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Abel to Yzerman

“Tell Me Quick,” said Old McFee…Tell Me This Team’s Better Than That

Bullet Bob’s back to save us, because the adorable 8 pounder told me he would.  Oh, the angst.  If you’ve read the comments associated with last night’s Live Blog you know that the pitchforks are out.  Heart, passion, give-a-shit…it’s all being questioned today.  And the reasons are sound. If Detroit couldn’t get up for last night’s game, what else—short of the playoffs—is going to do the trick?

And where the Hell is Johan Franzen?

Son, you’re a rich man because Tick Tock Kenny Holland made a tough decision two years ago.  He essentially chose you over Marian Hossa because you promised us all we’d get consistency.  Not consistent awesomeness, just consistent really goodness.  We don’t see it Mule.  We’re not seeing it and now people are talking about lighting you on fire and putting you on somebody’s porch as a joke, hanging around to see if someone steps on you. 

And people are wondering, typing things like the Wings need “fiery leaders” and “passion” and “Tahitian Hookers” and “more hunger”.  The 19 are getting restless because losing is one thing, but appearing not to care too much about losing is a whole other deal.

You can blame our Uncle Mike, if you want.  And you are.  You can wonder what precisely the new assistant coaches are bringing to the table.  But I’m getting a bad feeling that if there’s a lack of urgency in that room then the fingers need to be shifted from the guy with the good hair to the Perfect One.  Professionalism and quiet confidence, a steady demeanor and leadership by example is all well and good.  And that’s cool when it works. 

But man, is there anyone wearing red and white who’s just a little pissed off about this whole thing?  And if not?  Who are the leaders who should be? Lidstrom, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen, Holmstrom….

Uh oh.  Calling Dr. Cherry.

I’m not going anti-Euro on you.  But, shit man.  Someone needs to get pissed off other than us.  Dig it?  Like Seger said, all along that fateful coast, we’ve been silent like a ghost.  But that silence is getting tougher to maintain.  I’m just throwing that out there.  Turning this thing into a Ship of Fools will take about one more loss.

It’s a Live Blog and the Hasek’s full. 

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Comments

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Bent's avatar

I don’t know what to say.  Was it because of the goalie or was it a bad game on the   wings part?  They had 36 shots I guess.

Posted by Bent from The U.P. on 10/29/11 at 11:34 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

4 game losing streak.  4 total Goals For in that span.  ‘Nuff said.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 10/29/11 at 11:34 PM ET

cigar_nurse's avatar

What really sucks is both winning goals by the cocknozzle brothers Thornton and Heatley. And Sparty loses too.  Another shitburger of a weekend.

Posted by cigar_nurse from Greenville South Cakalakee on 10/29/11 at 11:35 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Sharks won again tonight.  In OT.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 10/29/11 at 11:36 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Nite everyone.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 10/29/11 at 11:41 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Effort, focus, determination, brains, heart, grit, balls, guts, nipples, chutzpa, courage, will, goals.

The Wings lacked everything.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/29/11 at 11:49 PM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

plus truculence

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 10/30/11 at 12:06 AM ET

WestWing's avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/29/11 at 10:49 PM ET

The lack of nipples is a huge problem.  To make matters worse, it’s like trying to trade for a quality blue-liner.  They’re just in such demand.  Totally a sellers market.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 10/30/11 at 12:08 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Effort, focus, determination, brains, heart, grit, balls, guts, nipples, chutzpa, courage, will, goals.

The Wings lacked everything.

As if calling out The Link Goes To Himself this week wasn’t enough, JJ totally nails it three times tonight. Kudos to him.

As for the Wings, what a complete cluster f*ck this team is right now. They look like a band of “freelancers” roaming around the ice trying to figure out what the hell to do next. Lots of great individual efforts, but nothing remotely resembling a team.

And Jimmah, God love him, stands on his head in the middle of complete chaos and makes one great save after another. But let a guy come at him one-on-one and he’s a puddle of piss. Two goals on breakaways last game and one tonight. Someone needs to make him stay an extra 10 minutes after practice and face Pavel one-on-one until he figures out how to deal with it.

And, with Bert looking like a human penalty-making machine, the Wings decide to put a viable goal scorer in Brunnstrom on waivers. As MsRedWinger said a few days ago, I’m having a hard time maintaining a positive attitude these days.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 10/30/11 at 01:52 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

This team is an absolute mess right now. Ken Holland, you cannot wait until the trade deadline to spend that 6 million…you better spend that in the next three weeks.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 10/30/11 at 02:04 AM ET

Alzy's avatar

So, it may be the Captain Morgan’s talking, but what the frack is up with this team? How can they not beat the MINNESOTA WILD of all teams? Call me arrogant if you want, but the Minnesota Wild shouldn’t be able to hang with the Detroit Red Wings we all know and love. The boxscore should read somewhere in the neighbourhood of 7-1 Detroit, not 1-0 Minnesota, reagardless of any effort the Wild put in. Enough is enough. You have the talent to make any team in the league you’re bitch, now START PLAYING LIKE IT! I’m sick and tired of seeing “Red Wings Lose” in every column I read. You have the talent and ability to mop the floor with any team in the league, so START PLAYING LIKE IT!

LET’S GO RED WINGS (exclamation point)

Posted by Alzy from Cambridge, Ontario, Canada on 10/30/11 at 04:46 AM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Mornin’ bitches. Missed the game last night, and I see no reason to watch the replay. Comcast was out but we still had power.

Thanks Rummy, for the awesome Bill Murray.

As for the Team, it is…

Turn and face the strain
Ch-ch-Changes
Where’s your shame
You’ve left us up to our necks in it


Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 10/30/11 at 10:02 AM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

Sigh…well, at least our PK was perfect last night….

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 10/30/11 at 11:33 AM ET

Primis's avatar

I was in Kalamazoo watching a fight-ridden 6-5 slugfest on Orange Ice so I didn’t get to see the game (not often you see a 5-minute major and a Game handed out for a Slashing penalty!).  Glad I didn’t see it now after seeing the final.

I don’t need to either.  I bet I can guess some of the things that happened:

* Bertuzzi took dumb penalties and played clueless.
* Cleary did nothing at all and may as well have been sitting.
* Kronwall had another subpar game.
* Ericsson tried to do more than he’s capable of and made dumb mistakes.
* White got caught at least once and gave up a bad break the other way.
* Howard hung in there, but got no help.
* The Wings got a ton of their shots blocked and thus never got through, because they telegraph every… single… shot they take.  Franzen and Datsyuk are no especially guilty of this.
* Zetterbegr did a lot of floating.
* Babcock refused to shake anything up.
* Abdelkader and Helm played their tails off to no avail.
* Everyone else got outskated.

That about cover it?

There’s no fear of God in them right now.  Honestly, I’d trade Bert for a mid-to-low draft pick *right now* and not think twice.  Cleary would be sitting for at least a week (who knows, maybe something’s wrong with him physically and it’s kept quiet).  And in-game, anyone who is caught not busting-a** on the ice misses a couple shifts riding pine.  If it continues, they sit the rest of the game, and then healthy scratch.

For supposedly being such a motivator and manipulator of players, Babcock sure doesn’t ever seem to do a damn thing does he?  If this continues, his job is simply not safe because it appears to me like he’s lost the dressing room.

Posted by Primis on 10/30/11 at 12:41 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by Primis on 10/30/11 at 11:41 AM ET

Ken and Mick did mention last night that there’s something physically wrong with Cleary.

Detroit blocked more shots (12) than they had blocked (9)
Ericsson played a quite capable game and used the body
Cleary got moved off the top line in favor of Franzen for several shifts.
Kronwall played well and was absolutely robbed by Harding on a chance from the low circle.

Other than those things, you’re completely right.  I’d have gladly given Bertuzzi’s third period ice time to Drew Miller, who was Detroit’s best skater.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/30/11 at 12:55 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

J.J., I’m glad you said what you said about Ericsson.  I was afraid to say it, but it looked to me like his play was pretty good last night.

smile

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 10/30/11 at 02:24 PM ET

WestWing's avatar

Ken Holland, you cannot wait until the trade deadline to spend that 6 million…you better spend that in the next three weeks.

Unlike at the trade deadline, when it’s usually considerably easier to identify who the sellers are, at this point in the season most teams still believe they have a shot at the postseason.  Any trade they were to make now would have to be a “perfect marriage” where Detroit has something the other team needs and vice versa.  It also means is that if you want high quality, you’re likely going to have to give up high quality in return. 

Even at the deadline, the Wings will probably have to be willing to part with top prospects or some of the core players on their current roster in order to get the type of impact player(s) they really need (i.e. a goal scorer).

Considering this is likely to be Lidstrom’s final season, you gotta believe the braintrust of the organization has to be sensing that they will eventually need to do something to get this team to a cup-contending level. 

While much of the rest of the league was agressively trying to make their teams better this summer, KH and co. were content to merely stand pat and simply fill the vacancies of the players they lost through retirement as cheaply as possible.  Remember, our lone “big ticket” free agency signing was Jonny Ericsson.

I understand that approach, but I also know it was a calculated gamble they made with the hope being that they would get off to a strong start, still be good enough to be in contention for the division title by the mid point of the season.  Then with lots of salary cap flexibility on their side for a change, they’d be able to make any roster changes that might need to be made at or near the trade deadline.

For the first five games it looked like the plan was working.  The last four not so much.  As it stands today after nine games the Wings are in the bottom half of the conference not even in a playoff spot.  They have a minus-2 goal differential, rank 18th in the league in goals, 17th in GAA, 18th in PP%, 21st in PP% and 17th in 5-on-5 goal differential.  For those of you who don’t trust stats, trust your eyes.  Even without the grim picture those stats paint, this team just doesn’t look right.  They don’t look crisp, they don’t look like they’re in synch.

Holland likes to evaluate his team at ten game intervals throughout the season.  At this point that evaluation does not look positive.  To put things into some greater context, two years ago when they struggled through the first half, it was obvious that the condensed schedule because of the Olympics (which didn’t leave many practice days) and the unusual amount of injuries they sustained were the reasons that team got off to such a poor start.

This season though, their schedule has allowed them more than ample practice time in which to fine tune their game and health-wise they’re probably better off than they were at any point in the 09/10 season.  So you have to ask yourself what happens when the schedule gets more compacted, the available time to practice evaporates and the injuries start to mount?  You then have to at least begin to prepare yourself to acknowledge the unthinkable—this might (at least as it stands right now) not even be a playoff team.

So what do you do?  There might very well be some merit to the idea of making a trade simply to send a shock wave through the locker room that would serve as a wake up call to the team.  But I wouldn’t make a trade for that reason alone.  In my opinion it would have to be the right trade, and for my money, the only “right trade” at this point would involve getting a legit goal scoring threat to play on the top line.

Along with all the stats I rattled off above, there’s one thing that jumped out at me which is actually kind of a silver lining in all of this.  As bad as things are, Detroit is still 2nd in the league in shots on goal, 4th in fewest shots allowed and 2nd in total shot differential.  And that’s a good thing.  It tells us that they are doing some things right; that they still play puck-possession hockey and that system-wise at least, there’s a foundation to build on.  At the same time it also tells me that if a team is near the top of the league in shots and in the bottom half in scoring, that team is in need of players who can finish their chances.

I said after the Sharts game the other night, and I’ll say it again, the only thing that separates these two teams is the ability to put the puck in the net.  In every other facet of the game, I’d put Detroit right there with them.  But man what a difference that makes.

I understand the virtue of patience, and I get it that Tick Tock always has a plan A and a plan B.  But this isn’t a normal season.  This is a window of opportunity.  This is in all likelihood Lidstrom’s last season, and it can’t and this way—it can’t end with an impotent goal-starved team that looks like it’s pushing a big rock up a steep hill night after night.  Kenny, find us some fuching guys who can put the fuching puck in the back of the fuching net!!!

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 10/30/11 at 04:41 PM ET

WestWing's avatar

can’t and this way

should have been “can’t end this way”

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 10/30/11 at 04:45 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Ken and Mick did mention last night that there’s something physically wrong with Cleary.

Detroit blocked more shots (12) than they had blocked (9)
Ericsson played a quite capable game and used the body
Cleary got moved off the top line in favor of Franzen for several shifts.
Kronwall played well and was absolutely robbed by Harding on a chance from the low circle.

Other than those things, you’re completely right.  I’d have gladly given Bertuzzi’s third period ice time to Drew Miller, who was Detroit’s best skater.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/30/11 at 11:55 AM ET

I don’t feel so frustrated then about Cleary, I’ve been riding him for a while now even when DET was winning.  So he gets a bit more of a pass for now.  I’ve been expecting far betetr out of him, he’s not competing.  Maybe an injury really is why then.

Ericsson played (I thought) a better game against CBS, but he still tries to do stuff beyond his ability far too often.

Glad to know Kronwall had a better game.  He needs like, about 15 better ones in a row now.  He’s no heir apparent to anything right now.

Overall I’m getting tired though and would like to see some kids in the lineup.  That Brunnstrom was sent down at a time like this puzzles me.  Some kids and scratches deserve a chance, and guys like Miller, Helm, and Abby that are playing well deserve more ice time.  Right now there is no reward system, nor is there really a punishment one.  If you’re one of Babcock’s Guys, you’re golden and have no worries.  If you’re not, you can be Hudler and be in the doghouse even if you played a good game or three.  And I despise that mentality.

Posted by Primis on 10/30/11 at 05:06 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I hear you on that Primis..  That’s what I loved about Scotty was there were no “untouchables”..

Hudler has been one of the bright spots actually.. at least twice I saw him dogging his coverage like a mississippi leg hound, I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I actually thought he had a pretty good game with the exception of his option not to shoot on that chance he had.  I think some big names aren’t towing the line and I"m not used to that ont he Wings, that’s what I bitch to my buddy about about his BJ’s and Rick Nash being lazy because of his talent level.. I’m seeing the same things now inour big guys.. they aren’t paying the price or playing hard hockey and reusing old tricks that everyone is hip to.  Didn’t Weber say it best “It’s no secret how to beat Detroit” .. he ain’t lying..

For the first time in a long time feels like this team has no identity and that’s what we really lost this summer

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 10/30/11 at 07:47 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

Red Wings agree to terms with defenseman Niklas Kronwall on seven-year deal

L.G.R.W.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 10/31/11 at 01:03 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

Glad to know Kronwall had a better game.  He needs like, about 15 better ones in a row now.  He’s no heir apparent to anything right now.

It appears the Braintrust disagrees with you.  See above.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 10/31/11 at 01:52 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

And if there’s such thing as good news right now, Brunnstrom cleared waivers.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 10/31/11 at 01:52 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

And Nyquist comes up.  Possibly all the way to the top-six.  A bit too much pressure too early?  Still, he learned to dominate in college, and when that brought him more attention on the ice, he learned to adjust to that too.  So…

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 10/31/11 at 06:49 PM ET

monkey's avatar

Is this real life?

Posted by monkey from Praha, Česká republika on 10/31/11 at 10:02 PM ET

pilgrim's avatar

More real than real life itself.

Posted by pilgrim from the ice at the bottom of the world on 11/01/11 at 12:22 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Is this real life?

Posted by monkey from slipping into a comma on 10/31/11 at 09:02 PM ET

Is this just fantasy?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/01/11 at 12:31 AM ET

WestWing's avatar

Metaphysics.  A2Y takes yet another unexpected turn.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 11/01/11 at 04:26 AM ET

monkey's avatar

More real than real life itself.

Who are you calling an idiot?

Metaphysics.  A2Y takes yet another unexpected turn.

I was contemplating the nature of time the other day, on my way to work, and I had a sort of epiphany which gave me a brief innate understanding of the relativity of time.  Most people think of time like a regulation hockey game, where everything happens in fixed periods (a period is always twenty minutes of game play, a regulation game is three periods).  A day is always 24 hours, a year is always 365 days (365.24 for the scientists in the group), and so on.  But time does not work this way.  Time is more like a baseball game- each game is played within it’s own time.  Every half inning is three outs, most games are at least 8.5 innings, but some are less, some are 8 2/3, some are nine, some are more than that.  However, how much time it takes per inning depends on the game and how the observer counts time.  Even within the hockey game time is not fixed- the total “real” time a period will take to complete varies with penalties, fights, tv timeouts, Pierre Maguire…. anyone who has ever sat through the last “two minutes” of a close football game knows what I am talking about.

On Earth we essentially measure time against the rotation of the planet, yet not even this is constant.  The rotation of the Earth is slowing down.  It’s all relative, man.

I think what I realized is that we measure time only by events that we observe, yet those events are not fixed in length and have no meaning outside our world or our solar system.  Tell someone from another world to “come back in three days” and you may never see him again, or he may return in a few hours.

Posted by monkey from Praha, Česká republika on 11/01/11 at 08:00 AM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

Posted by monkey from slipping into a comma on 11/01/11 at 07:00 AM ET

funny,  ...

I was just thinking the same thing.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 11/01/11 at 10:38 AM ET

WestWing's avatar

Posted by monkey from slipping into a comma on 11/01/11 at 07:00 AM ET

You clearly have too much time (whatever the fuch that is) on your hands.  Any thoughts on String Theory?

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 11/01/11 at 11:18 AM ET

WestWing's avatar

Monkey, if you’re really into this kinda space-time thing, Brian Greene, a theoretical physicist and physics professor from Columbia, who also happens to be one of the foremost proponents of string theory or M-theory, has a four part series called “The Fabric of the Cosmos” on PBS starting tomorrow night.

Kind of high brow stuff for A2Y, but since the topic came up I thought I’d pass it along.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 11/01/11 at 12:24 PM ET

dougie's avatar

Any thoughts on String Theory?

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 11/01/11 at 10:18 AM ET

Yes, no matter how badly you may want to, NEVER pull on the string. Nothing good ever happens when you pull on the string.

Posted by dougie on 11/01/11 at 12:38 PM ET

WestWing's avatar

Posted by dougie on 11/01/11 at 11:38 AM ET

Thanks for showing me the ropes.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 11/01/11 at 12:55 PM ET

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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