Abel to Yzerman
Well, if you spent the day trying to guess the Wings’ lines minus Johan Franzen…keep trying. It took Babcock all of seven minutes to run Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Holmstrom out together and there they stayed the rest of the first.
The Nina. The Pinta. The Santa Maria. The BJ. All historical references to the great Christopher Columbus. Celebrate them all today, my friends. Celebrate them all. As you do, consider the stress that awaits us at this early stage of the NHL season. I’m even considering firing up the train. The toughest month of the season starts tonite with Edmonton then continues with the Flames and resurgent Hawks, before it’s on the road twice to hit the traditional Wing foes in the West and Far West (Thanks Gary…Ass).
1635 EST: Updated below with quotes from Holland.
Johan Franzen has a Grade 2 sprain of the MCL (medial collateral ligament) in his right knee. Franzen’s leg was injured during the second period of Saturday night’s shootout loss in Chicago. Tuomo Ruutu was tripped by Pavel Datsyuk and fell on Franzen’s leg.
The injury will keep Franzen out of the lineup for 3-4 weeks.
Detroit is carrying two spare forwards on its roster ... Aaron Downey and Matt Ellis. One will be inserted in the lineup for Monday’s home game, but isn’t likely to assume Franzen’s role on the top line. A third-line player—Dan Cleary, Valtteri Filppula or Kris Draper—could be bumped up to Datsyuk’s top line with Ellis or Downey skating on the third or fourth line.
1102 EST: Updated with Digger reaction below.
The subtleties. It’s the subtleties we forget during the offseason. The little things that we have to get used to again that make the whole viewing experience unique. Example? Sure. I’d forgotten about late night hockey and how to prepare for it. I’d forgotten that a 2030 start time required the type of moderation I hadn’t been practicing on your standard Saturday.
I’d forgotten that dowsing myself with Heineken (yes, I’ve made the switch from Rolling Rock) for 6 hours prior to game time comes real close to ensuring that by the second period I’d be wondering why Greg Stefan was wearing number 39.
Bruce MacLeod has a blog. And he’s a beat writer who updates it frequently and uses it for its intended purpose: to give us up-to-the-minute information rather than making us wait until tomorrow morning. For instance, today:
He gives us a few quotes from Brent Sopel regarding his abrupt departure from Detroit.
“There was a lot of miscommunication, a lot of missed phone calls, a lot of things that happened that obviously I didn’t want to happen,” said Sopel. “It was one of those circumstances. After we landed in Toronto, we tried to get ahold of Kenny Holland to discuss the situation that was going on. Couldn’t get ahold of him for a long time. Finally when we did, it was just before game time.”
First a few congratulations are in order. Gramps is back. Grampa Pinhead, who has served as the A2Y logic czar since our inception a few years ago, has brought back his own blog: HockeytownTodd. If you’re familiar with Gramps’ comments at our site, you know he’s traditional, cranky and caustic. Great reading and always a source for stats you won’t find anywhere else.
Secondly, Behind The Jersey has been selected hockey’s tenth best blog by Sports Business Daily. Visit BTJ to see which other hockey bloggers made the cut. I’ll let you know when Cracked comes out with their rankings. I’m sure I’ll be in there somewhere.
Oh, and back to Gramps for a second…
You can see the post below for the whining, now for the good stuff.
Jiri Hudler needed that. He needed to start with a jolt of confidence and it would appear that Uncle Mike has proven his genius once again by putting the kid in a prime spot to win the game. He set him up for success and that’s good to see.
Does the home team have a choice of shooting first or last during the shootout? Because I’d, you know, kinda rather shoot last.
It won’t be just a local story this time. Nope. The Wing win last night, as fun as it was to see, will be secondary to the echo chamber they played in. As Mike Emrich and Ed Olczyk did their pre-game deal on camera, the results of Red Wing apathy jumped out at us on Versus. A thousand empty seats just minutes before faceoff.
So prepare yourselves because that’s going to be the story today. When Detroit can’t fill the Joe on opening night against a team that barely beat us in the conference final…well, just stand by.
Your Deep Diggers set a new standard for laziness over the summer, and we wouldn’t have expected anything less. But, at the risk of losing their “write-from-home” status, every one of them awakened this week to provide us riveting previews of the season ahead. Yesterday was the News, followed today by the Free Press and Booth (Mlive).
Detroit News Preview
Masterminds of Hockeytown
Breaking Down The East
Breaking Down The West
Ten Moments That Shaped The Rise To The Top
Steady Guard: Youngsters Benefitting from Vets
Forever Young: Age Just a Number For Wing Old Crusty Bastards
Interactive Look At Nick Lidstrom
The offseason hadn’t been this short in nearly five years. But it sure did drag. A lack of drama over the summer, perhaps? Most likely. Our big discussion topic was a Russian kid who’s not even on the roster, and may very well play his way back home.
Other than that, it was a summer of recovery. Recovery from losing in the Western Finals to a team the Wings had on the ropes, and to a lumbering idiot like Chris Pronger. Since last May, two Wings have defected to the hockey hotbed of SOCAL and Anaheim named a Sasquatch their Captain.
Have you forgotten precisely how you felt about Pronger? I think I had, so I went back and read a few posts from last May, just to get the hate working in preparation for the season opener on Versus!!!!
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