Abel to Yzerman
by IwoCPO on 02/14/12 at 07:09 PM ET
Updated at 0141 15 Feb Carrier Standard Time: Herm asked in the comments below if I have a comment regarding a certain player I won’t type the name of who currently resides and plays in a certain pisspot of a town south of the border. No comment now. No comment tomorrow or ever until providence delivers that big horse to our door. I’ve jinxed so much for so long. No. I won’t say it. But, please, Tick Tock…just this once. Get Dombrowski on the phone if you have to. There. That’s all I’m gonna say about Rick Nash.
Win or lose tonite against the Original Bubba, one thing can’t be disputed: no Red Wing team has ever been as dominant at Joe Louis Arena as this team is right now, or has been this season. Back when the 19 was just a gleam in the eyes of sinister bastards like RWBill and the elusive Gramps, the Joe was a house of sin. Poor pathetic little sisters like St. Louis and Denver, Nashville and San Jose (remember when they couldn’t win a damn thing in our Manger?) feared the Joe because they knew they’d leave soiled and violated.
The last few years saw a change in that, though. In dark corners of The Hasek we talked amongst ourselves and whispered the bad things. We wondered about motivation and grit and, ugh, leadership…as if we know a damn thing about what it takes to lead a hockey team. Oh, don’t get all redolent on me. We all talked about it, and I probably spewed that garbage more than most. We wondered about The Swede and our Uncle Mike. The last two years the Wings won more than they lost at home but big frigging deal. Plenty of teams win more than they lose at home.
But the Wings haven’t dominated at the Joe like baby Jesus promised us they would. Last year Detroit won 21 games at home. An interesting number considering what they’ll try to accomplish tonite…in February. Think about that. Detroit goes for their 21st straight victory with two months left in the regular season. The streak itself would equal the number of games they won at home last year: period. ‘09/10? 25 wins. 23 already this year. 27 home wins the year before that. A number this year’s team should surpass no later than early, early March.
Something’s going on with this team, this year. Krupa, with his vocabulary, noticed it yesterday and wrote about it in between sonnets and Latin classes. In yet another article that has me warily wondering if maybe he can’t be coined the new Anti-Digger, Krupa tells us this might be Detroit deciding getting booed in their own barn is just not the Wing way.
But the will to please their fans, or, at least not to hear their displeasure, merely underlined an imperative realization. To play deeper into the playoffs, the Red Wings had to correct their problems at home.
There it is. Oh, dealing with the boos sucks I suppose. Although when the drive home takes you to million dollar mansions I kinda think the displeasure of the fan base is softened a bit. No, Krupa nailed it when he told us the real reason: if glory is to rest where we know it belongs, then winning at home is the only sure-fired recipe. Home ice advantage. Not just in Round 1 or 2. But 3 and then, by God, 4. You want San Jose again? Nifty. I’d like that too. But I want them at the Joe when it matters the most. Bow down to Gordie before you take that ice for Game 7, Joe. Bow, bitch.
Streak or no streak. Home ice all the way through is the ultimate goal. 8 wins at home in the postseason and we’re talking a real strong parade possibility. 10 and you can pack your coolers for a long, blissful day in downtown Hockeytown around 10 June. Home ice is what we need and it’s the decree that rules all others.
Here’s a few other ditties, just to show you I pay attention:
Hank Zetterberg can go scoreless every game though mid-April. I don’t care. He can float and he can coast. Back check if he feels like it. Shoot twice a game, all from 20 feet out. I don’t care. I don’t care as long as Playoff Hank shows up when he’s supposed to. I think he’s earned that. I think he’s earned that benefit of the doubt. I know what February does to us. I get it. We stress, no matter what. Best record in the league. Greatest display of home dominance in hockey history. Best team defense we’ve seen in three years. Best goaltending we’ve seen since 2002 and probably even before that. But we’ll bitch because it’s all we know to do in February. The playoffs are too far away and too much can go wrong. We were born to stress and stress we shall. But until Henrik Zetterberg proves to me that he doesn’t have what it takes to lead this team when it matters the most, I’m inclined to cut him some slack.
Tick Tock Kenny Holland is not going to deal for a backup goaltender. Not now. Not in two weeks and, get this, not in two years. Joey MacDonald’s your backup goalie for the long-term future. If 15 million’s the number Holland has to spend at the deadline (and I saw that somewhere but have no link or any idea if it’s accurate. I may have dreamt it) not a cent is going toward a goaltender. He needs a sniper and he knows it. I’m still thinking it’s Selanne.
Finally, compared to special teams performance the identity of our backup goalie is a frigging speck in the milky way that it is the brain of one Michael Ophelius Babcock. If that power play doesn’t get going and I mean going at a clip that sends sick chills down the spines of potential playoff enemies, nothing’s gonna matter anyway. I don’t care what Boston did last year with their garbage power play. The Wings are built to make dirty teams pay dearly. Guys are gonna get run and the man-games lost are gonna be disgusting come May if power play goals don’t start becoming the norm instead of the exception.
It’s a Live Blog, bitches. And we’re running it way early so Primis and JJ can start anew. You know the kids get scared when mom and dad are fighting.
21’s a nice number but flip that fucher around so we can let the puppies loose on Woodward.
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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