Abel to Yzerman
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
Jimmy Howard sits in the corner of the Detroit Red Wings’ dressing room, right next to an eraserboard bolted to a cinderblock wall. Every day, the staff updates the NHL standings, wiping out old numbers, writing in new ones. Every day, the situation is on display in black and white.
As Howard took off his goalie equipment after a game Tuesday night, he looked to his left and listened as trainer Piet Van Zant stood next to the board, pointed to team after team and reported on the action around the league in real time, looking like a TV weatherman going over a map of a storm.
By Wednesday morning, the board looked like this: The Columbus Blue Jackets held the final wild-card spot in the East with 76 points and 30 regulation and overtime wins. The Washington Capitals were right behind with 76 points and 25 ROWs, but they had played 70 games, two more than the Jackets and Wings. The Wings had 75 points and 26 ROWs.
“We all know what’s at stake – 22 years of making [the playoffs] and everything like that – and it’s good,” Howard said. “The bar was set high for us, and it gives us something to strive for each year. We’ve just got to keep battling, keep clawing, keep finding a way to get points, and you never know what’s going to happen.”
But I do know there will be a large contingent of Toronto fans at the game tonight.
I do know Dion Phaneuf will be caught out of position a few times and the Wings need to take advantage of that. I also now he will try to run on of younger players, just to welcome them to the NHL.
I also know the #1 line of the Wings, Legwand, Franzen and Alfreddsson have to start scoring.
I cannot confirm on one of the walls in the Wings' dressing room a picture hangs of Jeff Blashill, just for inspiration.
I can also look into the not too distant future, someone will leave a comment, basically stating B. Smith looks good at forward, also, someone else will write no he doesn't.
On Jimmy Howard, the only thing I know is he needs to stop the puck, like at a .940 percentage.
Who are these guys?
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
“We’ve been accustomed around here to having real good goaltending from Howie,” Babcock said, “and we need him to be as good as he’s ever been down the stretch just because the depth of our lineup is different than it’s been.”
It’s no secret this hasn’t been Howard’s year — he was so subpar in November, it turned out to be beneficial when he suffered a fluke knee injury during a practice in early December in Tampa Bay. Howard used the layoff to recalibrate.
“The thing is, you can’t go out there and you can’t force things,” he said. “That’s what I tried to do earlier in the year, is really try to force the issue. Really what ended up happening was I had to take a step back and rethink things.
“It’s been a pretty topsy-turvy season, but I’m just trying to keep a positive mind frame. I have a lot of confidence in myself. Personally, I like this time of year because I find out what I’m made of.”
So let's hope the Wings have the wind to their backs during all three periods.
The Blackhawks are being questioned by Coach Q regarding their intensity while Coach B is trying to find healthy players.
Detroit may be catching the Blackhawks while they are slumping, but Chicago went through a hard practice yesterday and say they are ready to bring their 'A' game tonight.
No doubt, it will be a hard game for the Wings to win, but...
Anyone for a little "Subtle Interference?"
That Damn Octopus
Every time I see it on SportsCenter I gag a little bit. (me: Watching Sportscenter for hockey coverage?)
I am a bit young to recall his days with the New Jersey Devils and the St. Louis Blues, but even if I could.. (me: stop right there, a bit young...)
30 Years of Happiness
Since 1983, no team in the NHL has been as consistently good as the Red Wings. (me: uh, ok)
The Red Wings jerseys make me want to vomit. They are so boring, and they haven’t changed in years. (me: haven't changed in years is a good thing)
For Taking Chris Chelios
at the ripe age of 12, I was quite unfamiliar with the entire trade/free agency process. When I heard Chelios was going to Detroit, I threw a hockey puck at my bedroom wall. (me: By age 12 I could recite every player on every team, knew where they were born, what they had for dinner last night, etc.)
A little stat before the game starts- average age of the Oilers taking the ice tonight is 24. and for the Wings, 26.5.
With that out of the way, another must win game for Detroit as we count down those 'must win' games.
Two points needed badly or else the teams the Wings are chasing will be out of reach.
Yes, the three point games hurt the Wings badly, but instead of looking at the big picture, all concentration should be on the next shift.
Yep, it's a hockey game.
The Detroit Red Wings trail the Philadelphia Flyers by 2 points for the last wild card spot in the East. Both teams have played 65 games.
Tonight, San Jose visits Columbus and the Blue Jackets hold down the 3rd spot in the Metropolitan. They lead Detroit by 2 points, with Detroit and Columbus both playing 65 games.
Florida plays in Tampa and the Lightning hold the first wild card spot, leading Detroit by 4 points with the same number of games.
The New York Rangers play in Minnesota and the Rangers hold the second spot in the Metropolitan. They have a 3 point lead on the Wings and have played one more game.
Toronto plays the LA Kings, they hold the second spot in the Atlantic and lead the Wings by 7 points and have played 2 more games than Detroit.
Put your good luck hats on!
Take a look at the wild card race.
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