Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

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.
More

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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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Khan(!)...You’re Killing Me

I'm trying, Ansar. I'm trying hard not to listen to the catcalls, the nasty voices from the gallery. But they're persistent. There are some, Ansar, who want you ousted as Deep Digger Captain. Oh, I've held them off...but it's getting harder. I take you to Saturday afternoon, the Khan(!) weblog.

Interesting trade rumor (well, not that interesting) in the New York Post (actually, not really a rumor, it was just one guy's opinion of what he'd like to see). They want the Devils to deal Scott Gomez to the Wings for Pavel Datsyuk, in a swap of soon-to-be unrestricted free agents. So what he's saying is the Wings should unload a guy they're having a hard time signing for another guy they'll have just as hard a time signing -- a guy who makes more money and isn't as good as Datsyuk. Don't know why the Wings haven't jumped all over this one.

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Deep Digging: Monday, Bloody Monday

Stop the frigging presses. Ted Kulfan's broken a biggie. Kulfan/Detroit News

And many times, there's blood in hockey. Because there are a lot of cuts.
If I was a sinister blogger, I'd leave it at that and say something marginally sarcastic like, "really?". But, I'm not that blogger. And, the story's pretty good.

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Whoa…Nobody Told Me

If I knew how to spell "apocolypse" I'd say it had arrived. At no point did anyone tell me, when I migrated into the Kukla Empire of Blogs, that I'd be affiliated with the insanity that is the former Vancouver Canucks Op Ed. Yes...it's true. The rumors have come to fruition. AlanaH has unveiled her new home. Oh, I was happy. Happy for her. Happy for The Godfather. Happy for us all. Such unity at such a "special" time. But, then I read further. I try my best to remain even-keeled here at A2Y. Honest, forthright and devoid of sarcasm. You can imagine how shocked and, frankly, saddened I was to read this over the weekend.

I'm afraid I share these accommodations with a very troublesome next door neighbor. You know the type I mean-the kind who pulls his car into the driveway next door and you just KNOW, simply by the way he spins his tires and laughs at his own jokes, that he's gonna drive you freakin' insane. For me, that neighbor is Abel to Yzerman, also a resident writer here's at Kukla's.
To that I say, why? Have I not conducted myself professionally, gentlemanly? On the rare occasions I've mentioned series-turning goals from center ice, Chelios victory laps, 5-hole goals on 6-million dollar goalies....well, I've done so in a compassionate manner. And now...this? This assault? This unprompted attack? Well, I guess...I guess that it's on. Beware bookstore owner.

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Fan Post of the Day

In case you haven't noticed, I'm definitely appreciative of a nice exchange of insults in public. Today's FPOD is simple, to the point and definitely funny. It comes from the comment section of the Free Press' game story. One innocent reader had this to say about Hasek's playing style.

"Yes I agree a good win but am I missing something here? Is it not easier for a goalie to make a save when he is on his feet rather than laying on the ice or on his knees? Come on Hasek - get with the program and if you can't then take a hike. A big long hike and don't look back. P.S. Take Chelios with you."
Personally, I found the comment to be idiotic. But had I chosen to comment, mine would have paled in comparison to this nugget:
"Yes I agree a good win but am I missing something here?" Yes, you are. Primarily a frontal lobe.
That? Well, that's just funny. Have a good Friday night.

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Friday Stat Sheet

A few stats for your perusal this Friday evening. And for comparison's sake I'll throw in how they ended up last season, and how they finished in 01-02. * Power Play: the Wings have skyrocketed to 22nd (15.4), thanks to their current hot streak with the man-up. They've now scored a PP goal in 7 straight games. 05-06: 1st, 22.1% 01-02: 2nd, 20.3% * Penalty Kill: Still lingering in the middle of the pack at 17th (82.4). 05-06: 3rd, 85.5% 01-02, 7th, 86.0% Hard to imagine either unit falling below their present rank, and both will most likely end up top 10 by season's end.

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Time To End The Hudler Project

Late recap. So late in fact that I'll point you to On The Wings for theirs. In brief, another bittersweet win for our boys as Cleary stays hot, Samuelsson stays hot, Hasek gets hot precisely when we needed him to...and another Wing hits the IR, this time for an extended period of time. Now...the Kopecky situation. He lost an edge and slammed into the boards. Jim Vandermeer landed on top of him, the boards came next, successful surgery today and it's off to the IR he went, for up to twelve weeks. What does his loss mean to the Wings? Well, Jiri Hudler is probably going to get another chance, another doghouse reprieve. We can't send him down, and he can't play well enough, consistently enough, to deal him for anything of much value. So, we lose a gritty kid with attitude and feistiness only to gain an ongoing project with frustrating potential.

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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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