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Abel to Yzerman

Uncle Mike: Top Two Lines Are Best The NHL Has Ever Seen

No. He didn't say that.  Not even to Helene via text or message over the PS3.  But this will be cool for the three days Babcock actually keeps the line together...

Babcock said he'll use his two-best players, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, on the same line at the start of the season, which is expected to begin with games at St. Louis Jan. 19 and Columbus Jan. 21, barring a change in the schedule.

“They've been playing (in Europe) and they're in shape,'' Babcock said. “They play good together. Last year they started out slow, never got going.''

He said 26-year-old rookie Damien Brunner will start on that line. He's the leading scorer in the Swiss league, where he has formed great chemistry with Zetterberg.

And, just like all 19 of us, our Uncle is absolutely convinced Johan Franzen will be ready to go right from the jump and sustain a high level of play through August 11th when Gary says the Finals will end.

Valtteri Filppula, who's expected back soon from his sprained knee, will center the second line with Johan Franzen and Mikael Samuelsson. Filppula is coming off career highs in goals (23) and points (66). Franzen has scored 57 goals the past two seasons but has been inconsistent. The club is hoping Samuelsson, back after leaving in 2009, can make up for some of the offense lost with Jiri Hudler's departure.

“That gives us two Grade A top units,'' Babcock said. “Zetterberg and Datsyuk are going to be a tandem, as will Franzen and Filppula. The wingers can rotate.''

More...

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Comments

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Hockeytown Wax's avatar

“Babcock said his defense pairs will feature Niklas Kronwall-Jonathan Ericsson, Kyle Quincey-Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl-Ian White.”

In no way, shaper or for am I a religious person but, all I can say is ...

say a prayer.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 01/09/13 at 11:03 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

When is the trade deadline?

Posted by w2j2 on 01/09/13 at 11:13 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Amen.  Jimmy is going to see more rubber than the ladies down on Woodward on payday.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 01/09/13 at 11:17 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Goddam Franzen….

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/09/13 at 11:32 PM ET

cigar_nurse's avatar

Somehow Kenny’s logjam of 3rd and 4th liners is going to have to break apart to get another D-man worth a shite. Any ideas?

Posted by cigar_nurse from Greenville South Cakalakee on 01/09/13 at 11:40 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

Talented Gustav Nyquist likely will start the season with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

sigh

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 01/10/13 at 12:10 AM ET

Fugazi's avatar

Looking forward to the Wings coming to San Joe this abbreviated season. Drop that damn puck….

Posted by Fugazi from Bay Area, Left Coast on 01/10/13 at 12:28 AM ET

NIVO's avatar

Talented Gustav Nyquist likely will start the season with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

sigh

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 01/09/13 at 11:10 PM ET

i feel the same way. I’ll take Gus over Mule. Mule MIGHT play, if hes mad every night…............maybe. *shrug* No mailin’ it in this time Mule…....mmmkay?

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 01/10/13 at 12:32 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Watch it, Chief, when the dengue fever goes away, I’ll be back with all sorts of reasonable respon…Wait, that’s our blueline? OH DEAR GOD KENNY TRADE FOR SOMEONE RIGHT F***ING NOW!!!! SAVE ME HOCKEY GAMERA!

See? raspberry

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/10/13 at 12:54 AM ET

shanetx's avatar

Meh.  I’d rather give Nyquist the spot on Pav’s wing than Brunner.  Three guys under six foot on the top line together.  I guess Z’s going to be the one digging the puck out of the corners and going to the front of the net?  That’ll suit his iffy back just great.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 01/10/13 at 01:03 AM ET

shanetx's avatar

To clarify; I’m aware Nyquist is not a big guy either so his being up there doesn’t exactly alleviate that problem.  The sad reality is that with Homer gone, the best fits for playing with Pav and Z are distasteful ones; Franzen, Bertuzzi, Sammy, Cleary.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 01/10/13 at 01:15 AM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

I’m just really happy that Babs is keeping Brunner w/ Zetterberg.  I think they’re going to bring over their chemistry and with Dats on the line, I honestly think that is the best forward line in hockey.  But I’m biased.

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 01/10/13 at 02:17 AM ET

Chet's avatar

Amen.  Jimmy is going to see more rubber than the ladies down on Woodward on payday.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 01/09/13 at 10:17 PM ET

best post of all time.

btw, we ‘re going to be calling for babs’ firing by march if he’s serious.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 01/10/13 at 03:03 AM ET

Avatar

Kindl’s only around til Colaiacovo comes back.

Overall the D isn’t great by any means, but it’s got more guys who focus on defense than it usually does.  The problem there isn’t going to be shots prevented, it’s going to be goals scored.  That’ll be Smith’s responsibility.

Once Colaiacovo comes back I would hope we’ll see a much strong PK rotation than we had last year (18th),

Posted by HockeyinHD on 01/10/13 at 04:27 AM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

I can understand the D pairings as they are ... 1 offencive & 1 defencive except for the Quincey/Smith pair.  As much as Q jumps up into the play it’ll force Smith to be defencive.  When his sholder is serviceable, Coli will probably be paired with White.  I say that for 2 reasons .... 1) because they were both Leafs and 2) they can taunt the now fired Brian Burke in tandem ... lol

It doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar to realize this is NOT what our D will look like going into the playoffs (yeah I know .. its a habit).

There are so many forwards in Grand Rapids ready for NHL action (and I’d be able to name them if FSD would have aired more than 1 fuching game), I’m willing to stick to my guns and still believe Holland will pull off a magical trade that will land us a top 4 Dman and then sign another via free agency next summer.

If you think our D looks odd now without Lidstrom or Stuart, Kronner Smith and Quincey may be the only ones left come October.

Take lots of pictures ... changes will be-a-comin’.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 01/10/13 at 06:18 AM ET

Avatar

Meh.  I’d rather give Nyquist the spot on Pav’s wing than Brunner.

Until Z & Brunner prove that their play together during the lockout was a fluke, I want Brunner on that line.

Posted by Garth on 01/10/13 at 08:28 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

All of this will change after five minutes of bad hockey. Wouldn’t think too hard about it.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 01/10/13 at 09:25 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Take lots of pictures ... changes will be-a-comin’.

And what talent will we trade for that upgrade?

Posted by MoreShoot on 01/10/13 at 09:36 AM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Talented Gustav Nyquist likely will start the season with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Un-f*cking-believable.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned trying to figure out Babcock/Holland-speak, it’s that the worst “compliment” they can give a young player is that he’s “NHL-ready.”

That almost exclusively means there’s no way in hell he’s making the team.

 

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 01/10/13 at 10:18 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Hockey’s back, bitches!

For those of you strong-willed enough to boycott the game, I say good on you. Not me. I’ll watch every game possible, and read every story that can fit into one day. Probably buy a new Wings and and shirt, too.

Hello, my name is Red Winger, and I’m an NHL Hockey Whore

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 01/10/13 at 10:21 AM ET

Avatar

All of this will change after five minutes of bad hockey. Wouldn’t think too hard about it.

It’ll change after 5 minutes of good hockey. smile

Un-f*cking-believable.

Not really.  Nyqvist shouldn’t be playing ahead of D, Z, Fil, Franzen, Bert, Sammy or Brunner… Cleary, Miller, Helm, Abby, and Tootoo are all important defensive/PK forwards who Nyqvist couldn’t adequately replace… and if Mursak or Emmerton were waived they might get claimed.  Mursak definitely, Emmerton possibly.

That’s your 14 forward spots.  The 7 d slots are obvious, and the 2 goalie slots are obvious.  Bam.  A full 23.

If it were up to me I’d waive Emmerton anyway, but I’m not going to make a big stinky about the Wings not doing that when even if they did bring Nyqvist up it’s not like he’d end up playing anywhere but the third line.  He’s not playing ahead of Sammy or Fil or Franzen… so what’s left?  Skating on a third line with Helm and Tootoo?  Yippee.

Nothing prevents the Wings from making a future roster move if a guy or two isn’t getting it done.  Making that move now, before it’s even obvious it needs to happen, it jumping the gun.

 

Posted by HockeyinHD on 01/10/13 at 10:51 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

I want Gus!  (or Goose, or Nyquil, or whatever we are calling him)

Hockey’s back, bitches!

For those of you strong-willed enough to boycott the game, I say good on you. Not me. I’ll watch every game possible, and read every story that can fit into one day. Probably buy a new Wings and and shirt, too.

Hello, my name is Red Winger, and I’m an NHL Hockey Whore

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 01/10/13 at 09:21 AM ET

Love it.  I’m not boycotting the game, just not giving any more money to the NHL.  If I cave, I’ll be the first to admit I fell off the wagon.

cool smile

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 01/10/13 at 11:14 AM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Posted by HockeyinHD on 01/10/13 at 09:51 AM ET

Meh, I guess. I just feel bad for the guy, and I’m not convinced he (and the team) wouldn’t benefit from some 3rd or 4th line duty.

It’s gotta be a huge disappointment, especially considering he was getting top line minutes last year.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 01/10/13 at 11:16 AM ET

Avatar

Skating on a third line with Helm and Tootoo?

Yes.  Abso-*#$%@&-lutely.  Boy, wouldn’t it be a terrible thing to have an offensive threat on the third line?  But no, instead we’ll get broken Danny Cleary and unesless-without-Datsyuk Bert on the third line with Helm.

Yippee.

Posted by Garth on 01/10/13 at 11:29 AM ET

dougie's avatar

Maybe he will keep Pavs and Z together longer than 2 periods because Uncle Mike knows he is going to need to win 5-4 games. There may not be too many 2-1 victories with our “D”.

Posted by dougie on 01/10/13 at 11:30 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Welcome aboard, Hippy Dave.  I can’t promise anything but this was my accumulation before the recycling truck came around when the Wings were on a losing streak ....  For a couple of days.

Wings on a losing streak

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 01/10/13 at 11:45 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Bert and Helm have great chemistry and Cleary, when healthy brings a transitional grit to the lineup that the Wings have lacked (thanks to Cleary’s injuries) since probably the last time Samuelsson was on the team.

When Cleary’s not healthy, it’s an easy choice to replace him in the lineup…hopefully.

Nyquist is again the victim of being the guy who doesn’t yet have waiver eligibility. I’d still rather see him in the lineup.  Either way, the Wings have 16 forwards and 6 healthy D-men. I’m extremely interested to see what happens in the next week roster-wise.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/10/13 at 11:46 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

And 42Jeff hauling out the pasty white ginger Bitches already!

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 01/10/13 at 11:46 AM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 01/10/13 at 10:45 AM ET

The famous febreeze pic, although I didn’t notice the baby powder the first time you posted the pic.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 01/10/13 at 11:58 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Hey there’s the Febreeze!

I was going to comment on a couple of those above, but they are all sponge worthy, if not rubber worthy.

So just plus up on everything above.

I know people on web sites write for a living because they don’t know as much as they think they do ( Heck, it appears many of them don’t know as much as we do ) and would never be hired professionally, but Bleacher Report did a What If run down of the Wings and pretty much stated that NyQuil needs to be on the second line, or higher.  And by that they did not mean on the Griffins.

I agree with that first line group, however, based on Brunner never having played one second in the NHL it still seems wise.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 01/10/13 at 11:59 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 01/10/13 at 10:45 AM ET

Hopslam is coming, very soon.

Posted by MoreShoot on 01/10/13 at 12:00 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

The famous febreeze pic, although I didn’t notice the baby powder the first time you posted the pic.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 on 01/10/13 at 10:58 AM ET

Yes the baby powder is still there.  It’s covering a whole on the top of the sink where a dish spray nozzle used to be, now incorporated on a newer faucet head.  I understand they sell a cheap plug for those holes, but I found it useful to keep the baby powder downstairs in the kitchen if I start chafing from actions resulting from 42Jeff’s Pasty Ginger Bitches photos.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 01/10/13 at 12:05 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Either way, the Wings have 16 forwards and 6 healthy D-men. I’m extremely interested to see what happens in the next week roster-wise.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/10/13 at 10:46 AM ET

I’m intrigued by your suggestion.  Detroyet have a whole lotta cap space too - -$8.75 M

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 01/10/13 at 12:11 PM ET

RWBill's avatar


Hopslam is coming, very soon.
Posted by MoreShoot on 01/10/13 at 11:00 AM ET

OHHHHHH That is great!  I’m sure I have had that before.  Who makes that?  Lagunitas?  They do some epic variations of high hopped, San Diego / west coast style IPAs.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 01/10/13 at 12:11 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Gosh that last post sounds like I have found the Club car and drank all the booze left over from last season.

Mostly from half finished glasses of swill some still tasted like NyQuil and Gasoline…

Posted by TheRealYooper from within sight of the edge of the Earth. on 01/09/13 at 08:10 PM ET

That made me laugh.

Damn, you’ve made it through the shortest daylight of the winter, just the coldest is yet to come.

As my dad used to say, sitting in the basement on a block of chopped wood with the small door of the wood-fired furnace open, reading paperback soft porn and letting us sip his PBR,

“As the days begin to lengthen the cold begins to strengthen.”

So true.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 01/10/13 at 12:21 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Hello, my name is Red Winger, and I’m an NHL Hockey Whore

Hi, my name is Cal and I’m a Hockeytown John.  Care to get a drink and talk renovating the Hasek? cheese

Posted by calquake on 01/10/13 at 12:34 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Bleacher Report did a What If run down of the Wings and pretty much stated that NyQuil needs to be on the second line, or higher.  And by that they did not mean on the Griffins.

Bleacher Report also did an article exploring the Wings’ cap situation in the upcoming offseason in which they said that the Wings wouldn’t have as much space as it seems because they have to resign both Filppula and Brad Stuart.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/10/13 at 12:37 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

RWBill:

Hopslam is from Bell’s.  And I would respect your picture a lot more if I didn’t see a sixer of Ranger mixed in.  New Belgium makes some good beers, but they are clueless when it comes to IPAs.

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 01/10/13 at 12:39 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Those are probably 22’s of Rangers, so more is better, right?  Not my favorite IPA but still better than anything Budweiser makes, and for an IPA it is one of the more widely available in the last year, and not as expensive.  It’s not as good as Lagunitas HopStoopid but similar.  It will pass in a pinch until I can get to Total Wine to take in a good collection.

Bell’s makes ridiculous beers.  Seems like every style they make becomes one of the best.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 01/10/13 at 01:34 PM ET

The Hurricane's avatar

I’m in Kalamazoo if you need a pusher to connect you to a Bell’s supply.

Posted by The Hurricane on 01/10/13 at 01:47 PM ET

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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