Abel to Yzerman
by IwoCPO on 12/08/07 at 10:55 AM ET
Updated 1051 EST: Just for fun, read through the list of comments at Russo’s Rant’s blog from last night. Amazing how the tone changed over the course of three hours. Includes a good comment from Matt Saler from OtW.
I put that in quotes because I guarantee those were the exact words shouted, whispered in awe or uttered from father to son accompanied by a hearty back slap last night at 2153 EST.
And it’s true. With a shutout just moments away and the memory of watching Chris Osgood start seven consecutive games still very fresh in his cluttered mind, our Czech Miracle of Insanity returned to his sociopathic self and gave us a wakeup call. I’m almost shocked he didn’t point at the cameras after his takedown of Gaborik and say…
...“I’m your starter bitches.” Yeah Dom, you are. And I’ve been proven wrong. Again.
Yeah, I know it was recorded in somebody’s living room. I kinda like the novelty of it. And I loved that play. Loved it. Tripping? Whatever.
MLive/AP (I guess Khan(!) had the night off)
Hasek asked referee Don Koharski why there was a penalty on the play.
“His explanation was, ‘It’s 5-0, Dom, so don’t worry about it,’ ” Hasek said. “I looked at him (and said), ‘OK, (but) I don’t want to break my shutout.’ “
“If it was a 1-1 game, I would have probably thought a lot about it,” Babcock said. “I don’t know if that’s a penalty. I don’t know what the rule is. You’re there first and…the guy trips over you, I don’t know if that’s a penalty. But it was tonight and they’re always right.”
Naturally, Gaborik and Jacque Lemaire agree.
St. Paul Pioneer Press
“He does that, but I could have ended up on my head. It’s 5-nothing.”
Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said he thought Hasek would get more than a tripping minor; the league reviews all hits and will add further penalties if deemed appropriate. Executive vice president for hockey operations Colin Campbell said late Friday he won’t comment on supplemental discipline.
“It’s a dangerous play,” Lemaire said.
I think it’s a dangerous play to skate with your head down. So there.
Here’s what’s even crazier. How about the penalty kill? Two of the best shorthanded players in the league, perhaps in league history, have been out for a week and what do the Wings do in response? Go four straight games without letting in a power play goal. WTF is that all about?
“When you lose key guys like (Kris) Draper and (Kirk) Maltby on the (penalty kill), everybody else wants to step up to the challenge and play good,” Zetterberg said.
That specialty team stat Scotty used to reference so often? Combine the PK and PP rankings and come up with less than ten or punish everyone within three miles of the Joe? The Wings can now claim a solid 9. Third in PP and sixth in PK. During this five game streak Detroit has outscored their opponents 21-10. Before the Phoenix game I said Pavel Datsyuk was becoming as or more dangerous than Zetterberg. Since then Hank’s scored five times in three games (7 points altogether).
The Wings are now 14-1 against the treacherous Pacific and Northwest divisions, the cream of the hockey crop, the elitist divisions that can always point to our weak Central sisters as the the true reason for Detroit success.
Osgood, Hasek…doesn’t matter. Draper out? Maltby out? Doesn’t matter. Dallas Drake’s played in excess of 12 minutes in four straight games—to coincide with the loss of our two top defensive forwards. Oh, and in those four games he’s collected all of two penalty minutes. Gramps was right. The half-shield is making a difference.
And the Wings have their best team since 2002. It’s been five years since they won twenty games this quickly and, umm, this team might be better. You have to analyze that statement. “This team might be better.” Every facet is clicking. Look deeper than the PK and the PP and the GAA. Look at the style of hockey they play: the absolute hustle from every line, every shift. The seamless transition from one goalie to another, the speed on the blue line that wasn’t there in ‘02. And the grit factor. But here’s something else: in ‘02, you knew if that team didn’t win it, the chances were slim that Larionov, Hull, Yzerman, Shanahan, Fedorov and Robitaille would all stick around for another kick at it. This team? Who can say that three years down the line it will be dramatically different, or any less lethal?
We’ll see. It’s two incredibly hot streaks bookending a seven game stretch that sucked. That’s essentially what this season has been so far. Two stretches of brilliance against the teams we were supposed to be concerned with and 9 games of mediocrity against the Central. Those nine games kind of stick out, kind of stress us out. But, here’s another silver lining for you.
Dominik Hasek, disinterested…probably a little injured…lost five of those games. Now? A little more interested and a lot more healthy. Mentally healthy? Absolutely not.
As crazy as ever. And we dig that.
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org