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Abel to Yzerman

Provincial Awakening

Updated 1836 CSTThe Real Deal (see below) is taking a staggered approach to their analysis.  I know it’s early, but I’m finding the Calgary bloggers to be a different animal than their Oil counterparts.  A little less sarcasm, a little more analysis. 

The Flames bloggers are slowly recovering from a regular season rollercoaster.  A few days to drink their stress away and they’re ready for some analysis.  Metrognome at Five Hole Fanatics breaks down the Wing/Calgary first rounder.

Besides the glaring difference in record/points, these two teams look surprisingly evenly matched. Of course, thanks to the league’s unbalanced schedules, comparing two teams across different divisions can be rather challenging - kinda like comparing grades across two vastly different grading curves. To stretch the analogy further, Detroit was an overcheiever in a class of special needs kids while the Flames were stuck in a room full of brainiacs (aside from the lone dork in the corner wearing a blue and orange dunce cap).

Read the rest here.  Gnome provides some balanced ideas across the board, but I offer a couple of counterpoints:

-The Wing defense, while still very good, has been hurt badly by the loss of Kronwall.

-We know Pavel Datsyuk is a legitimate question mark, but if Detroit wins this series he’ll be the player that leads the Wings.  And IF Detroit wins this series, that 47 million dollar contract is going to be looking very good to the rest of the league because he’s going to have a Conn Smythe-like playoff.  If, if, if…

-Dominik Hasek’s physical health, while a concern, isn’t the only health issue Wing fans worry about.  He’s clearly insane and not the good kind of insanity that used to steal games.  I may be alone when I say this, and I have…many times, but I’m not convinced Hasek won’t be a scapegoat if Detroit bows out early.

-Another Calgary analysis (whether it’s a mainstreamer or blogger) with no mention of Johan Franzen.  His name recognition is going to jump in the next week.

Kyle at The Real Deal breaks down the coaches.

Just as regular readers know I’m not a Playfair fan, they also know I am a true Babcock fan. I love his demeanor (when asked about his PP after a game last season, which had failed to convert that game, he remarked: (paraphrased) “The PP? Oh ya, what are we ranked in the league? Number 1? Thanks, next question.” He guided the Ducks to within a couple goals of the Stanley Cup. If you say he rode Giguere’s tail, I say he identified his team’s strength and exploited it. He has won Gold medals coaching Team Canada in 1997 and 2004. He has found a way to keep this team winning despite breaking in newer players and dealing with older ones. I will say though, Babcock got outcoached by Craig MacTavish in the first round last year.

Edge: Detroit

I’ll tell ya Kyle…Mike Babcock’s a lightning rod for discussion amongst Wing fans.  We like the fact that he talks…and talks, and talks, and talks.  Interestingly, he sometimes talks for hours and says, well, nothing at all.  That doesn’t stop our deep diggers from hanging on (and printing) every word, every syllable. 

Great point about Babs losing the strategy battle to MacTavish last year.  That’s true and it can’t happen again if he hopes to stay in Detroit.


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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