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Abel to Yzerman

Red Wings-Hurricanes live blog: no time for sympathy

The Detroit Red Wings face off against a Carolina Hurricanes team tonight (7 PM EDT start/FSD+/FS Carolinas/WXYT) that is, as Yahoo Sports’ Nicholas J. Cotsonika suggests, still nothing less than convinced that it can win the Stanley Cup…assuming that it can get into the playoffs. Their cause would be aided greatly by a win against the Wings, who are sitting Jiri Hudler.

The Red Wings don’t plan on extinguishing the Carolina Hurricanes’ playoff hopes for any reason, however, other than simply rounding into playoff form while they try to secure the second spot in the Western Conference.

Live blog away, and here’s some pre-game reading/listening for your entertainment as FSD+ isn’t doing a pre-game show:

• The Free Press’s Jamie Samuelssen states the obvious about the fact that the Red Wings don’t have any “easy” or “vulnerable” first-round playoff opponents anymore, and as such, he suggests the following:

f we’ve learned anything about the Wings this season, especially in the bizarre month of March, any success will have less to do with their opponents and more to do with them. How else do you explain losing to the Blues, 10-3, at home and falling behind Nashville on the road three days later, only to respond with four unanswered goals and a 4-3 win? It was the same scenario in February, when the Wings snoozed through a 4-1 home loss to the Predators. Babcock ripped the team after the game. Nicklas Lidstrom called the effort embarrassing. Then the alarm bells led to a five-game winning streak that included back-to-back wins over Boston and a win over Tampa Bay. The Red Wings don’t seem to raise or lower their game based on the level of the opponent. Instead, they seem to raise or lower their game based on their level of interest. And with every game counting just a little bit more next week, focus shouldn’t be a problem.

The problems lie in some of the disturbing trends we’ve seen all season. The two biggies are impossible to ignore:

1.) Home ice: The Joe just isn’t what it used to be. Blame it on the fans if you want, although the crowd noise has been louder in the recent string of sellouts. (The Blackhawks game on March 28 was the closest regular-season game to looking like or sounding like playoff game in years). But for whatever reason, the Wings just haven’t played well at home this season. They have 48 points with just one home game remaining. That’s the third-lowest total of any of the eight teams currently in position for for the playoffs in the West. You play all season for home ice, and home ice just isn’t the advantage for this team that it used to be.

2.) Defense: Jimmy Howard will be in the crosshairs from the opening face-off of Game 1. That’s just how it goes in Detroit—and in hockey, in general. But the Wings and the Ducks have allowed the most goals of any of the playoff teams in the West. That’s an alarming stat that doesn’t rest solely on Howard’s shoulders. Yes, he needs to be much more consistent, but so do the guys in front of him. The defensive corps has dealt with injuries all season (and some of the top defensive forwards have missed significant time as well). They’re all healthy now. That’s good. But they need to be better.

Babcock would never say who he’d hope to face in the first round, other than to say he’d love to stay close to home. The only team that fits that description is the defending Stanley Cup champion ‘Hawks. I’d prefer to pass on that matchup. The most favorable, ironically, is the team that’s farthest away: the Ducks. It may be a three-time-zone trip, but it probably gives the Wings the best chance to advance. Nothing is set in stone yet. Nothing is guaranteed. But in this sport, in these playoffs, in this conference, nothing ever is.

• SI’s Michael Farber penned a list of twenty “things to like about the NHL,” and among them...

10. I like assistant coaches, the conduits of information and insight. Ten minutes with Detroit’s Brad McCrimmon or Buffalo’s Jim Corsi or Nashville’s Brent Peterson are like masters classes in which presuppositions will be challenged or softheaded theories exposed. Because I resolve to stay positive, I won’t even mention how shortsighted it is for teams such as New Jersey, Chicago and others to make their assistants off limits to the media.
...
14. I like watching the Kings’ Ryan Smyth, the Wings’ Tomas Holmstrom and Ryan Kesler of the Canucks set up in front of the crease. The last person to work so effectively in tight quarters was Smokin’ Joe Frazier. They all seem to have had a GPS chip installed in their brains that makes them able to discern the blue paint without looking down. They obscure vision, blot out the sun for unfortunate goalies. They can score a goal even if they are trapped in a virtual broom closet.
...
18. I like watching Detroit’s Nick Lidstrom, who, although he is not as sturdy a one-on-one defender as he was a few years ago, is still a marvel of constancy into his 40s. He remains the right defenseman for the right era, as superb as he is understated.

19. I like GMs Brian Burke, Ken Holland and Ray Shero, who have convictions and are unafraid to speak out—even if they might be wrong.

WDFN’s Sean Baligian spoke to two hockey personalities this afternoon, starting with USA Today’s Kevin Allen…


Download File

And continuing with Chris Osgood, who talks about playoff moments past, mentoring Jimmy Howard, and he says that he’s hoping to be ready to return to action this weekend:


Download File

• Finally, Wings owners Mike and Marian Ilitch will receive honorary doctorates in humanities at Michigan State University’s spring commencement, where Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak will speak. Something tells me that free pizza’s more likely than an iPad giveaway on May 6th (and I’m one of the rare people that isn’t fascinated by the iPad).

Update: from my email inbox:

DETROIT AND CHICAGO SET TO SQUARE OFF ON ‘FAN APPRECIATION NIGHT’ AT JOE LOUIS ARENA

… Entertaining Evening in Store for Hockeytown Faithful on Friday; Red Wings Set to Welcome 800,000th Fan of 2010-11 to The Joe …

Detroit, MI… The NHL Central Division Champion Detroit Red Wings will be looking to wrap up their 2010-11 home schedule in winning fashion on Friday, April 8, when they welcome the Chicago Blackhawks to the MotorCity for a 7:30 p.m. showdown at Joe Louis Arena (FS Detroit & 97.1 The Ticket). This contest will serve as the opening match of a regular season-ending home-and-home series between the regional adversaries.

Designated ‘Fan Appreciation Night’, several exciting giveaway items will be distributed to arena patrons throughout Friday’s game. Free squishy pucks compliments of Antonio’s Cucina Italiana will be given to the first 10,000 fans in attendance, as will Upper Deck ‘Original Six Rivalry’ trading card sets profiling past and present members of the Red Wings and Blackhawks. Cards featuring Detroit’s Mike Modano, Todd Bertuzzi and Steve Yzerman in addition to Chicago’s Duncan Keith, Patrick Kane and Stan Mikita will all be included in Friday’s set.

Meanwhile, every fan attending Friday’s game will receive:

-      A free Red Wings poster compliments of Meijer and Coca-Cola

-      A coupon redeemable for a free hair cut compliments of Great Clips

-      A voucher for a complimentary game of bowling courtesy of SEMBCA

-      A coupon for $5-off selected menu items courtesy of TGI Friday’s Restaurants
                             
Furthermore, multiple lucky seat and row giveaways will be announced throughout the night on Friday, with fans of fortune set to win prizes courtesy of Fathead, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, AT&T, the University of Toledo, Carhartt, Andiamo’s Restaurants, Olympia Entertainment, Detroit Red Wings Authentics and the Detroit Tigers. The latest Carhartt Hardest Working Player of the Month will also be revealed prior to puck drop on Friday, while Red Wings players and management will acknowledge the NHL’s best fans during a series of pre-taped video segments.

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Comments

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PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

I must be missing something, no way anyone can be that dumb.

only thing I can think of is the league’s position is that since the puck hit the goalpost after being kicked, the kick no longer matters.

which is absurd, and is counter to every other kicked in goal they’ve ever ruled on.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/07/11 at 02:37 AM ET

RedMenace's avatar

So either myself of Dougie were game-wreckers tonight—I’m going to go with Dougie since I had to fend off drunken a drunken Canes’ fan tonight (she tried to get me to come back to Wilmington with her and her husband and kids…).

With Dougie’s permission, I’ll post a pic of him and I at the pre-game skate, regardless of whether anyone actually wants to see it or not.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 04/07/11 at 02:39 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

now that I read the rule, I’d bet my next paycheck that’s exactly what they’re going to say - that it hit the post so that makes the kick irrelevant.

A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who kicks a puck that deflects into the net off any player, goalkeeper or official.

it says nothing about the goalpost.

A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player’s skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal. A puck that is directed into the net by an attacking player’s skate shall be a legitimate goal as long as no distinct kicking motion is evident. The following should clarify deflections following a kicked puck that enters the goal:

(i) A kicked puck that deflects off the body of any player of either team (including the goalkeeper) shall be ruled no goal.

(ii) A kicked puck that deflects off the stick of any player (excluding the goalkeeper’s stick) shall be ruled a good goal.

(iii)  A goal will be allowed when an attacking player kicks the puck and the puck deflects off his own stick and then into the net.

still nothing about the goalpost.

way to write comprehensive rules that cover every situation, NHL.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/07/11 at 02:40 AM ET

Bent's avatar

Puck Daddy has it up now, with the full broadcast video of the review and the stupid announcers.  And O’Halleran’s announcement after the review was something along the line of “Upon further review, it was determined the puck did cross the line.”  Um, no it didn’t.  And besides, what about the kick?  The more I see this kind of shit, the more pissed I am about all the good goals they take away from the wings.

Posted by Bent from The U.P. on 04/07/11 at 02:45 AM ET

WestWing's avatar

Clear and distinct kicking motion, check

Puck never crosses the goal line, check

No way in hell is that a good goal.  This the same “war room” in Toronto that ruled no goal in last year’s playoffs aganst San Jose when a puck bounced off Zetterberg’s skate, on the grounds that he turned his blade ever so slightly.  Riiiight.

I am just about done with this farce of a league.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 04/07/11 at 04:18 AM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Unless I missed something that the gifted officials have the power see, and no one else can, that fuching puck never crossed the line after being kicked toward the goal.

Now I remember why I’m retiring as a fan after over 40 years. I can’t wait to go nuts in the playoffs as this will most likely be the last one I ever watch.

Thanks. Gary. Ass.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 04/07/11 at 09:37 AM ET

dougie's avatar

With Dougie’s permission,

Yeah, well, uh, sure….Just make sure it’s the one with my pants on. Pregame skate was the evening highlight. Just inches away from the rock stars on skates. Homers ass didn’t look as big in person , as it does on TV. So I’m even more pissed off about all those calls against him.

Yep, I’m the Gamwrecker, UNLESS, Zetterman is uninjured, at which point I will take full marks for getting us through the game healthy. That is more important than a stupid win, eh?

Posted by dougie on 04/07/11 at 11:35 AM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

My premonition of a stinker proves to be true.
Meh, still not going to break my streak of not watching.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 04/07/11 at 12:25 PM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

after further review ... Toronto just gave Hossa a goal he kicked in

//adjusting tinfoil hat//

L.G.R.W.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 04/06/11 at 09:23 PM ET

I wondered if anyone had saw that besides me

I don’t think my tin foil hat is working any more   cool mad

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michigan hometown of Abdelkader on 04/08/11 at 01:38 AM ET

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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