Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Scotty…Please Help

Warning: This one's going to be all over the place. Domestic metaphors, movie references, mind wandering. Crazy, disjointed stuff. Stick with it. A point will be made. The common theme amongst our DD's today? Ted Kulfan/Detroit News "Whether the Wings need one, an enforcer, that is, is the growing question." Khan(!)/MLive "Holland doesn't believe the Wings need to bring in a player for the sole purpose of being their enforcer." Bruce MacLeod/Macomb Daily Tribune "So do the Red Wings need to add an enforcer to keep opponents from taking liberties?" Would we be having this conversation if the Wings were scoring? Nope. But, as we know, this is a chicken-egg-Kocur question. Oh, you need me to explain that? Well, I can't. It is a chicken and egg thing, but I just threw Joey's name in there because we're talking toughness. Confused? I understand.

The “need for an enforcer” issue would be tabled if there wasn’t a perception that teams were “taking liberties” due to the Wings’ less than stellar power play.  It was almost refreshing to see a quote from an opposing player actually admitting teams are game-planning with this in mind.


Vancouver’s Brendan Morrison pointed out the opposition’s different attitude towards the Red Wings this season now that Detroit’s power play is anemic.

“You might think twice about taking chances with penalties if they were scoring at their normal rate,” said Morrison.

A four-year old grabs the squeeze bottle of Hershey’s chocolate out of the fridge ten minutes before dinner.  She slyly glances at Mom and Dad, who watch her and smile.  Emboldened, she lifts it over her head and looks again.  Her parents smile again.  Flushed with confidence, she drinks the chocolate straight from the bottle.  She didn’t expect to get away with it in the first place, but she had to try. She’s 4.  Easily correctable. All it would have taken was one “WTF ?” glance from Mom and it would have been over. 

Hagman drank chocolate from the bottle, so did Mitchell. He took a big old swig. Torres did too.

We don’t need an enforcer. We don’t need Norton taking up space and minutes.  We don’t need Bootland. We have enough forwards who aren’t scoring.

What we NEED is production.  What we need is a power play.  And it’s time we said it.

What the Wings need right now, more than anything, is coaching.  If Mike Babcock is having trouble getting his mind around this problem, it’s time he sought help fixing it.  Oh, but where can he turn?  If only he had a trusted agent, a confidante within the organ-I-zation.  That would be so cool. 

What?  Did you say he has someone like that? Someone who fits that description? 

Bowman to Hockeytown. Bowman to Hockeytown…STAT. 

“Remember The Titans” is in the IwoCPO top ten of movies (Behind “Hoosiers”, “Rocky” and the original “Bad News Bears”, but just before “The Natural” and “Goodfellas”).  Remember the scene, halftime of the state championship game, when the defensive coordinator swallows his pride and turns to Denzel Washington for help?  “Herman,” he says, “Ed Henry is kicking my ass out there.” 

Well, Ed Henry is the power play and it’s kicking Mike Babcock’s ass.  We’ve read the fuzzy-tummy stories for a year now, how he turns to Scotty for advice, how they talk frequently, how Babcock’s style and Bowman’s are similar.  Well, it seems pretty clear to me that either that relationship was blown way out of proportion or it’s cooled off.

Because there is no frigging way Scotty Bowman couldn’t fix this. 

If you haven’t yet, Mike.  It’s time to ask.  Look, buddy. Defensively? Great.  You’re doing great things. We like it. We like you for that.  But, man, it’s time to realize that every coach, but one, has his limitations.  Yours just may be a lack of creativity.

Soooo…..ask for help.

Detroit’s man advantage is like a Stephen King novel.  The dustjacket looks interesting. It starts out good, lags in the middle and by the time it’s over you can’t believe you wasted two minutes reading it.  Scotty can fix that. 

Heck. I’m no deep digger. I don’t have wasted access to the Wings.  I have no idea. Maybe Bowman’s been in Detroit the last month.  Maybe he and Babcock are discussing this daily.  Maybe they’re exchanging text messages that have happy faces, LOL’s and BRB’s.

Or maybe Babcock’s so stubborn that he can’t allow himself to seek out help from the greatest hockey mind in history.  That would kinda suck because, well, it would mean the Wings hired a stupid man to coach this team when they could have hired a proven smart man (Barry Smith) after Bowman left.

Ohhh…yes I did.  Yep.  The “Barry Smith” issue.  Ok. We’ll table that.  We’ll put it on the back burner, put in the vault for later.  ‘Cause, you know, it would suck to remember that Scott Bowman’s advice was disregarded three years ago.  Woops…that’s right, it was.  So what you’re saying is….

...the Wings have a history of ignoring Bowman’s suggestions?  So, considering they’ve ignored him in the past, maybe he’s less than willing to help now?

Oh.  Interesting theory. But, Bowman’s been available since then.  He was probably even sought out by Holland before they hired Babcock.  Well, it’s time to break the glass again and bring the old man in for some consulting work.

23 games in.  10 percent.  30th in the league.  Datsyuk: zero PP goals.  Liberties are being taken.  1 game with multiple PP goals. 

Scotty to Hockeytown…STAT. 


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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