Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

A Fond Memory To Start Your Week

Awww, now this was a fun read. Gather the kids round the Commodore 64, throw on some Christmas music before school, sit back and enjoy this little nugget.

“Going in to the series, I don’t think we would have said, ‘Oh, absolutely, we can pull off an upset.’ We had so much respect for Detroit.”
An Edmonton player from last year, recalling the days prior to the Punch In The Face? Nope.

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Monday With Your Deep Diggers

Dan Cleary is thecond on the team with ten goalth, but may be middle of the pack in termth of tooth-count. George Thipple/Detroit Free Preth

"I'm having a hard time speaking," said Cleary, whose two front teeth were knocked out in a game recently. He hasn't gone to the dentist yet, and he's having trouble with words that contain the letter S. After netting a goal and an assist to extend his current point streak to five games in Saturday's 5-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, Cleary joked that he wasn't in a hurry to set up a dental appointment. "I might keep 'em out now," Cleary said.

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Deal Or No Deal? Pavel’s Costly Mistake

Bruce Garrioch talks at length this morning about Pavel Datsyuk's strategic error in not signing for big bucks when he had the chance.

While indications are the Wings offered him a deal that would have paid him more than $5 million a season to make him a centrepiece of the organization, Datsyuk thumbed his nose at it. The word is Datsyuk is seeking between $6 million and $7 million a year on a new contract, so Holland decided to call off any further talks until after the season.
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Note to JD: Shut Up

I guess when the team you inherited is showing signs of traditional suckage and underachievement, it's time to pull out all the stops and point the finger at anyone but yourself. Yes, JD, it was you who signed Weight, Guerin, McKee and Legace. It was you who should have known the pulse of the salaray cap'd NHL, but went ahead with your old boy reclamation project. So, if Mike Ilitch's temper flares after seeing yet another Wing take a freight train to the head, then it's his right to do whatever the hell he wants to. If that means finding a ref and having a chat, than so be it. If he even did that.

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So I Guess The Power Play’s OK Now?

I told you it would come around. No I didn't. In fact, I whined like a little girl, as usual. It's not hypocrisy, you know. If I were a columnist and I'd written the Wings off due to their ineffective power play after the first quarter of the year, I'd be apologizing right now. But, see...I'm not a columnist. I'm a fan who happens to express my opinions, sorrows, mood swings, etc in blog format. And today, after last night, I can tell you the power play is solved. It's, perhaps, the most potent power play ever assembled. It's the key to our inevitable Cup parade and by the season's end it will be clicking at a 35.0 percent success rate. See? Mood swings. It's all about mood swings.

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Peca’s a Hasek Fan

Game recap from last night to follow soon. For now, Dominik Hasek has an admirer in Michael Peca. Via the Toronto Sun,

"When you think of what you want in a teammate, Dom exemplifies it," Peca said. "Someone who works hard, all he wants to do to win. He is probably the guy who worked the hardest." At 41 and the oldest player in the NHL after teammate Chris Chelios, Hasek's work ethic has not waned.
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Larry Wigge: Cleary Getting His Due

Via NHL.com,

"It’s been a long time. I’m so excited to finally be showing people what I thought I could do after I was a first-round draft choice (by Chicago in 1997)," Cleary said, still shaking his head in amazement at what has happened to him this season. "It’s funny, because I look in the mirror and see the same guy. A big part of my success since I came to Detroit is how you feel when you put this Red Wings jersey on and walk into this room and see such high-end talent."
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Deep Digging On Both Sides Of The Border

Ahh, the Leafs are back in town. For one night, there should be some blood pumping at the Joe. Helene St. James/Detroit Free Press But they're an Original Six team, and for Toronto-area native Kris Draper, it doesn't get much better. "I really enjoy playing Toronto," he said Friday. "I think my dad gets a little bit more excited for this game than I do, taking on all his buddies back home in Toronto. It's fun. I've said it before: It's unfortunate that we don't play these guys more often. I know there's a pretty good buzz going around the Joe with the Leafs coming in."

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Back When Hate Was Good

Today, if just for 24 hours, we should recall the happy era when nothing brought a family together like some unbridled hatred. Oh, you hated Dallas Drake the other night. But only for a moment, and it certainly wasn't the kind of hate that had the whole neighborhood lighting the torches. You hated Claude Lemioux for a year, but after Mac wasted him it was kind of a gleeful dislike. He got what he deserved and we loved to remind him of it. You also hated Patrick Roy. Now, Roy? That was a healthy hate. A prolonged hatred steeped in respect for his talent.

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And The Hits…They Just Keep On Comin’

The Red Wings have two butt kickers on the back end. Unfortunately neither of them can stay healthy. First Nik Kronwall, then Kronwall again, then Danny Markov, then Kronwall again, then Markov...this time for three weeks. And it's not unexpected. Markov's injury problems have followed him all over the league. Ted Kulfan/Detroit News

"He came out for one shift to start the third period but didn't play after that and didn't finish the game," coach Mike Babcock said.

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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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