Abel to Yzerman
I, like you, don't give much credence to the various power rankings you can find out there. But I, like you, do search them out every week to see where the "pundits" believe the Wings fall out. ESPN's hasn't been updated since last Monday, so I'd expect a refresh sometime today. And it should be interesting to see if they live up to their word. Here's what they had to say last week when the Wings ended up 11th on their highly scientific poll.
Before you start bombarding us with e-mails ("How can the Wings not be in the Top 10, you loser!?"), look at Detroit's wins since our last offering: Calgary, Chicago, Columbus. And those wins came despite going 1-for-19 on the PP. Let's see how the Wings do against Edmonton and Nashville before we talk Top 10.I'd guess, just out on a limb here, that it'll be okay to "talk Top 10" now.
Q.9 – If you had to pick two teams to be in the Stanley Cup finals right now, which two teams would they be? Johnny: Buffalo and…er…ahem….Detroit. Brennan: I’m hoping the Sabres represent the Eastern Conference, I think they deserve it. If by some horrible awful twist of fate, the Wings don’t wind up in the rink for the West, then I’d love to see the Wild in there.
Oh, you're feeling conflicted today. You're torn between being a Wing fan and a hockey fan. For me, it harkens back memories of last spring after The Punch In The Face when Grampa Pinhead used to pose that question to me, to all of us. Gramps, as you may recall, was referring to whether or not the hockey loyalists among us would continue to watch the playoffs after another first-round heartbreak. But, you're suffering similar inner turmoil today. Do you celebrate Patrick Roy's career and acknowledge his rightful entrance in the hockey's Hall of Fame?
We'll get to Jason Williams' status in a minute. Niklas Kronwall, as you may recall, didn't play a 3rd period-shift Friday against Bubba. Apparently, a wonky groin tabled him as a precaution. Well, it may be a bit more serious than we originally thought. Because, depending on who you read, he's out for Tuesday's game against Vancouver. Khan(!)/MLive Weblog
Also, defenseman Niklas Kronwall's groin injury is a little more serious than originally thought. He won't play Tuesday against the Canucks.Danny Knobler/ MLive
Babcock said he would wait until today's practice in Vancouver to assess Kronwall's status for Tuesday night.Joanne Gerstner/Detroit News
Niklas Kronwall (strained groin) did not practice Sunday. Babcock said he would be re-evaluated during today's practice in Vancouver to see if he was ready to play Tuesday against the Canucks.Erin Chan/Detroit Free Press
Because for the first time in 20 years, WrestleMania is coming back to metro Detroit. Tickets officially go on sale Saturday.
If the months following the Wing ouster at the hands of Edmonton was The Summer of Ken, then it's only fair that a similar microscope hover over the performance of Mike Babcock. By most accounts, he has the team he wants. And, this team is playing the style that suits him. The next 6 months will show whether this grit and hustle we've seen the last two weeks is a brief trend or a makeover that will translate into playoff success. But for now...credit is due. Our Fan Post of the Day comes from the Detroit News message board and belongs to CBlackburn from Grosse Pointe.
Couple of interesting quotes from Chris Chelios on WDFN regarding the Williams/Torres situation. Among them were , "it's not over yet;" a reference to the fact that the Wings have two more games (regular season) with Edmonton and this situation has yet to be resolved by the players. Chelios also tells a story of Williams showing up at the rink the next morning, in scrubs, with dried blood in his hair. Listen to the entire interview here. Bruce MacLeod, a quality deep digger with the Macomb Daily Tribune, has some views on the Torres hit. Pretty strong views.
Raffi Torres was not finishing his check. Not this past Wednesday night, not when he knocked Jason Williams unconscious, not when he expressed afterwards that it was part of the physical nature of hockey. Not a chance.MacLeod believes Torres had Danny Markov's hit on Jared Stoll (from two weeks prior) in mind when he drilled Williams. Dan Cleary is on fire. Well, for a Red Wing he is. The empty netter he scored Friday against Bubba was his fourth of the year and leaves him just behind Zetterberg and Lang for the team lead. According to the Detroit Free Press, the logical explanation is that his mom's in town.
"She always brought good luck," Cleary said of his mother. "I said it before she got here, I would score when she got here." Babcock apparently has a plan to keep Cleary going when his mother leaves town. "I told Drapes to make sure he gives him a big hug every day from now on," Babcock joked.Oh yes, an implosion is on the way. That lockerroom is in utter disarray. Dave Lewis is having a tough go of it in Boston. It's tough to see because he's a nice guy. But it's not exactly surprising because, well, he's a nice guy. Milford Daily News
Lewis knows a thing or two about winning teams, and about turning around a moribund franchise. He served as an assistant and later head coach in Detroit, where the Red Wings rose from basement dweller to champion. "I came to Detroit when they were called the Dead Wings and I left when they were finished winning three Cups," said Lewis.Yes, they did Dave. I'm thinking Scotty Bowman may have had something to do with that. Terry Frei writes this morning about Patrick Roy, and the swagger he brought with him. According to Frei two of the most memorable press conferences he ever covered featured Roy. He mentions Roy's reply to Jeremy Roenick when he said his ears were plugged with Stanley Cups as one, and Roy's open challenge to the Red Wings in '97 as the other.
I'll never forget that news conference on an off day when they were down, and they were struggling. He walked into a room in a hotel there and basically challenged the Red Wings to beat him by himself. He sounded like he should have been in 'Animal House,' giving the speech John Belushi made.Yep, we fondly recall that too. A blog we like, The Puck Stops Here, believes there is one clear pick for MVP of this young season.
Nicklas Lidstrom leads the NHL in +/- with a +17 rating. He has 14 points in 16 games and has been a power on the Red Wings blueline for almost 26 minutes a game. That is why I pick Nicklas Lidstrom as the MVP of the season to date.
Steve Yzerman is making the transition from player to executive. And those around him, his former teammates and his newly-found peers, are watching the adjustment with some amusement.
"Yeah, he's got an office and everything," said Wings winger Kirk Maltby. Yzerman is a vice-president with the club after spending more than two decades as captain in Detroit. "I think he's getting the idea what being a general manager is all about, the time commitment ... I think I may have talked him out of it," laughed current Wings GM Ken Holland, who welcomed the retired Detroit captain into the management club a few months ago to mentor him along with longtime Wings vice-president Jim Devellano.More from the Edmonton Journal.
Pierre LeBrun said tonite on CBC's Hot Stove that the Wings and Pavel Datsyuk are far apart in contract negotiations. Datsyuk's agent was in Detroit this week to begin talks with Kenny Holland. It would appear the trip was wasted. Also, Igor Larionov will be hosting a charity hockey game in Moscow's Red Square on December 9th. Proceeds will go to Russian players from the 70's and 80's. Scotty Bowman is scheduled to attend.
Earlier today I posted a blurb from a new blog called Hot Oil. Alanah, the writer from H.O, essentially called out Wing fans and said that if Detroit truly deserved the title of "Hockeytown" fans wouldn't be leaving midway through the third, staying silent during a game against the team that gave us the Punch In The Face and pretty much sleeping through an exciting, hard-hitting contest. Care to argue with her? Check out the comment to that post from O-Joe. He says he can't, literally, give tickets away to Wing games this year. You want to blame the lockout? Go ahead. Blame the first round losses? Sure.
Yep. The NHL's going to an all online All Star voting system this year. According to the official press release from the NHL office, fans will be able to vote via their cell phones and on NHL.com. But, Wing fans, if you're looking for the goaltender leading the league in GAA and shutouts, well...don't strain your eyes. Because Dominik Hasek isn't even on the list of nominees. Hasek is sporting a GAA of 1.75 (1st), save percentage of .911 (11th), 3 shutouts (1st) and 8 wins (3rd). Nikolai Khabibulin owns a GAA of 3.36, 4 wins, 0 shutouts, 6 games played and a save percentage of .890. None of those are in the top 30. But, you can vote for him if you'd like. The other goalies you have to choose from? * Manny Fernandez, (2.17, .928, 8 wins, 1 shutout) * J.S. Giguere, (1.98, .928, 9 wins, 2 shutouts) * Miikka Kiprusoff, (2.44, .921, 6 wins, 2 shutouts) * Roberto Luongo, (2.45, .907, 8 wins, 1 shutout) * Dwayne Roloson, (2.47, .918, 7 wins, 1 shutout) * Marty Turco, (1.84, .931, 10 wins, 1 shutout) * Tomas Vokoun, (2.81, .912, 7 wins, 1 shutout) Those last seven goalies listed clearly belong on the ballot. But more than Hasek? It's a curious thing that he was left off, considering his career body of work and the fact that the league wouldn't have to defend itself by putting him on. Also add in the fact that he's at least top ten in every category but one, and leading in two? Four Wings are eligible for your votes: Nick Lidstrom, Matthieu Schneider, Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.
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