Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Too Close For Comfort

There is no way to proceed from here on out, other than playing all in to WIN. Win em' all I say.

Playing it safe causes injury and losses.(duh!)  At this point in the season, neither the Wings, nor any other Team for that matter, have clinched a playoff spot.

Whether you're in first place or fourth place, it's so close in the standings, too close for comfort.

Win em' all!

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Preview And Notes- Detroit Red Wings vs. Arizona Coyotes

via Sean McCullen of NHL.com,

Season series: Tomas Tatar had a goal and two assists to help the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes on Feb. 7 at Gila River Arena.

Coyotes team scope: Phoenix recalled forward Jordan Szwarz from Portland of the American Hockey League on Monday and sent down center Justin Hodgman, who was minus-1 with one shot on goal in 12:10 in a 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday after being called up Friday. Szwarz, 23, has 21 points (12 assists) and 58 penalty minutes in 42 games with Portland. Arizona plays at the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday and Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday to conclude its three-game trip. Goalie Mike Smith made 41 saves but Arizona lost 3-1 to the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday. It was the Coyotes' eighth straight loss (0-7-1), seven of which came on home ice. They have scored a total of 25 goals and won twice in their past 20 games. Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored his career-high 20th goal, the most on Arizona and among NHL defensemen.

Red Wings team scope: Detroit likely will be without center Pavel Datsyuk (lower-body injury) for a fourth straight game. Datsyuk skated at practice at Joe Louis Arena on Monday, but said there is only a small chance he will play. "Feeling better," Datsyuk said, according to the Detroit Free Press. "But not like 100 percent. We're looking at the bigger picture." The Red Wings have lost four of their past six games and are four points ahead of the Ottawa Senators for third place in the Atlantic Division. Forward Justin Abdelkader scored in overtime to give Detroit a 2-1 win against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday. It was his 20th goal, doubling his previous career high (2012-13, 2013-14). Forward Erik Cole has three goals in the past five games after being held without one his first five with the Red Wings following a trade from the Dallas Stars on March 1.

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Video- Detroit Red Wings Win Over The St. Louis Blues

Extended highlights from Detroit's 2-1 OT win over St. Louis, brought to you by awood40.

 

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It’s A Cockfight

Well, well, well. How quickly things have changed. The Wings are going to have a real fight on their hands today. It's not only a TRAP game, but an honest to goodness cockfight.

Babcock vs Hitchcock.

I'm not going to drone on and on about the standings, or the precarious position we could find ourselves in. I'm just going to sit on the edge of my chair and bite my nails during the entire game. Just like the rest of the faithful 19 will be doing.

Enjoy!

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Preview And Notes- Detroit Red Wings vs. St. Louis Blues

Games starts a few minutes past 12:00pm ET

via Louie Korac at NHL.com,

TV: NBC, SN360

Season series: Pavel Datsyuk's goal with 2.2 seconds remaining in overtime helped the Detroit Red Wings defeat the St. Louis Blues 3-2 on Jan. 15. The Red Wings got two points despite squandering a 2-0 third-period lead.

Blues team scope: St. Louis will play the fifth of a six-game road trip after a 6-3 loss at the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. Center Paul Stastny scored his 14th goal to give him 500 points in his NHL career. "I'd rather have it in a win, but you just keep going forward," Stastny said. "The only good news for us is we play [Sunday]. We get right back at it." Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson sustained an upper-body injury in the second period and coach Ken Hitchcock had no immediate update on Gunnarsson's availability for Sunday. The Blues are 2-1-1 on the trip, which concludes Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. St. Louis finishes the regular season with six of its final eight games at home. Goalie Jake Allen, who relieved Brian Elliott on Saturday, is expected to start.

Red Wings team scope: Datsyuk (lower body) is questionable after missing the past two games. Datsyuk's injury isn't considered serious and he was to be examined on Saturday to determine his availability Sunday. Detroit starts a four-game homestand after a 1-3-0 road trip following a 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday. The Red Wings have lost six of their past eight games. Despite the recent slide, coach Mike Babcock sees positive signs. "The last three games were encouraging for me," Babcock told the Detroit Free Press. "We've started to skate better. For a while there after the trip, we didn't skate at all, we didn't move. It looks to me like our energy is back."

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Hang In There

I'll try to be upbeat because that's just the way it is. At some point I'm hoping that things will start clicking in all the right ways for the Wings. Every Team goes through a bit of a lull, and unfortunately this appears to be ours. I plan to hang in there along with 19 other Detroit Red Wing's Fans.

Time to gain some confidence and strike back at the Lightning.
 

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Remembering Matthew Wuest

from Sarah Lindenau of The Left Wing Lock,

I never met Matthew Wuest in person, but he meant a lot to me. It wasn’t until he landed his first full time reporter job with the Metro Halifax that I even knew what he looked like.

We met on a hockey message board talking about Red Wings prospects while he was running the Detroit section for a website called hockeysfuture.com. The year was 1998 and after I posted that I was about to attend my first Red Wings training camp in Traverse City, MI he asked me to do some scouting.

I had never done anything like that but he sent me some scouting forms he had created and asked me to fill them out for each of the Red Wings prospects. So there I was sitting in the stands at Centre I.C.E. with a clipboard and pen filling out these forms and rating abilities of Detroit’s sparse assortment of talent that included the likes of Maxim Kuznetsov, Daryl LapLante and Jesse Wallin. Matt used my ratings to help shape the profiles of the up-and-coming talent and while I didn’t really know what I was doing in those early years he encouraged me to continue.

Shortly after my first scouting experience, Matt ended his tenure at hockeysfuture to co-found a website on the Rivals network called thewingedwheel.com. 

continued

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Preview And Notes- Detroit Red Wings vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Puck drops just after 7:30pm ET

via NHL.com,

TV: NHLN-US, TVA Sports, SN360, FS-D, SUN

Season series: The Tampa Bay Lightning have won the first two games against the Detroit Red Wings, including a 4-3 shootout victory at Joe Louis Arena in early November. Rookie center Cedric Paquette had the first hat trick of his career in Tampa Bay's 5-1 win at Amalie Arena on Jan. 29.

Red Wings team scope: Detroit has lost five of its past seven games and is six points behind Tampa Bay for second place in the Atlantic Division following a 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers on Thursday. Forward Erik Cole scored for the second time in three games after being held without a goal in his first five with the Red Wings following a trade with the Dallas Stars on March 1. Goalie Jimmy Howard is expected to start after Petr Mrazek got the call the past two games, including a 5-1 win at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday. Howard allowed seven goals on 36 shots against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. "We took a step forward against Pittsburgh," captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "We didn't play bad [against Florida], we just have to come back strong [Friday]." Center Riley Sheahan had an assist on Cole's goal; he has five points (two goals, three assists) in the past five games. Center Pavel Datsyuk (lower body) didn't play Thursday and won't dress against Tampa Bay.

Lightning team scope: Forward Ondrej Palat practiced Thursday and could return to the Tampa Bay lineup. Palat, who has 15 goals and 37 assists in 64 games, initially was expected to be out as long as three weeks because of a lower-body injury he sustained blocking a shot March 10 against the Montreal Canadiens. "We thought Palat could be back this weekend, so if it's tomorrow, I guess that is a little ahead," coach Jon Cooper told the Lightning website after practice. "We thought [Sunday against the Boston Bruins] was kind of a game we thought he might be back, so I guess if he comes back two days earlier, that's good for us." Tampa Bay, which will play nine games in 16 days, is 1-1-1 since Palat's injury. Paquette (upper body), who also has missed the past three games, hopes to return sometime in the next week. Like Palat, he wore a red, no-contact jersey at practice. "We'll see how it feels tomorrow and Saturday and go from there," Paquette said. Center Steven Stamkos has four points (three goals) in the past three games.

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Guess Host

As the Guess Host it means, your guess is as good as mine.  I'm all in.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!
 

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Preview And Notes- Detroit Red Wings vs. Florida Panthers

Puck drops just after 7:30pm ET

George Malik of The Malik Report has a game setup too.

via Evan Sporer of NHL.com,

TV: NHLN-US, FS-D, FS-F

Season series: The Florida Panthers have won two out of three games against the Detroit Red Wings this season, 4-3 at Joe Louis Arena on Dec. 2 and 3-2 in a shootout 10 days later, also in Detroit. Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg has a point in each of the three games, with a goal and two assists.

Red Wings team scope: Forward Pavel Datsyuk did not practice Wednesday, and will miss at least the next two games because of a lower-body injury, coach Mike Babcock said Wednesday, according to MLive.com. Babcock already announced Petr Mrazek will start in goal for Detroit. Mrazek made 42 saves in a 5-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday. Forward Darren Helm, who has missed the past seven games because of an oblique injury, could play Thursday. He practiced Wednesday; Babcock said he has yet to be cleared but is hopeful Helm will be available. “Obviously he’s a real good player for us,” Babcock said, according to the Red Wings website. “It allows us to spread things out more. It gets [Luke Glendening] back in his right spot, which is real important for our team. We think we’re going to have a good team here, so ideally, knock on wood, we can stay healthy and start playing the best we can play.”

Panthers team scope: Goaltender Roberto Luongo practiced again Wednesday, but coach Gerrard Gallant would not confirm if Luongo will start against Detroit, according to the Miami Herald. Luongo has missed the past six games because of a shoulder injury. He took part in his first morning skate Tuesday before the Panthers played the Montreal Canadiens. Gallant said Luongo will skate Thursday and afterward a decision will be made. Florida trails the Boston Bruins by seven points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

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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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