Abel to Yzerman
Entries with the tag: deep diggers
It’s this kind of reporting that keeps Ansar ahead of his peers.
A couple of readers pointed out that the boy on stage next to Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom last night at the Awards Show had on a jersey that read “LINDSTROM.’’ Each award winner was accompanied on stage by a kid wearing his jersey. What was that Henrik Zetterberg was saying about Lidstrom not getting enough credit in Sweden?
A “couple of readers” pointed it out. Odd. A “couple of readers” here saw it the minute it happened. Did you, you know, watch the awards Ansar?
Ground rules. Obviously…we need some. Or at least we need a reminder of them. Let me quote from my soon-to-be-released manifesto, “The Difference Between The Diggers and the Wing Bloggers”.
“Red Wing beat writers must avoid any attempt at humor. It doesn’t suit them and it embarrasses us all. If the humor is unintentional and reflects their role as propaganda artists for the organ-I-zation, that’s fine. But an outright attempt to be funny? Absolutely prohibited.”
Someone didn’t get the advanced copy.
Yes. The Wing/Lightning (tilt, matchup) game (scrum, bonanza, faceoff, match, tete a tete) tonite is on HDNet. Damn, now that’s some good news. I can’t imagine being able to watch Derek Meetch on a wing in anything other than high definition. And of course you know why Uncle Mike’s considering putting Meech on the wing, because Kris Draper’s out with a knee. And Kirk Maltby’ s most likely out with a shoulder. And Matt Ellis is out with, yeah, a head.
Here’s my stance on Wing injuries: anyone but Zetterberg and Lidstrom. I, like you, lull myself into some idiotic rationalization regarding ailments. “As long as it’s not…”, or an even better one, “good thing he got hurt in November and not March.” I want to punch myself in the temple every time I catch myself thinking that, as if an injury in the first quarter of the season fulfills a quota that would prevent bad things in April. Godddd…idiot.
Oh…you’re above that? Okaayyyy. Lying liar.
Kris Draper’s a frigging rebel. On a night when the boxscore could have made an emphatic statement, he had to go and throw a shorty in there. If not for his unassisted goal in the second the entire scoresheet would have been dominated by the to this point unnamed Zetterberg, Homer and Datsyuk line.
Aaron Downey’s in tonight. The Kings’ announcers just informed us Samuelsson’s out with a groin. Hadn’t heard that until then. Teddy Kulfan blogged earlier tonight that he was out, but couldn’t offer a reason.
1635 EST: Updated below with quotes from Holland.
Johan Franzen has a Grade 2 sprain of the MCL (medial collateral ligament) in his right knee. Franzen’s leg was injured during the second period of Saturday night’s shootout loss in Chicago. Tuomo Ruutu was tripped by Pavel Datsyuk and fell on Franzen’s leg.
The injury will keep Franzen out of the lineup for 3-4 weeks.
Detroit is carrying two spare forwards on its roster ... Aaron Downey and Matt Ellis. One will be inserted in the lineup for Monday’s home game, but isn’t likely to assume Franzen’s role on the top line. A third-line player—Dan Cleary, Valtteri Filppula or Kris Draper—could be bumped up to Datsyuk’s top line with Ellis or Downey skating on the third or fourth line.
Bruce MacLeod has a blog. And he’s a beat writer who updates it frequently and uses it for its intended purpose: to give us up-to-the-minute information rather than making us wait until tomorrow morning. For instance, today:
He gives us a few quotes from Brent Sopel regarding his abrupt departure from Detroit.
“There was a lot of miscommunication, a lot of missed phone calls, a lot of things that happened that obviously I didn’t want to happen,” said Sopel. “It was one of those circumstances. After we landed in Toronto, we tried to get ahold of Kenny Holland to discuss the situation that was going on. Couldn’t get ahold of him for a long time. Finally when we did, it was just before game time.”
Your Deep Diggers set a new standard for laziness over the summer, and we wouldn’t have expected anything less. But, at the risk of losing their “write-from-home” status, every one of them awakened this week to provide us riveting previews of the season ahead. Yesterday was the News, followed today by the Free Press and Booth (Mlive).
Detroit News Preview
Masterminds of Hockeytown
Breaking Down The East
Breaking Down The West
Ten Moments That Shaped The Rise To The Top
Steady Guard: Youngsters Benefitting from Vets
Forever Young: Age Just a Number For Wing Old Crusty Bastards
Interactive Look At Nick Lidstrom
Update: 1243 EST. Bruce MacLeod reports Uncle Mike says Cleary’s ribs aren’t broken and that “he’s day to day”. Mike Babcock is a lying liar so take that for what you will.
Mid-September in the Navy and all initiated Chiefs are busy yesterday and today. And that’s all I’m gonna say about that. Beers and anchors will get you more info.
An exhibition loss…no big deal. Another two more injuries (at least)? Now that’s irritating.
Updated 0706 EST: Three diggers, three different reasons as to why Zetterberg sat out last night in TC. Helene St. James.
Zetterberg didn’t play in either game, but assistant general manager Jim Nill said it was just due to general soreness and not the back problems that hampered Zetterberg last season.
Updated 0649 EST: And away we go. Kulfan says it was a precautionary move to keep Zetterberg out of yesterday’s scrimmage. Protecting his back and all that. Khan(!)? A different story.
Injury updates: Henrik Zetterberg was a late scratch from Tuesday’s four-on-four scrimmage at Centre I.C.E. Arena due to a sore groin. It’s precautionary, nothing significant, the team said.
My bet is that Kulfan saw Zetterberg was sitting out, asked why and got “precautionary” as a response. Maintaining the standard, he didn’t follow up. Khan(!) probably did.
Funny how two adjacent paragraphs can prompt two completely different physical reactions.
Center Valtteri Filppula (groin), winger Dan Cleary (hamstring) and winger Henrik Zetterberg (back) sat out the scrimmage at Centre ICE Arena.
Assistant GM Jim Nill said Zetterberg, who missed the second half of last season with back problems, was rested simply because the Wings have eight exhibition games in the next 10 days.
“We don’t want to take any chances,” Nill said.
More from Kulfan on last night’s 6-1 win over Minnesota.
Kulfan: Precautionary, back
Khan(!): Precautionary, groin
St. James: “General soreness”
Exhibition season opens tonite in The State of Hockey and with it Mike Babcock heads into his third year of playing “Mess with the Diggers’ Heads.” If there’s a bigger lying liar than Babcock, prove it. He’s spent his first two years shaking his head in amazement as the Wing beat writers take everything he says as actual fact.
April 2006, according to my notes.
Babcock: “It may look like Hank’s back is hurting but it’s really a migraine thing that makes him walk funny, which isn’t funny, but it still isn’t a back, which would be bad because backs are a bitch.”
Khan(!): “Word for word Mike?”
Babcock: “Word for word. Every last b-word Ansar. Every one of them, all in a row just like the pretty maids on Hotel California.”
Now you can learn what the players have know for years about health, fitness and training, as well as equipment from trends to manufacturers.
Send us your questions about fitness, health and equipment issues, and look for Piet and Paul to answer some of them in future issues of Inside Hockeytown and at RedWingsWorld.com.
That’s right kids!! For a mere forty dollar subscription to Red Wings World you too can speak directly to the Detroit Red Wing trainer AND equipment manager.
Just when I thought the Wing PR machine couldn’t get any more frigging pathetic.
Speaking of which, on to the Diggers.
Updated 1355 EST: MacLeod also reports the first wave of roster cuts will be made today. Should have details soon.
Yesterday it was Datsyuk’s brilliance. Today, Bruce MacLeod tells us from TC that Jiri Hudler was turning heads.
Jiri Hudler was flying. He made smart plays and outskated opponents on the backcheck. Grigorenko was better, but not outstanding.
Valtteri Filppula didn’t practice with his group, Sunday, but said that his ailment was minor and that he’d likely be back on the ice tomorrow. No specifics on his injury.
Those are the words of anti-Digger Bruce MacLeod in his blogged recap of the second scrimmage from TC. He also notes that Hasek and Sopel looked very good.
It was hard to notice Igor Grigorenko, who skated with Mark Hartigan and Aaron Downey. Grigorenko even missed the net on his shootout, going with a deke, but tapping the puck wide.
There is, apparently, no valid reason to use the word “if” when referring to Dallas Drake’s chances of making the team. Naturally, intelligent readers like yourselves knew that the minute he signed.
Your boy Khan(!), already with a contract in hand to write Drake’s memoirs, has found himself a new BFF.
Drake’s experience as the captain in St. Louis will help. Babcock loves his competitiveness.
“Dallas Drake flat-out loves hockey,’’ Babcock said. “And playing for us, he’ll be re-energized and be a huge part of our team, from a leadership standpoint, from a physical standpoint and from just being an all-around good guy.’‘
Ansar Khan(!) was handing out balloons as the Wings boarded busses for the trip to TC today. He found a few minutes to throw a few questions at his primary antagonist, Mike Babcock. One subject was potential diamond in the rough Brent Sopel.
On veteran defenseman Brent Sopel, in camp on a tryout: “I think he has a chance to be a real good fit for us. He can shoot the puck, he can skate with the puck. He’s got to take (away) some of the erratic play he’s had. (Wings assistant coach) Todd McClellan coached him juniors, I’ve known him since he was a kid, we have a real good feel for him and think he’s a top-four NHL defenseman. Now, just because we think it doesn’t mean anything, he’s got to relax and let his skill come to the forefront and show us what he brings (though the preseason).’‘
Nobody brings out the statesman in Mike Babcock like Teddy Kulfan. Allegedly the Detroit News beat writer, Kulfan exchanged couch-side text messages with the Wing head coach yesterday. The result? Our first Mike Babcock Consolidated Quote of the Day for 2007-‘08.
MBCQOTD 12 Sept 2007
“I like our team Teddy. I like it. I liked it last year and I’m liking it today almost as much as I like string cheese even though I never tear off the pieces of string, just eat it in three bites. Everybody likes their team now though, until about November when you know they won’t be liking anything in Columbus. Nah, kidding Teddy. Don’t write that. Write this: I’m driving the bus to TC. Kenny told me so. Guaranteed it. You know, lots of people said we wouldn’t make the playoffs last year but we made them then stayed in ‘em for a long, long time. A really long time. Like weeks. Planning on doing that again. Driver gets to pick the music on the bus. Got “Rumours” all cued up for the boys.”
JV Deep Digger George Sipple, still trying to make his mark in a town that is bursting at the seams with ambitious beat writers, caught up with Dan Cleary and Kris Draper yesterday. Undoubtedly, Mike Babcock will be relieved to read that both players approve of the lines he’s tentatively floated, the same lines that will change approximately 233 times before Christmas.
“When I look at our team and the depth that we have, obviously management believes we can do it from within,” Cleary said. “Filppula—great young talent. Hudler, Franzen all have the ability to make up the second line.”
“You look at Filppula; you look at the year Clears had last year,” Draper said. “From the sounds of it, Pav and Hank are each going to play center. So we can still have a balance of some good lines.”
Driving home yesterday I came to a startling conclusion. When I put my mind to it, and the conditions are perfect, I sound exactly like Ozzy in “Crazy Train.” Not every time, oh no. But I figured I’ve heard that song close to 700 times over the “history of my life” (Rocky II was on Versus!!!! last night) and I’ll bet yesterday and a late night in Hong Kong in ‘94 were the only times I really nailed it.
Oh, and Scott Bowman’s happy with the Wings. Unless…
Bruce MacLeod is the anti-
and there will be no arguments on that. The guy’s prolific, consistent and not afraid to toss some speculation in there.
Take a seat Khan(!). Your reign is over.
Updated 2037 EST: I stand corrected. I have no idea how I betrayed my sarcastic roots. MacLeod remains the anti-digger. Khan(!) retains the title.
Updated 1748 EST: this from A2Y reader BDH.
Deep Diggers: Getting Their Asses Handed to Them by the Macomb Daily since April 4, 2007.
Short. Simple. Classic. Just like Freddy Patek.
Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland confirmed, Monday, that three free agents with NHL experience will try out at the team’s main camp this week: defensemen Brent Sopel and Jassen Cullimore and forward Aaron Downey.
More from MacLeod. Reaction later.
Great stuff from Bruce MacLeod tonite on Wing prospective blue liner, Jakub Kindl.
“About a week before we did send him to juniors, we said that we were going to send him out,” said Detroit assistant general manager Jim Nill. “Then we played him a (preseason) game and he played very well. We said that we’d give him one more and then let him go back to juniors and he played better. He wound up playing about five games.”
With seven NHL-experienced defenseman on the team at training camp last fall, there was little chance that Kindl would wind up in Detroit.
Different circumstances will keep Kindl down in GR this year, or at least prompt the Wings to start him there. A stacked blue line, plus zero flexibility with Derek Meech spell a season with the Griffs for the young Czech.
Sitting at the dinner table tonite, and yes—there will be hockey involved in this post, our Kindergartner decides to tell a story, a nifty little diddy about a racoon who missed his mommy when he went off to racoon kindergarten. Apparently, according to daughter number 3 who says she “wants to be a Navy Chief” when she grows up, mommy racoon kissed the palm of racoon jr. every morning before he headed off to school, thereby leaving her love in his hand for the rest of the day.
“She put her love in his hand,” our young Chief told us. “No…,” she amended, “she
in his hand.”
I saw it coming and cringed. I looked five seconds into the future and resigned myself to the inevitable, and wasn’t disappointed.
“Really honey,” said my wife. “Daddy does that quite a bit too.”
So…let’s talk hockey.
Just when you think life without hockey had become all too comfortable for Deep Digger Captain Ansar Khan(!), he staggers in from nowhere to fill our heads with brilliance. Apparently convinced the in-depth scouting reports he wrote two days after the Anaheim series aren’t quite enough to merit a consistent paycheck, MLive’s Wing beat writer is back with a vengeance.
His blog from last night is rife with nuggets of insight like this: “It’s really different,’’ Rafalski said Thursday and this:”“I got to start practicing face-offs,’’ Kopecky said; and finally, this: “It was unfortunate,’’ Drake said.
Well, you’d better just stand by for hockey. How do I know it’s close? Because former Deep Digger Captain Teddy Kulfan has checked in from his long summer’s hiatus and graced us with a few quotes from The Swede.
“It was a great experience for our younger guys going deep into the playoffs (last season) and playing when it really matters,” Lidstrom said. “They’ll build on that and get better.”
Nothing too deep in Kulfan’s Wing Notebook, but you know we don’t like to place too much pressure on our brittle beat writers. Just let them work their way back into form.