Abel to Yzerman
by IwoCPO on 01/31/13 at 11:44 AM ET
Ok. We like him. We really do. The Diggers, every last one of them plus George, have all told us we like Jordin Tootoo's spirit and his willingness to get 'er going. Got it. I dig it and it's nice to see, mostly. Fundamentally, I have issues with the "spontaneity" of a fight right off the hop, without any obvious anger. But Uncle Mike must dig it, because I really don't think he'd put Tootoo's line out there to start a game (or even two) unless everyone knew precisely what was expected.
Is it a silent understanding between our Uncle and Stirs Shit With Big Wooden Spoon? The relationship between a coach and an instigator/fighter/shit stirrer has got to be an interesting one. In Gary's world, nobody will ever admit to actually telling a player to actually go and punch someone in the face. But does Tootoo automatically just know it...that if Babcock puts him out there to start the game he'd like him to, you know, punch someone in the face?
Lots of smart guys, pharmacists and even readers who like to call me petulant and self-entitled, have been pointing out the stench of "contrived" fights. On this, I have to agree. I like it when men get pissed at each other and do things as a result of it. Like trying to put their knuckles on the other guy's head. It's what men do sometimes and it's fun to watch and even participate when the time is right and as long as it doesn't last too long and even more fun if the other guy's a little smaller and it's a frigging blast if maybe one of your friends grabs him by his arms at just the right moment so you can land a few before it gets, dammit, broken up.
Fights in the first three seconds without any real hate involved or even anger? I don't know. Last one that seemed to mean anything was Lemieux/McCarty II and you know the assclown had been thinking of it for a lot of months before it happened. It made sense. Tootoo's pregame antics are just that. Antics. His second fight against Dallas had real venom. The first? Not so much.
See this ditty that the emperor posted this morning? Adrienne Dater is none too happy that the Dive organ-i-zation can't just go ahead and admit that they suck ass and have for years. He's, again, on the verge of tears at the foggy memory of the physical pleasure his heroes used to provide back in the heady days of Joey and Floppa and Patty the Domestic Gentle Giant.
Thing is, the Avs never had to enforce any company-line “keep it positive, even thought things really blow around here right now” schlomola with Sakic, because all his teams did here in Colorado was win.
Wellllll...again, the facts aren't important right now.
That is just good, plain, old-fashioned barn dancing, glue sniffing, tummy rubbing fun for the whole damn family. Few things in this life are better than waking up to an article penned by Dater, whining about the state of the Dive. God I love it so. Screw him. Screw them. Here's a common refrain from the interns and it bears repeating: there is no ounce of sympathy for that fan base. None. Suffer. Suffer hard and long.
Sooooo....I'm a sucker. I haven't run this by my entertainment counselor yet, but I'll be getting Game Center Live today or tomorrow. I want to watch it through the PS3 when I'm not getting my ass kicked by 13 year olds in Madden. And I want to watch it on my Ipad and my phone, etc, etc. I've read the reviews on every SBN hockey site (JJ: was it a decree from the SBN daddys that every hockey blog do a GCL analysis? I've seen it on WIIM, MHH and the Bitter Bitches at Game Time), and it looks like I'll put up with the occasional lag in exchange for the convenience.
Plus, and we all know this is the actual fact, the Wings gave me hope the other night. Without that hope, the fifty bucks for the rest of the season wouldn't seem quite so thrifty.
Shit. Are we ready for optimism? If you're clear-headed, and that's common around here, right?--if we're clear-headed, it's probably too early for the kind of expectations we're used to. But something's nagging at me about this team. The defense is better, much better, than we could have anticipated. That, in itself, is staggering.
Because if the D is even fair, then hope is not illogical. Right now it's fair to say this: those predicting an end to the playoff streak are going to be disappointed again.
The Wings sit 8th in the conference but were 6th 24 hours ago. There is no reason to expect significant change to that dynamic. They're going to be moving between 4 and 8 the rest of the way. Chicago and St. Louis are going to be neck-and-neck for the division. We will not compete for that crown. That's a fact. But the Wings will continue to improve. The power play will get better. The kill will be sustained, especially if baby Jesus lets us have Darren by god Helm back for any stretch of time.
James Tiberius Howard will be better and better, because he's been consistently very good for three years.
And there's this: Ken Holland will, he must, do something. He must because it's a crapshoot and anyone can win it, just like the one-trick Kings did last year. He has to do it this deadline because the summer won't bring the kind of high-priced hookers last year's did and he's got to re-sign JFH, who will be pushing for the big bucks he deserves. And so he will because the Season of our Datsyuk is fleeting and fading. We all know it. Three years left, max? Holland blew it when he had the chance to surround Lidstrom with the talent he needed to close with a Cup. You have to think the same mistake won't be made again. Money to spend. Holes to fill. Tick. Tock.
I'm wondering about Friday. I'm wondering what the Wings will bring against a St. Louis team that absolutely bent them over on opening night. It was violent and horrible. Hopefully it's absolutely seared into the Wing collective. Yes, Uncle Mike, we know. The sun came out the next day. Got it. But did it really? Or has your little bit of sunshine been obscured by the sniffing, panting spectre of a fat Ken Hitchcock blocking your happiness since the day he slapped a tramp stamp on you and made you his biotch?
Friday must be redemption for the Wings. I don't even need a win. I just need competition and a display of grit and acknowledgment that Game 1 was unacceptable.
So that's where we are on this warm San Diego Thursday. Hopeful, but still guarded. Skeptical but joyful, because I might be worried about my team from time to time but at least I'm not, you know...a Denver fan. That would suck so very badly. Right, Dater? Suck it.
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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