Abel to Yzerman
by IwoCPO on 11/30/07 at 09:37 PM ET
Don’t get all excited. It’s a day old. But I just read again the transcript of the Allen interview with Stoney and Bandwagon Bob (Wojo) on WDFN and a few things jumped out at me that I think deserve my genius analysis.
...it puts Mike Babcock in a very difficult situation. I think he’s handled it as well as can be expected. He keeps saying the right things, Dominik’s the right guy or is the No. 1 guy, and you know, he can say that because Chris Osgood is a great team guy and understands how it works.
This wouldn’t work, this goalie
situation, anywhere else. And it wouldn’t be working if it wasn’t for Chris Osgood. Ken Holland brought him in here with this type of scenario in mind. Exactly this, where he’s outplaying Hasek in every conceivable category or situation? No. But a situation where, perhaps due to injury, he’d need his backup to play significant minutes then willingly accept slipping back to the number 2 job when Hasek gets healthy again.
Of course, I doubt anyone anticipated this little twist where the organ-I-zation has to provide some party line of BS that no one believes. What was it Babcock said, “he’s our starter in the second half?” Ok.
“There’s nothing wrong with having a veteran goalie that’s No. 1 in Chris Osgood and then having [Jimmy] Howard. Howard should be ready. If he’s not ready, he should be. So I think it would be in the Red Wings best interest that they bring him up and see what he can do.”
Allen doesn’t come right out and say it, but he doesn’t have to. Because I will. Cutting Hasek loose (when the tantrum comes, and it will if he doesn’t very obviously, and very publicly, regain the starter’s job) wouldn’t be the worst thing if Howard is ready. Of course, if the Wings do jettison Hasek and Osgood gets hurt? Despair.
“He’s an important player and the one thing I always say about Kris Draper is that when Canada goes to war—and nobody puts more into their international competition than Canada—they call Kris Draper, because they understand how important he is to a team. He’s a guy that understands his role and he’s a better scorer than he gets credit for. He doesn’t have great hands but he somehow manages to score a few timely goals.”
Terrible hands is more like it, and we accept that because of everything else Draper brings to the table. Defensively, he’s the best in the league—still. Yeah, better than Brind’Amour. And he’ll do whatever is necessary to win. In 14 years, we’ve never heard him complain. Kris Draper is the epitome of an athlete “just happy to be here.” Allen said in another quote I’m not using that Detroit’s lucky it was only 10-14 days. Right on the money. But…with Draper and Maltby out, look who had a game last night? Kopecky scores. Hudler scores. Drake actually showed some sort of flair for offense.
“I love this guy. I love his enthusiasm for the project, and what I really like is he does it in a very gentlemanly fashion. The fight where he told the referee, ‘Stay away, we need to go a little bit longer,’ and when it was done he patted the guy on the head. That’s NHL fighting that we want to see, where it is just part of the gamesmanship of the game.”
Yep. He’s talking about Aaron Downey, and yep, Ken Holland and Mike Babcock made the right call in keeping this guy. He’s a Verbeek, a Rouse, a Gilchrest. Character guys respected by their teammates for what they’re willing to go through or do to play hockey and to win.
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