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Abel to Yzerman

Wings Sweep 2-0

Holy frigging jumpin’.  I predicted a Wing series win, but a sweep?  C’mon, that’s crazy talk.  At no point could I have foreseen that.  No one in their right mind could have looked at this series, listened to the MSM, viewed recent Red Wing playoff failure and seen this coming…a sweep.  Man, that’s exactly what we needed.  More time for Stillwuzzi to rest his noggin, Z his back, Chelios his every bone in his body.  A sweep does us wonders and I’m just so very thankful for it.

Wait one. Phone call.

Me: “Hello.”
Someone else: “Did you say the word ‘ho’ yesterday on your blog?”
Me: “Yes. Don Ho died. It was a tribute.”
Someone else: “You’re an idiot and stop with the sweep thing. One sentence would have been funny, now it’s just old.  Shut up and move on.”

And so we shall.

Despite my ramblings, this thing is not going to end in a sweep.  Could that be me being so superstitious that I’m going in an opposite direction just to avoid tempting fate? Yes.  But it’s also realistic.  Jesus though…51-15?  I was lucky for a storm in the NE and flight delays that let me watch the first two periods.  Naturally, the first ten minutes looked lopsided, but when I saw the shot totals after one I was actually surprised at the disparity, 23-6. 

Two things I’ve missed the boat on that were brought up in comments to the Ho-post yesterday, and dammit I thought of both of them and never posted it.  Believe that if you will, but I thought of them first so any of you geniuses out there who think you’re smarter than me can just stow that idea.

First: when I heard that Valteri Filpulla scored the put-away goal yesterday, the first thing I thought was, “That boy’s the Finnish Slava Kozlov, a playoff stud.”
Naturally, Hoser said practically the same thing in his post-game comments….”...any chance Filppula is the reincarnation of Kozlov?”

Yeah, Hoser. He might be. Too bad you didn’t think of it first though.  I did.

Secondarilistically: after Game 1 I was reading the Flame blogs and message boards where Hemlock, gas-filled garages and other suicidal techniques went hand-in-hand with discussion about whether Dion Phaneuf was actually the father of A.N. Smith’s love spawn.  After I got done shaking my head like a sage elitist observer, wondering how fans can get so upset over a playoff loss, I actually thought this:  “If Playfair’s that bad, and Sutter is such a hard-ass genius, I wonder if he’ll replace him with…himself.”  Word for frigging word, those were my thoughts. 

Yeah, well…look at Hoser the show-off trying to look all smart, trying to steal my thunder and pointing us to Big Bob McKenzie.
“Holy Schnikey!  The Canadian MSM has gone off the deep end, eh?”

perhaps this is to be expected, because the Flames have been a terrible road team and you’re never really in trouble in a playoff series until you lose on home ice.

But how the Flames lost their first two games is almost as important as the fact that they lost them.

If I was Darryl Sutter, I would put my best foot forward. The best candidate to go behind the bench right now for the Calgary Flames is their general manager.

I’m not kidding. I thought of that first, I just didn’t say it. I thought it, but didn’t post it.  I’m serious you bastards.  Mine. 

For the record, I hope that doesn’t happen.  We need Jim Playfair like Michigan needed John Cooper.  We don’t need a damn Jim Tressel coming out of the skybox right now.  Nope.

Back to reality, or our version of it.  Any of you thinking sweep better just stop.  What we should be hoping for is a Provincial split.  Cut the shots down to the thirty, thirty-five range in Calgary and expect Kiprusoff to steal one there.  Head back to Hockeytown up 3-1 and finish it in 5 as a certain blogger startlingly predicted.

Impressions:  the signing of Dominik Hasek has proven to be genius.  Even if his daily multi-hour groin massages, not the underway-for-five-months self inflicted kind either you sicko’s, can’t prevent an injury and he goes down in the first minute of Game 3, it should still be viewed as a great move by Holland.  This is a different team than last year.  That’s such an obvious statement that I feel dirty just typing it, but it’s true.

The Wings of last year played to protect their goalie. They played tight and they played scared because they couldn’t expect Legace to bail them out if they made mistakes.  This year, we’re seeing a team playing with a little more abandon.  It’s controlled, but it’s there.  They can afford to be a little reckless because they know their Insane Czech Goalie is back there imagining outlandish fashion designs waiting for the next scoring chance to occur.  He inspires confidence in the Wings and it shows.  Legace inspired nothing.

I love this photo from the Detroit News’ David Guralnick.  Look at Draper and Maltby.  Nothing can say why these guys are so valuable as much as this. 



Guralnick’s a photo stud.  I’ve meant to mention it before, but this guy is incredible. His photography of the Wings has been great all year.  BZ to you tough guy.

It’s too early, but if the Wings win this series you and I are going to have a long talk about Steve Yzerman.  Just giving you a heads-up.

It’s not too early to talk about R. Lang though.  The Enigma is gone after this run. We all know it.  While his teammates are putting forth an effort that deserves all the praise being heaped upon them, Lang continues to coast.  He’s got an assist and 5 shots through two, which isn’t tragic.  His faceoff percentage is 26.7 though and that just sucks. 

It’s never just the stats with Lang though. It’s the body language, the refusal to engage.  I’ve said this before; maybe those of you smarter than me see something Lang’s doing that I’m missing.  If that’s the case, say so.  But, if not, perhaps you can join me in saying that when Brad Stuart ran him yesterday I actually laughed.

Filpulla.  Another nugget. Another frigging nugget landed by Holland’s Euro-scouting staff.  And now Uncle Mike has himself a decision.  8 minutes is clearly not enough time for our young Kozzie-redux (did I just use that word?).

“He’s that good of a player,” Babcock said of Filppula. “He probably wonders why the coach doesn’t get him on the ice more, and the coach wonders that himself. My son told me when I got home after Game 1 I didn’t play Fil enough.”


What to do with Stillwuzzi?  He’s gonna be ready on Tuesday.  And he’s gonna be in there.  You don’t leave a horse like that in the stable if he’s ready to run, and, man, he’ll be ready.  That psycho SOB has got to be chomping at the bit to get in there and share some violence.  The Wings outhit Calgary AGAIN yesterday, 35-33, but Bertuzzi would seal that statistical deal.  Who sits though?  Who does Babcock take out of a lineup that looks so good.

Man, I tell ya. Wanna be daring? Sit Samuelsson or Lang.  Despite my feelings about Lang and his hair I don’t think you can sit him because the potential for offense is so great, even if it’s usually unrealized.  But Samuelsson?  Maybe.  The easy choice will be Hudler, but dammit, I like that kid.  He’s scrappy and he’s earned that spot.  Samuelsson’s doing nothing, though.  Jack squat.  Sit him Mike.

Andres Lilja has zero PIM through two playoff games.  He’s a +2, last year a -4 and one of the scapegoats.  He looks solid and composed.  Amazing.

There is plenty for you to read today. I’ve added Scott Warheit’s blog to the sidebar.  In addition to writing for MLive, he’s a UM law student so he named it Quo Vadimus (oooh…Latin) to prove how much smarter he is than the rest of us.  Check the Head to Hockeytown section on the left for more Wing news and blogger views, the Round 2 section for Flaming Pessimism. 

Have a good one Wing fans, and don’t forget:  the playoffs suck.  Sooner or later we’re going to have to remember that.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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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