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Abel to Yzerman

Schedules and stuff

...we could always talk Army/Navy?  Nah.  First half’s almost done and this game’s over.  Scratch that idea.  We could talk Les Miles to Michigan, as Kirk Herbstreit reported on ESPN this morning?  Nope.  Miles has a presser at 1:45 to announce he’s staying at LSU.  One note on that: Michigan screwed themselves by opening their elitist idiot traps.  If they’d stayed quiet, Miles would be theirs…after today’s game.  Idiots.

Ok. The new schedule. The schedule we all wanted?  Yeah. Getting closer to it anyway. 

Every team, every year?  Yep. We’ll take that.  Less divisional games? Yep. We’ll take that too…despite my feelings that the nine game stretch against Gary’s Central was pretty interesting.  The fellas in the East are whining and in the far, far West.  But, honestly?  Screw ‘em.  Because the Wings are still taking it high and hard playing in the Western Conference.  Will this decision spice it up a bit, giving us Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Crosby, Ovechkin, Buffalo and Ottawa on a consistent basis? Sure.  Enough to solve the attendance situation? Not so sure about that. If they couldn’t fill the Joe for Calgary, I’m not sure Toronto would do it. 

Eric McErlain has a good piece at the Sporting News today.

...it seemed as if the Stars, Ducks and Sharks were battling each other at least once a week during March. Ditto that in the Central, where it seemed like the Predators and the Red Wings were more or less permanently on each other’s dance card.

When you look at it that way, it’s safe to say that overall, the unbalanced schedule failed to achieve its publicly stated goal of stoking divisional rivalries. Then again, if you really want to stoke divisional rivalries, the key isn’t overloading the regular season schedule with division games.

Instead, if the league really wants to create bad blood between teams that spills over into the regular season, it ought to think about bringing back a divisional playoff format, and re-aligning each conference into two divisions. And while they’re at it, why not bring back the names Patrick, Adams, Norris and Smythe.

Dominik Hasek’s getting bored.  In case you weren’t aware, boredom can lead to insanity.  I’m just sayin.


Hasek is going to start Tuesday in Montreal.

“We need to get Dom in there and get him going, and it’ll be a good environment in Montreal to do that, a good test,” Babcock said.

How is Hasek handling sitting?

“I don’t want to get used to it,” Hasek said.


James Mirtle put together a list of the NHL’s unsung heroes.  In response, Jes Golbez, compiled something similar: the overpaid schmucks.

Todd Bertuzzi, Anaheim - 13GP 1-5-6PTS -3
Do I really need to say more about this lazy ogre? He rarely breaks a sweat, routinely lets his checks go (Markus Naslund is thanking him right about now), and gets paid $4mil/season to do so.

Dustin Penner, Edmonton - 26GP 4-8-12PTS
I realize that Kevin Lowe put Penner into a position to ‘fail’, giving up the farm for a second-line winger who hadn’t proven himself.

The problem I see is that Penner has a bit too much Bertuzzi in him, in that Penner jut cruises far too often and isn’t nearly as assertive as he should be. Was less than half-a-point a game really worth all that?

Matt at On The Wings points out three Wings who are having troubles offensively.

Since the offensive leaders on the team haven’t changed in weeks, I’ll point out the guys on the opposite end of the spectrum. Aaron Downey has zero points in 13 (but still manages to be valuable to the team), while Dallas Drake has a single assist in 18 games. Johan Franzen has managed a whopping 2 points (a goal and an assist) through 15 games.

Downey and Drake? Not an issue.  We know what they bring and it’s not offense, although with the latter I think we can expect a bit more.  Franzen?  Agreed…issues. 

Brian Costello at the Hockey News says that there is no doubt who the best European in the NHL is, best Euro of all time in fact.  He stops short of calling him the best defenseman ever.  Cory Cross took that title.  But, #2?  Yep.  He uses a quote from Ken Holland to support his argument.

“For the last 10 years we’re near the top of the league in points, he plays almost 30 minutes a game, always against the other team’s best players, he’s always one of the highest-scoring defensemen, most years we’re near the top of the league in power play, most years we’re near the top of the league in penalty-killing and most years we’re near the top of the league in goals against. He plays every critical situation. We won three Stanley Cups and five Presidents’ Trophies. We’ve been to the final four times in the last 12 seasons and he has been the one constant.”

We’ll do the liveblog thing tonite.  Game time 7pm.


Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
  Tags: bertuzzi, central, downey, drake, fellow+bloggers, franzen, hasek, lidstrom, osgood


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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