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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. image 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.

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Provincial Thoughts On Chelios

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.
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Game Day Preview: Wings at Flames

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.

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Friday With The Deep Diggers; Analyzing the PP

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.''

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Injury Updates: Homer, Osgood Out For Weekend

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.

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Southern Hockey Invades My Home

Anyone else get their catalog from the NHL today? I did. And I almost threw up in my mouth when I turned it over and saw this. image My god...my name on the back of a Hurricane jersey? Is this some sort of sick joke the Acid Queen is pulling on me? Speaking of the Canes, an A2Y reader from the Triangle wrote me today with this little tidbit of goodness.

Funny story. when Eric Cole scored a hat trick againts the Caps last week, John Forslund (the Canes excellent play-by-play guy) exclaimed on air, and I quote...."Hat trick for Eric Cole, and we FINALLY get to give away a TRACTOR!!" He was referencing the John Deere lawn tractor giveaway, given to a fan when any Cane scores a hat trick. Maybe ya had to be there, but it seemed the essence of "Southern Hockey".
You know, for some reason, I find that to be pretty cool. Like the reader said, that's "Southern Hockey."

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Detroit’s Dynamic Duo

Nice feature on Draper and Maltby via NHL.com,

"I've played with 'Malts' forever," Draper says. "It's scary, but we've played almost 800 games together with him being my left wing." The number of games might have been slightly exaggerated by Draper for emphasis’ sake, but the point was duly made. These guys have become extensions of each other on the ice, feeding off each other's strengths to form one of the best shut-down forward tandems in the game.
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You Just Can’t Please Everybody

Oh, here we go. It was bound to happen and it naturally has. The complaints are filtering in from the early-to-close precincts. And what are those complaints? That the Wings are winning, but winning ugly. I'm going to revise the lead. The "complaint" I'm referring to is not really a gripe, but a statement that the Wings are playing a slowed-down, tight checking game in a new NHL that was supposed to be rid of such tactics. I'm toning it down because I think I'm still a little irritated with Jamie Fitzpatrick of Pro Ice Hockey for his "it's just a game" statements regarding Oiler fans and the McGeough incident. In this case, Fitzpatrick is probably voicing a view we're bound to hear more and more. The Ghost of NHL Past

They aren't the second coming of the old New Jersey Devils. But many Detroit games are methodical, low-scoring affairs lacking in end-to-end action. The Wings allow fewer than two goals per game, and most of those come on the power play. When it’s five-on-five, the opponents are lucky to get a sniff of the net. Edmonton came to town last week and didn’t manage a shot on goal for the entire first period.

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Thursday AM Odds and Ends

I think I'm the only North American citizen over the age of 9 who doesn't own an iPod, or MP3 player or whatever current technology tells us we should listen to rather than our spouses, parents, teachers, etc. The reason I bring that up is because I like to jog, and when I jog the last song I heard is going through my head. Well, the last song I heard before I ran last night was being piped over the high-tech sound system at the Navy Exchange. It was "Love Machine". I don't know who recorded it, what year it came out, or much else. I just know "Love Machine" has to be the title because nothing else possibly could. It's disco, and it's horrific. And I couldn't get it out of my head as I ran and ran and ran. It was kind of a rhythm, a six step lyrical nightmare. Every stride was a different word of the only lyric that song seems to have "Oh-baby-I'm-a-love-machine", over and over. It was very possibly one of the three worst episodes of my life. And on that note, I guess there's a little Wing news to discuss.

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On The Prospects: Mursak Turning Heads in Saginaw

Jan Mursak is tearing up the OHL. A couple of pointers for you on him, and other Wing prospects. First, to Hockey's Future.

He has been a scoring machine for the Saginaw Spirit, scoring points in each of his first 21 games in the OHL and racking up a total of 38 points (13 goals and 25 assists). He’s getting a lot of ice time for a rookie and he has responded in a very good way to the coach’s trust. Mursak will have to try to continue his torrid scoring pace during the long OHL season. So far he has exceeded all expectation of a sixth round pick, and he looks like he could be a prospect to watch down the road as a legitimate NHL player.
And this from Red Wing Central.
The Red Wings are impressed with how fast the Slovenian has adjusted to North America, but his strength is a big concern. “He’s as weak as a noodle right now, but you wouldn’t know it watching him,” said McDonnell. “He’s real strong on his feet so when he comes out of the corner, he doesn’t get trapped too much. He’s very competitive.”
Another note on RWC you might find interesting...
Forward Darryl Bootland (Grand Rapids, American Hockey League) fought former Colorado Avalanche agitator Mike Keane early in the week, but was a surprise healthy scratch later in the week.
Oh...yes. I would have liked to have seen that. If anyone in the Grand Rapids area has any info on that scrap, let me know.

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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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