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Abel to Yzerman

Wednesday Deep Digging

Last week the St. Paul Pioneer Press' Tom Powers said the Wings play "Eurohockey." I'm not that smart, but I'm guessing Mr. Powers meant the Wings seem to avoid conflict. Well, Danny Markov's European. And tonite, he'll be playing. So maybe Mr. Powers will have reason to mend his thinking. I think Mike Babcock, based on the caffeinated rant below, is pleased. Khan(!)/MLive
"Markov and Kronner (defenseman Niklas Kronwall), we need them both playing and playing good so (opponents) aren't comfortable, so someone's getting run,'' Babcock said. "You can't manufacture that. When you don't have that ability, you don't have that ability. When we have those two guys in, guys on the other team have to keep their head up. If they got two scoring lines, you got two guys on two different (pairings) that just might be hunting them down through the neutral zone or in your zone, which is really positive for our team.''
Yep. When you don't have that ability...you just don't have that ability

Nick Lidstrom, one up on Babcock since English is his second language, translates for us.

“He’s always in opponents’ faces and is tough to play against,’’ Lidstrom said. “The other team knows when he’s on the ice. He can make that big open-ice hit.’‘

Babcock gushed over the idea of a healthy roster, anticipating a Samuelsson return tonite as well.  I went ahead and consolidated a few quotes from the coach. This is the most coherent interpretation.

Babcock Consolidation Quote, 12-27-06

“Sammy’s back, back with us, back tonite and could be back for the Minnesota game which is tonite..a back-to-back-to-back Jack.  Everyone’s back except for Kopecky who’s got the back thing. Well it’s really not a back it’s a collarbone so he’s not back, won’t be back until he says he’s back.  Sammy’s definitely ready to go, at least he was at the morning skate, yesterday’s not today’s.  Love the morning skate. Like to skate.  Everyone likes to skate around Christmas. I had ham for dinner.”

As for Samuelsson…he’s not quite as positive as his coach regarding his return.

Kulfan/Detroit News

He said he first wants to push it with a strenuous morning skate today.

“Let’s see how it reacts,” Samuelsson said. “It felt fine (Tuesday). I didn’t really push it, though, because I haven’t been on the ice for six days.”

Hmmm…now if Powers wanted to talk about Eurohockey.  Who said that? Me?

I’m thinking Powers and the rest of the Minny DD’s have other things on their minds, though…like blasting their team for last night’s loss in TO.

Michael Russo/Minneapolis Star Tribune

It’s getting pathetic, really.

Another road game, another sorry, same-old-story performance for the Wild, which teased and teased Tuesday night before predictably disintegrating in the end to stretch its already-franchise-record road losing streak to nine games, this time by a 4-3 score to a slumping Maple Leafs team that was ripe for the taking.

Bruce Brothers/St. Paul Pioneer Press

The swoon continues.

A goal by Jeff O’Neill at 17:42 of the third period delivered a 4-3 Toronto Maple Leafs victory over the Wild in front of 19,355 at the Air Canada Centre on Tuesday night, extending the Wild’s virtual helplessness on the road to 40 days.

“I thought we played just a terrible game,” Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said after his team suffered its franchise-record ninth consecutive road loss.

But while Minnesota has not won away from home since Nov. 16, Lemaire found a new category for this one: “One of our worst games.”

Well, don’t let the fun stop there Jacques.  Bring that ineptitude to Hockeytown. We’ll have a party.  Our European goalie Dom will be the master of ceremonies.  Babcock attempted to explain his goaltender rotation to George Sipple.

Sipple/Free Press

When Babcock was asked if team officials had talked about Hasek getting back-to-back games, he said: “For this next while, with all these games, it’s going to be opposite. They’re just going to split.”

I didn’t make that one up…just the opposite, in fact.


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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