Abel to Yzerman
Some of you feel like victims. You feel the world is, because you’re a Wing fan, against you; even hoping for your sorrow. You greet each day knowing there are fans out there who take great joy in your misery, and that of your team. Many of you revel in this. It makes a small number of you cranky and itchy.
Whatever reaction happens to be yours, prepare yourself because I’ve got a stimulant for you. Yet another voice from another state, representing another fan base, who would like to tell you how to support your team. Shockingly that voice comes from down South.
Carolina way to be exact.
Wake up the kids. Have them bring their Cocoa Puffs to the Commodore 64. In the event they didn’t see last night’s game on Gary’s Versus, here are the highlights.
Mike Keane was on Hockey Night in Canada radio a few weeks ago, talking about his life in the minors playing for the Manitoba Moose. Hard not to respect the things he had to say, that he realizes he’ll probably never play for an NHL team again; but that he loves hockey and would like nothing more than to help Manitoba to a title.
It was one of those interviews that would typically leave you liking the guy because of what he represents as a hockey player. And it almost made me forget that Keane referred to the Wings as “cowards” after McCarty dragged Claude Lemieux’s bloody face across the Joe Louis ice, closer to the Wings bench so that Kris Draper could get a better view.
Update 2233: St. James and Khan(!) both blogging that John Hahn is claiming Lidstrom’s injury is a sprain, that he was sitting in front of his stall watching the game, and actually wanted to come out for the second. Hold on to those sighs of relief though and answer this question: Is anyone going to tell the truth about the extent of an injury to Nick Lidstrom when Ken Holland’s trying to work a deal right now in Naples?
Update 2125: From Khan(!)‘s blog (URL below): Wings spokesman John Hahn said it doesn’t appear to be too serious but he’s being held out as a precaution. Hahn said Lidstrom never blacked out and actually wanted to return to the game.
Update 2121: From St. James blog (URL below): “It doesn’t look too serious,” Hahn said, “but he is being kept out as a precaution.”
Update 2108: Paul Woods reporting a “slight knee injury.”
Nick Lidstrom, and reports from Versus and the Diggers are calling it a right knee injury, was helped off the ice midway through the first in Denver. Will provide updates here as we get them.
No word yet on the extent of the injury. Lidstrom needed some assistance to get off the ice and was taken to the training room after a hard hit from Colorado’s Ian Laperriere at 6:10 of the first period. It happened during a Detroit power play as Laperriere hammered Lidstrom against the boards. Lidstrom tried to get up but was wobbling before trainer Piet Van Zant came onto the ice to help him off. Lidstrom’s right leg appeared to get bent in an awkward position.
Aaron Downey, because that’s what he does, beat the Hell out of Laperriere soon after. And, yes, Laperriere turtled.
The chat room will be open as usual this evening as Michigan “transplants” flood the Can in Denver on Gary’s Versus. See you guys in there around 1955. Also, Kevin Allen joins Sean Baligian on WDFN’s “Ice Time”, streaming live at 1930.
Scrappy Deep Digger Helene St. James blogs this afternoon that two of the four injured Wings appear to be getting better.
Mike Babcock said Rafalski may be ready to play by Friday’s game at Calgary. Hasek is improving, too.
“Definitely feeling better,” he said. “This week I hope I can start to practice, so that’s my goal. I want to go on the ice in the next few days and see how it feels, but I definitely feel better than one week ago. Much stronger.”
As you know, Kronwall’s skating with no firm return date and there’s no reason to hope Dan Cleary will be back for anything more than a few regular season games.
Vartan Kupelian used to cover the Wings for the Detroit News. Now he’s a golf writer, for the most part. But that doesn’t stop him from lending us his genius analysis of the current slide.
The same offensive players that were so dominant—Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and a few of the others—aren’t being allowed to luxury of extra space to perform their magic tricks.
Bigger, stronger opponents—playing with greater intensity and passion—are preventing the Wings from enjoying the same scoring opportunities.
The operative phrase there is “bigger, stronger.”
All decent points, despite the fact that they’re a re-hash of the NBC Wing Roast yesterday. Still, Vartan seems to be heading toward a stirring conclusion. Until he hits a self-imposted road block…
He still looks a step slow at times—even McCarty will acknowledge that his conditioning needs a little more work—but he’s always in the right spot on the ice. He rarely makes a dumb play and still possesses the soft hands that helped him score 126 career NHL goals.
Suddenly, McCarty looks like a pretty good late-season addition for the Red Wings, especially if the team doesn’t make a trade before the Feb. 26 deadline.
And if you haven’t seen McCarty’s hat trick from the other night, see below. Long clip, with some truly offensive music, but you’ll see that the hands are definitely still there.
I’m not telling you to relinquish your window spots. Oh no. Keep the stub. Leave your empty Tab can in the cup holder, your leather Fonzie jacket in the seat. The Stress Train is packed and by no means am I endorsing an exodus. We have every right to be fetal today, and every day through the playoffs. You see…this streak will end, the world will right itself and the Wings will win consistently again.
But…the memory of this will always be right…there. But, just for a few minutes, let’s focus on something else other than even strength ineptitude, overplaying Nick Lidstrom and still losing, the fact that our present best goalie has like 600 fewer wins than the other two.
We’ll get to all that later today. Now?
Jimmy Howard’s starting. Chris Osgood’s irritated. Mike Babcock’s talking about playing Boggle in the basement. Brian Rafalski’s hurt. Cleary can’t eat, talk or play. Kronwall..who the hell knows when he’s coming back? Dominik Hasek sounds like he’s been visiting Ottawa. The Wings have lost five in a row. BJ fans (and aren’t we all?)...sorry, Columbus fans, are mouthing off in the comment section.
The wheels have come off.
Nope. Because nothing stops a losing streak like Marty Turco.
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