Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Train Delay

I didn’t see the hit on Kopecky, and I didn’t see Downey’s antics, and I didn’t see Rafalski’s body slam of a guy who outweighs him by thirty pounds.  No, I wasn’t passed out.  Damn you all for thinking that.

I didn’t see those episodes because Little Gary Bettman didn’t want me to.  Little Gary has no problem with a massive cable provider like Verizon Benduover Fios refusing to carry NHL Center Ice.  And Little Gary loves the NHL Network but doesn’t take issue with Verizon Garbagewasteofmoney Fios not including it in its “significant sports lineup.”  Little Gary Bettman decided I should (a) use a pirate back door (easy Dive fans) link to a peer to peer server—as if I know what the HELL that is or (b) listen to the game on the radio. 

I did the former until it crashed, and the latter the whole third period.  So, I missed all the hijinks.  Thanks Gary. Ass. I woke my daughter up this morning at 0500, gave her a smooch before heading to school and she was crying.  I asked if she’d had a nightmare.  She shook her head.  I asked if yesterday’s “green eggs and ham snack on Wacky Wednesday” made her want to skip school today.  She said no.  She paused a moment, to collect her thoughts, and she said, “Why does Gary Bettman have a job Dad? Why?”

Mike Babcock has a job.  Yep. Still kicking, despite the best efforts of the St. Louis hacks.  Uncle Mike’s got a job and he’s happy to do it brother.

St. James

“I’ve been real impressed with how hard the guys played, but when you have key people away, we haven’t been as good, and it’s good to see the guys coming back,” coach Mike Babcock said.

Kind of an understatement.  The Wing offense is structured around quick passes from their own zone, speed through the neutral zone, cycling in the offensive zone and maximum shots.  With Andres Lilja leading the breakout the Wings simply cannot establish any sort of presence, definitely no speed and little else on offense.  They’ve survived injuries to Zetterberg and Holmstrom, flourished in spite of their absences.  But they simply will not win without puck moving defensemen.  Murphy did it. Fetisov did it. Lidstrom, obviously, is a master.  So is Rafalski.  Ever wonder why Scotty put Fedorov on defense?  Punishment? Maybe.  His passing and his speed moving up ice?  Definitely.  It is the core of the Wing success and it’s been missing, inevitably.

And if Kronwall could stay healthy, he could literally be the best defenseman in the league. He’s that frustratingly talented, and he’s in a perfect scheme to show it, which he has since his return.

Stanley Cup chances boil down to this: if the Wings defense is healthy, they have a shot…a very good shot.  If not, they’re done. 

Oh, and yeah, Hasek—that crazy bastard—needs to be kinda good too.  Hey, baby steps.  St. Louis didn’t score on their first shot, which was nice.  He looks good, but not great.  Guess what though?  I’ve never thought he looked anything different than that dating back to ‘02.  It’s all the Wings need.  Goodness, just goodness.

Detroit goaltenders start getting in trouble when their pea brains get the best of them.  They start considering bad things, fretting over them, and then bad things happen.  Manny Legace is on a team that hasn’t seen the playoffs for three years, and won’t make it next year either, because he melted in a puddle of his own urine in Edmonton.  Too graphic? Sorry.

Manny was Manny again last night. A couple weak goals, one good one, and an empty netter.  The only common theme…not his fault. Never is.

Khan(!)

“It seemed like it bounced about six times before it got to me.”

We know Manny. We know.  Post the suicide watch.  I’m sure there are thousands of them posted in the greater St. Louis area today, considering nothing sends the Bitter Blues fans into a mass depression like a loss to Detroit.

I’ll add the Kopecky hit to this post when I get it later this morning, hopefully.

Woops. Dallas lost last night.  Conference lead back up to 7.  Brief look at the Wings schedule the rest of the way and it’s heavy with teams within The Division That Gary Built.  All those losses earlier in the year can be scoffed at if Detroit sacks up and takes care of our Central sisters the way they’re supposed to. 

All this talk about the Dive possibly grabbing the 8 seed has left us a little blind to two other possible opponents.  Bubba: that’s fine.  We’ll toy with them for five games or so.

Or Chicago.  4 points back after shutting out the Poultry last night behind a rookie goaltender making his second start in the NHL.  Based on what they’ve done to the Wings this year, who would you rather face?  Chicago, Bubba, or Adrienne’s Dive?  I’d still take Chicago. 

 

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
  Tags: babcock, bitter+little+bitch+blues+fans, bowman, downey, drake, fedorov, hasek, holmstrom, kopecky, kronwall, legace, little+gary, rafalski, stress+train, verizon+sucks, zetterberg

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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