Abel to Yzerman
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.
Man, I miss the Oil bloggers. They were funny last year when their team actually, you know, made the playoffs. But their despair has led them to new heights of humor. I was just over at MC Hockey where he’s pushing you to a site called Time On Ice, which apparently has a pretty healthy stat machine that lets you see what players are playing against who(m). I’ll check it out later. What caught my eye, though, was his description of it. Man…priceless.
If you’re interested in what coaches are doing - and I think that most of the people who read this site are - it’s a simply great tool. It won’t show you a nude Jim Playfair sitting in a hotel room in Detroit, flipping through nudie pics from the Red Mile, drinking rye straight from a bottle and weeping but it does pretty much everything else.
Hey…if you’re going to check out the Time On Ice site, grab the official game number for a specific game from NHL.com first. Have it handy when you go back.
I give you this present, a gift of empathy. I know you need a break from the stress, or you're just starting to drink and you want a good laugh. Either way, you must check this out. Hey UM fans? You hate Ohio State? Do they hate you back with the burning heat of a Thanksgiving groundhog roast on the outskirts of Nashville? Maybe...but there's no hate like Provincial hate, brother. Read the post, but definitely read the comments.
...is what it is because our new hero Mike Babcock is taking an extra six hours to decide who to sit, Jiri Hudler or Mikael Samuelsson? Justwuzzienoughtopleadinsanity is going to play. We know it, or we can safely assume it. The question is who to take out of a lineup that has been so frigging successful. Prevailing opinion here is that Hudler deserves to play but Sam probably will due to experience and...and what?
Update: the Diggers are climbing onboard. Helene St. James says Babcock seems optimistic that we’ll be looking at a Notdangerouslywuzzi situation. See below.
Pow…this one hurts the diggers. First word on Bertuzzi comes out of Toronto of all places.
Todd Bertuzzi has practised the last few days and took a regular spin at today’s morning skate. But does that mean the big winger is about to crack the Detroit Red Wings line-up? Bertuzzi’s response was that, “Everyone will take the pre-game skate then go from there.”
But why would Detroit want him in right now anyway?
Bertuzzi suffered a concussion late in the regular-season and has yet to appear in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The other day he said he was feeling better and that every day was a stride in the right direction.
“Obviously I’ll want to be 100 per cent,” he said. “It’s just a matter of working as hard as I can.”
Pretty good analysis included in that story on why or why not to play Bertuzzi.
added 1458, Kal just passed a note on to XYT, verifying Bertuzzi is a game-time decision.
And here’s the real deal: why say anything at this point? If he’s playing, he’s playing. If not, he doesn’t and it doesn’t do the Wings a damn bit of good to say so either way. Somebody’s lying and I like it.
Based on what Mike Babcock said Tuesday morning, it would seem Todd Bertuzzi will play tonight in Game 3 between the Red Wings and Flames.
It’s still officially a game-time decision whether Bertuzzi will play, but Babcock said, “He told me he was great. I’ve said all along, as soon as he’s ready, he’s playing.”
No news on Whatmewuzzi? yet, but Bruce MacLeod reports that the Flames probably don't expect the services of Robin Regehr tonite.
Calgary defenseman Robyn Regehr did not participate in Tuesday's morning skate. That means that he's unlikely to be in the lineup tonight for Game 3. Either Andrei Zyuzin, who played in Game 1, or Mark Giordano will dress instead of Regehr.Here's what Battle of Alberta has to say about 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.
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