Abel to Yzerman
Phil Coffey of NHL.com breaks down the surprises and disappointments of the young NHL season.
Yep, it sure seemed over for the Wings as the season started. I guess someone forgot to tell the Wings, who are hot, hot, hot and 12-4-1 in their first 17 games. The Wings have outscored the opposition 47-33 thus far and are 6-1-1 at home. Nick Lidstrom is already plus-18 and polishing up the Norris Trophy, and the Red Wings are doing quite nicely considering the fact neither Pavel Datsyuk (12 points in 17 games) and Henrik Zetterberg (eight points in 17 games) have gotten hot yet. As for Hasek, he of the tissue-paper groin, well, he has gone 9-3-1 with a 1.76 goals-against average.And on the subject of Hasek, he and the Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek apparently had an epic chat. "Hat" has a huge story on Dom and the Wings, in general.
"I didn't want to go anywhere else. I was about to retire. When Ken Holland called me, I knew right away this was a great opportunity to play one more time with the Red Wings. I was excited from Day 1. I was excited to get into the locker room before training camp. I was glad I could still see the guys — like Nik [Lidstrom], like Cheli [Chris Chelios], like Drapes [Kris Draper]. Even though there are lots of new players, I knew I was going to face some of the guys I played with. I felt comfortable from Day 1."
Updated 1627 CST: Man, I thought I was all live, local and latebreaking on this one. Nope. On The Wings is drilling it. According to Helene St. James' Wing Blog, Kenny Holland has pillaged the Grand Rapids roster. Reacting to the non-availability of Tomas Holmstrom, Jason Williams, Nik Kronwall and Chris Osgood; three Griffs are in the air as we speak.
Williams (neck) remains on injured reserve. Holmstrom (groin) and Kronwall (groin) have been put on IR, backdated to November 10, which means they can come off Saturday. Chris Osgood (wrist) has been put on IR retroactive to the 12th. The latter three moves were made so the Wings would have roster room to call up goaltender Stefan Liv, plus forwards Evan McGrath and Darryl Bootland. At the time of the morning skate, none of the three were expected to make it to Calgary in time for the game, which isn’t a big deal because it’s not like the Wings are short on players – Dominik Hasek will start tonight and Joey MacDonald will back up, and there are still six healthy defensemen and 12 healthy forwards.St. James points out that Bootland's call up may not be a coincidence...considering who the Wings face tomorrow night.
Adam Proteau of The Hockey News and via ESPN is tired of the Cherry-esque Euro-bashing. And he's using the Wings to make his point.
Sure, Steve Yzerman was instrumental in Detroit's back-to-back Cup wins, but does he get either one without the contributions of Sergei Fedorov, Slava Fetisov, Igor Larionov and Slava Kozlov?Or without Vladimir Konstantinov, on the ice in '97 and off it in '98. And as far as Fedorov goes, I'll always contend he was jobbed out of the Conn Smythe in '97.
Courtesy of Grampa Pinhead, here's a look at how the Wings measure up with our Provincial rivals tonite and tomorrow, plus a glance at the league standings. +/- #1 DET - +25, +9 on the road and +17 home #3 CGY - +20, +7 at home and +8 on the road #19 EDM - -3, +9 at home and (-12) on the road PP% #17 EDM - 15.6%, 18/115 #27 CGY - 11.8%, 11/93 #30 DET - 9.8%, 9/82 PK% #3 EDM 89.9% #21 DET 81.2% #25 CGY 80.4% Short handed goals DET 4, CGY 4, EDM 1 Short handed goals AGAINST CGY 2, EDM 1, DET 1 AVG. GOALS FOR/GAME #15 EDM 2.90 #18 DET 2.76 #20 CGY 2.71 Standings 31 pts, BUF 18 Games 30 pts, ANA 19 Games 28 pts, SJS 20 Games 27 pts, ATL 20 Games 26 pts, TOR 20 Games 25 pts, DET 18 Games Also, check out Five Hole Fanatics for more analysis of tonite's game in Calgary.
Updated 1138 CST: Bo Schembechler, on the eve of the biggest game in the storied UM/OSU rivalry, passes at age 77. Bo collapsed at the taping of his weekly television show this morning. Paul was one of the first outlets anywhere to break the story, and has been updating here. -------- A long time ago, before darkness descended upon A2Y 1.0, we had established a nifty little feature called the Michigan Blog Of The Week (MBOW). I liked it because it prompted me to read sites about something other than hockey, and actually acknowledge the fact that Michigan is home to other pro and college sports teams. Well, today we bring it back and do so with style and definite relevance.
Wasn't it around this time last year that the "McCabe For Norris" campaign started? This year's McCabe? Tomas Kaberle. The Hockey News is leading the charge. Thankfully, we have the Battle of Ontario (at least one side of it) to inject some sanity.
Right. And Peca for the Selke, Raycroft for the Vezina, and Maurice the Adams. The Muppet was correct - not enough for the Toronto media to write about.I'm sorry. I thought I made it clear last season that the Norris resides in Detroit. Our campaign here at A2Y will officially begin 1 January. Lidstrom should be +178 by then.
I guess the "Chris Chelios is really frigging old, but still playing and playing well" stories are going to pop up most game days, in most opposing papers. Today's? The Calgary Herald.
Still the ultimate anarchist/rebel/villain. The Jack Nicholson of hockey. And like bad Jack, he's taken the metamorphosis from leading man to character actor in stride. Even if some critics might argue he'd best be displayed in a Drumheller exhibit than on the Red Wings' blueline, he doesn't feel like a fossil. "My age,'' Chelios sighs. "That's all anybody seems to want to talk about these days. Thank gawd Dom (Hasek) is around. With all that grey hair, he makes me look good.More
Barry Melrose, interviewed on ESPN News last night, was asked by whoever the heck the anchor stuck on ESPN News was, about the "hottest team in the league". Melrose said, "Calgary is playing..." The anchor, clearly shaken, said, "No Barry..I mean Detroit." Melrose stammered out a few sentences about defense, Hasek and Luc Robitaille all playing well for the Wings, then said they're not going anywhere unless Datsyuk and Zetterberg perform well in the playoffs. Then he started giggling and moved on to the Flames. Well, in three weeks when ESPN discusses hockey again perhaps they'll look back to tonite to settle the "who's the hottest team debate." Because both are on fire, so to speak. Calgary is riding Mikka Kiprusoff, while the Wings have decided not to let anyone bother Hasek.
All the Deep Diggers have been heard from in the Province, and all three are focusing on the Wing injury situation; where we have one worse (Holmstrom), one better (Kronwall), another status quo (Osgood) and one biding his time (Williams). As befitting his glorious title as Deep Digger Captain, we start with Khan(!), who writes that despite recent reports that Tomas Holmstrom could play as early as tonite in Calgary, that won't be the case. Khan(!)/MLive
Tomas Holmstrom left practice early Thursday and will sit out both games because of his groin injury, which happened before practice last Sunday. "There was a warm-up drill at the start and he was holding (his groin area) like he was shot,'' Babcock said. "They thought it was going to be nothing, but obviously, it's more than that.''
According to Deep Digger Captain Ansar Khan(!), the Wing injury situation doesn't look to improve dramatically this weekend. Khan(!)/MLive Wing Weblog
Tomas Holmstrom (groin) left practice early and won't play the next two games. Niklas Konwall (groin) said he felt good and hopes to play Friday. Chris Osgood (hand) has not practiced since Sunday and won't dress this weekend. Dominik Hasek, who starts Friday as the Wings try for a team-record 10th straight win, might also play Saturday in Edmonton. Coach Mike Babcock said there's also a chance that Joey MacDonald could make his first NHL start against the Oilers.
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