Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Way West Deep Digging

Here’s a preview of some of the stories you’ll see out of Canada tomorrow, as well as an ESPN ditty that tries to portray the Flames as underdogs…which, of course, the rest of the hockey world knows is just crazy talk.

Darryl Sutter may not be behind the Calgary bench anymore (much to the chagrin of a few Flame bloggers), but he’s still providing that warm and fuzzy motivation.

“Both Dion and his partner haven’t played exceptionally well since the first of the year when you look at it,” said Sutter. “You’ve got to hope the experience (of the ’06 playoffs) helps Dion. The experience doesn’t help Hammer, he’s got lots of it.

“Hammer is a guy who’s been around a while but doesn’t have much playoff experience and Dion’s a second-year guy who doesn’t have much playoff experience. This is where they’re going to be measured.”

For more on Phaneuf and his “partner”, check out Gloveside.

Jim Playfair is under a big, red microscope in Calgary.  Not the most popular fella, as pointed out above…and feeling the heat.

When Sutter gave up coaching to concentrate on his general manager duties with the Flames, it was assumed Playfair would be the anti-Darryl; the kinder, gentler coach who willingly handled the media chores and was liked by all.

But early on, captain Jarome Iginla dropped a word of caution when asked to compare the new boss with the old boss: “They’re a lot more alike than you think.”

And, finally, the Calgary Herald’s George Johnson, in a special to ESPN says the Flames are the underdogs, the “disrespected”, the little team that possibly could.  Frigging spare me.  Read on if you must.

In Hockeytown, fans are convinced the Red Wings are more than ready to repel this Flames challenge. Players are getting healthy at the right time and the team is bulked up for the run by Dominik Hasek in goal and Todd Bertuzzi to add size and muscle.

Five games, maybe six, at the outside.

“Oh, we’re the underdogs all right,” Calgary center Craig Conroy said. “But we like it that way.”

Five games?  Hockeytown’s predicting five games?  Please.  Hockeytown’s predicting antacids, if anything.  Nice research, George.

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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