Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Saturday Morning Odds and Ends

Despite traffic you wouldn't believe, Bubba's attempts to sabotage me several times across Tennessee, evil speed traps in Virginia and an amazing display of navigational ineptitude, I can happily report my safe arrival in Washington, DC. Having been here a little over 24 hours, you'd think that my presence in the seat of government would automatically give me some sort of insight into Andres Lilja's claims that he's being "politically" blackballed by the Wings. Alas, no. More on that in a moment.

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DC Bound

image Alright troopers. I'm headed east. I'll be traveling for much of the next two days and hope to update again prior to Friday's game. At the very pessimistically least I expect to be fully back up and blogerational no later than Monday. As you can see, the Chief-Jeep will be traveling directly through the heart of Bubbaville. No, I won't be stopping at the Gay.

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Scotty…Please Help

Warning: This one's going to be all over the place. Domestic metaphors, movie references, mind wandering. Crazy, disjointed stuff. Stick with it. A point will be made. The common theme amongst our DD's today? Ted Kulfan/Detroit News "Whether the Wings need one, an enforcer, that is, is the growing question." Khan(!)/MLive "Holland doesn't believe the Wings need to bring in a player for the sole purpose of being their enforcer." Bruce MacLeod/Macomb Daily Tribune "So do the Red Wings need to add an enforcer to keep opponents from taking liberties?" Would we be having this conversation if the Wings were scoring? Nope. But, as we know, this is a chicken-egg-Kocur question. Oh, you need me to explain that? Well, I can't. It is a chicken and egg thing, but I just threw Joey's name in there because we're talking toughness. Confused? I understand.

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NBC Blasts Wings

NBC's "Bellowing Moose", which I've successfully avoided reading until today, has selected your Wings as his target of opportunity this week. Here are some highlights. * A season removed from capturing a second straight President’s Trophy as the top regular season team, Detroit entered this week in the midst of a five-game losing streak (although thanks to the NHL’s new math, it managed to pick up points in three overtime losses along the way), and was suddenly in danger of dropping out of the top eight in the West." At last glance the Wings were 7 points up on Vancouver (currently in the 9 spot) and 8 up on Calgary. Minnesota, Colorado and Edmonton would be in today which means in order for the Wings to miss, at least 4 teams from the Northwest make the playoffs. Ummm...I don't think so. But, hey, that kind of forward thinking obviously isn't the "moose's" style. *In the parlance of the auto industry, the NHL is a league full of sleek sports cars, while the Red Wings are a ’76 Monte Carlo running on leaded gas. Consider Detroit’s 6-2 loss in Nashville Saturday night, where the Predators' oldest player was 32-year-old Steve Sullivan. Detroit had nine players older than him in the lineup. Original. Look at it this way, though, Moose. Nashville has 16 players under thirty. The Wings have 13. The "aging Wing" monikor of years past, while still popular among the truly creative, is less and less accurate. * The Red Wings are playing a new, defensive style of game, trying to limit opposition scoring chances and depend on the goaltending of Dominik Hasek, along with the blueline work of Lidstrom. But more and more often, the once mighty Wings look beatable, and like a lot of other acts from Motown, they look old. Fickle, fickle. Just two weeks ago the Wings were the toast of the league. Now, they're just plain toast. Which is true? Find the middle if you can, then wait for the playoffs.

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Positive Signs For Williams

A few days off may be all that's required to get Jason Williams back on the ice for the Wings' next game. Helene St. James Wing Blog

Don’t yet rule out Jason Williams playing Friday night when the Red Wings are at Minnesota. Williams left Monday’s 2-1 victory over Dallas in the second period after suffering a charley horse when he was hit by Niklas Hagman. After the game Wings teammates said Williams was in a lot of pain; but general manager Ken Holland had good news when I spoke to him Tuesday afternoon. “Williams felt pretty good today, much better than we or he thought he would,” Holland said. “He’s come along way since the way he felt last night.”

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I Watched The Bachelor Instead Of The Wings Game

No. That's a lie. But my wife did. And the fact that I'm even bringing this up underscores just how seriously I took this most recent five-game skid. Minutes before faceoff she broke the news. The Bachelor would take precedence. All of a sudden, it hit me. She hadn't watched any of the previous five games. She was the reason. My wife was the cause of significant Wing fan sorrow. I told her if the Wings lost to Dallas....well, I'd have to let the world know of her disloyalty. She said, "Ok. You go ahead and tell the six people who read your blog that I'm the reason Detroit can't score on the power play." Ouch.

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Interesting Look At Wings First Period

Anyone find anything unusual about this shot chart of Detroit's first period against Dallas? image More analysis of shot opportunities and selection tomorrow morning.

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Franzen Out With MCL

The latest rounds of tests on Johan Franzen's left knee have revealed damage that will keep him out indefinitely, according to Helene St. James' blog.

"They didn't do another MRI; I guess they had someone different look at it, and there was a little bit of fluid," coach Mike Babcock said Monday after the morning skate. "I guess what that tells you is that there might be a one-plus or a two-minus MCL sprain. That means he's not playing and not available for a while. I don't see him for the weekend for sure."
Babcock said Franzen is showing no ill effects of the concussion. Anyone have any objections to Helene St. James fleeting up to Deep Digger captain? Her blog is updated more consistently. Her writing is generally better. Khan(!) may be getting a little too comfortable in his captaincy. It's a tough decision. I'm struggling with it.

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Game Day Preview: Stars at Wings

There was a time, many years ago, when my sarcasm was split evenly between two teams: the 'dique and Dallas. All my snide remarks of today, pointing out the hygienic, dietary and genealogical challenges of Bubba's fan base? The fine folk in Dallas used to be the recipients. Well, the Stars moved on to the Pacific division and we haven't seen them in posteason play since a little kid named Osgood shut them out in Game 6 of the WCF in '98. Don't get me wrong. I still dislike Dallas, but it's just not the same.

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Kid Line Source Of Offense?

The Macomb Daily Tribune's Bruce MacLeod thinks it's a possibility.

Filppula, 22, Tomas Kopecky, 24, and Jiri Hudler, 22, are young. Call them the Roaring Twenties line. "We're not worried about who's going to make a bad pass, a bad play because there's two other guys just flying around," said Hudler. "It's great to play with Kopie and Fil because all of us are rookies. We're skating."

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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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