Abel to Yzerman
from Brian Manzullo of the Detroit Free Press,
We've rounded up a plethora of prominent first-round predictions for the Stanley Cup Playoffs -- and no one picked the Wings to upset the Tampa Bay Lightning. In fact, the debate seems to be more about how many games it will take for the Bolts to dispatch the Wings, considering their powerful offensive attack and the Wings' uncertainty at goalie.
The 7-game series starts Thursday in Tampa Bay.
Here's a sampling of expert picks:
ESPN.com: 11 experts of 11 pick Tampa Bay. Four of them, including John Buccigross, picked the series to go seven games, but most seem to think the Lightning will handle the Wings in five or six.
Mike Babcock announced Petr Mrazek as the starter for game 1 in Tampa on Thursday.
Plus Jimmy is not talking...
The Malik Report has everything you need to know about practice today.
The Wings/Lightning series starts on Thursday and in the meantime you may be looking for some hockey action.
How about 24 minutes of Detroit highlights from the 2014-15 NHL regular season.
Thanks to awood40...
Probably more to come in the next month.
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
It's a Red Wings franchise that continues to operate under the winning culture Yzerman helped build in the dressing room as a player, now enforced by former teammates Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall and Pavel Datsyuk. It's a team making its 24th consecutive trip to the playoffs and one that knows its way around the postseason, something we're not entirely sure of yet about the Lightning. Detroit is a proud team, one that won't go down easily.
There will be a temptation to dub this the Yzerman Bowl, and his influence will no doubt be felt everywhere, but Stanley Cup playoff games aren't about executives. They're about the players on the ice, and this series is loaded with storylines and star power on both sides.
Let's dive in!
This is going to be a battle for puck possession. The Red Wings are one of the original puck possession teams, long before terms such as Corsi and Fenwick were thrown around, so it's no surprise Yzerman has built the Lightning into a possession power as well.
At even strength, the Red Wings control 53.5 percent of shot attempts, the highest among any Eastern Conference playoff team. The Lightning are right behind, at 53.1 percent.
The Wings have officially made the Playoffs for the 24th consecutive season. It is a big deal and something to celebrate, but, the celebration can begin after tonight's game. With one game left to play there are still points up for grabs, and, ending this regular season with a bang is the goal.
19 of the most loyal, and, happiest of Fans are waiting to board the Hasek and see where we end up when all is said and done.
Game #82 then, the Playoffs!
Puck drops just after 7:00pm ET
via Brian Hedger at NHL.com,
TV: CITY, FS-D, FS-CR
Season series: The Detroit Red Wings are going for a sweep of the three-game series against the Carolina Hurricanes. Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk leads all scorers with two goals and two assists.
Red Wings team scope: Detroit is in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 24th consecutive season, but the Red Wings need one point to assure themselves of third place in the Atlantic Division. A victory would give them 100 points for the 17th time in the past 20 full seasons. Detroit is 3-4-3 in its past 10 games, including a 4-3 overtime loss at the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday that clinched a playoff berth, and is 11-13-5 since Feb. 7, when the Red Wings completed a stretch of nine wins in 10 games. The Red Wings didn't practice Friday but did recall defenseman Alexey Marchenko from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League. Coach Mike Babcock may opt to rest some of his regulars, meaning that defenseman Jakub Kindl and forwards Tomas Jurco and Daniel Cleary could dress.
Hurricanes team scope: Carolina is looking to end its first season under coach Bill Peters with back-to-back victories. The Hurricanes' 3-1 win at the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday ended a two-game losing streak, but they are 6-10-4 since the start of March. Forward Riley Nash and defenseman Jack Hillen are day-to-day with concussions and it's not known whether either will be able to play. Justin Faulk needs one point to become the first defenseman to reach 50 points in a season since the team moved to Carolina in 1997; Zarley Zalapski had 64 in 1992-93, when the franchise was known as the Hartford Whalers.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
The point clinched a playoff spot for the Red Wings, but Howard's performance leaves coach Mike Babcock unsure of who he'll put in net when the playoff start next week.
"I'm going to go have a beer and think about that," Babcock said.
Tomas Plekanec tied the game at 3-3 at 11:39 of the third period during a five-on-three power play with a shot from a sharp angle that slipped through Howard's five-home.
Lars Eller scored at 1:31 of overtime on a harmless-looking shot from the wing that somehow eluded Howard.
"They can't go in. Period," Babcock said. "This is the National Hockey League. They can't go in."...
Babcock said his team should have won the game.
"The puck went in, it shouldn't have went in," Babcock said. "We're going to have to deal with that in the next few days to get that straightened out. But I thought our team played real hard."
more on the goalie situation in Detroit...
added 9:25am, Below, video of Babcock on this topic...
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