Abel to Yzerman
by IwoCPO on 03/31/08 at 07:02 PM ET
I’m sure there are some Canadia(e)ns who would dispute this, but it’s pretty clear to me that Pierre McGuire is a tool.
And Pierre LeBrun is a genius without peer.
Evidence? Thank you for asking. I do, in fact, have some.
Baroque pointed out this morning that McGuire unleashed his typical Detroit bash session Sunday, making hurtful claims that the Wings have no chance this postseason. His ammunition, not surprisingly, was grit, goaltending and secondary scoring…oh, and that they piled up points on the weak sisters from Gary’s Central.
Dammit. Pierre. You nailed it again. You belong between those benches, son. No one could possibly lend any more credence to the NBC 30 Crock telecast than you. Let’s start with goaltending. Clearly a weak spot.
Or is it?
But the Wings, and the credit goes to Babcock here, can shut a team down like almost no one. They don’t get much credit for that, people point at their offensive skill mostly, but Babcock’s team has allowed the fewest goals against in the NHL this season and, barring a major letdown in the final week, will take home the Jennings Trophy for it.
Now it’s true Chris Osgood has had a fantastic season as Hasek’s backup but the reality is that the Jennings is going to Hockeytown because the Wings limit the opposition’s scoring chances like few other teams in the NHL. And that will come in handy come playoff time.
McGuire: Detroit’s goaltending is weak. They will lose. LeBrun: It’s not all about the goalie dumbass. Look at the defense.
Surely the Wings have compiled 110 points for four straight years because the Central sucks hard. Yes, I’m sure I heard that somewhere. The last three? Yes, Pierre. This year? Do some research idiot.
The other Pierre did.
Another criticism of the Wings is that they beefed up their points in the standings by beating up on Nashville, Chicago, St. Louis and Columbus in the “weak” Central Division.
“That’s a joke,” said Babcock.
Now I’m not going to sit here and claim that the Central is as good as the Northwest or the Pacific, but it’s much better than in past years. And check out Detroit’s record against all three divisions. Heading into the final week, the Wings were only 15-11-3 in their own division but a remarkable 15-2-3 against the Northwest and 15-5-0 against the mighty Pacific.
Woops. Two down McGuire. Let’s try for three. The Wings aren’t tough enough. They lack grit and nut. They are small and weak. Old and slow.
Well, that’s according to NBC’s Pierre. Sportnet’s? Not so fast.
The third and final knock on the Wings is that they can’t grind it out come playoff time like Anaheim or San Jose or even Dallas or Calgary. Lots of skill, not enough grit is the what some people say.
“We’ll see,” said Babcock. “I don’t buy that for one second.”
The grit factor was played up last spring when the Ducks beat the Wings but I feel the only significant difference in that series was goaltending, as stated above. If Hasek stops a few more pucks, the Wings are in the final. In the first round last April, the Wings completely outplayed the “grittier” Flames. So like Babcock, I’m not sure I buy the grit argument.
Dammit Jim. Dammit. That’s three down.
Wait there’s more. We’ve got four. Stick it Seuss. McGuire also claims another Wing weakness is a lack of secondary scoring. LeBrun didn’t touch on that, so I’ll let Baroque clean up.
I guess he hasn’t noticed that Franzen can be moved from one line to another, Cleary is back from injury, and Filppula has 19 goals.
Throw in the fact that Kopecky’s playing as well as he has all year, and that Hudler is due (hopefully) to break out of that little nuisance of a 33 game streak with one goal in there somewhere. Holmstrom’s back Wednesday. McCarty can be counted on to at least present a threat. No secondary scoring? I’d say the Wings have as much as anyone. Who has more?
Eat it McGuirre.
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org