Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Behind Enemy Lines

Well, the break couldn't have come at a better time. Two identical losses, to two inferior teams, in two garbage cities. Get me to February please. Give us four days in the sun, a healthy Schneider, a cortisone-corrected Zetterberg and an eye on the deadline. Give us a sniper, a Lilja-for-Shane Doan straight up deal, and a guaranteed 2 or 1 seed. But all that's in the future. First, let's look back to Saturday night in Diveville. Thankfully, A2Y reader Hockeychic was on hand to document the bleatings of the Dique "faithful."
Why does Lilja remind me of Anders Erickson? Is it because their first names both begin with “A”? Or because they both suck? 12:22 – Tripping called on the Avs. Wings go on the PP. People around me are yelling, “Cheaters!” every time the Wings get a PP. It is laughable really.
Read on to get more impressions from Hockeychic on the game and the Denver "fans."

The Streak Ends

(Note all times are what was showing on the clock rather than time elapsed)

I arrive at the can on a frigid night.  Perfect hockey weather.  The Winged Wheel fans are making a strong showing.

As I make my way to my seat, I greet a group of 3 Wings fans with a cheer and “Hope for a Wings win.”  The man says, “Eight straight over the Avs that’s what we’re going for.”

I get to my seat for warm-ups and see Joey McDonald in goal and my heart sinks.  Osgood must still be sick.  I see Hasek on the ice and hold out some hope that Dom will start.

McDonald takes the majority of the warm-ups.  This is not a good sign.  I get a bad feeling and the game hasn’t even started yet.

I don’t see Schneider on the ice.

Starters are announced for the Wings and greeted with hearty boos. 
Schneider is scratched and McDonald is getting the start.  I think I need another beer.  Ugh.  I hope my gut feeling is wrong on this.

The Avs staff has put blue pompoms on everyone’s seat.  I ponder what mine would look like set on fire.

They announce that this is the 500th sellout for the Avs.  Sometimes I think sports gets bogged down in number minutiae and this is a prime example.  How many of those sellouts were padded?

Full arena.  Time for faceoff.  Drapes with the first shot on goal 20 second in.  McDonald has handled the puck twice.  The big line is out.  Two shots for the Wings and a good shift for the Zet-Datsyuk-Holmstrom line.  My adrenaline kicks in.  Wings are dominating so far.  Avs can’t keep it out of their zone.

17:15 – Avs make the Wings zone.  Wings promptly clear it with an icing. 
Ensuing faceoff, Avs can’t keep in the zone.  Wings then make a turnover and Laaksonen skates in solo.  He gets a shot on goal and Joey makes a good save but gives up a huge rebound.  Luckily, no one is there.  Wings bring it up the ice and Samuelsson muffs a shot on goal after a perfect pass by Datsyuk.

It is going to be that kind of night.

Another great shift by the big line.  Several shots and several key save by Budaj.

12:03 – Avs bring it back in the Wings zone and Joey makes a great save.

11:35 – Cleary skates in on the Avs and shoots it towards the net.  He is hauled down and there is no call.  Oh, I forgot McGeough is the ref, forget

fairness.  The Enigma has a good shift.

10:15 – Avs score.  I can’t see what happened.  Joey was flopping around like a fish out of water.  Maltby appears to have kicked it in.  They give the goal to Lapierrere.  I can’t tell from the replays.

**They will only replay Avs goals at the Can, they never replay opposition

9:23 – Holmstrom makes a great shot block.  Joey is giving up really fat rebounds.

7:51 – Avs are leading in shots 12-7.  Wings look passive after a strong start.

7:12 – Richardson is called for hooking.  Wings go on a PP.  Wings win the faceoff and get a shot on goal, Budaj makes another great save.  Budaj is on tonight.  His positioning is good.

4:35 WINGS SCORE!  Filppula from Franzen.

2:53 the crowd is into it.  The cheers start, “Let’s go Avalanche (followed
by) Red Wings suck!”  McDonald gives up another fat rebound.  The Enigma brings it up the ice and then coughs it up.  The Avs are offsides.  Cleary goes to the box at 1:56 on a holding call.

Hmm. What is up with McGeough, what was Khoharski busy tonight?

Wings clear the zone.  Another Avs shot.  Another big rebound by Joey. 
Markhov makes a good stick check.  Finally Joey makes a save with no rebound.  The period ends at 1-1.

2nd Period

Avs have 4 seconds left on the PP.  Wings kill the penalty and bring the puck up the ice.  Datsyuk makes a sweet move on the Avs defense.  Even Avs fans appreciate it.

17:30 – a good flurry by the Avs.  Wings clear, Avs bring it right back.

16:26 – Wings have a good series and look like they are on the PP.

15:16 – Avs bring it in after a horrible turnover by the Wings.  It was supposed to be a drop pass and the Avs picked it off.

14:47 – Teams are playing ‘Who wants the puck?”  Little sustained pressure by either team.

Zet is so strong on the puck.  I just love watching him.

13:35 – another bad turnover, this one by Nick.  The puck is shot out of play.

Why does Lilja remind me of Anders Erickson?  Is it because their first names both begin with “A”? Or because they both suck?

12:22 – Tripping called on the Avs.  Wings go on the PP.  People around me are yelling, “Cheaters!” every time the Wings get a PP.  It is laughable really.

Pavel skates between 3 Dmen on the PP and the Wings then turn over the puck.
  Sigh.  Avs kill the penalty but the Wings are still controlling the play.

8:49 – Chelios is a rock, he save the Wings on a good shift by the Avs.

7:29 – This game has no rhythm.  Both teams seem disinterested.  Already on the All Star Break?

5:37 – Wings are called for high-sticking.  It is Lilja.  See above comment.

Wings clear the puck on the faceoff, Avs bring it right back.  Joey makes a good save with no rebound.  He seems to be settling down.  Avs are controlling the puck and the Wings are doing a good job of keeping them on the perimeter.  Sakic breaks his stick on a shot.  Good stick save by Joey.

Wings kill the penalty and then bring the play.

2:09 – Another good save by Joey.  I’m no longer tensing up every time the Avs take a shot.

This has been an odd period.  Wings look amazing at times and amazingly horrible at others.  The 2nd period ends tied.

3rd Period

Between periods I visit with my friends.  They complain that the game is boring.  I’m having a good time visiting with them and talking smack and then someone walks by in a Konstantinov sweater and one of the people we are standing with says, “There goes the walking vegetable.”  I am disgusted and I walk away.  Good natured smack talk is one thing, making fun of a player because they were injured is disgusting.

Third period starts.  Datsyuk skates in, shredding the Avs defense.  I love watching the big line.  I just wish the other lines for the Wings would step it up.

15:47 – Wolski skates in alone on Joey.  He shoots high.

14:13 – Wings on PP, Wolski was called for interference.  Zet is really strong on the PP.  He shoots and it goes out of play.  Joey comes way out of net to play the puck, what is he Hasek Jr?  I’m not sure my nerves can take this.

Another bad turnover by the Wings.  Avs clear the puck and the penalty is over.  Draper over turns on the gas and misfires on the shot.

12:10 – Shots are even at 26.  I can not get any feel for this game.  Lilja takes a very dumb boarding penalty.  Grumble.

Draper gets a good shorty chance.  Avs bring it back and are offsides.

Avs score on the PP, the puck went high up in the air.  It is kind of a ”Keystone Cops” kind of goal, the Wings were all clustering around the puck and no one could handle it.  Brunette gets the goal.

7:22 – mad flurry by the Avs and I am amazed they don’t score.  Wings take a penalty, Cleary for holding, his second penalty of the night.  I wish he was scoring goals as often as he is taking penalties.

The penalty stirs up the crowd.  Wings have a very strong PK.  I like Zet and Dat killing penalties, they control the play.  The penalty is killed and the Wings keep control of the play.

4:14 – Wings are called for hooking, it is the Enigma.  Avs are on the PP, the crowd is buzzing.  Joey makes a key save.  Wings clear, Avs bring it back.  More good saves by Joey.  Wings clear on the faceoff.

Avs have a 2 on 1 with Sakic leading the charge.  They miss on the shot. 
Homer brings the puck back and takes a shot, save Budaj.

Wings pull Joey and Sakic gets an Empty Net goal with 42 seconds left.  The Game is over and the Avs fans are going crazy.  Wings were outshot 31-28.

Leaving the building, Avs fans are chanting “Red Wings suck!”  An Avs fan gets in my face chanting “Red Wings suck” and I respond with, “Kiss my 10 Cups, baby!”

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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