Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Divers and Dives

Scott Hannan was pushed.  Brett Lebda did it. I saw it.  Dominik Hasek dove. I didn’t see that but I can assume it.  Hejduk’s goal should have counted, but it didn’t.  And all of that made me smile last night, and still warms me this morning.  Somewhere in Denver the 6 remaining Dive fans angrily switched back to the Oxygen Channel, convinced the world is against them.

And we laughed at them.

Over at Mile High Hockey they raged against the officiating, Joel Quenneville, Hasek, Mickey Redmond, providence and all that is wrong in their world.  Here’s a few snippets:

“Review that goal!!!!!!!!!!”...because when one exclamation point isn’t enough, press the key down with your nose until the tears make it slippery.

“Even Altitude said that call was horrible! and they NEVER talk about officating.”...again with the exclamation points.  That device should be outlawed for all men, except in Denver of course.

“Even the Detroit announcers said it was a bad call. And they are the biggest homers ever (worse than the Calgary announcers)”...No, no, no.  Mick and Ken are honest, responsible tv journalists just like all regional announcers.

“If the roles were reversed Detroit would have gotten the benefit or at least a review.”...Please.  Really?  How many times (even though the call’s not reviewable) has Holmstrom been shafted in similar circumstances this year?

There’s more.  They hate them some Wings, really hate Hasek, etc, etc.  Too bad.  Your coach hamstrung your team with a gameplan that, honestly, almost worked.  No Smyth, no Sakic, no Stastny.  No joy in Denver.  I honestly thought this game would be a blowout after seeing Datsyuk’s first rush up ice.  I think he skated through every player on the ice, then zig-zagged up and down the bench, in between each Dive, slapping them on the back of the head as he went.  So, yeah, I thought a four or five goal deficit was realistic.

But Budaj kept them in it, and luckily so.  As for the Dive gameplan, Uncle Mike has some thoughts.


“That’s exactly how the first round of the playoffs will be,” Babcock said. “The top seed against a team that can check, check and check and that’s what (the Avalanche) did.”

Check, check and check.  Three checks according to Teddy.  But wait. George says it was five.

“A top seed playing against a team that believes if they check, check, check, check check that they have an opportunity,” Babcock said.

“I like checking. I like to say the word. ‘Check…check, check, check, check, check, checkitty, check, check, check.  Try it Ansar. Say it. Just once.  I’m not kidding. I’m not saying another word until you say ‘check.’  Hmmm, hmmmm. Say it.  You did it. I heard it.  Good job.  Wanna sing a song?  We’ve got pigs in a blanket back in the room because it snowed today.  Malts showed up because he said there’s no snow days in hockey. Love that guy. Sundin drop his no trade clause yet?  I’d trade him for Maltby straight up.  Straight up Ansar.”

Over on the Denver side, they were still all upset.  Seething.  So angry.

Rocky Mountain News

“It’s a goal,” Hannan said. “I don’t even think I hit Hasek. I hit the side of the net. He flopped like he flops and they wanted to call it.”

Hasek, naturally, claimed utter and total innocence.  I think. 


“He definitely inferred with me,’’ Hasek said. “It was a good call because I could not move.’‘

Yes.  Inferrence definitely occured. 

Uncle Mike says we should expect more of the same as the playoffs get closer.  Mediocre teams fighting for the 8 spot, stacking their entire organ-I-zation throughout the neutral zone, making no attempt to create anything other than a log jam.  Uncle Mike says that will make his team better and that he thinks they’ll have plenty more games like last night’s snooze-fest to deal with that strategy. 

But maybe not tonite in Boston.  Okie, the high plains drifting lawyer who keeps us all in the game-day loop on the KK Wing message board, posted an article from this morning’s Boston Herald.

The Bruins got away with a defensive approach in Thursday’s 4-1 win in Ottawa, a game in which the Senators had control of the puck a significant amount of time. That won’t work against Detroit. The best defense against their skill is to carry the attack.

“Against a team like the Detroit Red Wings you won’t be able to sit back and protect the lead,” said Julien. “They’ll tear you apart. You’ve got to take it to them all night long.”

Cool with us.

Oh, and for the record?  Sipple was right.  It was five “checks”.

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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