Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Wednesday Deep Digging

Last week the St. Paul Pioneer Press' Tom Powers said the Wings play "Eurohockey." I'm not that smart, but I'm guessing Mr. Powers meant the Wings seem to avoid conflict. Well, Danny Markov's European. And tonite, he'll be playing. So maybe Mr. Powers will have reason to mend his thinking. I think Mike Babcock, based on the caffeinated rant below, is pleased. Khan(!)/MLive

"Markov and Kronner (defenseman Niklas Kronwall), we need them both playing and playing good so (opponents) aren't comfortable, so someone's getting run,'' Babcock said. "You can't manufacture that. When you don't have that ability, you don't have that ability. When we have those two guys in, guys on the other team have to keep their head up. If they got two scoring lines, you got two guys on two different (pairings) that just might be hunting them down through the neutral zone or in your zone, which is really positive for our team.''
Yep. When you don't have that ability...you just don't have that ability

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Markov In. Ellis Down. Samuelsson…Maybe

The Wings welcome back some grit, bid farewell to some character and hope to get some scoring out of another Swede. Khan(!)/MLive

Defenseman Danny Markov has been cleared to play and will be in the lineup Wednesday against Minnesota, coach Mike Babcock said after practice Tuesday. Markov has missed nine games with a broken hand. Babcock said he's not sure if forward Mikael Samuelsson (groin) is ready; they'll determine that after the morning skate. They sent forward Matt Ellis back to Grand Rapids, so if Samuelsson can't play tomorrow, Babcock said he's not sure if they'll dress seven defensemen or call someone else up.
Khan also reports Hasek will start Wednesday against Minnesota and Osgood Thursday against the BJ's. Considering Mike Babcock's recent tendency to lie to Ansar's face, that may be a vice-versa situation.

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A Game Of Feet

I'd seen this picture, but thanks to On The Forecheck for pointing out what exactly makes it a classic. Check out Chelios' skate. image

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January Could Mean Division

If you're looking for a month that could decide the Central, January just may be it. 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. The 4 games in March against Nashville looked key when the schedule came out. Let's hope they mean something, because the difference between the two and five seeds may be greater this year than any in recent history. For instance, would you rather see Round 1 start today in Detroit against Minnesota, or tomorrow at 10:30 in San Jose?

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Christmas Deep Digging

Updated 1156 CST to include Bruce MacLeod’s story on Nik Kronwall.

First, and most importantly, I amazingly succeeded.  A 38-year old man should be smart enough to avoid buying gifts like purses for their wives.  Why? Because that gender is so frustratingly picky about stuff like that…it’s just a losing proposition to attempt that kind of purchase.  But I did…and she claims she likes it.  I’ll be monitoring that situation closely.

On to your Wings, as brought to you by our erstwhile DD’s.

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12/24 Current Events

What happens when a hockey-dumb Detroit columnist spews a few sentences about a topic he should be avoiding at all costs? In some cases, ridicule from yours truly...well, in all cases...a story shelf life of about an hour, followed by crickets. Not this time. A few days ago we pointed you to Drew Sharp's manifesto on the ills of the NHL. This line in particular prompted some quality conversation. Sharp/Free Press

The NHL has made several missteps over the last two years. But the biggest mistake is that Bettman didn't do whatever it took to renew the NHL's relationship with ESPN after the lockout -- even if it meant paying the network for a limited schedule.

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Around the Christmas Blogosphere

A Christmas Eve spin around the hockey sphere.  You should know that as I bring you this hearth-warming holiday edition, I do so to the sounds of the Beatles “Love” album.  If you’re a Beatles fan, and you haven’t heard this thing…get it.  Download it, pirate it, buy it, borrow or steal it. 

We begin with Jes Golbez, a true poet.

Joe Thornton was nestled all snug in his bed
While visions of Sudafed danced in his head.
And Rolston in his ‘kerchief, and Walz in his cap
Had just settled down and started playing the trap,

When out on the ice arose such a clatter…
Could it be that Jeff O’Neill possibly got fatter?
Away to ice, JFJ went like a flash,
and said “I can’t believe I paid 2 milion for this trash”

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Overtime Should Be Banned; Sorrow By The Numbers

Oh, I don't mean for the entire league. Just the Wings. It's not fun anymore. My children start to cry when there's a tie at the end of regulation. I don't know if that's because they know the Wings are going to lose (errr, only earn one point) or because they know I'll force them to watch five more minutes of hockey instead of Squarepants or even sleep. I'd like to tell you my daughters are becoming Wing fanatics...but it's been a tough sell. Yes, I'm stalling.

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Make Way For Gloveside

If you haven't checked out the newest Wings blog, Gloveside...do so now. These guys are funny and that site is improving every week. Their latest addition? The Dunk Tank, where JD or Brennan give you the chance to bash the Wings' most recent opposition. image I'm guessing that January 9th may be a very special day at Gloveside.

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Same Old Story: Hasek and Cleary

I'm back in Tennessee for the weekend. Just crossing into this state seems to slow my brain down. There's an all-star injustice brewing and it has nothing to do with Rory Fitzpatrick. Unless, of course, Fitzpatrick is voted in as a starting goalie...which isn't out of the realm of possibility at this point. Dominik Hasek, not even listed on Little Gary's ballot, has played as well as any goalie in the league up to this point. And, no longer is he the product of just a stingy defense. Now he's becoming the difference.

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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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