Abel to Yzerman
via Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Interesting to see Hall of Famer Mark Howe in the press box.
Howe is a scout for the playoff-bound Red Wings. Of course, both teams he was watching at First Niagara Center on Wednesday night have long been eliminated from the postseason.
Given the Red Wings interest in Dion Phaneuf prior to the trade deadline, might he have been in the house to scout the Leafs captain?
Just throwing it out there.
Forget everything that has gone wrong in the past few weeks, take a deep breath, and start over. Tonight, we will be taking care of business. I don't care who the opponent is.
All I want to see this week, is an "x", meaning clinched a playoff spot next to the Detroit Red Wings name, breathe a sigh of relief, and continue into the Second Season.
The only way that happens is by taking care of business from here on out.
Get it done! Whatever it takes!
George Malik has a complete preview of tonight's game against the Ottawa Senators.
Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen has the question of the morning.
Game notes are below...
Who starts in goal tomorrow or maybe the better question is who will be in net when the game ends against the Senators?
Both goalies look frail, lost at times and unable to come up with a big stop when needed.
Personally I have to think Jimmy Howard starts on Tuesday in order to give the Wings the best chance to win.
What a difference a day makes 'eh? So, I'm inclined toward keeping this on the positive.
A special thanks to MO for being a game saver/lucky charm. Here's to the beginning of a nice run.
Time to grab two more important points.
George Malik of The Malik Report has an extensive preview of today's game between the Wings and Islanders.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
It's almost April, and only two Detroit Red Wings have scored more goals than Justin Abdelkader.
Who could have predicted that?
Abdelkader scored his 23rd goal in Saturday's 4-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning at Joe Louis Arena.
The grinding, physical forward continues to build on a breakout season. He has more than doubled his previous career-high in goals (10) and has been particularly hot of late, with a goal in four consecutive games and 10 goals in his past 13 games.
"As a player I just feel more confident out there," Abdelkader said. "This league is a tough league to come in as a young player. Just kind of figuring out my game, then I got an opportunity a few years back during the lockout year to play with Pav (Datsyuk). Getting more ice time there, getting some power play time.
"Anytime you see the puck going in for you it gives you confidence and you feel better when it's on your stick. When I get the chances I'm just bearing down. I feel confident with the puck and I'm making good shots."
I guess this is the time of the season where we build character because we haven't been doing much else of late. The Wings have hit a bit of a rough patch lately, and, I think I can safely say the 19 have had enough of meaningless words to last the rest of the season.
Of course there is a cure for what ails, and that is winning. It's a great morale booster. I'm going positive here cause there is nowhere else left to go but up.
Let's get 'er done!
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
A win would help the Red Wings in several ways. It would relieve some pressure following a 3-7-1 stretch that has raised concerns about their goaltending. It would prevent Ottawa and Boston, clubs that are five points behind them in the Atlantic Division, from creeping closer. And it would be a much-needed boost of confidence against the highest-scoring team in the NHL.
more on today's game...
Puck drops just after 2:00pm ET today....
via Brian Hunter of NHL.com,
TV: SUN, FS-D
Season series: The Tampa Bay Lightning are trying to complete a four-game season sweep of the Detroit Red Wings. Ryan Callahan had the only goal of the shootout the last time they met at Joe Louis Arena. Steven Stamkos has four goals to lead all scorers. Ben Bishop has a 1.62 goals-against average and .937 save percentage in three starts.
Lightning team scope: Forward Brenden Morrow, who didn't play in a 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday because of an upper-body injury, practiced Friday in a regular jersey. Morrow said he was feeling better and might be able to play, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The Lightning worked on their power play, using forward Brian Boyle in front of the net on the first unit with Stamkos, Valtteri Filppula, Alex Killorn and Anton Stralman. Boyle scored his 15th goal of the season against the Predators. Despite leading the NHL in offense at 3.23 goals per game, the Lightning had the 19th-ranked power play entering games Friday at 18.1 percent. The Lightning are on the verge of clinching a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a second straight season.
Red Wings team scope: This is the finale of a four-game road trip for Detroit, which has given up 11 goals in losing consecutive games to the Arizona Coyotes and San Jose Sharks, teams outside of the playoffs in the Western Conference. Forward Riley Sheahan, who is seventh on the Red Wings in scoring with 34 points, is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Goalie Petr Mrazek, who relieved Jimmy Howard after the first period of the 6-4 loss Thursday to the Sharks, will start, according to MLive.com. Forward Pavel Datsyuk skated with Tomas Tatar and Darren Helm during line rushes Friday, but coach Mike Babcock wasn't sure if Datsyuk would play. He has missed the past five games with a lower-body injury.
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: email@example.com