Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Tuesday Deep Digging

Quite a bit to choose from this morning as all the Deep Diggers seem to be active and chipper. Helene St. James spoke with Chris Chelios recently, who naturally said he considers his age a "black cloud hanging over my head" and that he hates the idea that his 44 years is the first thing people think of. Kirk Maltby said opposing fans do all they can to remind him. Helene St. James/Free Press
"It seems to happen a little more in the Canadian cities. I think it's just because of the way he plays against some of the teams that we've seen a lot of over the years; it seems there are always signs about his age and how old he is and whatnot. I think it motivates him a little bit in the overall scheme of things, to keep prolonging things. I think he gets a chuckle out of it. When he sees a new sign, he kind of applauds the guy or girl that did it."
Speaking of Canadian fans and signs, this is my favorite picture from last year. image

Hoping this way West swing may be the trip that gets Pavel Datsyuk going?  Well, hope all you want but the odds on that got a little longer this week with both his wingers (Holmstrom and Williams) out due to injury.  St. James reports that despite the fact that Johan Franzen practiced on a line with Kris Draper and newly recalled Josh Langfeld, Mike Babcock may re-united the Mule and Datsyuk after some chemistry in training camp.

As for Langfeld? He’s ready.

Helene St. James/Free Press

“They know I can play here,” he said. “I played the whole season last year in this league. They knew I could play here. Obviously it’s just a matter of going out and doing it. Playing confident, I think, is the biggest thing when you get here.”

Ted Kulfan/Detroit News

“It’s exciting, it’s what you work hard for,” said Langfeld, a left winger who had six goals and six assists with the Griffins.

In 108 NHL games with Boston, San Jose and Ottawa, Langfeld has nine goals and 21 assists.

“It’s not like you’re calling up a kid,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “He’s an NHL player.”

Deep Digger Captain Ansar Khan(!) focuses on team defense, and the reaction from Dominik Hasek.

Khan(!)/MLive

“I don’t remember such a long stretch of games where I faced (this few) shots,’’ Hasek said. “We always outplay the team, we always outshoot them, so I think from the defensive standpoint, it’s probably the longest streak where we play such great defense.’‘

On the subject of the Wings stifling defense, you may want to check out Fox’s Puck Podcast

Finally, USA Today’s Kevin Allen lists Nick Lidstrom as his top rated player in their weekly power poll.  Not sure I agree with this quote from Ken Holland though.

“He’s started a little bit stronger than he has in previous years, and that probably has a lot to do with him becoming a captain and the leader of our hockey team,” general manager Ken Holland said.

Yeah….no.  I guess it’s a possibility that Lidstrom’s playing so well due to the captaincy, but to claim this year is any different than previous seasons is a bit of an injustice.

 

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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