Abel to Yzerman
You’re going to see this a lot today: “A tale of two…” Insert the key phrase there. You’ll see that because it’s easy and it’s obvious. And that, kids, is how our diggers roll. The first period? All the ills that had plagued the Wings to begin Games 1 and 2 were gone. Speed. Danger. Aggression? Present. Shots from the point? Getting through. Open space in the neutral zone? Available. A lead? Thank you.
0037 EST: Wings played their best period of the series, then got dominated physically. Shots were even at 7 apiece in the second, and that amazed me. If I’d had to guess I would have said there was a ten or eleven shot difference. Pathetic calls on Lang’s “interference” and Bertuzzi’s trip. Referees didn’t decide this one, though. Size and strength in the corners decided it.
2345 EST: Anyone but me notice that, once again, the TSN commentators (Cuthbert and Healy) are pretty blatant about who they’d like to see win this series? Whatever. Bad, bad penalty from Bertuzzi.
2250 EST: Somewhere, in a dark place, underneath a billowy sweater worn by an insane Czech goalie, a hockey puck crossed a goal line.
No it didn’t, because the cameras say so. Nice.
Andres Lilja: 9 playoff games. 2 PIM. Unbelievable.
Energy. A shot and a nice feed all on his first shift. Lang’s work is probably done for the evening, but an encouraging start.
George Sipple reports this evening that San Jose’s Mark Bell’s injuries will force him to the press box tonite in favor of Joe Pavelski.
Bell had been out with a groin injury in Game 1, then returned to the lineup in Game 2 on Saturday. In three playoff games, Bell is minus-2 with no points. In four playoff games, Pavelski was plus-2 with one goal.
“At this point in the year, you can’t wait for someone to get going,” Wilson said. “He’s had hip and groin problems, back problems.
Woops. Remember Legace-confidante Andy Strickland? Sure you do. Now’s a good time to tell you that for a little while in January, it looked like young Andy was going to avail himself to us, perhaps to further address his original claim that the Wings would “implode by Christmas.”
For some reason, he didn’t feel compelled to take advantage of that opportunity.
But hey…if you’re not doing anything around 11am EST tomorrow…
I will be taping the show at 10:00 central time Tuesday Morning. Feel free to call the show and ask a question or give a comment at 1-800-491-1380 or 314-969-1380 locally in St. Louis.
You can also e-mail the show and I will read the question on the air.
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Paul just posted over at KK Hockey that Tomas Holmstrom has been cleared to play and will be flying out to San Jose today and is likely for Game 4. Yes, the obvious questions are: when does the flight leave, and if he's cleared, can he play tonite? Bruce MacLeod with a bit more, and news that Zetterberg practiced for the first time in a week this morning. Helene St. James says it's definite that Holmstrom will NOT be playing tonite. Last blog entry from Ted Kulfan? 27 April.
Babcock said definitely no Holmstrom (eye) and Lebda (ankle) for Game 2.Easy Ted. Don't pull a muscle.
According to the Stats NHL Blog, the Wings’ two-goal comeback on Saturday was a 2007 rarity.
John Kreisler noted how getting a two-goal lead meant so much in the postseason. He reported that in the first 47 playoff games this spring, teams taking a lead of two goals or more were 34-0.
According to Kreisler, there were 126 regular-season games—better than one in every 10 played—in which teams trailed by two or more goals and won. On two dates (March 1 and April 7), it happened five times apiece.
Read more here, including the suggestion that if the Wings return the Cup to its rightful home in Hockeytown, Datsyuk’s game winner could very well be the goal that will have set the stage.
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.
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