Abel to Yzerman
by IwoCPO on 04/21/14 at 09:56 AM ET
Yesterday was not the refs. It wasn't the Wings trying to play Boston's style. Brendan Smith's attempt to go with Chara was not anything more than a young, frustrated kid tired of getting run. And I mean he was run. All day.
It was an ass kicking. Simple as that. Or as Stu Nahan said, "Butchering. Plain old butchering."
Boston had more energy and, obviously, much more desperation.
And the Wings couldn't match it. Honestly, it would have been tough to expect them to. Do you really think Danny DeKeyser knows what it's like to face a veteran team, a heavy Cup favorite backed into a corner? Did Tomas Tatar go into yesterday fully prepared for that kind of intensity? Of course not. There is no way he could have seen that coming.
Youth is fun. Frolicking is fun. Puppies and hookers and fire trucks and Charleston Chews. Fun, fun, fun. Everyone talks about the vibrant, ignorance of youth and how it can carry a team that is "too dumb to know they should be scared", or something like that.
Fun until they get their bottoms spanked. That's when the fun stops. When the belt comes out, harsh lessons are typically taught to brash youngsters.
So now they know. Now they have a full, painful awareness of what it takes to compete at this level, when the weather's warm and the pot starts to really frigging boil.
I don't remember the exact quote, but in '97 Patrick Roy said something after the Wings had gone up in the Western Conference Finals. It was something like, "we'll see if they're willing to pay the price." Not exactly, but something like that. He was questioning whether that Wing team had the fortitude to sacrifice everything to win. He doubted they did, or that's what he said.
I'm guessing this is one of those times right now.
The Wings were not outskilled yesterday. They weren't outcoached. They were beaten down. Their talent is not in question. Their manhood is. I have to think that the short plane ride from Boston last evening was pretty quiet.
This is not about the calls and not about goaltending. I know. Both are important. But neither are the storyline that will define this series. The entire thing is going to come down to whether the Wings are willing to hold on to the puck a little longer and absorb punishment like they've never had to endure, for the sake of speed.
This is not about Smith's dance with Chara. That was a sideshow. It meant nothing and nobody should be claiming it was an indication of anything. Coincidental roughing minors? Really? We're going to point to that as an indication...of what? Tempers?
This series is not going to be determined by toughness after the whistle. Character and courage between them will be the deciding factors. Grit. It's going to come down to the kind of grit that keeps a strong team from having their way with you in front of your own net, or in the corners.
Any way you look at it, the Wings are going to learn from this one. This team will look back at this series and thank Boston for being the thugs they are. You don't like Milan Lucic? I do. I'd take him on our team. His teammates love that guy because he will not back down. Did he scissor pump
Smith's DeKeyser's nads? Yep. And? We've seen worse.
They had their asses kicked yesterday. Embarrassed. They knew the desperation was going to be there, but they couldn't have foreseen the tenacity because most of them had never experienced it.
Now they know. They'll be better for yesterday, either starting tomorrow or next Fall.
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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: email@example.com