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Abel to Yzerman

Ozzie In The HOF:  Still A Frigging Joke

Ha…got ya.  Keep reading.  Some game day ditties for you.

And we start with baseball, of all things.  Steve Yzerman’s my favorite Detroit athlete of all time.  That’s a given and it’s a law.  But close behind?  Kirk Gibson.  Why do I mention Gibby? Because a teammate and friend of his got absolutely shafted yet again yesterday.  Look. I get it.  185 career home runs and 1003 career RBI, plus a .285 career average? Not HOF numbers by more than a few standards.  Got it. 

But if Alan Trammell’s numbers aren’t good enough to get in, why do these qualify? .262, 28 HR (that’s career) and 793 RBI. 

Oh, right.  Ozzie Smith did backflips.

But what a slick fielder he was. What a magician.  Certainly the voters must have taken that into consideration when voting Ozzie in, right? 

Well, of course.  Smith’s fielding percentage was an awesome .978.  And, for a shortstop, that is amazing.

Trammell’s was .977.

Sorry.  Once a year we talk baseball here and it’s always the day after Tram gets bent over by the baseball writers.

Hey. While we’re off topic and talking baseball…check out the Hemingways at the Detroit Free Press.  I’m no pharmacist or grammatician, but even I can see that this is really frigging bad. 

Since the Tigers didn’t re-signing 2009 Gold Glover Placido Polanco and with the other Gold Glove second baseman last season, Orlando Hudson, unsigned, some of tried to connect the dots and assume the Tigers are interested in the “O-Dog.”

Jesus.  And it’s been up there for more than two days. 

Alright. Hockey.  Ozzie (our Ozzie) is not starting tonite.  He hasn’t played since the Chicago disaster and it’s an odd, odd, odd situation.  Even I, after days and years of defending Mike Babcock and pushing our young Jim as the starting goaltender, can not figure this one out.

Some of you say it’s Uncle Mike playing mind games with Osgood.  Others say it’s very simple: Babcock’s giving the Wings the best chance to win now, because they need to win…right frigging now.

Both? Maybe.  But still…it’s hard to wrap your head around the idea that Osgood isn’t being given a chance to prove himself (again) after a Howard loss.  It was so obvious that this decision is just weird.  At least it’s weird to us.  To Babcock, to Osgood and the rest of the team? It may be clear. Crystal clear? Crystal.

What’s clear is that none of us, none of us, have any idea what’s going on.  All we know is this: the Wings are five points out of a playoff spot on 7 January.  Unless a run starts real soon?  That could grow to seven and then ten and then you’d better drink up bitches because nobody’s losing ahead of us.  Not consistently anyway. 

So we’ll speculate, of course.  And here’s my guess:  we’ve got ourselves a rift.  Mike Babcock understands that if Chris Osgood is going to get better he has to play, but Babcock feels—unlike last year—that he doesn’t have the leeway to allow Osgood a few, or twenty, games to get into “playoff shape.”  And, guess what? I’m starting to think Uncle Mike doesn’t give two shits about whether that hurts Chris Osgood’s feelings. 


“Ozzie’s practiced real well the last little while,” Babcock said. “I just think Howie played good in Anaheim (4-1 loss Tuesday). The bottom line, you’re saying to yourself, ‘We need to win tomorrow’s game. What gives you the best opportunity to win?’

“That doesn’t mean I’m right, but that’s what we perceive as a coaching staff. And yet, Ozzie needs to play some games, but that individual part is after the team.”

Was that “cherry-picking” a quote? I’m sorry.  Next time I’ll cut and paste the whole article so that everyone’s happy.  No?  No need for that?  Ok. Just throwing that out there. 

Brendan Shanahan, Mathieu Schneider, Robert Lang and Steve Yzerman.  I’ve always had a suspicion that none had a real comfort level playing for Babcock.  The reason? I don’t think they were granted the same kind of veteran’s benefit of the doubt that they’d received from the players’ pal Dave Lewis, or even from Scott Bowman….renowned for his love of a veteran presence in clutch time, or any other time.

And now, I think we’re seeing the same from the Osgood/Babcock situation.  Ozzie’s been around for a long, long time.  He’s a Wing for life and a contributor to a dynasty and a legacy. I’m sure he feels he’s earned some time to get his game in order, if it’s even required…and some of you, understandably, feel his game is just fine right now.  Mike Babcock doesn’t care. 

There is no sentimentality in Babock. None.  He wants to win. He feels Howard is the key to winning right now.  If the playoffs started today?  Osgood would…wait, if the playoffs started today we’d be on the outside looking the faux in.  Scratch that.  When the playoffs start, Osgood is probably going to get the nod because postseason experience is so huge.  Probably.  But, I’m going to keep harping on this. 

If Jim Howard is starting now, when every game is so important to get into the playoffs, what makes anyone believe that Chris Osgood is the automatic starter if and when the Wings start Round 1?

One more thing:  this isn’t about Osgood’s comments from the other day. Babcock doesn’t have the luxury to use that as a reason to stick with Howard.  If we were sitting in the 4 spot right now? Maybe.  The guy’s playing the goalie he feels gives the Wings the best chance to win every night.

It’s crazy, I know.

This, though?  This is frigging glorious.


That second line is just…hot frigging damn, I could look at that all day. 

Here’s the first power play unit I’d run out there:

Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Homer
Lidstrom, Rafalski

Pass, pass…goal, bitches.

Second unit:

UnifuchingMastertonofabomber, Fil, Cleary
Ummm…Lidstrom and Rafalski?

Pass, pass…timeout to rest Lidstrom and Rafalski….faceoff win, pass, goal bitches.

I’m telling you right now that I’ve got my pets on sacrifice alert.  Lidstrom scores tonite (and I’m feeling it…I believe he will) and they both understand that one’s gone for good.  It’s just the way it is.  Lidstrom pops another?  Holy Hell.  I take no responsibility for my actions.

That’s if I’m awake.  Thanks. Gary. Ass.







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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

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