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Abel to Yzerman

Size Matters; Kopecky (Not Hudler) Replaces Calder

In the end, when Uncle Mike made the final call, it came down to size and potential for violence.  Kyle Calder’s ineffectiveness forced his hand (he didn’t play since mid-way second period in Game 2) but even after he made the decision to sit him, he had another dilemma.  Hudler or Kopecky?

And he made the right move. Going into Anaheim, against a team that thrives on confrontation, an oompa-loompa wasn’t going to do the trick.  A healthy Kopecky might.

Will Kopecky, who hasn’t played since December, make a significant difference?  Not on the surface.  But his combativeness and his grit can only help.  What line?


It appears Kopecky will replace Dan Cleary on the checking line, with Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby. At least that’s how they practiced.

So, if Cleary’s off the “grind” line…here’s what I assume the lines will look like.


Bertuzzi’s had quite a bit of time on Filpulla’s line, but I’d prefer to see him with Lang and Sam (contingent, of course, on Bob’s mood.  If he feels like playing, then that line works because the chances for Bert will be there. If not, it’s a wasted line).

Back to Kopecky. 

St. James

“It was getting to the point where it was like, ‘I’d love to play,’ ” Kopecky said. “I’m really energized right now. I’m pretty happy to be back in the lineup. Hopefully I can bring that energy to the dressing room and on the ice.”

We’ll see.  Like we said up above, it was a move that had to be made…primarily due to Calder’s poor (injured?) play.  And the decision to insert Kopecky instead of Hudler probably wasn’t difficult considering the way the Wings were manhandled the first two periods on Mother’s Day. 


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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