Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Chasing Manny

Big night for Brett Hull, and perhaps the biggest night of the season for a player he mentored in Detroit: Pavel Datsyuk. Statistically? Mediocre by Datsyuk's regular season, career standards. But, placed back on a line with Hank Zetterberg and immediately rewarding Mike Babcock for the move? Oh, that's pretty big. Ted Kulfan/Detroit News
"The bottom line is, they're good players," said Babcock of Datsyuk and Zetterberg. "They were a good line for us (with Mikael Samuelsson), but we had four good lines tonight."

Yeah, you did Mike.  And since you brought up Samuelsson, who seems to be on the high end of one of his manic offensive episodes, he’s going to be the big winner in all of this…guaranteed.  8 shots last night, his highest total of the year. 

In all the babble yesterday regarding the reunitificationalizing of the “Eurotwins” (never been fond of that, you probably won’t see it again…just like you won’t see me refer to Datsyuk as “Pasha”...just typing that makes me feel dirty), we kind of glossed over the fact that Samuelsson is going to get plenty of chances on that line.

Luckily for the Martyr, he didn’t have to stick around too long.

Derrick Goold/St. Louis Post Dispatch

For the second time in as many home games Legace was yanked after a soft goal. Detroit winger Daniel Clearly snapped the shot that sent Legace to the bench, giving the Wings a 3-0 lead 12 shots in.

Amazingly, I could find no quotes from Legace.  Now there’s a first.

Twenty-four saves from Hasek, and only minutes from his fifth shutout of the year…which would have matched his total for last season with Ottawa.  I’d be interested to read your takes on Hasek’s performance 26 games in.  His 1.83 GAA leads the league, and his save percentage is steadily improving…up to .911.

But, of course, the story here is the fruit beared by Babock, Datsyuk and Zetterberg.  It paid off, for at least one night.  We said yesterday that as long as they can average two goals/night between them, the pairing should work out.  Mission accomplished.  They absolutely must score.  They have to be the most potent offensive line on the ice every single night, or this can’t work.  Babcock can’t rob two other lines of playmakers without a significant upside. 

So far, so good.

Post Dispatch

“From the drop of the puck, they dominated us in every aspect of the game,” captain Dallas Drake said.

Well, Dallas…I kinda told you over the summer. You’re more than welcome to head over should the losing in St. Louis become too much for you.  Tell JD we’ve got a Big ‘ol Swede we can send back in return.

Finally…yes, a big night for Brett.  A few ceremonial links from the St. Louis paper this morning for you:

Emotions Run High For Hull, Blues Fans

Memories Are Sweet When Number 16 Is The Subject

Finally…Brett Is Back In The Family


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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