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Abel to Yzerman

Sharks Sweep

Read the comments from the Shark fans below and you’d think that was the case.  San Jose has swept Detroit.  In a new, unique device to ostracize the remaining eleven thousand American hockey fans, Gary Bettman—if you believe the hockey historians in San Jose—has decreed that the Western Semi’s have been reduced to a best of one.

Shark fans, that small sect of hockey geniuses who populate the hotbed that is Northern California, took to their keyboards after Game 1, tip-tapping witty little notes like this:

I’m not going to gloat or boast or dress up in my teal thong and ride down the Castro into a rainbow of hockey happiness. That would be dumb because we still have to whip your ass three more times. It is going to happen. Just like we said. The Sharks are bigger and stronger. The Sharks defense is better. And the Sharks had one power play and, guess what Puckheads, they scored. Just like Mike and I said they would.

Disturbing.

 

Bobby Lang, despite Uncle Jack Adams Mike’s airplane bathroom premonition that he would actually be a factor, has been banished to the fourth line where he belongs.  Actually, he belongs elswhere, but we’ve discussed the reasons Babcock can’t send the lazy SOB to the press box.

Hank Zetterberg’s sick.  He’s got the flu.  No, his back hurt.  No, his wrist hurts.  Whatever the case may be, he was ineffective in Game 1.  In fact, he’s been largely silent with the exception of Game 5 against the piece of crap garbage cheating dirty Flames when he racked up 3 points.

One power play: one goal for San Jose.  Back door…appropriate.  Lidstrom the one guy we can’t afford to do anything but play 60 and Thornton capitalizes.  Grier on a lucky fluke goal. 

And the sweep is complete. 

Is Game 2 a must?  Of course.  There can be no rightful expectations of anything but misery should Detroit lose today, but did Game 1 leave you convinced that the Wings aren’t in this thing?  No.  Was it discouraging?  Sure.  Is Nabokov the NoCal Russian Kipper?  No.  Are there available remedies?

Yes.  Todd Bertuzzi has to take a game over.  Re-phrase.  Bertuzzi has to control his shifts.  He has to be visible and relevant every time he’s on the ice.  Is he going to generate 25 quality scoring chances? No.  But every shift he has to bring something, a shot, a hit, a taste of violence and possibility of at least a misdemeanor. 

Khan(!) reported yesterday that Homer’s out until Game 4, or at least that’s what Holmstrom told a Swedish newspaper.  Homer-less for three more games?  Trouble. Big trouble unless Uncle Mike has a plan to generate frustration in front of Nabokov.  Cleary, despite his efforts, wasn’t cutting it.  And, really, no one can replace Homer in that role. 

Except for Bertuzzi.  I said it the day Holland made the deal and I’ll say it again: Chelios needs to be in that boy’s head.  If the nastiness is missing from Bert’s game, someone’s got to remind him of its value.  No one else has the pedrigree to do that with the credibility that Chelios brings to the table.

If not Bertuzzi, then it has to be Datsyuk.  Games 1 and 2 were nifty against the bastard axe slinging cheating dirty intent to injure Flames, but it’s time to renew your contract with the faithful Pavel. 

If not Datsyuk, then Zetterberg.  But we have no idea.  Not one of us can say we know what to expect out of Hank.  And that includes Uncle Mike.  I don’t, like many of you, buy the flu idea.  I just don’t.  I have the flu today, but I’m up and about, doing what I do, spreading wit and cheer.

Oh, that’s a hangover.  My bad.

If not Zetterberg, Bertuzzi or Datsyuk; then Hasek.  Sorry Dom, but yeah, it may be time.  Consistency is nice. It makes us warm and secure.  But it may be time for brilliance.  Just throwing that out there. 

If not Hasek, then you.  I find it hard to criticize the apparent apathy that has enveloped Hockeytown.  Number 1, I’m not there.  I haven’t lived in Michigan for nearly twenty years so it’s ridiculous for me to point the finger at Wing fans who have elected to sit at home.  Number 2, the organ-I-zation is among the most arrogant in sports.  It’s almost gratifying to see the franchise taking the shaft because it should be a long-awaited wakeup call from a fanbase that is tired of the Wings taking their loyalty for granted.  Discussion can be found here on this subject.  San Jose fans, at least those who live in a “2.5 mile radius” of the Shark Tank are apparently finding the empty seats at the Joe amusing.

I don’t.  I don’t enjoy losing home-ice advantage.  But while the empty seats are discouraging, they’re not to blame for the minor hole we’re in today.

If not the fans, then Uncle Mike.  Ramp it up son.  Somehow, he’s got to get them going.  Nick Lidstrom’s not going to offer a fiery speech.  Somehow the motivation has to be unique and well-planned.  Moving B. Lang to the fourth line may light a fire and set an example. But it has to be more. 

Game 2…a must-win?  Oh yes.  Saw a reference to the ‘02 hole below.  I like the argument, but we know it’s false.  San Jose isn’t Vancouver and Nabokov isn’t Cloutier.  Gotta have it.

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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