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Abel to Yzerman

That Was A Statement?  I’ve Got A Statement For You

And it goes something like this:  Don’t make us wait another two months. 

Don’t make us wait again to see the team we watched last night.

Last night could very well serve as a stepping stone, or just a big tease at what could be.  Obviously motivated. Clearly angry and, according to our Uncle Mike, “excited.”

“Our guys, since I’ve been here, when they’re excited, they can play pretty good. It was pretty apparent we haven’t been that excited this year.

Excited?  Cool. Me? I was frigging terrified.  Evidence? I didn’t watch the game until 2200 last night.  And by that time I was well aware of the outcome.  How? Because, as our Wings were laying waste to the “league’s best team” I was watching the Capital(ol)s drill the Bitter Bitch Blues live from the Verizon Center.

It would make for a much better tale if I were to say that the stress was just too much, that I walked out of my house at 1830 and headed to a place where the hockey was pure and the bad thoughts were hidden.  But no.  Free tickets to watch the game in a swanky restaurant with free beer, plus the chance to see St. Louis lose in person?  Hard to pass up.  And I kinda accepted before I realized who the Wings were playing last night.

So that was fun.  And here’s what I noticed once I sat down and calmly watched the surgical demolition of Toddy’s boys.

—The stress relief after Franzen’s goal was probably very similar to what many of us felt on May 31st, 2002 soon after Homer scored to start the onslaught against Patty and Petey and Joey.  And when Datsyuk scored soon after, both on bad goals?  Thank you.

—Tired? I’m sure they were.  An OT loss the night before.  Got it.  Well, too bad.  Sympathy? None.  Any of the MSM’s who annointed San Jose kings of the league after their defeat of Detroit provide the Wings that kind of alibi? Nope.  But just know this:  until these teams play a game on equal footing it’s hard to say who is better.

—Weaknesses?  If you want to discuss the similarities between these two teams, as everyone seems to, I think the only real viable spot is in the net.  Neither team is getting the consistent goaltending they’ll need in May.  And in San Jose’s case, Nabokov may have been exposed last night since the Wings showed them something few others have:  that a large number of shots may just be his undoing.  We’ll see.

—Hank Zetterberg’s your Selke winner.  Where was Big Joe Thornton last night?  Anyone?  Two shots and invisible.  Zetterberg was largely offensively invisible also, but guess what?  It was by design.  Uncle Mike gave him the shutdown assignment and said anything else he did would be gravy.

—Goalie controversy? In Detroit?  Stop the wackiness.  Nah, not yet.  But only because of the type of defense the Wings played last night. Osgood would have shut San Jose out too.  Hell Rumbear would have shut them out.  But don’t let that stop you from wondering whether Conklin deserves more and more time. Because, you know, we’ve pointed it out time and again here…it’s not just the way the goalie plays, it’s the way the team plays in front of that goalie.

—Woops.  Is there a chance the captain exerted some leadership last night, or this week?  I’m thinking he may have.  Obviously, if Nick Lidstrom does any speaking to this team at all, he picks and chooses his spots very carefully.  With three days off since Monday’s…event…I’m starting to sense he may have chimed in a bit.

“We played one of our best games, the way we played for 60 minutes,” captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. “We played real solid defensively. All five guys on the ice and our goalie, too. We were coming back hard and we weren’t having too many turnovers. We waited for our chances.

“I thought the team was really focused and ready to play. I thought we responded well.”

—Babcock.  Had the Wings lost last night, would the torches have come out?  Nope.  But here’s the thing:  they had to come out with a great effort last night.  Because if not then, when?  Eh Mike?  If not against San Jose, who could we expect this team to get up for?  Uncle Mike just may have convinced this team that last night was, as someone put it in a comment that I’m too lazy to find right now, the “end of summer break.”

—Does that mean a huge winning streak is on the way?  I have no idea.  I think that’s as likely as the Wings getting beaten by LA after giving up five odd-man rushes this Saturday.  Either could happen.  But you have to think this game could serve as a family pleasing stimulus toward greater success, consistent success. 

—Anyone notice Hossa sitting the final eight minutes last night?  Shane just mentioned in the comments of the live blog, but I hadn’t heard anything.  I did see this from the Anti-Digger though.

Hossa passed at being the first star of the game. Never heard of that before and it speaks to how good of a person that he is and where his priorities are. I didn’t even know that players were tapped for the stars before the game was over. But when Hossa was told, he said that he didn’t deserve the top star. That’s pretty humble .

Tick Tock Kenny. Tick. Tock.

Update:  Paul’s heard it was a precautionary move to rest Hossa (groin).


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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