Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

2 Frigging Goals

Yep, that one’s for you Gramps.  Amazing, glorious things can happen when your goalie has this weird ability to keep the opposition under three goals.  And winning with only two?  It’s a revelation.

Ready for some fun? Here you go.  Yes, Baby Jesus’ favorite hockey team won last night…as usual.  Typically, that’s enough. All we ask for, really.  But last evening provided an extra ounce of levity as fans of the following teams sobbed themselves to sleep:  Pittsburgh, Chicago, Nashville all lost and for a variety of reasons, each of those losses brought happiness to the ones we love.

Seeing the Pens lose is always a spine tingler.  It just makes me happy. I can’t explain it and I don’t feel like investigating the science of the whole thing. I just know that with every loss their one-year air of invincibility gets even more sour.

That team has no goaltending. “Flower” is failing and last night it was “Johnny” giving up 5 to Dallas.  Now, we know a bit about getting violated deep in the hearta, so I’m treading lightly on thin hypocritical ice here.  But, guess what? They got pounded and even a slap fight featuring their “captain” couldn’t serve as enough motivation to topple the West’s 7th best team.

Their “captain”?  He was selective about his dance partner last night, eh?

Defending Big D

“I never saw that coming. We were up 4-1 and he was trying to get the team going a little bit, he asked me to go, and we went. I got him hard once in the helmet, if that counts. I hadn’t said a word to him all night. I wasn’t on the ice with him all night.  I think he picked me out. Maybe I was the smallest guy out there, I don’t know.”

Matt Niskanen, of course.  Renowned brawler.  Famous agitator. 

Rosby, the petulant little bitch, went after the smallest guy on the ice, who hadn’t said a word, hadn’t even seen the same ice as the “captain” all night.  You go, Sid.  What a joke it is that so many view this child as the face of this league.

Through leadership like that, Pittsburgh, thought to be elite…is playing .500 hockey.

Oddly, so are your Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks.  Tied atop my Central in first place with Detroit.  Tied with 15 points.  With five more games played.  How the hell does that happen less than one month into the season?  It’s insane.  I can’t even tell you who the disparity benefits and who it bones.  I just know it’s idiotic.

And, it’s Gary’s fault. His league, his responsibility.  The little things add up Gary. Little things like that and bigger things like this:  6,761, 8,171, 8,189, 6,706.  The attendance numbers for the last four games in Phoenix.

Can someone explain to me, specifically, how Gary Bettman can keep his job?  I understand that it would have been unfair to shitcan him over Halloween weekend, his favorite holiday.  You don’t fire a man wearing a hoop skirt and bonnet, carrying a life-sized poster of Sidney Rosby, telling anyone he meets that “I’m Half-Pint. This is Albert.  Have you seen Nellie?” 

But it’s time to go.  Time. To. Go.  Did you see the officiating last night?  I know you did.  I know it.  Horrific.  The first period was embarrassing. The first two calls against the Wings were disgusting.  The Lidstrom hook and the Stuart interference.  Again, not a conspiracy.  Just incompetence and apathy. On the ice and in Toronto. 

So, Chicago lost last night too.  The rent-a-Cup Hawks with their fifteen points and their fifteen games played.  And that’s about right when you look at what they’ve lost and who they have.  That’s a mediocre team with a core group of studs who will get them 95 points this year.  And for the West, that’s mediocre.  They’d win the East going away, because that’s all you need in the East.  Five or six real good players and a goalie who won’t burp his milk more than three times a game. Turco is our bitch, but he’s competent.  A .500 team in the West.  One and done.

And everyone’s favorite 15 year old sixth grader lost last night too.  Bubba took a late lead in Phoenix only to see it slip away, just like their lead in the Central.  First place on Saturday. Last today.  Who’s gonna give the Wings a run for the cheddar?  Not Bubba and not Baby Brother.  Nope and not the BJ’s either.  The Bitter Bitch Blues, that’s who.  Unless Halak goes down, then they’re back to the basement where they belong.  If he stays healthy though?  I’ll bet there won’t be more than 8 points of separation between us all year. 

I’m wondering. Why is it that the MSM feel so dirty when admitting Pavel Datsyuk is the best player in hockey?  Why do they feel the need to qualify what their brain is telling them the truth is.  Confused?  Wait one.

George Johnson

“Pound for pound, he’s (Datsyuk) the game’s most complete player.”

“Pound for pound” is a cop-out. He wants to type the truth, but he can’t.  His Canadian keyboard doesn’t function that way. His fingers were poised but he couldn’t pull the trigger.  “Pound for pound”?  Meaning you can’t compare Sugar Ray Leonard to Ali because they were in different weight classes. We can’t wrap our heads around it. Confusing.  “Pound for pound”? Wrong bitch.

Datsyuk’s the best player in hockey and everyone knows it.  Who wants to admit it? Me. You.  A few others, maybe 19.  Even our Diggers won’t say it.  He’s better than Rosby because he’s the whole package.  It’s all there and it’s all working.  Name a facet of the game where Datsyuk isn’t elite.  Is Ovechkin an elite penalty killer? Is Rosby?  How’s your backchecking today Henrik? Guess we’ll see Saturday.  He’s ferocious, yet he’s level-headed.  He’s gifted and tenacious.  Every part of the game: even strength, down a man, along the boards, faceoffs, offense, defense. He can be elegant and he can knock your dick in the dirt. No one is more “complete” and no one is better.  He’s the best in the game.

“The good thing is, as coaches, just like my wife, I have the right to change my mind. How’s that?’‘

Yeahhh. Ummm.  That’s Uncle Mike.  And you can pretty much cross the midget pimp off your scoresheet for tomorrow night.  No way he’s in there.  Not with the way the fourth line’s playing and not with the shocking resurgence of Mike Modano last night.  What a surprise to see a player of his small stature and limited ability finally get off the schnide, eh?  What an odd happenstance that a career mucker like Modano fired a laser like that and played as well as he did last night.  Stunning.

Right.

Yep. Gonna have to sit a bit longer Happy. This team’s playing too well to mess around now.  Could Babcock hold someone out for the sake of a back to back?  Yep. And it could even be Modano, but I don’t think so.  As long as they’re winning, the lineup stays put.  And that means the back biter, the Sunday Royal Oak bar hopper, is gonna have to wait.

Enjoy your Thursday, bitches.

 

 

 

 

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Comments

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

He can be elegant and he can knock your dick in the dirt.

Holy shit I love this blog.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/04/10 at 01:32 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Chief, I’m going to repost myself b/c this was just too much work on an iPad to sit like the stinking turd that it is at the end of the previous LB.

If I read between the lines here Hudler may be sitting again Friday.
________________________________________________________
“Basically, we’re getting back to simple plays, getting it through the neutral zone, getting in on the forecheck and trying to make life easier rather than trying to make the pretty plays.’’

“I thought Cleary was fantastic in the first (period), I thought Modano was good and, obviously, Abby scoring the goal, but just being big and physical down low,’’ Babcock said. “It gave us four solid lines tonight.’’

Babcock had stated that Hudler would return for Friday’s game in Edmonton. If he sticks to that plan, whom does he remove from a winning lineup?

“It makes it hard for me,’’ Babcock said. “The good thing is, as coaches, just like my wife, I have the right to change my mind. How’s that?’’
__________________________________

I’m also going out on a limb and predicting that Babcock ain’t gettin’ any when he gets back from this road trip.

Posted by RWBill from boarding The Hasek, beer me v00x! on 11/04/10 at 12:28 PM ET

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 11/04/10 at 01:32 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

how Gary Bettman can keep his job?  I understand that it would have been unfair to shitcan him over Halloween weekend, his favorite holiday.  You don’t fire a man wearing a hoop skirt and bonnet, carrying a life-poster of Sidney Rosby, telling anyone he meets that “I’m Half-Pint. This is Albert.  Have you seen Nellie?”

LM MF AO!  That’s either the first or second or third or fourth or fifth funniest part of your post Chief, depending on how many tears are already running down my cheeks from laughing and how much snorting and guffawing I’m trying to smother while reading that sitting in the stall while all the grown men come in during lunch and make disgusting noises and shake their snake a couple of extra times because it feels good.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 11/04/10 at 01:45 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

  He can be elegant and he can knock your dick in the dirt.

Holy shit I love this blog.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/04/10 at 12:32 PM ET

This is definitely one of the Chief’s Greatest Hits.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 11/04/10 at 01:48 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

Great rant, IWO, I have to agree that St Louis now looks like the team to beat in the West.

Tonight:
The game to Watch
Sharks at Blues, 8:00 PM EST,


Two Friggin Goals

There were 9 games last night, and the Wings were the only team to win scoring 2 or less.
I never said they couldn’t win scoring 2, I said they couldn’t win much.
Last year they were 7-25 scoring 2 or less (28 %).  46 pts at the end of the year will not get you into the post season.

The odds of winning any game are severely in your favor if you limit your opposition to 17 SOG.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 11/04/10 at 01:49 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

I’m also going out on a limb and predicting that Babcock ain’t gettin’ any when he gets back from this road trip.

Posted by RWBill from boarding The Hasek, beer me v00x! on 11/04/10 at 12:28 PM ET

I think you’re wrong.  With hair that incredible, Uncle Mike gets some whenever the hell he wants.

Basically, Babbles’ statement sums up what I was saying during all last night’s game: Everyone was playing to stay in Friday’s lineup.  They were agressive, they were fast, they were tenacious, they were smart.  Every. Damn. One of them.  The only ones I could have possibly seen Uncle Mike sitting for Friday were:
Modano (to rest the old bones for the back-to-back) but I didn’t truly believe that.  He looked like he was 32 again last night.
Miller or Eaves: Both were relatively quiet last night, but the PK has been too good all season to even dream of *#$%@& with that mojo.

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 11/04/10 at 01:54 PM ET

HeilThom's avatar

“He can be elegant and he can knock your dick in the dirt.”

Best thing I’ve ever read.

Posted by HeilThom from Hockeytown, USA on 11/04/10 at 01:59 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

JJ, you mind if we continue our “debate” over here?

You’re right about that, but it ties into the biggest point about Hudler.  He thinks the offensive game on a level somewhere just below Datsyuk.  On the defensive side, right now he plays the game on a level somewhere just below “goddamn awful”.

Not every player on a team can be Selke candidates, and I think you’re vastly under-estimating Hudler’s defensive game.  Will he win the Selke, well, ever?  Hell no.  Does he make horrible mistakes in the defensive zone?  Not even close.  He isn’t a defensive liability, but he isn’t a defensive boon either.

Basically, when Modano is too far back on the rush from doing an excellent backchecking job (which I thought he did last night), the plan for the third line was to find one of the wingers in the neutral zone to dump it in.  The opposite winger would go in and try to force the puck carrier to move the puck back to the side of the ice from where it was just dumped.  The dumping winger then pressures the puck carrier for long enough so that Modano can rejoin the play.  Hudler should at least be able to do that.  Every single winger on the Red Wings should be able to do that.

The problem has been that Hudler has tried to carry in past two defensemen too many times or even badly against one defenseman.  Datsyuk does that sometimes too, but he gets a pass because not only is his success rate for that much higher, but his backchecking is nonpareil when he has to make up for an offensive zone mistake he’s made.

Well if the rest of the line isn’t helping, why is Hudler expected to carry the entire play by himself?  I can’t go back and look at every third line offensive rush, but Hudler is smart enough to realize he can’t carry the puck in most of the time.  From what I remember, he mostly passes off to someone rushing up the middle or the wing, or dumps the puck in.  Now if Cleary isn’t going to get to the puck carrier, and Modano is floating around in the neutral zone, where’s the pressure going to come from?

Last night was completely different from the previous games for the third line.  COMPLETELY.  The fore-checking pressure was great, and they had some sustained attacks because both Abdelkader and Cleary were able to rough and tumble the defenders.  Since we’ve already established Hudler can’t be the same type of player as Abdelkader, and Modano didn’t want to actually give a shit until the threat of benching, what is that line to do?

I’m going to tread lightly on this statement because it reads as though you’re calling the system that ‘s made the Wings successful for the last two decades into question and I’m not sure that was your intent or if it’s my bad reading comprehension.  I will say that the Griffins are one of the minor-league teams that trains guys to play just like the big boys do.  Their system is modeled on the Wings’.

No, I wasn’t second-guessing the system itself, just how certain players are utilized within it—which was followed by the pondering.  I’m not up on the Griffins, but I assumed they employed a similar style, which begs the question as to why Hudler hasn’t been given a clear-cut shot on a scoring line in Detroit if he was so good at the same task in Grand Rapids.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 11/04/10 at 02:00 PM ET

Behind_Enemy_Lines's avatar

You forced me. I am going to get “Datsyuk 13” tattooed on my back with this under it:

He’s better than Rosby because he’s the whole package.  It’s all there and it’s all working.  Name a facet of the game where Datsyuk isn’t elite.  Is Ovechkin an elite penalty killer? Is Rosby?  How’s your backchecking today Henrik?  He’s ferocious, yet he’s level-headed.  He’s gifted and tenacious.  Every part of the game: even strength, down a man, along the boards, faceoffs, offense, defense. He can be elegant and he can knock your dick in the dirt. No one is more “complete” and no one is better.  He’s the best in the game.

Fyck yes(!)

Posted by Behind_Enemy_Lines from Evanston,IL on 11/04/10 at 02:03 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

I mean, he absolutely blew up the AHL in ‘05-’06, but I don’t know what kind of system the Griffins were playing.

It’s not so much the Griffs as it is the League—undersized skill players that are borderline NHLers absolutely flourish in the AHL.

And he doesn’t need to hit to get the puck back.  He needs to be quick on his feet and active with his stick—a takeaway is better than a hit.

I never said they couldn’t win scoring 2, I said they couldn’t win much.

Just bustin’ chops, Gramps.  Nothing seriously meant by it.

And my comment about faceoffs was exactly what you meant—I knew you’d be in to say that they mean squat.

Tho you gotta point about Hudler’s cap hit, I’d just as soon keep him around and hope he comes around.  If, after that, he’s still useless, we know we can at least bench him.  Or try to bury him in the minors

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 11/04/10 at 02:04 PM ET

MarkK's avatar

I’m not even sure what getting my dick knocked in the dirt would feel like, nor if I should pay for it.

Posted by MarkK from Maryland on 11/04/10 at 02:12 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

JJ, you mind if we continue our “debate” over here?

I don’t mind until everybody else starts to mind.

Not every player on a team can be Selke candidates, and I think you’re vastly under-estimating Hudler’s defensive game.  Will he win the Selke, well, ever?  Hell no.  Does he make horrible mistakes in the defensive zone?  Not even close.  He isn’t a defensive liability, but he isn’t a defensive boon either.

I’d say he’s been a defensive liability more often than he’s been a defensive boon so far this season.  Abdelkader and Cleary aren’t ever going to be Selke candidates either, but I haven’t complained about Cleary’s forechecking, which is the issue about which I’m really talking.  I don’t really have a problem with Hudler’s defensive zone play this season; I have a problem with offensive-zone turnovers and weak forechecking, which is what he’s guilty of having done, regardless of the play of the two guys on his line.

Since we’ve already established Hudler can’t be the same type of player as Abdelkader, and Modano didn’t want to actually give a shit until the threat of benching, what is that line to do?

Put Hudler back in on the third line for the first period against the Oilers and see how he reacts.

Bench Miller in favor of Abdelkader on the fourth line.

If Hudler doesn’t show improvement with his now not-dead-weight linemates holding him back, he can play on the fourth line for the remainder of the game.  Make it very clear to him on the fourth line that he has to be willing to show that for two periods, he can work as hard as what we’ve come to expect out of Drew Miller.  Just because Hudler’s the smallest forward on the team doesn’t excuse him from playing on the boards.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/04/10 at 02:18 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

I’m not even sure what getting my dick knocked in the dirt would feel like, nor if I should pay for it.

Posted by MarkK from Maryland on 11/04/10 at 01:12 PM ET

I don’t know what it would feel like, but if Pavs did it to you, you’re damn right you should pay for it and thank him for the opportunity.

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 11/04/10 at 02:18 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

That’s the best blog out there. The best.

Posted by RedMenace

Damn.. I’ve a lot of mancrushes around here (me/Helm, Osrt/Flip, JJ/monkey), but sometimes you really sound like a soccer dad yelling at the coach. (to which you’ll swear at me and whatever, of course)

Datsyuk

Someday a guy other than Lidstrom will go through the bulletproof-windshield that is a Michigan license plate.

Lidstrom

So, Helene is projecting a 100pt season for Lids. I’d love it, but that’s her being a soccer mom, eh? She does give us a nice explanation by Babcock on why Lidstrom is so good:

“Well, he’s better than everybody,” coach Mike Babcock said. “I mean, he’s just flat-out better. He slides better, he thinks better, he shoots better. There are some young guys coming, but Nick is 40 years old and is one of the best players in the game, still. He’s brilliant, that’s all.”

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 11/04/10 at 02:28 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

That was a fantastic rant, well played Sir.

And you know your team is in the way deep voodoo shit when you read this headline:

Oilers hire sports psychologist to help solve their problems

We are probably doomed Friday night.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 11/04/10 at 02:45 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Oilers hire sports psychologist to help solve their problems

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 11/04/10 at 01:45 PM ET

“Losing…is a disease.”

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 11/04/10 at 03:11 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

“Losing…is a disease.”

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 11/04/10 at 02:11 PM ET

Bump Bailey caught the clap just before crashing through that wall.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 11/04/10 at 03:15 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

Oilers hire sports psychologist to help solve their problems

What’s this? Have they got the Yips? I thought he was in Colorado.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 11/04/10 at 03:16 PM ET

Avatar

St Louis now looks like the team to beat in the West.

I know their pts/game looks good, but I’m looking at who they’ve beat & bean beaten by (3-1-2 vs. the West) and I’m not seeing a juggernaut. That said, they’re hard to predict for - they’ve got a lot of young guys without much to go on in terms of track records.

Their next two games, assuming SJS and BOS put out their #1 goalies, should tell us a little bit more about them.

Posted by dumbasrocks on 11/04/10 at 03:26 PM ET

calquake's avatar

I’m not even sure what getting my dick knocked in the dirt would feel like, nor if I should pay for it.
Posted by MarkK from Maryland on 11/04/10 at 01:12 PM ET

Ask John Bobbitt.

Posted by calquake on 11/04/10 at 03:29 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

I have to agree that St Louis now looks like the team to beat in the West.

LOL @ this.

Sorry. I mean, I think they’re okay, but Halak has one nice run and suddenly people think he’s Jesus?

I’m not buying it. This team has stunk for so long, and the talent isn’t much different this year than the last few seasons. I’ll believe it when I see it.

I know a goalie is the one position you can change that makes the most impact, but again, everyone is banking on Halak (just like so many people banked on Niemi) after seeing, essentially, a half regular season and a nice playoff. That’s a small sample size, especially for two younger goalies.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 11/04/10 at 03:31 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Sorry. I mean, I think they’re okay, but Halak has one nice run and suddenly people think he’s Jesus?

Well, he does walk on water.  cheese

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/04/10 at 03:45 PM ET

Avatar

Well, he does walk on water.

sorry for the size, but i had to

Posted by dumbasrocks on 11/04/10 at 03:49 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

The Little House on the Prairie reference made me laugh out loud. Well done, sir.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 11/04/10 at 03:58 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

I’m not buying it. This team has stunk for so long, and the talent isn’t much different this year than the last few seasons. I’ll believe it when I see it.
I know a goalie is the one position you can change that makes the most impact, but again, everyone is banking on Halak (just like so many people banked on Niemi) after seeing, essentially, a half regular season and a nice playoff. That’s a small sample size, especially for two younger goalies.
Posted by Nathan

Halak is good, so is Conk…..but…..
It is possible you are overlooking the coaching change.

I fully expect the Jack Adams award this year to be a tough decision between:
Davis Payne (STL)
Guy Boucher (TBL)

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 11/04/10 at 04:13 PM ET

edillac's avatar

actually Halak had a litlle more than just half a good season and a good playoff, cant compare him to Niemi,
but hey,whatever,
isnt that so

Posted by edillac from isolation on 11/04/10 at 04:19 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

I’d say he’s been a defensive liability more often than he’s been a defensive boon so far this season.  Abdelkader and Cleary aren’t ever going to be Selke candidates either, but I haven’t complained about Cleary’s forechecking, which is the issue about which I’m really talking.  I don’t really have a problem with Hudler’s defensive zone play this season; I have a problem with offensive-zone turnovers and weak forechecking, which is what he’s guilty of having done, regardless of the play of the two guys on his line.

I’d say he’s been neither, to be honest.  Just because he’s a -6 (along with the rest of his former line) doesn’t mean he was playing poorly.  Cleary and Abdelkader are muckers and grinders, and getting into the offensive zone to harass the defense is what they’re there for.  Hudler is not that kind of player, nor should anyone expect him to be.  Again, you seem to be pinning all of the third line’s troubles on Hudler’s seeming inability to forecheck, when prior to last game, NOBODY on the third line was forechecking.  Willa STILL doesn’t forecheck.  Hudler can certainly take the puck away from people, and he has a knack for coming out of piles with it—however, I still think Hudler hasn’t gotten his North American game back, and if he continues to sit out he never will.

Put Hudler back in on the third line for the first period against the Oilers and see how he reacts.

Bench Miller in favor of Abdelkader on the fourth line.

But see, that’s the problem.  Babcock isn’t going to break up ANY line as long as they’re playing well.  If he does, colour me surprised.

If Hudler doesn’t show improvement with his now not-dead-weight linemates holding him back, he can play on the fourth line for the remainder of the game.  Make it very clear to him on the fourth line that he has to be willing to show that for two periods, he can work as hard as what we’ve come to expect out of Drew Miller.  Just because Hudler’s the smallest forward on the team doesn’t excuse him from playing on the boards.

Oh, I’m sure Babcock will just bench him and double-shift someone else.

Hudler TRIES to play on the boards, but he just gets out-muscled.  I’m curious as to how much he actually weighs, because he’s incredibly easy to knock over/off the puck.

It’s not so much the Griffs as it is the League—undersized skill players that are borderline NHLers absolutely flourish in the AHL.

And he doesn’t need to hit to get the puck back.  He needs to be quick on his feet and active with his stick—a takeaway is better than a hit.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 11/04/10 at 01:04 PM ET

Well, like I continue to point out, Hudler was consistently improving each season he was in the NHL, even with limited, third line minutes.  He’s certainly not a borderline NHLer.

Quick on his feet, Hudler will never be.  He does have a quick and active stick, he just hasn’t really had a chance to show it so far this season.

Damn.. I’ve a lot of mancrushes around here (me/Helm, Osrt/Flip, JJ/monkey), but sometimes you really sound like a soccer dad yelling at the coach. (to which you’ll swear at me and whatever, of course)

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 11/04/10 at 01:28 PM ET

What?  I’m a Hudler fan, just like I was a Datsyuk fan when the world wanted to trade him (I wasn’t active on any message boards back then, but ask my ex-wife), and people are unfairly giving him shit.  I don’t know why I feel the need to defend… whatever.

And I won’t swear at you unless you tell me to “chill” or start being condescending.  That’s something I can’t stand for, even on the ‘Tubes… don’t know why that is either.  No need to get snarky.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 11/04/10 at 04:22 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I’m sorry, but a goalie playing well and a good defensive-minded coach may be good enough to get Columbus into and subsequently swept out of the playoffs, but it doesn’t make St. Louis the team to beat.  They will need a lot of guys to have career years to make them consistently dangerous all season long in the west.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/04/10 at 04:22 PM ET

SYF's avatar

He can be elegant and he can knock your dick in the dirt.

Jeebus, that’s the most beautiful thing I’ve read today.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 11/04/10 at 04:24 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

I’m not even sure what getting my dick knocked in the dirt would feel like, nor if I should pay for it.

Why not?  Hudler does.

Chief, Dats is the best player in the game, but it’s not just because he plays both sides of the puck so well.  You forget his faceoff dominance, the fact that he leads the League in takeaways every season, the way he hits like he’s six inches taller and fifty poounds heavier, the things he does with the puck that not even the puck knows it can do (TM Osrt), the fact he’s shooting like Rambo this year, taking on even more facets…the list goes on.  We can talk all we want about the ‘face of the League’ guys and their defense not being half as good as Dr. Dangle, but…there are so many other things he blows them away in, it’s almost futile because we are the only ones who see it and admit it.  Everyone else sees it and is too scared to admit it.

And that suits me just fine.  Means we can pay him what he’s worth and don’t have to overpay because he’s overhyped, causing dumb GMs to want him because he’s the Bettman-anointed ‘best player in the game.’

Heh.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 11/04/10 at 04:33 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

He’s certainly not a borderline NHLer

Wasn’t saying he is, just pointing out the nature of the AHL.  And that probably should have said ‘quickER on his feet,’ sorry.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 11/04/10 at 04:38 PM ET

42jeff's avatar

lolz….something finally funny out of Puck Daddy

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Fight-Video-The-I-Fought-Sidney-Crosby-societ?urn=nhl-282537

“The I fought Sidney Crosby Society”...that’s a quick way on to Gary’s No-Christmas Card list for sure.

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 11/04/10 at 04:42 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Again, you seem to be pinning all of the third line’s troubles on Hudler’s seeming inability to forecheck, when prior to last game, NOBODY on the third line was forechecking.  Willa STILL doesn’t forecheck.

I’m pinning all of the third line’s troubles on Hudler no more than you’re pinning all of Hudler’s troubles on Modano and Cleary.  Three players on that line were not playing well going into that Nashville game.  Cleary wasn’t going to sit because he has been better than Hudler (-4 to Hudler’s -6 at the time of the benching, works on one of the league’s best penalty kill units rather than on an anemic 2nd PP team).  Modano wasn’t going to sit because, well, we all know why, even though I said plenty of times I thought it should have been Modano.  As a player, you know the best way to avoid the risk of losing your job is to play your dick off.  Hudler may still have been adjusting, but he didn’t make the decision hard for Babcock not to bench him. 

Hudler TRIES to play on the boards, but he just gets out-muscled.  I’m curious as to how much he actually weighs, because he’s incredibly easy to knock over/off the puck.

According to NHL.com, he weight four pounds more than Drew Miller, who is currently not drawing flak for his inability to forecheck.  In fairness though, Miller is four inches taller.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/04/10 at 04:44 PM ET

calquake's avatar

you know the best way to avoid the risk of losing your job is to play your dick off.

Yaeh but what happens when it falls in the dirt?

Posted by calquake on 11/04/10 at 04:59 PM ET

Sullyosis's avatar

Oh and I have to say something about this:

Gosh you said that so much better than I did.  I kneel in your presence (and if you want me to get busy while I’m down there I’d consider it).

Posted by RWBill from boarding The Hasek, beer me v00x! on 11/04/10 at 11:52 AM ET

Yeah, don’t worry about it, unless we go on a losing skid, then I’ll be in serious need.  Otherwise, I’m wealthy enough to afford it from someone who “looks” like a pro.

Posted by Sullyosis from A hateful lair in Post Apocalyptic US (or Arizona) on 11/04/10 at 05:09 PM ET

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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