Abel to Yzerman
We, the even-keeled staffers here at A2Y, admit that the Dive no longer present us with the rivalry we enjoyed so much for nearly six years. We’ve come to grips with the fact that a team who misses the playoffs doesn’t provide the level of competition required to sustain the sort of hate-fest that we thrived on up until Roy’s failed State of Liberty in ‘02.
And, yes, we’ve been searching for a replacement. Last night may have given a glimpse into what could be a future rival. But, honestly, there is none. Not now.
Greg Eno has more on this.
Looking around the NHL the other day, I couldn’t come up with a single team that elicits anything close to the hostility that the Red Wings mustered up against the Colorado Avalanche a decade ago. Thanks to the league’s ridiculous unbalanced schedule, you can forget about getting anything going with any of the teams from the Eastern Conference. The Red Wings hardly play those teams anymore. It should be noted that residing in the East are such Original Six teams as the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens, once fierce rivals with the team from Detroit. No longer, thanks to enforced separation.
Another reason to read? A quote you may have forgotten from Patrick Roy that will remind you of what an ass he is and was.
Updated 1400 EST: Be sure and read Baroque’sanalysis of the Central. The statistical ying to my reactionary yang.
You’re still reeling. This whole damn season is some sort of wacked-out opposite of everything we’ve come to take for granted thing. Eleven games against the Central and only ten points out of a possible 22? A sweep in the far west for the first time, what, ever? Blanked by Chicago? Can’t sell out the Joe? Hasek in the tank and Osgood on fire? And then, finally, this…
“Tonight—and I never, ever say this—was the first time in a long, long time we didn’t have enough people ready to play and ready to compete. That’s unacceptable and that’s not Red Wing-like.’‘
It’s rare that Uncle Mike calls his buddies out in public. Unprecedented really. But there it is, and, yep, it’s deserved. What was a cute little aside—this temporary difficulty with our little Central sisters—has become an issue.
Danny Gare just told us Nationwide is jam packed, the largest crowd since they opened the place. BJs coming off a shutout of Minnesota last night. Wings with their rightful starter back in net. Live blog here if you so choose.
Now here’s an intriguing line for tonite’s matchup with the BJs.
Jiri Hudler will center the fourth line with Dallas Drake and Aaron Downey. Hudler said he played center his whole career until coming to North America a few years ago and being switched to the wing. Kopecky, injured last Wednesday against St. Louis, said he hopes to resume skating Monday and play either Tuesday or Thursday.
Thankfully, here at A2Y, we choose the high road more often than not. Oh, there are the rare occasions when we choose to point out some of the deficiencies of the 6 remaining Dive fans in Denver. But only when their true colors are impossible to ignore. Unfortunately for them, that’s weekly.
What we try very hard to avoid, here at A2Y—a blog dedicated to high-level, serious-minded conversation, is the denigration of another team (other than the HDID) or fan base (besides Darren Garcia and his friends). Have the opportunities presented themselves to, for instance, attack our friends at Canucks and Beyond? Certainly. But book-store owners, in my experience, are easy prey. So we lay off.
But that’s not to say we don’t notice when they choose to hop back into the sewer. Because sometimes….well, sometimes they bring to light valuable bits of info.
Looking back at Thanksgiving 2007 and the only thing more painful than watching our Czech Miracle of Insanity try to get off the ice in the last 90 seconds was the 23 second shot Fox gave us of William Clay Ford attempting to put his glasses on. Again and again the old man tried to find his nose, and it just wasn’t happening. Riveting.
Tonite the Wings wrap up a 9-game stretch against the division that Gary built. We can be thankful for that. Why? Not because the hockey’s been boring, as in previous years, but because Detroit’s performance has been mediocre—at best—against teams we’ve traditionally owned. Detroit’s now lost five times to teams within the Central, the same number they pointed to in April of last year. Only Columbus has yet to defeat Detroit. And they probably won’t tonite either.
Pretty good argument in the face of those who claim the reason for the decline in Wing attendance this year is due to the high number of Europeans in red and white.
If the Joe Louis Arena was rockin’ at capacity in 2001 with 11 Europeans, how can you attribute today’s attendance problem to the addition of one more player from across the Atlantic? There may be something to be said about the exit of such all-world players as Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan from the scene, but I find it hard for any fan, casual or not, of hockey to not be mesmerized in the same way by the smooth dangles and top-notch finish of guys like Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.
This is a live blog to spite a certain reader who said I wouldn’t show due to the Rocky marathon on Versus. Yes, I watched several hours of Rocky today. And, yes, I’ve stopped watching because the Wings are on. In fact, the Wings are on HDNet tonite. Hasek in net. I have no idea what to expect. I do know that cranberries were available on my dinner table today and I shunned them, because I’m an adult and I eat only the things I enjoy.
Wings/Bubba. Live blog here.
If you eat them because you’re tied to some outdated tradition, some ingrained obligation generationally passed down to you by other members of your family who hate them as much as you but have eaten them because “they have to”...well, then you’re just stupid. Take a stand today. Mumble an, “I’ll pass…” and just see what the reaction is. There’s a lot of other good stuff you can shove down your pie hole and those scrumptious goodies shouldn’t be tainted by cranberry sauce you despise. Will that cause angst among the traditionalists at your table? Perhaps. Is it a chance you’re willing to take? Only you can answer that question. Only you.
Chris Osgood’s your starter. He has to be. 17-1-5 his last 23 starts. 10-1 this year. And a team that plays differently in front of him than they do in front of Hasek.
So, yeah, I was considering NOT live-blogging the game tonite. But the faithful A2Y nineteen would probably just push forward without me anyway. So, it’s on. 1920. It seems that it’s much more effective to just LB via the comment section rather than update the original post, so we’ll just pile on this post and away we go. Crack ‘em if you got ‘em. Back in 45.
To get you ready for tonite’s tilt with the bitter Blues? I give you Gramps.
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