Abel to Yzerman
Now, we bring you the return of Jamie Fitzpatrick. Jamie, you may recall was mentioned several months ago after his misguided attack on the fans of Edmonton—a fan base, I might add, that proved to be worthy, respectable adversaries even as they were Punching Us In The Face last spring.
PJ Swenson, one of the deans of hockey bloggers, posted an interview this morning with Ansar Khan(!). Here’s a segment of the interview dealing with Wing injuries.
Zetterberg’s back is clearly bothering him. He’s played remarkably well in spite of it. But how long can he keep it up? I think Kyle Calder is hurting. I think past Wings team wouldn’t be able to overcome these injuries, but this group has more resiliency, so I wouldn’t bet against them.
PJ apparently didn’t ask Khan(!) about the honor of serving as Deep Digger captain.
Update 1125 EST: A2Y Graphics Coordinator, TeamDub, has provided us with riveting photo evidence that The Enigma is, indeed, missing in action. Keep reading and you’ll see.
The snappy title to this post should serve as a nifty preview for an in-depth, statistically-based, void-of-sarcasm analysis of Wing line combinations for this evening, the coming weeks and into the future. And we’ll get to that. Oh yes we will.
But first: Bob Lang.
Flew cross country today. That matters to none of you. Homer didn’t fly cross country today and that matters to us all.
Tomas Holmstrom didn’t make the trip. He’s scheduled to see an eye specialist in Detroit again on Monday. Babcock said “re-bleeding’’ in the eye is a concern. He said if everything checks out OK, they hope to put Holmstrom on a plane and have him here for Game 4 Wednesday.
John Niyo’s postgame blog last night points out that our boy Bobbie Lang played only 2 shifts in the third. Summer can’t get here quickly enough. Niyo makes another good point about San Jose’s own enigma.
Great games by Zetterberg and Chelios, I thought.
On the flip side, is anyone out there still lamenting the fact that the Wings didn’t get Bill Guerin. Now you see why the Wings weren’t nearly as interested in him at the trade deadline as some had guessed.
I don’t know that Guerin was ever a serious consideration in Detroit. I know I felt that way because the bitter little Blues fans would have revolted if JD had dealt him to the Wings. Regardless, he’s been invisible for San Jose the entire playoffs: 7 games, 2 points, 0 goals, -3.
Omens…omens all around. AlanaH and I mentioned we had ourselves a little wager regarding Round 1 and the respective point totals of one of the Ginger Twins and Datsyuk?
Yes. Yes we did.
Read the comments from the Shark fans below and you’d think that was the case. San Jose has swept Detroit. In a new, unique device to ostracize the remaining eleven thousand American hockey fans, Gary Bettman—if you believe the hockey historians in San Jose—has decreed that the Western Semi’s have been reduced to a best of one.
Shark fans, that small sect of hockey geniuses who populate the hotbed that is Northern California, took to their keyboards after Game 1, tip-tapping witty little notes like this:
I’m not going to gloat or boast or dress up in my teal thong and ride down the Castro into a rainbow of hockey happiness. That would be dumb because we still have to whip your ass three more times. It is going to happen. Just like we said. The Sharks are bigger and stronger. The Sharks defense is better. And the Sharks had one power play and, guess what Puckheads, they scored. Just like Mike and I said they would.
IwoCPO wanted me to let you know he is a bit busy today, but will be doing a late night post tonight.
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.
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