Abel to Yzerman
From 30,000 feet above Colorado and the stench has reached us here in coach. It's not pleasant smelling a state that reeks of hockey failure, but it's not a cause of pain and stress. Nope. Mere hours before Game 1 against The Team We Must Now Speak of and I'm trying to explain to the mother and young child next to me why Homer's absence tonite should worry them as it worries me. I think they're coming around but it's been a tough sell. There's a 65 year old man just in front of me. He seems like a nice old gentleman, grandfatherly, sympathetic to my stress. He nods when I tell him that Zetterberg's back has me so nervous that I may have to use his air sickness bag. He doesn't want to talk to me anymore though. He's watching a movie now. I'm gonna lean over and see what it is....Saw II. Awww, that's nice. Sweet old man. A young French couple is across the aisle from me. They don't seem to listen when I tell them I believe their nation is short on sack. They perk up though when I tell them that I'm concerned that Nick Lidstrom may have finally met his match this time. They look skeptically at one another when I explain that Thornton presents too many problems. They huddle and whisper then the woman leans over and says that she and her husband have discussed it and they both agree that Thornton may see a healthy dose of Chris Chelios, as well. They think the old man may frustrate him to the point of distraction. The husband returns to his romance novel, te wife to her hygiene magazine and I'm alone again with my thoughts. I think we're past Colorado because the passengers have stopped giggling. Jeffrey, our stewardess and a San Jose native, is prancing up the aisle firing orders. "Elbows in please." "Watch those bags ladies." I stop him and ask if Rosie actually quit the View today. He chokes back a sob and nods in the affirmative. I ask him what he thinks the keys to the series are. The power play, he says. Detroit has to stifle San Jose's and the Wings have to succeed at least 20 percent throughout the series. He adjust his scarf and moves on. The pilot comes over the 1MC and announces there's turbulence ahead, they're turning the snack carts around, back to their little caverns at the back of the plane. Naturally I think of "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald" and "fellas it's too rough to feed ya.". That's a Michigan song, I say to the lady behind me. And that's an omen, a good one. she looks at me funny and says "what song?". The one I was just singing to myself, the Lightfoot timeless classic, I reply. She tells me to turn around or else she'll press the call button. No one ever presses the call buton, I say. They think about it but they never do. I dare you but I doubt you will. She looks at me for a minute then says, "Ron Wilson's a genius you know, a true motivator." I press the call button and Jeffrey sprints up the aisle. "Yeth?". I tell him what she says about Wilson and he says he believes players tune him out, that he's a clown. I ponder that for a moment and then decide to avail myself of the spacious restroom in the rear of the plane. I've been in here for thirty minutes now and notice there's some graffiti on the bulkhead. How odd, I think, graffiti on a plane. You just don't see much of that. I lean in closer to it and see that it's written in child-like scrawl, in crayon. "I built this team for this series," it says. "I'm hungry for Fritos and melted cheese and I've got a secret and his name is The Enigma. Remember I wrote that." There were initials underneath it.....MB. I've just been told to turn off all electronic devices. I only have one but I'll turn it off because I'm a lemming at the mercy of the bastard airline even though we all know the electronic devices don't make one damn bit of difference. Wings in 6.
I’ve decided to continue my new-found tradition of flying across the country just hours before a playoff game begins. I’ll be around just in time for the beginning of Game 1, blogging from Seattle of all places.
And yes, I’m 2-0 flying on game days.
First off, if you haven't seen it by now: Zetterberg didn't practice today and apparently had a heat pack on his back yesterday. Uncle Jack Adams Mike said that he's "resting." Oh. Good. I've been nothing but an observer the last two days. Watching in awe as stressed-out Shark and Wing followers waged an epic battle. Delicate, but surprisingly feisty, San Jose fans sandal-to-boot with Wing fans who are so crude that tears of joy spring to my eyes with every reference to California life choices. If you haven't seen the ongoing, mulit-post discussions, read them here. All the things A2Y was founded on reared their heads: stereotyping, tasteless blasting of the other team's fan base simply because they're, well, the other team's fan base, photoshop magic, give and take regarding a Rocky reference, crude Sailor humor that you just can't compete with if the high road is your only avenue to get there (nice job figuring that one out later in the day, Ian...you're coming around son) and, yes, even a little hockey talk. No matter the result of this series, the last two days have set the stage for some truly epic exchange of trash. I've never been prouder. And this one from O-Joe really sums up the whole evolution, a decided victory for Wing fans. "Ian, where did you get the impression that me suggesting you are gay is, in my mind, an insult? All I said was that when the subject of identifying dicks is the topic, I suspect you are an expert on the matter." Classic. Back later with some, sorry, series analysis.
I’m going to do a series preview tomorrow, or maybe the next day, or maybe after Game 2. It’ll probably consist of some made up quotes, a few slams at NoCal, some whining about the playoffs being stressful, and a happy puppy reference or two. Oh, and Rocky. Definitely a Rocky mention. I’m thinking Rocky III. And I’ll be happy with that preview. Because that’s who I am…not statistically sound, just kind of tip tapping because it’s fun.
Well…I’ve found the anti-Iwo.
I just read a series preview that is the mother of all series previews. Peterboroughpete at Behind The Mask...outstanding stuff. I read through the whole thing twice looking for something to cut and paste here as a preview, but to do that would be an injustice. Read it here.
So I called a guy an 11-year-old girl. What’s wrong with that? He whined like one, got all “emotional”. He came back at me with some good stuff we’ll get to, and analyze, in a bit. So all’s well. But, man, then the tree huggers chimed in. Men with names like “Ian” and “Toby” and “Angela”. I thought we’d opened up A2Y to the cast of the OC.
Oh, we’ll address their sensitivities in a bit too. But first we need to address something. Something very important.
No, I don’t think the Wings are going to lose this series. And, no, I don’t think it’s going 7 games.
You know, I’ve got a buddy in San Jose…or somewhere close to it. Not sure exactly where. One of the ten or so high school friends I still talk to on an amazingly regular basis…who can say that at age 38? He kind of staggered into our Michigan high school our senior year, or was it junior? For some reason, it’s a blur. Anyway, he came from California and wasn’t received all that well. Those of you who grew up in Michigan understand.
But, he kinda grew on us with those seven or eight layers of clothes (mostly pastel), that ridiculous accent and a few mannerisms we found to be funny as hell. And, to his credit, he stayed loyal to the hundred or so pro teams in California. Still loyal to them now, so this series should make for some interesting emails. Better do your research Kelly. I’m coming after you.
Oh, they’re frothing in California at the prospect of an Anaheim/San Jose Conference Final.
The Sharks need to play Detroit next. The Red Wings have been beaten down, bruised and frustrated by a physical Calgary team. They are poised for their annual postseason collapse, which would have happened in Round One if Calgary could have mounted any sort of offensive attack. We need the Wings now because tackling the Ducks in Round Two will be too emotional. If…wait, I mean when we beat the Ducks, and we will beat the Ducks, it will be a huge accomplishment. I fear our guard could be down and a hungry Dallas/Detroit winner will take advantage.
The Ducks have to be the final step before we play for Lord Stanley. It is hockey destiny. GO CANUCKS!
Vancouver with the empty netter. Those of you who truly enjoy physical and emotional pain get your wish: The Team We Don’t Speak Of. I knew it would have been too much to ask…woops, ANOTHER empty netter.
Hit the links Marty. Thanks.
We’ll have an optimistic little Round 2 preview for you tomorrow night. Until then…a break.
The Wings are listed Holmstrom as day-to-day, but his left eye was swollen shut Monday, so it’s hard to imagine he’d be ready to start the second round series, which will begin on Thursday for the Wings.
Holmstrom will see an eye specialist in Detroit on Tuesday. He saw an eye doctor in Calgary Monday morning and Holland said the team was encouraged that the doctor allowed Holmstrom to fly home with the club.
“He was real bad when he left the rink (Sunday night), but this morning he made significant improvement,’’ Holland said. “We’ll see over the next 48 to 72 hours how it’ll heal.’’
I’m not worrying about that tonite. Nope. All I’m concerned with is Dallas/Vancouver. No pressure. No stress. Just a Game 7 to enjoy (and really hope, sorry A, that Dallas wins).
As we did last year after the PITF, we’ll take a final spin around the Flame ‘sphere and give you their reaction. Mostly classy, as usual.
I like the Wings’ chances going forward. If they can stay out of bad penalty trouble against the Stars or Sharks (and that mainly amounts to Schneider and Lang keeping their sticks to themselves), they’re going to make the WC finals.
Agreed Matt, especially if we play San Jose. That’s going to be all about the special teams, without a doubt. They’ve killed us in that area. Killed us.
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