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Abel to Yzerman

Where We Stand

Here’s an opinion.  Anyone agree?

At best, I would say the Wings are maybe at the top of middle of the pack, and if it all evens out after 82 games, probably headed for starting the first round on the road.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd from A. K. A. NostraGrampus on 11/09/10 at 05:03 PM ET

I’m no pharmacist, nor am I a closet Blues fan or admirer of Dave Tippetts, but if the Wings were to begin the playoffs on the road one of the following four teams would have to finish ahead of us:

Anaheim, Chicago, Columbus, Minnesota.  See a chance of that happening?  I mean, I know we’re a “middle of the pack” team.  And I know playing devil’s advocate is a nifty pasttime for some, but can any of you really see any of those four teams finishing in front of the Wings?  Or any of these? Dallas, San Jose, Phoenix, Denver, Calgary, Nashville?  They’re all below the St. Louis line now, missing the playoffs if they started today. 

And speaking of St. Louis, since that’s the message Gramps has been trying to pass to us the last couple weeks, are we ready for a coronation in November?  They’ve had a great start: 20 out of a possible 24 points.  Great goaltender.  Young, aggressive team.  Another coach Gramps is gonna claim is better than Uncle Mike.  All the ingredients, eh? 

Yep, everything necessary to get all the bitter bitch Blues fans lifting weights a few hours before game time so they can “feel alive”.  And all the ingredients that could very easily have us giggling like school girls when their souls are crushed for like the 40th consecutive year.

It’s November and the Wings won on Monday on real tired legs after getting four of six in Western Canada.  And now we’ll be lucky to secure home-ice in the first round?

Okaaay.

If you’re looking for something to legitimately worry about?  Don’t let it be the power play.  Not now, not with that talent.  If you want to start rocking in puddles of your own urine, consider just how bad this could have been….

image

Yeah.  Vomit on that shit.  If Jimmy Howard goes down? We’re in trouble.  Trouble like, “miss the playoffs” trouble?  Fuch no.  We’re not Chicago or Pittsburgh.  Sitting pretty with 17 points after 17 games or 15 after 15.  Now that’s trouble.  But if Jimmah hits the shelf for an extended period of time we would be talking some pain.  Pain to the tune of at least three goals allowed. Every game. Consistently.  But even with the mediocre goaltending we’d be stuck with minus Howard, this team has enough talent to overcome a loss like that.  For a while.

We’re healthy.  We have an established sniper riding pine and the best four lines in hockey.  With Rafalski back, our blue line is as deep as anyone’s.  Big Rig looked good the other night and why shouldn’t we be optimistic that he can regain the form we saw two years ago?  Kronwall looks as offensively engergized as we’ve ever seen him.  Our PK is the best in hockey and I don’t care what the stats say.  No one is better on the kill than Eaves, Miller and Helm. And no one is as dangerous as Datsyuk and Zetterberg, even though Uncle Mike doesn’t play them as much as he used to.  And they never take penalties.  Our best killers stay out of the box.

Oh, and Draper’s still out?  What a quandary.

But, yeah, we’re “middle of the pack” and holy hell we’ll be starting on the road?  Shhheeeeeyitttttt.  I dig you Gramps, but that’s taking it a little far.

 

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Comments

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SK77's avatar

At best, I would say the Wings are maybe at the top of middle of the pack, and if it all evens out after 82 games, probably headed for starting the first round on the road.

that’s the stupidest thing I’ve read today – and that says a lot as I’ve already been up for two hours reading the morning news

Posted by SK77 on 11/10/10 at 12:31 PM ET

WICNMKYzerman's avatar

Well this is my first comment, but I’ve been reading for a while and all I can say is that you must be tired of talking about how much better the Wings are than anyone else to even entertain a BS post asking if we think the Wings will start the playoffs on the road.  I don’t know how many times we have to listen to the “up and coming” young team with good goaltending that is going to finally topple the beast in the West.  Nashville…Columbus…now its St. Louis?  Laughable.  St. Louis will finish as a bottom 3 playoff team in the west.  Peaking in November is what teams that have no idea what it means to play meaningful hockey in April do.

Posted by WICNMKYzerman from Detroit, MI on 11/10/10 at 12:32 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

BBBB has no depth. Have you watched a Rivermen game? If they lose a big piece (Oshie, Halak), it’s going to show. They had a great start - one of the best of the league in recent memory, but it’s a long season full of bumps and bruises. The cup is in June, not November.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 11/10/10 at 12:35 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

Well this is my first comment, but I’ve been reading for a while and all I can say is that you must be tired of talking about how much better the Wings are than anyone else

I’m tired of a lot of things. That’s not one of them.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 11/10/10 at 12:37 PM ET

WICNMKYzerman's avatar

I’m tired of a lot of things. That’s not one of them.

Yeah I know, but you know what I meant.

Posted by WICNMKYzerman from Detroit, MI on 11/10/10 at 12:42 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

Yeah I know, but you know what I meant.

Posted by WICNMKYzerman from Detroit, MI on 11/10/10 at 09:42 AM ET

Yep, I gotcha.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 11/10/10 at 12:47 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

http://blues.nhl.com/club/schedule.htm

take a peek at who BBBB has beaten. Once they play some tough teams and win in regulation, I’ll take them seriously.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 11/10/10 at 12:51 PM ET

Sullyosis's avatar

Down Goes Howard.  Never want to see that again…

Posted by Sullyosis from A hateful lair in Post Apocalyptic US (or Arizona) on 11/10/10 at 01:08 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Peaking in November is what teams that have no idea what it means to play meaningful hockey in April do.

+19

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/10/10 at 01:17 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

HTT has been drinking the blue kool-aid way too heavily. For a man that is generally wise, I would expect he’d know you can’t really judge a team a dozen games in.

Hell, the way the league has since they added the OT point, you can hardly make judgments after 20 games. At best, after 20 games, you know which two or three teams are definitely not going to the playoffs, and MAYBE you can tell which two or three teams are at the top of the NHL, or will at least be in the conversation most of the year.

Right now the Blues are flying high, and deserve praise. But they are not scoring much, and have a defense that while talented, is filled with inexperience—and unless you’re Drew Doughty, you don’t just step in and dominate on defense. Hell, even Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook took a small handful of years to really grow up, and both players followed a track and expectations similar to the Blues’ young pair.

Also, tell me, what was the most Halak has ever played in a single regular season? The answer is 43 starts, and that was last season. And tell me, did he look tired in that series against Philly? Compare him to our own Jimmah, who started 61 games last season, and was clearly worn into the ground come the playoffs.

The point of all this is that the Blues are riding high on great goaltending that everyone just expects is going to last. But when you look at Halak’s body of work, this is totally uncharted territory for him. And when he gets tired or has a bad stretch, then how good does that young defense look? And if the defense slips or a key injury happens back there, can the BBBBs score enough to make up for it and keep themselves from sliding back dramatically? They haven’t scored much at all this year.

And lastly, we know nothing about their coach. He had a nice half-season last year. Can he keep it going? Or does the luster wear off quickly, something like our buddy Pepto in Pittsburgh?

Bottom line, the difference between the BBBBs and the Wings is that if you want to make claims about the Wings being “favorites,” not only can you look at this season’s record, but you can look at a long history and track record of their core players, their coaching staff, and management.

With the Blues, they don’t have players with a track record. They don’t have a coach with a history of NHL success. And they definitely don’t have a management team with it. So, basically, all you can figure out about the Blues at any given point is how they’re playing lately, and it’s really unrealistic to project that over the course of another 65+ games.

St. Louis is in the “Show Me State” so it seems an appropriate point of view to take with the Blues, doesn’t it?

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 11/10/10 at 01:18 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Here’s an opinion.  Anyone agree?

Nope.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 11/10/10 at 01:21 PM ET

Triple Deke Tyler's avatar

At best, I would say the Wings are maybe at the top of middle of the pack, and if it all evens out after 82 games, probably headed for starting the first round on the road.

Hmm. Huh.

I respect the HTT.  But this has a familiar ring to it:  Says you can’t judge positive outcomes because of sample size/quality, and then ignore sample size and quality to determine a (relatively, in this case) negative outcome.

Posted by Triple Deke Tyler from Lansing on 11/10/10 at 01:26 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

But, yeah, we’re “middle of the pack” and holy hell we’ll be starting on the road?  Shhheeeeeyitttttt.  I dig you Gramps, but that’s taking it a little far.

I re-read my comment several times and couldn’t find where I said it couldn’t change..
Also did not see any mention of the Blues.
It was as much a comment about what can be surmised from diagnosing the stat sheets.
I believe it started out with this..

Stats lie….before cherry picking stats, you should consider them all, and at this point in the season it is especially important to consider the quality of the competition.

You miss a lot with your Red Wings only policy…..
Evidence:

Anaheim, Chicago, Columbus, Minnesota.  See a chance of that happening?  I mean, I know we’re a “middle of the pack” team.  And I know playing devil’s advocate is a nifty pasttime for some, but can any of you really see any of those four teams finishing in front of the Wings?  Or any of these? Dallas, San Jose, Phoenix, Denver, Calgary, Nashville?  They’re all below the St. Louis line now, missing the playoffs if they started today.

You might have better started out mentioning ANA winning 5 of their last 7 and also that 4 of those wins were against very good teams.
Or perhaps
The Wild, winning 4 of their last 5.

The Central is the toughest Div to play in and the Wings will have only played 2 of 14 games there.

And speaking of St. Louis, since that’s the message Gramps has been trying to pass to us the last couple weeks, are we ready for a coronation in November?

I simply picked Boucher, and Payne as top candidates for the Jack Adams.  (and your picks…?)
I did not hand either one of them the cup, or even say they would finish ahead of the Wings.

Monday’s win was ugly, you might even classify it as undeserved.  The sad truth is… that a couple of those in a row is usually the beginning of a losing streak.

You mention PP worries, but I only mentioned the Stats.  Another sad fact is that a strong PP often gets you nothing in the final rounds if penalties are not called.  A good PP and you are at the mercy of the officials.  ESG is the key, we are not getting enough and giving up too many.
Where the hell are the SHG’s.

The Wings are still giving up too many SOG.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 11/10/10 at 01:30 PM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

I’ll have to disagree. I’d say we’re an elite team near the top AND we’re going to get better. 3rd in goals per game, yet 11th in goals allowed. Even without the goals against coming down a bit, I’d say we’re starting at the Joe, but I do believe we’ll finish higher than 11th in that regard.

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 11/10/10 at 01:32 PM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

The Wings are still giving up too many SOG.

true….we’re giving up an avg of 27.8, but I’ve gotta think with Rafalski back that should drop down a bit.

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 11/10/10 at 01:35 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

I respect the HTT.  But this has a familiar ring to it:  Says you can’t judge positive outcomes because of sample size/quality, and then ignore sample size and quality to determine a (relatively, in this case) negative outcome.
Posted by Triple Deke Tyler

Exactly
Thank you

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 11/10/10 at 01:35 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Having a 9-3-1 record with a “work in progress” mentality to line chemistry and having the talent to shake off 40 minutes of shitty hockey to win in OT against a (grudgingly acknowledged) decent team with the best forecheck in the league I suppose has me believing that when this team gives a damn, they win.

We know who’s on this team and what they can do. We also know the team itself hasn’t played one complete game yet. I’m not worried. Not one iota.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 11/10/10 at 01:35 PM ET

pgoody's avatar

Late at night… when no one is around… I like to play as St Louis on NHL ‘11… shhhhhhhh… its our little secret…

Posted by pgoody on 11/10/10 at 01:37 PM ET

Triple Deke Tyler's avatar

You might have better started out mentioning ANA winning 5 of their last 7 and also that 4 of those wins were against very good teams.

The Wings are still giving up too many SOG.

If I was starting out mentioning anything about Anaheim, it would be their dead-last ranking in SOG.

Posted by Triple Deke Tyler from Lansing on 11/10/10 at 01:45 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I simply picked Boucher, and Payne as top candidates for the Jack Adams.  (and your picks…?)
I did not hand either one of them the cup, or even say they would finish ahead of the Wings.

I don’t have quite the nose for going back and picking out which of your comments you’ve made in previous posts, but you did say that the Blues were the team to beat in the West.

I mean, you didn’t qualify that with a “right now”, but when pressed, you went on about how Payne and Halak made all the difference.

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

Triple Deke Tyler's avatar

If I was starting out mentioning anything about Anaheim, it would be their dead-last ranking in SOG.

Shots against, rather.  Derrr.

Posted by Triple Deke Tyler from Lansing on 11/10/10 at 01:46 PM ET

Triple Deke Tyler's avatar

Exactly
Thank you

You’re welc—Hey wait a minute.  Go on….

Posted by Triple Deke Tyler from Lansing on 11/10/10 at 01:52 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

The Wings are on pace to win 56 games. This is with all of us knowing full well they are giving up too many shots and haven’t had the entire team clicking offensively yet. We all know there is more talent on the roster than the performance on the ice dictates.

The team will get better. But we also know better play doesn’t necessarily translate to better results. So I’d say a realistic expectation is for our guys to win between 46 - 52 games. The low end of that puts them in the middle of the pack, just like last season. The high end puts them, likely, first in the division and conference. This is just based on historical results.

There are a lot of factors we can’t control, like injuries. But that’s not a reason to say the Wings will finish middle of the pack, or to say that they won’t. It’s a reason to say, “Shit, this is too much of a variable”, so if we’re going to make predictions, we either have to throw it out altogether as a qualification on the prediction, or leave a margin of error, like my 46 - 52 prediction.

The way I look at it, they are more talented than last year. Thus far, they are healthier. Even if they experienced a similar injury crisis, they should do no worse than their results last season. Obviously, it is dependent on the players that suffer the injuries, which is impossible to predict, so what’s the point worrying about it or considering it in this discussion?

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 11/10/10 at 02:05 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

I mean, you didn’t qualify that with a “right now”, but when pressed, you went on about how Payne and Halak made all the difference.
Posted by J.J. from Kansas

That would be all the difference in the turnaround
and
The Blues are currently, still, the team to beat in the West.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 11/10/10 at 02:05 PM ET

MarkK's avatar

Peaking in November is what teams that have no idea what it means to play meaningful hockey in April do.


Just wanted to point out…. As of November 19th, 2007, the Wings were 1st in the Western Conference.  As I recall, they weren’t exactly peaking that February.  Not that I don’t agree with you on principle.

Posted by MarkK from Maryland on 11/10/10 at 02:09 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

So, Gramps.  Since you’ve told us that’s not what you did say, I’m asking what you are saying.

Do you think the Wings will finish within the 5-8 spots in the West?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/10/10 at 02:10 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

So, Gramps.  Since you’ve told us that’s not what you did say, I’m asking what you are saying.
Posted by J.J.

That is what analyzing the stats (after only playing against 8 teams) says.

Do you think the Wings will finish within the 5-8 spots in the West?

How many SOG will they have given up by that time, or how many games will Joey MacDonald played in net, HOW MANY….How many…..how many….how maa-aaa-ny….
I believe Nathan covered that quite well

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 11/10/10 at 02:24 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I’m not asking for stats, I’m asking for feelings.  How do you feel the Wings will finish?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/10/10 at 02:25 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

The Blues are currently, still, the team to beat in the West.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd from A. K. A. NostraGrampus on 11/10/10 at 11:05 AM ET

Ummm. No they’re not.  The Detroit Red Wings are.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 11/10/10 at 02:27 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

I don’t have quite the nose for going back and picking out which of your comments you’ve made in previous posts, but you did say that the Blues were the team to beat in the West.

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

As the Chief said “Juvenilicity is hard, hard work.”  Thought I’d ease his work load for him.

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 11/10/10 at 02:32 PM ET

Triple Deke Tyler's avatar

That is what analyzing the stats (after only playing against 8 teams) says.

You read funny.

Posted by Triple Deke Tyler from Lansing on 11/10/10 at 02:33 PM ET

Sullyosis's avatar

I don’t want to delve to deeply into the dark discussions brought forth by my delirious, delusional Red Wings friends too much, but I summed up my thoughts on NOHS and I’ll save you the energy of and time of clicking over there by saying:

Colorado was on a better pace after 13 games last year.  Anyone like to recall where they finished?

Now I’m sure Coachy McBlues is a better coach than Jo Sacco (wait, that’s his real name?) but c’mon.  Way too early to be saying St. Louis is as good as their record indicates.

That being said, TJ Oshie’s World and Alex (c*m) Steen are on my fantasy team.  So here’s to hoping they pick up the offense and Halak doesn’t have to stand on his misshaped head each night.

Posted by Sullyosis from A hateful lair in Post Apocalyptic US (or Arizona) on 11/10/10 at 02:49 PM ET

hockeychic's avatar

The Habs really messed up in letting Halak go.  St. Louis is still a young team and I will be curious to see where they are later in the season when it really starts to grind.

Posted by hockeychic from Denver, CO on 11/10/10 at 02:59 PM ET

CaptNorris5's avatar

Rabble! Rabble, rabble!

Posted by CaptNorris5 from The Winged Wheel, stuck in Chicago on 11/10/10 at 03:12 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Technically speaking, the Blues are the team to beat at this very point in time. They are leading the division, therefore, they are the team to beat.

I don’t see the value in even saying this though… it’s painfully literal and obvious.

I’m going to try and end this discussion. Look at talent. Look at coaching. Look at management. Save for injuries, which are unpredictable and almost always uncontrollable, talent + coaching + management = the Red Wings are in control of their own destiny. That’s what I believe. Inferior talent can’t keep up over 82 games. If the effort is there and half our team doesn’t die again this season, it’s up to the Wings where they finish in the division.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 11/10/10 at 03:30 PM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

Oh by the way, the all-star game is completely changing..

From the Toronto Sun:

http://www.torontosun.com/sports/hockey/2010/11/09/16057896.html

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 11/10/10 at 03:35 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

Posted by Nathan from the chiropractor on 11/10/10 at 12:30 PM ET

QFT

Thank you

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 11/10/10 at 03:36 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

The bLose have really only been playing scrub teams so far.  They’ve got to OT/SO a bunch and only had 5 of 12 games that were at all decisive. I’m not saying they aren’t good, but they aren’t as good as their w/l stat looks right now.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 11/10/10 at 03:44 PM ET

edillac's avatar

what an overreaction,
we are not great,that is obvious, but the Blues certainly wont win the cup,
but if the Wings dont get better,there is no telling who will eliminate them, but elimination will be quite possible

diplomatic as hell,yo

Posted by edillac from isolation on 11/10/10 at 03:54 PM ET

TheRealYooper's avatar

Late at night… when no one is around… I like to play as St Louis on NHL ‘11… shhhhhhhh… its our little secret…

Posted by pgoody on 11/10/10 at 10:37 AM ET

blasphemy!!!!!!!!!

Posted by TheRealYooper from within sight of the edge of the Earth. on 11/10/10 at 04:00 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