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Abel to Yzerman

All Lidstrom, All Over

Scott Morrison, on HNIC radio last night said he was in a restaurant Monday night in Naples when Lidstrom got hurt.  Ken Holland was there too, with several other GMs, all watching the game.  Morrison said Holland’s eyes got big for a moment, followed by an awkward silence, then it was right back to normal. 

An interesting contrast to me.  I was in my living room, watching the game.  When Lidstrom got hurt, my eyes got big, followed by an awkward silence, followed by an attempt to sever my own achilles tendon with a Jenga block. I’m ok.

Today, everywhere you look, it’s all Lidstrom.

The diggers have been voracious, calling people and asking questions and stuff.

St. James

“I hope to be back playing within a week,” Lidstrom told Expressen, a Swedish newspaper, Tuesday. Lidstrom said he had some ligament pain on the inside of his knee, but that “I can walk quite normally today.”

The Wings had Tuesday off as planned, and Lidstrom had several personal commitments to fulfill, which is why further testing was postponed until today.

I’m sure all those personal commitments were stipulations in the contract that pays Nick 7 million US dollars per year.  I’m going to leave the “personal commitment” thing alone and take it as a good sign that this thing isn’t serious.  Me? I have a few personal commitments to take care of today, but I’ll probably get them done, you know, after work.  I’m just sayin’.

No matter what today’s tests show, the Wings are still looking at a minimum of one more game with their top three defensemen down, and probably more.  Hints are that Rafalski’s groin isn’t getting better all that quickly.


Babcock said he isn’t sure if Brian Rafalski (groin), who has missed the last three games, will be able to return Friday in Calgary. The Wings can’t afford a long-term injury to Rafalski, what with Lidstrom now out for a while, and Niklas Kronwall (clavicle) not expected to return until after the road trip.

Decision time for Holland, as the Wings are currently only 5 deep with Dmen.  Not a pleasant place to be with the Way West Swing coming up.

Lidstrom won’t play on the team’s upcoming three-game western Canada road trip, which begins Friday in Calgary. Holland said the club will decide today whether to recall a defenseman from Grand Rapids…Holland wouldn’t speculate on which defenseman would be called up, but Jonathan Ericsson would be next in line.

There’s the latest “news”, now let’s turn briefly to Denver.  It wasn’t a matter of when, only who.  Here’s Adrian Dater with the column we all saw coming.

But, was it a dirty hit? Nope. Not even close. It was a hard hockey hit, yes. It resulted in a player getting hurt, yes. But, no, Laperriere’s left elbow was not up high. Yes, it was flanked out from his body some, and yes, he followed through with that elbow on the hit. But the elbow was below shoulder level. Therefore, the elbow was not up high. It just wasn’t.

The Wings were upset at what happened. And, so would the Avalanche if it had been Paul Stastny or Joe Sakic that had been hurt on the same hit. But the argument that “It’s a matter of respect, it’s a matter of protecting the star players” - sorry, take it somewhere else, Red Wings.

This is a team, Detroit, that regularly cheap-shotted Peter Forsberg for years. They would slash him on all parts of his body, hit him from behind all the time and all kinds of other nefarious things. Did I ever hear a word from the Red Wings, saying, “Sorry, we shouldn’t have done that. We forgot, Peter Forsberg is a star player. It won’t happen again”??? No, never. Never heard that.

Jesus. Shut up dude.  Read the entire rambling, babbling, manifesto on how the Wings have been traditionally dirty, how Wing fans are crying foul over a clean “hockey hit”, how we all feel our star players deserve special treatment.  Dater had that thing written before Lidstrom made his way to the Wing room at the Ass Can. 

It was a good hit.  Relatively clean.  His elbow got up there but the hit was a good one.  Laperriere saw an opportunity to drill Nick Lidstrom and he took it, as he should have.  It was violent and it was painful to watch, but it was hockey and that’s the way the game should be played.  I guarantee there were twenty other hits around the league the last two days “dirtier” than that one. 

Now, Laperriere’s run across the ice later? Dirty, but Downey made him pay for that one too.  Cody MacLeod’s attempt to fight the entire Wing bench, then his yapping afterward?  Typical. 

I’ve seen very little outcry about the Lidstrom hit itself.  Lots of talk about the “discussion” between Uncle Mike and little Toni. Lots of talk about the fight.  Huge amounts of discussion about the injury, but little realistic objection to Laperriere’s original hit.  Yeah, Zetterberg said it was dirty, so did Babcock and Holland and Lidstrom himself even hinted at it.  But no one’s calling for a suspension, or further retribution (next year…because the Dive certainly aren’t making the playoffs, not with that garbage team). 

It was a good hit, laid on a superstar by a hard-nosed player.  Borderline? Yeah.  But what isn’t in hockey?

On to the blogs.  We turn first to the New York Times, where hockey blogging has become cool.

The Wings had been so methodical and animatronicly perfect that Coach Mike Babcock wondered a week ago whether a little short-term adversity might be a good thing for his team. Longer-term adversity — troublesome losing streaks mixed with injuries to major stars and role players like Dan Cleary — could put a significant dent in the Winged Wheel’s confidence going into the playoffs. Of course, not having Lidstrom for the playoff run would be catastrophic.

You don’t have to believe me, but I was going to use “animatronicly” in a post later today.  Seriously. 

Big Frigging Al at the Wayne Fontes Experience offered some common sense yesterday.

They are calling it a sprained knee. Suuuure…And I have shares in the Ambassador Bridge I’d like to sell to you.

Does anyone truly believe Babcock? We all know whenever a NHL coach is moving his lips in regard to any injury, he’s lying. I’m not saying Lidstrom is seriously injured, but it’s much too early to be unfurrowing our brows, and breathing those sighs of relief, either.

Bruce MacLeod, last night, gave us a hint as to why he’s the anti-digger.  While I could have done without the Mindy Sue info, it’s clear that in addition to being the best writer covering the Wings, he’s also a fan.  Not always the right comination for a beat writer, but it works for him.

Red Wing Corner

Seven to 10 days? Those are not good words to Red Wings fans’ ears. Niklas Kronwall is out for 7-10 days with a shoulder injury that’s lasted for 20 days. Henrik Zetterberg had a 7-10 label on him with his strained back late last season. That one lasted 19 games … games not days.

The initial reports have been that Lidstrom has a minor sprain to the MCL and that the team was more worried about a possible concussion.
So this morning will be good news … right? Tell me so.

You might think that I’m being overly dramatic calling last night one of the worst ever for a Red Wings fan. Compared with losing in the Stanley Cup playoffs, how bad can this be?
Well, losing playoff series is something that’s going to happen. Nicklas Lidstrom being hurt isn’t supposed to happen.

More later…undoubtedly.



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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