Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

If It Hurts In Denver It’s Gotta Be Good

Back at the end of December, we discussed the very real possibility that the divisional race could be decided in the subsequent 30 days.

Bubba plays thirteen times.  8 of those games are against St. Louis, Chicago and Columbus.  Now, granted, that’s not the cakewalk it was last year…except St. Louis, which may be even worse.  Three games against legitimate playoff teams: Anaheim, Calgary, Detroit.  You could easily expect a 20 point month from Bubba, particularly with a healthy Vokoun.

The Wings?  A five-game West Coast swing through LA, Anaheim, San Jose, Denver and Phoenix.  Montreal at home, Bubba at home, ‘dique at home.  14 games and asking for 20 points might be greedy.

Due to a wildly inconsistent month from our boys, and a maddeningly strong one for Bubba…that nasty prediction has come to fruition.  Nashville’s had a 20 point month (at least, one game left with the Dive) and the Wings can hope for no better than 17, pending tomorrow’s game against the NYI. 

 

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The Two Sides Of Shanny

Perhaps we know better than most that Brendan Shanahan’s a complex dude.  In the eleven years we watched him play in Detroit we saw the combative Shanny, the compassionate Shanny, the outspoken and sometimes silent Shanny.  This week, Ranger fans are getting a taste of two distinct aspects of his personality: the “ambassador”, and the petulant.

First, two of our deep diggers mind melded and brought us nearly word-for-word identical stories on Shanahan’s age, status as league statesman and all star.

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RWC: Grigorenko’s Chance To Come Next Fall

It's been seven years since we first started reading reports out of Russia about a phenom who would soon be turning heads in Hockeytown. Igor Grigorenko played on a Russian top line with Datsyuk and Ilya Kovalchuk at the 2003 Worlds and all indications were that TC the following fall was just a formality. Until a car accident set everything back. According to Matthew Wuest at Redwingscentral.com, Grigorenko's holding steady at "85-90" percent and the Wings feel next fall is the time to finally bring him over.

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Selling Out The Can

Oh, well isn't this just a happy little tale out of Bandwagon, Colorado. Varsity Whiner and longtime Dive writer Mark Kiszla is perturbed.

After beating Detroit 3-1 Saturday night, there were so many folks dressed in a No. 19 red sweater as they walked in the arena's tavern that you wondered if Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman was signing autographs at the bar. How appropriate that the 500th sold-out home game in Avalanche history was against the Red Wings, the hockey team this town loves to hate. How sad that after all these years, you could see more fans in Colorado's own arena wearing Yzerman replica jerseys than sweaters honoring former Avs star Peter Forsberg.
Please tell me you're not surprised. Michigan natives may be leaving the state in droves, but it's not the Wings driving them out. So, our allegiance remains where it is, and should be: with the Wings. Denver, meanwhile, had its fad. Now it's fading. Thanks to Hockeychic for the pointer.

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Khan(!)‘s State Of The Game

DD Captain Ansar Khan(!) has posted his written testimony regarding the state of the league, and finds it wanting. He's got the usual suggestions: bigger nets, more physical play and, yes, a heaping plate of humble pie in the form of a return to ESPN.

Both sides have the option of terminating the deal after this season, and many believe the NHL should go back to ESPN, feeling whatever the league loses in revenue it will recoup in exposure and credibility.
Designated Wing loose cannon Jimmy Devellano disagrees, which is completely insane.
"I'd rather be on a network that cares about our league,'' he said. "On ESPN, you didn't know if games were on ESPN or ESPN2, at 7:30 or 10:30 or on what day of the week.''
To put it mildly, that may be one of the stupidest statements I've ever read. You don't know when the games are on, Jimmy? Well, the games played in the eastern time zone start at 7 or 7:30, the western at 10 or 10:30. Don't know what day of the week, check the schedule. OLN/VS is a disaster. A frigging disaster and a joke. It's a USFL-sized example of how far the league has fallen. It's time to suck it up, take our medicine and get back to The Network.

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Why I Deserve 7 Million Dollars

What?  You take issue with that?  A certain Nigerian prince keeps emailing me. He says I’m worth it.  He says he’s going to put it right in my frigging account for me.  Not only that, but my talent seems to have transcended continents. I’m big in Britain too baby.

Congratulation you have won and You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of £253,437.00 in cash credited to KTU/9023118308/03.please contact AGENT:SONIA HILTON

Email: agentsoniahilton@yahoo.es

So if the prince and Sonia Hilton see it, why doesn’t Kukla?  Why shouldn’t the Empire fork over 7 mil for A2Y?

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Behind Enemy Lines

Well, the break couldn't have come at a better time. Two identical losses, to two inferior teams, in two garbage cities. Get me to February please. Give us four days in the sun, a healthy Schneider, a cortisone-corrected Zetterberg and an eye on the deadline. Give us a sniper, a Lilja-for-Shane Doan straight up deal, and a guaranteed 2 or 1 seed. But all that's in the future. First, let's look back to Saturday night in Diveville. Thankfully, A2Y reader Hockeychic was on hand to document the bleatings of the Dique "faithful."

Why does Lilja remind me of Anders Erickson? Is it because their first names both begin with “A”? Or because they both suck? 12:22 – Tripping called on the Avs. Wings go on the PP. People around me are yelling, “Cheaters!” every time the Wings get a PP. It is laughable really.
Read on to get more impressions from Hockeychic on the game and the Denver "fans."

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Ready To Hate The Oil Again?

Oh, just you wait. Just you wait until you read this. Thanks to Jes Golbez for the pointer, and we'll be back to him...oh yes we will. The Oil are retiring Mark Me Messier's number. Glory. Have at it. But, in the process, Oil management has decided to slam the Wings and, by God, The Captain. Via TSN.

"The (pre-game) ceremonies can get long and arduous as they were with Stevie Y (Steve Yzerman)" Oiler president Patrick LaForge told reporters Wednesday. Yzerman's No. 19 jersey was retired Jan. 2 in a 90-minute ceremony prior to the Detroit Red Wings' game against the Anaheim Ducks. "There was no opportunity for fans there to reach out to Stevie, and we want to do that here and we want to do it with Mark. "He's a native son and an Edmonton boy and he wants this."
Eat it Pat. So he's an Edmonton boy and he wants this. Well, I'm a Saginaw boy and here's what I want.

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Anyone Home? Anyone? Anyone?

JDunc, frequent A2Y reader and KK forum poster, turned us on to the fact that Zetterberg's been replaced in the all star lineup. Paul posted the NHL news release. The diggers have zip. No stories. No blog entries. No initiative. No worries. Khan(!) does report that Chris Osgood has the flu and won't start tonite.

Chris Osgood missed Friday's morning skate in Columbus because of the flu, but coach Mike Babcock said Osgood is still expected to back-up Dominik Hasek in tonight's game. Osgood was scheduled to start Saturday in Colorado, but if he can't play, Babcock said the club would recall Joey MacDonald from Grand Rapids (the Griffins are in Hamilton tonight and Saturday), where he was assigned last week on a 14-day conditioning stint.
Meanwhile, the team's co-most-valuable Swede is....what? Hurt? Tired? Kidding?

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Hottest Line In Hockey

Outstanding feature article from SI's Brian Caseneuve. He's taken considerable time to analyze the reasons behind the recent offensive explosion of the Dats/Zett/Homer line (anyone want to come up with a nickname for that line?).

Extra work: Holmstrom is a known pessimist, one who is especially hard on himself. Over the last few weeks, he's been staying late after practices working on deflecting shots on goal -- sometimes dozens in a stretch. Don't buy the stereotype about all Swedes being soft in the middle. For a player with skill, Holmstrom scores his share of garbage goals and has the marks on his ankles to prove it. Datsyuk scored three goals with his first 37 shots this season, but having Holmstrom on his line ensures that he will shoot through screens more often.
Makes you wonder a bit why the DD's haven't explored this a bit more. Makes me wonder why a certain blogger hasn't either. Yes, that's a self-referral.

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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: wphoulihan@gmail.com

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