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Abel to Yzerman

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Back to Franzen, a topic we really  haven't left.  Dougie made this comment this morning and I am fully onboard.

I simply cannot abide people with high talent levels who don’t consistently produce. I have a guy like that working for me now, and he is gone,gone,gone as soon as I can find someone with even marginal talent, and a will to succeed.

I don't have the vocabulary to describe how strongly I agree with that statement. It is one of the few times hockey and the lives the other 99 percent of us live can be accurately compared.  I would take a mediocre-to-good worker, who performs at the same level every day, over a mercurial one, somebody who shows amazing potential every once in a while, then falls back on the easy routine of just getting by.  It is highly frustrating. 

Franzen, Lang, Fedorov, Legace, even Ericsson.  Look at the players who have really gotten our blood boiling over the years and it's the guys who tease us then slip.  Actually, I'll take Fedorov out of that group.  Unfair, because I think he was on way more than off.  

Gustav Nyquist is a sniper and we're going to expect plenty from him over the years.  He's watching Franzen like the rest of us. If this malaise Franzen is, naturally, mired in is viewed as acceptable, do you really think Nyquist isn't going to develop the same habits?  Franzen is probably a hero to this kid.  It's time for Franzen to leave.

I rarely do this, but I'm gonna give it a shot.

Yeah, 36ish hours out from Game 5 he’s got such a great handle on what Howard’s condition is going to be that he just makes the call now instead of waiting until gametime?

That's HockeyinHD and I agree with him, which makes me want to curl up and cry a little.  But, seriously...Babcock makes the call that early before a playoff game because of flu symptoms? 

No. Jimmy Howard has been benched for a playoff game and it's because of the Hamilton goal in Game 2.  

“That goal can’t go in,” coach Mike Babcock said after the Bruins took a 2-1 lead in the series.

That's Jeff Seidel, the Freep columnist who writes like he grew up in MIchigan and has emotional ties to our teams like the rest of us do but in real life he just got here a couple years ago and I don't really trust his Detroit instincts yet, but in this case he's on.

He's on because the "flu" hit Jimmy Howard the second that puck went by him. Unscreened. Untipped. Unstopped.  

That's what I believe. He's been benched. Not sick. Benched.  If that is the case, we have an issue on our hands.  If that's the case, and Howard was banished to the dressing room for all of Game 4 to perpetuate this fable that he had a rumbly in the tumbly?  If that's the case we're going to have ourselves a good, old fashioned Detroit goaltender controversy to keep us cool this summer.

This is not the Live Blog.  Back for that later.  

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TeamDub's avatar

Let’s not completely discount that knee Howard took to the head…

Posted by TeamDub from The gratch. on 04/26/14 at 09:24 AM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

Let’s not completely discount that knee Howard took to the head…

Posted by TeamDub from The gratch. on 04/26/14 at 09:24 AM ET

Highly valid point.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 04/26/14 at 09:31 AM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

My experiences in coaching youth baseball are 100% inline with the effort over ability. I’d rather have a roster of blue collar players over a stacked one full of enigmatic players.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 04/26/14 at 09:46 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

remember this from 2012?


Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 04/25/14 at 06:23 PM ET

Yes, it was that playoff Babcock issued the immortal mantra that I have quoted many times, “if you want to skate in open spaces, go play in a different league.”

I believe that was directed at Franzen in that Nashville series, and unfortunately it still has legs. Franzen is great if he has an opportunity to glide uncontested across the high slot and has time to pick his corner to shoot.  Who doesn’t prefer that?  But Boston don’t play that, nor does any other successful playoff team.

Other than Bertuzzi, Franzen is probably our biggest forward at a thick 6-3.  Bert probably won’t be re-signed but is still willing to get in the thick of it, see the Kronwall goal. I don’t want to get too involved with off season possibilities yet, with one compliance buyout remaining, Legwand a free agent, Weiss having a chance to get healthy, and Mule being Mule, but I think Babcock has had it.


Posted by RWBill on 04/26/14 at 10:24 AM ET

Alan's avatar

Mule has done great things for us over the years, but it’s extremely disappointing for him to be a no-show when we need him the most.

I hope all the negative attention lights a fire under his ass. I really do. However, I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest to see him get bought out.

The kids will get some crap, but at least they’re showing up and playing like they care. While Mule goes on with his line of doing fifty different things on the ice that is more important than scoring (and doing none of those fifty things), at least our kids are putting in some effort.

There’s no milk carton large enough for all the missing players we have on this team, but at least the kids are playing like they care.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 04/26/14 at 10:50 AM ET

NIVO's avatar

I think what you see from Tatar and Gus right now is that they both are being ridden off the puck far too easily. They are playing extremely hard, I feel both guys are giving it their all. But with Tatar for example, its all the meat he is going up against. He is just simply outweighed man to man. Watch closely and you’ll see how he gets rubbed out in this manner. Gus is also having problems in this way getting man handled by Chara. As for Riley, he just needs to use his size a bit more and he would be fine.

I know we all want to blame or use Mule as the scape-ass(and even I do as well), but we need the collective scoring of more than a few. Indeed the vets need to produce. This is one of those times we need that scoring to come from unexpected places. Someone, anyone…...just shoot the damned puck!

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 04/26/14 at 11:04 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Totally agree about Mule. And Howard. It will be interesting to see what happens with both of them in the off-season. Uncle Mike, I think, has no tolerance for guys who aren’t all in, 100%. Holland seems to be a little more patient.

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 04/26/14 at 12:23 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

NIVO, I see the same things. Which is why “big body” guys like Bert and Mule are in the line up. Bert gets this. But I don’t think Mule does. I could handle Mule’s lack of scoring better if he were protecting/opening up space for Gus to score.

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 04/26/14 at 12:27 PM ET

ITDeuce's avatar

I know that there are a lot of people that state you can’t replace his production for that cap hit with another player.  And I truly wish it was that simple.  But the fact of the matter is, it is not.  Every player is not an island in which all of their collective output is added up and that equals the success of the team.  Everybody struggles from time to time, but this guy just doesn’t even appear to be trying a good portion of the time.  He really doesn’t.  I’m so sick and tired of watching him swirl around out there.  He rarely throws on the brakes hard during a play, but instead just swoops and swirls around out there, never making it back into the play.  He reminds me of someone who was really good in High School or College now playing in a local beer league.  Relying solely on talent and a past reputation, which is absolutely fine for a beer leaguer, but not for a professional athlete.  He was absolutely one of my favorite players not that long ago, but now appears to just take up space…

All that being said.  In my humblest of humble opinion, there is not chance in hell that Detroit gets rid of him.  No way.  Even if Babcock wants it.  He is homegrown talent.  Drafted and brought up by Detroit.  A one time playoff GOD.

And while I’m at it, who the fuch is David Legwand?  Seriously, what the hell happened to that guy?  I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it.  He was centering the top line, like a month ago, and now he’s a fourth line winger.  I thought he was supposed to be physical?  I used to HATE that guy when he was with Nashville.  Where in the fuch is THAT guy?  Unreal, I sure hope he doesn’t get re-signed.

Posted by ITDeuce from The Sunny High Desert on 04/26/14 at 12:56 PM ET

Rumbear's avatar

Stephen Weiss has contributed more in these playoffs than the Mule.  Just saying…..

I used to HATE that guy when he was with Nashville.

  Agree with Deuce on Legwand.  WTH? He has flat lined this past month.

LGRW !!!!!

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, Czech out my recliner..... on 04/26/14 at 01:06 PM ET


Is Legwand the problem? Is it the line? Is he fed up? I honestly don’t know, but as ITDeuce said, where has the Legwand we loved to hate…..because he was such a pest…..gone. His performance is almost on par with Franzen’s in that regard…. and he was one of the vets I was counting on to play hard against the goon from Boston.

Posted by NewfieWing on 04/26/14 at 01:50 PM ET

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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