Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

And The Easter Bunny Brings You…

...Calgary.  Not real sure why the Easter Bunny has never gotten the pub Santa has.  Kind of a JV holiday icon if you ask me.  And I’ll tell you this, with presents like that, he’s not exactly skyrocketing in my book. 

Whatever happened to the days of first-round opponents like Phoenix, St. Louis or Anaheim back when “mighty” meant less than that?

Expect tomorrow to be the day the mainstreamers start making their predictions.  And nothing will be more tempting than forecasting a Calgary upset of Detroit in the first round.  As a matter of fact, I’ll even go out on a limb and say that will be the majority opinion.  Mine?  Not quite, but I’ve got some caveats we’ll get to in a bit.

First of all.  Let’s re-examine our playoff rules of engagement.  This isn’t just the Wings and the Flames.  It’s much deeper and you all know that.  It’s going to be the Wing bloggers matching wits with the Flame bloggers, and that will be a war.  Later today, we’ll add a section to the port side pointing you to opposition opinion. 

Speaking of provincial bloggers, there can be no doubt that now—more than ever—we’re going to need assistance.  A month ago, I made a public plea to a group I believe will be instrumental to our morale and playoff success.

So the call is out.  I’m making the plea.  I’m asking for the full support of the Oiler Blogosphere. I need your wit, your candor, your vulgarity.  We, those you Punched In The Face last year, are asking for reciprocity.

Spread the word Oil BloggersBellow it.  Those who supported you in your time of need last Spring ask nothing more than the same.

Plus, we hate the bastard Flames too.  Isn’t that enough?

Isn’t it? 

On to the matchup and some initial impressions.

Home ice.  Calgary hates the road.  The Wings love the Joe.  13-19-8 for the Flames away from the Saddledome.  But flush that should they steal Game 1 in Detroit.  There has, perhaps, never been a more important opening game to a series than the one Detroit hosts Thursday or Friday (still up in the air).  Calgary wins that one and the emotional pendulum tilts west.  Bad, sad feelings take over the Wing room.  Amazing confidence boost to Calgary.  I’d even go so far as to say this series hinges on the Wings taking BOTH of the first two.

Goaltending.  This has all the signs of misery.  The one common ingredient to all of our sadness since ‘02 has been a goalie stealing our joy.  JSG, Kipper, Roloson.  And now, potentially, Kipper again.  There can be no doubt that our insane goalie must be healthy (which he is), hungry and damned near flawless.  Kiprusoff doesn’t appear as intimidating as he has been in recent years but that means absolutely nothing and I feel like an idiot for even writing that.  He’s terrifying and I don’t feel guilty in wishing for some sort of social ailment that could fell him for the short-term future.

Health.  Your mental health is fully dependent on the Wings’ physical well being.  I’m not even getting into it because none of us know, nor will we.  Can the Wings defeat Calgary with a semi-healthy Hank Zetterberg? Yes.  With a woozy Bertuzzi? Yes.  With an aching Lidstrom? Yes.  But with all three at only 70 percent? Probably not.  Someone’s going to have to carry the Wings in the first round, which brings us to…

.  Nice press conference. Nice contract.  Nice votes of confidence from The Captain, et al.  A long, ugly summer awaits if you disappear.  I said it the other day, it’s not about motivation with Datsyuk. He wants to succeed. We know that.  It’s about responding to pressure and whether he can. 

And so it begins.  This should be a truly nauseating week, and it’s going to last a year. 



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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