Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

NBC Blasts Wings

NBC's "Bellowing Moose", which I've successfully avoided reading until today, has selected your Wings as his target of opportunity this week. Here are some highlights. * A season removed from capturing a second straight President’s Trophy as the top regular season team, Detroit entered this week in the midst of a five-game losing streak (although thanks to the NHL’s new math, it managed to pick up points in three overtime losses along the way), and was suddenly in danger of dropping out of the top eight in the West." At last glance the Wings were 7 points up on Vancouver (currently in the 9 spot) and 8 up on Calgary. Minnesota, Colorado and Edmonton would be in today which means in order for the Wings to miss, at least 4 teams from the Northwest make the playoffs. Ummm...I don't think so. But, hey, that kind of forward thinking obviously isn't the "moose's" style. *In the parlance of the auto industry, the NHL is a league full of sleek sports cars, while the Red Wings are a ’76 Monte Carlo running on leaded gas. Consider Detroit’s 6-2 loss in Nashville Saturday night, where the Predators' oldest player was 32-year-old Steve Sullivan. Detroit had nine players older than him in the lineup. Original. Look at it this way, though, Moose. Nashville has 16 players under thirty. The Wings have 13. The "aging Wing" monikor of years past, while still popular among the truly creative, is less and less accurate. * The Red Wings are playing a new, defensive style of game, trying to limit opposition scoring chances and depend on the goaltending of Dominik Hasek, along with the blueline work of Lidstrom. But more and more often, the once mighty Wings look beatable, and like a lot of other acts from Motown, they look old. Fickle, fickle. Just two weeks ago the Wings were the toast of the league. Now, they're just plain toast. Which is true? Find the middle if you can, then wait for the playoffs.

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Positive Signs For Williams

A few days off may be all that's required to get Jason Williams back on the ice for the Wings' next game. Helene St. James Wing Blog

Don’t yet rule out Jason Williams playing Friday night when the Red Wings are at Minnesota. Williams left Monday’s 2-1 victory over Dallas in the second period after suffering a charley horse when he was hit by Niklas Hagman. After the game Wings teammates said Williams was in a lot of pain; but general manager Ken Holland had good news when I spoke to him Tuesday afternoon. “Williams felt pretty good today, much better than we or he thought he would,” Holland said. “He’s come along way since the way he felt last night.”

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I Watched The Bachelor Instead Of The Wings Game

No. That's a lie. But my wife did. And the fact that I'm even bringing this up underscores just how seriously I took this most recent five-game skid. Minutes before faceoff she broke the news. The Bachelor would take precedence. All of a sudden, it hit me. She hadn't watched any of the previous five games. She was the reason. My wife was the cause of significant Wing fan sorrow. I told her if the Wings lost to Dallas....well, I'd have to let the world know of her disloyalty. She said, "Ok. You go ahead and tell the six people who read your blog that I'm the reason Detroit can't score on the power play." Ouch.

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Interesting Look At Wings First Period

Anyone find anything unusual about this shot chart of Detroit's first period against Dallas? image More analysis of shot opportunities and selection tomorrow morning.

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Franzen Out With MCL

The latest rounds of tests on Johan Franzen's left knee have revealed damage that will keep him out indefinitely, according to Helene St. James' blog.

"They didn't do another MRI; I guess they had someone different look at it, and there was a little bit of fluid," coach Mike Babcock said Monday after the morning skate. "I guess what that tells you is that there might be a one-plus or a two-minus MCL sprain. That means he's not playing and not available for a while. I don't see him for the weekend for sure."
Babcock said Franzen is showing no ill effects of the concussion. Anyone have any objections to Helene St. James fleeting up to Deep Digger captain? Her blog is updated more consistently. Her writing is generally better. Khan(!) may be getting a little too comfortable in his captaincy. It's a tough decision. I'm struggling with it.

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Game Day Preview: Stars at Wings

There was a time, many years ago, when my sarcasm was split evenly between two teams: the 'dique and Dallas. All my snide remarks of today, pointing out the hygienic, dietary and genealogical challenges of Bubba's fan base? The fine folk in Dallas used to be the recipients. Well, the Stars moved on to the Pacific division and we haven't seen them in posteason play since a little kid named Osgood shut them out in Game 6 of the WCF in '98. Don't get me wrong. I still dislike Dallas, but it's just not the same.

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Kid Line Source Of Offense?

The Macomb Daily Tribune's Bruce MacLeod thinks it's a possibility.

Filppula, 22, Tomas Kopecky, 24, and Jiri Hudler, 22, are young. Call them the Roaring Twenties line. "We're not worried about who's going to make a bad pass, a bad play because there's two other guys just flying around," said Hudler. "It's great to play with Kopie and Fil because all of us are rookies. We're skating."

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Monday Deep Digging

24 hours after he told us dwelling on the loss to Bubba was a useless endeavor, Ted Kulfan has finally come around. He's now dwelling, like us, on the offense. DetNews/Ted Kulfan

Babcock has been patient, but the patience of Babcock and general manager Ken Holland might be wearing thin. "To win, your best players have to be your best players," Babcock said. "You have to find a way to make it go in for yourself. When you don't score sometimes you put more pressure on yourself. There's no sense doing that."
And, sometimes, when you don't score that pressure is shared by coach and player. Read the comment section here.

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A2Y Housekeeping

First off: last night's game has driven me out of Tennessee. I can take no more. Bubba has kicked me out and I'll be leaving this week. No, Bubba doesn't have the collective power to rid the state of the A2Y menace. But, the IwoCPO base of operation is indeed moving to the nation's capital. So, by next Saturday I'll officially be a DC blogger; joining the ranks of Eric, JP, the DC Sportschick and countless others. I'll have a separate category for DC bloggers in the sidebar soon, a blatant attempt to get invited to cool DC blogger events. Secondly: if you attribute that empty feeling that's been nagging you for days to the fact that you can't find a comprehensive resource for all A2Y game recaps, your problem is solved. You can now find them, oddly, in the Game Recap section on the sidebar. Thirdly: you may have noticed that from time to time I like to give Grampa Pinhead his own billing here at A2Y. You may think I do that in hopes that he won't pick on me in the comment sections of reactionary postings (like this one, no doubt). That's true. But, he also brings a different viewpoint than mine, which I hope you enjoy. I'd like to open that up to the rest of you. If you have a subject you feel strongly about, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). I'll check it for hidden links to porn, then publish it, making you the star your mom always hoped you'd become. Fourthly: There have been a few recent additions to the A2Y Glossary. As always, you're more than welcome to send in any suggestions you may have.

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Blasted By Bubba

I'd like you to read something. It's not anything particularly well written, or inspiring. It's not a line from Pat Conroy's The Great Santini, or from the "Anchorman" manuscript (two genius works, by the way). It's just something I saw today that I think might make you laugh. Ready? Here we go. Detroit News/Ted Kulfan

NASHVILLE - Let’s not dwell on this game by the Red Wings. There’s absolutely no reason anyone should.
I'm sorry. What? Oh, I've got some dwelling to do. A dwelling we will go. Dwell I shall and dwell I will. "Let's not dwell on this...". Jesus, you wonder why Kulfan's no longer DD Captain.

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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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