Abel to Yzerman
1853 and Sportscenter makes their first NHL playoff mention. Barry Melrose: it’s a good thing that Pittsburgh loses. Everyone lost before they won.
Then it’s on to NASCAR.
Updated 2055 EST: Big test for Versus!!!!!!!. What are they gonna do when we’re halfway through the third of a blowout in Ottawa when the puck drops in Calgary? I know what I’m gonna do if we join that game late.
Updated 1954 EST: Just got an email from AlanaH. She said she may drop by, but the few times she’s conversed with Wing fans she’s been left adjusting to the fact that they are wittier than she is. It’s tough for her. Be gentle.
[Alanah Note: Yes, IwoCPO, you are correct—frequently, when I think about your team, I laugh. Hasek’s fashion clothing line probably has a lot to do with that…]
[Iwo Note: Oh AlanaH. Don’t be bitter. I’ve corresponded with all the regulars and they promise not to mention Cloutier if you hang out tonite.]
Updated 1953 EST: Alright, alright. You’ve spoken. I will attempt a live blog. But if bad things happen…well, if bad things happen I make no guarantees. I’ll start it out at 2115 and we’ll go from there. And if Ottawa and Pittsburgh go into OT, I’m gonna be tough to deal with.
I’ll leave it up to you rat bastards. If you’re in, I’ll make it happen. I make no guarantees though. If the stress gets the better of me and I go all fetal, it may be short-lived.
Has there ever been a time we needed a Mike Babcock Consolidated Quote of the Day more than today? No? You agree? Yes? Ok. Overheard after the morning skate today.... "We've decided to go ahead and start Hudsyhudshuds. Every time I think of him up in that press box, eating those nachos and grabbing ass with Jimmy D I get pissed. I think why's that little bastard get nachos? So, we're going to change it up, get him out there, give him a shot, more minutes..definitely more than last game, eh Ansar? Ha. What? How much? 3 years, eh? Like I said, Sammy's our guy. We're going to stick by him skinny and thick. No matter what."
Updated 1520 EST: Khan (!) spoke with Babcock who commented on the fact that Hasek chose not to practice today after participating in yesterday's optional fun-fest.
Wings goaltender Dominik Hasek never misses a gameday skate when he’s starting. So when Hasek didn’t take the ice Thursday morning in the Saddledome, it raised some questions about his health. But, coach Mike Babcock said everything’s fine. Hasek is starting tonight in Game 4, he just didn’t feel like facing shots in the morning. “He chose not to (practice),’’ Babcock said. “Dom wanted to (practice) yesterday, (when) we felt we needed an optional for our guys, we felt we had a lot of guys who shouldn’t skate.’’Oh...neat. If the morning skate is a true indicator, you've been ignored. Helene St. James blogs that the faces will remain, the lines could very well change.
Based on the morning skate, it looks like the Red Wings will field two new lines tonight when they will attempt to take a 3-1 lead in the first-round series against Calgary. Robert Lang will have two new wingers in Todd Bertuzzi and Johan Franzen. Valtteri Filppula will be out with Kyle Calder and Mikael Samuelsson. Lang had been playing with Calder and Samuelsson the first three games of the series, but while the line was responsible defensively, it didn’t generate much offense.So, here we are: Hank/Datsyuk/Homer Franzen/Lang/Bertuzzi Maltby/Draper/Cleary Samuelsson/Filpulla/Calder No Hudler. No sack for Babcock. Another pointless night for Samuelsson and a loss? Light the torches.
Hard charging John Niyo blogs this afternoon that Regehr's riding press box pine again tonite.
Didn't skate again this morning and won't play tonight in Game 4. Expect the same lineup from the Flames. As for the Wings, stay tuned.Staying tuned...aye. And, like our friends said in the comment section here, if Calder sits tonite...and he's healthy? Speechless. I guess all I can say is that would be really frigging stupid.
Yep, that's a Skynyrd reference to start your day. And one line from one tune off the "Second Helping" album seems to fit nicely. "People said he was useless, them people all were fools." Now who would we be referring to, and is our claim foolish? Your call, Lang or Samuelsson. Something's gotta be done about the second line and it needs to happen tonite. All the diggers are scratching their heads, and we'll bring you their riveting game-day stories, followed by a little IwoAnalysis. Oh...and name the song.
The honeymoon is, not surprisingly, over; and we have returned to our regularly scheduled playoff programming: stress. And you know when it started? Not yesterday morning, or afternoon, or early evening. Nope. That kind of stress is a pleasant nervousness, a sense of anticipation. You like it because you like to look back on it and think, "What was I worried about?" The real stress started on the first shift when every one of us saw a different type of game, even though we expected it. Did the Flames look that good? No. But they looked...different, right off the hop.
Update 0044: If there’s anyone here who doubted Lang would lose that faceoff, please raise your hand so we can all point at you and laugh. Tough loss, but not a huge surprise. Split was the goal going in and it remains that now.
Update 0014 EST: I posted this earlier, but it definitely bears repeating. Battle of Alberta’s assessment of Mark Giordano.
Giordano can be a defensive liability, relatively speaking, but he can also launch a counterattack. And, he’s shown a decent knack for getting his point shot through to the net, which is clearly a skill the Flames could use right now. Calgary could quite conceivably win the next two games while still allowing 7 GA, but scoring only 2, they cannot and will not.
Update 0008 EST: If the Wings win this game, that play by Cleary will be looked back on for some time. Amazing.
I can’t handle that live blogging stuff during the game…it’s just not possible. But, I’ll open it up for you guys to comment here if you have the fortitude. First period: nervous, nervous. Agreed with Paul below (was it you Paul?) who said inserting Bertuzzi looks like a bad decision. He looks terrible and he’s a target. Each time he hits the ice, at least three times now, it’s an energy boost for the Flames. Lots of pressure from Calgary, little offense from Detroit.
In other words, pretty much what we expected in the Saddledome. Wings survived the first period unscathed, and that’s not a negative.
Update 2129: Khan(!) had been dormant all day, but adds this.
Todd Bertuzzi will make his Wings playoff debut tonight in Game 3 at Calgary, replacing rookie Jiri Hudler in the lineup. Bertuzzi will play on a line with Robert Lang and Kyle Calder, bumping Mikael Samuelsson to the fourth line, with Valtteri Filppula and Johan Franzen.
Ted Kulfan reports Bertuzzi’s in, and…deep breath…Hudler’s press-box bound.
Update 2012: I’m watching the game on Versus!!!!!!!!!!!! tonite. If Pittsburgh and Ottawa go to OT and I miss a frigging second of the Wing game I’m throwing tantrums from stem to stern.
Haven’t seen much on our topic of choice today. Gametime decision. Samuelsson? Hudler? I think the only redeeming factor to keep Samuelsson in there is if Babcock actually thinks he can contribute physically where Hudler can’t. I agree with Gramps below that keeping him in the lineup to man the point on the powerplay is foolhardy at best…when you’ve got Lidstrom, Schneider and Lebda who can all handle it better than Samuelsson.
I disagree, as he knows, with Gramps that we Wing fans look at Manny Legace as an illegitimate scapegoat for The Punch In The Face. If we do, the Wing organ-I-zation, including the players, obviously share that sentiment. To get you ready for Game 3, let’s take a spin around the land of Happiness…Wing bloggers with a 2-0 lead.
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