Abel to Yzerman
I’d like to apologize for making you all wait so very long. I know you’ve been anxious, your families have been tip-tapping their feet, waiting. Your neighbors have been asking you, “has that Sailor told you with great accuracy who is going to win every first-round series of the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs? Is he sober?”
Yes. Yes I am and yes I will. Now look. I make no guarantees that the playoffs are going to turn out this way, that the predictions I’m about to offer you are something you should bet your donut money on.
But they are. I am, and I’ve tried to tell you all this many times, very frigging smart. You should listen to me more. You should be asking me for advice on things other than hockey. You don’t, but you should.
Back in 1997 I met a guy from there, from Paw Paw, WV. Believe me when I tell you he was pure redneck. He fit all the stereotypes: the NASCAR thing, the Copenhagen thing, the slow drawl and you got the immediate sense that he was loyal to the core. When I met him I seriously doubt he’d ever watched a minute of hockey.
He’d ridden subs, done things he’d never be able to tell me about, toyed with nations in ways Tom Clancy couldn’t imagine, but never watched hockey. Until I forced him to sit down and watch Game 1 of the WCF, Detroit and Colorado. He saw the intensity, the importance of every shift, the way Detroit kept peppering Patrick Roy, only to see him turn them away again and again. After the first period, he was hooked. Hockey had him and we had ourselves a convert.
Here’s a preview of some of the stories you’ll see out of Canada tomorrow, as well as an ESPN ditty that tries to portray the Flames as underdogs…which, of course, the rest of the hockey world knows is just crazy talk.
If you guys are getting tired of me pointing you to the mainstream predictions, say so. I’ll keep it up for another day just to irritate you than let is slowly fade away like it was my own idea. In the meantime, here are a few more.
Updated 1836 CST: The Real Deal (see below) is taking a staggered approach to their analysis. I know it’s early, but I’m finding the Calgary bloggers to be a different animal than their Oil counterparts. A little less sarcasm, a little more analysis.
The Flames bloggers are slowly recovering from a regular season rollercoaster. A few days to drink their stress away and they’re ready for some analysis. Metrognome at Five Hole Fanatics breaks down the Wing/Calgary first rounder.
Lots of conflicting reports on Bertuzzi the last 48 hours. Here’s the latest, if you haven’t heard yet. Ken Holland on WDFN today said that Bertuzzi skated last Friday and felt good, then began showing symptoms of a concussion. He didn’t practice again today, and Wings management isn’t anticipating his availability for Game 1.
In my mind, he’s not available at this point,” said coach Mike Babcock. Mikael Samuelsson has been practicing in Bertuzzi’s spot on Robert Lang’s line.
I’m guessing, based on past playoff adventures, that we’ll be seeing some new visitors to A2Y. Flame fans, we welcome you as we welcomed your provincial pals last year. I offer none of the “trolls stay away” admonitions. If you’re a troll, I could care less. Trolls don’t scare me anymore. I used to be frightened because they hid under my bed and ate oreo’s, keeping me awake until my 23rd birthday. But they’re gone and that makes me happy.
Probably because we’ve walked the same Olongapo back alleys, O-Joe and I agree completely on just how critical a Game 1 win is to the Wings. He made some great points in the comment section of a post below and I wanted to give them a bit more prominence.
Updated: Ottawa and Pittsburgh play back to back in Games 2 and 3. Thanks, Johne.
If the Thrashers and Rangers go seven games, they’ll play on consecutive nights the final two. Other than that series, no other matchup will feature back-to-back games.
Except, of course, for Detroit and Calgary…games five and six. And does anyone doubt this series will go at least six games?
Despite blog entries yesterday that looked like the three diggers spoke to Mike Babcock from three different continents, they met over latte last night and conspired to conform. Their stories are heartwarming in their similarity this morning.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org