Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Friday Deep Digging

The Wings are mystified at this season’s drop in attendance.

Shawn Windsor/Detroit Free Press

But too often lately, the Wings’ brass have looked out and seen chunks of empty seats.

“It’s hard to put your finger on it,” said Jimmy Devellano, the team’s senior vice president.

I’ve got ten fingers.

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Rory an All-Star??!!...Who Cares?

Oh, the horror. Just three days before Christmas and we're wringing our hands because write-in 'Nuck Rory Fitzpatrick has vaulted ahead of St. Nick The Captain. Ted Kulfan was astounded this morning, as we've already mentioned. Thankfully, James Mirtle sees the campaign for what it is.

...the impetus behind Fitzpatrick's rocket up the all-star balloting vote has been nothing more than a clever program that votes for the blueliner. Over and over — and over again.
Please tell me you're not stressing over this. If you are, and you've voted, you have only yourselves to blame. Fan all star voting is the biggest common joke in all of sport. A popularity contest, a finger stamina exercise. Wing message boards are rife with outrage. Anguished cries of protest, demands to go Chicago on the ballots through 2 January when the "polls" close. Until the all star rosters are determined by the players themselves, with maybe the exception of one write-in for each side, who represents each team means nothing. We, the fans, proved long ago that we can't be trusted to vote based on stats and talent alone. Would you have voted for Patrick Roy in '97? I know I wouldn't have. I, for one, hope Fitzpatrick not only starts, but ends up the top vote getter for defensemen....just to see how Little Gary handles that one.

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Frei:  Hasek Bargain Of Year So Far

'dique apologist Terry Frei writes for ESPN today that Dominik Hasek tops a list of ten "best bang for the buck" goalies.

That's right, the Red Wings are getting far more than their money's worth from Hasek, who will be 42 when the playoffs begin. Of course, all bets are off if he breaks down before the postseason and Detroit has to count on either Chris Osgood or Joey MacDonald in the playoffs.
Wouldn't it be something if Hasek DID break down, only to leave the team in the hands of Osgood...and he succeeds? I guess his $900,000/year deal would qualify as a bargain then too, eh?

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Wings PP Will Reach Top 10

Via ESPN,

Babcock thought his group was moving the puck and doing the things necessary for power-play success. Basically, he thought the unit, led by four-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom, would find its way. And, it seems, they have. In their first nine December games, the Wings have converted 13 of 53 power-play chances. In other words, they've scored one more power-play goal in their last nine games (entering Wednesday's tilt vs. Columbus) than they did in their first 23.
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Mailing It In

Yes, the Wings won last night. Yes, Dan Cleary's a remarkable story. And, yes, Dominik Hasek was brilliant. But you knew he would be. You knew he'd get the start and you knew he'd be even more motivated than usual. Everyone knew that right? Ansar Khan(!)/MLive, 20 December

Chris Osgood, who stopped 14-of-15 shots over the final two periods in relief of Dominik Hasek Monday, is likely to make his first start in goal tonight since Nov. 2, when the Blue Jackets visit the Wings.

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Current Events

A few items we should probably address here, some outside the Wing lifelines....others, well within them. Art Regner's been fired. You're probably all aware of it, just like you're aware of my opinion of his work over the last few years. If you're not, let's suffice it to say that I was never his biggest fan. Having said that, firing someone....anyone...on December 19th is a filthy way to run a business

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Take It Back Mike

This edition of Wednesday with the Deep Diggers is brought to you by Goldmill's Gym in South Philly, home to the greatest heavyweight in history: Rocky Balboa. I spent 11 minutes of quality time on Monday defending our game to a co-worker. You've been there. You've used the standard lines, "you have to see it in person," "it was a lockout, not a strike," "the CBA doesn't guarantee defense attorneys for every player like the NBA's". I was winning. I pointed to Kulfan's article on blood and stitches and got the reaction I wanted. Awe. The discussion ended as I'd hoped, with a convincing victory for hockey and hockey fans. No one's tougher. No sport requires more character or fortitude. Real men playing a hard game

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Losses Make Me Ramble

Yesterday afternoon I said "sanity prevailed" when Mike Babcock announced Dominik Hasek as his starter. "Osgood's not ready!", I bellowed here yesterday morning. "You must start Hasek in this pivotal Central Division matchup!" "For all that's holy in this magical holiday season...ensure Osgood's rash is healed before you throw him to the wolves of Nationwide." And sanity did prevail. Just before Hasek gave up 3 on nine shots.

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Khan(!): Hasek’s In

Sanity prevails. Via MLive.

Dominik Hasek will start in goal tonight against Columbus, as coach Mike Babcock had a change of heart after saying two days ago that there's a good chance Chris Osgood will start. Osgood, who's ready to play, will dress as the backup for the first time since Nov. 10.
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Ellis Gets His Shot

According to the AP, Matt Ellis is on his way from Grand Rapids to Columbus. Word is he'll be in the lineup tonite. I'm going to point you to an email Joe Conklin wrote me last week, in response to some questions I had about the value of Ellis and Jiri Hudler. As you can see, the Griff organization is happy for Ellis today. December 15th, Joe Conklin/Grand Rapids Press

"Ellis is a power forward who gets most of his goals within 10 feet of the net. He's the hardest working player I've ever seen, both on and off the ice. He's a first-class guy who is a perfect fit to be the Griffins' captain. Every person in the Griffins' organization wants to see Ellis get a NHL chance."
Ellis will take Tomas Kopecky's spot on the roster. Who will sit? You tell me. My guess is Hudler, but you knew I'd say that. I'll have more on Ellis prior to game time tonite.

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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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