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Abel to Yzerman

Tuesday Deep Digging

You know, I’ve got a buddy in San Jose…or somewhere close to it.  Not sure exactly where.  One of the ten or so high school friends I still talk to on an amazingly regular basis…who can say that at age 38?  He kind of staggered into our Michigan high school our senior year, or was it junior?  For some reason, it’s a blur.  Anyway, he came from California and wasn’t received all that well.  Those of you who grew up in Michigan understand.

But, he kinda grew on us with those seven or eight layers of clothes (mostly pastel), that ridiculous accent and a few mannerisms we found to be funny as hell.  And, to his credit, he stayed loyal to the hundred or so pro teams in California.  Still loyal to them now, so this series should make for some interesting emails.  Better do your research Kelly. I’m coming after you.

On to some deep digging and we start with our boy John Niyo.

“This team isn’t about ‘03 and it isn’t about ‘04 or ‘06. It’s about this year. We have a good team. We’ve been a determined group from the get-go. People said we weren’t going to be very good and we are good.”

And now they’ll get another chance to prove it, against an imposing San Jose team that had its way with the Wings in the regular season.

A television reporter asked Babcock the obligatory “Who would you rather play?” question at the airport Monday afternoon.

“Whoever they give us,” the coach replied. “We’re going to play, and I don’t think you’re going to see us carrying the weight of the world around. We’re just going to go out and play.”

Couple observations about that little ditty.  First:  you wonder what Steve Yzerman thinks every time Babcock says something like that?  Me too.  Secondly: “who would you rather play?” is a stupid frigging question.  So, what does Niyo do?  “a television reporter asked…”

Atta boy. 

Third:  The weight of the world has indeed been lifted, for about a day.  Play loose but not too loose.  I’m typing that and thinking it’s a stupid thing to say, yet I kept typing it, which is a character flaw. I don’t think we have to worry about a letdown.  Containing Thornton and staying out of the box?  Yeah. Worry about that. But not about losing intensity.  Not gonna happen.  One more line from the Niyo article.

Hasek, for his part, has yet to lose a playoff series in Detroit—he’s 5-0 including the 2002 Stanley Cup run.

Just thought I’d throw that in there.

Khan(!) blogs a short preview of the Shark series tonite.  Knowing that hard charger, I’m sure something more expansive will follow soon.  Really.

The Sharks, who ousted Nashville in five games in the first round, won the season series from the Wings 3-1, outscoring Detroit 18-9 and outshooting the Wings 111-110. Much of the carnage came in a 9-4 victory at San Jose on Jan. 4, the last meeting between the clubs. The Wings allowed a club-record six power-play goals in that game, after giving up five on the man-advantage in a 5-1 loss in San Jose on Oct. 19.

Eleven power play goals in two games.  That’s almost laughable. Really, it is.  It’s outrageous, but it’s terrifying.  And it’s the main reason San Jose is the Team We Haven’t Spoken Of.  But that title’s about to go away because they’re in our face now and we’re going to have to talk about them sooner or later.  I’d prefer later, like Wednesday. 

With Vancouver’s defeat of Bubba Sr. last night, that closes out the first round.  Let’s take a look at my first-round predictions.  6-2.  Minnesota and Pittsburgh hurt me, but other than that I was flawless…which is what you all demand of me, and I accept that.  Second round forecast?  Nah.  We’ll give it a day. 



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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