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Abel to Yzerman

Around The ‘sphere

Up first: Kudos to Ken Holland. Local Detroit news stations are showing footage of the Wing GM serving meals at a Salvation Army Soup Kitchen yesterday morning. Not sure how much pub that will get. I'd actually be even more impressed if it doesn't receive any, which would give an idea of the motivation behind the act. Either way: good on ya Kenny. Having been pre-occupied with domestimerica the last two days, I offer you nuggets from my fellow hockey bloggers. I really wish Columbus was better. For if Columbus was better, they'd be our rivals. If they were our rivals I'd dislike them intensely, and maybe even generate a glossary entry; undoubtedly tied to the acronym that they claim. Oh, that would be witty. If I disliked them intensely, I'd be happy, happy, happy today. Why? Because I really detest their new large coach.

The Army of the Ohio?  They like Hitch.

Hitchcock will officially join the team for a Thanksgiving practice on Thursday, and his first game with the Blue Jackets? ... why, it’s against the Philadelphia Flyers, in Philly! Talk about your comedic yet tragic twists. There doesn’t seem to be a lick of animosity known of between Hitch and his now former team, whom he’d been working for as a scout after his firing last month, but that doesn’t mean he might not want to make a statement. Question is if he can light a fire under the CBJ’s collective posterior with just two days to prepare.

I really have no opinion on whether Big Boy will be amped to face the Flyers.  I assume Columbus will continue to suck.  I hope they improve because their bloggers are some of the most devoted around.  Unlike Bubba’s.  It still amazes me no Nashville blogger has stuck with it.  Oh well, perhaps the literacy rate in Tennessee has something to do with it…

Back to Big Boy for a second. Mike Chen mentions that Hitchcock’s largest (sorry) task will be to get more out of Columbus’ young nucleus.

You could say that he oversaw the emergence of Simon Gagne into a more complete player, but a better analogy for Nash would be the transformation Mike Modano went through under Hitch’s watch. Modano was a freewheeling player with his mind on scoring first, passing second, and backchecking somewhere in a distant third. With Hitchcock coaching him, Modano became one of the most reliable centermen in the entire league.

The Battle of Ontario points us to a story in the Toronto Star.  Apparently a movie is in production with a plot line centering around a former Leaf player who happens to be homosexual.  The article includes quotes from several players, execs, fans, etc and takes a pretty even-keeled approach to the project.

Until, woops, Don Cherry is asked to comment.

“I know that Gary Bettman wanted a kinder and gentler league, but this is too much,” a laughing Cherry told the Star’s Chris Zelkovich.

The Puck Stops Here has been the font of league-wide analysis this season, as usual.  Their most recent installment is the most difficult team to outshoot.  Care to venture a guess?

They are the Detroit Red Wings. They have only been outshot twice all season (by Anaheim on Oct 18th and by St Louis on Oct 28th - they also tied Vancouver in shots last night). Detroit has done this with the best defence in the NHL. Detroit has the least shot allowed per game (they lead second place Dallas by better than 4 shots per game). Their goaltending has had some spectacular moments from Domink Hasek, but has for the most part been nothing too special (which prompted me to write if only they could get some goaltending - which they might get if Hasek can be healthy and play like Hasek of old).

TPSH closes closes with the prediction that they’ll be a tough team to beat come playoff time.  Agreed, but only if Holland adds one more sniper and Delma Huddle shows up. 

And finally…dammit.  I may have mentioned I didn’t have to watch the most recent implosion Wednesday night.  But, I did sneak in here to check the score after the second.  3-1…ahhh, whew.  I headed for the recliner, dozed, woke up with spilled beer on my tummy and staggered back in here, hit refresh and checked the box score.  A tantrum ensued. Childish, juvenile, typical.  Back to the recliner to fret.

I don’t do well the day after losses like that. It usually takes me about 24 hours.  And it’s now been about 40.  I’ve recovered to the point that I’ll post this.  From time to time, Vancouver Canucks Op Ed comes up with a gem.

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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