Abel to Yzerman
There's really not much to say. Forget everything about strings and streaks and five being the magic number.
We are right back at square one. Win one game.
It's simple enough. All we have to do, is to score one goal more than Toronto.
I am not posting a game day preview or notes today, heck things haven't really changed since the Wings last played the Leafs.
Instead I am going to focus on the Leafs since this is the last regular season meeting between the teams.
Toronto is 7-2-1 in their last ten games yet they still have their doubters, like it or not.
With 35 points, the Leafs are in the first spot of the wild card race, 4 points ahead of the Florida Panthers.
from Jonas Siegel of TSN,
The Maple Leafs don't have to look back too far in history to know how this story ends.
Toronto has happily snatched up 15 of 18 points in the past three weeks, but not without a few troubling signs of late that has the group on alert. An all too brief window of shot suppression and structure after a pair of November blowouts has veered precisely in the opposite direction.
The club has surrendered an average of 37 shots in the past six games, outshot by an average of nearly 10 in that span. They've scratched out wins on the strength on a powerhouse offence and of late, some fine goaltending, a formula history has proven flawed.
from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
from Michael Niziolek of Mlive,
The frustration was easy to see on Jimmy Howard's face as the goalie sat by his locker following a 3-2 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers on Friday night.
The Detroit Red Wings (17-6-7) suffered a second straight shootout loss, dropping the team's record in tiebreakers on the season to 1-5.
"It's frustrating, it really is," Howard said. "We keep having meeting after meeting after meeting about it. We work on it in practice. Just going to have to stick with it."
Howard has been on the losing end of all five of the Red Wings' shootout losses. He's allowed nine goals on 12 shots, and is at the bottom of the NHL in shootout save percentage.
Below, some shootout stats that some of you have wanted to see while others may not want to see...
Since the consensus around here involves various Traps, including the infamous back to back this weekend, the message is "Stay on Target." The target is back to back wins. Four points.
No flu bug, no fatigue, no injuries as excuses.
Just play with who ever/everything we've got, and two wins in a row in your sights. Keeping the bigger, better, five plus wins in a row as the main target.
Because, until that magic number five happens, we are not legit.
via Brian Hedger at NHL.com,
Season series: Vincent Trocheck (one goal, two assists) and Jimmy Hayes (one goal, one assist) led the way to victory for the Florida Panthers in the first game. Center Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and assist for the Detroit Red Wings.
Panthers team scope: Rather than sinking to the bottom of the NHL standings as many predicted, the Panthers are hanging around the Stanley Cup Playoffs picture in the Eastern Conference. They've alternated wins and losses in their past six games (3-2-1) and lost 4-2 on Monday at the St. Louis Blues to start a three-game road trip. Rookie defenseman Aaron Ekblad, who is on a five-game point streak, missed practice Thursday because of soreness. He and coach Gerard Gallant told reporters it was nothing to worry about. Injured forwards Scottie Upshall (ankle) and Aleksander Barkov (groin and hand) practiced Thursday in Detroit. Upshall might be ready to face the Red Wings and Barkov is targeting a possible return next week. Defenseman Shane O'Brien was recalled Thursday from San Antonio of the American Hockey League.
Red Wings team scope: Detroit is coming off a 2-1 shootout loss Wednesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The defeat snapped a three-game win streak for the Red Wings, who've used a 11-3-2 stretch in their past 16 games to surge to the upper crust of the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference. Forward Justin Abdelkader (shoulder) practiced Thursday, but coach Mike Babcock said his return isn't likely until next week, and the Red Wings placed him on injured reserve, retroactive to Nov. 30. After practice, Babcock shot down reports that he was close to signing a contract extension, saying he isn't likely to sign an extension during the season. Defenseman Danny DeKeyser has an upper-body injury that will keep him out for at least this weekend. Defenseman Xavier Ouellet was recalled Thursday from Grand Rapids of the AHL.
Here we are again. We have successfully strung together three wins in a row, and are going for number four tonight against the Leafs. I'm no pharmacist. I'm definitely no physicist, but as I have been harping on my theory that a bona fide winning streak beings with five wins in a row, the Wings have been stringing together three wins here, four wins there which has garnered us thirty nine points and some very superstitious bragging rights. (SWM Kate)
Heck we aren't even supposed to be above the twenty-FIF spot in the league according to lots of hockey prognosticators.(the Wings are too old/too young) Yet here we are, locked in a battle for first place in the conference/division. Whooda thought?
Let's just hope the string continues tonight.
This can't be happening. I looked it up in the science books and all the smart kids told us we'd be "fighting for a spot" and that "24 was in jeopardy" and that "Denver is a legitimate, honest to god, don't doubt us on this, CONTENDER". Certainly this is a fantasy, this borderline pornographic movie of NHL standings...baby Jesus' favorite Red Wings in first while Lucifer's prince has coached his team into the cellar.
A little different today. I am having some back pain today for some reason and need to pace myself a bit here so no notes, just previews..
from Paul Harris at NHL.com,
Howard is 13-5-4 with a 2.21 goals-against average and .917 save percentage for Detroit, which has won seven of its past eight games. The Red Wings are 17-6-5 and on top of the Atlantic Division with 39 points heading into the Wednesday Night Rivalry game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA SPORTS).
Last season, Howard, 30, slumped with a 2.66 GAA after 2.12 and 2.13 the previous two seasons. He was hampered throughout 2013-14 with groin and shoulder injuries.
Detroit coach Mike Babcock said Howard's play was particularly important in the first few games of the season, when the Red Wings were discovering their personality but managed a 3-1-1 record against a tough schedule.
"If you go back to his first five games his save percentage was through the roof (.949, stopping 131 of 138 shots)," Babcock said. "Those first five games we weren't confident and going yet and we needed him even more so I think that's really important. … I really thought when we were trying to find ourselves and gain confidence [Howard] was really good."
from Brian Comptopn of NHL.com,
A quick trip to Carolina today(travel), a matinee, and a trap game.(triple threat) That's one way to look at it.
Going for our third win in a row, with the third time being the charm, is the way I view today.
Do not underestimate The Hurricanes.
Puck drops just after 5:00pm ET...
via David Satriano of NHL.com,
RED WINGS (16-6-5) AT HURRICANES (8-14-3)
TV: FS-D+, FS-CR
Season series: The Detroit Red Wings won two of three games last season against the Carolina Hurricanes. Detroit forward Henrik Zetterberg had five points (one goal, four assists) in two games. Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward allowed four goals on 67 shots.
Red Wings team scope: Detroit defeated the New York Rangers 3-2 on Saturday to conclude a four-game homestand with a 3-1-0 record. Goalie Jimmy Howard made 32 saves and Darren Helm scored in the third period to break a 2-2 tie. Helm has three goals in his past two games. Forward Justin Abdelkader (shoulder) missed his third straight game. Howard, who has not started the second game of a back-to-back this season, could sit in favor of backup goalie Petr Mrazek on Sunday. The Red Wings are 8-2-0 in their past 10 games.
Hurricanes team scope: Carolina will play the fourth game of a five-game homestand. Following a 2-1 loss to the Washington Capitals on Thursday, the Hurricanes, who will host the New Jersey Devils on Monday, are 1-2-0. Carolina is 5-5-1 at home this season. Center Jordan Staal, who has been out since sustaining a fractured fibula during the preseason, participated in practice on Saturday. "It's nice to be out there again. Just putting on skates and go for a little stroll and hopefully it gets a little more intense from now on," Staal told the Hurricanes website. A timetable for his return is still unknown. Ward is day-to-day because of a lower-body injury. Defenseman Andrej Sekera, who was hurt when blocking a shot earlier in the week and did not play Thursday, could return to the lineup. The Hurricanes are 0-2-1 against the Atlantic Division.
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