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Abel to Yzerman

Stress Train Has Left, Panic Express…Arriving

Getting on a plane today to Florida, and I’m not even going to tell you what time my departure flight leaves tomorrow. I’m going to do something today, partly because I’m in a hurry and partly because it’s warranted.  Your boy Khan(!) has a must-read blog entry this morning.  It’s, as the Brits and a few naval officers tend to say when they’re feeling haughty, “spot on.”

Khan(!) addresses the play of Kyle Calder, Samuelsson and Lang (check out the faceoff stat).  He suggests getting Hudler back in the lineup, and he wonders aloud why the Wings couldn’t adapt to a re-invigorated Calgary team in the Saddledome.

…. The scary thing for the Wings is that Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, who’s been really good, still probably hasn’t played his best game.

....The scary thing for the Flames is that Henrik Zetterberg doesn’t have a point in the series and the Wings have still won two games.

…. Robert Lang has won only 17 of 54 face-offs. Maybe Franzen should start taking the draws for that line. It couldn’t be much worse.

Kiprusoff:  he was undelievable last night.  Did you see the real-speed replays of a few of his saves?  His ability to get from the prone position to his skates that fast is unbelievable.  I haven’t been that quick since my wedding night.

Zetterberg: I said it last night and I’ll say it again now, because redundancy is what we’re all about here.  I think he’s hurting.  4 games without a point?  Zetterberg doesn’t slump.  His back is still hurting, or it’s something new.

Lang: Great feed to Bertuzzi last night, but he was apathetic and coasting again.  That faceoff stat is an indicator of just how much effort Bobby Lang brings to the fight.  17 of 54?  Thanks.

Feeling it?  Is the panic setting in?  Or is it a feeling of inevitability.  Are you fighting the pain, or taking it?  Choose your poison, I guess because one thing is certain, and that’s the fact that Game 5 is far from certain.

History tells us so.

Now the pressure is on the Wings to win Game 5 Saturday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena. It’s something they failed to do in their last two playoff series losses—last year against Edmonton and in 2004 vs. Calgary.

Positives?  Todd Bertuzzi showed up last night and may have earned himself some chips should he choose to bargain with Ken Holland this summer.  As bad as he looked in the first on Tuesday, that’s how good he was last night. 

Special teams cannot get any worse.  Period.  Unfortunately, Mike Babcock hasn’t exactly shown a flair for fixing that particular problem.  If they’re going to continue to waste power play opportunities at the rate they are, the Wings may as well pack it in because San Jose will frigging destroy us.

All aboard brother.  The Panic Express is here, and there are plenty of seats available.

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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