Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

The Real Job

IwoCPO asked me to post a little note to the readers of A2Y. He stated his "real" job will keep him busy through this Friday, but posting will re-commence on Saturday. I guess in the meantime, you can twiddle your thumbs... -Paul

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Happiness Abounds

After last night’s comeback win at Nassau, according to our Deep Diggers, Mike Babcock was either “ecstatic”, “beaming”, or “happy as a school girl on pajama day at school.”  Ok, the last one was mine.

But he was a happy kid.  And Dom Hasek said the win was at least partly a result of a passionate Babcock pep talk between the second and third periods.

Khan(!)/MLive

Hasek said Babcock’s second intermission speech lit a fire in the team.

“The coach came in and said we have to find a way, this is not Red Wings hockey, we have to go in front of the net and pay the price to score the goals,” Hasek said.

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DD’s Dig In On Implosive Rumor

Updated 0650:  After a month-long walkabout, the Acid Queen has returned and returned with a flourish.  I mention it here because her first post-walkabout topic is the generator of this particular disussion, Boy Bander Dwayne Klessel.  Read her thoughts here and take note of her pointer to a recent bloggers’ access conversation at the Atlanta Journal Constitution web site.  I think you’ll find that interesting.
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Oh, the drama.  When Klessel’s boy wonder, Andy Strickland, posted his anonymously-sourced report of continuing friction in the Wings room yesterday a variety of reactions ensued.

First: we read it and wondered, naturally, if there was any truth to it whatsoever.  We’ll get to that.

Second: the A2Y correspondence staff went into overdrive, contacting Strickland and the DD’s, sharing a block of pleasing cheddar, and considering how to present the info flooding our Commodore 64’s.

Third:  we waited for the fallout from Hockeytown.

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Khan(!) On Strickland’s Claims Of Discontent

Ansar Khan, Wings beat writer for Mlive addresses Strickland in an email I received…

It’s crap. I’m going to address it a little in my blog. But I’ll just say this: Sure, Babcock’s not the loveable sort, but isn’t that why they hired him? They didn’t want another players’ coach like Dave Lewis, they wanted someone to kick these guys in the pants after two playoff flops.

I can tell you this: The front office is very happy with the way the team has played this season. They really thought they’d be struggling to make the playoffs and they feel they’ve overachieved, that Babcock has gotten the most out of them. Are there issues? Of course. The bottom line, as Babcock is fond of saying, will be how the team fares in theplayoffs.

If they get bounced early, he’s likely gone. If they win two rounds, he’ll stay. It’s as simple as that. It doesn’t matter what the players think of him; all that counts is how the team performs.

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Former DD Captain Headed To The Dark Side?

And the hits just keep onnnnn comin’!

Reliable word has it that former Deep Digger captain Ted Kulfan will soon join Dwayne Klessel’s stable of bloggers.  Rather an interesting choice since Ted has had a little difficulty maintaining any blogging frequency for the company that legitimately employs him, namely the Detroit News.

So, Kulfan to Klessel…in exchange for, oh…his soul?  Let’s call that one an (e7).  Those of you with Navy backgrounds know how I feel about that particular rating.

Note to Ted: you take enough grief as a Deep Digger. Are you sure you want this kind of attention?

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Implosion Delayed?

One of Dwayne’s camp followers, St. Louis’ Andy Strickland, reported back in November that the Wings dressing room would “implode by Christmas.”  That didn’t transpire…a shocking turn of events, considering all the truth and accurate predictions typically displayed on that Den of Swill.

But, now Andy’s got more.  He returns to his “source with the organization” to bring us this.

Sources tell me Babcock and former Selke Trophy winner Kris Draper had a major blowup in Colorado in which the two exchanged one curse word after another.

One player recently said that it’s to the point where players roll their eyes when Babcock enters the dressing room.

Players such as Robert Lang, Chris Chelios, and Mathieu Schneider apparently are leading the charge against their Head Coach.

Again, his source is Legace of course.  It can be no one else.  And that lends little credibility.

But…even tools of Dwayne can’t be stupid enough to fall for the same crap twice can they? 

Unfortunately, no.  Strickland’s stupid for lending his name to the pathological lies of Klessel’s site.  But, he can’t be so dumb that he’d allow himself to be used twice for no reason whatsoever.

So, yeah…there might be something there.  There might be Bowman-like friction.  I don’t doubt that.

But, if there is, it’s the kind that will be forgotten with a Cup over your head. 

Here’s what I’ll do for you.  I’m going to write the DD’s today and ask for their reaction on this “story.”  I’m sure they’re all more than happy to talk to yours truly.  Right?

 

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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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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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