Abel to Yzerman
by IwoCPO on 03/05/07 at 10:52 AM ET
Did a little research last night after the game, wondering if my suspicions were correct. What suspicions, you ask? Well, I was under the impression the Wings had lost 611 consecutive OT games. Apparently I was wrong. They’ve won 11 out of their last 39. So that’s better.
But am I the only one? Am I isolated in my sadness when they’re tied at the end of regulation? My wife watched the whole game with me then left the room without saying a word as soon as overtime started. She knew.
Ahhh, it’s ok. No real harm done in the standings as we still trail Bubba by two with a game in hand. The real problem, of course, is that Bubba Sr. (Dallas) lost to The Team We Don’t Speak Of and clings to that 5 spot by a scant 1 point. That’s disturbing.
Also disturbing is the fact that Mike Babcock could have earned his 100th victory as Wing head coach. I know we were all waiting for that celebration.
“Myself, the coaching staff, the leadership group (among the players), and the players did a poor job of preparation for today,” Babcock said. “We didn’t have the energy we usually have.”
That bothers Babcock, who demands a hard-working team.
“We left the game out there, and it’s probably the right team that deserved the two points,” Babcock said. “We had some guys who were better (than others), but we didn’t have enough players today. That’s what this sport is all about, you need everyone to be successful, and we didn’t.”
Not real fond of the word “myself”. Seems to be an NBA thing that’s crept into the quotes of other sports. Setting that aside for the moment, he’s right. The Wings looked like garbage, were lucky to get the one point they did and played as though Sunday was just another game against an out-of-division opponent, an opponent with no playoff aspirations, a team against whom the Wings could muster no emotion whatsoever because any semblance of rivalry is long gone.
It’s about time the television networks ended their infatuation with the Detroit-Colorado rivalry. It’s dead, and that’s sure to be reflected in next season’s TV schedule. Nashville is the Wings’ new No. 1 rival and their battle for the Central Division title and No. 1 playoff seed in the Western Conference should add some excitement to what is often a dull final month of the season around Detroit.
What makes a true rival? It’s not necessarily the consistent level of competition between the organizations, or friction between fan bases. It has to be both, and as many of you have said, it has to include some playoff bloodshed, or the 2007 equivalent. Sure, the Wings and Bubba have a nice thing going when the puck drops. But their fan base is non-existent. They can’t average the 14k required to guarantee the team won’t leave Nashville. The state doesn’t care. The league is red faced for putting a team there in the first place.
So if Bubba’s a fictional rival, the Dique are done, we’re probably not moving east to renew consistent hostilities with Toronto, who does that leave us? Columbus? Unfortunately, no. The BJ’s just aren’t good enough…which was tough to type. The Blues fans hate us with every ounce of marrow in their pasty bodies. But the team just can’t compete right now, despite their 322 draft picks they gained at the deadline.
I guess we’ll just have to wait on that one. For now, should we be concerned with the Number 1?
Ah, yes. The number 1 seed. The holy grail. The spot that has brought us so much joy the last two seasons.
Much of myself says this: Screw the number 1 seed. Screw the President’s Trophy that brings us a first-round matchup with Calgary rather than Dallas (hopefully). There’s only one good thing about fighting for that top seed: it could get the Wings into a playoff frame of mind much sooner than usual.
Naturally, if San Jose passes Dallas for the 5, everything myself just said about the 1 seed goes right down the toilet. I don’t want anything to do with that Tank, Thornton, that Russian goalie, Guerin or the rest of them.
So myself is conflicted. And that’s no way for a self to be in March.
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org