficult to deal him to another team. And at least trying to find a new home for Howard in the offseason is looking increasingly inevitable if he can't find a way to wrest his job back from Mrazek and then start winning again.
As much as I admire Babcock's snap call to start Mrazek, this might have been the time to take a moment and have a discussion with his GM. All things considered, the Wings' chance with either goaltender is a bit of a coin flip. Why not give Howard a shot when the series returns home, where he's more comfortable? Why the rush to make a call that clearly devalues an asset?
Here's why: Babcock wants to win, and maybe he needs to win because some are beginning to question his resume a bit with a postseason slump entering its fifth straight spring. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, he could be gone in 10 days or six weeks, depending on how his team does. And if that's the case, he could care less about Howard's future in or out of Detroit.
It's Holland who will be left holding onto a damaged talent. There's not much of a marked for a $5 million backup goaltender these days. That's a significant downside to the coach's call in these playoffs.
12 years and 8 days ago the Red Wings, opening their defense of the Stanley Cup, put up 64 shots on Jean-Sebastian Giguere. 1 got by him. His coach at the time is, ironically, sure to be courted soon by that very lone goal scorer, Brendan Shanahan.
The Wings outshot Anaheim by 20 that night, by 13 the next, by 11 in Game 3 and 7 in Game 4. Detroit owned a 51-shot advantage and got swept by a Mike Babcock coached team.
In game 1....
Tomas Tatar- One shot, -1, 12:59 TOI
Gustav Nyquist- one shot, -1, 11:07 TOI
Riley Sheahan- no shots, -1, 13:58 TOI
All three have to be better, starting today. A goal or two from the Wings's second line would help the cause and give the Lightning something to think about.
Time to step it up boys!
No need for a preview and notes post this morning, not much has changed except the win/loss column.
The puck drops just after 3:00pm ET and is on NBC, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports.
from Brian Savage of Mlive,
Petr Mrazek treated his NHL playoff debut as if it was just another game.
And true to form, Mrazek isn't going to dwell on perhaps the biggest victory of his young career.
The way he sees it, the Detroit Red Wings' 3-2 victory over Tampa Bay in the opener of their Stanley Cup playoff series is history so Mrazek is looking ahead to Game 2 this afternoon - and he's going to be treating that the same way.
Like just another Saturday matinee.
"It was a huge win for us," said Mrazek, 23. "I was really excited for this game. Two years ago when I had my first AHL playoff game it was the same way. I felt the same things - stay focused and stop as many pucks as I can.
"It's nice to have the first win but it's over. We need to go step by step and get the second one. I'm trying to make every game the same and trying to win the game. That's what matters.
"It gives you confidence sure. It helps you for the next game. But it's over and we have to look for the second game."
Instead of Datsyuk doing Datsyuk.
Below, 16 1/2 minutes of extended highlights via awood40...
Oh, the angst in Ottawa. Their young stud has a microfracture of his wrist, or on his wrist, in his wrist. His wrist is broken. And the wailing, the absolute sobs from the high and mighty Canadian media, the same media that has largely ignored their newfound playtoys for years, the sobs are just bellowing.
It's maddening when a star goes down during a playoff run, isn't it? I mean, it's not like they'd really know.
It's not like anyone would know, not like we know.
Puck drops just after 7:30pm,
via Brian Hunter of NHL.com,
TV: CNBC, SN, TVA Sports 2, FS-D, FS-F
Season series: The Tampa Bay Lightning won three of four against the Detroit Red Wings, led by four goals from forward Steven Stamkos, three goals from forward Cedric Paquette and the goaltending of Ben Bishop, who had a 1.97 goals-against average and .921 save percentage. The Red Wings got two goals and four points from forward Gustav Nyquist. Goalie Petr Mrazek had a 28-save shutout in the most recent game on March 28.
Red Wings team scope: Mrazek will get his first taste of the Stanley Cup Playoffs when he makes the Game 1 start. "Stay focused, stay positive, and be strong in the crease," Mrazek said about his mentality in comments tweeted by the Red Wings. Forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg were reunited as linemates Wednesday, according to MLive.com, skating with forward Darren Helm. Forward Justin Abdelkader, who hasn't played since sustaining a hand injury in an April 4 game, skated in a non-contact jersey and did not have a line. He is questionable. Coach Mike Babcock said he would play Datsyuk and Zetterberg together unless Abdelkader is able to return. The Red Wings went 7-10-3 over their final 20 games of the regular season. "When we had things going during the West Coast trips, we played the game we wanted," defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "We got to get back to doing that every game."
Lightning team scope: Coach Jon Cooper said Wednesday it looked promising Tampa Bay would get most of its injured players back for the series opener. That includes defenseman Braydon Coburn, who has missed the past month with a lower-body injury. "I would expect him to be in there," Cooper said in comments tweeted by the Lightning. Forward Alex Killorn (undisclosed) and defenseman Andrej Sustr (upper body) practiced in regular jerseys, and defenseman Jason Garrison also shed his non-contact jersey for the first time since an upper-body injury sustained March 28 against Detroit knocked him out of the lineup. Garrison isn't expected to be ready for Game 1. He was paired with Mark Barberio, which could indicate that Barberio will come out of the lineup if Coburn returns. Goalie Ben Bishop will make his playoff debut after missing last season's Eastern Conference First Round sweep by the Montreal Canadiens because of injury. Bishop finished the regular season on a 4-0-1 run.
from Tim Wharnsby of Reutes at the Globe and Mail,
Jimmy Devellano often has been asked what feat he is most proud of in his 33 years in the Detroit Red Wings front office.
“People think it’s the four Stanley Cups,” the 72-year-old senior vice-president told Reuters. “But I’m most proud of the fact we have missed the playoffs only three times in my 33 years.
“It’s quite an accomplishment to make the playoffs these days. Almost half the league (14 of 30 teams) does not make the playoffs.”
Detroit, who open their first-round series against Tampa Bay on Thursday, have made the NHL playoffs in 24 consecutive seasons. It’s the longest active streak in North American professional sports.
The NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, who are about to make their 19th consecutive postseason appearance, own the next closest active streak.
Detroit, whose remarkable run has produced four Stanley Cup titles in six trips to the final, will begin the playoffs with seven players on their roster that weren’t even born the last time the club missed the postseason.
added 2:58pm, via Joe Smith of Lightning Strikes,
"I'd prefer to play other teams," Yzerman said. "Obviously I have a tremendous respect for the organization from top to bottom. They've been one of the elite franchises in professional sports for a long time and continue to be and will continue beyond this year.
"Honestly I'm going to have a relationship with the organization my entire life, an affinity for th team forever. I'm proud of what we accomplished. But let's play hockey."
After Yzerman retired in 2006, he spent four years as an executive, grooming himself for his current role with the Lightning. Yzerman said his time in Detroit "impacted every decision" he's made in Tampa Bay.
"It's greatly influenced how I perform in my job, the decisions I make, how I go about them," Yzerman said. "It has a tremendous impact on the vision I have for our team, the way I want to play."
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: email@example.com